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Sherman Wilcox Indicted For Murder of Frank Kosina


Posted By: Marilyn Holmes
Date: 9/6/2015 at 19:31:28

The History of Tama County

On the 20th day of October, A.D. 1898, the grand jury returned an indictment against Sherman Wilcox for murder of Frank Kosina, committed on the 7th day of August, 1898. Mr. Kosina was a Bohemian farmer, living two and one half miles north of Chelsea. Wilcox had sold a binder to Kosina, and it was claimed that the farmer had guaranteed the machine to do good work. Kosina claimed that it did not do good work and there was a difference between the parties concerning the payment for the machine. Wilxox took a keg of beer out to Kosian's Sunday afternoon. His mother was with him. Under the mellowing influence of the beer, the difficulties in the matter of settlement disappeared and the purchase price for the machine was paid. Later, under the influence of the liquor the question arose as to the payment for the beer. After some controversy, Wilcox shot Kosina, who died almost instantly. The shooting took place between 5 and 6 o'clock. The indictment was returned by the grand jury while Mr. A.K. Hitchcock was county attorney. At the time of the trial the state was represented by Mr. C.E. Walters, county attorney, and Struble & Stier. The defense by Tom H. Milner and J.J. Masnab, of Belle Plaine. The judge presiding was Obed Caswell. The jurors were J.T. Lowery, C. Brandau, Andrew Sloss, Henry Judge, Julius Rehder, John I. Stirk, James McTurk, J.T. Wrage, J.H. Giger, Neal McCarrell, C.T. Wiliams and David Rosenberger. The defendant was found guilty of murder in the second degree and sentenced to the penitentiary for twelve years. The sentence was suspended December 10, 1901, by Governor Cummins. Wilcox was a single man of about thirty-five years of age. Frank Kosina, deceased, was forty-six years of age. He left a wife and a number of children.


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