SAM SQUIRES’ TRAGIC DEATH
Accidently Shoots Himself While In-
toxicated at His Home in
Veteran Hunter and Trapper's Life
Goes Out After Quarreling With
His Wife and Flourishing
Sam Squires, who for upwards of forty years, has been a well known character in Algona and
vicinity, met instant death last Thursday evening from a shot-gun in his own hands, at his home in
Sam and his fifteen year old grandson, Charlie Haines, had been in Algona all day, and Sam had
been drinking and was quarrelsome. On the way home he abused the boy, and when he reached
home commenced quarreling with his wife, while the young man was putting the team in the barn.
Mrs. Squires in an attempt to pacify her husband, hurried up supper and the meal was eaten amidst
bickering. Several times during the evening Sam made the remark that "There will be someone
dead around here before long." He struck his wife a number of times before supper and after the
meal he picked up an old "pump" shotgun which was standing in the room and flourished it
around, telling what he would do. Suddenly there was a deafening report and poor Sam crumbled
and sank to the floor a shapeless mass of inanimate clay, while his brains and blood bespattered
the wall and the crimson flood spread over the floor. When Mrs. Squires recovered from the
shock, she saw through the haze of smoke the still form of Sam in the corner and her young
grandson, sitting at the table crying. Realizing finally that the tragedy had taken place, she sent the
boy to the nearest neighbor, Theo. Carrell, who phoned to Algona for the Coroner. Coroner Reaser,
Sheriff Brunson and Dr. Kenefick went down to the place, which is near St. Joe, ten miles straight
south of Algona. It was thought best to empanel a coroners jury, which was done on Friday, the
Coroner calling to his aid E. E. Conner, Frank Clarke and Will Ladendorff. After a thorough
investigation the verdict was "accidental shooting." The gun was an old repeating shotgun, which
had at one time belonging to Theo. Carrell, and the latter testified that the lock was defective and
the gun liable to be discharged easily. Mr. Squires had the gun in his left hand and the charge
entered the left side of his forehead carrying away most of that part of the head. It was a ghastly,
and of course instantly, fatal wound.
The Squires family of children are all married and have homes of their own. John lives in Garfield
township, Will and Mrs. Mitchell in South Dakota, Mrs. Chas. Freilinger near St. Joe, and Mrs.
Ramiel in Livermore. The only member of the Squires household at the time of the tragedy was
the 15 year old grandson, Charlie Haines, a son of Mrs. Mitchell by a former marriage. The
Squires had been renters on a place belonging to Barney Devine for several years, and it was there
that the tragedy occurred. The funeral was held Sunday and the burial was at Livermore.
Sam Squires was a native of Ohio, and came to this county upwards of forty years ago. He was a
great lover of hunting and spent a good share of his time with dog and gun. It was Sam that always
showed up with the first wild ducks and geese in spring and fall. His love of hunting came before
everything else and he never acquired any property but a few head of stock, and a large number of
dogs. He is said to have been about seventy years of age. Ordinarily of a cheerful, easygoing
disposition, Sam of late years allowed liquor to poison his good nature and become quarrelsome
and hard to get along with. However, his love of the open, free life with dog and gun were his
distinguishing traits, and there are many who will join in the wish that his spirit may find peace in
the happy hunting grounds of the hereafter.
--Algona Upper Des Moines, 1 February 1911, page 1
Peter Lenertz, formerly of St. Joe but for some years past of Marion Junction, S. D., has come back and
will farm the old Barney Devine place. He thinks Iowa is good enough now.
--Algona Courier, 10 March 1911, page 8
Rachel (Scherf) Levine