Obit: Demmer, John P. (1870 - 1912)

Contact: Stan


----Sources: Colby Phonograph (Colby, Clark County, Wis.) 08/22/1912

Demmer, John P. (6 MAR 1870 - 12 AUG 1912)

As announced last week, John P. Demmer, a former Colby, Clark Co., Wis. citizen, died at his home in Kolze, Ill., on Monday, Aug. 12, 1912, after a week’s illness with typhoid fever, aged 42 years, 5 months and 6 days.

Deceased was born in the village of Schaffhausen, Rhein Provinz Preussen, Germany, on the 6th day of March 1870. In the year 1883 the family came to America, locating in Colby. John made this his home until about four years ago, when his railroad work made it more convenient for him to reside at Kolze. He was married to Miss Mary Haslbeck, in this city, about twelve years ago, and leaves his widow and three children, Edna, Agnes and Joe, to mourn his death. Besides his family he is survived by his aged father, Joseph Demmer, and two sisters and two brothers, Mrs. Jos. Jordan of this city; Jos. Demmer, Jr. of Chippewa Falls; Peter Demmer of Porter, Wash., and a sister in Germany, al of who were here to attend the funeral, except the two last names. John was an honest, industrious young man and hosts of friends join in expressions of sympathy for the family and relatives.

The funeral was held from St. Mary’s Church in this city, last Friday, and the large attendance attested the high esteem in which he was held by our citizens.

The following is the list of other out of town relatives and friends who were present at the funeral: Mr. and Mrs. J. Vrobel, Helen and Rose Haslbeck, Joe Exner and family, Grand Rapids, Wis.; Miss Bertha Haslbeck, Oak Park, Ill., Mrs. S. Burgmeyer, Wausau; Mr. and Mrs. Joe Jordan Jr., Glidden; Mr. and Mrs. Fred H. Kolze, Ill.


News: Colby – John Demmer Likely Victim of Poisoning (1921)


Surnames: Demmer, Kolze, Hoffman

---------Source: New York Herald (31 Jul 1921)

Kolze, Fred (? – 30 Jul 1921)

Chicago, July 30 – Announcing that even greater quantities of poison had been found in the body of Fred Kolze than were discovered in his wife’s, Peter Hoffman, Coroner of Cook County, today said that the body of John Demmer, who was a tenant of Kolze at Kolze, Cooke County, Illinois, would be exhumed at Colby, Wisconsin tomorrow.

Demmer’s widow became housekeeper for Kolze after the death of Kolze’s wife eight years ago.

“The discovery of poison in the body of Mrs. Kolze, as well as that of her husband, is proof of a succession of murders,” said Mr. Hoffman. “Our investigation was the first step in the affair. The next would be naturally be a number of arrests.”

Kolze’s body was examined after several anonymous telephone calls to the Coroner informed that official that the death on July 21 was not natural.


News: Colby – Update on Demmer Murder (Aug 1921)


Surnames: Demmer, Kolze

---------Source: Grand Forks Herald, Grand Forks, N.D. (01 Aug 1921)

Colby, Wisconsin, Aug. 1, 1921 – The location of the body of John Demmer, who is said to have died in a suspicious manner in August 1912, may be a difficult problem, in view of the fact that the graveyard, since Demmer was buried, was plowed over and the headstones and other marks were replaced by guess, according to a report here. Officials of the Coroner’s office of Cook County, Illinois, planned today on securing a court permit to exhume Demmer’s body for the purpose of having it examined with a view of determining the cause of death.

Relatives of Demmer say he died suddenly and that he was not on speaking terms with Mrs. Demmer Shortly before his death. Shortly after Demmer’s death, Mrs. Demmer became housekeeper for Mr. and Mrs. Fred Kolze. A short time later Mrs. Kolze died suddenly, the cause of her death being reported as whooping cough. In July last, Mr. Kolze also died in a mysterious manner, a post mortem having revealed arsenic in his system, it is said.

Prior to his death, Mr. Demmer was a tenant of Mr. Kolze at Kolze, Illinois, in the northwest part of Cook County.

Coroner Peter Hoffman of Chicago is quoted as saying that the discovery of poison in the body of Mrs. Kolze, as well as in that of her husband, is proof of a succession of murders.



© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel