Two Neighbors at Menomonee Falls Fight and Wm. Erdmann is Terribly Wounded

Sources: Various Waukesha Freeman Articles

As the result of a stabbing affray at Menomonee Falls last Saturday night, William Erdmann of that village was seriously injured. The stabbing came as a climax to a saloon brawl, which started with a friendly discussion between two laborers, August Amend and William Erdmann as to who could do the most work at the factory, where they were employed. The two men were in a saloon near the depot when, the quarrel commenced. They finally became so noisy that they were put out of the place and they continued their dispute on the street. They came to blows in front of the Monitor hotel and finally grappled. Erdmann Monitor hotel and finally grappled. Erdmann succeeded in getting Amend down and the latter, who was probably getting the worst of the argument, drew his pocket knife and stabbed Erdmann four times. One thrust entered the body close to the stomach and heart, and another tore through the bowels. Two more lunges with the knife pierced the left arm and the right lung.

Dr. G. E. Hoyt dressed the wounds of the injured man, assisted by Drs. Campbell and Burkhart. There "seems to be little likelihood of death ensuing as a result of the wounds unless blood poisoning sets in.

Erdmann and Amend are laborers employed at Rowell's Agricultural Works. They are neighbors, living side by side, and heretofore have always been on the best of terms.

Amend was arrested Saturday at Menomonee Falls by Deputy-Sheriff Samuel Boyd. He was given his preliminary hearing in the municipal court Monday morning. The charge against him is assault with intent to kill. Mr. Merton, as attorney for the defendant, said that he had always borne a good reputation for being a quiet inoffensive citizen in his home town and asked that he be admitted to bail. District Attorney Tichenor stated that he had no objections to the defendant's being admitted to bail as the latter could have run away last Saturday before being arrested, but evinced no disposition to do so. The case was accordingly adjourned until Thursday, Dec. 19, and Amend's bail fixed at $250.

August Amend, who it is alleged stabbed William Erdmann at Menomonee Falls on the evening of Dec. 6, was brought before Judge Tullar in the municipal court Thursday morning for his preliminary examination on a charge of assault with intent to kill. The defendant waived examination and was bound over to the March term for trial, his bail being continued at $250.


Waukesha Freeman | Waukesha, Wisconsin | Thursday, January 30, 1902 | Page 8

August Amend, who is charged with inflicting knife wounds, on the person of William Erdmann at Menomonee Falls, on the evening of Dec. 6, which caused the death of the latter, was brought into the circuit court yesterday afternoon. Ernest Merton was appointed as his counsel in accordance with his petition. His bail, was fixed at $3,000 by Judge Dick.

Waukesha Freeman | Waukesha, Wisconsin | Thursday, April 24, 1902 | Page 8

August Amend who is charged with the murder of William Erdmann of Menomonee Falls, will be tried at the May term of circuit court.


Waukesha Freeman | Waukesha, Wisconsin | Thursday, May 15, 1902 | Page 1

Now On Trial in the Circuit Court.


Considerable Trouble is Experienced In Procuring a Satisfactory Jury.

The case of August Amend, charged with the murder of William Erdmann has been commenced in the circuit court. According to the story of the affair Amend and Erdmann, both employees of the Rowell Iron foundry at Menomonee Falls, met in Schlossmann's saloon at the place on the night of Dec. 6. They became involved in a quarrel as to which could do the most of a certain kind of work. The proprietor put both men out and they continued their dispute in the street. Erdmann picked up a club and on the admonition of Amend to fight fair dropped it. They came to blows, clinched and fell to the ground, Amend being beneath, Amend drew his pocket knife and stabbed his adversary four times. Erdmann was taken home and died there on January 18, blood poisoning having set in.

Amend was arrested at first on a charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and was released on bail furnished by his employer. When Erdmann died he was re-arrested on a charge of murder and bail was refused. Later Judge Dick admitted him to bail in the sum of $3,000, which he was unable to furnish.

Amend has a prison record, having served two years and six months at Waupun on sentence received at Chippewa Falls in 1891 for assault with intent to do great bodily harm. He was also arrested there on several other occasions on minor charges.

Amend has a wife and family at Menomonee Falls. Erdmann also left a wife and large family.

The following jury was selected yesterday afternoon for the trial of August Amend: Hiram Way, Eagle; Esau Beaumont, Lisbon; B. Craig, Vernon: H. F. Merton, Sr., Waukesha; Geo. Wagner, Waukesha; J. A. Monroe. Waukesha; T. C. Land, Waukesha; John Superneau, Vernon; J. M. Moore, Waukesha; David Hunter, Ottawa.; John F. Pritzlaff, Merton; W. M. Carroll, Waukesha.

Waukesha Freeman | Waukesha, Wisconsin | Thursday, May 22, 1902 | Page 2


The Jury Decides That Wm. Erdmann

Was Killed in Self Defense.

August Amend of Menomonee Falls was acquitted by the jury Friday night of the murder of William Erdmann of the same village. The case was submitted to the jury by the court under the charge of manslaughter in the second, third, or fourth degrees or assault and battery. The jury was out three hours.

The defense did not place any witnesses on the stand whatever as it developed on cross examination of the witnesses for the state that Amend was not the aggressor in the fight and that he was on the defensive most of the time. A number of witnesses told of the fight. According to the testimony of Erdmann started the fight and kept it up all along. He had Amend down and was pounding him on the head when Amend drew his knife and stabbed him. The only pieces of damaging testimony were that Amend threatened to "lay Erdmann out cold". If he was not left alone and that Amend drew an unopened jack knife during the trouble in the saloon. The knife he put back in his pocket however on command of a bystander.

A number of physicians were placed on the stand during the early part of the trial and the defense endeavored to get those connected with the case to admit that they had violated the rules of surgery in not leaving drainage in the wounds. The doctors left drainage in only one of the wounds and Attorney Merton quoted Dr. Parks as authority for stating that drainage should be left in all of the wounds. Dr. Merton however did not mention the matter of improper treatment of the wounds by the attending physicians.

Mr. Amend stated that he thought he would make his home in this city in the future.

The case did not attract much attention locally but quite a number of Menomonee Falls people were present at the trial.

Waukesha Freeman | Waukesha, Wisconsin | Thursday, July 24, 1902 | Page 2


Menominee Man Ends Life By Strychnine


Tried to Kill Wife by Placing Strychnine in Sugar Bowl. Man Recently Acquitted of Murder.

August Amend, who was acquitted of the murder of William Erdman of Menomonee Falls by a jury on May 16 in the circuit court, attempted to poison his wife and then ended his own life by taking a quantity of strychnine at Duplainville Thursday. His wife has recovered from her attack of illness, caused by poisoning. Amend has been employed as black-smith at Lannon since his acquittal and has made repeated efforts to get his wife to live with him since then. She has been staying here with her daughter, Miss Martha Siefert, on McCall street, since her husband's arrest last fall, and refused to have anything more to do with him. Thursday morning he made his last effort to attempt a reconciliation. Failing in this he became enraged and attempted to choke her. Miss Seifert prevented him from doing anything violent and he shortly afterwards left the house, but not before placing a large amount of strychnine in the sugar bowl.

Mrs. Amend ate some of the sugar yesterday at dinner and became violently ill. Dr. Hodgson was summoned and he pronounced the symptoms those of strychnine poisoning. An examination was made of the sugar by Dr. Hodgson and he found a considerable quantity of the poisonous drug therein. Miss Siefert did not partake of any of the sugar and sustained no ill effects. Mrs. Amend is now out of danger.

Amend spent most of the morning at John Schock's saloon, leaving there about 10.30 o'clock. He started for Lannon on the noon train on the Wisconsin Central, but got off at Duplainville, complaining that he did not feel well. He went to G. Hasler's saloon, where he said he was sick. He soon placed his head on the table and commenced to cry. He told Hasler's son that he had trouble with his wife. He called for milk to drink several times, and it was given him. He then began to suffer convulsions, and begged Hasler to wire his wife and ask her to come out. Hasler did this and notified some of the neighbors, and acting on advice, sent for Dr. Love of Pewaukee. He was not at home, and Dr. Philler of this city was summoned. He arrived there at 5 o'clock, but Amend had been dead for three quarters of an hour, dying about 4.15 o'clock. The sheriff's office was notified, and Sheriff Blair and Justice Snyder went over and impaneled a coroner's jury.

Mr. Hasler says he did not see Amend take any poison in the saloon, and John Bright, a local bartender, who was going out to Duplainville, rode with Amend and said he did not see him take any of the drug. When and where he took the poison is a mystery. Amend, when in the saloon, explained the convulsive twitches caused by the poisoning as being a nervous disease from which he suffered.

Amend evidently contemplated suicide as he informed Undersheriff Don McKay, who is a candidate for sheriff Wednesday that he would not be here next fall to vote for him. He also told Mr. Bright that it would be the last time he would see him.

Amend was 47 years of age and has a son living at Lannon. He also has four other children living in different parts of the state. He formerly lived at Chippewa Falls and had something of a criminal record while there. He was sentenced to the penitentiary from there in 1891 on a charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm. He served two years and six months. He was also convicted on a number of minor charges.

He was regarded a respectable citizen while at Menomonee Falls. The crime with which he was charged was inflicting wounds on the person of William Erdmann, a fellow workman at that village, on the night of Dec. 6, in a stabbing affray, which caused the death of Erdmann on Jan. 18.

At his trial it developed that he had been forced into a fight by Erdmann and stabbed him in self defense, and he was accordingly acquitted.

Drs. Davies, Newell and Philler held an autopsy on the body Friday morning and found a quantity of strychnine in the stomach. The inquest was held Saturday afternoon before Justice Snyder and the jury brought in a verdict to the effect that Amend took his own life by poisoning himself with strychnine.