23 May 2015

On This Day: Miller charged with murder

Samuel H Miller stood trial On This Day in 1882 on the charge of murder! Miller has been charged with the murder of William Gensemer, who was killed on 15 October 1881. Miller pled not guilty.

S. H. Reynolds, David McMullen and J. hay Brown, esqs. Represented the defense. District Attorney Davis M. Brosius and J. L. Steinmets, esqs. Represented the Commonwealth. 

The murder trial began with the testimony of Dr. Peter O Bleiler, of Denver. He was called out on the evening of 15 October 1881 to attend to Gensemer, who had been shot. Gensemer was found on the pavement in front of Miller’s hotel. The official cause of death was internal hemorrhage from a bullet having entered Gensemer’s throat. Two other physicians were also called to testify. 

Clayton H Regar, a friend of Gensemer’s, then testified as to the events leading up to the actual shooting. He claimed they left Eberly’s hotel and heart music at Miller’s. They were deciding if they should go in when Miller came out and fired his pistol, announcing the two men would not be going there. Regar continued that he had been shot in the leg and that Miller then shot Gensemer several times. He stated too that the two of them were also with William Lutz, Adam Ludwig, George Griffiths and Charles Regar. He pointed out that Denver had only about 200 residents and only two hotels.

The trial continued in the following days, finally closing on Friday, 26 May 1882. Over 100 witnesses were heard during the trial. The verdict was finally received at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, 27 May. Miller was acquitted as the jury a unanimous “not guilty.” The courtroom cheered and Miller was released from custody. 


Lancaster daily intelligencer. (Lancaster, Pa.), 23 May 1882. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.  


On This Day is a prompt I started this month to further explore historical events.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.