FACT: On Thursday June 11th 1885 Peter Guidinger, age 57, shot and killed a subject known to all as Henry Neiers. The crime took place in the Town of Mequon in Ozaukee county Wisconsin. The shooting took place at the home of Carl Feldmann, brother in law to Anna nee-Guidinger Feldmann. Anna was married to William Feldmann and is the daughter of Peter Guidinger. The Guidinger farm and the Carl Feldmann farm shared fence lines. The Feldmann house is still standing today and is located on what is now known as Mequon Road. Henry Neiers was the uncle of Peter's wife Anna and great uncle to Anna Feldmann.
Although Peter never testified at his trial, it was evident through his son Peter's testimony and that of other witnesses that the crime was pre-meditated by the actions of Peter leading up to the shooting. Peter was and remained very distraught with the passing of his wife Anna. Anna died 21 days before the shooting occured on June 11th.
I have always had the desire to dig for the facts because of my career as a police officer. I also noted that over many of the passing years, stories and rumors became facts. Stories of how Anna (Peter's wife) was supposedly raped by Henry Neiers just held no truth or had any factual evidence. Court testimony and Peter's own admission of guilt never pointed to a rape or incest as a factor. What compelled Peter to shoot Henry Neiers was very evident. It was over what Peter felt he was owed for Henry's long stay at the Guidinger farm. Now that Anna was deceased, Peter felt Henry should pay up.
That is what compelled me to bring this historic and tragic event to my genealogy website. The trial documents are a public document. I examined the trial documents at the Ozaukee county clerk of courts office over a period of time in 2001. I read through the microfiche film and copied the pages from the court transcript files. Some of those old documents are listed below.
Most of the documents were written in German because that was the dominant language in this area of Wisconsin in 1885. The grammer that was transcribed back then, is copied as it was written and was not corrected by me. There are additional evidentiary documents that were not copied as most of those documents were interviews with heresay and speculations.
Even though this event is difficult in nature, it sadly did occur. I felt the need to include it into my website to explain all of the facts. ~Jeff
- Circuit Court Ozaukee County
- List of Ozaukee County Officials-1885
- Defense Filing
- Def. Attorney Filing
- Def. Attorney Brief page 1
- Def. Attorney Brief page 2
- Def. Attorney Brief page 3
- List of Jurors
- Jury Questionaire
- Court Testimony Mrs. Peter Kline
- Court Testimony Phillip Damm
- Court Testimony Peter Guidinger-Son
- Court Testimony of H.B.Swinn-Justice of the Peace for Mequon