Son Kills Father Near Ashton


Sibley Gazette - January 7, 1909


George Groen, Prosperous Farmer Near Ashton

Dies Saturday From Shotgun Wounds



For over a year a divorce case has been pending, in which his wife has been the plaintiff.  The deceased owned a fine quarter section of land aside from other property.

    Dr. Hough and County Attorney Garberson went to Ashton, Saturday, where a coroner's inquest was held, C. Aykens, J. W. Clark and Has Seivert were empanelled as jury.  They returned the following verdict:  We the jury find the deceased, Geo. Groen came to his death by reason of a gun shot wound inflicted at the hands of his son Ernest Groen. 

    The deceased  was born in Germany 45 years ago.  For the last fifteen years he has resided in Osceola County on his farm two miles west of Ashton.  Aside from the widow he leaves seven children, John, Ernest, George, Hattie, Maggie, Dena, and Ollie; and three brothers and a sister, John, Dick, Sidney, and Maggie Groen, all of Kossuth County, Iowa.  His father John Groen also resides in Kossuth County.

the stairs he went, where he saw Ernest with a shot gun.  He was warned to keep back or he would be shot.  On he came and Ernest blazed away the entire charge of the gun entering his left side in the region of the lung.  Just after he had been shot, he asked for a revolver saying he wished to shoot Ernest. 

    Drs. Langenhorst and Buckmaster of Ashton, and Cram of Sheldon, were called.  Nearly 200 shot had entered the unfortunate man's body and the wound proved fatal.  Groen died Saturday morning, the funeral being held on Tuesday.

    Ernest Groen went to Sibley Saturday and voluntarily gave himself into the custody of the sheriff, to await the action of the grand jury.  He is a young innocent looking boy of 17 years of age.  It seems him and his father have disagreed for years, but his father refused to consent to his leaving home.  The father has been addicted to drink and of late has been often been under the influence of liquor. 

        George Groen, a well to do farmer west of Ashton, was shot by his son Ernest, Wednesday evening.  Mr. Groen returned from Ashton about 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon.  His sons John and Ernest were testing each other's strength by pulling each other with a stick.  Their father suggested he could pull both of them and wagered a dollar to that effect.  He lost, and when the boys asked for the dollar he became enraged and suggested they might trust him until tomorrow.  He then suggested he could pull Ernest with one hand, and failed.  He again wagered he could pull Ernest, and won.  He demanded his money and the boys said they were even now.  He became very angry, took Ernest and sat him on the stove and a general melee ensued in which the elder Groen was struck over the head with a chair as he left the house.  He returned with an iron bar and swore vengeance on Ernest who had fled up stairs.  He was told Ernest had gone to the neighbors, but up















Ernest Groen Is Acquitted



Jury Finds Young Man Not Guilty of Murder.



Sibley Gazette - March 25, 1909


Attorney Garberson made the opening and closing arguments for the state while Attorney Hunter made the argument for the defendant.  The arguments were eloquent throughout and held the closest of attention.  The judge gave his instructions to the jury who retired about 11 o'clock.  They returned a verdict about 5 o'clock.

    According to the instructions of Judge Gaynor, the jury were instructed to return a verdict for the state, should the evidence show even an assault.  They could find defendant guilty of any lesser crime then the one charged, should the evidence so determine.

material witnesses for the state.  The mother and her son told of the events leading up to the shooting.  How the deceased had quarreled with the boys and had been drinking heavily.  How the father struck Ernest and that Ernest had struck his father with a chair.  The enraged father went outdoors, secured an iron handle to a riding plow, came into the house looking for Ernest, who had gone upstairs.  The father started up the stairs when Ernest fired the shot from the top of the stairway.  The physicians told of the nature of the wound and the condition in which the deceased was found.

    The evidence was concluded Wednesday evening.  Thursday morning

    Ernest Groen is a free man again.  At 5 o'clock Thursday evening, the jury of twelve men returned a verdict of not guilty.  Ernest Groen, who is but seventeen years of age, shot his father last December.  On the stand Wednesday afternoon the young man, in a dramatic manner, described the homicide.  He said he fired the gun which caused the death of his father.  He claimed he did it in self defense and had not intended inflicting a mortal wound.  He also admitted having struck his father with a chair previous to the shooting affray.

    Mrs. Groen, mother of the unfortunate boy, John Groen, his brother, Drs. Langenhorst and Buckmaster were the










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