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    Default Murder In The Neck

    Anton Probst lured the members of the Dearing family into the barn one by one -- then slaughtered them. These murders took place in the area in South Philly known as the The NECK. The areas main street was Stonehouse Lane. Stonehouse Lane was south of Oregon av. roughly were the Oregon diner now stands.
    THE PHILADELPHIA MASSACRE

    Christopher Dearing and his family were buried at St Marys Cemetery. At 10th and Moore St.

    THE DEERING MURDER.;
    PROBST the murderer is dead. With comparative ease be shuffled off his mortal and disreputable coil this morning, at 10:45 o'clock, in the presence of the Philadelphia authorities, the few Invited guests and the chroniclers of the press. Half a beast, he has never indicated an appreciation of the magnitude of his crime;


    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive...B066838D679FDE

    THE DEERING MURDER.; Probst's Full Confession--A Fearful Story of Crime.
    May 9, 1866, Wednesday
    ANTON PROBST has at last succumbed. He made a full and free confession of his crime, detailing the circumstances of the murders, and the motive that induced him to commit them. Sunday he made the first approach toward a confession, and then he admitted to the priest, Rev. Mr. GUNTHER, that he alone was responsible for the death of the eight persons found dead on the Dearing farm.
    THE DEERING MURDER.; Probst's Full Confession--A Fearful Story of Crim... - Article Preview - The New York Times

    In his confessions Anton Probst acknowledged that he had killed an entire family of eight persons and described the manner in which he had carried out the crimes. Also included is a history of his previous life and an account of his last hours and execution. Christopher Dearing had given Probst work on his farm in Philadelphia in 1865, but his behaviour led to his being dismissed a few weeks later and he went to a charity hospital claiming ill health. Whilst there he made plans to get even with the Dearings. In March 1866 he begged to be taken back into their employ and he was soon back on the farm, being friendly whilst planning his terrible revenge. On 7th April he began killing everyone on the premises and lining the bodies up in the barn. He robbed the house, fed the animals and walked away. Arrested by a policeman whilst drinking in a bar, it took just twenty minutes for the jury to find him guilty
    Anton Probst was born in Germany in 1843 and came to the United States in 1863, during the height of the Civil War. Almost immediately upon arriving in New York, the young man volunteered for service in the Union Army. He did not do so because of some patriotic zeal but rather because recruits were being paid $300 in those days. Probst decided to use this to his advantage and he volunteered for the army several times. He would collect a bounty for his enlistment, serve a few weeks in a training camp and then desert, moving on to another northern city, where he would enlist again for another $300. He never saw any action but he did manage to make a comfortable living during the bloody days of the war.
    His racket came to an end in 1865 and by the fall of that year, Probst found himself penniless in Philadelphia. Living on the streets, he found out that a man named Christopher Dearing was looking for a handyman to work on his farm. Probst applied at the small homestead on Jones' Lane and was soon hired. The Dearing farm was only a few acres in size with a small house, a barn where a horse and one pig were kept and some grazing space for cattle. Dearing, his wife, Julia, and their five children supported themselves by raising and selling cattle. They were not wealthy by any means, but they were a happy family who managed to get along on the little they earned.
    Probst soon revealed his true personality but only to Julia Dearing. She noticed how he did little work and would lounge in the barn when he was supposed to be tending the cattle. After he made several lewd comments to her, she urged her husband to fire the strange young man after just three weeks. Dearing agreed and Probst, claiming to be in poor health, was taken in by a Philadelphia charity hospital. He lingered here from December 1865 to the following February. While lying on his cot in the poor house, Probst schemed to rob the Dearing's and to get even with them. He returned to the farm on March 2, 1866 and begged Christopher Dearing to hire him back. Dearing, who felt sorry for the man, agreed.
    Over the course of the next month, Dearing worked harder than he ever had in his life. He pretended to be quite friendly with the family and even Julia began to feel kindly towards the young man. All the while, Probst continued to scheme and on April 7, decided to put his plan into action. That morning, Christopher Dearing traveled by buggy to the Philadelphia docks to meet a visiting family friend, Miss Elizabeth Dolan from Burlington, New Jersey. Meanwhile, Probst and Cornelius Carey, a boy employed to help on the farm, worked in a field. Events began just as started to rain at about nine that morning.
    As the rain began to fall, Probst and Carey took shelter under a tree. When the boy looked away for a moment, Probst clobbered Carey with the blunt end of an ax and when he fell, stunned, Probst turned the ax over and severed the boy's head with it! He quickly hid the body in a haystack and then, with methodical precision, Probst lured the entire family --- one by one --- into the barn. There, he struck them senseless with a hammer and then chopped them with the ax until Julia and four of her children, including an infant, had been slaughtered. When Mr. Dearing arrived home with Elizabeth Dolan, Probst was waiting for him. He told him that there was a sick animal in the barn and after they went inside, Probst attacked him with the hammer and ax as well. Miss Dolan, who had gone into the house, was also lured into the barn and she was also slain.
    When he was finished, Probst neatly lined all of the bodies up inside of the barn and tossed hay over them. He then ransacked the farm house, looking for money. He found $10 in Dearing's wallet, of which $4 was later found to be counterfeit, as well as revolver and a battered old watch. He also managed to find $3 in Miss Dolan's purse but that was all. Probst then used Dearing's razor to shave off his beard and exchanged clean clothes and boots for his own blood-soaked apparel. After that, he ate some bread and butter and then went to his room for a nap. He slept peacefully, unconcerned about the murders, and before leaving the farm, he took the time to feed the dogs and chickens and the put out feed for the horses and the cow in the barn, just steps away from where the bodies of the Dearing family lay stiffening under the hay. Only one of the children survived the massacre. Willie Dearing, the oldest son, had gone to stay with friends a few days before the crime occurred.
    After feeding the animals, Probst leisurely strolled away and spent the next few days on the streets. Neighbors came to the farm on the day after the murders and found the bodies of the family in the barn. They notified the police, who had little trouble tracking down Probst. He had sold Dearing's revolver to a bartender and his watch to a jeweler. On April 12, five days after Philadelphia's first mass murder, he was arrested by a single policeman while drinking in a tavern at 23rd and Market Streets. He surrendered without a fight.
    At first, the killer protested his innocence but the evidence against him was so strong that at the end of his trial on May 1, the jury took only 20 minutes to find him guilty. He was executed on June 8 but before this occurred, he made a complete confession of his crimes. Strangely, even after death, Anton Probst has remained in Philadelphia. Following his execution, his body was delivered to the medical college, where it was dissected. His mounted skeleton then went on display in the museum of the college, which still operates today. It was a strange and macabre (although perhaps fitting) ending for this vicious killer.

    PSYCHO CARNIVAL: February 2008

    Anton Probst (8+) The axe murders in 1866 near Philadelphia were unprecedented. Anton Probst, a farm hand, systematically lured all eight members of the Deering family into a barn, then axed them to death. Beginning about 8:00 in the morning and finishing around 1:30 p.m., he then went into the farmhouse and put on Mr. Deering's fine clothes, sat down and ate the food in their kitchen (a man's got to eat), then plundered the house one room at a time until evening.
    He then went into Philadelphia to his favorite saloon, bought drinks for the house with his new found wealth, gambled and lost at bagatelle (an early form of pool) and then treated himself to a lady of the evening until the following morning when he was thrown out of the whorehouse almost penniless. Managing to come up with more money for whoring for the next five days, Probst was finally captured and subsequently hanged, His body was then used for chilling medical experiments at the local college.
    Strong evidence also suggests he was also a cold-blooded serial killer who roamed the east coast and enjoyed butchering families.

    Not complete without a mention of "Joe" Malatesta's, on Eighth containing curious and wax reproductions of notorious criminals. Here could be seen the cart which Anton Probst, the murderer of the Deering family, down the "Neck", used in hauling the bodies. This murder created quite a sensation among the residents of Southwark.
    Old-Time Drinking Places in Philadelphia
    Last edited by CHIOSSO; 04-30-2009 at 12:12 AM.
    Moyamensing became known for its penitentiary, violent hose company, cemeteries, wretchedly poor inhabitants, and crime. Harry C. Silcox

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    "Joe" Malatesta sponsored my g-g-g grand father for citizenship. My ancestor also rented a house from Malatesta on Mildred st(Essex St) in 1865. "Joe" Malatesta was the first Italian American police captain in Philadelphia. He was a patrono and a big mahoff in in the Italian community for many years.
    Last edited by CHIOSSO; 02-04-2009 at 11:54 PM.
    Moyamensing became known for its penitentiary, violent hose company, cemeteries, wretchedly poor inhabitants, and crime. Harry C. Silcox

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    MisterT is offline Senior Member
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    Did you get this from the book City of Brotherly Mayhem? This is one of the stories in that book, along with a few other famous Philadelphia crimes.

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    I have the book but I grabbed most of this stuff on the Internet.

    Some reports say Anton Probst was captured at 23rd and Market, others say he turned him self in to a priest at St Alphonsus church at 4th and Reed.
    Last edited by CHIOSSO; 01-30-2009 at 11:31 AM.
    Moyamensing became known for its penitentiary, violent hose company, cemeteries, wretchedly poor inhabitants, and crime. Harry C. Silcox

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    Default After the massacre of all but a boy, family lives to tell the tale

    Daniel Rubin: After the massacre of all but a boy, family lives to tell the tale
    By Daniel Rubin Posted on Sun, Apr. 12, 2009

    Inquirer Columnist

    The headline in the Inquirer needed but a single word to sink the hook:

    Horror!

    Eight persons lured one by one to a barn and then killed with an ax: a father, mother, four children, family friend, visiting aunt. A German farmhand gone missing.

    The events of the day became known as the Murders in the Neck, for the canal-laced district at the tip of South Philadelphia. The "most horrible" murders in the city's history, the paper called them on April 12, 1866, after a neighbor stumbled upon the bodies.

    Maybe because only one child survived - William Deering, age 10 - the ghastly murders have captivated Susan Kushner.

    Or maybe because that boy was her great-grandfather.

    Anton Probst, a solitary, morose Civil War deserter, would be arrested a few evenings later while walking toward West Philadelphia, his hat pulled low on his brow.

    After the murders he'd fed the horses, shaved, picked out some of Christopher Deering's clothes, then sat down at the tenant farmer's kitchen table and devoured a butter sandwich. He grabbed two pocket watches, two pistols, and $17, then set out for a favorite Northern Liberties brothel. The motive, he'd soon confess, was robbery.

    Justice moved quickly in those days. Within the month Probst was tried, and in June he'd hang from the gallows at Moyamensing Prison.

    Tuesday was the 143d anniversary of the murders. Kushner observed the day "just reflecting on who they were." Speaking from her home outside Indianapolis, the 49-year-old is one of more than 60 descendents of William, who at the time of the killings was living with his grandparents in West Philadelphia, where he attended school.

    Kushner was about William's age when she came upon an old clipping from the Philadelphia Bulletin in the family Bible. The article pictured her father, about 25, and an aunt, and focused on the treasure some believed was buried on the family farm.

    The Deering family slaughter long intrigued her father. For years he enlisted Susan and her brother Michael to accompany him by train from their Bensalem home to Center City, where he'd pore through old maps and papers at the Philadelphia Free Library and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

    The former Philco engineer had hoped to write a book about the killings, but got sick at age 59, and had to put down his quest. His daughter carried on. She shared her archives with a young writer named G. Jordan Lyons, whose account of the killings, The Philadelphia First Ward Horror, has just been published.

    http://gjlyons.wordpress.com/

    Reading about a distant massacre has had an unexpected effect on her, she said. "I feel I am grieving for them," Kushner said. "It brought them to a special place within me."

    Today the Deering family lies buried in a mass grave at Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon under a statue of the Blessed Mother. Their bodies were moved from a church graveyard at 10th and Moore in the 1950s for the construction of St. Maria Goretti High School. This continues to trouble Kushner.

    She has asked the archdiocese if the family can put a marker on the grave, in part because during her research she was horrified to read how her ancestors' bodies had been put on gruesome display before burial and thousands of people bought tickets to the spectacle.

    I sought out Roger Lane, a Haverford College historian who has written at length about Philadelphia deaths, to explore how such a sideshow could happen.

    During that period, he said, "nothing was too gruesome to be exploited commercially."

    Robert E. Whomsley, director of the Catholic Cemeteries Office, told Kushner that the family could not put up a marker because it would be unfair to the rest of the 8,471 adults and children buried in the grave.

    Kushner wonders if more attention should be paid to her people's near-annihilation. Dark as it is, it's a chapter of the city's history. "This is a whole family that no one knows about," she said.

    Whomsley has invited her to visit, which she said she would, this summer, with scores of other descendants of what was once this city's most horrific mass murder.

    "It will be kind of a family reunion," she said.

    Daniel Rubin: After the massacre of all but a boy, family lives to tell the tale | Philadelphia Inquirer | 04/12/2009

    http://www.uindy.edu/news/?p=1550
    Last edited by CHIOSSO; 05-18-2009 at 10:34 AM.
    Moyamensing became known for its penitentiary, violent hose company, cemeteries, wretchedly poor inhabitants, and crime. Harry C. Silcox

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    The Deering Murder--A Surgical Lecture Over the Dead Body of Probst.

    June 12, 1866, Wednesday



    An autopsy of the body of the executed murderer PROBST was made in the clinic room of Jefferson Medical College on Saturday afternoon, in the presence of as many persons as the apartment would contain, all of whom were present by invitation, and most of whom wore members of the medical profession.

    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive...B066838D679FDE

    The 1867 New York Museum of Anatomy displayed executed murderer Anton Probst’s head and right arm (which struck the fatal blows).
    Moyamensing became known for its penitentiary, violent hose company, cemeteries, wretchedly poor inhabitants, and crime. Harry C. Silcox

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    THE TRAGEDY IN PHILADELPHIA

    THE TRAGEDY IN PHILADELPHIA.; Further Particulars of the Murder of the Deering Family. The Tragedy in Philadelphia.

    April 13, 1866, Wednesday

    Full reports of the DEERING family murder show it to have been one of the most horrible butcheries of the age. The Press reporters say that the body of the mother and those of her four children were found in one corner of the barn, near a small outhouse, which communicated together by a hole, through which the remains of the murdered victims were brought to view.

    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive...B266838D679FDE
    Moyamensing became known for its penitentiary, violent hose company, cemeteries, wretchedly poor inhabitants, and crime. Harry C. Silcox

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    Default View of the Dearing farm



    View of the farm where the murder of the Deering [sic] Family was committed by the fiend Antoine Probst on April 7th 1866.

    Dearing Family.

    Key to buildings depicted printed below the image.

    News print showing the farm at Jones Lane in South Philadelphia of the Philadelphia family murdered by their farmhand Anton Probst on April 7, 1866. The victims included Christopher Dearing, aged 38 years; his wife, Julia Dearing, aged 45 years; their son, John Dearing, aged 8 years; their son, Thomas Dearing, aged 6 years; their daughter, Anna Dearing, aged 4 years; their daughter, Emily Dearing, aged 2 years; family friend Elizabeth Dolan, aged 25 years; and fieldhand Cornelius Cary, aged 17 years. Depicts (left to right) "1. The Haystack" where the headless body of the first murdered, field hand Cary, was hidden; "2. The Dwelling" Probst ransacked for money and in which he shaved, changed, napped, and ate after the murder; "3. The Stable" where Probst fed the animals before his departure; and "4. The Barn" where the family was lured one by one, killed, and discovered by neighbors a few days later. Individuals walk the property, including spectators and police, and a cow stands across from two policemen in a field tilled for planting in the foreground. Also shows barren trees, carts, wagons, and other farm equipment. Probst, a German immigrant and swindler, was a disgrun tled former farmhand of the Dearings who murdered the family by hammer and ax for revenge and money. He was convicted in May 1866 and executed the following month at Moyamensing Prison for the largest murder in Philadelphia at that time.

    Probst, Anton, 1842-1866.


    Anton Probst lured the members of the Dearing family into the barn one by one -- then slaughtered them
    Free Library of Philadelphia: Philadelphiana - Farms
    Last edited by CHIOSSO; 05-27-2010 at 05:15 PM.
    Moyamensing became known for its penitentiary, violent hose company, cemeteries, wretchedly poor inhabitants, and crime. Harry C. Silcox

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    The Life, confession and atrocious crimes of Antoine Probst, the murderer of the Deering family.
    Subject Deering, Christopher, d. 1866
    New York. Museum of Anatomy

    Last edited by CHIOSSO; 05-27-2010 at 05:30 PM.
    Moyamensing became known for its penitentiary, violent hose company, cemeteries, wretchedly poor inhabitants, and crime. Harry C. Silcox

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    Good stuff, Chiosso. This goes to show that life in the "good old days" wasn't always so good.
    Philly people, learn your history.

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    thank you,
    check out these images









    The Philadelphia First Ward Horror | Facebook
    Last edited by CHIOSSO; 05-31-2010 at 11:45 AM.
    Moyamensing became known for its penitentiary, violent hose company, cemeteries, wretchedly poor inhabitants, and crime. Harry C. Silcox

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    Default Deering's of Ireland and Philadelphia

    Deering's of Ireland and Philadelphia

    They had a farm in the First Ward of the city known as "The Neck". This part of the city was located in South Philly below Moore Street. The called it "The Neck" because it was situated at the most southern part of the city away from the true city. It was a very remote and desolated part of the city. Nothing but marshlands and pastures. He was a cattle farmer who shared a business with a very wealthy man in Philadelphia named Theodore Mitchell. Christopher & Julia had five children named William b. 1856 d. Feb. 24, 1909; John b. 1858 d. April 7, 1866; Thomas b. 1860 d. April 7, 1866; Anna b. 1862 d. April 7, 1866; & Emily b. 1865 d. April 7, 1866. They were all murdered on their farm on April 7, 1866, except for the eldest son William, by a German immigrant who was hired to help on their farm. Also murdered was Christopher Deering's niece Elizabeth Dolan and an adopted boy. The murder was the biggest crime of it's time. Most of the information I obtained about the Deering's in Ireland was from the countless number of newspaper accounts of the crime. They were all buried in Old St. Mary's Cemetery in Phila. The eldest son William was only ten years old when his family was killed. He was not at home at the time of the murders because he was away at school in West Philly. He was raised by his grandparents, the Duffy's, after the murders. He married Mary E. Green who was the daughter of Irish immigrants in Philly. They lived at 51 N. 51st Street, Phila.
    Moyamensing became known for its penitentiary, violent hose company, cemeteries, wretchedly poor inhabitants, and crime. Harry C. Silcox

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    Caption on the second pic of your previous post:

    "I took his hat off and said 'You are a Dutchman!'"
    "He said 'No : me are a Frenchman!'"

    Love that Victorian detective work! Another good find with this story, Chi

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    Default A Whole Family Consisting of Eight Persons Horribly Murdered

    Deering, Christopher Deering

    Deering, Julia Deering
    Obituaries
    Deering, John Deering

    Deering, Thomas Deering

    Deering, Anna Deering

    Deering, Emma Deering

    Keating, Elizabeth Keating nee Dolan

    Carey, Cornelius Carey

    The Spirit of Democracy, Woodsfield, Ohio, dated, May 1, 1866

    A TERRIBLE TRAGEDY

    A Whole Family Consisting of Eight Persons Horribly Murdered

    The Scene of the Tragedy

    The Murderer—Antoine Probs
    One of the most horrible butcheries of human beings—more atrocious in its terrible details than the Langfelt or the Skupinski murders, which shocked the community years ago—was made known on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 11, between 2 and 3 o’clock. The location of the horrible tragedy, or tragedies, is on Jones Lane, west of the Greenwich point road, not far distant from the Point, on the Delaware, in the First Ward.

    The victims of the murderer are Christopher Deering, aged thirty-eight years; Julia, his wife, aged thirty-six years; John Deering, son, aged eight years; Thomas Deering, five years, Annie Deering, four years; Emma Deering, fourteen months; Mrs. Elizabeth Keating, aged twenty nine; a lad named Cornelius Carey, aged fourteen years who lived with the family and worked upon the farm.

    The dwelling-house, a two-story frame is located on Jones Lane, the barn

    and stable being a short distance off. Mr. Deering was a cattle dealer and a quiet unostentatious man. He attended strictly to his own business. He occupied the farm for five or six years, having rented it from the owner, Mr. James Mitchell. Mr. Deering was last seen alive on Saturday morning, April 7.

    WHERE THE BODIES WERE FOUND

    The body of the mother and those of her four children were found in one corner of the barn, near a small out-house adjoining, which the remains of the victims were brought to view. It seems as though they were thrown into one heap, pell mell, and then covered over with dirt and hay. These unfortunates were terribly mangled about their heads. It would seem that a new, sharp and bloody axe, that was found in the rear of the dwelling, was the weapon used by the heartless wretch in committing the horrible crime of murder. All of them seemed to have been struck on the left side of the forehead, just above the eye, with the heel of the axe, and then with the blade of this murderous weapon the demon cut their throats. Such a sight was appalling to the stoutest nerves. One of the little boys, the youngest, it is believed was so horribly cut that his head dropped off. The other boy, when discovered, had his right arm crooked, and partially raised as though fending off the blow that sent him into eternity. The mother, it is supposed, was defending her baby from the attack of the infuriated demon, when she was struck down. The babe had received an awful blow on the upper part of the breast, near the shoulder, almost severing one of its arms, and also another, a sharp cut on the side of the head.

    It is the opinion of some, and it is probably the most correct of the theories expressed, that all this bloody work was done on Saturday morning during the absence of Mr. Deering.

    His body, and that of Mrs. Keating, his first cousin, was found alongside of the barn, and not far distant from the spot the others were discovered. These bodies were covered over with hay, and one of his feet partly sticking out led to the discovery of the horrible butchery.

    HOW THE DISCOVERY WAS MADE

    A man at work fixing up some fences for Mr. Ware, a neighbor, had his attention called, by a young man, to the fact, that the cattle and horses of Mr. Deering had not been out of the stable or barn for several days. He saw them and fed them in the morning. Both went to the spot and on making a close observation, a part of a foot was discovered sticking out from the hay. A further examination was made, and the body of Mr. Deering was found, his head being shockingly mangled. His breast bone protruded to such an extent that it was driven into his neck. It was a ghastly, sickening sight. His gloves were found upon his hands. Near his body were the mangled remains of Mrs. Keating, his cousin. She was also shockingly cut about the head. We learn that she had been attending the funeral of a relative in new Jersey, and that on Saturday morning, April 7, Mr. Deering stopped at a railroad depot to take her down to his house. Her dress was deep black, indicating that the work of this part of the tragedy must have been done as soon as the horse was driven to the stables. The hat and boots of Mr. Deering were missing. They were probably taken by the murderer. The wagon was alongside of the dwelling house. The horse was found in the stall in the stable with the halter on him. The animal, in the agony of hunger, had almost hung himself. Words are wanting to give an adequate description of the appalling scene; but from the above, the reader can form a pretty correct idea of the atrocity.

    SOMETHING ABOUT THE AXE

    The bloody axe, used in this case as the instrument of death, was found in the yard in the rear of the house. It was new, and sharp as a razor. It must have been purchased very recently, and somebody must have ground it since then.

    The axe was bloody, in fact, it was the only thing that seemed to be stained with blood. It was taken in charge by the Coroner, who has carefully preserved its condition in the same manner in which it was discovered.

    AN ABSENT SON

    A son, aged about twelve years, the only survivor of the family of Mr. Deering was absent on a visit to a relative, in West Philadelphia. He, therefore, escaped the general slaughter.

    THE REMOVAL OF THE BODIES

    Coroner Taylor took charge of the bodies, and had them removed to his undertakers.

    A REWARD OFFERED

    On the evening of Wednesday, April 11, Mayor McMichael very promptly offered a reward of $1,000 for the arrest of the murderer of the Deering family.

    THE BODY OF THE MISSING BOY FOUND

    The police officers, having been reinforced on Thursday, April 12, at an early hour, recommenced the work of searching for the dead body of the boy, as no idea of his having been implicated in the deed, because of his absence, being entertained by the officials. The draining ditches were carefully examined, while other searchers were examining a deep well within the barn. Finally, between nine and ten o’clock, a clot of blood was discovered alongside of a ditch, which runs alongside of a hay-rick, containing eight or ten tons of hay. The search was now renewed with great vigor, and at quarter before ten o’clock, officers Kepler and Mitchell, of the First division, found the body of the missing boy under the hay-rick, located about five hundred yards from the barn wherein the slaughtered remains of the family of Mr. Deering were found.

    THE ARREST OF THE MURDERER

    was at length made in the wise: James Dorsey, No. 309, of the Sixth District made the arrest as follows: While officers Dorsey, Atkinson and Weldon, were in the immediate vicinity of Twenty-third and Market streets, between eight and nine o’clock on Thursday evening, a man passed along the street toward the permanent bridge. Some reference was made to him. Officers Atkinson and Weldon thought he was an Irishman. Dorsey, however, thought not, and followed after the stranger from Twenty-third street; when within three or four yards of the eastern end of the bridge the following colloquy occurred, the officer desiring to obtain a knowledge of the fellows dialect:

    Officer Dorsey said, “Good evening sir.”

    “How-de-do?” replied the suspected stranger.

    “You be a Dutchman?” responded the officer.

    “No; Is’e be a Frenchman,” replied the other.

    “Where are you going?”

    “Over the bridge.”

    “You are, are you?”

    “Yase”

    “When did you shave your goatee?”

    “On Monday.”

    “Are you sure did then?”

    “Yase.”

    The officer at once came to the conclusion that the stranger ought to be arrested.

    “Well, then, said the officer, preparing for an emergency, “I want you to come with me down Market street.” “This is a fine evening.”

    “Yase,” replied the stranger.

    He accompanied the officer down Market street, but said nothing during this portion of the walk. Officers Atkinson, and Weldon were standing near Twenty-third street, and they joined their brother officer who had made the arrest and the prisoner thus guarded by the three men was taken to the station house of the Sixth District, where he was conducted to the lieutenants room. Here he was questioned pretty freely, but made no confession at that time. He was placed in a cell, and officer Dorsey returned to duty on the street. This kind of an arrest is known among the detectives as a “dead tumble.” But the community, however, will doubtless give officer Dorsey some credit for being alive to duty, a shrewd observer, quick at decision, and correct in judgement. It was certainly a most important arrest, and so considered by Chief Ruggles, who called the especial attention of Mayor McMichael to the fact.

    VOLUNTARY STATEMENT

    In a conversation with officers Atkinson and Weldon, we learned that the prisoner voluntarily confessed in his cell, at the Ninth Ward station house, that he murdered the boy Cornelius but denied having murdered any of the Deering family, that an accomplice had massacred them.

    ANOTHER STATEMENT

    Mrs. Dolan, the mother of Mrs. Elizabeth Keating, a widow, one of the victims, was taken to the station house, and the prisoner was brought into her presence. She at once identified him as the man who had been in the employ of Mr. Deering. Mrs. Dolan removed the necktie from the neck of the prisoner and identified it as one which she had made for Mr. Deering, and had often fixed it on him. She then asked the prisoner why he murdered the family, but he made no reply.

    DESCRIPTION OF THE MURDERER

    Probst is about five feet eleven inches in height, broad shouldered, slightly bent forward, florid complexion, low broad forehead, light blue eyes deeply sunken, yellowish hair, rather thin, wears a small light mustache. His nose is small and flat, and appears to have been broken at some time. The thumb of his right hand is missing and has apparently been cut off a considerable length of time as it is entirely healed. He wore a brown-striped sack coat, a dirty grayish-looking pair of pants and vest, a slouch felt hat of a dingy- yellow color.

    WHO DID THE WORK OF MURDER

    It is conceded by everybody who has made an examination of the bodies of the victims, that one man did the whole of the shocking work. There is a remarkable similarity in the wounds. That which seems to strengthen the belief that Probst committed all the murders in the purely mechanical way in which he must have held the weapon, because of the loss of his thumb. The pocket-books of Mr. Deering and Mrs. Keating were found upon Probst. They were quite empty.

    PROBST TAKEN TO PRISON

    About noon the city van drove up opposite the Central station. The crowd in the streets at once concluded that the prisoner was to be conveyed to the prison in that vehicle. The excitement was really intense. A large portion of the crowd remained on Chestnut street, waiting for the prisoner to emerge from the front doorway of the gallery, instead of which he was taken out by the rear entrance. In a few minutes the gate leading to the street was opened, and the prisoner with much difficulty was pushed through the crowd into the van. The police had their hands full. The surging mass were bent upon having a sight at the greatest of modern criminals and blocked up the highway to such an extent that the officers were forced to draw their clubs and drive them back. A passage having been made the van was soon on its way to Moyamensing Prison, followed by a large number of persons, hooting and yelling.

    VERDICT OF THE CORONER’S JURY

    The Jury returned the following verdict: “That the said Christopher Deering, Julia Deering, John Deering, Thomas Deering, Anna Deering, Emily Deering, Elizabeth Dolan and Cornelius Carey, came to their death from the effect of blows inflicted by Antoine Probst, at the house of Christopher Deering, Jones Lane, in the First Ward, of the city of Philadelphia, April 7, 1866
    Moyamensing became known for its penitentiary, violent hose company, cemeteries, wretchedly poor inhabitants, and crime. Harry C. Silcox

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    Default Ghosts of the neck

    PHILADELPHIA ROWHOME LIFE
    PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, March 10, 1992

    GHOSTS OF THE NECK


    John Senick is haunted by a murderous rampage that wiped out a family in South Philadelphia long before even his parents were born. "I grew up down The Neck hearing the story," Senick, 69, was saying last night as he sat on the edge of his bed in Methodist Hospital, where he's undergoing tests for an ailment that he has reason to hope will turn out to be fairly minor. The hospital stay, though, has heightened a feeling he already had about his own mortality. It happens to everybody sooner or later, but Senick is the last of a breed and had a growing need to get some things on record. The murder of the family was just part of the legend of a section of the city that was more rural than urban, where pigs and chickens were raised and the land was farmed, where there was no running water and very few houses had electricity. Senick said his family lived on Stone House Lane, around where 3rd and Pattison is now. At one time, according to newspaper clippings, The Neck extended as far north as Moore Street. By the time Senick was born, its area had shrunk so that it covered only a few blocks south of Oregon Avenue, where the Food Distribution Center is now located. The Neck apparently was first settled before the Revolutionary War by Germans, Swedes and French, among others, by people who were doing what came naturally for a time when the economy was dominated by farming. In this century, The Neck was populated mainly by immigrants who were poor and couldn't afford to live anywhere else. Senick said his parents came to the United States from the Ukraine prior to World War I and built a house, mostly of wood, on East Jones Lane, which was just off Delaware Avenue. They lived next to a yard where railroad ties were manufactured and where Senick's father found work. Later, the family moved to Stone House Lane, where Senick was born. He said that when he was a kid there were maybe 75 houses in The Neck -- which by then ran roughly between Front and 4th streets -- with only a couple of hundred people living in them. He said two different city dumps, with refuse on them burning constantly, were located within a couple of blocks of the houses.


    Philadelphia RowHome magazine Winter 2009 - page 18

    http://http://issuu.com/gono/docs/gohomephilly.winter09
    Last edited by CHIOSSO; 06-22-2010 at 08:58 AM.
    Moyamensing became known for its penitentiary, violent hose company, cemeteries, wretchedly poor inhabitants, and crime. Harry C. Silcox

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    Default Death of woman here recalls old murder

    Evening Public Ledger. November 22, 1916,


    DEATH OF WOMAN HERE
    RECALLS OLD MURDER


    Mrs. Mary E. Dearing Was Widow
    of Sole Survivor of Family
    Killed by Robber
    Mrs Mary E.Dearing whose funeral was
    held today from her late home, 51 North
    Flfty-flrst street, was the widow of William
    C Dearing, who died six years ago, the sole
    survivor of one of the most atrocious mur
    ders In Philadelphia's history.
    Dearing wa a member of a family of
    eight, seven of whom were murdered by a
    farmhand armed with an ax on their estate
    on Stonehouse lane. In South Philadelphia,
    April 7, I868. The older members of the
    family wore slain and a baby was taken
    from Its crib, held by Its leggs, and was beaten
    against a tree, The bodies of all the vic
    tims were carried Into a barn.
    A passerby was attracted to the barn
    two days later by the lowing of cows Inside
    and when he Investigated, found the bodies
    Pollcemnn Dorsey, several days after the
    discovery of the crime, arrested a man
    whose thumb had recently been cut off, and
    a positive ldentlncatlon and a confession by
    Probst followed. Tho prisoner said he re
    gretted only the murder of the baby, which
    smiled and held out Its hands to him when
    he took It from the cradle His motive was
    robbery. Dorscy was promoted to be a
    detective for making tho arrest.
    William C. Dearing had escaped the mur
    derer because he had gone to visit his grand
    mother, Mrs. Julia Duffy, of forty-second
    nnd Market streets. He was seven years
    old. When he grew Up he married Mary E,
    Green, daughter of Patrick and Catherine
    Green she died his widow last Friday. She
    was fifty years old and Is survived by sev
    eral sons and daughters.

    Evening public ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, November 22, 1916, Night Extra, Image 8 - Chronicling America - The Library of Congress
    Moyamensing became known for its penitentiary, violent hose company, cemeteries, wretchedly poor inhabitants, and crime. Harry C. Silcox

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    Mr Morley is offline Banned
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    Anton Probst was born in Germany in 1843 and came to the United States in 1863, during the height of the Civil War. Almost immediately upon arriving in New York, the young man volunteered for service in the Union Army. He did not do so because of some patriotic zeal but rather because recruits were being paid $300 in those days. Probst decided to use this to his advantage and he volunteered for the army several times. He would collect a bounty for his enlistment, serve a few weeks in a training camp and then desert, moving on to another northern city, where he would enlist again for another $300. He never saw any action but he did manage to make a comfortable living during the bloody days of the war.
    The above isn't entirely correct: during the war, there were two ways to stay out of fighting: pay the government $300 or find a man to stand for you. As people didn't do the second out of the goodness of their hearts, you paid the man something less than the $300 you would have had to pay the government.

    There's no way the Union was giving out $300 signing bonuses when there was a national draft; enlisted men made a couple dollars a week.

    But as there was a ready market of wealthy folks in places like New York, you could make a good living as described above: stand in for a man, take his money, enlist, desert, and then repeat the process.

    It's how a lot of immigrants who weren't citizens ended up in the ranks. My great-great grandfather enlisted when he was 42 (far past draft age) and the suspicion has always been that he was standing in for someone else.

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    CHIOSSO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Morley View Post
    There's no way the Union was giving out $300 signing bonuses when there was a national draft; enlisted men made a couple dollars a week.

    .
    The above isn't correct at all:

    The Civil War . The War . Fact Page | PBS

    Being a bounty jumper was more profitable in the North. A month after the Battle of Fort Sumter the United State Congress passed a law allowing for bounties up to $300. The Confederate government did likewise, starting at $50 and then later in the war increased the bounty to $100. As the US dollar was worth more than the Confederate dollar ever was, regardless of the $200 disparity, the Northern government had greater luck with bounties, and more likely to have to deal with bounty jumpers.[1] With state and local governments also adding to bounties, the total could amount to $1000, a considerable amount. As the typical Northern private was paid $13 a month, the bonuses were considerable.

    Typically, the bounty jumper would desert their unit before arriving on the front lines, traveling to a new area to gain another bounty. One bounty jumper collected at least 32 bounties

    The Civil War . The War . Fact Page | PBS

    The actual drafting of the men was the responsibility of the states, which usually used lottery system. When the government issued a call for more troops, each state would be given a quota to fill based on its population. The number of volunteers would be subtracted from the quota and the difference would be drafted. If draftee, volunteered before the final muster, he avoided the stigma of compulsory service and was eligible to collect a bounty of $100 from the federal government plus additional bounties from the state and local communities. In total, the bounties could exceed $500, which was about the average yearly wage in those days. States considered it a matter of pride to fill their quotas without having to resort to the draft.

    http://dburgin.tripod.com/draft_unio... The Civil War

    After Sumter, the call for volunteers was., as a matter of record, enthusiastically met. After all, the whole thing was going to be a big party, and over shortly. So, even at $11.00/per month (private's pay), in 1861 things were not too bad. The main reason, however, was that the states, at the outset, came up with generous awards and funds for the volunteers. The money was raised to pay to the volunteers to help their families, and to maintain support continuity. This is phase one of the Bounty System. It was essentially well-motivated. It produced men. Rhode Island, for example, contributed $350.00 per volunteer. Philadelphia at this stage raised one million dollars for the purpose.
    _Soldiers' Pay in the Civil War________________
    Last edited by CHIOSSO; 06-25-2010 at 04:42 PM.
    Moyamensing became known for its penitentiary, violent hose company, cemeteries, wretchedly poor inhabitants, and crime. Harry C. Silcox

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    xfreckles4salex is offline Junior Member
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    Chiosso...are you a descendant of the Deerings/Dearings?
    Last edited by xfreckles4salex; 08-06-2010 at 05:35 AM.

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    no.
    Moyamensing became known for its penitentiary, violent hose company, cemeteries, wretchedly poor inhabitants, and crime. Harry C. Silcox

 

 

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