Monday, March 28, 2016

Amanuensis Monday: Max Newmark Killed by Robbers - 1931

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

This week I look at a newspaper artcile from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch mentioning the murder of my great great uncle, Max Newmark - brother of my great grandfather, Barney Newmark. (I previously transcribed the St. Louis Globe Democrat's report, but this provides additional information.)

St. Louis Post Dispatch, Feb 1, 1931, page 2


Max Newmark and a Customer Fired on in Store When Dog Tries to Defend Its Master.

Max Newmark, East St. Louis grocer, died late yesterday afternoon of bullet wounds suffered early yesterday in a holdup, when three Negroes opened fire after a small dog attacked one of the robbers.

Newmark, who was 38 years old and lived over his store at 512 South Twentieth street, was shot in the right side, right shoulder and abdomen. A Negro customer, Walter Hurnton, 26, 1927 Piggott avenue, who was shot in the right breast, is in serious condition at St. Mary's Hospital, where Newmark died.

Newmark armed with a revolver in a holster at his side, opened the store at 6 a.m. and was walking from the rear with a cigar box containing about $60 when the robbers entered with drawn revolvers.

At the command "Stick 'em up," Newmark placed the box on the counter and raised his hands. At the same moment, his dog, Peggie, darted from behind the counter, barking viciously at the leader of the robbers.

The robber kicked the dog away and fired two shots as it advanced again. One bullet grazed the dog's shoulder and it fled to the rear of the store.

Hurnton walked into the store as the leader, with his back to the door, fired three shots at Newmark, who was standing with hands raised. A second robber fired two shots at Hurnton, one of which struck him, while the third robber fired one shot in the direction of Newmark.

The leader seized the money box and snatched Newmark's revolver from its holster. Hurnton ran outside and collapsed on the sidewalk, followed by the robbers who fled south in Twentieth street on foot.

Newmark's wife and two sons, sleeping upstairs, were awakened by the shots and heard the grocer crying for them to call an ambulance.


1) Max and Dora's sons Nelson and Harold were 16 and 12 at the time.

2) Compared to the Globe Democrat article, this report provides greater detail of the sequence of events, and indicates the family's residence was above the store -  his wife and sons awakened by the shots. It also consistently gets the spelling of the surname correct.

No comments: