Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned…The Hiatt Murder, Linn County, Oregon 1895

revolver“Mrs. Emma G. Hannah, wife of a Linn County rancher, has been convicted of murder in the second degree and sentenced for life, for the killing of Mrs. Hiatt, a neighbor.  It was shown Mrs. Hannah accused Mrs. Hiatt of being intimate with her husband, and dressed herself in men’s clothes called at Mrs. Hiatt’s house one evening in September in the guise of a book peddler, and suddenly without referring to the matter uppermost in her mind shot and killed her victim.  The threats made by Mrs. Hannah that she would some time kill Mrs. Hiatt, led to her arrest and conviction.” Junction City Times (Lane County, Oregon), Dec. 7, 1895, pg. 5, col. 2.

The  Oregonian, Portland,  Sunday, Oct 6, 1895 reported, “Mrs. Hiatt died from her wounds.  Albany, OR Oct. 5, Mrs. Hiatt, the victim of the recent Jordan shooting died this morning.  Mrs. Hannah, who is charged with the killing is in jail without bonds.”

Mrs. Hannah’s story captured the interest of at least two recent publications.  Diane L. Goeres-Gardner’s book, “Murder, morality and madness: women criminals in early Oregon.  Diane Huddleston’s History Master of Arts Seminar Presentation at  Western Oregon University entitled, “The case of Emma Hannah: From Prison to Asylum”   

 The Census records seem to have a discrepancy in the birth years for Mrs. Emma Hannah.  The 1900 Federal Census shows a Emma G. Hannah (DOB 1853) at the Oregon State Penitentiary, 1910 Census  lists a Emma Hannah (DOB 1848) , at the “Salem Ward 6”, 1920 Census Emma G. Hannah (DOB 1854) Salem Ward 6.  The 1930 Census lists Emma Hannah (DOB  1854, Salem, Marion Co. Oregon.

Oregon State Archives list her death as 24 Jun 1933, State Hospital. 

 I found only one cemetery listing for a Emma Hannah, Born 1846 and died 1930.  This grave is at the Providence Cemetery in Scio, Linn Co., Oregon.  It appears to maybe be a match, but with discrepancies.  If you have any additional information on where Emma is buried or the full name the victim, Mrs. Hiatt, please email and I will update this article.  Thank you.


About gtoftdahl

Researching in Oregon Newspapers
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7 Responses to Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned…The Hiatt Murder, Linn County, Oregon 1895

  1. Ann Williams Thomas says:

    Looks like “Necktie Parties: A History of Legal Executions in Oregon, 1851-1905” has some. It is partly available online in Google Books. The case is “State of Oregon v. Emma Hannah”, and itlLooks like there is a reference to Emma on page 179, and also on that page is a reference to Lottie Hiatt. This led me to this story “Jealous Woman’s Freak”: http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SFC18950930.2.47 In the “San Francisco Call”. I hope that gets you started.

    • gtoftdahl says:

      I just knew there had to be more information out there. Who knew that there would even be a play written about it! Quite a history behind the simple grave marker. Thank you for sharing! Greg

  2. Carol Bates book, SCIO IN THE FORKS OF THE SANTIAM, names Emma Hannah’s victim as of Charlotte [“Lottie”; nee: Holman] Hiatt (with a previous married name of Reed).

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