Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Life and Times of the Outlaw Marvin Kuhns

Since I got involved in genealogy research some 10 years ago, that interest in my family history has branched out in the lives of many famous and infamous folks. Not Presidents or actors, sports stars, etc...but everyday folks, some good, some bad, including many members of the Houseworth family, which can be found at my family genealogy blog:

The mid to late 1800s and early 20th Century are of most interest, I think because that was the early age of photography, and people were documenting anything and everything if they had access to a camera.

One of the non-family persons I have done much research on is a man named Marvin Kuhns, Kuhns was born in Noble County Indiana in 1867. He started his life of crime around the age of 13...became a horse thief, burgler, and eventually was convicted of murder in Fostoria, Ohio, for killing his horse stealing partner, a man named William "Old Bill" Campeau, of Monroe, Michigan, in 1890....he was given a life sentence at hard labor, but was pardoned by Ohio Governor Myron T. Herrick in 1905, he shortly thereafter went back to his life of crime.

All-in-all Kuhns spent more than half of his life in jail and prison, including the Noble County Jail, where slick Marvin escaped from on 3 occasions.

Marvin was finally gunned down by Sheriff Hott of Van Wert County, birth place. There are 2 books about Kuhns, numerous articles that can be found on the internet, just Google Marvin Kuhns, and several items will be popped up.

My interest revolves around the items my dad, Stan Houseworth, purchased at an auction around 1970...those items included 2 of the outlaw's weapons...a couple of .38 Smith and Wesson handguns, from the series produced in 1890 and 1898...these guns are in mint condition. The family also has the entire line of Van Wert Newspapers from early June 1907, still in pretty good shape today, 100 years after they were printed and he was shot down.....and the "Death Bed" photo of old Marvin(pictured above)....his eyes may be open, but Marvin was dead as a stone when they shot this photo.

Tomorrow, I will have more on the story of Marvin....the only thing I won't do is post the photos of the S&Ws....I don't trust the government, and even though these guns are legal, who knows how far down the road, that may not be the case.....especially with the cast of "outlaws" that are running for President, not to mention those that run the State of Ohio. Not good to put out to much information when down the road, you never know. But anyway.........................

Tomorrow________The story of the Outlaw, Marvin Kuhns.

Today was the one warm(35 and sunny) for the next week. Usually February is pretty ugly, weather wise, and this looks to be even worse than usual. Worked my 4th day this week at Greenville...not used to getting up early 4 days in a row, not that I mind it, when driving the RV runs, I usually get out of the sack at 3AM and am on the road by 4....less traffic and drunks on the roads at that time.

Completed my spring baseball seaons schedule today....for the first time I can remember, I have no dates open between March 31st and May 20th...depending on tournament contracts, it may go longer than that....the only exceptions are Sundays through the season....few games are played on Sunday, but there are a few Sunday dates on occasion. I am Scheduled to do 35 Varsity, 5 Junior Varsity and 6 Freshman games(double headers in Celina, less weekend travel that way), I am working with oldest son Sam on about 15 dates, the most we have worked together.....keeping my fingers crossed and my workouts fresh, that my back holds out.....if it does, we will work on the summer American Legion and ACME schedule.

{photo}-Marvin Kuhns on his death bed in Van Wert County , June 2, 1907.


Buck said...

Today was the one warm(35 and sunny)...

It was warm in my neck o' the woods yesterday, too. So nice, in fact, that I took the bike out for a blast (or three. or six) down the back-roads. First time in a couple of months, and it felt good!

We're back to winter today... 29 degrees as I write.

Very interesting photo (story, too). Ya just don't see many like that!

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Cool story. I'll be interested to read more. We'v e got family stories about folks meeting up with the likes of Bonny and Clyde. I'll have to dig that stuff out of Dad and post about it.