Milwaukee, WI Newhall House Fire, Jan 1883 - Evidence Against Scheller



MILWAUKEE, Jan. 18.---Scheller's where-abouts is still unknown, but the officials say he can be produced at any time. The District Attorney states that the case will not be taken up until after the inquest, and that the real investigation into the origin of the Newhall House fire will be conducted before a Grand Jury. The latter institution was practically abandoned in Wisconsin six years ago, but the Judge of any court of record has the right to call a Grand Jury, and in this case a Grand Jury will be called. It will consist of 17 members, 12 of whom will suffice for an indictment.

The remains of the 40 unidentified persons will be interred in Forest Home Cemetery, the officers of which have offered a burial site. A meeting of the clergy of all denomination had been called to make arrangements and agree upon the ceremonies for the gigantic funeral. The day has yet to be determined. A careful compiling places the number of victims of the catastrophe at 75. Seventeen bodies of those killed by jumping were taken to the Morgue on the morning of the fire: eight of the survivors have died since. Three identified and 43 unrecognizable bodies had been taken from the ruins up to tonight. The list of saved embraces 102 names. Taking for granted Chief Clerk Tice's statement of 110 guests and 67 employes[sic] being in the hotel at the time of the fire, these figures leave four persons unaccounted for who are, presumably in the ruins. The work of searching the ruins will be finished tomorrow.

The most damaging evidence in connection with Scheller's arrest on a charge of having set the Newhall House on fire came to light today despite the efforts of the Police to keep the direct causes leading to the arrest secret. On the day before the fire Scheller removed part of his stock of liquors from the Newhall House bar-room to his private residence. The stock so removed is valued at $700. The insurance agents have done nothing toward the adjustment of Scheller's policies since his arrest. Surprising developments are expected. The insurance men now openly assert that Scheller's stock was worth hardly one-half the amount insured for.

The New York Times, New York, NY 19 Jan 1883