ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Ferdinand Engelke

1877 - 1936


Ferdinand Engelke Found Dead At His Home


Watertown Gazette, 10 08 1936


Ferdinand Engelke, 59 year-old bachelor, was found clubbed to death in the living room of his farm home two miles west of here Sunday morning by Fred Timm of Watertown, who came to pick apples. The killer or killers failed in an attempt to conceal the murder by setting fire to oil on the rug on which the body was found.  The two pieces of wood used as bludgeon were from Engelke’s own wood pile.  One blood stained chunk was on a sofa near the body in the living room. A trail of blood led from the living room to the kitchen, where there was a pool of blood, causing investigators to believe that Engelke was first attacked there.  Drops of blood on the walls throughout the first floor of the two-floor home indicated that Engelke might have fled through the house in the attack, or that he might of staggered along the walls before dropping on the living room rug.


Jefferson county authorities are centering their investigation now on a theory that the slaying followed a violent quarrel.  Although his pocketbook was missing when the body was found the robbery motive was dropped when the purse was found later in a cupboard.  The possibility of a woman being involved in the case was also discarded.  Engelke had recently negotiated several loans and the possibility of a quarrel with a debtor is being sifted. Ferocity of the attack points to a crime of revenge.


Surviving Engelke are a brother, Fred J. Engelke, Watertown; a half-brother, August, and three sisters, Mrs. Charles Cook of Madison, S.D.; Mrs. George Zickert of Rosendale and Amelia Engelke of Jefferson.


His funeral was held Wednesday afternoon from the Nowack funeral home at 2 o’clock to the Emmanuel Lutheran church at Lebanon.  Rev. William Lange officiated.  Interment was in Oak Hill cemetery.


Mr. Engelke was an old-time friend of The Gazette editor, and all who knew him held him in high esteem.




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin