Salem Pioneer Cemetery ~ Oswald Hansel ~ part of the Marion County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
Oswald Hansel
BORN: Abt 1868 DIED: 14 Nov 1913 BURIED: 14 Nov 1913
DEATH PLACE: Salem, Marion Co., Oregon
Barrick - age 45, farmer, divorced; OSBH DC (Clatsop County 1913) #3883 - Hansel Oswald, male, divorced, b. Germany, d. 14 Nov 1913 in Salem, Oregon (State Prison) at the age of 45 years, usual residence Astoria, Oregon, interment 14 Nov, undertaker Lehman & Clough, informant R. G. Koehler of Salem, Oregon;
HANSEL IS INSANE. Slayer of Judge Taylor Was at Insane Asylum. The shooting of former Judge Frank J. Taylor of Astoria last Sunday has brought to light an interesting chain of circumstances concerning Oswald Hansel, his slayer. Ex Judge Taylor as a well known member of the Oregon legal fraternity and served two terms on the circuit bench. Hansel is a ranchman and has served time in the state insane asylum. Hansel was sent to the insane asylum through the instrumentality of Governor West, September 12, 1912, and was released as cured January 23, 1913. While conducting his vice crusade in Portland last year the governor came in contact with Hansel. The latter entered the governor’s office one day and complained of things in general adding that he was going to shoot Taylor, who, he said had broken up his family. West Meets Him. The governor feared that the man was insane and backing him up against the wall searched him for weapons. At the same time, Miss Fern Hobbs, the governor’s secretary went out and obtained a warrant for the man. He was later examined and committed to the asylum. Hansel says he was bitter against Judge Taylor because "he separated my family". Judge Taylor was connected with a divorce suit of Hansel’s wife against Hansel some four years ago. The suit was dismissed. Later she instituted proceedings and obtained a decree but Judge Taylor had nothing to do with this later action. Oregon Statesman 16 Sept 1913 6:2 HANSEL TO HANG. Governor Will Not Save Slayer’s Neck, He Says. Four Condemned Men in Penitentiary Awaiting Execution - Two to Hang This Month, and Two Next. Little hope can be expected from Governor West in the way of clemency towards Oswald Hansel, sentenced to be hanged for the killing of Judge Taylor of Astoria last month. The governor accounted yesterday that Hansel would have to hang unless the supreme court reverses sentence. It is thought that Hansel will take an appeal to the supreme court. Hansel is sentenced to hang November 14, at which time Lem Woon, convicted in connection with the murder of a Chinaman in Portland, is also scheduled to be executed. On the 21st of this month, Mike Spanos and Frank Seymour, convicted of the murder of a Greek in Jackson county, have been sentenced to hang. It is understood that a move is on foot to implore clemency for Woon, who has always protested his innocence and whom many believe innocent. Oregon Statesman 9 Oct 1913 1:2 HANSEL TO HANG. Governor Declines to Grant a Reprieve. Allegations Made that Attorneys Secured Deeds to Convicted Man’s Property-Hanging at 8:30. At half past eight this morning Oswald Hansel, slayer of ex-Judge F. J. Taylor, will be hanged, barring a twelfth hour intervention. Late last night Governor West declared that he would not reprieve Hansel or commute his sentence. Strong influences have been brought to bear on the governor in the past few days to have clemency extended to the doomed man but without avail. Allegations that attorneys employed by Hansel had persuaded him to deed over property valued from $7000 to $8000 have been made by those seeking to secure a respite for the man. It has been charged that the failure of Hansel to be alive to testify at a hearing in regard to these alleged transactions would jeopardize the interests of Hansel’s young daughter in his estate. The governor was of the opinion that Hansel’s case would be just as strong, however without his presence and declined to grant a reprieve. Oregon Statesman 14 Nov 1913 6:4 HANSEL, OSWALD HANSEL HANGS FOR HIS CRIME; Slayer of Judge Taylor in Pitiful State of Collapse and is Supported to Platform in Death Chamber – Makes No Final Statement and Trap is Sprung as He Mutters Prayer – Cuts Arteries of Srist in an Attempt to Kill Himself During Night – Calls for Help in Time to Save His Life. Oswald Hansel, who murdered Judge Frank A. Taylor, of Astoria, paid the penalty with his life in the penitentiary execution chamber this morning at 8:37 and at 8:55, he was pronounced dead by Prison Physician Roy Byrd. The condemned man lost control of himself when the two death guards, which were to conduct him to the scaffold, opened the door of his cell. The guards told Hansel that “it is now time to go to the death chamber,” and, instead of arising from his bunk, where he had been sitting talking to Rev. Geo. Koehler, pastor of the local Lutheran church, Hansel remained quiet, seemingly not hearing what the guards said. Not until the minister told him to prepare himself for the ordeal did the condemned man stand up and submit to having his arms pinned to his sides by a heavy strap. Strain Too Much Hansel bore up with great effort while he was standing before the warden, listening to the reading of the death warrant, but, as he reached the top of the stairway of the dining room, through which he was to pass to the death chamber, the man utterly collapsed, and the two guards had to carry him to the chamber. Hansel opened his eyes and stared wildly at the noose which was to be soon thrown around his neck; his head dropped back, and the guards were compelled to carry him up on the scaffold. While the noose was being adjusted about the condemned man’s neck, he was praying softly, and it was with great effort that he stood upright on the trap. A signal from the deputy warden, a loud crash of the trap falling and Oswald Hansel went to his death in a twinkling. In making the six foot plunge, Hansel evidently squirmed a trifle, and the big seven ply knot in the noose slid around under his chin, instead of remaining under the left ear, and Hansel breathed for a short time. When the body responded to the last vibration of the rope, however, not a muscle moved, and 18 minutes followinging the drop, the man was dead. Suicide Attempted Everything, with the exception of a can of tobacco, was taken away from Hansel last night by the guards, and no thought of the prisoner injuring himself with the tin can entered the minds of those in charge. At 3 o’clock this morning, however, the chapel guard heard a loud yell coming from Hansel’s cell, and, upon investigation it was discovered that the man had sawed through an artery with the plece of tobacco can, and had bled about a pint before he lost his nerve and called for help. The doctor was called and the flow of blood stopped just in time to save Hansel’s life. The man also hacked his throat in several places with the sharp piece of tin. Hansel’s cell was visited every 15 minutes by the chapel guard last night, but, owing to his being covered up on bed, the fact that he was attempting suicide was not known until early this morning, when he gave the alarm. Hansel made the implement which nearly cost him his life out of the top on an ordinary tobacco can by bending the tine in such a manner that it resembled a saw blade. The artery was badly gashed, and, had the prisoner remained quiet for 15 minutes longer, he would have died, it is believed. Great Coward. According to the authorities, Hansel has been a great coward ever since he committed the crime for which he was hanged today. When the sheriff and his deputies brought Hansel to the prison here, the condemned man lost his nerve completely, and he had to be carried into the institution bodily. He has been bemoaning his fate ever since, and the prison authorities say the man was frightened nearly to death when he caught sight of the noose today. Hanged Handcuffed. Contrary to the general custom adopted by the prison authorities when hanging men here, Hansel was handcuffed this morning. The rule is to strap the condemned man’s arms at the elbows, wrists at the waist, knees and feet together. Hansel wore a strap about the waist and around the feet, and his hands and wrists were held together by steel handcuffs. In view of the fact that the man was on the verge of utter collapse, the work of pl;acing the usual straps on the body before hanging was evidently considered unwise, for the reason that Hansel could not have stood up under the great strain. Hansel’s Crime The crime which Oswald Hansel expiated on the gallows today was the murder of Judge Frank J. Taylor, President of the State Board of Pilot Commisioners, and one of the most prominent attorneys in Western Oregon. Meeting Judge Taylor in the railroad station at Astoria September 14, Hansel shot him down without a moment’s warning. Hansel gave as his reason for the murder that Judge Taylor drew up divorce papers for his wife, making charges against him, instead of endeavoring to effect a reconciliation. At his trial Hansel’s attorneys defended him on the grounds of insanity, but the jury found him guilty of murder in the first degree. Hansel at one time was an inmate of the state insane asylum, but was discharged as cured. Capital Journal 14 November 1913 1:1,2 DIES FOR CRIME. Hansel Pays Penalty for Murder of Judge Taylor. Convicted Man Attempts Suicide by Make Incision in Artery of Left Wrist - Few Present. Oswald C. Hansel, who was convicted for the murder of Judge Frank A. Taylor, of Astoria, paid the full penalty for his crime in the execution chamber at the state penitentiary yesterday morning. The trap was sprung at 8:37 o’clock and at 8:56 the man was pronounced dead by the attending physician, Dr. R.D. Byrd. n State of Collapse. In spite of stimulants administered by the physician the condemned man met his death in a complete state of collapse, it being necessary for the guards to support him from the cell to the scene of the execution. He made no statement before going to his death. Only the scant number of men required by law to form the jury and the representatives of the press were present at the execution. Rev. George Koehler, of this city, pastor of the Lutheran church, the faith of which Hansel embraced before his execution, accompanied the man to the scaffold. Yells for Help. Had Hansel kept his nerve Thursday night when he attempted suicide by making an incision in the artery in his left wrist, the law would have been cheated of its victim, in spite of the fact that he was kept under close surveillance, and his cell visited every fifteen minutes by a guard. The chapel guard was drawn to Hansel’s cell by the yells of the prisoner about 3 o’clock yesterday morning and discovered that the man was bleeding freely from the wrist and had already lost a large amount of blood. A physician was soon called and the flow of blood stopped. The man made the wound in his wrist with a small piece of tin broken from the top of a tobacco can. The prisoner lay covered up in bed while making the attempt at suicide and consequently the guards did not suspect anything until he lost his nerve and began to call. Sorry for Crime. The night before the execution Hansel had said that he was sorry that he had killed Judge Taylor and that he was praying for him and the slain man’s family, according to a statement of Rev. Koehler, who was with him several hours. He also said that he was ready to die. "I do not know why I committed the crime," he said, "I did not seem to be myself when I did it." Hansel was convicted for the murder of Judge Frank Taylor, of Astoria, whom he met in the railroad station of that city, September 13 and shot down without a moment’s notice. Judge Taylor, representing Hansel’s wife, instituted suit for divorce against him several years ago and it is said that ever since that time Hansel had a grudge against the lawyer. Through Governor West’s efforts Hansel was committed to the insane asylum about a year ago but shortly afterwards released as cured. The plea of insanity was used by his lawyers in defending him. Oregon Statesman 15 Nov 1913 6:2
OSBH DC (Clatsop County 1913) #3883 Barrick #5 OS 16 Sept 1913 6:2 OS 9 Oct 1913 1:2 OS 14 Nov 1913 6:4 CJ 14 November 1913 1:1,2 OS 15 Nov 1913 6:2