The Kitchen Table Historian

I am an author and historian who writes about long-forgotten and out of the way events and places. I love the bizarre, the unusual, and the downright weird. I write a regular blog at my website, www.johnbrassardjrcom.wordpress.com, and also manage a facebook page about things of historical interest called The Kitchen Table Historian.

Episode 95: Depths of Despair: A Murder/Suicide Plot in Iowa

Mary Stewart had died too young, and her husband, William, couldn’t stand the grief. Buying a gun, he set into motion plans of murder and suicide. But after telling a neighbor, nothing went the way he expected, resulting in an unbelievable conclusion.   Sources Police Block Father’s Plot to Slay Babes. The Davenport Democrat and …

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Episode 93: Is This Former Iowa Mortuary Now a Haunted Radio Station?

The Rock and Roll Mansion in Davenport, Iowa, is a former mortuary that’s been converted into the current home of many popular local radio stations. Employees over the years swear they have experienced everything from phantom footsteps to full apparitions. Do some spirits remain after their funeral was held in the building?   Sources Entertains …

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Episode 92: Did Dr. William Stoecks Keep His Routine After His Death?

Dr. William Stoecks was a dedicated physician and surgeon, treating countless people throughout his career. He died in 1961. But did he stay in his former home and interact with the college fraternity who bought it?   Sources Arpy, Jim. A Ghost Chaser Unravels the Mystery of Davenport’s ‘Haunted House.’ The Times-Democrat, 5/11/1972 Sheridan, Joe. …

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Did Dr. William Stoecks Keep His Routine After His Death?

Davenport, Iowa, has played host to several strange events over its long existence, but certainly one of the strangest took place in 1919. In March of that year, a 41-year-old doctor named William A. Stoecks was working on the third floor of one of the city’s hospitals, Mercy Hospital. As he went about his business, …

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Episode 91: Why Did Amelia Rohwedder Jump from Her Hospital Window?

Amelia Rohwedder was a middle-aged woman recovering from heart problems. Without reason or warning, she jumped from her fourth-floor window. Why?   Sources The History of Genesis Health System and its Predecessor Organizations. http://www.genesishealth.com/about/timeline. Harlan, Edgar Rubey. A Narrative History of the People of Iowa, Vol. III Chicago: American Historical Society, 1931. Sister Condon, Mary …

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Why Did Amelia Rohwedder Jump from Her Hospital Window?

After the American Civil War, Davenport, Iowa was a rapidly growing city full of a population still recovering from the trials and tribulations of that terrible conflict. Many veterans had returned home, either going back to the families that they had left or eager to start one. Some farmed, others started businesses, and still others …

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