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.

The Insane Doctor: Medicine, Drugs, and Murder in Small-Town Iowa

By 1930, 68-year-old George W. Appleby had practiced medicine for forty-years in the small town of Bristow, Iowa. In many ways, he was exactly what you’d expect – a white-haired elderly man who seemed to genuinely care about his patients and treated their various ailments with a healthy mixture of sage wisdom and medical knowledge. …

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Episode 53: The Insane Doctor: Medicine, Drugs, and Murder in a Small-Town

Dr. George Appleby was everything a small-town doctor should be: polite, gentle, and caring. But under the surface seethed hidden secret that would burst forth one dark day in 1900.   Sources ‘Mad Deed of A Doctor.’ The Courier, 1/10/1900 ‘Dr. Appleby’s Crime.’ The Evening Times-Republican, 1/10/1900 ‘Insane Doctor’s Crime.’ The Des Moines Register, 1/10/1900 …

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Episode 52: Pretty Things and a Good Right Hook

In many true crime tales, women are all too often the unfortunate victims. In the 1920’s, Hazel Anderson and Helen Depue turned the tables and showed just how ferocious they could be. Sources Girl and Woman Rout Bandit in Daring Battle. The Davenport Democrat and Leader, 12/27/20 Brave Women Frustrate Plan of Holdup Man. The …

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Episode 50: The Girl in Room 30: The Murder of Marie Wick

In 1921, 18-year-old Marie Wick checked into a Fargo hotel while travelling to visit her aunt. What happened that night in Room 30 would become one of the most vicious murders to ever occur in North Dakota. Sources Girl Murdered In Fargo Hotel. Grand Forks Herald, 6/7/1921 Clothing of Murdered Girl is Examined. The Bismarck …

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Episode 48: Ghosts of the Pandemic, Part 2: Home Front

In 1918, Americans on the home front were supporting their troops fighting in Europe while waging a war of their own against a deadly pandemic. Does one of the souls lost to the flu still haunt a Midwestern college?   Sources Fannon-Langton, Dianne. The Ghost of Helen Roberts. The Gazette, 10/20/2019 Langton, Diane. Time Machine: Flu killed …

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Episode 46: Ghosts of the Pandemic, Part 1: Arrival

As America prepared to fight World War I, the deadliest pandemic the world has ever seen arrived silently. 50 million people died. Do some of them still wander the earth?   Sources Garamone, Jim. World War I: Building the American Military. http://www.defense.gov Barry, John M. The site of origin of the 1918 influenza pandemic and …

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