The Murder Suicide of Joseph Shafer and Lizzie Montandom

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The Murder


Lizzie Montandon was a 21 year old women of good reputation known to have black hair, black eyes, and great beauty. She grew up on a farm two miles outside of Apple Creek. Montandon was a domestic employ of Mrs. Lydick's boarding house for four years. Joseph Shafer was an employed driver for a D.C. Curry Co. lumber wagon. The couple had been together for nearly a year before the incident. Their relationship became shaky once Lizzie began to catch the attention of other suitors. The day of the murder Lizzie had gone to Orrville with an other man. After discovering this, Shafer was quoted saying, "It is all off with me and my girl, and I am going to settle with her tonight." [1] Even with these words displaying his intentions, no one expected what would come next.


On Saturday, the night of 4th of July 1905, Lizzie Montandon was walking down the street with her sister Lena. They had just come back from shopping and said goodbye when the assailant, Joseph Shafer, was discovered on the front porch of the boarding house. Though it is unknown what exactly occurred that night, witnesses claimed the couple had sat on the porch and after a few minutes began to argue. Joseph was said to yell so loud it was heard by the women staying in the rooms above the porch. One woman quoted him saying "I will tear your clothes off!" [2] There was a struggle and then shots fired.

Joseph Shafer shot Lizzie twice as she screamed for help, causing her to fall. Using her remaining energy she sprang back up and staggered to the porch where she was found by Mrs. Lydick. Many neighbors and pedestrians who heard the shots and screams came outside to help, but by the time Lizzie had been carried into the kitchen it was said that she was in pitiful condition. Doctors discovered both bullet had gone through her head, one piercing through her hand as it did. [3]

Shafers body was later identified under a tree near the porch. He had shot himself in the head causing instant death. [4]

Newspaper Articles


  1. Wayne County Democrat, Wed. July 8, 1905.
  2. Wayne County Democrat, Wed. July 8, 1905.
  3. Wayne County Democrat, Wed. July 8, 1905.
  4. Wayne County Democrat, Wed. July 8, 1905.