Indianapolis (IN) News
July 5, 1900
BURIAL OF YOUNG LANTZ
The Authorities Have a Clue to the Murderer
Bedford, Indiana, July 5 – The burial of young Frank Lantz, who was murdered at his home night before last by unknown persons, occurred today in this city. Many people attended the services at the Catholic Church. It is thought a possible clue to the identity of the guilty parties has been secured. Arrests are expected at any hour.
Logansport (IN) Pharos Tribune
July 10, 1900
IMPLICATED IN A MURDER
Bedford, Indiana, July 10 – Sheriff Dobbins and Deputy Sheriff Meckstone arrested Oliver Thomasson at his home in Marion Township, drove through Orleans and took him to the reformatory at Jeffersonville for safe keeping. Thomasson, who is about 23 years of age, is believed to have been implicated in the murder of Frank Lantz. His face is scratched and his clothes are said to have borne suspicious marks the morning after the tragedy.
Seymour (IN) Republican
January 5, 1901
LANTZ MURDER TRIAL NEXT WEEK
Bloomington, Ind., Jan. 5–Oliver Thomason and Charles Gaines, who have been in the reformatory for safekeeping since last July, charged with killing Frank Lantz (consider Lentz a spelling variant) of Limestone, Lawrence County were brought here for trial yesterday. Their cases come up next week, and they will be kept at Bloomington until then. There is still some fear of a mob, and it was intended to keep their removal quiet.
Bloomington (IN) Evening World
July 13, 1910
MURDER RECALLED ARREST OF SLAYER
Oliver Thomasson, Recently Paroled, Again in Official Custody
How Mob Sought His Life
Oliver Thomasson, who was convicted in the Monroe circuit court some ten years ago for the murder of Andy (consider Andrew a spelling variant) Lentz of Lawrence County and sentenced by Judge Martin to serve an indeterminate term of two to twenty-one years in the state prison, is again in trouble.
Thomasson was only recently paroled from the institution and was arrested at Bedford yesterday on the charge of carrying concealed weapons. The Bedford Mail says: "A parole officer from the Jeffersonville reformatory is in the city looking into the record of Oliver Thomasson, a paroled convict from that institution. Thomasson, who resides south of the river, was this morning placed under arrest on the charge of carrying concealed weapons to hold him while the investigation is being conducted.
"Farmers in the neighborhood south of the river have been suffering from chicken thieves and complaint has been made to the reformatory official. If the investigation warrants, Thomasson, who only a few months ago was released on parole from the institution, will be returned to finish his sentence.
"Thomasson and Noah Gaines, both sons of respected Lawrence county farmers, were jointly charged with the Lentz murder, an event that stirred the community. The crime is directly traceable to liquor, and it was for the purpose of driving to a country distillery to steal some brandy that the two young men entered Lentz's mother's barnyard and appropriated a buggy to convey them to the distillery. It was about eight o'clock in the evening, and Lentz, returning from work, surprised the two as they were hitching Lentz's horse to a buggy. A terrific fight followed in which Lentz was shot to death.
"The identity of the slayers was not determined for several days, Mack Stone, deputy sheriff of Lawrence County accidentally discovered a clue ending in the arrest of the two boys. Feeling was so high against the prisoners that they were taken to the State Reformatory for safekeeping, and on a charge of venue were tried here before Judge Martin and a jury. The prisoners were defended by Duncan & Batman of this city, Edwards & Edwards of Mitchell and R. N. Palmer of Bedford. It was a bitterly contested case, the attorneys for the boys entering a plea of self-defense. So insistent was this plea kept before the jury that a verdict of manslaughter was returned February 19 1900. To escape a mob that had formed at Bedford to lynch the prisoners, Sheriff Peter Thrasher drove to Ellettsville, boarded a northbound Monon train for Indianapolis, and in a round-about way landed his prisoners in the reformatory. W. H. Martin, presiding judge, wrote a letter that accompanied the commitment papers to the reformatory officials requesting the prisoners be compelled to serve the maximum sentence of 21 years. It was to the existence of this letter that the prisoners owe their long confinement as they could have been subject to parole February 20, 1902. The legal battle to save their sons almost bankrupted their fathers."
Typed and donated by Randi Richardson.