Thanks to several shots of whiskey, Fred Kaiser finally mustered the courage to confront Andrew J. Baker, the man he believed was sleeping with Mrs. Kaiser.
So, at six o’clock Friday evening, September 3, 1903, at downtown Elwood’s busiest intersection in front of a dozen witnesses, Kaiser stepped up to Baker and threw back his hand.
Without hesitation, Baker drew his gun and shot Kaiser point blank in the chest. Baker claimed self-defense, but the grand jury thought otherwise and charged him with murder.
Baker, a well-to-do butcher who operated a meat market a few doors south of the shooting, was jailed without bail for four months awaiting his day in court and 11 more waiting for a re-trial.
Baker died in 1929 and was buried in Beech Grove Cemetery in Muncie, his wife’s home town. I made a trip there on June 5, 2017, to look for his grave, only to discover he has no stone marker. He does, however, lie in the shade of a spectacular white oak tree. Some might call it a shady grave for a shady character, and I couldn’t disagree. •