Stabbed His Old Father For Love of a Girl 1906


Pale and haggard, and leaning on the arm of a policeman, Conrad Schirmer, Jr., the boy who stabbed his father early yesterday morning at his sweetheart's home, was arraigned before Magistrate Steinert in the Harlem Court yesterday. Policeman Lynch of the East 104th Street Station stepped to the bridge and told the story.

"The old man is dying," he said. " The boy stabbed him with a piece of glass. The boy's love for a girl is behind it all."
Magistrate Steinert picked up the complaint papers. He read the stereotyped charge, but wanted to hear the details.

"A boy nineteen years old, well bred, with a good home and a kindly father, do such a thing as this?" he asked incredulously. "How did it happen, officer?"

The policeman then told the story. The family resides at 120 East 114th Street. The prisoner is the oldest son. He received as good a schooling as a father in moderate circumstances could give a son. The father made a rule that all three boys must be in bed at 11 o'clock every night. Peace and happiness reigned in the house-hold until Christmas week. Then a friend of the family, Miss Annie Kruger, called. She brought with her a girl, Clara Lazarus. Clara, 18 years old, considered herself a woman old enough to look about for a husband. She met young Conrad at the Schirmer home. He fell in love with her, and learning that she resided with her widowed mother at 2091 Third Avenue, said he would make a New Year's call at her home. He did.

The young man made other visits to the girl's home. He fell in love with her. Although she worked in a paper box factory, Schirmer's relatives did not object to the attachment between the pair, though they said they were both too young to marry. But the boy gave up his club and grew thin. Then came late hours. He broke the rule of his father's home and frequently did not return until after midnight. One night he came home and told his mother he intended to marry Clara. Mrs. Schirmer laughed over the matter and asked how he intended to support a wife. The story reached the boy's father. Mr. Schirmer had a heart-to-heart talk with his son and told him he was too young to marry and could not then support a wife. The matter was fully discussed. The boy said he'd get married in September, anyhow.

Here the policeman's story was interrupted by the sobs of a young woman sitting outside the court house door. The Magistrate sent for her. She was Clara Lazarus, and came in with a veiled woman. This was her mother, the policeman explained.

"What are you weeping for?" asked the Magistrate.

"Please don't send him tot he electric chair," sobbed the girl. "Please don't take him away from me."

A court attendant led the girl to a bench and the policeman, resuming his story, told of the many times the father had upbraided the son for remaining too late at the girl's home. Tuesday night the father declared he would take away the boy's latchkey so as to compel him to return home before 11 at night. After waiting an hour or so for the boy to return the father put on his hat and went around to the girl's house. Miss Lazarus, sitting on the porch with young Schirmer, turned to the latter, indicated to the boy that his father was coming.

Young Schirmer climbed over the porch rail and dropped into the darkness. Mr. Schirmer rang the door bell. Clara ran into the house and hid behind the portieres. she heard Mr. Shirmer say to Mrs. Lazarus:

"This thing's got to be stopped. I don't mind my boy calling to see your daughter, but I won't stand for him coming home at all hours of the night. He's got to be in his home at 11 o'clock at the latest."

"I agree with you, Mr. Schirmer," replied the widow Lazarus. "I've been saying that time and time again."

Mr. Schirmer went out. When he disappeared around the corner young Schirmer came out of the darkness and went back to the Lazarus door.

The neighbors' children had been watching for trouble for a week. A little girl returning home with an elder sister, saw Mr. Schirmer go around the corner, and following him said:

"Your son's gone back to that house to spoon on the rear porch."

Mr. Schirmer hurried back. He rapped loudly at the door. Mrs. Lazarus opened it. Pushing past her Schirmer, in a rage, entered the Lazarus parlor. There was a clattering of feet through the rear hall. Young Schirmer got into a rear room. The girl blocked the father in the hall, standing in front of him and shutting the glass door leading to the room in which young Schirmer had taken refuge. Mr. Schirmer shoved the girl aside. She screamed that he had pulled her hair. The boy appeared. His father made a punch at him, missed him, and put his fist through the glass in the door.

"Then there was a mix-up," said the policeman who told the story. "The boy grabbed a piece of the broken glass, shaped like a stiletto, and made a lunge at his father. The latter dodged, and the boy with a second stroke stabbed his father in the left side of the abdomen.

Mr. Schirmer fell on the floor. Seeing the old man drop the boy fled into the street. The girl ran after him. Up Third Avenue they ran and did not stop until they ran into my arms. While they were trying to explain matters the father came along staggering. He was supported by two citizens.

"Don't arrest my boy," he said. "My boy didn't mean it."

"Was he seriously injured?" inquired the Magistrate.

"Yes," replied the policeman. "Ambulance Surgeon Reid, who came from the Harlem Hospital, said His intestines had been reached. An immediate operation was necessary to save him from death, but he will probably die, anyway."

"You're a fine sort of son," commented the Magistrate. "I'll hold you for examination on July 21. In the meantime you stand committed to jail without bail as the charge may be changed to murder."

With bowed head the boy was led back to a cell. The girl, weeping, left the Court House with her mother."


Website: The History
Article Name: Stabbed His Old Father For Love of a Girl 1906
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


The New York Times July 19, 1906
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