Henry E. Dellinger
was born in September 1887 at Craleyville, York Co., Pennsylvania
; According to the 1900 census, Henry was born in Sept. 1887, however according to his tombstone he was born 20 Jun 1888. However his tombstone also gives a death date of Jan. 19, 1917 and that he was 28 years, 5 months, and 1 day old when he died, and that calculates a birth date of August 18, 1888. So which is correct. He was the son of George Dellinger
and Emaline Smith
. Henry E. Dellinger married Anna McClaskey
, daughter of Patrick McClaskey
, circa 1912. Henry E. Dellinger died on 19 January 1917 at Brogue, York Co., Pennsylvania
, at age 29; From the 20 Jan. 1917 York, Pennsylvania newspaper:
"YOUNG LOWER END FARMER'S WIFE CONFESSES TO KILLING HER HUSBAND AFTER QUARREL
HENRY DELLINGER SHOT AS HE SAT IN CHAIR
Murder Committed at the Dellinger Home Near The Brogue at Midnight
WOMAN SAT UP REST OF NIGHT WITH BODY
Both Had Been Drinking, Woman is Arrested and Brought to York Jail
Without giving any reason that would sound convincing as a motive, Mrs. Annie Dellinger, wife of Harry Dellinger, a Chanceford township farmer, has admitted to District Attorney Harvery A. Gross and others that it was she who at 12:30 yesterday morning sent a load of birdshot into her husband's head and killed him. The murder was discoverd about 7:30 o'clock in the morning, although soon after morning, although soon after midnight Mrs. Dellinger had attempted to convince neighbors that her husband had been killed. They did not believe her story because she had misled them before with tales of trouble at her home.
Returning home Mrs. Dellinger sat by the side of the corpse until in the morning, her awful vigil relieved only by the presence of her three-year-old son and her one-year-old baby. The body of her husband reposed in a chair by the kitchen stove, head thrown back, eyes and mouth agape, while livery blood puffed out of the mouth and a great pool of blood gathered on the floor, soaked through between the cracks and trickled down the joists and dropped to the basement floor beneath.
'My God, do you mean to say I killed my Harry' cried the woman when confronted by Detectiv Charles S. White.
'I didn't say so,' returned the dectective and she went on about his search for the gun and the shell that had contained the fatal load of shot.
It was not long before he found the gun behind the trundle bed in the sleeping room. Soon afterward he found an empty shell in the wood ashes in the stove. On the way to York the woman admitted that she had killed her husband.
Thus in about fifteen hours the mystery which had promised long in the unraveling was solved, at least to the satisfaction of the district attorney and the detective.
It was on the road between The Brogue and Red Lion that the woman made her first confession. The detective was bringing her and her baby to York in an automobile, and John Keller, of Nelson Miller's garage, was driving. The woman, who had all along stoutly maintained that her husband had been shot by some persons unknown, suddenly started conversation.
She said, 'I have been lying, but I shot him.'
The surprised detective ordered the driver to stop the machine. They waited until District Attorney Gross caught up in another machine. Then the detective informed Mrs. Dellinger that he proposed to have her tell her story to the district attorney and his companions, and after agreeing that she had not been coerced nor promised anything, the woman repeated her story. She and her baby were brought to the detective's office and then she went into more detail, relating that they had quarreled and had been drinking, and while Dellinger was seated at the stove, with his son on his lap and his back toward the bedroom, she quietly went into the adjoining bedroom, loaded the gun and then proceeded to the kitchen, where the muzzle was placed near the unsuspecting husband's head, and she pulled the trigger. It was all over in a moment. Dellinger's body scarcely moved from the position, but there was a great hole torn into the right side of the nech about two inches below the ear and toward the rear. The entire load of shot entered the man's neck. Not a shot missed it.
It was about 12:30 yesterday morning when the shot was fired. It was about 7:30 in the morning when Walter Allen, son of J.W. Allen, a neighbor, came to his house and mad the discovery that Dellinger was dead. He had come to get a lantern which his father had loaned Mrs. Dellinger to light herself homeward the night before, and when he saw that a murder had been committed he forgot all about the lantern and hurried home and told his father. Mr. Allen notified Dr. D.C. Posey, but Dr. Posey found it to be a case for a coroner and he sent for Jusstice of the Peace H.E. Craley, fo the township, and District Attorney Gross. The district attorney arranged with Detective White to go to the scene with him, and they left York about 11:30 o'clock. In the meantime the justice of the peace had arrived and empanelled a jury. Paul Elfner, J.W. Gipe, William Uffelman, J.S. Gemmill, Wiley Warner, William Blouse, John Warner, Porter Warner, Dr. P.S. Posey, E.K. Beard and H.H. Craley composed the jury and witnesses. The woman told them her husband had been shot while she was in the next room, and the jury found a verdict that the murder had been committed by some person unknown.
BODY WAS NOT REMOVED
The district attorney and detective arrived about 12:30, to find that the body had not been moved. There is a supposition, especially among country people, that a dead body must not be moved until the authorities so direct. The officials found that the body was in such position that the back was toward the door of the bedroom, which is the only other room on the first story. A partly empty whiskey bottle was found near the body. In his search the detective found a single barreled shotgun under the bed in the adjoining room. Dr. Posey discovered that the barrel had fresh powder stains in it, which indicated that it had been discharged but recently. there was no shell in the gun, but one was found among the wood ashes in the stove. Mrs. Dellinger had been acting excitedly during the process of searching and manifested great interest in the hunt for shells. At last the detective turned to her and remarked:
'Mrs. Dellinger, you need worry no more about the shell. I have found it.'
'Where?' asked the startled woman.
'There in the stove,' and he showed her the empty shell.
Dr. Posey performed an autopsy on the body and another jury was empaneled, composed of J.W. Allen, Paul Elfner, J.W. Gipe, John D. Warner, Porter Warner and K.C. Beard. The examination revealed the fact that the birdshot had not injured the brain. This jury also heard the woman's denial of guilt and they rendered a verdict of murder at the hands of a person unknown.
Mrs. Dellinger was soon afterward brought to York. There was some discussion as to the disposition to be made of the children. The boy was turned over to the care of his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. George Dellinger, who reside in the vicinity of The Brogue, but the baby is too young to keep away from its mother, and the child was brought along to York. Court Detective J.R. Gross made out an information before Alderman Keech, charging the woman with the murder, and she was committed to jail last night, after she had a conference with her attorney, K.W. Altland.
Harry Dellinger was twenty-eight years old. His wife is about thirty-four. Before her marriage she was Annie McClaskey, and her parents were Mr. and Mrs. Patrick McClaskey, both of whom are dead and who for many years lived at the corner of Court and Baptist alleys, this city. The woman is of slight physique. Mrs. Dellinger has a fifteen-year-old daughter residing in Lancaster. The Dellingers were married about five years ago and neighbors say they often quarreled. They lived in a little frame one story and a half house with basement on the Muddy Creek road to Collinsville, about a half a mile from The Brogue. Here Dellinger tilled about six acres of land. He owned the place and seemed to do well enough, except that he and his wife drank a good deal - the husband especially - and they had been drinking at the time of the quarrel, the wife admitted. In fact Dellinger is said to have given whiskey to this three-year-old son, Clarence. They had but one other child, Emaline, the baby. Nestle along the public road in a pretty valley and backed by a clump of woods, the Dellinger home had its attractions to persons who like the country as evidently the Dellingers did.
But this was not a happy home. The wife some years ago had a York record among alderman, and her marriage did not seem to have changed her disposition toward trouble. Dellinger himself drank to excess often, neighbors say. Sometimes he accused his wife of infidelity. Thursday night he spent several hours in the store of E.K. Beard at The Brogue. In the meantime Mrs. Dellinger had visited, with her children, the homes of John Warner and J.W. Allen, neighbors. Dellinger left Beard's store and reached home first and then went to search for his wife and children. It was noticed that he had been drinking. He found them at the Allen farm about 10 o'clock and started a quarrel by demanding $10 which which he said he had given his wife that morning. She denied that she had received any money. This is supposed to be part of $20 which Dellinger was seen to drop on the floor of a store the night before.
The Dellingers went home together from the Allen farm and the neighbors supposed that they had made up their quarrel, but shortly after midnight the Warners were awakened by Mrs. Dellinger, who had returned to tell them that someone had shot her husband. They did not believe the story because the woman had hoaxed them before. She next went to the Allen farm and told a similar story, and they had the same opinion and told her to go back home, and advised her to stop fighting with her husband.
'I can't go home and stay with that dead man,' Mrs. Dellinger insisted, but she at last agreed to return after borrowing a lantern to light her lonely way. Then began her grewsome nightwatch alongside the dead body of her husband."
Article from a January 22, 1917 York, Pennsylvania newspaper:
SAYS HER HUSBAND
THREATENED HER LIFE
Also Tells Her Attorney She
Only Intended to Scare Him
When Gun Went Off
LIQUOR DENOUNCED AT
Rev. W.H. Warburton Says
It Was Directly to Blame
That her husband had threatened to kill her and that she pointed the gun at him merely to frighten his is the story told to her attorney, K.W. Altland by Mrs. Annie McClaskey Dellinger, slayer of her husband, Harry Dellinger. This will probably feature the defense at the trial. No time has yet been set for the aldermanic hearing and the woman and her year old baby are in the county jail. Mrs. Dellinger maintains a variable attitude, for sometimes she is moody and apparently despondent, and at other times seems to care little about the future or what may happen to her.
The funeral of Dellinger took place yesterday and the little church was jammed with friends and acquaintinces of the dead man. There were, of course, a large number of people attracted merely out of curiosity. The minister, Rev. W.H. Warburton, in the course of his sermon scored the church members and others for their support of the liquor traffic, which had much to do with the quarrels of the Dellingers and the tragedy of last Friday morning, when Mrs. Dellinger, in their little home near The Brogue, in Chanceford township, sent a charge of birdshot into the back of her husband's head, killing him instantly.
The woman then went out and told the neighbors that a person unknown had done the deed, and when they refused to believe that Dellinger had been shot, she returned home alone and with her baby in her lap sat beside the dead body until after daylight. Until after she was arrested, Mrs. Dellinger insisted that her husband had been shot by some stranger, but on the way to York with Detective Charles S. White, she admiited that she had shot the man herself.
K.W. Altland, Mrs. Dellinger's attorney, says he has not gone into the details of the case yet, preferring to wait until after the hearing, but in an interview which he has had with the woman learned that she and Dellinger had been married about five years, and that their married life was not at all happy and that Dellinger was often drunk and beat her. Two weeks ago, the attorney said, Dellinger knocked his wife down, blackened her eye and broke her nose. Thursday night they quarreled over some money and Dellinger told his wife that she would 'get to h___ pretty quick' and that he would kill her. Mrs. Dellinger told the attorney that she feared her husband intended to carry out his threat, and she ran into the bedroom and got the gun, intending to frighten him, and she said to Dellinger that if he attempted to get up off the chair she would shoot. Although she says, she did not intent to pull the trigger, the gun went off and killed Dellinger.
Detective White talked to Mrs. Dellinger Saturday morning and he says the woman told him that had it not been for the baby's crying she would have slept while she was keeping vigil over her husband's body Friday morning. 'The baby missed its crib, I guess, and that made her cry.'
Dellinger had been seated in a rocking chair near the cook stove with one of his feet under the stove. There he was when he was shot and there the body remained until after the arrival of the district attorney and the dectective. Mrs. Dellinger sat in an ordinary kitchen chair with her baby on her lap and scarcely three feet from the body. Here she sat and tried to sleep, but the baby kept her from doing so.
The woman in again telling the detective just what had happened that fateful morning, said that Dellinger had struck her early in the evening, and they were quarelling late at night when he told her he would kill her. She went for the gun and Dellinger saw her load it, she says. Then she told him that if he got up out of the chair she would shoot. She thought he would get up and then she pulled the trigger. After firing the shot, Mrs. Dellinger tried to get him to speak, but she says he would not answer.
When the detective started to read the subpoena to Mrs. Dellinger after she was brought to York the woman replied: 'No, I don't want any subpoena. I'd rather have some Duke's mixture and papers and I'll roll them myself.'
TALKS OF TRACEY MURDER
Just before this a rather remarkable conversation had taken place between the woman and the detective. They were coming to York in an automobile, when Mrs. Dellinger suddenly broke the silence by aksing the detective how much time Mrs. Tracey had been given by the court. Mrs. Tracey was convicted along with her lover, Willam Brown, with the murder of Joshua Tracey, another Lower End resident, several years ago. The detective replied that he had forgotten how much time Mrs. Tracey had served for the murder, but said she is out on parole. 'Well, then I'm not going to lie to you any longer, I killed Harry.' She had also expressed much interest in the murder of Miss Colbert in Philadelphia and expressed her opinion that Bernard Lewis was the murderer.
The murderess occupies Cell No. 11, which is in the women's (tier) on the fourth story of the York county jail. Her baby is with her because of its age. Her attorney has given instructions that no one be permitted to talk to Mrs. Dellinger. But in view of the quarantine which is still in force at the jail, it is not likely that anyone would get in to talk to her, anyway, at present. The time for the hearing has not yet been fixed.
Some years ago, Mrs. Dellinger was addicted to the use of drugs and she figured several times in local aldermanic cases. In 1915 she had her husband arrested for assault and battery and surety of the peace, but through the instrumentality of Herb. B. Kain the case was patched up and the couple lived together again. The woman also abandoned her baby boy when he was nineteen months old, but she later received and kept the child.
At the Dellinger funeral near The Brogue yesterday the minister Rev. W.H. Warburton, took occassion to score the people who support and permit the liquor traffic, for he placed responsibility for the murder upon liquor, and the sermon was a scathing denunciation not only on the subject of booze, but he directed his remarks against those who permit it to exist and who lend their names to applications for license. He said that every person present was indirectly responsable because of their apathy. The funeral was held in Shenberger's chapel, in the vicinity of Conrad's and the chapel was jammed to capacity. It is estamated that nearly 800 persons crowded the edifice during the service. Every seat was taken up and the aisles were crowded.
Rev. Mr. Warburton's sermon had very little to do with the dead. He preached to the living and minced none of his words in calling the attention of his hearers to the fact that this was another ending of a life which liquor had played a role. He also pointed out that this scourge on humanity is here by the permission of men whose every effort should be directed toward its destruction. Especial attention was called to the man who has his name on both the church register and the application for a liquor license, pointing out at the same time that the murder which was committed at their very doors was the outcome of the very thing they helped to establish and make its sale legal. The sermon by Rev. Mr. Warbarton without a doubt created a profound imprssion, and was the topic of conversation in many homes here this afternoon.
The body of the murdered man was buried from the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Dellinger at 1 o'clock and was in charge of Undertaker Burg of Red Lion. Therer was a short service at the house, followed by the sermon at the chapel. Interment was made in the adjoining cemetery. Relatives from both families were present at the funeral."
He was buried in January 1917 at Evangelical Chapel Cemetery, Chanceford Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania