Thursday, January 4, 2018

On This Date in Minnesota History: January 4

January 4, 1906 – A letter believed to be from Pearl Wheaton, who was fatally wounded by Matt Styer, Tuesday, was discovered today and is receiving consideration in clearing up Caledonia’s recent murder mystery.

The letter is addressed to Styer ad in it the dead girl is represented as promising to elope with Styr and making arrangements to meet him at her home around midnight between Jan. 1 and Jan. 2, the hour the shooting occurred.

In view of this discovery the theory is advanced in behalf of Styer that he went to the Wheaton home to assist Pearl to escape, that he was discovered by members of the family and fired on and that he shot back in self-defense against the mother and sister, killing his sweetheart, Pearl, by accident, and that he killed himself when he realized what he had done.

The Wheaton family doubts the authenticity of the letter and clings to the original story that a triple murder and suicide was deliberately planned.

Thirty letters from Pearl Wheaton to Styer, all promising undying love, were found in Styer’s effects and among these were several in which the girl promised to go with Styer when he came after her.

Ruth Wheaton, Pearl’s sister, passed away today. Mrs. Wheaton may recover.

Pearl was formerly a school teacher in the country. Ruth was taking a nurse training at a St. Paul hospital.

The jury in the coroner’s inquest returned a verdict that Pearl Wheaton met her death at the hands of Mathias L. Styer.

The horse and rig that Styer expected to use in eloping with Pearl was found in a neighboring field.

The Minneapolis Tribune; “To Elope. Dead Wheaton Girl Had Promised Lover She Would Quit Her Parents. Letter Discovered Clears Up Mystery. Epistle Is Addressed to Styer and Is Signed By His Sweetheart.”; Jan. 5, 1906; p. 1.


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