Murder & Suicide: Lillain Quinn & Frank Lockwood, Barber County, Kansas Barber County, Kansas.  

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Medicine Lodge Cresset, November 18, 1886.


Frank E. Lockwood is Shot by Lillian Quinn
Who at Once Commits Suicide -
Both Well-Known Here.

Last Saturday a telegram was received by parties in this city which contained the information that Frank E. Lockwood had been shot that morning about four o'clock by his mistress, Lillian Quinn, and the girl had committed suicide immediately after sending the bullet into the head of her paramour. Later information confirmed the telegram, and below we give as near a true history of the case as can be obtained.

Grand Hotel, January 1892, Medicine Lodge, Barber County, Kansas.

CLICK HERE for more photos of the Grand Hotel.
Grand Hotel, January 1892, Medicine Lodge, Barber County, Kansas

The real history of this case begins last February while Lockwood was one of the proprietors of the Grand Hotel in this city. In that month two girls, Lillian Quinn and Mamie Whelan, came from Junction City and began doing dining room work in the Grand for Messrs. Lockwood & Fleming, the proprietors. They both worked in the hotel until along in the summer, when Lillian Quinn went to Kansas City, and shortly after Mamie Whelan went to St. Louis. Since leaving the Lodge both have worked at various hotels until a short time ago - a couple of months - when both went to work at the Brettun, at Winfield.

It seems that the intimacy which resulted in the murder of Frank F. Lockwood and the speedy death of a girl who entered death's dark portals with the stain of town crimes upon her soul, first began in this city - while she was at work at the Grand - and it has been continued since until the girl believing - probably correctly - that he was tiring of her and that he did not intend to fulfill any of the promises he had made to her, attempted to kill him and then committed suicide.

Since Frank Lockwood left Medicine Lodge last summer, he has been traveling from one point to another, and it seems that he had only returned to Winfield a day or two before the tragedy. Every circumstance goes to show that the victims had spent the night together, that in the morning the girl had arisen and dressed herself, and as her paramour lay on the bed asleep had placed the muzzle of the revolver within six or eight inches of his head and pulled the trigger. The ball entered his head just above his left eye, near the temple and still lies imbedded in his head. Thinking she had accomplished the murder of the one she loved and whom she would rather suffer death than lose, the poor girl placed the smoking revolver to her right temple and sent a bullet crashing through her own brain.

Several parties in the hotel heard the shots and the clerk was notified, but knowing they had occurred in Lockwood's room and thinking he was shooting out of the window to amuse himself, as he had a custom of doing when intoxicated, no attention was paid to it until between six and seven o'clock. A marshall was then called in to investigate, and when he secured a ladder and looked over the transom, he seen that murder had been done. On bursting open the door Lockwood was found on the bed dressed in his night shirt, still breathing, but unconscious, and the girl was lying on the floor by the side of the bed, dressed with the revolver lying by her side. On a stand was a satchel belonging to Lockwood, in which was his large 45 Colt revolver.

The revolver with which the crime was committed was a Smith & Wesson 38, with the name of J. Wade McDonald engraved on the handle. It seems that the girl had premeditated the crime and had borrowed the revolver of Mr. McDonald, who boards and rooms at the Brettun, under pretense that she and another girl were going to do some target shooting.

A Coroner's jury was impaneled and after examining numerous witness brought a verdict in accordance with the above facts.

At last accounts Lockwood was still alive; with his mother, brother, his discarded wife, and numerous friends at his side, but the physicians have no hope for his recovery and it is thought he cannot possibly live. He has regained consciousness and though he cannot see, recognizes his friends' voices and names.

Frank Lockwood is of good family, good education and good business and social qualities; yet despite all these and the prayers of a fond wife and loving mother, he embarked and continued in a path of dissipation until he met his death. Of him it can be truly said, "there lies another victim of the demon rum." He had many pleasant qualities, was kind hearted and tender for those in distress, but the baser passion of his nature had got such a hold that it could not be downed. For some years he was conductor on the Southern Kansas railroad, and year ago last March, in company with Ben Phillips, opened the Grand Hotel in this city.

Of the girl, Lillian Quinn, not a great deal is known. She was born in Georgia and has a sister living in Tennessee and a brother in Kansas City. Her father and mother are both dead. That up to the last great act she was as much "sinned against as sinning" there is no doubt, and if any man can censure her, whose last act was to try to keep with her forever that person whom she loved above all the world, they must have a harder nature than we. Poor, deluded girl, whose only thought was of the world and what it contained; who can doubt but that the punishment will be great enough.

"One more unfortunate
Weary of breath,
Rashly importunate,
Gone to her death."

THE LATEST - Yesterday afternoon Tom Doran, Jim Fleming and Alex McKinny returned from Winfield, where they had been to see and wait upon Frank Lockwood. The physicians say he now has even chances for his life. If his wound discharges outwardly he will live and if inwardly he will die. Almost all the boys who have went over to see him to think he will recover.

The Barber County Index, December 23, 1886.


A telegram was received here on Tuesday to the effect that Frank E. Lockwood had died at the Sister of Charity Hospital at Kansas City on Monday the 20th inst. About a week ago he was removed from Winfield to Kansas City to have trepanning performed on his skull, in the hopes that the operation would bring back his reason which had entirely deserted him. Some five or six of the most skillful physicians in Kansas City successfully performed the operation, but despite their care and attention, he died. This is the end of the tragedy. "Let the dead bury its dead." But it would be well to notice the lesson taught, and that is, crime will sometime bring its own reward. In this case the penalty was speedy and terrible, yet so must all be paid.

Also see:

The Grand Hotel, Medicine Lodge, Barber County, Kansas, historic and modern photos courtesy of Nathan Lee, Beverly Horney McCollom and Marilou West Ficklin.

"Lethal love at The Grand", From Meandering - Medicine Lodge: The 1880's by Beverly McCollom.

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!

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