This chart shows the protagonists' relationship to our line. Click on the chart to see it larger.
Fred moved to Glendale, Montana with his brother Ed in the late 1870s - probably around 1878 when the Smiths first went there to work in the smelters. He most certainly would have known Jethro, Henry and George Smith and the story of his murder would have been a major event in all of their lives.
Back in Carleton County, New Brunswick, another of the Smiths' cousins, Samantha Smith, had married a man named Winslow D. Morgan. Samantha was the daughter of Nehemiah Smith and Ann (Haining) Smith. Nehemiah was Israel Smith's older brother and Jethro, Henry and George's uncle. Samantha's mother Ann was George Haining's sister.
Samantha, known as Manthie, divorced Winslow Morgan while in New Brunswick and moved West with George Haining and his family around 1880. George Haining homesteaded in Birch Creek near Dillon, Montana.
There, in Montana, Samantha met George's son Fred. They married.
Winslow, however, followed Samantha to Montana and filed a suit against the marriage on the grounds that it was incestuous because they were first cousins. He lost the case and two months later, lay in ambush for his rival Fred as Fred, Samantha and Fred's sister, Ann, and her daughter and another couple returned late at night from a July 4 party at the home of Fred's brother James.
The New Northwest newspaper in Deer Lodge, Montana, reported the murder on July 10:
The Dillon paper followed with a more detailed account on July 11:
A DIABOLICAL DEED
A terrible tragedy was enacted on Birch Creek, in this county, on the morning of the 5th inst. It was a cowardly, diabolical deed, resulting in the death of a man and the crippling of an innocent little child who may not survive the injuries inflicted. Our reporter read the substance of the evidence before the coroner’s inquest on the body of the dead man and from that evidence the following facts are elicited: On the night of the fourth of July there was a dance held at the house of James Haining, on Birch Creek, which was numerously attended by citizens of that section of the county. The dance broke up on Sunday morning and those participating returned to their respective homes. About three o’clock in the morning Mr. and Mrs. Herbert King and Mr. and Mrs. Fred Haining returned to Hainings’ house. When the party got within 100 feet of the house an object – mistaken for a cow in the dark – approached them, coming from the house.
The object, which proved to a man with a gun held out and a blanket thrown over his head, advanced rapidly on the party returning from the dance, and when within about ten feet the man threw off the blanket and discharged his gun, which must have been a repeating rifle of large caliber, at Frederick Haining. Haining was carrying a small three year old child of his sister, Mrs. Anna Nichols, in his arms. The ball from the rifle passed through Haining’s hand, through the little girl’s leg below the knee and then through Haining’s body. Haining was armed, for he quickly drew a revolver and fired at his assailant. Haining staggered and before he fell said, “I
think I hit the s-n of a b---h.” Haining lived but a few minutes.
When Haining fell King, who was by his side, seized the revolver and fired three shots at the man as he retreated and made his escape around the corral. No one in the party could positively identify the man who did the killing except Mrs. Haining, the divorced wife of Winslow D. Morgan and who married Haining last winter who positively recognized Morgan as the assassin. The Kings do not know Morgan. Word was sent to Dillon and coroner Dr. Pickman proceeded to the place of the murder where an inquest was held at which the above facts were given in evidence.
The leg of the unfortunate little girl was so terribly shattered that Dr. Pickman amputated it above the knee. This diabolical deed created intense excitement on Birch Creek, and the capture of Morgan has been attempted by Sheriff Jones, Deputy Murray and a number of men, but up to the present writing no clue has been obtained as to his whereabouts.
W.H. Oliver, Earnest Mamer and J. C. Wilson, J.A. Barber, J.W. Sutherland and H.A. Carson, the coroner’s jury, rendered a verdict that Frederick Haining came to his death from a gunshot wound as the jury believe from the evidence inflicted by Winslow D. Morgan. Coroner Pickman issued a warrant for the arrest of Morgan.
Fred was buried in Dillon.
His grave is rather forlorn.
He was just 28 years, 8 months old when he was killed.
An account written in 1948 by one of Fred's nieces, Laura, the daughter of his brother James, gives some idea of the discord and struggles facing the family at that time:
Dad (James Haining) went in partners with his Dad (George Haining) who seemed to be a poor financier as he was $1,000 in debt and Dad said he went to Dillon after supplies and was turned down on credit and when he saw the tears in the old man’s eyes that was too much for him, so he went in with him to help him out as Fred was married to Winslow D. Morgan’s divorced wife, Manthie Smith, and they had gone to themselves.Winslow fled to Canada as a manhunt ensued with a $1,000 reward on his head. By the description given, he was a rather battered man:
Dave Nichols had left Annie with two small girls, Bessie and Eola, and they were an extravagant family. Dad took up a homestead across the track from Grandad’s and Fred and Manthie lived on the place which was later the old Sutherland place.
In 1885, they had a dance at my father’s homestead and Fred, Manthie and some of the rest were coming home and Morgan put a blanket on for camouflage over him and shot and killed Fred at the old Sutherland place. Fred was carrying Eola Nichols, a baby about two years old and the bullet went through her thigh. The Dr. said she wouldn’t live but my Dad insisted they amputate the leg, so that afternoon Dr. Pickman did for $100.00, which was pretty hard for my Dad to raise in those early homesteading days.
Dillon TribuneBy September, word of the murder had reached the press back home:
Aug - 1885
DESCRIPTION OF MORGAN
The following is a description of Winslow D. Morgan, charged with murder of Frederick B. Haining, and for whom a reward of $1000 is offered by Governor Hauser: $1000 reward! Territory of Montana, Executive Office, Helena, M.T., July 30, 1885. By virture of the authority conferred upon me by the laws of Montana Territory, I hereby offer a reward of one thousand (1000) dollars for the apprehension of Winslow D. Morgan and his delivery to the Sheriff of Beaverhead County, the said Winslow D. Morgan being charged with murder of Fred B. Haining in said County of Beaverhead, on the fifth day of July, A.D. 1885.
Morgan is described as follows:
“Age, about 38 years; complexion, dark; dark brown hair, inclined to curl, slightly gray at sides; wore dark brown moustache when last seen; blue eyes; scar over right eye, caused by a burn; one upper tooth out in front; fore finger off left hand (close); toes all off right foot; knee-cap displaced on left leg; height about 5 feet 9 inches; weight, about 165 pounds. He generally works about saw mills, in timber or in mines.”
Press Newspaper [Woodstock, N. B.] Sept 10, 1885Winslow was soon found in Canada:
A Montana paper of recent date tells of the cruel murder of Fred. B. Haining, formerly of Carleton County, by Winslow D. Morgan, a former resident of New Maryland, York Co. The sad event occurred at Madisonia, where Haining was settled. While returning from a party given by his brother with his wife and child, and near his own home, the murderer sprang from a place of concealment and when within ten feet of his victim shot him dead with a rifle, the bullet of which also fractured the leg of the child he had in his arms. The terrible tragedy is supposed to be the outcome of a family quarrel.
September 26, 1885
“Winslow D. Morgan, who is charged with the murder of Fred. B. Haining, is being held by the British Columbia officials until the arrival of an officer from Montana.”
The Dillon sheriff was sent to get him:
Dillon TribuneWinslow was eventually brought home to stand trial.
October 17, 1885
“Sheriff Tom E. Jones left on last Monday morning for Victoria, B. C., for the purpose of bringing Winslow D. Morgan back. Morgan is charged with killing Frederick B. Haining on Birch Creek on the morning of the 5th of July last.”
Dillon TribuneHe pled not guilty by reason of insanity. The Dillon Tribune reported on the trial in its April 24, 1886 edition:
October 31, 1885
“Sheriff Jones returned from Victoria, British Columbia last week. Winslow D. Morgan will be turned over to Sheriff Jones as soon as the necessary extradition papers are signed by the Governor of the Dominion in Ottawa.”
Remarkably, Winslow was acquitted:
A note in the Morgan family file in the New Brunswick provincial archives says that Winslow was "banished from the state and died in the mines of Washington or Idaho."
The 1889 Washington Territory Census listed Winslow, then age 38, as single, working as a 'timberman' in Quilcene, Jefferson County, Washington Territory.
A rather authoritative Morgan genealogy says that he died in Anaconda, Montana on November 24, 1916.
Samantha, or Manthie, went on to marry Joseph Keppler, a German immigrant and postmaster at the time. He became a very wealthy mine owner and jeweler in Anaconda and Bannack, Montana.
Samantha (Smith/Morgan/Haining) Keppler with her husband, Joseph.
Samantha (Smith/Morgan/Haining) Keppler with her husband, Joseph at a later stage in their lives.