August 21, 1915: Ida Poole shot by her “dandy” husband Edward J. Poole
On this day in Duluth in 1915, 38-year-old Edward J. Poole shot his 34-year-old common-law wife Ida four times. The couple lived at 215 S. First Avenue (today’s Canal Park Drive) and were described as “well-known characters to the police.” Ida had kicked Edward out of the house earlier in the week. Edward hired a jitney cab, which drove him to his former home, and he broke into the house by crawling through a window. As Ida attempted to flee through the front door, he opened fire, then escaped in the taxi. Edward Poole worked as a porter at the Kitchi Gammi Club and was known as a sharp dresser or “dandy” in the slang of the day. Poole also had a record of run ins with the police though, as the Duluth News Tribune reported, his list of crimes was short compared to the one compiled by his wife. Ida Poole was expected to recover from her wounds, and Edward fled town. On September 6 he was arrested in Missoula, Montana, and returned to Duluth. Seven days later Ida Poole died, but not after making a statement to authorities. She reported that Edward had shot her in the wrists and chest inside the house, and as she attempted to flee to a neighbor’s home next door, he shot her in the back. Edward was charged with murder and plead not guilty. His lawyer attempted a defense based on self defense, as Poole testified he had gone to his former home to innocently retrieve some clothes and was struck in the head from behind and had no recollection of the shooting. The tactic failed, and Poole was found guilty; he was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Stillwater State Penitentiary.