Leonard Henkle, Inventor
Rochester, Monroe, NY
Union & Advertiser, Thursday, March 21, 1895
PULLED HIS BEARD
That's How Mrs. Leonard Henkle Defended Herself
Family Skeleton Made to Dance Merrily in Police Court This Morning
Defendant Discharged Because the Evidence Did Not Show That Mr. Henkle Assaulted His Wife
A family skeleton was trotted out in the Police Court this morning and made to dance till its bones rattled when the case of Leonard Henkle, the well-known inventor, charged with assaulting his wife, was tried. Mr. Henkle lives at 12 Lamberton Park and was married in September last to the wife who makes the complaint. There are two children in the family, one a bright little girl who was adopted by Mr. Henkle some years ago, and the other a baby, 2 years old, a child of Mrs. Henkle. The trouble between Henkle and his wife is over the adopted child according to the evidence. When the case was called this morning Mr. Henkle accompanied by the adopted girl was in the court room. Mr. Hebard of the Humane Society appeared for the prosecution.
Mrs. Henkle's story, as told on the stand was as follows: "All the trouble has been on account of the little girl. She has been disrespectful to me. On the 11th of March the child was especially annoying to me. I told Mr. Henkle and he began abusing me with his tongue. The child then attempted to slam a door and I tried to prevent her. Mr. Henkle then raised his hand to strike me. I raised my hand to ward off the blow and his hand struck my arm and took the skin off it. That afternoon I went out for a while and when I returned I found myself locked out. It was with a great deal of difficulty I managed to get in. When I did get in he struck me."
"Did you pull Mr. Henkle's whiskers?" asked Mr. Henkle's counsel.
"Yes, I pulled his whiskers, and he and the little girl went into the other room and counted the hairs I pulled out. You don't suppose I was going to let him thump me around and not do anything. Of course I pulled his whiskers."
"Did you pull them more than once that day?" asked the attorney.
"I may have. He must have had a good supply on hand."
"Were you not in the habit of pulling his whiskers?"
"I had to defend myself some way."
"That afternoon, when you found yourself locked out, didn't you break the door in with an ax?"
"I broke the knob off and bent the lock. I had to in order to get it. When I got in he struck me."
Philetus Chamberlain, Jr., was called as a witness. He lives at 10 Lamberton Park, next to the house occupied by Mr. Henkle. Mr. Chamberlain said that on the morning of the alleged assault Mrs. Henkle came to his door with blood issuing from a wound in her arm. He had noticed that Mrs. Henkle had always been kind to the adopted girl as well as her own child, and there had been a great improvement in the child's appearance. The child he had observed, had been very saucy to Mrs. Henkle. The witness, when Mrs. Henkle complained to him that she was locked out, advised her to break in. He noticed soon after that she had got into the house. Later she came to him and showed him a red mark on her face and said Mr. Henkle had struck her again.
Miss Strickland, who lived at the Henkle house for five months, said she had frequently stepped between Henkle and his wife to prevent him striking her.
Mr. Henkle's version of the trouble on the 11th instant was to the effect that the child complained to him. He went into the room and his wife brandished a piece of a chair over his head, threatening to knock his brains out. She pulled his whiskers and struck him on the nose. He did not strike her, he said; in fact, he never struck her, but had perhaps pushed her away from him forty times. The whole trouble, he said, was over the adopted child, whom he had given a home, and whom he loved. He also loved his wife's baby, and said he had repeatedly told his wife to let him live in peace so he could make a living and keep a home for the children. Dolly, the adopted child, a bright girl, 11 years of age, testified that on the morning of the alleged assault she was at the stove getting her own breakfast. She coughed, and Mrs. Henkle turned around and said she did it to irritate her. She then raised a piece of a chair and threatened to strike the child. The later told Mr. Henkle, and when he came into the room Mrs. Henkle threatened to knock his brains out.
At the conclusion of the testimony, Judge Ernst discharged Henkle, saying that while the affair was an unfortunate one, there had not been sufficient evidence to show that Mr. Henkle had assaulted his wife.
- RootsWeb.com, Monroe County, New York - Early News, http://www.rootsweb.com/~nymonnws/1895/MAR.html, retrieved December 10, 2005.
- Henkle's Gravestone image from Find A Grave, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7681979, retrieved December 10, 2005.