Mary W Bishir

Female 1840 - 1907  (66 years)

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  • Name Mary W Bishir  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Born 29 Mar 1840  Indiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6
    Gender Female 
    Alternate Name Mary /Bishir/ 
    Birth 1842  [1
    Died 1 Jan 1907  Highland Park, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location  [6, 7
    Buried Topeka Cemetery, Topeka, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Person ID I3928  Bishir Family | Jeremiah & Esther/Malinda Bishir
    Last Modified 24 Jan 2016 

    Father Jeremiah M Bishir,   b. 13 Jun 1800, York, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 May 1875, Monticello, White, Indiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Welch 
    Married 2 Nov 1837  Tippecanoe Co., Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Family ID F6935  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Simon O'Neal,   d. UNKNOWN 
    Married 30 Oct 1875  White, Indiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Last Modified 16 Jul 2020 
    Family ID F1597  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    BISHIR, Mary W. possibly (taken in Topeka, Kansas)
    BISHIR, Mary W. possibly (taken in Topeka, Kansas)
    Contributed by Theresa Bishir Barrier
    BISHIR, Mary?
    BISHIR, Mary?
    Contributed by Teresa Bishir Barrier

  • Notes 
    • A Miss Mary W. Bishir is listed in the 1905 Topeka, Kansas census.

      Mary was found dead in her shack, the apparent victim of a murder.


      The Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, KS)
      Wed, Jan 2, 1907, pg 8

      Body of Miss Mary Bisher Found.
      She Had Been Dead for Some Time.
      Question as to Caus of Ending.
      Had Been Threatened a Number of Times.

      Although no arrests have follwed the finding of the body of Miss Mary Bischer in an outbuilding in Highland Park yesterday at 11 o’clock, officers have a clue and if anything is found by the autopsy which shows that the woman died from other than natural causes, arrests will probably follow at once. From half a dozen persons is heard the story of how Miss Bischer has told of abuse and threadts at the hands of a man whose name is known to the police. The officers have also learned that he was absent from home during the past three or four days and while they do not say that arrests will be made today, Coroner Keith said last night that he would make no arrests until after the autopsy, which is taken to mean that arrests may be made.

      There are no marks that could be seen yesterday on the body of the woman but the body was in such a state of decomposition that marks would not be visible, according to the officers. While it is rumored that the woman had large sums of money hidden about the house or rather the place, not one cent was found by the officers who searched the place yesterday.

      Miss Bischer is reported to have feared an attempt on her life, but whether or not it was because she kept money about her is not known. She slept in a woodshed near the house, it is said, because she believed she was safer there than she would be if she slept in the house, as in case anyone had designs upon her life they would look for her in the house rather than in the woodshed.

      When found, her hands and face lay on the side of an improvised bed, constructed of pine and oak plank, sections of board fence and other lumber. Her knees and feet rested on the floor, and from her position might have died while at prayer. Her feet were bare, but as if to refute this statement that she died at prayer, her hair was smoothly combed. It is reasoned that she had been preparing for bed as her bare feet would indicate, her hair would have been loose, or at least, not tightly combed as it was when she was found. She is nearly 70 years old.

      The shed in which she was found is a small affair, 6x8 feet in dimensions. Rubbish of every description was found stored away in the “shack” and it was plainly the habitation of a recluse. Seven pocket-books containing almost everything but money were found. Eighteen market baskets hung on the wall. Old clothing, rags and papers were found on every hand. The woman cooked, ate and slept in the shed. In one of the baskets was found a letter from a sister which was from a small Missouri town and was dated 1868. In another place was found a bit of paper in which the writer said that she would have had three stiff fingers had she not been treated by Miss Bisher. This was dated 1897. Junk of every description was found in the shed.

      From various sources it was told yesterday that Miss Bisher had trouble with the persons in question. Last Fourth of July she called at the county jail and told Deputy Sheriff Lawson that she didn’t know what to do as she feared for her life. The man in question, she said had threatened her life many times and had caused her a great deal of trouble. Lately she said he had grown more troublesome and persistent in his demands to which she said she could not comply.

      An unknown woman who refused to give her name yesterday called up Dr. Keith and told him that a brother of the dead woman, Clifford Bisher, llived in Port Townsend, Washington. Dr. Keith telegraphed to the address last night but at a late hour he had received no reply. The woman who gave the information said that Miss Bisher had complained to her repeatedly of a man who the officers suspect and had said that he threatened to kill her. The woman refused to give her name, although Dr. Keith fairly begged her to do so. He said that she did not want to be mixed up in the affair.

      Miss Bisher came from near Eskridge in 1901. Dow Busenpark of Eskridge, said of her over long distance telephone last night: “She has not been here since about 1901. I didn’t know a great deal about her save that she was peculiar in manner and did not seem to get along well with her neighbors. She owned a farm near town valued at $3,500 and a small house in town.”

      Besides her Wabaunsee county property Miss Bisher owned property in Highland Park, besides the property where she was found. It is said that she owns property on the West Side. She is also said to have once owned property up the North Side.

      The body of MIss Bisher was discovered yesterday morning by Mrs. G. H. Boyer, a neighbor, who, not having seen signs of life about the Bisher place for sometime, feared that something was wrong with the woman, and, taking with her a boy, went to the shed. The door was found open and Miss Bisher in the position described above.

      Near where she was found lay a bank book showing that $11 had been deposited in the Bank of Topeka.

      An autopsy will be held over the remains this morning at 8:30 o’clock at Shellabarger’s undertaking rooms, by Dr. Keith and in case the slightest sign of foul play, or any evidence tending to show that Miss Bishir died anything but a natural death, is discovered, arrests will likely follow.

  • Sources 
    1. [S362] One World Tree (sm),, (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., n.d.), Online publication - OneWorldTree [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc.

    2. [S446] 1860 United States Federal Census,, (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004).

    3. [S1019] 1905 Kansas censu.

    4. [S626] Lori Myers.

    5. [S427] 1850 Census, White Co., District 130, IN, 407B.

    6. [S401] FindAGrave.

    7. [S1565] Mystery Surrounds Her Death (Mary W Bishir).

    8. [S1580] Indiana State Library Genealogy Database: Marriages from 1850.

    9. [S336] White Co., IN Marriage Records 1834-1880.