1903 Halloween night slaying on “the Garden Home road”

Victim of a feud

Victim of a feud

We recently posted a story about the other Garden Home road discussing how the moniker of Garden Home road used to refer to the route of SW Broadway Drive to SW Patton Road to SW Shattuck Road to SW Oleson Road. We discovered this fact when we stumbled across a story about the 1903 Halloween fatal shooting of Adolph Burkhardt on “the Garden Home road” by Samuel Bauman. This story is the follow-up describing the details of slaying, the feud between two farmers that precipitated the killing, the mystery about where Adolph Burkhardt was killed, and the subsequent unusual capital murder trial proceedings.

Finding the story

University of Oregon newspaper archive

University of Oregon newspaper archive

While searching the University of Oregon’s archive of Oregon newspapers for stories about Garden Home, we stumbled upon the story of a 1903 Halloween slaying on “the Garden Home road”.

Sidenote: name spellings vary from article to article in the Oregonian. We use the spellings from the later articles: Baumann becomes Bauman, Haywood becomes Hayward.

Who, what, where and when

  • Illustration of parties involved

    Illustration of parties involved

    The victim: Adolph Burkhardt, shot in the lungs

  • The accused: Samuel Bauman, a farmer living on “the Garden Home road”
  • The accusation: Bauman shot Burkhardt with a .44 caliber rifle from 100 yards
  • Where: “the Garden Home road” near Bertha
  • When: just before midnight, Halloween, 1903
  • The witness: Harry Fuller (Burkhardt’s friend)
  • The backstory: a nasty feud between neighboring farmers, the Bauman and Hayward families (Burkhardt and Fuller were walking to visit the Hayward boys)

The feud

Bauman, the man who fired two rifle shots at Burkhardt and Fuller, had, it appears, been in constant trouble with the sons of H. D. Hayward, the farmer for whose house on the Garden Home road the young men were headed. Dogs had been killed by Bauman and by the Hayward boys in return.

– The Oregonian, describing the feud

The victim and the witness

Dead Man a Portlander

Dead Man a Portlander

Adolph Burkhardt was 20 years of age. Together with Harry Fuller, Burkhardt roomed at a stable at Union avenue and East Alder street (near the east end of the Morrison bridge), where Burkhardt worked as a team driver. Burkhardt’s brother married H. D. Hayward’s daughter. Fuller accompanied the night Burkhardt was shot and killed and was the only witness to the killing.


The Oregonian reported that Burkhardt was shot on “the Garden Home road” near Bertha. Fuller stated they left town at 8:00 PM (presumably he meant downtown Portland). Fuller stated they “went up the road from Corbett street, and walked slowly up the hill.” They reached the vicinity of the Hayward and Bauman properties three and a half  hours later, around 11:30 PM.

It appears that road on which Burkhardt was killed was neither today’s SW Garden Home Road nor the “other” Garden Home road found on maps of the era and referenced in various Oregonian articles and advertisements.

It is possible that the term “the Garden Home road” referred to either of the two main routes from downtown Portland to Garden Home, a relatively significant community and road hub at the time. In this case, the “Garden Home road” the Oregonian referred may have been the route of SW Terwilliger Blvd. to SW Capitol Hwy. to SW Garden Home Rd. The Bertha train depot was located near the junction of SW Bertha Blvd. and SW Capitol Hwy. Our best guess is that Burkhardt was killed on today’s SW Capitol Hwy near the intersection with SW Bertha Blvd. in Hillsdale. Alternatively, it is possible that Burkhardt was killed on SW Shattuck Rd. near the intersection with SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy.

Witness Fuller’s version

  • Fuller's version

    Fuller’s version

    Burkhardt and Fuller were firing a pistol “to celebrate Halloween” as they walked to Hayward’s property.

  • Fuller reported Bauman shot twice at them from 100 yards, the second shot striking the fleeing Burkhardt in the back and passing through his lungs.
  • Fuller later admitted to firing his pistol between Bauman’s two shots.
  • Burkhardt died on “the Garden Home road”. His last words were “I am shot. I’m going”.

Farmer Hayward’s version

  • Hayward's version

    Hayward’s version

    Hayward reported hearing 35 shots in the vicinity that night, 12 or 15 of which were rifle shots fired from the road.

  • …he went to Bauman’s house and called out: “You have shot a fellow.” Bauman answered: “I don’t care. You shot my dog.”

Mrs. Bauman’s version

Mrs. Bauman's version

Mrs. Bauman’s version

Shooting began all around us, and finally my husband said that they might be trying to kill our stock. He took the rifle and went out to the barn and fired twice into the brush. We didn’t know that he had hit anyone until Hayward came and called him.

The trial

  • Bauman on trial

    Bauman on trial

    If found guilty, Bauman was to be hanged.

  • Fuller claimed to recognize Bauman as the shooter in the dark, but failed to recognize Bauman in daylight the next day.
  • Fuller’s version of the events differed somewhat from his initial statements.
  • Jurors directly questioned witness Harry Fuller.
  • Jurors were incredulous when Fuller stated he carried Burkhardt toward Bauman, to within 10 feet, with intention of going to Hayward’s house.
  • Hayward’s character attacked for prior crimes (stealing a keg of whiskey, stealing a wagon load of corn, and theft of money)
  • Harry Fuller is the most consummate liar on Earth. He is utterly irresponsible, a hoodlum and a tough. H. D. Hayward is a jailbird and a deadbeat and was run out of Castle Rock. These things I will prove. On the say-so of such characters, the state expects to hang a man who is a hard-working farmer, honest and law-abiding, and a man of family.

The verdict

The jury in the Samuel Bauman murder case, which established the precedent of asking the trial Judge if the trial could not be brought to a conclusion because they thought enough evidence had been submitted on which to form a conclusion, also did another very unusual thing. To emphasize their verdict that they did not believe Bauman killed Adolph Burkhardt, the following additional clause was attached to it:

“The jury arrived at the above verdict (not guilty) owning to having a doubt as to whether or not Burkhardt was killed by the bullet from the gun of the defendant.”

Many persons who heard the evidence submitted at the trial express the opinion that Harry Fuller and H. B. Hayward did not tell all they knew concerning the events that occurred on the fatal night.

By Tom Shreve, October 2016

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4 Responses to 1903 Halloween night slaying on “the Garden Home road”

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