The Clock-Weight Murder, continued


Monroe Gresh’s grave in Saint Luke’s Lutheran Cemetery. Picture from

Last week, I put a lot of pressure on myself to find out what happened to Henry Moyer and Henry Sassaman who were indicted for killing Monroe Gresh.  If you missed last week’s article, you can find it here.

Moyer and Sassman were originally brought before the court in March, 1878. The grand jury indicted them for murder, manslaughter, assault and battery with intent to kill, and other minor charges. The trial was then continued to the June session of the court.

In June, the Herald ran a long article about trial the trial in June. By then, the prosecutors had dropped the murder charge.  On the second day of the trial, they dropped the manslaughter charge against both men, too.  Moyer plead guilty and Sassaman not guilty.  Both men then testified.

Moyer admitted to hitting Monroe Gresh with the clock-weight and described Gresh as “pugnacious.” Sassaman gave the same testimony, and both men brought witnesses that gave them excellent characters.

In the end, Moyer received one year and three months in jail, while Sassaman (who had kicked Gresh after he was down) received one year, with credit for time served.


The courthouse as it appeared in 1878.



  1. Hi Nancy,
    Another great post. Working on the Theodore Bean Diary 1871 & forward, I was wondering if there is anything in his 1878 diary about this trial. In 1871, he writes a lot of being “In Court”.
    Again, thank you for all you hard work. I appreciate it very much.
    Rita Thomas

  2. Nice research work, Nancy! I still say you could embellish an amazing novel out of this historical, factual information! Of course I guess one would have to be careful not to offend any descendants!
    Thank you for the info!

  3. I am very intrigued by this story! I will have to do some research, but I believe Henry Sassaman was the great uncle of my grandfather. We are having our 45th Sassaman-Wunsch family reunion on the 4th of July, and I plan to share this story with all of them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s