The Gilded Age Plains City

The Great Sheedy Murder Trial and the Booster Ethos of Lincoln, Nebraska


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Spatial Narratives

Interpretation and Narrative

Andrew (Harry) Walstrom

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Andrew Walstrom, known as Harry Walstrom, met Mary Sheedy in August of 1890 while he was being treated at the medical facility in Buffalo, New York. He lived in Birmingham, Alabama, but sometime in September or October of that same year, decided to move to Nebraska. In November he arrived in Lincoln and briefly moved into the Windsor Hotel (Figure 1) (Figure 2) (Figure 3) with John Klausner, a friend of the Sheedys. The Windsor was located on the southeast corner of Eleventh and Q streets in the vicinity of Lincoln's Uptown district, the area known for its abundance of entertainment businesses.

Walstrom and Klausner soon moved into an apartment, Room 11, in the new Heater Block at the corner of Fifteenth and O streets. It was to this apartment that Walstrom's roommate would allegedly carry notes and gifts, such as food, undershirts, and ties, to him from Mary Sheedy. These gifts were later used by prosecuting attorneys to prove that Mary Sheedy was having an affair, and thus had a motive to murder her husband.

After Monday McFarland confessed, implicating Mary Sheedy and Walstrom in John Sheedy's death, police arrested Walstrom and held him under guard at the Capital Hotel (Figure 4) before taking him to the city jail on the corner of Tenth and Q streets. Police judge William Houston dropped the charges against Walstrom and discharged him on January 31, 1891.

McFarland, Monday [Narrative] [Brief Biography]
Sheedy, John [Narrative] [Brief Biography]
Sheedy, Mary [Narrative] [Brief Biography]

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Directed by Timothy R. Mahoney, Plains Humanities Alliance, in collaboration with the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities.
Funded by the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, the Nebraska Humanities Council, and the Plains Humanities Alliance.
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