Sex, infidelity, greed, scandal, cowardice, love triangle, insanity, murder....
In the prosperous, bustling river town of New Albany life was pretty good for Professor Ira G. Strunk. A professor of penmanship, he came to town after graduating from the University of Kentucky. Ira arrived in 1872, being assigned as principal of the New Albany Business College. Within 2 years, along with a partner, he owned the school.
Then Ira met, wooed, and wed Myra Sullivan. Her parents, William and Jane Sullivan, operated a successful grocery. Myra was an only child, described as being endowed with charm and intelligence. She had a talent and love of music. She had the best musical education that was available at the time. She had also had the eye of many young men in the City. Ira landed a keeper.
The newlyweds took up residence at the Sullivan home, northwest corner of E. 5th St. and Main St. Ira worked long hours at the school, was an officer of a Building and Loan Association, helped the Republican Central Committee run campaigns, worked to promote the Odd Fellows Lodge, and made regular trips to Florida (alone) dabbling in real estate. Ira and Myra were blessed with two daughters born respectively in 1877 and 1879.
This was a prosperous, popular, and influential family. Even by 2005 standards, these folks were movers and shakers. It's hard to imagine a more idyllic life.
In addition to raising two children, Myra found time to put her musical skills to work as the organist for her church. Undoubtedly, she spent time there practicing with the church choir. The choir director was Charles V. Hoover. The Hoover and Sullivan families were close friends and neighbors - and had been long before Ira came to town.
Charles was the son of Dr. Charles L. Hoover, who operated and owned the Hoover Drug Store. It was a successful business. Charles V. was a traveling salesman for the store. When he was not traveling, he was obligated to work at the store. On such days, he and his father, Dr. Hoover, would often walk to their home on Market Street for lunch.
Again, the only thing notable is the nearly script like lives being lived by the Hoover, Sullivan, and Strunk families. But the plot takes a little twist in this script. On a hot summer day in 1886, at about 11:30am, there will be two pools of blood on Market Street.
Charles Hoover will watch helplessly as his father, Dr. Hoover, is shot. Then Charles' skull will be shattered by crushing blows and he will be shot twice at point blank range. Murder on Market Street.
Who was the murderer? What events led to this bloody lunchtime special on Market Street? Look for more installments later this week.