Contributed by klstacy_home
Description: Montana Minister Killed by WomanDate: October 28 1922
Newspaper published in: Union, SC
Page/Column: Page 1, Column 7
MONTANA MINISTER KILLED BY WOMAN
Havre, Montana, Oct. 28.—Temporary insanity on the part of Mrs. Marguerite Carleton is blamed for the death of Mrs. Carleton and Rev. Leonard J. Christler. Dr. D. S. Mackenzie called by the rector's wife says he found a pistol in Mrs. Carleton’s hand. No inquest will be held unless it is demanded.
Havre, Mont., Oct. 27.—Mystery surrounding the ownership of the revolver with which the Rev. Leonard Jacob Christler, widely known in the West as “the bishop of all outdoors," and Mrs. Marguerite Carleton, wife of a former Montana district judge, are believed to have been killed in the Christler home early today, was engaging the attention of the police tonight.
Mrs. Carleton is known to have owned a revolver of smaller caliber.
The double killing occurred, according to Mrs. Christler, as Dr. Christler was accompanying Mrs. Carleton to the entrance of his home, after a visit made there late last night by Mrs. Carleton.
Mrs. Christler said Dr. Christler closed the door between the room in which the minister, Mrs. Carleton and Mrs. Christler had been sitting and a small hall. A moment later, she said, two shots were heard and she opened the door finding the two bodies. Mrs. Charleton's body had fallen across that of the clergyman. Mrs. Christler expressed the opinion that Mrs. Carleton had killed the minister and then committed suicide.
The Rev. Mr. Christler, who was rector of St. Mark's Church of the Incarnation here, gained his title of “bishop of all outdoors" by his travel over the state in his capacity as clergyman.
Mrs. Christler is the daughter of the late David Wadsworth, wealthy manufacturer of Auburn, N. Y., and is a niece of United States Senator J. W. Wadsworth, Jr., of New York. The Rev. and Mrs. Christler were married in 1914. The minister was one of the picturesque figures in Montana churchdom. He stood six feet one inch in his stocking feet, was built in proportion and had a mass of brown curly hair. His oratory carried beyond the pulpit and as a member of the Montana legislature his frequent flights brought him the title in Western newspapers of the “orator magnificent."
Covering a church area of several hundred square miles, from the Canadian border south to the Missouri River, which in Montana flows and west to east, he frequently traveled over a part of the country which has retained much of its rugged frontier aspects.
Speaking often in the open and hiking across country in leggins and khaki in pursuit of funds for the construction of a church edifice he came to be known as "the bishop of all outdoors," for he claimed when on such financial errands that his parish territory was limited only by his ability to obtain transportation.
Much local notoriety resulted from an extensive argument which he conducted with the head of one of the railroad companies of the West over freight rates charged on material used in the construction of his imposing church structure at Havre. It appeared that he had much of the material shipped under the name of another commodity which had a cheaper rate and in his argument with the railroad officials he quoted the Bible freely to show that building stone, electrical equipment and other building material, when used in the construction of a church, were not such as are commonly classified as building materials on which interstate commerce regulations fixed a higher rate. Finally, winning the railroad president over to his views and getting the lower rate established he prevailed on the railroad man to make a personal contribution of a sum which completely offset the freight charges.
Mrs. Carleton, wife of a former district judge in Montana, was regarded as one of the prettiest women in Montana. She was of miniature size, being scarcely more than five feet in height. She was a member of Mr. Christler's congregation and herself a public speaker. For a number of years she had been engaged in chautauqua work.