"History never looks like history,

when you are living through it."

John W. Gardner (1933-1982)

Murder 1884

In 1884, a widowed mother, who lived in Hamilton Ohio, traveled to Darrtown to visit her son and his family. After arriving in Darrtown, she walked 2 ½ miles to her son’s farm, west of Darrtown. She was never seen again. Read about Catherine Schneider’s disappearance and the subsequent trial that ended with her son becoming the last man in Butler County Ohio to be sentenced, by a jury, to hang for his crime.

“Where’s Your Mother, George?”

is the title of a novella that reveals this tale of murder.

Links to Darrtown History Pages:


Introduction/overview - Purpose of this history section

Maps - See location of Darrtown & historical maps

Early History - The first half-century of Darrtown history.

Historic Time Line - Associating world and local events

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Historic Sites - See location of local historical sites

Folklore, anecdotes and trivia - Stories told thru the ages

Railroad plans verified - Proof that a railroad was planned

German heritage - Achtung! Sprechen sie Deutsch?

Unwritten history - Rectifying an overlooked story

The Unknowns - Answers needed!

Darrtown doctors - Who were Darrtown's physicians?

Lanes Mill - One of Darrtown's earliest businesses

Four Mile Valley Railroad - Plans and route revealed

Darrtown Family Tree - Darrtown's pioneer families listed

Murder-1865 - Murder times two

Murder-1884 - "Where's your mother, George?"

Bus Line - "Next stop...Darrtown!"

Overview of the george schneider murder case

The story of a murder near Darrtown in 1884 and the subsequent trial of George Schneider was unknown to this website, until November of 2015.


As indicated by the following graphic, several individuals helped bring this story to the Darrtown website.


Additionally, the book titled, "Where's Your Mother, George?" is central to the information that appears here.


Below the following graphic, you will find:

  1. A synopsis of the story about the George Schneider murder case.
  2. Information about the Darrtown connections to this story.
  3. Information about the author and how you may purchase a copy of "Where's Your Mother, George?"
and then.... Imagine... one of your loved ones is missing for five weeks.
the awful truth comes out...  "Everyone in the Schneider family presumed that the widow matriarch, Catherine, was staying with her favorite son, George, on his remote Ohio farm. When George, his wife, Margaret, and their seven children showed up to a family dinner without her, suspicions ran high. No one could believe the story he told about a pair of highway bandits and a shallow grave. George said that he was taking his mother to a train in the fall of 1883, when they were overcome by two robbers at the end of the lane, at the edge of his farm. In the course of the robbery, he claimed, the robbers killed his mother, and buried her in a ravine on George’s property. He fetched a shovel for them. George said they threatened his family, so he kept quiet about it for five long weeks. This novelette-length story details the unraveling of George’s story and the terrible price he paid for his rage."


This synopsis

 of "Where's Your Mother, George?"

was taken from the back cover of the novella.

Acknowledging the author

Richard O Jones, of Hamilton, Ohio wrote the novella titled "Where's Your Mother, George?" His telling of the 1884 murder that occurred about two and one-half miles west of Darrtown and the trial that followed is the genesis for this web page.


 Richard O Jones explains that he intentionally does not use a dot after his middle initial. Other than that, Mr. Jones gives ample attention to detail - especially when retelling stories about murderous misdeeds.


Information about how to buy "Where's Your Mother, George?" appears at the bottom of the column at the right.

The True Crime Historian website is hosted by Richard O Jones. It provides a comprehensive history of murder in and around Hamilton, Ohio. Several hundred vodcasts are included. Click the following link to access the TrueCrimeHistorian website.

Darrtown Connections to the Schneider Murder Case What we learned, from reading "Where's Your Mother, George?" darrtown area: Pg. 3: Catherine Schneider, the victim in this 1884 murder tale, was a 74 year-old widow, who lived in Hamilton, Ohio. She was the mother of two sons, George Schneider and Henry Schneider and one daughter, Mary (Schneider) Betz. Pg. 3: On the afternoon of October 31, 1884, on a quest to visit her son George and his family at George's farm near Darrtown, Catherine rode in a horse-drawn buggy, driven by Henry's wife, Gretchen, from Catherine's residence to Darrtown. Pg. 3: Gretchen dropped off her mother-in-law at the road which led from Darrtown to George's farm. Catherine Schneider, carrying a basket that may have contained valuables, "walked the rest of the way, about two and a half miles west of the village." Pg. 3: The road that led from Darrtown to George's farm is described as being a "bad, broken road, in a remote area of Butler County." A creek bank ran along George's property and his house was located "another 200 yards or so, off the road, on an even rougher lane." Pg. 4: After finishing dinner with George and his family, Catherine "wanted to go to McGonigal Station, about two miles away." From there, she would ride the traction (railroad) back to Hamilton. Pg. 8: George Schneider's farm is described as land that was formerly known as "the Peter Winson farm, west of Darrtown..." darrtown People: Pg. 4: On Friday, December 5, 1884, after suspicions of family members focused on George Schneider, Henry Schneider, (George's brother), and Henry's brother-in-law, Jacob Betz went to George's farm and confronted him. After George told them his explanation of his mother's death, the two men traveled to Darrtown to relay George's story to the Darrtown constable, John Bunce. Pg. 4: Constable Bunce and his assistant, Robert Carnahan enlisted the help of local farmer, John Mee, as they prepared to visit George Schneider at his residence and investigate the reported death of his mother. Pg. 6: Eventually, the burial site was located and the body of Catherine Schneider was exhumed "under the direction of Dr. h. e. twitchell, one of Darrtown's two practicing physicians." Pg. 6: George Bowman, a farmer who lived nearby "helped dig up the body."

Reviewing Catherine Schneider's intended route

On the day of her disappearance, October 31, 1884, Catherine Schneider rode in a horse-drawn buggy, from her residence in Hamilton (Ohio) [1] to Darrtown (Ohio) [2]. She then walked about two and one half miles to the residence of her son, George [3]. She planned to have George deliver her to McGonigle Station (Ohio) [4] where she would ride a traction car back to her home in Hamilton. We now know that Catherine Schneider did not live to complete her planned trip.


NOTE: The map image (above) is a section of an 1875 Butler Couny map.

Locating George Schneider's farm

The location of George Schneider's farm is not specified in the novella, "Where's Your Mother, George?" However, the farm's location has been deduced by considering the following facts reported in the novella.


  • Shollenbarger Road had to have been the road that Catherine Schneider walked, after being dropped off in Darrtown - as it is the only road that leads west from Darrtown and winds up two and one-half miles later, near a creekside. (NOTE: On December 2, 2015, Rick Martin, a Darrtown resident, drove from the beginning of Shollenbarger Road in Darrtown to the believed location of the Schneider farm on Lanes Mill Road and reported that the distance measured 2.4 miles.)
  • In the novella, the distance between the Schneider farm and the McGonigle Station railroad stop is reported to be approximately two miles - which is also factual.


The following image illustrates the findings that are presented above.




The contention that the George Schneider farm was located on Lanes Mill Road (site #2 in the above image) was bolstered on December 2, 2015, when Rick Martin shared the following anecdote.


Rick Martin shared a memory from his boyhood about riding in a car with his father and Luther McVicker, along Lanes Mill Road.


Just south of the bridge over Four Mile Creek, Luther pointed out a gravel lane on the east side of the road and remarked the last man ever sentenced by a Butler County jury to hang until dead had lived back that driveway.


George Schneider was the last man sentenced to hang by a jury in Butler County, Ohio.


South North




Rick Martin provided this hand-drawn map to clarify his account of Luther's story.



On February 18, 2019, Marvin Russell submitted the following information about a book that devotes two pages to the Schneider murder of 1864. Authored by Kerry Seagrave and printed in 2009, the book is titled "Parracide in the United States, 1840-1899,"


Images of the book cover and the text from the two pages appear below.


The book is available for purchase at: https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/Parricide-in-the-United-States-1840-1899/

WEBMASTER NOTE - 02/18/2019: Marvin Russell pointed out that the above resource cites two different ages for George Schneider. The opening sentence lists George as being age 40. The final sentence lists him as age 33. More research needed...

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