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Ade Family Murder of 1897

Nashville Unsolved Murder Mystery from 1897


Copyright Jan Duke
© Jan Duke
It was on the night of March 23rd 1897 that the Nashville community of Paradise Ridge was shocked by the news of the death of the Ade family.

It was around 10 o'clock that night; that Justice Simpson was getting a drink of water, when he noticed the glow of fire about half a mile away toward the Ade house.

Riding over he found the house already collapsing from the flames, and the smokehouse and other outbuildings burning. He began working throwing meat from the smokehouse, and called for someone to come help him thinking the family was somewhere in the yard. When no one answered, he stopped and went to look for someone.

It was then he found the bodies in the house. He then rode around and notified nearby neighbors and soon a crowd gathered.

Authorities were notified, and the next morning they arrived to make an investigation. Dead were Jacob Ade, age 60, his wife Pauline, age 50, daughter Lizze- 20, son Henry -13 and Rosa Moirer- age 10 who was the daughter of nearby neighbor Henry Moirer.

Sheriff John D. Sharp and Deputy Sheriff Alex Bartheil investigated the scene the next day. Quickly it was determined that the family had been murdered.

This was deduced in part because of the condition of the body of Rosa Moirer. She was not as badly burned as the others and it was speculated that she escaped while the family was being killed, and was then caught, murdered, and her body thrown into the already burning house.

She was found with her arm thrown up over her head, the hand missing and a portion of the skull gone. Probably the same blow that split her skull cut off her hand.

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