Marshfield, February 1902: Hinz versus Moody
A long-standing family feud turns bloody
By Kris Leonhardt
History is ripe with family feuds. Possibly the most notable of them all, between the Hatfields and McCoys, was a lawless and relentless battle filled with gun-toting vigilantes dead set on defending their blood.
The Marshfield area was the site of one such clash between neighboring households that began at the turn of the century, a conflict between the Moody and the Hinz families.
Trouble began when the Hinz family purchased the property on which the Moody family had been residing, sending the Moody family across the road to an unfinished residence. The move had come much sooner than the Moody family had planned, and they let their displeasure be known.
After nearly two years of bickering, things began to escalate when the oldest Hinz daughter threw pepper in the eyes of a Moody girl when she was not allowed to pass on the road.
Months later, on a Monday afternoon in February, two separate events would occur that would set the wheels in motion for a climax that neither family could have predicted.
Mr. Hinz and Mrs. Moody stood arguing in the road, and Mr. Moody came upon them and set to defending his wife.
Meanwhile, Hinz’s daughter was returning from school with the family dog when they were approached by the Moody family dog. The K-9s, much like their owners, were not very fond of each other, and a fight ensued between them.
As the Hinz girl ran home to get her brother, the parents were battling it out on the road. Alerted by his sister, the Hinz boy, just 20 years of age, ran out carrying his pistol.
The battle in the road escalated as the young Hinz boy became intertwined in the scuffle. Three shots rang out in the air.
Two bullets hit Mr. Moody. One pierced his side, and the other crashed through his chest and hit a rib. The third shot would hit Hinz’s own father, entering his forearm.
The two men were taken to separate doctors, and the young Hinz was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
While the two older men recovered from their wounds, the young Hinz boy was brought to trial. In May a jury declared him guilty, and Hinz was charged with a small fine.
Kris Leonhardt may be reached at [email protected]
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