Notes for FREDERICK STANLEY VAN SISE:
Son of Nathaniel B and Annie Elizabeth (Treadwell) Van Sise.
Born: September 26, 1867 in Woodbury, Nassau County, Long Island, New York.
Died: April 2, 1890 in Plainedge, Long Island, New York.
Buried: Bethpage Cemetery, Farmingdale, Nassau County, New York.
Cause of Death: Killed in a bar brawl over politics (see below article).
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Thursday, April 3, 1890
A Little Light on the Plainview Tragedy, The Confederate of the Van Sises Making Conflicting: Statements-Judge Steincrt Discovers an Important Witness.
Facts as to the incidents leading up to the killing of Frederick Van Sise by Gunther Kiel in the latter's barroom at Plainedge, L. I., at an early hour yesterday morning, are almost as scarce today as they wore yesterday. Nathan Van Sise, father of the deceased, is still unable to give his version of the tragedy. He is watched by an officer. Kiel is able to talk, but his physicians refuse to let anyone see him, and the only statement he has made is that he acted in self defense. Kiel's condition was improved today, but who is by no means out of danger. Duryea, who was in the scrimmage and escaped with a slight wound, adheres to his story that Kiel began the row and shot Fred Van Sise for no cause at all. Kiel is known to be a man of violent temper when in liquor, but nevertheless he has maintained a good reputation during a forty-five years' residence in the place. The Van Sises wore fond of a fight.
The autopsy on the body of Fred Van Sise was made last night. The barrel of the gun must have been held close to his body when the shot was fired. The charge of duck shot went all the way through his body and his heart was shattered into pieces. Duryea says that when Van Sise throw up his hands and exclaimed, "Pop, I'm shot!" He was dead in a minute, falling behind the stove. Duryea says that Nathan Van Sise and Kiel had a struggle for possession of the gun, and that Van Sise got it and with one blow on the head knocked Kiel insensible, he falling near the body of the dead man. It was during the struggle that Van Sise's leg was broken, but he fought on. Judge Steinert, who is assisting Coroner Cooley, has found an important witness, whose statement is said to be sufficient to show that Kiel acted in self defense. The name of the witness is withheld. He states that the Van Sises and Duryea were pretty drunk, and after being in the hotel a while they began to dispute with Kiel about politics. They were supporters of Scudder V. Whitney for supervisor, and Kiel was friendly to George W. Downing. Words ran high and the three Whitney men abused Kiel roundly and threatened to turn his barroom into a mass of ruins more than once. Kiel had no license, and the men taunted him with being a law breaker. Kiel was waiting for his son to return from Farmingdale, where he was serving as an inspector of election, before closing his place, but when the hour of midnight arrived and the young man was still absent, Kiel began to close up and ordered the Van Sises and Duryea to leave. They demanded "night caps," and, when Kiel refused them liquor, one or both of the Van Sises drew knives and threatened to carve Kiel if he did not set up a bottle of whisky for their satisfaction. Duryea had a heavy stick in his hand. The spectator, seeing that there was to be trouble, stepped quickly out of the barroom and ran home.
What transpired afterward cannot be ascertained at this time, as Duryea is clearly not telling the truth. In all probability an attack was made on Kiel. His frightful injuries, apparently from knives and sticks, indicate that they must have been inflicted to an extent before he began shooting, for after young Van Sise fell dead, shot through the heart, Kiel had things his own way with the elder Van Sise, Duryea having run out into the yard. Kiel's head is pounded to a jelly, his face is cut and bruised and his hands lacerated. Duryea could not be induced to explain how it was that he himself escaped without serious injury while the older Van Sise had his head stove in and his leg bro ken. Duryea says that when Kiel returned to the barroom old Van Sise rallied and attacked him with the barrel of the gun, knocking him senseless and raining blows on his head until he (Van Sise) fell to the floor exhausted and unconscious. If Van Sise's strength had lasted he must have killed Kiel then and there. Duryea did not interfere.
Cooley has completed arrangements for the inquest on Tuesday. Comment is made on the selection of a jury of Germans, and the Van Sise sympathizers fear that favor will be shown Kiel. No warrants have been issued and Duryea is at large on parole.