Tillie Ziegler

By Patrick Kavanagh
History of Women in Forest Lawn Lawn Cemetery

Section 39, Lot 564 (No Marker)
Date of Death: 3/29/1889

Ms. Ziegler came to Buffalo from Philadelphia, PA with William Kemmler.

While they were residing at 526 South Division Street, in Buffalo, Kemmler, who was known for being hot headed, went into a drunken rage and struck Ms. Ziegler 26 times in the head with a hatchet. After several hours, Ms. Ziegler died at the Fitch hospital.

Kemmler readily admitted to the crime saying, "I struck her with a hatchet. I wanted to kill her, and the sooner I am to hang for it, the better." Little did Kemmler know he would not be let off so easily.

On August 6, 1890, at Auburn Prison in Auburn, New York, Kemmler was the first person to be electrocuted in the United States. It took three jolts to kill Kemmler. The entire world was outraged at this method of termination.

The murder of Tillie Ziegler, here in Buffalo, resulted in the first electrocution in the United States.

See also Alfred P Southwich, the Buffalo inventor of the electric chair

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