Publish Date: 9/20/2012
September 20, 2012
MANSFIELD, PA— On September 4, 1897, around midnight, Effie Copley of Hills Creek was shot in the head four times on the bank of what is now part of the Mansfield University campus.
Effie’s estranged husband, Walter Goodwin of Charleston, was accused of murdering her. Walter claimed that it was his 14-year-old girlfriend, Gertrude Taylor of Gaines, who pulled the trigger.
Walter was tried and found guilty. He was hanged in Wellsboro in June, 1898. It was one of the last hangings in Tioga County. Walter professed his innocence until the very end.
There are still questions about the murder and about Effie’s baby who disappeared immediately after birth.
Brian Barden, great-nephew of Effie, will host The Who Murdered Effie Tour during the Fabulous 1890s Weekend. The trolley will travel through Mansfield and Mansfield University and stop at different points of interest, including the murder scene.
The tour will take place at 1:30 and 3 p.m. Saturday, September 29 starting from Smythe Park. Tickets are $10 and will be available beginning Friday, September 28 in the 1890s office on Smythe Park. Seating is limited to 20 persons per tour.
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