In the summer of 1896, Elva Zona Heaster met her future husband, Erasmus Stribbling Shue.
Erasmus, who everyone called Trout, had just moved to the tiny village of Livesay's Mill in Greenbrier County in West Virginia and was working at a local blacksmith shop.
Zona, the daughter of a local farmer, was immediately smitten with this tall, fit, mysterious stranger.
They married just a few months after their first meeting. By all accounts, they seemed to have a happy union.
That is, until Zona was found dead on their kitchen floor.
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On the morning of January 23, 1897, Trout went to his neighbour's house. He asked his black neighbour Martha Jones, who everyone in the village called Aunt Martha, whether her 11-year-old son Anderson could go to his house to do some chores and check on Zona who he said was feeling unwell.
According to the Washington Post, when Anderson arrived at the property, he found Zona's lifeless body sprawled across the kitchen floor.
Despite his young age, Anderson knew the danger of being black in the United States at the time and he was concerned the crime would be pinned on him. So he ran home and told Aunt Martha what he saw.
Aunt Martha told Trout, and he left work immediately and travelled home.
By the time the local doctor, Dr JM Knapp, arrived at the house, Trout had already prepared Zona's body for her funeral. This was considered unusual, as it was a Victorian custom for a female family member or friend to prepare the body.
While Dr Knapp tried to examine Zona's body to determine the cause of her untimely death, Trout wept and wailed and clung to his wife's limp body.
In the end, Dr Knapp gave up and just listed the cause of death as "everlasting faint", which is what the Victorians called a common heart attack.
A few days later, Zona's wake was held at her mother's house. Though his wife was laid out in an open casket, Trout wouldn't let anyone near her head. He fussed around the casket the entire time, adding a scarf to her neck and a veil to her head. Then he propped her head up with pillows.