Galena, Kansas was founded as a lead mining camp in the late 1870s, and it was a wild and rowdy place during its early days. Several notorious incidents happened in the vicinity during the late 1800s, a couple of which I've already mentioned in previous posts. Perhaps the one that is most famous (or infamous) locally, however, is the murder (or murders) committed by the Staffelbach family in 1897. The Staffelbach home sat near present-day West 7th Street in Galena, and the family consisted of the mother and several grown sons, all of whom were shady characters. The old lady ran a house of ill fame out of her home, and the boys were in and out of trouble for a number of petty crimes. In the summer of 1897, they graduated to murder when two of the sons killed a gentleman caller who came to the house one night in the wee hours of the morning and insisted a bit too strongly upon seeing one of the female occupants of the house. The body was dumped in an abandoned mine shaft not far off 7th Street. After the body was discovered, the Staffelbachs were quickly suspected of the crime, and soon the whole gang was rounded up. At their preliminary hearing and trial, several other crimes came to light of which they were suspected, but they were tried only for the death of the gentleman caller. That was enough. The whole family, including the old lady, were convicted on various counts and given sentences of varying severity. The two sons who had actually commited the deed were given the death sentence but later had the penalty commuted to life imprisonment.