Villisca Ax murder house museum operator dies


July 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Day tours of the famous Villisca Ax Murder House will not be held this week, so that the staff, family and friends of the museum’s operator can mourn his death. Darwin Linn owned the house where eight people were killed on June 10th, 1912. Linn died Friday. He’d purchased the home in 1994 and restored the building to its near original condition in 1912.

Joshua B. Moore, his wife Sarah, and their four children lived in the home nearly a century ago. The family and two neighbor girls who were staying with them were found bludgeoned to death with an ax. To this day, their deaths remain unresolved.

Darwin Linn also operated the Olson-Linn Museum in downtown, Villisca, which features pictures and artifacts about the town’s history. He offered tours of the museum and the Ax Murder House, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places, in 1998. He eventually opened the house to overnight stays.