2012 Cemetery Walk - Scandals, murders and Prohibition
The naked city has nothing on Winona. Along with the many notably historical people that are buried in Woodlawn there are also many with stories of intrigue, scandal, mystery and murder. The 2012 Winona Historical Society's Cemetery Walk presented the histories of several of these folks.
Verrazano Simpson (1832-1905) In May of 1873, Simpson was seen horsewhipping his wife, Ann, in broad daylight on Lafayette Street. The affair was reported in the newspaper. A storm of indignation swept over the city. Ann Simpson and Verrazano Simpson were divorced about a month later. Verrazano soon married Mary Dwyer. Mary died in 1876 at the age of 29 of consumption. Verrazano was about 15 years older than Mary. Verranzano was remarried to Josephine Harb about three years after Mary's death. Later, Verrazano was involved in the will dispute with his mother's estate by influencing his mother to deed her real estate to him for $150,000 in notes which would pay $500 per month for life. The courts saw in favor of Verranzano's mother. She was 91 at the time. Verranzano died in 1905, and after his death the family sued the government regarding estate taxes, the family lost the suit.
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