Google Alert finds another CUMPSTON – Myrtle Zelda CUMPSTON

Muscatine Journal

Image via Wikipedia

I have the name CUMPSTON as a google alert and every week it throws up the name for me across the world.  After nearly 15 years most of the links I recognise but this one was new:

It reads:  Myrtle Zelda Cumpston Homicide

Myrtle Zelda Cumpston 61 YOA Case # 6500401 Redfield, IA Dallas County March 9, 1965 Case summary by Nancy Bowers

At 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 9, 1965, Myrtle Zelda Cumpston, 61, was found dead at C & K Aqualand, her co-owned tropical fish aquarium business in rural Dallas County near Redfield. She was shot in the back of the head and 50 dollars was missing from the cash box. Her business partner and neighbor, Mrs. Robert King, found the body when she came to help open the business for the day. Myrtle was robbed and murdered sometime during the previous two hours. Myrtle’s 60-year-old husband Charles Cumpston, a former poultry farmer, left home at 8:00 a.m. to drive to Oskaloosa to examine farm animals. He was an inspector for the Animal Disease Eradication Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The two women and their husbands met 10 years before through a mutual interest in tropical fish and operated a company together out of the King home in West Des Moines. Because the business grew so rapidly, the Kings built a house a half-mile from the Cumpston residence in 1961. The day-to-day operation was conducted by the two women at the Cumpston farm, located on an unpaved road a quarter-mile east of Redfield, where the Cumpstons lived for 30 years. Dallas County Sheriff John T. Wright called in the Iowa Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which concluded the death was a robbery-murder. Because the in-home business was located in such a remote area, the murderer may have been familiar with the operation. That person might also have known the general banking habits of the owners, as Myrtle Cumpston and Mrs. King deposited the 700 dollar weekend receipts in Des Moines the day before.

The Life of Myrtle Cumpston  Courtesy

Myrtle Cumpston is buried in Dexter Cemetery in Dallas County. Myrtle Zelda Cumpston was born in 1904 in Webster County, Iowa, the only child of George Asa and Mamie C. Dickerson. She had three children — Dale L. Cumpston, Duane Cumpston, and Geneil Elaine Cumpston Mestad. Information Needed Questions and information about the unsolved 1965 murder of Myrtle Cumpston should be directed to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office at 515-993-4771, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Cold Case Unit, or Iowa Cold Cases through the Contact form. Sources: • “Probe Murder of Farm Wife in $50 Robbery,” Waterloo Daily Courier, March 12, 1965. • “Seek Clues In Slaying At Redfield,” Muscatine Journal, March 10, 1965. • “Woman Is Slain for $50 Loot,” Cedar Rapids Gazette, March 10, 1965. Tagged with: Dallas County • Myrtle Cumpston • Redfield

Please contact me if you recognise this family as I should like to add them to my website at


About mallerstang

Member of the Guild of One Name Studies researching the name CUMPSTON and its variants. You can see my website at I have a new study of the name LAXEN with its own blog at and a further research blog which is not registered as a one name study of KNAGGS of Flamborough
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2 Responses to Google Alert finds another CUMPSTON – Myrtle Zelda CUMPSTON

  1. Pingback: Sidney Dewayne Cumpston sudden death Burgettstown PA | cumpstonresearch

  2. Pingback: Cumpston website update | cumpstonresearch

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