Cow Quarrel Leads to Murder


Details Regarding a Murder at La Crosse — The Criminal at Large.

LA CROSSE, Wis., Oct. 7. — The brutal crime committed in this city yesterday morning when James Kelly struck Patrick Kennedy with a potato digger and killed him creates great excitement in this city. The trouble arose regarding the trespass of some cattle, it being said that Mr. Kennedy objected to allowing the cows of Mr. Kelly to run in his meadow. To settle the matter Mr. Kennedy had gone to see Kelly. He found him digging potatoes and commenced the talk without getting over the fence. Kelly must have approached quite near, and without any warning as to who he intended doing, suddenly struck the old gentleman with the digger, one prong of which penetrated the skull. James Kelly, the murderer is about forty-five years of age. He came here with his family to live about three years ago and hailed from Fond du Lac. He is about five feet, ten inches high, well built, rather sandy complexioned, had an Irish accent and dressed in very common working clothes. Patrick Kennedy the murdered man came to this city nearly thirty years ago. He was seventy years of age and resided with his wife. He had amassed quite a fortune in various ways. The murderer escaped after he committed the brutal act, and parties are scouring the country for the purpose of finding him.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Oct 7,  1885

James Kelly Pleads Guilty in the Third Degree.

LA CROSSE, Wis., Nov. 19. — James Kelly, the murderer of Patrick Kennedy has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the third degree. The district attorney was of the opinion that a jury would not convict of a more serious offense. He thought Kelly’s story that Kennedy provoked a quarrel with him, and then struck him with a cane, would be believed, and nobody thinks Kelly intended to kill the old man when he struck him.

Oshkosh Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Nov 19,  1885

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