Archive for the ‘Bloody Murder Monday’ Category

A White Cap Swings…but Lives

October 18, 2010

Will Purvis was mentioned in my Colonel Jones Stewart Hamilton: The Train and the Tragedies post, although the finer details were a bit mixed up. The victim was Will Buckley, not someone named McDonald.

A White Cap to Hang.

Jackson, Miss., January 1. — (Special.) — the supreme court today affirmed the death sentence of the circuit court of Marion count vs. Will Purvis, the young white man convicted of murdering Buckley. Purvis, it will be remembered, was a white cap and killed Buckley, who had been a witness before the grand jury against the outlaws. He belongs to a large family. Every effort has been made to save him. The execution has been ordered for February 2d.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jan 2, 1894

SAVED BY THE CROWD

Purvis Drops, the Rope Breaks, but His Neck Does Not.

THEN THE PEOPLE INTERFERE

Sheriff Magee Is Begged to Spare the Condemned Man.

A POLL IS TAKEN OF THOSE PRESENT

They Shout That  They Will Stand by the Sheriff, Who Takes His Prisoner Back to Jail.

New Orleans, February 7. — (Special.) — Will Purvis’s neck was saved today at Columbus, Miss., not by executive clemency, but as Rev. J.G. Sibley, a Methodist minister, explained it, by a divine intervention of providence. As soon as the trap fell Purvis, instead of being hurled into eternity, was precipitated to the ground. The noose had let loose and Purvis’s neck instead of being broken was only slightly abrazed by the rope.

He fell on his back and remained perfectly still for a few moments. The Constitution’s correspondent was the first to reach him, and leaning over to discover if he had been frightened to death, called to Purvis, “Are you hurt?”

From beneath his black cap Purvis replied:
“For God’s sake get me out of this.”

Others came up and Sheriff Magee made ready to conduct Purvis back to the scaffold for a second attempt. There were four of the board of supervisors present and they called the sheriff into the courthouse for a conference. They advised that in the face of Purvis having so stoutly protested his innocence and of his having made a partial confession of what he had known of the Buckley murder, that all these facts be laid before the governor and that further proceedings be postponed to await orders from the governor.

Sheriff Magee said that he would willingly accede to such a proposition, but his orders were imperative. He recognized the authority of the supervisors but they had no jurisdiction over a matter of this nature. Purvis’s statement contained this admission of his belonging to the white cap organization and the iron-clad oaths that  each member was compelled to take and the severe punishment by death if the orders of the organization were not observed.

Clergymen Crowd Around.

It also contained the names of a large number of the active members who have terrorized this county for some time past. These parties will be arrested and brought to trial. It was on the importance that would be attached to such a statement that the sheriff would be excusable for disobeying the mandate of the supreme court that Purvis must hang. Prominent citizens and clergymen crowded around the sheriff and sought to interfere with or blink his merciful promptings.

It was a most awful moment for Mr. Magee. Finally he agreed to a proposition made by one of the pleaders — Rev. Mr. Sibley, of the Columbia Methodist church. Gathered around the scene of the expected execution were over 1000 spectators from every section of Marion county. They made up the community that had been outraged by the murder of young Buckley. He went out and laid before them everything in connection with the unfortunate man’s last moments from the time that the party left Lumberton on Tuesday morning, where all telegraphic communication had been cut off; told the people of hte confession that Purvis had made and informed them of his persistence in denying that he took Buckley’s lfe and his maintenance of he same in his last moments.

Polling the Crowd.

The minister then called out for a popular verdict to decide whether further proceedings be delayed until Governor Stone could be heard from. The party again repaired to the gallows and in a most pathetic and soul-stirring address, Rev. Mr. Sibley laid the above case before the populace. In the immense assemblage, black and white, not one dissenting voice was raised. There was lusty cheering for the miraculous interposition that had saved the life of the boy whom every one in that great gathering now evidently believed to be guiltless.

A most unheard-of and unprecedented proceeding had become a matter of record.

Dr. Sibley then informed the crowd that for his action Sheriff Magee had rendered himself liable to indictment and impeachment. He would, therefore, ask if the people would stand by him should action be taken against him.

Pledging Support to the Sheriff.

“We will, we will, to our last dollar. He has saved the life of an innocent boy,” were the answers shouted back to him.

The guards and those on the platform crowded around Purvis to embrace and congratulate him. The lad sat in stupified amazement as if trying to make out all that was going on. When he was fiannly made to realize what had been done, he sobbed convulsively and said:

“I asked a merciful God to spare me, an innocent boy, and He did. May He be praised.”

His cousins, who had remained in the background, came forward and with him wept for joy. Sheriff Magee said that he would keep Purvis under a guard at the courthouse tonight and would set out for Lumberton with the prisoner in the morning. He would then wire Governor Stone of the proceedings. Thence h will take Purvis back to Meridian, Miss., there place him in jail again, subject to the governor’s orders. He felt confident that when the matter was placed before Governor Stone fully and properly, that he would approve of the course that he had pursued.

The Journey to the Gallows.

Purvis was taken from his cell at Meridian on Tuesday morning. He was placed aboard a New Orleans and Northeastern train and taken over one hundred miles south to Lumbertown. There the sheriff and party, among whom was The Constitution’s correspondent, disembarked and were met by an armed body of about sixty deputies. This guard was deemed necessary for there had been whisperings about some probable attempt to rescue Purvis by the white caps on the road to Columbia, the point of destination. To reach this place thirty-two miles of pine forest road had to be traveled, either on stage or on horseback, and the journey was made without incident or accident. Purvis was placed in the courthouse under guard. He passed a sleepless night, praying and singing with the clergymen who came to visit him. But he steadfastly professed his innocence of the Buckley murder. He acknowledged, however, being a white cap, and gave the names of parties prominently connected with them. He was shaved and furnished a new suit of clothes, and after being bidden farewell by a few of his cousins, who had come to visit him, he was led to the gallows. There he maintained his innocence up the the very last. Teh drop fell at 12:37 o’clock.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Feb 8, 1894

AT HIS OWN HOME.

His Parents Receive Him as One Risen from the Dead.

Purvis, Miss., February 9. — M.J. McLelland, deputy sheriff, passed through here this evening with Will Purvis, the young white cap. Various opinions are expressed as to Purvis’s escape from death, the story of which was published by no paper east of the Mississippi river except The Constitution. In New Orleans The Picayne was the only paper which published the story, all the other papers announcing that Purvis was hanged.

Some think that the rope was left untied on purpose for him to escape death; others think that is was a clear case of carelessness on the part of the sheriff; others, still more superstitious, think it a special act of providence to save his life in order that more facts in the case might be developed in the future.

Believed to Be Innocent.

Purvis was being carried to Hattiesburg for safe keeping until the sheriff could obtain official information in regard to his disposal. There has been a radical change in the minds of the people in regard to his guilt since the attempt at his execution on last Wednesday. It is believed now by nearly every one that he is an innocent man and that the real murderer of Will Buckley is still at large. When the deputy sheriff arrived here with him this evening the people, in order to get a glimpse of the young man who had escaped death so miraculously, crowded the waiting room almost to suffocation. He was brought from Columbia, a distance of thirty-two miles, today, and allowed to stop at his father’s house, which is on the road. His parents received him almost as one who had arisen from the dead. The prisoner was in fine spirits, looked fat and fine and was well dressed, having on the same suit in which he was dressed when he mounted the scaffold expecting to die.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Feb 10, 1894

OLD MAN PURVIS SUSPECTED.

His Son Went to the Scaffold Rather Than Tell.

Jackson, Miss., February 17. — (Special) — Reports from Marion county tend to confirm the suggestion that Ike Purvis, father of Will Purvis, fired the shot that killed Will Buckley and that Will Purvis, while denying that he committed the crime, refuses to tell who did it in order to shield his father. It is said the conduct of Ike Purvis is highly suspicious.

BUCKLEY HAS A DOUBT.

He Concedes That Will Purvis May Not Be the Assassin.

Meridian, Miss., February 17. — (Special.) — Since the terrible ordeal through which Will Purvis passed last Wednesday, February 14th, Jim Buckley, the brother of Will Buckley, who was shot from ambush, has been heard to say: “That he possibly was mistaken in saying that Will Purvis was the murderer.” Buckley was present when the shooting was done.

This rumor reached the ears of the district attorney, James H. Neville, this afternoon, for the first time, and he immediately wrote to Jim Buckley to know if the assertion was true. If Buckley claims that he was mistaken in recognizing Will Purvis as the slayer of his brother, then Purvis will be given a new trial at least.

Purvis is at present incarcerated in the new jail at Hattiesburg.

He talks freely about his narrow and miraculous escape from hanging. Hundreds of people from a distance have been to see the “boy wonder” through mere curiosity.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Feb 18, 1894

NOT RESENTENCED.

The Supreme Court Has No Jurisdiction in the Purvis Case.

Jackson, Miss., February 19. — (Special.) — The supreme court has denied the motion of the attorney general to resentence Will Purvis the whitecap, who escaped the death noose by the bungling job of Sheriff Magee in Marion county. The supreme court stated that it had nothing whatever to do with the case, and that it was a matter of the circuit court. Purvis cannot be resentenced until the June term of the circuit court at Columbia unless Judge Terrell shall sooner call a special term of court for that purpose.

The impression grows stronger every day that while Will Purvis was present when Buckley was assassinated, his father, Ike Purvis, did the killing, and that the whitecaps cast lots as to who should do the bloody work. It is reported that Will Purvis has made a fuller confession than has been published and that a great many more people are implicated as whitecaps in Marion county than the public had supposed. Will Purvis is in jail at Hattiesburg.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Feb 20, 1894

PRODUCE HIS BODY.

Will Purvis Must Go Before the Court Again for Sentence.

Meridian, Miss., March 1. — (Special.) — District Attorney James H. Neville made application today to Judge Terrell, asking for a writ of habeas corpus returnable in June next to have the body of Will Purvis produced in the next term of the circuit court of Marion county, there to again receive the sentence of death. A writ of habeas corpus will be sued out by Colonel Hopgood, the train burglar and murderer lawyer, before Chancellor Houston at Purvis tomorrow. Hopgood has a number of friends in Marion county who are quite wealthy and will sign his bond for any amount.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Mar 2, 1894

EXPECTS TO GO CLEAR.

Will Purvis Thinks Some One Else Will Be Convicted.

Meridian, Miss., April 12. — (Special.) — Just an hour before the unsuccessful attempt to execute Will Purvis at Columbus, Miss., on the 7th of last February, a confession was made by him of a conspiracy to kill Will Buckley, but he (Purvis) denied having anything to do with the killing, and gave your correspondent the names of the conspirators.

The sheriff yesterday arrested six of the band, two of whom were in Texas. A requisition was furnished by Governor Hogg and the men were immediately brought to Purvis station, where they will be tried Monday next. It is claimed that the lawless element of Marion county will be considerably shaken up at this trial of white caps. The leader, Houston Bourin, is a well-known man, in good circumstances, while the rest of the outlaws are tenants on his large plantation. The Constitution’s correspondent was in Hattiesburg, Perry county, yesterday, and called at the jail to interview Will Purvis. Purvis says that he has not doubt that at the trial of the other white caps enough edivence will be adduced to show him to be innocent of the assassination of Will Buckley.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 13, 1894

A WHITECAP CONFESSES.

He Described a Midnight Murder and Defends Purvis.

Hattiesburg, Miss., April 24. — (Special.) — Deputy Sheriff McLelland, of Purvis, came here last night with J.D. Watts, whom he arrested a few days ago in Marion county. Watts is charged with killing Jessie Pittman about two years ago in Marion county, which cause the disturbances among the white caps and finally led up the the killing of Will Buckley, with which Purvis is charged.

In an interview today with Watts, who nothing more than an ignorant boy, he said:

“I joined the white caps about two years ago, or just before Pittman was killed. I was persuaded to join by Dr. Joel Goss, of Columbia. The doctor is a minister of the gospel. He told me I ought to belong to the white caps, that it was a benevolent organization and the object and principles were to help each other in sickness or distress. I finally consented to become a member and the doctor administered the white cap’s oath. The oath was that I would obey my orders issued by my leader and if I should ever fail to do so or divulge any of the secrets, signs, passwords or grips my life should pay the penalty.

His First Meeting.

“A few nights after I joined there was a meeting of the white caps to make arrangements to kill Jessie Pittman, colored, and the following members were present: Sam and Bill Moore, Authur Ball, Will Barnes, Babe Cook, Calvin Jones, Cassey Bass, Walter Goss, John McDonald and myself. Old man Baker was to be there to make an address but failed to show up. This was the first time I understood the full meaning of whitecapism. Some of the boys suggested that we take Pittman out and whip him and let him go. So this was agreed upon and we surrounded the house. Babe Cook and Calvin Jones were to enter the house and bring him out, but the moment the door was burst open I heard gunshots in the house and was informed that Pittman was shot. Which one of he boys did the shooting  I never knew, but it was either Cook or Jones, for there was no shooting outside of the house. This was the first and only time I ever had anything to do with whitecapism.”

In answer to a question in regard to the killing of Buckley, he said:

Purvis Had a Double.

“I don’t think Will Purvis did it. I think John Rogers is the one that killed him. He and Will Purvis look very much alike and at the time Buckley was killed they wore the same kind of hats and it would be very difficult for any one to distinguish one from the other unless in close contact.”

The above statement throws more light on the white cap outrages in Marion county and will very likely result in valuable evidence in ferreting out the crimes that have been committed from time to time. It will be remembered that one Dr. Goss figured very extensively in the murder case of Dr. Varnado at Osyka, Miss., several years ago and it is the supposition of many that he is the same man who administered the white cap oath to young Watts. Excitement is at fever heat in Marion county and startling developments are looked for at any moment.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 25, 1894

ONLY ONE CONVICTED.

Marion County White Caps Escape Conviction.

Meridian, Miss., June 15 — The court at Columbia, Marion county, adjourned today after a two weeks’ special session that was called to indict and try the white caps that infest the county. Only one man, James Newman, was sentenced. He was sentenced to serve one year in the penitentiary on a charge of white capping.

Dr. J.J. Goss, the alleged leader of the organization, was not indicted and was discharged from custody. There was a bitter sentiment against the doctor when he was arrested, but positive evidence could not be produced against him. Will Purvis was not resentenced to death, but was held to go before the next grand jury in December. Public sentiment is strongly in favor of Purvis through this section and the opinion is that he will never again be brought to face the gallows, but will eventually go free.

Colonel E.S. Haygood, ex-train robber and three times a murderer, was also released. He was put under a $2,000 bond to answer a charge of train robbing at Amite City, La.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jun 16, 1894

RE-SENTENCED TO HANG.

Columbia, Miss., Jun 19. — Will Purvis, whitecap, who was convicted of the murder of Will Buckley in August, 1893, and who was put on the scaffold in February, 1894, and failed to hang through the slipping of the noose, was to-day re-sentenced to be hanged July 31.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Jun 20, 1895

WILL PURVIS RESENTENCED.

July 31st Fixed as the Date of His Execution.

Jackson, Miss., June 20. — Will Purvis, the Marion county whitecapper, has been resentenced to hang, and hat ends an interesting chapter of Mississippi history. Two years ago the life of the average negro farm laborer in south Mississippi was made miserable, if not uncertain, by outrages of murderous whitecap organizations in the country. These midnight riders vented their spite on Jews who owned farms by whipping and driving off the negroes and in many instances burning their cabins and corn cribs. In Lincoln county they became so bold that when a score of their associates were jailed they rode into Brookhaven, two hundred strong and demanded their release while Judge Chrisman was holding court, and the National Guard was called out to disperse them. The men under arrest were sent to state prison. In Marion county numerous crimes had been charged to the whitecaps, and a young man who had become offended at one of their acts of villainy, severed his connection with the band and turned state’s evidence. On his way home from the courthouse he was killed from ambush.

Circumstantial evidence was very strong that Will Purvis was the man. He was tried and convicted and sentenced to hang.

The day for the execution came and thousands assembled at Purvis to witness the hanging. But the sheriff was not equal to the emergency, or he had been bribed to let Purvis live. The rope was tied so that when the drop fell the noose slipped and Purvis went to the ground like a chunk of lead, instead of dangling in midair. The sheriff made as if he would try it again, but the crowd sured around him ad prevented, so that the condemned man was taken back to jail, where he has since remained. He still protests his innocence and his lawyer got the case before the supreme court again and argued that Purvis had been hanged one and the law vindicated. The court held otherwise and ordered him resentenced, which was done yesterday by Judge Terrell, July 31st being fixed as the date. Meanwhile whitecapping is one of the lost arts in Mississippi. The courts have been so prompt in bringing offenders to justice that what was two years ago a frightful menace to people of the state is now extinct or will be when Purvis has paid the penalty.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jun 21, 1895

DODGING THE HEMP.

Will Purvis, of Broken Rope Notoriety, Has Secured Another Respite.

Jackson, Miss., July 17. — (Special.) — Will Purvis, the Marion county whitecap whose miraculous escape from the hangman’s noose when the sentence was being executed, and who was resentenced to hang next Wednesday, will not hang then. He has taken an appeal to the supreme court, which acts as a supersedeas without action on the part of the governor. The supreme court meets next October.

It will be remembered that when the trap was sprung the first time the rope broke. The sheriff then took a vote of the crowd and no second attempt at hanging was made.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jul 28, 1895

PURVIS’S SURRENDER.

It Is Thought the Governor Will Commute His Sentence.

Jackson, Miss., March 7. — (Special.) — The first information that Governor McLaurin had of the surrender of Will Purvis, the noted Marion county whitecap who so mysteriously escaped the death noose at the hands of the sheriff, was conveyed to him by your correspondent. Purvis was recaptured, resentenced and broke jail several months ago, since which time he has been a fugitive. The governor declined to state what action he would take until officially notified of the surrender. The consensus of opinion is that any man would break jail when his neck was in peril, and no man could blame him for such escape. The sentiment of Marion county in this case is such that it would do no good to inflict capital punishment against Purvis. There is no doubt that the governor will take this view and it is safe to say that he will commute Purvis’s sentence to life imprisonment. It is believed that Purvis has not been out of that vicinity since his escape.

From reliable information it is ascertained that not a dozen men perhaps in Marion county believe that Purvis killed Buckley or was in the blind when Buckley was assassinated; that the head and front of his offending in this matter is, as now popularly and reliably understood, that he was at a whitecap meeting at which it was agree that it was necessary that Buckley should be killed, but disagreed as to the time. Before the assassination there was a second meeting of the whitecaps, which Purvis did not attend, and at which the agents of the assassination were designated. Of those selected at the second meeting and the time and place fixed for the assassination, Purvis was ignorant. Hon. N.C. Hathorn, representative from Marion county, when told of the surrender, said: “I believe that 95 per cent of the people of Marion county will sign a petition for his absolute pardon, believing him innocent of the charge, which he denied both before and after the trap door fell, when grewsome preparations were being made for his rehanging. Purvis was only nineteen years old when this killing occurred three and a half years ago.”

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Mar 8, 1896

WHITECAP STORY.

WILL PURVIS, UNDER SENTENCE OF DEATH, SURRENDERS TO OFFICERS IN MISSISSIPPI.

HIS STRANGE CAREER.

Sentenced to Death, He Declares His Innocense and Is Saved by Slipping of a Hangman’s Noose.
RESCUED BY HIS FRIENDS.

After Long Defying Arrest He Voluntarily Gives Up Under a Promise of Commutation.

[excerpt from lengthy article]

Biographical.

Will Purvis is a young man not more than 23 years of age. He is small of stature, not over 5 feet 8 inches tall, and weighs about 130 pounds. Like the people of the country in which he as been reared, far from civilization influences of the current world, he has grown up impregnated with all the superstitions of a people who live within the narrow confines of self. The result is that he is a fatalist to an advanced degree.

The story of Purvis’ life is stranger than the strangest fiction. Marion county, Mississippi, where he was raised, is forty miles from a railroad. Columbia, the county seat, was once the capital of Mississippi, but is now a little hamlet of not more than 300 people. It was here that whitecapism ran riot several years ago. The merchants would advance money to the white farmers wherewith to raise their crops. The crops would fail and the merchants would foreclose mortgages on the farms of the white people and rent them to negroes as tenants. The result was that a fierce hatred of the negro sprang up in the breast of the simple people, who had been dispossessed of their homes. They could not understand the justice of negroes supplanting them by the simple hearthstones which they constructed.

Then came the organization of the white caps. These people banded themselves together and were bound by oaths written in blood squeezed from a wound pricked in the thumb of the left hand. They used all the incantations of their peculiar witchcraft and were carried away with their fanaticisms. Leaders sprang up among them, who fired their passions by appealing to their prejudices. The secret order spread throughout southeast Mississippi and threatened destruction to the civic government of the country. At first the white cappers confined their acts to midnight raids, in which negroes were taken out and scourged and warned to leave the country. The negroes fled, leaving their homes behind them. The whole country was in a state of unrest. The local officers were powerless to stay the current of popular passion. Governor Stone was then chief executive of Mississippi. He understood that such a condition meant the ruin of the fair name of the state. He made every effort to suppress the lawless bands,. But the sympathies of the people were with the white caps. Those who did not feel this sympathy feigned it, as the torch was applied to the homes of those who dared to criticise the midnight raids of the marauders.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Mar 8, 1896

ON HIS DEATHBED, CONFESSES CRIME

Slayer Clears Innocent Man Nearly Hanged Many Years Ago.

Columbia, Miss., March 10. – It was revealed by the sheriff’s office here today that Joseph Beard, who died of pneumonia last Sunday, aged 60, on his farm near this city, confessed on his deathbed, that 25 years ago he and two other men murdered William Buckley, in this section, for which crime Will Purvis, who now resides in Lamar county, Miss., escaped death by hanging only because the noose about he neck slipped after the trap had been sprung. According to the story, Buckley and a brother revealed to the authorities information concerning a secret band of “white cappers” that operated in this section more than a quarter of a century ago, and William Buckley, shortly afterward was shot to death from ambush. This was in 1892.

Purvis was convicted of the murder and sentenced to be hanged. The execution was to be public and hundreds were present to witness it. But after the trap was sprung, the noose slipped and Purvis fell from the scaffold unharmed. Many of the spectators, superstitious over the twarted execution, induced the authorities to place Purvis in jail and an appeal to the governor resulted in the commutation of  his death sentence to life imprisonment. Several years afterward, Purvis was pardoned.

Washington Post ( Washington, D.C.) Mar 11, 1917

CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE.

The breaking of a noose which had been slipped around his neck by the sheriff saved Will Purvis, a Mississippi farmer, from death at the hands of the law, and the legislature of his state has just voted him $5,000 as “salve.” An astute attorney fighting for Purvis’ life, contended that the drop from the gallows was punishment within the eyes of the law ans that a second attempt could not legally be made. The court took the same view of the incident and the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Two years later a neighbor of Pulvis confessed on his death bed that he was guilty of he crime for which Pulvis had been convicted.

Circumstantial evidence, it seems, sent Pulvis to prison  and but for a flaw in the rope would have sent him to his death. It is one more indication that even in law, things are not always what they seem.

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) Mar 20, 1920

MAN SAVED BY SLIP EXPIRES

HATTIESBURG, Miss., Oct. 13. — (AP) — Will Purvis, 66, who cheated the gallows in 1894 by a slip of the noose and later proved his innocence of crime, died today at the Lamberton hospital. Death was attributed to a heart ailment.

Purvis was convicted of slaying Will Buckley and sent to the gallows. As he went through the trap at a public hanging in Columbia, Miss., the rope slipped and he was dropped to the ground unhurt.

Several years later Joe Beard confessed to the slaying in a statement made to District Attorney Toxie Hall, who is now United States attorney in Mississippi, and exonerated Purvis.

Purvis later was given $5000 by the state legislature.

Since the case was cleared up Purvis had resided in Lamar country about seven miles north of Purvis. He is survived by his widow and 11 children.

San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) Oct 13, 1938

Roderick D. Gambrell: Death of a Hip Pocket Reformer

October 11, 2010

Those temperance folks just didn’t know when to mind their own business; in fact, they made everyone’s business their own. And sometimes it cost them dearly. This is a separate, yet somewhat related incident to the Wirt Adams / John H. Martin double death duel — See link at bottom of post.

A Coroner’s Investigation.

JACKSON, Miss., May 7.

The Coroner’s Jury was still engaged up to 12 o’clock to-day investigating the killing of Roderick Gambrill, editor of the Sword and Shield, by Colonel Jones S. Hamilton, general manager of the Gulf & Ship railroad, in the difficulty occurring about 10 o’clock last night. No facts have yet been obtained, other than that the parties met and began firing. The difficulty has been feared and anticipated for some time, owing to an offensive personal article by Gambrill concerning Hamilton in his newspaper some weeks ago. Gambrill’s wounds, three in number, proved fatal in a few minutes. The result of Hamilton’s two wounds are uncertain. He now rests comparatively easy.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) May 7, 1887

An Inquest — Jury’s Verdict.

JACKSON, Miss., May 9.

The jury in the inquest case of R.D. Gambrell, editor of the [Sword and Shield,] who was shot and killed late Thursday night by Col. Jones S. Hamilton, the lessee of the Penitentiary, adjourned at 11:30 last night after two days almost continuous session. They rendered a verdict as follows: “We, the jury of inquest in the case of the death of Roderick Gambrell, find that he came to his death from a pistol shot and wounds inflicted by the hands of Jones S. Hamilton, as principal, and others as abettors, unknown to the jury.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) May 9, 1887

THE blood of many abolitionists as well as myriads of slaves cried to the Lord from the ground before the curse of slavery was wiped out. Myriads of victims of the saloon curse have been uttering their cry for many years, to which is now being added the voice of the blood of prohibitionists. Not many months ago Rev. Haddock was foully assassinated at Sioux City, Iowa. A few weeks ago, Dr. Northrup fell in the same way in Ohio. Last week Roderick Gambrell, of Jackson, Miss., editor of a Prohibition paper at that place, was set upon and foully murdered by some of those whose wrath he had stirred up. “Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.” Evidences point to the speedy destruction of the rum curse.

The Delta Herald (Delta, Pennsylvania) May 20, 1887

HAMILTON – GAMBRELL.

The Embers of a Tragedy Vigorously Fanned by Partisan Journals.

Special Dispatch to the Globe-Democrat.

JACKSON, Miss., June 28. – The excitement attending the Hamilton-Gambrell tragedy and the trial succeeding had abated considerably until within the last few days, when it seems to have received fresh impetus. The Daily Advertiser of this city, a strong Hamilton paper, is filled every morning with editorial matter favorable to Hamilton, and its editor has very severely criticized the New Mississippian and the Sword and Shield, the latter being the dead editor’s paper, and both strong advocates of Gambrell and the assassination theory. The last few issues of the Advertiser have contained much personal matter derogatory to the character of the father of the editor of the Mississippian and urging that it stood the taxpayers in hand to take some action regarding the utterances of the Mississippian and Sword and Shield, and claiming that they were greatly injuring the city’s prosperity by conveying the impression that misrule was the order of the day and that Jackson was an unsafe place in which to live. A recent issue contains a card signed “Tax-payer,” suggesting a meeting of tax-payers and citizens of Jackson to express condemnation of the course of the Sword and Shield and the New Mississippian, stating:

That their repeated misrepresentations of our people is depreciating the value of our property, damaging business, hindering accessions to our population and even driving our own people away.

The Advertiser indorses the suggestion of “Taxpayer,” editorially, and says:

The patience of this people is well-nigh exhausted and the course pursued by the Gambrellites and Martinites will not be endured much longer.

The New Mississippian of today contains a strong editorial on the proposed meeting, and says:

But we warn them now that all the indignation meetings they may hold, all the sympathizers they may gather here from other places, and all the threats they may make not to tolerate the course of this paper, will not avail. The writer believes in peace, but not when it must be purchased at the price of manhood and self-respect, and if to maintain these and pursue the path of duty, which we have marked out before us, we must encounter the violence at which they hint, we shall encounter it regretfully, but without hesitation. We have no desire for a life saved by an ignoble silence or an unmanly turning aside from a righteous cause.

IT also contains a card from J.B. Gambrell, father of the slain editor, in which he states that since the death of his son he has mainly controlled the columns of the Sword and Shield, and has sought to discharge the duty in a conservative spirit. The card concludes:

The threats above made by the Advertiser, which voices Colonel Hamilton and his friends, will not in the least terrorize the Sword and Shield so long as I control it. The time has come for a manly stand for the freedom of the press and right. It is a crisis in our affairs as a people, and now, in full view of all it may mean to myself and my family, I solemnly declare that before the sword and shield shall fail to do its duty in this crisis, I will submit to die as my son died, and he by his side in the quiet graveyard at Clinton, leaving my family in the care of God and the vindication of justice and the punishment of assassins in the hands of my countrymen. I await the issue calmly. If the threats of the Advertiser are carried out, it will be by that element which has so long ruled this city, and it will add another chapter to the bloody records of the city, but it will not silence the press of the Mississippian nor impede reform.

The publications have stirred up the excitement again, and from present appearances it will continue until this remarkable trial is finally disposed of by the courts. The last three issues of the paper named, have little in them except the views of the editors on the case, expressed in the most forcible English. Colonel Hamilton is still in jail, and seems to take a bright view of his prospects. Circuit court is now in session, but until the grand jury takes action it is not known whether his case and those of the accessories will be tried at the present term or not.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jul 2, 1887

THE MEMPHIS APPEAL has started a subscription list for a monument to young Gambrell, who was killed by Hamilton during the prohibition campaign in Jackson, Miss. The Appeal refers to Gambrell as “the martyr editor,” and heads the list of subscribers to his monument with $100.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jul 10, 1887

Hip Pocket Reformers.

The newspapers of the southwest are till fighting out the Hamilton-Gambrell difficulty, notwithstanding the fact that the former is in jail waiting to be tried for murder.

The Memphis Appeal fell into line with the friends of Gambrell, and denounced Hamilton and other Mississippi state officials as a gang of ringsters.

But the Appeal was destined to receive a rude shock. It was praising the Gambrells as the apostles of law and order and reform, when to its unutterable surprise Perry Gambrell, of the Sword and Shield, and John Martin, of the New Mississippian, went to the office of the Jackson Advertiser and proposed a street fight with the Lowds.

To do the Appeal justice it turned about and proceeded to abuse Gambrell for this outrageous business as vigorously as it had heretofore praised him. This does not satisfy the Vicksburg Herald and it jumps upon its Memphis contemporary in the following fashion:

It has found out that they are not what it thought them; may it not also have been deceived by them as to the Hamilton case? Is it not probable that the other Gambrell resembled the living one and was also ready to shoot it out? Although his brother died as recently as the fifth of May, Percy Gambrell went with John Martin to aid him in “shooting it out with the Lowds.” Is it not probable that Percy Gambrell is just as good as his brother was, when he went about with his 38-calibre in his pocket? Of course if Percy Gambrell had been killed he might have gone straight to Paradise to shoot Paradisacal things, but our esteemed Memphis contemporary will admit, that we must treat of them as mortals until they are Saints. As a mortal, is not Percy Gambrell in exactly the same boat with John Martin, and would not R.D. Gambrell have been in the same boat with them, if alive?

We think so. We also think it will be a cold day before any very expensive monument is erected to R.D. Gambrell. We are convinced the Appeal is by this time very sorry it contributed to the Gambrell monument.

While the Gambrells and Martins will now be known as sensational frauds, it may be some consolation to them to know their standing among gentlemen has not been lessened, for they never had any.

It is useless to answer the Herald by calling it a Hamilton paper. Such men as Bishop Hugh Miller Thompson have spoken up for Hamilton so stoutly that it will not do to denounce his friends as ringsters and outlaws. The man can not be as black as he had been painted.

The facts all go to show that the Gambrells, the dead one and his brother Percy, must be classed with those doubtful reformers who believe in trotting about with pistols in their hip pockets, ready to fight it out whenever their opponents get tired of being called corruptionists, ringsters and other hard names. It is a tangled piece of business, with so many side issues, that it is difficult to get a clear view of it all. We do not feel like using harsh language about reformers. The mere fact that a man declares himself a reformer gives him many disagreeable privileges, but it seems to us that the reformer with a loaded hip pocket ought to be suppressed. There is nothing angelic about him, and when he gets shot in a row, brought on by himself, we fail to see anything martyr-like in it. The fact is, a reformer should mind his own business and behave himself.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jul 20, 1887

Another Chapter in a Famous Case.

The decision of the supreme court of Mississippi admitting Eubanks to bail and holding Hamilton in jail until his trial, recalls one of he most deplorable tragedies of the year.

In the month of May Roderick Dhu Gambrell was editing a prohibition paper at Jackson. During the wet and dry campaign Gambrell made a number of publications seriously reflecting upon the character of Colonel J.S. Hamilton, a prominent politician on the anti side. One night the two men met, and after exchanging several shots Gambrell fell dead, while Hamilton escaped with one or two painful wounds. The prohibitionists took the position that Hamilton and Eubanks had waylaid the editor and assassinated him. Public meetings were held, and strong efforts were made to influence public sentiment. The trial of the defendants was postponed until a more convenient season, and the court below refused to allow them to be bailed.

After a careful review of all the facts in the case, the supreme court has decided that Hamilton is not entitled to bail, but that Eubanks may be allowed that privilege. In delivering the decision the court stated that it was not satisfied as to the number of persons who participated in the murder of Gambrell, but it was satisfied that Hamilton was the assailant. One of the judges dissented from this opinion and expressed a doubt of Hamilton’s guilt.

Altogether, the action of the court was about as favorable to Hamilton as he had any right to expect. His alleged accomplice was allowed to give bail, and one member of the court placed himself on record as entertaining a reasonable doubt of the chief defendant’s guilt. This will have the effect of dividing public sentiment, and when the case comes before a jury it is to be hoped that an earnest effort will be made to get at the truth and carry out the ends of justice.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Nov 24, 1887

THE TRIAL OF Colonel Hamilton at Brandon, Miss., for the murder of Young Gambrell will begin its seventh week to-morrow. Some of the witnesses for the defense are doing the tallest kind of swearing. No trouble is anticipated as the judge has notified the spectators and witnesses that they must not bring deadly weapons into the courthouse.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 1, 1888

The jury in the case of J.S. Hamilton, on trial at Brandon, Miss., for the killing of Roderick Dhu Gambrell, in Jackson, Miss., returned a verdict of not guilty.

The Marion Daily Star (Marion, Ohio) Apr 20, 1888

WHEN THE HON. J.S. HAMILTON killed young Gambrell in Mississippi a great outcry was raised and the killing was called a murder. The acquittal of Colonel Hamilton after a trial lasting nearly two months will perhaps convince some people that there were two sides to the case.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 23, 1888

 

Jones S. Hamilton

 

A DISTINGUISHED CHARACTER

Whose Long Trial Has Brought Him Into Notice.

MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 23 — [Special] — Colonel Jones S. Hamilton, who has become notorious by having undergone one of the longest trials in the history of Mississippi, and was acquitted last Thursday of the charge of having murdered Rhoderick D. Gambrell, on the night of May last year, was in the city today. He held quite a levee at the Peabody hotel. A great number of his friends and newspaper men called on him. He remarked to one of the latter that he had given four years of his life defending the confederacy and one year to the defense of himself and he was glad it was over. He was a great surprise in personal appearance, and demeanor to all who say him. He is anything but a ferocious looking terror. He is as mild as a south Mississippi breeze and as polite as a Chesterfield, and not much bigger than a minute.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 24, 1888

WHIPPING A WITNESS.

A Mob Severely Beats a Witness in the Hamilton-Gambrell Case.

NEW ORLEANS, April 24. — A Times-Democrat Clinton, Miss., special says:

A report of a whipping committed Sunday night has been received here and the promise of speedy death prevented a party from making it known sooner. At about midnight  eleven masked men went to the house of Ellis Young, a witness for the defense in the Hamilton cases called him out, tied to him a rope and then severely beat him.

He was told that he was whipping for lying for lying about Roderick Gambrell. Presenting pistols at his head, they demanded to know what amount he was paid for testifying against Gambrell. With death staring him in face, he declared that he did not receive a cent. The mob then released him, and ordered him to leave the county within three days. Young recognized one of his assailants as a divinity student at the Mississippi college.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 25, 1888

A Tragedy Taken to Court.

MEMPHIS, Tenn., July 14 — The Hamilton-Gambrell tragedy had broken out in a new place. Col. James S. Hamilton has brought suit in the United States court here before Judge Hammond for $50,000 damages against The Memphis Appeal company, and has engaged two of the leading legal firms of the city to prosecute it. Col. Hamilton, it will be remembered, was one of the Mississippi penitentiary lessees. The Appeal referred to Col. Hamilton as a depraved “murderer,” an “assassin,” a “conspirator,” “the boss of a gang of corruptionists;” that said voluntary and vindictive work of defendant contributed in a large degree to working up and manufacturing public sentiment against him.

The Daily News (Frederick, Maryland) Jul 14, 1888

 

 

AN OLD SOUTHERN FEUD.

The Story of a Bloody and Terrible Duel Recalled — James Hamilton’s Fight With Gambrell

Colonel Jones S. Hamilton, of Jackson, Miss., is the survivor of the most desperate personal encounter of our time. Hamilton is barely five feet six inches in height, but very compactly built and of surprising muscular strength. He is not a quarreling man at all, being, on the contrary, devoted to the peaceful art of money-making. Besides that, he is nearly, if not quite, 50 years, and since his marriage in 1878 or 1879, of conspicuously domestic habits.

Some tow or three years ago, however, says a correspondent of the N.Y. [Tribune,] the Prohibition party, which, in Mississippi at least, is composed largely of, if not practically identical with, the Baptist Church, undertook to launch a propaganda of special and peculiar violence. They began through their newspapers, and, having in this way and by pulpit fulmination lashed public sentiment into something very like fury, they bore down on the Legislature in great numbers.

Colonel Hamilton was at that time a member of the Mississippi Senate, a straight-out, old-fashioned Democrat in his political and an Episcopalian in his religious practice. Being a strong man, a popular man, and a legislator of force and influence, he was naturally the object of the Prohibition efforts, first by persuasion and importunity, afterward by threats and denunciation. Among the means employed to coerce Colonel Hamilton, or, failing in that, to destroy his influence by detraction and aspersion, was a paper issued in Jackson and edited by a young man named Roderick Gambrell. The paper was an organ of the movement, and its editor was the son of a Baptist preacher who figured in the vanguard of the crusade. For weeks the paper reeked with abuse of Colonel Hamilton, aspersing his character, attacking his honor, denouncing his motives and his acts until the man’s very home was rendered miserable, and his friends began to wonder whether he had not endured more than enough.

At last the tragedy culminated, but under such circumstances of mystery as lent it a strange and fearful horror. One night, about 10 o’clock, immediately after the arrival of the southbound train of the Illinois Central Railroad, Colonel Hamilton started homeward from the depot in a hack, which had been sent to meet him. The town proper lies half a mile or more to the east, and it is the general custom of residents to cover the distance in a vehicle. Gambrell had arrived by the train;but had left the depot immediately on foot, and those who were lingering about the platform and who knew the parties thought there was no danger of a collision, at least that night. A few hundred feet from the depot, going toward town, there is a bridge, and as the loiterers at the station heard Hamilton’s hack rattling over the resounding wooden structure they turned with sighs of relief to disperse to their homes. Suddenly, however, a shot rang out from the direction of the bridge. The hack was heard to stop, and there was a sound as of some one jumping from it. Then another shot and another and then the hack started off at a furious pace, the terrified driver lashing his horses to their top speed. were the antagonists separated? No; the firing began again, and for a few moments assumed the magnitude almost of a fusilade. And now other, and still more dreadful sounds were heard — the sounds of furious men locked in a death-struggle, beating and tearing at each other’s throats and faces like two madmen.

NOTE: This one section was of poor quality and difficult to read:

Scores of people had by this time gathered, but none dared go too near. They hung a?????? on the outer rim of the darkness ???……. piercing cries had faded into silence and the last groan had died away did the listeners find courage to approach, only to find Grambrell lying dead; and Hamilton dead, too, as they thought, lying across the corpse. They were drenched in each other’s blood, both bore frightful wounds, and they had torn and beaten each other with horrible fury until insensibility overtook them.

It was a strange trial — a trial without witnesses to the fact. Nobody knew the details except the one survivor, who lay for weeks hovering between life and death.

Cambridge City Tribune (Cambridge City, Indiana) Feb 13, 1890

The rest of the Roderick D. Gambrell biography (written by the anti-liquor crusaders, so not biased at all) can be read online:

Title: The Passing of the Saloon: an authentic and official presentation of the anti-liquor crusade in America
Editor: George M. Hammell
Publisher: F.L. Rowe, 1908
Pages 123-125

Jones Stewart Hamilton biography can be read online in the following book:

Title: Mississippi: Contemporary Biography
Volume 3 of Mississippi: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form
Editor: Dunbar Rowland
Publisher    Reprint Co., 1907
Page 311

This incident is also mentioned in the following book:

Title: Editors I Have Known Since the Civil War: (rewritten and reprinted from letters in the Clarion-ledger)
Author: Robert Hiram Henry
Published: 1922
Pages 134-135 Hamilton-Gambrell
Pages 135-137Adams-Martin

My previous post about the Wirt Adams-John H. Martin incident.

Jordan-Beasley Feud

October 4, 2010

A reader requested information on the Jordan-Beasley feud. This is all I could find, unfortunately, nothing informative regarding the “old grudge.” These articles just report on the current incident. Most of these reports state that Darwood/Derwood Jordan was badly cut up and “cannot live,” but I didn’t run across any  that actually state that he did, indeed, succumb.

ONE OF KENTUCKY’S FEUDS.

HARRODSBURG, Ky., Sept. 14. — For fifteen years bad blood has existed between the Beasleys and Jordans, and during that time one Jordan and one of the Beasleys have fallen victims of the feud. To-day Darwood Jordan took watermelons to Salvisa to sell. Owen Beasley passed by and tried to renew the old grudge, but Jordan wanted no difficulty. Beasley got his brother and his father, who renewed the quarrel against the protestations of Jordan, who,against the unequal odds, defended himself as best he could with his knife, and in some way managed to get hold of a hatchet, and with this he was cutting right and left. But the odds were too much for him, and he fell from loss of blood, the Beasleys having literally cut him to pieces. Jordan cannot live. The Beasleys are yet at large.

The New York Times – Sep 15, 1891

THE BEASLEY-JORDAN FEUD.

MORE TROUBLE AND BLOODSHED EXPECTED BY THE SHERIFF.

HARRODSBURG, Ky., Sept. 15. — The Beasley-Jordan feud, which has existed in Mercer County for fifteen years, ans which again broke out yesterday in the unprovoked assault and fatal wounding of Derwood Jordan by the Beasleys, is assuming proportions that may in all probability result in more bloodshed.

Constable Granville Currens this afternoon arrested the three Beasleys, John, Owen, and Bill, when other brothers and relatives, five in number, with shotguns and pistols leveled and cocked on the constable, took his prisoners from him. The Jordan family, six or seven in number, have also armed themselves and have declared that they will be revenged or the law shall be enforced for the cowardly assassination of their brother yesterday. Jailer Wagner and posse have gone to the scene of action. If they get in sight of the Beasleys there will become arrests or funerals will take place.

Derwood Jordan, the man who was fatally cut by the Beasleys yesterday, is still alive, but cannot live. Pieces of flesh as large as a man’s hand were cut from his side and arm, and the knife thrusts entered the hollow of his abdomen in six or seven places. Old Mr. Beasley and one of the boys held him while the others cut him.

Up to 10 o’clock to-night the Beasleys had not been arrested, and six of them, heavily armed, are still defying the law, although they have thus far successfully kept out of the way of the Sheriff’s posse, which is after them and which expects to capture them dead or alive before to-morrow night.

The New York Times – Sep 16, 1891

Beasley-Jordan Feud - Newark Daily Advocate

MAY RESULT IN BLOODSHED.

An Old Feud Assuming New Proportions in Kentucky.

HARRODSBURG, Ky., Sept. 15. — The Beasley-Jordan feud at Salvisa is assuming proportions that may in all probability result in more bloodshed today.
Constable Currans succeeded yesterday afternoon in arresting the three Beasleys, when the other brothers and relatives took his prisoners from him.

The Jordan family, six or seven in number, have also armed themselves and have declared they will be revenged or the law will be enforced for the bloody and cowardly assassination of their brother yesterday. The Sheriff has asked for troops and the governor replied he has the right to summon the whole county.

Arizona Republican (Phoenix, Arizona) Sep 16, 1891

Beasley-Jordan Feud - St. Paul Daily Globe

*****

*****

Jordan-Beasley Feud - Salt Lake Herald

An Old Feud Ended.

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Sept. 25. — The Jordan-Beasley feud, near Harrodsburg, which a year ago caused the sheriff to ask for troops, has been settled for the present by the surrender of three — Owen, William and John Beasley, who were implicated only as accessories to the murder of Jordan, and who escaped to Kansas.

Daily Mitchell Republican (Mitchell, South Dakota) Sep 29, 1891

Mutilated and Hanged by a Mob

September 27, 2010

WORSE THAN DEATH

Prisoner at Golden, Col., Mutilated and Hanged by a Mob

GOLDEN, Col., June 2. — Alexander McCurdy, who horribly mutilated his step-brother, Charles Berry, whom he suspected of intimacy with his wife last winter, was taken from jail this morning and lynched, after being subjected to the same treatment he gave Berry.

The sheriff gathered a possee and captured John Richwine and John Koch, two guards  put out by the lynchers. They are said to have given the names of all concerned in the lynching, and they will be arrested after the inquest which is now in progress.

McCurdy’s crime was a most revolting one. He assaulted Berry while the latter was asleep. He afterwards pickled the organs which he cut off and sent them to his wife in Indiana. He escaped, but was captured in Indiana some time afterwards, convicted of mayhem and sentenced to three years imprisonment. Berry meanwhile had recovered, and during the trial of McCurdy was with difficulty restrained from assaulting him. Berry was eighteen years old, and McCurdy about thirty.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) May 2, 1894

Lynched.

By Associated Press.]

GOLDEN (Colo.), June 2 — Alexander McCurdy, who horribly mutilated his step brother, Charles Berry, last winter, was this morning taken from jail and lynched, after being subjected to the same treatment he gave his victim. McCurdy was this week convicted of mayhem and yesterday sentenced to the penitentiary for three years, the full extent of the law.

At 2 o’clock twenty men aroused Alexander Kerr, the jailer, choked him, and taking the keys, went to McCurdy’s cell. He was dragged to the lawn in front of the building and probably died while this was being done, but his body was rushed down to Lakewood trestle, over Clear creek, and hanged. The sheriff has arrested John Richweine and John Koch, guards for the lynchers. They have given the names of all the others and the coroner’s jury is preparing warrants.

The Weekly Gazette and Stockman (Reno, Nevada)Jun 7, 1894

 

FACTS MERELY MENTIONED.

Alexander McCurdy was mutilated and hanged by a Colorado mob for a revolting crime.

The Evening News (Lincoln, Nebraska) Jun 4, 1894

Vogel Proved an Alibi.

GOLDEN, Colo., Nov 29. — George Vogel, one of the young men charged with the lynching of Alexander McCurdy last summer, has been found not guilty. His defense was an alibi. Five other citizens are yet to be tried on the same charge.

The Evening News (Lincoln, Nebraska) Nov 29, 1894

Shot Outside the Cosmopolitan Hotel Just as the Bozeman Coach Arrived

August 23, 2010

Main St. - Helena, Montana 1872

A BLOODY ENCOUNTER.

John Hugle Shot Down in Front of the Cosmopolitan by Theo. Shed.

Particulars of the Tragedy.

Last evening about half past nine o’clock the sharp crack of a pistol in front of the Cosmopolitan Hotel was distinctly heard along Main street and was followed by the rush of the crowd to the place from which it came. Two hundred people gathered in front of the hotel a moment after the shooting, when Mr. John Hugle, traveling salesman of Greenhood, Bohn & Co., was found lying upon the sidewalk, weltering in blood, while his assailant, Mr. Theo. Shed, book-keeper of the same house, was also seen slowly rising, pistol in hand, from the sidewalk, on which he had fallen — knocked down, it is said, by Hugle, the moment the pistol was fired. By the side of the fallen men were seen the rearing and plunging horses attached to the Bozeman coach, which had just been driven up at the time of the shooting and were frightened to madness by the affray, while the driver — Charley Brown — with his foot upon the brake, was shouting to the running and excited crowd to keep away from the horses.

The wounded man was at once removed to the office of Dr. W.L. Steele, above Webster’s store, and Mr. Shed at the same moment was arrested by the night policeman Mr. Witten and taken to the county jail. A reporter of the INDEPENDENT on entering the office of Dr. Steele found the wounded man lying upon a reclining chair and bleeding profusely. He complained of strangulation from the blood accumulating in his throat. The bullet had struck him in the face about an inch below the left eye and passing through the nasal cavity to the right, came out just at the external orifice of the ear. Doctors Leiser and Steele were in attendance upon him, and considered the wound dangerous and serious, with chances in favor of recovery. The greatest danger is that inflammation will set in, which will reach the brain.

The pistol was so close at the time of the shooting that powder stains could be seen upon the face of the wounded man, and the smell of powder was upon his breath. After remaining about an hour upon the chair, he was assisted by his friends to a carriage and taken to the hospital, where, at lastest accounts, he was resting easily.

THE ENCOUNTER

From the many conflicting accounts of the fight we regard the following as the most reliable: Mr. Shed was standing upon the street in front of the Cosmopolitan Hotel, when suddenly Mr. Hugle was seen to advance towards him and seemed to have come from the hotel. Shed stepped back as his assailant advanced and was in front of Webster’s store when he raised his pistol. At the same instant Hugle dealt him a powerful blow. The report of the pistol and the blow were simultaneous and both men fell together.

Hugle evidently regarded his wound as mortal, and murmured as he was lifted from the sidewalk:

“My name is Hugle, and Theo Shed shot me.”

Shed was perfectly calm when arrested. When questioned by the bystanders as to what was the matter, he simply answered “Oh nothing; that man — pointing to Hugle — struck me and I shot him.” He declined to make any explanation as to the cause of the difficulty to the officer who arrested him, and maintained the same reserve at the jail when our reporter and others sought to interview him upon the subject.

ANOTHER ACCOUNT.

After the above was in type, another account of the difficulty, given by two or more parties who claim to have been spectators, was to the effect that Hugle walked up to Shed while standing on the street and tapping him on the shoulder, asked, “Are you hunting for me?” “Yes, damn you,” answered the latter, and fired at the same instant.

THE BULLET

Was a 38-calibre ball, and the pistol used is said to have been of the kind known as the “English bull-dog.” The ball, after passing through the head of Hugle, ranged across the street and struck the granite corner of the Dunphy Block, seventy-five yards distant, by the entrance of Levine’s tailor shop, knocking out a large piece of granite, and falling upon the sidewalk. It passed between J.F. Blattner and John Barless, who were standing in front of the shop at the time, narrowly missing them.

THE ORIGIN OF THE DIFFICULTY

dates back to some two years ago. Both of the gentlemen were employed then as now by Messrs. Greenhood, Bohm & Co., and we understand that the first trouble arose from Mr. Hugle inadvertently putting on a buffalo overcoat owned by Mr. Shed. The coat in wet or cold weather had been frequently used by employees of the store, and Hugle, who had but recently entered the employ of the house, having observed this, started to use the coat on a certain occasion, when Shed objected. Hugle at once pulled off the coat and apologized for putting it on. shed then stated that he could use it, but said he liked to be asked when such privileges were taken of his property. Hugle declined the proffer of the coat, and ever afterwards the two young men were enemies — never speaking, although employed in the same house. Both were what is known as “high strung;” but Hugle, who is a young man of fine physique and courteous and agreeable manners, never carried a pistol and was evidently not expecting a mortal difficulty at the time of the affray.

We were unable to learn the immediate cause of the tragedy last evening. Both Mr. Greenhood and the employees of his house, are ignorant of any recent trouble between the parties.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Jun 24, 1882

The Cosmopolitan Hotel

Cosmopolitan Hotel image can be found at the Helena As She Was website, along with tons of other great photos.

CORONER’S INQUEST.

Substance of the Testimony of Witnesses Before the Coroner’s Jury in the Matter of the Death of John Hugle.

An inquest was held last evening over the body of John Hugle, the unfortunate victim of last Friday’s shooting, he having died during the afternoon. Nine witnesses were examined. At the request of the coroner, to whom we are indebted for the testimony, the names of the witnesses are not given.

The evidence was substantially as follows:

The first witness testified that at the time of the shooting he was standing in Webster’s store and saw the flash of the pistol. On running out he saw three men helping Shed onto his feet. Shed kept crying “He struck me first!” Someone standing by said: “Here is a man in the gutter!” Hugle was lying on his face. He was helped up and asked his name and replied, “I am John Hugle and that man shot me!” pointing to the spot where Shed was when he fell. He kept saying “The Shed shot me!” Witness, with the assistance of others, helped Hugle up to Dr. Steele’s office. When questioned Hugle said he was standing looking at the coach with his back turned toward Shed, and heard a voice say: “There is the S– — – b—-!” He turned and asked Shed if he meant him, when Shed fired.

Two physicians were examined, who both testified that, to the best of their belief, Hugle’s death was caused by the wound inflicted.

A Chinaman testified to having seen Shed with a pistol in his hand, after the shot was fired. He saw Hugle strike Shed, and then heard the report of the pistol.

Another witness testified that he was standing in the Cosmopolitan hotel when the coach drove up, and heard a pistol shot. Running out, he saw a man lying in the gutter, and with others helped him up. Hugle kept saying “The Shed shot me!” or “The Shed did it!” With others he assisted Hugle up into the doctor’s office.

The next witness said he was standing in the door of Webster’s store. He heard quick steps and supposed them to be those of passengers from the coach. Saw a flash and heard the report of a pistol. Saw one man fall on the walk and another in the gutter. After wards recognized the one who fell on the walk as Theodore Shed and the other as John Hugle.

The seventh witness testified to the facts stated by the preceding witness, and in addition said he saw the pistol in the hand of Theodore Shed while still smoking. He arrested Shed and lodged him in jail.

Another witness said he was in front of Webster’s, when the coach drove up. He continued: “I was walking down immediately behind Theodore Shed, a little to the right. John Hugle was standing looking into the coach, and when Shed was within about four feet of Hugle, the latter saw him and jumped toward him and struck him. Shed fired almost immediately after Hugle struck him. Hugle then staggered and fell into the gutter, bleeding badly from the head.” He did not see Shed fall, but heard him complain that his breast hurt him.

The last witness examined said he was in front of the Cosmopolitan when the coach stopped. Saw Hugle and Shed together. Hugle seemed to be going toward Shed, and Shed was backing. Was nearly behind Hugle. Saw pistol in Shed’s hand, heard the report, and was Hugle fall in the gutter and Shed fall on the walk. At first he thought Shed had shot himself, but on helping Hugle up saw he was bleeding from a wound near his nose.

The evidence being all taken, the jury, after deliberation, handed in the following verdict:

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Jun 28, 1882

Theo. Shed is said to be quite ill at the county jail. He has had an attack of hemorrhage, bleeding at the nose profusely, a complaint to which he has been subject for several years, it is understood.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Jul 1, 1882

Theo. Shed’s Preliminary Hearing.

The preliminary hearing in the case of Theo. Shed for the killing of John Hugle began before the Probate Judge at the court house yesterday morning. Messrs. E.W. Toole and W.E. Cullen appeared for the defense, while District Attorney Lowry appeared for the prosecution, assisted by Hon. I.D. McCutcheon. Three witnesses were examined, but no new facts were elicited. Two or three important witnesses for the prosecution were yet to be brought into the court. One of these is a traveling man named Oberfelder, who was expected to be in Dillon last evening. Deputy sheriff Witten was sent after him early yesterday morning, and it will be two or three days before he will return. In view of this examination was adjourned over until Monday, the 10th inst., at 11 o’clock a.m. No evidence was introduced by the defense. Mr. Shed’s attorneys made an effort to have him admitted to bail pending examination, urging in that behalf the defendant’s poor health and the crowded condition of the jail, but Judge Davis held that under the circumstances such action would not be proper and so Shed was returned to jail to await the conclusion of the examination.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Jul 8, 1882

SHED’S EXAMINATION.

It Was Concluded Yesterday Afternoon in the Probate Court.

The examination of Theodore Shed for shooting John Hugl was concluded in the Probate Court yesterday afternoon at 4:30. The evidence for the prosecution was concluded on Tuesday, and as it was the same in substance as that brought out at the inquest over Hugl’s body, we do not deem it worth while to publish it.

At convening of court yesterday morning evidence for the defense was introduced and was in substance as follows:

R.O. Hickman testified that he was a partner in the firm of Greenhood, Bohm & Co., and that he made his home in Virginia City. He said he generally came to Helena about four times each year, sometimes remaining here two months at a time. Witness said he had known the accused — Theodore Shed — as book-keeper in the employ of his firm for about three years. Said Shed’s character for sobriety, integrity and quietness was good. Did not know anything derogatory to the accused’s character as a peaceable man. Said Hugl had been in the firm’s employ for about five years. Had never heard anything against him except that he went on a spree occasionally. Mr. Greenhood had been requested last fall to discharge Hugl but did not do so.

C.P. Van Wart testified that on the evening of the 23d of June he walked up Main street about 9 o’clock in company with Shed. Their conversation was in regard to witness borrowing Shed’s horse to ride out to Tarleton & Breck’s ranch the next day. They stopped at Kessler’s and had some beer. Shed said he had an engagement to meet a friend at the Cosmopolitan and they walked down that way. Shed went into the hotel and witness stood looking at the Bozeman coach which had just arrived. While looking at the coach he heard a blow and then a shot. Turning around he saw Shed lying on the sidewalk and breathing hard. Witness asked Shed if he was shot and Shed answered, “My breast hurts me; I have been struck.” At first he thought it was Shed who was shot. He had known Shed several years and had always found him a peaceable, quiet gentleman.

William Simms testified that he had lived in Helena 13 years and had known Shed that long. He never knew anything derogatory to Shed’s character, but knew him as a peaceable, law-abiding citizen.

P.M. Atwood testified that on the night of the shooting he was standing in front of the Cosmopolitan hotel shortly after 9 o’clock, at the time the Bozeman coach came in. Hugl stood about four feet to the right of witness and Shed about three feet to his left. As soon as Hugl saw Shed he ran at him and struck him a hard blow on the breast. Shed staggered and immediately shot Hugl. Saw Hugl fall and witness first turned his attention to him. Then looked and saw Shed brushing the dust from his pants. Shed complained that his breast hurt him. Witness believed Hugl was the aggressor.

Samuel Schwab testified that on the evening in question he was in the office of the Cosmopolitan, sitting at the desk writing. Shed walked in and inquired for Max Oberfelder, a guest of the house. Told Shed that Oberfelder had gone away. Did not know whether Shed saw Oberfelder or not. When Oberfelder came in he told him Shed had called to see him, and Mr. O. then went to look for Shed. Pretty soon the Bozeman coach drew up in front and witness went to the door, when he heard some one remark: “Theo. Shed had shot somebody.”

J.W. Thompson testified that he had been book-keeper in the employ of Greenhood, Bohm & Co. for 18 months. Had known defendant as head book keeper for that firm. A revolver was kept in the cash drawer at Shed’s desk and Shed always put it in his pocket when he started home at night and would return it to the cash drawer in the morning.

Shed usually left the store at about half past nine o’clock, sometimes going straight home and sometimes taking a walk first. On the evening of the 23d of June Shed left the store shortly after nine o’clock. Said he was going to the Cosmopolitan to see Mr. Oberfelder. Shed then turned around to the cash drawer, took the pistol and put it into his pocket, and then left the store. The pistol belonged to Shed. It was a Colt’s six-shooter, 3-inch barrel, and was longer than a “bull-dog” pistol. Shed had carried the pistol about a year.

Tong Ling (Chinaman) testified that on the evening of the 23d of June he saw Hugl strike Shed after the coach came in. Hugl and Shed met again when Hugl hit Shed again.

Shed shot Hugl and Shed was taken off by a policeman. Saw Shed carry a pistol in his hand after the shot. Saw Hugl fall in the gutter and Shed fall on the sidewalk.

This closed the testimony for the defense.

There being no question as to Shed shooting Hugl, counsel then submitted argument on the question of admitting Shed to bail. Judge Davis decided that as no conclusive evidence had been produced as to Shed’s act being premeditated and with malice, he would therefore admit him to bail in the sum of $6,000 to appear at the next term of the district court for this county. Court then adjourned.

Shed had no difficulty in securing the required bond.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Jul 13, 1882

Territory vs. Theodore Shed; defendant arraigned upon indictment for murder in the first degree; defendant to plead on November 18.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Nov 17, 1882

Court Proceedings.

In the case of the Territory vs. Theodore Shed, it was ordered that the defendant be admitted to bail in the sum of $8,000.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Nov 18, 1882

THE SHED TRIAL.

The Evidence All In — Nine O’Clock Monday Set for Hearing the Argument of Counsel.

The evidence in the Shed case (the accused being on trial for the killing of John Hugl) was all taken yesterday. The jury, as selected, is constituted as follows, to wit: Benjamin Benson, J.J. Ferrell, T.L. Hodge, O.C. Bundy, M.L. Geary, R.E. Sherry, A.F. Burns, David Blacker, N.A. Mattice, Robert Barnes, S.P. Kinna, and John Morris.

The evidence introduced by the prosecution contained no new features, although ten witnesses were examined, namely: Wm. Schollar, P.W. Atwood, N.H. Webster, W.L. Steele, Milt Witten, Geo. Jones, C.P. Van Wart, Romeo Reneuer, Herman Gans, and Mr. Blatner. The whole testimony of these witnesses may be summed up in a few words:

That Theodore Shed shot John Hugl, and that the affray took place on Main street almost in front of the Cosmopolitan Hotel. One of them testified that at the time the shot was fired Shed had his left arm raised as if to ward off a blow; another, that he heard a blow, and then the report of a pistol; and all, that after firing, Shed fell back upon the walk, while Hugl also fell.

Fourteen witnesses were called for the defense. T.J. Lowry testified that he had known the defendant for about seventeen years — in fact, ever since he (Shed) was quite a boy. He had always had the reputation of being a quiet and peaceable man, and also a very courteous one.

W.A. Chessman, W.K. Roberts, C.K. Wells, A.G. Clark, Major Davenport, Mr. Hartwell, L.F. Evans, R.C. Wallace, and Mr. Stanly testified substantially the same as Mr. Lowry, having known Shed from twelve to seventeen years, and always as a quiet and peaceable man.

Mrs. James McEvily had been acquainted with Mr. Shed for six years, having lived near him. He was not a strong man, and his health was not very good. While living neighbor to her he had had several attacks of hemorrhage of the lungs. Did  not know how violent these attacks were, but remembered having sent her boy for a doctor when Shed was taken with hemorrhage.

Michael Kelly testified to having been on Main street at the time of the difficulty between Shed and Hugl. Was within twenty or thirty feet of them, standing upon the sidewalk, He heard a shot and saw Shed fall. He ran to pick him up, but another gentleman got there first. Judged, from Shed’s appearance, that he was stunned. Asked Shed if he was hurt, and he replied, “He hit me.” A policeman then came up and took charge of Shed. Witness knew Mr. Hugl in his life time. He was about twenty-five years old, and probably five feet ten and a half inches high. He weighed probably 155 or 156 pounds. He was a strong man, there was no question about that. On cross examination Kelly stated that Shed fell at the instant the pistol flashed, and perhaps slightly before.

Dr. Steele testified to having known Shed for ten years, and that his reputation was good, he having never heard anything against him. Was acquainted with Shed’s physical condition. It was not very good. His chest was weak, and he had been addicted to hemorrhage of the lungs. After the difficulty with Hugl, Shed was coughing and spitting up blood. A stout muscular man, by striking him, would do him great bodily injury.

Mrs. Shed, (wife of the accused) testified that her husband’s physical condition had not been good for the past four or five years. In reference to the pistol spoken of, her husband always brought that home from the store with him. When he got home he would place it in the drawer, and in the morning would return it to his pocket. At night he always came home from the store after nine o’clock, and sometimes it was past ten o’clock.

This closed the testimony, and, as it was almost 4 o’clock in the afternoon the judge decided to postpone further proceeding in the case until Monday (to-morrow) at 9 o’clock, a.m., and court adjourned till that hour.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana)Nov 18, 1883

NOT GUILTY.

The Jury in the Shed Case Acquit the Defendant of the Charge of Murder.

All of yesterday’s session of the district court was occupied in hearing the argument of counsel in the Shed case. The proceedings were opened at half past nine o’clock by I.D. McCutcheon, for the prosecution. Mr. McCutcheon spoke for half an hour, and was followed by E.W. Toole, for the defense, who spoke for an hour and twenty minutes, and he, in turn, was followed by Col. Sanders for the defense in an address of over an hour. An adjournment was then taken until two o’clock p.m., at which time Col. Johnston closed for the prosecution, and the case went to the jury at about half-past four o’clock.

The plea of the defense was that in shooting Hugl the accused acted entirely in self-defense. Ordinarily an assault without some deadly weapon is not held to be sufficient cause for killing an assailant, as in order to establish the plea of self-defense it is necessary to show that the accused was in danger of great bodily harm; but in this case, although Hugl displayed no weapon, it was asserted by the defense (and the testimony introduced by them established it as a fact) that Shed’s physical condition was such that a blow from a strong man (as Hugh proved to be) might prove fatal, and would at any rate probably result in great bodily harm. The testimony of the defense went to prove that Shed was weak about the chest, and was afflicted at times with hemorrhage of the lungs; also that Hugl was large, active, and powerful. It was proven also that Hugl was in the act of striking Shed (had probably already struck him) and that he and Shed both fell when the fatal {SHOT} was fired. After the affray Shed was troubled with his chest and with spitting blood, which went to prove that Hugl, although unarmed, actually was able to do Shed great bodily injury, and in fact had already done so — and at the time the shot was fired he was following Shed up in an aggressive manner. These facts once proven, any measure for defense became justifiable.

Judge Wade, in his charge to the jury, made this point clear, and instructed that if the jury found that the deceased was the aggressor and that the defendant had good reason for believing himself to be in danger of great bodily harm, and if the jury believed that he did think so, then they should acquit. This same point was covered by several separate charges in the Court’s instructions.

The jury retired at about half-past four o’clock, and court took a recess until a verdict should be arrived at — which was within about three hours, when the jury brought in a verdict of not guilty.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Nov 20, 1883

Main St. Looking South - Helena Montana

Theodore Shed before the shooting:

Kiyus Saloon.

Those who delight in pure liquors and fine wines at reasonable prices should give the old established “Kiyus”, on Main street a call. Col. Shed, the proprietor, is known throughout the West for the superiority of his brands, and the remarkable fact that none but pure liquors are dispensed at this bar. It will also be seen by reference to his advertisement in another column that he has reduced his price to the hard times standard, of twelve and a half cents a drink. The “Kiyus” is therefore the place to obtain elegant beverages at reasonable rates.

The Helena Independent — 16 May 1876

Col. Shed, of the famous “Kiyus,” returned yesterday from a visit to Brewer’s Springs, visibly improved in health and appearance.

The Helena Independent — 30 Jul 1876

Theo. Shed has sold his interest in the trader’s store at the Missoula post to D.J. Welch of Williams & Co.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Nov 4, 1877

Theo. Shed sold out his interest in the sutler’s store yesterday to Williams & Co. It is Theo.’s intention to return to Helena.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Nov 6, 1877

Mr. Theodore Shed arrived here yesterday and has again taken charge of the Kiyus. There will be opened next Saturday an oyster department in connection with this establishment.

The Helena Independent — 22 Nov 1877

The head of the monster bear recently slaughtered by Theo. Shed while out hunting on Beaver Creek was on exhibition in Greenhood, Bohm & Co.’s counting room last evening. It was a formidable looking affair.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Oct 20, 1881

A handsome nugget pin was won in a raffle at White Sulphur Springs last Monday by Theo. Shed.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Feb 12, 1882

Philly Boy Kills for Candy

July 19, 2010

A Boy Murderer

PHILADELPHIA, March 11, 1878.

A very remarkable crime was committed in this city this evening. A boy of twelve years, with a precocious fiendishness which could scarcely be equalled by Jesse Pomeroy himself deliberately and in cold blood shot down and instantly killed a young playmate and companion of his own age. The affair has created the greatest excitement in the neighborhood in which it occurred, and hundreds of volunteers are helping the police to capture the youthful assassin, who cannot long evade arrest. The circumstances of the crime, as told by the young lads who witnessed it, seem to be as follows:

Robert McAdams, aged 12 years, whose parents live on a small street called Cambria street, near Lehigh avenue, was playing with six or eight other boys on Broad street, near the avenue, shortly after six this evening. McAdams had a piece of candy, which he was munching, when one of his playmates, Charles Parkman, aged 12 years, demanded a piece of the candy. McAdams refused. Thereupon Parkman said that if he did not give him some he would shoot him. McAdams still refused, and laughed, not dreaming apparently that Parkman was earnest in his threat.

Parkman then, without further warning, deliberately drew from his pocket a small, cheap revolver, and advancing close to his little companion, placed the muzzle near his forehead and fired. The boy dropped to the pavement and died almost instantly, with a bullet in his brain. The young assassin dropped his pistol and fled as his victim expired, the youthful witnesses having been too nearly paralyzed with surprise and fear to interfere.

Parkman, the boy murderer, has not yet been captured, but he probably will be before morning. He is said to have a very bad reputation in the neighborhood and to be generally regarded as a bad boy. His parents are neighbors of the McAdams people, and both families are respectable people in humble circumstances.

The Daily Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Mar 15, 1878

Divine Command Leads to Death Before Vengeance

July 12, 2010

Lutheran Church (Image from http://www.parkersprairie.net)

KILLS WIFE AND CHILDREN

Minnesota Farmer Says He Received a Divine Command.

FERGUS FALLS, Minn., Feb. 4. — William Ruckheim, a farmer, aged thirty-five years, murdered his wife and four children and shot himself last night at Parkers prairie. He was found dying when his son went to the farm today. Ruckheim is believed to have been temporarily insane.

Saying that he had received a divine command to proceed to a certain graveyard, where he and his family were to exhume several bodies, using only their bare hands, partly explains the tragedy. Unless this command were carried out before Easter, Ruckheim said, he and his family would be dragged to death.

After examining the graveyard and finding that it would be impossible to perform the task on account of frozen ground Ruckheim said he killed his family to escape divine vengeance.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Feb 5, 1910

1905 Effington, Otter Tail Co., MN - State Census

William Ruckheim, who was from Germany, wife Bertha, daughters Martha and Elza, and son, Albert. All are listed in the Minnesota death records index as dying on Feb. 4, 1910.

Mrs. Holton Meets an Awful Fate

July 12, 2010

Main St. and Courthouse - Springview, Keyapaha Co., Nebraska

Image from Bad Men and Bad Towns – By Wayne C. Lee

THEY LYNCH A WOMAN.

Mrs. Holton Meets an Awful Fate In Keya Paha County.

OUTRAGED BEFORE BEING HANGED.

Her Body Discovered in Her Cabin With a Rope Tied About the Neck — Evidences of a Terrible Struggle — She Was Suspected of Giving Up Secrets of Thieves to the Authorities.

BUTTE, Neb., March 19. — Mrs. W.E. Holton of Keya Paha county was found dead in her home last night by neighbors. She had been lynched. Her body was lying on the floor with a piece of rope, about 10 feet long, and a hatchet and a hammer beside her. The coroner was summoned and an autopsy showed that she had died of strangulation, and had also been assaulted. The woman was living alone, as her husband had been sent to an insane asylum. It is supposed the motive of the lynching was to prevent the woman from giving testimony against the rustlers, as she had been summoned as a witness against a gang of thieves in the county. She had borne a good reputation. It was evident that she had fought a hard fight for her life and her honor, as the bedding and clothing were torn and scattered around the room.

No warrants have yet been made, but a meeting of the best citizens of the neighborhood was held yesterday, and it was decided prompt measures should be taken, and it is expected that another and possibly several hangings will take place before long.

Several Under Suspicion.

Several persons are under suspicion, and these parties will be taken and compelled to confess.

The body of Mrs. Holton was interred at Oakdale cemetery at Doty, this county, yesterday.

The latest report comes that a man named Hunt is implicated in some way with the lynchers, and it is thought he can be forced to a confession. A number of the alleged rustlers were recently arrested and taken to Springview, where they broke jail and escaped to the reservation, where they were afterward recaptured and convicted.

The country where the lynching occurred is in the heart of the cattle rustling district.

Money Found on the Body.

The coroner’s jury after viewing the body delivered a verdict in accordance with the circumstances, that the deceased came to her death by hanging, and that the deed was committed by a person or persons unknown to the jury. A large sum of money was found on the body which had escaped the observation of the lynching party. The house was thoroughly ransacked and several articles of value, including a new Colt’s revolver, were missing.

The Evening News (Lincoln, Nebraska) Mar 19, 1895

TERRIBLE REVENGE

Wreaked Upon a Woman Who Knew Too Much

FOR THE WELLBEING OF HER ENEMIES.

Taken from Her Bed, Cruelly Outraged and Lynched by Cattle Thieves who Feared Her Testimony Before the Vigilants.

BUTTE, Neb., March 19 — News of a terrible tragedy has just reached this place. It occurred last Thursday in Keya Paha county, near Rocksburg. Mrs. W.H. Holton, who was living alone on her farm, was taken from her bed, cruelly outraged and then lynched. A neighbor discovered the deed the next morning when he passed by the home. The woman was found lying on the floor of her dwelling, surrounded by her scattered and torn clothing and the clothing of her bed. Tracks of many men’s feet were found in the yard and in the house.

No warrants have yet been issued, but a meeting of the citizens of the neighborhood was held Sunday, and it was decided that prompt measures should be taken.

The body of Mrs. Holton was interred at Oakdale cemetery at Doty Sunday.

Keya Paha county is noted for its lynchings by vigilants. There is no doubt but that the crime was committed by rustlers, who have been running off horses and cattle from the neighborhood, and who have reason to fear the vigilant committee.

The latest report says that a man named Hunt is implicated in some way with the lynchers, and it is thought he can be forced to confess.

A number of alleged rustlers were recently arrested and taken to Springview, where they broke jail and escaped to the reservation, where they were afterward recaptured and convicted. The proximity of the Indian reservation to the scene of the depredation makes it possible that United States deputy marshals may have to make arrests if warrants are sworn out.

Mrs. Holton is said to have assisted in securing the conviction of the cattle thieves, and this is their revenge.

Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Mar 19, 1895

MRS. HOLTON’S LYNCHERS.

Possible Clue Being Followed by the Sheriff.

BUTTE, Neb., March 19. — The authorities think they have struck a clue that may lead to the apprehension of the lynchers of Mrs. Holton. Mrs. Holton was a German woman about 50 years old and fairly well to do. Her husband, Theodore Holton, was sent to the hospital for the insane at Norfolk about eighteen months ago. Since that time the wife had lived alone on the ranch, the couple having no children. She looked after the bunch of cattle they owned and managed to prosper much as when her husband lived with her. They had been in this section of the country a number of years and well-known to the cattle men of all descriptions. It is just this acquaintance that undoubtedly brought about the crime. She was the principal witness against a young fellow named Davis, charged with stealing horses. It is believed that he knows of the crime. His whereabouts are now unknown. This led the sheriff in following and he expects results in the near future.

The county in which this crime was committed is far removed from the railroad and telegraph, and there are no towns near from which information could be readily secured. It is thinly settled and of such a character that it is not improbable that this will be only one more added to the list of violent deaths that have occurred in that portion of the state which will never be explained or brought home to any one, though the authorities believe they can locate the criminals.

The Fort Wayne Gazette (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Mar 20, 1895

Joseph Damon – A Murderer Swung Twice

June 21, 2010

AN EXECUTION.

A man named JOSEPH DAMON, was executed at Mayville, Chautauque county, New York, on the fifteenth ult. for the murder of his wife.

He walked from the jail to the gallows, ascended the scaffold unassisted and with a firm step, and remained calmly seated there, while a sermon was delivered by a clergyman. He then rose and addressed the assembly in a speech of about thirty minutes, being for the most part a repetition of previous statements, that witnesses had sworn falsely, and that if his wife came to her death by his hands he must have been insane, as he had no recollection of committing any act of violence toward her.

Having shaken hands with the officers and gentlemen on the scaffold, the halter being adjusted and the cap drawn over his face, he was swung off, but the rope slipping from its fastness on the beam above, he dropped upon the ground with but little or no injury to himself. —

He merely observed that he wished they would loosen the rope around his neck as he “wanted to breathe once more.”

The sheriff complied with his wish, and Damon re-ascended the scaffold, and, during the adjustment of the rope the second time, he intreated, “that is be done quick.”

He was then swung off the second time, and thus, with a few struggles, closed the career of Joseph Damon. It is stated that about fifteen thousand persons witnessed the execution!

The Peoples Press (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Jun 5, 1835

Fredonia, NY (Image from http://imagesofwny.com)

OLD TIME HANGINGS.

Executions In Those Days Caused Much Interest — Witnessed By Large Crowds.

The executions of the present are very different from those of 75 or 80 years ago. In those days the affair was public and always attracted large crowds. In the Jamestown Journal of last week, was a description of the hanging of Joseph Damon at Mayville on May 15, 1835, as told by the late Henry S. Aiden, shortly before his last illness, he being an eye-witness to the affair:

Mr. Aiden was then a boy about 14 years old and like hundreds of others was early on the ground to see and hear all that took place. It became a holiday for the people of Chautauque county. From every point of hte compass came wagon loads of men, women and children, all hurrying to reach Mayville. Not one in that crowd by look or tune showed any sign of the solemnity of the occasion.

A wagon, containing a coffin was backed up to the jail door. At the appointed time with a slow step Mr. Damon, attended by officers, came out and was helped to a seat in the wagon. The state guards had been called out for the occasion and were drawn up in two lines, one on either side of he wagon with a band, consisting of fife and muffled drums.

When all was in readiness the musicians played what has since been known as Damon’s March and led the way to the scaffold, erected on the hillside near the present site of the high school building. The guard formed a circle about the scaffold and stood with fixed bayonets. Rev. Sawyer preached the funeral sermon from Prov. 11:19. Mr. Damon listened with marked attention and at its close made some remarks, warning the young to abstain from intoxicating drink.

Assisted by Sheriff Saxton and other officers the prisoner was led up four or five steps and placed on the trap, the rope adjusted and the trap sprung. The falling of the body followed by the cry: “You have hung me once, now let me go,” unnerved the boy of 14 years and when the rope was again adjusted he could bear the sight no longer and turned his face away.

While he was being jostled about in the crowd which he said was the largest he had ever seen, he heard two men discussing the scene. One remarked that he thought it a pretty poor place for women and children. The remark was overheard by a woman who snarled in a not very pleasing tone:

“I have just as good a right here as you have.”

The crowd dispersed, the first execution in the county completed, and the last public execution in the state.

The body was turned over to three men who represented the family and who started in a two-horse wagon for some point in the northern part of the county.

Eight miles from Mayville the three men became thirsty and stopping at the John West tavern refreshed themselves with a liberal supply of whiskey.

LeRoy Gazette (LeRoy, New York) Jun 22, 1908

The first murder trial to be held in the county did not come until 1834, more than thirty years after the first settlement, and was one of the last trials to be held in the old court house. On the 24th day of April, 1834, Doctors Walworth and Crosby, of Fredonia, were called to the residence of Joseph Damon, about three miles from the village. There a terrible tragedy had been enacted. The wife of Joseph Damon was found on a bed with face, hair and pillow on which she lay stiff with her clotted blood. The blood smeared fire poker, which then stood near the fireplace, was unmistakable evidence of the instrument used to commit the horrible deed.

Damon’s trial occured on September 22, 1834. Judge Addison presided, with Hon. Philo Orton, Thomas B. Campbell, Benjamin Walworth and Artemus Herrick, judges of the county court, as associates. Samuel A. Brown, district attorney, and Sheldon Smith, of Buffalo, appeared as counsel for the People, while the prisoner was defended by James Mullett and Jacob Houghton, of Fredonia. Damon was convicted, and sentence of death was pronounced at the oyer and terminer held in March, 1935.

On the 15th of May following, a gallows had been erected in the open field at Mayville, on the west declivity of the hill, not far from the present Union school building. The sheriff, William Saxton, called out the Two Hundred Seventh regiment of the militia, with William D. Bond in command, to serve as a guard on this occasion. A public execution took place; men, women and children from all part of the county came to witness the scene on foot, horseback, and in wagons, the day having been made a general holiday; the number of spectators was estimated at from eight to fifteen thousand. When the drop fell, the fastenings of the rope broke away, and Damon fell to the ground.

He then appealed to the sheriff to postpone the execution, but public sentiment had not reached the deep aversion to legal public executions, and the rope was readjusted and the hanging was completed. This was the last public execution to take place in Chautauqua county.

Title: Legal and Judicial History of New York, Volume 3
Authors: Lyman Horace Weeks, John Hampden Dougherty
Editor: Alden Chester
Publisher: National Americana society, 1911
Pages 305-306 (Google book LINK)

Accused of Murder; Let Off the Hook

June 14, 2010

Distressing Affair.

A short time since we were called upon to notice a serious affair which transpired near the line that divides this state from Pennsylvania, and it now becomes our painful duty to relate another, which has occurred in the same vicinity, of a still more distressing and bloody nature. From all we have heard of the transaction, we believe the following statement to be correct.

On Thursday, the 25th March, Mr. Scott, a deputy sheriff of the county of Warren (Pa.) went to the house of Mr. Jacob Hook, (about four miles from the village of Warren,) for the purpose of arresting him on a charge of perjury; but Hook refusing to go with him, Mr. Scott returned to the village and procured five men to go with him to arrest Hook & bring him away by force. It was evening when they reached the house, the door of which they found fastened, and on demanding admittance, Hook desired to know who was there, and when informed, he told them to keep away, and that if they entered he would be the death of them. Upon this, the officer pushed against the door with such force as to break it suddenly open, and he fell on the floor — two men followed close upon him, when a gun, loaded with four or five leaden slugs was discharged at them, three of which passed through the arm of the second man, (Mr. Perry G. Sherman,) and entered the body of the third, (Mr. ____ Wallace,) who fell and expired without uttering a groan. The accidental falling of Mr. Scott when the door flew open, was undoubtedly the means of saving his own life.

It being dark, the deceased and the wounded man were immediately taken to a neighboring house, and three men stationed to watch the house of Hook during the night. It appeared that he did not know until morning that he had killed any one; as he was observed to come to the door in the night with a candle, and remarked that he believed he had wounded somebody, as there was blood on the steps. He was secured the next morning.

Hook is an old bachelor, and there was no person in the house with him, except a woman whom he kept. He is said to be worth twenty thousand dollars. For justice sake, and the reputation of the county of Warren, we hope he will not be suffered to escape the punishment which his crime justly deserves.

N.Y. Censor.

The Sandusky Clarion (Sandusky, Ohio) Apr 14, 1824

River Rafts Warren PA (Image from http://wiki.cincinnatilibrary.org)

From the Venango Deomcrat.

LAW INTELLIGENCE.

The trial of Jacob Hook, for the murder of Caleb Wallace, came on in the Court of Oyer and Terminer of Warren county, on Wednesday morning the 2d inst. and continued until Sunday evening. It was an interesting trial and produced considerable legal discussion, and the facts, as they turned out in evidence, were much in the defendant’s favor. —

It appeared that Asa Scott, who had collected a party, among whom was the deceased, to arrest the defendant on the 25th of March last, had no legal authority to arrest him. —

That defendant had expressed great anxiety and apprehension of danger that evening, on the arrival of the party who were some of them armed, believing that most of the party were inimical to him — that he had warned and entreated them not to attempt to take him, that he would resist them if they attempted to break open the door; that about 9 o’clock at night the party broke open the door, and immediately a gun was discharged in the house, and Caleb Wallace, who was one of the party, received the principal part of the contents in his breast and died immediately.

The legal discussion turned principally upon the validity of a warrant issued by a justice of the peace without stating an offence upon the face of it, and a general deputation given by the sheriff of the county to Asa Scott, to serve precepts directed to him.

The charge of the Court closed about sundown on Sunday evening, and the jury in about an hour returned a verdict of “not guilty.”

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Jun 23, 1824

Allegheny River - Warren, PA

From the Cranford Messenger.

TRIAL OF JACOB HOOK.

At the court of oyer and terminer which was held at Warren last week, came on for trial the indictment of Jacob Hook, for the killing of Benjamin Wallis; and after a hearing of several days, the case was submitted to the jury, who after retiring and consulting about twenty minutes, returned a verdict of not guilty.

The circumstances of the case, as we have hear them stated, were thus. A warrant to arrest Hook had been issued by a magistrate, directed to the sheriff; which had not been delivered to the sheriff for execution, but to Asa Scott, the coroner of the county, and who acted, also, sometimes as a kind of deputy to the sheriff. He went on the 25th of March to arrest Hook, who lived about four miles from Warren. Hook would not allow him to arrest him, denying his authority, and alleging the whole proceedings to be an illegal attempt to injure and ill-treat him by a combination of persons hostile to him, of whom he stated Scott to be one; but that he would submit to the arrest of the sheriff, or of the constable. Scott went back to Warren for assistance, and returned to Hook’s after dark with several persons in company and found his house locked.

After informing Hook of the object of their coming, and demanding admittance, and he refusing, they broke open the door; and in the doing of which a gun was fired by Hook, as was understood, and Wallis killed, and another of the company wounded. Upon the trial the court decided that the deputation under which Scott professed to act was illegal, and gave him no authority to execute the warrant against Hook, even if the warrant was good, to which there were several objections raised, but which the court thought unnecessary to decide.

The case then resolved itself into an unauthorised attempt of several armed persons to break open and enter Hook’s house against his will, after dark — and upon the illegality of the attempt, and the legal right of Hook to resist it, (the moral right could not come in question,) we understand the acquittal took place.

The case excited great interest not only in the county, but elsewhere. There were seven counsel for the prosecution, and for the defendant six; among whom were Mr. Baldwin, of Pittsburg, and Mr. Farrelly, of this place.

The Sandusky Clarion (Sandusky, Ohio) Jul 7, 1824

FRANKLIN, Pa. June 15.

Suicide. — On Wednesday morning last, a man named Jared Dunn, a very respectable citizen of Warren county, put an end to his existence by hanging himself in his own barn.

It appears he was subject to a weakness of mind when anything troubled him, from an injury he had once received in the skull; and had the misfortune to be called on the jury in the case of Jacob Hook, for life and death, who was acquitted, but some of his enemies had the imprudence to cast reflections on Mr. Dunn as to the decision of the jury, which is supposed to have been the cause of his committing this horrid act.

He has left a wife and seven children to mourn his untimely end.

Democrat.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Jun 30, 1824

Trial of Jacob Hook.

It has already been stated in the papers, that Jacob Hook, a rich man in the western part of Pennsylvania, who committed a most bloody murder a few months since, has been tried and acquitted. His acquittal was received with great amazement by the public, although the anticipations of some were realized.

The New-York Censor, published in Chautauque county, explains the matter by stating that ‘the most abominable corruption was exhibited at his trial, and which reflects nothing but disgrace on the judge and jury who tried him.

As a serious confirmation of this, we have to state, that one of the jurymen, a Mr. Jared Dunn, who has heretofore been considered a respectable man, committed suicide on the morning after the trial. He was heard to say, before his death, that he had been guilty of perjury by means of bribery, and that he might as well die as live. On being asked how much money he received, he replied that he had received no more than the rest of the jury. Mr. Dunn’s wife found a sum of money which she could not tell how or where he received.

It is currently reported that Judge Moore, who presided at the trial, also received a large sum of money from Hook; but this, by some, is not believed.

Hook, since his trial, appears haughty and impudent. We should not be surprised if the effusion of blood did not stop here.”

N.Y. Eve. Post.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Jul 7, 1824

Among the earlier settlers and most enterprising lumbermen of the county was Jacob Hook, better known, perhaps, as “Jake Hook.” He emigrated either from Boston or Main somewhere about the year 1798, bring with him, as his stock in trade, a package of the bills of some bank that had failed so recently “down east,” that Jake had time to circulate his bills here before the failure became known. This served to start him; and eventually, by dint of sharp bargains and hard work, rolling saw logs, digging mill-races, and other speculations appurtenant to a lumber country, Jake arrived to the dignity of owning more mills and running more lumber than any other man in the county.

In connection with some of his speculations, the charge of perjury had been fastened upon him, and he had made himself extremely obnoxious to many of the citizens. A party attempted to arrest him for trial, and he killed one of them in the affray, — was tried for his life, but escaped by an informality in the legal proceedings.

The following is from the New York Censor, copied into the Conewango Emigrant of 21st July, 1824.

“It was proved on this trial that seven men, headed by one Asa Scott, went to the house of Hook, about 4 miles above Warren, on the left bank of the Allegheny, between sunset and dark on the 25th March, for the avowed purpose of taking Hook to Warren that night. They all admitted that they intended to use force, if necessary. One stated that they meant to take him at all events. These persons were inimical to Hook with one or two exceptions, and had with them one or two loaded rifles. On arriving at Hook’s they found his door fastened. One of the company endeavored to prevail on him to surrender; but he refused, alleging that he feared to trust himself with such men.

“About 9 o’clock, Scott and his followers went to the house and demanded admittance; but he persisted in stating that he considered himself in danger, and that he looked upon them as a mob. Scott also stated, that on his demanding admittance, Hook informed him, by a token peculiar to a particular society, that he was in danger, and that he (Scot) assured him that he would be safe. Scott immediately burst open the outer door with considerable violence; and almost at the same instant a gun was fired off within the house, by which one of the assailants (Caleb Wallace) was killed, and another wounded. On the trial, the counsel for the prosecution attempted to show that Scott was a deputy sheriff, and had a legal warrant on Hook for perjury. The court, however, on examining the deputation under which he pretended to act, decided that it was void, and gave him no authority.”

Hook was acquitted on that ground.

He had always been at sword’s point with the Warren people, and this affair had no tendency to heal the breach.

He died about 1829 or ’30.

Title: Historical Collections of the State of Pennsylvania
Author: Sherman Day
Publisher: G. W. Gorton, 1843
Pages 648-649
(Google book LINK)

Conewango Creek - North Warren, PA (Image from jenn1872 picasweb.google.com)

ERROR to the Common Pleas of Warren county.

This was an action on the case by Silas Lacy against Lewis Arnett and r.S. Orr, for maintaining a mill-dam in the Conewango creek, a short distance above its confluence with the Allegheny river, whereby the plaintiff’s lands were overflowed.

The mills and dam was of a temporary character, intended for driving a saw-mill. In 1818 or 1819, they were owned by James Arthurs; and Jacob Hook was the owner of the land now vested in the plaintiff, and in respect to which this action was brought.

James Arthurs testified that, at this time, “Hook asked me, one day, what I’d say, if he’d pull down that dam some day, or what I’d give him for the privilege of attaching the dam to his land, and of the water; I told him I would give my horse, saddle, &c.; he said, It’s a bargain, and I gave them to him.”

Title:  Pennsylvania state reports, Volume 33
Author: Pennsylvania. Supreme Court
Publisher: West Pub. Co., 1859
Lacy versus Arnett et al. – Page 169

Jacob Hook owned all the land along the creek, including the entire site of Glade City, before 1816, though he lived at his saw-mill across the river in Mead. This mill, which had five saws, was one of the largest mills on the Allegheny River at that day. In 1819 he built the large barn now standing on the farm of Guy C. Irvine. He died at Pittsburgh in 1827, while there on business. At that time he was one of the most extensive of the lumbermen in the entire State. He owned also a quarter interest in the old Pittsburgh bridge. He was a brother of Orren Hook, who will be mentioned in a later page. The family came from New Hampshire. He was a bachelor, and at the time of his death was in the prime of life. Another brother, Moses, owned his mill after his death, and later still transferred it to Orren Hook, who in turn operated it until it went down. The property is now known as Wardwell’s, and it is the center of quite an oil field.

H I S T O R Y OF WARREN COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA
Edited by J.S. Schenck, assisted by W.S. Rann;
Syracuse, N.Y.; D Mason & Co., Publishers; 1887
CHAPTER XLVIII. HISTORY OF GLADE TOWNSHIP.

Borough of Warren PA

A FEW REMINISCENCES
Of Warren’s Early History by an Old Resident.

Some Historical Data Which Will be of Interest to the Present Generation — Personal Reminiscences by the Late James H. Eddy, who Remembered When Warren was a Village of a Half Dozen Buildings.

The first jail was built of hewed logs, was located about where Hon. W.M. Lindsey’s house now stands on Market street, and had a yard adjoining it, surrounded by a palisade of oak logs set on end in the ground, sharpened at the top and about twenty feet high. Capt. Asa Winter and his son Elihu cut the logs for the jail and palisade on Tanner’s hill and hauled them down with oxen. Capt. Winter then owned and occupied the farm this side of North Warren now owned by the Hon. L.D. Wetmore.

Daniel Jackson was said to be the first white settler in Warren county. When he first came here, he camped on Jackson Run where he built his mill about 1794 or 1795. About the only mill irons then used, were the end of the dog with a socket for a wooden bar, a very few light ones for the carriage, and the saw, all other parts of the mill were taken from the forest. Jackson was a great hunter, lumbered a good deal and ran lumber cut at his mill, down the river to Southern markets. As far back as I can recollect, John King, father of Hon. R.P. King, was lumbering and farming, and was a river man canoeing goods and provisions up the river to Warren from Pittsburg the nearest source of supplies.

Joseph Mead, father of Boon Mead, was farming Mead’s island and the farm adjacent below Warren. About 1818 or 1819 James Stuart and Robert Arthur built a mill near where Bartch Bros. Wagon shop now stands, between Liberty and Market streets, and ran the dam across the Conewango creek from that point to the island. I ran across that dam many times, barefooted, when a boy, while they were building it and afterwards. Both Stuart and Arthur afterwards sold out and went to Illinois. Lathrop G. Parmlee came to Warren and started a store in the bar room of a hotel kept in the Daniel Jackson house where the rear part of the Citizen’s National Bank Building stands.

Parmlee must have been very early for leaves from the day book kept by him through the months of January and February, 1815, were lately found in the garret of Chas. Dinsmoore’s house by carpenters making repairs. Parmlee afterwards opened a store below where the Carver House now stands. Lathrop G. Parmlee was the father of Hon. L.T. Parmlee, and G.N. Parmlee. Arichibold Tanner was in business very early and built the store now occupied by Andrew Ruhlman, for a ware house where supplies from Pittsburgh were received and stored for himself, and the public generally until called for.

In early days no attorneys lived in Warren, but came from Meadville to attend Court here, finally two attorneys came to Warren, rented a little building where the Exchage Block now stands, of John Hackney, and prepared to practice law. To occupy their time they wrote for and edited a little paper published here, and at one time in the paper reflected somewhat upon Archibold Tanner. A few nights afterward a little cannon heavily loaded was shot off next to their office, tearing away a good share of that side of the office; the next day the attorneys left the town and the people were without legal counsel for some time.

Jacob Hook purchased a mill at an early day at what is now called Wardwell, enlarged it and put in five saws and carriages, a remarkable enterprise for those days. As early as I can recollect, Jacob Hook was the most extensive lumber manufacturer in this vicinity. I pulled an oar on one of his rafts from his mill to Cincinnati in 1830.

What is now the principal part of Cincinnati was then corn fields. Hook owned about all of the land along the river from Warren to Corydon, including some of the finest of the Kinzua flats. He was an energetic, able man, engrossed entirely in his business, but was continually annoyed by a class of mischief loving practical jokers who exerted themselves much more in attending to other peoples business than in their ow avocations.

In March of 1824 or thereabouts, Mr. Hook had been brought to Warren as defendant in some frivolous litigation every day in the week until Saturday, and a warrant was issued for his arrest on Saturday, on some far-fetched complaint so as to fill out the week. When the officer went to Hook’s mill late on Saturday, Hook not relishing the prospect of lying in jail over Sunday, said he would appear on Monday, but would not go that night. Deputy Sheriff Asa Scott summoned a posse to take him; Hook locked his door and threatened to shoot them if they broke in. The posse broke in the door; Scott being first, fell headlong when the door gave way. Hook fired a slug or bullet which passed above Scott, through Perry Sherman’s arm, and then through the body of Caleb Wallace, instantly killing him.

Hook was arrested, and tried for murder in a house on the corner of 5th and Market streets where the house of William Scott is now located.

Several other boys and myself took seats upon the beams of the house over the heads of the people attending the trial, and were attentive spectators during the whole trial. My father rode horseback to Pittsburg to employ an attorney to defend Hook. He secured the service of Henry Baldwin, afterwards Judge Baldwin, and paid him three hundred dollars in gold for attending the trial. The warrant was irregular, had no seal after the magistrate’s name, and Hook was acquitted. Public opinion was quite strongly in Hook’s favor. Judge Jesse Moore presided at the trial with associates Connely of Brokenstraw, and Hackney of Warren, grandfather of A.T. Hackney, upon the bench.”

PERRY D. CLARK.

The Evening Democrat (Warren, Pennsylvania) Apr 25, 1894

Glade, Pennsylvania (Image from http://explorepahistory.com)

An Old Landmark Gone.

One of the old landmarks of this section is being torn town. The old Hook barn, known as such 60 years ago, on the Andrew Irvine farm is being removed to what was known as the Chapman farm on the Little Glade Run. This barn was built by Jacob Hook in 1819, on the road leading from Glade Run to Warren. It was built some years before the one on the Struthers farm. Andrew Irvine bought the property in 1835 and built the house now occupied by Guy C. Irvine. At the time the house was built it was the only one between the bridge and Glade Run and the land surrounding was nearly all covered with woods.

OLD TIMER.

The Evening Democrat (Warren, Pennsylvania) Jun 4, 1894