Posts Tagged ‘Jacob Hook’

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