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CRIMES, ACCIDENTS, INCIDENTS
Murder of Captain John W. Ricketts -James Berry Killed Stephen J. Moore - Nathan Faucett and Jake Muldrow- L. D. Willingham Killed by Walter Kilgore -Mastin Wiley Killed by William Hartley- John Kelleher Killed by the Cars-Randolph Scharlach and Son Killed by the Cars- Suicide of Ex-Mayor Ladd -John P. Beatty Killed - Death of Gustavus and Mary Gleason
All organized counties and communities, it matters not what may be their geographical location, or what may be their general moral and religious status, have a criminal record. Some of these records are comparatively free from crime; others are replete with deeds of violence and bloodshed. Audrain county is no exception to this universal rule, yet from the date of its organization to the present time the number of crimes committed within its borders, in proportion to population, as shown by the records of the courts, is far less than the number that have been perpetrated in many other counties. There are, however, some facts of a criminal character which belong to the history of the county, and are of such importance that they may be mentioned in this work. There have been but three executions in the county covering a period of about 47 years. The first indictment and trial for murder occurred in July, 1840. Monroy Powell was tried for killing George Eubanks. (See chapter III.) The next important ease was the State against Hart, a slave, for administering poison to the slaves of John R. Croswhite, in June, 1854, and Emily, another slave, the property of Thomas Lakin, was tried in 1856, charged with infanticide.
MURDER OF CAPT. JOHN W. RICKETTS
The following embraces the main facts in the trial of the third murder committed in Audrain county: - At the preliminary examination of James N. Rodman for the murder of Capt. John W. Ricketts, held in Mexico, Mo., on the 3d day of March, 1857, the following facts in relation to the murder were elicited. We present only a synopsis of the evidence as we find it in the St. Louis Leader:- John P. Beatty being sworn-I was acquainted with the late John W. Ricketts. On this day one week ago, in the evening, I saw Mr. Ricketts on the street in town, about two or three o'clock. I saw him next at the corner of Paul Abbats field, west of town, about seven oclock in the evening, at the south-east corner of the field, in the lane between Abbats and Clarks field. He was then dead, his body resting on his knees, his hands doubled under him, and his head down in the mud, his hat partly under his head, his face turned nearly due north. He was taken from there to his home, the officers with him, to hold an inquest over his dead body. He was found about three-quarters of a mile from the court-house, his house was about a quarter of a mile beyond where he was found. Ricketts was in town nearly every day; he frequently came to town in the morning and returned home in the evening ; he was found on the direct route from town to his house. On the next morning, the 25th, about sunrise, the two Mr. Northcuts, Sack Davis, Mr. Hockady, Tom Spires and myself went to the place of murder. Upon examination no boot or shoe track could be found near the place where the murder was committed which led to or from that place. There was a string of fence near where Ricketts was shot, running north, and we discovered what seemed to he board tracks coming up the fence to where the body was, and back along the fence. After following the hoard tracks about 300 yards we saw where the boards had been tied to the mans feet; we discovered one track going to the place of the murder and another going from that place. We separated ; some followed the track to the murder, others the track from that point. There was another fence running east and west; about 100 yards from the corner of that fence a rider had been thrown off, and there the individual who had made that track had crossed the fence. This was Paul Abbat's fence. The tracks then turned a north-east course, crossing a point of prairie. After following the track nearly east it turned and went into a thicket, and there it turned a north-east course again ; it kept that until it crossed the Paris road, leading from town towards Mr. Keithleys; there was a branch and an old road running from Wades towards Abbats; the track intersected that road there and followed that road to near Wades fence ; there it turned nearly south, and continued that direction 150 or 200 yards ; the track then went in towards Wades field ; in the field we came to a cross track ; some took the back track and some the other; one track took a south-east course to the north-west corner of Mrs. Wisdoms garden fence, and turned about due south to a big road and a cross fence ; the other track was trailed to nearly the same place. We stopped about 100 yards from James Rodmans house. Whilst we were sitting on the fence Mr. Rodman and Mr. Wade came to us ; I got off of the fence, and the salutation was good morning. I immediately noticed the tracks which Mr. Rodman then made, and I was thunderstruck; the tracks of Mr. Rodman had every appearance of being the same tracks that we had been following through the field. It had every appearance of it. I eyed it closely. The other track, the one coming from the murder, came to the east side of Mrs. Wisdoms house. I followed that track to Mr. Rodman's house. This was the track from the place of the murder along through Wades field, out at the gap, and along the east side of Mrs. Wisdoms house along the yard fence, where the tracks crossed the branch, there was the appearance that the person had hopped across it, sort of side ways. I then looked towards Mr. Wades field, and saw several persons coming on the same track that I had been following. They followed it until it came near Mr. Rodmans house, they brought with them some boards, that we suppose had been tied to the mans feet who committed the murder. The track came within ten or fifteen feet of Rodman's north door. The tracks were not plain to the door, that I could see; near the door the tracks turned round the house. I followed it no further. A crowd collected and Mr. Rodman was arrested. The track which I followed precisely fitted these boots (Rodman's boots). I would not swear that these boots made the track we had been following, but they correspond in the size, length and breadth, at the toes and heels, and the length of the heel-tap correspond. I measured another track that this boot made, and it answered to the measurement of the track that I had followed from where the boards were taken off to Rodman's house, and the board track went to the place where Ricketts was murdered. Mr. Rodman, when I saw him come to us, had on a pair of boots precisely like these. There were peculiar marks about the tracks and the boots, there were tracks in the center of the boots, more on one side than the other; the impressions in the tracks correspond with the tacks in the boots, half way between the heel and the toe. These boots have the same, that is the tacks in the boots and the tack impression in the boot tracks are the same as to location and appearance. The ground was very soft, so much so that no weight could rest upon it without leaving an indentation. The ground had not frozen that night. Mr. Rodman at that time lived in West Mexico, nearly one-quarter of a mile from the court-house. The house we tracked to is the one in which he then lived. Ricketts' house is a little south-west from the court-house ; Rodman's house a little north of a west course from the court-house. Rickett's was found about one-fourth of a mile from where Rodman lived. Mrs. Wisdom's house is about 150 yards from Rodmans house, a little east or north. The branch where the hop was is 75 or 80 yards from Rodman's house. In the corner of the fence, on the inside of the field, we saw where a man had been whittling on a rail. Ricketts was lying in the lane; no tracks were there, or near there, but board tracks; the fence was a rail worm fence, running east and west; a few feet from the corner of the fence, about the second panel, was where the man lay in the corner of the fence inside who had shot Ricketts, and a little north where Ricketts was when shot down, rails were laid in the corner on the soft ground and there was whittling on a rail on the inside of the fence, Ricketts was found on the north side of the land, near Abbats fence. A man coming along where Ricketts was found would hardly see a man lying in the corner of the fence from which Ricketts was shot. This was all in Audrain county, State of Missouri. Mr. Hawkins Northcutt corroborates the testimony of Mr. Beatty, and adds that he followed the tracks to within forty yards of Rodmans house. The impression of the boots also had some nail-heads in them, and the tracks were distinct and well defined. The murderer had evidently tried to walk, as much us possible on sticks, weeds, etc., so as to prevent sinking in the mud. At times there was considerable difficulty in following the tracks from the care which had been taken in walking on the brush and weeds. There were no other tracks. S. W. Davis swears that he traced the tracks from the place where the murder was committed to within a short distance of Rodmans house; the boards which were on the bottoms of his feet were laid aside and the man walked in his boots; the soles of the boots contained tacks, the heads of which made an impression in the ground. One boot contained three, the other five tacks, singularly situated, being on the outside and under the instep. The tracks were perfectly visible and easily tracked. Mr. Thomas Spires makes the same statement in regard to the tracks, and adds that he found some rails in the corner of the fence near where Ricketts was killed, which had been used by the murderer to stand on, and also on the fence, marks as if made by the thimble of a gun. Also impressions as if of strings tied round the boards on the feet of the murderer. He says after Rodmans arrest he went to Allisons, where Rodman was, and saw Rodmans boots taken off. The boots were then tried in the track and exactly fitted, the impressions of the tack-heads being identical with those in the track. Mr. A. S. Murphys testimony is in accordance with the foregoing, and adds that he was present when the boots were fitted in the tracks. John B. Coons states that one of Rodmans boots was a little trampled down at the heel, and that the protruding leather made an impression in the mud, which exactly corresponded with the track of the murderer. W. H. Edmonston states that he picked up some of the strings used by the murderer to bind the boards to his feet, that those in the court were the identical strings, all dark colored but one, which was of fair leather. William Lockridge swears that Rodman got leather strings at the shop of Pasqueth & Cunningham on the evening of the murder, one of fair leather, which had been sharked, and on the fair leather string presented to the court were the impressions of the shark skin. He further swears that he believes the strings presented to the court to be the identical strings purchased by Rodman. C. Ragsdale, a saddler, swears that the strings produced in court are the same as those purchased by Rodman, and knows them from having been employed to tie up his work. Here an indictment against James A. Rodman for forging a note on John W. Ricketts for about $3,000, was filed as evidence in the case, as a motive to commit the deed, as Ricketts was the principal witness. Mrs. Wisdom swears that, on the evening of the murder, she saw Rodman coming from towards Wades field, along the east side of her house, along the yard fence, going home; that he appeared to be lame; this was between five and six oclock in the evening. The next morning she saw persons in the same tracks Rodman made the evening before. Miss Wisdom corroborates her mothers testimony. Others also saw Rodman on this very track. George Muldrow swears that he is the constable of Salt River township, that he apprehended Rodman on the morning of the 25th of February; that he asked for his gun and the one in court is the one given up; that he noticed that the lower thimble was broken off and looked like a fresh break; that he raised the hammers and saw no caps on the tubes; both barrels were empty. John W. Wilkins states: I am a gunsmith. Mr. Rodman brought a double-barrel shot-gun to my shop about fifteen days ago. The gun in court is Mr. Rodmans. I examined the gun closely, saw nothing wrong. To the best of my knowledge the thimble was then on it. The prisoner refused to make any explanations, but said he was not guilty of the charge. Defendants Witnesses. - Coleman Wisdom, a little boy, states: That he lives about 250 yards from Rodmans house; that he knows him and saw him on the evening Ricketts was killed between the hours of five and six oclock, chopping wood at his own (Rodmans) wood pile, right before his own door. - That he (Coleman) was in his mothers stable-loft, that he has seen Rodman passing about in the brush coming from bunting. George Burhop states: That he is a teacher of music, that he was engaged giving lessons at Rodmans house on the evening of the 24th of February, the evening Ricketts was killed; that he went there at four oclock; that he was engaged in giving lessons about one hour on that evening. Mrs. Bryant and a Miss Sheriff were there. Mrs. Bryant came in while he was engaged in giving lessons. He took supper at Rodmans house that evening, as did also the ladies. He saw James N. Rodman after he had finished giving a lesson to his wife. Did not see him coming home. There was no candle lighted when Rodman came in. He heard a heavy walk at the door on the west-side, in the south room, like a man stamping off mud. Cant tell at what time Rodman came in as he did not look at his watch. It was light enough to see the notes; as to reading, could not tell. After supper he and Rodman walked up to town; it was light enough to pick their way. After Mrs. Rodmans lesson, Mrs. Bryant requested him to play; does not know how long he played for her ; in the meantime he was introduced to Miss Sheriff, and some time after that Rodman came in. Had not seen him about the house that evening until he came into the room. Mrs. Bryant swears that she is a sister of Rodmans wife ; that she was at Rodmans house on the evening Ricketts was killed; she saw Rodman at his house that evening, the sun was about an hour high when she saw him ; he was with Burhop, was on the porch, walking about the yard and milking the cow. Mrs. Rodman made the fire to prepare supper, Rodman prepared the wood; there was none other to do it; if Rodman was absent after he came home till supper, it must have been a very short time. After he milked the cow, he went in and talked with Burhop ; did not see him with a gun on that evening has not seen him with a gun this year ; was in the room with Burhop when Rodman came in; Miss Sheriff was not there and had not been. Miss Sheriff states that she knows Rodman; was at his house on the 24th of February, from. noon until the next morning ; saw Rodman at his house that evening more than an hour before sundown ; she was in the south room, Burhop, Mrs. Rodman and Mrs. Bryant were in the north room. Burhop had not finished giving Mrs. Rodman lessons when Rodman came; he was chopping wood; she went to the door and saw him chopping wood. He then came in, washed his face and hands and went in the north room ; he was not absent long enough after he came to be missed ; if he had been absent a half or quarter of an hour she would have missed him. Mr. Rodman did not bring with him a gun when he returned ; she did not see him take a gun out of the house that evening. Rodman was not in the room that night after he went to town, nor next morning until Muldrow came to arrest him. She (Miss Sheriff) was visiting her brother in Mexico; her brothers wife is a niece of Mrs. Rodman. R. H. Hord states that he had a conversation with Rodman, in town, on the evening Ricketts was killed; could not state the time ; the young ladies had come from school. William M. Sims testifies that he was in sight of Ricketts when he was killed, heard the fire of a gun and saw Ricketts in a squatting position, and did not remove his eyes from him until he had heard three reports of a gun. McDonald was also in sight. It was a little after five oclock. A. J. McDonald says he was on horseback, saw Ricketts about sun-down, at the corner of Abbat's field. W. P. Hurt says he is conducting a school in Mexico; usually dismissed school at 4 oclock in the evening, and did so on the 24th of February. Great excitement prevailed throughout the examination, the courthouse being crowded all the time with persons anxious to hear the evidence. Rodman was charged with murder in the first degree. He refused to give any explanation of the facts and circumstances produced against him; when the evidence closed, the case was submitted without argument, the decision of the justice was: That from the evidence, and the oath they had taken, no course was left them but to commit the prisoner for further trial, and that he could not be admitted to bail. The examination was a searching one, and the witnesses were separated, so that no witness heard the evidence of any previous witness. Rodman had two or three trials, and was finally cleared, after which he left the country. It is said that his father spent several thousand dollars defending him.
On the night of the 18th of September, 1877, the Union Pacific express car was robbed at Big Springs Station, 162 miles west of Wyoming Territory, by six masked men. The robbers appeared at the station in the evening, and took possession of everything, tearing the telegraph instruments out and throwing them away. A red light was then hung out to stop the train, which arrived there about 11 oclock P.M. On the conductors stepping off to see what was wanted he was confronted by men armed with revolvers, who commanded him to throw up his hands. The fireman and engineer were secured and placed under guard. The station agent was forced to knock on the express door, and on its being opened for him, the, robbers rushed in, overpowering Messenger Miller, and taking possession of the car They secured $65,000 in coin, and about $500 from the express car in currency. The through safe, which was stationary, and which had a combination lock, they left undisturbed. It contained a large sum of money. The passengers in the coaches were then visited, and relieved of cash and valuables amounting to about $1,800. One of the six masked men above mentioned was James Berry, who had been a resident of Callaway county, Mo. He had been living a short time previous to the robbery at North Platte, Nebraska, with a man named Garretson. They were in some kind of business, but failed, leaving their creditors nothing. Berry went to the Black Hills. A detective by the name of Leach resided in Ogalalla, and was in the mercantile business. Berry went to Leachs store to purchase a pair of boots, but not having any money, Leach refused to credit him. A man by the name of Collins, however, paid for them. A few days after this the robbery of the train occurred, and Leach went at once to the locality where it took place. He took the trail of the men, and followed them two hundred miles through a wild country alone. He at length overtook them, while they were around their camp-fire counting their money. He saw Berry and Collins, and at once recognized them as the men who had purchased the boots. He heard them talk about their plans, and learned their places of abode. The robbers separated into companies of two men. Berry and his confederate came to Mexico, where Berry stopped; his accomplice took the Chicago and Alton train for the North. Leach, the detective, came on to Mexico, and at the time of Berrys capture was in Callaway county, near Berrys house, endeavoring to affect Berrys arrest
After Berrys return to Callaway county, he took great pleasure ma showing his money, and was often seen in the saloons in Mexico, where he made a great display of his ill-gotten gain. Not being a thrifty man, but on the contrary, a dissolute character, the people who knew him and seeing him with so much money, at once suspected something wrong. This suspicion was confirmed by the detective, and circumstances pointed to Berry as one of the six robbers of the express train. We Copy from the Mexico Ledger, of October 18, 1877:- It appears that last Saturday night as our sheriff (Glascock) was eating supper about half-past six o'clock, he received a message that a man was in town after the suit of clothes Berry had left at Blums. The man's name was Bose Kazy; he lived near Berrys. He told Blum that Berry had told him that he could have the clothes if he would pay the balance of $30 due on them. This was the way he had his job" fixed up. Glascock ran right down to Kabrich's Hall, and hid behind the corner and saw Kazy come out; this was half past seven. Glascock followed him to Wallace & McKameys livery stable. Just as Glascock got near the stable, he met John Carter and told him to come along. Carter, Glascock and Kazy all got to the stable at the same time. Kazy paid for his horse feed, and started to get on his horse. Sheriff Glascock took Kazy by the collar, presented a pistol to his head, and told him he would shoot him if he moved. Kazy did not move. Glascock ordered two more horses saddled. They then tied Kazy on his horse. The sheriff and Carter then mounted. and the cavalcade then moved off, Glascock leading Kazys horse. They went down to the branch near the residence of Thomas Smith, in South Mexico, and there they stopped. Glascock there procured the services of John Coons, Bob Steele, and a young man named Moore. All got horses and prepared themselves with double-barrel shot-guns. They then told Kazy that he must tell them where Berry was. He said he had not seen Berry since he told him he could have the clothes, which had been about a week before that time. The posse then surrounded Kazy, put their guns to his heart, and told him if he led them into any trap, or did not take them at once to where Berry was they would kill him. He said he would take them to Berrys house, if it would do them any good. The men started out towards Kazys house. When they arrived within a half mile of Kazys house, they took Kazy off, tied him and left Bob Steele to guard him; then Glascock placed two men north of the house and stable - Moore and himself going on the south and west side. Before they tied Kazy they asked him to tell where Berry was, but he said he knew nothing, about him. They dud not alarm Kazys house, but all seated themselves in thickets, to await results. Glascock told them to halt Berry if they saw him, and if he showed tight, to shoot him down, and if he ran, to shoot him in the legs-in short to capture him at all hazards. In about a half hour Glascock heard the neighing of a horse about a half mule distant as he thought. Moore and Glascock then crept towards the noise - went 300 yards down the branch, came to a fence and saw fresh horse-tracks. Glascock got over the fence and secreted himself in a thicket, he heard the horse snort this time about fifty yards away in the brush. Glascock then crawled toward the horse, and after going about twenty steps got upon his knees and saw the back of the horse about forty yards off. Glascock approached within about twenty yards of the horse, when he raised up and saw Berry unhitching the horse from a tree. He started with his horse, leading him as he stated to water. Glascock cocked both barrels of his gun and approached within about twenty feet of Berry and ordered him to halt . Berry started to run ; Glascock shot, the charge going over Berrys head. He shot again, and seven buck-shot were lodged in Berry's left leg below the knee. Berry fell to the ground. When the sheriff got to them he was trying to get his pistol out. This the sheriff took from him. Berry then asked him to kill him, saying he did not want to live. Just at this time Moore came up. Glascock called the balance of the posse. Berry was searched, and in his belt was found five $500 packages, and in his pocket-book was found $304. He had a gold watch and chain, one dress coat, three overcoats and a comfort; he had doubtless slept within ten feet of the horse. They took him to Kazys house, and while they were at breakfast a messenger was sent to Williamsburg for medical assistance. Immediately after breakfast the sheriff and John Carter went to Berrys house to look for the balance of the money. Upon arriving there the sheriff inquired of Mrs. Berry the where-abouts of Berry. She answered she did not know, as she had not seen him for four or five days, and thought he had left the country. The sheriff showed her Berrys watch and chain, when one of the children said, Oh! I thought that was papas. He further told her that he had captured Berry, when she asked if he had been taken alive, saying she never thought he would be. When informed that he had been taken alive she and the children began to cry - a little boy and five small girls. It was a distressing scene. The sheriff searched the house but found no money. Sunday evening the parties returned to Mexico and placed Berry in a room at the Bingo house, and called Dr. Russell to attend him. On the following Tuesday, at about one oclock, Berry died. After being wounded, there was no reaction and on Monday night gangreen set in. Berry did not seem to dread death. He told those around him he would not die. His brother-in-law, James Craighead, was with him during his last moments. His sister and friends from Martinsburg came too late to see him, as did also his wife, who did not arrive until about four oclock. On Monday night, Berry made a confession, and said he was in the robbery, but said he was not sorry for it. His remains were interred in the Richland cemetery, Callaway county. His aged mother died a few hours before he did, and they were both buried in the same grave.
STEPHEN J. MOORE [From the Mexico Ledger of March 18, 1880.]
The case of the State v. Stephen J. Moore, who was indicted for murder in the first degree, for the killing of his brother-in-law, Albert Gentry, in this county on the 15th of June, 1878, was called and tried at Bowling Green last week, to which place a change of venue was taken from this county The history of the case, as shown by the evidence, is about as follows: In 1866, Moores father with a large family of children moved from the State of Indiana to Boone county, Mo., and rented a farm near by Sturgeon. Soon after, defendants father died, leaving the entire family in very humble circumstances to be supported by the defendant, who was the eldest child. Defendant had the support of the family until 1868, when he went to Columbia, where he worked at the carpenters trade for four years. In 1872, while working at his trade near Sturgeon, he met Miss Alice Gentry, a sister of the deceased man, Albert Gentry, to whom he was thereafter married. In 1873 he purchased a little farm of forty acres, in a quarter of a mile of his wifes brother, where Albert Gentry then lived, built a cottage and improved his farm as his home. In 1873 Gentry and Moore had some words about pay for some work done by Gentry for Moore, Gentry claiming that Moore owed him $9.00, Moore claiming it was but $5.00. At this time Gentry abused Moore, drew a knife on him and threatened his life. Moore evaded him and got away. The next day Gentry went to Moores house, and in the presence of Moores wife made an assault on Moore with a club, until his own brothers had to take him away by force. Then for peace, Moore paid Gentrys brothers the full amount, that Gentry claimed and took a receipt in full. After this, to the time of the fatal meeting, the two parties met frequently, and were on speaking terms, but had little to do with each other. It seems that Moore had rented a small woodland pasture jointing to Gentrys, the latters house being but a short distance from the pasture. In this pasture Moore kept his cows and a few hogs. Gentry had a vicious dog which had been in the habit of going to the pasture and worrying Moores hogs. On the 15th of June, 1878, Moore, about 8 A. M., drove his cows to the pasture, and took some corn along for his hogs, as was his custom. Calling his hogs, he fed them the corn, and found one badly torn. He concluded at once it was Gentrys dog that did it. He started home, and on his way heard the dog baying his hogs where he had fed them. He went home, got his pistol and went to where he fed his hogs. He found the hogs gone and the corn partially eaten. He searched for the hogs and dog in the pasture, and went to Gentrys house near by, and spoke to Mrs. Gentry about the hogs being torn by the dog. She referred him to her husband, who was chopping about 75 yards from the house. Moore went out within eight or ten steps of Gentry, and said: Albert, do you know your dog is tearing my hogs all to pieces? Gentry answered: No, I dont. Moore said: He is, and if you dont do something with him, I will kill him. Then Moore turned to leave. It seemed that Gentry flew into a passion, calling out: No, d-n you, you will never kill that dog, and rushed at Moore with his ax. Moore gave back, drawing his pistol, and called to him: Stop! Stop!! Stop! ! ! and fired, not hitting him. Gentry kept advancing, and when within five or six feet of Moore, with his ax drawn, Moore fired the second shot which took effect, entering three inches to the right of his median line , and one inch below the level of the naval, passing almost directly through the body, lodging just under the skin in the posterior, diverging down a half inch, and upward to the spine one inch. Gentry died of the wound about eight hours after. Moore surrendered himself to the officers. It was proven that Gentry was a quarrelsome and dangerous man, and had more than once threatened, in a wicked and malignant manner, that he would at the proper time put Moore out of the way, while on the other hand, it was shown that Moore had always borne a most enviable reputation for peace and good order. This case was first tried in Audrain county in June, 1879, Shannon C. Douglass, of Columbia, and the county attorney representing the State, Gen. Guitar, of Columbia, and Forrist & Fry, of Mexico, representing the defendant. After a long and close trial the jury hung, nine of whom stood for murder in the first degree, one for second degree, and two for acquittal. The case was again tried at Mexico in October, 1879, and the jury returned a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree. On motion of defendants counsel, the verdict was set aside, because of erroneous instructions, and at the time the court gave it, as his opinion, that there was no murder in the first degree. On application of defendants counsel at January term, 1880, there was a change of venue granted to Pike county. The case was called at Bowling Green on Thursday last, Shannon C. Douglas assisting D. A. Ball. prosecuting attorney of Pike county, for the State, Gen. Guitar, W. W. Fry and T. B. Buckner, of Mexico, Robinson & Smith, of Bowling Green, and Biggs & Carkener, of Louisiana, appearing for the defendant. The jury retired at 3 P. M. on Saturday, and returned a verdict of not guilty in 15 minutes. It seemed to be the opinion of all present that the verdict was just.
NATHAN FAUCETT AND JAKE MULDROW [From the Mexico Ledger of April 22, 188O.]
Most of our readers are acquainted with the killing of Octave Inlow, on Tuesday night, the 30th of last September, but as two of the guilty parties have just been executed, we will give a brief history of one of the most cold-blooded, unreasonable murders that ever occurred in the State. The accused were Joe Hicks, of Sturgeon, and Jake Muldrow and Nathan Faucett, of Mexico, all colored, and Emma Prilley, white. The following named gentlemen composed the jury in the case: W. P. Carter, J. T. Harrison, T. J. Gregory, Thomas Loar, Albert White, Riley Baker, J. B. Gregory, C. B. Firebaugh, William Fisher, S. J. Smith, John Talley and W. Trimble. The girl, who seems to have been the prime mover, at least the evident cause of the murder, is of very bad reputation. About a year ago, she was arrested for appearing in mans apparel and sent out of the State. She walked back and came and lived with old Si. Muldrow (colored), over Salt river, east of town. Octave Inlow lived near Muldrows and saw a great deal of the girl. Au unaccountable and strange friendship, especially on his part, sprang up between himself and the girl. On the morning of the murder, Inlow and the girl had a difficulty at the house of Emma Mickey (colored). It appears that Inlow slapped the girl and made her angry, for which she vowed vengeance. She went out to Muldrows, and Inlow went home. They were together at 10 oclock that night in Inlows pasture. They were walking along near the barn,, not far from the creek, when the girl stopped, asked him for a chew of tobacco and began to converse with him. While standing there, he was shot from behind, in the head and neck. He fell to the ground on his back, bleeding profusely, and died the next Sunday morning. The girl called for help, and then went down in town and slept in Galloways barn. We give the girls evidence:- I am 18 years old; I was with Inlow the afternoon he was killed; he followed me down to Mrs. Mickeys ; he pulled me out from under the bed and slapped me; there were no threats made by me on that occasion; he swore at me; we got into a good humor before he left, and Emma Mickey and I went down to the Chicago and Alton Railroad bridge and got upon Si. Muldrows fence; early in the night Inlow came down; Emma Mickey left Inlow and I together; we started toward Inlows barn, and as we stopped for a few moments, some one shot him; he was facing the north; he fell on his hack. I halloed for Si. Muldrow to bring some water from his house; Inlow and I were friendly; we had love-spats sometimes, but they did not amount to anything; we stopped because I asked him for a chew of tobacco. Emma Mickey and I went down to stay all night in Galloways barn. Si. took Octave Inlow up to his house. I did not see the flash of the gun; I did not see who fired it; I dont know who or how many were hid behind the log; I had not talked with any person about killing Inlow. During the evidence she wept when talking of the shooting of Inlow.
The States theory, backed up with more or less circumstantial evidence, was, that Jake Muldrow did the shooting with Nathan Faucetts gun, and that the girl led Inlow out to be shot from ambush. For some time the dusky lovers had been jealous of Inlow and threatened to scalp him, and it was thought that the girl, being angry, had assisted them.
VERDICT OF THE JURY
The jury took the case about three oclock in the afternoon and at ten minutes after four returned their verdict. The jury found Faucett and Muldrow guilty of murder in the first degree; Hicks not guilty, and could not, agree on a verdict concerning Emma Prilley. The jury stood eleven to one to acquit Emma Prilley. On a promise to leave town, never to return, she was discharged, as the Prosecuting Attorney could not obtain sufficient evidence to convict her. A ticket to Louisiana was given her, and she was told never to return. About four days afterward Sheriff Glascock received the following letter postmarked Louisiana, Mo. - MARCH 6, 1880. Mr. Glasscock you all had just better prepare for Me for i will be thare next Monday evening or Tuesday evening you will find Me down by the flour Mill that night i am coming back for i cant see any pease at all for i see inlow ever night and I cant live the way it is and if you all hang nathe and Jacob you must hang me too for I am guilty of help killing him and he bothers me so i cant rest he is always following me i know that i promist not to come back but i am on my road now. i have told you my reason for coming back and now I have told you where I would be and My reason for it look out for Me for i am coming back please meet Me and take Me to Jale Mr. Glasscock you can tell the boys that i am coming on the boys that is in Jale i mean. EMMA PRILLEY.
Sheriff Glascock was not much surprised when he received the above letter, for he fully expected her to come back. In about three days the girl arrived and went at once to the jail. The two men, Nathan Faucett and Jake Muldrow, were sentenced to be hanged on the 2d day of April, 1880. Their attorneys thought they would appeal the case, but upon further examination thought it useless, and merely asked for a respite of two weeks in which time the prisoners would prepare for death. The Governor respited them until Friday, the 16th, when he commanded the sheriff to execute the sentence. Last Thursday, between the hours of one and four oclock P.M., the jailor very kindly admitted to the jail all the prisoners friends who wished to bid them farewell. Thursday evening, after supper, Nathe and Jake prayed long and fervently for themselves and their friends. One moment they would be praying, the next singing, then one would pray while the other would sing. Father OLeary, their spiritual advisor, was with them most of the day and part of the night. They ate a hearty supper and did not retire until late. Friday morning they both seemed to he feeling well. Father OLeary was with them the most of the forenoon. They both ate hearty dinners. After dinner each of them smoked a cigar. The crowd around the jail began to grow at nine oclock, and by noon not less than 2,000 People were around the jail, trying to get a glimpse of the condemned men. At twelve oclock the guards arrived, and the sheriff ordered the jail-yard cleared. David Steele, Robert Self, Stephen Terry, J. W. Spotswood, Robert Steele, James Worley, B. T. Rodman, John Carter, Cyrus Gilbert, W. H. Gleason and G. B. Null composed the guard. At one oclock P.M. Fathers OLeary and Stack arrived at the jail, and after a few moments of private devotion the procession started for the scaffold. The first wagon contained the prisoners, the sheriff and his deputy, the two priests and the sheriffs assistants, J. J. Stelle, Dr. Russell, Robert Stelle, guard, and Robert White, the editor of the Ledger. The second wagon contained the guards. The houses and streets were filled with people, black and white, old and young, as the procession passed. Not less than 3,000 people were on Liberty street, following along after the wagons. The scaffold was the same one upon which Kilgore was hanged ; it had been thoroughly examined and repaired. A barbed wire was stretched around the scaffold about 20 feet from it ,giving room on the inside for the members of the press and physicians. At seven minutes of two P. M. the sheriff read the death warrant and the Governors respite of two weeks. The prisoners arms were then tied close to their bodies and their legs fastened together. At two oclock the fatal trap was sprung and the two men launched into eternity. Jakes neck was broken, but Nathan died by strangulation. The culprits were half brothers ; Jake was 19 years of age and Nathan 35. When the bodies were taken down, Drs. Lemoine, of Boone; Matthews, of Ashley ; Vance, of Littleby ; Davis, of Sturgeon, and Keeton, French, Macfarlane, Rothwell, Rodman and Russell, of Mexico, assisted by J. F. Llewellyn attempted to resuscitate them, but their efforts were in vain. The woman, Emma Prilley, was tried as an accessory, convicted and sent to the penitentiary for ten years.
S. D. WILLINGHAM KILLED BY WALKER KILGORE.
We take the following from The Mexico Ledger of March 5th, 1880:- During the past year the Walker Kilgore murder case has attracted a great deal of attention It is now about to become one of the mournful memories of the past. The law, which demands an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth will to-morrow (Friday, March 6, 1880,) be enforced. The readers of the Ledger have read most of the evidence in the case in its columns heretofore, but we give in this issue a full and complete history of the Kilgore trial, and a brief biography of the unfortunate boy. D. M. Chaniworth and J. H. Clendenin, who were the principal witnesses .in the case, testified: About eleven oclock, January 27, 1879, they found deceased on the stile-blocks at Mr. Krunkles house, with right arm and chin shot frightfully away. He said he was dying; that Walker Kilgore had shot him ; they were not in a fight; that Kilgore shot him from the bush. Witnesses went along the road east a few hundred yards, and came to Willingham's wagon, stuck in the mud, loaded with fodder; that they traced the blood back a hundred yards or so to a tree standing beside the north fence of the lane opposite the house of Mr. Railey, at which point a mans foot-print was seen, coming across the road from the direction of Raileys house, in the direction of the tree, and the same track was seen over the north fence under the tree, and again going towards Raileys house. The track was that of a small man. In the lane near the tree were found Willinghams hat and revolver; the latter with one barrel empty and rusted and with hammer on cock. This pistol had not been shot. Gun wading, which had been recently fired, was found, in the lane, near the trees ranging in a south-easterly direction. It will be remembered that Kilgore came to Mexico and gave himself up. He is about 22 years of age. The State showed that Kilgore laid in wait for Willingham and shot him from the tree, and that after Kilgore shot him once, Willingham drew his pistol, and then Kilgore shot him fatally. The cause of the difficulty was the hauling away of some corn fodder. The following were the special jury in the case : S. H. Woltz, William Boyd, I. P. C. Taylor, William Williams, W. H. Fox, Alfred Fox, B. C. Talbert, B. C. Byars, J. A. Smith, T. H. Mildred, John Burns and J. H. Woods. Kilgore asserted his innocence and said he was out rabbit hunting, and shot Willingham in self-defense. This theory was advanced by his counsel during the long and interesting trial, but was broken down by the States attorney, and Kilgore was sentenced to be hanged. He made two confessions; one in which he said that he was inspired to do the deed by others. His second and last confession was as follows : - I, John W. Kilgore, as I am about to meet my Maker, hereby declare before the public that I was not induced or influenced directly or indirectly, by Robert Railey or his wife, or by any other person, to take the life of Dow Willingham. In reference to Mr. Railey and wife, I believe them to be of good heart, and saw and experienced nothing but kindness and good will while I was with them. It is true I said, were it not for others, I would not have gotten into this trouble, which expression seemed to justify that report afloat, that I was but a tool in the hands of others ; but I only meant that R. Railey advised me to have an understanding with Dow Willingham in regard to some corn fodder, and told me of his threats and of his carrying a revolver with him, and therefore, to procure a gun if necessary to defend myself, or, as it might be understood, to cause him to be more peaceable and respectful towards me. But I am confident that R. Railey never thought to imply or express a wish that I should kill the said Dow Willingham. "If the false report grew out of anything that I said in the matter, then I ask God, the public and R. Railey to forgive me. In reference to my guilt, I am willing now to have men think as they please - to God I look for favor and justice. I will not say a word more in regard to it. I will face death like a man and a Christian, and commend my soul to God, with full faith and confidence in the truth of my holy religion, and that I have through it, found perfect reconciliation with God. Still, I ask the prayers of all, that God may have mercy on my soul. J. W. KILGORE.
Witnesses : H. Glascock, R. B. Hooton, C. F. OLeary. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, but that tribunal confirmed the sentence of the circuit court. An effort was then made to have Kilgores sentence commuted to imprisonment in the penitentiary. A number of petitions were presented to the Governor, signed by about 600 persons, asking that this might be done and stating among other things as reasons for their request , that Kilgore was a person dwarfed in intellect, is well as person : that he was entirely uneducated and not capable of understanding moral obligations, and more likely to be made a tool of by designing parties than to be the principal in a crime. The Governor, however, refused to interfere in the matter, and forwarded to Sheriff Glascock the following brief letter : STATE OF MISSOURI, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,} JEFFERSON CITY, March 2, 1880. }
H, Glascock, Esq., - Sir: - After a full examination of the case of Walker Kilgore, my duty compels me not to set aside the sentence of the court.
Yours respectfully, JOHN S. PHELPS.
From the best information obtained, Kilgore was born in the year 1857, on the Henley farm, on Skull Lick, about ten miles north-west of Mexico, near where Reuben Pulis now lives. His fathers name was Harlan Kilgore, and his mother was named Frances Kilgore, who was a daughter of Samuel Kilgore. Friday morning, Father OLeary told Kilgore that he must die that the Governor had refused a commutation, and that he must prepare for death. He joined the Catholic Church and was baptized. He did not eat any supper on the evening preceding the day of his execution, and did not eat any breakfast the next morning until after he took communion. His brother Alexander was with him during the night and slept with him. He seemed to be very calm and collected all the evening, except occasionally when his eyes would fill with tears, but he never sobbed. Few men, spending their last evening on earth with their friends, could have been more cool and collected. EXECUTION.
At fifteen minutes to one oclock the prisoner was taken from the jail, and in a closed carriage in company with the sheriff, the two priests, the deputy sheriff, and the editor of the Ledger, was taken to the scaffold. The guards followed in an open wagon, and about 3,000 men and boys followed the carriage, which went down Liberty street about halfway to the creek, where it turned to the right and went through negro town. On the way down Kilgore talked but little. At ten minutes after one oclock he ascended the scaffold with a firm and steady step. Not less than 5,000 persons surrounded the scaffold, some in trees and some on the railroad bridge. We noticed a great many women present. None but the reporters and doctors were allowed near the scaffold ; on the scaffold were two priests, the sheriff and deputy, with the prisoner. Kilgore was still firm, and repeated after the priest in a clear, audible voice during the devotional exercises, which were very impressive. He truly died like a Christian. He said, just before the drop fell, and after he had repeated the Lords Prayer, Into Thy hands, oh God, I commend my soul. He then kissed the cross. At twenty-five minutes after one the sheriff read to him the death warrant. Kilgore did not look at the crowd, but kept his eyes fixed on the cross. Twenty-eight minutes after one the sheriff tied his hands and feet, adjusted the rope, put on the black cap, and Kilgore then bid them good-by. The priests knelt beside him , and at exactly twenty-nine minutes after one the drop fell with a thud. Just as the drop fell, you could hear one terrible sob from the vast throng standing around. Kilgore died without a struggle. When he fell through the drops his body swung round and round, but there was no twitching or moving of muscles.
MASTIN WILEY KILLED BY WILLIAM HARTLEY.
[From the Mexico Ledger of February 19, 1880.]
No case, civil or criminal, has ever been tried in Mexico that has attracted the attention that the Hartley case has. At the last term of court Leslie Hartley was sentenced to the penitentiary for ten years. William Hartley expressed his willingness to plead guilty to the same charge if he could have the same sentence. The States attorney, Trimble, would listen to nothing of the kind. The law must take its course, the criminal must have a trial. The William Hartley case went to trial last Thursday and the case was given to the jury at four oclock last Monday evening, and at six oclock and ten minutes the jury brought in their verdict. Right here let us say that in our estimation the following jury, which tried this case, was one of the best juries that ever sat in our jury box; John Ess, R. L. Day, A. Anderson, Luther Hicks, Squire Roberts, Adolphus Bates, John Dye, W. A. Barnes, R. F. Smith, John Martin, G. Weaver, R. R. Bird. During the trial the court-house was crowded, especially while Forrist and Trimble were speaking. There was not standing room in the house. The seats were filled with ladies all day and the case was well tried. Forrist and Fry are two of the best criminal lawyers in the State. Forrist has had better success in this branch of law practice than most any man in the State. Fry made a most excellent plea, and Forrist's three hour speech was a masterly effort. Trimble and Buckner, prosecutors, handled their case with vigor. They prosecuted and yet did not persecute. Buckner made one of his characteristic pointed speeches. Trimble did better than we ever heard. him do, which is saying much, for Mac. is one of the best lawyers in the State, and Judge Forrist said nothing but what was true when he said, Trimble never forgot anything which could legitimately be brought to prove his theory of a case. The case was long and tedious and many witnesses were examined. The following is the history of the case as gleaned from the States witnesses: Mr. Mastin Wiley gave old man Hartley, father of Leslie and William, a chattel mortgage on a wagon for $35. About noon on the 2d of January, 1879, Leslie and William Hartley rode to the residence of Mastin Wiley, near Benton City, to get the wagon for the debt, but found the double-tree gone from the wagon, and when they rode up to the wagon to hitch it up, Mr. Wiley came to the door and told them not to take the wagon unless they had the mortgage recorded; if so they could have it. William Hartley then picked up the side-boards and put them on the wagon. Mrs. W. then came out and picked up the top part of the end gate, being about 6 inches wide, one inch thick, about four feet long, and started towards the house with it. Leslie Hartley jumped over the fence after her, overtook her, and with some violence took the board from her. Mrs. W. then ran to the smoke-house, L. Hartley following her with the board in his hand. When they got to the smoke-house, Mrs. W. turned around with her back to the door, when L. Hartley slapped her once or twice and probably choked her during the struggle. About this time William Hartley had come into the yard, and had come up near the kitchen door, when he met Mr. Wiley, the deceased, coming out of the kitchen door. Wiley then saw Leslie Hartley choking his wife at the smoke-house door, and called to his son Jimmie and said: Are you going to stand there and see your old mother abused in that way? And then turning to William Hartley said, Get out of my yard! William Hartley then drew his knife in a threatening manner, when Wiley picked up am ax that was leaning against the house near him. At this William Hartley moved away and got over in the garden. Wiley followed and stopped at the garden fence, with his back to the smoke-house. At this point L. Hartley met Mrs. Wiley and ran toward Mr. Wiley with the end-gate in his hand, and as he came up behind Wiley, knocked him partially over the fence, which was about three and a half feet high. Mrs. Wiley ran and assisted her husband up and back into the yard. During this time William Hartley was standing in the garden twelve or thirteen steps from where Wiley fell. As soon as Wiley regained his feet and turned upon L. Hartley, he moved away across the yard to the horse lot, getting through the fence into the lot where he stopped, three or four steps from the fence, turned facing Wiley, who coming up to the fence stopped and leaned against it, with his face toward L. Hartley, and his back toward William Hartley, who in the meantime had gotten out of the garden into the yard, and pausing, looked for an instant at Wiley, when he rushed upon him from behind, and caught him around the neck with his left arm, and raised his right arm above him holding a knife, with which he stabbed him, inflicting a wound just below the breast bone, about an inch to the right of the medial line, after which, Hartley dropping him, went out into the horse lot. Wiley then turned around to his son, who had by this time come up, and said: They have stabbed me, then walking to the kitchen door, about fifteen steps, fell prostrate as he reached out for the door-latch. His wife and daughter dragged him into the kitchen, when his son came in, and altogether, they dragged him in the sitting room, leaving a trail of blood behind. In about two minutes he was dead. William and Leslie Hartley hitched up the team, one of them walking over to the house and throwing the mortgage into the door, when they both drove off with the wagon. About 12 oclock that night, Sheriff Glascock was apprised of the tragedy, and in spite of the cold weather, left Mexico at two A. M., next morning, arresting the boys while in bed, before daylight. The States theory of the case was that the Hartley boys went to Wileys, prepared to get the wagon at all hazards ; that they knew Wiley would not let them have it, and that they intended to take it by force or have blood, and they did both. The State proved that William Hartley had once said he would kill Wiley and make the hollows in that country flow with blood. If Hartley wanted the wagon, he should have gotten it lawfully. When ordered off the place, he should have gone. William Hartley having made threats of killing Wiley, and then going to his house and executing them, as it is supposed, with the very knife he threatened to kill him with, made the case look very bad for him.
William Hartley, the defendant, testified as follows : - I am the defendant; I went to Wileys on the 2d day of January, 1879, at my fathers request; I had seen the note, which was about as follows: It was a note for $35, due January 1,1879, and secured with a lien on a wagon, which was to be delivered on the 1st of January, 1879, if the money was not paid; I had no interest in the note at all; January 1, 1879, I went to Martinsburg, Mo.; I did not see Mrs. Wiley on that day; pa said on that day, while I was gone, Mrs. Wiley was there, and told him to send for the wagon; that she was too busy to send it home; when I got ready to go for the wagon, I found I did not have the note, but Leslie had it, and he was over at Louders; had stayed there all the night before; I went and changed my pants; I then started to Louders to see Leslie and get the note; on the way to Louders I met Leslie coming home; he had the note; Leslie got upon my horse and I walked, because I was cold; we went back in this way; we were invited that day to dine at John Clarkes, Leslie and I then went over to Mrs. Wileys and found the wagon just west of the house; when we got to the bars, I got down and opened them; we then went in and turned the horses around to the tongue of the wagon; just then Mrs. Wiley came out of the house; Leslie told her we had come after the wagon, according to contract; James Wiley told us not to take the whiffletrees off the sled; that they were Mrs. Harrisons, and that ours were in the smoke-house, and for us to come over and get them; I found the sideboards leaning against the fence; Leslie started to pick up the end-gate of the wagon bed, and told me to go to the smoke-house and get the doubletrees and neck-yoke; I went in to get them ; I started and James Wiley went with me; James Wiley came out with Mrs. Wiley, when we first got there; Jim and I went to the smoke-house; James opened the door and told me to go and get the doubletrees ; I went in to get them ; when I turned around to get out, the door was shut; I heard a noise on the outside, and asked to get out; pushed the doors open and came out with the doubletrees, when Martin Wiley came out of the house, picked up an ax and started for me, saying: D-n you, Bill Hartley, I will kill you, and he struck at me, and I backed off and ran; he followed me; I went to the south fence running; he was after me; I jumped over the fence and fell down; I looked up and saw Leslie knock Martin Wiley down; Wiley had the ax drawn on me; I got up and walked about twelve steps, and, looking around, saw Wiley after Leslie with the ax; I heard Leslie call to me to get the horses and go home.; I then went after my hat, which I had lost when running; Jim Wiley then halloed to his father to kill me; Wiley then started toward the house to cut me off from getting to my horses; Leslie halloed to me to come to him and get through the fence.; I tried to get to him, but Wiley was right at me with the ax; I then turned around just as he struck at me; the ax cut me on the arm and on the head; we then gathered each other, and in our struggle we got near the fence; I then drew my knife and struck him; it was the only knife I had; the scabbard found there was mine; I had the scabbard with me, but there was no knife in it; I lost the knife some time before; he was trying to strike me with the ax when I killed him; I stabbed him with a pocket knife, and not with a dirk; I had no dirk with me; after we had hitched up the wagon, Leslie took the note into the house; we then went home; I did buy a dirk from Mr. McKean in October, 1878, but I lost it on Thursday before Christmas, while killing hogs; the scabbard just happened to he in my pocket, empty; when I went to Wileys I did not expect a fuss; I thought Mrs. Wiley wanted us to come and get the wagon. William Hartleys testimony was very sharply contradicted by several of the States witnesses. On the last day of trial, William Hartley did not eat any dinner ; he seemed to he almost in a trance, and was so dazed he hardly knew whether he expected to get clear or be hung. When the foreman of the jury handed the verdict to the judge, and the judge read the verdict, guilty of murder in the second degree and sentenced to sixty years in the penitentiary, he did not move a feature of his face; you could not have told, from the expression of his face, how he felt. Hartley is a young man, aged about twenty-three years. When the jury came in, he was as pale as death. Hartley will work in the broom department ; he dont expect to live his sentence out, but will make the best of it. He considers his sentence the same as imprisonment for life.
JOHN KELLEHER KILLED BY THE CARS.
[From the Mexico Ledger.]
John Kelleher, section-house keeper on the Wabash Railroad at Thompsons Station, and nephew of Dennis OCallaghan, of that place, was killed by the Kansas City and Chicago and Alton mail train, No. 49, at one oclock Wednesday morning, one mile this side of Thompson. Monday was pay-day on the Wabash, and the next day Kelleher went to town pretty well heeled. He sent, as is his custom each month, $5 to his father in Kentuck, Ireland. We noticed him as he left the post-office with a roll of money in his pocket, and he appeared to be then under the influence of liquor. He remained in town till about 10 oclock Tuesday night when, it is supposed, he started to walk to Thompson, on the Chicago and Alton track. About one oclock Wednesday morning, as the Kansas City mail train, No. 49, Tom Hughes conductor, with Andy Mullin engineer, was corning in from Thompson, about one mile this side of that station Engineer Mullin noticed that something jarred his engine. Fearing that some part of the engine was broken he shut her off for a moment, but as she ran all right he opened her up and ran into Mexico. He then got out and inspected his engine to see what was the matter, and found that she was all O.K. While he was looking over his engine, the car repairer, whose business it is when trains arrive at Mexico to look over a train, and sound the wheels and grease the axles, came forward and reported there was blood on the wheels of the coaches. On examination, Mullin then found blood and pieces of flesh on the wheels of the engine. On closer examination, a leg was found fast above a break beam on one of the coaches. Not far west of the depot the mangled trunk of the man was found, with legs cut off, and lower part of the body terribly mashed and the top of the head crushed off. Not a rag of clothing was on the body. A little further west a leg was found - in fact, all the way to the place where be was struck, a mile this side of Thompson, portions of the body were found. His clothing was also picked up strewn all along the track. Twenty-five dollars and thirty cents in cash were found in the pockets of his pants, which were found just west of the crossing. It is supposed that the unfortunate man was under the influence of liquor, and went to sleep on the track while on his way home. He was lying on the north side of the track. He leaves a wife and two children. Justice of the Peace Joseph Cupton, acting coroner, with Messrs. J. Roseberry, Ed. Harrison, George Hablutzel, J. Garrett, G. Hollidus and W. J. Robinson, as jurors, returned a verdict in accordance with the facts as we have reported them.
RUDOLPH SHARLACH AND SON KILLED BY THE CARS.
[From the Mexico Ledger of January 24, 1881.]
Not a day passes but what we hear the sad news of men being killed by the cruel cars all over the country; the same story is telegraphed daily to the metropolitan press- crushed by the cars. Very often, to the casual reader or observer, it would appear that with very little thoughtfulness or care the accident might have been avoided. Mexico, Mo., has been the scene of at least its proportion of accidental deaths. In 1880, five men were killed by the cars and it becomes our painful duty this week to chronicle a double death - a father and son both killed at the same time, almost instantaneously. Last Sunday at 1 : 20 P. M., as Rudolph Scharlach, a leading druggist of this city, and his son Hermann Scharlach, were going home to dinner, they were struck by a freight train and killed. The deceased resided in south-east Mexico, about two hundred yards from the spot where they were killed. On their way home they went down Jefferson street to the crossing, and turned down the Chicago and Alton track towards Pollocks mill, intending to turn off to the right, when they reached a point opposite their residence. Just as they turned east on the Chicago and Alton track a freight train started out of the depot on the same track, backing down to the round-house. The train consisted of five flat cars with water tanks, engine 187, train 78; J. W. Casey, engineer, and Charles Burger fireman The train was moving at the rate of four miles an hour, and the bell was ringing all the time. It was impossible for the men on the train to see whether the track on the rear was clear or not, on account of the water tanks on the train. At the same time this train was coming down behind R. Scharlach and son, a Wabash freight came in on the road, just beside the Chicago and Alton track, at full speed, making a great deal of noise, so much in fact, that the noise of the water train on the Chicago and Alton track was drowned. The two unfortunates, either watching the Wabash train, or busy talking, did not see the train behind them, which struck both men at the same time, throwing them under the wheels of the cars. The entire train five cars, engine and tender, ran over both bodies, crushing them terribly, and Thomas Read, who reached the scene first, says they were both gasping their last. Dr. French, the Chicago and Altons physician at this point, reached the scene in a few minutes, and found them both unconscious and dying. The bodies were both removed to the Chicago and Alton depot, where Sheriff Woodward and coroner, W Rodman, summoned the following jury:- T. J. Armstrong, G. B. Null, J. R. Bishop, C. S. Houston, J. J Winscott and R. M. White, foreman. The jury at once examined the bodies, Dr. Russell acting as examining physician. It was found on examination that R. Scharlachs right arm was broken and crushed, left pelvic bones crushed, right leg crushed and severed at knee, left thigh crushed, lower part of spine broken. Hermann Scharlach was even more crushed; his face was crushed, cut and mangled, almost unrecognizable; laceration and contusion of scalp and ears, bad contusion of face, compound comminuted fracture of right arm, simple fracture of left leg, compound and comminuted fracture of right thigh down to knee. After the above examination by the jury, all valuables were turned over to the coroner, and the bodies were turned over to Dr. French who, in behalf of the Odd Fellows Lodge, of which Dr. Scharlach was a member, had them washed and cleaned in order that they would be made presentable to members of the family and friends. The jury then adjourned to Dr. Rodmans office, where the witnesses were summoned and examined. The facts are about as we stated above, but having the evidence before us, we will give some of the principal points as testified to:- James Casey, engineer of the train, testified that he was backing down to the round-house with five flat cars with water tanks; that he was running about four miles an hour. Just east of Jefferson street crossing, he felt a jar, and at once reversed his engine and stopped the train, when he found that he had run over two men. The bell was. ringing all the time; could not see behind the train on account of the water tanks on the cars; one car was thrown off the track and one other partially. Charles Burger, fireman, testified that he was fireman on the train was ringing the bell; saw some one point at the train wheels, and turned to tell the engineer to shut her off something was the matter when the train began to stop and he saw the dead men. W. S. Jenness testified that he was an engineer, and stepped on the train, as it was moving slowly, to ride down to the round-house. The bell was ringing all the time, as is customary inside of the city limits; did not see the men at all till the train was stopped just after it passed over the bodies. Thomas Haskell testified that he saw the men just as the train run over them; did not see them struck; was watching the Wabash freight train going west. Louis Bell testified that he saw the two men going down the track, talking and looking at the ground; hallooed at them, but they could not hear him on account of the noise made by the Wabash freight train ; also hallooed at the train men but they could not hear him. T. McCarty, watchman, testified that he saw the two men as they turned down the track, but did not see them struck. Thomas J. Read testified that he was the first man that got to the scene of the accident, just after the affair occurred; found both men breathing their last. F. D. Tracy testified that he has visited the scene of the accident, and found it to be about fifty yards east of Jefferson street crossing; one car was thrown off the track, and another partially. The jury, after a careful consideration of the evidence, returned the following verdict:- We, the undersigned jurors, impaneled and sworn on the 23d day of January, 1881, in the township of Salt River, in the county of Audrain, by W. W. Rodman, coronor, to diligently inquire and true presentment make how and by what Rudolph and Hermann Scharlach, whose bodies were found about fifty yards east of the Jefferson street crossing on the Chicago and Alton track, on the 23d day of January, 1881, came to their death, having viewed the bodies and heard the evidence, do find that the deceased came to their death by injuries received from train No. 78, James W. Casey engineer, and Charles Burger fireman-engine No. 187. We further agree, from the evidence, that no blame can be attached to an employe of the Chicago and Alton Railway, and we further agree that the killing was purely accidental. R. M. WHITE, Foreman, T. J. ARMSTRONG, G. B. NULL, J. R. BISHOP, C. S. HOUSTON, W. W. RODMAN, Coroner. Rudolph Scharlach was fifty years old; his son, Hermann, was twenty-one. They were both hale and hearty men, with every prospect for long and prosperous lives. Mr. Scharlach was born in Germany, where he was married; his mother and three brothers now live in Germany. He leaves in Mexico a wife and one son, Freddie. The funeral services were conducted by Dr. Grasty, from the Presbyterian church, at two and a half oclock, Monday afternoon, and were attended by a very large concourse of people. The Odd Fellows took charge of the funeral; R. Scharlach was one of the leading officers of the lodge. And right here we wish to say that R. Scharlach had as big a heart as any man in Mexico; when a man was sick or in trouble, he was among the first to succor all he could. Adolph Brandenburger, the confidential clerk of R. Scharlach, will take charge of the business, and it will be continued for Mrs. Scharlach and the family. We learn that the Doctor left his business in good shape, and it will go on the same as if he were living.
SUICIDE OF EX-MAYOR LADD.
On Friday, September 14, 1877, the people of Mexico were astounded at the intelligence that Amos Ladd had shot himself. It appears from the evidence that Col. Ladd got up and ate his breakfast as usual. He then went to the post-office, and while there had a chat with Dr. E. D. Graham. The Doctor testifies that Col. Ladd was in his usual social mood. After leaving the post-office with a paper and letter to his wife, he went home. He met Mr. De Jarnett at the door coming out, going to the depot. Col. Ladd went into his room, pulled off his boots, and went out to the cook-room to warm his feet. There was no man on the place ; the colored girl was in the back yard. Mrs. Ladd was down in town, and Mrs. De Jarnett started upstairs to get ready to go to her shop, but had just gone upstairs when she heard the report of a pistol. She ran down stairs and found the Colonel lying on his back, in Mrs. De Jarnetts room, with a Colts pistol by his side; she gave the alarm, and in a few moments the house was crowded with people. Judging from Col. Ladds position on the floor, he must have gone to the bureau, looked into the glass, and deliberately shot himself in the back of the head. A jury was called and Mrs. Ladd gave the following testimony: I last saw Col. Ladd alive between seven and eight oclock this morning. I noticed nothing strange about him this morning. During the last few days, I noticed he was very quiet. Night before last he was going to Illinois, but did not go because he was sick; he had been sick for the past few days; he went as far as the depot, but came back, he felt so bad; he did not feel as if he ever would he well. Last night he got up to go again., but he did not feel well enough to go. He had a chill yesterday. I told him I thought he would soon be well, but he did not think so. He said this morning that he did not feel any better. I got a letter this morning and Mr. Ladd read it; that was just before I went to the shop. He said he thought he would go home with me this evening. He said he did not think he would ever get well, and that his medicine did not do him any good. He talked rationally all the time to me this morning. About a week after we were married he told me he was financially embarrassed - more so than he thought he was. He told me he had no financial means at all. I told him not to trouble himself about that, for I would not be a burden to him. Last Sunday he told mc again that he could not see his way through his troubles, and told me he thought he would kill himself, and I said to him, Oh! no, I never would be happy, and did not think any more about it. He, all the time, seemed to be in a quandary about what to do. This seemed to trouble him very much. We had no trouble; only he told me a week after we were married, he did not think I was happy; I told him I was not unhappy; only I thought we ought to keep house and have our children with us; but I told him not to worry, I would help him. He told me before we were married that he was not in good circumstances, so I was not disappointed. He told me that he was worried to think he had married me, and could not support me as he wanted. This seemed to trouble him very much. He spoke once of killing himself on account of his financial embarrassment, but. 1 did not think of it at all. Once again, when he was sick, he said the doctor did not seem to do him any good, and it would be a relief to die, he felt so sick and bad. Col. Ladd was born in Ohio, January 8, 1813. He had lived in Iowa and Illinois, and in Linn, Monroe and Audrain counties, Missouri. He was married three times and had nineteen children; six living. He was elected sheriff of Audrain county in 1860, and again in 1862. He was mayor of Mexico for two terms; he was nominated for the Legislature by the. Democrats in 1868, but drew, off on account of being disfranchised, though he had been a constant Union man all through the war. He had led an adventurous life, having been a circus actor, farmer, merchant, stone-mason, surgeon, captain of steamboat, editor, politician, etc. Took an excursion on his boat to see the Mormon riots, and witnessed the shooting of Hiram and Joseph Smith. He was at one time very wealthy, but his liberality and security debts for friends broke him up. He lived, a sober, industrious life, respected by all, and was one of the sharpest business men who ever lived in Mexico.
JOHN P. BEATTY KILLED.
On Thursday, the 26th day of November, 1880, at 3 oclock in the afternoon, as John Toohey, who lives about seven miles south-east of Mexico, was unloading some hogs from his wagon at the stock-yards; his team was frightened by a passing train and ran at full speed up the street, in front of the Ringo House on the east. Just as the runaway team passed L. M. Peases store, John P. Beatty, who lives about two miles north-east of Mexico, rode out of the alley between Morris & Fowlers store on horseback. Turning down town, he did not see the runaway team, which veered in toward the alley just as he came out, running into his horse and unhorsing him in short order, throwing him to the ground and running over him. He was at once picked up and carried into S. S. Craig & Co.s drug store, where Drs. French and St. Clair dressed his wounds. He received a scalp wound about ten inches long- not very deep - and was injured internally. It was at once apparent to his physicians that he was in a precarious condition. As soon as his wounds were dressed, he was removed to rooms at the Ringo House, where he died last Monday afternoon, at 2 oclock. John Price Beatty, was an old citizen of the county and the father of John W. Beatty, who was county assessor at that time. He was born in Ladd county, Kentucky, and married in Christian county, that State, a sister of Judge John P. Clark, of this city. At the time of his death he was 71 years of age. When Mexico was unheard of and Audrain county was a wilderness, he pitched his tent near where the city now stands. He was known to nearly every man, woman and child in the county as one of the old landmarks to be respected and loved by all.
DEATH OF GUSTAVUS AND MARY GLEASON.
One of the saddest affairs that ever occurred in the county took place at Long Branch ford, about fourteen miles north of Mexico, on Saturday, the 23d of August, 1878. At that time, through some mysterious providence, two of the brightest and loveliest of young persons encountered a watery grave. How it happened precisely, can never be known. The only two witnesses to the sad occurrence, were the parties themselves. They left Mexico to visit some friends in the country and spend Sabbath, worshiping at a neighboring church. They were last seen approaching the fatal ford. A piercing scream or two, in the darkness of the night, a horse with broken harness, grazing in a field, the turbid waters of an angry and swollen stream, an upturned buggy, and two corpses told all that will ever be known on earth. The victims were Gustavus and Mary, the son and daughter of H. W. Gleason Esq., an esteemed citizen and hardware merchant of Mexico. The remains of Miss Gleason reached the town on the Sunday following her death and the remains of her brother on Monday afternoon, and were attended from their fathers residence to the new cemetery by a large procession of sympathizing friends.