Chapter 14
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Chapter 14 - History of Henry County Missouri 1883



The Hopkins Tragedy

      There was a great excitement occasioned in the year 1874, by the killing of George Hopkins, by William Bailey. Before the trial was ended, and before and after, there were many assertions made that the prosecution was carried on in a spirit of vengeance, and that hatred of Bailey by some half a dozen persons was the groundwork of the prosecution, and that those persons swore they would have him hung. Not only was he the subject of this reported persecution, but his mother was also the recipient of the hatred and undying vengeance of these men. Whether true or not, the mother was caused to suffer because she did not and would not believe her son guilty of murder, but only acting in self defense. Whether these rumors were true or not, William Bailey was tried, convicted and sent to prison for four years for murder in the second degree. His lawyers promptly appealed the case, but before the supreme court could act in the case, he had been in the penitentiary four months, and had also suffered an imprisonment in jail, and his mother had been confined there five months, when she was released.

      The supreme court decided that he was not guilty of murder and his release was ordered. The general impression sided with the supreme court. In the trial two of the jury were for acquittal, six for a four years' term in state prison and four for hanging. The action of the supreme court ended their legal troubles, but they were ruined financially and Mrs. Bailey broken in health.


Particulars of the Robbery of Lambert's Store in Clinton, Missouri

 [From the Advocate, May 1875]


      Heretofore Clay County has been the scene of outlawry, but now Henry County comes in, and for daring recklessness, what is truthfully told below, has never had an equal here.

      D.B. Lambert keeps a thriving country store twelve miles north of Clinton. His store stands alone on the prairie, and in a portion of it he lives. The store is the resort for young people in that neighborhood. A croquet set is planted there, and on Thursday last, May 13, 1875, at 7 p.m., in the yard a party of eight were playing croquet, and Mr. Lambert was in the store. Two strangers, tall, slim and genteel men, rode up and came in, and after a few minutes in came two more, looking similar to the others. Just as they were inside the door the first drew a pistol and told Lambert to stand, and the other two went to the croquet ground and told the eight croqueters to " Walk in, ladies and gentlemen, and be seated."

      Three of the robbers came in and assisted in guarding them while the fourth one robbed the store. Lambert was marched into the rear room with the others.

      In the meantime a little over $300 in greenbacks was taken, also a very favorite silver watch, a fine shotgun, two revolvers and a lot of other goods from the store. They turned up every box in the house, and searched every corner. They came in from the west, and when they left started in the direction of Clinton. They were all well dressed, well armed, and mounted on the finest of horses. No uncouth language was used by any of the robbers. Lambert had his money in his pocket, also his watch, when they made him shell out.

      The robbing was done so quickly that a blacksmith, 100 yards distant, pounded away and knew nothing of it until it was over.

      Mat. Dorman is a truthful citizen and lives near Clinton, and he has stated that about noon last Tuesday he was in company with two of the Younger Brothers and two other men, and that he conversed with them; and, further, he states that he is personally acquainted with both of the Younger Brothers. It is supposed that their companions are Jesse and Frank James.

      About one year ago two men came to Lambert's store, and he saw and suspected them from their actions, and he thinks two of this gang are the same ones. No effort is being made by any officers in Clinton to capture these outlaws, and it is not supposed that there will be.



      In my telegram last night I recited what I had learned from the party who was captured by the Claude Duvals at Lambert's store. Today I made a hasty drive to the store, and there met D.B. Lambert, the proprietor, his wife, Miss Bessie Sharp and A.S. Mulholland, all of whom were in the storeroom while the bandits went through it in a systematic manner.

      The bandits halted north of the store five minutes, in a fence corner, and held a consultation; then rode past, hitched their horses and two entered. One called for a cigar, and fumbling it with his left hand coolly drew a ten-inch, dazzling bright revolver, and rubbing it under Lambert's nose, told him to throw up his hands. Then followed the robbing reported yesterday. With his hands above his head they marched him and Miss Sharp up stairs, and a systematic search was made but no money found.

      It seems that they had been told that Lambert had $3,000 or $4,000 in gold about the house, and the leader told him that he would give him till he counted ten to display it. With a pistol at his forehead he commenced to count - one, two, three, four, and at this the heroic Miss Sharp rushed between them. He was then taken to the backyard, and one man pointed a cocked pistol at his head while another twisted his wrists, and there he stood, pleading for mercy and telling them they had all his money. His true and brave wife could stand this no longer, and she struck the highwayman a powerful blow in the stomach, which caused him to release his grasp. One hour and a half was occupied in this cool and systematic robbery, and during that time all of the men were compelled to keep their hands clasped over their heads. They all say the leader was the coolest man they ever saw. He controlled every movement and did nearly all the talking. When ready to leave, they led the eight captives to the backyard, huddled then together, and in true knightly style mounted their handsome, agile horses and rode off in a dashing cavalry style.

      All but the leader wore white handkerchiefs around their necks and slouched their hats over their eyes. Nothing of the fake face or masque was used. The leader did not pretend to disguise himself in any way. Mrs. L. told him he had been at the store before and he said it was so, and he told her not to look at him too close, as she might know him again, and he turned his back on her. On the little finger of his left hand he wore a beautiful gold ring with a brilliant set therein. He is fully six feet in height, short light hair, short sandy chin whiskers and mustache, light brown eyes, spare made, well shaped face, long arms and can look another straight in the eye. He said he had been an outlaw ever since the war. The hands of each of the four were white and soft. Their language indicated that they were Americans. They were well dressed and well behaved. None of them was over thirty years of age, and one of them was quite a small man. Everyone present was fully convinced that they were experts at the business, and seemed to think that others who came in contact with them in similar manner to what we have recorded had better lay down the spoils. The store was filled all day with country folks, and it is estimated that Mr. Lambert has answered 11,000 questions. On the next day Mr. Lambert found his shotgun in a neighbor's field.

      This bold robbery astonished the people of Henry County, and notwithstanding it was done in broad daylight, the women of Henry County persisted for months in looking under their beds for robbers, before retiring for the night. This history has, however, no record where that search proved successful, and the writer is happy in being able to embalm this fact in the pages of history. The women, however, were not all alone, for the men got together, and concluded now that the horses had been stolen, it was a good time to lock the stable door, or in other words, a meeting was called to take into consideration the propriety of forming a vigilant committee, "an organization," says the call, "that will be strictly legal." "All citizens who were opposed to highway robbery," were cordially invited to attend. There was not a doubt but that Mr. Lambert's friends were largely in a majority at the meeting, which was held May 21, 1875. It was certainly a serious matter to be thus afflicted right in grasshopper time, though it is believed to be an assured fact that misfortunes never come singly.


Death of F. H. Rabine

      On Saturday, August 19, 1876, John H. Light shot and killed F. H. Rabine. They were both engaged in the pottery business at Calhoun, Mr. Rabine for something over three years and Light about one. They had, it seems, become jealous of each other and from ill words came threats of bodily harm. This was probably the result of being in the same business, and the tragedy seemed to have been brought on by the tell-tale peculiarity of a Calhounite, who it seems, reported to Rabine, that Light, who had just finished burning a kiln of ware, remarked to this third party that Rabine, or some of Rabine's hands, had put something in his slack or glazing, which had seriously damaged the ware, in fact he claimed that out of $200 he would only realize $20 worth of good ware. This accusation was borne to the ears of Rabine, who became highly incensed. This was the prelude to the fatal difficulty. On Saturday, as above stated, both parties met on the platform at the railroad depot, just as the western bound passenger train arrived. Rabine, armed with a good sized club, which he carried concealed by his side, accosted Light, demanding to know if he, Light, had accused him of putting something in his slack. Light replied that he had said that either he, Rabine, or some of his hands had done so. A few words passed when Rabine dealt Light a heavy blow on the nose with his club felling him and repeated the blow twice after Light was down. The first blow broke Light's nose and stunned him, as soon as he recovered sufficiently to understand things he tried to rise to his feet and draw a revolver, as he did so Rabine started to run when Light fired two shots in quick succession at the fleeing man both shots taking effect in his back near the spine. Rabine, after being shot, jumped from the platform, ran a few steps and fell. He dropped his club and regaining his feet ran home, a distance of about 250 yards. Arriving at the house he sat down in the door way and said to his wife: "John Light has shot and killed me." These were his last and only words, and he fell over dead, not living two minutes after reaching his doorstep.

      Mrs. Rabine became frantic at once, and soon the neighbors were aroused. Light went home, but was soon told that he had killed Rabine. He expressed no regret, but stated he was willing to stand his trial. Such, says the Clinton Democrat, was the substance of the matter as related by eye witnesses.

      An inquest was held over the body on Sunday morning. Light was arrested, but waiving examination before a justice, he gave bail in the sum of $2,000 to appear the next day at the circuit court, then in session at Clinton. Judge Wright empanneled a special grand jury, and an indictment was found of manslaughter in the second degree.

      John H. Light, still a resident of Calhoun, was of medium height, light hair, blue eyes, and rather prepossessing in appearance and thirty-five years of age. He was born in Batavia, Clearmont County, Ohio. He had a wife, but no children.

      Rabine, the man killed, was a German, and came to Calhoun from Huntingdale, and to the latter place from Knob Noster. He had followed the business in both places successfully, and had removed to Calhoun to get on a line of railway, and to enlarge his facilities and increase the manufacture of his wares. He left a wife and three children.

      The pistol used was an Allan's patent seven-shooter, No. 22 cartridge.

      The trial came off on the 29th of August, ten days after the fight, and the following constituted the jury: E.S. Morgan, foreman; S.W. Billingsley, D.E.A. Price, John Hopton, Richard Marshall, George Kellums, Robert Gilbert, J.H. Cannon, William Ellis, Daniel Golden, G.W. Hancock and E.O. Price.

      The verdict was: "We, the jury, find the defendant not guilty." He was immediately discharged by command of Judge Wright.


Murder of James Harper By His Stepmother

      The following terrible tragedy was the work of a lunatic, which at first was not thought by a good many persons. There may be some even to this day who have doubts, but the best medical minds are satisfied. The woman has been in the asylum at Fulton nearly ever since the occurrence, and her second trial came off in Vernon County on a change of venue in November, but upon full investigation the prosecuting attorney, C.C. Dickinson, declined to prosecute. The keeper of the asylum and the physician gave explicit belief in Mrs. Harper's insanity, and her husband, Dr. Harper, has always believed, and has done all he could, since satisfied of the fact, to shield her. On the withdrawal of prosecution she was taken back to Fulton and again incarcerated, with no hope of ever leaving the institution alive. Her actions were a mixture of saneness and insanity, but there is no doubt that had not her mother caught the gun she, too, would have been killed, and then, feeding on the excitement, her child would have been the next victim, coupled with self-destruction. The following, taken from the Clinton Advocate of October 13th, 1881, is a graphic account as detailed to coroner's jury on Monday, the 10th of October, the next day after the murder. The Advocate Says:

      Crime develops itself in many ways, and often crops out where least expected, and often in a manner to send a shock of horror to even such as are familiar with it in all its phases. Such a crime, and one for which there seemed not the least provocation, occurred in this county Sunday morning last, it being no less than the inhuman butchering of a seven year old child by a stepmother.

      The woman who stands charged with this heinous crime is Mrs. Mary M. Harper, wife of Dr. James P. Harper, who lives in Honey Creek Township, about twelve miles northwest of Clinton. Her maiden name was DeJarnette, and was married to Dr. Harper three years ago last month in Bates County, near Altoona.

      The family consisted of Dr. Harper, his wife, and two children and Mrs. DeJarnette, mother of Mrs. Harper. Dr. Harper is well known throughout the county and is a practicing physician. So far as the outside world knows, he got along harmoniously with his wife and family.

      The murdered child is the issue of a first marriage with Miss Mary Brown. The child is represented as having been a bright, intelligent one, for its age, and of an even, quiet disposition. If there was any unpleasant relations existing between the child and its stepmother, it was not known in the neighborhood.

      The sad tragedy occurred a little after nine o'clock last Sunday morning, the particulars of which, as here given, were gleaned from the evidence of Mrs. DeJarnette, and conversations of different parties who were on the ground soon after the deed was committed.

      At the coroner's inquest the first witness examined was Reuben Morgan who said: "Yesterday morning about 9 o'clock I came here to the school house to church. After I got to the church I went to the well to get a drink of water, about the time I commenced drinking I heard an unusual noise in this direction, like some person was in distress. I then hastened to the front yard of the school house and some men were standing there. I told them there was some person in distress and we ought to see after it, and that quick. They started for this place afoot and I got on horseback. About half way the young men halted and I rode up and asked them the trouble there; they answered there was a little boy in the field with his throat cut. I turned my eyes in that direction. I saw the boy naked and bloody all over -pretty much. I then still heard the noise at the house like they were in distress, like I heard at the school house. I didn't halt there. I told the boys to take charge of the boy and I would ride up to the house and see what was the trouble here. When I got opposite the end of the yard fence running east I saw Mrs. DeJarnette and Mrs. Harper standing at the east fence east of the cook room. I sprung off my horse as quick as I could and went in the direction of the ladies where they were standing. When I got opposite the gate east of the porch I saw they had a double-barreled shot gun, one pulling and the other pulling. Mrs. Harper observed, not to come there for the gun was cocked. I told her it did not make any difference with me, the gun was what I wanted and the gun I must have. The muzzle of the gun was through the crack in the plank fence. As I passed by that I went pretty lively until I got hold of it - I had to go in front of the gun, Mr. Depew came to my assistance. I told him to take hold of the woman, Mrs. Harper. I then went down the lane. I helped the young men bring the boy to the house on a bed cover. Mrs. Harper told me I had just as well let that boy die, for bleeding to death was the easiest death any one could die on earth. After we had got the boy on the bed I was trying to make him as comfortable as possible, for he was very much chilled. She remarked again, I had just as well let that boy die for him and her couldn't live. Young Dan. Randolph, Bud Dobyns and others helped me bring the boy in. Harper's house and school house is on the public road leading east and west from Big Creek bridge and Dobyn's school house. The school house is west of Dr. Harper's residence about 200 steps. I put the boy in the east and south room known as cook room. He was wounded on the arm, seemed to be pretty deep cut about the elbow - seemed to have been made by something like a knife. I saw a knife in Mrs. DeJarnette's possession which was said to have done the cutting - bleeding freely from neck, held his head down.

      All he ever said to me was that he wanted to go to his Aunt Ann's' (Mrs. Murphy, who kept him a great deal.) When we first took him up the boy was scared, and it was with difficulty that we could get him out of the buggy. I told him I would take him and stay with him, that he should not be hurt - I would stay with him until his pa came. Chris. Beck's little boy spoke to him -he approached the little boy and asked him what was the matter, and he said his ma had cut his throat. I so understood this from young Lorenzo Beck. I remained in and about the room from nine to about one, young Daniel Randolph and Mr. Byron Homan most of the time, also Mr. Depew."

      The following is the testimony of Mrs. Polly Ann DeJarnette : "I reside in Bates County, Missouri. I was here at Dr. Harper's Sunday morning. I came here the first day of September 1881. Mrs. Harper is my daughter. Everything was peace and quietude yesterday morning, and a couple of little boys of Mr. Friend's came over to get some glycerine, and Mrs. Harper got the glycerine. I came to the door with her and the little boys and she said: 'tell your ma to come down,' and the next I heard little Jimmie scream. I supposed she was putting glycerine in his nose, which was sore, and I came to the door, got there as quick as I could, and when I got there I saw the boy and his arm was bleeding. I ran to him and she said: 'ma, get away,' and I said I would die by the child. I then took the child and applied cold water to his arm. I had him on the bed; she came in and snatched him up and I held on to him. I put my hand to his throat to protect him. I didn't see her have any knife, but I knew she intended to do something wrong, and I wanted to protect him. I then took the child and applied applications to his throat and about the time I got the blood checked, she came in and said: 'ma, get away from there'; and said: 'Jimmie, get up,' and I said: 'he shan't,' and turned round to see and she had a gun cocked and turned at me with finger on the trigger. I then hollowed and screamed and gave the alarm until the neighbors came to me. She also threatened to shoot Mr. Morgan. When I saw the gun pointed at me I turned and caught the barrel, and told the child to get out of the way. He was in the east room - kitchen, where he now lies. We were at the east door. He must have come out of the north door, or on the porch, about twenty feet, and from east door to east gate. She told me she would kill me if I didn't let loose.

      He was first cut at north parlor door in the arm. He was standing just outside the door looking down, dressed as usual, with his face towards the door. Mrs. Harper was going from him, south toward the hall door (three rooms and one hall). Jimmie was standing at the east hall door when the Friend boys came and they came to the same door and she came to the same door and she gave them the glycerine in the hall and they all three came through the parlor. The Friend boys had been gone only a few minutes when Jimmie screamed - Friend boys very small. I then took Jimmie and took him to the water stand and washed him and put him on the bed - I undressed him. I was applying cold water all the time and can't tell how long it was before Mrs. Harper came in where he was lying. When I took him he was cut only on the arm. She came in, perhaps, a quarter of an hour afterwards and caught hold of him and him from the bed. I struggled to protect him, and we went out of the east door and got to the gate. She must have cut him in the throat at the gate. He was then dressed and I then took him in and undressed him and put applications to his throat. I had got the blood stopped when she came in with the gun, he didn't Say anything about how he got cut, he only said: 'Grandma it hurts.' I told him to let it be and bear with it until his pa came. I wanted to save his life. I didn't see her afterwards for some time. I didn't notice which room she was in. I asked her when I first saw her at the parlor what it meant. I can't tell her reply. I had no conversation with her that evening. Until late yesterday evening I couldn't get her to talk with me. Some of the other women had a talk with her - she didn't talk with me at all about it. She had a wild look and wasn't right the day before, but I didn't think of it till then. She hasn't been right since I have been here, in fact.

      "How old was the child?"

      "He was going on seven years old."

      "How old is Mrs. Harper?"

      "About thirty-one or thirty- two."

      "How long have they been married?"

      "Three years last September."

      "What was the nature of the relations between Mrs. Harper and the child?"

      "Always pleasant before this."

      "Who were on the premises when this happened?"

      "Mrs. Harper, little Jimmie and myself were here alone. Dr. Harper had gone to see a patient."

      "What time did Dr. Harper leave?"

      "He left about nine o'clock."

      "She told Jimmie to wash and fix himself up for Sunday school and he said 'I would just as lief go this way."

      "What became of the knife?"

      "I took the open knife from her hand."

      "What did you do with it?"

      "I turned it over to Dr. Powers, at his request."

      "Whose knife was it?"

      "Her knife."

      "What kind of a knife was it?"

      "A little knife, two-bladed; small blade was open; point broken off; also point broken off of big blade."

      Paul Gumpert testified: "I came up from the school house, and saw the boy get up and climb over the fence on the opposite side of the road. Jimmie crawled through the hedge and got a piece from the hedge in the corn field and fell down. I asked him what was the matter. He said, 'Ma cut my throat,' and he said, 'Go to the house and take the gun away from her.' And I came to the house and got over the fence, and came to where Mrs. Harper and Mrs. DeJarnette were with the gun, and took hold of Mrs. H.; and me and Mr. Depew had a hold of her, and Mr. Morgan and Bud Dobyns the muzzle of the gun. She said she intended to kill Jimmie, Mrs. DeJarnette, the baby and herself. That was as soon as we had separated her, east of the kitchen. He fell about one hundred steps from here."

      Dr. Powers testified: "A knife was turned over to me by Mrs. DeJarnette." (Knife exhibited. Black handle; small; blood on small blade.)

      Question - "Doctor, you may describe the cuts."

      "There seemed to be at least three strokes made on the neck; cut on left arm at the bend of the elbow; the cut on the arm not dangerous."

      At the close of the testimony the jury returned the following verdict:




      We, the jury, having been duly sworn by James T. Land, coroner of Henry County, Missouri, diligently to inquire and true presentment make in what manner and by whom one James Harper, whose dead body was found at the residence of Dr. James P. Harper in the county of Henry and state of Missouri, on the 10th day of October, A.D. 1881, came to his death, after having heard the evidence and upon full inquiry concerning the facts, and a careful examination of said body, do find that the deceased came to his death about nine o'clock a.m. on the 10th day of October, 1881, at the residence of his father, Dr. Harper, Henry County, Missouri. That his death resulted from the infliction of some two or three wounds, one at least a mortal wound, in his neck; that said wounds were made by Mrs. Mary M. Harper, his stepmother, about nine o'clock a.m., October 9, 1881, in her attempt to kill him; that we also find besides the above wounds one severe wound on his left arm on the bend of his elbow, made a short time before the infliction of the wounds on the neck, which was also done by Mrs. Harper, all of said wounds being made by a penknife held in the hand of his stepmother. We further were not able to discover any provocation for the assaults upon the deceased, he being only about seven years old, and nothing appearing to show any reason for an assault upon him; that Drs. Land and Powers, together with the family and others, were present when he died.

      Given under our hands at the residence of Dr. Harper, in the county of Henry, State of Missouri, this 10th day of October, A.D. 1881.

JAMES F. LAND, Coroner







      The necessary papers were then drawn up by Squire Webster for her arrest and served by Constable Cheatham.


The Shooting of Ezell

      Burt R. Ezell was shot and killed on the night of November 15, 1881. From the Windsor Review is taken the following summary and substance of the facts developed in this sad case:

      "Mr. B.R. Ezell resided with his brother-in-law Mr. Samuel Wherry, near Burnett Station, in Johnson County, and came to Windsor on Tuesday to assist Mr. Wherry in loading a lot of hogs, belonging to him, on the cars for shipment. After the shipment, Mr. Ezell remained in town, got on a spree, and about eleven o'clock at night, with a boon companion, went over to "Africa," so called, being that part of Windsor principally occupied by colored people. He entered the house of Mack Sims, and insulted his wife, and Mack finding he could do nothing, went over to City Marshal Hall, and requested him to come over there. What transpired there, and also the facts of the shooting, is given in the evidence at the examination and preliminary trial. After being shot, Ezell was taken to the Bass Hotel, where he was examined by the physicians who had been summoned, and every care taken of him. His sister, Mrs. Wherry, was sent for and arrived before his death, remaining with him until he was relieved of pain and life. He remained conscious most of the day following the night of the shooting, but soon after night became restless, and his mind wandering. From that time until 1:30 o'clock, when he died, he gradually sank, and at the above hour all that was mortal of Burt Ezell passed from earth, and his soul to the judgment of Him who gave it."


The Evidence

      The evidence seemed to be of a peculiar kind, but all pointed to the fact that after Ezell was arrested, he attempted to escape in the dark, was fired at, mortally wounded, and died from the wound, as above stated, and yet the man had committed no crime for which, even if he escaped, could have been more than a light fine, let alone paying the penalty with his life.

      It was a brutal and reckless affair, at best, allowing that no intention of murder was in the heart or mind of him who fired the fatal shot. And it may be mentioned here that a trial of one of the four persons who were supposed to have done the work of death, was tried at the December term, 1882, of the circuit court at Clinton, and the jury were unable to agree as to the guilt of the defendants and they were discharged and a new trial will be given.


Marshal Hall's Evidence

      This evidence refers more especially to the killing. It was long and tedious, referring to the arrest of Ezell and his escape from him. He said: "I called for Stone & Ragan and they dressed and came out on the sidewalk. Cotton came also. I told them what was up and what I wanted; told them my gun was empty and I wanted ammunition. Went down and waked up Charlie Lewis, got the ammunition and loaded my gun. When I got back Eli Dawson, (the person on trial) John Taylor and Benjamin Smith were standing in front of the store. I then told them to take the horses to the stable and put them up, and then we will go and find this fellow. The horses were supposed to belong to Ezell and another party, and in Ezell's escape from Hall had hit him and run. Hall's face was covered with blood. Those above told Hall to go back and wash and they would attend to the horses. About the time I (Hall) got through washing; Will Cotton came in and said they had caught him and wanted me to come up there. As I was putting on my overcoat I heard firing. Cotton had a lantern and we walked rapidly in the direction of the bank. Firing had ceased after we had got out of Harnsberget & Ragan's store. I saw lights on Benton Street, near McGee's. I don't know how many shots were fired, as many as three, there might have been more. I came to where the light was and saw the body of a man in the center of Benton Street and recognized him as the one with whom I had a fuss, and started Cotton for Dr. Shadburne.'"

      Cotton's evidence was pretty much the same after his meeting with Hall, but stating that the persons who sent him for Hall were in the dark outside the barn, and he did not recognize any one.


Dave McGee's Evidence

      Was in substance as follows: "Heard some one talking between my house and Ousley's stable. They came on to my corner, and I heard some one run, who appeared to run in a westerly direction from the sound. Then I heard shots. I went out doors to where they assembled, and I found there, Eli Dawson, Benj. Smith, Charles Ragan, John Taylor, Jim Bush and others. Marshal Hall came up just after I did. Saw the deceased lying on the ground. The doctor came up and said he must be taken somewhere to be better cared for. Did not recognize any of the parties who passed my house before the shooting commenced." All the evidence was of a similar nature: "Heard shots fired," nobody recognized, and a man killed. The Review, in its report, summed up editorially, as follows: "The parties who took the horses to the stable, found Ezell, and arrested him. He claimed he was not the man and started to McGee's, to prove his statement. Arriving there, Bush stepped to the door to awaken Dave. Just then the prisoner started to run, and the firing began, with results as above stated."


Jury Verdict

We, the undersigned, find the deceased came to his death by shooting at the hands of unknown parties.


We, the undersigned cannot concur in the above verdict.




      On Friday following state warrants were issued for the arrest of Eli Dawson, J. B. Bush, John Taylor, and John W. Hall, and they all gave bail in the sum of $5,000 each, 102 names going on the bonds. On the succeeding Wednesday they had a preliminary trial before Justices Tutts and Powell. C. C. Armstrong, prosecuting attorney, and H. H. Armstrong appeared for the state, and Judge Shirk, of Sedalia, Peyton A. Parks, Clinton, and Allen & Allen, of Windsor, for the defense. At the opening the state dismissed the charge as to J. R. Bush, and he was released, but held the others for examination. The evidence was much the same, somewhat more full, and Dawson got the worst of it. The trial resulted in the discharge of Taylor and Hall by the justices presiding, but Dawson was bound over, and his trial came off as above mentioned, December term, 1882, with a failure to agree on the part of the jury. The case was tried before Judge Gantt, and continued five days. The prospect of conviction in any future trial is not flattering.

      It was said that while Ezell was lying on the ground waiting for the doctor's arrival, he said to Taylor, "Tell my sister that her brother on his dying bed leaves his property to her." There was a strong feeling of affection between the two, and when the sister came the meeting seemed almost heartrending. From that he seemed to understand that his wound was mortal. It was a sad case, and it is not likely that a man arrested for a misdemeanor will be again killed if he seeks to make a sudden escape.

      They generally can be found and costs and fine paid at some future day, but neither the law and the fine and cost was of a nature to demand the life of the man, or immediate payment. The lesson has caused one man his life, let us hope another may not be sacrificed. Here endeth the record of crime.