|KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS|
RECORD OF CRIMES, CASUALTIES, ETC.
July 20, 1860, Victor Moquett, shot through the head by a rifle ball and killed, on South Big Creek. The fatal shot was fired by Dr. William Brown. The parties were deer hunting alone. The doctor claimed that the killing was an accident, the ball having struck a large stone, from which it glanced and lodged in Moquett's head. No coroner's inquest was held, nor did the doctor have a legal examination.
October, 1860, William Shaw and E. A. Green, of Burlington, murdered by Osage Indians, at a camp on the Cimmeron River. In the camp were William Shaw, A. E. Green, A. G. Holland, Andrew Franklin, Jr., Austin Higley and Isaac Yingling, all of Coffey County. They left Burlington October 15, 1860, with two wagons, each drawn by a span of horses, a supply of forage and provisions, and three extra horses. They were on a buffalo hunt. When the camp was attacked, all escaped and fled to another camp of white men, twenty miles distant, except Shaw and Green. The escaped party returned the next day, with assistance, but found nothing but the dead body of Shaw, whose head had been severed from the body and placed upright on his breast. Green and all the property were missing, and were never heard of since.
June 10, 1861, Mary Wiley and her son William, aged about six years, murdered in bed, during the night. Their bodies were hacked to pieces. The murdered parties lived in a small house on the farm of John Johnson, about two miles west of Le Roy, south of the river. Mr. Johnson's family lived in another house, on the same farm. Mrs. Wiley was supposed to be a mistress of the senior Johnson. William Harrison Johnson and Wesley Johnson, sons of John Johnson, of mature years, were missing after the murder. They were indicted by the Grand Jury of Coffey County, on the charge of being the murderers, and Matilda Johnson was also indicted on the charge of an accessory after the fact. Matilda appeared before the October term of the court, was tried and acquitted. Her brothers did not appear, having never been seen after the murder. Shortly after the trial of Matilda, the whole family disappeared.
March 28, 1862, Joseph P. Moore, found dead in his wagon, on the prairie, two miles from his home, in Pottawatomie Township, near the Glenwood schoolhouse. He left his home on the 14th of March, with a wagon and a span of horses, to go to Le Roy to get some grist. Failing to return home that day, as was expected, his friends supposed he had gone to the Verdigris to do some hauling for the refugee Indians. When found, his body was devoid of clothing, his head was hairless, his bed clothing was chawed into rags, and the wagon-box was gnawed to the bed. These devastations had been done by his horses, hitched to the wagon, in their efforts to appease their hunger. One horse was standing and the other lay dead. It is supposed that Mr. Moore got lost on the prairie, and that his death was caused by a congestive chill, to which he was subject. While he was lying in the slumber of death on the bleak prairie, his friends at home elected him to the office of Justice of the Peace, a position he was holding at the time of his decease.
September 25, 1862, William Hamilton killed Addison Vandever, near Le Roy, during a fight between the two parties at a horse race. Hamilton struck Vandever a fatal blow on the head with a board. August 22, 1864, Hamilton was convicted of manslaughter in the third degree, and sentenced to an imprisonment of three months in the County Jail.
September 17, 1864, a negro named Sam, disemboweled, by a negro named Smith, during a drunken frolic at a dance at Nichols' farmhouse in Neosho Township, five miles south of Burlington. Smith was then shot through the head and killed by another negro. Sam died the next day. All of the surviving parties were brought before Ahijah Jones, Justice of the Peace at Le Roy, on Monday, August 19, but owing to his inability to disentangle the evidence, the matter was referred to the people, who ordered the entire mob to leave the county. The order was obeyed.
February 2, 1865, William Hastings, of Franklin County, murdered by an Indian named Wa-tee-chee, near Pottawatomie Creek, Coffey County. Hastings was riding in a lumber wagon when he was shot by the Indian, who approached on horseback, in the rear. Hastings, after he was shot, went to place his wallet, containing $500 in money, under a bag of corn, when his murderer fled, supposing Hastings was reaching for a pistol. Hastings drove two miles to a farmhouse, where he died the following night. Money was the motive for the murder but the murderer did not get it. Wa-tee-chee was hanged for this murder at Lawrence, January 19, 1866.
April 13, 1865, the wife of Sam Bull, colored, shot through the head and killed by a ball fired through the window from the outside at the house of her brother-in-law, Rufus, in Neosho Township. The murderer was supposed to be her husband, with whom she would not live.
November 25, 2865, Lewis Clark, a white man, shot a negro woman named Curry, on his farm, three miles northwest of Le Roy, and then fired a shot at her son, John. Mrs. Curry and her son were attempting to release some hogs, owned by them, which Clark had confined in an enclosure on his premises. John returned the fire, which instantly killed Clark, and then ran away. A party of men and boys from Le Roy hanged John's wife to a tree, with the expectation of extracting from her information of the whereabouts of her husband, but she stoutly denied any knowledge of his hiding place. She was released without material injury. The elder Mrs. Curry recovered from her wounds. John subsequently returned and is now a respected farmer, living with his wife near Ottumwa.
November 25, 1866, destruction by fire of the residence, with all of its contents, of M. E. Grimes, in Avon Township. Loss, $1,200. During the previous summer he suffered a heavy pecuniary loss by a freshet. October 11, an infant son died; November 10, his dry kiln, filled with finishing walnut lumber for the Episcopal Church at Burlington, was destroyed by fire, involving a loss to him of $600.
August 29, 1869, Wilson Hamilton, shot and killed by Jack Taylor, in Burlington, during a family quarrel. Both were colored. Taylor was convicted of manslaughter in the second degree and sent to the penitentiary, where he died before the expiration of his sentence.
January 13, 1870, Lewis Highland, aged twenty-four, hanged to death from the crotch of a tree, into which he had been thrown by the sudden rolling of a tree top lying on the ground, which he was trimming, on the farm of Hardin McMahon, in California Township.
December 23, 1871, Stephen Brown, murdered Harvey Deaver, at the residence of the later, (sic) near Ottumwa. The murder was committed with a pistol. The murderer was sentenced to the penitentiary for ten years.
March 5, 1872, Alexander Louther, a bachelor, aged forty years, blew the top of his head off by a charge from a gun fired by his own hands, during a fit of insanity, at his residence, in Rock Creek Township.
May 11, 1872, Elisha Denecke, aged twenty years, was impaled upon the tines of a pitchfork, in his own hands. He fell upon the tines by the giving away of the roof of a shed, upon which he was standing and from which he was pitching old hay. He died within a few minutes from the time of the accident. This occurred on the farm of Charles Tomlinson, across the river from Burlington.
August 29, 1874, William McDonald shot and killed Michael Pointing, in Key West Township. Pointing was at the head of a party which had been organized for the purpose of stampeding a herd of Southern cattle, under the charge of McDonald. After firing the fatal shot McDonald fled, but was afterward arrested in Texas in the spring of 1878, by Sheriff J. M. Lane, and taken back to Coffey County. He was convicted of manslaughter in the second degree, at the June term of the District Court, and sentenced to the penitentiary for a term of twenty years.
January 29, 1876, Albert Wetherby, whose home was one mile south of Burlington, killed by the accidental discharge of his own gun, on Fall River, while returning home in company with James Martindale.
June 11, 1877, S. M. Hedges murdered George S. Cook with an ax, while the latter was asleep, at the residence of Mr. Coy, in Pottawatomie Township. Both had previously kept an auction store at Burlington, and were on their way to Wyandotte, Kansas, at the time of the murder. Hedges was convicted of murder in the second degree and committed to the penitentiary for a term of twenty-one years. He was subsequently pardoned.
April 8, 1878, Charles Best shot and killed Patrick Mahan, in a saloon broil, at Burlington, during the night of the celebration over the completion to Burlington of the Kansas City, Burlington & Santa Fe Railroad. Best was convicted of manslaughter in the third degree and sentenced to imprisonment for six months in the jail of Greenwood County.
June 29, 1878, Bradley P. Ford, a clerk in the Central House, Burlington, accidentally drowned while attempting to ford the Neosho River at Burlington. His body was not recovered until eight days after the drowning.
October 28, 1879, Mrs. Worth Elliott, the youngest daughter of the deceased Gen. John B. Scott, burned to death, at the family residence, on Big Creek, ten miles west of Le Roy. Her clothes caught fire by the explosion of a coal oil lamp, which she was carrying in her hands. Her body was burned to a crisp.
June 23, 1882, William Olds, killed by the accidental discharge of his revolver, at the William Crotty Crossing of Big Creek. The revolver fell from his pocket while he was putting his head in the creek and the contents were discharged by the hammer striking a stone.
STATISTICAL AND CHRONOLOGICAL.
The population of Coffey, by townships, as taken by the County Assesor (sic) on the first of March, 1882, was as follows: Avon, 525; Burlington, 671; City of Burlington, 2,181; California, 975; Hampden, 574; Key West, 711; Le Roy, 1,071; Liberty, 835; Neosho, 648; Ottumwa, 920; Pleasant, 1,123; Pottawatomie, 551; Rock Creek, 992; Spring Creek, 516; Star, 457. Total in the county, 12,750.
The number of organized school districts in Coffey County, November 1, 1882, was 80; Number of districts sustaining public schools three months during the year, 78. Assessed valuation of all property in the county, $2,625,262.66. Average per cent, levied for school purposes, .01 1/4. Estimated value of school property, $75,000. Number of school buildings, 98. Number of school rooms, 110. Cost of maintaining schools during the year 1882, $30,761.11. Average length of the school year, 28 weeks. School population, 2,380 males and 1,871 females. Number of teachers employed, 51 males and 76 females.
The history of the formation of the several townships in the county is as follows: Pottawatomie, Ottumwa, California, Avon, Burlington, Le Roy and Neosho were established June 5, 1858, at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors at Hampden. At a meeting of the Supervisors November 3, 1859, the number of townships was reduced to four, viz: Avon, Le Roy, Ottumwa and Burlington. February 13, 1860, the seven townships were re-established as existed prior to November 3, 1859. Rock Creek was established October 3, 1870; Pleasant, Hampden and Liberty, February 6, 1871; Spring Creek, November 11, 1872; Key West, January 5, 1874; Star, April 18, 1874.
The first agricultural fair in the county was held on the farm of Henry W. Ela, near Burlington, October 9, 1860. The ladies that rode horseback for premiums at this fair were Mrs. Judge Kingsbury, Mrs. Packard, Miss Julia Kinzie, Miss Ann Heddens, and Miss Bundy. They were all awarded prizes by the judges.
In the spring of 1860, a hail storm visited Le Roy, in which were hailstones weighing a pound and a half. The stones went through the roofs and sides of houses like shot. Live stock was killed and many houses were damaged by the storm.
During the Price raid the Kansas Patriot, at Burlington, suspended publication from October 8 to November 5, 1864, everybody connected with the office having gone to the front. The editor was engaged in the battle of Westport.
Chronological: November 1, 1864, Captain Charles Puffer's company of militia
was treated to a supper by the ladies of Burlington, on its return from the
Price raid. Wednesday, November 2, 1864, six inches of snow on the ground in