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1890

THE GIBSON BOYS - Greenville, March 22 – Ben and Sam Gibson, brothers, were convicted of the murder of John Smith in the circuit court at Ruthledge Ala and each sentenced to twenty years in the state penitentiary.  The Gibson boys are white men, 36 and 45 years of age.  Smith was also a white man, aged 23 and was murdered during August 1889.  This makes three convictions for murder in Crenshaw county at this term of court, and the aggregate sentences of the three is sixty long years. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, March 27, 1890 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney 

 


1894

AFTER ELEVEN YEARS IN PRISON – William W. Rayburn Secures a Pardon and also a Wife

William W. Rayburn is a doubly happy man and has just cause for it

                At the spring term of the Crenshaw county circuit court in 1883 Rayburn was tired and convicted of murder and sentenced to a life of servitude in the mines.  He was charged with killing J. W. Paris and was prosecuted by Gen. F. S. Fergerson of this city at that time solicitor.  The evidence was circumstantial and Rayburn protested his innocence through the trial and after conviction.

In May of this year he employed Richard M. Fries, Esq. of this city to investigate the case, secure evidence and lay same before Gov. Thomas G. Jones with a view to securing his pardon.  Mr. Fries obtained evidence sufficient to show a strong doubt of the prison’s guilty and this, together with the signatures of the solicitor and jurymen, was forwarded to his Excellency, governor Jones who, after a carful examination into the matter, granted Rayburn a pardon.

On Saturday last, after eleven years of servitude for the state, Rayburn walked out of the stockade a free man.

Yesterday, accompanied by Miss Jessie Miller of Pratt City the ex-convict came to the city, repaired to probate Judge Porter’s office, and after procuring a license was joined in matrimony to the lady. – {Age-Herald]  Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, October 11, 1894- Transcribed by Veneta McKinney 

 


1897

PARDONS GRANTED - On the application for pardon of John Surrell, of Coffee, convicted March 8, 1897, of perjury and sentenced to three years in the penitentiary, the governor last week made the following indorsement:  “It is shown to me that the petitioner in this case was a gallant confederate soldier and had been a peaceable, law abiding citizen.  He is now an old man.  It also appears from the statement of the solicitor who prosecuted the case that the perjury charged was through ignorance and not corruption. Believing that a man who has served his country gallantly should have the benefit of every doubt, let a pardon issue to John Sorrell and his political rights be restored.

                The governor granted paroles as follows:

                Ed Owens, of Crenshaw county, convicted of robbery; Samuel C. Welch, of Etowah county, convicted of murder in the second degree, Paul Hathaway, of Coffee county, convicted of manslaughter, Henry Wilson of Montgomery convicted of assault with intent to murder; Isham Neal, colored of Pickens, convicted of attempting to assault a negro woman.

                The terms of most of the prisoners were drawing to a close, and in each case large petitions were presented.  Source: Marion County News, Marion County AL, September 2, 1897 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney 

 

 C. D. Summerlin was shot through the stomach by C. M. Barksdale at Brantley Wednesday, and will probably die. Source: Marion County News, Marion County AL, September 23, 1897 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney 


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