Elmore County, Alabama Genealogy Trails
[From the Wetumpka Sentinel]
A foul and most unnatural murder was committed in this town on Monday the 5th inst. Our highly respectable townsman, Mr. Hugh Ware, a merchant of Wetumpka, was standing in the door of his county room, between the hours of 8 and 9 o’clock at night, in company with a friend, when the assassin lurked within a few paces of his position, and discharged his musket, loaded with ten or fifteen buckshot. Mr. Ware instantly fell and expired without a struggle or a groan, one of the shot having entered his brain, and another the region of the heart. A Coroner’s inquest was immediately held, which decided upon its second sitting, that the deceased came to his death by violence, and from the best evidence which the nature of the case would then admit of, that Abner J. Cody, and his servant John, were the perpetrators of the infamous deed. John was seen running form the direction of Messrs Ware and Campbell’s store immediately after the firing of the gun, and on being questioned by several gentlemen, as to his connexion with the murder, frankly and readily confessed, that his master, Cody, was the assassin; that he compelled him to assist in the commission of the act, threatening his life if he dared to disobey; that he carried the musket to the place at which it was discharged; that his master then received it form him, rested it on the fence, fired and killed Mr. Ware. Precisely the same facts were testified to on his regular examination, which took place the ensuing day. In the meantime, Cody was arrested, and brought before justices Beecher and Gray, and after several days painful examination of the host of witnesses – in the course of which, the testimony of John was sustained – it was ordered by the Court that both Cody and John should be committed, without privilege of bail, to the common jail of the County, to await their trial at the next Circuit Court, for Autauga County. Ware had previously prosecuted Cody for larceny, which fixed in the bosom of the latter a most deadly antipathy against him; but the deceased having afforded Cody frequent opportunities of revenge, and he failing to avail himself of them, had ceased to entertain any apprehension of attack, never dreaming that in the very moment of his fancied security, the noiseless tread of the assassin was about his dwelling, and that his bullet was already speeding its way to his heart. The obituary of Mr. Ware will appear in this or the next number. (Southern Argus, Columbus, Miss., July 4, 1837)
Eight tramps armed with axes, chisels, and heavy pieces of timber assaulted a freight train at Deatsville last Saturday a little after dark, breaking open the doors of several cars until they found one containing eatables, when they proceeded to help themselves. A telegram brought the Sheriff of Elmore County with a posse of men who succeeded in arresting the whole party and they are now confined in jail. They all hail from Ohio. Source: Vernon Clipper, Lamar County AL, December 5, 1879 - Submitted by Veneta McKinney
Miss Fannie Howle, of Elmore county, put a load of shot into a negro named Bill Canada. Bill was aiding some chickens to escape from a coop. Source: Marion County Herald, Marion County AL, April 24, 1890 - Submitted by Veneta McKinney
Several days ago the works of the Powell Charcoal Company, near Coosada Station, were destroyed by fire, supposed to have been kindled by an incendiary. The company sustained a loss of $1500. No insurance. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, April 9, 1891 - Submitted by Veneta McKinney
SAM JONES – has a $10,000 Damage Suit Filed Against Him
Mr. William Rogers, of Elmore Station, has instituted suit against Sam Jones, the evangelist, for $10,000 damages. During the revivalist’s meetings in Montgomery, Ala. a year ago an electric light burst and the glass seriously cut Mr. Rogers and son. Upon this the suit is based. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, May 21, 1891 - Submitted by Veneta McKinney.
CONVICTS KILLED BY A GUARD - At the state penitentiary at Wetumpka, Ala. two white convicts William Gibson and George Marshall were shot and killed by Arthur Jones a guard. Jones had a squad of convicts working outside the walls, when Gibson and Marshall sprang upon him and attempted to disarm him. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, March 10, 1892 - Submitted by Veneta McKinney.
A dispatch from Montgomery of the 30th ult says: News reached the city tonight from Wetumpka of the shooting of Zut L. Jenkins, a convict guard at that place, by Tyler Goodwyn, editor of the Wetumpka Reform Advocate. Editor Goodwyn published something reflecting upon Jenkins, and the later went to Goodwyn for a retraction. An altercation ensued on the street when Goodwyn refused to retract. Both pulled pistols and exchanged shots. Jenkins was hit about the abdomen. Goodwyn was unhurt. Goodwyn accidently shot and killed the sheriff of Elmore county several months ago. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, April 6, 1893 - Submitted by Veneta McKinney.
BETRAYED BY POWDER BURNS - Saturday sheriff Sedberry, of Elmore County, went to Montgomery after John Connors who was arrested there by the city detectives and whose powder burned face led them to believe that he was implicated in the safe blowing robberies at Wetumpka and Deatsville last week. Source: Hamilton News Press, Marion County AL, November 7, 1895 - Submitted by Veneta McKinney.
GOVERNOR’S PROCLAMATION - The Governor has issued a proclamation renewing the reward of $300 for the arrest and delivery of Eldridge Williams, colored, who is wanted in Elmore county for a murder committed in 1891. A reward of $100 is offered for the arrest and conviction of Nick Judkins, charged with the murder of Lazarus Thomas, which occurred in Montgomery County recently. Source: Marion County News, Marion County AL, August 19, 1897 - Submitted by Veneta McKinney.
ROASTED - A negro woman named Duncan locked her three small children in her dwelling near Coosada last Friday night and went to a party. Fire broke out at midnight and burned the house to the ground. The children were roasted under the bed, where they had crawled, seeking protection. The woman is guilty of murder under the law of Alabama. Source: Marion County News, Marion County AL, October 7, 1897 - Submitted by Veneta McKinney.
TERRIBLE ALABAMA TRAGEDY - Five Men Who Had Murdered Three People For Purpose of Robbery Taken from Jail and Lynched.
Montgomery, Ala., June 18 – The men who murdered and robbed Mr. Carden and his wife and an old man named Carlee, near Wetumpka, were lynched at nine o’clock today. Last night Gov. Johnson received a message from the sheriff that a mob was assembling and he feared his prisoners would be taken from him and asked for troops. The governor soon got together about 90 men of the local militia and sent them to Wetumpka on a special train. Before they reached there, however, the mob had secured the prisoners – five in number and took them to the scene of the murder. Four of the negroes confessed to having participated in the crime and one of them told where he had the money. He was compelled to find it and in a few minutes, near the scene of the crime, all five were swung up and their bodies riddled with bullets. Source: Walnut Valley Daily Times, June 18, 1898 - Submitted by Peggy Thompson.
EDGAR WILLIAMS, The Noted Elmore Character, is Dead
Edgar Williams a noted Alabama convict, committed suicide at a lumber camp in Covington county, where he had been employed. Willam’s case was an unusual one and no one can account for his taking his own lie, unless it be due to remorse.
More than half a score of years ago he killed W. H. Boswell in Elmore county. He immediately fled to the west. In Arizona he was arrested in 1901 for wife beating, and while in jail there he confessed to being the Alabama murderer. Communication was had with the Alabama authorities and Williams was returned to Wetumpka to stand trial. Many of the witnesses in the case ad moved away or died since the murder and it was difficult to secure testimony to convict. In 1901 the trail resulted in a verdict of manslaughter with a sentence of two years. His sentence would therefore have expired next November. Williams was a member of one of the very prominent Elmore county families. (Source: Marion County Democrat, Marion County AL, April 9, 1903 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)
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