Franklin County, Alabama Genealogy Trails
Ku-Kluxing is still in vogue in Franklin County. The Franklin County Democrat says a crowd of masked men went to the house of old man Tom Clark last Saturday night, took him out and whipped him unmercifully. It is said they broke several ribs and came very near killing the old gentleman. Source: Lamar News, Lamar County AL, May 13, 1886 - Transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney
They have an agricultural organization up in Franklin County called the “Wheel.” At a meeting of the Wheel a few days ago one of the members charged another with stealing corn from his fields. The case was tried by the society and the corn thief found guilty and expelled from the society. Not only this, but it was ordered that his name be published in the “Wheel”, the organ of the society, which was done. – [Iron Age] Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, December 24, 1886 - Transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney
J. M. and A. M. PEOPLES, two well respected citizens of Franklin county, Ala. was arrested a few days ago for counterfeiting. It is said that they have been flooding Alabama and Mississippi with bogus money for several months past. Source: Marion County Herald, April 19, 1887 - Transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney)
BALUS WILLIAMS, a resident of Marion County, was shot and instantly killed by a party of U. S. Deputy Marshals near Belgreen on 14th inst. Deputy Marshal JOHN BARRETT had a warrant for the arrest of WILIAMS and met him in Belgreen, but thought best to let him get out of town when the drop could be had on him and he would give up without making any resistance. So after WILIAMS left town BARRETT summoned WILL DOBBS and RICHARD CLEERE and the three men started in pursuit. He was overtaken about two miles south of Belgreen. Mr. CLEERE had, by going through a rear way, gained the front of WILLIAMS while BARRET and DOBBS at the same time advanced from the rear. WILLIAMS had his gun with him, a double barrel, and when ordered by CLEERE to hold up his hands, instead of doing so raised his gun and endeavored to shoot CLEERE, but the weapon snapped at this juncture he received a couple of loads in the head and back, DOBBS having fired both barrels of his gun. CLEERE then fired and WILLIAMS fell dead. The affair is a very sad one and one much to be regretted. After a thorough investigation by the Coroner's jury the men were acquitted of all blame and discharged. Source: Marion County Herald, Sept 22, 1887 - Transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney
The following letter written by Mr. PLUMMER WILLIAMS, father of BAYLESS WILLIAMS, the man killed near Belgreen recently and handed over to us by Mr. AVERY seems to prove that the people around Belgreen are by no means satisfied as regards the way in which the matter has been placed before the public. We do not remember of ever having met BAYLESS, but we are well acquainted with his father and regard him as being a quiet, truthful, law abiding citizen.
The following is the letter:
September 26th, 1887
I proceeded on from the Association up to Belgreen, where I found many of the citizens of that little town brooding over the horrible and inhuman death of my son. And although I found it afloat in the newspapers that the posse that acted this tragedy were justifiable, honorably discharge and etc. This does not comport with the general sentiment there – the posse employed a lawyer to see them through, provided they were prosecuted. So he proceeded with them to the scene where the inquest was held, and the justice being inexperienced, he officiated and wrote out this congenial report. Several of the jury told me they (unwarily) signed, being disgusted and confused. And not being willing for the matter to remain before the public in that shape, they were when I left, consulting a plan to set themselves right before the public.
The papers generally sing on the popular side, and it seems that they took an early start to getup public opinion in their favor. The matter will be thoroughly looked into before the grand jury at court.
Source: Marion County Herald, October 6, 1887 - Transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney)
Mr. WILLIAM G. STANFIELD, of Franklin County, succeeded last Monday the 31st of October in getting his “grip” on DOCK MORROW, the man who murdered JOE WILSON last march in Franklin County, and delivered him over to Sheriff LODEN. Detectives have been vigilant after MORROW for some time, but to no purpose. He was taken in Mississippi near the Alabama line. Two hundred dollars is the handsome reward. The Sheriff of this county has notified the Sheriff of Franklin County that he has MORROW “on file” at present his papers and take him to Franklin. Source: Marion County Herald, November 3, 1887 - Transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney)
DOCK MORROW was taken in custody by some Franklin County men on last Sunday and carried to Belgreen. Source: Marion County Herald, November 10, 1887 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney
Mr. WILLIAM G. STANFIELD, of Franklin County, succeeded last Monday the 31st of October in getting his "grip" on DOCK MORROW, the man who murdered JOE WILSON last march in Franklin County, and delivered him over to Sheriff LODEN. Detectives have been vigilant after MORROW for some time, but to no purpose. He was taken in Mississippi near the Alabama line. Two hundred dollars is the handsome reward. - Source: (Marion County Herald, Nov. 3, 1887 - Transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney)
MURDERED - ONE MAN KILLED AND ANOTHER DESPERATELY WOUNDED - Our town was startled on last Saturday night 10t inst, by the news being brought in that Mr. ROBERT TERRELL and Mr. TOM BANNISTER, two Marion County men, had been waylaid and shot just over the line in Franklin County. It appears that TERRELL and BANNISTER were on hunt of the man - for whom a reward is offered and who was thought to be hiding in the neighborhood. The men had completed their search and were on their way back to his county when night coming on they halted at the house of one Mr. JOHNSON, living between Little and Big Bear Creeks in Franklin Co and secured lodging for the night. In a short time it was discovered that the bridles of their horses had been cut and the animals gone. Both men at once set out to look for the horses. After following them to Bear Creek, a distance of 3 or 4 miles, it being dark they decided to return to Mr. JOHNSON' and wait till morning and then renew their search. They did so, and early the next morning, Saturday, they set out in the same direction they had traveled the night before. They had proceeded only about half mile from the house when they were fired on by parties concealed in the thick woods near the road. Both men dropped instantly. BANNISTER being shot in the head with two buckshot and TERRELL in the left side just about the hip joint, the bullet ranging throng lodged near the right kidney. The latter was shot with a rifle and some hopes are entertained for his recovery. The man BANNISTER lived only a few minutes but during those few moments says Mr. TERRELL, he beggen piteously for water but his friend lying near by was unable to move himself or in any way administer to his wants. Mr. JOHNSON, on hearing the report of the guns, started after them and came up to where they were lying. The news was spread and before long enough men had assembled to convey the dead man and Mr. TERRELL to the house of Mr. JOHNSON, where they stopped the night before, which they did and immediately sent for a physician to care for the wounded man. Both men are well known in the county and respected as clever, law-abiding citizens. It is thought they were killed by Franklin co. "moonshiners" who mistook them for men trying to locate stills. Both men have families - BANNISTER leaving a wife and three fatherless children to mourn his death. His remains were brought home for burial on last Monday. Mr. TERRELL remains at the house where he was taken soon after the shooting. - Source: (Marion Herald, Marion, Co, AL - Dec. 15, 1887 - Transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney)
AFTER THE MOONSHINERS, SIX ILLICIT DISTILLERIES DESTROYED AND FOUR MEN CAPUTRED
On last Thursday night (23rd ult) a party of revenue officers, composed of Maj. W. H. CHATMAN, Deputy Collector W. W. COLQUIT, C. S. TUTWILDER, J. L.C LAY and others , made a successful raid on the “moonshiners” of this county and Franklin, destroying six stills and capturing four men. Five of the stills were on Franklin County soil just over the line, the fifth was only about six miles distant from this place, and hear the residence of JOHN PARKER.
The captured parties were: A. C. COCHRAN, FARREN NICHOLS, and NAPOLEAN POSEY, the latter was apparently quite young in years, not more than 16 or 17 years of age, but has doubtless spent the greater part of his life in business of this kind. In one of the stills was found the wife of the distiller, busily engaged keeping up fires, etc for her husband, while he was attending to his other business.
No difficulty was encountered in capturing the men as they were taken completely by surprise, and well covered before they were aware of the presence of the officers. The officers were all well mounted and armed with repeating rifles, so after destroying the stills, they took their prisoners behind them on horseback and rode rapidly toward Hamilton, which place was reached in safety, and the violators of the law were arraigned before Commissioner D. N. COOPER, who placed their bonds at $300 each, which they gave, and all were released. Source: Marion County Herald, Marion, Co, AL - March 1, 1888- Transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney)
Ben Price, colored, shot and wounded Jeff Key near Russellville recently. Source: Marion County Herald, Marion, Co, AL - November 29, 1888 - Transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney)
DAVE GLENN ASSASSINATED - On last Monday night DAVE GLENN was shot by some parties while asleep at his home north east of this pace just in the edge of Franklin county. The circumstances as near as we can get them are about as follows:
He had separated from his wife and there has been correspondence between them with a view to their living tighter, and on Tuesday evening he sent his boy to see her to ascertain if she was going to return home.
The boy returned after supper and says that his father was asleep when he reached home and that he lit some pine splinters that he had gotten from a neighbor on his return from seeing his mother, threw them out of the window and lay down on a bed and had just fallen to sleep when he heard the guns fire. He then ran to a neighbors about one half mile from his home and gave the alarm. When the neighbors gathered in Dave was found lying on his bed dead. He was lying on is side and death was evidently instantaneous as the largest part of the load struck him at the base of the skull. The shot used were mixed, large sized buck and squirrel shot.
As best as we can learn as to the case, FRANK PALMER, a brother-in-law of deceased is charged with the shooting and has been placed in the Belgreen jail. His son will be arrested as we learn that he is supposed to be an accomplice.
Who the guilty parties are we know not, but say that no death is to good for any man who would kill another as was DAVE. If his son is guilty as it is thought by some, he is certainly a boy devoid of conscience. Source: Marion County Herald, Marion, Co, AL - August 29, 1889 - Transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney)
RILEY DUNCAN, of Franklin county was committed to jail by Commissioner COOPER on last week for ”wildcatting” he gave bond and was released on Monday last. Source: Marion Herald, Marion, Co, AL - January 30, 1890 - Transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney
Ed Collier shot and probably fatally wounded Sam Taylor, at Good Springs, near Russellville. They were both negroes and drunk. (The Weekly Age Herald, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL., March 26, 1890)
Florence, Aug 28 - [Special] - W. M. WALTRIP, sheriff of Franklin county, Alabama, brought W. T. BRUMLEY to Tuscumbia today for safe keeping. Brumley killed a man named REILLY ABLES, in the lower part of Franklin county about eighteen months ago. He is a harmless looking man, about 65 years old. The murder is said to have been committed in cold blood. Source: Hamilton Times, Marion, Co, AL - September 4, 1890 - Transcribed and submitted by Veneta McKinney
Thieves last Friday night broke into Mr. Ramsey’s store at Saddon near Russellville and carried away goods valued at $300. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, March 19, 1891- Transcribed by Veneta McKinney
BY THE HEMP ROUTE - Russellville, March 29 – Last night a crowd of about 250 men armed with Winchester rifles and double barreled shot guns went to Belgreen, the county seat of Franklin county, and overpowered Sheriff William Waltrip and his men, who were guarding the jail, and took out Jeff Denzmore and Ed Hudson, the two negroes who set this town on fire the first of the week, and lynched them. The negroes were carried near the Ensley reservoir east of this place, and hung to a white oak limb and left dangling between heaven and earth. After they were hung their bodies were riddled with bullets, about 100 shots being fired. A correspondent of the Age-Herald visited the place this morning about 8 o’clock with a number of other gentlemen. It was a horrible sight to see, Jeff Denzmore was hanging to a limb and his feet were about 21 inches from the ground. Ed Hudson was hanging about 6 or 8 feet from his unfortunate partner font he same tree, with his feet about one foot from the ground. They will weigh 180 pounds each, and are nearly six feet in height. They have a noted reputation as being regular “toughs.” Jeff Denzmore having served three terms in Pratt Mines for stealing at various times and place. While waiter at the Nance hotel about one year and a half ago he was sent up for stealing clothes from the hotel where he was employed, and that was his reason for burning the town. – [Age Herald]
The business portion of Russellville together with a large new hotel was destroyed by fire last week, the fire was evidently of incendiary origin, the two negroes whose fate is made known above were suspected as the guilty parties. Further investigation convinced the people that they had the right parties and a lynching followed. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, April 2, 1891- Transcribed by Veneta McKinney
Jeff Dinsmore and Elrod Hudson, two negroes who burned a portion of Russellville, Ala., were taken from jail by a mob and hanged. (Elkhart Weekly Review, Elkhart, Ind., April 2, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)
SHOT FROM AMBUSH - A Cowardly Assassin's Dastardly Deed - United States Deputy Marshal Locke Ezzell's Sad Death Last Friday
Last Friday morning there occurred just beyond Big Bear Creek, in Franklin county, another of those dastardly crimes that has made infamous the name of the territory lying between the two creeks known as Big and Little Bear.
United States Deputy Marshal Locke Ezzell was on his way from Belgreen to this place on business connected with the revenue service when he was shot and instantly killed by some miscreant who had concealed himself behind a tree on the road side. The time the killing was done is supposed to have been about 9 or 10 o'clock in the morning.
James Ezzell, brother of the murdered man, and D. C. Pounders and Tom King were also on their way here on the same business as himself. They were close enough behind to hear the report of the gun with which he was shot. When they arrived at the fatal spot he was lying in the road where he had fallen from his horse, stone dead, with a load of buckshot in his head and neck.
The spot had been well selected for the murderous work in view. A rough and uneven road bed that had been cut and washed out by the travel and ruins of years made it very difficult for one riding along to keep a lookout for danger, even though he suspected it. Close to the side of the road the assassin had concealed himself behind a tree to await the coming of his victim. Too true were his evil designs executed, and without a sign or a moment of warning he pulled the trigger and took the life of a fellow being without giving him opportunity to defend it. That Ezzell was totally unaware of his danger is evidenced by the fact that, although heavily armed, he had made no effort to use a weapon.
The cause of his death is believed to be properly chargeable to the lawless element of wild catters who have so long infested the narrow strip of country lying between big Bear and Little Bear Creeks.
About three years ago Robert Terrell and Thomas Bannister, of this county, were shot in the same manner near the same place, and since that time others have been killed in that narrow strip. And all of these parties being in the revenue service, the conclusion is irresistible that there is an organized band of ruffians who occupy that territory as the stage of their operations who will not stop at even murder in their lawlessness.
Ezzell was about 35 years of age and leave s a wife and four children. Source: Hamilton Times, Marion County AL, May 14, 1891- Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)
Florence, June 20 – Yance Lawler and Jesse Mays, two notorious moonshiners, were brought in from Franklin county today by Deputy Marshal James Ezzell. The arrest is suggestive, as the men are thought to have been implicated in the killing of Ezzell’s brother three weeks ago. Sensational developments are expected as the outgrowth of the killing as several were implicated in it, and the government is making strong efforts to bring them to justice.
Lawler’s brother is still at large, and is thought to be the principal in the crime, and a reward of $1200 has been offered for his arrest. Ezzell, the murdered man, was a deputy marshal, and was shot from ambush as he was bringing a prisoner to this city. It is said that Lawler will not be captured without bloodshed, as his friends are numerous and desperate. - Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County, AL, June 25, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney.
Florence, June 21 - James M. Ezzell and C. O. Smith, United States deputy marshals, brought in today Yancey Lawler and Jesse Mayes, two moonshiners from Franklin county.
Lawler is a brother to William Lawler, who killed Deputy Marshall Ezzell several weeks ago. Both are implicated in the killing and are hard characters.
A big effort will be made to capture the murderer Lawler, for whom a reward of $1200 is offered. A bloody conflict is expected as Lawler's friends are determined he shall not be captured. Source; Hamilton Times, Marion county AL, June 25, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta Mckinney.
CAUGHT THE GANG - Russellville, June 27 – Last night Detective Eugene Byers and Deputy Marshall C. C. Smith, Scoggings and Thomason captured Tom Ezzell, Jr. Tom ---- and Charles Rollins, who are charged with the murder of two revenue men, Bannister and Terrill, some two or three years ago. There men were killed between Little Bear and Big Bear Creeks, and until recently the killing has been shrouded in mystery.
It is thought that the whole thing will be thoroughly investigated and the parties who have been killing men without any cause whatever will be brought face to face with the law.
The men arrested last night by Detective Byers and his posse lives several miles south of this place, in the rural districts of Franklin County. The evidence against them, it is said, is sufficient to convict them of murder in the first degree.
Ezzell is a brother to the one who was killed a few weeks ago.
The crowd was carried to Tuscumbia jail today to await their trial. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, July 2, 1891- Transcribed by Veneta McKinney.
CAUGHT AT LAST - The Murderer of TERRELL and BANNISTER Arrested - Three are Safe and Sufficient Evidence can be Produced to Convict Them of the Crime
Murder will out.
Three of the men who murdered BOB TERRELL and TOM BANNISTER are now in the clutches of the law.
The men arrested for this bloody deed are TOM EZZELL, CHARLIE ROLLINS AND TOM MOSES. Two of them are in jail at Tuscumbia and the other is safely locked up at Jasper.
The murder with which these men are charged was committed some time in December 1887, in Franklin County, between the two creeks known as Big and Little Bear, while TERRELL and BANISTER were in search of their horses which had been taken off the night before, and until recently no clue could be had by which the guilty could be brought to justice. But finally Detective EUGENE BYERS, of Birmingham took up the case and followed it to a successful finish. The killing of LOCKE EZZELL some time since gave him much help, in as much as it caused a division in the faction that had so successfully kept the secret. Byers went in to Franklin and engaged the three men he wanted to assist him in capturing WILL LAWLER, the man charged with the murder of LOCKE EZZELL. For several days he mingled with them and perfected his plans so that when he got them where he wanted them captured all three without the slightest resistance
A trial was to be had at Russellville last Monday but the men waived examination and were recommitted to jail without bond.
JIM EZZELL has also been arrested charged with being an accomplice and was given bail in the sum of $1,000. Failing to give bond he was locked up with his brother, TOM and CHARLIE ROLLINS.
LOCKE EZZELL, who was killed, is known to have been one of the gang who committed the murder and it is believed that there are two others whose names are not given at present, making a total of six. There is no doubt that sufficient evidence can be produced to convict the five who are yet living.
This is but the beginning of the end and it is to be hoped that the strong arm of the law will mete out justice to every man connected with the crime.
The EZZELL brothers are supposed to have managed the whole affair, and at the time the murder was committed two of them were serving as Deputy United States Marshall. Such men are a curse to any civilized country, and that one has already met his reward let us hope that the others will get their just deserts.
Much credit is due Detective BYERS for the skill displayed in working up the case and proves that he is a man of sound judgment and undoubted courage. One mistake would have cost him his life, and how that he has completed the work so far as four are concerned not a dollar awaits him for his trouble. This is very wrong. Will the people of Marion county where the murderer men lived, not compensate him? We believe they will. Source: Hamilton Times, Marion County AL, July 9, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)
A TEMPTEST IN A TEA POT
Montgomery, July 9 – Governor Jones has receive a requisition from W. M. Waltrip , sheriff of Franklin county, stating that he feared that there would be serious trouble in the election next Monday for the removal of the county seat and calling on the governor for troops. The excitement in Franklin County is intense over the contest between Russellville and Isbell and the advocates of the respective places have become personal and bitter in their charges and counter charges.
The governor telegraphed to W. M. Waltrip, Darlington, Ala. as follows:
“You can summon very able-bodied man in your country to your assistance, and appoint as many deputies as you think proper. Will not this give you a sufficiently strong and reliable force? Confer with leaders on both sides, and take prominent citizens in your counsels. If necessary get a meeting of citizens called to co-operate for the preservation of peace. Try this course and advise me fully. It would require most urgent and pressing necessity to authorize use of troops, especially on ever of an election and unless the necessity is most manifest, they ought not to be called for and cannot be sent.
THOS. G. JONES, Governor.
STATE TROOPS WANTED
Montgomery, Ala. July 8, ‘91
Hon G. C. Almon – Russellville, Ala: have been officially advised that there is danger of violence at the election next day which civil officers believe they cannot control. If there is just cause for this apprehension would it not be best for prominent men on both sides to meet for cooperation of peace. Please advise me fully by wire of situation.
THOS G. JONES, Gov
The above telegram explains itself. The idea of calling on the Governor for state troops to keep peace at a little court house election is absurd, when there is not, nor has been, any just cause to believe there will be any violence on the day of the election. The trust of the business is, the officers who advised the Governor are strongly in favor of Isbell getting the court house an simply thought if they could get about 50 or 100 troops here dressed in uniforms and armed with muskets, it would have a tendency to scare a great many people away from the polls at this box – [Southern Idea]
Russellville, July 13 – The election to locate the county site of Franklin county was one of the most quiet elections ever held in the county. Not a single row or disturbance of an kind came up during the day.
Russellville will get the county site by at least 200 majority. Isbell and Russellville were the contenting points. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County, AL, July 16, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney.
DEPOT SAFE ROBBED
Depot Agent J. R. Scott had the misfortune to have $200.00 in clean cash stolen form him latter part of last week. He left his office in charge of his porter, Percy Hamilton, with only the day lock on his safe and when the time came to send the money off, it was not there. Mr. Scott had the negro arrested and he had a trial Monday morning and came clear as there as no positive evidence against him - [Russellville Idea] - Source: Hamilton Times, Marion County, AL, September 17, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney.
SHOT AT RUSSELLVILLE - Ed Richardson Fired Four Times at Vinson
Russellville, Oct. 26 - [Special] - This afternoon at about 2 o'clock Ed R. Richardson, Ex-clerk in the post office at this place, shot and possibly killed, ex-postmaster E. S. Vincent.
They were standing on the corner of the Racket store of Chambers & Co where they had a few short words and Richardson drew a 38-calibre Smith and Wesson and began shooting. Vinson knocked the pistol up and the first shot and the ball passed over the door. The second shot that was fired went into the counter. By this time Vincent had gotten behind the counter and two more shots were fired, one taking effect in the back of Vinson's neck and the other in the small o his back.
Richardson then ran out and got on a horse and fled. The sheriff and a posse went immediately in pursuit of him but no arrest has been made.
What caused the trouble was that several months ago Richardson worked as clerk under postmaster Vinson and after Vinson resigned there was shortage in Richardson's accounts and it is very probable that h Untied States court has found an indictment against him. This however, is what infuriated Richardson.
The whole town and surrounding country is greatly excited over the affair. It is thought that if Richardson is caught the federal and county courts will handle him without gloves.
Richardson is the man who was elected to the legislature a few years ago and unseated an account of being a non-resident. (Source: Hamilton Times, Marion County AL October 29, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)
MOON “RUN IN”
JAMES MOON was brought to town Sunday and placed behind the bars. He was in charge of Messrs E. B. GUIN and SILAS LUCAS of Fayette County. MOON is charged with being an accomplice of BOSEMAN in the stealing of a bale of cotton from ANDERSON’S gin in the later part of October. BOSEMAN’S arrest, bail and failure to appear for trial are still fresh in the minds of the people. MOON was suspected of being implicated and diligent search had been made for him in the neighborhood in which he lived but had resulted fruitlessly. MOON was arrested at Belgreen, Franklin county last week on suspicion. He was acting in a suspicious manner and was arrested under the belief that he was the man who killed Deputy Marshal OZBURN in Marion County last week. MOON told his captors that he lived near Winfield. A telegram was sent to ex-Sheriff LODEN at Winfield asking about MOON and whether he was wanted there. Mr. LODEN had been requested by the parties interested in MOON’S Capture to let them known if he ever had any information concerning MOON. He notified them of MOON”S arrest and also telegraphed the authorities at Belgreen to Hold MOON - that he was wanted in this county. Messrs GUIN and LUCAS started immediately for Belgreen and reached here Sunday afternoon with their prisoner who is now safely behind the bars.
We understand that MOON owned to taking the cotton. The adage that “murder will out” is very true. Had MOON not told where he lived he would soon have been set at liberty and could have gone on his way rejoicing.
MOON was taken before Judge YOUNG Monday and waived preliminary examination and his bond set at $300. He went to jail in default of bail. MOON was a much wanted man in this county as there were several indictments against him already in hands of the sheriff. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, December 3, 1891- Transcribed by Veneta McKinney.
SAM PARKER KILLED
Franklin county was the scene of another cold blooded murder on last Sunday evening, and SAM PARKER, for many years a citizen of this county, was the victim. It appears that PARKER had a difficulty with ISAAC CANTRELL some weeks ago and tat he struck CANTRELL with a gun. On the day mentioned ISAAC CANTRELL and his brother HENRY went to the home of JOHN MITCHELL where PARKER and his wife were stopping and shot PARKER to death. The murderers fired seven shots into PARKER'S body and one shot struck PARKER'S wife in the hand. The murderers escaped and nothing has yet been heard of them. (Hamilton Times, Marion County, AL, April 21, 1892 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)
SQUEALED ON THE GANG - A special from Russellville, Ala says: For several months a gang of horse and cattle thieves have been plying their trade in the vicinity of Corinth, Miss, also in Franklin, Marion, and Winston counties in this state.
The thefts of this gang have been numerous and diligent efforts have been made to capture them.
Yesterday James Masterson run upon two of them, Jesse Turner and Lee Gunn, and put them under arrest. Turner has revealed facts that will lead to the arrest of others in a few days. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, August 24, 1893 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney.
Russellville, Ala., Sept. 2 – A bold jail delivery was barely prevented here last night by the timely precaution on the part of Sheriff Walter S. Wilson. He received news yesterday that an attempt would be made last night to turn Chris and Lee Sides out of jail They are charged with the killing of Postmaster Tom Kirk of Guin, on or about the 14th of February last. He at once put a strong guard at the jail and about 11 o’clock two men were seen coming toward the jail and the sheriff and his deputies gave orders to surrender. The men proved to be ROSS GUEST and JAMES HANEY.
The latter threw up his hands at the request of the sheriff, but Guest ran, and two shots were fired at him as he plunged through the darkness. He escaped and wandered several miles out from town, when he stopped and sent a man back to town for a physician to dress a gunshot wound in his left hip. The officers again got trace of him and he is now behind the bars of Franklin county jail on a charge of conspiracy.
Later the face developed that seven more men were near at hand and that the men who were arrested were advance guards for the mob. Ross Guest is a brother-in-law of the Sides boys and Haney is also connected by marriage. The two men gave various reasons for their presence around the jail. One was that they were hunting for a preacher to go to their community to carry on a protracted meeting. This was thwarted when they were searched, as they had a couple of bottles of whiskey and two revolvers. Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, September 7, 1893 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney.
FRANKLIN COUNTY – Defaulting Tax Collector Captured - Russellville, Aug. 31 – Ex-Tax Collector R. A. TOMPKINS of Franklin County, who was short in his accounts and skipped about a year ago, was captured a day or so ago on the border of the Indian Nation and Texas line and was returned to Russellville this morning and placed in jail to await trial.
He was short in his accounts about $2,000 and at the fall term of the Circuit Court last year the Grand Jury returned about fourteen indictments against him, charging him with embezzlement. TOMPKINS’ bondmen located him several months ago. He will have to stand trail. Source: Hamilton Free Press, Lamar County AL, September 13, 1893 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney.
CRIS and LEE SIDES have escaped from Russellville jail. The report that a crowd of men overpowered the jailer and released them is now denied. It seems that the jailer and a deputy sheriff did the work. Source: Hamilton Free Press, Lamar County AL, December 27, 1893 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney.
SAM MARTIN, charged with the murder of a boy named HARRIS in Franklin county in 1883 was allowed bail last week in the sum of two thousand dollars which he gave and was released. Source: Hamilton Free Press, Marion County AL, October 25, 1894 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney.
FATALLY SHOT BY BOY
At Littleville, six miles north of Russellville, last week, Rufus Du Kemineier, a 19-year old boy, shot and probably fatally wounded Freeman Wimbs, a 65-year old carpenter. They quarreled over a week’s salary De Kemineier claimed Wimbs owed him. The boy escaped. Source: Marion County Democrat, Marion County AL, October 1, 1903 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney.
The Reverend Dr. Terry, of the Methodist Church, and Dr. Tom Hughes, “prominent physician and surgeon” were found side by side in the road at Russellville, Ala.
Dr. Hughes was dead, his face blown to pieces by a load of buckshot. He was shot in other places also, his right hand shot off. The Reverend Mr. Terry was still alive, shot through the lungs twice. He nodded his head when asked if he had killed Dr. Hughes, nodded his head affirmatively again when asked if Dr. Hughes had shot him. The doctors say he will never recover or be strong enough to tell what happened.
“What do you make of it?” as Sherlock Holmes would ask. (Source: The Washington Times, Washington DC., Oct 4, 1917)
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