Walker County, Alabama Genealogy Trails


DR. R. P. GRIFLIN of Walker Co, was attacked recently by one negro POTTS, and came very near being murdered with a dull pocket knife.  The Dr. had refused the negro medicine, at which he became incensed.  (Source: Vernon Clipper, Lamar County, AL, Aug 8, 1879, Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

The Mountain Eagle says:  The negro POTTS, who cut DR. GRIFFIN, was safely lodged in jail here Sunday evening.  He was captured on the headwaters of Lost Creek on Saturday.  (Vernon Clipper, Lamar County, AL, Aug 15, 1879, Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)
TOM KEY, the Walker County outlaw, was shot last week by men who endeavored to capture him.  He made his escape although badly wounded. (Vernon Clipper, Lamar County, AL, Oct. 31, 1879 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

The Jasper Eagle says:  On Monday night of last week some one or more persons entered MR. STANLEY'S store by boring the lock out of the back door.  The blacksmith bellows, sledge hammer, punches, etc., from Williams shop were carried down, and a grand effort made to open the combination safe.  The safe was thrown on the back, a rough forge of bricks built on the door, and the idea seemed to have been to "melt the thing."  But it wouldn't "melt" worth a cent.  The combination bolt and knob were knocked off of the door, which now prevents the safe being opened except by force.  This is certainly the most daring adventure we have had practiced in our town.  The night was very favorable, and they came "as a thief in the night."  Several articles were taken from the store.  A wagoner slept on a cotton platform not twenty yards off; he heard the noise, but paid no attention to it.  Somebody's going to get hurt about this place yet!  (Vernon Clipper, Lamar County, AL, Dec 19, 1879 - Trasncribed by Veneta McKinney)

From the Jasper Mountain Eagle - Early last Thursday (13 inst) morning news reached here, that on the evening before, young MR. JAMES KING had shot and killed MR. JOHN MILLER.  Both are well known in this and adjoining counties.  An inquest was held on Thursday, but as we have not an official report of the same, we will give a brief account of the affair as we heard it related by one who was present.  Of course it is not given as evidence, one way or the other, and a rigid examination of the case may reveal such facts as to materially change the legal aspects.
     It seems that Wednesday was the day set for the sale of some property by the Constable of Holly Grove Beat, to satisfy a claim in the hands of Mr. King.  Mr. Miller was interested in some of the property, and he too attended the sale.  The day passed off quietly, and toward sun down Mr. King started to go home, when some one called him back to arrange some business.  While he was in the house, Mr. Miller held hold his (own)horse'' bridle, tapping him in the flank and causing him to prance around him.  The horse had gone around him two or three times, when Mr. STACKS caught the horse by the tail and held him.  Just as Mr. Stacks turned the horse's tail loose, Mr. King came by in a fast walk again starting home, when Mr. Miller's horse gave another quick turn, and came very near striking him.  Then Mr. King said, "Well by G-d, don't run over a fellow!" or something to that effect.  Mr. Miller replied:  "Well, get out of the way, by G-d, if you don't want to get run over!" King said:  "Well, if I do get tun over somebody will get hurt in the time of it."  Whereupon Miller caught King by the ears and hair, and being much the stoutest, crushed King to the ground, and in an instance King drew his pistol, placed it up to Miller's breast and fired, the ball passing through the lower end of the heart, came out behind, and he gave one long breath and expired.  King immediately got on his horse and went home, not taking time to get his cap, and told what was done.  He then left home and has not been seen since.  Mr. Miller was buried on Friday.
    It is a very unfortunate affair, though no one has expressed surprise at the occurrence - not that it was any premeditated act, at all, but knowing that animosity existed between them and the disposition of each of them, some fatal result was naturally expected, if they ever came in contact with each other.  We only say what is well known to our citizens, for we do not wish to bias the opinions of any, one way or the other.  Both of the young men were kind-hearted and liberal friends to us, and we not less deeply regret the event than all the community in common.  (Vernon Clipper, Lamar County, AL, November 28, 1879 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


JAMES M. KING who killed J. D. MILLER in Walker County last winter has come in and given himself up. He is indicted for manslaughter in the first degree, and is bound over in the sum of $5,000. (Vernon Clipper, Lamar County, AL, March 19, 1880 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

     A correspondent of the Jasper Eagle, writing from Partridge, gives the following particulars of a recent murder in Walker County:
     "I have concluded to write you a few lines to inform you of one of the most cold-blooded, uncalled for murders that has ever come under my observation.  Yesterday being Christmas, the youngsters of the neighborhood concluded that they would serenade the citizens and have a little fun.  Some nine or ten of as good boys as there were in the settlement had congregated and had serenaded three citizens with bells, horns, and guns with blank cartridges, and went to the fourth, one GEO. S. CAMP, and had gone around the house twice, with bells ringing, horns tooting, and an occasional discharge of guns, and it being convenient for them to make their final exit through an open passage of the house, when Camp pulled his door shutter ajar, and deliberately discharged a loaded gun into the crowd of young men, hitting young WM. JAMES below the right shoulder blade and near the spine, passing in the direction of the heart.   - The young man said, "O, Lord, I'm shot!" and asked to be carried home.  He walked about forty steps and fell dead.  Young James was about 19 years of age, a boy well respected, a son of the widow JAMES, whose father died in the Southern army.
      Camp tells many tales for the crime.  One, that he was trying to overshoot them to frighten them, but his gun being hard on trigger, wobbled down on them; another that he was so frightened that if he shot he did not know it; and another, that his gun struck the door and discharged itself.  But my opinion is that he did just what he aimed to do.  The young men were perfectly sober, not a drop of whisky among them, and were behaving themselves, only with their noise and jingle.  There has nothing been done yet in the premises. (Vernon Clipper, Lamar County, AL, Jan. 16, 1880- Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


WALTER JACKSON, alias "Jack The Bear" has been sentenced to be hanged in Jasper on the 15th of April, for the murder of Pope Wooden in December last - (Lamar News, Lamar County, AL, March 17, 1887, Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

Annerson Oaks, alias Jack the Bear, was hanged at Jasper, Walker County on the 15th inst for the murder of M. Wooten. (Marion Herald, Marion County, AL, April 26, 1887, Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


A man by the name of ROE, who lives in Winston County, a few days ago went to the livery stable of PROPST Bros at Jasper and engaged a buggy and horse from them, ostensibly for the purpose of being absent only two days.  But he had felony in his heart.  So he attempted to sell the property, and what is strange about the matter, he came to Fayette and attempted to sell the stolen property to the owners here; represented by D. F. PROPST.  The thief was hotly pursued, and fortunately arrested near Fulton, Miss.  Mr. J. C. SMITH passed through Fayette Tuesday with the horse and buggy, en route to Jasper.  The evil doer is safely lodged in the Jasper jail - [Sentinel]

Only a short time before he borrowed a mule to ride to his father's place from Mr. FREDERICK of Hackleberg, and rode to Jasper, and sold it at auction.  He will, we learn, be tried on the 18th inst for this offense at Jasper. (Marion Herald, Marion County, AL, January 11, 1889 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

A BLOODY TRAGEDY - Harvey Speck Puts three balls Into Berry Adair - The Carbon Hill Dispatch tells of a tragedy at that place;   On last Tuesday evening about half past four o'clock HAVERY SPECK shot BERRY ADAIR three shots, two of them taking effect in his bowels and the other one in his left arm, from which Mr. ADAIR died about 8 o'clock the same evening. The killing of MR. ADAIR was the result of a quarrel between the two parties SPECK and ADAIR which originated from a small debt due from ADAIR to SPECK. - (Vernon Courier, August 22, 1889 - pg 1  - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


At Cordova, Matt Conway drew a pistol and told a man present to dance.  The pistol was accidentally discharged and wounded Matilda Fuller seriously near the hip joint. (Vernon Courier, Lamar County, AL, Jan 9, 1890 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

Jasper, Ala., Jan. 6 - About 5:30 o'clock this evening the town was thrown into a state of intense excitement by the announcement that there had been a complete jail delivery; and that all the prisoners with one exception had taken to the woods.  There were three confined for murder and nearly a dozen for felonies and misdemeanors, and as the circuit court is to meet week after next, the delivery is an unfortunate one for Sheriff Shepard.
     In one of the cells in the county prison were confined John Patillo and William Holliday.  The latter was in for embezzlement while the former had been charged with violating the revenue law.  Both were gentlemanly fellows, and after the jailer had handed in their supper, Holiday picked up a valise, filled with soiled clothing, and asked him to give it to their washwoman.  This had been a habit since confinement, and the jailer unhesitatingly opened the cell door to take the bag.  As soon as he did so, both men rushed at him and caught his arms and one of them threw his fingers about his throat with a grip like a vice.  A gag made of a handkerchief was forced into his mouth and he was securely bound with strips of linen taken from the valise.  When he had been secured against giving alarm, he was carried into the cell and locked up, while the keys that were upon him were sued to open all the cells in the jail, and the prisoners sought liberty under the protection of the falling darkness.  After they had left the jail, one of the prisoners decided that he would not join the fugitives, and so announced; the others immediately set upon and nearly killed by the gang, who left him insensible by the road side presumably dead.  When he recovered consciousness he made his way back to the jail, released the jailer and the alarm was given.  A large pose of men turned out to hunt the fugitives and telegram was sent to Pratt Mines, in response to which a special train came bringing the dogs and men who are accustomed to hunt escape.
      It is thought that some of the prisoners will be captured before morning, though the character of the weather is such as to make pursuit difficult. (Marion Herald, Marion County, AL, February 13, 1890 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

Twelve prisoners escaped from the Jasper jail last week.  They overpowered the jailer, gagged him and left for parts unknown.  They will likely be recaptured. (Vernon Courier, Lamar Co. Ala, Feb. 27, 1890)

ALLEGED COUNTERFEITER - Captured in Walker County While in the Act of Making the Spurious
    J. M. LIGSBY and his son, WILLIAM LIGSBY, of Walker County, were arrested on last week by Deputy Marshals MORGAN and SMITH on a charge of counterfeiting and taken to Birmingham where they were lodged in jail.
     LIGSBY and his son are said to be old in the business and have been making counterfeit money for a number of years.  The old man was arrested some years ago, but sufficient proof could not be found to establish his guilt and he was discharged.  The officers found the moulds form which nickels and dollars were made. The moulds consisted of two boards with a genuine dollar fitted in a hole in each. The metal used was babbit metal, and when arrested the men had a good supply on hand.  Vessels for melting the metal were also found on the premises.  The officers say they watched the house for several nights and finally caught the men in the act of making bogus money.  The railroad companies operating in Walker County complain of having been swindled for a considerable sum by the counterfeiters. The men were given a hearing before Commissioner HUNTER and required to give bond in the sum of $1,500 each, in default of which they were committed to jail. (Marion Herald, Marion County, AL, May 1,  1890 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

Humph Haney, a bad character of Walker county, is in Birmingham jail charged with shooting into a passenger train on the Kansas City road near Carbon Hill.  It appears that HANEY was disorderly and was put off by the conductor when he drew a pistol and began firing into the train. A crowd of roughs attempted to release HANEY when the officers arrested him but were given to understand that some fighting would be first in order and they backed down. (Source: Hamilton Times, Marion County AL, June 5, 1890 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

Eugene Byers and a miner named John Stewart indulged in a shooting match at Horse Creek on the 4th inst.  Fourteen shots were fired.  Byres was not hurt but Stewart was shot and it is thought will die. (Source: Hamilton Times, Marion County AL, July 10, 1890 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

 At Horse Creek, in Walker county yesterday, Special Officer I. E. BYERS arrested ANDY BOWMAN, a white man, wanted for murder at Somerset, Kentucky.
 BOWMAN was brought here and placed in the county jail to await the arrival of Sheriff WALTER ELERD of Pulaski county, Ky who wired last night that he would come at once. BOWMAN is under indictment in that county for the murder of a white man named BARNETT some months ago.
 A few days ago Officer BYERS got on to the fact that BOWMAN who was working in the mines at Horse Creek was a murderer so he watched him and a few days ago when Mrs. BOWMAN started for Somerset her husband did not go with her.  A telegram to that place elected the fact that the man was under indictment there for murder.
 When arrested he plead innocence but afterwards admitted that he was present at the shooting.  He fell down when the handcuffs were placed on his wrists and pretended to have been stricken blind. It was then discovered that he had a loaded revolver in his bosom and was trying to use it.  He was at once disarmed.
 BYERS says he has evidence that BOWMAN has killed three men in Kentucky.  (Source: Hamilton Times, Marion County AL, September 4, 1890 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

William Ellison and James Johnson fought in the road near Carbon Hill and Ellison shot and killed Johnson. (The Weekly Age Herald, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL., Nov. 19, 1890)

At Horse Creek, Walker county on last week, WESLEY MCCARTY shot and instantly killed DAVE HALL.  Both were white miners and had been at work in the mines at that place.
 The exact cause of the shooting is not known.  MCCARTY was arrested and lodged in jail at Jasper. (Source: Hamilton Times, Marion County, AL, November 27, 1890 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

A Jasper special of the 7th says: Mr. J. E. Kolb, a respectable farmer, living in the southern part of the county, came to town yesterday to sell his cotton, and it was late in the night when the started home, and while on his way out of town he was assaulted and robbed by four negroes of $85.  His condition is very precarious, and he will hardly recover from the severe wounds he received.  He was knocked with an axe and also badly cut.  The sheriff has captured four negroes, two of whom the wounded man recognized as the guilty parties
      Jenny Walker, a colored woman who was implicated in the robbery has acknowledged the deed, and says the negroes captured are the guilty parties. (Vernon Courier, Lamar County, AL, Dec. 11, 1890 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


Oliver Bray shot F. M. Langerdo at Galloway, Walker county one day last week.  The shooting was accidental.  (Hamilton Times, Marion County, AL, January 8, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

James Johnson, who was shot by Will Allison near Carbon Hill a few weeks since, died recently. Allison is in jail at Jasper. (Hamilton Times, Marion County, AL, January 8, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

The body of an unknown man who had been murdered was found near Eldridge on the 28th ult.  His throat had been cut and the boy was concealed under bush and logs.  At the inquest he was recognized as the man who passed through Eldridge the day before in company with a negro. (Hamilton Times, Marion County AL, February 5, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


TROUBLE AT CARBON HILL – The Governor is Called Upon for the Military - Much Ado About Nothing
   The report of the Carbon Hill trouble found below is taken from the Age-Herald.  As will be seen from the reports the calling out the troops was unnecessary.  But Governor Jones could do nothing else but order out the troops when called on for them by the civil authorities. Governor Jones will always be found ready to call out the military when the authorities are unable to restore peace and order.
    But in this instance it seems that the troops were called out to do police duty, which it is not required to do.  The trouble seems to have been that the officers were afraid to try to do anything, fearing that trouble would result.  It is not altogether certain that the trouble is over yet.  The superintendent of the mines wants to discharge about two hundred miners, but seemed to be afraid to do so.  If the miners are discharged there may serious trouble result and the troops may be needed at Carbon Hill.
    The military have gone to Carbon Hill.  Detachments of the Rifles and Volunteers left about 6:30 last night, Captain Randolph Peyton of the Rifles commanding.
     About 10:30 yesterday morning, a telegram came for Col. L. V. Clarke of the Second Regiment, from Governor Jones at Montgomery as follows:
     “Warn fifty men of companies at Birmingham to be in readiness to proceed to Carbon Hill, Walker county, for preservation of order there.  If necessary for you to go, will send further orders.”
      Colonel Clark was absent in Selma and Capt. Randolph Peyton of the Birmingham Rifles, promptly assumed command.
      He at once ordered out twenty-five men from each company who assembled it their armories, prepared for marching orders, and Captain Peyton wired the Governor that they were ready to leave any time after 1:30 p.m.
      Later orders came from the governor to get a special train ready.
      Arrangements for this were promptly made, and the governor notified.
      About 4 o’clock came the order to proceed to Carbon Hill, and at 6:30 the command were marched to the depot, where they boarded a special train on the Kansas City, Memphis and Birmingham consisting of two coaches.  At 6:40 they pulled out.
      On Saturday a great many sensational reports were carried in Birmingham relative to troubles at Carbon Hill and Galloway Mines, two places very near together in Walker county, on the Kansas City, Memphis and Birmingham railroad fifty miles west of here.
    These reports were that an unknown band of men had on Thursday night raided a cabin containing some negro miners, killed one and wounded nine,.  It appeared to be a case of white miners driving off negro miners, who had come in there to take their places during the strike.        The Age-Herald wired its correspondent at Carbon Hill for particulars, and he sent a dispatch published yesterday morning to the effect that on Thursday night a white man had wounded a negro, and on Saturday night a white man had killed a negro ins elf defense and given himself up.

Carbon Hill, Feb. 1 – Sheriff J. W. Sheppard got on at Jasper and he states that he was at Carbon Hill yesterday and all was quiet.  The only thing that had transpired was the killing of JOHN GUTHRIE, a negro by BILL MURRAY, a white man.  MURRAY said that it occurred in a personal difficulty and he was ready to surrender himself.  Later in the day a couple of white men went to a colored boarding house and got two shot guns.
      At present we are on a siding, and all of the blinds have been ordered down, and the military is quiet and determined.  We arrived at 10:25.  The men are still in the rain.
      LATER: - The terrible tribulation of Carbon Hill seems to be a very small tempest in a very large tea pot, and just now Captain Peyton is considering what he shall do.  When we  arrived here the mayor JOHN F. ANDERSON and Superintendent, B. W. WHITFIELD of the Carbon Hill Coal and Coke Company met the train a the station.  It seems that Mr. WHITFIELD who assumed his position on yesterday morning, as anxious to discharge about 200 men who are employed at slopes 1 and 2, both within two miles of this place, and the men have got wind of it and are preparing to resist it.  The officers of the town seem to be afraid to take any action.
     On Saturday evening BILL MURRAY, a white man, went into PATTERSON’S boarding house and took possession of two shot guns.  He then went to R. E. GOSS & Co’s store.  Complaint had been made to the town marshal, R. L. WINDOM, and he went into the store to arrest MURRAY.  The latter, with three loaded guns in his possession informed the marshal that if he wanted to buy any goods he could do so, but if he did not he had better get out.  He got.
     Subsequently he went over to shaft No. 2 and killed GUTHRIE; the negro to whom the guns belonged and who was at work in the mine.  He is still at large and the authorities are afraid to arrest him.
     Another man who is defying arrest is SAM TAYLOR, who has threatened to kill Pit Boss NICHOLS and still swears he will do so yet.  A peace warrant was sworn out and a constable went over to execute it.  He was run away from the miners.  There were three other negroes wounded when GUTHRIE was killed.  ARTHUR DAVIS, the one shot in the back of the neck, is now at Superintendent WHITFIELDS’S house. The miners have notified him to leave and he does not dare venture out.  These have been the only absolute violations of the peace, and thus far the sheriff has not been called upon to assist in the preserving of peace. The first telegram was sent to the governor by Mr. CALLOWAY, and later on one was sent by Mayor ANDERSON, who advised the chief executive that the place was in the hands of a lawless mob. Constable TAYLOR says that he will not be able to arrest the few men against whom there are charges without assistance. Captain PEYTON and Solicitor FERGUSON, both sent full messages to the governor at 11 o’clock.

Montgomery, Ala., Feb 1 – This fore noon the governor received a telegram from the sheriff of Walker county, saying that he thought fifteen troops were all he needed at Carbon Hill.  The governor wired the sheriff and the mayor of Carbon Hill for full information.  He got nothing further till ate this afternoon. When the following telegram was received from ANDERSON, mayor of Carbon Hill:
    “There is a lawless mob here.  Colored people are shot and driven from home.  No arrest made.  We need troops.”
     It was upon this information that Captain PEYTON was ordered with the troops to Carbon Hill.  Nothing further was heard from the sheriff till tonight when he wired that he was proceeding from Jasper to Carbon Hill.
     At midnight, the governor got a telegram from captain PEYTON saying all was quiet, only one man killed and the person who did the killing would give himself up tomorrow mooring.  PEYTON didn’t think the troops would be needed.  The governor says the troops will probably be ordered home tomorrow.

CARBON HILL – Feb. 2 – The trouble in the mines of the Carbon Hill coal and Coke company here and at Galloway may not be over in fact, probably is not, but the lack of any necessity for calling out the state troops becomes more apparent as an opportunity is had to look closely into the situation.  That there had been lawlessness there is no doubt, but it could have easily been prevented by a little nerve and grit on the part of the local authorities, and two or three determined men could have made the contemplated arrests that fifty soldiers have been called out to do. There has been absolutely no resistance of the civil authorities, from the fact that up to this writing I cannot find that they have given an opportunity for it by taking any decisive action; but on the contrary seem to have been awed by the fear that somebody might do something.
(Source: Vernon Courier (Lamar County, AL), Feb 5, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


MURDERED HIS WIFE - Horrible Crime of a Horse Creek Doctor
 Dr. J. W. MATTHEWS of Horse Creek is in jail at Jasper for committing one of the most dastardly and horrible murders known to the criminal annals of Alabama.
        Yesterday morning he murdered his wife in cold blood, without the shadow of a provocation, and shooting her five times with a pistol after dragging her by the hair from one room to another.
        Matthews came from Georgia, where he was of respectable family and standing.  He had for a year or two been the company physician at Horse Creek Mines and though given to sprees, was accounted a satisfactory practitioner.  He is about 35 years old, and had a wife and five children, the oldest of whom is only 12 years of sage.
        His wife was a most estimable and virtuous lady, but when in his cups Matthews conceived himself to be jealous of her and accused her of breaking her marriage vows.  He suspected her relations with no particular man, but made the foul accusation against her chastity a general one.
        In these drunken sprees he not only accused her and threatened her, but abused her person, until she had come to live in mortal terror of her life.
        On Monday last Matthews went on a spree, and in the afternoon was at home abusing his wife in the usual fashion.  When he came home at night she quietly crawled into the attic through a hole in the ceiling, taking one of the little boys with her. She spent the night there, and when early morning came, thinking her husband had slept off the drunken fever, she came down and went about getting breakfast as usual.
        She had not been long employed in this domestic duty when her husband awoke, and proceeded to look around for his wife.  One of the little children innocently told him that "Mamma is in the dining room." The brutal husband entered and caught her in the act of taking down some plates from a shelf.
       With curses too foul to be repeated and accusations intermingled, he seized her by the hair and dragged her screaming and calling for help, into the front room. There seizing his pistol he fired five bullets into the quivering body of his victim and with a kick, as she lay gasping on the floor, he walked coolly into the rear of the house.
       The little children ran out of the house at the first firing and with their piteous cries of "papa had killed mama" roused the neighbors, who came rushing to the bloody scene. When they arrived, Mrs. Matthews was dead. The murdered soon made his appearance and offered to give himself up but while they were attending to the body of his wife, he slipped out and made his way over the hill.  He was pursued and soon overtaken and placed on board the first train for Jasper.  He begged to be taken to Birmingham but those having him in custody thought best to get him away from Horse Creek as early as possible as a lynching was probable.   - [Age-Herald] - Source: Hamilton Times, Marion County AL, March 5, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney

Carbon Hill is at the mercy of toughs who amuse themselves by shooting into houses and passenger trains and if some action is not taken to suppress them passenger trains will have to quit stopping there.  Notice to leave who served on the telegraph operator a few days ago by shooting the depot full of holes. Sheriff SHEPHARD and the authorities at Carbon Hill seem powerless to stop the lawlessness. (Hamilton Times, Marion County, AL, March 19, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

HARRY BURCHFIELD was released from jail Saturday, giving bond in the sum of $300 for the case against him for illegal voting. Hamilton Times, Marion County, AL, May 21, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

 Sheriff Shepherd received a telegram today from Patton mine which read; "Come at once; man defying arrest for trying to kill another man with a shot gun."  The sheriff immediately left for the scene. Hamilton Times, Marion County, AL, May 21, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

The trial of Dr. MATTHEWS in Walker County, for the murder of his wife resulted in a sentence to the penitentiary for life.  He accepted the sentence without any effort for a new trial or taking an appeal to a higher court.  It will be remembered that he killed his wife at Horse Creek last spring, while on a drunken spree. (Vernon Courier, Lamar County, AL, Sept 10, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

Dr. MATTHEWS, the man who shot and killed his wife at Horse Creek several months ago was tried at Jasper last week and sentenced to imprisonment for life.  Momentary insanity was the plea that saved his neck. (Hamilton Times, Marion County, AL, Sept 3, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

                Several prisoners confined in the Jasper jail made an effort to overpower the sheriff and to escape a few days since. The cries of the sheriff brought a large number of citizens to his aid, and the prisoners were met at the door by a large posse and only one caught a breath of fresh air, and that only for a few minutes.
                The Eagle says that it was surprising when you know that the people of Jasper dont go armed to see the number of pistols on hand in so short a time.  An eye witness confirms the Eagles statement by alleging that there were about four bushels of pistols in close proximity to the jai in less than three minutes, and that they were from the full grown down to the smallest derringer and from the improved Smith & Western British bull dog, Colts, etc down to the old rusty army pistol with cap and bill.  A pistol fair in Jasper would show up the improvement there has been made in pistols in the last fifty years by comparing the weapons. (Vernon Courier, Lamar County,AL, Sept 17, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


Jasper, Ala, July 5 Sunday last Miss BRICKFIELD, who lives near Jasper, was criminally assaulted by an unknown negro.  She fought and screamed and frightened her assailant off.
                A short while afterwards Mrs. WILLIAM KILGORE heard his wifes screams and came to her rescue before the villain had accomplished his purpose.  This done he got a gun and dog and started in pursuit.  He followed the brute to Black Creek, which the negro swam and escaped with some shot in him.
                Mr. KILGORE returned to Jasper and gave the alarm.  A posse was formed.  The negro was surrounded by night in an eighty-acre swamp and at sun rise they closed in on him and riddled him with bullets. (Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, July 14, 1892 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

Safe blowers entered the store of M. P. GAINES & Co at Corona, Walker county, last Thursday night, blew the safe open extracted about $600.  The robbers made their escape. (Vernon Courier, Lamar County, AL, October 13, 1892 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney )

ASSASINATION - WILLIAM LEE, A Coal Mine Boss, Shot and Killed
     Another foul murder was committed at Galloway miens near Carbon Hill on last Sunday night.
     WILLIAM LEE, the pit boss at Shaft No 2, went to start the men off with their work and while standing underneath the boiler shed was shot by some one in the darkness and instantly killed. The bullet was from a Winchester rifle.
      Suspicion at once rested on GEORGE PRINCE, a while man, whom Mr. LEE sometime ago discharged, and who has since been prying around.
 PRINCE was arrested and taken to Carbon Hill where he was given a preliminary trail and held without bail.
      The prisoner is now in the county jail at Jasper. (Source: Hamilton Times, Marion County AL, Dec 1, 1892 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


Tom Pate is in jail at Jasper in connection with the murder of William Blackwood at Hewitt.  (Hamilton Times, Marion County, AL, March 30, 1893)

A Desperate Murderer.
Harvey Speck one year ago killed a mine boss in Walker county, Ala. Only one man saw the tragedy and Speck deliberately shot him to death with a Winchester and fled to Texas. He was located by a detective of Birmingham, Ala., and brought back to Russellville and subsequently broke jail. He was captured again the other day. and while being taken to jail made a desperate break for liberty. Five shots were fired at him, and he was brought to earth. [Aug 26, 1893 - The Lafayette Advertiser - Submitted by Janice Rice]

John Dunn, who killed his mother-in-law at Galloway last fall, has been lodged in jail at Jasper through the efforts of Sheriff GUTTERY. - (Vernon Courier, Lamar County, AL, May 18, 1893 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

JASPER - Long and O'Rear Go Into Court
Jasper, Ala Oct 6 - T. L. LONG appeared before Judge SHEPHERD last Wednesday evening and swore out a warrant for R. A. OREAR, Manager of the Eagle, charging him with criminal libel. The case was called in the county Court Monday morning.
     The defendant asked for a jury, and gave bond to await the action of the grand jury.  Friends of the two gentlemen have been endeavoring to effect a compromises and having failed the difference will be settled by the courts.  (Hamilton Times, Marion County, AL, October 12, 1893 Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


BLOODLESS BATTLE - Between Moon-shiners and Officers in Winston
                The Jasper Eagle says: Deputy Marshals C. C. SMITH,R. H. SMITH, J. P. SHAW, accompanied by several other parties from Jasper, for a Christmas trick, last Sunday night captured an illicit distillery about four miles southwest of Motes, in Winston county, which they brought to Jasper, and which attracted considerable attention.  It is of forty gallon capacity and looks as if it had gone though many raids.  A large quantity of beer was also found.
                This was one of the most exciting raids the boys have had.  When they arrived at the still it was in the night and there was not sign of life immediately round it except the hoot of the owl and the sighing of the wind as it whistled through the dense forest.  Thinking that it would probably be morning before the operators would put in an appearance the officers stationed themselves around and settled down to wait and watch.  But long before old ----- to light up the horizon, the officers discovered that some one was unlawfully ---- perhaps not dishonestly --- rk in the distillery making "mountain dew."  The discovery was no sooner made when the officers began to close in on the still. It seems that Deputy C. C. SMITH was in advance of the others and arrived at the still first, to be covered by a 44 and to be commanded by a voice, only possessed by a mountaineer who sniffs the healthful breezes and drinks the famous "dew" of the mountains, to hold up his hands.  At this juncture several shots rang out upon the stilled night, which echoed and re-echoed over the mountains and through the valleys, moonshines and offers all taking an hand, and the leaden missiles whistled thick and fast through the forest.  Fortunately no one was touched, at least none of the officers.  As one of the party put it, the moon-shiners "banished" without further ceremony. (Hamilton Free Press, Marion County, AL, January 3, 1894 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

Jasper, Oct 15 Late yesterday afternoon J. F. ALLISON, a jeweler of this place left presumably to go to see a woman who lived at New River water tank, near Glen Allen on the Kansas city, Memphis and Birmingham.  He went alone and few knew where he started. When he got to New river tank, and in a short distance of the house where the woman whom he had started to see lived, he sat down.
                While he was sitting down resting some one from ambush fired a load of buckshot into his body, which, from all indications, produced instantaneous death.  The murderer to make a novelty of this crime, took the body of the dead man, wrapped it in a blanket and placed it in a pine box. He then wrote upon a slip of paper, J. F. Allison, Jasper Ala and tacked it upon the box.
The body was found by some of the residents nearby and taken to Glen Allen from which place it was shipped here tonight.
                Who the murderer of Allison is, is not known, but it is supposed that the deed was either done by some close relative of the woman of r jealous lover.
Allison ran a jewelry store here and was 37 years old.  The affair has created probably more comment than anything that has ever happened here. Officers are at work trying to run down Allisons slayer, but when this will be done cannot be told.  (Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County, AL, Oct 18, 1894 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)
MAKERS OF Q-R Two Men Arrested for Making and Passing Counterfeit $10 Gold Pieces
Birmingham, Oct 30 Deputy United States Marshall J. R. Perkins and W I. Love went over into Walker county Sunday and captured two white men who are charged with making and passing counterfeit money.  One of them, C. C. Frost it is said is a deputy sheriff in Walker county and an ex-United Stated Deputy Marshal.  The other is James W. Branton.  The spurious coin they are charged with making and passing is $10 gold pieces, said to be perfect in size and eternal appearance, but without the true ring of the precious metal.  It is said that quite a number of these coins have been put in circulation, those not frequently handling the yellow money being unable to detect its fraudulent.  It is believed that a gang of counterfeiters have their headquarters in the vicinity of Corona where Frost and Branton were arrested, and they have abundant apparatus for manufacturing their product and a splendid system for distributing them.  Frost and Branton will be tried in United states Commissioner Wilsons court today (Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County, AL, Nov 1, 1894 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


BALLOT BOX TAMPERING - The Evidence Against McDonald Gallacher and Linucham Insufficient
Jasper, Ala., Nov. 9 - The Carbon Hill prisoners indicted by the last grand jury for tampering with the ballots in municipal election held here last summer have engaged the attention of the county court all the week. The argument closed at 3:30 this afternoon and Judge Shepperd declared the evidence insufficient to warrant a conviction, and defendants John McDonald, James Gallacher, and John Linnham, were discharged. The election was contested in the last circuit court and the circuit judge rendered a judgment setting aside the returns and declaring the contestants with the exception of one alderman, elected. Contestees appealed and the Supreme Court will render judgment at the approaching session.  The Supreme Court's decision is awaited with absorbing interest - (Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, November 14, 1895 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


BART THRASHER - Reported to be Wandering Around Horse Creek in Walker County
Bart Thrasher has been seen again in the neighborhood of Horse Creek and other places in Walker County. Last Saturday he spent the entire day within a mile of Horse Creek so it is said, and a report comes that he was seen there again this week
     A deputy sheriff here says that he has heard that Thrasher has become exceedingly bold around Horse Creek notwithstanding the price that hangs over his head, and that the desperado has expressed himself as not caring for his life, and that he would run any chances - [Birmingham News] (Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, February 13, 1896 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

GOES UP FOR LIFE - Verdict of the Jury in the W. V. Hooker Case at Jasper
Jasper, Ala., March 6 - In the case of the State vs WESLEY V. HOOKER, the jury returned a verdict at 10 o'clock today, finding the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree, and sentenced to life imprisonment in the penitentiary.
     The jury had been out since Tuesday noon. Eight were for having and four for a life sentence.
 Hooker killed a man named Smith, several weeks ago, alleging that Smith had made some remark about his [Hooker's] wife, and was indicted by the grand jury at the session of the court now holding. (Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, March 12, 1896 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

THE WAGES OF SIN -  A Woman Shot and Killed at Gilmore Mines
Birmingham, Ala, Nov. 29 - At Gilmore mines, Walker county, last night Walter Smith, with several companions, went to the house of the widow Lawson, a woman of doubtful reputation, and demanded entrance. The woman was entertaining other guests and refused to let the new comers in Smith knocked down the door and forced an entrance, which angered the woman and she assaulted Smith with a poker. Smith drew a pistol and shot the woman in the left arm, enraging her all the ore. She then struck Smith over the head with the poker and he fired the second time, killing the woman.  He then went to the nearest constable told what he had done, defied arrest and has since disappeared.  (Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, December 3, 1896 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


Birmingham, Ala, July 22 - Frank Susie, a Portuguese, was shot and mortally wounded at Carbon Hill by his ten-year old son, George.  The father, who was drunk, threatened to kill the whole family, when the son interposed. (Winfield Enterprise, Marion Co, AL, July 27, 1899 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


HORRIBLE CRIME AT CORDOVA - Wife is Dead and Husband is Unconscious - Negro Brute Carried Before Dying Woman and Was Identified - Woman's Statement
        Mrs. J. C. DICKINSON, who was badly wounded and criminally assaulted by a negro at her home in Cordova Wednesday night, died last night at Copeland and Berry's hospital, from the effects of the wounds and the shock to her nervous system  Before death came Henry Walker, the negro arrest Thursday and charged with the crime, was carried before her as she lay on her bed a the hospital and she identified him, stating beyond a doubt that he was the negro who struck her husband and her over the had with a hatchet and then dragged her into another room and committee his fiendish crime.  The full extent of the awful affair did not come to light until yesterday morning when Mrs. Dickinson told of the assault and identified the negro, knowing that she would probably die before the sun rose on another day. She expired at half-past 6, and the remains were carried to Lige Loy's undertaking establishment, where they were prepared for burial. The funeral arrangements have not been made.  J. C. Dickinson is lying at the point of death at the hospital and is expected to pass away at any minute.
        Yesterday when the negro was carried before Mrs. Dickinson he was carefully guarded. As he was carried into the room she said:
        "That is the man," and pointed her hand at him. After a slight pause she continued; "What did you do it for!"
        The negro replied: "I did not do it.  I am not the man."
        The negro's face bore evidence of a man much frightened, and he trembled.
        "Yes, you are the man.  Look at the print of my hand on your shirt" said Mrs. Dickinson, and she pointed to the impression of a bloody hand on the negro's shirt just above the pocket on the left hand side.  Sheriff Jack Moore asked her if she was positive, and she replied:
         "yes, I am positive" and turning to the negro she said." I prayed to you to spare me and you would not do it?"
         After the negro was taken back to the county jail, Mrs. Dickinson gave the following details of the awful tragedy:
         "I was aroused during the night by hearing some one walking in the room, and at the same time Mr. Dickinson was awakened raised up in bed.   As he did so the intruder struck him on the head with a hatchet, knocking him back upon the bed.
         "I sprang out of the bed with my baby in my arms, and the negro hit me with the hatchet, at the same time jerking the baby form my arms and throwing it across the room upon the bed.
         "At this moment, Mr. Dickinson seemed to come to himself slightly and half arose, and the negro turned upon him and dealt him another heavy blow with the hatchet knocking him down again.
         "There was a lamp burning in the room and I turned it up as the negro turned to hit Mr. Dickinson the second time and when he had knocked him down again and apparently killed him he turned upon me striking at me several times.  I resisted the best I could and my hands and arms were badly cut by the hatchet.
        "Finally the negro overpowered and dragged me into an adjoining room where his terrible purpose was accomplished. He then hit me over the head with a heavy revolver and left me for dead."
        Henry Walker, the negro accused of the crime, was brought to Birmingham yesterday to prevent a lynching. Sheriff Moore felt that the jail at Cordova was not strong enough to protect the negro if a mob was formed, and therefore brought the man here and placed him in the Jefferson county jail. When he left Cordova, the citizens were openly talking of lynching the negro.
       Walker was an employee of Capt Ben Long at Cordova.  As soon as he was arrested his room was searched, and his clothing was found under the bed concealed in a sack and covered with blood.  Blood was also found on the box at the foot of the bed, which the negro is supposed to have used as a chair when removing his clothing. A Colt's revolver was also found, and it showed evidence of a recent cleaning on the outside, but the inside was still dirty, and it is supposed it was cleaned to remove blood stains.  A pair of bloody socks confirms the statement of Mrs. Dickinson that the negro was in his stocking feet.
        Mrs. Dickinson was a Miss Ross of Talladega, and several of her relatives were at the bedsides of the wounded couple.  She leaves three children, the oldest of whom is George, 7 years old. - [Age-Herald] - (Source: Marion County Democrat, Marion County ALa, March 12, 1903 - transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

Deputy United states marshals arrested William Bellinger, John Chance, James E. DeLoach, and R. B. Patton at Horse Creek, Walker County last week, in connection with the recent assault made on District Organizer Joe Hallier of the United Mine Workers of America at that place.  They were carried to Birmingham and appeared before United States Commissioner Wilson.  The charge against the men was conspiracy to injure or kill.  Their bonds were set at $2,000 each, which they furnished.(Source: Marion County Democrat, Marion County ALa, September 24, 1903 - transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

Mr. GRUNER, our night operator [at Winfield, Al] has gone to Eldridge to relieve the agent who is said to have left for other parts with more of the company's money than he was entitled to. The night operator here now has been doing both night and day work.  (Source: Marion County Democrat, Marion County ALa, December 31, 1903 - transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


Jasper, Ala, Feb 1 - Henry Walker will not be tried for the murder of Mrs. J. C. Dickinson next Wednesday, the decision f the Supreme Court making it necessary to find a new indictment. The opinion of the Supreme Court has caused much comment here, as it not only affects the Walker case but all cases tried during the term. The act crating the fourteenth Judicial Circuit Court provides that the first term shall begin in January but the act was not approved until March 6, 1903, when the court was immediately organized. The Supreme Court holds that the term was without jurisdiction in that it did not commence in January as provided in the legislative act, which would have been impossible, the act not being passed by the legislature until March 6, during the term which the Supreme Court declares illegal.  Henry Walker was tried for murder and sentenced to death. Zonnie Parrentine and Will Dozier were convicted of murder and given life sentences, and George Minnettes was sentenced to death for murder.  It is now claimed that all the cases will be brought before the Supreme Court and reversed as the Walker Case.  A grand jury will be organized next Monday, Feb. 8, and new indictments returned. - (Marion County Democrat, Marion County AL, February 4, 1904 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

 Ben Johnson, a young white man, is charged with the murder of G. W. Wall, near Cordova, Ala. Friday afternoon.
 The theory is that Johnson killed Wall and put the body on the tracks of the Frisco railroad, where it was run over and mangled.
 A watch belonging to Wall was found in Johnson's house and Wall's knife was found on Johnson's person.
 Johnson gave this statement: That he met Wall at the Frisco railroad depot, and that he proposed a game of cards with him, and that they went up the railroad track about half a mile from Cordova and engaged in a game, he (Johnson) winning several dollars from Wall, and that he left Wall about 3 o'clock, Johnson returning to Cordova, Wall goring toward Jasper.
 Wall is said to be from Flat Top mines, having held the position of chief powder man.  He was well-dressed and looked to be in good circumstances. (Greene County Democrat, Eutaw, Ala., Jan 20, 1904)


JIM SPRINGFIELD is in jail at Jasper on the charge of arson.  He is charged with deliberately setting fire to his father's dwelling house and burning it to the ground. ROBERT SPRINGFIELD, the father, swore out the warrant for the son.  Both the father and son are well-known citizens, who reside fourteen miles south of Jasper on what is known as the Gobbler road. It is said that JIM SPRINGFIELD had been drinking for several days and he was mad with his father for recently marrying again and deeding his young wife a piece of land.  (The Marion County Republican, Marion County, AL, October 28, 1908- Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

B. M. O'REAR was shot and killed by J. T. WAKEFIELD at Carbon Hill.  The homicide is said to have been caused by family trouble.  O'REAR was the husband of WAKEFIELD'S sister.  It is stated that O'REAR had been drinking heavily for the past two weeks, and that his wife left home and went to that of another brother, G. L. WAKEFIELD, to reside. (The Marion County Republican, Marion County, AL, December 16, 1908- Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


 MAN SHOT BY ALABAMA MOB:  Jasper, Ala., Jan. 13 - William Beard, a miner, held in connection with the killing of James Morris, a guardsman, on December 23 of last year, was taken from the Walker county jail here today by a mob and later shot to death three miles from Jasper.  The jailer and the military authorities believed Beard had been rescued from prison by friends until the body was discovered at the roadside by a rural mail carrier. (The Democratic Banner (Mt. Vernon, OH), January 14, 1921  Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)







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