Genealogy Trails

Pueblo County
Colorado Genealogy Trails

Pays the Penalty of His Crimes

Canon City, Sept. 22 – Davis will die tonight. The last hope of the condemned man is banished. All day long the stealthy bustle of preparation for the execution of the law’s decree has been going on. Among the prisoners the prison silence is more oppressive than usual. They knew that one of their number is to die. Outside the prison there is little excitement, and glances of morbid curiosity are cast at the grim walls by the passers by. But there will be few witnesses, and few know the exact hour of the execution. Hence but little active interest is manifested.

Davis will be hung by the same machine that was used so successfully in the case of Joyce last winter, and which has been fully described. By it a man virtually hangs himself. The ignominy of the hangman’s touch soils not the hands of the officials.

The death watch has been set on Davis. The man bears up well. He says little, and shows no signs of weakness. The condemned man slept well last night and those who know him do not believe that he will weaken on the scaffold.

The Crime

Denver, Sept. 22 – On the night of the 7th of last January, at Pueblo, Colorado, William H. Davis, shot and instantly killed his mother, Mrs. Carrie Armsby and James Arnold, a lodger in the house. Arnold was a white man, about 45 years of age and Mrs. Armsby, a light mulatto about 50. Arnold had made his home in the family for nearly 10 years and it is alleged by Davis had been unduly intimate with his mother during the most of that time, a condition of affairs which had often caused trouble between he and Arnold.

Another cause for bad blood between the two men was worth probably $30,000 acting under the advice of Arnold, who had obtained great influence over her, refused to furnish her son with any more money to spend in dissipation.

On the day previous to the murder, Davis, who had been drinking, went to his mother’s house and demanded that she give him some money. Arnold interfered and the demand was refused, and Davis left the house, vowing vengeance. Davis secured a shot gun and about midnight that night he went to the house occupied by his mother and demanded admittance. Arnold got up and opened the door, but on seeing the gun in Davis’ hands, refused to allow him to come in. Quick as a flash, Davis raised the gun and discharged it squarely in Arnold’s face. Arnold immediately slammed the door shut and bolted it, and staggered into the next room where he fell into a corner, dead.

Finding the door locked against him, Davis placed the muzzle of the gun against the lock and fired again. Mrs. Armsby, who had been aroused by the first shot was sitting up in bed, directly in range of the second shot, and was instantly killed, falling back in her original position in the bed. Davis was arrested a few minutes afterwards at his sister’s house.

At his trial he played the insanity and self defense dodges without success and was sentenced to be hanged between July 18th and 24th. A respite as granted in order that his case might be taken to the supreme court. Here a supersedeas was refused and the governor seeing no reasonable grounds for interfering Davis was executed at the hour mentioned above.

Davis Executed

Denver, Sept. 22 – W. H. Davis, who murdered his mother and her alleged paramour, James Arnold at Pueblo on January 7th, because they refused to give him money with which to continue his spree was executed in the prison yard at Canon City at 9 o’clock tonight. Everything worked to perfection, the condemned man’s neck being broken instantly and death was painless. Davis showed no fear and stood up bravely. A few tremors of his body and all was over. The doctors found him to be a pure blooded white man, not having a drop of negro blood as reported being only a foster child to the woman he killed. (Aspen Weekly Times, September 26, 1891)

Two thoroughbred Llewellyn setters, valued at $4,000 and belonging to Chas. Woodford of Pueblo, have been stolen. [Akron Pioneer Press, Akron, CO - 3 Mar 1911 - tr. by Vicki Bryan]
Woman Guilty of Manslaughter
Pueblo – Mrs. Sadie Lawson, charged with the murder of Maximo Basquez on the night of Aug. 15 was found guilty of manslaughter after the jury had been out over five hours. The jury recommended the leniency of the court. The conviction of Mrs. Lawson was the second one of the week in which a woman was found guilty of manslaughter in the District Court. Mrs. Martha Gallmore received a like verdict for the murder of Albert Long. (Wray Rattler, October 5, 1916) Mrs. Louie Fong, American wife of a wealthy Chinese restaurateur at Pueblo, took a large sum of money from the restaurant and fled, according to the story told the police by her husband, Louie Fong.  [Akron Weekly Pioneer Press (Akron, Washington County) Friday, February 08, 1918]

Sam. McBride, Clerk and Recorder of Pueblo County, Colorado, and a delegate to the St. Louis Convention, has absconded with $15,000.
 [August 16, 1876, Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, Oakland CA - Submitted by a Friend of Free Genealogy]

There has been an epidemic of Mexican shootings at Pueblo recently, as a result of which two men are dead and another dangerously wounded.  The alleged assailants of one of the dead men are in custody, as is the man suspected of assaulting another.  One of the murderers is at large.  During a quarrel over a woman, Carlos Pallejo shot and killed Antonio Armez, and succeeded in making his escape, and is still at liberty.  Alexander Blastete, who shot and dangerously (wounded) Mike Lopez, and who was later arrested, claims he shot in self-defense.  Another Mexican, Amelia Ortez, was killed, and Anton Rodriguez and Herman Licona were arrested. [Akron Weekly Pioneer Press (Akron, Washington County) Friday, February 08, 1918]