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Greene County, IL Crime News


A Convicted Illinois Murderer Re-Arrested.
[From the Leavenworth Conservative, 11th]
A noted criminal was accidentally identified in our streets yesterday and placed once more in custody. He gives his name now as "Johnson", and has been serving as a pirvate in the Capt. Austen's Co., Kansas Eight. Hs real name is Wilkinson and he will be recollected as the murderer of the Mace family in Greene County, Illinois, a man and woman as an adopted son having been his victims. For the atrocious crime he was tried, convicted and sentenced but escaped from custody three days before the time fixed upon for his execution. Large rewards were offered to secure his arrest and officers dilligently searched for the culprit, but all efforts failed. He was recogized yesterday by Mr. C. J. Hanks, who formerly lived in Greene County, knew Wilkinson and thinks he cannot be mistake as tohis being the guilty man. Sheriff Repise has taken measures to have him returned to the proper authorities. We have not learned what sort of character Wilkinson has maintained since he has been in Col, Graham's regiment.
[Chicago daily tribune., March 18, 1862, Pg. 3 - Transcribed by KP] Sold to the Hightest Bidder
Recently a free colored man named George Bowlin was put upon the block at Carrollton, Greene County, Illinois as sold to the hightest bidder. His offense was a violation of the law which prohibits the immigration of colored persons into the State. Having been tried and found guilty, he was fined $63, and not being able to pay the money, he was sold to Mr. Felix Morton for sixteen months.
[The Penny Press., News & Gossip Section, September 14, 1859, Pg. 1 - Transcribed by KP]

When the Door Fell From Its Hinges Patton's Body Rolled Out - Story of His Deeds and Downfall
- SPECIAL DISPATCH TO THE ENQUIRER.
St. Louis. January 4.
A. P. Patton, a fugitive from justice, shot and killed himself in his room at 822 Chouteau avenue. At 11 o'clock this morning, while the police were forcing the door to arrest him. This tragic affair is the end of Patton's misstep in Pike County, Illinois, where he is wanted on a charge of raising checks on school teachers and members of the School District Committee, who bought school charts of him.
Patton is 28 years old, and is the only son of A. Patton, the keeper of the Hotel Pearson, at Carrollton, Green County, Ill. He was born and reared here, where his father resided a number of years, and accompanied his parent to Carrollton, where the hotel was bought. Patton left his father some years ago, and went to Chicago, where he found work, and returned home about two years ago.
He could not find steady employment in Green County, and he passed a great deal of his time about his father's hotel during the past year and a half. About three months ago he accepted the agency of publishing house in Chicago, and during September he went from district to district selling maps and charts. From some he received cash, but from the majority of others to whom he sold charts he received an order on a store or a check on a bank.
About October a he disappeared, and soon after his disappearance the Sheriff received complaints from a number of persons who said Patton had raised the checks and orders they gave him to three or four times the original amount. Warrants were issued and a search began. It was learned that he had solicited orders under the name of Edward McCoy, in Pike County, where he was not known. His victim offered a reward of $100 for his arrest. Sheriff J. G. Pennell, of Greene County, Illinois, kept watch for Patton, and did not hear from him until a week ago when he learned he was in St. Louis and living at 822 Chouteau avenue, under the name of P.H. Emery.
It seems he wrote a number of letters to his friends in Carrollton and they gave his address to the Sheriff. Sherriff Pennell and his Deputy: R. G. Robinson, arrived this morning on an early train and about 10 o'clock they called to see their man at 822 Chouteau avenue. They asked Officer Downey to accompany them to the house and he did so. Mr. A. H. Gouser, proprietor of the restaurant at 1044 Pine street opened the door, and in answer to the officer's questions said Emery lived in the room on the second floor. The officers knocked on the door, and a voice from the other side asked who was knocking. Sheriff Pennell stated his errand, and Patton replied: "I'll see you in - before I open the door." The officers were about to break in when Mr. Gouser interfered and said he would not allow it.
Leaving his Deputy and Officer Downey to guard the house, Sheriff Pennell went to the Four Courts, where he told Captain Young of the affair and had Sergeant Cummins accompany him to the house. Sergeant Cummins tried the door and found it locked. A sharp push with the shoulder forced the lock, and the officers entered. Patton was not to be seen. His hat and cuffs were on the center-table, and the Sergeant knew he could not be far away as he had not passed out the door or dropped from the window.
There were two large closets in the room which the officers found locked. Believing Patton to be hidden in one of them, Sergeant Cummins decided to open them, and drew the roods from the hinges of a closet under a stairway. The doors fell off and the police saw the closet was vacant. While Sergeant Cummins was removing the pins from the hinges of the other closet he heard a noise inside, but thought it was caused by the door or hinge. When he had drawn the last pin the doors fell off of their hinges and the body of Patton rolled out on the floor.
He was in the last agonies of death. On the floor of the closet was a common and cheap 32-caliber revolver, and a powder burn on Patton's coat over the heart told the story. He had shot himself through the heart while the officer was removing the pins of the hinges and did not utter a sound. The report of the revolver was muffles by the clothes in the closet and the coat of the suicide as he pressed the weapon to his breast, and it was the noise that Sergeant heard.
An ambulance was quickly summoned, but before it reached the house Patton was dead and his body was conveyed to a morgue. He took his life, it is supposed, rather to submit to arrest and the subsequent trial and disgrace in Greene County, where he is well known and liked.
Sheriff Pennell at once sent word to the father of the young man, and requested him to come to St. Louis immediately.
[Source The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio), January 5, 1892. Transcribed by BW]

Carrollton, Ills., April 1 - The motion for a new trial in the case of Frank Ainsworth, convicted of murder, was denied by Judge Thompson, and the defendent was sentenced to 49 years at hard labor in the Chester prison.
[Bryan Morning Eagle. (Bryan, Tex.), 02 April 1899]

After Ten Years
Warrensburg, Mo., June 9 - Daniel Cox, a farm hand, was arrested today by Sheriff Powell, of Green county, Illinois, for the murder of W.N. Niece at Walkerville, Illinois, February 21st, 1877. He struck Niece on the back of the head with a stone, killing him instantly; then fled a fugitive from justice. The killing resulted from a quarrel over the election of Hayes. Cox has been living a few miles north of town for four years, a quiet, peaceable citizen. He was taken to Carrolton, county seat of Green county, tonight.
[Wichita eagle.,(Wichita, Kan.) June 10, 1887 - KT - Sub by FoFG]

Foul Murder
We learn from the Carrollton Gazette that a man by the name of Thos. Pierson murdered a companion by the name of Joshua Phelps They were wood choppers on Macoupin Island. Pierson after murdering Phelps, placed himunder the floor of the cabin which they both had occupied together and placed the straw bed over the place where the body lay concealed and actually slept on the bed for several nights after the murder.
[Illinois State Chronicle (Decatur, Illinois) April 17 1856 - Submitted by Nancy Piper]

John Rathberger, a wealthy German farmer who lived near Carrollton, Ills., killed his wife and committed suicide.  Mrs. Rathberger had begun suit for divorce.
[Rock Island Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 23 Feb. 1899]

Murder and Suicide
Carrollton, Ills., 34 - William Rowe attempted to obtain a reconciliation with his wife near Woodville, but his advances were repelled.  He then shot her and himself.
[The Salt Lake herald. (Salt Lake City [Utah), 25 Aug. 1883]

Carrollton, Ills., March 1 - Guarded by four companies of state militia to protect him from a mob determined on lynching, Albert Shenkle, who, December 23, last, criminally assaulted the 16-year-old daughter of Chas. H. Gilles of Carrollton, was early to-day taken from the county jail at Springfield, placed on a special train and brought to Carrollton. Through streets lined with silent spectators he was hurried to the court house. An hour after the arrival of the train Shenkle had pleaded guilty, received an indeterminate sentence and was on his way to the penientiary. There was no disorder, although threats of lynching had been freely made by the citizens of Carrollton, and although the streets of the little city and the grounds around the jail and court house had been patrolled by an armed mob determined upon using summary measures, ever since it was announced that Shenkle would be brought here for trial. The entire population of the town was gathered around the depot and along the streets leading to the court house, but the militia formed a cordon around the prisoner when the latter, heavily shackled and accompanied by Sheriff Conlee, alighted from the train, and provented any hostile demonstration.
[The Billings Gazette. (Billings, Mont.), 05 March 1901]


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