FIRST MURDER IN JACKSON CO.
HISTORY OF JACKSON CO. IL. 1878
"In the year 1802, the first permanent settlement was made in the county east of Degognia creek, by a man named Reed and family, and another with his family, named Emsley Jones. Which came first is not now known. Mr. Reed, destined to a death of violence, chose as his future home, a fertile spot under the bluffs, near a creek which has been called after him, 'Reed's creek'; Jones settled in the bottom, near a pond afterwards known as 'Jones' Pond'. These families came from the old settlement of Kaskaskia in Randolph county; further than this, but little is known of their former history. Reed, who is said to have been an industrious, inoffensive and good man, went energetically to work, and soon had opened, a small farm. No doubt he looked forward to the time when plenty should surround him as the reward of industry and frugality, and the hope of a better day dawning upon the lonely settlement, in the primeval forests, steeled his heart and nerved his arm against the dangers which clustered around him. But far different was his fate. His neighbor, Emsley Jones, conceived a violent passion against him, and shot at, and killed him. This was the first murder committed within the limits of our county. After Jones had taken the life of his neighbor, he fled to a place known as Walker Hill. Here he was apprehended, taken from thence to the seat of justice, Kaskaskia, given a fair trial before a jury of his own countrymen, found guilty of murder, and expiated his great crime upon the gallows. As his was the first murder, so was he the first white person hung, whose murderous deed was done within the present limits of Jackson county. The after fate of both families, that of the murderer and of his victim, is shrouded in mystery."
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