Union County Illinois Genealogy Trails




















    We have just heard of the richest piece of villainy ever executed in these diggings.  A very few days since two men in a wagon, when within a couple miles of Jonesboro, Union County, Illinois, asked a farmer who was the heaviest merchant in that town.  The farmer mentioned some merchants, and among the number spoke of Mr. Dishon.  They drove their wagon up to Dishon’s store and requested him to permit them to place a box (which they had in their wagon) in his store for the night.  After urging some objection, Mr. D. finally consented to take the box in his storeroom.  The men then put their horses up for the night, and early on the following morning had their wagon at D.’s store door to get their box and start on their journey.  Mr. D. then missed a bolt of fine broad cloth from his counter.  His suspicion being roused he examined his desk and discovered that five hundred dollars had been stolen during the night.  He then told the men that the box must not be taken from the store until it was examined.  They swore that he might go to h—l, for they would take their box, and as they rushed to take hold of it, Mr. D. stepped out of the door and locked them in.  Having obtained assistance the door was opened and the men taken.  The lid of the box was knocked off, when a stout, daring looking man sprang forth, as a fiend from the earth, ready for any deed of desperation.  He, however, turned “State’s evidence” and declared that he had long sought an opportunity to leave the other men, that to have left them voluntarily would have brought their deadly vengeance upon him; that he had been engaged in many such operations, but had never been detected before; that he remained with them only because he was compelled to do so to preserve his life; that there were now six hundred men in the United States engaged in the same business; and that the last time he was at the general money deposit station, the company had over fifteen bushels of silver and gold.  He would not be put in the same room with the two accomplices, fearing they would kill him.  What is most remarkable, the two men swore to the officers that it was folly to put them in jail, for they had money and friends, and it would take at least one hundred well armed men to guard them, and notified them that they could not possibly be detained three weeks.
    We neglected to remark in the proper place that the bolt of cloth, money, and some pieces of silk were found in the box, as well as a dark lantern and several little tools.  
--The Cairo Sun, April 10, 1851; transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter.


Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter

    Pete Georgeff, 31 years old, was visited by a mob of men at 2 o’clock last Friday morning and severely whipped, ugly looking gashes being cut on his body and legs by a leather thong.  Pete lives on a farm about two and a half miles east of Reynoldsville belonging to John Pickel.  The man took him into the yard at his home to administer the flogging.  There were about 18 in the crowd, he says, but only five men participated actively in the whipping.  His wife was also subjected to some punishment, but Pete says that he plead with the men to not whip her on account of her condition.  After the whipping they warned him to leave the county within 48 hours.
    Georgeff is a naturalized Bulgarian who has been in this country since 1910.  He has been working on the farm for John Pickel for two years, and from all accounts is a hard working man.  He married his wife, Maude Wilson, four years ago.  It is said that on account of scandalous relations alleged to exist there was great dissatisfaction in the neighborhood and rumors of mob violence had been in circulation for weeks.
    Georgeff claims that he recognized the five men who whipped him, and they were notified by Sheriff Hileman to appear in Justice of the Peace V. Smith’s court today and answer to the charge set forth in the warrant.
    Two or three weeks ago Charley Choate of Wolf Lake was taken out and trounced and warned to mend his ways or leave.  It is to be hoped that these two cases ends the whipping episodes in Union County.
                                                                                 (Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 10 Sep 1926)

Bank Robbers Make Easy Escape from Union County Jail

Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter 

            Patsy Flaherty, alias George Burns, and Charles Denny, alias Jacob Myers, made their escape from the Union county jail on Friday night of last week.  The night was dark and rainy and most suitable for the adventure.  The men got out by way of the outside grating of their cell, which was the south one down stairs.  They sawed two iron bars in two in two places each.  The bars were thick as a man’s wrist.  The jail walls are about two feet thick and the aperture was not supposed to be large enough for a man to crawl through, but it evidently was.  It is not certainly known that the prisoners had a confederate on the outside to help them cut the bars, but the probabilities are that they had.  An old discarded chair was found directly under the window, and also some of the clothing of the prisoners, which they had either discarded or thrown away in their haste.

            The escape of the prisoners was discovered Saturday morning at about 7 o’clock by the sheriff’s daughter, Miss Virgie Crane, when she carried them their breakfast at that hour.  Whether they took flight early or late in the night is not known.

            The prisoners in the north cell aver that they heard no unusual noises during the night.  They say that at 9:30 o’clock Myers called across and asked them if they were going to stay up all night, to which they responded that they were going to turn in immediately, which they did.  Myers and Burns then took every possible precaution that their work should not be heard.  Every crevice and pin hole was stuffed with paper and blankets hung over the door of the cell.

            It is of course a a matter of conjecture when the men were supplied with the saws to cut the bars of their cage.  They may have had them all the time since their incarceration; or they might have been supplied them recently.  It may be that their assistant on the outside, if they had one, brought them the night of their departure.  At any rate, they seem to be gone for good as the officers have no clue whatever.  They are both well known to the police of Chicago and several other cities, however, also to the Pinkerton detectives, and it is not improbable that these latter could pick them up at any time if they desired to, or at least as soon as they emerged from hiding.

            It is of course a a matter of conjecture when the men were supplied with the saws to cut the bars of their cage.  They may have had them all the time since their incarceration; or they might have been supplied them recently.  It may be that their assistant on the outside, if they had one, brought them the night of their departure.  At any rate, they seem to be gone for good as the officers have no clue whatever.  They are both well known to the police of Chicago and several other cities, however, also to the Pinkerton detectives, and it is not improbable that these latter could pick them up at any time if they desired to, or at least as soon as they emerged from hiding.

            Myers and Burns attempted to rob the First National Bank of Cobden on the night of January 13 last.  They bound and gagged the night watchman of the town and worked several hours on the steel safe, which resisted their efforts.  A Pinkerton detective name Rea came to Cobden and struck their trail by means of an empty whiskey bottle, which the men had thrown away.  It bore a Cairo label, and the detective went down there and with the assistance of the Cairo police captured his men January 27.  A fine safe blowers outfit was found in their room at the hotel.  The men were held in Cairo a few days and then brought up here and put in jail.  Their preliminary examination was held before Squire A.V. Cook and they were placed under bonds that they made no attempt to fill, and in due course of time the grand jury formally indicted them.  For some reason they were not tried at the March term of circuit court, but were to have been tried at the November

            A feature in connection with the capture of these two men was that a hold up and murder had occurred about that time at Memphis, Tenn., and the chief of police of that city was positive that Myers and Burns were guilty of the crime.  He came up here a time or two and insisted that the men be turned over to him.  They, of course, denied having anything to do with that crime and the Memphis man was much disappointed at not getting them in his clutches.

            Myers has a big reputation in criminal circles.  He is no doubt a very smooth villain.  He is middle aged, middle sized, grizzled fellow, and has a crafty cast in his keen gray eyes.  Burns is a big, hulking young fellow, with a forbidding countenance.  He is said to be under indictment at Chicago for murder.

            When the men were first confined in the jail here they had a female visitor who passed as the wife of Burns.  The officers had a suspicion that the two strange women concerned in the diamond robbery in an Anna saloon a couple weeks ago were in reality confederates of the bank robbers, and that that little episode was concocted so that the women might get into jail for a day or so and perfect arrangements with the prisoners for their escape.

            Burns and Myers were well behaved prisoners and gave the jailer no trouble.  They were at first confined in separate cells, but as the jail filled up, were put in a cell together.

Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Ill., Saturday, 11 Oct 1902

Arrested After Battle

Austin Police Capture Two Men Said to Be Wanted at Jonesboro

            Revolvers were flourished and a shot was fired before Austin police officers arrested Charles Dennison and “Pat” Flaherty, said to be well known criminals, in a bowling alley at Forty-fifth avenue and Harrison street, Austin, Sunday night.  The two men were finally overpowered.  “Billy” Latimore, who was in the company of the two men, was also arrested, but the police say they have no specific charge against him.

            Dennison has also gone under the name of “Joe” Burns, the police say, and was once arrested in connection with the shooting of Policeman Race several years ago.  Both Dennison and Flaherty, the police allege, broke jail at Jonesboro, Ill., Oct. 4, 1902, where they were being held for safe blowing and since that time the police have looked for them in vain.  The prisoners were taken to central station and will be turned over to the sheriff of Jonesboro.  (Chicago Chronicle)

            Sheriff L.J. Hess and Deputy George H. Huggins went to Chicago Thursday noon to identify the prisoners, and if found to be the ones wanted they will be brought back here and lodged in the county jail.

Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Ill., Saturday, 20 Dec 1902

Notorious Bank Robbers and Jail Breakers

Captured Again in Wisconsin


After having successfully robbed a score of banks and then escaped from jails, Charles Dennis and Paddy Flaherty, notorious bank robbers, have been captured at last.  Authorities had hoped that the two men wounded in a fight with a posse on a railroad train near Ishpeming, Mich., were the men, and yesterday W.A. Vallins, superintended at St. Paul, telegraphed to the Chicago office from Superior, Wis., that he had identified them.  The men were held at Superior, where they were charged with having participated in the robbery of the post office at that town.

This robbery was committed on Tuesday of last week, the robbers securing between $14,000 and $15,000 worth of stamps and $100 in silver.  A posse from Superior traced the robbers to Iron River, Wis., where they succeeded in escaping by boarding a train and on the train they were arrested after a sharp battle.

By the arrest of Dennis and Flaherty the authorities believe a stop has been put to the numerous bank robberies that have occurred in the northwest during the past year.  During that time nearly a score of banks have been robbed.  Dennis and Flaherty are known to have shared in some of these robberies and are believed to have been implicated in most of them.  Both have been arrested on suspicion of having shared in them, but they managed to escape.

Their first escape was effected from the jail at Jonesboro, Ill., in which they were confined for participation in the attempt on the bank at Cobden.  That escape made on Oct. 3 of last year.  In January of the present year Dennis was arrested for robbing the Bank of Eagle at Eagle, Wis.  He again managed to make his escape on Jan. 8 by sawing through the bars of the window of the cell in which he was confined.  Flaherty was arrested in 1901 for the murder of a pickpocket and shortly after his arrest he forced open an iron door in the jail and escaped.  He was rearrested in December of 1902, but when put on trial was acquitted.

            Both Dennis and Flaherty are suspected of complicity in the robbery of a Waukegan bank, and after they are tried for the robbery of the Superior post office may be brought here to stand trial.  Chicago Chronicle, 27th inst.

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Saturday, 31 Oct 1903)


Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter

    Three road bandits held up the night clerk, Frank Reiss, at the Anna hotel Tuesday morning at 2 o’clock and robbed the cash register of $60.  The three young men who committed the robbery drove up in a Ford touring car and came in as if to register for the night.  Reiss who was in the front of the counter started to go behind it when one of the men pulled a gun and ordered him to get the money sack.  The men had registered at the hotel Monday evening as Earl Hill, Harry Miller and Arthur Flannery, and Reiss had made change from the sack when they paid for their room.  Reiss complied with their order and gave them the sack which contained $35 and they then took $25 in change from the cash register and departed.  There was no one in the hotel lobby but the clerk when the robbery occurred.  The men had been in the office earlier in the evening but a guest was talking in the telephone booth and they did not make any attempt to commit the robbery.  The men can be easily identified if they are caught.  They stayed at the Anna hotel Monday night and at Rayburn’s hotel Sunday night, and had lunches at Rayburn’s café.  The same three men were here a week ago when they were driving a Chrysler sedan in place of a Ford.  They were remembered by the hotel and restaurant employees.  They were accompanied by a woman at that time.  After the robbery telephone messages were sent to the police of all the nearby towns to be on the lookout for the robbers.  Carbondale reported they would have four men on the hard road in 20 minutes to arrest the robbers, but they evidently did not pass that way.  Village marshals south of Anna promised to look out for the bandits but reported they saw nothing of them.  Robert Willis, who lives at the hotel, happened to be at the home of his mother Tuesday night, tried to chase down the robbers after he was notified of the robbery but without success.
    The young men who committed the holdup are reported as being well dressed, the holdup business being apparently good.
                                                                                                                       (Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 5 Feb 1926)


Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter

    Sheriff Naylor, of Albion, Edwards County, Ill., brought Arthur Patterson and Paul Rice to Jonesboro Wednesday and turned them over to Sheriff Lyerly.  These youths belong to the gang that robbed Mesler’s filling station in Cobden several weeks ago and are also charged with other robberies, one of which was robbing a bank in Missouri.  They escaped jail twice at Edwardsville, Ill., one time by knocking the jailer down and sliding down a dumb waiter.  One of the prisoners slipped his handcuffs two or three times while being brought here from Albion.  The other four men engaged with Patterson and Rice in the Cobden stunt were sent to the penitentiary from Albion.  They were all said to be affiliated with the Birger gang.                                                                          (Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 4 Feb 1927)

A Memory of the Callahan Clan

Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter 

Thirty-seven years ago last night, January 10, 1876, the water in Big Muddy was about as high as the writer ever saw it.  It was up two inches above the bottom of the old Howe truss bridge, the east end of it, between Murphysboro and Mt. Carbon.  That morning Judge Crawford came up to hold court and had to ferry across from the west end of the bridge to a tree standing close to where S. Morgan's house now stands.  That day he called the Callahan Clan to plead at 2 o'clock.  About 3:30 we brought up the Williamson county vendetta, Crain, Bulliner, Music, Baker, etc.  J.B. Kimmel was south and the writer and Frank Albright were deputies.  Jerry O'Conner was jailer.  Assisted by Henry Boucher, Marshal William Bradley, William Roberts and Roy Sanders we conveyed them back to jail and I assure you they were a tough looking crowd.  Sheriff Kimball smelled a mouse and warned the jailer to sleep with one eye open as he believed there would be an attempt to liberate all of the prisoners that night.  About 1 a.m. the fire alarm sounded and we all rushed to the jail and the post office was afire.  We corralled the prisoners in the jail with a guard and the balance of us went out and fought the fire and kept the jail from burning and never let the prisoners get away.  But of all the abuse a man ever got Sheriff Kimball got it that night for not taking them all out and letting some of them get away.  Every one of the crowd was convicted and sent to the penitentiary but one, Weatherly, acquitted, and two hung at Marion.

C.M. Bradley in Murphysboro Independent

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, 17 Jan 1913)

Will Get a Double Deal

Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter 

Sheriff James K. Walton went to Lincoln, Neb., last week and returned Monday with one Josh Furlow who used to live up in the Water Valley neighborhood and is under indictment here for horse stealing.  Furlow stole a horse from Chad Owens and sold it to a widow named Brummitt south of Jonesboro for $65.  Owens recovered his property and a collection was made up to indemnify Mrs. Brummitt for her loss.  Furlow went from here to Nebraska where he evidently concluded to continue his career of crime.  He fell in with a young man and was walking with him from one town to another.  They stopped on the bank of a creek to rest and Furlow knocked his unsuspecting companion on the head, rifled his pockets and tumbled the apparently lifeless body into the water.  The man revived and his groans led to his rescue and recovery.  Furlow was arrested before he could get out of the state and was sent to the Nebraska penitentiary for a term of three years.  His term had just expired as he got seven months off for good behaviour.

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Saturday, 20 Dec 1907)


WILLIAM WILSON, male, hanged for murder on November 12, 1886.

"Before the Needles," by Rob Gallagher.  Used with permission.


Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter

    John Ferrell, his wife and three sons of Carbondale have been arrested and are held pending investigation of thefts with which it is said they are connected.  The sons are Edwin, 20, Raymond, 22, and Russell, 19.  They were all confined in the jail here Tuesday, but after a few hours Mr. and Mrs. Ferrell were taken to Carbondale by officers from that city, the boys being detained here.
    Carbondale police had suspected the boys of being engaged in bootlegging and kept a watch on the family home.  Monday night after midnight the boys drove an auto up to the house and carried some bundles and packages from it, which they deposited, under the house and in an outbuilding.  The next morning officers searched the place and were astonished to find dry goods and ready to wear dresses to the value of $1,000, but no contraband liquor.  Henry Gunn, a merchant at Dongola, identified $600 worth of the goods as having been stolen from his store recently.  The rest of the stuff had not been claimed yesterday.
    People who know John Ferrell and Mrs. Ferrell doubt that they were aware of the stolen goods being concealed about their home, and it is said they claim to have had no knowledge of it.  It is hoped that it will be established that they are not implicated.  Two of the boys have served a term in the state reformatory.
    The family moved from Jonesboro to Carbondale two or three years ago and John Ferrell worked at his trade of painter and paper hanging there.
    It was reported yesterday that Mr. and Mrs. Ferrell had been exonerated from any complicity in this affair and released from custody.
                                                                                                                      (Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 25 Jun 1926)


Sam Hansel, for the wanton and brutal murder of Mollie Dalton, a five-year-old girl of Jonesboro, Ill., got 99 years in the penitentiary.  
(Source:  Owyhee (Idaho) Avalanche, Sept. 16, 1882.)


Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter

Four persons were killed when the Shady Rest, the stronghold of Charles Birger, in Williamson County, was dynamited Saturday (8 Jan 1927).  The Shelton gang is suspected.  The renowned Carl Shelton, of Williamson County, is said to have passed through Jonesboro Sunday night (9 Jan 1927) about midnight, inquiring the way to East Cape Girardeau.
                                                                                                                       (Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 14 Jan 1927)


 Sheriff Picks Up a Silverman

Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter 

Sheriff John N. Burkhardt of Monroe County came down here Tuesday and picked up a man named Henry Silverman, who was wanted on a charge of burglary and larceny.  The arrest was made in Anna, Sheriff Walton and Deputy Sheriff Huggins assisting in locating the man who was unknown to any of the officers, being identified from his description.  Silverman�s ostensible occupation is soliciting for a St. Louis collection agency, and he seems to follow other occupation for gain and as a side line.  He is suspected of stealing a couple of hundred dollars worth of jewelry from a lady at Waterloo, and it was on that charge he was arrested here.  He had been arrested on minor charges at Sparta and other placed, but released.  While being taken by officers from a hotel at Chester he was seen to throw a package away, which on being recovered afterward was found to contain the jewelry mentioned above.  Silverman is a very young man, and claimed that his home is in Kansas City, Mo.  He was taken to Waterloo Tuesday night.

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Saturday, 20 Dec 1907)

Slugged and Robbed

 Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter

            Last Saturday, shortly after noon, D. L. “Dock” Vaughn staged in a house on the Miller farm at the north edge of Anna and asked permission to wash his head, which was covered with blood.  He soon became unconscious.  City Marshal Kohler was called and took him to a doctor’s office, where it was found that his head was horribly beaten up and his skull fractured.  He had evidently been left for dead by his murderous assailants.

            Vaughn has never recovered consciousness sufficiently to tell a rational story of the affair.  Monday he was taken to a hospital in Carbondale where he now lies at death’s door.  He is about 45 years old.

            The theory is that Vaughn was enticed to the Miller farm Saturday forenoon to look at a horse, he being something of a horse trader, by a youth named Roy Milam, who is supposed to have had an accomplice.  It is said Vaughn was told there would be $20 in it for him.  Getting him to a lonely secluded place on the Miller farm he was beaten into insensibility and robbed.  It is said that Vaughn had a foolish habit of displaying his money, and is supposed to have been carrying about $125 on this occasion.

            Milam has disappeared.  He was seen twice Saturday afternoon by parties who knew him, once walking west from the Miller farm and later at Kaolin where he was hiking north on the M. & O.  His personal appearance is such that he could be easily recognized from a description and it is very probable that he will be caught and brought back to answer for this atrocious crime.  If he cannot exculpate himself.

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 13 Jan 1922) 

Slugged Man Recovering

            D. L. “Dock” Vaughn, the man who was so murderously assaulted and robbed on the Miller farm north of Anna Saturday before last, is on the road to recovery.  Vaughn was brought to his home in Anna from a Carbondale hospital where he had been taken for treatment, several days ago.  After regaining consciousness he asserted that Roy Milam and Jack Barrett had slugged and robbed him, or rather that Milam had struck him a blow after which he knew nothing.  However both were with him, he stated.

            Milam reappeared in Anna Monday and was promptly arrested by City Marshal Kohler and turned over to Sheriff Hurst, who lodged him in the county jail.  He boasts of having been 800 miles away since his flight on the day of the crime.  Barrett, who is his stepfather, was also arrested and put in jail.  Barrett was arrested on suspicion immediately following the crime but was released.

            Persons who know Milam were confident he would soon return to Anna.  He has made no statement of any sort, not has Barrett.  They will have a hearing before Squire A. V. Cook this morning.

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 20 Jan 1922)

        Roy Milam charged with assault with a deadly weapon and robbery appeared before A. V. Cook last Friday, waived examination, and was remanded to jail under $2,500 bond.  Milam was charged with slugging and robbing Dock Vaughn on Jan. 7.  Jack Barrett was discharged from custody, there being no evidence on which to hold him.

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 27 Jan 1922)

    Roy Milam pled guilty to robbery and was sent to Pontiac prison.                   (Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 31 Mar 1922)


Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter

Toodles Elkins, 73 years old, living east of Anna, was called on by Sheriff Hileman Thursday of last week and a small still, seven quarts of liquor, some mash, etc. found.  While the search was being made, Elkins left and has not been caught yet.
                                                                                                                 (Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, March 12, 1926)

Tracked by Bloodhounds

Alleged Barn Burners Run Down by Keen-Nosed Dogs

Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter 

            The barn of Cab Tripp, who lives north of Western Saratoga, was burned at 8 o�clock Sunday night.  It contained some feed, but no stock was lost.  The crowd which assembled to watch the conflagration was kept away from the side of the barn on which it started and Mr. Tripp telephoned immediately to Harrisburg for a pair of bloodhounds which have more or less reputation for sagacity.  The animals arrived the next morning in charge of their own, Wm. Koerner, and after a few preliminary circlings took up a trail and followed it to a house in the neighborhood. This house was the home of Bert and Richard Beans, brothers.  They were arrested by Constable John Tygett and George Howenstein and brought to Jonesboro where Squire A.V. Cook bound them over in the sum of $300 each to appear before him for their preliminary examination next Tuesday.  The dogs were brought along to full regalia and excited much interest in the justice�s court.

            One of he Beans had been working for Tripp and was discharged or some trouble came up between them.  It is reported that he made vague threats of causing some damage to Tripp and therefore suspicion was directed to him aside from the evidence furnished by the dogs, if it is evidence.

 (Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Saturday, 4 Sep 1908)

Bad Man Captured

Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter 

            Deputy Sheriff George H. Huggins, George W. Day, T.T. Baker, and John Lingle went to Alto Pass Sunday and going to a house in the country captured the man Webb who has been terrorizing that community, bringing him to Jonesboro and putting him in jail along with the man, Wilson, who was connected with his nefarious operations and was arrested a few weeks ago.

            On last Saturday shortly after noon two men disguised as negroes went to a farmer and robbed him of $8 in money, checks for nearly $2,000 and a gun.  Suspicion naturally reverted to Webb on account of his notorious character, and after he was arrested a search of the house brought to light the stolen goods.  Webb is a young fellow and seems to be utterly reckless.  His capture was only a question of time and it is a wonder it was not effected long ago, he operated so boldly.  His accomplice in his latest exploit was a man named Cook, who was also arrested a couple of days later.

 (Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Saturday, 25 Sep 1908)

Uses Shot Gun and Knife

Two Men Sent to Hospital with Serious Wounds

 Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter

Frank Merriman, 60 years old, was shot though the left arm and in the breast and his son, Clifton Merriman, 25, was shot in the stomach by Oscar Anderson, 45, on Thursday afternoon of last week at a saw mill out near Lick Creek.  Dr. Bird of Lick Creek and Dr. Nobles of Buncombe were called to the aid of the wounded men, and they were put on a C. & E. I. train and sent to a hospital at Mt. Vernon where at last reports Frank Merriman was in a precarious condition, while his son was resting easily and the inference is that the shot did not penetrate his bowels.

Anderson drove to the saw mill in a wagon with his father-in-law, William Gurley, and a fuss ensued about the sawing of some logs.  Anderson went to the wagon and got his shot gun and shot Clifton Merriman, who was standing on a pile of logs only a few yards from the muzzle of the gun, full in stomach.  The shot only staggered Merriman, and the four men then engaged in a general fight during which Anderson cut a bad gash in Clifton’s neck with a knife and then again resorting to his gun emptied the remaining barrel into the elder Merriman.  This ended the fight and Anderson and Gurley unhitched their team from the wagon and mounting the horses rode off.  The shot gun was left lying on the field of battle.

Sheriff W. E. Kimbro was notified and accompanied by State’s Attorney James Lingle, went out to the scene of the bloody affray.  Anderson was found at a farm house in the neighborhood after dark Thursday evening and brought to Jonesboro and placed in jail.  His preliminary examination was held on Saturday before Justice of the Peace William M. Hurst and his bond fixed at $3,000, which he filled and was released.  The grand jury which convened on Monday did not take the matter up, the result of the wounds of the Merrimans being uncertain.

The Anderson and Merriman families are doubly connected by marriage.  A brother of Oscar Anderson married a Merriman girl.  It is said there has been ill feeling and bickering among them for several years.  They all live in Lick Creek precinct, near the Johnson County line.

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 15 Nov 1918)


Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter

    Wednesday night of last week a number of masked men went to the home of a woman known as Eva Trammell northwest of Jonesboro, gave her a flogging and warned her to leave the community within twelve hours or suffer further punishment.  The woman’s husband, Tom Trammell, also an old woman and a young man of about 20 named Moss were included in the order, the youth also being thrashed.  The shacks the Trammells and Mosses lived in were burned with their contents.
    The people had lived for some time on waste land near what is called the Rocky Dug hill on the old Jonesboro-Wolf Lake road.  The Trammells occupied an abandoned cabin, the Moss woman and the young man, said to be her grandson, an old barn near by.  Relating her experiences the next morning to Charley Turner, carrier on rural route No. 3, Eva said the crowd of men who entreated her so roughly to leave were so sincerely earnest that she intended to carry out their instructions and depart at once.  She also confided to Charley that her body bore the marks of 35 welts with a blacksnake whip, and she was free to say that the man who plied the whip understood his business as the welts were impartially distributed from head to heel.  She said the crowd numbered 50 men and that she recognized over 20 of them.  Be that as it may, Eva and her companions hiked towards Grand Tower before the twelve hours were up.  Said she was going to Missouri.
    This woman had been an undesirable citizen of her neighborhood for a long time, her depravity being notorious.  About a year ago she and a male companion named Coryell, both of them drunk, invaded a family camp of respectable people from town and inspired terror by flourishing pistols and conducting themselves in a ribald manner, the woman appearing without even the fig leaf of the original Eve.  For this escapade she and Coryell were arrested and kept in jail for a while.  The woman has long enjoyed a most unsavory reputation.
    The mob carried out its undertaking quietly and in order and no word of censure for its action is heard in that community.  However mob violence is not to be encouraged.  It sometimes leads to frightful results.           (Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 20 Aug 1926)

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