The Minonk Journal, Minonk, Illinois Saturday, January 28, 1882
The proceeding of the trial, of Porter C. Ransom for the murder of H. W. Bullock - Editorial comments.
Live in El Paso, Woodford County, have lived there 14 years, am a physician and surgeon, graduate of Chicago and New York. Have practiced in El Paso for 14 years. Was acquainted with H. W. Bullock. I saw him on the 2d day of May in a vacant store on Front street in , El Paso about three blocks from the Illinois Central railway about half past six p.m. I examined Bullock and found him dead. He was lying on ? condition, saw a bullet wound in the head and one bullet wound passing through the heart. The bullet wound passing through the base of the heart entered near where the fourth rib joins the breast bone on the left side, the range of the bullet being backward and downward, coming out of the body just under the left shoulder blade. The ball in the head entered just in front of the right ear and just above the sygomatic arch or cheek bone and came out on the left side of the head at the left angle of the frontal bone, ranging upward and a little forward. His head must have been turned to the left or he must have been falling, as indicated by the course of the ball. I also found a bullet hole on right shoulder of his coat, there seemed to be two or three holes made by wrinkles in the coat. I believe the wound in the body was fatal. If he had bled from the aorta of the heart, he could not have lived ten minutes. The bullet which passed through his body was found in his clothing. Mr. Geo. L. Gibson found the bullet ?.
? have known Bullock ever since I came to El Paso, ? May 3d. The body was stripped and examined, no autopsy was made, but a post-mortim examination. Death was caused by pistol shot. first shot through the heart was fatal. Either would would have been fatal. Was not present at shooting, saw Ransom after shooting in front of brick block. Bullock's pockets were examined while the body was warm and before he was moved.
A man receiving a bullet shot in the heart may not necessarily fall instantly. I think he might walk some distance. It would ?. A man may receive a mortal wound in the heart and and walk some distance. One ?? over sensation and the other over locomotion. A m an shot through the head would be more likely to fall sooner and yet live longer than a man shot through the heart. A man shot in the heart may lose the use of his arms and yet could walk. Many instances are known of men being shot in the heart and walking a great distance, or even they may get well. Many have been known to live a long time after being shot in the heart. Bill Pool, of N. Y., the celebrated pugilist, lived eleven days.
at an early hour the court house was crowded. court opened at 8:30 and the ?
who testified as follows: John Geiger, live in El Paso, Woodford county; have lived in that county eleven years; have lived in El Paso six years; I am married, have a family; keep saloon; I have known Ransom three years; first, became acquainted with him when he first ran for mayor; have known Bullock ten years; on the day of the shooting was standing in front of Holcomb store; Holcomb and I were talking. Ransom came along; Bullock said that, Ransom stopped, turned and said to Bullock, "I want you to take that back. Bullock said "I never take anything back; Ransom again said "take it back;" Bullock replied that he wouldn't. Ransom's had was hanging at his side the first time he spoke; the second time he spoke he put his hand in his pocket; Bullock went toward him with open hands; before he reached him Ransom shot; Bullock was three or tour feet away from him when Ransom shot; Bullock fell with his head on Ransom's breast and his hands on his shoulders; Ransom had Bullock by the neck with his left hand and tried to fire again; they got off the sidewalk near the hitching posts; the posts are connected by chains and are about 3 feet from the sidewalk; they got on the sidewalk again, and Ransom fired again; I saw him; I was only ten or fifteen feet away when the second shot fired; the third shot was fired, the moment after Bullock got away from Ransom and fell; as he fell Ransom fired the last shot; they were three feet apart and Bullock was falling sideways; after third shot, Bullock fell flat in front of door; in the scuffle Ransom lost his hat; he picked up his hat, stopped, turned and looked at Bullock and then walked up the street; he didn't say anything, just looked at Bullock and walked away; I never saw them talking together before; I was not present when Bullock's pockets were searched, saw nothing in his hands when he was shot; I went after a doctor; was gone fifteen or twenty minutes; when I came back Bullock was dead.
I have been a saloon-keeper 9 years, have farmed and worked on railroad as section hand; Ransom came past without paying any attention to us until he heard what Bullock said.
Live in El Paso; am flour and feed merchant; lived in El Paso six years; before then lived in Mendota; have known Ransom six years; have not known Bullock quite so long; saw Bullock May 2d between five and six o'clock p.m. on Front street two feet from Geiger's building and bout 12 feet from my store; I was talking with Geiger and Bullock came up from the east; my store is two blocks from the Illinois Central railroad; I saw Ransom also; Bullock had only been up there five or six minutes and was talking with Geiger; I was six feet away; Bullock was facing towards the south; Ransom came along the street going east; Bullock's face was toward railroad as Ransom came up. I saw Ransom when he spoke. He said "Walter, you must take that back.: He hadn't got quite up to Bullock; Bullock said, "I take back nothing:. Ransom said "You have got to;" and walked up even with him and ?? pointed it at Bullock's breast. He was ? feet away from Bullock, he then fired. I saw the blaze. He was from two to six feet from him.; Bullock had started to go toward Ransom, with his hands opened out so he saw the revolver, Bullock did not attempt any violence he came down, when shot, with both hands on Ransom's shoulders; his head had dropped forward. There was then a sort of scuffle. Ransom took Bullock by the collar with his left hand, his revolver was in his right hand, I thought, pointed toward Bullock; heard it go off again during the scuffle. I went into the store after I heard the second shot, but I heard the third shot. I next saw Bullock lying with head to north of the sidewalk; his head was in the doorway of a store building; he was dead ??
I am 18 years old today; I did not hear the talk between Bullock and Geiger; Ransom did not draw the revolver until after Bullock had called him a damned thief.
At this time the curt adjourned until after dinner, when court opened again was cross examined as to some immaterial points without bringing out anything new.
J. W. Huffman
I live in Roanoke; I was coroner of Woodford county at time of tragedy; I am acquainted with all the parties; first saw body on May 3d. There was a package given to me said to contain contents of Bullock's pockets; was present at postmortem ?. There were tow wounds, one into the body at the base of the heart, the ball entered in front and passed out at back. The wound was necessarily fatal - after a wound of that kind a man would not live more than en minutes. The bullet did not strike spine. The second would entered the head in front of the right ear and passed out in left temporal region. I would think that the shot was fired while Bullock was falling. The place of exit was an inch and a half higher than at the entrance. It was necessarily fatal; he would not live more than 20 minutes; the second shot would not prove as certainly fatal, as the first shot; second bullet went through the brain, paralyzing instantly. Am physician and surgeon; graduated spring of 1878. The wound in the body would produce paralysis at the time of death, it might be in one minute or ten minutes.
Am harness maker; live in El Paso; am acquainted with Ransom, have been for five years. Have known Bullock for four or five years; saw Bullock after he was shot on Front street, El Paso. Saw Ransom when he pointed his revolver and shot; Bullock was standing doing nothing. After first shot was fired Bullock went toward Ransom with hands out; he fell with head on Ransom's breast. Bullock was falling when last shot was fired. I was about a block away when I saw it. I was alone, east of pace of shooting.
Mrs. M. E. Lasswell
I live in El Paso; was slightly acquainted with Ransom and Bullock; I was ?? of May 2d; I was 70 or 80 steps from place of shooting; I heard a report of pistol and looked in that direction and saw Bullock fall into Ransom's arms; Bullock's hands were up as though he was falling; when I first saw them, they were 4 or 5 feet apart; Ransom then threw his left arm around Bullock's shoulders; they were staggering about; Ransom put his other arm up over Bullock and fired again two times; heard first shot but saw last two; saw Bullock fall; I live east of there, toward Campbell House; did not see Ransom afterwards as I wen into store; did not see Bullock do anything, but fall as he was shot.
Was on sidewalk when first shot was fired; Bullock was nearer the edge of the sidewalk than Ransom; after first shot Bullock was staggering toward Ransom; he did not catch hold of him; Bullock was in the arms of Ransom at the time the third shot was fired.
I live in El Paso; have lived there abut one year; am a day laborer; knew both parties; saw Bullock on the evening of May 2;l met Ransom crossing the Tabach Railway, ten or twelve steps from Holcomb's store; he was coming north, I was going south; saw him afterwards in front of Cazalet's; he was shooting at Mr. Bullock; I heard report of pistol and turned and saw Bullock leaning against Ransom, his hands on Ransom's shoulder and his head on Ransom's breast; saw the second and third shots; Bullock was falling when third shot was fired; he was in front of Ransom; they were about a foot apart when he fell; didn't see Bullock do anything but put his hands on Ransom's shoulders and his head on his breast; after Bullock fell Ransom picked up his hat, turned away and walked east.
I am a day laborer; have worked at a ?? where I lived for twenty-five years. I ??/
I live in El Paso, live with my mother; I knew both Ransom and Bullock on May 2, at 6 or 7 o'clock saw Ransom shoot Bullock; saw Ransom come across the street from the south, turn at corner and go east; Bullock was between Geiger's and Holcomb's; Ransom could see Bullock before he came near him; when first shot was fired, Bullock was standing 6 or 7 feet away from Ransom; Ransom was southeast from Bullock when he fired; when Ransom first came up he walked past Bullock; didn't hear any conversation between them; when the first shot was fired Bullock went this way (Here witness place his hands on Mr. O'Brien's shoulders, his head was dropped forward), don't know how Bullock's hands were when first shot was fired; Ransom shot again; he shot three times; Bullock was staggering at the last shot; after the last shot ransom went downtown; didn't hear a word said.
My business is walking around; I walk around every day; I will be 14 years old next March when I saw shooting I was eating a piece of bread; I didn't tell that I saw it for two or three weeks, because I was afraid I would have to come to the trial.
Richard G. Hebden
Was next called and he was giving in his testimony at the adjournment of court, but too late for this issue. We heard part of it, and it was in substance the same as that given by Dalton and Rich.
The case is attracting a great deal of interest; people are coming a long distance to hear the evidence. Yesterday half of the vast number of spectators were ladies.
We are sorry to say that friend Dan Gingerich is laid up with rheumatism, but under the skillful treatment of physicians is getting better.
The sixth day of the trial of the murder of H. W. Bullock, at the opening promised to be one of great interest, but on account of the attorney's argument of some questions of law, very little evidence was taken. However, the court room was filled. Abut half the number of spectators were ladies. The last witness called Friday evening was
R. G. Hebden
who testified as follows: Tinsmith by trade; lived in El Paso 21 years; knew defendant and deceased; saw them on the 2d of May last; saw Bullock first at post office, saw him next in front of Cazalet's, Ransom was with him; saw first shot fired; was 175 feet distant; they were three or four feet apart when first shot was fired; pistol was pointed at Bullock; I think the shot struck B.; he fell forward; if Ransom had stepped to one side he would have fallen on the sidewalk; they struggled together until the second shot was fired; Bullock was partly down; don't know what kept him up.
Was standing on the corner east; no one with me; they were scuffling round, but changed positions and turned round so I saw between them; after the first fire Bullock fell forward; did not notice his hands; saw Ransom hands holding the pistol; don't know Jim Dalton or Gardner.
Was not sworn as to statement before the coroner's jury after the signature was attached.
Court opened yesterday at the usual hour, the first witness to be examined was
I live in El Paso, work in beer depot, have lived in El Paso five years; have lived of and on in Woodford county since 1857. Knew both men, was in El Paso May 2d at 6 o'clock p.m. saw Ransom and Bullock, was driving a team delivering beer, was a block south of the T. P. & W. Railway, going west. I first heard the ? of pistol, I looked and saw the men coming together, Bullock seemed to reach with both hands toward Ransom, Bullock was on the west side, did not see them off the sidewalk, heard three shots, at time of last shot Bullock was falling, within fall, there were four or five men there, Bullock fell in front of Cazalet's building, he was falling when last shot was fired, I saw the smoke but did not see anything in Ransom's hand. This happened in Woodford county. (Here a plat of the location was produced and witness was asked to point out position. The jury stood up and looked while the witness pointed out where he and the different parties were. The attorneys for prosecution and defense standing in a group around witness).
The view was unobstructed; could see clearly; when heard the shot drove on to where I could be nearer the ?? Struggled; east and ?? reached the building; Bullock???
I live in El Paso, Woodford county; was a butcher; have sold out; was in the business one year; have lived in El Paso three yes; knew both men; have known Ransom fifteen or sixteen years; have known Bullock every since he was a chunk of a boy; saw the shooting; (here he pointed out the position of the plat); I was just in front of my shop door; they were in front of Cazalet's saloon; the report of the pistol attracted my attention; I stepped out and looked down that way; I saw two men apparently in a scuffle, could not tell who they were at first, did not find out who they were until after the second shot was fired. I could see between them at the time of the second shot, Bullock's hands were on Ransom as if they had hold of each other in a kind of scuffle, saw third shot, they were coming on to the walk at the time of the third shot, Bullock fell after the third shot was fired, he fell over and struck the side of the window and rolled over into the doorway, I saw two shots fired, they were fired by Ransom.
The cross examination bought out no new ?
S. T. Rogers
I live in El Paso am a money loaner at present, am acquainted with the location of the city, have lived there 22 years. I made the plat, now in the possession of ?? witnesses. ( He then proceeded to explain the exact positions as given on the plat).
Miss Lacey G. Carnahan
(Her name was not on the list of witnesses as first given or on back of indictment. The defense objected to the admission of her testimony. Argument was made by O'Brien and Storrs. During the argument of that question she was examined by Mr. Muir for the defense. She was subpoenaed as a witness for the defense. The witness was retired until notice was given to defense as to what they were to prove by her. The Court then proceeded to state that he wished to be just and impartial to both sides of the case. The three other witnesses whose names are not on the indictment were not allowed to testify until notice was made to the defense as to what prosecution expected to prove by them.
E. S. Paul
I live in the city of El Paso, lived there four years, have been city marshal two years, was marshal at the time of shooting, knew both men, have known Ransom not over four years. Saw Ransom on Front street May 2d, the shooting took place between 6 and 7 o'clock, I was at home eating supper, I was sent for, then I saw Ransom, Mr. Shaw was with him, he turned to me as I came around the corner of the brick block and said he gave himself up, I took his revolver, there were three chambers empty and two loaded. (Here the revolver was handed to witness who identified it as the one used by Ransom and given up to him). I asked him for the revolver and he gave it to me, it was about ten minutes after he gave himself up when I asked him for the revolver, in speaking of the shooting he said he was sorry he had done it. (Witness ??) to Ransom and stated that he had clothing in his possession which he was ordered by the Court to bring into court at this present term.
I took charge of the prisoner from the time he gave himself up, there were a number standing around when I took Ransom away. (No further facts were elicited on cross examination.)
Columbus Porter Shur
I live in El Paso, have lived there 14 years; knew both men, have known Bullock 14 years, saw nothing of the shooting, was in the Campbell House at the time, talked with Ransom in the calaboose the evening after the shooting, I said "Didn't you think you could scare him when you drew the revolver?" he said "I shot him before I got anyway near him," we were alone, Ransom talked to me before the shooting in Smith's saloon a short time before election in April, it was, perhaps two months before the shooting. (An argument arose here between O'Brien and Storrs in regard to a question put by Newell, trying to bring out a threat or showing malice. The objection was not sustained.) Ransom told me to tell Bullock that he stole $3,500 from a man and that he (Ransom) could prove it, there were more remarks made but cannot remember what was said further.
The argument was taken up again and the question was argued at some length. The defense claimed that it was improper evidence and the prosecution argued that any evidence of that kind went to show malice and the feelings of Ransom toward Bullock.
shifted around a great deal in his decision of the question and finally reserved his decision until opening of court Monday morning. ?? and court lasted until noon when court adjourned until Monday. Witness was not cross examined, that was deferred until Monday.
The following is a synopsis of Hon. Emery A. Storrs speech in the Ransom murder case on Tuesday: It was half-past two o'clock, and Hon. Emory A. Storrs soon began the opening statement for the defense.
He said the time had fully come in the case when the defendant is to be heard, and his version of the story place before the jury. The occasion is solemn and sacred. It is an issue of like and death. It was unnecessary to invoke the jury to be careful, serious, intelligent and solemn in their consideration of the case. He regarded the judge as the serene embodiment of justice, and he thought the black and desolate room was glorified by the scenes enacted in it. He would show that the trial of a criminal case was a personal issue. There was nothing so suberve except grant public ?, and this case is conspicuous ? the private interests represented by paid attorney's in the prosecution. Had the jury ever seen a town swarm with witnesses for the prosecution as in this ?? Scores of them were called and were not sworn. He charged that they were an organized lobby, a gang of ? in service of the prosecution, and pay of this State, to influence public opinion. He said the statements of Mr. O'Briens' remarkable speech had not been sustained by the evidence adduced. He declared that Mr. O'Briens' statement of the manner of the homicide had not been sustained by say of the witness, not even the most reckless. He declared that his statement of the ? of ? difficulty between Ransom and Bullock ? untrue in every essential particular. He also said that Ransom had never been armed for contempt of court; and had never been ordered to pay alimony. He did not accuse Mr. O'Brien of willful untruthfulness but said he had been misinformed. He asked the jury if they heard any evidence that Ransom had sought Bullock to kill him, or told anybody that he had shot a dog. He said the statement of Mr. O'Brien was worse than an act of the legislature with the ensoting clanee stricken out. He then proceeded to state the ? of the defense, to be proven by decent, reputable, sober witnesses. He then gave the legal definition of murder, dwelling particularly upon the element of actual malice. All must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, upon which subject he read the opinions of several noted authorities. He asked the jurors if they could go to their rooms, even now and declare that they had an abiding conviction to a moral certainty that Porter C. Ransom with malice aforethought killed Henry W. Bullock. He did not think they could. The fact, the question of malice, must be established to a reasonable, moral certainty. It is not a question of chances or possibilities. There must be a reasonable, moral certainty that >; the understanding. The reasonable ? to the entire ? every part of it. Every doubt must weigh in favor of the prisoner. Every circumstance in doubt must be considered as not proven. If a crime is committed it must not be constructively surmised, but it must be conclusively proven. Malice cannot be presumed from the act of killing; it must be proven. The prosecution have got to prove the malice, if there is any. There is no skulking around, or lying in wait (the usual methods of proving malice) in this case. His commentary upon the testimony of the witnesses for the prosecution was that it was contradictory, unsatisfactory, unreasonable, and in many cases prejudiced or perjured. Where it was not prejudiced it was perjured, and where it was perjured it was prejudiced. He claimed there was no doubt but that on the occasion of the shooting, when Ransom was passing by, seeking no quarrel, the first offense came from Bullock. He said that the language employed by the two showed malice on the part of Bullock, no on the part of Ransom. He said that Bullock had been in the habit of denouncing Ransom as "a damned thief,". The question of what Bullock was doing when the first shot was fired was important. (Mr. O'Brien wanted to know if the counsel for the defense had the right to review the testimony in his opening statement of the line of defense. The court said he could not easily restrict him.) The speaker claimed that when the first shot was fired, Bullock was not standing still; but when he, a man of great physical strength, was rushing in rage with hostile demonstrations upon Ransom, a crippled, sixty-year-old, rheumatic man, who then fired. He wanted to know if a shot fired under such circumstances was fired in malice?
Lacon, Ill., January 25 - Continuing his speech yesterday afternoon (and the speech turned out to be as much of a closing argument as it was an opening statement, and Mr. Storrs stated that he possibly would not speak again). Mr. Storrs reviewed the witnesses for the prosecution and their testimony. He said that Holcomb had committed perjury by the wholesale; that Shaw had tried to make his business more reputable than it was, was a many unworthy of belief, and his testimony was false; that Lucas character and appearance on the stand were sufficient commentary on his testimony; that Gingerich was bulldozed into testifying as he did because the brothers of the deceased still hold the notes against him, although worthless, as a means of intimidation; and that the prosecution, acting in the name of the people of Illinois, had stained the fair name of a grand commonwealth by putting such a wretch as Young, confessed election reporter, etc., on the stand to swear away a man's life. Speaking of Dr. Cole's testimony, he cited authorities to show that the opinions of experts are entitled to very little consideration; that Cole was entirely wrong in his theory that the exit of a bullet wound is larger than the entrance, and that his opinion that a man could walk after being shot through the heart was absurd. He said no one had ever known of a man walking after being shot in the heart, and yet if the theory of the prosecution was correct, that the first shot took affect in the heart, Bullock, according to the evidence of the prosecution had walked and clinched ?? with Ransom a distance of sixty feet. The theory of the defense was that the first shot did not hit him. Speaking of Ransom, he referred to him as "that trembling old man". At 5 o'clock Mr. Storrs complained of feeling fatigued, and court adjourned until 9 o'clock. During the speech Ransom was seen to weep. He was also seen to weep while Johnston was testifying Monday.
Resuming his statement this morning Mr. Storrs spoke of the relevancy of the testimony as to threats and expressions of ill-will b the prisoner. He claimed that in a case of justifiable homicide, such as this one, all that evidence would go for nothing if the jury believed that the defendant shot in self-defense. He said the defense would show threats, etc., by Bullock for two years, which had a great deal of influence over Ransom's mind. He thought the evidence of Shur, Gingerich, Lucas and Young should have no weight with the jury. He said that the testimony of Johnston was absolutely incredible on the face of it. No witness for the prosecution had told a story half so serious as Johnston puts into Ransom's mouth against himself. It did not stand to reason that Ransom would make out against himself, stronger than the facts. Mr. Storrs ridiculed the idea of Johns ton's friendliness to Ransom. Further before speaking to Johnston, Ransom had been cautioned by his lawyer, Mr. Shaw, not to speak abut the case. He said the defense would prove that the pretended interview never took place. It was part of a plot organized in El Paso a few hours after the shooting to convict the prisoner. Demary drunkenness and depravity were consistently dwelt upon. His testimony was not corroborated by Rich, who was present at the time and did not see the movement of Ransom testified to by Demary. The speaker then devoted himself to "poor little Bowman" and asked if it was not evident he had engaged in some job unwillingly, and was acting under some coercive power? He heard only a fragment of the conversation, was not certain about it, and regretted having to testify abut it. The testimony of Richard's he alluded to as utterly trivial, contemptible and insignificant. He then spoke of "poor old Mr. Ma??", and his "ridiculous testimony. He asked if the jury could find any evidence of malice on the part of Ransom in all that evidence. No two witnesses ?? in stating the same transaction the same.
Mr. Storrs then proceeded to state the defense. He said it was clear that when the second and third shots were fired Ransom was laboring under apprehension of great bodily harm. He then spoke of the natural right of self-defense, and read authorities on the subject; also opinions of the supreme court. If there is a reasonable doubt as to the question of self-defense, the jury must acquit. Everybody knows that there had been serious difficulties between Ransom and Bullock, but the divorce case was not the origin of it - it was only a means taken by Bullock to persecute Ransom. He was a volunteer in the one - did not ?? in the usual way. It was nothing but a black-mailing scheme. It was first taken up for the pretended wife on shares by an western shyster lawyer. He was to get all the money he could out of Ransom and then divid. If they could not ?, another lawyer was to be called in to make a division. The court decided that the contract was criminal. It was difficult to find a lawyer in Woodford county to go into the case, but finally Bullock, out of hatred for Ransom, volunteered his services. there was never a dollar of money allowed to the woman. It all went to the lawyers. They got $50 apiece for themselves, and that was the order of the court. There never was a fine for contempt. Ransom took an appeal on the order for lawyer's fees', and was attached, on which he also appealed and that is how the case now stand. Ransom was hunted, ? and pursued and is it wonderful that he cried out against it. Bullock was continually slandering Ransom as a liar, perjurer, thief, wife-beater and wife-murder. He also threatened to drive him from El Paso and the State, to place him under the sod, and so forth. To escape this abuse Ransom had made arrangements to move away. Men had also entreated Bullock to stop his torrent of abuse, and Ransom had sent a message of peace offering. Ransom knew also that Bullock, in trying a law suit, had drawn a revolver on the lieutenant-governor of the State; had shot at a man on the streets of El Paso; that one of his bullets was now being carried by one of his own brothers and that he had driven a witness against him away by drawing a knife and threatening to kill him. He also said that he was in the habit of carrying a dirk-knife. Under all these circumstances it was not serious bodily injury, but his life that Ransom had reason to fear when Bullock sprung upon him in rage. Ransom was on his way to meet Mr. Shaw, his lawyer, abut the divorce case, at the Campbell house, when the shooting occurred. Speaking of the homicide, he claimed that Bullock sprang upon Ransom with such violence that he fell upon him and threw him off the sidewalk, and then recovering himself, grabbed Ransom by the throat, forced him backward ? backed him up against the side of the house, where he grasped him the tighter and then the last two shots were fired. Mr. Storrs claimed that the first shot fired when Bullock sprang upon Ransom did not hit Bullock. Mr. Storrs concluded at half-past ten o'clock, having spoken altogether full four hours.
The seventh day of the trail of P. C. Ransom for the murder of H. W. Bullock, now being held at Lacon,
was the most interesting day of the trial. Court opened at half past nine o'clock. The first thing done was to resume the argument of the question of the admission of part of Clum P. Shur's testimony. The defense claimed that the motion to strike out the evidence abut the message sent to Ransom, through Shur, to the effect that "Bullock had stolen $3,000 from a man and he could prove it," should prevail, as it was improper evidence. Mr. O'Brien claimed that the evidence showed malice and was proper, as he construed the meaning of the statute and it was admissible.
The court decided on Saturday that it might remain on the record if counsel for the people followed up with proof of threats. The question was argued at some length by both sides and with the understanding that the prosecution would prove threats the evidence was admitted.
Cross examination of Columbus P. Shur, whose direct testimony had been given Saturday;
Columbus P. Shur
I have been a stockdealer for 14 years, that is part of my business, I attend to business, have also been a shipper of produce, and I am doing a wholesale beer business. (here Mr. Muir, who was conducting the cross examination, got to asking questions that the prosecution thought frivolous and unnecessary, and Mr. O'Brien objected to the manner in which the witness was examined. Muir answered, and after both sides had fired away at each other for quite awhile the examination of the witness proceeded.) Mr. Welte delivers the beer for me. I was in the saloon at the time; was in there about twenty minutes, may or may not have made remarks to others besides Ransom, was in saloon five or ten minutes before Ransom came in, don't remember which of us went out first, my answer to the remark of Ransom's "tell Bullock he stole $3,000 etc.," was "tell him yourself," Muir says "can't you remember more of the conversation?", Shur's answer, "that's about all I remember"; In answer to the question, "why don't you remember more of the conversation?" Shur answered "if I can tell it in my own way I will do so, if not I will not." (A great many more questions were asked but no new acts elicited. Muir's manner of examining witnesses was not gentlemanly as might have been, in fact, he was quite insulting, but Mr. Shur was a match for him.)
Miss Lacy G. Carnahan
I am a milliner and dressmaker at El Paso, was acquainted with Bullock, have lived in El Paso nine years, have known Bullock seven years, knew Ransom by sight since he has lived in El Paso, I saw Ransom that evening he was standing on the sidewalk, heard the first shot but did not pay attention, on hearing the second shot I looked out of the window, and saw Ransom standing on the sidewalk with a revolver in his hand and saw him shoot it off, don't know who at, did not see Bullock then, ran to the door and Bullock was falling to the ground when I first saw him, they were seven feet apart at the time, saw the third shot fired, after the last shot Ransom stepped forward and picked up his hat, then turned and looked at Bullock and then walked away, I saw no more of him.
Mr. Cavan spoke to me on Friday about case, he came again on Saturday evening and I told him all about case, was writing at time first shot was fired. I saw the third shot fired, then stepped to the door and went outside, Bullock was just falling, the door was open, I went out (Here the plat was presented to her and she showed positions). Don't know how it began or who began the trouble, did not see any scuffle, did not see Ransom again until I saw him in this court.
I live in El Paso, have been dealer in farm implements one year and 6 months, have known Ransom nine or ten years, have known Bullock twenty years, was in El Paso May 2, 1881, saw Bullock and Ransom that day abut seven o'clock, I was in front of my store room east of where they are. (He here pointed out on plat). I was about 136 yards from the, was first attracted by report of arms, when I first heard report of revolver or gun I was about to speak to a boy or young man, I looked up the street and thought it was a fight, there was a number of men together. One man stepped out from them and raised his arm and fired second shot, I could not see who it was, he seemed to be getting around some one, heard three shots, did not see first shot, I saw the extended arm; the firing, and a man fall, afterwards saw Ransom, met him abut one-third of the way from where I was standing, he spoke to me and said how do you do, Mr. Mohr," I said " how do you do," I went right to where the man was lying, I first ran to the crossing and stopped, because thought if I went might be called as a witness, but concluded to go on, Bullock was not dead when I first came up at time of second and third shots they were closed together.
I supposed it was a fight and some one trying to part them at first, saw no one off the sidewalk, saw the flash of the second and third shots, saw the man fall after the third shot, couldn't name nay of the crowd around there, saw a man pick up his hat and come toward me, I did not see him speak to any one but myself. (Here plat was presented and positions explained.)
Wm. A. Johnston
I am hardware merchant in El Paso, am married, have been in El Paso since 1866, have been acquainted with Ransom, three years, have Bullock, 13 years, did not see the parties at the time of shooting, I had a conversation with Ransom in regard to Bullock at Ransom's house one Sunday afternoon, he said "If I was to put Bullock out of the way, three-fourths of the people of this place would uphold me," (here the Court, O'Brien and Barnes got into an uninteresting talk about nothing that had a point), Ransom said Bullock was hunting him down, this was eight days before shooting, it was in Ransom's house, now Randall's had another conversation with Ransom in front of my store, he said "if Bullock didn't stop hunting him down and writing him up in the newspapers, he (Ransom) would stop him." (Here O'Brien, Shaw and Barnes had another matinee or sideshow which was very cute and funny and made the audience laugh, but didn't look well in a court room.) Had this talk with Ransom just before the spring election in April, the shooting was on May 2d. About a month or six weeks before the shooting I talked with Ransom at the city prison on the night after the shooting (Monday, May 2d) at hour 11 or 12 o'clock he said "As I was coming down from supper I saw Bullock standing in front of Geiger's saloon. I had a notion to go around another way, around by the old foundry, but I changed my mind. I took my revolver out of my hip-pocket and passed Bullock, and as I passed I heard him say to Geiger 'there goes the man that says I sold him out, the damned thief." I told him he must take that back and I shot him on his refusal to do so." He said "the first shot was fatal and as I shot him he fell against me and knocked my hat off and knocked me off the sidewalk." He said "I intended that shot should kill him. I did it because I had made up my mind that I would put a stop to Bullock's hunting me down."
Was subpoenaed two weeks ago today, I don't remember whether I was subpoenaed to go to Metamora before grand jury, I did not go there, I went to no meetings of witnesses, have talked to Mr. Cavan. (Here witness was examined about conversation at the house, and although Muir asked him to repeat five or six times the words used at that time, the witness retold the exact language every time, without changing even a word. He was self-possessed and was not inclined to be talked or otherwise worried out of his knowledge, although it was intimated by Muir that his intellect was not as good as it might be. The witness remarked that it might not be as bright as some of the counsel, but he could not help it. After another question Muir told witness to put down his hands and look at jury. Witness said "I like to look at you." O'Brien said "he wondered what a man would want to look at Muir for." Witness was asked to repeat whole conversation again this made the sixth or seventh time and the jury and audience had become tired and disgusted with the proceedings, but Johnston was good natured and said: Ransom said "Bullock has been hunting me down, he was the cause of my defeat," I said "I thought it was the people that defeated him," he said "if I was to put Bullock out of the way three-fourths of the people of this place would uphold me at it". I said the law would take hold of Bullock if he was doing wrong. I had another conversation with Ransom in front of my store, there were a number of others present, this was before the spring election, it was about 6:30 o'clock, just after I came from supper, Ransom spoke to me and asked me to support him in his candidacy for mayor, I didn't say whether I would or not, he said if Bullock didn't quit hunting him down and writing him up in the newspaper, he (Ransom) would put a stop to him, (Muir in his great wisdom, found it necessary to disgust everyone by having a repetition of that at least for eight times.) I talked with Ransom at the city prison on the night of the murder, Ransom said "I was coming down from supper, as I got to the corner at the blacksmith shop, I saw Bullock in front of Geiger's saloon. I had a notion to go down by the foundry but changed my mind. I took my revolver out of my hip-pocket and changed it to my overcoat pocket and went at Bullock. As I passed he was talking with Geiger and said "there goes the ? that said I sold him out for fifteen dollars, the dammed thief." I told him to take it back, and on his refusal I shot him. When I shot him he fell against me, knocked my hat off and knocked me off the sidewalk. I intended that shot should kill him. I did it because I had made up my mind that I would stop his hunting me down. I am sorry for it now." I never talked with any one but my wife about this till today to tell the whole conversation, I talked with Cavan today for the first time.
The examination lasted more than an hour, but most of the time was taken up in repeating the language used in the different conversations.
I live in El Paso, my business is raising stock and keeping saloon, lived in El Paso since 1873, was in front of my saloon on May 2d, heard a report of pistol east of place of shooting about 500 feet, saw two men, couldn't tell positively who they were, they were close together, on the sidewalk, didn't see them off the sidewalk, I couldn't see very well on account of smoke, saw Ransom picking up his hat, and walked past my saloon, talked with Ransom before the shooting, about the time of the Woodford county ? of court, Ransom said "If Mr. Bullock don't quit talking about me, I will hurt him," Mr. Cassell was there, it was in my saloon, Ransom was frequently in my saloon, he said to me "Come before this grand jury" and indict Bullock. I will be on grand jury. If Bullock is not brought before this jury, he will never get another chance to go before a grand jury to indict me." (The examination was carried farther but did bring out any facts different to the case).
Bullock had some notes of mine, I did not say that Bullock had swindled me out of the notes, there were three notes of one thousand dollars each, Bullock had paid one and the others had been fixed and I would have got the notes last March, I didn't talk of having Bullock indict because there was no occasion for anything of the kind. (The cross examination was thorough, but brought out no new facts).
The next witness called was Willis Lucas. He was on the witness stand when we left.
Today siting at one of the tables in the court room was a pale, sad looking old lady. She sat leaning over the table, seemingly anxious to catch every word of the witness, attorneys and court. When Mr. Johnston was telling what Ransom said abut shooting Bullock, the attorneys and court got into an argument, this old lady spoke is a loud voice ?? asked, "Who is talking?" The old lady says, "I spoke." Burns says, "Sheriff, put her out of the room." O'Brien says, "Don't do it, your Honor, the lady meant no interruption," She was permitted to remain in the room. We asked who she was and learned that she was the mother of George Snyder, the young man who was killed by Forbes and Orr, in Lacon, a few years ago, and we also learned that she blames Burns, Shaw, Muir and several other attorneys because her sons murderers were acquitted. The old lady was so deeply interested that she hallooed out without knowing what she was doing.
Allison Demary was called to testify, and when he came in the room, the Judge had stepped out. Demary walked past the jury, attorney's and reporters, and was about to sit in the Judge's seat, but seeing his mistake, he said, "I guess I have got a little too far", and turned around and walked out of the court room.
The court room was more than half filled, with ladies yesterday. Stephen Cazalet and wife, and Mrs. Cavan, went to Lacon Saturday, and will stay during the trial.
James Robeson, of Secor, is attending the trial. He is not a witness but has taken up his board in Lacon, and intends to stay here during the trial.
Dan Gingerich rheumatism is some better, but he had to use a cane in getting to the witness stand.
Johnston's evidence was clear and to the point and kept the closest attention of the jury and audience all the time he was on the stand. It was the best evidence yet introduced, showing premeditation and deliberation.
The 8th Day
The eight day of the trail of Porter C. Ransom for the murder of H. Wm. Bullock, now being held at Lacon, was of great interest, on account of the closing of the evidence of the prosecution and the opening address or statement of the defense, by Hon. Emory A. Storrs. The testimony of Willis Lucas was taken yesterday and is as follows:
Live in Bloomington; work in C. & A. shop; before that lived at William Richardson's near Secor; have known Ransom for some years; have been acquainted with Bullock several years, heard Ransom talk abut Bullock in October one year ago; it was west of the bank in El Paso; Ransom said to J. J. Cassell, "If that ragged a- Bullock don't let me alone I will put a hole through him."
Have been to Lacon before: was brought here on an indictment for stealing a span of mules and was acquitted of the charge then went to work for Richardson again, never told any one what I knew about case except Mr. Young, known in Lacon as "Jack e' Clubs."
Live in El Paso; am butcher; knew both men; was in El Paso May 2d. 1881, saw Bullock, who was not dead; he was lying in a building owned by Mr. Cazalet; by direction of those present took possession of what was in his pockets; gloves handkerchief, newspaper, small pen knife, etc; I gave them to dr. Cole. Here court adjourned until morning.
A. C. Young
Have lived in Secor more than 20 years; am blacksmith; known Bullock about 20 years; have known Ransom 12 or 15 years; heard Ransom have a talk in September or October, 1880 with Mr. Joseph Cassell, Wm. Lucas and Wm. Billinger; Ransom told Cassell that "if that damned ragged a-Bullock has any friends there they had better tell him to get out of town or I will put a hole through him;" Cassell told him he should not talk that way.
I went to see Cassell on election business; I repeated at the election; voted seven times; I got three or four hundred dollars for swearing at that election, but that was not all that was promised; I have been arrested twice and ran away once to avoid being arrested.
Live in Woodford county, near El Paso; I have lived there 17 years; have farmed all my life; knew both Ransom and Bullock; I remember a conversation between Ransom and J. J. Cassell abut Bullock; I heard Ransom say, "If a certain man don't quit making remarks abut me or talking abut me, I will be damned if I don't shoot him, and his friends had better tell him so if he has any;" Cassell is dead; there were others there; it was in the fall of 1880 and west of the bank.
(Here the attorneys got into an argument abut admission of evidence and Mr. Billinger was dismissed without cross examination.)
Have lived in El Paso 10 years; am barber; knew Bullock or 9 years; he was a pretty good friend to me; knew Ransom 4 or 5 years; knew him as well as I could any other man of fine gentlemanly sots; I have seen him frequently in saloons and other places; saw him in Kessle's saloon before the shooting, sometime in April; Rich, Kessler, Ransom and myself were present; Walter Bullock came in and got a drink of something; Ransom got a cigar and sat down in a chair; Bullock then passed out and passed by Ransom; drew something from his hip pocket; don't know what; Ransom stepped toward Bullock as he was walking out of the door; I saw the handled of a revolver; he put it back in his pocket, sat down and smoked his cigar a minute and then asked us to have something at the L
Bullock and Ransom did not go near each other in the saloon; I have not told a living human being on God's green earth a word that I saw. (Here the attorneys got into a row over some point of the examination. After a close examination, witness swore he had told it at home.) I have been drinking; I had so many this morning that you will have to ask the bartender how many drinks I have had, I can't tell. (A great many questions were put to witness, but they elicited no new facts.)
Jacob S. Richards
I live in El Paso; run stationery engine lived in El Paso 18 years; known Ransom 6 years; was personally aquatinted with him 4 years; was well acquainted with Bullock; he was a lawyer; run stationary engine southeast of Campbell House; Bullock's law office is in a second story of a building; saw Ransom around Bullock's office 2 yrs. ago; about 18 mo. before shooting; it was night time when I first met Ransom; he seemed excited; stopped at several doors; he then went ? street and looked up in the windows of Bullock's office and then west and stood in his stairway and waited; I noticed his manner he was excited; he looked very wild; he looked different from what I had ever seen him before; it was very dark in the doorway of Bullock's office and he stood on the sidewalk right by the door; he came out and went to the next stairway east; that was the last I saw of him.
I heard Ransom talk about Bullock several times before shooting; I was going downtown as usual after supper; it was between 7 and 8 o'clock; I went to the butcher shop. (The cross examination was long and tedious but elicited no new facts. Witness got bothered, but in the main his evidence, was given in without much change on cross examination.
Frank S. Adams
I live in El Paso; have lived there 17 years; am justice of the peace; knew Bullock 15 or 20 years; knew Ransom 12 or 15 years; attended the inquest of Bullock; took the minutes of the meeting at the request of the coroner; know R. G. Hebden; at the inquest took his evidence; he afterwards saw a mistake in his testimony as written before the coroner and told me so, but I told him that it made no difference.
(Here a long discussion followed as to the admissibility or this testimony. Court then adjourned without any decision of the question.
F. S. Adams
Plat was presented and positions pointed out.
Live in El Paso; know both men; have known Ransom 4 years; heard a conversation between Ransom and Robert T. Cassell the next morning after the shooting at the jail ;Ransom said he took the revolver from his hip pocket and put it in his overcoat pocket; Cassell was standing at jail window; I was at corner.
Cassell was at the south side of window on south side of jail; it was 9 or 9:30 o'clock in forenoon; I went away first; they were talking when I came up and when I went away; I spoke to Ransom after Cassell had gone away and I came back and talked with him; I spoke abut this to Levi Smith in August or September and A. M. Cavan coming to Lacon; I was sober, of course. (A long time was taken up in cross-examining the witness. He got badly bothered and left the stand badly worked up).
Lived in El Paso 7 years; knew both parties; knew Ransom 18 or 14 years; I was talking with Ransom Saturday before shooting. I stopped him and ? him to be careful about shooting near my place as he had done as the shots were hitting my windows; he said he would, but that he would not shoot more than two persons before he left El Paso (no cross examination).
C. J. Hitch
I live in El Paso; have lived there 4 years; knew Bullock; have known Ransom 4 years; the morning after the shooting at the calaboose Ransom said it was a terrible thing; he was sorry for it; he would rather be in Bullock's place than where he was. (No cross examination.)
That closed the evidence on the part of the prosecution. The balance of the afternoon was taken up by Mr. Storrs in his opening address on the part of the defense.
The ninth day of the trial of P. C. Ransom for the cold-blooded murder of Hon. H. W. Bullock was an attractive one. The people had become very anxious to hear what kind of evidence the defense proposed to introduce to show that he was not guilty of a premeditated murder. Soon after the opening of the court room it was filled, nearly half of the audience being ladies. At half past nine Mr. Storrs resumed his argument of the case, and like the day before, he attacked each witness sworn by the prosecution and in the most uncharitable manner, denouncing some of the best men of El Paso, calling them perjured scoundrels. He said a vast lobby or mob from El Paso was in attendance thirsting for the blood of Ransom, whom he described as a poor, old, rheumatic gentleman over sixty years of age. For genuine abuse that speech is ahead of anything we ever heard. He did not tell the theory of the defense; therefore there is no way of telling what will be done or how long the case will continue. Mr. Storrs closed his argument at about 10:40 a.m. and the first witness introduced was:
Dr. J. C. Adams
Live in El Paso, Woodford county, Illinois; have lived there 17 years; am a retired physician, 63 years old; know P. C. Ransom, know him 6 years; he had a chair in my office about four years; have been intermittently acquainted with him; knew H. W. Bullock; known him twenty years; was very well acquainted with him; he was not a bosom companion; knew the relations between Ransom and Bullock. (Question - "What were they?" Objected by O'Brien and argued at some length by him.) I knew they were not on friendly terms; it was at the time there was a certain suit commenced against Ransom, that they became unfriendly; on the Saturday before the election for mayor of our city, the election was on the 4th day of April, I met Bullock on the side walk and he asked me if I was going to vote for Ransom; I did not tell him; he then began talking about Ransom; telling what he was going to do to him; he said he would send him to the penitentiary; he had papers for it, and denounced him with oaths. (Giving the exact language.) I advised him to quit wrangling with Ransom as trouble would come of it, and some one would get hurt; He said he (Bullock) was "going to run that thing to the bitter end;" this was in 1881, about a month before the homicide the same spring; my office is on Front street; Ransom sometimes came one route from his home to the office, sometimes the other; Mr. Ransom said he saw Bullock on the sidewalk and did not care to have an altercation with him; (Objection by O'Brien, over-ruled) I had noticed him for sometime coming down the out-of-the-way road; I wondered at it, as the road was sometimes muddy, and I asked him why he did it; he gave the reason I have stated; I saw Bullock on the sidewalk myself; saw Ransom go that way many times when I did not notice Mr. Bullock, but saw Bullock there quite frequently; never saw Ransom come the other way when I did pay attention but Bullock was on the street; (Plat was here presented and positions pointed out.) In going around by the foundry he would have to cross two railroad tracks; Ransom has had the rheumatism, that is he walked lame; I never examined his case; saw him walk; for some time in the winter he did not come to the office on account of it; sometimes not for a week; sometimes he could not sit down at all; he would sit a little while and then get up and say he could not stand it any longer he would have to go home; he said he could stand a great deal easier than he could sit; Bullock was a man of good muscle; weighed 175 or 180 pounds; was 5 feet 8 or 10 inches in height; he was a man of more than ordinary physical power; Ransom weighted then 180 or 200 pounds; he was larger than he is now; don't think Ransom would have been Bullock's equal; he had few stouter men in El Paso than Bullock. (here court adjourned until half past one).
Dr. Adams again took the stand - Cross Examination
I was practicing medicine and loaning money; Ransom was loaning money while in my office; I went on business for J. J. Cassell, Ransom's attorney, to Cincinnati to get Ransom's wife to come back to him. (Objected to - objection submitted.) The railroad goes within a block of Ransom's house; that would be the nearest but not the best way to the Campbell House. I had conversation with Bullock, Saturday before election. (Me. O'Brien wanted witness to explain how Bullock could claim that Ransom said he had sole out the election, before it took place, and asked if it wasn't a fact that Bullock never said anything of the kind to him. Storrs objected, and after a little dance house matinee between attorneys and court, witness endeavored to explain but on account of interruptions and objections the witness was not very clear in his explanation.) I never saw a pistol on Ransom; think he carried one. (Here the attorneys had another sideshow over that answer. The Court, as usual, too a hand, always claiming he wanted to be fair. O'Brien said "Really, was it the rheumatism or the gout that Ransom had. Where was he lame: Witness answered that it was in his lower extremities. Mr. O'Brien asked if that wasn't where the gout affected a man. Answer - It is.
I live in El Paso; have lived there four years; have lived in Woodford county 27 years; am farmer. Knew Ransom four years; knew Bullock six years, I was in front of Dunn's drug store a few days before the spring election in 1881. Ransom come out from door and told me (Here O'Brien objected to the answer. He objected because he claimed that it was not proper evidence. Ransom might have gone around telling people that he was afraid of Bullock, then kill him and bring in this manufactured evidence to show that he had been persecuted. It was a statement made by Ransom for his own benefit, in the absence of Bullock. Storrs replied and the Curt held that the evidence was admissible. Judge runs made some suggestions and comments, which O'Brien though was unnecessary. Sometimes the attorney's get to shooting off at each other, the proceedings are more like that of a minstrel show and Judge Burns very ably takes the place of the middle man.) Ransom told me that he had come from Gingerich saloon on account of Bullock being in there. Ransom said he come out of Gingerich back door and in at the back door of Dunn's drug store. We talked a little while and we walked to the saloon and he pointed out Bullock standing at the bar. It was after dark about 7 o'clock.
I am a farmer, married; am 35 years old, I never drink; I frequent saloons when I feel like it (All during the cross examination there were objections, interruptions, and very uncommonly funny speeches.)
Walter S. Gibson
I live in El Paso have lived there 7 years, except about one year of this time; am attorney at law; 31 years old; know Bullock; during afternoon of May 2d Ransom came into my office on business; Shaw was there; he made appointment to meet Shaw at Campbell House after supper.
No cross examination.
Am a blacksmith; lived in El Paso five years. (Plat presented and witness pointed out his shops and the late residence of Mr. Ransom.) Mr. Brown said after Mr. Ransom passed us going down the back way past the shop, "Look and see who is on the other street;" I looked and saw Mr. Bullock on West Front street; I never saw Mr. Ransom go down on Front street after that when Mr. Bullock was on the street; the last time I saw him go the back street was about a week before the shooting.
Age 27; am not married; work for Brown & Stahl; known Ransom four or five years; was at his house twice on business, never on pleasure; he would come into the shops on business. (Plat presented to him.) I never saw the map before; I don't know how I came to be called as a witness as I told no one what I know except Brown.
The tenth day of the trail of Ransom, the murderer of Hon. Henry W. Bullock, was of very little interest, but although it was raining and the streets were muddy the court house was crowded early in the morning. About the usual number of ladies were in attendance. Wednesday evening David Tegard was called and testified as follows:
Aged 52, farmer, lived in Woodford county 5 years, farmer all my life, walked along Front street, met Ransom awhile before the election, started for the post office and walked one block together, then I turned south until I met him again, asked Ransom why he walked around through the mud instead of taking the direct route, he said it was to avoid meeting and getting into an altercation with Bullock, on election day had Ransom's tickets and met Bullock, asked him to for Ransom, Bullock said he wouldn't vote for the perjured son of a b-h. I said you will get hurt by Ransom if you make such speeches, he said he could lead him all over the town if Ransom had a cocked revolver in each hand, he said he was going to make speeches about him around town, had a conversation with Bowman in a saloon abut testifying in this case, Bowman and I were talking about the trial, said couldn't swear to what he was expected to tell, it appeared to him he had heard Ransom make the statement but he was not certain.
Court adjourned until morning
Thursday Morning - Court opened at the usual hour. David Tegard again took the stand and was cross examined by Mr. O'Brien
Don't know how I came to be subpoenaed, never saw Mr. Shaw but once before, that was in Metamora, did not speak to him, I have been in Shaw's office two or three times since coming here. I went to see when I could get home. Mr. Johnston asked me to peddle Ransom tickets the day of the spring election, I was paid for it by Com Smith, was paid three dollars, I don't know why I asked Bullock to vote for Ransom, I knew they were not friendly.
I live in El Paso, have lived there six years, am wagon and carriage maker, knew Ransom abut 4 years, knew Bullock 4 or 5 years, my shop is on Sycamore street, south of the Wabash railroad, Mr. Tegard works for me or rather for Brown & Stahl, the way Ransom went down town was past our shop, across the railroad and down Front street, there is another way east from front of our shop, there is no sidewalk though, Ransom usually went right past our shop, across the railroad and down Front street, the first time I saw him go where there is no sidewalk was in the winter when it was muddy, when he went this way I saw Bullock and some others standing on Front street, this occurred three times that I noticed, I saw him pass several times when I did not look to see whether Bullock was there or not this caused remarks in the shop, when remarks were made Wm Tegard was there.
Have known Ransom 5 or 6 years, have done business for him, I was indebted to him but am not now, I was twice to see him in the Peoria county jail, it was pretty soon after he was sent there, I went to see him as a matter of curiosity.
I live in El Paso; have lived there 6 years, am blacksmith, have been for 10 years, have been in partnership with Adam Brown for 2 years, shop is on south side of Wabash Railway, on Sycamore street, the usual route for Ransom's house was past our shop north to Front street then east on Front street, knew Ransom 3 years, knew Bullock abut the same length of time, one morning I was working in my shop and saw Ransom near the shop rolling up his pants, I opened the door thinking he was coming in, but he went to the railroad and went east, the morning of the spring election I met Bullock, I was going to the post office, he hailed me in front of Holcomb's store, and asked me to vote ticket he had, I said I can't do it, that is not my ticket, he said "Bert, can you vote that dirty, thieving son of a b-h, that liar and wife beater?" if you will come to my office I will show you the papers for what I say." I told him I did not care to see them.
I have shod Ransom's horses and have repaired a stove and pump for him. I pay my own expenses at this trial, I was not present on the 2d day of May, I have been to Peoria twice to see Ransom, it was not on business, it was out of curiosity, Mr. Brown was with me.
I live in Chicago, have lived there one year and 2 months, lived in El Paso before that 19 years, husband's name is Charles Bush; he was in the flour and feed business in El Paso, our place was on the east side of the railroad, knew Bullock 8 years certain, heard him talk three years ago of Ransom at the time some things were published in Pontiac papers, Bullock passed our store and talked about Ransom, we told him not to say those things about him, as it would do him no good, he couldn't keep clean hands and do it, he said "Charlie, I will never give it up; I am an old Kentuckian and I will see him in the dust."
I have five boys, my husband is a carpenter, I keep house for my husband and children, was born in Denmark, we knew Ransom as long as he lived in El Paso, just by his passing by, my boy worked for Ransom three years ago, he worked for him 11 months, we once asked him for loan of some money and he refused, my husband told me just after Christmas that I would be a witness as Mr. Page had been to our house to see me, I did not see him, was away from home, I was to see him once in jail, I spoke to him in the hall, the last two years we were in El Paso we kept a flour and feed store, before that a saloon.
R. C. Duff
I have lived in El Paso 4 years, am dray man, have been for thirteen months, knew Ransom 4 years. The Sunday night before the city election in 1881, at 8:30 there was a knock at my door, I opened the door and Bullock was there, he said he though Geo. Tawser lived there, I told him where Tawser lived, he said 'who are you going to vote for," I said Ransom, he said "don't you know he is the biggest old son of a b-h in this city, and I have the affidavits to prove it.
Lived at Pontiac before moving to El Paso, was not in business there, I did not peddle tickets for Ransom on election.
I have lived in El Paso for 4 years, in April, I have lived in Woodford county 16 or 17 years, my business has been farming, loaning money and real estate, knew both men, Ransom twelve years, Bullock ever since I have been in the county, heard Bullock in Gingerich saloon abut the time of spring election in 1881, I was passing along and hearing Bullock speaking, I went to the door, heard Bullock say, "I will send the damned perjured villain to the penitentiary," at same time I also saw Ransom standing back of Gingerich ice box and he seemed to me to be cringing, I have said this time and time again, he moved slightly toward Mr. Gingerich away from Bullock, he seemed a coward, his appearance seemed to be that of a man who would not recent what was said or that he would attack Bullock. I don't frequent saloons, I overhead Bullock's remark is what made me stop.
Have known Ransom 12 years, he joined farms when first came there, farms in Secor, the door of the saloon was open, Bullock was inside three feet, I was within hearing distance, don't know how the conversation came up, he was standing with his back towards Ransom, his manner was very earnest and that of a man who believed what he said to be true, Bullock and Ransom were abut 8 or 10 feet apart, there were others in the room, Ransom moved there as if the language had made an impression on him or that he was not comfortable under such language.
Live in El Paso, lived there 15 or 16 years, 65 years old, have been coal dealer for 6 or 7 years, knew Ransom 5 or 6 years, knew Bullock 12 or 14 years, a week before the election last spring in front of Bullock's office he asked me if I was going to vote for Ransom, I told him I was, he said Ransom was a thief, a liar, a perjured villain and he would have him in the penitentiary before a year, I said "You are just taking," he said, "If it ain't so he has a chance to go for me, don't he?" I laughed it off and went away, no one else was there.
He only said he was going to have him in the penitentiary
Live in El Paso, have lived there 16 years, am in dry goods business, have been in store abut 6 years, knew Ransom, knew Bullock 6 or 8 years, the evening before he was shot I heard him talking abut Ransom in front of Gingerich saloon, Gingerich, Con Smith and I were there, Bullock asked, "Have you heard what Ransom said abut me," I said no, he told us, Gingerich said he did not believe it. Bullock said he had good authority, heard him call Ransom a damned perjured scoundrel and then he went into saloon, I have heard him call him names several times before at different times for a year or two.
I heard him the night of the election in Gingerich saloon say something, it was after the polls were closed and the votes were counted, he made very ungentlemanly remarks, there are ladies here and I don't care to give them (Court ordered him to give them). He called Ransom a liar, scoundrel, son of a b-h, perjurer, etc. I don't know why I was called here, don't know how they knew what I could tell abut his, I haven't been to the jail her nor Mr. Shaw's office.
Court adjourned for dinner.
Afternoon - Stewart Hazelett
Live in El Paso, lived there a year, am a locomotive engineer on the I. O. R. R., knew Ransom slightly abut 1 year, knew Bullock abut as long, at the dining room table between Thanksgiving and New years in 1881 before the shooting I heard Bullock talk abut Ransom, said he was a gray-headed son of a b-h and he would send him to the penitentiary the remainder of his life, a few days before election Bullock asked me how I would vote. I said if I voted at all I would vote for Ransom, he said, "I will put the perjured son of a b-h where you can never vote for him."
Was subpoenaed to be here the 16th, I visited him at the Peoria county jail to buy some furniture of him, bout it, I as born in Ireland, have been in the United States 16 years.
I live in El Paso; am bricklayer, have tended bar for Kessler & Shur, for Shur at Secor and Kessler & Shur at El Paso, they were in partnership, I suppose, not certain, know Bullock and Ransom, never saw Ransom pull a revolver and follow Bullock to the door of the saloon, I was tending bar from middle of January to last of March in 1881, have heard Bullock call Ransom an old G-d d-d son of a b-b, damned coward, thief, wife beater, etc., while Ransom was in saloon, you could hear him anywhere in the room, I have told Bullock that if I was him I would let up on him. I have seen Ransom get up and leave the room when Bullock would come in and stay awhile, have seen him leave more than once, at least half a dozen times, have seen him leave a game of cards and go out when Bullock came in. I was in the city jail the second night after the shooting in company with Shur, did not hear Ransom tell Shur that he shot Bullock before he got near him. The Sheriff was there, Shur came after me, Shur, Capt. Campbell, W. G. Johnston and W. G. Ransom were at the jail that night. I left between nine and ten o'clock, left Shur there, don't know what might have been said in my absence, I visited Ransom twice in the Peoria jail last summer while I was working in Peoria, have borrowed money of Ransom, never more than a dollar, that was a year or two ago, really believe I do owe him a dollar now.
Robert W. Patterson
Live in Palestine township, Woodford county, eight miles from El Paso, was in Mr. Gibson's office May 2d, talked to Mr. Shaw, Ransom made an appointment to meet Shaw at Campbell House after supper. (No cross examination)
S. T. Curtiss
Lived in El Paso 17 years, am a tailor, knew both men, knew Ransom 5 or 6 years, talked with Bullock abut Ransom, Bullock said he was a perjured villain, liar, wife-beater, G- damned son of a b-h and a cowardly dog, used to meet him often and that was his most frequent conversation, told Bullock that if he did not let up on him he would get shot, he said "The cowardly dog would not shoot anybody," never spoke to Ransom abut what he said, Bullock was always excited when he talked about him, was standing near Bullock one day when saw Ransom coming and when he saw Bullock he turned and went the other way, I noticed it, talked to him several times abut talking abut Ransom and said to him, 'Walter, you are both good friends of mine and wish you would not talk so much abut Ransom." On Election day told Bullock it was becoming sickish and people were getting tired of it, he met me on the street and said "The cowardly dog is preparing to leave town, but I will follow him to the end of the earth but what I'll get even with him."
Have kept a saloon in El Paso, 8 or 10 years ago, for 8 or 9 months, Bullock took me to the office several times to show the papers to me but when we got up there we got to talking and I never saw them, I have made clothes for Ransom, have borrowed money form him but do not owe him now, went to Peoria to see him in the jail two or three times.
T. H. Brenn
Live in El Paso lived there since 66, am butcher, knew Bullock and Ransom, last March talked with Bullock about Ransom, we were going to elect Squire Ransom for mayor again, he said "I'll see him in h-l before you see him mayor of El Paso," he frequently called him a thief and a perjurer, it was very frequently during the year before the election, nearer two years, that I heard Bullock say this, have heard him say he would drive him out the county or send him to the penitentiary, Bullock called him scoundrel, a thief, a perjurer, a boy beater, don't think he used any oaths in my presence, have seen Ransom go out of Kessler's saloon when Bullock came in, saw no other reason for his going out and thought that must be the reason under the circumstances, saw this several times, talked to Bullock about talking so about Ransom, I said "let up on Ransom, for if he is the man you say he is he may shoot you." " Never, her is too much of a coward" answered Bullock.
Have been 17 years here, been back this time 8 weeks, was in Chicago 7 mo., am married, have wife and children, am not living with them.
Lived in El Paso 4 years, boot and shoe maker, knew both men, on Monday evening, the day of the election, met Bullock I said, "what is your opinion of Ransom being elected," he put his hand on my shoulder then on his breast, and said, "I have papers in my pocket that will send him to the penitentiary, or will in one years, and don't you forget it. No liar, no thief, no perjurer can be elected.: I said "let him alone," tired to get him to let Ransom alone, "you may get yourself into trouble," he replied that he would do what he said he would.
Cross examination brought out nothing new.
W. G. Johnson
Have lived in El Paso 16 years, know both men, have heard Bullock talk abut Ransom, last March he said Ransom was a perjured villain, wife-beater and thief, heard him say this time and again during the last two years, that he would never let Ransom alone till he had him in the State's prison, or he would follow him to h-l. Knew Ransom avoided him, said he would avoid his company, and have seen him cross the street when Bullock was on the street he was then going on and and saw Mr. Bullock there.
The wind was blowing very hard and the stove smoked so badly that court adjourned at 4 o'clock, before witness was cross-examined.
Friday - Court opened Friday morning at the usual hour. The first witness to take the stand was W. G. Johnson, who gave his direct testimony the night before.
W. G. Johnson
Explained the condition of the Cazalet building where Mr. Bullock fell when shot.
Bullock never told me that Ransom had run away from his wife in the east and that he took all her property with him: he said he had a stack of affidavits to prove all he said abut him (The Court objected to the ?? the Council got into altercation) I borrowed money of Ransom; do not owe him anything. I paid him last March; I was at Peoria to see Ransom 6 or 7 times; part of the time on business and part on pleasure; I was attending to some things for him; I am attending to my own business now; I have been to the jail in Lacon once in August and twice since that; I have taken a deep interest in the defense.
B. F. Ferrell
Lived in El Paso 15 years, knew Ransom and Bullock, remember the day of the election last spring, had a conversation with Bullock, he said "Frank, I understand you are going to vote for that G-d-d gray headed son of a b-h, Ransom," I said "I don't think that way," he said "I will send him to the penitentiary or to hell before I get through with him." I was there when he was talking to Thos. Bullock, it was two years ago last fall, he is an old man, Bullock was in front of Mohr's store, Ransom was coming down and old Mr. Bullock turned and said "hello, Ransom," Ransom looked around and went on. Walter Bullock says "never mind the damned old thief, he is not worth the notice of any man."
Thos. Bullock was speaking pleasantly I thought, I couldn't say why Ransom did not stop, Ransom could see both Bullocks, Ransom had said or done nothing.
Am a merchant, am married, 29 years old, James Ferrel is my brother, I was selling tickets as you call it, for Ransom, did not offer Bullock a ticket, he met me and addressed me as I have told you. (Same pleasantries indulged in between counsel.) Bullock was working against Ransom.
John M. Hamilton
Lived in Bloomington 13 years, knew Bullock, was at a trial in Weston, McLean county. (As the testimony was in regard to the character of Bullock in 1878 it was objected to and the witness was withdrawn.)
Charles H. Strother
Have lived in El Paso 16 years, am a barber, one week before the shooting Bullock was having his hair cut, I told him he had better not talk so much abut Ransom or there would be trouble, he might shoot you or you might shoot him, he said "The G-d d-d son of a b-h would not shoot anybody." (The witness went on to state language that was much the same as some of the others and not fit for a dog to use.)
Bullock and I were friends and I didn't want to see him hurt, I told him I would not stand such talk and he would not either, O'Brien and I are intimate friends, I knew him years ago, I had the exquisite pleasure of paying my own expenses, I went to the Peoria jail to see Ransom, combining business with pleasure, Ransom was the pleasure others the business visited him in the Lacon jail, once Ransom loaned me money, that's what made me intimate with him, I paid him back though, I paid him back two or three days after I agreed to, I always take the days of grace you know, he gave me a hat once, I suppose that he thought Randall and I were the two best looking men in town, Randall had one and he wanted me to have one like it. (He was asked why the hat was given him, this was objected to and overruled).
S. A. Kessler
Live in Chicago, before that in El Paso, the last time I lived there three years, I went in the saloon business, I was running the business in this way, Shur bought out a saloon, U run it my own way but Shur owned fixtures, I bought him out in 1881 and run it myself. Knew Ransom, knew Bullock since the war, I heard him talk about Ransom in my pace of business, called him son of a b-h, wife beating son of a b-h, G-d d-d son of a b-h and every other kind he could lay his tongue to, the first time I heard him was in the spring of 1880 and quite often since that, I heard him in the ? at Holcomb's and Smith;s saloon ? ? each time pretty much the same language every time, I heard him in the evening of the shooting going on and using this language, I was going to supper and when I came back the shooting had occurred, the day of the shooting Ransom, Johnston and I were playing cards, Bullock came in and Ransom said "Boys, I will pay for this,: did so and went out, seen him go out several times in that way, he went out the front door but never saw him go out the back door. Bullock would weigh from 180 to 190 pounds, I saw him weighted once in Brenn's shop, weighted 192 pounds, he was built as a good square man, heavy boned and powerful muscled, have saw him scuffle with Brenn, and at Secor, he could out-scuffle anyone I ever saw him scuffle with, Ransom was rather a feeble man, one reason was because of the rheumatism, he had this a year ago last winter, he often had to stand up, he did so in playing cards.
(? where he lived, what he was doing, etc. Main point sought after was? whether the saloon belonged to Shur & Kessler or Kessler.) At first Shur owned it, I ran it, then I bought Shur out, borrowed money of Ransom, paid it back, I have been in the jail twice to see Ransom, first Monday after I came here and I don't remember the other date, I was in Peoria in 1881 to see him, (Witness was examined as to what he said to Wm. Whiffin. He bitterly denied having told what was stated. O'Brien then asked witness if he had ever been arrested for bastardy. The question was objected to and objection sustained.)
Robt. T. Cassell
Have lived in El Paso 6 years, am an attorney, knew both men, Ransom for 6 or 7 years, Bullock for 45 years, there was an appointment made to take place in Gibson's office after supper between Shaw and Ransom, I was about 200 feet from the shooting, I saw the direction from which the shot came, I looked up and saw Ransom and Bullock, Ransom's back was turned to me and Bullock had his hands on him, Ransom was backing, went some 40 to 50 feet, Ransom came against the building with his back, the other shots were fired immediately (indicated time between shots,) they were not off the sidewalk, Ransom's hat fell off about the time of the second shot and he was against the building.
I am sure Bullock had his hands on Ransom's shoulders, did not see Bullock attempt to strike him, it was abut the time of the last shot, I saw Ransom right away after the last shot was fired. (He was dismissed then recalled and asked in regard to conversation with F. S. Adams in El Paso, also in Lacon, also with a number of other men in regard to the shooting.) Did not state to these men that Bullock's hands were held up and not on Ransom, have forgotten the matter if I told it. (Here a disagreement between counsel and not very complimentary remarks made in regard to some who were acting as spies outside. He was then dismissed.)
George L. Gibson
Lived in El Paso since 1858, was one of the proprietors of the town, (stated his business) knew both men, Bullock since he was a boy, 1877 was the first period of ill will between them, the result of a democratic convention when Whittaker was last elected treasurer, Whittaker and Davidson were candidates before the convention for county treasurer, Bullock denounced Ransom to me then and from that time until the shooting a score of times as a d-d villain and a wife beater, I heard Bullock in Dan Gingerich talk about Ransom when he was in the back part of the room and Bullock in the front part of the room, called him a perjured villain and said he would drive him out of the State, told Bullock that Ransom was there and could hear him, he said he did not care a d-n, he would as soon tell him to his face, was a mutual friend of both parties, Ransom requested me to see Bullock and tell him that so far as his being an attorney in that case was all right but the public street abuse he objected to, he would forgive the past and shake hands, saw Bullock and told, he said "By G-d, I will never let up as long as I live. I will see him in the penitentiary or send him to hell," warned him; he said he could take him by the ear and lead him and he would not resent, could not molify him, failed entirely, told Ransom could do nothing, he had the rheumatism. (Adjourned)
Afternoon - Mr. Gibson again took the stand - Cross Examined
Am only acting as an agent now in insurance business, could locate one conversation in Gingerich saloon in March and one in Shur's store more than a year before that, a number were there, he said he had the papers for it in his pocket. (Described the room in Gingerich saloon and the petition of the occupants of the room; objected to giving the exact language but was obliged to do so) Said he "was a d-d wh-master," Bullock said that at the convention, two years before they had agreed to sustain a certain man, at the next convention they had broken their contract, my relations with Ransom were pleasant not very intimate, he was our mayor two years, the street abuse was what he objected to. (Repeated what he had testified to in the direct examination) "There were quite a number of the, Ransom and Randall and others - a majority."
L. S. Calkins
Lived in El Paso 16 years, lived at Magnolia 9 years, carpenter since 16 years of age, known Ransom ever since he came to El Paso, knew Bullock 10 or 12 years, saw the shooting, one was after the other, one was backing, he backed doff the sidewalk and got on again and then saw the smoke, then heard two other shots, could not see them after that, something was in the way of seeing, heard three shots, saw only the first, three shots were all fired within 10 seconds, (indicating time between shots) Could not see any but the first shot, it was fired after the man got on the sidewalk, could not see who the men were, they did not circle around but first went to the southeast and then to the northeast when the first shot was fired, got over half of the sidewalk, did not see any hat fall off.
Am carpenter, have a shop in El Paso, have not taken an active part in this case, went twice to Peoria to see Ransom, in the jail in the summer, went to see him as an old friend, paid my own expenses, the second time I went he wanted to know what I knew about the case, met Page and Shaw there by appointment, Ransom paid my expenses there and back, he gave me $5, have two small magnifying glasses belonging to Ransom, was in front of S. T. Rogers when the first shot was fired; east, it was 175 yards as nearly as I could step it, just happened to be standing there, was alone, (A breezy time was had by the attorneys in deciding whether the first shot was fired before or after they backed on the walk. Again the witness swore it was after the getting on the walk) Was in the jail last Tuesday, (The cross examination was long and tedious, but not important)
Porter C. Ransom
I am the defendant in this case, lived in El Paso 5 years, know H. W. Bullock 13 or 15 years; On May 2d, 1881, I had business engagement with t. M. Shaw; I made it in the office occupied by J. J. Cassell and myself; there were several present; we made the engagement to meet at the Campbell House after supper; I started from my residence to keep that engagement, started after 6 o'clock, went two blocks east, then a short block north, saw Bullock ahead of me, first saw him when I had gone two-thirds of the way from blacksmith shop to railroad, he was between Geiger's and Holcomb's store, those men were near him, I passed along in a direction to pass the, I walked on the outside of the walk, did not look toward the, paid no attention to them till I heard Bullock say, k"There goes the damned old thief that said I sold out the election for fifteen dollars," I was abreast of the, I passed on abut tow steps and then turned and went back and said, "Bullock, take that back." He said, "I will not do it, you G-d d-d old thief.: I repeated, "Take it back.: He refused and went right towards me with a rush; I put my hand in my pocket, he boor me back 40 or 50 feet. I drew my hand out in the hurry and left the pistol in my pocket. I found I was going to go off the sidewalk, and I gave a sudden turn, and it threw him off the walk. He fell on one knee and one hand on the hitching post; I retreated backward; he came after me again; when I saw him come after me again I put my hand in my pocket and took the pistol and shot; I was thrown back against the building and held by the throat, and with the other hand he reached, as I thought, for something; I said, "Don't hurt me and I will not shoot again.: He clutched my throat, grated his teeth, and clinched me harder. I was greatly alarmed and I fired the other two shots. the first of these took him in the body, the other in the head. I thought he would kill me if I did not do something, so I shot the last times. I was not aware at that time that he was unarmed; have never sought any collisions with him; have avoided it; I have heard him use language concerning me that reflected upon me; was told by Mr. Gibson that "d-d old thief," and other names are what he called me. I have taken every measure possible to avoid a collision; I have gone off the sidewalk into stores, come down on the railroad and through the lumber yard to avoid him, made it a point last winter whenever he came in where I was, of going out, generally by the front door, but once out of the back door. I have sent messages to him to let it drop, one by Geo. L. Gibson, I desired a reconciliation, but he was never ready to effect one. I never drew a revolver as mentioned by Demary in the saloon. I never in the presence of Lucas or c. Young and Billinger, said I would shoot Bullock, Never stated that I shifted my pistol from hip to overcoat pocket that evening; never carried it in my hip pocket; that might I had it in my overcoat pocket; when I had no overcoat on I had it in this pant's pocket; (indicating right pocket of pants). Never sent a ? by Shaw, or told him I shot Bullock before he got near me. Johnston called at my home. I was on the verandah; he stopped at my gate and said he had been wanting to see me on business; he asked if I would talk on business; I told him to tell his business; he wanted to borrow money; I said if he didn't raise money immediately he would lose his house and must close his store; I had conversation with him in El Paso jail; did not tell him abut shifting the pistol, or that the first shot was fatal, never said that Bullock fell into my arms, he did not.
Am 60 years old next spring, born in New York lived in Illinois since 1856, bought a farm in Greene township, Woodford county, 6 miles from El Paso, moved to El Paso in 1875, have lived there until May 2d, 1881, got acquainted with Bullock farm abut 12 or 14 years ago, Bullock was engaged in the suit against me. Heard hard things that he said abut me called me a thief, perjurer, wife beater and many other things, he called me those names often. (Here O'Brien asked why legal proceedings ere not commenced against Bullock for saying those things. Objected to and objection sustained.) I always avoided Bullock. I suffered from rheumatism, at times could not sit down, the doctors call it sciatic rheumatism, as it affected the sciatic nerve (O'Brien asked him how sciatic affected the sitting down part of his anatomy. Witness asked O'Brien if he ever had it. O'Brien said "are you sure it is rheumatism?" The doctor said I had the gout in one finger.) Was suffering on May 2 with Rheumatism, not ? now. Often got into the street of west down railroad track to avoid Bullock, my house is southwest of the Campbell house, part of a block south of the Wabash railway, had to cross the railroad if going to town. Immediately before the ?? the railroad crossing when I saw Bullock, didn't go down the railroad track, because the path was not good on account of ?, was near the railroad when I first saw Bullock over on Front street, he was the width of two lots from the corner, had no reason for not going down the railroad except on account of the ashes, if I had seen him when I got to Brown & Stall's I would have gone down the road east. (O'Brien asked witness why instead of turning east at corner of Front street he didn't continue north and come around by Elm street. Question objected to and in the confusion no definite answer was given). Did not tell Shur had made up my mind not to be run over any longer, saw W. A. Johnston at jail, he talked to me, did not tell him that I shifted revolver from hip to overcoat pocket, am acquainted with R. T. Cassell, had no conversation May 2d with Cassell at jail, did have conversation with him on Front street, Shaw was present, had a talk with him at city jail next morning, did not tell him that I started down the railroad and saw Bullock, changed pistol from hip to overcoat pocket and went back past where he was on Front street, did not change pistol after seeing Bullock. When close to him he was talking with Geiger and Holcomb, Holcomb was sitting on wheelbarrow and Bullock was standing face to west and south, when he made remark had not got abreast of him by two or three steps, then went three or four steps, didn't stop until past him two or three steps, turned and walked towards center of street towards Bullock, stopped and said "Bullock, retract that," Bullock said "I will not do it, you d-d thief" (O'Brien says "then you commanded him to take that back?" Here the attorney's go into an argument over the question and the Court sustained the objections.) Didn't say "Got to take it back," my hands were outside of pockets, knew Bullock was bitterly disposed towards me and knew he was a strong man. (O'Brien asked witness "after you commanded Bullock to take that back, did you intend to enforce that demand. Objected to and objection sustained). If he hadn't rushed upon me I should have turned and walked down the street after he had refused. (O'Brien asked "after asking him the first time to ? why didn't you go away?" Answer, "I though he would take it back if I asked him again"). He didn't back me off the sidewalk, after we had backed 40 or 50 feet I gave a quick turn and he went of the walk. He again came at me and I then shot first time, we struggled 40 or 50 feet before first shot, first shot didn't take effect. He took hold of my throat and backed me up against building at time of second shot, second shot took effect in breast. Shot because I was afraid he would hurt me; saw him feeling inside his coat pocket as I thought for a knife. Some years ago saw him carry a dirk in inside of his coat. don't know Jacob Strayer by name (Didn't you tell W. A. Johnston at the city jail in presence of Jacob Strayer, that the first shot was fatal and you meant it to kill Bullock: Answered indignantly "I did not" I believe I know S. S. Newton, he is a big fat man, I believe (Didn't you say to Newton at the city jail next morning "I am sorry and don't know why I did it?")
Balance of cross-examination will be given in the morning.
The court opened on argument concerning rebutting evidence. The last objection was argued from 4:35 to 5 o'clock p.m., when court adjourned.
In the argument Hon. Emory A. Storrs said: "They have their swarm of witnesses corralled here for weeks to go all over the case again, keeping Johnston running to and fro from the counsel and acting as messenger in the presence of the Court and the jury."
Saturday Morning, February 4th, 1882
The prisoner, Mr. Ransom, then took the stand for continued cross-examination. (The three last questions re-read and referred to the court for a ruling as they were objected to; "That he was sorry for what he had done and did not know why he had done it.") I did not, was back against the building when the third shot was fired, he had his hand on my throat and was reaching for something as I thought, said nothing whatever about putting a hole through Bullock. (As he was confronted by the witnesses one by one for the prosecution he denied them in full or in part with great clearness. His manner of testifying is taking effect.) Bullock's name was not mentioned between W. A. Johnston and myself in the conversation at my house on that Sunday (Ransom was asked in regard to what he had said to Con Smith. Objected to and argued at some length.)
This ended the examination for the defense - 10 o'clock a.m.
Yesterday we stated that a large number of our citizens were called to Lacon to pay their compliments to the murderer of H. W. Bullock, or rather to testify as to his reputation for truth and veracity. We don't deem it necessary to say anything to show the character of those witnesses. They are representatives of all classes of business in El Paso and are men whose names are always found in the list of El Paso's best men. It had become generally understood that evidence to impeach Ransom would be introduced as soon as the defense closed. The defense had been telling that it would be hard to get good men to testify that they would not believe him under oath, and the people were anxious not only to hear the evidence; but wanted to see what kind of men would be called upon to give in that evidence. After the evidence of several of the witnesses had been given there seemed to be a great change in the opinions of the people. They had seen Ransom, a finely appearing, aristocratic gentleman. He had been making himself very agreeable to the folks of Lacon. He had been fishing for popularity and sympathy, using fine presents for bait. They had learned to look upon him as a persecuted and badly used man and thought all stories derogatory to his good name, were false.
This evidence opened their eyes, they then learned that "appearances deceive," and this one maxim is a standing rule - men are not what they seem. While the witnesses were testifying Ransom kept getting more and more angry, which he could not conceal. The following is a form of the questions asked of each witness:
Do you know Porter C. Ransom?
Do you know his general reputation for truth and veracity in the neighborhood where he lived prior to arrest?
Is it good or bad?
From you knowledge of that reputation would you believe him under oath where he is greatly interested?
Dr. J. Q. Adams
Am a little older than I was when I testified before. (Was there blood on the sidewalk in front of Geiger's saloon?" Objected to and argued by O'Brien and Storrs. This was new testimony and not a rebuttal and the court ruled it out. Mr Cavan got up and stated that Mr. Shaw had falsified his (Cavan's) position and he stigmatized the statements as false. Getting warm.) Mr. Ransom's reputation has not been good, would not believe him under oath.
His reputation has not been good since that trial for divorce, before that time never heard anything against him, personally would believe him under oath, my judgment has not been seriously affected by the charges against him.
Know L. S. Calkins, did see him in front of Dunn's drug store with Mr. Dunn. Con Smith and I were standing about 20 feet away from Calkins, don't know as he saw the first shot, Ransom's reputation was bad, wouldn't take his word under oath where he was interested, it has been bad ever since the election when Seymour was a candidate in 1868, lived south of Secor.
Cross examination brought out no new facts.
Live in El Paso, keep a saloon, know Ransom, has been in my saloon, called to see Ransom at jail, the next morning after the shooting. (Witness was not allowed to go further for this would be new material and could not be introduced. Discussed at some length by the court and by the objector, Storrs. Went on with something else). Have known Ransom since he has been in El Paso, am intimate with him, have sold him cigars, his reputation was not very good, would not like to believe him on oath where his own interests are concerned.
Been in saloon 7 or 8 years, that reputation has been made by the quarrel.
S. T. Rogers
Live in El Paso, loaning money now, have been a druggist all my life, was mayor two or three years ago, am acquainted with his ?, his reputation is bad, would not take his word on oath where interested, am not particularly friendly with him, we have not been friendly since this last spring's election.
No new facts brought out on cross examination.
A. S. M'Kinney
Lived in El Paso 14 years, lumber dealer, knew Ransom ever since he has been in El Paso, knew his associates, know his reputation, it is bad, would not believe him under oath.
On cross examination denied having a quarrel with Ransom.
W. T. Adams
Lived in El Paso 12 years, was a pastor Presbyterian church, an 71 years old and retired, 37 years a minister, known Ransom in El Paso ever since he came there, not very intimate, well acquainted in El Paso, know his reputation, it is bad, would not take his word on oath.
Was always glad to see him at church and invited him to a seat in my pew. (Storrs asked witness why he invited Ransom in his pew. Witness - "I always asked strangers in my pew." O'Brien "While the lamp holds out to burn the vilest sinner may return." Asked him in regard to a scandal abut himself that he had confided to Ransom.) I did not tell Ransom and it was a joke anyway.
Dr. S. L. Kerr
Am a physician, resided in El Paso since 1857, have practiced medicine all that time, known Ransom 5 or 6 years, not intimately, knew the neighborhood in which he resided and his associated, his reputation is bad, would not believe him on oath.
Am an advertising physician, in Peoria Thursdays and Fridays, have an office at the Peoria House, have been engaged in advertising since last May, have been in El Paso constantly except when in Peoria and elsewhere away on business.
Dr. F. Colf
Known Ransom since he has lived in El Paso, know his reputation , it is bad, would not believe him on oath when he is deeply interested.
Take some interest in the prosecution. There was a little paragraph in the Troy paper in 1877 but my name was not connected with it, cannot answer as to that whether it was good or bad, had never heard it called into question before his election for mayor, cannot say it was impeached at his re-election in 1878.
Adjourned until 1 o'clock
W. T. Adams, Recalled
Know R. T. Cassell; had a conversation with Cassell in regard to the shooting of Bullock. We board at the same place and room together; he once told me that when he heard the first shot that he looked around and saw Bullock's hands up and open, (indicating.) (Then followed a long argument against and for allowing this to be told in answer to question. Court ruled it could not be given in answer.) Mr. Cassell's testimony was read over by reporter for the counsel at O'Brien's request.
The house was crowded to its utmost capacity.
Lived in Secor over 20 years, am a butcher, know Ransom 15 or 16 years, dealt with him at Secor, it is 7 miles from El Paso, known his reputation, it is bad, would not take his word on oath.
Am township collector, was telegraphed for yesterday, Oss Hereford sent for me
James H. Wathen
Lived in El Paso since 1857, known Ransom, know his reputation, how general it is do not know, it is bad, would not believe him under oath.
In 1887 it was as good as anybody's, when he was re-elected in 1878 it was all right.
Lived in Secor since 1865, known Ransom since 1867, an acquainted somewhat in El Paso, know Ransom's general reputation for truth and veracity, it is bad, would not from this reputation believe him on his oath where he was interested.
In and about Secor his reputation was bad; there was never any trouble between Mr. Ransom and myself.
Wm. M. Jenkins
Lived in El Paso 25 years, know Ransom, am grain dealer, am now mayor of El Paso, know Ransom's reputation, it is bad, in a case where he was greatly interested, I could not take his work on oath.
As to his reputation I am not personally acquainted, only since the shooting.
Have lived in El Paso 10 years, am township collector, known Ransom 5 years, know his general reputation, it is bad, I would not believe him under oath in a matter where he is greatly interested.
Had business with him, never heard but that his reputation for truth and veracity was good both times when he was elected mayor, never heard it discussed, it had been on account of the divorce proceedings. I never circulated charges against him.
Lived in El Paso since 1874, served as assessor for 5 years, know Ransom, know his reputation somewhat, it is bad, would not believe him on oath where he was greatly interested.
Nothing further brought out on cross examination.
P. H. Tompkins
Lived in El Paso 16 years, am a coal dealer, know Ransom, know his reputation, it is bad, would not believe him under oath.
On cross examination stated that he was not acquainted in 1877 with Ransom's reputation, never voted for him at all.
Lived in El Paso 14 years, keep hotel and restaurant, know Ransom's reputation for truth and veracity, it is bad, would not believe him under oath.
Nothing new was adduced on cross examination.
Lived in El Paso 14 years and in the neighborhood since 1854, known Ransom six years, know his reputation, it is bad, would not believe him under oath.
When he ran first for mayor his reputation was generally good, Ransom came to my house as a visitor and friend, am not in the habit of inviting people there whose word I cannot take on oath.
Am a farmer, have lived in El Paso 7 years on March 9th, 1882, known Ransom for 13 years, know his reputation, it is not very good, not good, would not believe him on oath.
Ransom shut up my cows once.
Live in Greene township, 7 or 8 miles from El Paso not very well acquainted in El Paso, know Ransom, know his reputation in our neighborhood, it is bad, would not believe him under oath.
Ransom lived in Greene township in 1870. He was elected as justice of the peace.
Reside in Woodford county near El Paso for 17 years, know Ransom, know his reputation, it is bad, would not believe him under oath.
No cross examination.
Live in Greene township, abut 7 miles from El Paso, have lived there abut 4 years, know Ransom when I see him, am supervisor for Woodford county from Greene township, am not acquainted with his reputation in El Paso, but in Greene township it is bad, would not believe him on oath.
We both ran on the democratic ticket
Lived in El Paso, am grain dealer, lived there 3 years, know Ransom, know his reputation, it is bad, I would not believe him under oath.
Never before 1878 heard anything against his reputation.
P. A. Simmons
Have lived in El Paso 15 years, known Ransom for five years, am in the Bank of El Paso, know Ransom's reputation, I would not take his word on oath.
I never heard of Ransom's reputation being called in question before 1878
Live in Panola township 6 or 7 miles from El Paso, have lived there 16 or 18 years, known Ransom for 5 or 6 years, know his reputation, it is bad, I would not take his word on oath.
Had litigation with Ransom, he beat me, it was two or three years ago.
S. H. Worthington
Have lived in El Paso 14 years, am a dry goods merchant, known Ransom for 4 or 5 years, know his reputation, it is bad, I would not believe him under oath, am acquainted in Peoria, I was subpoenaed by the defense, have been absent from El Paso abut tow years out of the 14 years.
Never heard Ransom's reputation previous to 1878.
M. E. Cazalet
Have lived in El Paso 4 years, know Ransom, know his reputation, it is bad, I would not believe him under oath.
Am a saloon keeper, have been for 21 years, never heard his reputation discussed prior to the last two years.
John Ellis, Sr.
Live in El Paso, have lived there 15 months, have lived abut 4 ¾ miles from there since 1857, am a farmer, know Ransom, know his reputation, it is bad, I would not take his word under oath.
My judgment is from the general reputation based on what was said about him during the last two years.
Lived in El Paso 6 years, am a druggist and a township school treasurer, know Ransom, know his reputation, it is bad. I would not believe him under oath.
Am treasurer, appointed by school trustees, have known Ransom 6 years, have not heard his reputation generally discussed before bill in the case for divorce was filed.
S. S. Newton
Lived near El Paso, am farmer, have lived there 18 years, have been assessor and justice of the peace, have known Ransom 7 or 8 years, know his reputation, it is bad, would not believe him under oath.
Been in Lacon nearly 2 weeks, have no bets on this case.
Have lived in El Paso 11 years, boot and shoemaker, know Ransom, know his reputation, it is bad, would not believe hum under oath.
I have been here in Lacon two weeks.
A. L. Hereford
Am editor of the El Paso JOURNAL, have lived in El Paso abut one years, before that lived in Secor except about two years in Chicago and two years in Kansas, have known Ransom ever since he first moved to Greene township, know his reputation, it is bad, would not believe him on oath. (Here witness was asked what Ransom's reputation was in Secor. Witness asked court to define legal meaning of the word "general" as used in this connection. Curt explained that it meant a large number of the people.) Knew his general reputation in Secor, it was bad, would not believe him on oath where he was interested, am attorney at law, was candidate for Attorney General in Kansas in 1880.
Went to El Paso last spring early, took charge of the JOURNAL within a few weeks after this crime was committed, before that practiced law, graduated in Union College of Law, Chicago, in 1878, ran for attorney general of Kansas in 1880, (Storrs, sarcastically - "You are the editor of a very, very influential paper." Witness - "Thank you, Mr. Storrs, for the compliment.") Storrs - "You have bitterly denounce Ransom?" "Well, I have called things by their right names." "You said in your paper there ought to be a halter or rope around Ransom's neck." "No, sir; I have no malice toward Ransom; I have been publishing the evidence in this case, and have commented on the evidence; I have tried to do my duty as an editor; have not sent telegrams for witnesses in this case; have taken some interest in the case; was born and raised in Secor; lived there until I was 18 or 19 years old; am abut 24 years old.
The last witness called was A. C. Murphy, of Secor. He took the stand but did not testify. The Court stated that he had heard enough evidence on that one point.
Saturday evening the prosecution closed the impeaching of Ransom. The following is the testimony:
I live in El Paso, am money loaner and note buyer, know Ransom, his reputation is not good for last year, would not believe him on oath.
Before the divorce proceedings I had always considered his world good.
E. S. Paul
Live in El Paso, city marshal, lived there 14 years, know Ransom's reputation, it is bad, would not believe him under oath.
Have heard his reputation discussed ever since I went there, but not before 1878.
J. J. U. Mohr
Lived in El Paso 18 months, dealer in farm implements, known Ransom 9 years, know his reputation for last year, it is bad, would not believe him under oath, his reputation where he formerly lived was bad.
C. H. Campbell
I live in El Paso since 1859, am in the horse business in Bloomington now, know Ransom, know his reputation, it is bad, would not take his word under oath.
His reputation was good when he was first and second time elected mayor.
Dr. Daniel Lewis
I live in El Paso, have lived there 22 years, am physician, have been practicing since 1846, formerly lived in Lake county; known Ransom 9 years, first knew him in Secor, known Bullock 22 years, he and I were great friends, had a talk with Bullock abut Mrs. Ransom's death and Bullock's refusing to commence proceedings against Ransom on the suspicion of poisoning his wife, there was talk of taking up the remains to have an examination. (Here an argument arose on Storr's objection to further testimony on that question. Storrs said if the prosecution dared to bring it out he would and could bring the physician and the nurses to prove this was the falsest of the false.
W. A. Johnston
I have testified to what was said at Ransom's house at the time I was there, nothing was said there by me in regard to my borrowing money of him.
S. M. Garrett
Am lawyer, lived in Lacon from 1861 to 1869; then in Metamora till 1872, from then till 1879 in Pontiac, then came to Lacon, knew Ransom first in 1878, knew Bullock. (Witness was not permitted to testify further as it would be new evidence.)
This closed the evidence for the prosecution. Defense had subpoenaed about thirty witnesses to show Ransom's reputation, but none were put on the stand. The defense stated they had no more evidence to introduce and the evidence on both sides was closed.