Genealogy Trails


NEWSPAPER ARTICLES
FLOYD COUNTY INDIANA
MURDERS
Strunk
headstone
Photo Contributed by Gregg Seidl

Transcript of the Entire Trial

Newspaper Accounts of the Trial



THE TRIAL OF PROF. IRA G. STRUNK  IN THE FLOYD CIRCUIT COURT, FOR THE KILLING OF CHARLES V. HOOVER
ON THE STREETS OF NEW ALBANY, AT NOON ON THE 27TH DAY OF JULY, 1886.


On the 27th of July, 1886, the citizens of New Albany, were startled by the news that Prof. Ira G. Strunk, on one of the public streets of the city, had shot and killed Charles V. Hoover, and seriously wounded Dr. Charles L. Hoover, the father of the deceased. The fatal shot was fired a few minutes after twelve o'clock, and was the culmination of a tragedy that had been gathering force for years; and which in the development of its successive acts and scenes, surpasses in tragic interest all the literature of Sophochles or Shakespeare.

Prof. Ira G. Strunk, the defendant in the cause celeb, an account of which is given in the following pages, was born in Jacksonville, Pa., March 22, 1846. He received a liberal education in the public and normal schools of his native State, and in the University of Kentucky.

He came to New Albany, Sept. 2, 1872, and in the following November, he became the Principal of the New Albany Business College.

For fourteen years, he devoted himself to his chosen field of labor, with such industry and zeal; that at the time misfortune, like a pall, over-shadowed his hitherto happy life, he had made for his College, a reputation of which he and the city of New Albany, were justly proud. In 1876, Prof. Strunk married Myra Sullivan, a beautiful and talented lady, and never did a youthful pair seem happier, nor the future more inviting.

Prof, and Mrs. Strunk, were members of the Episcopal church of this city, Mrs. Strunk being the organist in the church choir. The leader of the choir was Charles V. Hoover, an unmarried man, of thirty-eight years of age, pleasing in address, and attractive in appearance. As organist, and leader of the choir, Mr. Hoover and Mrs. Strunk were frequently together, and to the frequency of their meetings, and the intimacy of their association there seemed to be no objection. Mr. Hoover was a frequent visitor at the home of Prof. Strunk, and was always treated with the freedom and cordiality due a trusted friend.

The business engagements of Prof. Strunk as Principal of the Business College, required his absence from his home during the day, and until late at night, with the exception of meal time. Having made some investments in Florida, he was occasionally away from the city for some weeks together. Returning from one of these trips, his attention was called to a squib in one of the city papers, hinting at a questionable intimacy existing between a single gentleman and a prominent married woman.

Resenting the intimation that the lady referred to was his wife, Prof. Strunk made inquiry of the editor, with a view of proving false the rumor that had been set afloat,

It was at once established that the newspaper notice had no reference to Mrs. Strunk; but Prof. Strunk, to his horror and amazement, was informed that for some years Charles V. Hoover, had been making visits to his house in his absence, and both publicly and privately had given undoubted proofs of an undue intimacy with his wife. Upon further inquiry these reports were verified ; the trusted friend had proved false in his pretended friendship, and violated the confidence reposed in him.

On the 22nd of December, 1885, Prof. Strunk left his wife and home, and took rooms at the Occidental Hotel. Some time in April, meeting Hoover in a clothing store, Strunk attempted to shoot him, but the pistol missed fire. Strunk now disposed of his interest in the Business College, and determined to quit New Albany forever.

When just about to leave for Florida, he was arrested and held to answer the charge of assault and battery, with the intent to kill Hoover.

Having furnished bond for his appearance, he went to Florida, where he remained some months, returning in July. On the 27th of that month, he was seated before the Windsor Hotel in this city, when Charles V. Hoover, and his father passed up the street in full view. Strunk after gazing at them a moment, arose, followed them, shot and killed Charles V. Hoover, and by accident seriously wounded the father,

Immediately after the shooting. Prof. Strunk walked quietly to his hotel, and there surrendered himself to the authorities.

On Thursday, the 29th, the prisoner was arraigned before John J. Richards, Mayor of the city of New Albany, and the State not being ready for the preliminary examination, the case was continued till the 3rd of September, and Prof. Strunk, was taken to the county jail, and remained in the custody of Sheriff Jacob Loesch, at whose hands he received all possible courtesy due the prisoner, and not inconsistent with his own duties as Sheriff.

During his imprisonment, Prof. Strunk received letters and telegrams of sympathy from all parts of the Union. The young men, whom he had trained and fitted for business life, scattered as they are all over the land, did not forget their friend in this trying situation.

Friends from the city of New Albany and vicinity, were unceasing in their efforts to render the long hours spent in the jail, as free from unpleasant associations as possible. Scarcely an hour of the seventy- three-and one half day's of his confinement, was Prof. Strunk left without a visitor. More than fifteen hundred of his friends and acquaintances called between the time of his arrest and acquittal.

On the 3rd of September, at the preliminary hearing, upon the reading of the indictment. Prof. Strunk, pleaded not guilty. And by his attorneys, as required by the statutes of Indiana, he entered the special plea of unsoundness of mind at the time oi' the commission of the alleged offense. He was then remanded to jail to await the action of the grand jury.

On the 8th day of September, the Grand Jury, after an inquiry into the facts presented the following indictment.


STATE OF INDIANA, Floyd County.
In the Floyd Circuit Court, September Term, 1886.
The State of Indiana, vs.  Indictment No. 1, for Murder.
Ira G. Strunk. J


The Grand Jury of the County of Floyd, in the State of Indiana, upon their oath do present; that Ira G. Strunk, on the 27th day of July, 1886, at said county, feloniously, purposely, and with premeditated malice, unlawfully killed and murdered Charles V. Hoover, by then and there feloniously, purposely, and with premeditated malice, shooting and mortally wounding the said Charles V. Hoover with a certain pistol, which he, the said Ira G. Strunk, then and there had and held in his hands, and shot off and dis-charged at, against, to, and upon the said Charles V. Hoover, and which pistol was then and there loaded with gunpowder and leaden bullets. Frank B. Burke, Prosecuting Attorney,

By Jacob Herter, his Deputy.

The trial was set down for September, . The case for the State, was conducted by Prosecutor Frank B. Burke, assisted by LaFollette & Tuley, of the New Albany bar, and Major Kinney, and Col. Caruth, from Louisville. For Prof. Strunk, appeared, A. Dowling, Kelso & Kelso, Jewett & Jewett, and Chas. F. Coffin, all of New Albany.

The trial was a memorable one, and was watched with interest by the citizens of Floyd County, and of the cities and towns for miles around. As the evidence for the defendant, began to develop, public sympathy for the accused increased to such a degree of intensity that it visibly affected the business of the whole city. And the verdict of the jury was received with such demonstrations of approval as had never before been witnessed in Indiana.

CHARLES P. FERGUSON.
Judge's charge to the jury.
State of Indiana, vs. Ira G. Strunk,
Floyd Circuit Court.

The indictment in this case charges that IraG. Strunk, on the 2f7th day of July, 1886, at the County of Floyd, feloniously, purposely, and with premeditated malice, unlawfully killed and murdered Charles V. Hoover, by then and there feloniously, purposely and with premeditated malice, shooting and mortally wounding the said Charles V. Hoover, with a certain pistol which he, the said Ira G. Strunk then and there had, and held in his hands, and shot off and discharged at, against, to, and upon the said Charles V. Hoover, and which pistol was then and there loaded with gunpowder and leaden bullets.   The offense so charged, is murder in the first degree.

Homicide is defined to be, "the killing of any human being," and every felonious homicide is either murder or manslaughter.

By the laws of the State of Indiana, murder is of two degrees, and there are also two kinds of manslaughter.

If the killing is done purposely and with premeditated malice, the slayer is guilty of murder in the first degree.

If the killing is done purposely and maliciously, but without premeditation then the crime is murder in the second degree.

If the killing is done unlawfully without malice, express or implied, purposely, but upon a sudden heat, the crime is manslaughter, generally designated or voluntary manslaughter.

If the killing is done unlawfully without malice, express or implied, not purposely, but in the commission of some unlawful act, then the crime is also manslaughter, and known as involuntary manslaughter.

To constitute either degree in murder there must be a malicious inten-tion to kill. Because the killing is done maliciously and purposely, it does not necessarily follow that it was done with premeditation.

"Premeditation" implies that the slayer had time and opportunity for deliberate thought, that after his mind conceived the thought of taking the life, he meditated upon it and formed a deliberate determination to do the act. After such a determination is so formed, then no matter how soon afterwards it is carried into execution, when it is done it is murder in the first degree, but if no previous determination was so formed it is not, and the premeditation must be proven as any other fact.

In murder the killing is done maliciously, in manslaughter it is done without malice.

While the term "malice" in its ordinary sense means anger, hatred, and ill-will, it has an additional meaning in law, and includes every unlawful and unjustifiable motive. It means the willful doing of an injurious act without any lawful excuse for so doing, and is implied from any cruel act unless extenuating or mitigating circumstances appear.

If a man slay his victim purposely without lawful excuse for so doing or mitigating circumstances he is regarded as doing the act, maliciously in the meaning of the law, although he had no feeling of anger, hatred, or revenge toward the person slain. Implied malice is such as is presumed from the act itself.

Express malice is such as may be shown by the actions and expressions of the party charged, prior to the commission of the act, such as threats or lying in wait and preparation to commit the act.

Under the indictment in this case you are authorized to find the defendant guilty of either murder' in the first degree or manslaughter, if the proof authorizes such finding according to the definitions I have given you. But before you can find him guilty of any offense, you must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty of such offense, and in case of doubt as to which offense, if any, the defendant is guilty, it is your duty to convict him of the lowest degree of offense in regard to which the doubt exists.

Homicide is sometimes justifiable and sometimes excusable. It is justifiable in an officer who takes life pursuant to a warrant issued to him from proper authority commanding him to do so, or when in making an arrest it becomes necessary by reason of resistance or attempted flight; and it is sometimes justifiable for the prevention of an atrocious crime attempted to be committed by force. It is excusable when life is taken by accident, and unintentionally by a person while doing a lawful act; and itis excusable in a man to take a life in self-defense when he is in imminent and manifest danger of losing his own life or of suffering enormous bodily harm, or has reason to believe, and does believe that he is in such danger; and under no circumstances other than those so enumerated is a sane man justifiable of excusable in taking human life.

In the case on trial the defendant has pleaded not guilty to the charge alleged against him in the indictment, the effect of which plea is to throw upon the State the burden of proving every material allegation contained in the indictment/ It is material for the State to prove, and it must be shown that Charles V. Hoover is dead, and that he came to his death prior to the indictment by the hands of the defendant in the county of Floyd, in the State of Indiana, in the manner alleged in the indictment, and of these ! facts, and of each of them the jury must be satisfied from the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt before the defendant can be convicted of the offense charged, for in this as in all criminal prosecutions the defendant is presumed to be innocent until his guilt is established by the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

A reasonable doubt arises when the evidence is not sufficient to satisfy the minds of the jury to a moral and reasonable certainty of defendants guilt.   The jury must be so convinced, by the evidence, of defendants guilt that a prudent man could feel safe to act upon that conviction in matters of the highest concern and importance to his own dearest personal interests under circumstances when there can be no compulsion to act at all, otherwise there can be no conviction.

If the jury find from the evidence that Charles V. Hoover came to his death by the hand of the defendant while of sound mind, and by the means stated in the indictment, they are bound to presume that the act was done maliciously unless such presumption is overthrown by other evidence.

In addition to the plea of not guilty which throws upon the State the burden of proving every material averment of the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant by his counsel, has set up the further defense that the defendant was of unsound mind at the time the offense charged in the indictment was committed. If that plea is true the defendant must be acquitted even if the fact of killing as alleged in the indictment is clearly proven by the evidence, and before he can be convicted it must appear from the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that at the time of the com-mission of the act the mental condition of the defendant was such as to render him criminally responsible for the act if he committed it.

Our law defines the term "persons of unsound mind" to mean idiot, non competes, lunatic, monomaniac, or distracted persons. If upon the evidence in this case you have a reasonable doubt that at the time of the act charged in the indictment, the defendant was a person of sound mind it is your duty to find him not guilty upon the ground that he was insane.

The test of responsibility for criminal acts when unsoundness of mind is made a defense is .the capacity of the accused to distinguish between right and wrong at the time and with respect to the act which is the subject of inquiry, and tho sufficiency of his mantal will-power over his actions. Whether or not the accused possessed this power, and to what extent, if any, it was impaired by mental. diseases, are purely matters of fact to be determined by the jury from the evidence. In a case like this when the plea of insanity is in, the question of sanity or insanity of the defendant is before the jury, and is to be passed upon by them. It is the duty of the jury to consider not only the evidence directed to the mental condition of the defendant, but also all circumstances developed by the evidence bearing upon that question, and upon the consideration of the_ whole evidence if a reasonable doubt exists in the mind of the jury as to defendants sanity at the time the act was committed he is entitled to the benefit of the doubt. If defendant committed the act charged, and at the time he did so had mental capacity sufficient to fully comprehend the nature and consequences of the act, and unimpaired will power strong enough to master an impulse to commit a crime there is criminal responsibility, otherwise there is not, for there must be present both the mind to judge and know, and the will to govern and control to constitute criminal responsibility.

The opinions of medical experts have been given in evidence touching defendants soundness or unsoundness of mind. Such opinions are to be considered by the jury in connection with all the other evidence in the case, but you are not bound to act upon sueh opinions to the exclusion of other testimony. Taking into consideration these opinions and giving them just weight yon are to determine for yourselves from the whole evidence whether defendant was or was of sound mind, giving him the benefit of a reasonable doubt, if a reasonable donbt arises from the evidence.

In this as in all criminal cases the jury have the right to determine the law and the facts. They are also the exclusive judges of the credibility of the witnesses. In determining the weight to be given to the statements of a witness, the jury have the right to take into consideration his manner on the witness stand, his intelligence, his means of knowledge, his interest in the case and prejudice, if any be manifested, and any contradictory or inconsistent statements in his own testimony, and if the conflicting statements of different witnesses cannot be harmonized, it is for the jury to decide between them, taking all the testimony into consideration.

If the jury find from the evidence that the defendant did unlawfully kill Charles V. Hoover, and have no reasonable doubt of defendants soundness of mind at the time he did so, then they must determine the grade of homicide of which he is guilty. If the jury find that the killing was done purposely and maliciously, and with premeditation, then the verdict should be murder in the first degree, and in such case the punishment in the discretion of the jury may be the death penalty or confinement in the state prison during life.

If the jury find that tire killing was done purposely and maliciously, but without premeditation then the offense is murder in the second degree, and punishable by confinement in the state prison during life.

If the jury find from the evidence that the killing was unlawful and purposely, but without malice, express or implied, in a sudden heat, then the offense is voluntary manslaughter, and may be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a period not less than two years nor more than twenty-one years.

If the jury find the defendant not guilty of any offense whatever they will uy their verdict say so and no more.

If the jury find that the defendant should be acquitted on the ground of unsoundness of mind alone they should state that fact in their verdict.

Charles P. Ferguson.

The case was given to the jury at 6:4-5 P. M., and at 7 returned the following verdict.

Oct. 9, 1886.

We, the jury, find the defendant not guilty, and acquit him upon the sole ground that he was insane at the time of the commission of the offense charged in the indictment.

Samuel C. Miller, Foreman.

By the time the jury was ready to report, the Court House and the streets were filled with people anxious to know the result. When the verdict was read, the multitude gave expression to their feelings and approbation in a shout never before heard in this city.   Prof. Strunk was conducted to the residence of Sheriff Loesch, where he and the jury took tea together. After supper it is thought five thousand people called to congratulate him. Such an expression of sympathy and interest was never before extended to a prisoner in this county.

It was the intention to have given the portraits of the Counsel, Jury and Mr. C. V. Hoover, but the Counsel being modest men, declined to allow it, and in respect to the feelings of Mr. Hoover's friends, his is withheld.

Fritz R. Marshall
"Sixteen-year-old Fritz R. Marshall has been charged by New Albany Police with first degree murder in connection with the stabbing death of his mother, Alicine Marshall, 3131 Beacon Dr. Also charged with first degree murder is Steven R. Mack, 18, of Hammond, Ind. Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Earl stated the boys will be arraigned tomorrow in Floyd Circuit Court.
The two juveniles were arrested Tuesday in Salem by Washington County Police on a charge of theft.
New Albany Police were contacted and asked to notify Mrs. Marshall of her son's arrest, but officers were uinable to get an answer at the door. At 10:13 a.m. on Wednesday, still without answer at the Marshall home, police forced the door and discovered the woman's body on a bed in the back bedroom.
An autopsy performed in Floyd Memorial Hospital by Floyd County Coroner Dr. Daniel Cannon and a pathologist, revealed that Mrs. Marshall suffered 17 stab wounds inflicted by a household butcher knife "approximately six inches long." She reportedly died of shock and bleeding.
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
Voluntary statements signed by the juveniles outlined the details of the sequence of events leading up to the murder on Saturday, July 21, and later arrest at Salem.
Statements by both boys concurred on the fact that the boys left the Fr. Gibaudt School for Boys in Terre Haute, and were arrested in Prattville, Ala. July 5 in a truck which they reportedly admitted stealing.
Mrs. Marshall flew to Prattville on July 21, Saturday, the day of her death, and picked up the pair and returned to Louisville by bus. They took a cab to the Marshall home.
Later that evening, mack got into an argument with Mrs. Marshall over his impending return to Fr. Gibault School.
The statement reads further that both boys took part in stabbing Mrs. Marshall. They then gathered up some clothes and set out in the marshall car..
SEARCH FOR PURSE
The boys reportedly went through Mrs. Marshall's purse while traveling north on I-65 and threw it out somewhere near Austin. Police are conducting a search for the missing purse.
The boys were caught on a country road near Salem by rising creek water from excessive rain and were forced to abandon the car. They reportedly stole a boat and spent two nights on farms near Salem before their arrest.
Indiana State Police assisted New Albany officers at the scene of the murder."
New Albany Tribune. July 26, 1973. Page 1. Column 5.
Contributed by Gregg Seidl

Personal Notes from Gregg Seidl
I first met Fritz Marshall in the summer of 1969, the summer after my grandparents moved from their older bungalow on Morton Avenue in New Albany to a more elegant and spacious home on Hickory Grove. They also bought two lots adjoin their property when they purchased their new house, and I could see the back of the small white home where Fritz lived with his mother, Alicine, and his father, Eldon “Huggy” Marshall.

I thought Fritz kind of a jumpy kid when my friend, Dana, who visited his grandmother’s home across the street from my grandparent’s house about as much as I visited mine, introduced us, and if the story that soon made the rounds in the neighborhood is true, then the kid had every right to be what the detectives used to say on those cop shows in the 80s when describing someone nervously and purposefully avoiding eye contact or switching their weight from foot to foot—or both—“hinky.”

Not long after our initial contact, I didn’t see Fritz riding his bike around the neighborhood at his usual break neck speed. I didn’t see him riding his bike at any speed. In fact, I didn’t see him at all. When I asked Dana why, he told me that Fritz wanted to play football for his junior high school team that fall, but when he approached his mother about getting a physical so he could join the team, she refused. I know more than a few mothers are initially quite hesitant to let their sons participate in such a violent and oft times bloody sport, turning practically paralyzed by fear at the thought of their sweet little boys slammed to the ground and trampled into a sticky purplish pulp by the feet of some hulking brute twice the size of their dear little boy. I’m a parent myself, and therefore understand their rejection of the game is a natural reaction. It’s a mother’s instinct to protect their children from harm, and this makes what Dana told me next so shocking an act.

Dana claimed Fritz kept insisting his mother sign the papers allowing him to play. His father, small, quiet man, who kept mostly to himself and enjoyed drinking beer until he achieved a state of smiling happy oblivion when off work, made his living as an “engineer,” (really just a fancy title for a mechanic), on a tugboat on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and was gone more than he was home. Huggy loved life on the water. As a young sailor, he’d been in on many of the amphibious landings made by the Marine Corps during the deadly island hopping campaign against the Imperial Japanese military, naval, and air forces in the Pacific during World War II, piloting the landing craft that carried the Marine infantry men from the transport ships through the hail of gunfire and artillery shells to the landing beaches. Every so often, when he was fairly drunk, but not enough to pass out just yet, he’d talk about his experiences. Unfortunately, I didn’t discover this until not long before he suffered the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and so I missed out on many of his stories. But, I’ll never forget the ones he shared with me over beers in his kitchen one night.

I don’t know what type of schedule he worked in 1968, but when he eventually became my step father’s step parent, Huggy usually worked on the boat for most of the year. We used to joke behind his back and my step-grandmother’s that he probably had another family he spent time with somewhere along the Mississippi or one of her backwaters instead of coming home to our kooky family and all its troubles and issues, which we were sure was the only family forced to endure such suffering. But, I digress. Most of the men and women I’ve known who worked on the powerful river tugs worked for a month on duty on the boat and away from home, and enjoyed two weeks off at the end of their tour. I’m sure the times varied from company to company and from position to position within the companies. Huggy was an engineer, keeping the huge diesels humming and moving the massive loads the barges carried upstream and down, so his duties likely kept him on the water for longer periods than the average deckhand, and he probably wasn’t home much that summer as Fritz continued to pester and annoy Alicine. If he had, maybe we wouldn’t know anything about any of them.

Alicine finally snapped. I never met her, and from what I gathered listening to the women of the neighborhood talk when they thought I wasn’t, Fritz’s mom wasn’t the most pleasant person to be around. Some whispered she’d had some mental problems, but I have no idea if the woman did or didn’t and don’t to this day. I didn’t even know her name until researching this story. I did hear through my family that there was a possibility that Fritz wasn’t really Huggy’s son. That Alicine had gotten pregnant back in a time when single young women did NOT get that way; not if they expected to ever live a respectable life and marry a decent man. It was one thing to wed a war widow with another man’s child, but no virtuous fellow would ever say "I do" to a gal who already did with someone else. I don’t remember hearing how Alicine and Huggy knew each other. I only remember hearing Huggy agreed to marry her in order to preserve her dignity and public standing in the tiny town of Palmyra, Indiana where they both grew up and lived at the time of her “unfortunate incident.”
I’m sure she had no idea then how truly unfortunate her pregnancy would be for her, but the rumor that spread amongst at least us kids in the neighborhood that summer was that when Alicine snapped, she snapped Fritz’s leg bones, ensuring he wasn’t going to play any football that year and ending the discussion once and for all. He couldn’t get out of bed, so there wasn’t any reason for him to bother her anymore about playing football, and she could finally have some peace and quiet.

I have nothing to verify that this actually happened. I never saw Fritz on crutches, but I never saw Fritz at all again until the fall of 1979, and a lot had transpired between our last meeting and our unexpected reunion in the living room of my mother’s house. We’d barely known each other the last time we’d talked and now we were related. Fritz was my step father’s step brother, so he was some sort of convoluted form of uncle and I the nephew, and I’m still not sure how I feel about the connection in light of exactly what had happened in the intervening years.

For now, you should know that "Uncle Fritz" is somewhere in the United States, free, married, and last known to be deeply religious. His partner has been out longer than Fritz has.

JANUARY 24,1926
Daniel Alonzo Mayfield was killed by robbers after a hold up at the Lanesville State Bank. Dan was a Deputy Sherriff at the time. The following account was given of his death in the New Albany Tribune.
DAN MAYFIELD DIES BY THE HANDS OF WHITE HOUSE ROBBERS AND THE LANESVILLE STATE BANK SAFE BLOWERS.
Dan, with his sandy ruffled hair, his keen eyes sparkling, and his wiry close knit body in action, went down with the colors flying and gun in hand ready to continue the battle with two cars containing desperate robbers just before dawn on West Main Street last Sunday Morning. He stood side by side with his superior Jake Yenowine and policeman Elliott, Fisher and Wilson who were beaten to the stone bridge at the entrance to the city by a fraction of a minute. Dan never shirked a duty or evaded a danger, He was nervy from a drop of a hat. Many a time he was faced with precarious situations without winching. Others have marveled at his nerve. Dan didn't know any other thing but to be brave, and yet he was congenial. He was also of retiring, unaspiring nature. But at his death, in the hottest gun fight ever known in the streets of New Albany, he became the big hero and the honor of the forces of law.
Side by side, after a thrilling race to beat the robbers to the entrance to the city and the daring effort to block the crime cars as they tore along Main Street, Dan stood with the other brave men but fortunately in the rain of bullets from the two robbers cars only Dan was hit. He died without a murmur when shot through the head by a German gun after he had time to fire but one shot, which lodged in the cushion and inch from the driver of the first car. Friday morning three suspects were picked up in Louisville and arrested and expected momentarily various clues are being run down. Today a Lanesville boy was brought in to the city by Corydon officials who is understood to be able to identify the robbers positively. One bullet ridden car, the first big car used by the robbers, was wrecked on Main Street and is in the hands of the law. It was visited by thousands of interested persons last Sunday. This car has been identified as the one used by the robbers of the White House Department Store in New Albany just a week before the Lanesville Bank Attempted robbery. It claimed to have been stolen from the Borgending Garage.
Not in years has New Albany been more greatly aroused as it has been with the cold blooded murder of Deputy Sheriff Dan Mayfield. Rewards totaling $1900.00 have been raised for the arrest and conviction of the robbers. Countless clues are being followed by officials of New Albany, Louisville, and Jeffersonville, while nets have been thrown around the city and all of Southern Indiana. Each and all the robbers will face the Chair.

DEPUTY SHERIFF KILLED BY GANG OF BANDITS
New Albany, Ind.. Jan. 24
Five bandits, fleeing from Lanesville, where they had tried to rob a bank early today, were engaged here vainly by a posse formed after local police had been advised of their approach. In a brief gun fight, which ensued, Daniel MayfIeld 58, a deputy sheriff, was shot and killed.
Date: 1926-01-25;  Paper: Omaha World Herald

Bank Robbers in Running Battle
The Associated Press
New Albany. Ind.. Jan. 24—Five bandits escaping from Lanesville, ten miles west of here, where they had tried to rob a bank before daylight this morning, later were Intercepted to the streets of New Albany by a posse formed after local poIice had been advised of their approach.
In a brief gun fight which ensued. Daniel Mayfield 58 year old. a deputy  sheriff, was shot and killed. A bullet fired by a member of the posse struck the driver of the first of two cars in which the men traveled. The machine shewed sharply colliding with a tree. Two men jumped from it into the second bandit car and escaped toward Indianasapolis.
Date: 1926-01-25;  Paper: Times-Picayune

FUGITIVE IS RETURNED
Suspected In Connection With Killing Goes for Trial as Theater Breaker
(By The Associated Press)
Newport.    Ky.   Feb.   12.—Clarence Moore, 35 years old, who was arrested here on the charge of being a fugitive from justice in connection with killing of Daniel Mayfield, deputy sheriff of New Albany, Ind., after an attempt had been made recently to rob  the Farmers' State bank at Lanesville. Ind., was taken to Louisville today. Police say he will be arraigned in Louisville on the charge of having broken into a theater.
Date: 1926-02-13;  Paper: Times-Picayune

Abstracts: January 24,1926, Floyd County Deputy Sheriff Daniel
 Mayfield was shot and killed
 A major break in the investigation came on February 4, when workmen discovered the body of James P. Murray in a culvert near Rising Sun ... he was a member of the gang and the driver of the car, which was  later found abandoned on E. Main Street on the morning of the shooting On January 17, the White House had been robbed, suspects were Frank Taylor and James Forrest Norris, who were later arrested ... Frank implicated Emmet Snyder, Phillip Strack and his son Jack ... Phillip had been a politician and a former New Albany police officer, he was  appointed in January, 1926 to a "secret undercover" role with the city  police department
 Witness, Mildred Norris was the wife of James and the granddaughter of Phillip March, 1926, Glen was on of the eight members of the gang whe were indicted, Emmet & Bernard were also indicted for Daniel Mayfield's murder ... sentencing information is given in the article, excluding the outcome of Emmet & Bernard, who were in federal prison in Atlanta, Georgia

Federal Prisoner in Atlanta Identified  As Indiana Slayer
Atlanta Ga. June 28 Earl A. Kerrigan, inmate of the Atlanta federal penitentiary was Identified at the prison today by C; V. Lorch, prosecuting attorney of New Albany, Ind., and W. I. Lipscomb,  detective of Louisville, Kentucky, as Emmett Snyder, wanted in Floyd county, Indiana, on a charge of killing Deputy Sheriff Daniel Mayfield.
Kerrigan or Snyder is charged with killing Mayfield last January 24 during a running fight between county officers of Floyd county, Indiana, and a bandit gang, which had attempted to rob the Farmers' State Bank at Lanesville, Ind.
Lorch identified the men from photographs and fingerprints. Lipscomb said the prisoner was the man, who as Snyder he had brought to Louisville from Camden, N. J. on a previous occasion.
When brought into the presence of the officers the prisoner refused to utter a word, and the Louisville officer said the men would not speak for fear his voice would be recognized.
Lorch said he would make efforts to have the man pardoned on the federal charge and transferred at once to the state penitentiary of Indiana. He said he would communicate the facts to Attorney General Sargent at Washington with the request that the prisoner be pardoned and delivered to Indiana authorities.
The prisoners, identified as Snyder entered the federal prison here about a week ago to begin a term of nine years for stealing government property of which he was convicted In Cleveland, O. Shortly after entering the penitentiary the prisoner was seen by D. C. Hopkins, a guard, walking Inside the prison wearing his cap, an infraction of regulations. When he removed the headgear the guard recognized him as Snyder—a prisoner he had seen in the Indiana, penitentiary—and gave the first Indication of the man's commitment under a fictitious name.
Lorch said four accomplices of Snyder, three men and a woman had been convicted In Indiana, and sentenced to from 10 to 25 years.
Date: 1926-06-29;  Paper: Augusta Chronicle

A Party of Ghouls Trapped in a Cemetery in New Albany Ind.
OF THEM SHOT THROUGH THE BODY
Two of Louisville's Most Prominent Physicians and One Assistant Captured

Louisville. Ky., Feb. 25. 1800.—While a thunder storm was at its height early this morning  a horrible tragedy took place In the Northern Cemetery of New Albany just across the river in Indiana. A party of grave robbers were surprised in the act of desecrating the resting places of the dead and one of them was instantly killed. Three others were arrested and placed in jail, but a fourth man escaped. The party consisted of three Louisville physicians. Dr. J. T. Blackburn and Dr. W. E. Grant, another whose name is thought to be Graham and two colored assistants. They had gone over to rob the graves of Thomas Johnson and Edward Pearce, who were buried in the cemetery last Sunday.
They had deliberately planned the affair, but a little carelessness on their part spoiled everything and led to the death among the graves.
Dr. Blackburn went over to New Albany late yesterday afternoon, he had evidently heard of the two recent funerals and went straight to the Northern Cemetery. As It happened he could not locate the graves, and calling William Deeble, who lived near there, he tried to obtain the desired Information from him. At first Dr. Blackburn offered the boy $2 to point out the grave of Johnson, and then increased the bid to $20. Deeble took the bribe and pointed out the graves. Dr. Blackburn then added a careless word or two, and cautioning him to say nothing, drove back to Louisville.
Deeble did not intend to keep the secret, how ever, for he had guessed the Intentions of the doc tors, he went at once to Daniel Shrader, the sexton, and told him every detail of the conversation.
THE OFFICERS WORRIED
Boiling over with indignation, Shrader in turn went to the office of Major McDonald and explained the matter to that official. Mr. McDonald resolved to catch the ghouls In a trap, and sending for Chief of Police Stonecipper they quickly arranged their plans. It was decided to keep everything quiet, but when night came on to station a guard In the cemetery and await the coming of the grave robbers.
Officers Hennessy and Cannon were selected for this duty, and were given as assistants Nathaniel and James Johnson, brothers of Thomas Johnson, whose body was one of the objects of the proposed raid. Elwer Hopper, a friend of Edward Pearce, the other dead man, was selected as a fifth.
Major McDonald and Chief Stonecipper Instructed the guards to arm themselves, then go to the cemetery and wait the approach of the marauders. The party went to the cemetery soon after dark. It lies a short distance out of New Albany between East Eighth and East fourth streets. It is a spot that has frequently been visited by medical students from the Louisville schools during the last few years.
The guards divided Into two squads. One party concealed themselves under a tarpaulin by the cemetery gate, and the others went on a short distance beyond the grave of Edward Pearce. The grave of Thomas Johnson was near the cemetery gate.
Nothing was heard by the watchers until about midnight. A storm of wind and rain had been prevailing most of the evening, and at this time the rain was coming down in torrents. There were frequent flashes of lightning and peals of thunder reverberated over the hills back of the sleeping town. New Albany people keep early hours, and hardly a soul was abroad when the stillness of the night was broken by the sound of wheels. A wagon was being quietly driven out Eighth street. It had come over the bridge, and was being drawn at a leisurely pace by the two horses which a negro was driving.  Five men were in the vehicle.
THE WATCHERS  ALERT.
The wagon stopped at the cemetery gate and the occupants alighted, leaving their team hitched to the fence, and came on into the cemetery. The watchers, alert to every noise, had concealed themselves, and the grave robbers passed the first division and proceeded to the Johnson grave. They had barely reached it when the Johnson boys and their friends broke from their cover and called out, "Throw up your hands."
Taken utterly by surprise the men started to run and as they did so there was a volley. One of the men fell and as he dropped to the ground the lightning flashed on a pistol he had half drawn, but he had not tried to use it, and he died with scarcely a struggle.
The other men stopped, with the exception of one, who broke away and scaling the low fence of the cemetery, got into Eighth street in safety. A minute later be was heard to drive madly away in the direction of the Kentucky and Indiana bridge, over which he soon escaped.
The ball struck the negro who was killed in the back under the left shoulder blade and passed entirely through the body, piercing the heart and coming; out just below the left nipple. The negro straightened himself to his fullest height and throwing his arms above his head fell a corpse across one of the graves just as the rain poured at its heaviest, the wind blew its fiercest and the unseasonable thunder and lightning made the hour hideous in its fitness for such an occurrence.
The guards closed around their prisoners. One of them had a hatchet in his hand, the terrible use for which it was designed being easily guessed, but he made no attempt to use it He was one of the physicians and both he and his companion carried revolvers, though neither made any attempt to use a weapon. The third man caught was a young man who was terribly frightened.
READY TO SHOOT
The guards examined the body of the one that had been killed. He was a mulatto, apparently only about eighteen years old. He was neatly dressed and be held a revolver fast in his stiffening fingers. To the excited questions of the officers the two white men answered calmly that they were Dr. J. T. Blackburn and Dr. W. E. Grant. They admitted that they were from Louisville.
They were taken to Jail with the colored man. and refusing to answer any questions were locked up. The body of the young negro was taken to an undertaking establishment and Coroner Starr was summoned, he viewed the remains, and will hold an inquest tomorrow.
The name of the dead man is George Brown, and he was assistant Janitor of the Kentucky School of Medicine, of which Dr. Grant is demonstrator of anatomy and Dr. Blackburn is his assistant.  The captured colored man was William Mukes, head janitor of the college.
Dr. Grant is one of the most prominent physicians in the city, and is about forty-five years old and unmarried, he has a very large practice. Dr. Blackburn is a young man Just beginning practice.
PLACED IN DARK CELLS.
The New Albany authorities were so indignant at their action that the two doctors were treated with the utmost rigor. They were shut up in dark cells and not allowed to see any one until about nine o'clock this morning, when Charles L. Jewett. who had been engaged by Dr. Grant's partner as counsel, arrived. Upon advice of Mr. Jewett the prisoners refused to talk. They admitted that they had been in the graveyard, but will not say for what purpose.
Owing to the fact that the body of President William Henry Harrison was stolen from its grave, the Indiana Legislature enacted a law dealing very strictly with grave robbers. The law upon the subject is as follows:—
Any person who shall, without due process of law or the consent of the surviving husband or wife or next of kin of the deceased or of the person having control of such grave, open any grave for the purpose of taking there-from any such dead body or any part there of buried therein, or anything Interred therewith, shall be deemed guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be imprisoned in the state prison for not loss than three years or more than ten years.
Louisville is a great centre for medical schools and there are about twelve hundred; students here. For this reason it is often hard to get subjects for dissection, and recourse has frequently been had to the cemeteries on the Indiana side of the river. This has made the people over there very indignant, and it is likely to go hard with the Louisville physicians.
The indignation is increased by the fact that the graves which they proposed to rob were those of two well known citizens of New Albany. Thomas Johnson was formerly ticket agent of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and Edward Pearce was once a policeman.
THE PRISONERS INDICTED.
Their relatives have engaged prominent lawyers to assist in the prosecution. The Grand Jury of Floyd county was in session today and Investigated the matter returning its findings about six o'clock this evening. All three prisoners were indicted on two counts—one for attempting to rob a grave, the other for conspiring to commit a felony.
The law punishing grave robbing has already been given. The one for conspiring to commit a felony fixes the punishment at a fine of not more than $5,000 and Imprisonment in State prison not less than two nor more than ten years.
The prisoners waived arraignment, but will appear for their examining trial tomorrow, when they will give bail and be released.
Threats of lynching were made against them at New Albany today, and to avoid any possible trouble they were removed to the Indiana State
Prison at Jeffersonville tonight. There they are safe from a mob. The other doctor, whose name is supposed to be Graham, has not been found and is in hiding.
Date: 1890-02-26;  Paper: New York Herald

Body Snatchers Let Off
Louisville Ky. April 4
In the cases of the alleged grave robbers. doctors Blackburn and Grant and the Negro Mukes, who have been on trial at Jeffersonville, Ind. since Tuesday, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.
The residents of New Albany and Jeffersonville are greatly displeased with the result of the jury's deliberations, but are  somewhat comforted in the knowledge that the doctors were put to great cost and trouble, which should be a warning to Louisville doctors that they must not invade Indiana and purloin departed hoosiers for dissecting, or other purposes.
Date: 1891-04-04;  Paper: Aberdeen Daily News

ALLEGED GRAVE-ROBBERS FREED.
Conclusion of the Trial of Drs. Blackburn and Grant of Louisville
Jeffersonville, Ind., April 8-—The celebrated grave-robbing case that startled the whole country In February, a year ago, came to an end this morning, the verdict being an acquittal of  the accused, Drs. James T. Blackburn and William E Grant, and a colored wagon driver named Mukes. The case was called in the Circuit Court of Clark County. Indiana, Wednesday. It was given to the jury Thursday evening.
After being out ten hours the verdict of acquittal was returned. The attempt to rob the graves occurred in New Albany on the night of Feb, 24, 1890. the bodies the physicians were  after were those of Thomas Johnson, who died in Chicago, and Edward Pierce. Shortly before midnight Drs. Blackburn and Grant. with two Negros and a spring wagon went to the cemetery. The two graves to be robbed were identified and the men prepared for work. Just as they were about to stick their spades in the new mounds there was a flash and the report of a gun from behind a monument only a few yards away. One of the Negroes threw up his hands and fell back dead. The two doctors and their companion started to run, but were overtaken by men in watching and arrested. It appears some one had got wind of the plan to rob the graves add a posse had collected in the cemetery to prevent the desecration. Three separate indictments against the alleged participants were returned by the Floyd County grand jury, charging each man with attempting to rob the graves, entering into a conspiracy, and conspiring to commit a felony in the night time.
A change of venue at the May term was taken and the cases were transferred to the Clark Circuit Court. The cases came to trial at this term of court and the verdict was obtained on a technicality. It was shown that the defendants had not even touched the earth of the graves and therefore it was alleged that they had committed no crime.
Date: 1891-04-04;  Paper: Chicago Herald

Charge Preacher with Murder Accused of Causing Death of His Wife Woman Found Hanging From
New Albany, Ind
May 15. — The Rev. Ulysses G. Sutherlin, formerly pastor of the Park Christian church in New Albany, was arrested at his home In Silver Grave, a suburb of the city, by Sheriff Morris of Floyd county, on a charge of murdering his wife, Mrs. Geneva L. Sutherlin, last October. . ,
Mr. Sutherlin expressed surprise when taken into custody, saying that while he had understood that the last errand jury had been Investigating the case, he did not anticipate that an Indictment would be returned against him.
FOUND DEAD
Sutherlin's wife, who was a daughter of John Scheller of Sellersburg, a former member of the board of commissioners of Clark county, was
found dead In her home in Silver Grove on October 12, 1904, Coroner Starr's verdict, after Investigating, was suicide.
About two years and a half before that Mrs. Sutherlin filed suit for divorce alleging cruel treatment.
A few weeks later the couple became, reconciled, and the suit was withdrawn. Sutherlin resigned his pastorate, and since that time he has been engaged in evangelistic work.
PREACHER'S STORY
On the afternoon of October 12 Sutherlin left home to take a horse to a blacksmith shop. According to his story he left the house about 1 o'clock and returned shortly before 5 o'clock. When he reached the house he found all the doors locked and the windows closed. He effected an entrance through a rear door and found his wife hanging from the transom, between the parlor and sitting room. He cut the rope with his pocket knife and then ran to the door and sounded an alarm. Efforts to resuscitate here were unavailing. She had evidently been dead for at least an hour.
The body was taken to Mrs. Satherlin's former home at Sellersburg for interment. The feeling against Sutherlin there was so strong that he did not attempt to enter the home of Mr. Scheller to attend the services, although he went to Sellersburg on the day of the funeral.
FATHER INVESTIGATES
Mrs. Sutherlin's father was not satisfied with the coroner's verdict and began an investigation on his own account. As a result Sutherlin was indicted.
Sutherlln protests innocence and says he is being persecuted. He says that his wife was subject to periodical spells of melancholy and that she had been under treatment by specialists.
Coroner Starr is still of the opinion that it was suicide, Sutherlin is thirty-five years old and has been married twice. His home was formerly in Orleans Ind. He married his second wife about years ago. He Is now secretary of the Christian church societies of the
Fourteenth Indiana district, which Will hold their annual convention at Lexington, Ind., next week.
Date: 1905-05-15; Paper: Evening News

Preacher Wife-Murderer' In Trial of Indiana Minister Witness Testifies to Seeing Him Leave Barn before Body Was Found
New Albany Ind March 17 - In the trial today of Rev. U Sutherlin, charged with wife-murder,
Mrs. Laura Whittingill  testified to seeing Sutherlin drive away from his barn two hours before Mrs. Sutherlin's body was found. Lee Pennington testified to finding, the body of Mrs. Sutherlin in the house with a rope tied around her neck and the other end tied to a transom, There was no evidence of a struggle. A rope swing had been taken from the barn and it was this rope that was tied around the dead woman's neck.
Date: 1906-03-18;  Paper: Charlotte Observer

Sutherlin Must Answer
New Albany Ind Oct 26 -  The supreme court, reversing a ruling in the Sutherlin murder case, revived the case and Rev, Ulysses G. Sutherlin
former pastor of the Park Christian church in this city, will be forced to answer the indictment charging him in four counts of murder of his wife, Mrs. Geneva Sutherlin.
Date: 1905-10-26;  Paper: Elkhart Daily Review

Preacher Found Guilty Of Murder  (they apparently left out the NOT here)
LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 9.—The jury in the case of the Rev. U. G. Sutherlin,
on trial at New Albany, Ind. charged with the murder of his wire. Geneva L. Sutherlin, today returned a verdict of not guilty.
The jury had been out since Saturday morning, but did not decide upon the verdict until 8 o'clock this morning.
Sutherlin received the verdict with composure and was congratulated by a number of physicians arid several hysterical, women who were in the court-room.
Date: 1906-04-09; Paper: Salt Lake Telegram

Minister Acquitted Rev. U. G. Sutherlin Found Not Guilty by Jury of Murder of His Wife
NEW ALBANY Ind. April 9.—The Rev. U.G. Sutherlin was acquitted of  the charge having murdered his wife here, this morning. The jury, which took the case Saturday morning at 11 o'clock reached an agreement at 8:20 this morning, but did not report for some time.
When the men filed into the court-room  and  announced that they had reached a verdict
Sutherlin displayed less emotion than the attorneys and court officials who composed the  assemblage, the spectators having been barred.
As the foreman read the verdict which lifted the charge from Sutherlin, an expression of  satisfaction passed over his face, but he manifested no excitement whatever.
He shook hands with each member of the jury, thanked his his attorneys, and then received the congratulations of his friends.
Mr. Sutherlin. wife was found hanging in the Sutherlin residence. At first the  Sutherlin residence. At first the suicide theory was accepted, but after many months a charge of murder was preferred  against Mr. Sutherlin and special  counsel were employed to prosecute him. His defense was that Mrs. Sutherlin undoubtedly committed suicide.
Date: 1906-04-10; Paper: Lexington Herald

MINISTER  IS ACQUITTED
Accused Wife Murderer Congratulated by Hysterical Women
Louisville, April 10—The jury in the case of Rev, U, G. Sutherlin on trial at New Albany, Ind. charged with the murder of his wife, Geneva L. Sutherlin,  has returned a verdict of not guilty. The jury had been out two days. Rev. Mr. Sutherlin  received the verdict with composure and was congratulated by a number of friends,  including several hysterical women who were in the courtroom
Date: 1906-04-10;  Paper: Aberdeen Daily News

Pastor on Trial for Life.
New Albany. Ind. March 15.—The selection of a jury in the Sutherlin wife murder case has been completed and the taking of testimony has begun.  The prosecution will attempt to prove that the minister choked his wife to death shortly after dinner on October 12. 1905 after which he hanged the body to a transom in a doorway and started with his baby for a drive. If was on his return that the lifeless body of the woman was found and the neighbors were told that she had committed suicide.
Date: 1906-03-16;  Paper: Elkhart Truth

Evidence in the Sutherlin Case.
New Albany, Ind.. March 19. — In the trial of Rev. U Sutherlin charged with killing his wife. Mrs. Laura Whittingill testified to seeing Sutherlin drive away from his barn two hours before Mrs. Sutherlin's body was found. Lee Pennington testified to finding the body of Mrs. Sutherlin in the house, with a rope tied around her neck and the other end tied to a transom. There was no evidence of a struggle. A rope swing had been taken from the barn, and it was this rope that was tied around the dead woman's neck.
Date: 1906-03-21;  Paper: Elkhart Weekly Review


Woman Charged With Poisoning Her Husband New Albany, Ind., Dec. 20
Mrs. Pearl Armstrong was late today charged with the murder of her husband,  George Armstrong, who died last night of carbolic acid poisoning. The woman was placed In jail.
Conflicting statements made by Mrs. Armstrong and Florence Harris, a girl who lives at the Armstrong home, concerning Armstrong's death, caused the arrest, of the two today. After a severe cross-examination the. girl declared, according to the police, that she saw Mrs. Armstrong give her husband six capsules filled with carbolic acid. , The Harris girl, according to the police, said . Mrs. Armstronh wore gloves while handling the capsules to prevent the acid from burning: her hands.
Date: 1909-12-21; Paper: Duluth News-Tribune

MRS. PEARL ARMSTRONG OF NEW ALBANY,   IND.   ACCUSED   OF POISONING HER HUSBAND.
New Albany, Ind- Dec 21—Mrs. Pearl Armstrong was to-day formally charged with having poisoned her husband, who died yesterday. Armstrong: had been ill some time, and it is alleged, his wife began administering small doses of poison last Thursday. He held a $1,000 life insurance in the Modern Woodmen.
Date: 1909-12-21; Paper: Daily Register Gazette

Woman Held without Bond on Murder Charge New Albany, Ind., Dec. 30
Mrs. Pearl Armstrong, charged with the murder of her husband, George Armstrong, was bound over to the grand jury without bond. today. The report of the chemical analysis of Armstrong's stomach was not offered at the hearing today.
Date: 1909-12-31;  Paper: Duluth News-Tribune

New Albany Ind. September 25- Mrs. Catharine Reutter was found with her skull crashed in her partially burned cottage. Her divorced husband was found in the yard with his throat cut. Reutter, who had the delirium tremors, was sheltered by Mrs. Reutter.
Date: 1875-09-26;  Paper: Augusta Chronicle

The “Happy Home Converted Into a Hell by the Demon Whisky.”

The Ritter family is prominent in New Albany’s history. New Albany native Joseph Ritter, born in the city on July 20, 1892, the son of Nicholas and Bertha (née Luette) Ritter, was ordained a priest in the Catholic Church on May 30, 1917. The newly appointed priest moved to Indianapolis where on February 3, 1993, Father Ritter became the Auxiliary Bishop of that city. He served the church in that capacity until March 24, 1934 when he was appointed as the Bishop of Indianapolis, a title he held until Pope Pius XII named him as the Archbishop of St. Louis on July 20, 1946. Archbishop Ritter did such an outstanding job in his position that on January 16, 1961, Pope John XXIII appointed him the Cardinal Priest of Ss. Redentore e S. Alfonso in Via Merluna. When Ritter died of a heart attack on June 10, 1967, New Albanians mourned his death, and in August 2009, the city named a vacant piece of land on 13th Street behind the S. Ellen Jones Elementary School and across from Ritter’s childhood home “Ritter Park” in honor of the city’s famous son. The passing of two other infamous Ritters, however, elicited no such memorial.
The first Ritter to sully the name came to America from Germany sometime in the middle of the 19th Century. Jacob Ritter made his was from his homeland to New Albany, though exactly when he arrived in the city remains unknown. What is known is that on April 30, 1861, a little more than two weeks after the commencement of hostilities in the American Civil War, Jacob Ritter married Catherine Mensinger, daughter of a middle class respected family in New Albany. Ritter, described as an “industrious stonecutter,” worked hard at his craft, and his steady labor soon enabled the couple to purchase a small home where “peace and prosperity reigned” for a number of years.
After a long day at work, like many working class men and women, Jacob enjoyed an adult beverage, (or two; or more), after his supper. Pleasantly buzzed, satisfied with his life, Jacob and his wife spent most nights enjoying a quiet and uneventful evening. At least they did for the first few years of their marriage until Jacob’s drinking grew out of control. Then, according to the byline in the New Albany Daily Ledger Standard, the Ritter’s “Happy Home Converted Into a Hell by the Demon Whisky.”
Jacob began neglecting his business and his wife, spending more and more of his evenings in the local saloons instead of at home with Catherine. He soon gained a reputation as a loafer and a drunkard, and nights formerly spent in the company of his loving spouse turned into nights spent in the company of thieves, scoundrels, and other less desirable elements of New Albany society. Jacob spent many nights lodged in the Floyd County jail on charges of drunkenness…and cruelty toward Catherine. The once happy marriage turned into a living hell for her, a tortured existence at the hands of the man she’d once loved with all her heart, until finally, in 1873, unable to endure any longer the nightmare that her marriage had become, and she filed for divorce.
Catherine remained in the once happy home she’d shared with Jacob, while he slept wherever he passed out. Her neighbors helped her when and how they could. while many of the city’s merchants, aware of her “unapproachable character” and the unfortunate turn her life had taken because of her husband’s uncontrollable drinking, furnished her with enough work sewing that she was able to maintain a meager, though comfortable existence. The “humble, yet honorable manner, in which she was trying to obtain a livelihood, rendered her an object of pity in the eyes of all well-disposed people.”
Despite the divorce, Jacob continued to abuse his former wife. Drunk out of his mind, he’d return to his once happy home and mistreat Catherine in “a manner to terrible to describe. The scenes enacted would make angels weep, and the very hosts of hell rejoice. His soul seemed possessed by a thousand devils, and every demon was busily at work in changing a happy home from a paradise to a hell.” Jacob “seemed to take delight in this nefarious work, and it seemed as though he wanted to drive to destruction the being who has used all honorable means to rid herself of his fiendish grasp.” Catherine, still in love with Jacob, despite his cruelty, tried desperately to calm her out of control former spouse, but when she’d withstood all of the abuse humanly possible, she’d finally call the police and cry as she watched the officers carry him off to jail.
Jacob Ritter, continuing his descent into madness, became convinced that his wife was a witch. In a later interview with Father Doebbner of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Ritter stated, “I have been for one year troubled with witches, and during that time they drove me from one place to another, and they wouldn’t let me work.” Believing several other New Albanians were witches, he left the city for Cincinnati, Ohio, where he stayed for several months, and his wife “did trouble me the whole of nights with her witchcraft.” He continued his heavy drinking and wrote several letters in his native German to many of New Albany’s residents, including Catherine, but most of the missives, upon interpretation, were the incoherent ramblings of a mind gone insane. In one, he claimed Catherine and her brother, Gotleib Mensinger, wrongfully blamed him for the couple’s troubles, and said his former wife cursed him, stating that, “as long as I lived I must have witches or become a witch. I didn’t want that.”
Another letter, though obviously the work of an insane mind, was lucid. The letter, addressed to New Albany Mayor William B. Richardson, informed the mayor that he, Ritter, intended to return to the city and that he requested Mayor Richardson to keep the town’s “little witches and devils” from bothering him upon his return. There remains no record of the mayor’s reaction to this, but we can assume he likely notified the police department of the lunatic’s impending return before tossing the letter aside.
Ritter made his way back to New Albany, walking from Cincinnati to Louisville, Kentucky, and finally arriving in New Albany sometime during the evening of Wednesday, September 22, 1875. He went to the home he’d once shared with Catherine, and she apparently let him stay, though he later testified she told him upon his return, ‘I can do nothing for you.” He claimed they talked about their situation, and that he told her she had “bewitched and bothered him for a long time,” and that he asked her to “let me go.” He stated she made no response to his request, but at some point, according to Jacob, Catherine said that the value of their home should go to her sister’s children, and we are left to wonder what circumstances compelled her to make such a request. Had he told her he planned to kill her, or had he already started beating her so badly that she expected the attack would eventually result in her demise'
At some point that Friday, either he left of his own accord or she convinced him to leave. Strangely, Catherine didn’t call the police or ask any of her neighbors for help. He returned later that night, “crazed with rum,” around midnight. One neighbor, Oliver Cassell, later testified that when he returned home, he saw Jacob at Catherine’s house, but Cassell didn’t say what didn’t mention if the couple argued, though they must have been because when Jacob returned, Catherine refused to let him in the house. Ritter, “being a powerful man,” despite his intemperate habits of the last few years, finally forced his way in. Her neighbors in the heavily populated neighborhood of moderate houses built close together claimed they heard her scream several times during the night, but no one apparently investigated the reasons for her cries, nor did any of them call the police, at least not until the first of them smelled smoke around 6 a.m.
We have only Jacob’s account of what happened that terrible night, and the account in the New Albany Daily Ledger Standard, to picture the horror Catherine certainly endured in those last final hours of her life. Jacob “first commenced his fiendish work by beating the unfortunate woman in a manner most terrible.”According to the newspaper, “Judging from the time the neighbors first heard the screaming until the alarm of fire this morning, he must have been several hours inflicting the punishments.” We can only imagine the horror and pain she suffered.
Neighbor Cassell’s wife testified she heard Jacob speaking in German around 5 a.m., and that though she didn’t speak the language, he sounded angry. Her husband, Oliver claimed he heard the couple talking around 5:30 a.m., and we can only assume that shortly after the Cassells heard the couple, Catherine went to bed. Shortly after he heard the steady breathing that indicated she was sleeping, Jacob wrapped a strip of bleached muslin around his former wife’s neck and strangled her. However, he didn’t quite complete the job.
He may have thought she was dead after his strenuous exertions, but something convinced him she still lived. Perhaps she gasped as she struggled to get air through her crushed windpipe. Maybe she moaned in agony. Whatever she did convinced him that she wasn’t dead yet, and so, according to the newspaper, Jacob, “…then took some heavy instrument, probably an axe or a hatchet, and beat her head into a perfect jelly.” Catherine’s skull had five large holes and her face “was mutilated in a most horrible manner.” When he was done, she was finally, mercifully, dead.
Satisfied he’d finally killed her, Jacob sat down and wrote the following in a “large, coarse, German, sprawling hand…” Adam Werner, editor of the Deutsch Zeitung, translated the letter.

“I have killed my wife because she is a witch. She persecuted me for eleven months. I have burned her up because burning shall be the reward of all witches, which was the rule when the human race was wiser. At present we claim that we have so advanced and are still so ignorant as not to believe in witches any more. Gotleib Mensinger is a witch also; he was with the whole compoodle. There is a good many more witches in New Albany yet. The half of the city is full of them. My wife cheated me, and her brother was the whole cause of it. Don’t want any of my wife’s bones laid by the side of mine, for she is the biggest witch in New Albany, and her brother, Gotleib Mensinger, is also a great witch. Witches would even follow me to St. Louis and wherever I go. When I traveled from St. Louis to Cincinnati and Covington and from there to Louisville on foot, my intention of coming back to New Albany. Jake Herter is a witch also. I will close my letter with the hope that God Almighty will forgive me, for I have never wronged anybody yet. I ask all honorable and Christian people for forgiveness. This is the whole truth and the way the witches have persecuted me. This is all true – as true as there is a God in heaven. John Rippberger and others are witches. I, Jacob Reitter, testify in the name of the Trinity Gods herewith, that I will not speak else but the truth, so help me God. These are the names of the witches: Catherine Reitter, born Mensinger and two of her brothers, Gotleib Mensinger and frow and Catherine Mensinger, a widow woman and Taylor Belzar, wife and daughter. The daughter is married to a carpenter by the name of Rickey. Belzar’s father-in-law, old man Bergley and wife and four great grand children, Bunkle wife and son, Shoemaker, born Trinler and son, a man named Sass and son, Theobold, stonemason, shoemaker Esbach, John Rippberger and wife, Theobold, frow and son. The man that finds this give it to the officers of the court.”

Jacob placed the letter in an envelope, along with his fire insurance papers, and before tucking the package in his pocket, wrote on the back of the envelope, “ German Mutual Fire Insurance Company, of Indiana; Policy No. 1414, to Katherine Ritter, $550; commences Aug. 28, 1878. John Horn, agent.” On the front of the envelope, Jacob directed “in a large sprawling hand, words to the effect that the package be returned to the proper authorities.” He then turned his attention to his wife’s still warm corpse, lying on the bed where the pair had once shared their intimate moments. He arranged her body, and then set fire to the house in an attempt to cover his crime. On his way out the back door, he stopped to grab her pet canary.
Neighbor Nick Clouse was the first to arrive in the scene. He’d been awake about 15 minutes when he smelled smoke. Quickly putting on his clothes, he ran to the house and beat upon the door. Receiving no answer, he broke down the door and saw Catherine lying dead upon her bed. By this time, two other men had arrived, one of them Henry Walter, and the three men carried Catherine’s lifeless form out of the smoke filled house. According to the account in the New Albany Daily Ledger Standard, “her flesh was burnt to a crisp in many places, and she presented a scene that beggars description. She was placed on a bed in the street and covered with a rough blanket, and hundreds of spectators stopped to behold the scene, and then turned away heartsick.”
Jacob wasn’t far away from the commotion, though from his hiding spot in the chicken yard along the right side of the property in the back yard, he likely didn’t see anyone carry is wife’s mutilated body from the house. He placed the cage holding the canary next to a fence post, along with a pocket book holding several letters before secreting himself in the chicken yard. Maybe he spied the activity in front of the house, or maybe he simply lay still in his hiding place. We can’t be sure as he made no mention of his activity during this time, but what we do know is that at some point during all of this uproar, guilt over what he’d done overcame Jacob Ritter. He pulled his old Barlow pocketknife out, and then slit his throat.
Some of the old determination to do a good job that he once showed in his work rose briefly to the surface through the alcoholic haze that had so clouded his thinking in recent years as he pulled the sharp blade across his throat. The cold steel sliced deeply through the soft flesh of his neck just below his larynx, the deep gash partially severing his windpipe. According a physician who later examined him, Jacob suffered the following injury:

“The left ala of the thyroid-hyoid cartilage was fractured longitudinally one-third of the way from the median projection, completely shutting off the rimatid glottis. The platysmo myoides, the sterno cleiodo-mastoid, the anterior belly of the omo-hyoid, the stern-hyoid, and the sterno-thyroid muscle were completely severed. The trapezius muscle was not examined.”

This is where one would expect the story to end. Anyone suffering such a horrendous wound even with today’s modern medical techniques would likely die from such a catastrophic injury. However, the Fates hadn’t finished with Jacob Ritter.
Police Officer Peter Weber found Ritter lying in the filthy chicken yard. The murderer lay on his right side in a rapidly expanding pool of his own blood. Weber assumed Ritter was dead, and we can imagine the officer’s surprise when he rolled Ritter over on his back…and the supposedly dead man spoke to him! Weber looked at Jacob and said, “This is a nice fix you’re in.” Jacob tried to speak, but the officer couldn’t understand what the wounded murderer said, so Ritter motioned toward the fence. Weber walked over to the spot indicated and found the package of letters. Officer Weber then called for assistance. A crowd gathered in response to Weber’s call. Jacob motioned them away and “glared at them like a gladiator.” Jacob Ritter, his throat slashed open, blood pouring down his chest from the wound, was bound and taken to the county jail.
Doctors Easley and Lemon, summoned to the jail, found Ritter “struggling for breath and floundering around in his own blood.” The physicians sewed hut the gaping wound, and determined that death would occur within the next few hours. Following their Hippocratic Oath, did what they could to make their patient comfortable before leaving their patient to attend a hastily summoned coroner’s inquest into the death of Catherine Ritter.
Coroner Pennington called the jurors—John Saunders, Adam Lambert, John Hoffman, Tobias Schmadel, Frederick Newhouse, and B.J. Sheppard—along with several witnesses, including officer Weber, the Cassells, Nick Clouse, Mrs. Catherine Belvis, and both doctors. The inquest determined what happened in the hours leading up to Catherine’s death, as well as a cause. Dr. Easley concluded she died of strangulation, a finding later over-ruled.
The doctors returned to the jail expecting to find their patient expired, but were surprised to find him resting comfortably; at least as comfortably as could be expected of a man with such a severe wound. Though he could speak in an almost inaudible whisper and had taken several small swallows of water, both doctors assured those in attendance that their patient had no chance for a recovery and would likely not survive the morning. Everyone appeared certain that before lunch, “the wretch will appear before a just God to atone for his terrible crime.”
Doctor Easley left the jail to perform a more thorough examination on the body of Catherine Ritter. This time, he concluded that Jacob had strangled her almost to the point of death while the victim slept, and then killed her by striking her repeatedly about the head with the unknown blunt object.
This is where the story would normally end for anyone with such a terrible injury, but Jacob Ritter surprised everyone by living through what must have been an agonizing day for him. Two days after the murder and Ritter’s attempted suicide, the New Albany Daily Ledger Standard reported:

“During the day Reitter (sic) has at times showed symptoms of recovery, and at other times he has suffered the most intense pain. A LEDGER-STANDARD reporter called at the jail just before going to press, and the miserable man was in a sitting posture, trying to swallow some nourishment. His breathing is heavy and his pulse irregular. If the distorted features of all the fiends of the infernal regions could be combined, they could not possibly present a scene more terrible. His face and neck is very much swollen, and his skin has become very dark. As he rolls his large white eyes, half in pain and half in horror, it naturally causes a person to shrink from his presence as from the evil one. He does not seem to fully realize his terrible condition, or if he does, he cares but little about it. The physicians say he may survive through the night, or possibly two or three days, but death is certain in a very short time. May God have mercy on the soul of the blood-stained wretch.”

Amazingly, the next day the paper reported: “Reitter‘s (sic) condition is improved to-day, and the probabilities are that he will not be planted. He took in two square meals today, and is able to walk around the hall of the jail. There don‘t seem to be much the matter with him at first sight, but when he throws his head back, you can see that his neck is half cut off.” However, the paper gave a rosier picture than was the actual case. The following day, the paper printed a correction: “We are informed that our report of the condition of Reitter, (sic) published yesterday, is calculated to create the impression that he would recover. He did not, as stated, 'take in two square meals and walk around the hall of the jail. Likewise we were in error in stating that the 'probabilities were that he would not be planted. On the contrary, his condition has been from the first, such as to preclude any hope of recovery.” Still Jacob Ritter lived.
He continued his suffering for the next several weeks, fading slowly away in his cell. New Albanians eagerly read the daily paper for accounts of the prisoner. Six days after the murder, they read the following account of Ritter’s existence:
“If there is a miserable wretch between earth and eternity, his name is Jacob Reitter, who has been languishing in the county jail for the past week. The triple crime of murder, arson, and suicide rests upon his guilty soul. He neither lives nor can he die, but is suffering all the agonies of death and hell combined. Our reporter called at the jail this afternoon and found him sitting in a chair, nursing his head over a bucket of water, looking the picture of despair and wretchedness. He cannot talk, but his look indicates that at last he has come to a full sense of his awful crime, and if there is any such thing as preparation for such a sinner to visit the world beyond our vision, he is studying the matter most intently and prayerfully. He is tired of this world of sin and sorrow, and desires to be delivered of its cares and torments as he realizes them at present. Yesterday he begged for a knife to complete the job he undertook a few days ago, and intimated that if he could secure a weapon he would make sure work of his earthly existence in quick time. Though hardly ready, he is willing to take the chances of the dread hereafter. A Catholic priest was sent for at his request, but the Rev. Father could not be found. Reitter wants his sins forgiven and has full confidence in the saving power of the priest. How a man with his head partly severed from his body can live is more than the doctors can solve, and the general opinion is that he may die at any moment, and yet he may exist for days. Reitter has made it known that he cut the gashes in his wife‘s head with an axe, and choked her to death, commencing his hellish work about 3 o‘clock in the morning, and when he found she was dead beyond a doubt, thought to hide the deed by burning the house over her head. He was perfectly sane, though pretty drunk until after daylight, and when he saw the fireman removing his wife‘s remains from the burning building, the thought flashed over his mind that his only escape was by suicide. He says he became too weak and was too drunk to complete the work, and gave up in despair. Reitter says his wife wrote him a letter while he was in Cincinnati, stating that she would like to see him, and that is what brought him here. When he knocked at the door she admitted him, but refused to give him all he asked for, and then he concluded that she was tampering and coming her witchcraft over him, as he states.”

On October 1, the paper reported:
“Reitter still lives. He suffers in the flesh for the terrible wrong he committed some days ago, and though he is near eternity, he has not become penitent enough to enjoy the bliss of the good and perfect in this world beyond the grave.
RECLOSING THE WOUND.
Dr. Easley called upon this miserable man last night, sewed up his throat again, placed a tube in his windpipe, to assist in prolonging his life as long as possible. The flesh about his throat and windpipe is very much mortified, and in places is perfectly rotten and will not hold a thread. A powder was given at bed time, and the sufferer rested well through the night.
“The left ala of the thyroid-hyoid cartilage was fractured longitudinally one-third of the way from the median projection, completely shutting off the rimatid glottis. The platysmo myoides, the sterno cleiodo-mastoid, the anterior belly of the omo-hyoid, the stern-hyoid, and the sterno-thyroid muscle were completely severed. The trapezius muscle was not examined.”

This is where one would expect the story to end. Anyone suffering such a horrendous wound even with today’s modern medical techniques would likely die from such a catastrophic injury. However, the Fates hadn’t finished with Jacob Ritter.
Police Officer Peter Weber found Ritter lying in the filthy chicken yard. The murderer lay on his right side in a rapidly expanding pool of his own blood. Weber assumed Ritter was dead, and we can imagine the officer’s surprise when he rolled Ritter over on his back…and the supposedly dead man spoke to him! Weber looked at Jacob and said, “This is a nice fix you’re in.” Jacob tried to speak, but the officer couldn’t understand what the wounded murderer said, so Ritter motioned toward the fence. Weber walked over to the spot indicated and found the package of letters. Officer Weber then called for assistance. A crowd gathered in response to Weber’s call. Jacob motioned them away and “glared at them like a gladiator.” Jacob Ritter, his throat slashed open, blood pouring down his chest from the wound, was bound and taken to the county jail.
Doctors Easley and Lemon, summoned to the jail, found Ritter “struggling for breath and floundering around in his own blood.” The physicians sewed hut the gaping wound, and determined that death would occur within the next few hours. Following their Hippocratic Oath, did what they could to make their patient comfortable before leaving their patient to attend a hastily summoned coroner’s inquest into the death of Catherine Ritter.
Coroner Pennington called the jurors—John Saunders, Adam Lambert, John Hoffman, Tobias Schmadel, Frederick Newhouse, and B.J. Sheppard—along with several witnesses, including officer Weber, the Cassells, Nick Clouse, Mrs. Catherine Belvis, and both doctors. The inquest determined what happened in the hours leading up to Catherine’s death, as well as a cause. Dr. Easley concluded she died of strangulation, a finding later over-ruled.
The doctors returned to the jail expecting to find their patient expired, but were surprised to find him resting comfortably; at least as comfortably as could be expected of a man with such a severe wound. Though he could speak in an almost inaudible whisper and had taken several small swallows of water, both doctors assured those in attendance that their patient had no chance for a recovery and would likely not survive the morning. Everyone appeared certain that before lunch, “the wretch will appear before a just God to atone for his terrible crime.”
Doctor Easley left the jail to perform a more thorough examination on the body of Catherine Ritter. This time, he concluded that Jacob had strangled her almost to the point of death while the victim slept, and then killed her by striking her repeatedly about the head with the unknown blunt object.
This is where the story would normally end for anyone with such a terrible injury, but Jacob Ritter surprised everyone by living through what must have been an agonizing day for him. Two days after the murder and Ritter’s attempted suicide, the New Albany Daily Ledger Standard reported:

“During the day Reitter (sic) has at times showed symptoms of recovery, and at other times he has suffered the most intense pain. A LEDGER-STANDARD reporter called at the jail just before going to press, and the miserable man was in a sitting posture, trying to swallow some nourishment. His breathing is heavy and his pulse irregular. If the distorted features of all the fiends of the infernal regions could be combined, they could not possibly present a scene more terrible. His face and neck is very much swollen, and his skin has become very dark. As he rolls his large white eyes, half in pain and half in horror, it naturally causes a person to shrink from his presence as from the evil one. He does not seem to fully realize his terrible condition, or if he does, he cares but little about it. The physicians say he may survive through the night, or possibly two or three days, but death is certain in a very short time. May God have mercy on the soul of the blood-stained wretch.”

Amazingly, the next day the paper reported: “Reitter‘s (sic) condition is improved to-day, and the probabilities are that he will not be planted. He took in two square meals today, and is able to walk around the hall of the jail. There don‘t seem to be much the matter with him at first sight, but when he throws his head back, you can see that his neck is half cut off.” However, the paper gave a rosier picture than was the actual case. The following day, the paper printed a correction: “We are informed that our report of the condition of Reitter, (sic) published yesterday, is calculated to create the impression that he would recover. He did not, as stated, 'take in two square meals and walk around the hall of the jail. Likewise we were in error in stating that the probabilities were that he would not be planted. On the contrary, his condition has been from the first, such as to preclude any hope of recovery.” Still Jacob Ritter lived.
He continued his suffering for the next several weeks, fading slowly away in his cell. New Albanians eagerly read the daily paper for accounts of the prisoner. Six days after the murder, they read the following account of Ritter’s existence:
“If there is a miserable wretch between earth and eternity, his name is Jacob Reitter, who has been languishing in the county jail for the past week. The triple crime of murder, arson, and suicide rests upon his guilty soul. He neither lives nor can he die, but is suffering all the agonies of death and hell combined. Our reporter called at the jail this afternoon and found him sitting in a chair, nursing his head over a bucket of water, looking the picture of despair and wretchedness. He cannot talk, but his look indicates that at last he has come to a full sense of his awful crime, and if there is any such thing as preparation for such a sinner to visit the world beyond our vision, he is studying the matter most intently and prayerfully. He is tired of this world of sin and sorrow, and desires to be delivered of its cares and torments as he realizes them at present. Yesterday he begged for a knife to complete the job he undertook a few days ago, and intimated that if he could secure a weapon he would make sure work of his earthly existence in quick time. Though hardly ready, he is willing to take the chances of the dread hereafter. A Catholic priest was sent for at his request, but the Rev. Father could not be found. Reitter wants his sins forgiven and has full confidence in the saving power of the priest. How a man with his head partly severed from his body can live is more than the doctors can solve, and the general opinion is that he may die at any moment, and yet he may exist for days. Reitter has made it known that he cut the gashes in his wife‘s head with an axe, and choked her to death, commencing his hellish work about 3 o‘clock in the morning, and when he found she was dead beyond a doubt, thought to hide the deed by burning the house over her head. He was perfectly sane, though pretty drunk until after daylight, and when he saw the fireman removing his wife‘s remains from the burning building, the thought flashed over his mind that his only escape was by suicide. He says he became too weak and was too drunk to complete the work, and gave up in despair. Reitter says his wife wrote him a letter while he was in Cincinnati, stating that she would like to see him, and that is what brought him here. When he knocked at the door she admitted him, but refused to give him all he asked for, and then he concluded that she was tampering and coming her witchcraft over him, as he states.”

On October 1, the paper reported:

“Reitter still lives. He suffers in the flesh for the terrible wrong he committed some days ago, and though he is near eternity, he has not become penitent enough to enjoy the bliss of the good and perfect in this world beyond the grave.
RECLOSING THE WOUND.
Dr. Easley called upon this miserable man last night, sewed up his throat again, placed a tube in his windpipe, to assist in prolonging his life as long as possible. The flesh about his throat and windpipe is very much mortified, and in places is perfectly rotten and will not hold a thread. A powder was given at bed time, and the sufferer rested well through the night.
The article then continued:

“The LEDGER-STANDARD of Thursday contained a notice that the poor sinner, Reitter, had sent after a Catholic Priest, but that none could be found. As there is but one German Priest in New Albany, and as Reitter is a German, so it was certain that Father Doebener was meant. It is true the Reverend Father was, from Monday until Wednesday absent from home, having gone to Terre Haute, to assist at the funeral of the very Reverend Father P. Bede O‘Connor. But during his absence he was not sent for by Reitter. When Father Doebener read the notice in the LEDGER-STANDARD he went to the jail at 9 o‘clock Friday morning, accompanied by Mr. Joseph Kistner, and obtained admittance to the prisoner. Father D. asked him if he was a Catholic. The poor man shook his head, indicating that he was not. Thereupon Father Doebbner gave him paper and a pencil that he might write what he wished. He wrote quite a long time, saying that he had sent after a Protestant minister, as Mr. Lyman Davis could witness, but he had not come. At last Father Doebbner addressed some earnest words to him, that soon he must appear before his Lord, before Him who had given him life, that he should endeavor to prepare himself for that appearance, that Christ had pardoned the murderer on the cross assuring him this day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.' He was also a murderer for he had killed his wife, and then attempted to take his own life. He should therefore go to the cross with this repentant sinner and seek remission of his sins. The murderer then burst out in tears. As he was not a Catholic, Father Doebbner could not administer unto him the holy sacrament and the last rites. He could only move him to repentance and recommend him to the mercy of God.”

Jacob Ritter finally died on November 23, 1875, almost two months after killing his wife and attempting to end his own by slicing his throat in a manner most painful. The New Albany Daily Ledger Standard reported his passing with the following comments:
“The lights are out, the curtain has fallen; the last actor of the terrible tragedy enacted a few weeks ago has crossed the boundaries of the wonderful beyond. Jacob Reitter, the wife murderer, the incendiary and suicide, is dead. The pale, sickening light, as it found its way into the hall of the jail this morning, disclosed the sallow features of the dead murderer, as he lay stretched upon a rude pallet surrounded by a crowd of curiousity-seeking spectators. His head was thrown back, which plainly revealed the terrible wound across his throat, which had been self-inflicted, and which caused his death. The same grim, stolid look of determination, that was noticeable on his features in life, marked them in death. Long hours of pain and anguish had reduced the powerful man to a mere skeleton – haggard in its appearance and bearing the outward marks of long suffering and sin. His Herculean strength was all that prolonged his life, which only made the punishment for his bloody crime more severe. We know but little of his mental or physical sufferings, and can only judge by the deep, dark traces that they have left. The wound in his throat never became entirely healed, and from the first his physician said it was only a matter of time in regard to his taking off. He had a bad cough, and at times was unable to expectorate. His voice was gone, and the last act of his life, while sitting in a chair, at half-past 9 o‘clock this morning, was to write the following, in German, which being translated, reads: “Give me some more of those brown powders, so that I can get relief in breathing.” He had hardly finished writing the words, when he dropped from the chair and died without a struggle. We understand that a post mortem examination will be held this evening, which will probably demonstrate the fact that he died from suffocation, occasioned by the wound in his throat. Thus has passed away one of the most terrible actors that has ever figured in the annals of crime. The details setting forth the horrors of that crime have been read and reread, and to-day the miserable wretch has been called hence to account for his crimes in the presence of a just God. Neither time nor eternity will obscure his sin, and it is useless to give an account of it now. All that was mortal of the murderer has passed from earth, and we have no right to judge of the soul. All bitter feeling should now be banished from our breasts, all utterances of censure should now be hushed, for the guilty being who sinned, struggled and suffered is no more. The jury summoned to investigate the causes which lead to Reiter‘s death, after having heard the evidence and examined the body, decided that said deceased came to his death from fatty degeneration of the heart, superinduced by wounds inflicted upon himself.”

No formal funeral was given him, and the paper makes no mention of anyone mourning his passing. Though a monument may once have noted his final resting place in the pauper’s section of the Fairview Cemetery in New Albany, nothing remains today to note where this once hard-working, devoted family man now sleeps his eternal slumber.

Submitted by Gregg Seidl

Clubbed To Death. Horrible Crime Perpetrated at New Albany, Ind--Brutal Murder of a Lady by Her Brother-In-Law
New Albany  Ind. March 15.—Henry Ritter, a bad character of this city, was arrested Friday morning' on the charge of murder One hour before his arrest Mrs. Ellen Wheelon, his sister-in-law, was found clubbed to death, lying on the
Jeffersonville, Madison & Indianapolis railroad track. The supposition is that Ritter killed the woman at her residence a short distance from the railroad and placed her on the track to make it appear that it was suicide, with a view
of hiding the crime. The web of circumstantial evidence that was adduced at the inquest was damaging in the extreme. Ritter denies all knowledge of the tragedy. The victim was twenty-five years old and was amongst the best
known ladies of this city. There is talk of lynching. . Later developments show that Ritter attempted to outrage Mrs. Wheelon. but she resisted and he brained her with a hatchet and carried the body to the railroad track, where it was found.
Date: 1890-03-15; Paper: Jackson Citizen Patriot

Cold-Blooded Murder - The New Albany (Ind) Ledger has learned of the murder of Mr. D. Ed. Smith, who for more than a year was an officer in Hospital  No. 8 in New Albany, and was a young man of more than moral rectitude and uprightness.  He had been residing in Ohio since the war. Some few weeks ago he left his home to visit some relatives in Pennsylvania, and during his stay among them was requested by his sister to call upon a young lady friend of hers as he returned home, who resided at Gallion Ohio, The young lady In question had a few weeks previous to Smith's arrival, refused to receive the calls of a young maniIn that town who was deeply in love with and anxious to marry her. This young man took an oath that he would kill any man who might visit the lady,
Young Smith arrived in the town, andhad called upon the young lady, in pursuance of his sister's request, during the afternoon, and left an engagement to call again in the evening, By some means the discarded lover learned that
Smith would call, and armed himself with a revolver, and taking a position a square or two from the young lady's residence, waited for Smith to leave the house. Smith remained until about nine o'clock, and then left. When he reached the place where the discarded lover wss standing, the desperado suddenly rushed upon him, and shot him through the heart, killing him instantly,
The murderer gave no one any intimation of his intention to commit the deed, and young Smith was entirely  unsuspecting of danger until the fatal shot was fired. The villain was arrented, and will doubtless suffer the extreme penalty of the law for his crime. Young Smith, during his residence in New Albany, was a member of the choir at Wesley Chapel he was highly esteemed
by all who Knew him, and had an unblemished character.
Date: 1866-11-29; Paper: Patriot

WIFE .In Custody Pending Inquiry Into Death of George Armstrong.
PECULIAR FEATURES CAUSE SUSPICION.
Mrs. Pearl Armstrong and Her Niece, Florence Harris, Tell Conflicting Stories.
NIECE IS ALSO BEING HELD BY POLICE.
George Armstrong, aged forty-four years, and an employe in the Ohio Falls rolling mills for a number of years, died suddenly about 12 o’clock last night at his home, 47 West First street, under circumstances that caused suspicion that his death was due to foul play, and his wife, Mrs. Pearl Armstrong, and her niece, Miss Florence Myrtle Harris, were taken into custody by Chief of Police William Adams under orders of Coroner Will Richards and Dr. C. C. Funk, secretary of the city board of health, to await the result of an autopsy which will be held on Armstrong’s body at Lottich Brothers’ undertaking establishment this afternoon.
The women have told conflicting stories regarding Armstrong’s illness and while Mrs. Armstrong insists that her husband’s death was due to carbolic acid taken with suicidal intent there were indications that his death was due [to] strychnine poisoning. Suspicion in the case was first aroused when Mrs. Armstrong urged that no mention be made of carbolic acid in the death certificate. Armstrong was a member of New Albany Camp, Modern Woodmen of America, in which he carried a life insurance policy for $1,000.
Last evening about 7 o’clock Mrs. Armstrong telephoned to Dr. H. B. Shacklett that her husband had taken carbolic acid some time before. When Dr. Shacklett reached the house Mrs. Armstrong told him that her husband had been taking calomel for several days. Armstrong also told the physician he had been taking calomel but said nothing about having swallowed any carbolic acid and Dr. Shacklett was unable to detect any trace of the fiery fluid. About 11 o’clock last night Mrs. Armstrong called Dr. Shacklett’s home again and said that her husband had taken another dose of the acid but as the physician was absent on another call he did not go to the house and an hour later Armstrong died. Before Armstrong died his wife notified her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Sullivan, who live on West Eighth street, and also several neighbors. Armstrong’s mother, Mrs. John Gaskell, living at 409 Culbertson avenue, was not notified and did not learn of her son’s death until this morning.
Shortly before his death Armstrong suffered from several convulsions and after his death his muscles were rigid and his limbs were drawn up. The police learned of the peculiar circumstances surrounding the case and Chief of Police Adams and Prosecuting Attorney Walter B. Bulleit closely questioned Mrs. Armstrong and Miss Harris, a sixteen-year-old girl, and their conflicting stories convinced the officials that the entire truth about the affair had not been told and they were taken into custody. Mrs. Armstrong was placed in a cell at the police station and Miss Harris was allowed to remain in the private front office.
Mrs. Armstrong said that her husband poured carbolic acid into capsules and swallowed them. She said that he made six of them and swallowed all of them at one time. No trace whatever of the acid could be found in Armstrong’s mouth or throat or on his fingers. There was also no trace of the phial in which the acid had been kept.
Miss Harris, who has been staying at Armstrong’s home for several weeks, disclaimed any knowledge of the affair. She denied a statement of Mrs. Armstrong that she also saw Armstrong swallow any capsules. Miss Harris is sixteen years old and her home is in the French Creek settlement, west of the city. It is said by Armstrong’s relatives that he was opposed to her staying at his home but his wishes were not regarded by his wife.
Armstrong, besides his mother, leaves two sisters, Mrs. Jessie Weber and Ida Goulding, and one brother, Charles Armstrong, all of this city. Mrs. Armstrong is his second wife, his first wife being a daughter of Jacob Bloat, of this city. His relatives are not making any accusations of foul play but they believe the peculiar features in the case and the unusual circumstances attending the death of Armstrong demand a thorough investigation by the officials.
It is feared an autopsy will not reveal the cause of death as the body had been embalmed early this morning before there were any suspicions aroused that foul play might have cut a figure in the case. Embalming fluids used by undertakers are made of ingredients that are deadly poisons.
It was stated this afternoon by Chief of Police Adams that convincing evidence had been secured that Armstrong’s death was not due to carbolic acid self-administered and further questioning of Mrs. Armstrong and Miss Harris is expected to bring out the straight story of the manner of his death.
New Albany Evening Tribune 20 December 1909, page. 4 col. 3

Case Is Continued.
New Albany, Ind.; Jan. 10.—When the case of Rev. U. G. Sutherlin, of this city, for the alleged murder of his wife, Mrs. Geneva Sutherlin, was called for trial in the circuit court on motion of the prosecution a continuance was granted on account of the absence of important witnesses.
Date: 1906-01-10; Paper: Elkhart Truth

DARING DAY LIGHT HOLD UP OF BANK.
J. H. Fawcett Killed in an Attempted Bank Robbery.
TRAGEDY SHOCKS COMMUNITY.
Daring Robber Shoots Up Merchants National Bank.
PRESIDENT WOODWARD WOUNDED.
One of the most daring broad daylight bank robberies in modern times was committed at the Merchants National Bank in this city at 11 o'clock this morning when Mr. J. H. Fawcett, the cashier, was shot and killed, and J. K. Woodward, the president of the bank was also shot and dangerously wounded. After firing twenty shots in rapid succession the robber fled from the bank without securing a cent. George Newhouse, the assistant cashier and Henry Alexander, the colored porter, were the only others in the bank at the time and they escaped injury.
At 11 o'clock this morning a handsome auto cab drew up in front of the drug store of C. E. Crecelius in Main street which is next door to the bank and two men, a Negro and white man alighted going around the corner to the rear door of the bank. At the same time J. H. Fawcett the cashier was coming from Steinhaur's barber shop which is just in the rear of the bank. As Mr. Fawcett unlocked the door which is always kept locked, and entered the bank the stranger forced his way in behind him drawing two pistols at the same time ordering everybody to “hold up their hands.” Without waiting to see whether or not the demand was complied with the stranger began to shoot. Only a few shots was fired until Mr. Fawcett staggered a few paces toward the front of the bank and fell, dying almost immediately, and Mr. Woodward fell to the floor.
The entire tragedy did not exceed a half minute. No longer time was occupied than it took the excited man to fire in rapid succession the loads from four six-shooters which he had in his belt. James R. Tucker, the colored chauffeur, who fled as the first shot was fired, was shot in the hand and received a wound in his side. He was hustled into Crecelius' drug store by the clerk in the store and a few minutes later was taken into custody by Police Captain McLaughlin. The robber was caught fifteen minutes later on the [dyke] on the Kentucky side of the river, having been halted by some shanty boatmen who covered him with shot guns, and was brought back to this side of the river and turned over to Chief of Police Adams, who took him to the county jail.
After committing the deed, the man who refused to tell his name, swallowed poison and was in a dazed condition when he reached the police. He was scarcely able to talk, and when asked his name shook his head. Arriving at the jail the man was examined by Dr. D. F. Davis, who stated that he had a chance of recovery, and Capt. Adams and County Sheriff Sittason, assisted by a half a dozen men who had been deputized, hastened to an automobile that was standing outside to take the prisoner to the Indiana Reformatory in Jeffersonville for safe keeping.
As the officer left the jail with the prisoner a mob surrounded them, shouting “hang him, hang him,” and the excited crowd surrounded the automobile and it was with great difficulty that the officers fought their way through the crowd and started the machine in the direction of Jeffersonville. One excited citizen was waving in his hand a rope, a new one which had evidently been bought for a plough line, but it was taken away from him by Walter V. Bulleit, prosecuting attorney, who, by his timely action, probably prevented a lynching on the streets, for had the excited crowd got hold of the prisoner he would undoubtedly have been hung to the nearest tree.
Hundreds of people who were attracted to the bank by the shooting rushed into the building only to find the cashier was dead and the president of the bank was badly wounded. Others who saw the robber leave the bank started in pursuit, pursuing him out Main street to East Fourth and thence east on Water street. At East Fourth and Water streets Edwin Long, an employe of the United Gas and Electric Company, joined the chase. Long happened to have a pistol and he was fresh in the race which enabled him to gain on the fleeing robber. He fired several shots at the man as he fled but missed his mark. At East Tenth street the robber ran down to the river and seizing [a] iceboat that happened to be there [set]out for the Kentucky shore.
Long fired several shots at him as he rowed out from the shore, and finally shouted to some men on a shanty boat on the dike on the Kentucky shore. He shouted to the men that there was $500 reward for the capture of the assassin and seizing a shot gun from their boat, the men covered the robber when he landed on the dike and he surrendered. He had in his belt three six-shooter revolvers which, however, had been emptied but in his pockets were found twenty 32-calabre cartridges.
James R. Tucker, the Negro chauffer who accompanied the robber from Louisville to this city stated that the machine in which they crossed the river was the property of Mrs. Walter N. Escott, of 1188 Third street, Louisville. He said that just as he was backing the machine out of the garage in the alley in the rear of Mrs. Escott's residence, at 10:30 o'clock, he was approached by a stranger, who with two drawn pistols entered the taxicab and commanded him to take him to New Albany. The Negro says that he told him that if he attempted to play false with him he would kill him instantly. The couple drove down Third avenue to Broadway, thence to Twenty-sixth street, thence out Twenty-sixth street to Portland avenue thence to the Kentucky and Indiana bridge. On reaching New Albany the Negro said that he was commanded to drive down a back street which the fellow, who seemed to be acquainted with the city, pointed out, and they arrived at the front of the bank unobserved.
When the fellow ordered the Negro to stop the machine he commanded him to walk just six feet in front of him, declaring that if he made a single misstep he would die in his tracks. Pushing him ahead of him, the Negro said that the fellow began to shoot as soon as he was inside the bank when, the Negro stated, he started to run and the robber turned a gun on him shooting him in the hand. He said that he believed that he was also shot in the side, but at the time he did not know for certain whether or not he had been shot more than once. This statement was made by Tucker while in Crecelius drug store and just before he was taken by Capt. McLaughlin to the county jail. A few minutes after his arrival at the jail he was taken to the hospital.
George Newhouse, assistant cashier at the bank, stated that he was standing at the desk fifteen feet back of the cashiers window and that Gary Fawcett, the cashier who was killed, had gone in to Steinhauer's barber shop which is just in the rear of the bank, having been summoned by telephone by his father Capt. Charles H. Fawcett, and that J. K. Woodward, the president of the bank, was at his desk in the rear, while Henry Alexander the colored porter was somewhere in the rear of the room. He said he was busy at the books when suddenly he heard some one shout excitedly, “Throw Up Your Hands” and at the same instant the shooting commenced.
Mr. Newhouse stated that shot after shot was fired in rapid succession until at least twenty pistol shot reports were heard, but that the fellow seemed for the most part to be shooting upward. At the same time Mr. Newhouse pointed to a number of bullet holes in the ceiling of the bank, which indicated that the man was shooting wildly. About the bank and about the county jail the wildest excitement prevailed. Men, women and children with blanched faces, gathered by the hundreds about the corner where the tragedy occurred, murmuring threats about what should be done to the fiend who committed such a crime and by the time that Chief of Police
Adams arrived with the prisoner the people had become worked up to a point that had a leader taken things in hand a lynching would have been inevitable.
The names of the shanty boatmen who captured the robber are C. E. Gardner and J. A. Grim and they were assisted by C. H. Meyers. Gardner stated that when the fellow surrendered he begged to be taken to the Louisville jail and declared that he did not want to be taken back to Indiana. They said that he was frothing at the mouth at the time. Dr. D. F. Davis who examined the man at the jail stated that he made such a hasty examination that he could not be certain that he had taken poison, but that he was certain that he had not taken carbolic acid. At the Reformatory it was stated that the man was not suffering from poison.
Shortly after the shooting J. K. Woodward, President of the Bank, was taken to St. Edward's hospital, where he was attended by Dr. C. P. Cook and Dr. J. F. Weathers. Dr. Chenneworth, of Louisville, was also summoned and assisted in removing the bullet. Dr. Chenneworth stated that the bullet did not penetrate the vital organs and that barring complications the patient has a good chance to recover.
After an inquest had been held at the bank by Dr. W. R. Richards, county coroner, the body of Fawcett was removed to the undertaking establishment of Newland Gwin, where it was prepared for burial, after which it was removed to his home in DePauw Place.
J. Hangary Fawcett, the cashier who lost his life, was one of the most widely known and most popular men in New Albany. He was born and reared in this city and belonged to a prominent New Albany family. From the time that he had left school he had been employed in the Merchants National Bank which was established by his grandfather, Jacob Hangary, and he had been gradually promoted until he reached the position of cashier. Since the death of his uncle, Edward Hangary, 20 years ago, he has held the position of cashier. He was forty-one years of age and besides his wife is survived by a son, Charles B. Fawcett, fourteen years of age. His first wife was Miss Elenor Pralle, who died fourteen years ago. A year ago last June he was married to Miss Ethel McDonald of Louisville, who survives him.
While the robber refused to tell his name persons who saw him declare that his name is Hall. It is said he boated about the dock at the foot of Pearl street and was known to the men about the river, none of whom however happened to remember his given name. He is about 22 years of age. To the officers the prisoner declared that his name was Jesse James and further than this he would have nothing to say.
Morris McDonald, son of John S. McDonald, provided an automobile for the removal of the prisoner to Jeffersonville and drove the machine affording the officers great assistance in getting the man out of the way of the mob and out of the city. Sheriff Sittason declared that the man was not suffering from the effects of poison and that he had not been shot.
Judge W. C. Utz of the Circuit court stated this afternoon that he would immediately convene the grand jury and have the case investigated at once. It is probable that the case will be tried as quickly as possible.New Albany Daily Ledger, 11 November 1909: page 4, column 3


GRAND JURY MEETS.
Investigation of Yesterday’s Tragedy Commenced in the Circuit Court.

EVERY DETAIL TO BE INVESTIGATED.
Woodward’s Friends Gratified on Account of His Condition.

ARE VERY HOPEFUL OF HIS RECOVERY.
Negro Tucker Lingers in an Extremely Critical Condition.

HIS DEATH MAY OCCUR AT ANY TIME.
The grand jury of the Floyd Circuit Court convened at 10 o'clock this morning to investigate the tragedy of yesterday at the Merchant's National Bank, and a thorough investigation of the horrible affair will be made in all of its details. In addition to the case of Hall, the youthful would-be-bandit, the case of John R. Tucker, the chauffeur, who brought Hall in an automobile to this city, will be investigated, as will also the case of Henry Alexander, the janitor of the bank, who was locked up by Chief of Police Adams last night pending the action of the grand jury.
It is charged that since the tragedy Alexander had told conflicting stories regarding the affair which has given rise to suspicion that he might have been an accomplice of the boy bandit in his fiendish undertaking. Every detail relating to the part of Alexander in the bank robbery will be thoroughly investigated by the grand jury. At the county jail this morning Alexander stated that while he was dusting the stairway that leads up from the side stairs of the bank he heard some one rattle the door thinking that some of the employees wanted to get in; he went down stairs when at the foot of the stairway he encountered Hall and Tucker, the Negro chauffeur who he had brought with him. He said that Hall, at the point of a pistol, forced him and the other colored man through the second door ahead of him and that at this juncture Gary Fawcett, who had been lying on a lounge in the rear of the bank, appeared and asked what was the matter, when Hall covered him with a revolver and also made him march ahead. Alexander stated that he attempted to get to the revolvers which are near the cashier's desk, when Hall shot at him and he fled through the passage way to the front part of the bank where he attempted to reach over the counter to get the revolvers when Hall again shot at him and he fled out of the front door. Alexander said that he then ran into Crecelius drug store and asked for a pistol and when he was informed that they had none, he ran across the street to the harness store of George S. Graf, where he told that bank robbers were in the bank and asked for a pistol. By this time he said, Hall had left the bank and he went back and found Mr. Fawcett dead on the floor and Mr. Woodward wounded. A number of others had reached the bank by this time.
While the statement of Alexander corroborates the statement of James R. Tucker, the Negro chauffeur who accompanied Hall to this city, it does not corroborate the statement of Miss Edith Campbell, who said that as she and Miss Mary O'Donnell, both of whom are clerks in the White House dry goods store, were going to dinner their attention was attracted as they neared the side door of the bank by a white man and two Negroes, who seemed to be in an argument, and they observed that the white man had a pistol.
The grand jury convened at 10 o'clock this morning and proceeded at once with the investigation of the cases. The jury, which had been in session for three weeks during the first of the October term of the court, adjourned Saturday, October 30, but the adjournment was not final. At the time there was some unfinished business and it was understood that the body would convene again at some time before the adjournment of the court for the term. The grand jurymen are Henry B. Stoy, Frank M. Livingston, Christian Gueswein, Philip Reinhard, Louis Meyer and John Cadwalader.
At last accounts today J. K Woodward, President of the Merchants Bank, who is suffering at St. Edward's hospital from an exceedingly dangerous wound received at the hands of the accused, was resting easy and since he received the wound has been doing as well as could be expected. He passed a restful night and at intervals slept, sleeping several hours during the night. Dr. Chenneworth of Louisville and Dr. Charles P. Cook of this city remained with him all night, the physicians alternating in their respective watches while his brother, Harry Woodward, was also at his bedside during all of the night. Mrs. Woodward and her mother and sister occupied an apartment adjoining that of the wounded man. Friends of Mr. Woodward are greatly encouraged on account of his condition today and have great hopes that he will recover although the wound is an exceedingly dangerous one. The pistol ball entered the abdomen, coming out at the right side and penetrating the liver.
The condition of James R. Tucker, the Negro chauffeur, who brought Heil to the city is more encouraging today than last night, though there is little room to hope for his recovery. He passed a restless night but is more quiet this morning, and at last accounts today he was resting easy and doing as well as could be expected.
The funeral of J. Hangary Fawcett, cashier of the Merchant's National Bank, who met his death in the attempted bank robbery yesterday, will take place from the family residence in DePauw place and the Rev. Dr. Frank W. Grossman, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, will conduct the service. The burial will be in Fairview cemetery and those who will serve as pall bearers are Owen Tyler, of Louisville, Newland T. DePauw, Charles W. DePauw, Charles D. Kelso, W. A. McLean and William H. Widman, of this city. New Albany lodge of Elks of which Mr. Fawcett was a member will not participate in the service and the funeral will be altogether unpretentious though it will not be private and friends of the family are invited to attend.
The untimely death of Mr. Fawcett has cast a gloom over the entire city of New Albany, where he had spent his entire life and numbered his friends by the hundred. No man in the entire city was more widely known or more universally popular than he, and there is many a sad heart in New Albany besides his family and relatives on account of his death.
Mrs. Fawcett, who is almost prostrated on account of the unexpected death of her husband, is bearing up bravely under her sad bereavement. The grief stricken parents who are bereft of their only son, are bravely bearing their affliction, although the mother became so ill yesterday from the shock on hearing the news of the horrible death of her son, that it became necessary to summon a physician. Her condition today, however, is greatly improved.
New Albany Daily Ledger, 12 November 1909: page 4, column 3


HOAL IS INDICTED.
Grand Jury Charges Him With Murder in First Degree.

LIFE MUST PAY PENALTY OF CRIME.
Murder Has Little Chance to Escape Gallows.

BOX IS BROUGHT HERE FOR EVIDENCE.
J. K. Woodward Making a Brave Fight For Life.

FRIENDS HOPEFUL OF HIS RECOVERY.
James R. Tucker, the Negro Chauffeur, Develops Peritonitis.

CONDITION IS EXTREMELY CRITICAL.
Funeral of J. H. Fawcett Takes Place Today.

MANY FRIENDS ATTEND THE SERVICE.
An indictment charging murder in the first degree against Thomas Jefferson Hoal, the youthful bandit, who murdered J. Hangary Fawcett, cashier of the Merchants National Bank in a daring attempt to rob the bank Thursday morning, was returned at noon today by the grand jury that has been investigating the case since yesterday morning and the young desperado will be compelled to stand a trial for his life.
The indictment, which is indictment number twenty-three, is in three counts charging murder in the first degree, the crime of burglary, and murder in an attempt to perpetrate the crime of robbery.
After returning the indictment against Hoal the grand jury adjourned without returning any indictment either against James R. Tucker, the Negro chauffeur who accompanied Hoal to this city, or Henry Alexander, the janitor of the bank. The condition of Tucker, who is in St. Edward's hospital, is such that he is likely to die at any time, and it is understood that Alexander will be held for the present in jail as a witness.
The next step in the prosecution is the arraignment of the prisoner. It is customary to arraign a prisoner in the court as soon as possible after the indictment is returned against him, and they are often arraigned within an hour after they are indicted, and seldom longer than two or three days, but there is no limit under the law as to the time that the prisoner is to be arraigned and in the selection of the time of arraignment the authorities will use deliberation.
While the authorities here do not believe that it would actually be dangerous to bring Hoal to this city at any time to arraign him, they are not inclined to take the responsibility of any outbreak of a mob that might take place and it is probable that the prisoner or his counsel will be consulted before the time for the arraignment is fixed and that the matter will be left largely to the friends and counsel of Hoal.
When the prisoner is arraigned the time for his trial will then be fixed by Judge Utz. With the evidence against Hoal there is but one possible escape for him from the gallows and that is to enter a plea of guilty. Under the law when a prisoner enters a plea of guilty to a crime, the extreme punishment of which is death, the court cannot pass the death sentence. It is optional with the court, however, whether or not he will accept a plea of guilty. If the court refuses to accept a plea of guilty it will then be necessary to impanel a jury and take evidence and go through with the formality of a trial, allowing the defendant to submit such evidence as he may have in his own behalf. The jury will then determine the guilt or innocence of the accused and fix the penalty.

The box which Hoal had contrived with which to have himself shipped to Knoxville was brought to this city today to be used as evidence in the presentation and was placed in custody of County Sheriff Claude A. Sittason. It was ordered to be brought to the city by Prosecuting Attorney Walter V. Bulleit and Chief of Police Adams, and County Sheriff Sittason arranged with the Louisville police to secure possession of the box which was hauled to the city by the Hammersmith Transfer Company.
J. K. Woodward, president of the Merchants' National Bank, who was dangerously wounded in the tragedy at the bank last Thursday, passed a restful night last night and his friends are greatly encouraged today on account of his condition though he is critically ill. He slept the greater part of last night, which is a favorable indication, and this morning he seemed greatly refreshed as a result of his night's rest.
From the first Mr. Woodward has displayed remarkable fortitude which, with his excellent constitution, adds wonderfully to his chances for recovery, inspiring confidence on the part of his relatives and friends and hope on the part of his physician. His wound is an exceedingly dangerous one and should he recover his recovery would be little short of the miraculous, but so long as there is life there is hope and the favorable conditions that continue to develop in the case furnishes room to hope that his life will be spared.
Mrs. Woodward has remained constantly with her husband since he was taken to the hospital and his brother, Harry Woodward, has also been with him, while Dr. Chenneworth, of Louisville, and Dr. Charles P. Cook of this city, have been with him almost constantly. He has received from the physicians and nurses every possible attention and from his family and near relatives and friends every encouragement to aid him in his desperate struggle for his life.
Symptoms of peritonitis developed today in the case of James R. Tucker, the Negro chauffeur who brought Hoal, the boy bandit who attempted to rob the Merchants National Bank Thursday, from Louisville to this city in a taxicab and was shot in the back in the tragedy at the bank and there is no hope of his recovery. His death is only a question of hours and it may occur at any time. From the first Dr. D. F. Davis, the attending physician, gave out no hope of the Negro's recovery and the change for the worse in his condition today was no more than was expected. He has received at the hospital every possible attention, but his wound was of such a nature that it was necessarily fatal. At last accounts this afternoon Tucker was still alive, but there is little room to hope that he will survive through the day.
The funeral of J. Hangary Fawcett, cashier of the Merchants National Bank who was killed by an assassin in a daring and sensational attempt to rob the bank last Thursday morning took place at the family residence in DePauw Place at 2:30 o'clock this afternoon and was largely attended by the relatives and friends of the family. After the service at the house a large concourse of mourning relatives and friends followed the body to the grave.
The service was conducted by the Rev. Dr. Frank W. Grossman, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, and aside from the funeral service and prayer there was no other service. The body was taken to Fairview cemetery for burial and those who served as pallbearers were Charles D. Kelso, Charles W. DePauw, Newland T. DePauw, W. A. McLean and William H. Widman, of this city, and Owen Tyler, of Louisville.
New Albany Daily Ledger, 13 November 1909: page 4, column 3

Resolutions of Respect.
At a special meeting of the members New Albany Clearing House, held November 13, 1909, at which all the Banks and Trust Companies of the city were represented, on motion of Mr. Earl Gwin, the following memorial was unanimously adopted:
“On Thursday, November 11, 1909, between 11 and 12 o'clock in the forenoon, at the Merchants National Bank, of this city, Jacob Hangary Fawcett, the Cashier of the Bank, was shot and instantly killed by an assassin, who had entered the Bank for the purpose of robbing it.
This appalling crime, as boldly committed, shocked the entire community as no other local event ever did, and called forth universal expressions of horror for the tragedy, and sympathy for the family and relatives of its victim.
The members of the New Albany Clearing House unite with the friends, acquaintances and official associates of Mr. Fawcett in deploring his [tragical] death, and bear testimony to his intelligence, integrity, unfailing courtesy, and exceptional qualities as a business man and banker.
They earnestly assure his family and relatives of their profound sympathy, and would gladly speak words of comfort and consolation were it possible to do so.
They direct that this memorial be spread upon the Minutes, and that copies of it be prepared by its Secretary, and sent to the widow and father and mother of Mr. Fawcett, and that it be published in the daily papers of this city, and in the Public Press. A correct copy. A DOWLING, President. John F. McCulloch, Secretary.
New Albany Daily Ledger, 13 November 1909: page 4, column 4
New Albany Daily Ledger, 13 November 1909: page 4, column 4

Resolutions of Respect.
The Board of Directors of the Merchants National Bank held a meeting this morning and adopted appropriate resolutions concerning the death of J. Hangary Fawcett.
We assemble to mourn the loss of our young and distinguished colleague, Mr. Jacob H. Fawcett, who held the office of cashier of this bank for the term of twenty years with no less honor to himself than credit to the bank.
With a high appreciation of the varied abundant and intelligent labors which the late Jacob H. Fawcett brought to the discharge of every duty throughout the whole of his long, useful and honorable career, and with a grateful sense of the manifold services he rendered to this Association, for whose welfare he worked with never-flagging zeal with profound sorrow for his death, mingled with reverence of his happy memory, we hereby testify and record our admiration of his exalted character, with which he dignified and adorned every station, and special recognition of the grateful charm which his presence never failed to shed on the deliberations of this Board, possessing as he did, a dignity of bearing and [amnity] of manner which made him as courteous in debate as he was wise in counsel, and as gracious in all relations of private life as he was in the maintenance of Christian honor.
RESOLVED,
That these expressions of appreciation and sympathy be spread on the minutes of this Board and that a copy thereof be submitted to the family of our deceased friend.
N. T. DEPAUW, L. P. LEYDEN, R. S. RUTHERFORD, CHARLES D. KELSO.
New Albany Daily Ledger, 14 February 1910: page 4, column 2

The condition of J. K. Woodward, former president of the Merchant's National Bank in this city, who was shot by Thomas Jefferson Hoal, the young bandit in his attempt to rob the bank November 11, and was recently removed from St. Edward's hospital to his home in Louisville, is reported to continue to be slowly improving and it is believed that he will finally recover, though from the nature of his wound his recovery will be exceedingly slow.
New Albany Daily Ledger, 13 November 1909: page 4, column 4


Are They Guilty'
Circumstances Which Seem to Indicate That the Father and Mother of Hoal Were Interested In the Bank Robbery.
Evidence is being collected which may connect William J. Hoal, father of Thomas J. Hoal, and the father's wife, a step-mother of the young desperado, with the attempt to rob the Merchants' National Bank last November, when young Hoal shot and killed J. Hangary Fawcett and badly wounded Mr. J. Kidson Woodward.
About this matter the Corydon Democrat last week printed the following: “Sheriff Ward was wise in starting at once with his prisoner to the state prison as later developments proved. Soon after Sheriff Ward and Mr. Tuell had gone with Hoal, William Lewis, the colored man, who is in jail charged with killing Frank Day, informed Deputy Sheriff U. G. Watson, that Hoal had left his tools with which he intended to cut his way out of the Corydon jail. The tools were found in his cell and consisted of five small saws about eight or nine inches long made to cut iron, and they cut it all right. Hoal also had broken several pieces from his iron bed and one piece from the heavy bail of the coal bucket which he had used to good effect on the combination lock of his cell.
“With this outfit the young desperado meant to free himself Saturday night had he been left in the jail at this place.
“William J. Hoal, father of the young criminal, and Mrs. William Hoal, his step-mother, were taken into the jail by Deputy Sheriff Watson to see the boy before they left for their home at Louisville and it was then, as Lewis says, that Mrs. Hoal gave the boy the burglar tools, and the game was played smoothly by the father and step-mother.
“While she was pretending to shed tears over the fate of the murderer, Lewis heard her say to the boy „that nigger is watching us.' And during the touching (') scenes of the final parting it is quite clear that Mrs. Hoal slipped Tom the tools at a moment when her husband purposely engaged the attention of Mr. Watson as the convicted youngster, thinking Lewis saw his step-mother give him the saws exhibited them to the colored man soon afterward and told them his plans.
“Lewis says that he intended to inform Sheriff Ward as to Hoal's plans for his escape before he had gained his liberty.
“If it be true that Mrs. Hoal slipped the boy the five saws, as Lewis says, and that her husband, the father of the young murderer, purposely aided her in so doing, by attracting the attention of the deputy sheriff to prevent him from seeing the tools delivered, it gives rise to the question not heretofore discussed, namely, Was the Hoal family into the criminal plot to rob the New Albany bank from the first'
“The father knew the boy had on hand his supply of revolvers, and he knew of the box in which his son was to be shipped, and now a good many people will think that the father made or helped to make the box, and that he and the son were full partners.
“A good many slick games were attempted, going back to the time when the box was made at Hoal's shop in Louisville, and coming on down to the planned attempt to break jail, and if the father and step-mother did as it seems, furnished the boy the tools last Saturday to cut his way out of jail, it naturally gives rise to the suspicions that they were in the criminal plot with the boy from the beginning.
“Also, young Hoal asked for a bar of soap of Mrs. Ward, which he wanted to keep his saws in working order, and this before the tools had been given him.
“The fact that he had hid the soap under his bed is proof that he wanted it for the special purpose of using on his saws.
“Sheriff Ward has returned from Michigan City, and informs us that Hoal's father insisted upon the boy being left at Corydon, until Monday so that some of his friends could come down from Louisville to see him Sunday.
“Mr. Ward informed the father that he would be in Louisville with the boy over Saturday night and until the train left Sunday and that the boy's relatives and friends could come to see him there, and the fact that none of them came near is further proof that the father was helping to give the boy a chance to use saws on the doors of the Corydon jail.
Public Press, 17 May 1910: page 4, column 2


HOAL THE BANDIT.
Wants to Escape His Just Punishment for Murder.
GETS WEARY OF PRISON.
Should Have Been Hung.
Mrs. Katie Fox, living in Johnson City, Tenn., writes Harry B. Darling, of Laport, secretary of the State Board of Pardons, that she will make an appeal for the parole of her son, Tommy Hoal, life man, in the Michigan City prison. Hoal is the youthful Louisville bandit who killed Gary Fawcett absolutely without provocation, and who narrowly escaped the rope.
Mrs. Fox says Tommy Hoal became a bandit because of the reading of “yellow back” books, which filled him with an insane desire to kill someone, that he might pose as a hero. Any effort to free Hoal will meet with determined opposition from the friends of Mr. Fawcett and people in this city, and has no prospect of being successful.
It is not over three short years since this degenerate was sent up for his inexcusable crime. He may have read yellow literature, but so has almost every other boy and it is no excuse. The State, through its Board of Pardons has been, only too often, swayed by sentimentality and the tears and pleas of those who committed crime and their relatives. More sympathy has been
wasted on those undeserving of it and less on those who suffered from the wrong doing and crimes of criminals than is just. Murderers and other criminals have been made over, while the families of those who were murdered or otherwise injured, could go hang. Public sentiment everywhere is against the kid-glove handling of convicted evil doers. Let Hoal get what is coming to him.
New Albany Daily Ledger, 30 January 1913: page 4, column 3


THOMAS J. HOAL BOY BANDIT IS AT LARGE.
Youth Who Shot Up Merchants National Bank Escapes From Michigan City Prison.
RECALLS TRAGEDY.
Murder of J. Hangary Fawcett and Serious Wounding of J. K. Woodward Cashier and President of Bank.
Thomas Jefferson Hoal, the boy bandit who terrorized this city on the memorable [October] 11, 1909, when he shot up the old Merchants National Bank at Pearl and Main streets killing J. Hangary Fawcett, who at the time was cashier of the bank, and seriously wounded J. K. Woodward, president of the institution, has escaped from the Michigan City penitentiary where he was serving a life sentence for murder in the first degree. Capt. Wesley McCulloch, chief of police, today received from Edward J. Fogerty, warden of the Michigan City prison, a circular announcing the escape of four prisoners from the institution for the capture of whom a reward of $100 each is offered. They escaped Monday, September 22, the circular states, but the receipt of the circular today is the first information the police here have received concerning the escape. In the circular it is stated that Hoal is 27 years old, 5 feet, 6-1/2 inches tall, weight 144 pounds medium built and fair hair and [complection]. A [harry] mole on the chin also is mentioned.
The bank holdup was purely a dime novel affair conceived by a youth who had read of such things until he became inoculated with an idea that he could successfully put over a bank robbery that would make him rich and place him in a class of heroes among bandits. He planned all of the details carefully and on the morning of [October] 11, 1909, proceeded to put his plans into execution. Going out into the residence district of Louisville, he came upon a Negro in the alley in the rear of one of the fashionable homes who was starting from the garage with an electric taxicab. At the point of a pistol he took possession of the cab, coercing the Negro to drive him to this city and to the Merchants National Bank. Entering the bank by the side door he lined up J. K. Woodward, president of the bank, and George A. Newhouse, now president cashier of the Second National Bank, who then was assistant cashier of the Merchants National, forcing them at the point of a pistol to hold up their hands and driving them to the vault where he declared later he had intended locking them up. At this junction J. Hangary Fawcett, the cashier who had stepped out on the street a half an hour before, returned. Realizing what was happening, Mr. Fawcett made a dash for a pistol that was kept in a drawer at the cashier's window, but he did not succeed in reaching the weapon. He was shot in the back by Hoal and the boy bandit then began shooting promiscuously; Mr. Fawcett was killed instantly and Mr. Woodward was shot through the liver while the Negro who he had forced into the bank received a bullet in his side. For weeks, Mr. Woodward lingered between life and death at St. Edwards Hospital but he finally recovered though he died a few years later and his injury might have caused his death. The Negro was not seriously injured and recovered in a few weeks.
The attempted bank hold up created great excitement in the city. Hoal narrowly escaped being lynched at the hands of the excited populace. Leaving the bank after the shooting he fled to the river where he crossed in a skiff to the Kentucky side. Capt. William Adams and other
members of the police followed him and brought him back to this side. He was hastened to jail, but in a few minutes the crowd of men who assembled about the jail became so threatening that the police decided to rush him to the Indiana Reformatory in Jeffersonville for safekeeping. Morris McDonald, who happened to be passing the jail in an automobile, was pressed into service and the prisoner was rushed to the machine, and was taken to Jeffersonville where he remained until the time of his trial.
When the case was called for trial in the Circuit Court here, Hoal, through his attorney applied for a change of venue which could not be denied under the circumstances, and the case was sent to the Harrison Circuit Court for trial. Hoal was convicted of murder in the first degree, but on account of his extreme youth he got off only a life sentence. His last act at the Corydon jail was an attempt to make his escape on the night before he was taken to the Michigan City penitentiary. He attempted to saw a bar in the jail when it was discovered that he had been supplied with a complete set of saws. Just how he got the saws never has became known, but it is said that his father and mother had visited him at the jail a number of times. The Hoal family who lived in the neighborhood of Bank and Main streets where the boy's father conducted a second-hand furniture store, later moved to Louisville where they lived at the time of the tragedy. After the attempt of their son to escape from the Corydon jail was foiled the family disappeared from this section of the country. It is said they came originally from Knoxville, Tenn.
Since he has been incarcerated in the Michigan City prison, Hoal has been a model prisoner, it is said. He has two or three attempts to secure his release on parole, but at each time his appeal has been opposed by the local authorities.
[This article states the attempted bank robbery was October 11, 1909. The date was actually November 11. Other discrepancies between the original articles and subsequent articles also are evident. The bandit’s name is alternately given as Hall, Heil, Hoal – the correct name appearing to be Hoal.]
New Albany Weekly Ledger, 01 October 1919: page 6, column 2

Ledger Standard
At an early hour this morning Jacob Ruter, a laborer, while suffering from the effects of hard drinking, killed his wife by crushing her skull with a hammer, and then set fire to the house. then going into the back yard he cut his own throat, severing the wind-pipe with a pocket knife.
Date: Wednesday, September 29, 1875  Paper: Indianapolis Sentinel (Indianapolis, IN)  Volume: XXIV  Issue: 91  Page: 2

CUTS HIS THROAT.
Ferd McConigle Takes His Own Life in Horrible Manner. Two Knives Used to Commit Deed.
Stands Before Mirror and Draws Blade Across His Throat. Suicide Victim of the Drug Habit.
Ferdinand McConigle, a well-known resident of this city, who, for a number of years has been employed at the plant of the Ohio Falls Iron Company, committed suicide at the Graybrook hotel this morning by cutting his throat with a knife. The deed was committed between 5 and 9 o’clock. Mental derangement, resulting from the excessive use of opiates, is the probable cause of the deed. Two knives, that lay beside his bed, indicated that they were both used. One, a small penknife that was covered with blood, was probably first used, after which the deed was completed with a shoe knife, which also lay beside the bed covered with blood.
McConigle had for several days been in St. Edwards hospital and it is said left that institution yesterday because they would not permit him to use opiates in the hospital. He went to the Graybrook hotel, where he had been boarding, and continued there the use of opiates by the hypodermic injections. At 5 o’clock this morning he went downstairs for some water, and at 9 o’clock, when a colored boy who is employed in the hotel, went to his room he found the man lying on the bed in a pool of blood. A telephone message was sent to the police station and Sergeant Jasper and Policeman Seery were detailed on the case, and a telephone message was sent to Coroner W.R. Richards, who arrived a few minutes later.
It is evident that McConigle committed the deed while standing in front of a mirror in his room. There was a pool of blood where he had evidently stood and the wall directly in front of his bed and beside the mirror was splattered with blood, indicating that the blood gushed from the wound with sufficient force to reach the wall.
Coroner Richards investigated the case and will return a verdict of death by suicide. McConigle was forty-eight or fifty years of age and is survived by a daughter four years of age, to whom he was greatly attached. The child boarded at the Graybrook house with her father. She is a bright little girl and is a great favorite with the people about the hotel. His wife died two years ago. McConigle was born and reared in Harrison county near Laconia but had lived in this city for the past twenty years. A son by a former marriage died two years ago.
New Albany Daily Ledger. Friday, January 28, 1910. P4. C4.
Contributed by Gregg Seidl


HORRIBLE MURDER.
Ellen Wheelon Killed in Cold Blood by her Brother-in-law Henry Ritter.
A Hatchet Used by the Murderer and the Woman‘s Head Split Open.
Ritter Arrested and Awaiting the Coroner‘s Inquest.
A terrible murder was committed in the East End of the city this morning between 4 and 5 o‘clock. Ellen Wheelon, a young woman of about thirty years, was the victim of the foul crime, and her brother-in-law, Henry Ritter, a man who has served a term in the penitentiary for larceny, is under arrest, charged with the murder.
About 5:30 o‘clock this morning the engineer and fireman of a Dinkey train discovered from their engine the dead body of a woman lying on the south side of the track near Silver street. The woman laid in a composed manner with her hands folded across her breast. The coroner was immediately notified of the ghastly find and proceeded in the scene of death to make investigation.
An examination of the body revealed a terrible wound in the head behind and above the left ear. At first it was supposed the woman came to her death by being struck by a passing train while walking or lying on the track. Further investigation, however, proved this theory unfounded.
Officer Charles Newhouse, learning of the matter, hastened to where the woman lay. He discovered a pool of blood about six feet from the railroad track and such evidences of a struggle as led him at once to the conclusion that the woman had been murdered at the spot where the blood was found and then carried and laid alongside the track in order to create the impression that she had met death by being struck by the locomotive.
Learning that the dead woman was Ellen Wheelon and that she lived with her brother-in-law, Henry Ritter, in a house near the scene of the tragedy, Officer Newhouse went to Ritter‘s. He found him in bed and very drunk, and his suspicions being increased by the surroundings. He placed Ritter under arrest and brought him to the station house and locked him up.
Officer Newhouse then returned to the house, whither the dead woman had been carried. Here he learned some startling facts. Mrs. Ritter, the sister of the murdered woman, is very ill, and Ellen Wheelon and her husband were sitting up with her. Near 5 o‘clock this morning, Mrs. Ritter stated that she heard her husband and Ellen quarreling in another room. Soon Ellen rushed through the room pursued by Ritter, and ran out of doors followed by him. A short time after Ritter returned to the room, Mrs. Ritter stated, and said to his wife, ?Well, if they don‘t arrest me now they never will.? He then went to bed, apparently drunk.
Officer Newhouse in searching about the premises found a bloody hatchet, and the blade of this hatchet fitted the wound in Ellen Wheelon‘s head. No doubt is entertained that in his drunken foray he murdered her and then carried the body and laid it alongside the railroad to create the impression she had been killed by a train. She was in her night clothes when found. After learning these facts, Coroner Starr again visited the scene and made further examination of the woman‘s wounds. He is holding the inquest this afternoon, and little doubt exists that his verdict will charge the murder on Henry Ritter.
Ellen Wheelon, the murdered woman, was a member of Trinity M. E. church and was regarded as an excellent woman. Henry Ritter, her brother-in-law, charged with her murder, is a bad man. He has served a term in the penitentiary for chicken stealing. His wife, who has a good character, supported herself by working in the glass works.
New Albany Ledger 03-14-1890 p4c4
Contributed by Gregg Seidl


:A Cold-Blooded Murder. . . Abstracts:  A negro barber shot in his own shop; no provocation for the deed. . . Coroner's inquest; verdict: that William FIDLEY came to his death by a shot fired from a pistol in the hands of Peter KERNS, without any cause or provocation whatever, and that, therefore, they believed him guilty of murder in the first degree. [long article]
New Albany Daily Commercial -  6 July 1867 p4 c3—
Submitted by S. Carpenter



From the Floyd County Coroner Reports:
John Rohart's Child
The State Of Indiana Floyd County New Albany Indiana
May 13, 1880
I, Elijah Whittier. Coroner of Floyd County Indiana, being notified that John Rohart had killed his child, I've been to the place where said child was lying and upon examination found it to be a 4 months fetus and said fetus was the result of a miscarriage produced by the cruel and inhuman treatment of said John Rohart by forcing his wife Alice Rohart to have sexual intercourse with him by throwing her onto dry good boxes thereby severely injuring her the said Alice Rohart.
Elijah Whittier Coroner F. Co.


INDICT BANDIT FOR MURDER
Grand Jurors at New  Albany, !nd„ Hold Youthful Robber. New  Albany.  Ind  Nov.  15.—
The Floyd county grand jury has returned an indictment against Thomas Jefferson Hall, the young bandit. He is charged with murder in the first degree in having shot and killed Jacob Hangary Fawcett, cashier of the Merchants' National bank, for the purpose of robbery.
Date: Monday, November 15, 1909 Paper: Elkhart Daily Review (Elkhart, IN) Page: 3 

Homicide Causes Drys Activity, Evansville. Ind„ Nov. 15.—Christian Voight was indicted for the murder of Louis Fox in a saloon at Wadesville. Ind. The killing of Fox has caused the temperance people to circulate a petition against the saloon, and as a result Wadesville may go dry.
Date: Monday, November 15, 1909 Paper: Elkhart Daily Review (Elkhart, IN) Page: 3

A MOTHER'S ALLEGED CRIME.
Charged with   Complicity in the Murder of Her Son. Seymour, Ind.,  Feb. 17. —Nicholas Krouse. a young farmer who lived near St. Joseph, Floyd county disappeared three months ago. Sunday his body was discovered by his brother. Frank hidden in the woods. Krouse's mother and his stepfather, Joseph Kacklean, are charged with the murder and will be arrested. The two Krouse boys owned the farm upon which they lived with the Kackleans, and the latter are believed to have killed Nicholas in order to get possession of his interest in the property. They told many different stories to explain his disappearance, all of which were investigated and found to be false.
Date: Tuesday, February 17, 1891 Paper: Elkhart Daily Review (Elkhart, IN) Page: 1 

JURY CHOSEN TO TRY WOMAN FOR NEW ALBANY. March 21.—(AP)—
A Jury was selected in Floyd county circuit court today to try Mrs. Rena Barrackman of Jeffersonville, Ind.. charged with murder of her husband. L. Barrackman, found shot to death. The case was taken to New Albany on a change of venue.
Date: Friday, March 22, 1929 Paper: Evansville Courier and Press (Evansville, IN) Page: 11 

Charged with Wife Murder His Lawyers Put in a Plea in Abatement.

New Albany, Ind., May 10. — Rev. Ulysses G. Sutberlin, accused of the murder of his wife, was brought into court, but was not arraigned. After a consultation with his attorneys Judge Alexander Dowling, senior counsel for Sutherlin, filed a plea in abatement to quash the indictment on the ground that James W. Dunbar, one of the jury commissioners who drew the grand jury that returned the Indictment against Sutherlin, was not qualified to serve.

Plea May Void Indictments.

lie is a stockholder and director of the Louisville & Southern Indiana Traction Company, which has two damage suits now pending in the circuit court. Under the statute persons interested in cases pending in court are not qualified to act as Jury commissioners. Sutherlin was returned to jail, and a continuance was had to give the attorneys for the state an opportunity to examine the plea, which is an unusual one. and which. If sustained by the court, will Invalidate twenty or more indictments returned by the last grand jury.

Much-Condemned Jail.

Sutherlin, who is a member of the Masonic and Pythiais fraternities. is confined  in  the Floyd  county jail. which has been annually condemned for the last fifteen years by the county board of commissioners and also by the state board of charities and corrections. It has no special accommodations for prisoners and Sutherlin has occupied the one cell-house with other prisoners. Arrangements are making to place him in the outer corridor between the cell-house and the sheriff's office.

Lays the Charge to Kuemlen. He dines on the regular prison fare. " I have been in poor health" says Sutherlin, speaking of the menu, "and have but little appetite at any time, so that the matter of food has given me little concern. I am satisfied with Sheriff Morris' meals." He continues to refuse to make any statement with reference to the charge against him, remarking: "When your enemy wants to inflict an injury upon you it can generally be done by resorting to the grand jury which hears only one side of a case."
Date: Wednesday, May 10, 1905 Paper: Elkhart Daily Review (Elkhart, IN) Page: 1


JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind., Nov. 13.—
The seventeen-year-old "Bandit" Thos. Jefferson Hoal, lost his nerve and wept all of today in his cell at the state reformatory.
Supt. Peyton, who is a physician and criminologist, and who believes Hoal is a weak degenerate. mentally and physically, says that his child nature, beyond which he never, has developed, will now exhibit itself.

Hoal is now awakening. Dr. Peyton added, to the fact that he has offended and is to be punished. The romance of his adventure into robbery and murder amid the most sensational circumstances his unhealthy imagination could invent is gone. Dr. Peyton has written to the postmaster general advocating exclusion from the mails of novels of the type, he points out, that have inspired several youths to robbery and murder
Date: Saturday, November 14, 1909  Paper: Evansville Courier and Press (Evansville, IN)  Page: 2 


NEW ALBANY, Ind., Nov. 13—
The Floyd county grand jury today returns an indictment against Thomas Jefferson Hoal, charging, him with murder in the first degree in having shot and killed Jacob Hangary Fawcett, cashier of the Merchants National Bank, with the purpose of robbery.

Hoal will be kept at the state reformatory at Jeffersonville pending his trial and will be carefully guarded when he is brought to this city to be arraigned next week. To forestall the assembling of an excited crowd no announcement is to be made of the date 2nd hour of Hoal's first appearance in court.

It is intended to complete his trial with all possible expedition. There was no change today in the condition of the victims of Thomas J. Hoal, the seventeen-year-old bandit who attempted to rob the Merchants National Bank here Thursday. The condition of President J. K. Woodward was reported as serious and that of James Tucker, the negro chauffeur, as almost hopeless.
Date: Saturday, November 14, 1909  Paper: Evansville Courier and Press (Evansville, IN)  Page: 2 




 
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