JENNINGS COUNTY, INDIANA
DISASTERS - ACCIDENTS - TRAGEDIES
Raftsman's Journal, Jul 1, 1863 (Clearfield, Pa) * Shot by
a Butternut *
A patriotic young lady named Brougher, who recently tore a butternut pin
from an American flag, at a school-house meeting in Jennings county,
Indiana, was shot by a butternut rowdy near the same place a few days
afterward. The shot took effect in her right leg. The rascal was
afterward captured and lodged in jail.
Mississippi Free Trader (Natchez, Miss) Dec 27, 1848 * Suicide of a
Young Lady * Miss Milly C. Grimstead, residing in Campbell township,
Jennings County, Indiana, lately committed suicide by hanging herself.
For some time it was believed she was partially insane.
The Republican 12Mar1890 -transcribed by J.S. * A
TRAMP BURNED TO DEATH *
Seymour, Ind. March 12- A large barn on the farm of A.C. Dixon, near
Paris Crossing, Jennings County, was burned last night, with three
horses, two cows and grain, hay and farm implements. Total loss $5,000.
Building was fired by a tramp, who was seen on the premises last night,
and whose charred remains were found in the ruins.
National Associated Press.
Greencastle, Ind. January 1. The mysterious circumstances connected
with death of a young woman, formerly a resident of this city,
have given new impetus to the excitement concerning the affair. The
facts of the case point to foul play. A searching legal investigation is
to be prosecuted. It seems on September 20th last, Miss S.V. Doup,
better known as Jennie Doup, died rather strangely in the Pennsylvania
hotel at London, Ohio, where she was stopping as the reputed wife of J.
Gorelle. The body was brought to Greencastle for interment. Gorelle
superintended the transportation of the body and after burial published
an obituary notice stating that he had married Miss Doup May 14, 1879;
that on August 1st, 1880, a child was born to them at London, Ont., but
died a few hours after birth. The cause of the woman's death was alleged
to be malarial fever and disease of the heart. The peculiar
circumstances attending her death, the fact the Gorelle was the only
person who waiting upon her and a number of other strangely appearing
facts, induced the belief that all had not been right.
In July, 1880, Miss Doup was forced to leave Wilmington as she was no
longer able to conceal the evidences of his sin and went on a farm in
Jennings county, Indiana. Here she resided with Gorelle, who styled
himself J. Gorelle simply but was in reality James W. Gorelle, the
legally appointed executor of Jacob Doup's estate and the seducer of his
ward. A child was born August 1st and died almost immediately,
notwithstanding it was healthy. The recreant husband and his paramour
afterwards moved to London, O., and stopped at the Pennsylvania hotel.
She was taken sick, and died within a week. Suspicious whispers
regarding the manner of her taking off were indulged in. Soon the story
spread and Dr. Rogers, the coroner, exhumed the body for examination
November 12th, after six weeks interment. The antopsy[sic] was made by
Drs.[sic] Rogers when would warrant recourse against any possible
criminal. The supposition was that she might have been poisoned by
Gorelle in order to secure her legacy of $30,000 and her stomach was
given to Prof. S.S. Baker, of the Indiana Asbury university for
analysis. The professor to-day made the following statement: "I have
made a thorough examination of the stomach and am inclined to believe
death was the result of unnatural causes. No indication of poisoning,
but the genital organs were absent, leading me to believe that violent
measures had been adopted to procure abortion. The uterus could not be
found, and as that is about the last organ to decay, the fact is very
remarkable. Other evidences suggested that the woman had been tampered
with, as the other organs were unusually large for a normal condition
and had the appearance of recent childbirth."
Mrs. Davidson, wife of the proprietor of the Pennsylvania hotel, London,
Ohio, said in answer to inquires: "Did I think she was sick? Not a bit
of it. About 11 o'clock she came into the kitchen looking as healthy as
any one could, and looked into the pots on the stove and asked what we
were going to have for dinner. She was a hearty eater and took a piece
of potato, saying Gorelle had told her she must not eat anything, as she
was taking medicine."
"Had she ever complained of feeling ill?" "No. She was always in good
health. About 12 o'clock she had a spasm, and I went for Dr. Fields.
After the first spasm she asked for another doctor, but Gorelle would
not let us go for another. She had more spasms, and died about 3 o'clock
in the afternoon."
"When was the body taken away?" "The very next morning. Gorelle gave her
three powders in the morning to take. She never appeared to be ailing.
Gorelle wanted her to take medicine on Monday, but she would not. She
had intended to go away on Monday and had everything packed up. He
refused to let her go. She died next day."
Dr. Underwood stated: "My impression is foul play has been practiced.
The sudden and unaccountable death of the baby a year ago, the
mysterious and unexplained death of the woman, coupled with the fact
that she had not long before made her will in favor of Gorelle, are very
suspicious circumstances and seem to furnish a motive for the crime."
Old man King, of Mansfield, Ohio, an uncle of Miss Doup, said awhile ago
he believed Gorelle had secured the death of old man Doup after he was
appointed executor of the old man's will.
Dr. Shields was asked, "Did you not state after the woman had died the
symptoms were those of strychnine?" "I might have said something of that
kind. I see now that the people claim she was poisoned." "If that is the
case, why didn't they investigate it?" "I am willing to help on any
investigation but do not propose to give myself away."
Gorelle was appointed administrator of old man Doup's estate, and soon
after he was appointed the old man died. Jennie Gorelle's paramour was
sole heir and in the course of time she made a will leaving everything
to her seducer. This will, which is said to be probated, is now in
contest. Not long after the will was made she died under the above
suspicious circumstances, leaving the administrator of the estate sole
legal heir. The facts are considered sufficient motive for the
perpetration of the crimes, if, indeed, any were committed. The coroner
left for Indianapolis this morning to consult with parties there as to
the verdict he should bring in the case, as that matter has not been
Prof Baker submitted a written opinion explaining the phenomena
developed in the analysis of the stomach and together with the results
of the autopsy. Sufficient reasons have been established upon which to
predicate a verdict of a serious nature. Gorelle has not yet been
arrested, but has been under surveillance for some time and will be
Mower County Transcript, April 8, 1885, page 1 Lansing, MN * Accident *
The boiler of David Hulse's sawmill near Scipio, Ind., exploded on the
1st, and killed Anthony Cleaver, engineer, and fatally injured David
Hulse Morton Hulse and Alfred Hulse. Submitted by Robin Line Elkhart
Daily Review (Elkhart, Indiana) Jul 29, 1881 * Accident * Pat Ferry,
residing at Scipio, Jennings County, fell from the third story of the
Farmers' hotel, at Columbus, Tuesday night, to the pavement below,
breaking one leg and bruising himself badly.
South Bend News-Times, Dec 31, 1917 * Lays Wreck Blame on
Disobedience Of Train Orders *
Cincinnati, O., Dec 31 - C.W. Galloway, general manager of the Baltimore
and Ohio railroad, in a statement here today said disobedience of orders
was responsible for the collision of passenger trains No. 2 bound from
St. Louis to New York and No. 23 from Cincinnati to St. Louis, near
North Vernon, Ind., last night. Seven trainmen and a passenger were
killed and about 20 others injured in the accident.
Mr. Galloway's statement follows: "The engine crews of both trains were
killed and the conductor of train No. 2 was injured to such an extent
that we have not been able to interview him.
"The investigation which we have thus far been able to make indicates
clearly that the conductor and engineer of train No. 2 held an order
which required them to wait at North Vernon for 23. For some reason not
yet determined this order was disregarded. The automatic signal just
ahead of where the engine of No. 2 was standing, while doing station
work at North Vernon and in full view of the engineer of that train, was
in the caution position, indicating to the engineer of No. 2 that the
next signal east and located at the pull-in switch of the west bound
siding was in the stop position and that he must not pass that signal
while the stop indication was displayed; the caution signal at the
station being arranged to permit train No. 2 to pull up and advance to
the stop and stay signal at the siding switch. This signal at the siding
switch was in the stop position because second 23 was in the block
between Oakdale and North Vernon and under this indication No. 2 should
not have passed this last named signal, but this signal was disregarded
also and passed by train No. 2 while in the stop position. The automatic
signal system has been tested and found to be working correctly.
"Therefore, both the order which was a hold order, and the automatic
signals which are supplementary safeguards, were for some reason not yet
explained wholly disobeyed and to this violation of the rules by the
crew of No. 2 rests the responsibility for the accident."
The Indianapolis News 1May1878 -transcribed by J.S. * INJURIES *
Yesterday as James Haas was driving into Paris Crossing his horse took
fright, ran away and threw him out of the buggy, inflicting severe
Bismarck Tri-Weekly Tribune, Sep 3, 1877 *FATAL ACCIDENT AT
Franklin P. Hacock, of Co. E. 17th U.S. Infantry, was accidentally
killed by the upsetting of a load of logs on the evening of the 27th
inst, at Standing Rock. His relatives reside in Vernon, Jennings county,
Indianapolis Journal, Jun 23, 1902 * FOUND DEAD IN OUTHOUSE
*North Vernon, Ind. June 22_Henry P. Hale, a prominent citizen of
Butlerville, was found dead in an outhouse yesterday, presumably from
blood clot on the brain.
North Vernon - The North Vernon Sun, the Democratic organ of this
county, has changed hands, Charles H. Wohrer, son of John H. Wohrer,
trustee of Spencer township, in this county, purchasing it from B.C.
Butler, former owner. The paper will continue as a Democratic
Adams County News, (Ritzville, Wash) Mar 11, 1903 *NEED
HELP FINDING FATHER*
Lovett, Indiana, March 6, 1903
Editor Adams County News:
In the name of suffering humanity I appeal to you for aid, not vainly,
I hope. I seed aid in helping discover the father of my little girls
who left us through a business misunderstanding over 2 years since,
and when last heard from six months ago was in the State of Washington
somewhere, harvesting wheat.
Please publish in your paper the need of his immediate return to his
family and the assurance of a glad hearty welcome. (We are alone, all
alone in the world.) His name is William Sherman Johnson, born at San
Jacinto, Jennings county, Indiana, age 36 years, blue gray eyes, dark
brown hair, average height, weight about 160 pounds. Hoping to
received aid at the earliest possible moment I remain most anxiously
and very truly yours. Mrs. MARY R. JOHNSON, Lovett, Indiana
Seymour Daily Republican 11Jun1909
-transcribed by J.S. * POISONED BY
The twin daughters of Walter Kay and wife, of Paris Crossing, died a
few days ago from an unusual cause. The children were playing about
the house and got hold of a box of matches. They ate the heads of a
number of matches before their mother knew what they were doing. The
next day one died from the poison thus taken into the system and
twelve hours later the other child died. The children were eighteen
months old. The children were both buried Sunday June 6.
The Indianapolis Star 7Jan1917 -transcribed by J.S.
* DROWNED *
HUNT FOR BODY OF FARMER DROWNED ON WAY TO MARRY
North Vernon, Ind., Jan 6 - A delegation of citizens of Paris Crossing,
this county, are dredging Big Creek at the Dixon ford in an effort to
find the body of Ralph Lloyd, 21 years old, a farmer, who drove into the
creek with a buggy and two horses when the creek was past fording. The
driver and horses were swept down the stream. Mr. Lloyd was on his way
to Paris Crossing to meet Miss Clarice Buckles, daughter of Mr. and Mrs.
Herman Buckles, and the couple had planned to come to this city, where
they were to be married. Both families are prominent in this county.
Seymour Daily Republican 14Jul1905 -transcribed by J.S. * SUICIDE *
CUT HIS THROAT - JENNINGS COUNTY MAN COMMITS SUICIDE AT INDIANAPOLIS
Presumably on account of worry over family troubles at his home at
Paris Crossing, Ind., Charles Lowry, a young man employed at the
cotton mills of Brower & Love Bros., Indianapolis committed
suicide some time Wednesday night by cutting his throat with a large
butcher knife. The body of the suicide was found lying in a pool of
blood by the employees when they went to work at the mill Thursday
On Lowry's clothing was found a letter addressed to him and signed by
his mother. From the tenor of the letter it was judged that there had
been domestic troubles at his home and it was thought that this might
have led the young man to commit the tragic act. Lowry was employed as
a cloth folder at the mill Wednesday morning.
It was said by a man who is acquainted with the Lowry family that the
young man is well connected and that his relatives are wealthy. His
people lived on a farm near Paris Crossing, Ind. Lowry's body was
taken to Tutswiler's morgue and his relatives were notified. Lowry was
about 30 years old and single.
World was received Thursday from North Vernon, near where Lowry lived
that Lowry's father Saturday had induced Lowry to go to North Vernon,
and had then sworn out a peace warrant, and had his son arrested. The
mother, it was said, secured the son's release and sent him to
The Columbus Republican 31Aug1905 -transcribed by J.S. * ACCIDENT *
Paris Crossing, Jennings county, Indiana, August 24, 1905. James Lacey,
E.P. McQueen and Ralph Roland, of Columbus, and four men from this
county, who are at work here for the Jennings county telephone company,
had a very narrow escape from drowning Wednesday evening. The men barely
escaped with their lives and one horse was drowned in the stream.
The force went out Wednesday morning with a two horse wagon to string
some farmers' lines between Deputy and Paris Crossing. On their return
trip to this place last evening they started to ford at Dixon's ford, on
Big creek, thinking they could get across as a wagon had crossed but a
short time before them. There had been a sudden rise in the stream, the
water ran into the wagon. The horses became entangled in the harness and
one of them went down. This horse was drowned but the men succeeded in
cutting the harness and getting the other animal out.
The men swam out with some difficulty and one of the men whose home is
in this county was so overcome by his experience in the water that his
companions had to work with him some time to bring him around. The men
lost their coats and hats and all the tools in the wagon sank. The tools
belonging to the Columbus men were valued at about $75 and those owned
by the local telephone workers were worth at least $50. The wagon and
the drowned horse are still in the stream but the men believe they can
get the wagon out to-day. The stream is now falling and in the event
there will be but little difficulty in getting out the wagon. The tools,
however, cannot be recovered.
The Vernon Times, Vol 7, No 51 (Vernon, Jennings County) Jun 5, 1919 *
Mrs. M.B. Patrick met with Serious Accident * Mrs. M.B. Patrick met with
quite a serious accident Saturday night. As she was going into the
sitting room her foot caught on the door sill and threw her with great
force to the floor. No bones were broken but she was badly bruised.
Vernon, IN. Sept, 7,1898. * FIRE
About 2 o’clock this morning the frame barn on the farm of Jacob Foebel,
near here, was destroyed by fire, together with 3 mules, 3 head of
cattle, 20 tons of hay, 150 bushels of oats, and some farming
implements, entailing a loss of $1,200. The fire is supposed to have
been of incendiary origin, as only a week ago the large barn on the
county farm was burned in a similar manner.
The Times-Democrat (New Orleans, LA) May 30, 1866 * George W. Sage
Murdered Child * George W. Sage, who murdered one child and attempted to
murder two others, while robbing a home in Jennings County, Indiana,
several months ago, was hung on the 25th at Vernon, Indiana. He met his
fate with comparative calmness, admitting his guilt and expressing a
hope of divine pardon.
Vernon IN- September 7- * FIRE *
About 2 o'clock this morning the frame barn on the farm of Jacob Poebel,
near here, was destroyed by fire, together with three mules, three head
of cattle, twenty tons of hay, one hundred and fifty bushels of oats and
some farming implements, entailing a loss of $1,200. The fire is
supposed to have been of incendiary origin as only a week ago the large
barn on the county farm was burned in a similar manner.
Submitted by Desiree Burrell Rodcay
The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, OH) Jul 8, 1878 * Lightning Struck
* Lightning struck the barn of Thomas Palmer, in Jennings County,
Indiana, Saturday, totally consuming all its contents. Insured.
From the "Indiana State Journal" dated September 14, 1898
The Indiana State Sentinel, Apr 21, 1886 * SUICIDE
Mrs. West, of Butler Switch, Jennings County, Indiana, committed
suicide, making the tenth in her family to go that way.
The Ottawa Free Trader, Jun 16, 1883 (Ottawa, Ill) * The
Deadly Cyclone *
It has now been six weeks in succession, that we have been called
upon to record each week the ravages of one or more deadly cyclones.
They have occurred regularly between Friday and Monday, sometimes
two or three simultaneously in different parts of the country,
sometimes in pairs in the same region, or singly. The initial
cyclone last Friday took in Springfield in this state, striking the
southwestern part of that city about 8 o'clock in the evening,
unroofing several houses and blowing down barns, fences, etc., and
doing quite a large amount of damage. There are also reports of
damage by the same storm form Council Bluffs, Chapin, Jacksonvile,
Berlin, and other points along the Wabash railroad west of
But the big cyclone of the week swept Southern Wisconsin an Northern
Illinois and Iowa on Monday. The greatest havoc was done at Beloit,
Wisconsin, where the storm broke about 6 o'clock. The railroad
bridge across Rock river was blown into the water, carrying with it
four men on a hand-car, two of whom were killed. The Rock River
paper mill was unroofed and one man killed and another injured by
the flying timber. The storm cloud passed through the main portion
of the town, doing great damage to business houses and public
edifices and injuring a number of people. The storm also passed
south of Harvard, Illinois, demolishing several farm houses and
outbuildings and a district school house. Two persons were badly
hurt. About half of the village of Brush Creek, Iowa, was blown away
and considerable damage was done at Tripoli, Iowa, and in that
The town of North Vernon, Jennings county, Indiana, was also visited
by a cyclone on Sunday night, which wrecked several houses and
injured a number of people. Among the buildings destroyed were the
colored Methodists' brick church and the colored Baptists' church.
Omaha Daily Bee, Jan 2, 1882 (Omaha, Neb) * Seduced
and Murdered *
The Fate of a Young Heiress in Indiana.
The Terrible Crime Committed by the Guardian of a Young Lady.
An Autopsy and Chemical Analysis Develop a Very Disgusting Case
Probably One of the Blackest Crimes on Record.
The Indiana State Sentinel, Apr 21, 1886 (Indianapolis, Ind) *
Mrs. West Committed Suicide * Mrs. West, of Butler Switch,
Jennings County, Indiana, committed suicide, making the tenth in
her family to go that way.