Martin County Indiana

News/ Brevities


Family Warfare Dates Back to Trouble in 1882
By Horace M. Coats, International New Service Staff Correspondent.

Shoals Indiana, Sept. 1, 1922.
Another life has been forfeited and the 6th member of the archer family, of southern martin County, has “died with his boots on” as a result of a family feud that has raged there for several years, it is revealed here following the fatal shooting, from ambush, of Clyde Archer, 19 recently.
For years Hoosiers have been wan__ to look with pity, if not disdain, on the family feuds which have “wiped put” hundreds of members of warring families of the Bluegrass state. But apparently in Indiana’s backyard a family feud has been raging for years between the archer and Stanfield families which has resulted in several deaths.
Clyde archer met his death Tuesday, Aug. 15. About a year previous young Archer had killed his man at French Lick, IN. when he stabbed Roy Stanfield, a neighbor, who accused Archer of stealing some money. He was acquitted in court on a plea of self defense.

Row is Old Standing
The 2 families had harbored ill feelings against each other for many years following the killing of Annabel Stanfield by Charlie Archer, an uncle of Clyde.  The older Archer was acquitted of this crime, and a few years later a brother of Clyde was freed of a murder charge.
Back in 1882 Martin Archer was killed by a man named Marley, who was afraid Archer might tell of a larceny job in which the murderer, his victim and John B. Bunch were implicated. This killing aroused the ire of the Archer family, the members of which swore vengeance.
The Archers, accompanied by John Lynch, went in search of Marley and being unable to find him, discovered Bunch.  When Bunch declined to reveal the hiding place of Marley the Archers bound him, took him to Saltpeter cave, in Orange County, IN. a lonely spot near the home of Thomas  Archer.
Here they again demanded of Bunch that he tell where Marley was hiding. As Bunch repeated his statement that he did not know the whereabouts of Marley the archers shot him to death and left his body in the cave several days.
Later they removed the corpse, place it on a pile of brush which had been saturated with coal oil, and burned it. Then a tree was felled and placed over the ashes to prevent discovery of the crime.

Confesses to Crime
Four years later Lynch, conscience stricken, confessed to the crime. Following the confession Thomas Archer, 65, and Martin Archer, 50, brothers were arrested.  Then John Archer, 30, was taken into custody in connection with the gruesome murder.
All three were placed in jail at Shoals. Sam Archer, father of John, and another member of the murder band, was still at large.
At midnight, March 9,1886, a band of armed, masked men visited the Shoals jail, removed the 3 Archers and hanged them to trees in the courthouse yard.  Their bodies were permitted to hang there until 11 o’clock the next morning.
A short time later Sam Archer was apprehended, tried, convicted and sentenced to be hanged. The execution took place July 9,1886, in the presence of what was termed a “circus day” crowd assembled about the scaffold.
All that saved Lynch from being a victim of the executions of the mob that hanged the 3 Archers was the fact that he was confined in the Davies County Jail.
Since that time the hatred between the 2 families has grown apace, and members of each family are on guard always, for an out break of the feud.

Shoals, Ind. April 21—This city was again visited by fire to-day the second time in two months. A block of nine houses in the business part of the town was burned, the fire being started by a defective flue. Fortunately the houses were old, and the loss will not exceed $15,000. The post office was destroyed, this being the second time it has burned recently; also, a grocery store, sawmill, drug store and other building. A month ago the city was visited by a disastrous flood, and the citizens are naturally much discouraged. Little insurance was carried on any of the buildings.
Indiana Journal April 28 1897

New Albany Ledger Standard 8 Jul 1873 p4 c2: Murder in Martin county. . . Walter Willimen
contributed by Sue Carpenter

SHOALS, Ind., Aug. 16—The famous Indian Springs property in this county has been sold by the part owner, Alfred Guthrie. The deed was delivered Saturday to Mrs. Ada T. Brundage, of Chicago, who is at the head of a syndicate of Chicago capitalists, who will inaugurate a system of improvements to this already fine property, which will place it at the head of summer resorts in this section. The sale was made through Messrs. E. C. Baxter, of Chicago, and J. C McGann, of Franklin, Ind.. representing the purchaser, and J, C Maiott, of Indianapolis, representing A. Guthrie.
Date: 1896-08-19; Paper: Indiana State Journal

Thursday December 22, 1937
Evansville Courier and press, Evansville Indiana Page 14
WASHINGTON, Dec. 1.----(Special)---Not seriously injured early Tuesday when his car plunged over 150 foot embankment at Willow Valley, east of Shoals, Ollie W. Hanger, of rural route one, French Lick, today was recovering from his injuries, while funeral services for his companion, Miss Lorene Trimble, 23, of Bedford, have been arranged for Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock at Shoals.
Prosecutor Alvin Seal, Sheriff Thomas Arvin and State Policeman Herman Freed, after investigating the fatal wreck Tuesday, said no charges would be filed against Hanger at this time, pending the filing of coroner J.  W.  Strange's verdict in the case.  The officers from Martin county said Hanger was intoxicated when they took him from the wrecked car.

Wednesday, March 18, 1857
New Albany Daily Ledger, New Albany Indiana Volume VIII Issue 2287 Page 3
Railroad Accident -- One Man Killed.
The city was filled with painful rumors last evening in relation to an accident which had occurred to the outward bound train of the New Albany and Salem Railroad by the breaking through of the bridge at Muddy Fork, 16 miles from here.  Fortunately, however, when the truth was ascertained, the consequences were not near so fatal as reported.
It appears that the engine, tender, and baggage car had passed safely over the bridge, but when the passenger cars got on, the bridge gave way and precipitated one of them into the creek, while the other fell off to one side.  The forward passenger car was badly smashed up.
We are indebted to Mr. Leonidas Stout, who was a passenger on the train, for the following list of persons injured: Garrison Smith, brother in law of Mr. Compton, the conductor, was instantly killed.  He was standing at the brake of the forward passenger car at the moment of the accident and was struck by a piece of timber across the abdomen, tearing out his entrails and causing instant death.
Mrs. Melissa Sheeks, of Woodville, daughter of Samuel Martin, of Washington County, who had been married but a few days.  Mrs. S.  had her leg broken in two places, below the knee.  She was conveyed to a neighboring house by her husband and Mr. Stout, where her wounds were addressed by Dr. Henneus, of Bennettsville, and another physician.  She was taken to Salem, where an attempt will be made to set the broken limb.
Mrs. Ellen Sweeney, of Lexington, Ky., badly bruised.
Jacob Flaxner, of Louisville, a peddler, shoulder fractured and arm bruised.
Robert Gilbert, Louisville, bruised on side and head.
Mrs. Married Mattingly, Martin county, hand and arm injured.
John Gilter, Martin county, injured in the breast.
A peddler, a Jew, name unknown, arm injured.  
Miss Josephine Jenkins, of New Albany, cut across the forehead.
There were several others slightly cut and bruised but not seriously.
Mr. John B. Anderson, the Superintendent of the road, was on the train at the time of the accident, and being on the locomotive, escaped without injury.  He immediately dispatched a handcar to the city for physicians for such as should need their services, who fortunately, we're not numerous.  Mr. Compton, the conductor, as well as Mr. Anderson, did all in their power to render the wounded comfortable.  A number of our citizens were on the cars, and of course much anxiety was manifested to learn full particulars of the accident.  A train was dispatched about dusk to bring in the wounded  as well as the passengers on the downed traine.  The latter arrived at Muddy Fork, about an hour after the accident.  It returned with the passengers of the disabled train.
The accident was occasioned by the abutments of the bridge giving way, which we presume is attributable to defective masonry, though the bridge was regarded as perfectly safe.
The bridge will be put in perfect order in a few days.  In the meantime no detention will take place in the arrival and departure of passenger trains.  There will be locomotives and cars on each side of the creek, and the only delay will be in the change of cars.  We presume, however, that the freight trains will be necessarily detained till the damage is repaired.

Daily State Sentinel, Indianapolis, Marion County, 26 Apr 1858, transcribed by J.S.
Bank of Dover Hill, Indiana
 We publish the following correspondence in regard to a certain "Bank" in this State, which proves to be a Wild Cat. It is astonishing how the notes of such a "Bank" can be circulated. The Free Banks of Indiana - the best secured banks in the West - have but a poor circulation out of the State, while these shinplasters are curculated in Kansas and Minnesota as genuine bank issues:
 Minnesota Territory, April 17, 1858
Dear. Sir: Parties here have $10,000 of the American bank at Dover Hill, Indiana, which they desire to circulate. Can you tell me how the Bank stands with you? If so, please oblige me by answering at your earliest convenience. Yours Respectfully.
  Indianapolis, April 23, 1858
Dear Sir: Your favor of the 17th inst, inquiring as to the standing of the American Bank at Dover Hill, is received. The American Bank is a Sand-bank, of whose existence the good people of Dover Hill have no knowledge; supposed to be non cumatibus in swampo - a high flying kite, the string to which is probably held by some fellow in Owen county, Ind., and the tail, perhaps, 'twill reach the pockets of the people of your Territory. It is a swindle. Yours, &c. P.S. The Auditor of State informs me that no Bank of that name is known at his office.

Evansville Journal, Vol 17, Evansville, Vanderburgh County, 20 Aug 1866, transcribed by J.S.
The Cause in Martin
Dover Hill, Indiana, August 11, 1866
Editors Journal:
  This is a joyous day for Union men in old Martin. At 8 o'clock this morning crowds of people commenced congregating around - not the groceries - but the hotels and offices, and the streets were thronged with horsemen, buggies, wagons, hacks and carriages coming in, flags - Union flags - flying, men, women, children, all classes, all ages, were represented, all coming to hear what might or could be said if anything for the Union Party.
  At 10 a.m. a convention was called at the court room for the nomination of a county ticket. Dr. Palmater, of Loogootee, was called to the Chair. A Secretary was appointed, and soon the business was progressing. All the townships were represented, and a few minutes sufficed to present to the people a
for Martin County, to wit; For Representative, Col. Lew. Brooks; for Clerk of Circuit Court, Capt. Abner Brown; for County Auditor, Zeno W. Coffin, Esq.; for Sheriff, Lieut. F.A. Cooke; for Recorder, Sergeant David Norcross; for Coroner, M. Shirey, Esq., for County Commissioner, Lee Keck, Esq. - all of whom have proved true to the Union in peace and in war. The nominations were made unanimous. The utmost harmony prevailed. The utmost harmony prevailed, and all bid fair for a general good time until, at the close of the Convention, it was announced that, owing to an accident on the railroad, the principal speaker engaged for the occasion,
had failed to attend. Sad indeed were the feeling, and faces of the Union men, while the glances that were exchanged by Democrats, indicated the joy they felt at our discomfiture; and some of them went as far as to show themselves prophets, (of the past) by such remarks as "I told ye so." "I knowed it," and "they only 'nounced the name of 'Williamson' so as to git a crowd out to hear 'em speek."...Yours truly, Charley McCarty

Indianapolis Daily Herald, Indianapolis, Marion County, 11 May 1867, transcribed by J.S.
Proposals - Proposals for the erection of a court house at Dover Hill, Indiana.

Indianapolis Daily Herald, Indianapolis, Marion County, 14 May 1867, transcribed by J.S.
Sealed proposals will be received by the Board of Commissioners of Martin county, Indiana, on the 7th day of June, 1867, for the erection of a new COURT HOUSE in the town of Dover Hill, Indiana. Said building is to be made of brick, 78 feet long by 51 feet wide, and is to be built according to plans and specifications on file in the Auditor's office of said county. The contractors will be required to furnish all materials for the same, and to have the brick burned, and the foundation walls laid by the first day of December 1867, and the building completed on or before the 15th day of November 1868. Payments will be made on estimates as the work proceeds, reserving 10 per cent on each estimate until the completion of the work. All proposals must be accompanied with a written guarantee, signed at least by two sufficient sureties, that if the bid is accepted, the bidder will immediately enter into a written contract, and give the necessary bonds for the faithful performance of the same; the Board reserving the right to reject all bids if they deem it for the best interests of the county to do so. Jas. C. O'Brien, my11d1aw4w, Auditor of Martin County.

The Lacon Home Journal, vol 78, 17 Feb 1916, transcribed by J.S.
Scattered about the room were envelopes with two or three different advertisements on each to represent names an addresses, as on one was written the word "miss," then a picture of a bell, advertising, the Bell Telephone Co and a picture of a camel. The address was represented by a picture of an Indian followed by the letter a. This meaning Miss Bell Campell, Ironton, Indiana. Result of this game was a tie between Mildred Own and Edna McMahon, each having 74 out of the 80, right. Cuts were drawn, resulting in Mildred winning a very beautiful bottle of Lilly of the Valley perfume, the fragrance of our class flower.

Arthur Lyons, the slayer of his father's wife, who has been a fugitive from justice for several days in Martin county, Indiana, pursued by a posse of several hundred men, shot himself through the heart Tuesday as he stood hemmed in by a band of enraged farmers.
Madera Mercury, No 15, 13 Jun 1903 - transcribed by J.S.

John Lichte, of Shoals, Martin County, Indiana, has written to the Chief of Police, asking for information as to the whereabouts of his brother-in-law, John Kritzer, who came to Sacramento in September 1879.
Sacramento Daily Union, Vol 11, No 47, 15 Apr 1880 - transcribed by J.S.

One day last week a tramp, giving his name as Sickles, obtained work as a painter, at a farm house about five miles north of Shoals.  He worked from that time until Saturday evening doing good work.  On that evening he climbed into a chesnut tree in quest of nuts, when he fell to the ground, a distance of forty feet, and was instantly killed.  The whereabouts of his home and friends is not known.  (Greencastle Banner, Greencastle, Indiana, vol. 29, no. 43, Thursday, October 27, 1881; Transcribed by SallyH)



Copyright © Genealogy Trails