The first murder trial on record in the county was the killing of Mr. Hornbeck by Henry Moon, in about 1852. The men were cousins, and became involved in a dispute regarding a few cattle. It seems that Hornbeck went into a field to thrash Moon, but the latter stabbed the former with a pocket-knife, inflicting a mortal wound. Moon was arraigned, took a change of venue to Indianapolis, where he was sentenced to the penitentiary for three years, but was set at liberty at the end of eighteen months.
The murder of a man named Eshelman caused much excitement in the county. He was hunting, and disappeared, and, as he did not return within a Reasonable time, his folks became uneasy and instituted a strict search, which resulted in finding his decomposed body in the woods. A young man named Ellison was arrested, some strong evidence existing as to his guilt. He was sent to the penitentiary, but was pardoned by the Governor and released, and a man named David Whelchel was arrested, charged with the murder. At the first trial, Whelchel was sentenced to the penitentiary for life; but he gained a new trial, where the jury " hung," which resulted in his acquittal. Subsequently young Ellison was hung for murder in Missouri
Another important case was the death, by poisoning, of a Mrs. Snyder and her little girl. The two died with spasms, and under suspicious circumstances, and the husband and step-father was arrested, charged with poisoning them with strychnine. On the first trial, Mr. Snyder was sentenced for life to the penitentiary. At the first new trial, he was sentenced for twenty- one years, but at the second new trial was again sentenced for life. Many have doubted this man's guilt, thinking that the mother poisoned her child and herself.
Joel Harvey and Jane Goff were arraigned for the murder of Mr. Goff, husband of Jane Goff. The wife was sentenced to two years in the penitentiary, as an accessory, while Harvey was set free, owing to a feeble prosecution.
Two boys In Tipton, named Groves and Paul, became involved in a quarrel, when the former struck the latter on the head with a brick-bat, causing his death. An indictment was returned, but Groves has been missing since the tragedy.
A year or two ago, two boys, named respectively Doles and White, quarreled, when the former stabbed the latter, causing his death. The murderer was sentenced to the penitentiary for twenty-one years.
At Windfall, a man named Armstrong shot and killed a Mr. Thomas, but on the trial was acquitted. A woman was at the bottom of the case. Various other murders have occurred, but the above are the most important.
Source: Counties of Howard and Tipton Indiana Historical and Biographies Charles Blanchard Editor Chicago F.A. Battey & Co 1883
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