A Man Wanted For Old Murder
Betrayed By His Former Wife
Guthrie, Oklahoma, January 2.—James Wilson, a farmer living ten miles west of this place, was arrested upon a requisition from the governor of Missouri for the murder of Orville, Lyons, at Arno, Douglas County, Missouri, thirty-two years ago. It is alleged that Wilson in making his escape, killed a man named Hall, whom he suspected of being an officer. Wilson is now more than 60 years old, and, according to the statement of Benjamin S. Martin, Sheriff of Douglas County, who will take him back to Missouri, has been a fugitive from justice ever since the day he killed Lyons. He was betrayed to the officers by his first wife, whom he had lived with nearly forty years. They were divorced here about two years ago.
The story of the murder for which Wilson was arrested is that, in 1869, he and Orville Lyons, a neighbor, owned a threshing machine in partnership. They quarreled, and in a fight, Wilson was worsted. They became friends again, however, and were supposed to have forgotten their troubles. August 22, 1869, Wilson went on horseback to Lyons’ farm and called Lyons to his yard gate, where their quarrel was renewed by Wilson. Wilson carried a double barreled shotgun across his saddle. Without raising his weapon he turned his horse gradually until the gun was in line with Lyons’ heart. Wilson pulled the trigger, it is alleged, and Lyons was killed. The rebound knocked the gun from across the saddle to the ground, where it was picked up after Wilson had fled. The remaining load was drawn and found to contain seventy two buckshot.
The only witnesses were a servant girl named Hartley, long since dead, Lyons’ two small children and a man named Martin, who accompanied Wilson. Martin was never arrested as he was only a spectator. He promised Lyons’ friends that if Wilson should ever be arrested he would appear and and testify in the case. Lyons’ wife was teaching school about two miles away when her husband was killed. Wilson was married and the father of several children. He did not leave the country immediately, as it was thinly settled, and he had no difficulty in hiding himself. While visiting at a house one night a man named Hall called to see an inmate. Peering through the window he was seen by Wilson, who it is alleged, mistook him for an officer and shot and killed him. Wilson then fled from the country, and later was joined by his wife and children. All of the children are now grown. Some of them live in Oklahoma.
In the years that followed, Wilson drifted through Arkansas, the Cherokee Nation and Kansas and Oklahoma, where he located about eight years ago then miles west of Guthrie. The wife who had followed him in all his wanderings complained that he had abused and mistreated her until their married life was unbearable and two years ago she sued for divorce in Logan County District Court, which was granted. Wilson owned two well stocked farms which were divided with his wife. Mrs. Wilson lives now with one of her children near Guthrie. Wilson married a second time, the woman being a widow, Mrs. Phoebe Sardiner, with whom his is now living. After their divorce, his first wife told the officers of the crime for which Wilson was indicted.
Wilson made no effort to resist arrest when Sherriff Charles Carpenter sent a deputy to bring him to Guthrie. He did not deny today that he had lived at Arno, but said that he was guiltless of the crime of which he was accused. He has employed lawyers to prevent his removal to Missouri. Wilson is a small man with regular features. He bears all the marks of a life of hardship. His face is seamed with lines. His gray hair was tousled as he had spent many sleepless nights. He refused to talk for publication. He will be taken to Ava, the county seat of Douglas County.
Relatives of Orville Lyons will do their utmost to convict Wilson. A son, William Lyons, is postmaster at McClurg, Taney County, Missouri; a sister, Mrs. Samuel Turner, lives t Ava, and J. M Lyons, a brother, is a deputy United States Marshal at Muskogee, I. T. The latter was sheriff of Douglas County four years and made many attempts to learn the where about of Wilson.
[Evening News (San Jose, CA), Thursday, January 2, 1902, Volume: XLI Issue: 9 Page: 2. Transcribed by: OFOFG (FC)]
Arrested For An Old Murder
Has Been Fugitive From Justice For Thirty Two Years
Singular Case In Oklahoma
Betrayed By His Wife On Account Of Quarrel
Relatives and Children of Murdered Man Will Prosecute—Many Important Witness Now Dead
Guthrie, Oklahoma, December 21.—James Wilson, a farmer living ten miles west of this place was arrested today upon a requisition from the governor of Missouri for the murder of Orville Lyons at Areno, Douglas County, Missouri, twenty three years ago. It is alleged that Wilson in making his escape, killed a man named Hall, whom he suspected of being an officer. Wilson is now more than 60 years old and, it is said, has been a fugitive from justice every since the day he killed Lyons. He was betrayed to the officers by his wife, with whom he had lived nearly 40 years. They were divorced here about two years ago.
Wilson and Lyons were neighbors and quarreled over a business matter. Wilson shot Lyons through the heart and fled.
In the years that followed Wilson drifted through Arkansas, the Cherokee Nation and Kansas and Oklahoma, where he located about eight years ago, ten miles west of Guthrie. The prisoner will be taken to Ave, Missouri, for trial. Relatives of Orville Lyons will prosecute Wilson. Three children of Lyons are still living, but important witnesses are dead.
[uluth News-Tribune (Duluth, MN), Sunday, December 22, 1901, Volume: 23 Section: Main News Page: 7. Transcribed by: AFOFG (FC)]
Wife Murder and Attempted Suicide Near Ava, in Douglas County
Special to The Republic
Mansfield, Missouri, September 25—News has been received here to the effect that this morning near Ave, the county seat of Douglas County. Al Gibson, a young farmer, shot his wife and then attempted to take his own life, but was prevented from doing so by friends. Family trouble is assigned as the cause of the shooting.
[St. Louis Republic (St. Louis, MO) Saturday, September 26, 1896, Volume: 89 Issue: 88 Section: Part Two Page: 12. Transcribed by: AFOFG (FC)]