Hamilton County - Genealogytrails








Crimes and Murders





Charges of Murder

More Victims

Tragedy In a Hotel

Brigandage In Tennessee

Deadly Duel

Possee Scours County Seeking Bold Bandit

Fatal Affray

Jesse Trierson Hanged

A Resurrection

Back From A Long Chase

Asked Officers To Get Him

The Lee James Reward Paid

Domestic Dispatch

Mother Murders Son in Tennessee

Postmaster Sentenced

Found Murdered With His Throat Cut

Murdered and Placed on A Railraod Track

A Deadly Assult

Captain Fyffe

Four Prisoners Escape From Tennessee Jail

Farmer Shot

Huff Sentenced

Joseph Huff Executed

Constable Ambushed    

Killed Him With A Pick   


Daring Highway Robbery   


Don't Want To Be Hanged   


Love of A Girl   


Taken to Hamilton County   


Desperado Arrested   

The Citizens Are Indignant   

Claims Self Defense   

To Their Last Hope   

Drunken Husband Inflicts Fatal Injuries on His Wife    

Wanted to Lynch Him     

Indicted A Supreme Copurt Judge In Hamilton County's Criminal Court   

A Robber Caught and Will Get What He Deserves

Accidentally Shot By His Brother  

Suit Is Filed Against Water Company   

Jewels Dissappear At Signal Mountain Inn   

Negros Nabbed in Charge of Stealing James Jewels    

Held On Charge of Carnal Knowledge

Iceman Refuses To Sell To Sick   

Girl, 16, Faces Jury on Charge of Killing Man   

Bandit Martin Still at Large   

Former Soldiers Kill Deputy And Hold Up Scores  

Dave Edwards Pays Penalty   

Leather Thieves Held   

Undetermined Sentence   

Moving Day for Daisy   

Officers Find Big Still In Vicinity Ooltewah    

Dr. Anderson  In Trouble  

William Trullers, 14 Years Old, Faces Murder Charges   

C. J. Herbert Indicted For Assault On Woman    

Steals Liquor From Justice Court   

Carl Whalen The Murderer    

Washington Gann Guilty   

Washington Gann Sentenced    

John Eblin Fugitive - Reward    

Washington Gann Captured    

Mountain Wildcat Distillery Raided   

Lookout Mountain Guide Exonerated    





Charges Murder

Tennessee Man Investigates Death of Daughter.

Chattanooga, Tenn, June 22. — U. M. Hallett, a highly respected citizen, has had a warrant taken out for the arrest of Walter W. Henning, charging him with the murder of Mrs. Henning.


Henning married Hallett's daughter at Soddy, Tennessee, on April 18, last. Shortly afterwards Henning departed, ostensibly for the west. Hallett received a letter from Henning dated from a point in California informing him that Mrs. Hallett had died suddenly.


Hallett notified the police, with the result that a few days ago the body of Mrs. Henning was found to have been buried there. An autopsy was held and it was stated by the examining physician that the woman had been killed by a criminal operation.


Henning was last heard from at Los Angeles. The sheriff rays he has wired the Los Angeles authorities to arrest him.

The Idaho Daily Statesman - June 23, 1903


More Victims   

Assassination in Hamilton County

Another bloody sacrifice has been offered up to the foul spirit of rebellion. Last Monday, Mr. Case, of Hamilton County, (Chattanooga) Tennessee, a member of the Senate of that State with two other Union men, were brutally assassinated by a rebel guerrilla named Frank Farris.


Than Senator Case, treason never selected a more guiltless victim. A mild, modest, quiet and unassuming gentleman, beloved of his family and a host of friends, his only offense was steadfast devotion to his county and unflinching adherence to her cause. His death will but strengthen his brethren's faith.


Cincinnati Daily Gazette - January 18, 1867




Tragedy In a Hotel


One Tennessee Politician Kills Another in Chattanooga  


Chattanooga, Tennessee, February 12 – Robert E. Craig, trustee of Hamilton County, shot and killed A. M. Womble, in the corridor of the Russell house, this afternoon.


Womble had been in Craig’s employ as a deputy.  Early in December he was removed for causes not stated, but it is asserted there was nothing wrong in his in his affairs.  Mr. Womble did not seem to have any ill will toward Mr. Craig, and the two never had a quarrel before this afternoon so far as known.


What brought on the difficulty today is not clear.  Womble called on Craig at this room shortly after noon today and the fight commenced behind closed doors and was a terrible one.  Finally Craig fired one fatal shot at Womble in the apartment, who immediately ran out into the hall, pursued by Craig.  Half way down the stairs Womble fell exhausted from the wound.  Craig descended and, standing over him, snapped the pistol several times.  It failed to work and he broke open the weapon then closing it he shot at Womble twice, one ball entering the abdomen and passing almost through the body.  Either of the wounds received would have caused death and Womble expired in a few minutes, making an antemortom statement that Craig had invited him to his room, and then shot him from behind.  Intense excitement followed the shooting.  Both men were most prominent.  Craig was slightly injured in the fight and tonight is being guarded in his room.


Sioux City Journal – February 13, 1895




Brigandage In Tennessee   

A few nights since a band of robbers visited the town of Ooltewah, Tennessee, a village some fourteen miles from Chattanooga, and opened and robbed all of the seven stores in the place.


Not content with taking the easily portable property, they brought wagons along, and loaded them with the contents of the stores.


In one store they found a safe, which they blew open and rifled. 


The place has not police, and the work of the brigands was not discovered until the morning, when they seem to have made their escape safely.


Officers have set out with bloodhounds to run the robbers down.

Times Picayune – March 23, 1894


Deadly Duel  

Two Neighboring Farmers Meet On a Tennessee Highway and Kill Each Other

Chattanooga, Tennessee, April 20. – Five miles from Ooltewah, in James County, Tennessee, twenty miles from this city, a terrible tragedy was enacted yesterday afternoon, in which two men lost their lives at each others’ hand.


Only meager details have thus far been procured.


John Roy and Will Carson, two well known men, lived near neighbors; they were intimate friends when they met Tuesday morning, but got into a dispute over some land.


When they separated they were very angry, and each swore vengeance.  That they kept their word was shown with terrible truth.


In a few hours a negro man, walking toward White Oak Gap, on a public road, saw two bodies in the road, and supposed the men were drunk until he reached the space where they were lying, when he found they were dead.


They had met, renewed the quarrel and both were killed.  Roy lay within a few inches of Carson’s feet, with his pistol tightly grasped in his hand, and a bullet from the weapon has passed through Carson’s heart.  Carson’s pistol had fallen from his hand, but when it had been last discharged it sent a ball through Roy’s brain.

 Columbus Daily Enquirer – April 23, 1887


Posse Scours Country Seeking Bold Bandit   

Tennessee Outlaw Who With Companion Staged Holdup Is Still at Large

Wounded Pal Is In Jail


(By Associated Press)


Chattanooga, Tennessee, October 20. – With James Oliver aged 20, in jail posses today still wee scouting the vicinity of Ooltewah, James County for Ed Martin, his alleged companion and accomplice in the killing of Deputy Sheriff McIntosh and the robbery of many travelers on the Dixie Highway, Saturday.


The two discharged soldiers, it is alleged barricaded the highway near Ooltewah early Saturday holding all travelers who approached, and finally capturing and holding for hours several citizens who came to investigate the killing of Deputy McIntosh, who was shot by one of the boys whom he attempted to arrest. 


Oliver was wounded in an exchange of shots with a posseman and was only captured, according to the officers, when he feared he was bleeding to death.


Citizens who were held by the men were forced to take him to Ooltewah for medical attention.  His companion escaped.


Oliver was threatened with lynching at Ooltewah.  A rope was placed about his neck and he was strung up, but citizens desisted when he promised to give the name of his companion.


Deputy Sheriff McIntosh died in full view of persons attracted to the spot.  Attempts to reach him with medical aid were repulsed at the point of pistols.


Six men and a woman were huddled along the roadside, covered by the pistol of one of the bandits, while several of the hold ups wee in progress.


Fort Wayne News Sentinel – October 20, 1919



Fatal Affray   


A man by the name of Evan Parker, of Hamilton County, Tennessee, was killed a few days since by Lemuel Harvey, of the same county.


The parties net in the public road, where an old quarrel about their land was renewed, Parker making the attack with a bowie knife, which Harvey wrested from his hand, and in turn inflicted the deadly wound.



Daily National Intellignecer - January 13, 1845


Jesse Trierson Hanged   

Chattanooga, Tenn. Jan 2 -  Jesse Trierson was hanged this morning for the murder of officer Musgrave, in December 1890.

The Arizona Republican Sunday January 3, 1892

Transcribed and contributed by:  Barb Ziegenmyer




A Resurrection   


A Tennessee Defaulter, Who Died and Was Buried, is Seen in Mexico


Chattanooga, Tennessee, September 8. --  Several years ago Marshal T. Polk robbed the State Treasury of Tennessee of several hundred thousand dollars while serving as State Treasurer.


He fled, but was subsequently arrested and returned to Nashville.  In due time he was reported to have sickened and died.  His body was shipped from Nashville to Boliver, Tennessee, where it was buried.


Now comes news that one Gamble, a prominent citizen of Anniston, Alabama, has just returned home from an extended visit in the City of Mexico, and while there he met Polk on the street and talked with him.  He made further investigations and found Polk in business in that



The affair has created no little excitement in this part of the State.  Gambale was well acquainted with Polk while he was treasurer of this State.



Macon Telegraph - September 7,  1887




Asked Officers To Get Him   


A Seventeen Year Old Boy Tires of Flight From the Law


Greenville, Texas. September 10. --  Sheriff W. P. Hayes of Hamilton County, Tennessee, passed through his city en-route to Chattanooga with Harry Isham,. a 17 year old boy, charged with killing Thomas Smith. in that city during June of this year.


Isham said that after killing Smith he went first to Atlanta, thence to New Orleans, and had made his way to Texas.


Arriving at Trenton he said he only had 5 cents, and being tired of flight, had the operator wire the officer at Chattanooga to come after him.


Forth Worth Star-Telegram - September 10, 1902



Back From A Long Chase   

Sheriff Hayes of Tennessee Here With a Prisoner Caught in California


After following Luther Carrell, a convicted Murderer, almost across the United States, W. P Hayes, Sheriff of Hamilton County, Tennessee, brought the man a prisoner from the Union Depot ot police headquarters last night for safe keeping.  


He is on his return with the prisoner to Meigs County, Tennessee, the scene of the young man's crime.


Sheriff Hayes said that Correll was captured recently in Los Angeles, California, by detectives Murphy and Haley, who received a reward of $400.00.  


Carrell was arrested two years ago charged with shooting a comrade when both were boys.  The murder occurred while the two were hunting, and Carroll threw his victim's body into a creek.  Later he was sentenced to ten years in the penitentiary, but the case was appealed to a higher court and Carrell was admitted to bail.  He fled and went to Los Angeles.  Both the sheriff and prisoner looked travel worn after their long trip.


"I haven't had my clothes off but once this week." said the sheriff; "and it's a mighty little sleep a fellow gets watching a prisoner."



Kansas City Star - December 13, 1903




The Lee James' Reward Paid   



Atlanta, September 7. -- Application was made last week to the Governor by L. P. Elliott, of Hamilton County, Tennessee, for the $150 reward offered for the capture of Lee James and his delivery to the sheriff of Bibb County.


The proofs were defective, but they have since been perfected, and today the money was paid over to Mr. Elliott.



Macon Telegraph - September 8, 1887




Domestic Dispatch   


Death of a Noted Criminal


St. Louis, October 13. --  A special from Mansfield, Missouri, says:


R. P. Goodall, sheriff of Lacledo County, killed Bob Taylor this morning while attempting to arrest him, on board a passenger train, a few miles from Lebanon. 


Taylor is one of three brothers who murdered the sheriff and his deputy of Hamilton County, Tennessee, on September 14 last.  He had been hiding in the vicinity of Lebanon for some time past, and Sheriff Goodall had been after him two weeks.  This morning the sheriff encountered Taylor on the train between Mansfield and Lebanon, and stepping up to him presented his revolver and demanded his surrender.  Taylor instantly drew a pistol, but sheriff was too quick for him and fired, killing him instantly.  The body was taken to Lebanon, and the sheriff has telegraphed to the authorities in Tennessee.  It is thought that another of the Taylor brothers was on the train, as the pistol that fell from the dead man's hands was picked up during the excitement by a man who passed into another car and was seen no more.  It is said that $16,000 reward has been offered for the arrest of the three Taylors.


Since the above was received a special has been received from Chattanooga, Tennessee, saying that the noted desperado named Taylor is surrounded near Rockwood, and that a posse has gone out to assist in his capture.  This is probably a brother of the man that was killed by Sheriff Goodall this morning.



Galveston News - October 19, 1882




Mother Murders Her Son in Tennessee   


Chattanooga, Tennessee, October 29. --  The dead body of  Clifford Cawthorn, the 16 year old son of a widow, was found at his home last night, lying on  a bed in a pool of blood, his head hacked to pieces with a hatchet, which was lying near by.  The building was on fire and firemen discovered the body.


Mrs. Cawthorn, the mother, confessed today that she committed the deed and that it was her intention to kill the whole family.


She said the boy was bad and smoked cigarettes and she killed him for that reason.



Idaho Statesman - October 30, 1900



Postmaster Sentenced   


Short Term Given After Report by Alienists


Associated Press


Chattanooga, Tennessee, December 11. --  Following a report of two local alienists, that John H. Millsaps, former postmaster at Daisy, Tennessee, charged with embezzlement of government funds, was mentally deficient.


Federal Judge Edward T. Sanford today sentenced the defendant to one year and a day in the federal penitentiary at Atlanta, reducing the penalty to the lowest allowed in such cases.


The alienists reported that Millsaps had suffered an attack of influenza while serving in the army during the war and instead of receiving treatment had been forced to wait on other patients, and as a result his mind had become confused.


Millsap's shortage totaled about three thousand dollars.



Montgomery Advertiser - December 12, 1922



Found Murdered With His Throat Cut   

Chattanooga, January 8. (Special) --  A very sensational discovery was made today, a few miles below Dayton, Tennessee.  Two weeks ago Moses Houlton was reported to have been drowned in the Tennessee River by falling into the water from a boat.


Today his body was recovered about three miles below where the drowning occurred, and an examination of the same showed that the throat had been cut from ear to ear.


It has since been developed that Houlton, John Burkey and Richard Harwood were husking corn together on the ay of the murder on an island in Tennessee River.   In the evening when they finished work the trio got on a flatboat to cross the river and that was the last seen of Houlton.


A warrant was sworn out today by Peter Weaver, stepfather of the murdered man, for the arrest of Burkey and Harwood, chargin gthem with murder. 


The excitement over the affair is intense.  A hearing in the case will take place tomorrow.


Houlton had $20 on his person when he was murdered and the money is missing.

Times-Picayune - January 9, 1889



Murdered and Placed on a Railroad Track   

Chattanooga, April 22. -- (Special) --  J. L. Kinney was run over by a train in the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad yard in this city about a week ago, and his body cut in two.  At the time it was thought he had been murdered and his body placed on the track to cover up the crime.  


Kinney's brother arrived in the city today, and has found that the unfortunate man's gold watch and over $100 which he had on his person just before his dead body was found, is missing.


Officers think there is no doubt now that Kinney was murdered, and they are working on a clue now which will probably lead to the arrest of the guilty parties.  

Times-Picayune - April 23, 1888



A Deadly Assault  

Chattanooga, Tennessee, January 8, --  (Special.) This morning at 4 o'clock Charles O. Snyder, Republican member elect of the board of public works, got into a row with Pat O'Brien at the Palace Hotel bar, which the former called the latter vile names.  O'Brien struck at Snyder, which caused him to draw a long bladed knife, which he ran into O'Brien's abdomen a distance of four inches.


The wounded man was taken to his home in a critical condition.  On account of the prominence of the parties in the trouble every effort has been made to keep the particulars from the public.


Snyder was quietly arrested and subsequently released on $2,000 bonds.  He was the Republican candidate for mayor in 1888, and was defeated by a majority of 9 votes.

Times-Picayune - January 4, 1888


Captain Fyffe   

At Chattanooga Capt. Fyffe, of the Lookout Mountain Guards, was tried by a justice of the peace this morning for and assault with arms on July 4.  A dummy line conductor swore that Capt Fyffe said he would run the train himself, and ordered a file of men to take charge of the engine.  The engineer testified that when Capt. Fyffe ordered him to go on, he (the engineer) said he would not run until the conductor gave him orders.  The magistrate decided that the case had been made out and held Capt. Fyffee in bond to the grand jury.

Vernon Courier (Lamar County, AL), July 17, 1890

Transcribed and contributed by:  Veneta McKinney


Four Prisoners Escape From Tennessee Jail   

By the Associated Press 

Chattanooga, Tennessee, August 13.--Four prisoners, all said to be desperate men, and including Luther Borin,who killed Sheriff J. L. Smith of Bradley County a few months ago, excaped from the Hamilton County Jai some time today and are still at large.

Dallas Morning News - August 14, 1922

Farmer Shot   

By a Seventeen Year Old Boy Near Chattanooga


Special to The Journal


Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 23.--William Burgess, a farmer living at Burgess Ferry, a landing on the Tennessee River eight miles from Scottsboro, Alabama, was shot and killed today by Leon Smith, a seventeen year old boy.  Burgess accused the boy of stealing roasting ears out of his field.  Young Smith hearing of it procured a pistol and shot Burgess in the head.  The boy is a son of Dr. Eugene Smith, a man of considerable prominence.  He fled after the shooting and is still at large.



Friday, July 24, 1896

Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune (Knoxville, TN) Volume: XII Issue: 150 Page: 4





Huff Sentenced   


John Nance, convicted of murder of McBee, in Grainger County, Tennessee, two years ago, and Huff, a black man, convicted of killing Kilpatrick, at Chattanooga, last year, were on Saturday sentenced by the Supreme Court, at Knoxville, to be hung on the 27th of December next.



Wednesday, November 6, 1867

Memphis Daily Avalanche (Memphis, TN) Volume: Nine Issue: 261 Page: 1



Joseph Huff Executed   


Joseph Huff, the Negro wham we mentioned a day or two since a being under sentence of death in Hamilton County, Tennessee, was executed at Harrison Friday last.


About two thousand persons, mostly women and girls, were collected to witness the execution.  Jumping, wrestling and other athletic exercises employed the male portion of the crowd while waiting for the fatal hour, and refreshments had been amply provided by enterprising hucksters suitable to the occasion.


A colored minister offered the prisoner the consolations of the Gospel, but Huff replied that he had no fears of death, and felt sure that his soul would be saved.


The trap fell at two minutes past one o'clock; a thud, two or three convulsions of the body, and Huff was dead.


There were very few colored persons present.



Wednesday, January 1, 1868

Memphis Daily Avalanche (Memphis, TN) Volume: 10  Issue: 307 Page: 2



Constable Ambushed   


In Hamilton County and Filled with Buckshot


Chattanooga, Tennessee, March 1. -- Constable Eugene Lynch was shot near Soddy, this county this morning from ambush by John Lemons, a desperate young miner, who was living with a notorious woman, named Mossie Skyles.


The man and woman were tried before a magistrate Saturday for assaulting Lemons, his own father, and bound over to court.  


The constable and his brother Tom, arrested the pair yesterday.  But Lemons escaped from the latter's keeping and as the former was crossing a high trestle this morning on the Cincinnati Southern Road with the woman.


Lemons poured a volley of buck shot into his breast from the bushes and was seen later running away with the Skyles woman.


The officer is mortally wounded and a posse of citizens are scouring the country.


Heavy reward is offered for this capture and officers and blood hounds have been sent here with the purpose of taking the murderer dead or alive.


The dead man was a brave officer and leaves a large family. 



Tuesday, March 5, 1895

Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune (Knoxville, TN)  Volume: XI  Issue: 8 Page: 8

Killed Him With A Pick  

One Convict Murders Another at Bushy Mountain Yesterday

Chattanooga, Tennessee, August 31 –A quarrel in the state convict camp at Brushy Mountain today resulted in W. T. Garrett dealing George Walker, a death blow with a pick. The prisoners had exasperated Garrett, who is serving a twenty one years’ sentence, beyond endurance about the outer garments he wore and after striking Walker down, he jumped on the prostrate man and beat his head into a jelly with a large stone. Garrett killed Reverend Sam Rowland, of this city, in 1891, and for several years he had a roving life, but finally betrayed by a companion in Cincinnati. He was a native of Jamaica and of mixed Spanish and Negro blood and well educated.

Sunday, September 1, 1895
Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune (Knoxville, TN) Volume: XI Issue: 188 Page: 1

Daring Highway Robbery   

A Wealthy Citizen of Hamilton County Waylaid on Lookout Mountain

Special to the Journal

Chattanooga, March 17.—News has just reached the city of a daring highway robbery Saturday night on Lookout Mountain. Johns Cummings, one of the wealthiest men of Hamilton County was driving across the mountain to his home at Wauhatchle when two highwaymen jumped from ambush, one seized the bridle of his horse and stopped his vehicle. They then took him out and threw him violently to the ground, stunning him for a few moments. While he lay in an unconscious condition the highwaymen robbed the vehicle of a week’s supply of provision, broke the conveyance into kindling wood and left before he could recognize them. They also secured a small amount of money from his pockets. Great excitement prevails on the mountain over the affair, as this is the first such affair that has occurred for years on Lookout.

Tuesday, March 18, 1890
Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune (Knoxville, TN) Volume: VI Issue: 21 Page: 1

Don’t Want To Hang  

Attorneys for John Lemmons, Hamilton Counter Murderer

Will Appeal to Governor Turney to Interfere.

The attorneys for John Lemmons, the condemned murderer, who is now confined in the Hamilton County Jail at Chattanooga, are making a strenuous effort to have Governor Turney pardon him or to commute his sentence to life imprisonment. It will be remembered that at the recent session of the Supreme Court held in this city the appealed case of Lemmons was heard, and he was sentenced to hand in Chattanooga, December 16th.

Lemmons’ attorneys are very hopeful of success in their efforts to secure a change in the destiny of the condemned man. They are basing their efforts upon the plea that he is insane. Not only that the is now insane, but that he was demented at the time he committed the murder, for which he is about to atone. They claim that the prerogative for actual murder—premeditation- was entirely absent in the case of Lemmons, and that his mental condition was not such as would admit of him exercising malice, aforethought in the killing of the officer who was about to effect his arrest, when Lemmons shot him down.

The mother and sister of the condemned man visited him in his cell at the jail at Chattanooga, one day last week. They encouraged him in the hope that the would be pardoned, and assured him of their efforts do dl all in their power in his behalf.

Governor Turney will be called upon this week to take some action in the matter, and the condemned man will know by the last of the week what will be his fate.

Monday, November 30, 1896
Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune (Knoxville, TN) Volume: XII Issue: 277 Page: 3

Love of A Girl  

Causes a Terrible Tragedy Near Church Grove

Walter Hansard Killed Ezra Hamilton

Hansard Unarmed When He Was Shot Down

Trouble started at Church on Sunday Night

Both Members of Respectable Families – Hamilton Makes Good His Escape

The peaceful and law abiding citizens of the Fifth Civil District were thrown into a violent state of excitement last evening because of the murder of Walter Hansard by Ezra Hamilton, at the home of Mr. Sam Hartly near Church Grove.

About midnight last night J. M. Karnes and George Mynatt, two responsible men of that vicinity arrived in the city with the news and apprised the police authorities and Sheriff Groner of the affair and procured a coffin to take back with then. They report the community greatly excited over the event.

Sunday evening Hansard, aged about twenty three years and Hamilton, aged about eighteen, had some hot words with each other at the Camp ground church on top of Copper Ridge, about a girl, whom both had been paying attentions to. The girl is a daughter of Mrs. Warren, widow of the late Calvin Warren.

As they parted young Hamilton said in a significant way, “I’ll settle this matter with you later.”

About five o’clock last evening, while Harsard was engaged at chores in the barn yard of his uncle, Sam Hartley, young Hamilton came down the road and called Hansard to the fence saying that he wanted to see him.

Hansard, it should be added, is reported as having been the more successful in winning the aforesaid girl’s affections. He went down to the fence at Hamilton’s request, and as he placed his hands on the fence Hamilton is reported to have said: “Did you mean what you said last night?” Referring to a remark made about the young woman in question. To which Hansard replied that he did. Thereupon Hamilton whipped out a pistol and opened fire on Hansard. The latter wheeled and ran toward the corn crib near by. He had proceeded only a few feed when he fell and expired, one of the bullets having penetrated his heart.

Hamilton fire five shots and then broke in a run toward his home about a quarter of a mile distant and that is the last that has been seen of him. Up to midnight no inquest had been held because of the distance from the coroner, and became the justices of that district, Squire Lett an Kirkpatrick, were both in town attending county court. It was the intention of the men who came in to take one of the said justices back with them. The constable of that district was also in the city and there was no officer present to go in hunt of young Hamilton. By the present time the sheriff and some deputies are no doubt in search of him.

The deceased and the young man who murdered him have borne good reputations and never gave evidence of being bad men. Hamilton is a son of one of the best known families of that community.

Tuesday, October 8, 1895
Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune (Knoxville, TN) Volume: XI Issue: 224 Page: 1

Taken to Hamilton County  

Captain Dennis Shea left yesterday morning for Chattanooga, having in charge F. M. Short, the Claiborn County raftsman, who took charge of train No. 4 a few night ago and alarmed the passengers with his reckless display of bait horse pistol.

The shooting was done in Hamilton County and he will be left to the tender mercies of the Chattanooga jury.

Wednesday, March 8, 1893
Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune (Knoxville, TN) Volume: IX Issue: 11  Page: 1

Desperado Arrested   

A Wide-awake and Plucky Conductor Gets the Drop on Him And He Surrendered

The Murderer of the Hamilton County Deputy Sheriffs in Jail at Chattanooga—A Reward Offered for His Pal—He is still at Large, but a Determined Hunt is Being Made for Him.

Special to the Journal
Chattanooga, April 3.—Arthur Palmer, who was present at the killing of Deputy Sheriff Gibson, and the probably fatal wounding of Deputy Hassett at a bagnio in the city last night, was arrested today by Conductor Moody, of the Chattanooga, Rome and Columbus Railroad, at Crawfish Springs, on the old Chickamauga battleground, the first station south of Chattanooga. The conductor recognized the desperado and drew a pistol and got the drop on him.

Palmer was taken to Lafayette, Georgia, and from then thence tonight back to Chattanooga and lodged in the county jail, awaiting a preliminary examination. But Gordon, another of the trio for whom the sheriff has offered a reward of $100, is still at large, although a determined hunt is being made for him.

The murder of Gibson and attempt to kill Hassett were evidently the result of a deliberate plot premeditated on part of Carton and Gordon and stands unparelled in the criminal annals of Hamilton County. Catron met his death at the hands of an officer. A hunt to the finish will be made for Gordon and Palmer is in the law’s clutches.

Friday, April 4, 1890
Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune (Knoxville, TN) Volume: VI Issue: 38 Page: 1

The Citizens Are Indignant   

The People of Hamilton County Surprised by a Jury’s Verdict

Special to The Journal

Chattanooga, Tennessee, May 18. – Surprise and indignation is felt here over the acquittal this morning of David L. Cavender for the murder of Rolla Reed on the Rossville pike last fall.

Cavender had with him in the perpetration of the crime, James Ervin. One held Reed and the other cut his throat.

This murder was done in broad daylight on the public highway, and is one of the most brutal crimes in the history of Hamilton County.

The Trial has been on for the last week. Despite most damaging evidence, the jury brought in a verdict of not guilty this morning.

Cavender is a wealthy farmer, and it is supposed his money was used freely.

Saturday, May 19, 1894
Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune (Knoxville, TN) Volume: X Issue: 83 Page: 1


Claims Self Defense   

Kzra Hamilton, Slayer of Hansard, Surrenders to the Sheriff

Ezra Hamilton who shot and killed Walter Hansard Monday evening in the north part of the county, crime in yesterday morning and gave himself up to the sheriff and he is now in the county jail waiting action of the court.

To a Journal reporter he talked freely and said that he regretted the affair but that it was purely a case of self defense.

He and Hansard had had several quarrels about the Warren girl and he says that she had gone back on Hansard and because he was going with her, Hamilton commenced, hating him and trying to pick fusses with him.

Last Sunday night the prisoner said that he took the girl to church. She sat next to a window and he sat next to her.

Hansard was on the outside and would occasionally raise the window beside the girl. She would put it down each time and finally becoming provoked she spoke to him through the window, calling to him by name and ordering him to let the window alone. Hansard replied by calling her a d---n fool.

Hamilton says that he slipped a chew of tobacco in his mouth an told the girl to exchange seats with him. When the window came up again he let drive with about a gill of tobacco spirit. This made Hansard furious and he called out to Hamilton calling him a vile name. He said he took his hat and went outside and Hansard called him vile names repeatedly and invited him to one side. He stepped off with Hansard and toll him that this was no place for a fuss but would settle it with him at some other time. Hansard wanted to settle it then and there and ran his hand into his pocket. Hamilton said that he turned and left him and went into the church.

Monday evening he passed by where Hamilton was and said to him, “You didn’t really mean to call me the names you did at church did you?”

Hansard replied that he did and meant it still and proceeded to come over the fence at me. As he came over the top of the fence he ran one hand into his pocket. I did not know what he was reaching for so I opened fire on him.

A deputy sheriff arrested Grant Butcher, son of “Squire Butcher”as an accessory to the crime.

He was in company with Hamilton when he came by where Hansard was at work. He gave bond for appearance at court.

Butcher says that when the two went to quarreling that he rode on, not dreaming of a fatal affray taking place.

Wednesday, October 9, 1895
Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune (Knoxville, TN) Volume: XI Issue: 225 Page: 8

To Their Last Hope   

Two Murders Whose Case Will be Heard Today

Frierson, the Chattanooga Murderer Looks to His Last Hope – Gordon and His Case

The Supreme Court is transacting business at the old stand with dispatch and yesterday the ponderous Chancery Docket of Hamilton County was finished.

Judge Key of the United States Federal Court was present for a few moments and an on invitation sat with the bench.

The following cases were heard:

Forest Hill Cemetery, VS Hamilton County et al.

Joseph Rooks, VS J. A. Hartet et al.

Third National Bank of Chattanooga, VS F. H. Foster.

H. E. Camp by next friend, VS John Cummings et al.

D. A. O’Conner VS J. W. Kelly.

Pleasant Fryar VS W. J. Clift et al.

Crawford Lane et al, VS C. E. Stanley et al.

V. & G. Taylor Co. et al VS Banks Blair Co., et al.

The Athens Case

After opinions are delivered this morning, by consent they take up the care of Jos. Ruoh vs the town of Athens et al. which had been transferred from Knox to McMinn County. The case is important and involves the validity of certain railroad bonds.

Then follows the trial of:

Two Murder Cases From Hamilton County, one of which is entitled “Gordon VS the State.”

Victor C. Gordon was adjudge guilty of murder in the second degree and sentenced to the penitentiary for sixteen years, in the lower court.

Gordon and a man by the name of Catron were involved in a case of highway robbery in Georgia, and a warrant for their arrest as fugitives from justice was issued in Chattanooga. The men were partners in crime and making their headquarters in Chattanooga, performed their crimes over the state lines convenient to that city.

Deputy Sheriff Gibson was given this warrant and locating Gordon and Catron ant McNamara’s, a house of ill favor, he proceeded thither with a posse to effect the capture of the two men. Leaving the men stationed about the house, the time being after dark, Gibson entered the house with a lantern and shooting immediately commenced.

Gibson was killed instantly, being shot through the head and heart. The two men made a break for liberty and both were fired upon by the party outside. Catron fell mortally wounded and was carried inside where he died in a few minutes. Gordon escaped unhurt and soon crossed the line into Georgia.

The Chattanooga morning papers had a full account of the crime, and a conductor on an outgoing train into Georgia thereby obtained a description of Gordon. It was not long before he discovered a man corresponding to the description on board and quietly notified officers beyond, who came on the train and effected his capture, Gordon offering no resistance.

Murder Frierson’s Trial

The next case is Fierson VS the State.

Frierson was convicted of murder in the first degree and sentenced to be hung, in lower court, for the killing of Policeman Musgrove at Chattanooga.

Musgrove had a warrant for the arrest of Frierson on the charge of Larceny, and located his man in Lewis’, a Negro saloon. Like Gordon and Catron, Frierson was a generally bad character and plied his schemes near the border lines of the state, where it was short work to escape the jurisdiction of law.

Frierson told Musgrove to read his warrant of arrest, which the old man proceeded to do, and while doing so Frierson deliberately shot him down, killing him instantly.

Great excitement prevailed at the time and threats of lynching were indulge into owing to the fact that the prisoner was unable to procure legal assistance in the conducting of the case before the Supreme Court, the court appointed Honorable S. G. Herskell and Honorable Creed F. Bates to conduct the case in his behalf.

A great deal of interest is centered in the outcome of these two cases.

At the conclusion of the murder trials, Rhea County will be taken up, it being the first county in the seventeenth circuit.

Tuesday, November 17, 1891
Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune (Knoxville, TN) Volume: VII    Issue: 256    Page: 5

Drunken Husband Inflicts Fatal Injuries on His Wife    

Chattanooga, Tennessee, August 21. – While immersed to her waist in the foul water of a pond in the eastern outskirts of the city, Sam Gundy cut his wife with a razor, completely severing her left ear and nose.

The husband returned home drunk last midnight and quarreled with his wife. He made a desperate effort to kill her but she fled from the house and after an exciting chase became exhausted and jumped into the pond.

Her injuries are considered fatal.

Saturday, August 22, 1896
Knoxville Journal (Knoxville, Tennessee) Volume: XII Issue: 179 Page: 1

Wanted To Lynch Him    

Dick Jones Spirited Away From Chattanooga

The Red Handed Murderer Removed From the Scene of His Crime to Athens Jail Last Night

Dick Jones, under arrest for holding up and foully murdering a businessman by the name of W. W. Ingersoll at Chattanooga Saturday night, was a passenger on East Tennessee passenger train No. 8, Chattanooga to Knoxville, last night.

Jones was in the custody of three officers who had spirited him out of Chattanooga to avert a lynching bee. The officers with their prisoner boarded the train at Sherman Heights, three miles east of Chattanooga. The prisoner was placed in jail at Athens to await the allayment of the excitement of the Chattanooga public – if it is allayed.

The evidence against Jones is of the strongest nature. A suspicious character, supposed to be Jones’ pal, was on the train, and trouble was expected from him. He evidently realized, however, that he was spotted and he made no breaks.

After Ingersoll was killed, a dairyman by the name of Buol was held up by Jones at a point a considerable distance from where Ingersoll was murdered. Buol three up his hands in response to the command to do so, and with a piston in one hand held in Boul’s face, Jones with the other began to search Buol’s person for his valuables. Quick as a flash, Buol dropped his hands, caught the piston and engaged the robber in a terrible struggle in which Buol proved winner. A saloon keeper came to the dairyman’s assistance and the bad man was turned over to the police.

In the meantime, Policeman Phipps had taken his bloodhound to the place where Ingersoll had been murdered and the intelligent brute catching the scent of the perpetrator of the crime followed it to the exact spot where Jones had held up Boul. The dairyman is the hero of the hour in Chattanooga.

December 18, 1893
Knoxville Journal (Knoxville, Tennessee) Volume: IX Issue: 326 Page: 5

Indicted  A Supreme Court Judge In Hamilton County’s Criminal Court   

Finding of The Grand Jury

A Member of the Highest Court of the State Charged With Having Committed an Assault on a Boy – A statement of the Circumstances.

Special to The Journal

Chattanooga, Tennessee, October 1. – Honorable D. L. Snodgrass, of this city, a member of the Supreme Court, has been indicted by the Hamilton County Grand Jury for assault and battery.

The case arose all about five cents worth of ice.

On the fourth of last July, according to the evidence before the Grand Jury, a son of Jude Snodgrass, who lives at the corner of Fifth and Lindsay Streets, went to the store of Mr. J. Goeble, corner of Sixth and Georgia Avenue, and ordered some ice to be sent to the house.

Mrs. Goeble’s clerk, a negro boy named “Will", delivered the ice and had a war of words over some trivial matter with the judges son.

Two hours later the Supreme Judge entered Mrs. J. Goeble’s store, ran the colored boy into the back yard and kicked him in the chin and stomach.

The boy, in turn, hit the Supreme Judge with a brickbat, inflicting injuries, which confined the judge for several days.

In a personal card to the Times, at that time, Judge Snodgrass said he thought there had been a plot to murder him and hence his action.

As far as can be learned no indictment has been found against the boy.

Thursday, October 2, 1890
Knoxville Journal (Knoxville, Tennessee) Volume: VI   Issue: 219   Page: 1

A Robber Caught and Will Get What He Deserves   

Special to the Journal

Chattanooga, November 27. – The Central depot here was the scene of a genuine sensation this morning.

Charles McKinney boarded the train for Atlanta. He was approached by a stranger who wanted change for a twenty dollar bill. He proceeded to comply with the request when the man snatched the money from his hands, McKinney grabbed his would be robber by the arm and held him, until an accomplice appeared upon the scene with a pistol, which he pointed at McKinney’s face and said “turn that man loose or I’ll kill you.”

The men both jumped off the train and the robber escaped; but the accomplice was chased into the shops of the Casey Boiler Company and captured by Officers Kerr and Smith.

He is a professional crook and will bet his deserts.

Thursday, November 28, 1895
Knoxville Journal (Knoxville, Tennessee) Volume: XI Issue: 275 Page: 4

Accidentally Shot By His Brother   

Special to the Journal

Chattanooga, April 6. – Yesterday afternoon, W. M. Richey, of Signal Mountain, near this place, was accidentally shot by his brother, Aleck Richey.

The men were practicing with a twenty two caliber rifle and when Richey started to his place to take his shot at the target, Aleck handed him the gun, but in some unaccountable manner it was discharged, the bullet taking effect in the abdomen.

Richey lingered in agony until this afternoon when he died.

The corner’s jury returned a verdict in accordance with facts.

Aleck Richey is almost crazed with grief.

Saturday, April 7, 1894
Knoxville Journal (Knoxville, Tennessee) Volume: X   Issue: 41   Page: 1

Suit Is Filed Against City Water Company    

J. W. Alvord Asks Judgment for Services

Appraised the Water Company’s Plant When City Contemplated Buying

The suit of John W. Alvord against the City Water Company and the City of Chattanooga was heard in the Chancery Court Wednesday before Chancellor W. B. Garvin.

The complainants are represented by Strang and Fletcher and the defendants by Frank S. Carden and Frank Spurlock.

The trial of the case lasted during the morning and part of the afternoon, after which it was taken under advisement by the chancellor.

The complainant, who is a hydraulic and sanitary engineer, is seeking to collect $3,317.03, which he claims is due him for the appraisal for the City Water Company’s Plant. The complainant charges, that in contemplation of the purchase by the city of the plant, J. N. Hazlehurst was appointed to represent the city and W. H. Wheeler to represent the water Company and that these two wee to select a third man, and the complainant was selected. He charges that he was employed at a salary of $10 a day, and worked faithfully and entirely within his contract. The complainant, however, charges that when he finished his work he presented his bill and the water company offered to pay half, but the city refused to pay the other half. Complainant charges that he was under contract with both the city and water company and that the two wee to pay jointly for his services. However, he charges in his bill, he was never paid for his services by either and he now asks that he be given judgment for $3,317.03, together with interest from date when amount was due. The defendants claim they were under no contract with complainant.

The Chattanooga News: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Wednesday, July 30, 1919

Jewels Disappear At Signal Mountain Inn    

Mrs. C. E. James Loses Numerous Valuables

List Is Furnished Police – Loss Totals Several Thousand Dollars

Valuable jewelry belonging to Mrs. C. E. James disappeared from the apartment of Mr. and Mrs. James at Signal Mountain Inn Tuesday night under peculiar circumstances.

A list of the jewelry, which included several diamonds, some of which were set in platinum, was furnished the local detective department, while no estimate was given as to the value of the missing jewelry, the amount will run into thousands of dollars.

Efforts were made Wednesday to keep the matter quiet, and only the information obtained from officials at the Inn was that while the situation was peculiar. It was thought the jewelry was only misplaced and would be found all right.

One of Many Cases

The disappearance of the jewelry of Mrs. James is but one of the big cases that has come to the attention of the detective department recently.

A short time ago the residence of Z. C. Patten, Jr., on Palmetto Street was burglarized and property, including jewelry, clothing, cut glass, silverware and other articles, valued at several thousand dollars, was stolen. The residences of J. W. Bishop, R. M. George and others, have also been robbed during the past few weeks. The value of the articles taken from the Bishop home was about $1,000. Then, too, the store of Hadie & Caudie was broken into and a lot of clothing stolen.

There have been numerous small robberies, a few of which occurred Monday night and Tuesday night.

Police Baffled

Although detectives and police have been at work on these cases, no solution has been reached, and the property is conspicuous by its absence.

Some suspects were taken into custody, but an investigation resulted in their release.

It is known that several members of the police force, as plain clothes officers, are now on duty night and day, with instructions to pick up all prowlers and suspicious characters.

These men have only been on special duty a short time, and have made a number of arrests.

The Chattanooga News: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Wednesday, July 30, 1919

Negro's Nabbed on Charge of Stealing James Jewels    

Due to the efforts of Chief Deputy Billy Smith, who has been constantly at work on the case since it was reported, Clemmy Jackson, colored maid, and Charley Lucky, Negro, employee at the Reed House Turkish Bath, are locked in the Hamilton County jail charged with the larceny of valuable diamonds from Mrs. C. E. James.

The woman, officers report, has confessed she took the diamonds at the suggestion of Lucky and then gave them to him to dispose of and they were to divide the spoils.

Lucky when arrested denied any knowledge of the crime, but Deputy Smith claims that he has evidence enough to convict the Negro man. The valuables stolen from Mrs. James have not as yet been recovered for the reason that Lucky denies he knows their whereabouts.

The woman, besides confessing that she stole the diamonds from the trunk of Mrs. James, by whom she was employed as maid, states that she had sold whisky for sometime, and that Lucky has sold it also. The names of a number of prominent men at the Inn were named as good customers by the Jackson woman, the officers assert.

Until the confession of the Jackson woman to Chief Deputy Billy Smith, the disappearance of Mrs. James’ diamonds had been a great mystery, although it was the belief of the officer from the first that the Jackson woman was guilty. Mrs. James did not think so, however, and would not allow her to be arrested.

Soon after the diamonds were stolen R. D. Smith, of the Burns Detective Agency, was brought here and worked in conjunction with the local officers, but no trace of the stolen property could be found. About a month ago the Burns offices gave up the search and left town.

Chief Deputy Smith continued to work on the case and on his own initiative arrested the Jackson woman. Saturday she broke down and confessed she robbed Mrs. James’ trunk and stole the diamonds and gave them to Charley Lucky and that he had them in his possession, the officers state. Lucky was arrested but maintains that he knows nothing of the diamonds. The officers are still at work on the case and it is thought the missing property will be recovered.

Chattanooga News: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Thursday, October 30, 1919

Held On Charge of Carnal Knowledge   

Ralph Smith Bound Over to the Grand Jury – Sensation of James County

A magisterial court of James County with Justices Carter and Gamble sitting, heard the case of Ralph Smith Saturday, charged with carnal knowledge, and held him to the James County Grand Jury under $1,500 bond.

Smith is charged with having carnal knowledge of Ethel Bettis, a prominent young woman residing near Ooltewah.

Fred Davis, another young man residing near Ooltewah, is now under a $2,500 bond for having carnal knowledge of Esther Smith, sister of the young man bound over Saturday.

The Smiths are son and daughter of J. E. Smith, a prominent farmer living near Ooltewah. Davis who it is charged is a married man, was recently indicted by the Hamilton County Grand Jury and will be tried here at the next term of court.

All the parties are prominent people of James County. Smith was represented by. J. H. Early and the Bettis girl by Allen Hitzfield. Davis is represented by Lake McKenzie.

The Chattanooga News
Monday, March 11, 1918

Iceman Charged With Refusing To Sell  To Sick  

A negro ice peddler was arrested Friday mo9rning b y Clyde Garrett, scaler of weights and measures, charged with refusing to sell ice to a housewife whose baby was sick. Garrett claims the negro violated a state law and will prosecute him in police court Saturday.

The scaler stated that the housewife tried to get ice from the peddler Thursday, but he refused to carry it to her home two doors away and threw it out on the ground, telling her there it was. Garrett watched him Friday and he stopped his wagon two blocks away. He has some small weighing scales on his wagon and these wee about five pounds off. The negro became very impudent when taken in charge and seemed to take the whole business very lightly. He admitted that he refused to taka a dimes worth of ice to the housewife in question, saying he did not sell that small an amount.

The Chattanooga News
August 20, 1920, Image 5.

Girl, 16, Faces Jury On Charge of Killing Man   

Chattanooga, Tennessee, February 25. – Sybil Cochran, 16 year old girl, will be placed on trial in criminal court here today on the charge of murdering J. J. Hale, a farmer living near Ooltewah, in the north end of this county, a few weeks ago, and the case is expected to be unusually interesting on account of the circumstances of the killing.

According to officers who investigated the case, Hale and five other members of his household were asleep in the same room of a cabin which had been occupied since their home burned some time ago, and during the night it is alleged, one of the occupants of the room fired a revolver from a bed and killed the elder Hale in another bed. On account of remarks said to have been made by the Cochran girl, and her boast that she could take care of herself with a revolver, she was arrested and accused of firing the fatal shot.

The girl declares her innocence.

The News Scimitar
February 25, 1920

Bandit Martin Still at Large    

Chattanooga, October 21. – Ed Martin, the young bandit who is charged with having shot and killed Deputy Sheriff W. B. McIntosh late Saturday near Ooltewah, after he and James Oliver had barricaded the Dixie Highway at a point north of Ooltewah and had held up and robbed passerby, is still at large, though strenuous efforts have been made to locate his whereabouts. A reward of $150 has been offered for his arrest and delivery. He is being trailed with blood hounds.

Young Oliver, who is in jail, has confessed, according to the authorities, to at least one other holdup recently, and county authorities believe they will be able to trace other crimes to Martin and Oliver.

The Greeneville Daily Sun
October 21, 1919

Former Soldiers Kill Deputy And Hold Up Scores   

One is Wounded and Narrowly Escapes Lynching at Hands of Angry Men – Posses Are Hunting for Other

Chattanooga, Tennessee, October 20; -- With James Oliver 20, in jail here for safekeeping, posses today were scouring the vicinity of Ooltewah, James County, Tennessee, for Ed Martin, his alleged companion and accomplice in the killing of Deputy Sheriff W. B. McIntosh, and the robbing of many travelers on the Dixie Highway Saturday.

The two, both discharged soldiers, are charged with barricading the highway near Ooltewah early Saturday, holding up all travelers who approached, and finally with capturing and holding for hours several citizens who came to investigate the killing of Deputy McIntosh, who was shot by one of the boys whom he attempted to arrest.

Oliver was wounded in an exchange of shots with a posse man and was only captured, according to the officers, when he became frightened with the belief that he was bleeding to death. Then citizens who were held by the barricaded men were forced to take him to Ooltewah for medical attention. His companion escaped.

Oliver was threatened with lynching in Ooltewah. A rope was placed about his neck and he was drawn from the ground, but citizens desisted when he promised to give the name of his companion.

Deputy Sheriff McIntosh died in full view of persons attracted to the spot. Attempts to reach him with medical aid were repulsed at the point of pistols.

Six men and a woman were huddled along the roadside, covered by the pistol of one of the bandits, while several of the holdups were in progress.

The News Scimitar
October 20, 1919

Dave Edwards Pays Penalty   

Expresses on Gallows Expectation to Meet His Victim

Chattanooga, Tennessee, January 29. 4 o’clcok yesterday evening Dave Edwards was hanged in the county jail here for the murder of J. W. Davis. His neck was broken by the fall.

A large crowd surged about the prison, but few were permitted to witness the execution.

On the scaffold. Edward spoke of the man he had murdered saying: “If Davis is in that part of eternity where the sinful go, I have no doubt but that I will be with him in a few minutes. Davis went out of this life much as I am going. He had little time to prepare himself for the future world.”

Sequachee Valley News
February 4, 1909

Leather Thieves Held    

Stole Belting From Factories and Sold it to Shoe Repairer

Charley Johnson and Frank Smith, who confessed to stealing several hundred collars’ worth of leather belting from the plants of Chattanooga Coffin and Casket Company an the Richmond Spinning Mills, were bound over to the criminal court by the police judge Wednesday morning under $500 bond.

James Dee, a shoemaker to whom their unlawful spoils had  been disposed, were held under the same amount.

Detectives Marion Perkins and Scott Swafford were the officers in the case.

Several pieces of belting were brought into court as evidence. The boys had cut it into a strip about four or five feet long, the width being about six inches.

The first raid was made last Thursday night at the coffin factory and about 104 feet of belting was secured. The police were put on the trail and arrested them Tuesday. They had broken into the spinning mills Monday and got another large quantity of leather.

It was estimate that the total value was about $250. The cost of belting to replace that taken from the Chattanooga Coffin and Casket Company was $120. The shoemaker admitted buying the stolen goods and offered no defense. It was purchased for about $50.

The Chattanooga News
February 12, 1919

Undeterminate Sentence   

James C. Willard was sentenced to serve from two to twenty years in the state penitentiary on the charge of bigamy to which he pleaded guilty.

Willard, it will be remembered, since being conned in the Hamilton County Jail, has made three attempts to kill himself. However, he appeared in a happy frame of mind Wednesday when he was conducted into court and smilingly seemed resigned to the fact that his next several years will be spent behind the grim prison walls of the state penitentiary.

The Chattanooga News
May 14, 1919

Moving Day for Daisy   

It’s moving day for Daisy Johnson, a resident living in the mountains near Soddy, and unless Daisy shakes, rattles and rolls her bones away from the vicinity by the first of June there will be a reckoning at the next term of court.

Word came to the last grand jury that Daisy, in her mountain lair, was not living nor traveling along life’s pathway just exactly according to Hoyle, in fact it was charged that her home was the scene of some shady transactions.

She was indicted and Wednesday Morning Judge McReynolds instructed one of Daisy’s neighbors to tell her it was moving day and report back to the court her answer.

The Chattanooga News
May 14, 1919

Officers Find Big Still In Vicinity  of Ooltewah   

Federal Agents D. B. Stroud and W. J. Robertsen and Police Detectives Duggan and Gouldy early Thursday morning made a raid in the Fourth District (Old James County) about six miles south of Ooltewah, and captured a complete sixty gallon illicit still.

Henry Crane and Sosby Crane, brothers, owners of the farm on which the still was found, were arrested by the officers and taken to the city jail to await preliminary hearing before United States Commissioner Sam McAllester on charges of violating the Volstead act.

In addition to the large still, the officers say they found about fifty gallons of beer and some mash and a small quantity of whiskey in the houses of the Crane brothers. Several gallons of whisky were found hidden in a fence corner and several jugs which had contained liquor, as well as about a gallon in fruit jars, were found in the house, it was reported.

The officers say that the still had the appearance of having been operated near the spot where it was found for a number of months.

The still complete was brought to the city hall and placed on exhibition.

The Chattanooga News
Thursday, December 16, 1920

Dr. Anderson in Trouble   

Dr. J. S. Anderson, the Indian doctor, was arrested in a room with a whit woman at Chattanooga Sunday.

They both deny any undue relations. The woman claims she called the doctor to see her sick child. When arraigned before the justice Monday they waived examination and were bound to court. Anderson left at once for Kingston.

The girl was taken from the Negro rooming house by the police matron, of Chattanooga, and she then confessed that her real name is Mary Bowen from Loudon County and her age is 20 years. She admitted that Dr. Anderson, the Negro doctor, is the father of the child. She claimed she became acquainted with Anderson by working for him in his office at Kingston. He paid her $2.00 a week but later raised the wages to $5.00. She began work for Anderson last January and worked until the sanitarium was closed when he was arrested for practicing medicine without a license, which cause he beat in the courts.

Crossville Chronicle
October 20, 1915

William Trullers, 14 Years Old, Faces Murder Charges   

William Trullers, 14 year old youth, who shot Walter Townsend, a railroad crossing watchman Saturday, was re-arrested Monday afternoon following the death of Townsend at Erianger Hospital.

A charge a felonious assault against the boy was changed to murder. Through Attorney Eugene Bryan he arranged bond in the sum of $2,000. His preliminary haring will come up in police court the latter part of this week.

The Chattanooga News
October 28, 1919

C. J. Herbert Indicted For Assault On Woman   

Miss Beatrice Thompson Prosecutor

Young Woman Claims Defendant Hugged and Attempted to Kiss Her

C. J. Herbert, head of the United Drug Stores Company, and one of the best known citizens of Chattanooga, was indicted at the last session of the Hamilton County Grand Jury on the charge of felonious assault on a female with the intent and purpose to carnally know and abuse her. Mr. Herbert being out of the city at the time the indictment was returned, the action of the grand jury was kept a secret until his return and arrest. He has been arrested and made bond for $1,000 through his attorney. Frank S. Carden. The prosecutor in the case, Miss Beatrice Thompson, is represented by General M. N. Whitaker. It was stated Thursday morning, when the facts concerning the case were made public, that both Miss Thompson and her attorney insisted on Mr. Herbert’s indictment. Miss Thompson went before the grand jury and told her story of the alleged assault. Friends of Mr. Herbert are confident that he is innocent and can absolve himself from all blame when he is arraigned for trial in the criminal court.

Miss Thompson, the prosecutor in the case, claims that she was formerly an employee of Mr. Herbert and it was at this place of business that the alleged attempted assault was made. She claims that while employed at the plant of Mr. Herbert she started from one laboratory to another, through a passageway which was free from occupancy, and that Mr. Herbert grabbed and hugged her and attempted to kiss her. She says that she vigorously resisted and that Mr. Herbert continued in his conduct until he became frightened by her efforts to free herself. She claims Mr. Herbert went no further than hugging her against her will, but was only refrained from going further by her resistance. Miss Thompson is about thirty years of age and is an unusually attractive woman. The case will be set for an early hearing in the criminal court.

The Chattanooga News
May 1, 1919

Steals Liquor From Justice Court    

Negro Prisoner, After Being Locked Up, Steps to Basement and Gets Drunk

Constable George Kirklin had an amusing experience with one of five negro prisoners who he had in charge for selling liquor. The officer had gone to a certain place about the time that a train was headed this way from Kentucky, and as a result he not one but five Negroes, each with an armful of whisky. The Negroes were taken before Squire J. J. Bork and held to the Grand Jury. The liquor was placed momentarily in the back room of the Justice’s Office while the trail was in progress.

All five Negroes were taken to the jail and when they were being registered it was learned that there were only four of them. A thorough search, however, failed to find the fifth. Constable Kirklin was positive in his statement that he had brought five to the jail and the jailer was certain there were only four on the inside.

However, later on the fifth man was found down in the basement dead drunk. He had formerly been a trusty at the jail and immediately upon being placed on the inside, stepped down the steps leading into the basement. However, before he left Squire Bork’s office he had managed to fill his pocket with liquor while the case was being tried.

“That was just too fine liquor not to get drunk on it,” he explained.

The Chattanooga News
January 18, 1918

Carl Whalen The Murderer    

(Special to The News)

Athens, January 19 – Carl L. Whalen, the East Chattanooga man who was charged with the murder of a young man supposed to be named Smith near Athens several months ago, was arraigned before Squires E. B. Madison and C. S. Matlock, Thursday afternoon. Whalen confessed to the crime, but claimed self defense. After the trial Whalen was remanded to jail without bail.

The trial was held in the circuit court room and attracted a good deal of attention.

According to the sworn statement of Whalen, he met with his new friend at Ooltewah on the night of the 6th of last August and they planned a hobo rip to Knoxville. Upon nearing Athens, they were put off by one of the members of the train crew. They walked up the track about a mile, waiting for the freight to leave for Knoxville. By this time it was getting daylight, and fearing they would be arrested for hoboing. Whalen suggested that they defer the trip until night and go over to his uncle’s Joe Gossett, for breakfast. The boy acquiesced and they proceeded along the nearest route.

Shortly the boy said that he believed Whalen was lying to him and that he (Whalen) had no uncle in that section. The altercation became heated, and Whalen claimed the boy struck at him with a brakeman’s club which he was carrying . Whalen said he took the club from the lad and that he then made at him with a knife. At this point, said Whalen, he hit the boy over the head with the club and rendered him unconscious.

Up to this point Whalen’s plea, of self defense was very good, but after being questioned he admitted hang struck the boy twice after he was knocked to the ground, helpless and in a dying condition.

The Chattanooga News
January 19, 1918


Washington Gann Guilty    

Found Guilty. – Washington Gann – One of the parties indicted for the murder of Wilcoxon at Dallas, in the County, in November last, was tried and found guilty of murder in the first degree, this week at Harrison.

The murder was very atrocious and has  created a great sensation throughout the country.

Wilcoxon was a poor man with a large family of small children – they are let in the extremest circumstances of want.

Eblin, said to the prime instigator of the crime and who confessed his guilt upon arrest, is one of the six prisoners who recently made their escape from our county jail, and of whom nothing ha since been heard.

Why is there no reward offered for their apprehension? The conviction of Gann is the first upon the records of Hamilton County for murder in the first degree, and we hope it may be the last.

We understand that the counsel of the prisoner will move a new trial, and failing in that, will carry the case up to the Supreme Court.

Green C. Smith, who is said to be implicated in the murder, is in jail and will have trial at the July term of Court. – Chattanooga Advertiser

The Athens Post
April 17, 1857

Washington Gann Sentenced    


At our request a friend has kindly furnished us with a copy of the sentence pronounced by Judge Gaut, upon Washington Gann, convicted of murder in the first degree at the late term of the Circuit Court of Hamilton County.

It will be found below:

Washington Gann: -- You have been arraigned, charged and tried, for the murder of William Wilcoxen, on the night of the 4th of November, 1856, in the county of Hamilton.

You have been tried by a jury of Hamilton County, chosen by yourself. That jury, after a careful and patient hearing of the evidence and the argument of counsel, upon their oaths, have found, that on the night of the 4th of November, 1856,in the county of Hamilton, you did unlawfully, willfully, deliberately, premeditatedly, and of your malice aforethought, kill and murder William Wilcoxen, and in so doing you are guilty of murder in the first degree; and the jury further found that there were no mitigating circumstances in your case.

I believe you had the full benefit of the law in the Court’s charge to the jury. I believe the proof before the jury fully warranted and sustains their verdict.

It now only remains for the Court to pronounce the judgment of the law upon the verdict of the jury. It is not my judgment, but the sentence of the law. It is a solemn responsibility.

The judgment of the Court, therefore, is, that you be taken by the Sheriff of Hamilton County, Tennessee, from the jail of said county, on Friday, the 10th day of July, 1857, between the hours of 10 o’clock and 3 o’clock of that day, to some suitable place in the vicinity of the town of Harrison, in said County, to be selected and prepared by the Sheriff for that purpose, and that you be then and there hung my the neck by said Sheriff until you are dead. And that the said Sheriff have a sufficient force to carry into execution this judgment of the Court.

Permit me, in the discharge of me fearful responsibility, to add, that you have three months for reflection and preparation to meet death and judgment before Almighty God. – “Whilst the lamp holds out to burn the vilest sinner may return.” Seek forgiveness and pardon in the atonement of Christ, and prepare to meet death and judgment – and may God, in this infinite wisdom, have mercy upon your soul and save it in that awful day.

The Athens Post
April 17, 1857

John Elbin - Fugitive     

$300 Reward

Andrew Johnson, Governor of the State of Tennessee, to all who shall see these presents – Greeting:

Whereas it has been made known to me that a certain John Eblin, charged with having committed a foul and atrocious murder on the 4th day of November, 1856, upon the body of William Wilcoxen, late of our county of Hamilton, has fled from justice and is now running at large.

Now, therefore, I, Andres Johnson, Governor as aforesaid, by virtue of the power and authority in me vested, do hereby offer a reward of Three Hundred Dollars, to any person or persons who may apprehend the said Eblin, and deliver him to the Sheriff or Jailor of our County of Hamilton, in order that Justice in that behalf may be had and executed.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the great seal of the State to be affixed at Nashville, on the 17th day of April, 1857.

By the Governor: Andrew Johnson
F. N. W. Burton, Secretary of State


Eblin is about twenty five years of age, five feet eight or ten inches high, rather heavy built, fair complexion, list hair, with a very low forehead, eyes gray and very small. apr23-w4t

Chattanooga Advertiser, copy four times in weekly paper.

The Tennessean
April 23, 1857

Washington Gann Captured    

Justice slow but Sure. – Some five years ago, a man named Washington Gann, killed a man named Wilcox, in Knoxville, Tennessee.

He was arrested, tried and condemned to be hung; but previous to the time for execution, he broke jail and fled, no one knew whither, and for two years has lost sight of.

Some week ago his brother carried his family to where he was, and was followed by officers from Knoxville, who had been on the track, and they arrested him in Missouri, near Independence.

He will e taken to Knoxville, Tennessee, where the full extent of the law will no doubt be enforced to the fulfillment of the sentence years ago.

The Star and Enterprise
August 9, 1860

Mountain Wildcat Distillery Raided    

Revenue Men Seize Plant, Together With Thousand Gallons of Beer and Mash

Another illicit moonshine still on Lookout Mountain was raided Thursday by B. B. Stroud and John L. Young, of the Internal Revenue Department, and over 1,000 gallons of beer and a large quantity of mash destroyed.

The still was found in a gulch about four miles from the tope of the mountain, near Luna Lake. Revenue Men had information to the effect that the still would be found in full operation, and Officers Stroud and Young left the city early Thursday morning for the raid. Arriving on the scene, however, they found that only first steps were being taken by the moonshiners preparatory to a big run.

The still was declared by the officers to be unusually well equipped, made of good material and the indications point to its operation by men well versed in the manufacture of illicit whisky. No arrests were made.

This is the second moonshine still to be found on Lookout Mountain within the last two months. Some time ago County Officers found a large still in operation in a small house only a short distance from the tope of the mountain and later Roy Rogers, of Hixon, who it was said, had the house leased, was arrested in connection with its operation.

The Chattanooga News
March 26, 1920

Lookout Mountain Guide Exonerated    

First Ouster Trial on Lookout Mountain Fails to Oust B. C. McCallie, Colored

The first ouster suit on Lookout Mountain has failed to oust, and Friday night R. C. McCallie, colored, for twenty five years a guide above the clouds, was exonerated of the charges against him of being drunk.

McCallie was tried before Mayor Brunswick Lowe, whom the special ouster law on Lookout says shall have all and full jurisdiction in cases of this character. McCallie was represented by L. H. Anderson and John J. Lively.

It will be remembered that McCallie was tried under a special act passed some years ago by the legislature and later an ordinance drawn covering the act, which was passed for the benefit of the mountain and its residents. The act provided that before a person should become a guide on Lookout Mountain that he first stand examination, be accepted, pay a privilege tax, and if he violated any of the laws of the mountain he was to be brought before the mayor of the mountain town, and if convicted ousted from his office of guide.

However, McCallie was as successful in the defense of his suit as Sheriff Bush was with his first one, and was exonerated. Sunday he will be seen taking fares on the T. P. and W (Take pains and walk).

The Chattanooga News
May 18, 1918