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Oct 19, 2021
Franklin County (MA) News Archive
The Franklin County Publication Archive Index

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Article Archives: Articles: Prisons

Showing 25

Posted by stew - Mon, Jan 18, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
The Coleraine Murder

The Coleraine Murder - As briefly stated in our last issue, Daniel Dwight, supposed to be one of the murderers of Joseph R. Farnsworth, was arrested Sat. night at the door of his father’s house on Catamount Hill, Coleraine, where he had come 5 days after the murder. There were 6 men, under Deputy Sheriff John Gould, stationed around the house, and between 10 and 11 o’clock, they saw a man coming up the road, which proved to be young Dwight.

They allowed him to approach near the house, when a signal was given, and they stepped from their hiding places. Dwight ran around the house in the direction of the barn, but he was then surrounded and forced to surrender. When taken into the house before his father, he fainted.

Dwight was confined in the lock-up at Shelburne Falls, and on Mon., Trial Justice Brainard of Greenfield held a court at the office of H.M.Puffer, Esq., and had the young man brought before him. A large gathering of people were in attendance, and among them Dwight’s wife, father and mother.

He pleaded not guilty, and the magistrate, without having a hearing of evidence, arraigned him on the charge of murder and continued the case to Mon. the 17th. Officers Swan and Gould then brought the prisoner to Greenfield,where he is now confined in jail. Dwight appears quite calm and is not disposed to talk much about the affair. He accounts for his absence and his whereabouts during the 4 days as follows:

"I had some trouble with my wife on Tues. aft., which had ended by my saying I was going off, and her replying that she hoped I would, and what was more, that I would stay away. She then started to go to father’s house, which is only a short distance from mine, and I started for a pasture where some of father’s cattle were grazing.

On the way I met Herbert Davenport, and together we went to Farnsworth’s house, and afterward went down the lane to the road leading to Shelburne Falls. Herbert wanted a cane, so we stopped and cut one, I bending the tree over while he cut it; but he did not carry it long before he threw it away.

From there we went through the fields directly to my house, where I changed my clothes and gave a suit to Herbert, as his were all patched and dirty. We left home about 5 o’clock, and went down the mountain to Heath, and then through Hartwellville down to North Adams, getting there on Wed. aft.

We walked all Tues. night.Wed. night we slept on the hills near North Adams, and on Thurs. morning, after staying a while in North Adams, we walked to Pownal on the railroad track. At Pownal we got on board a train which was returning with the firemen from the muster at North Adams that day.

At Petersburg Junction Herbert got left with some Salem, N.Y. firemen, because the train started so quick, and I could not get off, it was going so fast. That night I stopped at Greenwich, N.Y. and registered my name in the hotel book in full - Daniel J. Dwight, Coleraine, Mass. I remained there that night, but had nothing to eat, as I only had money enough to pay for my lodging.

[For more information on this area, see the Internet Archive’s "Williamstown, the Berkshire Hills, and thereabout"]

The next day I walked to Troy. I did not remain there long because I was hungry and sick, and thought I would go right home and go to work for father, and let my wife do as she chose. Coming back I got a ride part of the way on a freight train, and got to N. Adams Sat. aft.,and walked to central shaft in the tunnel, and from there I rode to the east end on the workmen’s train and walked to Zoar, where they let me ride on a hand car to Charlemont. From there I rode with a Mr.Wells as far as his house, and then went across the fields home".



A portion of Dwight’s story has proved to be true. Bradley Davenport and Wesley Woodard, sent to Petersburg Junction, sent back that two men answering the description of Dwight and Davenport had been there. At Greenwich, N.Y., Dwight’s name was found registered in full, as he had said, and there is nothing to show that Davenport was with him at the time.

The Davenport boy arrested - Search was continued for Davenport and finally he was tracked to Williamstown, and Thurs. aft. was found there by a Mr. White. He made no efforts to escape, but on the other hand seemed glad to give himself up.

He was brought through the tunnel to Shelburne Falls Fri. morning, and Trial Justice Brainard of Greenfield held a preliminary trial, arraigned him for murder, and continued the trial until the 27th. The Davenport boy’s narrative is substantially the same as that given by Dwight, but he does not deny that they killed Farnsworth.

He says their only object was to obtain money, that he had no enmity or ill will towards the murdered man. He and Dwight had made up their minds to go West and hoped to get enough money from Farnsworth to pay their expenses, but he says they only got about $4.

There were 2 sticks cut, he says, a walnut and a maple. It was with the latter that Farnsworth was knocked down. He says that he did not do the striking, though he was there. After he was left at Petersburg Junction, he wandered from place to place, working for something to eat when he could get employment, and was endeavoring to get back home.

Davenport is not of ordinary intelligence. He was dull at school, and has since been lazy and shiftless. Want of mental responsibility will be entered as a plea in his behalf. His mother says that he has always been a "strange boy". She has another son and a daughter who are bright, active and industrious.

Davenport was brought to Greenfield and lodged in jail on Fri. by Deputy Sheriff Swan. Both boys, who are allowed to be together when not locked in their cells, do not appear to be cast down or afflicted much with remorse. They will be brought before the Grand Jury at the November Court and if bills are found against them the trial will be before a special session of the Supreme Court.
 

Subjects: Amusements, Animals / Reptiles, Charlemont (MA), Coleraine [now Colrain] (MA), Courts, Crime, Criminals, Diseases, Economics, Education, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Fires, Food, Greenfield (MA), Handicapped, Hoosac Tunnel (MA), Hotels, Households, Juvenile Delinquents, Marriage and Elopement, Missing Persons, Murder, Names, Police

Posted by stew - Mon, Jan 18, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
News of the week

The government won its first suit against the whisky [i.e. whiskey] ring at St. Josephs, Mo. Sat., when John Shenan was convicted; he had pleaded guilty, however the penalty in this case is not less than 2 year's imprisonment, and not less than $5,000 fine. Shenan's case is regarded at the Treasury Dept. as a type of those to follow, the evidence in possession of the government in this class of cases being of the same character.
 

Subjects: Courts, Crime, Criminals, Economics, Government, Law and Lawyers, Prisons

Posted by stew - Mon, Feb 23, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Oration of Hon. George B. Loring at Bloody Brook, Sept. 17, 1875

Oration of Hon. George B. Loring at Bloody Brook, Sept. 17, 1875 - Fellow citizens: 200 years ago an event occurred on this spot, which on account of its significance and its touching details, has passed into that long heroic line over which the mind of man is compelled to pause and ponder...At the name of Bloody Brook the men, women, and children of New England started and held their breath in horror, in that primeval time when the sickening tidings were borne on the wings of the wind as it were from hamlet to hamlet...

The sad event of the 18th of September 1675, calls upon us still to remember the trials through which our fathers passed and to rejoice over that fraternal spirit which bound them together in their day of sorrow, and watered the soil of this charming valley with the choicest blood of the sons of Essex. I stand on ground made sacred to you by the sacrifices of your hardy and devoted progenitors; but I meet here the names of Lothrop and Stevens and Hobbs and Manning and Dodge and Kimball and Trask and Tufts and Mudge and Pickering, of the three-score braves who died that you might possess this goodly land and these pleasant homes...

How would they who were familiar with the cruel warfare of the savage; whose ears had heard the shrieks of the tortured mother mingling with the groans of her dying child, and whose eyes had beheld her fear, her patience and her despair; whose highway was an Indian trail, and whose home was a frontier block-house - how would they rejoice over these sunny fields, these laughing harvests, these busy towns, these tasteful homes, this cultivated landscape adorned with these institutions of learning and religion; and how would they count their own sufferings but small when compared with the manifold blessings which have descended upon the spot made sacred with their blood?

...Deerfield two centuries ago, was on the very confines of civilization - one of the outposts of a feeble Christian people, who had hardly a foothold on this continent, and between whom and the strongholds of power and wealth and learning, rolled 3000 miles of stormy and almost unknown sea. The fate of a great and wide spread empire rested then in the hands of a few colonists scattered along the Atlantic seaboard, divided in interests and tastes, perishing continually from exposure and want, not all actuated by the highest motives, but all recognizing, as by an unerring instinct, the fundamental principle out of which was to grow the American government, and all in danger of being exterminated at any time by the "pestilence which walketh in darkness and the destruction which wasteth at noonday".

Scattered up and down the great extent of territory stretching from the Passamaquoddy Bay to the capes of Florida were but about 200,000 souls, of whom Massachusetts, with Plymouth and Maine, may have had 44,000; New Hampshire and Rhode Island, with Providence each 6000; Connecticut from 17,000 to 20,000; that is, all New England, 75,000...

These people had come largely from that "Germanic race most famed for the love of personal independence". They were not men of high estate, but they were men who possessed an inherent love of land, with all the individual honor and freedom which go along with it...

Of one colony said "Spotswood, a royalist, a High churchman, a traveler", "I have observed here less swearing and profaneness, less drunkenness and debauchery, less uncharitable feuds and animosities, and less knaverys and villanys than in any part of the world where my lot has been"...

In all their customs they were obliged to exercise the utmost simplicity and they voluntarily regulated their conduct by those formal rules, which, in their day, constituted the Puritan’s guide through the world. We are told, as an illustraton of their character and manners, that by the laws of the Plymouth Colony, in 1651, "dancing at weddings was forbidden". In 1660, one William Walker was imprisoned one month for courting "a maid without the leave of her parents".

In 1675, because "there is manifest pride appearing in our streets", the "wearing of long hair or periwigs", and so "superstitious ribands, used to tie up and decorate the hair were forbidden under severe penalty"; the keeping of Christmas was also forbidden "because it was a popish custom". In 1677 an act was passed "to prevent the profaneness of turning the back upon the public worship before it was finished and the blessing pronounced".

Towns were directed to erect a cage near the meeting house, and in all this all offenders against the sanctity of the Sabbath were confined. At the same time children were directed to be placed in a particular part of the meeting house, apart by themselves, and tything-men were ordered to be chosen, whose duty it shall be to take care of them. So strict were they in their observance of the Sabbath that "John Atherton, a soldier of Col. Tyng’s Company", was fined 40 shillings for wetting a piece of an old hat to put into his shoes, which chafed his feet on the march; and those who neglected to attend meeting for 3 months were publicly whipped.

Even in Harvard College students were whipped for gross offenses in the Chapel, in presence of students and professors, and prayers were had before and after the infliction of the punishment. As the settlers of Deerfield are described as being of "sober and orderly conversation", we may suppose that these laws and customs were here rigidly enforced.

[Here follows a section on "subsistence and diet of your ancestors". Also talks about how they were good farmers, fishermen and readers]...

...Possessed evidently of a common origin, for "between the Indians of Florida and Canada the difference was scarcely perceptible", they were divided into tribes, which differed from each other mainly in their fighting capacity, and the vigor with which they roamed from place to place; and they were liable at any time to be swept off by disease, or exterminated by war, or absorbed by other and more powerful tribes.

In language, the North American Indian was limited by the material world, an abstract idea finding no birthplace in his brain and no expression on his tongue. "In marriage the Indian abhorred restraint, and from Florida to the S. Lawrence polygamy was permitted". Divorce meant merely desertion. The wife was a slave. Domestic government was unknown. The Indian youth grew up a warrior, adorned with vermilion and eagle’s feather, as fleet of foot as the deer, and as tolerant of hunger as the wolf; the Indian girl grew up a squaw, degraded and squalid and servile.

A rude agriculture, resulting in a weedy corn crop, and a few squashes and beans, was the Indian’s, or rather the Indian woman’s occupation; he had neither trade nor manufactures. "There can be no society without government; but among the Indian tribes on the soil of our republic, there was not only no written law - there was no traditionary [sic] expression of law; government rested on opinion and usage and the motives to the usage were never imbodied [sic] in language; they gained utterance only in the fact, and power only from opinion...

The Indian had a government without laws; a State without institutions; a church without faith, or creed, or head; a town without schoohouse or meeting house; a punitive system without jails or gibbets; a history based on tradition; a religion based on superstition; he was ignorant of the ownership of land; and knew nothing of a system of inheritance.

As in peace he was an idler - so in war he was a marauder. An organized army was to him unknown. He fought in small bands, seldom over 50 in number, to surprise and slaughter. He pursued, and killed, and scalped. He had neither commissariat nor hospital. He fought his enemy in the rear and in ambush; and he tortured and roasted and devoured his captives. These were the national characteristics which our fathers found on this continent.

Nor did their attempts to modify and humanize and Christianize them meet with much success. The Indian could be tamed, but he was the Indian still...Neither John Eliot nor Roger Williams was able to change essentially the habits and character of the New England tribes..."They are unspeakably indolent and slothful; they deserve little gratitude; they seem to have no sentiments of generosity, benevolence or goodness".

The Moravian Loskiel could not change their character...In New Hampshire and elsewhere schools for Indian children were established; but as they became fledged they all escaped, refusing to be caged. Harvard College enrolls the name of an Algonquin youth among her pupils; but the college parchment could not close the gulf between the Indian character and the Anglo American.

The copper colored men are characterized by a moral inflexibility, a rigidity of attachment to their hereditary customs and manners. The birds and brooks, as they chime forth their unwearied canticles, chime them ever to the same ancient melodies; and the Indian child, as it grows up, displays a propensity to the habits of its ancestors...

The trouble lay deeper. Year after year the Indian discovered an irreconcilable difference between himself and the stranger...When he entered the home of the settler, he discovered that the joys of the fireside could never be found in the group squatted beneath the shelter of the wigwam. He felt the antagonism - and his soul burned within him. The strife was not for land...It was for supremacy. And as revenge is stronger than ambition, and hate is stronger than avarice, so the war raged with unspeakable fury, and was as cruel as the passions of a desperate savage could make it.

The great contest which grew out of this antagonism, and lasted more than a year, unabated either by the heat of summer or the frosts of winter, threatening destruction to the New England colonies, was known as Philip’s War. With the story of this conflict you are all familiar. The peaceful death of Massasoit at a good old age, after a long life of friendly relations with the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies; the sadder death of his son Alexander, worried out of life by the failure of his intrigues against the colony, and the exposure of his meanness and his crimes; the gradual development of the worst of passions in the breast of Philip, and his passage from treachery to war are all fresh in the memory of all who have traced the hard path which our fathers traveled in the work of settling these shores.

The war which began in Swanzey on the 24th of June, 1675, reached this spot on the 18th of September - three months of murder, and fire, and all the bloody horrors of savage warfare. At the time the war broke out Deerfield had been settled 10 years, or had been deeded for the purposes of settlement to John Pynchon that length of time. It was then, as it is now, one of the most delightful spots in New England...

http://images.nypl.org/index.php?id=808204&t=w

And here in the luxurience of that natural beauty, and in the wealth of wood and stream, the Indian found his favorite resort. In this town and in the towns of Hadley and Hatfield he mustered a numerous and a powerful tribe. And upon these lands purchased by the settlers, with titles confirmed by the court, the whites and Indians lived together in peace for years. It is amazing with what rapidity the war, once opened, spread from village to village, and from tribe to tribe in this wilderness...

The Pocumtucks had received their orders - and in a day had stepped from the blessings of peace to the misery of war. having promsied to deliver up their arms, on suspicion that they might misuse them, they broke their promise, fled to Sugar loaf Hill, engaged with Captains Beers and Lothrop commanding the English here, lost 26 of their number, and then sought shelter under the standard of King Philip...

Deerfield too was abandoned; and the attempt to secure a quantity of wheat which had just been partially threshed by the farmers there before their flight, resulted in the massacre which still thrills me with horror, and the anniversary of which we have met to commemorate...From behind hundreds of trees the savages poured their deadily [sic] fire. At the first volley many were killed, and the remainder were panic stricken...Lothrop...was among the first to fall. The savages, numbering nearly 700, "rushed upon the defenceless men, and the work of slaughter was soon complete.

But 6 or 7 Englishmen escaped to tell the tale, of whom one had been shot and tomahawked and left for dead, and another forced his way through the yelling ranks of the savages with the but [sic] of his musket...

While the Indians were employed in mangling, scalping and stripping the dying and the dead, Captain Moseley, who, as has been observed, was ranging the woods, hearing the report of musketry, hastened by a forced march to the relief of his brethren. The Indians, confiding in their superior numbers, taunted him as he advanced, and dared him to the contest. Moseley came on with firmness, repeatedly charged through them, and destroyed a large number with the loss on his side of but 2 killed and 11 wounded...

A quantity of bones lately found in that quarter is very probably the remains of the Indians who fell there at the close of the action. The united English force encamped for the night at Deerfield. They returned in the morning to bury the dead and found a party of the Indians upon the field stripping the bodies of their victims. These they quickly dispatched, and the remains of the brave young men, or some portion of them, were committed to the earth near the spot which we have this day consecrated anew to their memory.

The stream on whose banks they fell, and whose water ran red with their blood, has been called from that day, in memory of the disaster, Bloody Brook...[Two more entire columns follow, but they are quite blurry and unreadable].
 

Subjects: Archaeology, Barber / Hair, Birds, Business Enterprises, Cemeteries, Children, Connecticut, Connecticut River, Courtship, Crime, Criminals, Dance, Deerfield (MA), Diseases, Divorce, Drunkenness, Economics, Education, English (and England), Eye, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Fires, Fishes and Fishing, Food

Posted by stew - Sun, Feb 22, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 13, 1875
Shelburne Falls

Shelburne Falls - Mon. Trial Justice John A. Winslow Esq. of Charlemont fined William O. Donahue for drunkenness, $2 and costs; Thomas Sharky for assault and battery upon David Smith, bookkeeper for James H. Edwards, $5 and costs. The complaint against Robert Maloney for disorderly conduct was nollo prosequied. The other two for want of money, went down to lodge and board with Sheriff Wells.
 

Subjects: Charlemont (MA), Courts, Crime, Criminals, Drunkenness, Economics, Police, Prisons, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Work

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 21, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 13, 1875
A man murdered in Coleraine

A man murdered in Coleraine - He is killed and robbed by two young ruffians - It is now 8 years since Simeon Peck killed Miss Cheney at Griswoldville, and Coleraine is again the scene of a tragedy, which in all its details has never had a parallel in the criminal annals of the County. The victim of this terrible crime is Joseph R. Farnsworth [i.e. Joseph Riley Farnsworth], known among his townsmen as "Riley", a quiet, inoffensive man, who dwelt with his wife and two children on his mother’s farm, on what is known as "Catamount Hill", some 2 miles and a half from Shelburne Falls.

The circumstances of the affair are these: On Tues. last Farnsworth, who served in the late war, went to Greenfield to be examined by a surgeon, as required, before making out an application for pension. He went back to Shelburne Falls on the train, and at the office of H.M. Puffer Esq., had his pension paper made out. When this business was finished, he started for home, getting a chance to ride with Levi Davenport, a neighbor.

They rode together until they came to the fork of two roads which led to the mountain. Farnsworth took the road up the ravine on the easterly side, while Davenport went the other way to his home. It had by this time begun to grow dark, and Farnsworth pushed along alone through a wood and came to a place where the road separates, a path leading up to Jack Woodard’s on the one hand and to his mother’s place on the other.

At this point someone steps suddenly from the cover of bushes by the roadside and, without a word of warning, strikes him a blow upon the forehead with a stick which prostrates him upon the ground. The blow is followed up with others or with kicks, until the man’s head is covered with ghastly wounds. He is then robbed of the few dollars which he had in his pocket book.

Farnsworth was not long wholly unconscious. Within half an hour he must have rallied sufficient strength to get upon his feet, and staggering and frequently falling, he made his way home, some one hundred rods distant, and which he reached by half past 7. He was able to tell his mother and a neighbor present a part of what had happened, and Dr. Canedy of Shelburne Falls was immediately sent for.

He arrived in the evening, but found the man so badly wounded there was little that could be done for him. Farnsworth could not tell who struck him, and becoming unconscious, he lingered until about 10 o’clock Wed. morning, when he died.

The news of the affair had by this time spread over the town, and efforts made to ascertain who were the perpetrators of the crime. Suspicion soon rested upon two young men who live in the vicinity, and who had not been seen since the murder. These were Daniel Dwight, a son of Josiah J. Dwight, and Herbert Davenport, a son of widow Roxana Davenport, and a nephew of the murdered man.

The former is 19 years of age and the latter 18, and both had borne a hard name among the people of the town. Going to the scene of the assault, a heavy print of a shoe was found, where the desperado stood when he gave the murderous blow, and a few feet in front was found the pool of blood which flowed from the wounds of his victim, and a bloody trail was made by Farnsworth as he rested and stumbled home.

Not far from his place a hickory stub was found where the stick, about an inch in diameter, had been cut; and in another direction the stick itself was discovered, which corresponded with the stub, and which had been thrown away after the assault. The stick, which is in the possession of one of the officers, was evidently cut by a left handed person. Dwight is known to be left handed.

It seems that the two boys had been to Farnsworth’s house the afternoon that he was away, borrowed fifty cents from his wife, all the money that she had - they agreeing to pay her back before the time of the county fair, when she wanted to spend it. They also took away a cheap watch which belonged to Farnsworth.

Before going to Greenfield Farnsworth had made known his errand to the neighbors, and the boys probably thought that he was going to bring home his pension money and so made their plans to waylay and rob him. But the money Farnsworth had on his person could not have exceeded 2 or 3 dollars. There had been ill feeling between the boys and Farnsworth before. He had not got along happily with his wife, being frequently jealous, it is thought by some, without cause, and the fellows had taken her part.

They have been heard to threaten him on her account. Dwight, who was married and lived with his wife in a house on his father’s farm, took away with him two suits of clothes, but young Davenport is not known to have carried away only such clothes as he happened to have on, and left behind a little money and a bank book.

Wed. aft. upwards of 50 men were out scouring the woods of Coleraine, Whitingham and Heath, under Officers Henry A. Howard of Coleraine and Deputy Sheriff [?] S. Frost of Shelburne Falls, and the search by some of the party was kept up all night, but was fruitless. Dwight and Davenport are both familiar with the woods for miles around, having hunted and roamed over them together.

http://www.franklins...hotossmcleodpond.php

It was thought that perhaps the fugitives had gone in the direction of North Adams, and an officer was sent there Thurs. morning, while the general search was partly abandoned. Though the young ruffians may evade their pursuers for a while, it is hardly possible to make a successful escape. Their photographs and descriptions will be sent broadcast. The Selectmen have offered a reward of $500 for their recovery, and mean to bring them to justice.

As there is no coroner in the vicinity, S.D. Bardwell Esq. of Shelburne Falls, as a Justice of the Peace, summoned a jury to view the remains. The jury consists of Hezekiah Smith, C.W. Shattuck, A.A. Smith, Thomas D. Purrington, H.C. Millington and Russell J. Smith. They visited the scene of the murder Wed. aft., and will meet again today, when probably a verdict in accordance with the facts we have related will be rendered.

Farnsworth’s funeral took place Thurs. morning and was largely attended by the people of the town. Rev. Mr. Cole, the Methodist clergyman of Coleraine, conducted the services. Farnsworth leaves a boy of 9 and a girl of 7. His age was about 35, and his mother, with whom he lived, is about 75. The family, though poor and ignorant, were considered of average respectability. The mother of the Davenport boy has always opposed his keeping company with Dwight, who is generally supposed to have been the leader in the matter, but the two were together a great deal, and had become hardened and desperate.

A note received by J.B. Clark, one of the Selectmen of the town on Sat., stated that there was no trace then of the murderers, but that the watch supposed to have been stolen by one of the boys, was found, and was in his possession.

Latest - Intelligence from Shelburne Falls yesterday, states that Dwight was caught about half past 10 Sat. eve. Half a dozen men were laying in wait for him around his house, and he came home at that time and fell into their clutches. The whereabouts of Davenport is not known. Dwight was put into the lock-up at Shelburne Falls yesterday morning.

[A followup to this murder can be found on p. 371 of Google Books "Publications of the American Statistical Association", 1892 - 1893. There is also mention of the sentence on p. 5 of Google Books "Public Documents of Massachusetts", 1876].
 

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Children, Coleraine [now Colrain] (MA), Crime, Criminals, Economics, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Government, Greenfield (MA), History, Households, Law and Lawyers, Literature / Web Pages, Lost and Found, Massachusetts, Medical Personnel, Missing Persons, Mourning Customs, Murder, Names, Photographs, Police, Poor, Prisons

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 14, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 13, 1875
Greenfield -

Greenfield - Trial Justice Brainard disposed of the following cases last week: Michael Moran, who took wood from Millers Falls, the property of Oselo Goodnow, was fined $2 and costs, from which he appealed. James Dwyer, Whitney Barden, Horatio Cutler and David Buffum of Montague City, were arrested for assaulting Abner Avery, and were fined $5 and one fourth of the costs each, which amounted to $8.92.

John McIves, one of the Bardwell’s Ferry roughs, was arrested by P.M. Fitzgerald for drunkenness, fined $5 and costs, which if not paid within 3 days, he was to take 20 days in the House of Correction. Dennis Brown for assault on Michael O’Neil, was brought in by Sheriff Swan of Shelburne Falls, and fined $8 and costs. Justice Davis discharged Patrick Mahaney of Cheapside, who was brought up for drunkenness, and fined John McIves $2 and costs - $4.95, who was picked up drunk by night policeman Carbee.
 

Subjects: Courts, Crime, Criminals, Drunkenness, Economics, Gangs, Greenfield (MA), Millers Falls (MA), Montague (MA), Police, Prisons, Robbers and Outlaws, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Trains, Transportation, Trees

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 14, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 13, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

Greenfield - S.O. Lamb, as Master in Chancery, had a hearing last week, with reference to the bail required of John Baxter. It will be remembered that Baxter was with the two Finn boys the night that John Hayes of Bardwell's Ferry was thrown down and robbed, a few weeks since.

The magistrate fixed the amount of his bail at $1000, and Baxter, unable to raise that sum, has since been confined in jail; but it has been ascertained that Baxter was not seriously implicated in the affair, and Justice Brainard consented to reduce the bail to $600, which Baxter obtained, and was set at liberty.
 

Subjects: Courts, Crime, Criminals, Economics, Greenfield (MA), Prisons, Robbers and Outlaws, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Transportation

Posted by stew - Mon, Feb 9, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
Shelburne Falls

Shelburne Falls - Aug. 3 John Collins, a railroad laborer from Bardwell's Ferry, had over 40 dollars stolen from him by a fellow laborer while he was asleep under an apple tree. The thief was finally arrested and locked up. The next day about $30 was recovered.
 

Subjects: Crime, Criminals, Dreams / Sleep, Economics, Food, Police, Prisons, Robbers and Outlaws, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Trains, Transportation, Trees, Work

Posted by stew - Mon, Feb 9, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
6 executions at once



6 executions at once - 6 murderers, all young in years but old in crime, were hung on one gallows at Fort Smith, Arkansas Fri. These are their names: James H. Moore, Daniel H. Evans, John Whittington, white; Edward Campbell, colored; Samuel W. Favey, one quarter Cherokee, and Smoker Moonkiller, full blood Cherokee. Eight were originally sentenced, but one was killed while trying to escape, and the sentence of another was commuted to imprisonment for life.

[Photos of the 6 men and descriptions of their crimes can be found at http://www.nps.gov/f.../execution090375.htm The photo above is their executioner].
 

Subjects: African-Americans / Blacks, Astronomy, Crime, Criminals, Executions and Executioners, Murder, Names, Native Americans, Prisons, Racism, Robbers and Outlaws, Smoking and Tobacco

Posted by stew - Sun, Feb 8, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
The Old Brick School house rejoices

The Old Brick School house rejoices - Ha ha! I am pleased. Relief has come: my eyes are partially in use. I am certainly improving, inwardly and outwardly. Past neglect has given way to present attention, and I am in high glee. In a few days I expect lots of company; and now that "Richard is himself again" all will go well.

The "five score of dollars" has been well laid out to help me in my declining years. Be assured, ye Fathers of the Town, and the School Committee, your labors in my behalf are fully appreciated, and I will serve you to the best of my ability. So send in the short folks. I will make room for them; they shall be well cared for.

Now I ask in closing, that I may have the "full use" of my eyes. Don't excuse the matter by saying that the boys will pelt me if I look at them. No such thing. The boys have too much respect for me at my time of life, to treat me ill. "Old Brick"

*Some windows are boarded up yet, and present a prison-like appearance.
 

Subjects: Children, Economics, Education, Eye, Glass / Windows, Government, Greenfield (MA), Jokes, Prisons, Trees, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 7, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

(Greenfield) John Collins, Charles Warren, Peter Quinn, Thomas McCarty and William Howard, were participators in a grand drunk and knock down out at Bardwell's Ferry. Officers H.S. Swan and J.G. Brown "lit" into them and arrested the first 3 for drunkenness, McCarty for assault, and Howard for resistance, and lodged the whole pack in our jail. At Justice Brainard's court on Mon. the former were fined $12.00 each, McCarty $14.50 and Howard $14.15.
 

Subjects: Courts, Crime, Criminals, Drunkenness, Economics, Greenfield (MA), Police, Prisons, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Transportation

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 7, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

(Greenfield) McAuliff and Gillett, the boys who have broken into Charles Keith's store, have been unable to obtain bonds, and are likely to remain in jail until their trial in Nov.
 

Subjects: Courts, Crime, Criminals, Economics, Greenfield (MA), Prisons, Robbers and Outlaws, Stores, Retail

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 7, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
A female burglar

A female burglar has just been caged in Indiana, whose ingenuity and daring would be worthy of admiration were they exercised in a different field of labor. Her name is Nellie Spencer, and she is reported to have had under her command as desperate a gang of thieves as ever flourished. The latest operations of her gang were undertaken in Evansville, where Nellie was so unlucky as to be caught.

She is described as a young woman and wears a determined look upon her face. She is of good large figure, and her movements are extremely graceful. Her eyes are coal black, and a winning smile plays about her mouth. She wears her hair short and curly, combed back from her forehead, and she has a very pretty way of throwing it back by a dash of her hand.

She is no ordinary woman, and has little of the timidity which characterizes her sex. She has discarded the garments of her sex with all other feminine attributes and donned the clothing of the sterner sex, while carrying out her plans.

Her gang would usually meet at 2 o'clock in the morning. The party assigned for the work of burglary would be assisted by one person to hold the swag, while the others would be posted around to give warning. The signals were various, sometimes a gentle rap on the fence, and again a low whistle.

When anyone approached, the party lay low until he passed, and the business was again resumed. No one person was selected to do the burglary, the risky work being divided between the members of the gang. Frequently however, Nellie is said to have accomplished a neat job single handed. Her valise was found where she boarded and among its contents were two suits of men's clothes.
 

Subjects: Barber / Hair, Crime, Criminals, Eye, Gangs, Gays, Luck, Masculinity (Machismo), Prisons, Robbers and Outlaws, Work, Clothing

Posted by stew - Fri, Feb 6, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
News of the week

William Pangburn [also seen as William Pangborn] the man who chopped off his wife’s head in July last, has been sentenced at Bangor Me. to 10 years in State Prison. His extreme old age, 83 years, explains the apparent leniency of the sentence.
 

Subjects: Crime, Criminals, Murder, Prisons, Wife Abuse, Women

Posted by stew - Wed, Feb 4, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
Hampshire County items

By a peculiarly hard fate, the aged Michael Flynn of Westfield, who had been confined at the Northampton jail, died Sat. 21st, the very day his sentence of 5 years expired. He was 70 years old, and had prepared for death by willing his several hundred dollars worth of property to the Northampton Catholic Church.
 

Subjects: Economics, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Luck, Mourning Customs, Obituaries, Old Age, Prisons, Religion

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 18, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

Officer Kimball was called upon Fri. aft. to take into custody Jim Bowers, living near the Cheapside Bridge, who was drunk and abusing his wife. Jim made some noisy demonstrations when called upon by the officer, but was finally jailed. Justice Davis continued his case on the complaint of drunkenness, and put him under bonds of $100 to keep the peace 6 months.
 

Subjects: Bridges, Courts, Crime, Criminals, Deerfield (MA), Drunkenness, Economics, Greenfield (MA), Noise, Police, Prisons, Wife Abuse

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 18, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
News about town: Greenfield items



A desperate plan was laid by two of Greenfield’s young roughs, to burglarize Charles Keith’s grocery store last Wed. eve. About 11 o’clock in the eve. Miles Mowry, a clerk employed in the store, accompanied by E.S. Seaver, cutter for Seward & Willard, had occasion to go into the store. In the dark Mowry stumbled over someone secreted behind the counter. He at first thought it one of the other clerks trying to play a joke on him, but dragging the fellow out, he proved to be Jerry McAuliffe, the boy who, two years ago, broke into the store then kept by Mrs. S.F. Warner.

He served an 18 month’s sentence in the House of Correction at Pittsfield, and returned to Greenfield July 17th. Mowry and Seaver took McAuliff into the street and delivered him over to night policemen Jones and Carbee. McAuliff, when arrested, had a long dirk knife in his hand, the sheath of which was found in his pocket. It was not suspected at the time that there was another burglar in the store, and so it was locked and left for the night.

It leaked out the next day, when McAuliff was brought before Justice Brainard, that he was not alone. Another fellow, he said, cut a light from the back window with a diamond, through which they both got into the store, and it was their intention to open the safe, his comrade having the necessary tools. The fellow, he said, was not 4 ft. from him when he was taken from behind the counter, and he had a revolver cocked ready to shoot anyone who took hold of him.

McAuliff would not tell the boy’s name, but from what the Justice pumped out of him, it was suspected that Willard Gillett, employed about the Mansion House, was the second burglar, and he was accordingly arrested. Gillett denied the whole thing at once, but owned up little by little, and finally pleaded guilty to the charge of breaking and entering the store, with the intention of opening the safe to obtain money.

His trunk at the Mansion House was searched and in it was found a seven shooter loaded with six charges, capped and ready for execution, a long sheath knife, a policeman’s "billy", a hatchet, a diamond for cutting glass, a chisel, etc., beside some boxes of cigars and a few articles that are supposed to have been stolen. The magistrate bound each of the boys over to the Nov. court in the sum of $500.

Gillett was at one time employed by Dr. Severance, who now recollects numerous things that turned up missing while he was around the house. He afterward worked in Field & Hall’s printing office, but found he hadn’t a taste for that kind of work and so gave it up. A "form" of type was found in his trunk, from which he had probably printed some obscene literature for the benefit of his boy companions. He was certainly equipped for burglary on an extensive scale.

The wonder is, that with one of these boys armed with a dirk knife, and the other a pistol, they did not assault Mowry and Seaver when they entered the store. Had Mowry been alone, he might have had ugly treatment at their hands. McAuliff is 17 and Gillett 18.
 

Subjects: Business Enterprises, Courts, Crime, Criminals, Economics, Food, Glass / Windows, Greenfield (MA), Hotels, Jokes, Juvenile Delinquents, Literature / Web Pages, Massachusetts, Medical Personnel, Names, Police, Prisons, Roads, Robbers and Outlaws, Sex Crimes, Smoking and Tobacco, Stores, Retail, War / Weaponry, Words, Work

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 18, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
News of the week

Two men jailed for rape in Pensacola, Fla. were taken out and lynched Sat. morning before day.
 

Subjects: Crime, Criminals, Prisons, Rape, Sex Crimes, Vigilance Committees

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 17, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 23, 1875
Shelburne Falls

We should think by Joel Woodward's advertisement that he had got somebody's colt impounded.
 

Subjects: Advertising, Animals / Reptiles, Horses, Jokes, Prisons, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA)

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 17, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 23, 1875
Court record

The second week of the Superior Court was opened at 10 o’clock Mon. The jury in the case of Peleg Adams vs. John Single, and the countersuit of Single vs. Adams, brought in a verdict on each action separately, viz.: In the former for Adams, amount $522; and in the latter for Single, $808, giving a difference in Single’s favor of $286.

The criminal cases were then taken up before the second jury as follows: Timothy Sullivan of Greenfield, on two indictments for larceny. The transaction itself was so lately chronicled that it is unnecessary to repeat it here, but simply to state that the defendant is the party who carried off Conductor Tharp’s clothing, and A.N. Hull’s shoes from the Mansion House. He was found guilty and sentenced to two years at the State Prison at Charlestown; two days solitary. District Attorney for Commonwealth.

Patrick Fraine of Charlemont was tried on two indictments. One for arson and another for larceny from the building, both being tried at the same time. The first charge was for the alleged firing of the Zoar depot last March, and the second for stealing from the same. The defendant worked upon the railroad at the Tunnel and boarded at Zoar. The parties with whom he boarded testified that Fraine came home the night of the fire at 5 minutes before 9, and the alarm was given about half past 9.

The defendant, who had no council, cross questioned the witnesses with considerable shrewdness, and brought out from the depot master the fact that some railroad men were in the depot during the eve; the west end of which was used as a store, and that there was a large fire in the stove, so much that some of the party complained of the heat, but it was claimed that the fire was out, or nearly so, when the store was closed.

The party who lived near, and who seemed to have discovered the fire first, described it as wholly confined to the southwest end, or store part, and there seemed to be no fire in the rest of the building. The evidence seemed very small to hold the defendant on the charge of arson, and the verdict of the jury acquitted the prisoner at the bar therefor.

On the allegation of larceny, the evidence was more conclusive, two witnesses testifying to the defendant having pennies and 5 cent pieces in his pockets, some being in a pocket handkerchief and others done up in a pair of stockings in the defendant’s coat at the place he boarded. On this charge he was found guilty and sentenced to 2 years in the House of Correction at Pittsfield. District Attorney for Commonwealth.

Marshall H. Porter of Williamstown and Henry Smith of South Deerfield, for larceny, and the former also for receiving stolen goods. The defendant, Porter, a dark mulatto, who gave his age as 30, said he was visiting at South Deerfield. He claimed to have had nothing to do with the larceny, but said the articles found on him were given him by Henry Moore, although he acknowledged he knew they were stolen.

It appeared by the confession of Smith, who is a bright colored boy of about 16 years of age, that the larceny alleged consisted in entering the store in the building connected with the Bloody Brook House at South Deerfield; the boy Smith watching in the shade of a large elm tree in front of the store, while Porter and Moore entered the store by the bulk-head and did the stealing. The articles taken were 2 or 3 watches, a revolver, candy, some currency and silver coin and other miscellaneous items.

Henry Moore, indicted with the others for the larceny, was bailed by his father, an was not on hand to be tried with the others. Porter and Smith were found guilty and sentenced each to 3 years at the House of Correction in Pittsfield; District Attorney for Commonwealth, A. Brainard for Smith. A bench warrant was issued for the arrest of Henry Moore, who has become scarce in this region since the time he was required at this court to plead with the others to the alleged burglary.

George Doolittle of Greenfield, for assault and battery. The present case came up on an appeal from sentence of the magistrate. The said assault and battery was made upon H.E. Keuran, while visiting the Mansion House, the defendant being keeper of the hotel. The case was virtually decided on the testimony of Doolittle himself, who, after detailing the fact of seeing Keuran passing back and forth through the bar room to the wash room, had ordered Keuran to leave and not be hanging around there, to which the reply was made that he had as much money in there as the defendant, and should go when he got ready, at same time drawing a pocket knife and threatening bodily harm if he was put out; upon which the defendant struck him with his fist, and as he was going out struck him two more blows.

The fact of any knife being drawn was denied by Keuran, who also said he had no such knife as described with him at the time. Several witnesses detailed the facts as they saw them, several testifying they saw a knife in Keuran’s hand, but the court ruled that even if there was any justification for the first blow self defense did not require the others, and according to the defendant’s own testimony, the said blows were given when Keuran was getting away about as fast as he could. Verdict of guilty. Sentence deferred. District Attorney for Commonwealth, A. DeWolf for defendant.

The case of Michael Moran for larceny came up on appeal from a magistrate’s trail, and on motion the complaint was quashed for informality. D. Aiken for defendant.
u
Frank P. Bell of Coleraine for assalt and battery had a lengthy trial occupying the most of Thurs. The alleged assault was made with a shovel upon George H. Phillips, one of the Selectmen of the Town, and also another assault upon Newton G. Lake, who was with him at the time. The defendant has not lived very peaceably with certain of his neighbors for some time, and probably dates back to the adultery case of a few years ago, at which the present defendant was one of the parties.

The present difficulty seems to have arisen about one Joshua Fairbanks, a town pauper, at the time living at Bell’s house. Mr. Phillips testified that he went to the defendant’s house, either to get Fairbanks or to notify defendant that the town would not pay for his support. Upon which the defendant ordered them away, using abusive language, and that afterward he came out armed with a shovel and not only assaulted them with his fist, but struck at them with his shovel, and finally thrust the shovel against Mr. Phillips, knocking him down.

All this the defendant denied. The jury, however, found the "Christian Hill" defendant guilty. when the time for sentencing arrived, Bell had departed, he having been on bail since his preliminary trial before the magistrate. His bail was called and defaulted, and a bench warrant issued for his arrest. District Attorney for Commmonwealth, C.C. Conant for defendant. This closed the criminal cases and the civil list was resumed with.

Joseph H. Hollister vs. Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Co. In this case the plaintiff claims a sum due him on a policy in said company. The company, however, defend, alleging that the plaintiff has no claim on them, as he had failed to pay an assessment made in the required time, and his policy had consequently lapsed to the company. The court ordered the jury to return a verdict for the defendant, upon the law involved on an agreed statement of facts, and the case goes at once to the Supreme Court on the questions of law. C.C. Conant for plaintiff, D. Aiken for defendant.

Edward E. Coleman et al. vs. Loren S. Bartlett et al. - This was an action of contract for the recovery of the price of a turbine water wheel, made by E.E. Coleman & Co. of Shelburne Falls, for Loren S. Bartlett & Son of Northampton - the value of the wheel, worksetting the same and interest, amounting to $567.

The wheel in question was put into the mill some 2 years ago, and the contract therefor, the defendants allege, was that the plaintiffs agreed to put in the said wheel and to warrant it to work to the satisfaction of the defendants; that it should use less water and give more power than the wheel they were then using; but after trying the wheel for some time, with the same water as on the old wheel, found they got less power and could not operate the mill; and that on notice given of these facts to the defendants, they endeavored to remedy the defects, but still it did not work to their satisfaction, and they therefore refused to pay for the same.

The case was very thoroughly heard and a great amount of evidence introduced to show the conditions under which wheels are usually put into mills, the nature of turbine wheels in general, and much other matter relative thereto - of interest, perhaps to mill owners, or to the relative value of turbines and the conditions necessary to their successful working; but as a whole, the general interest in the case was not so great as in many others. Verdict for defendants. S.T. Field for plffs.; DW. Bond & H.H. Bond for defts.

Lyman J. Wait vs. Justin Thayer et al. - This case was partially presented to the jury, but was suspended to enable counsel to go to Brattleboro to take the deposition of S.F. Warner. The action is on a promissory note of $1000, given by Warner and endorsed by Thayer, Sargent & Co.of Northampton, Mr. Warner being at the time a member of the above named firm. The case attracts considerable attention on account of several nice points of commercial law involved.

While waiting for the taking of the deposition mentioned, the case of Joel R. Davenport vs. the inhabitants of Coleraine was taken up before the same jury. This action is for injury alleged to have been received by the plaintiff while traveling on the highway in said town. The case is still on trial.

The cases of Mary M. Hillman vs. The Inhabitants of Charlemont, and that of Chandler A. Vincent vs. The Inhabitants of Rowe stand next in order of trial. It will probably take the most of the present week to finish up the cases still standing for trial.
 

Subjects: Accidents, African-Americans / Blacks, Bars (Drinking establishments), Business Enterprises, Businesspeople, Charlemont (MA), Coleraine [now Colrain] (MA), Courts, Crime, Criminals, Deerfield (MA), Economics, Family, Fires, Food, Government, Greenfield (MA), Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Hotels, Massachusetts, Missing Persons, Poor, Prisons, Racism, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans

Posted by stew - Mon, Jan 12, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 23, 1875
Foreign



A jealous brute of a husband in Manchester, England, under the pretense of putting his arm round his wife's neck as if to kiss her, poured a quantity of vitriol over the poor creature's face. He then pulled her to the ground, knelt on her, and tried to force some more of the burning liquid down her throat, but not succeeding in this, he threw the rest of the vitriol over her face and neck. Strange to say she survived, though of course she is permanently disfigured, while her wretch of a husband has been sentenced to penal servitude for life.
 

Subjects: Crime, Criminals, English (and England), Marriage and Elopement, Prisons, Wife Abuse, Women

Posted by stew - Mon, Jan 12, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 23, 1875
News of the week

The details of a brutal and long continued case of assault have just come to light in Philadelphia. A well known and wealthy married man named John L. Kates, some years ago, seduced a 15 year old girl named Pemberton, and has held her in a life of semi-slavery ever since. Recently she attended a picnic without permission, and when she returned, he charged her with infidelity, knocked her down, beat her in a brutal manner, and then tearing all the clothes off her, poured burning fluid all over her, and set fire to her with the fiendish purpose to burn her alive.

The interference of some people in the house alone prevented the consummation of his design. On Fri. eve. last, he again whipped her in a brutal manner and swore he would disfigure her so she would never be able to go out. Tues. the neighbors complained of him, and he was arrested and held in $2200 bail for appearance at court.
 

Subjects: Amusements, Courts, Crime, Criminals, Economics, Fires, Households, Marriage and Elopement, Police, Prisons, Rich People, Seduction, Sex Crimes, Work, Clothing

Posted by stew - Fri, Jan 9, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
Foreign



16,889 persons were banished from Russia to Siberia between May and Oct. last; 1080 women and children over 15 years of age, with 1269 young children voluntarily accompanied the exiles.
 

Subjects: Children, Emigration and Immigration, Prisons, Women, Russia

Posted by stew - Tue, Jan 6, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
Whitingham Vt.

A negro who had been lurking about the premises of Cyrus Boyd a few days, in the south part of this town, stole articles and money enough in the absence of the family to amount to $15. Wed. Aug. 4, he was found and arrested at the Glen House, and carried to Newfane Jail Thurs. for his crime.
 

Subjects: African-Americans / Blacks, Crime, Criminals, Economics, Family, Hotels, Police, Prisons, Racism, Robbers and Outlaws, Vermont

Posted by stew - Tue, Dec 30, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 9, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

Among the victims who received sentence at Justice Brainard's court last week were James Moran, who was fined $9.95; Thomas Roach, fined $9.53, and James Riley, fined $9.85. These all belonged to the Bardwell's Ferry gang, and were hauled up for drunkenness. Martin McAllister, a local common drunkard, was sent to the House of Correction for 6 months.
 

Subjects: Courts, Crime, Drunkenness, Economics, Gangs, Greenfield (MA), Prisons, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Trains, Transportation, Work


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