You Fought All the Way, Johnny Reb



OH. MY. GOSH!!! I've been waiting on this post for a while. It's hard to keep your mouth shut about something exciting! I am so proud and excited to have a guest blogger writing this post today- my cousin, Troy Bates! Not to mention, I was green with envy over the trip he took with his family that led to this post. I hope Troy, Co, and Gus enjoyed the trip and I hope you enjoy the blog post and Troy's pictures. There's some exciting news at the end so don't stop reading!!!! While you're at the end- show Troy some love in the comments. America loves her vets! (A nod to Johnny Horton for the great song that gave me the title for this blog post.)


Troy's story:
I want to thank my cousin, Lisa, for allowing me to write this guest post and who wrote a blog article earlier this year about one of our ancestors, John C. Bates.

I always enjoy reading her posts, especially about our common ancestors! This one caught my attention for several reasons. As a veteran, I often wonder if any of my ancestors served in the military. In Lisa’s research it appears that John was a veteran. It appears that he served on the side of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Her research indicates that he was captured and subsequently may have died as a Prisoner of War at a POW camp located at Rock Island, Illinois. Rock Island is located about 70 miles from where I currently live. It was exciting to know that it’s just a short trip to Rock Island and the Confederate Cemetery located there. It would be easy to see if we could find his final resting place. Oddly enough, my wife, son and I have adopted a tradition that on Memorial Day we visit nearby cemeteries and honor military veterans resting there even if we don’t know them or their families. What better way could there be than to spend this Memorial Day than visiting a distant ancestor’s possible resting place?



Once we made the decision to visit the cemetery I tried doing some online research to see if I could locate his gravesite. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to locate any information on him (or that I could even possibly link to him). Undaunted we made the short trip over to the cemetery on Memorial Day.

Once we located the cemetery we were pleasantly surprised to discover there would be a memorial service held at the Confederate Cemetery which was arranged by the Iowa Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV). They had placed confederate flags at each headstone and arranged a beautiful tribute using reenactors from the Scotts Battery, of the Iowa Division of the SCV, the Confederate Orphan Kentucky Band (using period musical instruments and music) and the Order of Confederate Rose, amongst others.









We spent an hour or more walking amongst the headstones, hoping to come across John’s headstone, even though he wasn’t listed in the directory. While most stones had names and units some had less information. We saw representation of units from all over the south; Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida and, I am sure, others. In all, they have 1,950 graves in a beautifully maintained 3 acre site. If you’re able to visit, I would recommend it! I’m sure that cemetery doesn’t get a lot of visitors.



I was able to talk to several of the reenactors, folks dressed in Confederate uniforms and clothing, and learned more about this cemetery and Confederate POWs. All of the bodies in this cemetery have been moved at least twice since the Civil War ended. While some care was made in tracking names and headstones, the SCV continues to find discrepancies in lists, even now.



I learned that if a prisoner died during travel to the camp, their body was unceremoniously dumped off the train. One gentleman said many communities along the train tracks would bury the bodies as unknown Confederate soldiers. You can find lonely headstones in far corners of many cemeteries along these train tracks which lead to a POW camp.

This Confederate POW camp was located at Rock Island, which is an actual island in the Mississippi River between the states of Iowa and Illinois. Many prisoners were killed trying to escape, if they were at or in the river, their bodies were usually left where they fell. What I took from several of my conversations with the members of SCV was that there is a substantial number of prisoners who died and have no marked gravesite. Nor is there a solid, reliable record of when or how they perished. There were also an undetermined number of deceased soldiers whose families were able to, after the war, retrieve their bodies and move them to a final resting place closer to home and no records kept of these movements.

In the end, we were unable to finds John’s final resting place but were honored to visit this Confederate Cemetery, witness the memorial ceremony and offer our prayers to the men buried there.



As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy Lisa’s posts and I know there is considerable work that goes into the research of each post. However, there’s a difference between knowing and KNOWING what that work is like. While I know I only did some minor research, it gave me a small taste of the work that she does and how frustrating it can be. I’m sure that makes breakthroughs that much more enjoyable.

My thanks to Lisa again for all of her work and for letting me share my experience with her and her blog visitors!!


I Wish I Was in Dixie

"Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees."
- Last words of Thomas “Stonewall" Jackson
(Quote found at American Civil War Story.)

(A nod to Daniel Decatur Emmett for the song he copyrighted that gave me the title to this closing section.)



So I'm sitting here with goosebumps as I read Troy's story. Some of my daily inconveniences are trivial in comparison to what these men went through to maintain freedom for every American. Even things I view as "problems" are still nothing in comparison to some of what Troy described. THANK YOU, Troy! Both for your service and for this story. You have a unique perspective about John that I will never have.

As I was preparing my intro to Troy's story I went off on a research tangent. (It's an addiction. #SorryNotSorry) I found a very brief mention of John BATES on a website that I hadn't seen before. The information comes from someone who is researching Company E, 3rd Confederate, Army of Tennessee. John BATES was in Company F. According to George Martin's research, our John BATES was actually a Captain of Company F but resigned. (Accessed here on 14 June 2016.) I tried to find more information- even a regimental history but have not been successful in finding more than what was in my previous post and in this one. If you're interested in military history- start researching and help us! Also, on a personal note, I would dearly love to know if any of John BATES' units had a battle flag- in case you want to focus your research on a thing or event instead of a person.

Please take the time to visit Troy's videos at the following Google links:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ECRzxWw4rDSHozcHVkUFBWMFE/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ECRzxWw4rDSkF1U2lGN1dWT28/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ECRzxWw4rDZ05SLVJXM2xKSUE/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ECRzxWw4rDZmtmdGxOc1ZjYXc/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ECRzxWw4rDc2IxQWdlVWx4Nm8/view

Once again, thanks Troy for this wonderful blog post! I learned a lot.

Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog
Tags:

Jealousy and Bad Whiskey: We, the Jury, find the Defendant William Petty....

We made it! It's verdict time! You've taken all weekend to deliberate. You've looked at Charles' SMOLEY's "alibi" that he was at someone else's house even though ALL other reports say he was at the murder scene. You've heard about Willie's varied "adventures" throughout his life (including no less than 3 major instances involving guns). You've waded through the muck of Willie's and Isabelle's marriage and seen how that ended. You've met Andrew MEDFORD via his granddaughter-in-law; watched as Press SEELY's friends walked away from him- the last of anyone who cared about him to see him alive. You've heard all the important stuff.

One question was asked that didn't get answered. This one's for you, Becky: there was an article that said Press's family refused to claim his body. However, there were many articles that say the family as well as the town residents were in an uproar that Willie wasn't on trial due to his not-so-favorable reputation and past. Maybe both are true. Maybe the family was so angry that the government and law enforcement officials were not even investigating the murder that they decided to let the county foot the bill for the funeral and burial. After all, even the town residents were angry about that. I kind of think that initially, that was their outlook. Then they thought about it and claimed the body. Why would Press's brother come all that way for the funeral (and miss it by one day!) if he didn't care? Why, if the county really buried Press, did he have that nice of a headstone? I don't think the county would have provided one that nice if they had to foot the bill. Maybe, Becky, you and I should take a little trip up to Dearing and find out!!

Ok. So here it is. THE VERDICT poll. NOTE: If this poll doesn't work, just post a comment in the comments section below with all your answers. I've found that the Livejournal blog polls aren't very user-friendly. Next time I will probably use Survey Monkey which is easy and fast.

INSTRUCTION OR TAKING THE POLL
1. Click on the Poll number (looks like "Poll #2044784". It will take you to the poll.)
2. Click "Fill Out the Poll" at the top left of the page.
3. It will make you sign in. You don't have to have a Livejournal account. You can sign in using Facebook or other social media.
4. Complete the poll and click "Submit Poll".
5. Enjoy reading the results.
6. If it doesn't work, put your answers in the comments section at the end of the blog post.

Poll #2044784 Days of Our Lives vs. William Petty, Verdict Poll

We, the Days-of-Our-Lives jury members, find the Defendant William Petty

Guilt of murder with premeditation
1(20.0%)
guilty of murder, no premeditation
2(40.0%)
guilty of a lesser degree- maybe manslaughter or something
1(20.0%)
not guilty- it was self-defense
1(20.0%)
we're a hung jury- we can't decide
0(0.0%)
Other (please place your comments about why you chose other in the comments section of this post)
0(0.0%)

I want to participate in a murder mystery based on this story at the family reunion.

Yes
1(20.0%)
No
4(80.0%)

If I participated in the murdery mystery, I would most like to be:

I would like to see more stories like this one in the future

Yes
4(80.0%)
No
0(0.0%)
I'll take whatever you write.
1(20.0%)

Jealousy and Bad Whiskey, Day 6: Willie Petty- Lover or Fighter?

PRECURSOR TO WILLIE PETTY'S TESTIMONY:
Before going on to Willie's story, I want to remind you that you are a member of William PETTY's jury. But unlike a true court case, I'm going to let you know all about Willie's past and about events that occurred after the murder. Then you can make a true decision about guilt or innocence- about whose story you find more credible.


WILLIAM PETTY'S TESTIMONY:
Before we delve into the SEELY murder on 25 March 1914, we need to know a little more about William PETTY. He went by Willie as a young adult and later went by Will or William. We'll call him Willie since our focus is 1914 and the best I can tell he was going by Willie at that time. Willie was born in Missouri but lived most of his life in Kansas. Like I said above, in 1910 Willie and Press were next-door neighbors. Around 27 September 1911 Willie's dad secured a contract with the Missouri Pacific Railroad- a grading job. Willie's dad gathered up his gang of teamsters (about 25 men from the Dearing area) and his grading outfit and headed out to McCracken, Rush County, Kansas- about 60 miles East of the Colorado state line (and about 1 mile East of McCracken).


1914 Sod house in Rush County, Kansas found at http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/305067.

The PETTY gang set up a railroad grading camp- the Plunkett & Petty camp (sometimes called the Plunkett & Yale camp). There were three “gangs”- PETTY's, and two others. Willie's dad appointed Willie foreman of the Petty gang. They expected to be working on this job through the fall and into the winter.

If you want an idea of what life was like in a 1914 railroad grading camp, take a look at this link. Once you get there you can use the search phrase, "1914 railroad grading camp kansas".

On or about 14 November 1911 Willie and two of the guys on his gang (Dick COLLIVER and Watie SUAGEE) were shot. There are varying stories and points of view about what happened on 14 November 1911. The story you get definitely depends on whom you ask.

William PETTY was the son of Garton W. and Maggie PETTY. Garton worked in the smelter at Dearing. Willie PETTY's part in this story actually starts back in 1906. There is a newpaper article that says Willie, among others, pleaded guilty to intoxication charges after a celebration in Coffeyville. Willie was only about 15 then and there were other (related) William PETTY's in the area- but it's a possibility that this is our Willie already drinking and in trouble with the law. (From here on out, I'm only including information that I know for sure was our Willie PETTY. I included that first little tidbit because I do believe it could have been our William PETTY.) Fast forward to 1911. With both this 1911 story and the 1914 murder, Willie's version of this story varies from other people's versions of the story so I'll do the best I can with bringing all the accounts together.

In late September of 1911 Willie's dad was a contractor in Dearing and he had secured a big railroad grading contract about 60 miles from the Colorado state line with the Missouri Pacific. He took 25 local men (including Willie) with him to work in McCracken, Kansas. He expected to work out there the rest of the fall and through part of the winter. He made Willie the foreman of his crew. There were two other crews working the same job.

On 14 November 1911 word reached Dearing (from Edgar DALE, the timekeeper at the camp) that Willie, Watie SUAGEE (pronounced Soo-ah-gee), and Dick COLLIVER had been shot and seriously wounded in a quarrel at the Plunkett & Petty grading camp in McCracken, Kansas. The men had been shot by Charles SID, the camp cook. Willie's wife left Dearing for the camp immediately to care for him. Willie was shot in the chest. He was paralyzed from the hips down. The bullet pass through the fleshy part of his right arm near the shoulder, passed through his right lung and liver, severed part of his spinal cord and embedded in his spine. Blood was pressing on his spinal cord. The doctors said this was what was causing his paralysis. Doctors said it would be a long time before he walked again. Waitie SUAGEE was shot through the face and shoulder. He was brought to Kruggs Hospital with the bullet still in him. Dick COLLIVER was shot in the hand and shoulder. Willie was eventually brought to Kruggs Hospital near Dearing and he was accompanied there by his parents and Walter SCOTT. I'm not sure why his wife wasn't mentioned as she was the first to travel to McCracken to be with Willie. (For the record, I haven't yet discovered who his wife was at that time.) In any case, once Willie arrived at Dearing, he was joined by his two sisters- Maude HICKS and Nora SMOLEY- and his brother-in-law Harry HICKS.

Edgar DALE said the fight started in the grubshack when Willie PETTY threw a dinner plate at one of the Plunkett & Yale camp laborers. Charles SID (cook) ordered PETTY out of the mess tent. Willie left but her returned later with two men from his crew (SUAGEE and COLLIVER). Edgar said the men were drunk and armed with sledge hammers. They went into the kitchen shanty and ran SID out so SID opened fire on the men. A more “Willie-friendly” version of the story states that Saturday, 11 November 1911 was payday for the camp crew. Charles SID got drunk and quarrelsome and the shooting followed.

Willie himself said that neither he nor Watie nor Dick were drunk. Willie said if anyone was drunk it was Charles SID, the head cook. Here's Willie's side of the story straight from The Coffeyville Daily Journal, 24 November 1911:



By 8 December 1911 Willie had had surgery and was improving. It was reported he finally had the use of some of his lower limbs now after being paralyzed from the hips down due to the shooting. A week later he was taken to his parents' home in a “greatly improved” state. The physicians were telling him he was totally out of danger.

Initial reports claimed that Watie was not expected to live but other reports stated all three men- Willie, Watie, and Dick- were expected to recover. However, by 17 January 1912 papers were reporting that Watie was “in a dying condition”. His injuries had taken a turn for the worse. The previous Monday, Charles SID had been released on a bond but was expected to be re-arrested on murder charges if Watie died. On 3 February 1912 Watie was still in critical condition. Charles SID was charged with Assault with Intent to Kill. His case was set for a hearing at McCracken, Kansas on the following Monday. Garton PETTY, Willie's dad, went to the hearing. At the hearing the proceedings were postponed due to the inability of the injured men to attend the proceedings. The judge planned to resume the proceedings once all three men had recovered and were able to attend court. By March of 1912 Watie was improving. Watie didn't die; neither did Dick COLLIVER. Willie, of course, recovered.

24 March 1914- Willie and Press Fight
On the evening of 24 March 1914, Willie was sitting in his buggy in front of Isabelle STEWART's house. Some say Andrew MEDFORD and Isabelle were in the buggy with him. Some say Isabelle was getting in but not yet all the way in the buggy when Press SEELY, who thought of Isabelle as his girlfriend, came up. Press was acting drunk and cussing. He threw a rock at the buggy and came toward them with an open knife. He climbed on the rear axle of the buggy and tried to pull Willie out, slashing and stabbing him the whole time. Willie's coat and arm was slashed over the right shoulder and arm in several places.

At this point, reports vary. Some say Willie pulled out his revolver, Andrew tried to stop him but the gun discharged and shot Andrew and Isabelle, then Willie turned partly around and struck Press on the back of the head cutting a gash and then fired on Press a second time sending a bullet into Press's head just back of the left ear and killing him instantly. Other reports say Willie pulled his revolver out of his pocket and shot it backwards over his shoulder. He turned to the other side and shot two more times. Isabelle was screaming that she'd been shot. He saw Press SEELY lying on the ground. He tried to calm Isabelle and tell her she wasn't shot but she fell to the ground.

Some reports say he carried her in to he dad's house where he discovered she really had been shot. He panicked. He ran out to his buggy (possibly with Andrew - reports vary) and fled. Other reports say he never left the buggy after shooting. That he immediately drove away rapidly. If the first reports are true- is it possible he FLED as in “on foot” (at least from the house to the buggy) because he was already in the house with Isabelle. But every article you'll read about the murder will remind you that he was “paralyzed from the hips down”. Yet he fled. And if you'll remember that 1911 article- it said he was improving and had movement in his lower extremities. He was in a “greatly improved” state and “totally out of danger”. Well, get used to hearing about his disability because he uses it to his advantage every single time he gets in trouble. The newspaper articles that ran after the shooting stated there was “no way for him to get around once he leaves the buggy” and “officers expect no trouble finding him”. However those words were followed by the statement that “he is regarded as a desperate character and officers are on guard”.

So Willie fled the scene and County Attorney ISE and Sheriff LEWIS from Independence, Kansas were notified immediately. The prosecutor gathered accounts of the shooting and determined it was self-defense.

Meanwhile, Willie had fled to his sister's (Maude HICKS) home near Wann, Nowata, Oklahoma. It was there he was arrested between 2:30 and 3:00 in the morning. Willie reportedly made no resistance to being arrested by “the little squad of officers composed of Sheriff LEWIS, Undersheriff Bert ZIEGENFUSS, and Jim AUSTIN of Dearing.” The officers had been “searching the country by auto for several hours”. By 4:00 a.m., Willie was sitting in the county jail. While in jail, Willie's account of the shooting was that the over-the-shoulder shot was the one that killed Press. He thought he had fired three shots.

The inquest was held a few hours later at O. O. CRANE's store where Press's body had been taken when it was finally moved from the road. It was found that a bullet entered Press's skull about an inch over the ear and ranging downward. A gash was found just above the bullet wound of a nature that officers believe Press received a blow with the butt of a revolver.

The inquest jury found that Willie had killed Press with a revolver but they didn't (or wouldn't?) determine whether there was murderous intent. Willie stated he “would rather have been killed than to have injured Ms. STEWART.” It was believed by officials, and reported by Willie, that the shootings of Andrew MEDFORD and Isabelle STEWART were accidental.

On 26 March 1914, the day after the inquest, Willie was still sitting in jail. In the evening his dad, Garton, and another man came to the courthouse and asked permission to visit Willie. Officer George EVANS was the only man on duty at the courthouse when Garton PETTY showed up. The other officer was out working another case. Officer EVANS told Garton and the other man that they could come back later to visit when Officer EVANS had help. Garton PETTY and the man with him entered the jail anyway in violation of the rules and the order of Officer EVANS. They began talking to the prisoners. Officer EVANS warned them to stop and get out. They “answered him impudently” and EVANS called Deputy WALTERS from the courtroom to assist him. Officer EVANS gave the men one last chance to leave peacefully and the men decided to take that chance so there was no further trouble. Later that night Willie was released and Garton took him home. Authorities stated that Willie's “condition was sufficient surety for his appearance when wanted” and that they had no way to care for him at the county jail. The newspaper reported that Willie's father was allowed to take “the slayer of Preston SEELY” to his home at Dearing. Willie had not yet been arraigned and no bond was required due to his “condition”. The newspaper reported that it was “impossible for [Willie] to move without assistance” and that the evidence showed that Press's murder was self-defense.

County Attorney ISE went to Dearing on 30 March 1914 in the afternoon to continue looking into the murder of Press SEELY. He was convinced the act was self-defense but the SEELY family was insisting on a murder trial. On 31 March 1914 County Attorney ISE made a partial effort to appease the SEELY's by going ahead and charging PETTY with First Degree Murder for killing Preston SEELY. At that time Willie was out on a small bond according to The Evening Star (Independence, Kansas). Willie was notified that a warrant had been issued for him on the murder charge and it was anticipated he would give himself up. Although Willie had initially been released to his father and gone home to his father's home, by 31 March 1914 he was living in Wann, Nowata, Oklahoma with his sister, Maude HICKS. The paper reported that County Attorney ISE was “loathe” to start proceedings against Will PETTY as he felt the shooting was self-defense but the SEELY relatives had demanded an investigation and Dearing residents also thought there should at least be an investigation. Public opinion forced ISE to set a preliminary hearing and start proceedings “to clear the air”.

On 15 April 1914 Willie had a preliminary hearing at Dearing on the murder charge. County Attorney ISE and his stenographer Bessie KENIADY traveled to Dearing for the preliminary hearing. The newspaper on that date stated that “up until now” the murder “looked like self-defense” but that Preston SEELY's family was “not satisfied” with that view of it and “demanded action against William PETTY”. The paper also stated that the Prosecutor thought a preliminary hearing, “where the matter could be gone over thoroughly would be the best solution”. Deputy County Attorney Joe HOLDREN assisted with the prosecution while Charles BUCHER of Coffeyville and Tom WAGSTAFF of Independence appeared on behalf of William PETTY. (If you're interested, you can read a nice bio of Tom WAGSTAFF here:. Another artifact is a letter Tom wrote to then-Governor Henry J. ALLEN which you can read at Kansas Memory, if you want.)

In mid-February of 1915 (a year after Willie was charged with First Degree Murder), a warrant was issued for Willie for a charge related to violation of prohibition laws. The newspaper article announcing it was dated 13 February 1915 and it didn't fail to announce that Willie was “paralyzed from his hips down”. James MOORE was also arrested on 12 February 1915 and charged with selling liquor. MOORE was taken into District Court the morning of 13 February 1915 and appointed an attorney. I don't know what the outcome of this was for either MOORE or Willie but I can guess that Willie's charges were deferred or something similar to that. At the end of the next paragraph, you'll see why.


Kansas Memory


The Bombshell!
In mid-September of 1915, William PETTY and Isabelle STEWART surprised friends when they returned to town on a Sunday and announced they were married in Copan, Oklahoma, that weekend. Ms. STEWART had been attending school in Oklahoma at the time of the wedding. At that time, Willie and a cohort named “A. MEDFORD” were involved in liquor sales and shipments. You do remember, Andrew MEDFORD, don't you? He was the ex-brother-in-law who was trying to rescue Isabelle from the buggy the night Willie murdered Press. Prohibition was still in effect. In mid-September of that year, good ole' County Attorney ISE came to town inspecting records of liquor shipments at the depot. According to the paper he found the shipments “in good form and per law” and there was no statement whether any “consignees” (liquor buyers/shippers) would be raided based on the records. But if he didn't find something then, he did find something soon after. In January of 1916 there was a “booze raid” in Dearing, though. Andrew and Willie were arrested by Deputy Sherrif Bert ZIEGENFUSS for violating prohibition. MEDFORD was picked up with 11 quarts of booze in his possession and he was taken to jail. Willie was also taken to jail but he bonded out quickly. The charges that eventually stuck on “slick Willie” were selling liquor and signing a false name to obtain possession of a booze shipment. (Ever wonder if ISE was getting a clue about Willie yet?) It's noted in this article that Willie was “crippled” in a shooting in Hoisington County a few years back. It seems like every time Willie got in trouble with the law he made sure the reporter knew he was “a cripple”. But if you'll remember, the last news reports we received after that 1911 shooting were that Willie had movement in his lower limbs, he was getting better, and the doctors expected him to have no trouble. Slick Willie sure knew how to work that “disability”, didn't he? In a later news article on this event, it was noted that Indian JOHNSON was also caught in the raid but later freed. It also noted that MEDFORD had plead guilty to his charges. The timing of the sudden marriage and ISE's visit to town to check out the liquor shipments coincide so perfectly that I wonder if Willie knew he was about to go down and he was trying to manipulate the situation somehow by marrying Isabelle. You know, the old “but I have a family to care for” excuse.

On 8 February 1916, seven men from Dearing traveled to Independence, Kansas to attend William PETTY's trial for violating prohibition laws. All seven were called as witnesses in Willie's trial. The men who went were S. L. ALEXANDER, William “Bill” BARRIGAR, Ike DOWNS, Jesse FARMER, Tony PUGH, Shorty SPARK, and James MOORE (the same James MOORE that got arrested a year before this. I'm thinking he turned on Willie and got a reduced sentence or probation for turning on Willie.). On 17 February 1916 it was reported that in the case of The State of Kansas versus William PETTY, Willie was found guilty on one count against him. The article does not say on which count he was found guilty.

I am uncertain whether he served any time or not. On 23 February 1916 (just 6 days after the guilty verdict we just talked about) The Coffeyville Daily Journal reported that William PETTY installed a shooting gallery on Monday of that week. I am uncertain whether that was slick Willie or his uncle William PETTY.

On 31 March 1919, Isabelle E. E. PETTY “through her next friend” filed suit in district court for a divorce from Willie PETTY. (In legal cases, a “next friend” means “An individual who acts on behalf of another individual who does not have the legal capacity to act on his or her own behalf.” See Legal Dictionary.) Her initial complaint claimed “gross neglect” and “cruelty” and said she wanted a divorce and “further relief”. In July of 1919, Isabelle PETTY received the divorce she wanted from Willie PETTY. The divorce was final on 2 July 1919. The divorce was requested and granted on the grounds of “extreme cruelty”. Isabelle claimed in her divorce action that Willie attempted to kill her about a year prior to her divorce action. His method of murder? Shooting her five times with a revolver. One of the bullets struck her in the forehead and she narrowly escaped death. (Deja vu, anyone??) The PETTY's were married four years in all and had no children together. I was curious who might represent the PETTY's in the divorce. I don't know who represented Willie, but Isabelle managed to get C. D. ISE as her attorney! Yes- you know that name. He was the very same County Attorney that refused a trial to the SEELY's because he believed Willie PETTY acted in self-defense when he murdered Preston SEELY. (Did you ever think about someone and wonder if/how they were able to sleep at night??) The PETTY's lived in Dearing, Kansas during their marriage and subsequent divorce. After all that mess with Preston SEELY, the couple never left Dearing. But then, neither did the SEELY family. Curious.

In 1920, slick Willie was involved in one more newsworthy event. A couple of days before Christmas, 1920, a local bank was robbed. Willie called the bank afterward and claimed he had passed the robbers on the highway when they were fleeing. He said they had a flat tire and they ran over and killed his dog. He didn't say whether he helped them with that flat tire. Or whether he might happen to know anyone in the gang. In the 1920 federal census and the 1925 Kansas state census, Willie was living with his elderly parents. He was still single.

And there you have it. Slick Willie's story- as much of it as I could find. A little more of Isabelle's story. Their short story together. I'm going to give you a day or two to read over this. It's shocking. It throws some events into a whole new light. Deliberate, Bates jurors. Talk amongst yourselves. Swap details. Someone might have noticed something you missed. I may (or may not- depending on my schedule) give you a little more information about Isabelle. Or perhaps in the next post, I'll just ask for your verdict. You'll just have to wait and see. Now go deliberate! We're at the verdict stage!

“They say every big family has a black sheep. Well that's the way of the world.” ~ Mister Squeegee Tires ad, The Coffeyville Daily Journal, 5 June 1915.

You can find some Coffeyville history at History of Coffeyville, KS if you're interested.

Until this weekend,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives


Resource list:
The Coffeyville Daily Journal
5 July 1906; 15 November 1907; 30 October 1908; 7 November 1908; 29 April 1910; 4 November 1910; 9 November 1910; 9 December 1910; 28 December 1910; 15 November 1911; 10 January 1912; 17 January 1912; 3 February 1912; 7 February 1912; 30 March 1912; 23 November 1912; 22 March 1913; 2 April 1913; 21 June 1913; 16 August 1913; 20 August 1913; 27 August 1913; 14 February 1914; 26 March 1914; 28 March 1914; 1 April 1914; 9 April 1914; 7 October 1914; 1 April 1915; 2 June 1915; 5 June 1915; 12 June 1915; 15 September 1915; 9 February 1916; 17 February 1916; 23 February 1916; 24 April 1916; May 1916; 4 13 May 1916; 28 November 1916; 12 February 1917; 27 March 1917; 18 August 1917; 14 September 1917; 1 June 1918; 27 February 1919; 31 March 1919; 21 April 1919; 3 July 1919; 23 December 1920

The Coffeyville Weekly Journal
27 August 1909; 22 July 1910; 4 November 1910; 18 November 1910; 9 November 1910; 17 March 1911; 24 March 1911; 29 September 1911; 15 November 1911; 17 November 1911; 24 November 1911; 8 December 1911; 15 December 1911

The Arkansas City Daily Traveler
29 May 1920

The Evening Star
1 June 1908; 26 March 1914; 27 March 1914; 28 March 1914; 31 March 1914; 1 April 1914; 13 April 1914; 15 April 1914; 16 April 1914; 13 February 1915

The Daily Republican
17 November 1911; 17 November 1913; 26 March 1914; 1 April 1914; 10 January 1916

The Hutchinson News
26 March 1914

The Parsons Daily Sun
24 June 1905; 26 March 1914

The Oxford Register
2 April 1914

The Alma Enterprise
3 April 1914

The Leavenworth Post
26 March 1914

The Chanute Daily Tribune
26 March 1914

The Wichita Daily Eagle
27 March 1914

The Independence Daily Reporter
15 December 1908
1 April 1914
16 April 1914

The Sun
28 May 1920
9 November 1920

The Fort Scott Daily Tribune and The Fort Scott Daily Monitor
9 April 1920

Jealousy & Bad Whiskey, Day 5: Andrew Medford- Bad Timing?

We took a few days' break for Mother's Day and because I've been working late nearly everyday. I'm glad you're back! Before moving on to Andrew's testimony, I wanted to talk about the polls I've been including. In the first poll, the first question asked you which description of Isabelle gave you the most information about her. The most popular choice was "inclined to waywardness". Others chose "very large for her age" and "very robust". I happened to like the waywardness comment but I also liked the description of "tolerably good looking". I'd sure like to know who the reporter was and see who he married so I could judge for myself what that phrase might mean! The second question asked for everyone's preliminary opinion about the shooting. There were 3 votes of self-defense, one vote of murder with no premeditation, and one vote of "I need more information".

In quiz number 2, there were also two questions. The first being whether Charles Smoley's testimony changed from the time of the shooting to the time of the court date. The answer is, yes- it did! All initial reports that I could find stated he was present when the shooting happened. However, by the court hearing he had come up with an alibi that apparently was accepted, that alibi being that he was at someone else's (John DANIELS') home at the time of the shooting. The next question was - did this information make you question what really happened that night with Preston SEELY? Everyone who voted said yes, it would make a difference. So now you know! Unlike a real jury, you have the opportunity to go back and read all the testimony before making your final verdict. Take advantage of that! On a side note, did you catch that statistic about the number of people testifying in that hearing? The number of people testifying in that hearing was equivalent to 1/6 the population of Dearing at that time! It was a much bigger hearing than I imagined. Now, moving on...

Allow me to introduce you to my guest writer of the day, Barbara T. Barbara is married to one of Andrew MEDFORD's grandsons. I want her to tell you Andrew's story in her own words and then I'll add a little bit at the end of her piece. SHE HAS SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED THAT I POST THE FOLLOWING: HER STORY ABOUT ANDREW AND HIS LIFE MAY NOT BE COPIED WITHOUT HER PERMISSION. So here is Andrew's story by Barbara in her own words.

ANDREW MEDFORD’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE SHOOTING IN COFFEYVILLE, KANSAS 25MAR1914


Andrew MEDFORD, photo courtesy of Barbara T. Photo may not be used without the permission of Barbara T.

Andrew Medford’s involvement in the shooting seemed to be a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just a brief synopsis of Andrew Medford's life to help you understand him better. Andrew had very little stability nor family in his life. He was born in 1882 somewhere around Poteau or Muldrow area when Oklahoma was Indian Territory according to family. His application for a Social Security Number in 1937 stated he was born in Scott County, Arkansas. Andrew's mother died in childbirth having another child shortly after he was born, consequently Andrew never knew his mother. His father was rather elusive. Andrew didn't seem to have much recollection of him. In a deposition Andrew made in 1900 in an application for the Five Civilized Tribes, Andrew stated he didn't remember his father and was told by an uncle that his father had passed away about 15 years ago. In that same deposition Andrew stated his uncle had since passed away and the only living relative he had was a cousin (hat he knew of anyway). Andrew lived with a Delbert A Hill & his wife Nancy in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Delbert & Nancy "adopted" children that needed a home and raised them. It’s questionable if any of the adoptions were “official” or if they just took the children in and raised them as many did in that era. It’s probable the Hills weren’t able to have children of their own. During that time period it was not unusual to acquire children to help out around the farm. All Census records listed Delbert as a “farmer” but he was also known as a “Pastor”. The Medford family always referred to him as “Pastor Hill”. He’s the one who married Andrew with wife #1 and wife #3; signing one marriage license as “D.A. Hill Minister of the Gospel” and one as “D. A. Hill Minister United Baptist”. He may have been doing both farming and pastoring a church as many did in that time. Andrew's life before his early 20's was spent living & roaming around northeastern Oklahoma. Andrew had a brief marriage from JUN1905 until JAN1912 living in Nevada, Missouri at least some of that time. His wife left him in 1911, went back to Oklahoma, divorced him and took back her maiden name.

Andrew lived around the Coffeyville, Kansas area for about 5 years after that divorce and hung out with some very colorful characters much like himself while living there. Andrew, the Stewarts, the Pettys, the Smoleys, they all knew each other well and worked as Smelters together. After all, it was 1914 and small town America. Andrew being alone and not having much money may have even lived with some or one of them for a time. Andrew was arrested at different times for having illegal liquor with each of these guys, Will Petty & Charles Smoley according to newspaper articles. It was well known in the Medford family that Andrew liked his homemade brew.

It would not be unusual for Andrew to be in the buggy with Will & Isabella on the evening of 25MAR1914 or visiting with a group of people in front of Isabella’s house. Especially since very recently he had been married to Zelpha, a half sister to Isabella Stewart. It was marriage #2 for each of them, Andrew & Zelpha. According to the paper Zelpha was a "well known young lady in Dearing". They were married JUL1912. One of the newspaper articles about the shooting said Andrew was divorced but previously a brother in law to Isabella on the night of the shooting. Some might wonder if Andrew was pursuing Isabella too. The way all the newspaper articles describe what happened and from what the witnesses say it seems that Seeley had it in for Petty. There seemed to be some jealously there which did not involve Andrew directly in the shooting, he just happened to be there at the time. Andrew offered his hand to Isabella to help her out of the buggy so she wouldn’t get hurt and he got shot in the process. Medford seemed to be just hanging with his friends that evening which put him in the middle of the whole situation when Seeley attacked Petty. Andrew was arrested later that night but released the next day for lack of evidence that he was involved.

It is not known exactly why or when, but sometime during the next couple years after the shooting Andrew went back to Oklahoma. The next time we have any record of him is when he married wife #3 in Ochelata, OK in AUG1917. Her father called the Sheriff, had Andrew arrested on the grounds of perjury for lying about her age and he was put in jail overnight. Family says her father was against the marriage, after all they were a church going family. Who would want their 17 year old daughter marrying a 34 year old man who was already divorced two times, had a questionable reputation, liked his homemade brew and had few arrests under his belt? (none of the arrests ever amounted to anything that we know of). Andrew had 10 children with wife #3. All of whom grew to adulthood except for one who died at birth, 6 being born in Oklahoma and the last 4 born in Kansas. Many years they lived around the area of Dewey & Bartlesville, Washington County, Oklahoma. Around 1930 Andrew moved the family to Coffeyville, Kansas. Family stories say he was making moonshine in Oklahoma, got word the sheriff was after him, and had to get out of the state. One day he came home and told Mama to take the children, load up the wagon, get to Coffeyville quick and he would meet them there later. After moving back to Coffeyville Andrew’s life seemed to settle down a lot with working and raising the children.

On the fateful Monday morning of 16JAN1939 Andrew was on his way to work riding in the back of a pickup truck with his comrades when a car ran a stop sign hitting the truck. Andrew was thrown from the truck receiving severe injuries to his head. He was in the hospital for a week then passed away the following Monday morning 23JAN1939 at the age of 56. His death certificate listed his Cause of Death as “Severe auto injuries to head & chest”.

Written by Barb T
daughter in law to Andrew’s daughter, Velma
(who loved to tell stories by the way)
MAY2016



Wrong Place, Wrong Time- A Man With No End of Hard Luck

Andrew MEDFORD was married to Isabelle STEWART's half-sister (through her mother), Zelpha JOHNSON. Andrew MEDFORD and Zelpha JOHNSON BERRY were married 3 July 1912 in Coffeyville, Kansas. The wedding was performed by Judge O. O. CRANE. At some point between July of 1912 and March of 1914 the couple divorced. Andrew apparently remained close to the STEWART family. He was working at the smelter in Dearing when the shooting occurred.

I'm assuming Andrew looked younger than his years because the newspapers guessed his age at 28 or 30. He was actually about 32 or 33 years old at the time of the shooting. On the evening of the shooting, Andrew was in the buggy with Willie and Isabelle. (I have to wonder if he was there because he, too, was sweet on Isabelle!) Reports vary in detail stating that Isabelle was sitting on the dashboard of the buggy, that she was getting into the buggy or that she was already in the buggy when the fight started. Reports also vary in detail in regard to Andrew's actions. Some reports state that he tried to stop Willie when Willie pulled his revolver and that the gun discharged and shot Andrew and Isabelle. Other reports say that when the fight started, Andrew swung around to get between Willie and Isabelle and started trying to get Isabelle out of the wagon. Willie fired the first shot while Andrew was trying to get Isabelle out of the wagon. Willie was shooting and unaware that he had killed Press with his first shot. Willie threw his pistol around to one side of his body and fired again. It was this wild second shot that went through Andrew's hand and into Isabell's stomach. Ultimately, Andrew's wound was declared “minor”. Some accounts say that when Willie ran from the scene of the crime, so did Andrew. Other accounts say officers arrested Andrew at the scene the night of the murder and that he and one or two others were held as possible accessories to the murder. He was put in the county jail in Independence, KS. (There is one report that said he fled with Willie and stayed with Willie in Wann, Oklahoma at the HICKS residence until they were both arrested there.) In any case, Andrew was released on 26 March 1914- the same day Willie was released. News reports declared Andrew had no part in the killing of Press SEELY. They reported that there was no further reason to hold Andrew and that he was merely “an innocent bystander who got what the innocent bystander usually gets when a quarrel starts.” There was one report in The Wichita Daily Eagle that reported that not only was Andrew arrested but he and Willie were both charged with taking part in a fight.


Final Note

Please show some love to Barbara T. in the comments. She was very gracious to hang with me through this series of blog posts and to share some family stories with us about Andrew.

Now- rest up, jurors. Testimony is winding down (and so am I! It's the last week of school and I'm exhausted!). I hope to put out one short blog post tomorrow with an update on Isabelle. Then, the final testimony coming from the Defendant himself, Willie PETTY! Then we declare him innocent, guilty, or otherwise and we're done! Thanks for staying with me. This has been fun. Now go to bed and get some sleep!

Until tomorrow,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives


Resource list:
The Coffeyville Daily Journal
5 July 1906; 15 November 1907; 30 October 1908; 7 November 1908; 29 April 1910; 4 November 1910; 9 November 1910; 9 December 1910; 28 December 1910; 15 November 1911; 10 January 1912; 17 January 1912; 3 February 1912; 7 February 1912; 30 March 1912; 23 November 1912; 22 March 1913; 2 April 1913; 21 June 1913; 16 August 1913; 20 August 1913; 27 August 1913; 14 February 1914; 26 March 1914; 28 March 1914; 1 April 1914; 9 April 1914; 7 October 1914; 1 April 1915; 2 June 1915; 5 June 1915; 12 June 1915; 15 September 1915; 9 February 1916; 17 February 1916; 23 February 1916; 24 April 1916; May 1916; 4 13 May 1916; 28 November 1916; 12 February 1917; 27 March 1917; 18 August 1917; 14 September 1917; 1 June 1918; 27 February 1919; 31 March 1919; 21 April 1919; 3 July 1919; 23 December 1920

The Coffeyville Weekly Journal
27 August 1909; 22 July 1910; 4 November 1910; 18 November 1910; 9 November 1910; 17 March 1911; 24 March 1911; 29 September 1911; 15 November 1911; 17 November 1911; 24 November 1911; 8 December 1911; 15 December 1911

The Arkansas City Daily Traveler
29 May 1920

The Evening Star
1 June 1908; 26 March 1914; 27 March 1914; 28 March 1914; 31 March 1914; 1 April 1914; 13 April 1914; 15 April 1914; 16 April 1914; 13 February 1915

The Daily Republican
17 November 1911; 17 November 1913; 26 March 1914; 1 April 1914; 10 January 1916

The Hutchinson News
26 March 1914

The Parsons Daily Sun
24 June 1905; 26 March 1914

The Oxford Register
2 April 1914

The Alma Enterprise
3 April 1914

The Leavenworth Post
26 March 1914

The Chanute Daily Tribune
26 March 1914

The Wichita Daily Eagle
27 March 1914

The Independence Daily Reporter
15 December 1908
1 April 1914
16 April 1914

The Sun
28 May 1920
9 November 1920

The Fort Scott Daily Tribune and The Fort Scott Daily Monitor
9 April 1920

Jealousy and Bad Whiskey, Day 4: Witness Charles Smoley, Innocent Bystander?

Before we get started I wanted to make a correction. Andrew MEDFORD never went by A. J. although the newspapers had him listed that way. This issue was cleared up by Barbara- his granddaughter-in-law.

Today's witness is Charles SMOLEY. He has a small role so the testimony will be light tonight. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and a blanket and settle in for a short stint in the courtroom.


Charles SMOLEY'S Background:
Charles SMOLEY was the brother-in-law of Willie PETTY's sister, Nora (the brother of Nora's husband, James). Charles was the son of James and Mary Elizabeth SMOLEY. The end of March/first of April of 1913, Charles got a job in the Hillsboro, Illinois smelter near St. Louis. Other Dearing men were there working. He left Dearing for Hillsboro on 1 April 1913. He worked in the blacksmith shop at the Hillsboro smelter. He worked under A. L. KEITH who was also from Dearing. Around the third week of June of 1913 the smelters shut down. He was able to find work right away in Collinsville, Oklahoma. In August of 1913, Charles' mother passed away "after a long and painful illness". She was only 46 years old. He had already lost his father 14 years prior to that. His father was a farmer and was killed "in a runaway on Walnut Street" in Dearing. (An interesting side note: in October of 1914 Charles' brother James would also be in a runaway accident involving his wagon and horses. I can only imagine what was going through James' mind on that wild ride considering that's how his dad died.) Charles' experience with drinking liquor started at a young age as you can see with the article below from Newspapers.com:

preston seely blog headline 3.jpg

There were actually at least 2 separate incidents that year with adults getting caught selling liquor to Charles. One man selling him the liquor was the druggist in town, Dr. W. K. JOHNSON.

A month before the shooting, Charles returned to Dearing, Kansas from a one-month stay in Kansas City. I don't know why he went there- maybe work, maybe visiting family. He was 19 years old when the shooting happened- just a couple months shy of his 20th birthday.

Charles SMOLEY's Testimony:
The 1 April 1914 edition of The Evening Star (Independence, KS) ran a story that Willie PETTY was being charged with First Degree Murder and Charles SMOLEY would also stand trial for assisting in the murder of Preston SEELY. The residents of Dearing had demanded an investigation and trial due to the "questionable character" of both Willie PETTY and Charles SMOLEY.

preston seely blog smoley headline 1.jpg

In this article found on Newspapers.com, the paper erroneously listed James SMOLEY's name instead of Charles', but it is Charles and I wanted to include the article to inform the jury members.

Charles was out on a $2500 bond. One story states Willie was also out on a small bond although earlier reports stated he was out on his own recognizance. County Attorney ISE accused Charles SMOLEY of being an accessory to murder. Charles was arrested on 31 March 1914 and given a hearing before Justice WANACK of Dearing, KS on a First Degree Murder charge (apparently they dropped it down to accessory after the hearing). Charles plead not guilty to the First Degree Murder charge and provided a bond of $2500 for his preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing was scheduled for 8 April 1914 but due to Isabelle STEWART still being too sick to testify, the hearing was bumped back to 15 April. Smoley had been in custody a short time on the night of the murder. He was in the small group that was present when Press SEELY was murdered. The jury at the Coroner's Inquest didn't even bring up SMOLEY's part in the murder and therefore never made any judgment in regard to him. They only came to the conclusion that Press had been shot with a revolver by Willie PETTY, the cause being unknown.

The hearing at which the charges were dropped lasted from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 that afternoon. There were about 40 witnesses put on the stand and most of them were called by the State to testify. (Just for comparison, 40 people would have equated to about 1/6 of the population of Dearing at that time!) No new evidence was presented other than what was already known and the evidence submitted supported Willie's claim of self-defense. Charles presented an alibi in his testimony. He provided evidence that he was at the home of John DANIELS at the time of the shooting.


Dismissed
Preston Seely blog smoley headline pic.jpg
Newspapers.com

I bet the SMOLEY family was never so glad to see a headline in their life as they were on 16 April 1914. The Evening Star out of Independence, Kansas declared Charles' innocence that day. The article said there was not enough evidence to sustain a case against Charles or Willie. The investigation was ongoing though, and either man could be re-arrested and start the process all over again if new evidence was found that indicated Press was murdered rather than killed in self-defense. The reporter insinuated that this was best for the case because if the case went forward without sufficient evidence a jury could have acquitted either or both men and they could never be tried for the murder again in the future no matter what evidence was found (the legal principle of Double Jeapordy). Based on the evidence produced at the preliminary hearing it was likely both men would have been acquitted by a jury. The evidence showed that, although SMOLEY had been present when the murder happened, "there was little" to connect him with it. But if there was "little" to connect him, that's not the same as "nothing" to connect him. I would so love to get my hands on that court file just to see what was really said. I see a future trip to Independence in my near future!

By April of 1915, Mr. and Mrs. Charles SMOLEY no longer lived in Dearing. They were living in Kansas City. In August of 1917 Charles was drafted for military service. In 1920 Charles was working at the Buick automobile factory in Flint, Michigan. In April of 1920 Charles was part of a strike against the factory and he ended up being one of a number of defendants sued by the car company. In November of 1920, the SMOLEY's returned to Dearing.

A Few Endnotes
The SMOLEY's and PETTY's were close. They owned cattle together, farmed together, married each other, traveled together, shopped together, owned businesses together, and even worked together to get people run out of town.

Preston Seely blog headline 4.jpg

If something bad happened to one of them, it affected all of them. Alliances. Sometimes close ties can bind each other in ways that hurt others. In addition to these alliances between the two families, Charles SMOLEY was known to go hunting with one of the local judges. Keep that in mind as you deliberate, jurors. Notice small changes in testimony. Consider, for a moment, that people do sometimes lie under oath. What would you do to protect yourself and a close family member or friend from life in prison or a possible death sentence? Ponder the question. Ponder the testimony. We may be calling Charles SMOLEY back to the stand later in the week. Until then, deliberate with open minds. Consider that sometimes people have connections, sometimes newspapers only report the more sensational details, sometimes people lie or omit information or fudge a little on testimony. Consider that Press had no one with him that was on his side when all this went down. Put your thinking caps on and work it out. The verdict poll is coming soon. Be ready. Here's a little practice poll in the meantime:

Poll #2044232 Testimony of Charles Smoley

Did the story about Charles Smoley's involvment in the shooting change from the time of the incident to the time of trial?

Yes
2(50.0%)
No
0(0.0%)
I don't really remember
2(50.0%)

Regarding the information about the alliances between the Smoley's, the Petty's and hunting trips with the local judge:

It matters and makes me question what really happened
4(100.0%)
It matters but there is still enough evidence of self-defense that I'm not worried about it
0(0.0%)
It doesn't make me wonder or change my mind at all
0(0.0%)
None of the above
0(0.0%)


Until tomorrow,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives


Resource list:
The Coffeyville Daily Journal
5 July 1906; 15 November 1907; 30 October 1908; 7 November 1908; 29 April 1910; 4 November 1910; 9 November 1910; 9 December 1910; 28 December 1910; 15 November 1911; 10 January 1912; 17 January 1912; 3 February 1912; 7 February 1912; 30 March 1912; 23 November 1912; 22 March 1913; 2 April 1913; 21 June 1913; 16 August 1913; 20 August 1913; 27 August 1913; 14 February 1914; 26 March 1914; 28 March 1914; 1 April 1914; 9 April 1914; 7 October 1914; 1 April 1915; 2 June 1915; 5 June 1915; 12 June 1915; 15 September 1915; 9 February 1916; 17 February 1916; 23 February 1916; 24 April 1916; May 1916; 4 13 May 1916; 28 November 1916; 12 February 1917; 27 March 1917; 18 August 1917; 14 September 1917; 1 June 1918; 27 February 1919; 31 March 1919; 21 April 1919; 3 July 1919; 23 December 1920

The Coffeyville Weekly Journal
27 August 1909; 22 July 1910; 4 November 1910; 18 November 1910; 9 November 1910; 17 March 1911; 24 March 1911; 29 September 1911; 15 November 1911; 17 November 1911; 24 November 1911; 8 December 1911; 15 December 1911

The Arkansas City Daily Traveler
29 May 1920

The Evening Star
1 June 1908; 26 March 1914; 27 March 1914; 28 March 1914; 31 March 1914; 1 April 1914; 13 April 1914; 15 April 1914; 16 April 1914; 13 February 1915

The Daily Republican
17 November 1911; 17 November 1913; 26 March 1914; 1 April 1914; 10 January 1916

The Hutchinson News
26 March 1914

The Parsons Daily Sun
24 June 1905; 26 March 1914

The Oxford Register
2 April 1914

The Alma Enterprise
3 April 1914

The Leavenworth Post
26 March 1914

The Chanute Daily Tribune
26 March 1914

The Wichita Daily Eagle
27 March 1914

The Independence Daily Reporter
15 December 1908
1 April 1914
16 April 1914

The Sun
28 May 1920
9 November 1920

The Fort Scott Daily Tribune and The Fort Scott Daily Monitor
9 April 1920

Yesterday's poll- take it here

Poll #2044184 Days of Our Lives vs. William Petty

Which description of Isabelle gave you the most information about her?

Very large for her age
1(20.0%)
Very robust
1(20.0%)
Gritty
0(0.0%)
Inclined to waywardness
3(60.0%)
Tolerably good looking
0(0.0%)
Heroically suffered through her injuries
0(0.0%)
Her choice in men
0(0.0%)

So far, what do you think about the shooting of Preston Seely

Self-defense
3(60.0%)
Premeditated Murder
0(0.0%)
Murder with no premeditation
1(20.0%)
I need more information
1(20.0%)

Jealousy and Bad Whiskey, Day 3: Witness Isabelle Stewart, Femme Fatale

Good evening, jurors. It's day 2 of testimony and today we'll hear from the love interest, Isabelle STEWART. She went by several names including Isabelle (and other spellings like Isabel and Isabella), Elizabeth, and Irene (and probably at least one other but these three I'm sure about.) I'm choosing Isabelle as that was the most common one I found. Testimony today will be short and sweet. Here's a photo taken around 1908-1911 of the Montgomery County, Kansas courthouse to get you in the mood. Grab a dessert and a cup of coffee and let's get to it.

Preston Seely blog Montgomery Co KS courthouse ca 1911.jpg
You can find more courthouse pics at Courthouse History.com.

Are you wondering, like I was, what type of girl a 21-year-old supposed party-guy would like? Look no further. And if you thought the reporters didn't like Press or his family, just wait until you hear what they had to say about Isabelle. Isabelle was the daughter of Charles and Laura (SMITH JOHNSON) STEWART. Charles was an employee at the smelter in Dearing, Kansas. Isabelle liked the attention of men- at least, that's how she was portrayed by the media outlets of the day. (Note: I tried telling this in first person, as if Isabelle herself was talking to you but I didn't feel right putting words into her mouth when we really have no way of knowing how she truly felt. Therefore, I'm telling the story as it was written in the papers.)


ISABELLE E. E. IRENE STEWART'S TESTIMONY:
Isabelle was 14 years old when the murder happened. Some reports say 15 or 17- but she really was just 14 according to census data. She was mistaken for being older because she was a big girl. She was described using words and phrases such as “very large for her age”, “very robust”, “gritty”, “inclined to waywardness”, and “tolerably good looking”. The year before the murder, she had run away from home. Her father contacted the police and asked them to find her. They did- in a “rooming house” in Coffeyville which, as far as I can tell, was either a hotel or an apartment. She did not seem to mind the attention of men at all. And the former brother-in-law (Andrew MEDFORD)- he'd only been married to Isabelle's half-sister (Zelpha JOHNSON) a short time. What was he doing there? We may never know, but I have to wonder if he may have had eyes for Isabelle, too.

Some say that at the time of the murder Isabelle was getting into the buggy with Willie PETTY and Andrew MEDFORD. Some say she was already sitting in the buggy with them- that Isabelle was sitting on the dashboard. Either way, everyone agrees she was talking to the two men (among a group including her mother and at least one other man) in front of her house on the evening of 25 March 1914. One reporter referred to Willie as “her lover”. Once the fighting began, Andrew turned to protect Isabelle and get her out of the wagon. As he was trying to get her out of the buggy, Willie turned and shot wild. The shot went through Andrew's hand and into Isabelle's stomach. She cried out, “I'm shot! I'm shot!” Isabelle was partially out of the buggy when she screamed this. She dropped down as if suddenly paralyzed. The men initially told her to calm down and that she wasn't seriously injured. It wasn't until she began vomiting that they discovered she had been shot. She was carried into her dad's house. She was operated on soon after at Kruggs Hospital and it was decided she had been shot twice (once in the abdomen and once in the leg) which would support Willie's testimony. Some reports said she had been shot once and that one bullet pierced her intestine in 5 places. Another report says she denied being shot twice and that one bullet pierced her intestines 3 times. In any case, she was shot and the bullet entered her abdomen, punctured the intestines, and lodged in her back muscles. Area doctors including Dr. FLACK, Dr. George PEARN, Dr. Samuel McDONALD, and Dr. Albert KRUGG, chose not to remove the bullet but no reason was given as to why. In any case, they did not give her much of a chance of surviving her injuries. One reporter said Isabelle bore her suffering and injuries “heroically”. Her injuries required at least one operation immediately following the shooting. By April it was reported that she was beginning to heal and get better.

Ms. STEWART's testimony will be cut short today. Judge Lisa reserves the right to call this witness to testify again in the near future. You're dismissed early today, jurors. Thanks for doing your duty as a citizen.

Note~ I decided to go ahead and post Isabelle's story today even though I haven't heard back from her family member. I'm still holding out hope the relative will check her Ancestry messages and get back to me. Even if she doesn't, you will be hearing from Isabelle again in a few days. She's got more to say that can't be said today. Very mysterious! So do the little poll below. It's the same type of poll you'll use to submit your jury vote at the end of the trial. It will help me figure out what to do/not do on the final poll. Plus, it will help you pass the time until our next witness takes the stand. I'm hoping to post Andrew MEDFORD's story tomorrow but he may get bumped. If we don't hear from Andrew, we'll hear from Charles SMOLEY. Scheduling difficulties! ;) One more thing- I think I got the murder date wrong yesterday so I may have to go back and edit a previous segment in this story. Just letting you know...the dates in this post are the correct ones, though. On to the first poll:

(NOTE: Go to the next post which is only the poll. I have not had any success so far getting the poll to show up in this post.)



Until tomorrow,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Resource list:
The Coffeyville Daily Journal
5 July 1906; 15 November 1907; 30 October 1908; 7 November 1908; 29 April 1910; 4 November 1910; 9 November 1910; 9 December 1910; 28 December 1910; 15 November 1911; 10 January 1912; 17 January 1912; 3 February 1912; 7 February 1912; 30 March 1912; 26 March 1914; 28 March 1914; 5 June 1915; 12 June 1915; 15 September 1915; 9 February 1916; 17 February 1916; 23 February 1916; 13 May 1916; 12 February 1917; 27 February 1919; 31 March 1919; 21 April 1919; 3 July 1919; 23 December 1920

The Coffeyville Weekly Journal
22 July 1910; 4 November 1910; 18 November 1910; 9 November 1910; 17 March 1911; 24 March 1911; 29 September 1911; 15 November 1911; 17 November 1911; 24 November 1911; 8 December 1911; 15 December 1911

The Arkansas City Daily Traveler
29 May 1920

The Evening Star
26 March 1914; 27 March 1914; 28 March 1914; 31 March 1914; 1 April 1914; 13 April 1914; 15 April 1914; 13 February 1915

The Daily Republican
17 November 1911; 17 November 1913; 26 March 1914; 10 January 1916

The Hutchinson News
26 March 1914

The Parsons Daily Sun
24 June 1905; 26 March 1914

The Oxford Register
2 April 1914

The Alma Enterprise
3 April 1914

The Leavenworth Post
26 March 1914

The Chanute Daily Tribune
26 March 1914

The Wichita Daily Eagle
27 March 1914

Jealousy and Bad Whiskey, Day 2: Witness Preston SEELY, May He Rest in Peace

25 March 1914 – EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! “PRESTON SEELY SLAIN! WHISKEY, HATE OF LONG STANDING AND RIVALRY FOR THE AFFECTIONS OF A GIRL!” GET YOUR PAPER HERE!
25 March 1914 was cold and dreary. Press had just had his 23rd birthday 9 days earlier. Perhaps he was still celebrating on 25 March 1914.



Newspapers.com- weather for the time period of Preston's death.

The front page of The Coffeyville Daily Journal announced that Independence, Kansas was getting a new county road for motorized automobiles and motorcycles. On page 2 of the paper union suits were advertised for 45 cents each. (Remember those union suits Papa BATES wore every day of his life??)


Newspapers.com- union suit ad.

There was the usual small town gossip tidbits that you would find in any newspaper of that era. On page 5 you could even find news from my home territory of Delaware County, Oklahoma. (Note to self: remember this the next time you're researching for a blog post!!)

It was just an average day in the Coffeyville area. Right up until 8:00 p.m. when Press SEELY is found “dead with a bullet through his head”, as the next day's edition of The Coffeyville Sun so “tactfully” stated in their headline.


His Side, Her Side, His Side, His Side, Their Side, and the Truth
OR
Preston's Side, Isabelle's Side, AJ's Side, Willie's Side, Willie & Isabelle's Side, and Somewhere In There is the Truth

There are many sides to this particular story. I will try to acquaint you with as many of them as I can. Hang on- it's our first day of testimony. We'll have 5 witnesses. Press SEELY is the first. Here's his story of the day of his death.


PRESS SEELY'S TESTIMONY:
Press's story is told by others in roundabout ways. It's the only way a dead person can tell his tale. Press was, by the accounts of others, in love with Miss Isabelle STEWART. He was prone to drink. Although he came from a good family, he was a black sheep- a “ne'er-do-well”.

On 24 March 1914 Press SEELY, with others, received a consignment of whiskey in the afternoon and about 4:00 he held a celebration in the woods outside Dearing, Kansas. He had to bootleg whiskey. It was prohibition-era Kansas and the prohibition sentiment was strong. Some of the guys had guns and they shot them off as young, drunk country boys who are horsing around in the woods sometimes do. They were rough-housing- just messing around and having a good time. Before 8:00, Press was three sheets to the wind when somebody who couldn't keep their pie hole shut told Press that Press's girl was going for a buggy ride with Willie PETTY. Willie PETTY! They'd known each other several years. Willie fancied himself a rival of Press's for the affection of Isabelle.

Press called out to two of his buddies- the LETT brothers, A. J. and Ira Nels. (Nels seemed to find trouble- or it found him, depending on who told the story. He was jailed in Kansas at least twice between 1915 and 1920. Once for assault and once for bigamy. From what I can tell, he went to prison in Oklahoma on a charge of disposing of mortgaged property. Nels claimed the bigamy charge was bogus. I'm not sure what happened with all the charges. Both brothers ended up in Oklahoma.) The three of them- Press, and AJ and Nels LETT- started for the STEWART residence in Dearing, Kansas. About 8:00, a half block from the STEWART home the three saw Willie PETTY in his horse-drawn buggy sitting in front of the STEWART home talking to Isabelle, Andrew “AJ” MEDFORD (Isabelle's former brother-in-law), Laura (Isabelle's mom), Charles SMOLEY (brother-in-law of Willie's sister Nora), and some others. Willie was driving the buggy. Beside Willie sat AJ MEDFORD and Isabelle was getting ready to get into the wagon. Press told the LETT boys to go on- that he could take care of Willie by himself. Some say Press threw a rock at the wagon before he attacked. Then Press drew a knife and headed for the buggy, cursing all the way. He climbed onto the rear axle of the buggy, reached over the top, and seized Willie by the collar trying to pull him out. As he slashed and stabbed at Willie with the knife, the horses got spooked and began running making the wagon begin wobbling side to side. The knife was described as “big” and “open”.

Some reports say it was at this point Willie pulled his revolver. Willie struggled with AJ (who was trying to stop Willie) and a shot fired that went through AJ's hand and into Isabelle's stomach. Then Willie turned partly around and struck Press on the back of the head cutting a gash in Press's head. Then Willie fired a second shot sending a bullet into Press's head just behind his left ear and killing him instantly. Other reports say Willie pulled his revolver and shot Press in the head just behind his left ear in a downward trajectory, killing him instantly and then turned and shot again hitting AJ and Isabelle. Either way, the end result was the same. Press rolled from the buggy to the roadside and there he lay for hours while County Attorney Charles D. ISE and Sheriff Robert W. LEWIS and other deputies arrived to investigate. (If you're interested in learning more about Sheriff LEWIS, there is a nice biography here.)

According to the papers, after the investigation Press's knife was found lying between his feet and a partially empty quart bottle of whiskey fell from his pocket. Press's body, when it was finally moved from the road, was taken to Oklie O. CRANE's store for “undertaking and further investigation”. Dr. Harry L. ALDRICH- the Coroner from Caney, KS- arranged an inquest that was held on the morning of 25 March 1914 at O. O. CRANE's store in Dearing, KS. Willie and AJ were arrested through the night/early morning hours before the inquest. County Attorney ISE was waiting on the outcome of this inquest before he arraigned Willie or AJ or determined what, if any, charges would be made against them. Deputy County Attorney Joseph W. HOLDREN attended the inquest, among others. No new developments came about as a result of the inquest. The inquest jury's verdict was that Preston SEELY had died of a gunshot wound inflicted by William PETTY. They did not (or would not?) determine whether there was murderous intent in the shooting. The inquest jury found that a bullet entered Press's skull about an inch over the ear and ranging downward. A gash was found just above the bullet wound of a nature that officers believe Press received a blow with the butt of a revolver. (If you'd like to know more about Dr. ALDRICH, there is a short biography about midway down the page here.)

Just for reference, a Coroner's Inquest is an inquiry into the manner and cause of death and is conducted by the Coroner (Dr. ALDRICH) or Deputy Coroner and includes a court reporter (in this case, Bessie KENIADY [probably 'KENNEDY' misspelled]- ISE's stenographer) and six jurors present. The jurors are citizens of the county in which the death took place. This type of inquiry may or may not require an autopsy.

Press was 21 years old. He was the son of a Dearing blacksmith. The SEELY family had lived in Dearing for the previous 7 years. The newspaper reporters called it “murder”, yet they defended Willie, vilified Press, and insulted the SEELY family. They described the SEELY's as “a good family” yet made numerous statements that seem contrary to that. The reporters initially stated the SEELY family had notified the county attorney the morning after the murder that they would not have anything to do with Press's body and the county could deal with it themselves and pay for everything. Starting a couple of days later they printed statements that the SEELY family “demanded” an investigation (an action which Dearing residents supported). Yet, they continued to make the SEELY's sound pushy and belligerent. Through the month of April, reporters printed statements that the SEELY family “demanded” a trial for a murder charge and that they were not satisfied with the police's determination that the murder was an act of self-defense.

One more article appeared in The Coffeyville Daily Journal on 28 March 1914. It was a sad afternote. Elmer SEELY- Press's brother who lived in Blackwell, Oklahoma at the time- arrived in Dearing on Thursday evening. He was one day too late for Press's funeral which was held on Wednesday afternoon.


Photo posted by "Will" at FindAGrave.com.

Oh- the remnant of that “consignment of whiskey”? Did you wonder what happened to it? Never fear. It was snagged up by County Attorney ISE. Evidence, you know.

This concludes Press's testimony. Without the actual court case file, I can't tell you any more than this. Remember yesterday's preview of Press's early life and then compare and contrast to these new details. You may begin deliberating amongst yourselves and forming your initial opinions regarding guilt or innocence. Tomorrow we'll be hearing from Isabelle STEWART. Rest up, jurors. You'll need fresh ears and eyes for Isabelle's testimony.

Until tomorrow,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Resource list:
The Coffeyville Daily Journal
5 July 1906; 15 November 1907; 30 October 1908; 7 November 1908; 29 April 1910; 4 November 1910; 9 November 1910; 9 December 1910; 28 December 1910; 15 November 1911; 10 January 1912; 17 January 1912; 3 February 1912; 7 February 1912; 30 March 1912; 26 March 1914; 28 March 1914; 5 June 1915; 12 June 1915; 15 September 1915; 9 February 1916; 17 February 1916; 23 February 1916; 13 May 1916; 12 February 1917; 27 February 1919; 31 March 1919; 21 April 1919; 3 July 1919; 23 December 1920

The Coffeyville Weekly Journal
22 July 1910; 4 November 1910; 18 November 1910; 9 November 1910; 17 March 1911; 24 March 1911; 29 September 1911; 15 November 1911; 17 November 1911; 24 November 1911; 8 December 1911; 15 December 1911

The Arkansas City Daily Traveler
29 May 1920

The Evening Star
26 March 1914; 27 March 1914; 28 March 1914; 31 March 1914; 1 April 1914; 13 April 1914; 15 April 1914; 13 February 1915

The Daily Republican
17 November 1911; 17 November 1913; 26 March 1914; 10 January 1916

The Hutchinson News
26 March 1914

The Parsons Daily Sun
24 June 1905; 26 March 1914

The Oxford Register
2 April 1914

The Alma Enterprise
3 April 1914

The Leavenworth Post
26 March 1914

The Chanute Daily Tribune
26 March 1914

The Wichita Daily Eagle
27 March 1914

Jealousy and Bad Whiskey, OR Don't Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight

“We don't judge families by their black sheep. We judge the black sheep by their families. And the better the family the blacker the sheep.” ~ Mister Squeegee Tires ad, The Coffeyville Daily Journal, 5 June 1915.

preston seely blog mr squeegee ad.jpg
Mr. Squeegee postcard ad found on ebay.

Pre-Script
I just want to say first that I love my husband. This is how much he loves me: when I questioned the veracity of some of the statements of the parties involved, he helped me recreate the murder scene in our living room. That's true love. Also, I'm pretty sure if I had a bucket list, recreating a murder scene in my living room to solve a mystery would definitely be on that list!

One more personal note. When I first read this story I did a double take. One of my brother's close friends throughout his school years was a guy named William Petty. So it was really a strange concept to say or think “William Petty” and not be referring to my brother's friend William. It should be clear to all that the William Petty in this story is NOT my brother's friend. Nonetheless, I'll clear it up for good- this is NOT the William Petty who grew up in Jay, Oklahoma.

Before moving on, I want to talk about my resources. The majority of the information in this series of blog posts about the Seely murder were taken from newspapers. At the end of each post I will include a list of newspapers I consulted to put the whole story together. I also contacted at least one family researcher from each of the following families for more information prior to publishing this series: The Garton Petty family, the Andrew Medford family, the Charles Smoley family, and the Charles Stewart family. The Petty family is deciding whether or not to share information. The Smoley and Stewart families have not responded. Barbara T.- whose husband is the grandson of Andrew Medford- contacted me and was excited about the blog and has agreed to share information with me. Thank you, Barbara!!

This post is about my 1st cousin 3x removed. His name was Preston SEELY. He was the grandson of my 3rd great-grandfather, Reverend Charles SEELY. I've written about Charles SEELY here if you're interested in catching up on him before moving on. Charles' son, John F. SEELY, was the father of Preston and the brother of my 2nd great-grandmother, Mary Ann (SEELY) BATES.


Preston Seely's Dead with a Bullet Through His Head
That was the headline in The Daily Republican on 26 March 1914. Death makes good copy. And Preston's body lay in the street for hours with a bullet in his head so there was plenty to write about.

You've just been selected as a juror in the case of State of Kansas vs. William Petty. Each day for the next week or so you will hear from various witnesses who will tell you their version of what happened on 25 March 1914 - the murder of Preston SEELY. We'll start today with a brief background of Preston SEELY, a quick sentence about William PETTY, and a short historical synopsis to put you in the right frame of mind. Unlike a real court case, you're going to hear from Preston and Willie- and you're allowed to take notes if you wish. I won't even sequester you while you "listen" to the testimony. Keep open minds. At the end of this blog series you'll get to submit your verdict of guilt, not guilty, partially guilty, or hung jury. All rise. Court is now in session, the Honorable Judge Lisa presiding.

Preston SEELY
Preston SEELY was born on 16 March 1891 in Benton County, Arkansas to John F. and Sarah (SPIVEY) SEELY. I would have to say he lived a quiet life because I really can't find much information about him other than his death. The reporters of 1914 would have you believe otherwise. They described him using words and phrases like “ne'er-do-well”, “jealous”, “been in trouble”, “looking for trouble”. They described him as violent, a drunk, and a partier. But was he?

Preston was 9 years old in 1900. That's the earliest I've found him in records. He was going to school. His family lived in Garland Township in Benton County, Arkansas. (Think “Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport” and you'll have the right area.) About 1907 his family and he moved to Dearing, Montgomery County, Kansas (think “Coffeyville, Kansas” and you'll have the right area- the papers described Dearing as a suburb of Coffeyville). In 1907 in Montgomery County, Kansas, Preston got paid out of the county road fund in the amount of $1.50. . He was 16 years old. In 1908 he got paid by the county out of the road fund for “labor” provided. These warrant notices were published in the newspaper when the county published the pay warrants for the term. In 1908 he received two payments of $2.60 and one payment of 75 cents. In 1910 he received payment from the county in the amount of $22.50 for “caring for poor” so it would seem that at some point he went from manual labor to working in an alms house or taking care of the poor in his own home. He was doing that at 19 years old. In the 1910 census he and his brother are still single and living with his parents- right next door to 21-year-old William PETTY's family- in Fawn Creek Township, Montgomery County, Kansas. Preston is working as a kiln helper at a zinc smelter. His brother is doing the same work at the same place as Preston.
preston seely blog edgar zinc smelter cherryvale ks.jpg
Edgar Zinc Smelter, Cherryvale, KS. Photo at Kansas Memory.

William PETTY- he goes by Willie in 1910- is working as a Teamster so he's traveling out to jobs, working them, getting laid off, coming home with money and then waiting for the next job to come around and repeating this same process.

Even at 19 years old, the clock of life is winding down for Preston. We'll call him Press- that's what he goes by as an adult. Press's dad, John, is blacksmithing in 1910 and getting occasional payments from the county for work performed. Blacksmithing seems to have been a family business for the SEELY's.
preston seely blog post couch blacksmith shop bentley ks 1910-1915.jpg
Couch Blacksmith Shop, Bentley, KS. Photo at Kansas Memory.

In 1912 Press is apparently working on the road, possibly in a job similar to Willie PETTY's. There's a newspaper mention of him stating he was in from Texas to visit family and friends. But, by 25 March 1914 he is again living in Dearing, Montgomery County, Kansas.


Welcome to 1914
In 1914 Europe was barreling toward a world war that would eventually involve the United States. The motorcycle was ten years old. Henry Ford's first assembly line was 3 months old. The big news on the aircraft scene was a delivery plane that flew 25 miles in 17 ½ minutes and the first ever airline in Florida.

Photo of aircraft in the 25 March 1914 edition of The Coffeyville Daily Journal.

The “interurban” was the height of technology at the time and the Independence/Coffeyville area had 2 of them.
preston seely blog 1910 interurban pic.jpg
Interurban photo at www.leatherockhotel.com along with several other great interurban photos.

But average people were still driving a horse-drawn buggy.
preston seely blog horse and buggy photo.jpg
Photo at Pinterest.

Prohibition was strong in Kansas at this time.
Preston Seely blog carry nation.jpg
Photo of Carry Nation with her hatchet. Carry, a prohibition activist, spent a lot of time in Kansas destroying saloons. She died just a couple of years prior to Preston SEELY's death.

Apparently flies were a huge problem in 1914. The month after Press's death, Board of Health began a screen door campaign. In July and August there was a fly-killing-for-money campaign (Folks, you can't make this stuff up!!!) Below are two of the ads that ran in newspapers the summer of 1914.
preston seely blog 1914 fly campaign.jpg
preston seely blog screen door campaign 1914.jpg
Ads at Newspapers.com.

Read All About It!
Tomorrow, jurors, we will read shocking headlines, a brief timeline of the murder, and the first witness' testimony. Don't miss it!

Until tomorrow,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Resource list:
The Coffeyville Daily Journal
5 July 1906; 15 November 1907; 30 October 1908; 7 November 1908; 29 April 1910; 4 November 1910; 9 November 1910; 9 December 1910; 28 December 1910; 15 November 1911; 10 January 1912; 17 January 1912; 3 February 1912; 7 February 1912; 30 March 1912; 26 March 1914; 28 March 1914; 5 June 1915; 12 June 1915; 15 September 1915; 9 February 1916; 17 February 1916; 23 February 1916; 13 May 1916; 12 February 1917; 27 February 1919; 31 March 1919; 21 April 1919; 3 July 1919; 23 December 1920

The Coffeyville Weekly Journal
22 July 1910; 4 November 1910; 18 November 1910; 9 November 1910; 17 March 1911; 24 March 1911; 29 September 1911; 15 November 1911; 17 November 1911; 24 November 1911; 8 December 1911; 15 December 1911

The Arkansas City Daily Traveler
29 May 1920

The Evening Star
26 March 1914; 27 March 1914; 28 March 1914; 31 March 1914; 1 April 1914; 13 April 1914; 15 April 1914; 13 February 1915

The Daily Republican
17 November 1911; 17 November 1913; 26 March 1914; 10 January 1916

The Hutchinson News
26 March 1914

The Parsons Daily Sun
24 June 1905; 26 March 1914

The Oxford Register
2 April 1914

The Alma Enterprise
3 April 1914

The Leavenworth Post
26 March 1914

The Chanute Daily Tribune
26 March 1914

The Witchita Daily Eagle
27 March 1914

Once Upon a Time

Today's story will be a little different. At least one of the parties involved would be very upset to be connected to or named in this story. So out of respect I'll only be taking the names in this genealogy so far down the line and then I'll stop. I'll be telling the story in such a way that even if the persons involved read this story, they would not know it was their story. So forgive me if it's a little vague at times.

Once Upon A Time
Once upon a time there was a boy and a girl...but it's not what you think. They were brother and sister- Rebecca and William HENDRY. They were two of at least eight children born to George and Deborah (BORDEN) HENDRY. The children grew up in Virginia. I'm not going to go into a lot of details about their childhood since my information is conflicting on some points and I don't want to pass on bad information. So their marriages are where their lives begin to diverge and that's where we'll go with this story.


The Girl
In the girl there's a room,
in the room there's a table,
on the table there's a candle
and it won't burn out.

In the woman there's a song,
in the song there is hope,
in the hope, revolution.
~ Sara Groves, In the Girl There's a Room

Rebecca HENDRY grew up and fell in love with Jeremiah Dungan.


Jeremiah Dungan Mill in Tennessee.

Rebecca and Jeremiah were married in Pennsylvania. One of their fourteen known children was a daughter, Sarah DUNGAN. Sarah was born in Tennessee. She married Zebulon SMITH. One of Sarah's and Zebulon's six children was a daughter named Elizabeth SMITH. I can't go any further than this with naming names as I wish to try to maintain some anonymity for the person I mentioned above. So I will tell you that Elizabeth was born in Tennessee and was still there when she married. She and her husband- we'll call him “Steven”- had ten children and one was a daughter named “Ann”. Ann married “Paul” in Indiana and together they had seven children. Paul and Ann's son, “Mark”, was born in Indiana. Mark and his family moved to Missouri. There he met and married “Haley” and they had a daughter- “Lorene”. Lorene was the fourth of eight children. She married “Bill” in Arkansas and their daughter “Katherine” was born there. Katherine married “Tad” in Arkansas and their daughter was “Shelley”. Shelley married “Edward” and their daughter was “Lana”. Lana married “David” and they had a daughter named “Mary”. Remember Mary- we'll come back to her later.


The Boy
In the boy there's a voice,
in the voice there's a calling,
in the call there's a promise
and it won't quiet down.

In the man there's vision,
in the vision is a road,
it's the road to his freedom...
~ Sara Groves, In the Girl There's a Room



Log cabin built by William Hendry, refurbished about 1985

Remember Rebecca HENDRY's brother- William? Let's talk about him now. William HENDRY grew up and fell in love with Elizabeth JONES. They were married in Virginia. Like William's sister Rebecca, William and Elizabeth moved to Tennessee where they had a daughter named Mary Ann HENDRY. Mary Ann was the middle of three children. She married John BEAGLES. John and Mary had a son named Edmund who was born in Tennessee. Edmund was the third of four children born to John and Mary Ann. Edmund BEAGLES married two women and I'm not sure which is Julia's mom so I'm going to call Julia's mom “Malinda” for now. Edmund had quite a few children- numbering in the teens. For this story, I'm only interested in his daughter named Julia Ann. Julia was born in Tennessee. Julia married a man I cannot name for the reasons listed above. We'll call Julia's husband “Johnny”. Julia and Johnny had a son- “David”. David was born in Indiana and he married “Angeline”. The first of David's and Angeline's four children was a son named “Monroe” who was born in Arkansas. Monroe married “Lizzie”. The oldest of Monroe's and Lizzie's sons was “Isaac”. Isaac married “Lillian” and together they had eight children one of whom was “Donald”. Donald married “Irene” and together they had “Ruthie”. Ruthie was married briefly to “Allen”. Together they had two children, one of whom was “Terry”. Remember Terry- we'll be coming back to him.


The Girl + The Boy = A Dream
Tell me what you know
about God and the world and the human soul,
how so much can go wrong
and still there are songs.

In the man is a work
and the work is his future
and the future is his children
and he won't slow down.

In the woman there's a faith,
in the faith there's a prayer,
in the prayer there's a promise...
~ Sara Groves, In the Girl There's a Room

Sometimes when a boy and a girl meet, they fall in love. They marry, they have children. They dream of a long, wonderful life together. Sometimes that long, wonderful life happens- and sometimes it doesn't. Then their children grow up and the cycle starts all over again. Boy + Girl = Dream.

We started with a sibling set- William and Rebecca HENDRY. They started life together as siblings and we watched as their families expanded and traveled until both families ended up in Arkansas but neither family knew anything of the other. Now, we've made our way to another boy and another girl, “Mary” and “Terry”.


Another Boy + Another Girl = Another Dream
In the boy is a dream,
in the dream he is standing,
and he stands without fear
and he won't sit down.

In the girl is a song,
in the song there is hope,
in the hope there's defiance...

Tell me what you know
about God and the world and the human soul,
how so much can be wrong
and still there are songs.

In their hearts and souls
an unstoppable refrain,
Hope sings in defiance.
~ Sara Groves, In the Girl There's a Room


Mary and Terry didn't grow up together. In fact, they didn't know each other until shortly before they married. Mary knew nothing of Terry's family. Likewise, he knew nothing of hers. They fell in love. They got married. They had children. Neither one ever knowing that Mary's 8th great-grandparents were George and Deborah (BORDEN) HENDRY- parents of William and Rebecca; neither one ever knowing that Terry's 8th great-grandparents were the same George and Deborah (BORDEN) HENDRY- parents of William and Rebecca.


The Moral of the Story

Adam and Eve painting by Domenichino

Know your family. Know your family history. Know your mate's family history. And if you're the one yelling, “Gross!” right now- this story IS yours. It happens all the time. Don't think you're exempt. You'll never find anyone to whom you AREN'T related. Besides, if you're a Christian you should have known that we all go back to ONE BOY and ONE GIRL – Adam and Eve- and ONE DREAM- to love and be loved and have a long, wonderful life.

Love the ones your with- they're the ones God gave you. In the lyrics at the beginning of this tale it says, “in the hope [is] revolution” and at the end of the lyrics it says, “Hope sings in defiance.” So sing out in defiance of hate and loneliness. Sing out – and reach out - with love. Love is the revolution we need. Be defiant:

LOVE.

Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives