From Geneva Palladium 10 January 1827
Melancholy Affair -- On Friday evening last, Mr. George
Brockway, of Orleans, town of Phelps, was stabbed in the abdomen,
with a large butcher's knife, by a man named Alpheus P. Beden,
of which wound he died in a few hours. It appears the parties had
entered into a quarrel, that Mr. Brock gave Mr. Beden a push, when the
latter committed the horrid act with a knife which he held in his hand
and with which he had been assisting to butcher hogs that day.
Beden is committed to gaol for trial.
From Geneva Palladium 13 June 1827
Circuit Court -- At the circuit court held in Canandaigua last week,
before Judge Throop, and on the two last days before Judge Birdsall,
several important trials were had.
Stephen P. Beadon, was tried for the murder of George Brockway, in
Phelpstown, sometime in January last. The fact of the murder was
clearly made out. It appeared that Beadon stabbed Brockway in the
abdomen with a butcher knife, which which they had been killing hogs
together, and in consequence of which Brockway shortly after
died. The only question with the court and jury then was, whether
the murder was an act of malice or not. Several circumstances
appeared in mitigation. It was proved that Beadon was provoked to
the act by repeated insults, followed by a blow -- and what was perhaps
of great weight, that he expressed much contrition after the deed was
done. He was found guilty of
manslaughter, and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment.
From Geneva Gazette 23 January 1852
Murder Trial at Canandaigua - The Court of Oyer and Terminer now
sitting at Canandaigua, Judge Allen of Oswego, presiding, is engaged in
the trial of William Woodin of the town of Victor, in this
county, for the murder of his wife, in the month of August, 1844.
The trial commenced on Monday. Mr. Chatfield, Attorney
General, not having arrived, the District Attorney opened the case to
the jury, briefly stating the facts he expects to prove. Several
witnesses were sworn, whose testimony mainly went to show the condition
and position of the body of Mrs. W. when found. It appears from
the testimony, that the body of deceased was found early one morning in
the well attached to the house where they lived, head downward, feet
near the surface, her hands crossed on her breast, and evidently so
fixed by some one else. There were two bruises on the head, and a
mark around the neck, having the appearance of having been made by a
cord. Her shoes were also found in the well, tied up. Blood was
likewise found on the cylinder of the windlass. Mr. Chatfield arrived
night. Alvah Worden, J. P. Faurote and E. G. Lapham, Esqs., are counsel
for the accused. The trial excites much interest, especially in
the town of Victor, where the accused resides and where he owns
considerable property. He also stands indicted for incest with
his daughter-in-law. The number of witnesses in attendance is
large and the trial attracts a crowded assemblage.
From Geneva Gazette 30 January 1852
Acquittal of Woodin - The trial of Woodin for the murder of his
wife, which occupied the special Court of Oyer and Terminer for this
county the last week, was brought to a close on Saturday
night, and resulted in an acquittal. Mr. W. will be brought up
at some future time on a charge of improper liberties with the wife
of his son.
From Geneva Gazette 6 February 1852
Murder at Manchester - We learn from the Canandaigua papers that
an affray occurred at Manchester, in this county, on Saturday evening
last, in which an Irishman by the name of Thomas Kelly received
a stab in the side, causing death soon after. The affray arose
out of a quarrel over a game of cards, at which liquor was also
introduced. One of the assailants named Henry, has been arrested;
the other, named Slattery is still at large. Sheriff Lamport has
offered $100 reward for his arrest.
From Geneva 19 March 1858
HORRIBLE MURDER !
Man Shot at the Franklin House ! !
The shock produced upon this community by the intelligence
of a fatal affray at Canandaigua, (the particulars of which will be
found below), was scarcely less appalling than upon the community where
the tragic affair occurred. Charles Mary, who in a moment
of passion and frenzy, took the life of a fellow-being, was formerly a
resident of this village, and where a widowed mother and two young and
interesting sisters still reside. He, although not as correct in
his deportment as becomes a good and moral citizen, was nevertheless
ever looked upon as a quiet, innocent and unoffending man.
He will now have to undergo a trial before a jury of his countrymen in
which his own life is at stake. It does not become us under such
circumstances to comment upon the affair, whereby the favor or
prejudice of the public may be unduly excited. We confine
ourselves to a
simple statement of the facts in the case, made under oath, by which to
satisfy the demand of the public for the particulars of the sad event.
A most horrible murder was committed last evening (12th inst.) at the
Franklin House in this village. The victim was Mr.
Stuart Benham, one of the landlords; and the man who
the deed is Charles Mary, a German, who keeps a clothing store on Main
street, a boarder at the Franklin. Mary was promptly arrested.
This morning Dr. Webster of East Bloomfield, one of the Coroners of
this county, was sent for, (there being no Coroner in the
village), and at 12 o'clock, M., a jury empanelled at the
Franklin House consisting of the following gentlemen who after viewing
the body, adjourned to meet at the Court House at 2 P. M.
Jurors - Charles Warner, John Lamport, William M. Hawley, M. M. Palmer,
Thaddeus Chapin, M. Warner, Ira OUthouse, Harris Andrews, Willard Bates.
At 2 o'clock the jury convened at the Court House, Mr. D. Pierpont
testified as follows:
I reside in Canandaigua. I was at the Franklin House
at 10 o'clock last evening, Reuben Mallory, Robert Parker, A. W.
Bogart, John Osborn, Charles Mary, Sidney Benham and Thomas Barrett,
waiter, were present also. I came in at 10 1/2 o'clock.
Passed into the bar-room and saw Cha's. Mary, John Osborn, Mr. Bogart
and the waiter in the reading room. I was only there a few
minutes, when I heard Mr. Bogart call Mr. Benham. I said, there's
a fight, and rushed into the reading room at the same time. Mr.
Mary and John Osborn were in the reading room, clinched, and Bogart was
trying to separate them. Benham did so, to keep them from them from
fighting. This was in the reading room. I saw no blows
struck. After that, Mr. Bogart and Mr. Benham got Osborn into the
bar room. Mr. Mary
and myself remained in the reading room. I had a conversation
Mary, and tried to pacify him and said that Osborn was intoxicated and
better keep away from him.
Mary said, "If they had let me alone, I should have fixed him
out." I said, "You don't want to quarrel." I left then and
went into the bar room. Just before that, Mary lost his
hat. I said, "Perhaps Osborn has got it by mistake". When I
got into the bar room Osborn and Mr. Moses were in there. Mr.
Roberts might have been in there. Osborn was a good deal
excited. Mr. Bogart wanted him to go home. He said he would
if they would let him have a glass of ale. Mr. Benham drew it and
let him have it. About that time, Mr. Mary came to the bar room
door. Osborn called Mary a d____d Dutchman, &c., and shook
his fist in his face; finally, Osborn hit Mary with the back of his
hand. Then Mr. Mary became very mad,
and had some words with Mr. Bogart, about being abused in his house,
&c. The next thing I remember, I heard the report of a
pistol, and Mr. Benham fell into my arms. I was inside the door,
in the bar room, between the door and counter. Mr. Benham stood
in front near the door.
When he fell into my arms, I laid him back on the floor. He
immediately. I did not hear him speak, or see him move a
Osborn stood to the left of me. Benham stood a little in front
of Osborn. The latter was about four feet from the door. There
a chance for Mary to see Osborn. I did not see Mary at the time
pistol was fired. I saw him the instant before, when Osborn
him. Then Benham came around and stepped between them. The
pistol was fired in a minute or two after Osborn struck him. I
no conversation with Mary after he shot Mr. Benham. Mr. Bogart
was passing through the door. Mr. Mallory stood nearer the
stove. Didn't see Mr. Parker or Thomas. When Osborn struck
Benham was in the bar, or coming out of it.
(Mr. A. W. Bogart testified substantially as did Mr. Pierpont. He
testified that he saw Mary draw the pistol from his coat pocket
and fire it ! He was followed by Thomas Barrett, waiter at the
Franklin, who corroborated the above. He was also a witness to
the firing, but says, "I saw him (Mary) take the pistol from his coat
pocket and put it back again. It was a single barreled one.
Then he took it out again and fired it. He kept his hand low down
and fired the pistol upwards. I cannot say positively that he did
not aim at any one; that is my impression, but I could not swear
Reuben Mallory testified substantially as the first witness did.
He did not see the pistol fired, but saw Benham fall.
Drs. Simmons, Jewett and Cheeney, described the appearance
and character of the wound to the jury.
The ball entered the skull, about an inch behind the ear, and passing
through the brain, lodged against the temporal bone of the opposite
side of the head.
John Osborn was then called. Nothing different from that before
obtained was gotten from him.
THE VERDICT - The jury returned a verdict that the deceased came to his
death from a pistol ball, discharged from a pistol in the hands of
Charles Mary. The prisoner is in jail, awaiting an examination. Ontario
From Geneva Courier 19 May 1875
THE MURDER TRIAL
Testimony in the Case of Chas. Eighmy tried for Murder of George
The case of the people against Charles Eighmy, indicted for the murder
of George Crandall at Oaks Corners in this County in July last, was
called late in the afternoon of Thursday last at Canandaigua, Hon. C.
C. Dwight presiding judge. Dist. Attorney Hicks assisted by
Samuel Torrey, both of Canandaigua, appear for the people and J. P.
Faurot of Canandaigua and John E. Bean of Geneva for the
prisoner. Four jurors were obtained on Thursday and Friday
morning was consumed in scouring the remaining eight as follows:
Welcome D. Herendeen, Canandaigua; Ward P. Mann, Canandaigua; David H.
Osborn, Canandaigua; William H. Allen, Canandaigua; Robert Coons,
Naples; Daniel B. Bartholomew, Naples; George C. Narther, Canandaigua;
Simeon Lingsley, Shortsville; Nathaniel A. Gifford, Canandaigua; Avery
Ingraham, South Bristol; Delos Doolittle, Canandaigua; Joseph Dibble,
After the jury was sworn, Dist. Attorney Hicks addressed them briefly,
saying there was no living witness to the murder, that it was only upon
circumstantial evidence and the testimony of the defendant that he
could be convicted; that the people proposed to show that the crime was
not committed in self-defense, that the trouble grew out of intimacy
of the prisoner with the wife of Crandall, and that Eighmy had
to kill Crandall if he ever accused him of improper intimacy with
Mr. Hicks also exhibited to the Jury two maps of the field in which Mr.
Crandall was killed, one being a map of the potato patch and the number
of hills hoed up to the time the murder was committed. Court
to dinner and reassembled at 2 p.m.
(Testimony not included)
From Geneva Courier 13 Sep 1876;
THE GALLOWS -- EXECUTION OF CHARLES EIGHMEY
The Last Hours of the Criminal's Life -- His Final Words -- The
Responsibility of the Crime -- A Remarkable Scene
Charles Eighmey, the murderer of George L. Crandall, was hanged in the
jail yard at Canandaigua, on Friday last at 11:07. The history of
Eighmey's crime, his trial, the various stays of proceedings,
reprieves, and finally the murder's full confession, are so familiar to
our readers, as not demand our space for their rehearsal at this
time. That which has attracted most of public attention, and will
serve to keep
alive the memory of this horrible affair, is the wonderfully dramatic
scene at the gallows, in which the doomed man called forth Benjamin
F. Webster, and charged the responsibility of the crime on him.
The scene is vividly portrayed in the Ontario County Journal, to which
we are indebted for the account of the later hours of the criminal's
life and his execution.
We have little disposition to pursue this subject. It is true
that Eighmey perjured himself upon his trial. There are few who
would not tell what they deemed the best story under like
circumstances; and thus was destroyed in a measure Eighmey's testimony
as against others. In any event there is scarce a palliating
circumstance in his case,
and he merited the punishment he received. On the other hand, we
are not inclined at this time to review the present or past personal
character of Mr. Webster--which it must be confessed has some very ugly
spots--nor the extent to which his word will be received for truth by
people where he is known, but would simply say that the opinion
below is the predominant one in the community: Among his last
Eighmey wrote a note expressing his gratitude to the Sheriff, the
of the Sheriff's family, and the various attendants during his
for their kindness to him.
The funeral took place from the family residence, near Oaks Corners, at
11 o'clock, a.m. on Saturday last. It was largely attended,
and the occasion was a very impressive one.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT - Wednesday had been a trying day for Eighmey. He
had parted for the last time with his father and had received many
callers, and had his fortitude severely tried. Yet he ate
heartily, and afterward smoked a cigar with apparent relish. He
in conversation with one of his attendants, Mr. Tate. He talked
freely about the final disposition of his body; said that he desired to
be buried in Phelps by the side of his sister. He was very
about the expense of the funeral, and said he hoped his father would be
saved that expense, as he had already been the cause of reducing him to
poverty. About midnight he retired and slept calmly and quietly
until six o'clock.
THE LAST DAY - From early in the morning until sundown, crowds of
people passed and re-passed the jail, scanning the high walls of
the jail yard to see if they could not discover some trace of the
preparations for the tragedy of the morrow. There were many
applications to Sheriff Boswell for admittance to the yard to see the
gallows, but with the exception of some of the foreign representatives
of the press, they were uniformly refused. No one was permitted
to see Eighmey, except his relatives, spiritual advisers, and those he
requested to see. Rev. Mr. Green, of Geneva, formerly pastor of
the Methodist Episcopal church of this place, was with him the greater
part of the day. To him Eighmey expressed the utmost confidence
in the future, he said he had a firm hope that he had found peace and
salvation through his Saviour; that he had no
dread of death, but looked forward to it as a relief from the
present. To our reporter he said, "I shall be much happier
tomorrow night than I am
It must have been extremely trying, aside from the consciousness that
it was the last he would pass on earth. In the morning his eldest
sister Mrs. Parker, his brother, and brother-in-law called to
take their final parting. The interview was inexpressibly
and sad. Eighmey was by far the most collected; he told them not to
mourn, that he was ready, that death had no terrors for him, and that
he hoped to meet them in that bright land where there was no parting,
of sorrow. In the afternoon he received calls from Rev's. Mr.
Bayley and Van Alstine. Rev. Mr. Ford, who had left his sick bed
for the purpose also called. In the evening, he asked Mr. Green
the 51st Psalm, and handed him his Bible, where the chapter was marked,
and the pages displayed evidences of frequent perusal. After the
beautiful lamentation of David, so full of hope and comfort, was read,
Mr. Green offered a fervent petition to the Throne of Grace.
His counsel, Mr. Faurot, during the long day, had his final interview
with him. Although he had visited him daily, since the
decision of the Governor, the parting was painful to both.
manifested deep gratitude for the fidelity and persistent effort of Mr.
Faurot in his behalf, and he reiterated that his confessions were true
in every particular. When the trying ordeal of the day had passed
and the shades of evening fell upon the earth, he manifested no change;
he was as cheerful and calm as ever. He ate heartily of his
and conversed cheerfully with his attendants upon various topics.
He expressed a wish to Deputy Sheriff Frank Boswell, who was present,
that the shackles might be removed from his limbs. This was
accorded, and he in company with our reporter, at once proceeded to Mr.
Martin's, who returned with them, and removed the shackles. To do
this it was necessary to cut the rivets that held them. There
four, and Eighmey presented one to each of his attendants, C. H. Tate
George McClary, and to Frank Boswell and our reporter. As soon as
the heavy shackles (they weighed twelve pounds) were removed, he sprang
up and walked rapidly across the room remarking, "How light I
Shortly after he took a bath, and about eleven o'clock he retired.
THE SCAFFOLD is on the west side of the jail yard, next to
the wall. It is on a platform forty-two feet by eighteen in
width, raised three feet from the ground surrounded by a railing, and
is built on substantially the same plan as that used for the execution
of John Clark lately in Rochester, though far superior to it in looks
and construction. Through the cross-beam
runs a rope, at one end the fatal noose, at the other end a weight of
225 pounds. This rests upon a trap that can be sprung with a
wonderful ease, the whole being concealed behind a partition about five
feet wide and twenty feet high. Here stands the person who
launches Eighmey into eternity.
THE ROPE has already a history of its own. It has been used at
five hangings before. It has judicially strangled Ira
Stout, Joseph Messner and John Clark, at Rochester, Rulloff, at
Binghampton, and only three weeks ago to-day was used at the execution
of Thomas B. Quackenbush, at Batavia.
THE END - The morning dawned dark and lowering, as if nature lamented
the deed so soon to be enacted. By eight o'clock a crowd had
assembled in front of the jail, and eager efforts were made to
gain admission to the jail. Among these was B. F. Webster, who
was clamorous in his demands for admission. The 8:45 train from
Rochester, brought Company D., 54th Regiment, N. Y. S. N. G., Captain
Moore commanding, and numbering 57 men, officers included. They
marched directly to the jail, and were there stationed, guarding the
and keeping back the throng. By half-past nine Jail street was
a mass of pushing, crowded humanity, contrasting strangely with the
uniforms of the soldiers. The roofs of the adjoining houses were
covered with people, but fortunately their curiosity was defeated by
the gallows being covered with canvas. The crowd, though orderly,
did not seem very deeply impressed with the gravity of the occasion,
they laughed and joked as they pushed backwards and forwards.
During this interval, Eighmey, with Rev's. Mr. Green and Bayley and Van
Alstine were engaged in his devotions. His calmness did not
desert him. He expressed himself certain that his sins were
forgiven, and that a blessed immortality awaited him. He said he
willing to suffer for what he had done, and he still asserted the
truth of his confessions. Last night to our reporter he said,
asked concerning Webster's and Mrs. Crandall's complicity in the crime,
"God knows it is true; do you think I would go to my death with a lie
in my mouth?"
His entire conduct until he was summoned to the gallows was
collected. He said to Mr. Green, "I don't want people to think I
am a bull dog because I am quiet." A little after ten the few who
were admitted to the execution entered the jail yard; among them was
Ambrose Crandall, the father of George Crandall. At twenty
minutes after ten B. F. Webster entered the jail yard; he showed no
emotion, but conversed freely, he spoke about as follows in answer to
questions by our
reporter, and the reporter of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:
"Eighmey has lied from beginning to end, and he knows it. If he
persists in it today I don't care a damn. He can't hurt
me." He claimed that the confession was inconsistent. He
violent and profane, and evinced the utmost vindictiveness against
Eighmey and left, by his manner and mode of speech, but a poor
on his listeners.
Mortal man will never know whether he be innocent or guilty. But
public opinion will be against him, and guilty or not guilty,
the dying statement of Charles Eighmey will follow him as an avenging
Nemesis through all his life. At precisely twelve minutes of of
eleven the procession in the following order filed into the yard and
ascended the scaffold: the Sheriff and under-Sheriff Benham,
attended by deputy-Sheriffs Sheldon and T. A. Reed; Rev's. Messrs
Van Alstine and Bayley; Deputies, County Officers, and others.
Eighmey was dressed in full suit of black broadcloth, furnished by the
Sheriff, and carried in his hand a beautiful bouquet, the gift of Mrs.
Judge Taylor, on which was a card bearing the inscription "The blood of
Jesus cleanseth us from all sin." He was self-possessed and cool
as any spectator. Not a muscle quivered, nor was his face
blanched with fear; not a limb trembled as he ascended the
scaffold. He cast one quick glance upwards at the awful implement
of death before him. He passed along the platform and was seated
in a chair beneath the fatal
noose. The Sheriff Boswell then read the death warrant, and the
stays of proceedings and final order from the Governor. During
time, Eighmey sat perfectly unconcerned. The Sheriff then said,
"Charlie, have you anything to say." "I have", he said.
Arising from the chair, he turned to under Sheriff Benham and
whispered. Sheriff Benham stepped forward and called, "Is Frank
Webster here," "and will he come forward." Webster stepped upon
the scaffold, and stood facing the doomed man.
Then occurred the most dramatic scene ever witnessed at an
execution. There stood the two men, both in the full flush
of health and manhood, one under the gallows, on the verge
of eternity -- the other in the natural course of events with many
years before him, and he, paler than his accuser. In a low, and
perfectly clear voice, Eighmey said, all the time pointing his finger
at Webster, "The people of Ontario county may have the privilege of
thanking you for bringing me here to where I now stand, for you know
you told me, and you know that confession to be the truth, and you
deny it. And now what is to be done with me? That what you
and Mrs. Crandall talked to me, and got me into this trouble, which was
against my will, and always was, as I told you. And now for me to
take the penalty of this law and you go free; that it shall be -- Well,
I have nothing to say with reference to what shall be done with you, or
anything of that kind, only as I say this -- that what you did do, and
talked to me, and as I made that confession, that each and every word
of it is the truth, and nothing but the truth, and you know you cannot
deny it, Mr. Webster. If Mrs. Crandall was here, she must always
think of it, -- what she talked and told me."
He paused, and Mr. Van Alstine then read the following passages from
the scriptures: Ex. 21-12; Mathew 6, 9-12; 1 John 1-2-22-5,
24-10-4; Romans, 5-1, 8-1-16; 1 John 4-9; Revelations 14-13. The
reading was followed by an eloquent and earnest prayer. Eighmey
stood holding the bouquet in his left hand, and so great was the
control over his nerves, that his hand never even quivered. At
the conclusion of the prayer, deputy-Sheriff Sheldon strapped his arms
and legs. He submitted to it without a tremor. After it was
finished he presented Mr. Green with his bouquet; then turning to
Deputy-Sheriff Reed, whispered "You know, Mr. Reed, Webster has brought
this upon me." Reed said, "If you want to say anything, do
so". Then with the noose dangling over his head, and his arms and
limbs strapped, Eighmy spoke, in the
same quiet collected manner and said, "This crime I stand charged under
was never done by my will, but under the influence of Charlotte
and you, Webster, and you know it. The guard that have been in
jail and taken care of me have been all kind; and the sheriff and his
family have treated me with kindness and respect, and the guards have
all, too. I hope the people will always give them credit for
being good to me. And my folks -- my relations -- have done all
for me that lay in their
power to do; and I hope we will all meet again, each and every one of
and I hope I am forgiven of my trouble, and I think I am. I think
I am going all easy and free. (Here the prisoner's voice failed
him.) After a moment he added: " I bid you all goodbye."
When he had finished, he turned and said to Under-Sheriff Benham, "I am
ready." Mr. Benham then placed the noose around his neck, and
pulled the black cap over his face, and at precisely 11:07 o'clock the
signal was given and Charles Eighmy was launched into eternity.
His death must have been painless, as save a slight muscular
contraction after the trap was sprung, there was no evidence of pain or
the slightest struggle. After hanging 15 minutes, Drs. Simmons
and Smith, attending physicians, pronounced him dead. Before the
body was cut down, Sheriff Boswell announced that it was the request of
Eighmy that his body should not be buried by the public, and asked
those present to retire. The body was placed in a black walnut
coffin, with silver plated handles, plainly mounted, and with a large
silver plate bearing the simple inscription, Charles Eighmy, aged 26.
All the arrangements for the execution were perfect, and reflect the
utmost credit upon Sheriff Boswell and his attendants. Thus has
passed the first execution in Ontario county. God grant it may be
From Geneva Gazette 31 December 1875
On Tuesday afternoon last, Mr. Jacob Westfall, a farmer
residing about 3 1/2 miles southeast of Phelps village, went to that
market with a load of wood. He arrived in town, sold his wood,
made a few small purchases, collected a small debt, paid another one,
fell in with some acquaintances, drank two or three times with them,
and became somewhat intoxicated. About 8 p.m. a friend helped him into
his wagon, got him started toward home and left him. Alas, that
home he never reached alive. After hours
of weary waiting and watching, his anxious wife sends for a neighbor to
go and search for him. That neighbor pursues the search for 2 1/2
miles towards Phelps, then finds the team at large by the roadside.
arouses another neighbor, and together they pursue search, when the
and inanimate form of the missing man is found stark and stiff in death
the highway, with a murderous wound in his head and weltering in a pool
What followed is in the testimony, for which we are indebted to the
courtesy of Coroner Covert of Geneva, who was notified and took charge
of the inquest. The Coroner found the body undisturbed just where
it was first discovered. He took the dead man's wallet and found
there all the money which could be traced to his possession.
said that one of his errands to town was to collect a considerable
of money due him on a previous sale and delivery of grain, but inquiry
proved that he did not receive it. Such purpose may have become
some desperado who coveted a plethoric purse, but who, disappointed in
the magnitude of his prize, resolved to touch none of it, or was
away after enacting the frightful tragedy. But this is mere
Another theory is, that murder was committed from the mere motive
of revenge, yet God only knows who could have been actuated by such
We heard the principal wound described as of such nature that it might
have been given with the head of an axe. Suggestive of foul play
is the fact that he evidently fell from his wagon on the right hand
side of it, while the wound was upon the left side of his head.
again it is a suspicious circumstance that the horses' lines were found
around the third stake of his wagon-rack forward from that on which he
been seated. Would he, unless drunk to utter insensibility,
does not seem to have been the case, ) have discarded the reins and
a "high-lifed and spirited team" absolutely without guidance or
public will await with deep interest further developments in this awful
Mr. Westfall was aged about 60 years and himself born and brought up in
Phelps, and raised a large family therein. He was regarded as a
good farmer, a kind neighbor, husband and father, subject to no adverse
criticism except as to his appetite for ardent spirits. Coroner
Covert, on arriving in Phelps by first train Monday morning, summoned
an intelligent jury,
who with him proceeded to the spot where the ill-fated victim was first
found, viewed the body and returned to Tichnor's hotel to take
testimony. The following gentlemen compose the jury: Thomas
J. Lyman, Abram S. Smith, James Barker, John W. Lyon, David B. Sweet,
Caleb P. Kelly, Francis Root, B. F. Odell, Patrick W. Bradley, John H.
Roy, James M. Cole, Abram B. Pruyn, Rus'l C. Carpenter and Abram
From Geneva Gazette 7 January 1876
Coroner Covert continued his investigation into the cause of Mr.
Westfall's death last Tuesday. Statements of two or three
examined last week, against whom some suspicion existed, were fully
But little new was elicited leading to a solution of the mystery
in this tragic event. But the jury were unanimously convinced
the testimony of surgeons who made the post mortem examination that
Westfall came to his death by criminal means. Their
concludes: "We find that death was caused by a wound on the left
of his head, inflicted by some person or persons or by other direct
to the jury unknown." We overstated the age of Mr. Westfall in
last. He was in his 49th year only, instead of 60 years old.
civil authorities and people of Phelps will be constantly on the alert
discover a clue to his murderer.
We give a synopsis of additional testimony as follows:
In the examination last Tuesday Chauncey Howard, who lives
half a mile east of Phelps village, testified that he was at home
Tuesday night, 28th ult., and between 8 and 9 o'clock saw a lumber
wagon with wood rack upon it pass his house, and two men were in
the wagon; heard them
conversing, but did not recognize either of them. Did not know
Westfall. The team was walking.
James Howard of Phelps testified that in coming to the village
that night at about a quarter past 8 he met a team with wood rack on
wagon and two men in the vehicle, one near front end and the
other in back part. Met them near Sabin's corners going north.
man cross the road ahead of team, but did not see where he went.
Sister went to village and returned home with witness.
Freeman R. Hicks testified that he remembered seeing Westfall,
Fillmore and others in Van Auken's saloon that night. The two
former went out together, and Fillmore did not return while witness
remained, which was about half an hour, or until about 9 P. M.
James Armstrong testified that in coming to the village about
8 p.m., he met a team of dark-colored horses with woodrack and two men,
one seated in front, the other in back part of wagon. One in
wore a hat, the other a cap - both seated on the right hand side of
Before meeting team saw a man on foot going north and walking
fast. Met team north of Sabin's corners.
John Westfall, brother of deceased, testified that deceased was
sued at Clyde by a former employee named Thomas Herold, on a claim for
wages, amount $30; that Herold was non-suited; that on the 22d November
Herold come to witness' barn and said that "if my brother did not pay
would waylay him." On the first of December he came to my house
then told me that he had hired his board at Lyons for a week watching
Jacob Westfall, but did not state for what purpose he was watching him.
"Herold is ugly and vicious when under the influence of liquor,
quiet and peaceful when sober." Witness knew of no facts to account for
death of his brother. Had heard him say that he owed Herold only
Aiken Irving testified to seeing Fillmore help deceased into
his wagon, back the team out, and jump out near the crosswalk. Saw him
go into saloon under Phelps hotel, and again saw him in Butterfield's
saloon from which latter he departed after ten or fifteen minutes.
Hiram Peck testified that he went to the Wayne County Poor
House on the 31st ult., examined register, found the name of Peter Marr
and full description of person corresponding with that of Peter Rice,
who was sworn on Thursday. Marr (or Rice) arrived at Poor House
Tuesday, 28th ult. at about 5 p.m., remained over night, and departed
at 7 a.m. Wednesday morning. Is satisfied that said inmate and Peter
Rice is one and the same person.
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