Obituaries and Death Notices
in Pulaski County, Illinois Newspapers

Mound City Weekly Emporium

20 Jan 1859 -  1 Dec 1859

Mound City, Pulaski County, Illinois

Transcribed and annotated by Darrel Dexter

Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 20 Jan 1859:

Fatal Accident

           On Wednesday morning before daylight, the train on the Mound City railroad run over the body of a man by the name of Patrick McNulty, a moulder by trade, formerly of Cleveland, Ohio, and literally cut into shreds.  The legs, body and portions of the head were so thoroughly mangled that it was with difficulty recognized even by those who had recently worked with deceased in Mr. James Goodloe’s foundry in this place.  Poor McNulty was a quiet, industrious man, and had not been known to taste ardent sprits while here, until the day before the awful accident occurred.  Another terrible warning against even the occasional use of intoxicating liquors.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 3 Feb 1859:

Man Killed by the Cars.

           A man, whose name we have been unable to learn, was killed Thursday evening, near the junction of the Mound City and Illinois Central railroads, by the up passenger train on the latter road.  He was lying on the outside of the track with his head close to the rail, evidently asleep, on the approach of the train.  Had he remained in this position he would have escaped unharmed, but being aroused by the noise he attempted to get up and was struck on the head by some portion of the engine and killed instantly.


Death of William J. Spence

           We are pained to learn of the recent death of William J. Spence, late surveyor and school commissioner of Pulaski County.  He was a man of fine business capacity and for many years took an active part in the management of the affairs of the county.  To say that he died without enemies might be an unwarranted assertion, but we can say with all safety that hosts of friends most poignantly feel his unexpected demise.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 10 Feb 1859:

The dead body of Daniel Carroll, of Quincy, Ill., was found on the levee, in Cairo last week.  The coroner’s jury decided that death had been brought about by sickness and exposure.


Sudden Death—On the arrival of the J. H. Lucas, at Cairo in the 2d inst., from St. Louis, one of the passengers named J. H. Stofeffer was found lying on the floor of his stateroom dead.  It was decided that he came to his death by an apoplectic fit.  He stated at the time of purchasing his ticket, the day previous, that he was subject to fits.

The man who was killed last week by the cars near Cache Bridge, week before last, went by the name of John K. Harden, lately a resident of Indianapolis, Indiana.  He had been robbed at a house in Cairo kept by Matt Burns, only a few days before, and it is supposed was at the time of his death attempting to reach home on foot.  He was about fifty-five years of age.


A Cairoite named John Crawford went on board the steamer Courier while lying at Cairo landing, one day last week and shot a deck hand by the name of John Barry.  Crawford wanted Barry to go to Paducah to serve him as a witness in a pending law suit, and used his pistol in the premises as a “persuader.”  Barry’s wounds are pronounced dangerous.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 17 Feb 1859:


           In Plymouth, Washington County, Ohio, on the 8th inst., Miss Maria L. Waugh, sister of the publisher of this paper, aged 18 years.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 24 Feb 1859:

MURDER—On Saturday night a week ago, a Cairoite named Jacob Phillips murdered his wife without any apparent cause.  He shot her with a pistol—the ball passing entirely through her body.  He was drunk.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 3 Mar 1859:

The partially decayed body of a man drifted ashore at this place the other day and was buried at the expense of the city.  It had drifted from some point above Metropolis.  At all events, there was nothing valuable about it.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 31 Mar 1859:

MASONIC—The funeral obsequies of W. J. Spence and Gilbert Boren, deceased, will be observed at Caledonia, on the first Sunday in April, instead of the first Saturday as we inadvertently stated last week.  The Caledonia lodge will be opened on Saturday preceding the first Sunday for the purpose of settling on suitable arrangements.  We have been authorized to say that a regalia consisting only of a plain white apron, white gloves and if the participants elect, a white scarf, will be deemed most appropriate.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 7 Apr 1859:

OLD RESIDENT GONE.—Since the last issue of our paper, John __ter and Joseph Tebbs, have been called hence, to try the ___ties of another world.  They were both recognized old residents of the country.  Mr. Tebbs having been a resident of this city nearly a quarter of a century.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 28 Apr 1859:

Death of Hon. Willis Allen

           We record the death of this eminent gentleman with feelings of profound regret.  He died at Harrisburg, Saline County on the 15th inst., after a very short illness.

           Mr. Allen has filled numerous positions of honor and trust and ever occupied a high place in the estimation of all who knew him.  He represented this district during two terms in Congress, filled a seat in the State Legislature, and at the time of his death, was Judge of the 26th judicial circuit.


The trial of Edrington, for the murder of Goodman, last fall in Metropolis, was continued.  The case is in our court through a change of venue.  An unsuccessful effort was made to get the prisoner out on bail.


FOUND DEAD.—Sometime during last Thursday night Charles Fairleigh, while in a fit of delirium tremens, broke from the house in which he was confined, at the mouth of Cache River and ran off into the woods.  Friday morning he was found dead, his head lying against a stump.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 12 May 1859:

Death of Willis Allen

For the Mound City Emporium

           Be it remembered, that at a circuit court held in the courthouse at North Caledonia, County of Pulaski, and State of Illinois, on Saturday, the 23rd day of April 1859, J. Watson Webb, Esq., came into court and announced the demise of the Honorable Willis Allen, Judge of the 26th judicial circuit of Illinois, whereupon court adjourned.

           The members of the Bar, then formed themselves into a committee, appointed Hon. John Dougherty, of Union County, chairman, and Thomas A. Green, of Mound City, Secretary.

           After many remarks by the members of the bar generally, as to the commendable virtues and unexceptionable conduct of the deceased, as a parent, husband, etc., the following Preamble and Resolutions were unanimously adopted.

           WHEREAS, by an inscrutable Providence of Almighty God, the Honorable Willis Allen, judge of the 26th Judicial Circuit, on Friday the 17th inst., at Harrisburg in Saline County, Illinois, after a brief illness, departed this life, and whereas, the deceased, in his life time, had been for nearly a quarter of a century, identified with the legal profession of Illinois, in which relation the profession and all others who had the good fortune to know him, entertained for him the highest regard, both as a lawyer and a gentleman, and deeming it our duty, as his professional brethren, to offer some tribute of respect to his memory.  Therefore, be it

           Resolved, By the members of the Bar, practicing in the 19th judicial circuit, that to the bereaved family and friends of the deceased, we offer our sincere and a heartfelt condolence in their great affliction.

           Resolved, That in the death of Judge Allen, his district has lost an able and efficient Judge, the profession a high-minded and honorable member, the country a good citizen, and his family a kind and affectionate parent; and although the relation that has so long existed between us and the deceased has been dissolved yet we will ever cherish a remembrance of the many virtues he possessed and which endeared him not only to the legal profession, but to the whole people of Illinois.

           Resolved, That a copy of the foregoing Preamble and Resolutions be signed by the president and secretary, and spread upon the records of this court—that a copy thereof be transmitted to the family of the deceased, and that copies be transmitted to the principle newspapers in Southern Illinois, with a request that they publish the same.

           J. Dougherty, Chairman

T. A. Green, Secretary


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 19 May 1859:

Convicted.—John Wells, who killed James Canary, in Union County in the fall of 1857, was tried on the charge of murder in the Pope County circuit court, last week, and found guilty.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 9 Jun 1859:

The dead body of a citizen of Cairo named John Fitzgerald was found in a skiff near this city last Monday.  It is believed he died in an apoplectic fit.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 16 Jun 1859:


           We have to chronicle the occurrence of a sad affair, which resulted in the death of Mr. Bryant Boren, of Caledonia, in this county, on last Monday evening.  The particulars as we received them are as follows:

           A Mr. Bealer, residing in Kentucky, opposite Caledonia, crossed over to town during the day, and in the evening returned to the Kentucky side, accompanied by Bryant Boren.  They went to a trading boat lying nearby, occupied by a woman, whose name we did not hear, her two daughters, and a son aged about fifteen years, where they got into a quarrel concerning the daughters.  The woman denied there being any person on board of such a character as they intimated, and ordered them away.  They still persisted and went so far as to commence search for them.  The boy endeavored to prevent this, when a tussle ensued between him and Bealer, in which the latter received a severe stab from a knife in the hands of the boy.  Bealer becoming faint from the loss of blood, went off the boat and lay down in the bank of the river, leaving Boren in the boat, but who shortly after followed out to see him, when the inmates availed themselves of this opportunity to shut and fasten the door.  Being enraged at finding his comrade so severely injured, Boren returned with a skiff oar and commenced beating the door, which soon gave way, when the lad fired on him, the ball passing through the arm above the elbow and entering the breast in the region of the heart.  Boren ran off the boat and also lay down, remarking to Bealer, “They have killed me,” after which he soon expired.  The boy has been arrested and, as the occurrence took place on the Kentucky side, it will be tried at Blandville, the county seat of Ballard.  The deceased was a young man of about twenty years and respectably connected.

           Gaining our information from different persons, the above, in some particulars is probably incorrect.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 30 Jun 1859:

DROWNED—John Delhaman, a hand in Connor’s stave factory, was drowned last Tuesday, while bathing in the river.  He went in alone and was not missed till the hour for work came.  His clothes were found on the bank and his steps traced to the edge of the water.  As he was a good swimmer, it is probable that he became cramped and unable to help himself.  He was an Englishman by birth and a man of steady habits.  Had written for his wife to meet him here, and was daily looking for her arrival.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 14 Jul 1859:

The body of a man was found lodged in the wheel of the steamer __armer while lying at our wharf last Saturday. The body was considerably disfigured from remaining in the water, but still bore unmistakable evidence of foul treatment, there being a deep gash in his forehead, bruises on his face and many other injuries.  From the dress he was evidently a deck hand.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 4 Aug 1859:


In this city on Friday evening, 15th ult., of membranous croup, Annis Munger, infant daughter of Emmaline Rebecca and Theodore L. Lamb, aged seven weeks.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 1 Sep 1859:

On the 16th ult., an old and wealthy citizen of Caldwell County, Ky., named Jesse Williams, charged with murder, stealing and cruelty to his slaves, was taken from jail, carried seven miles and hung.  Several others suspected of being connected with him in his villainies were ordered to leave the country, among whom were his two sons.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 8 Sep 1859:

Trial of O’Halleran

           The case of Jerry O’Halleran, charged with the murder of his wife, was the most important of the criminal cases tried at the last term of the circuit court, and as the occurrence was fresh in the memory of all of our citizens the trial was closely watched while it was progressing.

           O’Halleran’s trial came up last week and a jury of the best men in the county was empanelled; men proverbial for honesty, who could not be bribed to do what their consciences did not dictate.  After hearing the evidence, they were but a short time in bringing in their verdict, which was “Guilty.”  This however, at the present day and in this portion of God’s creation, is no sign that the party will be hung.  Judge Sloan, who was presiding at the verdict and upon a petition for a new trial, immediately granted it.  Why a judge has the right to overrule the opinion of twelve men and grant a new trial we would like to know.  If they have this power, we certainly can hereafter dispense with the services of one or the other.  Who is a judge that he should virtually say, “You may give your opinion, but I must decide.”  We recognize the verdict of the jury, and will ever look upon the accused as a murderer who has escaped the penalty of the law by the unjustly exercised power of the Judge.  Granting a new trial is nearly equivalent to an acquittal, as witnesses are continually changing locations and more than likely some of the most important are called away by death

           P.S. O’Halleran, who was placed in the Massac County jail for “safekeeping,” made his escape the night after he was lodged therein, in company with four or five others, by sawing the iron bars of the cell.


Drowning of a Prisoner

Edrington, who it will be remembered shot a man named Goodman at Metropolis some year or so ago, was drowned in the Ohio River on last Saturday week, by jumping from the steamer Thomas Scott.  He had taken a change of venue from Massac County to this one, and was waiting at Caledonia, during the term of court, for his trial to come up, but owing to the amount of business set for this term, his case was not reached and he was, when drowned, on his way back to the Massac County jail to await the next term of court, in charge of an officer.  When the Scott was at the foot of Grand Chain and while the passengers were at dinner, he jumped from the boat and struck out for shore.  By the time the alarm of “Man overboard” was given and the passengers rose from their seats, the boat had run so far that he could be but indistinctly seen by some, while others did not see him at all, causing doubts to arise in the minds of many as to the truth of the report.  This matter has since been settled by his body washing ashore at Caledonia.  The fact that the boat was within a few rods of the shore, that the water at that point was very shallow and at a time when all the passengers were in the cabin, does not establish the supposition that he intended suicide, but that he expected to reach the shore, where, it is reported a horse was placed on which he might escape.  The long confinement had doubtless so reduced his system that he was unable to reach the shore.


Circuit Court Proceedings

           For the Mound City Emporium.

           Court opened on the 22nd of August, and continued two weeks.  The Hon. Wesley Sloan on the bench and a number of lawyers from different counties were present.  There were about eighty cases on the People’s docket, and about the same number on the chancery docket, and two hundred and nine cases on the common law docket.  There were but two or three civil cases disposed of, as the whole term was taken up with criminal business and in settling pleadings, arguing motions, demurrers, etc.

           The following criminal cases were disposed of the first week:

           The People against John Wilson, indicted for perjury, tried and acquitted.  The same against A. B. Clemson, for an assault with intent to murder—acquitted.  The same against William Thompson for marking hogs with intent to steal—acquitted.  The same against John Farnsworth for mayhem—continued.  The same against Van Lisenby for passing counterfeit money—acquitted.  Fitzhue’s case was continued.  There were other cases of less importance disposed of.

           On Tuesday morning of the second week, the case of the people against Jeremiah O’Halleran, indicted for murder, was taken up, Thomas H. Smith, prosecuting attorney, E.B. Watkins and S.P. Wheeler, appeared for the People.  T. A. Green, G. S. Pidgeon and E. B. Green appeared for the prisoner.  After a trial of nearly five days, the jury after having been out some four or five hours, returned a verdict of guilty on Friday evening, between sundown and dark.  On the reading of the verdict, the prisoner became very much excited and rising up in court, he declared before God that he was innocent.  This was a case of circumstantial evidence entirely, and led most of persons to think that the prisoner was guilty; but, yet, it was generally conceded that the evidence was not sufficiently strong to justify conviction, and hence the court, and all the members of the bar, and even the prosecuting attorney himself was very much surprised at the verdict of guilty, and it was wholly unexpected.  T. A. Green entered a motion immediately on the return of the verdict, for a new trial, which was taken up on Saturday morning, and argued on behalf of the prisoner by T. A. Green and G. S. Pidgeon, and on the part of the People by the prosecuting attorney and E. B. Watkins.  The grounds assigned for a new trial, by the prisoner’s counsel, were, first, that the verdict of the jury was contrary to law and evidence in the case; second, newly discovered evidence after the trial.  The court, in delivering its opinion, remarked that it was entirely a case of circumstantial evidence and that the chain of circumstances, with which they sought to convict the prisoner with the crime, was materially broken and defective, and not sufficiently strong, and connected as to exclude reasonable doubts as to his guilt.  But the court further remarked, that the jurors were the sole judges of the law and evidence, and notwithstanding, the testimony was insufficient, yet a new trial would not be granted upon that ground; as courts, seldom, if ever, disturb the verdicts of juries as to matters of fact.  The new trial was granted upon the ground of newly discovered testimony after the trial.  The court remarking, that in view of all the circumstances connected with the case, he felt like giving the prisoner another chance for his wife.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 15 Sep 1859:

Mr. Reason Zarley, one of the first settlers of Illinois and a most estimable citizen, died on the 30th of last month at his residence near Joliet, Illinois, in the sixty-ninth year of his age.  He served in the War of 1812 and was one of the few who escaped the massacre at Brownston, where 130 Americans contended against 800 Indians and 400 British soldiers.  He settled in Illinois when Indians and wild beasts were almost the sole occupants of the territory, and built his cabin where the city of Joliet now stands.  His sons are editors and proprietors of the Joliet Signal.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 22 Sep 1859:

J. R. Emrie was allowed $18.75 for holding inquest over the remains of John Denhulon, dec’d.

J. R. Emrie was allowed $18.75 for holding inquest over the remains of John Fitzgerald, dec’d.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 5 Oct 1859:

ACCIDENT—An accident occurred at the Marine Ways on last Friday, which came nigh resulting in the death of Mr. James Dudley.  Mr. D. was engaged in sawing wedges at the circular saw, when a wedge or piece of wood was caught by the saw and thrown forward, striking him on the face and neck, with such force as to fell him to the floor senseless.  He was carried to his residence where he lay two days in the greatest agony with closed eyes and without speaking.  On last Sunday his symptoms became more favorable and his physician now entertains the hope that he will recover.  When consciousness returned, he was entirely ignorant of everything connected with the accident.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 13 Oct 1859:

A murder committed in our midst—The offender summarily punished.

           We commence our labors this week under very unpleasant circumstances.  We could hope to be spared the unpleasant duty we have to perform, but as an honest chronicler of the events of this locality, we will endeavor to lay aside all diffidence and prejudice and give, as far as we can, an honest account of the affair which we are about to relate.

           On last Saturday night,  considerable number of men were congregated at the saloon kept by John Zanone, having no particular object in congregating further than to pass away the evening.

           At about ten o’clock, an affray commenced among them, but which it was supposed would end harmlessly.  Several persons became engaged in riot, among whom were Daniel K. Charles and James Vaughn, the former having been at the house but a few minutes, when he and a man named Willmott differed and closed in a fisticuff.  Charles had knocked his opponent down and was in the act of walking away when he received a shot from someone unknown at the time.  With the exclamation, “I am shot,” he reeled and fell dead.  The report of the pistol brought a large number to the grounds, but none seemed to have seen the shot fired or knew who had committed the deed.  Immediately after the firing, a man was seen running from the crowd and was followed and caught.  This proved to be Vaughn, but those who caught him were strangers and not wishing to be connected in any way with the affair, did not bring him back.

           A jury was immediately summoned and an inquest held over the body of Charles, but nothing was elicited of any importance at the time and adjourned till Sunday morning.  It was then reported that Vaughn had acknowledged the crime, and as he had not been seen since, he was supposed by all to be guilty. The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the facts and Marshal Ferrell started in pursuit, with but little hope of success, as he (Vaughn) had nine hours the start of him.  He ascertained that Vaughn had crossed the river at four o’clock a.m.  Ferrell crossed at nine o’clock and, finding tracks in the sand, he followed them down the river for some distance.  Believing them to be his tracks, he pushed forward and succeeded in overtaking him about ten miles below Cairo, on Mayfield Creek.  Vaughn made no resistance and freely acknowledged the crime, expressing the deepest regret that he had done what he had.  Marshal Ferrell returned with him about 6 o’clock p.m. and duly lodged him in the calaboose.

           Charles had been a citizen of this place for about two years and had gained the friendship of all with whom he became acquainted.  A kind hearted, inoffensive and sober man, he had made many warm friends and few, if any, enemies.  He was employed for a long time by Mr. James Goodloe, but at the time of his death was working for Hambleton, Collier & Co.  He was a native of the State of Pennsylvania and had no relatives in this portion of the country.

           This is a sad occurrence and we would gladly cease to follow it further, but in so doing our duty would be but half performed.

           When Vaughn was brought back, hundreds crowded about him.  It was the all-absorbing topic and some expressed themselves strongly in favor of lynching him.  This, of course, was objected to by a large number, who admitted he deserved to be punished to the extent of the law, yet did not wish, for the honor of our city, to see the case taken out of the hands of the law.  As evening drew near, the feeling against the offender rapidly increased.  Squads of men might be seen at every corner, continually growing larger by the addition of men of all classes.  At about 10 o’clock, the crowds began to disperse, and the streets were soon quiet, and many retired for the night believing that nothing unlawful would be done.  We retired and the finale of the tragedy we have gathered from different persons.  At 12 o’clock, a body of men, supplied with a rope, went to the calaboose, beat down the door with a battering ram and took the prisoner out.  They then proceeded to a tree and throwing the rope over and adjusting it about his neck, the word was given and he was drawn up, and there suspended till life was extinct.

           Thus ends the tragedy of which we have endeavored to give a plain, unvarnished account.  We lament that it has occurred—that the people ever feel it necessary to take the law in their own hands.  And now, may we ask, why was this step taken?  Why was it not allowed to take its way through a legal course of law?  The result of all trials of this nature, which ever went into court in this county gives the answer.  There never was a murderer hanged in this county, although a number have been indicted, and the people are gradually growing into the belief that handing an offender over to court or allowing him to go scot free is one and the same thing.  If there was any proof that the law would be honestly carried out, we venture to say, this would not have happened.  The people still have in mind the action of the court in the case of O’Halleran, where the judge granted a new trial after the jury had rendered a verdict of guilty.  When the whole affair has been honestly considered we do not think it will be classed by the public among those cases of mob law which occasionally occur throughout the country.

           In justice to the mayor, marshal, and other officers of our city, we would say that they had no intimation that such an occurrence would take place, else they would have done all in their power to prevent it.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 3 Nov 1859:

Three Men Drowned

           James G. Stewart and two other men, while crossing the Mississippi River at Cairo on last Thursday night, were drowned.  Mr. Stewart was engineer of the ferryboat Manchester and, the boat having laid up for the night, he and two Irishmen attempted to cross in a skiff.  The night was very windy and it is supposed that the skiff was upset by the wind and waves and that the Irishmen clung to Stewart and prevented him from saving himself.  The skiff was found the next morning at Island No. 1, bottom up.  The oars were also found floating in the river.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 17 Nov 1859:

The body of Mr. James Stewart, who it will be remembered was drowned with two others while crossing the Mississippi at Cairo, has been found near Columbus, Kentucky.


Mound City Weekly Emporium, Thursday, 1 Dec 1859:

Death of Maj. E. G. Eastman

           In our last issue we noted the melancholy death of George G. Poindexter, junior editor of the Nashville Union and American.  Now another, the senior editor, Maj. E. G. Eastman, by a stroke of apoplexy, has passed from this world’s stage, to one where sorrows are not known.  Among those who are left to mourn this sad affliction is Mrs. John F. Morgan, of this place, of whom he was a brother.  The Memphis Avalanche speaks as follows of Mr. E.

           Socially, we do not know his equal.  An exemplary citizen, of genial companion, a true reliable and warm hearted friend, a loving and loved husband and father, and, as Byron said of Sheridan

“God never formed but one such man,

And broke the die in moulding Sheridan.”

           The sentiment with certainly equal truth may be applied to Major Eastman.  He was a native of New Hampshire, but had been for more than twenty years connected with the newspaper press of Tennessee.  Entirely a self-made man, his ability had placed him in the very front rank of the leading editors of the country while his manly courtesy and numerous excellent qualities of head and heart made him universally popular and had hosts of friends wherever known.  The death of few men would cause more deep and heartfelt sorrow, or be more sincerely and generally regretted.



On Monday morning last, of disease of the heart, Mrs. Rebecca Peck, widow of the late F. E. Peck, of this place, aged about 38 years.

           The death of Mrs. Peck removed from this community a most estimable lady, casting a deep gloom over our city, and creating a void in the many years which hold her memory in loving recollection.  But a few months have elapsed since her partner through life was called away from these scenes of mortality, leaving her whom he had so dearly loved to the tender mercies of our Heavenly Father, but now they are doubtless reunited in Heaven, where they walk hand in hand along the river of life, where there is no more death, neither sorrow, nor pain, but where their voices mingle together in praises to their redeemer.

Mrs. P. was a zealous member of the Christian Church, at Paris, Ky., and although there was no church of her choice in this place, her walk was that of a humble Christian.

           She is gone, but her good deeds will live after her, and may many strive to emulate her noble example.

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