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Hancock County, IL Newspaper Data

Crime-Related News Stories

Other Cases Decided before the Circuit Court of Hancock County
Carthage, Ill., - Ferguson, the colored man, who has been on trial before the criminal court at this place for being accessory to the murder of Dr. Pierson, at Augusta, over a year ago, has been found guilty and sentenced to twenty-four years in the penitentiary. It will be remembered that Ferguson figured very prominently in the trial of Leroy Working, Marion Hetrick and young Avery, on the charge of murder before the criminal court at Quincy, last September. Ferguson disappeared from Augusta soon after the murder of Dr. Pierson, and various suspicious circumstances led the officers to follow up. He was found in the timber land beyond St. Paul, Minn., chopping wood. At first he denied all knowledge of the crime, but a search of his clothing brought to light a pawn ticket calling for the gold watch belonging to the doctor. While en route to Augusta, Ferguson made a statement to the effect that Working, Avery and Hetrick, together with himself, planned the murder, he having no part whatever in the terrible affair, further than enticing the doctor from his home, and sending him to see a supposed patient some distance from Augusta. The three first named men were tried in Quincy last fall on a change of venue from Hancock County and were all acquitted. Ferguson has been on trial for some days before Judge Williams, in this circuit, and the jury returned a verdict as already stated.

Doc. Stewart, who has been on trial for rape committed at Augusta, was also found guilty and sentenced to six years imprisonment at Joliet. [
The Quincy Daily Whig, March 12, 1880 - Submitted by Debbie Lee]

An Illinois Postoffice Robbed.
Carthage, Ill., April 28 - The postoffice at La Harpe, in this county, was robbed of $300 in money and stamps at 2 o'clock yesterday morning. About $20,000 worth of notes and securities and endowment funds belonging to the Getting Seminary, recently burned, were also taken. It is thought the work was engineered by local crooks. The safe was drilled with tools stolen from a blacksmith shop.
[29 Apr 1889; Philadelphia Inquirer - Submitted by K. Torp]

Coroner's Jury Can Find No Evidence That Connects Anyone With Woman's Death.

Warsaw, Ill., Nov. 27.- The coroner's jury concluded its inquiry into the death of Mrs. Ellen Cullenne yesterday afternoon at 1:30, the verdict remaining: “Death due to strangulation from hands unknown to the jury.”
Detective Richard Stanley, of Chicago, was called before the jury and stated the results of his investigation. Mr. Stanley believes that Mrs. Cullenne's death was due to natural causes. His search has proved that Mrs. Cullenne obtained about $40 in silver and paper money from the sale of grain about two weeks prior to her death and it seems probable, he thinks, that this was all the money she had on the place, as she wanted this for necessities. This may have been paid out in the two weeks intervening and anything remaining may have been destroyed in the debris. The watch that it is known she possessed may been removed in the same manner, he said. Mrs. Cullenne had a large goiter and Mr. Stanley's investigations have brought to light the fact that this may have caused heart trouble. On being seized with an attack, she may have fallen over, igniting her clothing with a candle which she carried, the holder having been found lying beside her. Several frames of pocket books were found, all of which were closed, and, as he stated, it would hardly have been probable that anyone removing money from them would have taken the trouble to close them.
Adam Koch, who worked for Mrs. Cullenne a number of years, but not lately, testifies as to her habits of living. When he worked for her he had seen several sacks half full of coins and also knew that she kept under her pillow revolvers and other weapons. Mr. Koch helped to move the debris, which was carefully handled and examined, and said that no money was found, but a quarter and that they had found a piece of metal, a watch chain and several frames of pocket books, some of which were open and some closed. Neither the revolvers nor the watch were found. Mr. Koch is one of the men who saw Mrs. Cullenne remove a tea kettle from a vault in the cellar a number of years ago when she was preparing to build her new home. She would not let any one else remove it and said she desired to keep it because it had belonged to her mother. It was supposed that it contained gold and silver coins. She did no trust the banks he said, but had at one time placed $50 in the Warsaw bank as a blind, he supposed.
John Harrison testified to having seen two strange men come out of the timber a short distance from Mrs. Cullenne's, on the Friday before the catastrophe. One man was taller than the other and both were roughly dressed.
N. D. Gash also testified to having seen two strange men in the neighborhood the Saturday before the death of Mrs. Cullenne. The men answered the description given by Mr. Harrison and excited Mr. Gash's suspicions because they took a course out of the main road, going through the timber in the direction of Mrs. Cullenne's house. It was known that a party had camped near there and edibles were stolen from neighboring houses.
The unusual number of crimes committed in the neighborhood lately also make the death of Mrs. Cullenne look more like murder.
[The Quincy Daily Journal; Date: Nov 27, 1912; Page:7; Transcribed By: Kayla]

Ollie Koechle who was arrested last week for an assault and battery on the person of Mrs. Blanche Young, was tried in a Nauvoo justice court last Monday and the evidence showed he was Justified in his act and honorably discharged. Frank Ballinger of Keokuk, attorney, represented the defendent. [The Daily Gate City and Constitution-Democrat.(Keokuk, Iowa), November 26, 1919] 

Robt, Inghram, Esq
Source: Waynesburg Messenger, Aug 5, 1863 -transcribed by J.S.
We regret to learn that our old friend and townsman, Robert Inghram, Esq., Sheriff of Hancock county, Illinois, was shot in the hip and seriously injured while attempting to arrest a returned volunteer, who had committed an assault on an old man. His Deputy was also shot through the breast, and instantly killed by the desperado at the same time. The scoundrel was followed by a number of citizens who put three balls through him in trying to capture him, killing him instantly.

Source: Star, Dec 26, 1845 -transcribed by J.S.
Backenstos, the Mormon sheriff of Hancock county, Illinois, recently tried under an indictment for the murder of a man during the troubles in that county, has been pronounced by the Jury not Guilty.

County Attorney Hamilton Asked by Father of Dupe Girl Whether Charge Can be Pressed Here.
If Proceedings are Carried Out in This County They Would be Based on This Charge.

Source: The Daily Gate City, Aug 6, 1919 -transcribed by J.S.
Lee County may have an opportunity to deal out justice to John Behne, the man who married the Nauvoo girl and lived in Fort Madison until a former marriage was discovered and his wife and children appeared on the scene. J.M.C. Hamilton, county attorney of Lee county, has been asked by the father of the duped girl whether or not he would undertake a prosecution on a charge of bigamy were one to be filed in Lee county. Attorney Hamilton has replied that he would take up the case if the charges are made here.

The father of Miss Verna Miller, the girl whom Behne wedded recently, who is now sorrowing over the duplicity of the man whom she trusted, is expected to appear in Fort Madison in the near future to consult with the county attorney, but it is barely possible that the prosecution may be taken up in Hancock county, Illinois, where the girl lives and where the marriage was performed early last week. Prosecution on the charge of bigamy cannot be pressed in Des Moines county, as the couple had not resided there. Behne will, however, be prosecuted there on the wife desertion charges.

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