Genealogy Trails History Group

Genealogy Trails - Jersey County, Illinois

Volunteers Dedicated to Free Genealogy
Real Data - Always Free & Always Updating!
Genealogy - Preserving the Past - Inspiring the Future!

Return to Home Page

Son Arrested for Murder of Rich Illinoisan

Rock Island Argus., May 06, 1919, Pg. 1
Son Arrested for Murder of Rich Illinoisan
Boy Held for Murder of Father at Jerseyville - Money Cause?

St. Louis, Mo., May 6, - Dr. Horace A. Reddish of Jerseyville, Ill, was arrested today in Alton, Ill., on a warrant charging him with the murder of his father, Stephen M. Reddish, 68 years old, wealthy Jersey county land owner, whose body was found in his home the morning of April 30 with bullet wounds in his head.At the same time the body of Mrs. Rachel Cisco, a negro servant, was found in the home. In the warrant upon which Dr. Reddish was arrested the Cisco womas is not mentioned. Not in a score of years has the surrounding county been stirred as it has been over the murder of Stephen Reddish, reputed to be worth half a million dollars.

Admits Quarrel Over Money.
State's Attorney Hamilton today said, evidence had been collected practically pinning the double killing on Dr. Reddish. Recent demands for money by the physician and the refusal by his aged father and a quarrel have, it is said, been admitted by Dr. Reddish. The warrant was issued by Fred J. Bartman, a justice of the peace of Jerseyville, upon request of State's Attorney Paul M. Hamilton When a message from Alton announced that the arrest had been made. State's Attorney Hamilton and Sheriff James Catt departed for Alton. Clarence Reddish, cashier of a Jerseyville bank, and brother of the accused man, accompanied by his wife, started for Alton about the same time in an automobile.

Arrested at Garage.
The arrest was made at the garage connected with the Mineral Springs hotel in Alton. The Alton police had been requested by Jerseyville aurthorities to keep a watch on Dr. Reddish and to detain him should he show any desposition to leave Alton, where he had been since Wednesday, the day before the bodies of his father and the woman were discovered in the home. Dr. Reddish was returning from St. Louis with his mother, who had been a patient in St. Luke's hospital. His statement at the time the bodies were discovered was that when he reached Alton on his way hoe from St. Louis his mother's condition was not favorable and he stopped for the night instead of continuing for the remaining 15 miles of the journey from Alton to Jerseyville. Soon after he reached the Mineral Springs hotel, Dr. Reddish says, his mother fell and inuured her hip, making it necessary for him to take her to St. Joseph's hospital in Alton, where she now is.

With Mother When Hurt.
In Alton it is said that Dr. Reddish was showing his mother the plunge bath that is a feature of the Mineral Springs hotel and that she slipped down the steps and injured her hip. A steel box containing valuables and papers had been tampered with and an empty pocketbook was found on the floor in Mr. Reddish's room.

How Bodies Were Found.
The discovery of the double slaying was made in this way: Clarence Reddish, who si cashier of the Jerseyville State Bank, last Wednesday received a telephone message from his brother, Horace, in this city, asking him to meet his mohter, who had been in a hospital there undergoing treatment. Until the phone call Clarence had assumed that is father was in St. Louis, but his brother over the phone, it is said, professed ignorance of the senior Reddish's whereabouts, so he decided to see whether his father was at home. Suspicious he might be ill, he took Dr. D. E. Beatty of Jerseyville with him and the two froced an entrance by a kitchen window and walking upstairs, found the bodies.

Murdered Man Was Wealthy.
The elder Reddish owned about 1,500 acres of land in the Nutwood drainage district. He was a native of Jersey County and had resided in Jerseyville a number of years. He was 67 years of age and Rachel Cisco was about 50. Since the finding of the bodies, the funeral and coroner's inquest, Dr. Reddish has been staying in Alton so as to be near his mother. His automobile was in the Mineral Springs garage and after he received a telephone message yesterday he went to his room and hurriedly changed clothes. Then he went to the garage and ordered his car. The car had been so placed in the garage that it could not be taken out in a hurry, and it was some minutes before the obstructions to its removal ahd been cleared away. By the time the police arrived and placed Dr. Reddish under arrest.

Find Ticket for Revolver.
In Dr. Reddish's pockets when he was arrested were found two pawn tickets, one for a watch and the other for a revolver. The revolver pawned by Dr. Reddish, it is said, contains empty shells and similar caliber bullets to those sent crashing through the head of the aged land owner. In Jerseyville it is said that Doctor Reddish was not known to have any income. Although known as "Doctor" Reddish, he did not pracitce because there was some irregularity about his graduation from a medical school. It is said that he practiced at one time in the south-west, where the law governing the licensing of doctors is nto so rigid as it is in Illinois. He has been married, but his former wife, a Boston girl, with whom he became acquainted during his college years, left him about two years ago. He has a son about 7 years old. The will left by Reddish provides about equally for his two sons and his widow.

Rock Island Argus., May 07, 1919, Page 12,
Reddish to be given a First Hearing today
Doctor, Taken Back to scene of crime, claims innocence.
Jerseyville, Ill., May 7 - Dr. Horace A. Reddish, under arrest charged with the murder of his wealthy farther, Stephen M. Reddish, was brought here from Alton today and probably will be given a preliminary hearing this afternoon or tomorrow. Dr. Reddish denies knowledge of the tragedy and asserts he can establish an alibi that he slept with an uncle in St. Louis every night for three weeks prior to the finding of the body Arpil 30. Physicians said the elder Reddish had been dead five days where the body was found in the Reddish home here. In another room a negro servant was found shot to death. Reddish was last seen alive April 25, the Friday before the murder was discovered, and it is believed the double killing was committed on the night of that day.

Revolver Supplies Clue.
Detectives hired by the Jersey State Bank, of which the senior Reddish was stockholder, today reported that they learned that a pistol pawned in St. Louis last Tuesday, the day before the discovery of the murder, was owned by Dr. Reddish. A pawn ticket for a pistol was found in Dr. Reddish's effects. He said he found the ticket, but did not deny ownership of a pawn ticket for a watch, also found in his possession. Though he said he found the ticket for the revolver, but owned the ticket for the watch., the sleuths said they learned that the person pawning the revolver and the watch at different shops had in each instance respresented himself to bge Dr. S. R. Gledhill of Jerseyville. A physician of that name lives across the street from the Reddish home. The detectives reported that his name was falsely used, as the established that he was in Jerseyville at the time the revolver and the watch were pawned.

Work of New Clue's
The detectives also are working on a report the younger Reddish was seen in Jerseyville the night of April 25 and that Stephen Reddish's trousers, with the pockets turned inside out, were on the floor in his room when the body was found. He was known to have drawn $50 from the bank shortly before and two have put the money in two trouser pockets. A pawnbroker who was taken to East St. Louis and Reddish lloked like the man who pawned the weapon, but failed to positively identify him.

Relative Defends Doctor.
John W. Mackelden of St. Louis, a department manager for the John T. Milliken Chemical company, whose wife Ada is a sister of Mrs. Stephen M. Reddish, said today that Dr. Reddish accompanied by his mother and 6 year old son, was a guest at the Mackelden home continuously from April 12 till last Tuesday, and that Dr. Reddish slept with him the night of Friday, April 25, when the murder is believed to have taken place. Clarence Reddish, brother of Dr. Reddish, went to Alton today and told police officials there he did not belive Dr. Reddish guilty.

One Ticket Valuable.
In connection with the pawn tickets, the Alton police have received information that last Friday, after his father's funeral, Dr. Reddish went about the Mineral Springs hotel in Alton greatly excited, asking if anyone had found two tickets which he had lost. He was quoted as saying, "I don't care much about one of them, but the other is very valuable." The pawn tickets at that time were in possession of the police. Detectives say that lettes and newspapers delivered at the Reddish home up to April 25, were found, unopened, but that letters and papers delivered Saturday and later were still on the front porch. The senior Reddish was reputed to be one of the richest men in Jersey County. His holdings of farm lands and real estate were reputed to be worth more than $500,000.00

Article #3 - Rock Island Argus., June 11, 1919, Pg. 1
Dr. Reddish is put on trial for death of father.
Jerseyville, Ill., June 11, - The preliminary hearing for Dr. Horace Augustus Reddish, chared with having slain his father, Stephen M. Reddish, the wealthiest resident of Jersey County, Illinois, began here yesterday. Prosecuting Attorney Hamilton said he would attempt to show that Doctor Reddish fired the shots that killed his father and that the physician's motive was to obtain his share of the Reddish estate, valued at nearly $1,000,000.00 August Ratz, proprietor of the Mineral Springs hotes at Alton, was the first witness called by the state. Doctor Reddish, with his mother and his 6 year old son, Hubert, was a guest at the hotel at the time the body of his father was found. On the night before, Mrs. Reddish while describing a flight of stairs with Dr. Reddish, fell and fractured her right hip. Ratz testified he knew nothing of the accident until the next morning. "I asked Reddish how the accident occurred," Ratz testified. "He replied that his mother made a misstep and fell." "Was anything found in the physciain's room"? the prosecurtor asked. "Yes, a maid found two pawn tickets, one for a watch and one for a pistol. One of the tickets was found hidden in a light globe and the other in the was basin." These tickets, according to the witness, were turned over to Chief of Police Fitzgerald of Alton. Ratz said he later asked Dr. Reddish if he has lost anything and the physician told him, "Yes, two pieces of paper - they were very valuable." Miss Beulah Terpening, a maid at the hotel, was called and told how Doctor Reddish offered her $5 if she would find two slips of paper "resembling pawn tickets" which he had lost. She testified that the physician said one piece of hte paper was "very dear to him"