Rock Island County, Illinois
These are presented in date order
Broke away from the custody of the constable: Augustus Harrington, aged about 19 years, 5'6" or 5'8" tall, fair hair. [27 Feb 1840, RIB&SB, Sub. by KT]
Execution of Three Murderers -- Unfortunate Accident and Shocking Spectacle
Two brothers named Long and Aaron Young, convicted of the murder of Col. Davenport, at Rock Island, Illinois, were executed at that place on the 25th ult. It was a most shocking spectacle, according to a correspondent of the Chicago Daily News, who, after stating that the culprits addressed those present and then engaged in religious service, adds: "The prisoners now severally shook hands with those on the scaffold, and with each other. Aaron Long and Young were nearly overcome with emotion. John was quite calm and collected. The Sheriff bound their arms, put the rope round their necks, drew the caps over their faces and led them forward upon the drop. Taking the axe, he severed the rope at one blow, and down went the drop, letting them fall a distance of four feet. But now remained a scene most revolting to behold and most horrible to describe. The middle rope broke, letting Aaron Long fall, striking his back on the beam below, and lying insensible from the strangling caused by the rope before it broke. For a moment not a human being moved, all were horrified and seemed riveted to their places. Soon, however, the officers descended and lifted him up, when he recovered his senses, and was again led upon the gallows, suffering intensely, raising his hands and crying out – "The Lord have mercy on me! You are hanging an innocent man, and (pointing to his brother) there hangs my poor brother," but, alas, he heeded him not. He was already beyond his sympathy. He was left alone to endure the dreadful sight of his brother’s last agonies, and once more to pass through the dreadful scene – the rope – the platform – the axe. I shall never forget the appearance of that man, as he sat upon the bench, a large bloody streak about his neck, his body trembling all over, while preparations were making for the final fall.
But there was another act in the drama. As he was ascending the gallows, signs of an outbreak among the crowd were evident. Some cried, "That’s enough – let him go.", while others gave expressions to their horror. Just at this moment some cry was raised in a remote part of the crown. No one knew what it was. Some were frightened. One wing of the guard retreated towards the gallows. The tumult increased. A sudden panic seized the immense crown, and they all fled precipitately from the place. If the earth under the gallows had opened and Pluto himself has arisen from the infernal regions, with his horses and chariot, it could not have caused greater consternation, or a more hasty flight. The guard were with difficulty kept in their places, the crowd returned, and soon all was quiet; everyone ashamed of himself for having been frightened at nothing. One wagon was found upset, but it was supposed to be the effect and not the cause of the panic. The wretched victim of the law was at length dispatched, and the crowd dispersed. Thus ended the first execution that I ever witnessed, and God grant that it may be the last. [Port Tobacco Times And Charles County Advertiser, Port Tobacco, MD, November 20, 1845]
A young man named Brewer was attacked by some unknown person, at Rock Island, on the 17th inst. and severely wounded before he made his escape. Illinois State Chronicle (Decatur, Illinois) March 27 1856 [Submitted by Nancy Piper]
Mathew Wall, Co. F. 4th V.R.C raised a disturbance in Schmitt's Saloon on the levee, Thursday evening and was taken to jail by Policeman Sarvey. He was brought up Friday, and fined $8 and costs, which he paid. [Rock Island, The Evening Argus, Sat. April 15, 1865; Sub. by C. Horton]
Mrs. Elizabeth Hanna, one of the proprietors of the Farnam House, was slightly tight the same night and made herself so much of a nuisance the Policemen Redding and Sarvey put her in jail. She was brought up Friday and fined $5. She had no money and was sent up for 5 days. [Rock Island, The Evening Argus, Sat. April 15, 1865; Sub. by C. Horton]
H.J. Smalley shot and killed his brother Andrew at McPherson, Nebraska, on Saturday. The brothers were traveling over land from Moline, Illinois, to Colorado. [Burlington Hawk Eye, Des Moines Co, IA, July 12, 1877]
A Pathetic Parting
Nickolls County (Neb) Herald: While on our way to Lincoln last week we witnessed a most pitiable sight, viz., that of a man with shackles on his feet, and a wife and five children, ranging from two to three months to ten years, clinging to him. The circumstances are as follows: A short time ago an emigrant wagon was wending its way with its load of living freight towards Colorado, and one night went into camp near North Platte. It appears that H.J. Smalley, the prisoner, and head of a family, and his brother, a beardless youth of perhaps nineteen years, had started together, taking with them the prisoner’s family. About the time they reached North Platte they had some trouble and the prisoner wanted his brother to leave and go by himself. But the boy did not intend to go without money, and took, during the night, from the prisoner’s pocketbook, which contained about sixty dollars, the sum of seven dollars and fifty cents, and left. In the morning, when the taking of the money was discovered, the prisoner went after the boy, and caught him about then miles from camp and brought him back. When they reached camp they had more trouble and the prisoner shot the boy with an old musket which had in it a heavy charge of buckshot, blowing the boy’s head to fragments.
Smalley is a simple, in offensive looking man, and must have been in an awful passion to commit such a deed. The sheriff from North Platte, from whom we learned the facts, stated that if his wife and children had not staid him faithfully he would have been hung. It seems that on their account his counsel was able to work upon the sympathies of the jury to such an extent as to cause them to bring in murder in the second degree, which places a man in a living grave for the balance of his days. Although he had committed the most horrible deed in the catalogue of crimes, it was impossible to look unmoved on the scene. A man taking final leave of his family in such a case is indeed an effecting sight. As the train neared the station he took his children each in turn, from the oldest, a girl of ten, to the baby in his arms, and with tears streaming down his face, gave each a farewell caress, and held them to his bosom for the last time. Then handing the baby to his little girl, he took his wife, who had been faithful till this worse than death, in his arms, as a fond lover might his lady. With her head pillowed on his shoulder, they neared the station, where they must part forever. Such is the faithfulness of a true woman, whose marriage vows are to her something more than a form of words that will give her a home. In the face of the facts, who dare say that a woman is false or fickle? [Burlington Hawk Eye , Des Moines County, Iowa, November 15, 1877]
CONFIDENCE MEN CAUGHT
As the cannon ball train left this city last night going west, two suspicious looking men were seen to get aboard. The conductor was attracted by their attention, and on arriving at Davenport telephoned to the police headquarters. Chief Kessler accordingly boarded the train, as it was passing through the city, but was evidently observed by the suspicioned characters as they leaped off, and Chief Kessler learning of this a few blocks further on, left the train, and the Gazette says, "telephoned Capt. Martens, who with Officer Garland repaired to the Perry street depot. The crowd of passengers on the west bound train was carefully scrutinized and two well dressed and sleek appearing fellows, who gave their names as J. B. Howard and John Roach, were place under arrest. They claimed they were enroute to Kansas City, and produced a railroad ticket, which, however, was for Council bluffs. On their persons was found a large number of blank bank checks and spurious gold mining bonds and these they attempted to throw away after taken into custody. It is understood they attempted to fleece a passenger on the cannon ball train but did not succeed. They were locked up at the station. Roach had $140 in money on his person." [The Argus (Rock Island, Il.), October 1, 1885, page 4]
Court Bailiff Bruner gave some of our gentlemen a call with summonses to be in their places at the court house on such a day and such an hour this week.[Source: The Argus, Rock Island IL, October 1, 1885 ; MB, tr. by FoFG]
Last evening Officer Brennan arrested Wesley Cattell, an employer of Barker, the ice man, for stealing a coat from Weyerhauser & Denkman's lumber yard. He was taken before Justice Bennett this morning, before whom he plead guilty to the charge and was held in $100 bail to appear at the next term of the circuit court. Later Deputy Sheriff Silvis served upon Cattell an indictment found by the grand jury against him four years ago for being an accomplice of Enos Allen in the attempted rape of a little daughter of J. Schanck, and on which charge he had eluded capture until now.[Source: The Argus, Rock Island IL, October 1, 1885; page 4; MB, tr. by FoFG]
Mrs. L. C. Stockwell lost a valuable dog as a result of poisoning last week. [The Argus (Rock Island, Il.), October 1, 1885, p4]
A parole has been granted to W. K. Crandall of Rock Island by the state board of pardons. He was employed in the mortuary department of the Woodmen head office and was found guilty of forgery. [Tri-City Star (Davenport) Friday, September 23, 1904 - tr. by C. Horton]
Joe McCabe was run in this morning charged with drunkenness and indecent exposure. He will be tried tomorrow on the latter charge. [Tri-City Star (Davenport) Friday, September 23, 1904; Tr. by C. Horton]
Offers to Kill Editor -- Rock Island Mayor Says Order Must be Restored -- Executive Accuses Man of Causing Political Riots -- Martial Law Continues
Rock Island, IL, Mar. 29 - Mayor Harry Schriver made the startling declaration that if it is necessary to kill John LOONEY, editor of the Weekly News, he (Schriver) will undertake the job. Looney, according to Schriver, is the cause of all the rioting and bloodshed that took place here Tuesday night.
"Decent citizenship in this town is going to be protected,: the mayor said. "If it is necessary to kill John Looney, I will kill him if they march me to the gallows the next day. Looney's blasphemous paper has done damage to this town."
Lodges and church societies applied to the military for permits to hold their regular meetings. The military orders prevent large gatherings of any kind.
Raymond SWINGLE, 18 years old, shot through the abdomen during the riot, can not survive the day, according to a statement of the hospital physicians.
Martial Law will continue in effect in Rock Island until there is no longer any possibility of renewed rioting. No political mass meetings will be permitted until after the primary election April 9. Saloons must remain closed until April 9. At least a portion of the troops now in charge of this city will continue here until after the election. Orders to this effect was issued by Sheriff Bruner and Adj. Gen. Dickson, following a lengthy conference by these officials with Mayor Schriver. [March 29, 1912, Belleville News Democrat , tr. by C. Horton]
LOONEY KILLED IN GUN FIGHT
Rock Island, Ill., Oct. 7.- Conner Looney Jr, died last night of gunshot wounds received yesterday in a gun battle in the heart of the city between underworld political factions. Looney was seated in an automobile in front of a hotel, accompanied by his father, John Looney, publisher of the Rock Island News, when fired upon by the occupants of two passing automobiles. The lives of hundreds of citizens’ were menaced by the shower of bullets. The fight was the climax of war that has been raging between factions in connection with an agitation against vice conditions in the city. Among these arrested in connection with the battle are A. W. Biltburg, Dan Drost, former associate of Looney, and George Holsaple. A feud had existed for months between this trio and the Looneys. Looney, in his paper, the News, printed weekly, has been championing the city and county administrations, both of which have been under public fore for failure to suppress commercial vice. [The Bismarck Tribune, Oct. 7, 1922, page 1; Bismarck, N.D.]
TWO SHOT IN GANG FEUD
Rockwell (sic), Ill., Oct. 6.-Two men were shot and one perhaps fatally in an alleged gang feud here last night. The men, John Loney (sic), 23, son of the publisher, Albert G. Allguery, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Jack Ernest, 42, were shot. The police said as the result of gang war which had its inception in the fatal shooting of Bill Cable, alleged vice leader, last August. Loney, the hospital physicians declare, will die. The other man may recover, it was believed. The fight on the vice ring resulted in the suspension of Chief of Police and the Police Commissioner. [The Weekly Times-Record, Oct. 12, 1922, page 6; Valley City, N.D.]
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