Illinois Genealogy Trails

Saline County, Illinois
Crime Newspaper Gleanings

The Local Record
Shawneetown, IL October 3 1896
The following criminal cases were disposed of in the circuit court.
Thomas J. Wild - Abandonment - Dismissed
Jordan Sullivan - murder - 15 years
John Norris - Forgery - indictment quashed
F. E. Minter - Assault and Battery - $5
Chas Colvard and John Froelich - Larceny - Dismissed

The Following Criminal Cases were Continued:
David and Thomas Wright - Robbery
Victoria Jolly and Olive Stevens - Forgery
Henry Rollman - Assault to Murder
James George, Joe Flake, John Deaton and Al Grissom - Larceny
Elijah Ford - Bigamy
Jane McConnel - Bigamy
Lewis Pemberton and John Goodpasture - Burglary
Chas Vanters - Assault to Murder

Harrisburg - While Holding her 2-month-old baby girl to her breast and pleading with her husband to spare her life, John
Addis fired a bullet into his wife's breast at Dorrisville, a suburb of this city. She died 4 hours later. He rushed from the house and was found dead a short distance from the house, having shot himself through the heart. Mrs. Addis was an attractive woman and Addis was extremely jealous of her. While in one of his jealous moods, he threatened his ? (hole in paper) who in fear went over to a ? house. He followed an ? Addis married his wife in ?? about a year ago. She had ?? from Poland, where it is sa? a husband. [Friday, November 28, 1913, Ste. Marie Tribune, Jasper Co, IL. Submitted by Kim Torp]

Harrisburg, Ill., March 22.--(AP)-- Five men attempted early today to burn the house here of Charles
Birger, gang leader, but were forced to retreat when met by revolver and machine gun fire. About thirty shots were exchanged but no one was wounded. Birger said the men were from Franklin county and were known to him.
Were Pouring Gasoline on House
Birger was in the house, with his wife, two daughters and two friends about 4 a.m. when five men drove up in an automobile, and stopped a half block away. Four of them, Birger said, crept up, carrying a large can of gasoline.
As the men were pouring gasoline along the east side of the house, Birger opened fire, emptying two revolvers and then turning a machine gun on the attackers. Four drove away and a fifth escaped wounded.
Earlier today a new roadhouse south of West Frankfort in Franklin county was burned to the ground. Residents of the vicinity heard shots but no one investigated. The owner of the road house is not known to peace officers. [The Freeport Journal-Standard, March 22, 1927, page 5 - Sub by Rob Keister]

Joseph Choisser and his Son Killed in Duel with Three Detectives at Los Angeles. Elder Man Wanted in Illinois for Obtaining Money Under False Pretenses.
Los Angeles, Calif., Dec 17--Trailed up to their lodging place and brought to bay within the walls of a small room, Joseph Choisser, aged 50, and Louis Choisser, aged 29, father and son, were shot to death in a battle with Detectives Hawley, Murphy, and Gowen late tonight. The three officers escaped from close range, but short-lived duel without injury. Both of the Choissers were killed instantly. Two telegrams were received by Chief of Police Elton today, from Equality, Hardin county, Illinois, requesting the arrest of Joe Choisser. One was from Weldman Bros. & Co., offering a reward for $50 for Choisser's arrest and the other was from Sheriff W. T. Lamar of Hardin county, asking Chief Elton to look out for and arrest Choisser on the charge of obtaining money under false pretenses. There was no charge against young Choisser, so far as known. Detectives Hawley, Murphy, and Gowen were detailed on the case and immediately began a search for Choisser. He was located this afternoon at the Broxboro lodging house, 323 West Fifth Street, where he and his on had their rooms. The detectives watched the place for several hours for Choisser to appear, but it seems he had become aware of the search for him and both he and his son kept close to their room. Shortly after 10 o'clock tonight the detectives decided to search the lodging house for the fugitive, and were directed to his room. Without the ceremony of knocking for admittance the detectives opened the door and walked in.
The elder Choisser was laying on the bed and as the officers came in he reached for a pistol. Before he could seize it Dectective Hawley seized it and wrested it from his hand. At the same moment Louis Choisser opened fire upon the officers. They promptly returned the fire. Joe Choisser was struck by a bullet from the officer's pistol and killed instantly.
The fire from Louis Choisser's revolver became so hot that the officers retreated into the hallway. A moment later the young man threw open the door and walked into the hall with a revolver in each hand, firing as he came. Aiming one of his revolvers directly at Detective Murphy's breast, he fired but missed the officer.
Before he could take aim for a second shot both Murphy and Gowen fired, the two bullets passing through the young man's breast. He died instantly. After the battle was over the officers went into the room again and found the elder Choisser lying dead on the bed. One bullet had passed through his head and the other had lodged in the body.
When the clothing of the dead man was searched, $1800 was found on Louis Choisser. Very little is known of the two men beyond the information contained in the telegrams from Equality. It is thought they were horse traders or dealers in livestock. The officers were taken by surprise when young Choisser opened fire on them, as they were not seeking his arrest. The bodies were removed late tonight to the morgue to await instructions from Equality, Ill.
18 Dec 1903 - The Idaho Daily Statesman - submitted by Ben Holt]

Purchased Mules With Bogus Checks, Sold Them and Fled The Country.
Equality, Ill., Dec. 18.--Joseph Choisser, who, with his son, was killed at Los Angeles, was a fugitive from justice, having purchased a lot of mules and horses in Hardin county, Illinois, and given in payment alleged worthless checks for $1800, drawn on the bank of Eldorado, Ill., for which warrants had been issued for his arrest. It is alleged that Choisser shipped the mules to East St. Louis, sold them, wired the bank of Eldorado to pay no more of his checks and departed for California, taking his son with him. The warrant for his arrest was in the hands of the sheriff of Hardin county, when his arrest was ordered by wire. He had always borne a good reputation for square dealings and his family stands high in the community.
[19 Dec 1903; The Idaho Daily Statesman - submitted by Ben Holt]

Arrest Man at Fair for Forgery
Dopson was arrested last night at the Fair Grounds by county officials, charged with forgery. He was placed in the Saline county jail. [Eldorado Daily Journal Saturday August 1, 1931, submitted by Beth Sullivan]

Ten Saline County residents, including Sheriff Earl
Evans, were arrested on federal indictments issued after a grand jury investigation of railroad bombings in connection with mine union rivalries. All made bond of $10,000 on charges of conspiracy to violate Sherman anti-trust act and the federal anti-racketeering act. Besides Sheriff Evans, those arrested were: William Bennett, of Harco, John Costello, Jess Chandler, Sam Doah, William Henry Thompson and Henry Johnson, also known as Curley Jones, all of Eldorado; and Carl Maddox, Harry Melton and George Heine, all of Harrisburg.
(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 25 Dec 1936; transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter.)

Keys, living at Wasson, Ill., during a quarrel threw a pot of boiling coffee over his wife, according to the police. [Friday, December 12, 1913, Ste. Marie Tribune, Jasper Co, IL. Submitted by Kim Torp]

John R.
McClelland was arrested at his home near Raleigh by officers in a raiding expedition and a quantity of booze found in his home. Harrisburg Daily Register, Friday January 30, 1925, submitted by Beth Sullivan,

Cairo, Ill -- The Sheriff of St. Francis County, accompanied by another officer, arrived in Cairo yesterday on their way to Harrisburg, Saline County, where they are going to arrest a young man named
Butler Scaggs. Scaggs is a schoolteacher and was employed to teach a school in St. Francis County, where after teaching a short time he eloped with one of his pupils, an eleven-year-old child. This occurred some six week ago and although search has been made for the hiding place of the runaway couple ever since, nothing was heard of them until a few days ago, when it was learned that they were living in or near Harrisburg. The young man Scaggs is well known in this city, and a year or two ago was employed by the school board to teach a colored school in one of our country districts.
["Cairo Daily Bulletin", Saturday, 23 Feb 1878; transcribed by Darrel Dexter]

Lige Owens Kills
Levi Stunson---- Coroner's Jury Exonerates Owens
Last Monday Levi Stunson and Lige Owens had an altercation in one of the restaurants of the city and parted with dire threats against each other. Tuesday Owens went to work as usual in the mines and Stunson a miner also went down in the mine and attacked Owens with a pick, when Owens shot him inflicting a mortal wound. It is learned that the cause of the killing was that one accused the other of theft, taking the checks from the car and substituting his own in place of the rightful owner. Coroner Baker empaneled a jury and after getting all of the evidence possible the jury exonerated Owens.
[Saline County Republican, Eldorado, Illinois Thursday September 26, 1912, submitted by Beth Sullivan,]


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