Stories in Part 4:
Black Man Killed
Another self defense or planned murder decision was faced by a jury at Lisbon, for Albert R. Smith, charged with mortally wounding Hiram Scott, a Black man, at East Liverpool's notorious State Line area.
Smith, 23, ran across the line to Smiths Ferry and surrendered to a constable after blasting away a part of Scott's head with a shotgun Aug. 12, 1908.
"Hi" Scott headed one of three "camps" near Beaver Creek where groups of men could buy liquor. A hodcamer who had not worked at his trade for some time, "Hi" was a generally likable fellow, well-known, but intimidating at times.
The Review reported police had difficulty some time previously in arresting him and a brother for operating a "floating speak-easy." Smith had worked at the Specialty Glass Co. before the plant burned down in 1898. His father was an oil well driller, at the time near Parkersburg, W. Va.
As Davis prepared a meal at home, he heard a shot, then another. He ran to the hillside area, he told police, saw Scott bleeding, and a short, slender man running away with a shotgun.
SCOTT WAS lying face down, and Davis turned him over to find him still alive but with a massive wound to the left side of the head.
Davis ran to the rail tracks and encountered a trolley car which he halted. He and the crew carried Scott to the trolley, and took him to City Hospital, stopping only once to notify Dr. R. J. Marshall.
Drs. Marshall and Keever treated Scott with little hope of success. The blast had entered his left eye, coursed upward and tore a hole in the side of the skull. The victim never regained consciousness, dying about 10 p.m.
Smith, meanwhile, went to the home of Constable Joseph Edwards of Smiths Ferry, telling the officer, "I shot Scotty." The officer took him to the Beaver jail.
The suspect declared the shooting was in self defense. He said he and "Hi" were together that afternoon, and Scott criticized the casual way Smith handled a double- barreled shotgun.
They argued, and finally Scott grabbed the gun and smashed it against a tree. The angry Smith ran back to Smiths Ferry to the home of Amos Dawson where he was living, and borrowed another shotgun.
Smith said he returned to Scott who saw him coming and arose, armed with a club. The suspect said Scott came toward him in a menacing manner, so he fired over his head to frighten him. But "Hi" came on, so Smith fired again point blank.
City officers Haley and Jay Fisher examined the hillside scene, and became suspicious of Smith's account. There was no evidence of a struggle or even that Scott had risen from the ground. Only one bloody spot where "Hi" had lain, indicating he was lying down when wounded.
Smith did not object to returning to East Liverpool from Beaver, seemingly certain of justification of the shooting -- A Review headline read, "APPEARS VERY CHEERFUL IN JAIL."
Mayor Sam Crawford and Officer Aufderheide -- for whom Smith had worked at the glass plant -- brought him back from Beaver.
However, he was bound over the Grand Jury which indicted him for first degree murder.
Smith was subsequently convicted, and sent to the Ohio State Penitentiary where Mayor Crawford visited him in 1910 while in Columbus.
Beaten In Robbery
A 21-year-old East Liverpool pottery worker was linked to the murder of a former city man found near Leetoriia in 1911, his skull crushed and his watch and money missing.
The body William M. Cain of Salem, a city native who worked at Salem, was discovered by two Italians face down in a swamp just north of the Cherry Valley furnaces April 9. The skull was smashed, and a deep cut crossed his forehead.
Dr. W. A. Beane, Coroner, said death was caused by the blow to the back of the head.
Cain had last been seen at several Washingtonville saloons the previous night with Evan Davis, a kilnhand in local potteries. Police reported a warrant had been issued for Davis a few weeks prior in connection with an East Palestine robbery.
He had been boarding with a W. Fourth St. family, leaving April 7 without paying his bill. He was believed to have a girlfriend at Salineville.
Cain, a carpenter and machinist, was employed at the Buckeye Engine Works for two years. The night before his death he had traveled by street car to Leetonia -sober, according to those on the car. There he joined several men in visiting various bars
As the evening ended, he was with Davis, described as about 5-foot-7, 140 pounds, with dark curly hair and pointed features.
Davis, it was reported, had been seen at times with Comet Mort, an area man wanted for bigamy and possible ties with white slavery.
A $500 reward for Davis was offered by the County Commissioners, and on a tip from Salem, he was arrested by police in Canton.
The suspect eventually pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and was sentenced by Judge Moore at Lisbon to an indefinite term, depending on his conduct at the Mansfield Reformatory.
1910 - 1919
East Liverpool was stirred in 1910 by news that a local man was jailed for one Beaver County's "most cowardly murders" in the death of his estranged wife at Beaver Falls.
Charles F. Hickman, 32, shot down Mary "Mollie" Hickman, 35, as she stepped off a streetcar the night of Feb. 2 in the business district of the city. "Since we can't live together I'm going to fix you," Hickman reportedly shouted as he moved from the curb at Seventh Ave. and Ninth St., and pulled a revolver from a pocket.
Oh, Charles, don't shoot me," the mother of two cried, and turned to run. Four shots were fired, two hitting her in the back, the others went wild.
Screaming, she ran up six steps into a boarding house where she collapsed, becoming unconscious after muttering, "Charles shot me." She died 15 minutes later, around 10:45 p.m.
One of bullets had struck under the left shoulder, pierced a lung and base of the heart and lodged against the breastbone. The second entered her right arm and hit a corset steel.
HICKMAN HURRIED about two blocks away before he was captured and placed in jail, charged with murder.
He was a tinner, for several years operating a shop at East Palestine. Around 1907, the couple and their young son and daughter moved to Beaver Falls, then the husband and wife separated. The boy, 10, and girl, 11, remained with the mother.
Hickman's brother, Daniel, of Eighth St., East Liverpool, a kilnplacer at the West End Pottery, learned of the shooting from a Review reporter. "He evinced no alarm over the confinement of (Charles) in jail, stating it was not uncommon in the man."
Charles was bound over the Beaver County Grand Jury by Justice of the Peace James Piper, charged with murder by Police Chief George Woods.
The Review termed the killing one of the most cowardly ever committed in the area. In a not fully objective report, it stated:
Hickman feigns complete ignorance of the crime, attempting to put up a plea of insanity although it is evident the crime was premeditated. As early as Wednesday morning he exhibited the revolver to his young son, Char1es, to whom he remarked he was going to kill his mother.
Hickman somehow escaped from the Beaver Jail, was recaptured, went on trial and was convicted. He filed for a new trial, claiming a juror was biased.
On Dec. 5,1910, Judge Richard Halt rejected Hickman's bid for another trial, and immediately sentenced him to hang.
The Judge had asked him if he wished to make a statement before passing sentence, and he answered, "No." After hearing the death penalty, Hickman sat down beside his attorney and reached into a pocket for a chew of tobacco.
On the way back to his cell he passed members of the Sheriff's family, and remarked, "I guess you'll have a nice job on your hands, now."
A nightly watch was placed on the prisoner to prevent him from possibly taking his own life. After a week, the Sheriff learned that no provisions had been made to pay for the extra guard, that he would have to pay the bill from his pocket. The watch was cancelled.
His attorneys in November filed an appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court which subsequently turned it down. The death warrant lay on the Governor's desk while he waited for further legal action.
Early in April Hickman bet another prisoner $3 he would get out of jail. On the morning of April 12, 1911, he escaped a second time, and after wandering for seven hours around muddy roads on the other side of the Ohio River, he was recaptured near Shippingport
His lawyer commented Hickman was insane and more fit for a sanity commission than a noose.
Sheriff John W. Hartzell came under fire from the Beaver County officials over his poor record of keeping prisoners in his hotel. Six inmates besides Hickman had fled for freedom in the preceding year.
HARTZELL WAS formally charged by the County Commissioners for "feloniously, unlawfully, voluntarily and contemptuously" permitting the escapes of Hickman and two others. Harry Berner, held for robbery, was recaptured at Chicago, and James McCleary, charged with wife desertion, was caught at Vanport. Berner ended up in the pen, McCleary was freed after his wife withdrew the charge.
The other four escapees claimed they had done work for Hartzell who was also a tinner. But the Sheriff denied the county accusation, saying he had some things to tell about the situation.
Meanwhile, a local man was under suspicion of aiding Hickman's brief outing -providing him with tools along with whiskey which the prisoner sampled before taken into custody again. This man had been charged with disposing of a baby's body from a passenger train at Industry the night of the escape.
Next, Hickman began refusing to eat, pushing the food tray away when brought to his cell on the second floor of the jail. Authorities pondered whether he intended to die of starvation rather than at the end of a rope.
He was well enough by early May to welcome another murderer across the corridor from his cell.
Penzarvone Rosario, a traveling lace peddler, was held for killing, butchering and trying to bury his fellow peddler and Beaver Falls boarding house roommate.
Their landlady became suspicious when on May 6 Rosario left the house, later returning to his room with a large box. Afterward he hired a local grocer, Joseph Dalmini, to haul the heavy box to the railroad station.
The landlady notified police who cautiously followed the wagon and pair out a country road. Officers nabbed them as they were digging a hole in a field. In the box lay the mutilated body of Salvatore Magro, 24, whom Rosario had tried to dismember. He admitted to police he had killed the victim after a quarrel.
Pennsylvania Gov. John K. Tener at last signed the death warrant and set June 22 for Hickman to be hanged. When it was read to the prisoner, he told officers, "1 hope you will do the job on the day set and that it will not be postponed."
It was. The Governor on June 19 granted a 30-day extension to allow the pardon board to study the case. Hickman had applied to the board to have the sentence commuted to a life term.
His son, Charles Jr., 16, traveled around the county asking people to sign a petition to have the sentence commuted. Loyal to Hickman, he visited him at the jail.
The pardon board turned down the request, and he nervously commented, "I don't mind the death sentence for myself, but I keenly feel the disgrace it will bring upon my children. A life sentence would not be as disgraceful as hanging. Outside the feeling for my children, I am not at all bothered by the execution."
By mid-July workman were erecting a wood scaffold brought from adjoining Lawrence County where four previous men had been hanged.
Beaver County had not held an execution for some years, and decided to utilize the Lawrence scaffold instead of financing a new one. Hickman could hear the carpenters but seemed to pay no attention, even appearing cheerful, guards said.
But as time ticked on, he became more irritable, sometimes going into a rage, often refusing to talk. A heat wave swept the region, and the second floor of the jail became very hot. Hickman found it difficult to sleep before I or 2 am. when he fell went into a deep slumber as late as 10 a.m.
SPECIAL INVITATIONS to the hanging were sent by Sheriff Ilartzell to at least four East Liverpool men. The original June execution date on the form was scratched out and July 22 penned in. Local recipients included police officers James Haley, and Jay Fisher along with Ally. James Davis of the East End and George Hancock.
The Tribune commented July 13, "Hickman claims he does not fear to mount the scaffold, have the black cap fitted over his head and then take the swing into eternity."
A visitor to the jail described the condemned as a "little, almost boyish man, standing there in his bare feet and with a stubble of black beard and mustache contrasting with the extreme pallor of his face."
Despite extra watch upon his cell and his own protestations of acceptance of the impending penalty, Hickman almost succeeded in a suicide bid July 15. While taking a bath with guards out of the room, he turned on the gaslight jets and was inhaling the gas when Sheriff Hartzell and two guards came in. They turned off the jets and revived him.
His final opportunity for a stay of execution collapsed when Gov. Tener announced he would not intervene. "So the Governor won't help me, eh," Hickman said. "Well, I guess that means good night for me."
A tense public concern about the execution enveloped the county seat. Congregations of three Beaver churches -- Methodist, Presbyterian and United Presbyterian -- adopted resolutions to have news about the hanging kept from the populace. A group visited the home of Judge Holt without success.
A tormenting stress now gripped the condemned. The night before his scheduled death July 18, he collapsed and was found prostrate on his bed around midnight. A doctor arrived and partially revived him, and he fell into a fitful sleep.
Efforts had been made to prevent his suicide; a full watch was placed on his cell which was searched thoroughly for weapons or drugs. Sheriff Hartzell first told reporters he did not know who would pull the trap door beneath the condemned.
Then he announced that it was his duty and he would fulfill it. Judge Holt instructed him to follow the guidelines of the state law.
Under the regulations, witnesses at the execution were limited to one physician, the District Attorney, two ministers, a jury of 12 men and necessary deputies. The special witness passes were recalled.
All seemed in readiness for exacting the State's penalty for the murder of Mollie Hickman. But at 7:56 a.m. -- two hours before the hanging time -- her husband was found dead in his cell.
Two physicians examined him, and declared he did not kill himself; he had apparently died, they said, from great fright and nervous breakdown.
The Sheriff also ruled out suicide, explaining Hickman had been removed from the cell Sunday, stripped naked and given completely new clothing while his cell was cleaned out and new fixtures and bedding provided. Guards had not left him out of their sight, he emphasized.
The Sheriff also denied a rumor that Hickman's son had been arrested for - supplying him poison.
CORONER GORMLEY and Drs. U.S. Strouss of Beaver and Guy Shugert of Rochester performed an autopsy, and stated that superficial examination all organs and tissues indicated all were healthy and without any evidence of poison.
The heart, lungs, liver, brain and kidneys were turned over to a state chemist at the University of Pittsburgh to test for possible toxins.
Hickman's fellow inmate Rosario became agitated on learning of the death, chattering in Italian and asking to see the dead prisoner. He was refused. The body was released to Hickman's aged mother who lived at College Hill, Beaver Falls.
Reports of the murder and court actions appeared in East Liverpool newspapers because of the apparent local connection. Frank O'Hanlon, later editor of The Review and County Elections Board director, was a Review reporter at the time.
He was sent by streetcar to Beaver to cover the execution, but his story lead turned out to be the surprise death of the prisoner before he left his cell.
The Review and the Tribune had consistently described Hickman as a former city resident. But his brother, Daniel, the day after advised the newspapers that he wanted to correct an erroneous impression he might have caused. Charles, he said, had never lived in East Liverpool, just visited a few times.
Within a month, the Pittsburgh chemist told a coroner's jury tests of the organs from Hickman's body revealed slight traces of strychnine were found in the liver.
Dr. J. B. Armstrong then testified he had administered one-sixtieth grain of the drug at 2 a.m. the morning of the prisoner's death to calm him. The amount was not large enough to cause harm, he said, but might leave traces in the body.
Other witnesses, including Dr. J. H. Wilson of Beaver, said they believed Hickman had taken or been given an overdose of morphine and died in a coma.
These developments added a different and confusing aspect to Hickman's fate, and the six-man jury took only one vote and 30 minutes to determine that he "came to his death on July 21 in the Beaver County jail from the effects of poison."
The verdict included no recommendations or comment as to whether the poison was administered by a physician or taken with suicidal intent.
Charles Hickman, one way or another, had paid the penalty for murder.
Ferry Operator Shot
An elderly lady got her feet wet getting off a ferry boat at Smiths Ferry early in the summer of 1911 and as a result the boat operator was shot and died several weeks later.
The woman's son, angered by the incident, encountered the ferryman -- Guy Alexander-- on the Street in Georgetown June 17, and, following an altercation, shot and wounded Alexander.
John H. Porter, 39, of Georgetown, a plumber with business in East Liverpool, was charged in the shooting that left the victim in critical condition at City Hospital.
Porter's mother, Mrs. Johanna Porter, 66, of Georgetown had crossed the river on the ferry June 16. Due to the condition of the landing at Smiths Ferry, sources said, it was impossible to pull the boat up onto the shore.
In stepping off the ferry, the woman landed in water, wetting her shoes She later complained to her son, and he met Alexander coming out of Todd's general store on Main St., Georgetown, the next evening. According to witnesses, Porter asked, "How about this matter of you causing my mother to wet her feet yesterday when she left the boat, and why did you not put out the gangplank?"
The ferryman, 30, answered, I was not the cause of it."
"YOU'RE A LIAR," Porter came back. "You call me a liar again, and I'll hit you," Alexander reportedly said. "1 dare you to hit me," Porter responded.
Apparently Alexander then walked up to Porter and slapped him across the left face, knocking off his hat and sending him reeling. Recovering, the plumber pulled a revolver, and fired once at the other.
Alexander staggered to the store's doorway, and collapsed. "Get a doctor, I am shot. Call my brother Ed." The wounded man was given medical treatment then taken to his mother's house.
Later he was transported by the Sturgis ambulance to East Liverpool City Hospital where it was discovered the .38 caliber bullet had entered his right abdomen, puncturing the small intestines in 12 places.
Porter said the other had attacked him, and he shot only to inflict a wound. Newspapers reported that some in town believed the crime premeditated, that Porter held the gun behind his back when the argument began.
After the shooting, Porter waited for a while, then went home where he was later arrested by Constable John Laughlin who kept watch on him at the home until the next morning when he was taken to the County Jail at Beaver.
The Constable, fearing some sort of demonstration against Porter, went to the upper end of the village and took the prisoner across the river in a skiff rather than using the ferry. He was charged with felonious assault.
Alexander had come to Georgetown in December from Blue Mound, Kansas, and operated the ferry with his brother Edward. His mother and two brothers lived in Georgetown, and two other brothers resided in Kansas.
The ferryman remained in grave condition at the hospital, and for several days doctors feared he would die, However, he showed"remarkable vitality" one report noted, and he was released from the hospital early in July and returned home.
Late in July, however, Alexander began to suffer acute indigestion, then his condition worsened, he hemorrhaged and died Aug. 3. Porter was again arrested and taken to Beaver Falls to face a murder charge filed by Alexander's uncle, W. H. Hays of Georgetown. He was committed to the Beaver County Jail without bond.
The suspect went on trial at Beaver late in September where the key question was whether or not the shooting had resulted in Alexander's death. The Prosecution claimed Porter had lain in wait to avenge the reported insult, and shot Alexander in cold blood.
Porter took the stand to describe the events leading the incident, and declared Alexander had attacked him with a pair of saw clamps. He said he attempted to back away, but the ferryan followed him, and he was compelled to fire.
"I did not shoot to kill. I only intended to cripple him," he told the jury.
Important testimony came from physicians, including two Pittsburgh experts on postmortem examinations along with Drs. S. W. Hemphill and J. Howard Davis of East Liverpool and Dr. C. E. Gibson, a Pittsburgh surgeon. The latter three were of the opinion that Alexander died from pneumonia.
That medical testimony and Porter's apparent sincerity on the stand brought a verdict in an hour and 40 minutes -- not guilty.
Porter, accompanied by his wife and two children, issued a statement to reporters thanking his friends in East Liverpool for "their manifestation of sympathetic aid during the terrible predicament I have been in the past three months. I only wish to resume my normal position in society as a peace-loving, law- abiding man."
Pair Slays City Husband
A strange tale of wife abuse, brutal violence and a severed head unfolded after the killing of a businessman at his St. Clair Ave. home in 1912.
About 7:30 am. on Tuesday, Sept. 3, the body of Richard Burrows, about 40, was found concealed under hay at the cow stable of Mr. and Mrs. Moody Coboum of Dead Man's Lane (now Armstrong Lane).
Burrows, a paving contractor, had apparently been slain the day before -- Labor Day. Mrs. Coboum was bending over to pick up hay when she grasped a human foot. Horrified she ran to tell her husband.
Authorities found Burrows' head "battered to a pulp," five penetrating wounds his left chest above the heart, and his right hand fractured.
The first supposition was that he had been slain in his buggy while traveling home from the Fredencktown-Calcutta Rd. -- which his firm was paving.
The buggy, its interior smeared with blood, was found outside his stable at the home, then just beyond the city limits. It still stands, at the corner of St. Clair and Burrows Ave. Around Burrows' crushed skull was wrapped a rubberized cape, a light-colored bed blanket and a piece of women's apparel. Part of the blanket had been used as a gag.
THE WOUNDS to the head indicated a gun, probably a .38 caliber, was fired into the breast. Blows to the head had been inflicted by a heavy instrument, an iron bar or gun, apparently while the victim was lying down.
John Cobourn, 22, son of the Cobourns who had been boarding at the Burrows' home, was immediately sought for questioning but could not be found. Mrs. Burrows, 35, was also not at home Tuesday.
Rumors had her hiding in the hills along California Hollow or with relatives in Salem or Lisbon. A man reported seeing Cobourn in the East End. Someone saw him near Thompson Park. Police concentrated in that area, and said he eluded them in thickets on Park Way below Riverview Cemetery.
A major portion if not all the city's force was on the job, including Chief John Wyman, Capt. Hugh McDermott, Officers Aufdertieide, Earl, Kilmer, Fisher, Toland and Fowler along with Watchman Conley, Mayor R. J. Marshall assisted by Sheriff Davidson and Deputy Carlisle. Constables Gill and Gilson worked during the day.
Constable Gill searched the Burrows home, reporting places on the dining room carpet where blood had been washed away. In the basement was a pair of bloodied shoes thought to be Cobourns, and in the furnace were blood-stained rags.
Gill also found in the kitchen a heavy walking cane with a metal point on which there appeared to be traces of blood.
John West, a laborer on the Burrows paving job, was taken into custody Tuesday and held at the jail overnight. He said Coboum had been sent Monday from the Fredericktown-Calcutta Rd. project to East Liverpool to get plow points, but did not show up for work.
West said he knew of no difficulties between Burrows and Cobourn, but the employer was irritated because Cobourn was not on the job.
County Commissioners immediately offered a $300 reward for the arrest and conviction of the slayer. Jealousy or robbery were initially believed motives. Burrows had reportedly borrowed $1,000 a few days before, but officials of two banks involved denied providing such loans.
Cecille Burrows, 14, daughter of victim, was taken into custody on a Y. & 0. car, en route from Lisbon to the city, about 1:50 p.m. Tuesday, and escorted to City Hall for questioning. She told officers her mother had directed her about 8 a.m. to visit her grandmother at Lisbon instead of going to school. Her mother indicated her father had gone to Pittsburgh.
Cecile said just before this, John Geiss had come to the house to tell of a body being found at Cobourn's, and that Mrs. Cobourn thought it was her son, John. Officers did not tell the girl her father was dead; they put her into the care of Mrs. Frank Welch, her aunt, who then explained the tragedy.
The possibility that the wife and hired hand had gone to her sister's home near Williamsport occurred to police.
Capt. McDermott with officers bland and Kilmer and Assistant Fire Chief Thomas Bryan drove out to the home of Cobourn's aunt, Mrs. Mary Russell, around 3 p.m. Wednesday. Mrs. Russell was in Pittsburgh, but her mother, Mrs. Margaret Campbell, about 80, of Lisbon was there.
MRS. CAMPBELL seemed reluctant to talk, but conceded the two had eaten dinner there Tuesday.
Then about 5:30 p.m., a telephone call was received by Chief Wyman from Deveme Cobourn, an uncle of the suspect, saying he knew where the suspects were hiding. He told Wyman to get Mayor Marshall and meet him at the Maplewood grocery near the Burrows home, and he would then lead them to the site near the Bell School.
Wyman phoned the Mayor, advising him to pick up officer Fisher as a precautionary move, then to come downtown and get him. However, the Mayor went for Fisher and directly to the store, loading Deverne Cobourn into his car and speeding north to Williamsport.
Devem Coboum acted as an intermediary in the negotiations with the pair who were in the woods. John Coboum sent out a message that he would not shoot an officer, but would commit suicide before being arrested.
The uncle argued the foolhardiness of such an act, and the Mayor promised ful' protection from harm. Mrs. Burrows and her companion then walked out onto the road and gave themselves up. Coboum handed over a loaded .32 caliber revolver.
The couple had eaten at the Russell home, and when Mrs. Russell returned, related the terrible events of the past 24 hours. She promised not to reveal their hiding place, but told her sister, Mrs. Devere Coboum. The latter had informed her husband, and he decided to call the law.
The suspects were transported to the City Jail, telling their account of the slaying to those in the car. The Mayor later said, If their story is true, they have a pretty good defense."
News of the impending capture spread, and shortly after 6 p.m. a crowd began to form at the City Hall on Third St. Before the prisoners arrived, a throng of some 900 had gathered to get a look at them.
Officers rushed the pair into the building, and placed Coboum in a men's cell and Mrs. Burrows in the detention room of Probation Officer John McShane. She was, wearing a blue wash dress, her face "a fiery red" a reporter wrote, her hair "awry."
Mrs. William (Mary) Cunningham of S. Market St. was brought to the City Hall to search Mrs. Burrows. She reported finding nothing suspicious, but that her clothing was covered with burrs, and her shoes worn out from walking 18 miles.
Mrs. Burrows tale to the other woman was that she, Burrows and Cecile had dined Sunday night with friends, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Elkins of near Calcutta.
That visit became a topic at the Burrows home Monday evening when she asked her husband if Mrs. Elkins had not served a good supper. He replied with an oath, saying he didn't think it was. She said she replied, "If you don't call that a good supper, then you never ate one."
The argument worsened, and he dragged her, she said, from the kitchen into the dining room and began to choke her. Just then, Cobourn, who had been in the barn, entered the room and rushed to aid her.
BURROWS, SHE SAID, started after him with the revolver, Cobourn running into the kitchen and finding a flatiron on the stove, hurled it at him. The iron hit the husband on the head, dazing him, but the two men struggled, and when Coboum pushed the gun from him, it fired, hitting the other in the chest. The shot did not kill Burrows instantly, and Coboum began to beat him with the weapon, she said.
Mrs. Cunningham asked Mrs. Burrows, "They say you did it for money." The prisoner declared, "He did not have one red cent to rub against another." She said she had to give him a dollar Saturday, and another for the streetcar fare to the Elkins.
When Mrs. Cunningham stated she heard that Mrs. Burrows and Coboum "had been thick," the suspect denied it sharply, saying "he was like a son."
Her real son, Harry, 17, had run away from home about a month before. With another local boy, he had traveled to North Dakota where they got jobs as carpenter helpers. Harry left there in a quarrel with his employer, returning to East Liverpool to find his father dead, his mother jailed.
Harry Burrows confirmed accounts of abuse of his mother, and said he had seen him choke her.
The capture by the Mayor and Fisher without involving Chief Wyman stirred rumors about their relationship. A report circulated that the Mayor was going to suspend the Chief for his poor direction of the hunt for the pair, but Wyman said he knew nothing about such an action and the Mayor denied it.
Corburn and Mrs. Burrows were arraigned before Mayor Marshall on charges of first degree murder, filed by Police Capt. McDermott, and held over for the county grand jury. Both pleaded not guilty after waiving a preliminary hearing.
The arraignment was held in the City Hall second floor Council room, jammed with onlookers. Cobourn's mother watched the proceedings quietly, but on going downstairs, rushed into the office of City Auditor James Kenney and broke down weeping. "That woman," she sobbed, "is responsible. She took my boy away from me. She is a bad woman. If I had her, I would kill her."
Cobourn had told officers en route to the city and later in jail that he killed Burrows in self defense after the victim tried to choke his wife to death. Mrs. Burrows, he said, was completely innocent, and he alone hauled the body to his father's cow stable less than a half mile away.
Coboum, who said he had been living with the Burrows for 12 years and was considered as a son, stated the father had a terrible temper, and Coboum had on occasions had reprimanded him for abuse of his son and daughter. For such mistreatment, the son, Harry, had run away from home about a month before.
Burrows, he said, abused Mary, and as late as Sunday night had backed her into a corner, flourishing a razor and threatening to cut off her head. Daughter Cecile had jumped between them and screamed, he said.
The night of the murder, Cobourn said, he had come from the barn to find Burrows choking his wife, her face black and tongue hanging out, unable to speak, waving her arms. He pulled the husband away, but the other man, stronger, exclaimed, "I will kill you," and reached for his revolver lying nearby.
When Coboum ran into the kitchen, Burrows followed, but the young man seized a flat iron from the stove and hurled it at the other. It struck the husband in the head, but only dazed him, and he kept coming at Cobourn. The latter then said he grabbed his own revolver from a window sill and shot Burrows who fell against the door.
COBOURN, NOW in a frenzy and out of control, battered Burrows on the head with his gun. Mrs. Burrows, when she regained her composure, ran from the room and was outside the house when the shooting occurred, he said.
It was he who persuaded her to leave the house, and they walked to near Williamsport, having only one meal and not sleeping.
At an autopsy Sept. 5 Dr. Alexander Cruikshanks of Salem, along with Mayor Marshall who was a physician, plus Dr. W. A. Hobbs and Dr. Clyde Larkins of East Liverpool, the latter representing the defense, said they could find no powder bums on the flesh or the undershirt or the outer shirt, and the wounds did not appear to be made by bullets.
There was a hole in the lung, but the five openings in the left chest were probably caused by stab wounds from a sharp instrument. The indication was that the walking cane, with a one-inch iron point, was used. Burrows was struck at least four blows on the head, crushing the right side. The left hand was fractured, possibly by a blow from the cane.
Coroner W. A. Beane had opened the corpse prior to the examination by the physicians. Prosecutor Lewis P. Metzger instructed the medical men to examine Mrs. Burrows for marks on her throat and possible injuries to Coboum.
The shoes in the basement were identified as Cobourn's by Devere Cobourn. While they appeared to have been cleaned of blood with water from the nearby bucket, the sole of one shoe was embedded with soil containing blood.
Burrows' body was taken to the home of his half-brother, Samuel Burbridge, of Calcutta Rd. where hundreds viewed the remains. A large crowd also attended the funeral at the Maplewood chapel, followed by burial in Riverview Cemetery.
Mrs. Burrows did not view the body, declaring at City Hall she had no desire to do so.
The two suspects were transported to the County Jail at Lisbon on Sept. 5. For the trip Mrs. Burrows had changed to a white dress with open lace effect, black suede pumps and white hose 'showing slightly." She carried a sack of fruit brought by her sister, Mrs. Welch.
Cobourn, with several days growth of beard, wore a blue suit "which showed the effects of wear" and a black and white striped shirt with no collar.
About 50 people were outside the City Hall waiting to see the departure. A two- seater car from the Standard Garage was driven up by Samuel Groglode, and the escort party climbed in. Coboum was handcuffed to Officer George Toland, while Chief Wyman and Officer George Kilmer accompanied the woman. A carton of chewing tobacco for Cobourn and a suitcase of Mrs. Burrows were also loaded.
Toland sat between the two suspects on the rear seat, with Mayor Marshall on ac extra seat in the back. Kilmer and the driver were in front with a Review reporter on a side step. The prisoners declined to answer the reporter's questions other than saying they did not wish to comment.
Groglode drove along Third St. to Jackson, then to Seventh St. and Dresden and down to Sheridan Ave. where they halted near the Y. & 0. freight station to await the 9:10 a.m. interurban car. About 100 people stood around until Toland and Kilmer with their charges boarded the car.
AT THE COUNTY Jail, Sheriff F. Will Davidson placed a close watch on cells of the couple to prevent any bid to escape or take their own lives.
Indictments for second degree murder were handed down by the Grand Jury, and at arraignment the pair pleaded innocent.
It was assumed that Devere Coboum would receive the posted reward, since he turned in the tip. Mayor Marshall said he or Fish-er could probably claim the money, having made the capture, but neither he or the officer would apply.
The long-awaited trial began Dec. 2 in Common Pleas Court at Lisbon before Judge J. G. Moore. Defense attorneys were Ben L. Bennett, R. G. Thompson and Jason Brookes. Prosecutor Metzger of Salem was assisted by Charles S. Speaker of Lisbon.
Sheriff Davidson was assigned to serve subpoenas to 35 defense and 30 prosecution witnesses. Under Ohio law in second degree murder, only 20 prospective jurors could be summoned for examination.
Jake Shenkel, former member of East Liverpool Board of Public Service, was among this initial group. When questioned, Shenkel stated he already had an opinion as to guilt or innocence. Although his view was not sought, he was promptly excused by the state.
As expected, challenges by both sides exhausted the venire, and additional prospective panelists had to be called.
A problem faced the Prosecution in proving how Burrows had died, since some of the evidence conflicted. Coboum had said after his arrest that he hit Burrows with a flat iron, then with a revolver and shot him five times. But the autopsy showed the chest wounds were not caused by bullets.
Prosecutor Metzger intended to display the head of the slaying victim and possibly the chest as evidence as to the nature of the death. The chest bore five wounds apparently caused by a sharp instrument. At Metzger's order, the body was exhumed from the grave at Riverview Cemetery and taken to the E. G. Sturgis morgue on Dresden Ave.
Acting on behalf of the state, Dr. George P. Ikirt removed the head from the body in the presence of witnesses Dr. Clyde Larkins, Dr. F. R. Harrison and Mayor Marshall. The separate parts were kept at the morgue.
On learning of this plan, the defense had filed an objection, claiming it was barbarous and inhuman, but the process proceeded. The defense also denied its willingness to have the couple plead guilty to manslaughter to avoid a murder penalty. Metzger had earlier stated the state would not even offer such a deal.
The the defense revealed that Cobourn would plead guilty to the murder charge and accept at least 15 years in the penitentiary if Mrs. Burrows were acquitted. "Ready To Go To Pen For Love Of Mrs. Burrows," one headline announced.
Judge Moore and the Prosecution considered this sacrifice effort until late in the afternoon, then Metzger rejected the proposal. Trial followers suggested he had noted a "popular opinion" that the woman should not go free.
The two prisoners sat tense and quiet at the defense table, refusing to converse with anyone. Mrs. Burrows wore a black dress and hat, while he was attired in a blue serge suit and white shirt with black tie. Son, Harry, 17, and daughter Cecile, 14, were reported ready to testify on behalf of the couple.
One newspaper reported a Pinkerton detective hired by the state had been snooping around jail seeking to overhear the two prisoners. A Dictaphone allegedly had been placed in a stove pipe in a cell for a day, but was spotted by Mrs. Burrows who pointed it out to Cobourn.
JURY SELECTION was slow, many prospective panelists excused because of claims of prejudice after reading newspaper accounts. A regular venire of 21 plus 12 others was dismissed, leaving only 11 men in the box at the end of two days.
Then, on the third day, despite previous denials by the defense counsel, Mrs. Burrows and Cobourn withdrew not guilty pleas to second degree murder, admitting the lesser charge of manslaughter -- for which they could serve from one to 20 years in prison.
Agreement on accepting this plea was reached by the attorneys during the morning recess. With the admission of guilt, the jury was released.
When the trial had first opened, Assistant Prosecutor Speaker outlined details of the crime. He cited testimony by Mrs. Mary Russell, Coboum's aunt, that Mary Burrows told her Cobourn knocked Burrows down and she finished the job.
Speaker described how Burrows had gone to work that day, that Cobourn had not reported to his job, of Burrows' return home and an altercation at supper around 4 p.m. Speaker explained he could not say whether the altercation stemmed from an argument at the table or over Cobourn's remaining home rather than working.
But he declared there could be no claim of self defense, since doctors reported after one blow from the smoothing iron, the victim could not resist. Further, there were no outcries that could be heard by neighbors, and Mrs. Burrows said she left the house during the murder.
The lawyer conceded he did not believe there had been any premeditation, that Coboum had no expectation of killing his employer. He said after the death, Mary Burrows had gone downtown. Cobourn walked to a store, talked with friends there, then sat for a while on a neighbor's porch. Speaker said after Mary returned home, she and Cobourn had talked some, then he went again to a neighbor's home.
Following removal of the body to the Moody Coboum stable, the couple went separate ways, meeting in some thick woods, then going to the Russell farm near Williamsport where they took refuge in the stable hayloft. Not long after their surrender was arranged.
Defense lawyer Brookes then described the disturbing marriage Mary Burrows shared with her husband of 18 years, terming Richard Burrows a habitual drunkard who was always 'carrying a chip on his shoulder."
He read an account written by Mrs. Burrows who said her life "was a hell on earth." Richard had treated her cruelly, had struck her five months after their wedding because she had put a drunken man out of their house. Two months later :. when she was pregnant, he struck her and put her out of the house because she; complained of his being out until 2 a.m.
They moved to Allegheny (now Pittsburgh's North Side) where, living in a degraded neighborhood, he associated with lewd women and other low characters. Her tale listed various occasions when he beat and kicked her, once cutting her ear and kicking her in the mouth. The day before his death, he had tried to cut her throat, prevented only by the little daughter.
WITH THE ADMISSION of guilt, Judge Moore sentenced Cobourn to an indefinite term in the Mansfield Reformatory, and ruled that Mrs. Burrows would serve five years of hard labor in the Ohio Penitentiary.
The family was shocked by penalty. Mrs. Harriet Clunk, 65, of Lisbon, mother of Mrs. Burrows, swooned, and Mrs. Frank Welsh, her sister, cried "piteously," one observer wrote.
Mrs. Burrows and Coboum seemed unmoved. But she later admitted great difficulty in restraining her feelings, and Cobourn broke down back in jail while talking to a reporter.
Her teen-aged daughter Cecile ran sobbing to the judge's chair, and placed her arm over his shoulder, asking, "Judge, will you please let my mother go?"
Mrs. Burrows issued a statement declaring she had pleaded guilty to save Cobourn from life in prison. She denied she had injured Dick Burrows in any way. "I never harmed a hair of my husband's head in my life, and did not see him killed."
"I bore all the burden at home, but never told a soul of my sufferings." The judge, she said, had asked why she did not get a divorce. "It was through fear. . . for he had threatened my life if I attempted to get a divorce." She stated she consulted her mother about it, but she "advised me not to, for she feared he would kill me."
The widow also declared, "I positively deny there is any truth in any rumor or supposition of improper relations between John Cobourn and myself."
Her accomplice also said she was innocent of the slaying. "Mrs. Burrows did not touch a hair of Dick Burrows' head. I did the whole thing. I killed him in self defense. He was choking her when I came into the house from the barn. She ought not to serve one day in the penitentiary. She did not deserve it. I coaxed her to run away from the house."
"The people think she did it," Cobourn went on, "but she did not. It was I." He too denied there had ever been any sexual relations.
Judge Moore in passing sentence said no jury would have been justified in finding either of the two not guilty on the claim of self defense. "That they did not openly state at first that it was self defense indicates that they are guilty."
He said had there been a trial, the State could not have shown any evidence or malice on Coboum's part. But Mrs. Burrows' written statement would have revealed she had "no kindly feelings toward her husband" who treated her so for 20 years.
"There is no question in the mind of the Court that both had a hand in this killing, but I don't think the wife had a prominent part in the mutilation of the body of her husband."
The judge confessed it was "heart rending" for him to sentence a woman to the penitentiary. "But if 1 were to pass this woman's crime over lightly, it would be to say to the women of this state to go free after murdering husbands who had been cruel. to them."
Ending the trial before it went to the jury meant no need for the Prosecution's plan to exhibit the severed head of Richard Burrows. Undertaker Sturgis re-interred it at the cemetery a few days later.
Speaking out after the trial was Frank Burrows, brother of the victim, who denied Mrs. Burrows earlier statement that her husband burned their home eight years previous to get insurance payments.
BY DEC. 10 Mary Burrows had been escorted to Columbus to begin her prison term. She had seemed cheerful and talkative on the trip from Lisbon, an accompanying deputy said. But nearing the state capital, she became nervous, and when confronted by the grim walls and iron gates of the pen, she broke down.
It took the deputy five minutes to induce her to enter the institution where she was taken into custody and placed in a cell.
Early in April 1914 Mrs. Burrows was granted a parole by the state board of administration -- having served a little more than a year of her five-year sentence. She returned to East Liverpool to reside on Garfield St. with her son and daughter.
A $1,000 Prudential insurance policy on her husband had been paid to W. H. Vodrey, administrator of his estate. A small Metropolitan policy and a $1,000 Woodsmen of the World policy with $100 assigned for a grave marker was also held on Burrows.
Her claim to the Woodsmen policy was dismissed by Judge Moore, but she later said a settlement was made, and she obtained part of the face value.
Cobourn, described as a "model prisoner," was paroled two months later in 1914 from the reformatory, returning July 1 to a happy reunion at the home of his parents where Burrows body was found two years before. The Review reported he looked "hale and hearty, showing no effects of his incarceration.
Cobourn served in World War One, and became a kilnplacer at Homer Laughlin Co. Plant No. 4, retiring in 1955. He died in 1964, aged 74.
A tragic aftermath of the sad saga was a suicide pact fulfilled just after the trial by two lovers at Marion, Ohio.
Mrs. Bertha McNamara, 28, and Verne Houseworth, 18, died in each other's arms after taking poison.
Officials said both had closely followed the Burrows case, and apparently saw some parallel to their own relationship.They were found in the front room of the youth's brother's home where Mrs. McNamara had been employed since separating from her husband seven months before.
The two were on a davenport, her arm around the youth, their lips burned by the poison which took their lives. No note was found explaining their decision.
Police reported the "good looking" boy was only a year or so out of grammar school. It was not indicated whether the infatuation existed before the woman's separation. He was survived by his mother, two sisters and three brothers.
A bullet fired through a kitchen window by an angry neighbor took the life of an East End pottery worker early in the summer of 1914.
Roy A. Hogue, 23, of Mulberry St. was home eating a piece of bread about 11 p.m. June 5 when a shot fired by Wilber Roscoe Johnson from a .22 caliber rifle hit him in the left temple, killing him.
Johnson, 24, was arrested by Police Capt. Hugh McDermott and other officers some 20 minutes later at his home on nearby Needham St. Inside officers found a .22 Stevens rifle on a bed and cartridges behind a trunk. One of the suspect's muddied shoes was taken to check with footprints outside the victim's home.
Hogue, a native of New Brighton, worked at the Pottery Tile Manufacturing Co.
Johnson was employed as an "oddman" at the Colonial pottery. Apparently the two families had been involved in a dispute for some time. Mrs. Johnson said the Hogues had "always made trouble" for them, and the Johnsons had gone to Wellsville that afternoon to avoid any difficulties.
She told police when her husband came home that night, she advised him the Hogues had slandered her.
BUT MRS. HOGUE reported to officers that two weeks before, Mrs. Johnson told her to warn her husband that Johnson 'would blow his brains out."
Under questioning by police along with Prosecutor W. H. Vodrey and Mayor W. A. Schreiber, Johnson admitted firing the fatal shot, but declared he meant only to injure Hogue. Johnson said the two families had resided in a double house until the day before. He had gone to a local saloon that night, then went home, loaded the rifle and headed to the Hogues.
Peering through the window, he saw the husband and wife, the man sitting on a trunk eating. He aimed and fired, Johnson said in a calm confession which was transcribed by a woman stenographer in Vodrey's office.
The suspect's father and mother appeared at City Hall, saying they were going to obtain a lawyer. A bystander told them,they'd better hurry "Your boy is telling all he knows to the police." The elder Johnson answered, "Well, they're in a hell of a hurry!"
In a preliminary hearing before Mayor Schreiber, Johnson was held without bail on a charge of murder, Capt. McDermott the only witness.
Preparing for a possible insanity plea, Prosecutor Vodrey arranged for a mentar examination. Mrs. Hogue had allegedly told police, "You'll have an awful time proving anything on him, for he's crazy." Johnson was tested by Drs. R. J. Marshall, C. H. Bailey and W. A. Hobbs who reported the defendant was sane.
The September Grand Jury indicted the accused for first degree murder. But before the case went to trial, Johnson pleaded guilty to second degree murder.
Prosecutor Vodrey agreed to the plea. He had learned that defense counsel C.S. Speaker had planned an insanity plea, citing hereditary dementia and mental imbalance. A state hospital physician was to testify that Johnson was a "borderline, mental case, probably supporting a claim that the defendant could have been stirred to aggression by alleged accusations against his wife.
Judge Moore sentenced him to life in prison, expressing the hope that some time in the future prison officials would grant him a period of liberty before his life ended.
Woman Slays Neighbor
A neighborhood feud between two West End women in mid-summer 1915 ended in the fatal wounding of one of them.
Mrs. Anna Saling Whan, 55, of Lisbon St. was hit in the side and leg by two bullets fired by Mrs. Mary "Mollie" Densmore Thursday, July 22, in a West Eighth St. alley as the apparent result of a continuing friction.
Mrs. Whan was taken to City Hospital where that evening four physicians, including Dr. C. H. Bailey, removed the one bullet which had entered the left side, passed through the body and settled just beneath the skin on the abdomen. The fleshy leg wound was minor.
Her condition grave, Mrs. Whan slipped in and out of unconsciousness, and was aware of impending death. Before the surgery, she talked to her own Episcopal minister, to another pastor and to an attorney, as one newspaper noted, "preparing herself for her call into the Far Beyond."
She was also visited by assistant County Prosecutor Walter Beck who took a statement which was transported to the Courthouse and locked in a safe.
Mollie Densmore, 30, mother of two boys, Donald 12 and Kenneth 13, was placed in the City Jail where she nursed a serious infection in the upper left arm. She said it was caused by an insect bite some days before, and was treated by Dr. George Ikirt who termed it "a touch of blood poison" brought on neglect.
Mrs. Densmore was held in one of two women's cells at the jail. Two Black females and one white were in the other, detained from a raid in the East End the night before. Mrs. Densmore had been divorced about five years before, her ex- husband having remarried.
A Review reporter interviewed her about events leading to the shooting. Apparently basing his questions on rumors or unsubstantiated reports, he asked if she had ever sprinkled salt around Mrs. Whan's yard.
Mrs. Densmore denied that, declaring she had been in the yard only once -- 'to ask for permission to shoot our dog which she had poisoned." She said the dog had not bitten anyone, had just been barking around the Whan house. Mrs. Densmore explained she had been ordered to shoot it, and the other woman gave permission.
The two Densmore boys had sold Mrs. Whan some trees, and their mother denied a claim that they were stolen. She said she offered to pay Mrs. Whan for them.
But that incident did not end their previous friendship, according to Mrs. Densmore. That occurred, she said, when Mrs. Whan accused Mrs. Densmore of telling police about her.
"Did you ever tell police about her?" the reporter asked. "Last winter, once."
"Was there a girl about 15 years old at When's?"
"I guess so. That's what she blamed me for calling the police about."
MRS. WHAN HAD been married several times. Her last husband, John Whan, a city police officer, had died previously, and a brother, John Houser, had passed away just a week earlier.
The wounded woman rallied somewhat Saturday, but died Sunday at 3 am. Mollie Densmore faced a murder charge.
A preliminary hearing was held Monday shortly after noon before Mayor V. A. Schreiber, Mollie pleading not guilty through her attorneys, Jason Brookes and M. J. McGarry. The accused, face drawn with worry and discomfort, wore a black dress and black sailor hat, a white bandage visible beneath the left sleeve.
According to a newspaper report, Mollie had not been told of Mrs. Whan's death until shortly before the hearing. Because of her nervous condition, it was feared the news would result in harmful shock.
Mayor Schreiber, a lay minister, gently told her that Mrs. When had died, and she threw her hands to her head, exclaiming in tears, "Oh, God knows, I didn't mean to kill her."
First witness called by City Solictor Ben Bennett was Mrs. Margaret Barnes of Lisbon St., a friend of Mrs. Densmore, who described the morning of the shooting. She testified she was washing on the rear porch of her house, and saw Mrs. Whan go down the alley extending from Lisbon St. to Eighth St.
Soon after, Mrs. Densmore came down the alley, Mrs. Barnes related, and stopped to talk for a few minutes. She said she was going down to catch a streetcar.
Then Mrs. Densmore came back to the porch, and told Mrs. Barnes, "There comes Mrs. When. I'm going to ask her what she said about me."
Mrs. Barnes said she heard Mrs. Whan question the other woman, "What did you come down and jump on my mother for?" In reply, the witness related, she heard Mrs. Whan say, "You come up here and I'll -----" Mrs. Barnes said she did not hear the rest of the sentence.
Then came the shots. The witness said she did not see what happened. When she looked out on the alley, Mrs. Densmore was walking down holding the gun. The Mayor held her for the Grand Jury which on Oct. 2 handed down a second degree murder indictment. She was released on $5,000 bond.
Private services for Mrs. Whan were conducted by the Rev. Robert Kell of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church at the home of her son, Herbert Wilson of Riley Ave.
The shooting victim was not unknown to law officials nor to the many citizens concerned about gambling and prostitution in the community.
Her late husband, John, and another officer had been suspended from the police force in 1899 for drinking on duty by "law and order" Mayor C. Bough. In 1895 John Whan had been acquitted on charges of entering a house of ill fame.
Council reinstated the two policemen, and the Mayor then filed formal charges of,, drinking on duty, but both were acquitted and the suspensions lifted.
Mrs. Whan had been charged by probation officer John McShane in March 1911 with unlawfully harboring a 15-year-old girl in a house of ill fame. She was also accused of enticing the girl -- Florence Gordon -- from her father, Henry Gordon of Rochester, Pa., for the purpose of placing her in a disorderly house.
OFFICERS BROKE in the door of her Lisbon St. home before 6 p.m. March 25 and arrested her, and about 10 p.m. arrested Ethel Sheppard of Pittsburgh and Alice Wheeler of East Liverpool on information provided by the teen-ager.
Sheppard, cited for loitering in a disorderly house, was the wife of F. 0. Sheppard, convicted at New Cumberland court the previous year of horse stealing and sentenced to the West Virginia pen.
Mrs. Sheppard and Wheeler were also charged under juvenile law with aiding in the delinquency of the Gordon girl. The girl's mother showed up at City Hall, claiming Mrs. Whan came to her home offering her "most anything" if she would persuade her daughter to swear she was 18 years old.
The Review story was headlined "White Slavery May Have Been Found Here." Representing the state was City Solicitor W. H. Vodrey and Atty. Hollis E. Grosshans, counsel for the Good Citizens League.
More troubles had faced Anna. On April 6 she was again arrested -- by Police Chief John Wyman -- for "decoying, inducing, harboring and enticing" into a house of ill fame Mary E. Campbell, 15, daughter of William Campbell of Rochester, a paperhanger and painter. The girl and another had been at the Whan home about three months, it was said.
Mrs. Whan broke down and wept when taken into custody. She pleaded not guilty before Mayor Sam Crawford who bound her over to the Grand Jury under $2,000 bond on each charge.
In July two Pittsburgh detectives, investigating in the city, filed bootlegging charges against Mrs. Whan, based on information provided by two girls.
The city morals charges became foundation for federal law violations, and Mrs. Whan faced U.S. Grand Jury action at Cleveland, with the Campbell girl as a witness. The jury indicted her for assisting in the "trafficking in white slaves."
Then the Columbiana County Grand Jury indicted Mrs. Whan on six charges in the Campbell case and three in the Gordon case.
Anna appeared before Judge J.G.Moore in Lisbon in June 1911 to plead guilty to keeping a house of ill fame. She reportedly had "repented," and was accompanied by several prominent ladies connected with city churches and the Salvatiori. Army along with some ministers.
Atty. C.S. Speaker made an eloquent appeal on her behalf, while Prosecutor Metzger declined to make any recommendation to the court.
Judge Moore spoke at length on the aspects of Christian forgiveness and Justice, and declaring "the Law is humane," handed Anna a five-year suspended sentence. "Go and sin no more" was his admonition.
BUT NOW IT WAS 1915, Anna was dead, and the Grand Jury had indicted Mollie Densmore in October for her murder. Mollie was freed under $5,000 bond.
She nervously pled not guilty at arraignment before Judge J. G. Moore who lowered bond to $2,000. When she was unable to pay for counsel, Judge Moore appointed Jason Brookes and M. J. McGarry to represent her.
Trial was set for Nov. 8, but was delayed because of illness of Atty. Brookes. Finally, a jury was seated and testimony began Nov. 29. The state's first witness was Emmet Myer, a mailman, who said he saw Mrs. Whan, standing in the Street, throw a stone at Mrs. Densmore's back as she was walking away.
Earp Davis of Lisbon St., a potter, testified he was at work in his yard and watched the women arguing with "wild motions of their arms." He stated Whan threw the stone about the size of a half a brick, but it missed. Then Mollie produced the gun and fired, he said.
Mollie herself went on the stand, telling the jury, "God knows, that I never meant to kill or even harm her. I feared her, and when I saw her coming toward me with the stone in her hand and crazy with rage, I fired the revolver just for the purpose of frightening her off."
She told of Mrs. Whan talking about her to her mother, and of threats she made to have her arrested and her children taken from her. Mollie declared she was worried, and had made up her mind to go to Lisbon and tell Judge Farr about the threats of "breaking my head," and having Mrs. Whan arrested.
ON THE MORNING of the shooting, she started from home to the grocery store and later to a place where she had previously bought the gun. She said she was - going to get back her money.
She stopped to talk with Mrs. Barnes who told her of the threats made by Mrs. Whan, and was leaving when she saw the latter coming up the alley.
It was then she decided to ask the other woman why she talked "that way" to her mother, and the quarrel began. "She accused me of having had her arrested, and said she would give me something to have her arrested for."
Mollie turned around toward her house, with Whan "after me mad with rage and cursing at me and with the stone in her hand."
"My only thought was to frighten her when I took the revolver from my pocketbook with my left hand, and I meant just to fire it and frighten her away."
The defendant underwent rigid cross examination by Prosecutor Vodrey, then the State concluded with Anna Whan's dying declaration in which she described her troubles with Mollie.
Whan stated she picked up the stone only when she saw Densmore draw out the gun.
The following day -- Dec. 1 -- the case went to the jury which convened for only 25 minutes before returning a verdict of "not guilty."
Courthouse observers commented the deliberations were among of the shortest ever recalled in a second degree murder trial,
"Clean-Up" Bid Started
The Whan case and other evidence of prostitution in the city prompted a movement for curbing the wicked vice infecting the community.
The Good Citizens League had placed Atty. Grosshans in the Whan prosecutior, and plans were advanced for organizing a Florence Crittenden group.
A meeting was held late in March 1911 at the newly constructed Carnegie Public Library in an effort to "prevent young girls from leading a wayward life and compelling them to be off the streets by 10 o'clock at night."
Discussion centered on the need for a woman police officer to implement this reform. Speakers included Mayor Crawford, Atty. James W. McGarry, ex-Mayor W. A. Weaver, Probation Officer John McShane and Mrs. Z. T. Jayne of Delaware, Florence Crittenden state organizer.
Husband Kills Wife, Self
Tension between an Akron couple, culminating in an argument over his wearing white shoes, goaded the husband into shooting his wife in a West Eighth St. home in 1916.
Nelson Brownfield, 45, a Goodyear Rubber Co. foreman, killed his wife, Della, at the home of her brother, George Bradford, June 12, then shot himself in the head.
The woman had been visiting for about a week, while husband had arrived a few days earlier. Witnesses told police Mrs. Brownfield was planning to take an excursion to Cincinnati, won in a lodge membership drive, but he wished her to return to Akron.
When she refused, he apparently decided to accompany her on the trip, and that morning had purchased a pair of white shoes, light trousers and a Panama hat. She . reportedly told him he could not go with her "in that regalia."
The couple was alone in the living room when Brownfield fired several shots with a .32 caliber revolver, one hitting his wife in the neck. He then turned the gun on himself and shot himself in the neck, head and lower face.
Mrs. Brownfield died almost instantly, while her husband died en route to City Hospital. Police said that although mortally wounded, Brownfield apparently reloaded the weapon before firing the last shot.
Newspaper reports indicated the couple had separated a short time before, and Brownfield was looking for an Akron man and carrying a revolver.
A former stonemason and employee of a local stilt factory, Brownfield had told his wife he was working out a notice at the Akron plant, preparing to go to Oklahoma, taking her with him.
The pair was survived by two Sons in Akron.
In the fall of 1916 a jealous pottery worker shot and killed his boarding house mistress then fired the gun into his chest in a suicide attempt. He recovered, and was sentenced to life imprisonment for second degree murder.
Twenty-eight years later he wounded his common law wife, killed her male companion then shot himself -- this time with fatal success.
Mrs. Annie Lowers, 43, of Jethro was the victim of the Nov. 8, 1916, slaying by Grover Potts, 24, in a downtown East Liverpool home.
The two had quarreled earlier, and Mrs. Lowers was sitting in the dining room of the home of Mrs. Annie Green of 307 W. Church Alley, telling Mrs. Green of the incident. Suddenly Potts burst into the room, saying to her, "That was a hell of a fine stunt you played on me!"
He then pulled the gun from a pocket and from within three feet fired twice at Lowers, hitting her in the upper chest. She crumpled down in the rocking chair.
Mrs. Green had left the room when he appeared, coming through a rear door, and said she heard him call that he would shoot her if she left the house.
But he fired the revolver into his chest, and was found unconscious by police officers summoned by Mrs. Green at a neighboring home.
DR. SAMUEL RICH was called, and determined that the woman was dead, but Potts was still alive. He was taken by police ambulance patrol to City Hospital.
Mrs. Lowers had died from both bullets which hit the right breast below the shoulder and coursed downward near the heart. He had fired the gun into his left chest, the slug lodging near his heart.
Mrs. Green said she had known Annie only as a shopmate at the Cartwright pottery where they had worked until recently as finishers. Annie, she said, came to her house about 7 p.m., reporting that she and Potts had argued, and she had told him to find another boarding house.
Potts had arrived at Annie's house drunk about 5 p.m., and became abusive. He had moved from Wellsville about two months before to work as a mould runner at the Cartwright pottery.
She told Mrs. Green she ordered him to pack his bags and leave. He pleaded to remain, but finally departed. She went up town with another boarder, H. H. Shively, and at Fourth and Jefferson St. they were accosted by Potts. He asked to be allowed to return to her home, and when she refused, threatened both of them.
Shively escorted Lowers to Mrs. Green's house, and went back up town with another man.
After describing the quarrel, Lowers asked Mrs. Green to keep some jewelry for her. She produced a small package of bracelets, rings and a watch which Mrs. Green handed to a daughter to place in a trunk.
Shortly afterward, Potts arrived, and the shooting took place.
Both Annie and Potts were married. Three of her sons -- Lorenzo, Walter and Frank Dray -- resided with their divorced father in Carrollton. She had not lived with her second husband for several years.
Funeral services were held at the home of her mother, Mrs. Margaret Garvey of Leonard St., Jethro, and burial was in St. Aloysius Cemetery.
Potts had been separated for a year and a half from his wife who lived in Alliance. They had no children.
Hospital authorities said he was slowly dying, not expected to live more than three or four hours. But he gradually improved at the hospital under police guard, and Police Chief Hugh McDermott filed a first degree murder charge. Potts told officers he feared he would be slain by the victim's friends, but was kept cuffed by one leg to a cot in the men's ward.
On Nov. 15 Dr. Rich located and removed the bullet which had passed through a lung and lodged in the flesh of Potts' back
Mayor Wiltsie Orr bound over him to the Grand Jury for first degree murder. Soon his improving condition allowed transfer to the County Jail at Lisbon, but in January 1917 he returned to the hospital after suffering a setback. He developed "dropsy," and had to be tapped once at the Jail.
He again recovered, and the Grand Jury indicted him for second degree murder.
BEFORE POTTS' TRIAL started in April, his attorneys, "Judge" P. M. Smith of 'r Wellsville and C. S. Speaker of Lisbon, filed a claim of prejudice against Common Pleas Judge J. G. Moore who withdrew. The Supreme Court named Judge W P. Henderson of Hardin County to conduct the trial which began April 11.
Potts then sought to plea against a charge of manslaughter, which the Judge rejected. Smith and Speaker planned an insanity defense if the case came to trial.
The defendant insisted that, due to his intoxication, he did not recollect anything about the shooting. But he then pled guilty to second degree murder, and Judge Henderson sentenced him to life in the penitentiary.
Reporters said he accepted the penalty "without faltering."
IN THE SUMMER of 1944, Grover Cleveland Potts gunned down his estranged common-law wife and another man in a Wellsville boarding house, then fatally shot himself.
Mrs. Getrude Potts, 38, was severely wounded in the July 13 fusillade with bullets in the right neck and right side of the body, and Robert M. Thompson, 55, 01 Smiths Ferry died of wounds to the neck and chest.
Wellsville police said Potts, employed at the Sterling China Co., arrived about 12:30 a.m. at the Broadway boarding house where his wife moved after their separation a few months earlier.
He talked for about ten minutes with the woman and Thompson who was visiting her. Then he drew a .38 caliber revolver and started firing.
The fifth bullet he fired into his heart. Both men died within five minutes, The woman was hospitalized. County Coroner Arnold Devon ruled murder and suicide.
Thompson, a native of Toronto and former marathon runner, was a train conductor at the Pittsburgh Crucible Steel Co. at Midland. He was survived by his wife and four sons, three of them in the armed services.
Crime Or Accident?
Discovery of two bodies in the ruins of a fire-swept pottery during World War I, both burned beyond recognition, led to murder charges and suspicions of enemy sabotage.
Flames consumed the Adamant Porcelain Co. in the West End early the morning of Feb. 7, 1918, destroying the five-kiln plant.
In the debris were the charred bodies of David Mumaw, 60, the night watchman, and Joseph Cannon, 55, a potter who had slept in the building for several nights. Mumaw* was identified from a lodge medallion; Cannon because he was missing.
Because of the shortage of fuel gas during the war, the kilns were not lighted, but firefighters doubted if the cause would ever be determined.
The next night fire broke out at the Kenilworth Tile Co. on Third St., Newell, under suspicious circumstances. There the kilns had also been cool, and the drying room, where the blaze began, was checked by a watchman only 15 minutes before.
Both plants were working on government war contracts, and speculation centered on possible enemy plotters.
TWO NIGHTS later, Frank Higgins, night watchman at the R. Thomas & Sons on Baum St., East Liverpool, spotted a shadow under a clay bin in the slip house. Suddenly in the beam of his flashlight he could see a man bearing down on him.
Higgins pulled out his revolver, and halted the intruder, keeping him covered until city police arrived to arrest him as a suspicious person.
The prisoner was was Willis Payne of Proctorville, Ohio, described as a Negro with Mexican and Indian blood. Payne refused to answer questions, but changed his mind when Police Chief Hugh McDermott's Airedale, "Turk," lunged at him.
He confessed to setting the fires, and knew details about their origin. However it became clear Payne was mentally deficient as he also later claimed starting the famous Chicago fire and gave conflicting answers in an almost "parrot-like testimony," The Review reported.
Payne also asserted he had been paid to bum the Adamant plant by a Midland man, "tall, who wore a fur coat." But then he said he had set the fire in resentment for not being hired to work.
Taken to the Adamant plant, he correctly showed where Mumaw's body had been left, and claimed he had struck him with a hatchet. Police said a hatchet was found next to corpse, but no wounds were discerned.
Charges of murder and arson were filed, and, fearing an attempt to lynch Payne,
police took him to the county jail at Lisbon. By the next day, authorities learned Payne was admitted to a Columbus institution for the feeble-minded in 1912, and had been released in January.
Wellsville relatives told police he could be persuaded to do anything.
Federal and state officials sought to find connections between Payne and German agents, and the County Prosecutor's office began preparing evidence against him on the local charges.
But the strongest evidence indicated that Payne was mentally incompetent, and the Grand Jury marked the case 'Ignored." In April a Probate Court hearing ruled him insane, and he was sent to the State Hospital at Lima for an indefinite term.
* Municipal Court Bailiff David Mumaw is the grandson of the victim.
Smile Led To Robbery
The seductive smile of a young widow was believed to have lured a Market St. boarding house resident to his brutal robbery-murder late in 1918.
A railroad work crew found the mangled body of Joseph Martin, 30, on the C. & P. railroad tracks south of the city Dec. 7, throat slashed, watch and money missing.
Martin, also known as Pasquale Fiesule, had come from Italy four years previous, arriving in East Liverpool around 1916 and finding a job with the traction company.
Law officers suspected he had been enticed to a secluded site along the tracks near Walkers, between the city and Wellsville. Investigation indicated he had left his boarding house at 419 Market St. with a woman a few hours before midnight.
Apparently accomplices jumped upon him, cut his throat from ear to ear, took the pay he had received that afternoon, then placed the bleeding form on the tracks. Before daylight the rail crew came across the remains over which a passenger train had passed during the night.
Both feet were torn from the legs by the train wheels, and the head was severely lacerated, but it was clear that the throat had been cut with a razor or sharp knife.
The victim was seen between 9 and 10 p.m. dressed in his best clothes, including white collar, silk necktie, freshly laundered shirt and well shined shoes. He carried around $35 in his pay and a watch, all missing from his pockets later.
Despite a wife and two children supported in Italy, he had been seeing the young woman who reportedly lived at times in East Liverpool and other times in Midland.
Martin had come here from Columbus, said to be sober and good-natured, with out enemies. But he may have had suspicions that night --although friends said he hever carried a gun, he tried to borrow revolver cartridges from an acquaintance.
Besides the torn clothing and body parts scattered along the tracks, police found a long black overcoat, too large for the victim.
Following an inquest, Coroner J. M. Van Fossan ruled the death a homicide, and officers said they were following clues to an expected arrest. But the New Year opened without anyone charged.
A Killer At Large
The man was near death, a bullet wound in his head, lying across the westbound tracks along East Liverpool's River Rd. when discovered by two pedestrians late one Saturday night in June 1918.
All the tags and identification had been removed from his clothing. He was taken to City Hospital by the Sturgis ambulance, and two pieces of a .32 caliber slug removed from the brain by physicians. They didn't expect him to live, noting a severe injury to the base of the skull and facial bruises.
Two police officers later found his hat about 18 feet north of the tracks in front of the Thompson pottery. It was punctured by a bullet and filled with blood, indicating the victim had lain there when originally felled.
Police theorized his assailant wanted to insure death, and struck him when unconscious with a blunt weapon, then dragged him to the tracks expecting a passing train to mangle the body and hide the wounds.
THE CRIME FIT the pattern of a European style robbery, police said. The victim looked "foreign," dark hair, 5-foot-10, weighed about 160, looked 32-33 years old. Besides his Panama hat, he wore a blue suit with light stripes and black shoes.
A single clue was a small button on his coat reading "Have You Bought A War Savings Stamp? UMWA District 6." America was in World War One; the United Mine Workers District Six extended through the Salineville-West Point area.
Police Chief Hugh McDermott said the mine union office found no link to the man, and he hoped the victim would regain consciousness long enough to reveal his name and assailant.
He didn't, dying at 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 24, without awakening.
But his description in the Morning Tribune caught the eye of Mrs. Walter Wright of 341 W. Drury Lane, who went to the Sturgis morgue at 5:30 p.m. and identified him as her cousin, Jerry F. Kincaid, 35.
The man was from Ruby, Montana, and had been employed in Wellsville for a while, then worked at the Kirk-Dunn mines at West Point until a strike about three weeks before. He then got a job with the American Sewer Pipe Co. at New Brighton, Pa.
Kincaid had regularly come to East Liverpool on Saturdays to visit the Wrights... Walter Wright had been with him that Saturday, and they had parted about 7:15 p.m., Kincaid agreeing to stay that night.
He was survived by his wife, Minnie, from whom he was separated, and his father, brother and three sisters in Ruby.
Police checked out leads, quizzed possible suspects, hinted at a possible arrest. None was made. The victim was buried in Spring Hill Cemetery at Wellsville, records listing him "murdered."
One jury had to rule on insanity before another judged the fate of a sewer pipe plant worker who in 1924 shot an East End woman restaurant owner then nearly killed himself with a bullet in the head.
Mrs. Flora Dearth, 46, died instantly from a wound between the eyes about 9:30 p.m Oct. 3 in her small restaurant at Mulberry St. and Locust Alley.
She was found lying face down behind the counter, with William A. Wolfe, 37, a boarder, on the floor nearby, blood streaming from a wound on the side of his face and head. Beside him lay a .38 caliber revolver, two bullets gone from its chamber.
Mrs. Dearth had operated the restaurant for about two years. Her husband, Darrell, owned a second-hand clothing and notion store across the Street.
Wolfe had been renting a room from the woman, and boarding at the restaurant.
He worked earlier in the year at the American Vitrified Products, and more recently with Charles Poole, a Pennsylvania Ave. plumber.
Shortly before the shooting, Mrs. Mildred Kriefer and her son of 851 Pennsylvania Ave. had walked by the restaurant. She later told police she saw the pair arguing and shaking their fists. Within minutes Mrs. Kriefer heard two shots and went back, seeing Mrs. Dearth on the floor and Wolfe trying to get up.
PATROLMAN Chester Smith, standing at Mulberry St. and Pennsylvania Ave., was summoned. He broke through the locked doors to find the woman dead and Wolfe badly wounded, holding the revolver.
Smith said he took the gun from the man, asking, "What did you do the shooting for." Wolfe answered, "George Beaver did it." Pressed as to the reason, the suspect said, "Over the dishes."
Police theorized a dispute flared over Wolfe being asked to wash dishes after the restaurant closed, and he fired point blank at the woman standing at the counter. He had apparently argued at one time with a George Beaver over loss of $5.
Wolfe was taken to City Hospital where he remained in "critical" condition from the bullet which apparently entered the right jaw, coursed upward to destroy the left optical nerve and exited the left temple.
The husband lived behind his store, but said he and his wife were "on friendly terms." He did not know the reason for the slaying, and denied Wolfe had a share in his wife's business or that he wanted to have his share applied to room and board.
Mrs. Dearth had no children. A brother, Bayard Swigers, lived in Oakmont, St. Clair Township.
Wolfe was known to carry a revolver, and claimed he was a special officer. City police quickly denied he was such an officer with any local authority.
Newspaper accounts referred to him as "dying," and a doctor at the hospital doubted he would live the night. But he remained alive, and Police Chief Hugh McDermott filed first degree murder charges in case he did survive.
The suspect was not inactive. Capt. Mason Conley was summoned to the hospital by nurses who said he cursed them, and attempted to leave his bed. Later police officers kept watch at night to prevent a suicide or escape, and he was shackled to the bed during the day.
In order to save the sight of his right eye, doctors removed the left optic, and the wound began to heal properly.
When a reporter interviewed him in his room three weeks later, Wolfe vowed to fight the murder charge. His life, he said, was threatened in an anonymous letter received a few days prior to the shooting.
He believed jealousy about his purported infatuation prompted the letter which, he said, he turned over to Patrolman Smith. The letter writer warned him to leave the city immediately. Wolfe denied Mrs. Dearth had been responsible for the note, but suggested it was the cause of the murder and attempted suicide.
"Mrs. Dearth was nothing more to me than a boarding mistress," he declared.
Wolfe said he arrived in the city about four years before from Pomeroy where he had been a special officer and permitted to carry a gun. He had come to work at. Amvit, a sewer pipe manufacturer, hauling coal and cinders to and from the kilns
He stated he had not made any arrests in East Liverpool, but accompanied arresting officers, including Patrolman Smith.
SOON DR. BAILEY announced Wolfe was well enough for transfer to a cell, and a hearing was scheduled before Mayor Charles Brown. The threatening letter stirred interest, and the Mayor defended Patrolman Smith's silence about it.
Smith had shown him the letter, Brown said, and destroyed it on advice from the Mayor to ignore unsigned letters. The note, which had a Wellsville postmark, "had nothing to do with Wolfe's shooting Mrs. Dearth," Brown said
The Mayor reported police had found in Wolfe's personal effects a tin box containing "a sort of property deal" between him and the woman, and this was perhaps the cause of the shooting.
As to Wolfe's "special officer' status, the Mayor said it was his understanding that Wolfe had worked as a "card man" out of the East Palestine Mayor's Court, authorized to run down liquor law violators. However, the Ohio Attorney General had ruled such "card men" were illegal, and all commissions were revoked.
Wolfe was taken before the Mayor Nov. 5 and pleaded not guilty to murder. He denied the killing, and said he did not know who did. He explained he and Darrell Dearth were in the dining room, and Flora and a friend were in the kitchen.
He was bound over without bond to the Grand Jury which indicted him for second degree murder, with authorities arranging a sanitary test first.
Six women and six men were seated Dec. 1 before Judge Carl Smith of Steubenville to decide Wolfe's mental condition. He was first on the stand, testifying that he was born in Meigs County, one of eight children, and left home at 15, working in various places before Pomeroy.
He told the jury he lent Mrs. Dearth $800 to put into the restaurant operation, but did not shoot her or know who did.
Mrs. Leona Swiger, sister-in-law of the victim, testified Mrs. Dearth told her she had written a threatening note to Wolfe. An Amvit foreman said Wolfe had worked several months at the plant, but was fired for carrying a gun at work.
Patrolman Smith denied Wolfe had ever been on any raids or arrests. Various physicians testified as to his sanity. One indicated he was sane but had a mental age of 10 to 12 years old. Dr. Bailey said he was of low mentality but sane. Dr. Seward Harris of Lisbon, County Jail physician, termed him insane.
The jury ruled him sane, and criminal trial began Dec. 15 at Lisbon before a jury of nine men and three women with Judge Smith presiding. Despite the earlier sanity verdict, Defense attorney F. E. Grosshans based his case on proving Wolfe not in his right mind.
Wolfe testified he had turned all his money over to Mrs. Dearth to put into the restaurant in a partnership -- she to give him half interest in the business and property. 'She said she would make it right later on. We were just friends," he said.
A key witness was Mrs. Anna Johnson of 1070 Pennsylvania Ave. She said was walking past the restaurant and saw a flash, and heard two shots between a man, facing away from her, and another person.
The other person fell after the first shot, the man after the second. She saw no others in the place, she said.
An older man who had come to East Liverpool with Wolfe testified an uncle of the defendant had been in a West Virginia asylum. One of Wolfe's former teachers stated he was released from school when 14 because he was "feeble-minded."
Another uncle said Wolfe had never been away from home more than two weeks before coming here.
Among the last witnesses was Dr. Arthur Hyde, superintendent of Massillon State Hospital. Grosshans asked if a man of Wolfe's family background, low mentality, school record, quick temper, history of gun fascination, threatening people, who killed a woman and shot himself would be insane. Hyde, who had examined Wolfe at the County Jail, answered, "He is insane."
The jury believed differently. In little over four hours, they found him guilty of second degree murder.
Wolfe seemed unperturbed by the verdict, and the next day -- Dec. 18 -- was sentenced to life in prison by Judge Smith.
The head wound, however, remained a serious problem. Early in March 1925, Wolfe died at the Ohio Penitentiary of bronchial pneumonia and cerebro-spinal meningitis which, doctors said, developed from the bullet fired in his suicide attempt.
CONTINUE TOMurder Will Out 5