Lynch Murder News Articles
(Research into the murders is on-going and the content here may change.)
These articles directly or indirectly address the events and atmosphere that surrounded George Lynch and provide context for the researcher.
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CITIZENS' MEETING AT HOCKLEY.
A meeting of the citizens of Hockley was held on the 14th. The proceedings have been forwarded for publication, from which we are obliged to condense.
Rev. E. D. Johnson acted as Chairman of the meeting, and J. Y. Rankin as Secretary.
Messrs. J. Y. Rankin, F. L. Dukes and F. L. Viven, were appointed to draft resolutions. They reported resolutions, 1st, declaring the necessity of vigilance and sympathising with the citizens of the northern counties in their distress; 2d, agreeing to cooperate with like committees in other counties and places, and to stand as a body, as minute men, ready to render any assistance in their power; 3d, requesting all persons friendly to the object of the meeting to sign their names, thereby pledging themselves to aid in any measure requisite to protect their lives and property against abolitionism; 4th, providing for the selection of an efficient day and night watch; 5th providing for a committee of vigilance to take cognizance of all suspicious characters; and 6th, endorsing the proceedings at the town of Occaqua, (sic: Occoquan) Va.
The following persons were appointed as the police; S. Laughy, F. F. V. Johnson; C. Campbell, F. L. Dukes, R. Roques, J. A. Haenkne, J. Forster, Jno. Warren, Jos. Lawler, C. Abbott, C. Christopher and J. Kew.
The following were made the committee of Vigillance, viz: J. Y. Rankin, F. L Viven, F. L. Dukes, John Warren, L. Forster and Chas. Campbell.
The following names were signed to the proceedings:
F. L. Viven, F. S. Duke, John Warren, E. C. Abbott, S. Laughy, T. F. V. Johnson, A. C. Christopher, J. R. Kerr, C. Byram, Jos. Lawler, R. J. Abbott, J. A. Hienline, R. J. Roco, C. Helwig, J. Alexander, R. Rogers, H. C. Walker, Jas, Rogers, S. Forster, Geo. Lynch, H. C. Beauchamps, C. Campbell, Wm. Walker, J. J. Long, Thompson Walker.
E. D. JOHNSON, Ch'n.
John Y. Rankin, Secy.
Abraham Lincoln began campaigning for the presidency in 1859 with the abolitionist Hannibal Hamlin as his vice president. Hamlin had belonged to the Democrat party but his strong abolitionist views conflicted with that party and he joined the newly formed Republican party in 1856.
On Independence Day, 1860, some citizens of Occoquan, Virginia erected a flag pole and put a flag on it with the names of Lincoln and Hamlin. This didn't go over very well in the Democrat state of Virginia and a confrontation ensued and the pole was cut down and the flag confiscated. See the Richmond Times-Dispatch of July 30, 1860 for details.
George signed the resolution, as a resident of Hockley, condemning the abolitionist Lincoln-Hamlin flag event at Occoquan – he supported Texas & the sentiment against Lincoln's proposal to prohibit slavery.
"Citizens' Meeting At Hockley.", The Weekly Telegraph, (Houston, Tex.), Tuesday, August 21, 1860, p. 3, col. 1.
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A Man Shot & his Children Probably Burned.
Mr. George W. Linch (sic) was found yesterday morning, near his own house, in Waller county, badly shot with buck-shot; and his dwelling house a heap of smoking ruins.
Mr. Lynch is a planter in good circumstances. His home is about eight miles north-east of Hockley, and just inside of the Waller county line. He is a peacable, orderly, law-abiding gentleman, very generally esteemed by his neighbors. He is about 40 years of age, and was raised in the neighborhood of his present residence. His wife, who was a daughter of a Mr. Joseph Hargrove, now deceased, died about two weeks ago, leaving an infant child only a few days old.
Mr. Lynch had eight children, the oldest a girl of 17, and the accounts from there leave room to fear that all of them may have perished in the flames. His nearest neighbor, Mr. Boulware, lives within 500 yards, but the families were on hostile terms, and no one else lives nearer than a mile. The theory seems to be that Mr. Lynch was shot, and his children all burned with his house. The very thought is too horrible. Humanity turns with a shudder from the contemplation of such an idea.
Since the above was written, our Hockly (sic) "special" but too fearfully confirms the horrid deed.
Special Telegram to the Age.
Hockley, Sept. 14. — 1 p. m. — The remains of seven of the Lynch children have been found in the ruins of the house. The infant is supposed to be totally consumed. Lynch is shot in the breast and neck. His physician says he cannot recover. He lived in Waller county, seven miles from this place.
For the hell-hounds who perpetrated that horrible deed no penalty known to civilized statutes is anything like an adequate punishment.
"HORRIBLE. A Man Shot & his Children Probably Burned.", The Waco Daily Examiner, (Waco, Texas) Tuesday, September 17, 1878, p. 2, col. 3.
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On the morning of the thirteenth Mr. Lynch, living about fifteen miles from Hempstead, was called from his bed and asked to step to the door. He did as requested, and was shot as soon as he stepped into the opening. the shot struck him in two places, one in the throat and one through the lungs. He fell, and by the would-be murderers was doubtless thought to be dead, as they went deliberately to work about burning down the building. After it was well on fire the victim had sufficiently recovered to crawl out and escape death by the devouring flames. He had several little children in the house whom it is supposed were burnt to death, as they had not up to the latest information been found anywhere. The man had lost his wife about two weeks previous by sickness, and when he was just able to save himself by crawling away, the little ones were left without anybody to guide them from the tortures of a merciless element. Parties with whom had some litigation are suspected. There is great excitement at Hempstead about it.
(This is the family of George Lynch, b. ca. 1840 TX.)
"Mr. Lynch shot, family murdered." Weekly Democratic Statesman, (Austin, TX), Thursday, September 19, 1878, p. 2, col. 5.
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The Hockley Horror.
The Houston Telegram give the details of the assassination of the Lynch family near Hockley. The family consisted of eight children ranging from the age of two to seventeen years, the eldest being a girl. — On the night of the murder the family all retired as usual and slept in the same apartment. It was an old fashioned country log house with an L containing kitchen, servant's room and dining room. Lynch himself slept on a pallet in the middle of the room, with his young child beside him. Three other children slept on a bed in the corner, three more on a couch alongside the wall. Miss Lynch slept on a lounge in a corner near the brick chimney. It was past midnight and Lynch himself was asleep. He was awakened by a pistol shot and a ball piercing him in the breast. He dropped the child from his arms. Jumping up he seen a white man masked. The murderer fired a second time, he fell unconscious and remembers no more till he found himself out in a lane a few yards from the house and seeing his home in flames. The house was totally consumed and Lynch's eight children. their charred bodies were dug out of the debris before the inquest. After the inquest all were buried. The theory of this dark and dreadful crime, is the murderer went in to kill Lynch, and after the second shot left him for dead. Then to cover up the crime and prevent evidence, he seized the hatchet and brained Miss Lynch and the other innocent sleepers, and then set the house on fire the more completely to cover up the murder. Sometime ago Lynch had had a difficulty with a young man namek (sic) Boulware, son of a neighbor residing within 250 yards of him. He had had him arrested for drawing a gun on him (Lynch.) It is but recording a fact to state that suspicion among the citizen of the neighborhood and Hockley openly points to this man.
(This is the family of George Lynch, b. ca. 1840 TX.)
"The Hockley Horror." Brenham Weekly Banner, (Brenham, TX), Friday, September 20, 1878, p. 1, col. 3.
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Account of a Terrible Affair in Texas.
Cincinnati, Sept. 16. — The following account of a most horrible murder is given in a dispatch from Houston, Tex.: The wife of George Lynch, a respected citizen of Herkley, (sic) Tex., died some weeks ago leaving an infant. Lynch had seven other children, the oldest, Clemie, seventeen years. On Friday night the family retired as usual, a lamp being left burning in the main room. At midnight the father was awakened by a pistol shot and a ball striking him in the breast. He sprang up and saw a masked man standing in the middle of the room, pointing a pistol at him. The assassin fired again, the ball entering beneath the collar bone. Lynch fell unconscious, and when he recovered found himself lying in a lane outside the premises. The assassin, thinking Lynch dead, seized a hatchet and put the children, who were witnesses, out of the way. He assaulted Clemie, buried the hatchet in her head, also crushed the skulls of three other children, and then set fire to the house. The distracted father saw the burning house fall in on the bodies of his eight children. The bodies were afterward exhumed and an inquest held, when the hatchet wounds were discovered upon the skulls of the children. It is thought Lynch will recover. A young man named Boatwer (sic), with whom Lynch had had difficulty, is suspected of the crime.
"FOUL MURDER." Cleveland Weekly Herald, Cleveland, Ohio, September 20, 1878, p. 2, col. 4.
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THE HOCKLEY HORROR.
Burial of the Eight Children • • • The Skull of Miss Lynch Cloven with a Hatchet • • • The Bodies Burned to a Crisp.
The Telegram representative last night visited Hockley for the purpose of ascertaining all the facts of the late dreadful tragedy and assassination of the Lynch family. Several citizens of Hockley were interviewed and especially a gentleman who was present at the inquest. The scene of the murder is seven miles northeast of Hockley in the prairies. The history of a crime that surpasses everything yet heard of in the annals of blood is substantially as follows, so far as could be gathered from the testimony of the neighbors and of Mr. Lynch:
Three weeks ago the wife of George Lynch, who is represented by the people of Hockley to be an honorable, upright and good citizen, died, leaving a little child to the care of her husband. Besides this little motherless infant the family, a most respectable one, consisted of seven other children, ranging from the ages of two years upwards.
Miss Carrie Lynch a handsome young girl, was the eldest in her seventeenth year, and a young lady enjoying the highest esteem of her acquaintances. Her sister Lorena was aged about twelve, and her little brother Jerome nine.
On the night of the murder the family all retired as usual ann (sic - should this be 'and') slept in the same apartment. It is an old fashioned country log house with an L, containing kitchen, servant's room and dining room. Lynch himself slept on a pallet in the middle of the room, with his young child beside him. Three other children slept on a bed in one corner, three more slept on a couch alongside the wall. Miss Lynch slept on a lounge inacorner (sic) of the brick chimney. All the doors had been locked save a rear door. It was past midnight. A lamp burned on the bureau. Mhe (sic - The) whole were wrapt in slumber. Lynch himself was asleep. He was awakened by a pistol shot and a ball piercing him in the breast. He dropped the child from his arms. He sprang up. Before him in the light stood a white man dressed in black clothes and wearing a mask. The murderer fired a second time, this time hitting the victim near the collar bone. He fell unconscious and remembers no more till he found himself out in a lane a few yards from the house and seeing his home in flames. A neighbor, Mr. Ladon, here found him, and carried to Mr. Weaver's, a mile distant.
The house was totally consumed and Lynch's eight children. Their little charred bodies were dug out of the smoking debris before the inquestt (sic) The skulls of severall (sic) were found fractured. Near the remains of Miss Lynch a hatchet was found, and its edge exactly fitted a deep cut in the unfortunate girl's skull. Her body lay near the position of her couch. The bodies after the inquest were all buried.
Until the inquest Lynch did not know the fate of his children. A friend at his bedside said, "George, I must now tell you, you have not a child on earth l" (sic) The wretched man burst into tears.
The theory of this dark and dreadful crime, and the one accepted in Hockley, is the murderer went in to kill Lynch, and after the second shot left him for dead. Then to cover up the crime and prevent evidence, he seized a hatchet and brained Miss Lynch and the other innocent sleepers, and then set the house on fire the more completely to cover up the murders.
Sometime ago Lynch had a difficulty with a young man named Boulware, son of a neighbor residing within 250 yards of him. He had had him arrested for drawing a gun on him (Lynch). It is but recording a fact to state that suspicion among the citizens of the neighborhood and Hockley openly points to this man.
Among the people of Hockley last night there was strong talk of mobbing.
Dr. Jamison, of Hockley, states Lynch may recover. He evidently recognized the assassin, and his testimony may and should hang him higher than Haman.
"Burial of the Eight Children." The Waco Daily Examiner (Waco, TX.), Friday, September 20, 1878, p. 2, col. 3.
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THE LYNCH ATTROCITY. (sic)
Further Attacks on His Life Feared.
The Lynch mystery increasing in interest. Lynch has been moved to Hockley, as another attempt on his life is feared. He is rapidly recovering.
County Attorney Booth is investigating it, and all efforts are being made to ferret out the assassin, and in case the governor offers a suitable reward, skillful professional detectives, already on the ground, will work up the matter.
The theory that Lynch himself had committed the crime in a fit of insanity is being abandoned because the wounding was done with bullets of 22 caliber, while his pistol carries a 44 ball. Detectives say they can get the murderer in spite of efforts made to cover him up. — Houston Telegram.
Mr. John Pinckney, Justice of the Peace in Walker (sic) county, writes to the Telegram, giving particulars of the horrible affair, in which he makes the following corrections in the previous report:
I never heard of a masked person being seen until I found it in your paper. Have seen no one who has. Who could have made such statements to your reporter at Hockley I know not. Lynch did not have the child in his arms. There was no hatchet found near Miss Carrie. There were no fractured skulls found. How that idea got out I can't imagine, for the skulls were ashes.
"The Lynch Attrocity." Denison Daily News, (Denison, TX.), Sunday, September 22, 1878, p. 1, col. 4.
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Eight Children Killed.
Cincinnati, Sept. 16. — A special dispatch says the eight children of George Lynch, the eldest 17 years of age, living at Hockley, Texas, were murdered on Friday night by an unknown party. Lynch, the father, was awakened by a pistol shot, the ball striking him in the breast. He sprang up, and saw a masked man standing in the middle of the room, pointing a pistol at him. Another shot was fired, and Lynch fell unconscious. When he recovered he found himself in the lane outside of the premises.
The assassin, thinking Lynch was dead, seized a hatchet, and proceeded to put the witnesses of his crime out of the way, after which he set fire to the house. The distracted father regained consciousness only to see his house burn and fall on the bodies of his murdered children. The bodies were after afterwards exhumed and an inquest held. Several of the skulls showed hatchet marks. Lynch, it is thought, will recover.
"Eight Children Killed." Stamford Miror, Stamford, New York, Tuesday, September 24, 1878 p. 1.
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Of the Lynch horror the Messenger says: Friday morning the remains of the eight children were discovered in the ashes and lying together in threes and twos upon the spot of ground over which the children were in the habit of sleeping. Mr. Lynch tells different tales of the occurrence, saying at one time that he was shot while in the lane, a hundred yards from the house, and at other times that he was shot while in bed and that he did not get up until he found out, half an hour after, that the house was on fire. It is strange that the bones were all found as described, for how eight persons could be stifled without one, at least, awaking and making an effort to escape is almost incredible. Again, it is almost incredible that any set of men, or any one man, could allow his hatred of the father to impel him to kill the whole family. Considering that Mr. Lynch is not now rational, the question arises, is it not more probable that he became deranged and did the deed? His wife, to whom he was very devoted, died some three weeks ago, and his sorrow may have run him crazy. However, as yet only surmises can be indulged in, but if they are properly worked up the whole truth of the matter may be discovered.
"Lynch Tells Different Tales." Weekly Democratic Statesman, (Austin, TX.), Thursday, September 26, 1878 P. 2, col. 7.
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Not Hockley's Horror.
[To the News.]
Hockley, Oct. 1, 1878. — Please give space in your daily to the fact that the murder and cremation of the Lynch family did not occur in our very quiet and peacable village, as the title to the piece would suggest — Hockley horror — but in Waller county, and distant from this place at least 8 miles. The press are, unconsciously no doubt, doing our interests here much damage by persisting in the use of the mistaken title to the fearful tragedy. I have never lived in a more peacable community than is ours.
There is yet, I believe, no clue to the perpetrators of the foul deed.
H. J. Montgomery.
"Not Hockley's Horror." The Galveston Daily News, Thursday, October 3, 1878 P. 2, col. 3.
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Lynch did not die after all. He lives to tell of the horrors of that awful night when his eight children were destroyed, and when the assassin's bullets penetrated his own bosom. A Telegram reporter who has visited the scene of murder says: "The debris of the burned building are still as black as on the morning when the bones of the murdered innocents were dug out of them. The place and positions of the victims and the beds on which they slept could be easily recognized, and the ruin of the blackened cinders contrasted with the tastily arranged shrubbery and rose bushes that had so lately been tended by the hands of Mrs. Lynch and her handsome young daughter, Miss Carrie. Lynch says that when he woke up at the shooting he was in his sober senses, not insane. There was no powder burn on his breast. The balls ranged in a direction which could not have been the case had he attempted suicide. Again, according to some of the neighbors, Lynch's five-shooter, cap and ball, was heard to discharge four barrels during the fire, in addition to his double barreled shotgun. Also, a neighbor of Lynch, had the day after the murder picked up in the ruins two or three cartridge shells belonging to a pistol of small calibre, and that Lynch had had no such cartridges about his house for years. This tallies with the fact that he was shot with small balls. Therefore the suicide theory fails. And inasmuch as the bodies of the children were found in exactly the same position as when they lay down, not having changed their positions, all, and most likely Lynch himself must have been insensible under the influence of chloroform, or some other soporific, or they were killed before their father was shot, because, had they been awakened by the noise, some one of them would have escaped, or at least changed their positions. The assassin or assassins probably had two objects in view, to kill Lynch, and outrage Miss Carrie. In reply to a question, Lynch said that the children were asleep when he lay down at 9 o'clock, and the last he saw of Miss Carrie in this life she lay on her side with her face turned toward the little boy. This most horrid crime is still enveloped in the deepest mystery. It is, however, certain that the assassins intended to make a clear sweep, and went about their diabolical purpose with the deliberate intention of murdering the entire household. Lynch has been advised by his friends to leave Hockley, as it is feared the hidden hand of the devils incarnate who slew Miss Carrie, her little brother and sisters, and the innocent, motherless, sucking babe, will strike again. It is certain that if the fiends who committed this dreadful and devilish deed are ever caught death by violence awaits them."
"Lynch did not die." Weekly Democratic Statesman, (Austin, TX.), Thursday, October 3, 1878 P. 2, col. 6.
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The perpetrators of the horrible, atrocious extermination of the poor family of Mr. Lynch, at Hockley, will hardly be brought to justice, or if tried will never be hanged. They are rich. They have plenty of friends at court, and this gives the continuances and changes of venue, and witnesses strangely disappear and the story is worn out, and people forget the rage excited when the sun rose upon the frightful scene of horror. Then decency was appalled, and each citizen felt himself outraged, that villainy dared to compass such deeds in a country we call our own. The Waco Examiner commenting on courts and juries and prosecuting attorneys says:
A murderer is a murderer, remarks the Sherman Register, reviewing the case of the Calder murderers. That is a sad mistake. A murder is not a murder if committed by a prominent man.
The Lynch murderers are said to be prominent citizens. The good, modest constables and sheriffs do not, therefore, make arrests. Perhaps they await knowledge of the fact that Governor Hubbard has issued the usual proclamation, proposing to pay citizens and sheriffs to do their duty. But there is no reason for arresting these people, if the Houston Telegram be well informed and just in its deduction from the facts that the brutal villains who burned a family to death in their own home are guarded by an abundance of money.
"The Perpetrators Will not be Brought to Justice.", Weekly Democratic Statesman, (Austin, Tex.) Thursday, October 3, 1878, p. 1, col. 6-7.
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What is Termed the Hockley Horror.
A correspondent writes to the Houston Telegram to relieve Hockley of the charge of being responsible for this almost unparalleled deed of violence and crime. We subjoin a portion of his communication:
The scene of this fiendish outrage was eight miles north of Hockley, in Waller county, and in a community between which and Hockley there has never been much trade or intercourse. When the news reached our ever-quiet and peaceful village many of our people visited the place, determined, if possible, to find some traces by which the foul murderer or murderers could be ascertained and made to suffer the penalty that should ever await the perpetrators of such an unnatural crime. And because the first report accidently came from Hockley, it has been known as the "Hockley Horror."
The whole affair is yet involved in mystery, but we cannot believe that God, in His divine wisdom, will permit this long, and we do believe that the fiendish murderer or murderers will yet be known, and brought to punishment, upon which Heaven itself, though the home of love and mercy, will smile. Mr. Lynch was born in Grimes county, near where Navasota now is, and several of our citizens have known him from boyhood. All speak of him in the highest terms, as a man of strict integrity, of the purest morals and kindly emotions. * * Not a great while ago he had a difficulty with the Boulwares, growing out of stock trespassing upon each others' farms. Mr. Reuben Boulware made two assaults upon him — once with a pistol, again with a shotgun — for both of which he (Mr. Boulware) was fined. Mr. William Boulware, who is a very stout man, also met him in the road when (Lynch) was coming home with his wagon, and badly beat him. The above are facts, known to many, and will not be denied. The Boulwares have all reputations for being honorable men; nothing can be alleged against them that would reflect upon their characters. They are all distinguished, or at least well known for their fearlessness, and those who know them are not at all inclined to think that they could perpetrate a crime so revolting to reason, so repugnant to all the emotions of humanity.
Mr. Pinckney says "some deem it a terrible accident caused by bad management of the family." This may be so, but we cannot see how an accident could have resulted in shooting Lynch twice and burning eight children in the beds where they lie. Some one would surely have been awakened and their remains would have developed some evidence of an effort to escape. Mr. P. also says that some think it was the "work of a madman, or some inhuman fiend." This is somewhat ambiguous, and we know not how to construe it unless by a reference to certain rumors. I refer to the rumors that the father of Mr. Lynch was at times deranged, as was also his only sister. In reference to his father's derangement Mr. Lynch refers to many of the citizens of Grimes who knew him long and intimately. He was an educated and intelligent gentleman, and was highly esteemed by all who knew him. So we have heard, Mr. Lynch's only sister was the wife of our highly esteemed citizen J. Eberly, and her friends smile at the idea of her insanity. As to G. W. Lynch himself, whom we never saw until since the perpetration of the foul deed that has brought his name before the public, I have been assured by those who have long known him that he has nover (sic) shown any signs of mental wandering. I have had several conversations with him recently, and notwithstanding the dreadful circumstances that have occurred, I find him calm, cool, resigned and always rational and intelligent. He has never made the least variation in his many narrations of the dreadful crime that made him childless, and as he and his friends believed at the time, would result in his own death. The many conversations and interviews which friendly sympathy and eager curiosity have elicited, all develop the fact of his sanity and intelligence. His reply to the J. P. who asked for information, "I was shot, but I will cast no insinuations as to who did it, because some innocent person might suffer," evinces not only intelligence, but that true nobility of soul that occasionally manifests itself in the development of human nature.
"What is Termed the Hockley Horror." The Tri-Weekly Herald, (Marshall, TX), Saturday, October 05, 1878. P. 1, col. 6.
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A TEXAS HORROR.
EXTERMINATION OF A FAMILY OF BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN.
Chloroformed, Murdered, and Burned to Ashes — The Authorities Trying to Shield the Assassins — The Hockley Massacre a Crime Unparalleled.
Correspondence of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
Hockley, Tex., Oct. 1. — The "Hockley Horror," as the Lynch tragedy and massacre are called, is still fresh in the minds of the people of Texas. Be it said to the honor of the great body of the people — leaving out criminals and their sympathizers — that this dreadful deed continues to excite their honest indignation. This extraordinary and wholesale slaughter of an entire family at one fell swoop, is indeed beyond all odds the most horrible affair of the kind that has disgraced the present century, and it is doubtful if the most bloody pages of history, even the darkest (unreadable) contain so dreadful a mystery. The murder of the princes in the tower, or the horrible revelations of the dungeons of the Spanish Inquisition, have nothing to equal the silent terror of this fearful crime.
George W. Lynch, a most respectable, honest, and honorable citizen — a native of Texas — a Master Mason in good standing — years ago married a Miss Hargrave, belonging to one of the most reputable families of Central Texas. They lived happily together. Her husband built them a quiet and beautiful home surrounded by everything that makes that sacred place happy, and all the comforts of an ordinary rural residence. It was situated in Waller County, seven miles northwest of Hockley, looking down upon the limpid waters of Spring Creek, a mill to the westward, to whose sandy banks a prairie of tall grass swept down. In the background were umbrageous groves of broad spreading trees, flanked on either side by fields white with the staple of the South, or waving with corn. In a clump of oaks was located the family mansion. Trees waved above the "gallery" or veranda, and beautiful shrubbery, tended by the hand of Mrs. Lynch, such as usually adorns a Southern home, was tastefully arranged around the house.
Besides the father and mother — the latter having died two weeks before the dark tragedy that ushered her offspring into eternity — the family, now in their graves, consisted of the following: Miss Carrie Lynch, a beautiful girl of seventeen; Miss Loraine Lynch, her handsome young sister, aged thirteen years; Lodie Lynch, Abigail Lynch, Jerome Lynch, aged eleven years; China Lynch, Phoebe Lynch and Hayes Lynch. The last mentioned was the innocent babe (a few weeks old) bequeathed by the tender wife of Mr. Lynch to his keeping, and which also perished in the conflagration set by the hand of the devilish assassin.
A Globe-Democrat correspondent to-day called upon George W. Lynch, the father of the ill fated family, who, since the affair, and the more effectually to recover from his wound, has been removed to Hockley, where alone, in the midst of his friends, his life is not deemed safe from the same infernal demons that sent his innocent children to their graves. When the correspondent alluded to his lost ones, the unfortunate man burst into tears and wept like a child. Said he: "They say the bodies of all my children were recovered from the ruins of my house; but I know better, only six bodies were found."
"What became of the other two, and was the bodie (sic) of Miss Carrie one of them?"
"I do not know;" and Lynch, who is a strong man, mentally and physically, averted his gaze, and shed tears again.
Hence the question arises among the horrified people of Texas, if the body of Miss Carrie Lynch, his unfortunate girl, was not recovered from the ruins of the burned building. If she was not burned up with the other children, what was her fate? Abduction? The future alone must answer. The question at last must be solved, when the earth and sea give up their dead, and the guileless spirit of the young girl confronts her murderers in the great day of account.
Lynch's story is as follows: After attending to some farm duties, he entered his home about 8 o'clock, and lay down to seek repose in the midst of his eight motherless children. He intended arising again to feed the baby who, with Miss Carrie Lynch, occupied a bed in a corner of the large hall, and near the fireplace. The other six children lay on beds in the same apartment. A lamp was dimly lit burning on the bureau. Lynch says when he lay down all the children were asleep, and the last he saw of Miss Carrie she was slumbering with her face toward the little babe. It was past midnight, and the brilliant stars looked down upon the shadow that stealthily crept into the doomed house. Lynch was suddenly awakened by the report of a pistol and a ball piercing his bosom. His eyes were opened by the shock to perceive a dark object bending above him. No word was spoken. The demon fired again. This time the ball penetrated his breast under the collar bone. He fell senseless. How long he was insenseless he does not know. The next he remembers he was making his way out on the veranda, while a sheet of flame licked its red tongue out through the doorway. He was, in a narrow lane in front of his residence, encountered by two of his horrified neighbors, Lado, and his brother-in-law, Hargrave. (Who were Lado and brother-in-law Hargrave? Hargrave would have to a brother of his deceased wife?) Lynch said, "I'm shot twice, and my children are all burned up. Look for them." The wounded man was then taken to a neighbor's house, that of Mr. Weaver.
Just as the two neighbors came up the north wing of the building was falling in, and the entire structure going down before the fierce flames that were wreathing around the bodies of Lynch's eight children — everything he held dear on earth. Next day citizens collected. Coroner J. M. Pinckney held an inquest. The bodies were dug from the ruins — burned into charred and blackened crisps — and a verdict rendered that they had come to their deaths from parties unknown, and that the children had met with foul play. Although parties were suspected, however, neither the Coroner nor any other official took any steps to make any arrest. There was but little investigation, in fact, which tallies with the subsequent course of the Coroner in writing a communication to a local paper defending one of Lynch's neighbors from current suspicion, which has fastened upon him. The Coroner seems rather to seek to avert suspicion than to investigate the crime. In fact, the officials of Waller County, nor the people of the neighborhood where the crime was committed, have shown any disposition to ferret out this most damnable crime. Gov. Hubbard, however who has ever shown a disposition to punish crime, has offered a large reward for the assassins, which will in a short time bring them in. For a day or two Lynch was unaware of the certainty of the fate of his children, and until one of his friends, sitting by his bedside, said:
"George, it is my duty now to tell you that you have not a child on earth."
It has been concluded by some of the best detectives that the eight children had either been killed or rendered insensible before their father was aroused by the shot of the assassin. Their bodies were found in the exact position they occupied when they lay down to sleep. Not one had even turned over or changed position. Some think they were chloroformed, and probably their father, who was only awakened from his stupor by the shock of the murderer's bullet. This view is strengthened from the fact that the neighbors who first arrived heard no cry, no infant's wail, as the flames formed their fiery winding sheets. It is argued that had any of these innocent victims been alive, or uninfluenced by some drug, the first shot at their parent would have awakened some one of them, who would have made their escape. The victims made no screams as they all went down in their fiery death. This it is that gives this unparalleled tragedy its inexpressible and thrilling horror. How long had these eight beautiful children been killed before the conflagration was set, and how were they killed? These are questions that still remain a dreadful and apparently inscrutable mystery. To-day a Globe-Democrat correspondent rode out to the scene of the murder, on Spring Creek. Hitching his horse to one of the fine shade trees in front of the ruined homestead — now silent at the fresh graves filled by its inmates — the correspondent walked the beautiful yard whose scorched shrubbery still bears the marks of the destroying element, and strode over the blackened and charred ruins. It was a sad sight. Here was the exact spot where burned bones of the beautiful young daughter were picked up; there where the charred skull of one of the smaller children was found. Clews to the perpetrators of this, the most awful tragedy ever enacted in Texas, have been obtained, nor will it be many weeks before the infernal devils who murdered the eight innocents will bin hands that will not stickle to send their blackened souls to hell in the same fiery element that hissed above the bodies of their helpless victims.
"A Texas Horror." Cincinnati Daily Gazette, Thursday, October 10, 1878. p. 5, col. 5.
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AFFAIRS IN WALLER COUNTY.
The Finklea Murder — Crawford's Escape Discussed — Chances that the Crime will never be Avenged.
[To the News.]
Hempstead, Oct. 15. — Entering this ordinarily quiet town you would scarcely think such an unnatural and horrible murder as that of Robert Finklea had been perpetrated in its heart, and that the murderer or murderers are all free from arrest; yet the murder was committed, and all who were present, though they were all put under arrest, are now free. Young was allowed to give evidence against Crawford; Wheeler, keeper of the house in which the marder (sic) was committed, was allowed bail, because doubt existed as to his having committed the deed; Crawford, to whom Young's evidence most directly points as the guilty party, was, during the investigation, allowed to be escorted to his own home by a single constable, a negro, from whom Crawford escaped and had been gone an hour and a half without the knowledge of the constable. Considerable surprise is manifested by the utter indifference manifested by the county officers at Crawford's escape. Not an effort has been made to capture him, although 'tis known where he is or has been, for he has written letters to persons in this town. I have several times to-day heard the remark, money only is necessary to secure acquittal for murder, especially if there was the semblance of a fight between the murderer and the murdered, or if any, no matter how insignificant a provocation can be shown for the deed. Although opinion as to Crawford's firing the fatal shot differs, still he is charged with it and should have been more carefully guarded.
This Finklea murder, that of Capt. Killough and the massacre of the Lynch children all occurred within one month within an area of less than 100 miles square. The perpetrators of none of these crimes are in custody; in the Killough case only the accessories are under surveillance. In addition — as if to prevent being forgotten — the usually quiet German county of Austin comes forward for notice with murder in a ball-room last Sunday morning. This act so incensed the Germans that the murderer sought protection in the jail.
What county is to be heard from today? is a frequently asked question, and more often the answer is found in your special telegrams. Can nothing be done to stop these bloody tragedies?
It is stated that no one resisted the sway of the cattle thieves until John Greer's neighborhood became aroused at the frequency of these thefts and hunted up the thieves, tracing the cattle and hides, thus bringing about the first difficulties that might cause differences and litigation between the cattle men of this county. It is said to have been men from that neighborhood who came to town during the investigation of the Finklea murder and by their avowals frightened Crawford from home, he thinking their design was to mob him, when they assert they only intended to see that justice was not cheated. Public sentiment has thus far been against Crawford, but, as usual in Texas, friends rise up for the living instead of the dead, and feeling is beginning to change to Crawford's favor. His friends assert with strong assurance that he will be exonerated, but they give no idea who the murderer was, and this will doubtless remain a mystery for all time.
"Affairs in Waller County." Weekly Democratic Statesman, (Austin, TX.), Wednesday, October 16, 1878, p. 2, col. 6.
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The character of J. M. Pinckney, the justice of the peace who held inquest over the remains of the Lynch family in Waller county, is vindicated from alleged published slanders by a communication to the News signed by the six jurors and indorsed by twenty-three other citizens. The paper asserts that justice Pinckney is above reproach and his official conduct has always given satisfaction. The slanderous reports complained of were not published in the News.
"Character of J. M. Pinckney.", The Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, October 16, 1878, p. 1, col. 1.
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A correspondent of the Houston Telegram says the detectives are at work on the dreadful Lynch crime. It is reported that they have information that, if published, would startle the people of Texas at the deep and damnable guilt of a plot that in a single hour swept a whole family of beautiful children into eternity.
"Detectives at Work on Lynch Crime." Denison Daily News, (Denison, TX.), Thursday, October 17, 1878, p. 2, col. 1.
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THE WALLER COUNTY HORRORS.
Crawford Will Stand His Trial — The Lynch Massacre — Lynch Still at Hockley.
One of the Telegram men spent Sunday in Waller county and picked up sundry sensational items.
It was learned from friends of R. W. Crawford that he will return to Hempstead before January court and stand his trial for the bloody and sickening murder of Robert Finklea. From all accounts Crawford did escape in good time to save his neck from the lynchers, who, to the number of one hundred, the majority of them from the surrounding country, congregated in town upon the evening of his escape. They were well armed with shot guns and six-shooters and evidently meant straight out business with Crawford, who would undoubtedly have been hung during the night had he not quietly escaped. His residence in Hempstead was at one time and a short time previous to his "skinning out" nearly surrounded by armed men, who congregated especially in front of the street gate. When asked what they wanted one of them replied "Crawford." Mrs. Crawford, a very accomplished lady became frightened and called on some of her husband's guards for protection, so it is reported. Matters were assuming a thrilling aspect when it was ascertained that the bird had flown.
The ostensible purpose of the armed men was to see that Crawford had a fair and impartial investigation at the hands of Justice Hannay, free from all bulldozing influences. Their friends claim they had no intention whatever of mobbing Crawford, but were determined to see fair play.
Crawford's friends say that when he returns to Hempstead to stand his trial, he will have the State troops at his back to protect him from the mob.
THE LYNCH MASSACRE.
The reporter took in a little more of the Lynch business. It was learned in Hockley yesterday morning that Mr. George W. Lynch, the only surviving member of the family lately massacred and burned at his home on Spring Creek, Waller county, is still with his nephew, Mr. Everly, in Hockley. He is now pretty well recovered from the wounds in his breast received on that dreadful night, when he saw his eight children swallowed up in the jaws of a fiery death. As some of Lynch's neighbors seem determined to crush him as well as silence the press, threaten reporters who want to get at the bottom facts, and let Lynch's eight innocent children rest in their graves of blood without an effort to ferret out the murderers, it is opportune here to say that even among his enemies Mr. Lynch has heretofore borne an unblemished reputation. This is the universal testimony of his friends and his enemies in his neighborhood. The reporter asked one of them if Mr. Lynch had ever been accused of cattle stealing. With a look of astonishment he replied, "No. Not only was Mr. Lynch never accused of that, but in all his dealings he had been a man highly honorable and upright." This also is the testimony of citizens of Hockley, where he is well known. Lynch has heretofore been a member of a Master Mason's lodge, in good standing, and nothing has happened to blacken his character or impeach his reputation for veracity. The detectives are said to be at work on this dreadful crime — one that surpasses the murder of the English princes in the Tower of London, or the massacre of the Dowdy family by the Indians in Kerr county the other day. It is reported they have information that, if published, would startle the people of Texas at the deep and damnable guilt of a plot that in a single hour swept a whole family of beautiful children into eternity.
"The Waller County Horrors." Tri-Weekly Herald (Marshall, TX), Saturday, October 19, 1878, p. 1, col. 5.
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ENFORCE THE LAWS.
The press of the State almost with one accord calls for a more rigid enforcement of the criminal code, especially with reference to murderers. It seems to be almost an utter impossibility to convict a man on a charge of killing another, expecially if there has been a quarrel or a fight. It has become a common thing to hear the remark, if the man who does the killing is worth anything, "that they won't hurt him, he's got plenty of money." This idea is so prevalent that one might almost suppose it was a part and parcel of the law of the land. There is no question but money is potent for good or evil. The law should be equal for all. Wealth should have no influence with judges or juries. In England the rich and poor are treated exactly alike before the law; if a wealthy and intelligent man commits a crime, he is punished for it the more severely, as one in his social position should know better. In this country the fault is not with the law itself, but with the people, for and by whom the laws are made. Juries and judges are tender-hearted and are too apt to sympathise with the man who has killed another. This is wrong and can only be remedied by a change in public sentiment. The punishment for murder is death; and, whenever it becomes an established fact that murderers will most inevitably be hanged the now free use of the pistol will cease.
Another thing that needs serious attention is the lax manner in which officers discharge their duty. The escape of Crawford, in Waller county, and the utter failure to arrest Hunt, the assassin of Capt. Killough, in Fayette county, are two flagrant instances. Again the murder of the Lynch family in Waller county, and an apparent disposition of the part of his neighbors to quiet the matter on the ground that Lynch was an unpopular man in his neighborhood, shows a bad state of public sentiment. Until the people rise in their majesty and demand a rigorous enforcement of the law on the part of the courts and officers there is no use looking for a change.
"ENFORCE THE LAWS." Brenham Weekly Banner, (Brenham, TX), Friday, October 25, 1878, p. 1, col. 3.
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Governor Hubbard has increased the reward offered for the murderer of the Lynch family, in Waller county, from $500 to $1000.
"Reward increased for murderers of Lynch family." Brenham Weekly Banner, (Brenham, TX), Friday, October 25, 1878, p. 2, col. 1.
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A Texas Horror.
The Massacre of the Lynch Family.
[Hockley (Texas) Cor. St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
The "Hockley horror, as the Lynch tragedy and massacre are called, is still fresh in the minds of the people of Texas.
George W. Lynch, a most respectable, honest and honorable citizen — a native of Texas — a Master Mason in good standing — years ago married a Miss Hargrave, belonging to one of the most reputable families of Central Texas. They lived happily together. Her husband built them a quiet and beautiful home in Waller county, seven miles northwest of Hockley.
Besides the father and mother — the latter having died two weeks before the dark tragedy that ushered her offspring into eternity — the family, now in their graves, consisted of the following: Miss Carrie Lynch, a beautiful young girl of 17; Miss Loraine Lynch, her handsome young sister, aged 13 years; Lodie Lynch; Abigail Lynch, Jerome Lynch, aged 11 years; China Lynch, Phoebe Lynch and Hayes Lynch. The last-mentioned was the innocent babe (a few weeks old) bequeathed by the tender wife of Mr. Lynch to his keeping, and which also perished in the conflagration set by the hand of the devilish assassin.
A Globe-Democrat correspondent recently called upon George W. Lynch, the father of the ill-fated family, who, since the affair, and the more effectually to recover from his wound, has been removed to Hockley, where alone, in the midst of his friends, his life is deemed safe from the same infernal demons that sent his innocent children to their grave. When the correspondent alluded to his lost ones, the unfortunate man burst into tears and wept like a child. Said he: "They say the bodies of all my children were recovered from the ruins of my house; but I know better; only six bodies were found."
"What became of the other two, and was the body of Miss Carrie one of them?"
"I don't know;" and Lynch, who is a strong man, mentally and physically, averted his gaze, and shed tears again.
Hence the question arises among the horrified people of Texas, if the body of Miss Carrie Lynch, his unfortunate girl, was not recovered from the ruins of the burned building, what has become of her? If she was not burned up with the other children, what was her fate? Abduction? The future alone must answer.
Lynch's story is as follows: After attending to some farm duties, he entered his home about 8 o'clock and lay down to seek repose in the midst of his eight motherless children. He intended arising again to feed the baby, who, with Miss Carrie Lynch, occupied a bed in a corner of the large hall, and near the fire-place. The other six children lay on beds in the same apartment. A lamp was dimly burning on the bureau. Lynch says when he lay down all the children were asleep, and the last he saw of Miss Carrie she was slumbering with her face toward the little babe. It was past midnight, and the brilliant stars looked down upon the shadow that stealthily crept into the doomed home. Lynch was suddenly awakened by the report of a pistol and a ball piercing his bosom. His eyes were opened by the shock to perceive a dark object bending above him. No word was spoken. The demon fired again. This time the ball penetrated his breast under the collar-bone. He fell senseless. How long he was insensible he does not know. The next he remembers he was making his way out on the veranda, while a sheet of flame licked its red tongue out through the doorway. He was, in a narrow lane in front of his residence, encountered by two of his horrified neighbors, Lado and his brother-in-law, Hargrave. Lynch said: "I'm shot twice, and my children are all burned up. Look for them." The wounded man was taken to a neighbor's house, that of Mr. Weaver.
Just as the two neighbors came up the north wing of the building was falling in, and the entire structure going down before the fierce flames that were wreathing around the bodies of Lynch's eight children — everything he held dear on earth. For a day or two Lynch was unaware of the certainty of the fate of his children, and until one of his friends, sitting by his bedside, said:
"George, it is my duty now to tell you that you have not a child on earth!"
It has been concluded by some of the best detectives that the eight children had either been killed or rendered insensible before their father was aroused by the shot of the assassin. Their bodies were found in the exact position they occupied when they lay down to sleep. Not one had been turned over or changed position. Some think they were chloroformed, and probably their father, who was only awakened from his stupor by the shock of the murderer's bullet. This view is strengthened from the fact that the neighbors who first arrived heard no cry nor infant's wail, as the flames formed their fiery winding-sheets. It is argued that, had any of these innocent victims been alive or influenced by some drug, the first shot at their parent would have awakened some one of them, who would have made their escape. The victims uttered no screams as they all went down in their fiery death. This it is that gives this unparalleled tragedy its inexpressible and thrilling horror. How long had these eight beautiful children been killed before the conflagration was set, and how were they killed? These are questions that still remain a dreadful and apparently inscrutably mystery.
"A Texas Horror."The Michigan Argus, Friday, October 25, 1878, p. 1, col. 5
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EXCITEMENT AT HOCKLEY.
Shooting of Jno. Binford by Geo. Lynch – the Cause – Affairs in Montgomery County.
[Special Telegram to the News.]
Houston, Nov. 6. — Parties arriving on the Central train report great excitement prevailing at Hockley, occasioned by Geo. Lynch's shooting Jno. Binford. Mr. Lynch is the man who was so badly wounded when his children were all killed and burned some weeks ago, but recovered. To-day he fired both barrels of his gun loaded with buckshot at Binford, wounding him desperately. Lynch is under guard, but the town is filled with arms. He accused Binford of being concerned in the death of his children.
Later. — A determination of the deputy sheriff to fight before surrendering his prisoner quieted the mob.
From greenback sources it is learned that eleven other Montgomeryites were to have been arrested to-day for that bulldozing affair.
"Shooting of Jno. Binford by Geo. Lynch." The Galveston Daily News, Thursday, November 7, 1878, p. 1, col. 7.
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DETAILS OF THE LYNCH-BINFORD SHOOTING.
Testimony at the Examination — Bail Fixed at $1500 — Binford's Wounds not Dangerous.
[Special Telegram to the News.]
Hempstead, Nov. 8. — At Hockley today Geo. W. Lynch was arraigned before justice Byrnes, charged with assault with intent to kill and murder John Binford by shooting him, which occurred on the morning of the 6th instant. The cause of this difficulty is traceable to an old feud, which began some years back. These men have met several times and drawn weapons, but no actual conflict occurred until the 6th inst., when Binford was shot, receiving seven or eight buckshot in his left thigh and leg, and at the same time Lynch was wounded in the left hand, which was struck by two shot. Lynch fired both barrels of his gun and Binford one. It will be remembered that Mr. Lynch has barely recovered from wounds, one through the body and one in the neck, received when his eight children were murdered and burned with their house and contents some two months since.
When your reporter reached Hockley this evening the preliminary investigation had closed, but the attorneys who took a condensed statement of the evidence permitted a perusal of it, the substance of which is that, at about 10 or 11 o'clock A.M. on Wednesday, John Binford and Harry Ledu rode into Hockley on horseback, stopped a few moments at Ellis's garden, then proceeded toward the Warren hotel, reached the horse-rack, Binford carrying his double-barreled gun across his lap, the muzzle pointing toward the depot. As Ledu and Binford stopped, preparatory to dismounting, Lynch was noticed going up the steps to the depot platform, with a gun in his hand.
Ledu says Lynch stepped to the corner of the depot, threw his gun up and fired, Binford jumping from his horse at the time the gun was fired. Binford then ran around toward the depot (described as if Binford circled so as to get into a shooting position). As Binford reached the path, or walk, that runs from the depot to a bar-room, he fired; that is, two guns were fired. Can't say which fired first, but Binford staggered toward the bar-room, and when near the horse-rack was disarmed of his gun and a six-shooter. The latter was belted around his body, under his shirt; did not see Lynch after the first shot. The parties were 25 or 30 yards apart when the first shot was fired. Binford was not dismounted when Lynch fired the first time. Only three guns were fired. Do not know whether Binford was wounded by the first fire or not. Lynch threw his gun up to his face, went to the corner and fired.
R. W. Cherry, another witness, stated that he saw Lynch going towards the depot with a gun in his hand. He walked up the steps on to the platform, laid his gun up to his shoulder and fired about the time Binford was leaving the saddle. I think, as near as I could see, Lynch dodged back behind the corner of the depot. After firing the shot Binford, with gun in hand, advanced towards the depot steps, when both fired at about the same time.
J. G. Dupree testified that he was sitting on the steps of the depot; saw Lynch advance toward me quickly, after which I heard the report of a gun. I sprang to my feet, and passed by Mr. Lynch, he facing the Ellis hotel when I heard another shot; don't know who fired.
Counsel for defense only introduced testimony as to Lynch's abilty (em> to give bail, and to show that Lynch was justified in shooting, in that he did it in self-defense.
They introduced Roberts, who said he saw Binford as he threw himself off his horse, and at the same time heard a gun fired. He just lit off on to the ground. About the time his foot struck, or just before, I heard a gun. Binford had his gun in position to shoot as he struck the ground. He made a motion to shoot as he threw himself out of the saddle.
Bail was fixed at $1500, and though not yet given, will doubtless be forthcoming to-morrow. Binford, though suffering considerably from his wounds, is doing well. No bones were broken. Lynch is still in the custody of deputy sheriff Dupree, at this place.
"Details of the Lynch-Binford shooting." The Galveston Daily News, Saturday, November 9, 1878, p. 1, col. 4.
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The Hockley Tragedy.
[Special to the Galveston News.]
Hemstead (sic), Nov. 6 — G. W. Lynch today shot John Binford, one of the suspected murderers of his children. The shooting occurred at Hockley. Lynch's friends express a determination to stand by him that the county may be rid of outlaws and assassins. Colonel Griffin and Major Boone left this evening by rail for Hockley as legal advisers of Mr. Lynch. The whole male population of Hepstead (sic) stand ready to back Col. Griffin in his efforts to bring the Lynch assassins to punishment.
Hempstead, Nov. 8. — The examination of G. W. Lynch, charged with shooting John Binford at Hockley, will come off to-morrow morning. Binford's wounds are not serious. He was struck with eight buckshot. Lynch was also slightly wounded by Binford. The excitement is intense at Hockley and Hempstead, and friends of both parties are determined. The general opinion is that some light will now e thrown upon the horrible murder of the Lynch children and attempted assassination of the father.
"The Hockley Tragedy", Denison Daily News. (Denison, Tex.), Sunday, November 10, 1878, p. 1, col. 3.
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THE LYNCH DIFFICULTY.
Matters at Hockley — Particulars of the Shooting — Lynch Put Under $1500 Bond for His Appearance — Binford not Seriously Hurt.
The investigation of the matter of George W. Lynch, charged with shooting John Binford, with intent to murder, came up before Justice Burns in Hockley yesterday. It is learned from official sources that four witnesses were sworn for the State, and as many for the defense. The substance and gist of the testimony seemed, from the information given to be about as follows:
John Binford, the young man shot — he living several miles out of Hockley — in company with another man, was riding into town, with a shotgun across his saddle. As he was about to dismount in the vicinity of the depot, Lynch having his double barrel also, appeared on or near the platform of the building. It is not clear who fired the first shot. At any rate, Lynch fired both barrels, the shot taking effect chiefly in the thighs and inflicting painful but not dangerous wounds. Binford fired, slightly hurting Lynch. The latter was soon in the custody of the authorities. Binford was still in Hockley last night undergoing treatment.
Lynch was, after a due consideration of the testimony, put under $1500 bond for his appearance. He was still under guard last night, and will probably give bond to day.
It may be stated that no evidence was brought out in the trial touching the murder of Lynch's children — none whatever. Also that Lynch requested the officers in charge of him to have published a denial of the rumor published in the Galveston News and Telegram of yesterday that he (Lynch), had charged Binford with having been concerned in the murder of his family. Lynch says he has made no such charge, and does not so charge Binford, and wishes the statement made public. What was the prime cause of the shooting between him and Binford does not appear. The rumor that Binford made the first deliberate, distinctive assault to murder Lynch the other day, is denied by his friends.
"The Lynch Difficulty." Denison Daily News, (Denison, TX.), Tuesday, November 12, 1878, p. 1, col. 4.
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John Binford Defended.
The NEWS is in receipt of a letter from Field's store, inclosing documents in denial of the report that the shooting of John Binford by G. W. Lynch, at Hockley, on the 6th inst., was the result of Binford's being one of the parties concerned in the Lynch tragedy, which happened some time ago. Statements are given from Mrs. Martha A. Abbott, Mrs. Maria Boulware, Mrs. Caroline Smith, Musco Boulware, Sr., and John G. Chandler, showing that by reason of severe illness on the night of the tragedy, Binford could not have been at the scene of the carnage. A statement as to the reliability of these witnesses is signed by J. J. McConnell, Thomas Ray and over thirty parties in the neighborhood.
(Maria Boulware was the daughter of Joseph & Missouri Hargrave and a sister-in-law to George Lynch. She was a sister to Beorge's wife and was married to Musco Boulware's son Jas. L. Boulware who was a brother to Reuben Boulware who had violent confrontations with George Lynch, including shooting at him and who was initially thought to be the perpetrator of the "Lynch tragedy" who shot George and murdered his children.)
"John Binford Defended.", The Galveston Daily News, Tuesday, November 26, 1878, p. 4, col. 1.
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Field's Store, Nov. 23, 1878. — Dear Sir: As the newspapers generally are teeming with a false report that the shooting of John Binford by G. W. Lynch, at Hockly, (sic) on the 5th inst., was caused by Binford being one of the parties concerned in the Lynch tragedy that happened some time ago, now we the undersigned citizens wish to send you proof to the contrary, and by publishing you will confer a favor. Mr. Lynch, we believe, himself exonerates Binford of having anything to do with burning his house and murdering his family. At any rate the shooting of Binford by him was caused by an old feud. With this we send you statements made by citizens:
I was at major T. D. Binford's house on Thursday, September 12, 1878. I went with the family and such as could go to bury Thos. Binford's little boy. Thomas and John Binford were both sick in bed and could not go to the graveyard. I returned with the family to Maj. Binford's house; took supper with the family. John and Thomas Binford were too sick to come to the table. I left between sundown and dark, about 7 o'clock, and came home. On that very night, before 1 o'clock, Mr. Lynch's house was burned, himself shot and his children murdered.
I know John Binford was not able to go and do the deed, even had he been so disposed. Mrs. Martha A. Abbott.
We the undersigned know that John Binford, on September 12, 1878, as Mrs. Abbott has stated, was sick in bed; we were at Maj. Binford's on that day, and know he, John Binford, was sick in bed.
Mrs. Maria Boulware,
Mrs. Caroline Smith,
Musco Boulware, Sr.,
John G. Chandler.
We, the undersigned citizens of Waller county know the above named signers, and they are good and respected citizens. We know John Binford, and we know him to be a brave, high-minded and honorable man, and we can not believe he had anything to do with the Lynch tragedy; and we know, by general report, that about that time, September 12, 1878, he was down with a spell of sickness. Respectfully: J. J. McConnell, Thos. Ray, G. H. Fisher, W. A. Sorsby, J. M. Pinckney, W. Boulware, Van B. Thornton, J. T. Pollard, J. L. Boulware, E. Springes, J. B. Day, F. M. Giboney, H. Garrett, P. J. Sheffield, T. G. Walllingford, J. B. Stokely, Joseph Attaway, E. Jones, W. L. Hutcherson, R. F. Day, J. P. Sheffield, J. A. Hargrave, W. A. Stokley, John Steel, S. P. Talor, James Ogg, N. Jolly, Dan W. Short, J. H. Killgore, A. G. Dewees, E. F. Harris, J. C. McGaughey.
"Field's Store.", The Galveston Daily News, Tuesday, November 26, 1878, p. 4, col. 4.
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EIGHT CHILDREN MURDERED.
A despatch received at Cincinnati, from Texas, states that the eight children of George Lynch — the eldest 17 years of age — living at Hockley, Texas, were murdered by an unknown person. Lynch, the father, was awakened by a pistol-shot, the ball striking him in the breast. He sprang up and saw a masked man standing in the middle of the room, pointing a pistol at him; another shot was fired, and Lynch fell unconscious. When he recovered he found himself in the lane outside of the premises. The assassin, thinking Lynch was dead, seized a hatchet and proceeded to put the witnesses of his horrible crime out of the way, after which he set fire to the house. The distracted father regained consciousness only to see his house burn and fall in on the bodies of his murdered children. The bodies were afterwards exhumed, and an inquest held. Several of the skulls showed hatchet-marks. Lynch, it is thought, will recover. Suspicion rests on a young man named Boatware (sic), with whom Lynch had had a quarrel.
"Eight Children Murdered." New Zealand Evening Post, Wellington, New Zealand, Saturday, December 14, 1878 p. 1.
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— The grand jury of Harris county has found but five indictments during this term of the court. G. W. Lynch of the "Hockley Horror" has been indicted for shooting Binford.
"G. W. Lynch Indicted." Brenham Weekly Banner, (Brenham, TX.), Friday, December 20, 1878, p 2, col. 6.
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It is announced in a Galveston paper that one of Pinkerton's detectives has come down from Chicago to investigate the Hockley, or rather the Waller county horror — the cremation of the Lynch family. Developments may be expected. The detective will have to look sharp or they will murder him.
"Pinkerton Detective to Investigate Lynch Murders." The Marshall Messenger (Marshall, TX), Friday, January 03, 1879, p. 2, col. 1.
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[Special Telegram to the News.]
Houston, Feb. 6. — Criminal court meets on the 11th. Cases set to-day: Richard Coward, murder, 18th; G. W. Lynch, of Hockley, 21st; W. L. Grissom, murger, 25th; Matt Woodlief, 26th.
"Cases set to-day." The Galveston Daily News, Friday, February 7, 1879, p 1, col. 3.
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Says the Dallas Commercial:
Forty murders in Waller county since the war and nobody hung! The record of Waller county is a bloody one. Last fall the whole Lynch family was murdered and the house burned, and though the deed was almost unparalleled in the history of human atrocities, yet there seems to have been little effort made to detect the murderers. Next came the Finklea murder, by Crawford, a wealthy cattle man. This also was lightly passed over. Then came Johnnie Greer with his hands full of revolvers, and shot down his uncle and another man. He got off with five years in the penitentiary, the usual sentence for a man who steals a twenty dollar pony. And now comes Kirby and shoots down his victim amid a throng of worshippers as they emerge from the sanctuary, and the voice of priestly benediction and the sigh of a murdered man ascend to heaven together. Is it possible for the Globe-Democrat to paint an imaginary picture more appalling than this bloody chapter.
Our contemporary may rest assured the G.-D. will be delighted with this picture and copy his remarks with pleasure. Not only so, but it will make its readers believe that Waller county is a fair representation of the entire state.
"Forty murders in Waller county." The Tri-Weekly Herald (Marshall, TX), Tuesday, May 13, 1879, p. 1 , col. 5.
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THE HEMSTEAD (sic) HORROR.
Terrible Venditta (sic)
John Steele was shot and instantly killed, at Hempstead, on the 4th inst., by Col Jared E. Kirby, of Brenham, mention of which was made in our columns at the time. The killing took place at the Methodist church, just as the congregation were leaving. Fourteen years ago Steele killed Kirby's father in Houston. Col. Kirby surrendered himself after the killing, and is now in custody.
The causes which led to this tragedy will be better understood by the following particulars of a murder that occurred in Houston immediately after the close of the war, and which led to the present assassination :
Every confederate soldier knows what the words "home guard" meant, and how thousands of valorous warriors exhibited, on peaceful plains and in the ranks of the "guard," that high-toned chivalry which would have been such a help to the South's defenders on the battle-field. One of these companies of valorous knights roamed the prairies in this section of Texas, and was commanded by one James McMahon, who, in his turn, is said to have been under orders from Col. Jared E. Kirby, a wealthy and prominent citizen, residing in the fine two-story mansion, Alta Vista, near the railway, seven miles east of Hempstead.
About six miles east of Alta Vista, Kirby's residence, that of John Steele, and in the same neighborhood that last year acquired such an infamous notoriety in connection with the awful massacre and burning of the Lynch family. Steele, whether a Union man or not, and that does not sufficiently appear, fell under the displeasure of McMahon and his home guards. Wherefore, by order of Col. J. F. Kirby, it is asserted, McMahon and his marauders one night surrounded Steele's house, frightening his family, which consisted of several children, and took him prisoner. They carried him out of sight of his weeping wife and children, into the woods some distance, and, with great solemnity, held a sort of a drumhead court-martial.
The question was, should the prisoner be executed forthwith? It seems they decided to spare Steele, but they ran him away from his family and the settlement, he taking refuge in Houston. This was about the third year of the war.
John Steele was naturally indignant at the treatment he had received at the hands of both McMahon and his master, Kirby and determined on revenge. This was known to both Kirby and McMahon, and both accordingly went prepared against a probable attack. At length Steele got a chance at McMahon. A friend went to him one day, in Houston, and told him, "there goes McMahon," and offered him a $75 pistol, of English make. Steele, however, produced his own pistol, which he said he thought would do. Walking out on the sidewalk in front of Cushing's store, on Franklin street, he met his enemy. Both drew and fired about the same time. Several shots were exchanged, when friends of Steele rushed in and separated them, McMahon being only slightly hurt.
This was the prelude to another fight Steele had with his enemies, which resulted more seriously. — The war was now over and the Federal forces in full possession of the State, and a provost marshal's office was established in Houston, as at other places. The office was located in Wilson's two-story brick building, where the National Exchange bank now is, corner of Main and Congress streets.
The old feud had not been laid between Kirby and Steele; each hated the other with an intensity that could scarcely be conceived by those of the rising generation who had no personal or active participation in this war and its acrimonies. Each went prepared for the other; both were well aware that is was kill or be killed, and nerved themselves for the hour of meeting, which would come soon or lats. It was said that Kirby intended to kill Steele, who seems to have been informed of his enemy's design. He, therefore, determined to get the drop on Kirby, and he did. In an evil hour the latter came to Houston, and having some business in the United States provost marshal' office, ascended the stairs and spent some time with the officer in charge. Steele repaired to the office of the provost, and like wise ascended the stairway, and reaching the landing at the head of the steps, awaited the appearance of Kirby from within. The door opened. These two bitter enemies were face to face. Kirby's face was blank with amazement; hell gleamed from the glittering eyes of Steele. Kirby started to retreat, Steele, drawing his weapon, deliberately fired. The ball went home. Kirby, throwing up his hands, staggered backward, and fell within the door and expired.
Long years wore away. John Steele knew the Kirby connection too well to believe he was safe from their revenge. While in Houston he went continually armed, believing some friend of Kirby was watching an opportunity to assassinate him. The idea haunted him. A few years ago he was arrested by the police of Houston for carrying concealed weapons, but the jury becoming acquainted with the matter promptly acquitted him.
Some year or two ago Steele went to reside at his old home in Cypress. Strange to say, he was one of the jury of inquest in the Lynch family cremation last year, and foremost among those who attempted to stifle investigation in that horrid crime. Now this same old man has himself fallen by the hand of a cowardly assassin.
Saturday evening old man John Steele came into Hempstead to purchase supplies for his family in the country. He remained over till to-day in order to hear a certain minister preach. The Sabbath stillness reigned throughout Hempstead, and its inhabitants — ladies, children, old and young men — quietly wended their way to the holy sanctuary, not thinking their devotions were to be disturbed by the foul tread of the cowardly assassin and the crack of his cowardly pistol. The exercises were over, the last prayer offered up, the last hymn sung. Then came the assassination.
The congregation was dismissed and breaking up, were just starting for their homes. The first or second man that emerged from the doorway of the church was John Steele. There stood before him Jared E. Kirby, the son of the Kirby he had killed in the provost marshal's office in Houston. If the account your correspondent has of it is correct, no word was spoken either by the murderer or his victim. Kirby fired, the first ball striking Steele in the breast and near the region of the heart. Steele staggered backward and fell within the church portals. After he fell the murdered deliberately fired two shots into the brain and his devilish work was complete. One shot is reported to have struck in the walls of the church inside, whizzing in the midst of women and children, in no way connected with either of the parties and innocent of the difficulty.
"John Steele killed by Col. Kirby.", Norton's Union Intelligencer, (Dallas, TX), Saturday, May 31, 1879, p. 1, col. 2-3.
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A special to the Telegram from Hempstead, Oct. 13, reports the killing at Field's store of a man named Boulware by another named Frank Hargrave. The difficulty grew out of a horse race. Another report says Boulware is supposed to be mortally wounded.
"Boulware shot by Hargrave.", The Daily Banner, (Brenham, TX), Wednesday, October 15, 1879, p. 1, col. 1.
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JARED KIRBY'S CASE CONTINUED AND HE ADMITTED TO BAIL.
Dan Morris's Trial Set for To-Day – Interest Manifested in this Morris-Loggins Family Feud Unabated – Other Trials.
[Special Telegram to the News.]
Hempstead, Oct. 14. — The case of the State vs. J. W. Kirby was called for trial to-day. The state announced ready for trial; defendant proposed to try if the state would permit defendant to use the testimony of J. H. Curtin, of Harrison county; L. T. Levine, of Dallas, and E. C. Duer, of Harris county, as taken before the examining court, in the event said witnesses did not arrive during the progress of the trial. This proposition being declined, the cause was continued upon application of defendant. The general impression is that the state should have acceded to the proposition and permitted the case to go to trial. The defendant and his counsel were very anxious to try. The array of witnesses present was very large, and it will be very expensive to procure their attendance again. The state could have lost nothing by the trial under the proposition made, and will gain nothing by the delay of the case until next term of court. Defendant immediately sued out a writ of habeas corpus and was admitted to bail without objection on the part of the state in the sum of $10,000, Messrs. P. H. Swearingen, J. T. Swearingen and J. C. Ralston becoming his sureties. Three lawyers represented the state and nine represented the defense.
The case of the State vs. Dan Morris, for the killing of Tom Loggins, will be called to-morrow. Present prospects are that the case will be tried. There is much interest felt in the case, and a large amount of sympathy is expressed for the defendant.
Frank Hargraves, who shot Boulware, yesterday, was brought into town to-day by deputy sheriff Browning.
The indictments against Haswell will probably be renewed to-morrow, and he may yet have an opportunity of explaining the intimations of crookedness made against him.
Hon. George Goldthwaite, of Houston, is here looking after two heavy damage suits against the Central Railway company.
Judge Burkhart is giving general satisfaction ty the manner in which he dispatches business. As a nisi prius judge he has but few, if any, superiors.
"Jared Kirby's Case Continued and He Admitted To Bail." The Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, October 15, 1879, p. 1 , col. 4.
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— Frank Hargraves the young man who killed Boulware at Field's store has been taken to Hempstead.
(further down col. 8)
— A special to the Telegram from Hempstead, Oct. 13, reports the killing at Field's store of a man named Boulware by another named Frank Hargrave. The difficulty grew out of a horse race. Another report says Boulware is supposed to be mortally wounded.
"Frank Hargraves taken to Hempstead." Brenham Weekly Banner, (Brenham, TX), Wednesday, October 17, 1879, p. 2 , col. 8.
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ADMITTED TO BAIL..
Cases Before the Court Yesterday.
[Special Telegram to the News.]
Hempstead, Oct. 21. — Ed Young, having been indicted by the present grand jury for killing Finkley, who was a valuable state witness in the Lynch family murder case, was today released on $5,000 bond; his case will probably be tried this term.
"Ed Young, charged with murder of Finkley." The Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, October 22, 1879, p. 1 , col. 4.
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Court Affairs — Railroad Traffic.
[Special Telegram to the News.]
Hempstead, Oct. 22. — Frank Hargraves, charged with killing W. B. Bulware (sic - Boulware), got a continuance this morning, through his attorneys Boone & Griffin, owing to the absence of his material witness, who would swear that Hargraves was running away from Bulware when the latter was shot. The prosecution made no effort to force a trial and the case goes over.
"Court Affairs — Railroad Traffic", The Galveston Daily News, Thursday, October 23, 1879, p. 1, col. 4.
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FEUDS AND CRIMINALITIES.
AN INSIGHT INTO THE SPIRIT OF OUTLAWRY.
Do the Officers and People Co-operate?
Hempstead — Its Commercial Position.
[Special Correspondence of the News.]
Hempstead, Oct. 28. — I asked a shrewd, practical man of Hempstead what was wrong in Waller county, anyhow.
"Go," said he, "and ask somebody that don't live here and is not afraid to speak." And with that his eyes were little rolling worlds of meaning.
Even if there were no bible, we would know that the natural condition of man is one of sin — license of thought and act, aversion to restraint. Experience is our authority. Where there is no education and high moral standard, men are animals. The fact that men, reared to think and act by law and morality, will degenerate if relieved from any cause, of these restraints, is cumulative evidence (with all due respect for the bible) that the fall of man is a fact. Cain heard the crushing in of Abel's skull under the blow of a heavy club with the same satisfied lust for blood than Dan Morris felt when he walked up to Tom Loggins's buckshotted, stiffening body and lacerated its heart with a pistol ball; or that the three Logginses felt when they put three loads in Reuben Morris (a man honored and loved all over Waller); or that Kirby felt when he ended years of thirsty broodings for revenge by killing with careful certainty, and publicly, the killer of his father; or that the unknown man or men felt when he or they destroyed from the face of the earth, soul and body, the eight Lynch children. Civil law says a man is a thief; criminal law that he is a savage. Is it remarkable then, if such a definition of man is correct, that you find thieves and savages where the law is not applied? Though the crime record of Waller county is startling in extent and violence, yet the county is not in a state of lawlessness. The trouble is not there. But what do six murders, two or more suspicioned murders, a budget of stock theft cases, and no convictions mean? Have the officers of law kept their oaths? Do the qualified jurymen come right and swear protection to the blood of their blood, to their earnings, under the law and the facts in their court-house? If they are degenerated below respect of law, consistency says, and the last human instinct appeals to them to stop furnishing material for savages; to stop building up worldly goods, the food for prey, that accumulate as slow as sediment of the sweat from accompanying labor. A long line of criminalities stain the name of Waller, and yet a gallows was never erected in the county. Hang a man, whether guilty or not, just for a warning, for a moral lesson, is it asked? But if you have no guilt in all your crime, Waller is at once the most innocent and most bloody county in Texas. It is not intended to say that if people of Waller county did not have a full supply of common sense they would never know what the object of the Criminal Code is. But does it not seem, from the records, that every man here is a law unto himself? Else why does a man load a shot-gun with fifteen balls and deliberately shoot the life out of another man who has threatened the shooter's life, instead of having the disturber of peace put under bond for good behavior? A co-operation of officers and people under the law is the only way to prove that law is wanted. What do the written court records of crime show for Waller county — its law, prospects, sentiment, intention, present condition, destiny?
I am told by a good citizen that the present grand jury is the first conscientious, working one in two years. See what that body has the laudable temerity to say in its report under date of October 18, 1879:
Extract: "While we have much to be thankful for in the improved moral condition of our county, there remains yet great room for further advancement to a more elevated plane. To accomplish this, a duty devolves upon the citizens at large, from which they can not shrink with any hope of its attainment. This duty rests with those who, as petit jurors, have the last verdict upon crime."
Extract: "We find our officers efficient, with some exceptions, prominent among whom we have to mention constable W. H. Burwell, against whom there is much evidence of incompetency and willful neglect, and we recommend his discharge. It is our opinion that the municipal officers of the city of Hempstead have been partial in the discharge of their duties in matter of making arrests." The men who have thus aroused themselves to the emergency — and their names are E. P. Alsbury, W. C. Compton, D. J. Parker, Wm. Thornton, I. A. Clemmons, J. D. Mitchell, J. C. Bishop, W. M. Bennett, E. P. Kemper, G. W. Fuller, R. R. McDade — do not hesitate to say in their report: "We have found few, if any, bills which will not stand the test of a trial.
OUTLAWRY — THREATS AND COUNTER THREATS.
During the war, John Steele, once a well-known faro dealer at Houston, latterly a farmer of Waller county, shot and killed Col. J. E. Kirby, Sr., of this county. Kirby's boys swore vengeance. John Steele went armed for them. When the factions met eyes reddened with hatred, and their hands rested in their hip pockets as naturally as a baby on its mother's breast. Sunday, May 4, 1879, J. E. Kirby, Jr., shot Steele three times in the presence of deputy sheriff Campbell, Mr. Levin, Mr. Cannon and others coming from the church Steele also had attended. Kirby's plea is self-defense. He claims that Steele made a motion to draw a pistol at the time of the killing.
A year ago the savage mode of warfare that gave the colonists more fear than the British, crept into the hearts of men yet unknown, and they killed and burned eight children of Geo. W. Lynch. He was wounded, but still lives. His house was burned. His home comforts razed from the earth. It is charged here that the affair was never investigated by the officers of the law. Mystery still surrounds the case. It is said Lynch knew too much about stock thieving. Not a single indictment has ever been found in the Lynch horror, that racked the state with its blood-freezing atrocity. Lynch was secretary of a band to regulate cattle-thieving. He wanted to correct some little crookedness in his own clan, and was attacked in his house for it. The theory is that the children were put out of the way because they would identify the attacking party. It is hinted that Lynch shot himself and killed his children. But no earthly reason is assigned for so crazy an act. Besides, he was shot but twice, once through the collar-bone and once through the center of the breast, on line with the collar bone. Both shots entered from the front. He wore a long beard. It was not singed, nor was his shirt burned, as would have been the case if he had shot himself.
Ed Young is indicted for killing Finklea, and is under obligation in the sum of $5000 to stand his trial.
Bob Crawford is indicted on the same charge.
The bottom of the Loggins-Morris family feud has never been reached satisfactorily. Theories to suit each side are illogically and, in some cases, absurdly spun out. Uncle Dan Loggins, the feud pacificator, the man to whom I was referred as a truth-teller though the heavens fall, claims that "Tom Loggins just hated Dan Morris at first sight." At Tom's invitation Dan came to take supper with him one night. Dan and Mrs. Loggins chatted together and talked with the young Logginses while waiting for Tom's return from town. Dan and Mrs. L. went out of the room on the gallery and were laughing and talking in the moonlight when a cap snapped sharply, and Dan looked around to find Tom pointing a pistol at his head. Dan retired rapidly up the road. Tom went to the fence and killed Dan's horse hitched there. From that date he swore he would kill Dan on sight. He told old uncle Daniel Loggins he would do it, and told others. Tom said Dan took liberties with his wife. Dan denied it. Mrs. Loggins denied it. After Tom was killed, and on the trial of Dan, pressure was brought to bear on Mrs. Tom Loggins by her husband's friend to make her say Dan outraged her feelings. She swore on the stand on Davis's trial that his "treatment of her was what any gentleman would use toward any lady." Tom was a jealous man, and we are left to infer he harbored unfounded suspicions. Dan left his farm and business and lived twenty months in a new occupation at Englewood, Robertson county. He returned to finally wind up his affairs and leave for good. As he came into town he saw Tom Loggins and Nat Alston riding out, and killed Tom with a shot-gun he carried. All the testimony goes to show Tom would precipitate a fight if he met Dan. The latter, against the advice of Reuben Morris, his brother, returned to the arena and got the first shot. First blood in the feud. Reuben Loggins, father of Tom, told Daniel Loggins and others that Reuben Morris "put Dan up to" killing Tom, and said "Reuben must die. And on the 9th of July, '79 a volley of buckshot from three guns from an ambuscade lodged in him. He fell out of his buggy dead. The testimony in the examining court was voluminous, and resulted in the binding over for trial of Reuben Loggins, his son Williford and nephew Henry. In August last judge Spencer Ford, of the ninth district, heard the case on habeas corpus at Bellville and denied bail. Evidence against the Logginses is mainly circumstantial. Measurement of their tracks, fitting of paper rent in a paper bag of shot, purchase of shot like that found in the body, and wrapping of shot in bag above mentioned, their mysterious movements with guns toward and from the scene of the killing, the presence there of dogs known to follow Reuben Loggins only — thse are some of the links the prosecution have welded into a chain of evidence. Filman Loggins, (is his name Tilman?) a colored boy on Reuben Loggins's farm abutting the road at the ambuscade, is the only witness that saw anything very important. He saw the trio go and return with guns. He says they called him to the house, and that Reuben Loggins asked him if the saw anything; if he did to be cautious and keep it to himself. Cross-examined, he said he was told something more he "could not let out." He said he was threatened with death if he told what knew in court. Tilman is a valuable man for the state, and is undoubtedly the next in line of promotion as a target for the Morris-Loggins shooting match. If Tilman is threatened with death, he is not alone in misery. Col. Griffin, of Boone and Griffin, prosecuting the Logginses, is warned by Reuben Loggins that he prosecutes at pain of death if the latter gains his liberty. The colonel belongs to the class of men who do their whole duty and gather strength with opposition — a cultivated gentleman of Georgia birth, of good legal attainments, and a resident of New Orleans long enough to finish his education in the art of self preservation, he stands steadfast. He paid Phil Sheridan nearly $2000 for opinions Sheridan deemed grounds for arrest and farcial (sic) a trial. He will prosecute professionally — not persecute — with the same independence.
Seth Shepard got a change of venue in the Loggins cases to Austin county. It is agreed that he has gained nothing in the change. What he has avoided in the prejudice against his clients will be reasonably offset by the blue-stocking severity of Austin county Germans. Chance threw in his way, however, unmistakable proof of the predominance of public feeling against the Logginses. Thursday night of last week the Dan Morris case went to the jury, and in the morning they stood ten for acquittal. The same morning the Loggins case was called. A sentiment that would acquit Morris would convict Loggins. Both men did their shooting from an ambuscade; the first was seen to do his shooting, the second said he would do his and failed (according to testimony) to cover his tracks to and from his hiding place. The question of their guilt is with the courts; if guilty, they are equally so.
WALLER COUNTY — HEMPSTEAD.
The seven hundred or more square miles of Waller county offer inducements to settlers that are comparatively unknown. The county has 80 miles front on the famous Brazos river. This land is rich beyond calculation. There are about 1800 voters in the county and room for three times that number. The lands available for farmers are still offered at fair figures. Improved lands bring $10 per acre. Upland prairie is usually poor, but holds its value as stock range. People looking this way to settle can find the land; what they want is a reasonable amount of law. Let the spirit of reform in principle encompass the people, and the vacant sandy loam of this region will, with proper advertisement, rise in the market. Apropos of this subject, the Hempstead Daily Courier of October 22, wisely says: "Let the farmers organize a system by which they can secure immigrants and reap some profits from their uncultivated lands, instead of incurring the expense of paying taxes for them." Again: "If there ever has been as much as a hundred dollars expended to make known abroad the character of her soil, the healthfulness of our climate, and the regularity and certainty of our seasons, we are not apprised of the fact. Few of our merchants expend anything to invite trade to the city, although she is on every hand confronted by ambitious rivals, who take the trade legitimately belonging to her. A large portion of the trade of that rich section, Wallace's prairie, might be secured to her, if the proper efforts were made to obtain it."
Hempstead is the county seat, with its new court-house — handsome and roomy — its five or six churches, its 2500 hundred people, its eighteen brick stores and as many frame, its pretty residences and orchards, is a place of no secondary importance in a commercial point of view. The trade of Waller and contiguous counties belongs, most of it, to Hempstead, and much of it is coming here. Once a cotton factory stood here, but went by the board on account of internal dissensions and lack of trade recognition. One hundred thousand dollars worth of machinery sold for a tenth that sum. Manufacturing interests are now represented in a small cotton seed oil factory.
"Waller County - Feuds & Criminalities." The Galveston Daily News, Saturday, October 25, 1879, p 2, col. 3-4.
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The Denison Herald says:
A correspondent of the Galveston News, from Waller county says the reason why the Lynch family were murdered and burned up was to cover up the crime of killing of their father — which was attempted — because he had wanted to correct the misdoings of a company of vigilants gotten up in his neighborhood for the purpose of stopping cattle thieving. It seems they were afraid Lynch would "blab".
If that correspondent knows so much he ought to be arrested and made to divulge a little more.
"Reason for Lynch Murders." Tri-Weekly Herald (Marshall, TX), Thursday, November 06, 1879, p. 4, col. 1.
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District Court — Cases on Trial — Promising Crop Prospects, Etc.
[Special Telegram to the News.]
Hempstead, April 9. — District court is still in session — Judge Burkhart presiding with his usual dignity. District attorney Davidson is as hard at work after the law-breakers as ever.
The case of the State vs. Hargraves, for killing Moscow (sic - Musco) Boulware, was tried yesterday. The jury after being out twelve hours returned a verdict of not guilty. The state was represented by district attorney Davidson, M. S. Rains and John Pinckney; the defendant by Boone & Griffin and Thos. Pinckney. Several important murder cases are set for next week.
((Ed. note: Musco Boulware was a brother to Reuben Boulware who had violent confrontations and had shot at George Lynch. He was also brother to James L. Boulware who was married to Maria Hargrave, a sister of the deceasd wife of George Lynch.
(Ed. note: John and Tom Pinckney were brothers and were both prosecution and defense, respectively, of Frank Hargrave, the defendant.)
Crops are unusually promising and farmers in high spirits.
Conductor J. D. Peterson's dwelling house, situated about four miles east of Austin, on the Austin branch of the Central railroad, was destroyed by fire yesterday morning. Furniture, etc., was a total loss; cause, a defective flue.
"State vs. Hargraves." The Galveston Daily News, Saturday, April 10, 1880, p. 1 , col. 5.
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Leadville. — The Banner is indebted to Mr. John Hughes, for late Leadville papers, one of which, the Chronicle of the 2d inst., gives an account of the killing of a man named Charles Lyles by George W. Lynch, late of Waller county. It seems they were working a mine together being "grubstaked" by one Bennett. They quarreled and Lynch shot and killed Lyles; He was promptly arrested and it would seem from the papers the feeling against him is strong.
Mr. Hughes writes that A. Baer is the only Brenhamite in Leadville.
(Geo. Lynch is on the 1880 census in Lake county, Colorado. He is single and a miner.)
"George Lynch killed Charles Lyles.", Brenham Weekly Banner, (Brenham, TX) Thursday, June 9, 1881, p. 3, col. 2.
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.... Geo. W. Lynch, formerly of Waller county, Texas, shot and killed Chas. Syles a few days ago. The shooting took place at Leadville. Lynch claims self defense.
"Geo. W. Lynch killed Chas. Syles.", The Galveston Daily News, Friday, June 24, 1881, p. 3, col. 7.
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Sheriff Noble received a letter to-day from the District Attorney at Leadville, Col., asking particulars regarding Geo. W. Lynch, formerly of Hockley, Harris county, and stating that Lynch had been convicted of murder there. Lynch formerly resided at Hockley, where his ten (sic) children were burned, and it is said that he suspected some party of having caused their death and having threatened to follow and kill the party if it took him a lifetime. It is thought that in pursuance of that determination he killed the man at Leadville for which he has been convicted. Lynch shot a man named Beuford, and was under a $15,000 bond here which he forfeited, and ran away.
"Questions about George Lynch.", The Galveston Daily News, Sunday, July 3, 1881, p. 2, col. 4.
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George W. Lynch received a life sentence for the murder of Lyle, at Leadville, about the 1st of June. He goes to Canyon City to serve his term..
"George W. Lynch receives life sentence.", The Galveston Daily News, Sunday, July 10, 1881, p. 2, col. 5.
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Leadville. — The Banner is indebted to Mr. John Hughes, for late Leadville papers, one of which, the Chronicle of the 2d inst., gives an account of the killing of a man named Charles Lyles by George W. Lynch, late of Waller county. It seems they were working a mine together being "grubstaked" by one Bennett. They quarreled and Lynch shot and killed Lyles; He was promptly arrested and it would seem from the papers the feeling against him is strong.
Mr. Hughes writes that A. Baer is the only Brenhamite in Leadville.
(Geo. Lynch is on the 1880 census in Lake county, Colorado. He is single and a miner.)
"George Lynch killed Charles Lyles.", Brenham Weekly Banner, (Brenham, TX) Thursday, August 11, 1881, p. 3, col. 4.
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One Killed and One Fatally Wounded. Three Arrests.
Hempstead, Tex., Nov. 9. — A lamentable tragedy occurred yesterday evening just before the closing of the polls at Field's store, in precinct No. 3, ten miles east of Hempstead, and near the line of Montgomery and Harris counties.
The facts as learned are to the effect that two young men got into a heated dispute concerning an election bet on a candidate for constable, and shooting soon followed. This was near the polling place. The parties engaged in the row were Tom Wallingford, sr., Reuben Boulware, Joe Woods, Charles Quinn and C. McConnell. The two latter are about 22 years old.
The result was that Quinn was shot dead and McConnell is supposed to be mortally wounded. All the participants are representatives of prominent families.
The first named three men surrendered to a constable, and will have a preliminary hearing very soon, when the disputed question as to who fired the fatal shot will come out.
The judges of election retreated in double quick time when the shooting commenced, some to Montgomery and others to Harris counties, and one man is said to have carried the ballot box where it is now safe, and the tally sheets have been turned over to the county clerk.
"Election Tragedy.", The Galveston Daily News, Thursday, November 10, 1892, p. 1, col. 1.
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A FATAL ELECTION.
Hempstead, Tex., Nov. 9. — Field store is a voting precinct, known as beat No.3, ten miles from here and in this county. A tragedy occurred there yesterday evening while the voting was going on, as a consequence of which Charles Quinn is a corpse and C. McConnell is dangerously and perhaps fatally wounded. The scene of the tragedy being so far from town, and the reports brought in being very conflicting, it is almost impossible to form any correct opinion as to what started the trouble. Joseph Wood, Ruben Boulware and Tom Wallingford, Jr., are charged with the shooting. Some reports have it that an election bet started the trouble, while others assert that the trouble was only a continuance of a former quarrel. The shooting lasted quite a while, and during the excitement the crowd dispersed and the judge of the election with the ballot box left for the woods.
All parties are white and well known here, and the catastrophe has caused much regret.
"A Fatal Election.", The Temple Times, (Temple, TX), Friday, November 18, 1892, p. 6, col. 1.
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George W. Lynch was incarcerated in the Colorado Territorial Prison June 19, 1881 to begin his life sentence for the murder of Charles Lyles. He was pardoned two years later, April 24, 1893, by Governor Waite, the pardon being signed by Lt. Governor David Nichols. The penitentiary was located in Canon City and was opened in 1871.
Record of Convicts When Received in the United States Penitentiary for Colorado
|When Convicted:||June 18, 81|
|When Received:||June 19, 81|
|County Sent From:||Lake|
|Color of Eyes:||blue|
|Color of Hair:||grizly (?)|
|Name of Parents:||Both Dead|
|Married or Single:||Single|
Transcript of Pardon:
"George Lynch Pardon; inmate Number - 605; Archive No: 1012.05/001-060145b.", Colorado State Archives, Monday, April 24, 1893.
(Copy of pardon purchased from Colorado State Archives Jan. 27, 2023)
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ACQUITTALS AT HEMPSTEAD
Hempstead, Waller Co., Tex., Aug. 15. — The case of the state vs. Joe Woods, charged with killing Charles Quinn twelve miles from here at the last state election, was on trial two days and the defendant was acquitted.
The case against T. G. Wallingford in the same case was dismissed on motion of the district attorney.
The case against Reuben Boulware in the same case was on motion of the court ordered transferred to Austin county for final trial.
The case of the state vs. City Marshal Goss, charged with killing Hugh Quinn several months ago, was tried this evening and the jury brought in a verdict of not guilty. The defendant proved a clear case of self-defense. Hugh Quinn was an uncle of Charles Quinn.
"Acquittals at Hempstead", The Galveston Daily News, Thursday, August 16, 1894, p. 3, col. 6.
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Messrs. J. L. Boulware, Wm. Boulware, C. A. Menke, J. T. Sanders, J. D. Wood and Maj. Tom Wallingford, of Hempstead, were in the city yesterday en route to Bellville, where they went to attend the trial of Mr. Reuben Boulware, at that place next Monday on a change of venue from Waller county on a change (sic - charge) of murder.
"Reuben Boulware on Trial for Murder.", Brenham Daily Banner, Saturday, July 13, 1895, p. 3, col. 1.
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Court at Bellville
Bellville, Dec. 31. — The winter term of the district court convened here yesterday, Judge Teichmuller on the bench. No business has been transacted further than organizing the grand and petit juries and setting cases for trial. Fourteen persons are confined in jail awaiting action on these cases by the grand jury. The following murder cases have been set for trial: Reuben Boulware, January 13; Frank Barnhill, January 13, and Bill Tottenham for January 14, and special venires ordered.
"Court at Bellville", The Galveston Daily News, Wednesday, January 1, 1896, p. 5, col. 2.
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J. E. Eberly.
Hockley, Harris Co., Tex., Jan. 11. — Last night between 9 and 10 o'clock Mr. J. E. Eberly died, after an illness of several months. Mr. Eberly was a Mexican war soldier; also served in the late war. He was 71 years old last October, has been a resident of Harris county for the past sixteen or seventeen years, having moved to this county from Grimes, Tex., where he raised a family of several children.
(John Elgin Eberly FindaGrave)
"J. E. Eberly Obituary.", The Galveston Daily News, Sunday, January 12, 1896, p. 2, col. 2.
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The trial of Mr. Reuben Boulware charged with murder, which has been pending, on a change of venue from Waller county, before the district court a Bellville, took place this week, consuming three or four days. He was acquitted
"Reuben Boulware Acquitted", Brenham Daily Banner, (Brenham, TX), Saturday, January 18, 1896, p. 3, col. 1.