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which was in sight, not doubting that the little fellow would reach it in safety. After completing her supply of berries she returned, and found to her astonishment that the boy was not there; neither had he been at his parents' house. An alarm was immediately given, the neighbors turned out in search, but after weeks of untiring efforts, they failed to find the boy. Every pond and stream was dragged and examined, and every rod of ground scrutinized to an extent of more than 20 miles round. Notice of the event was given through the press, and large rewards offered for the discovery of the child, living or dead. Gold and silver were offered to the Indians in large sums, but all proved unavailing. Fears were entertained that the Indians were not pleased with the way the pale-faces plowed up their burying grounds, and that in the wilds of some inhospitable region, where foot of white man had never trod, the boy had fallen a sacrifice to the vengeance of some infuriated savage. No discovery could the father make and no tidings learn.
Returning in sorrow to his family, all were heartbroken, as the last ray of hope was extinguished. The parents gave up their first-born child as forever lost. If the shaft of death had smitten down their boy, and they had passed through the funeral solemnities, time would have mitigated their grief; but the painful suspense, the awful uncertainty that hung over his fate, was an abiding sorrow which time would not soften. The inournful event, with its aggravating circumstances, was a corroding canker on the comforts of the family, causing the fatal disease which seized the Christian mother, as she went down in sorrow to an untimely grave.
Subsequent to the death of his wife, Mr. Filley visited Connecticut, the place of his nativity. While there a boy had been found in the possession of a party of Indians in the city of Albany, N.Y. The circumstances being made known to the authorities, the migrating party was arrested, and all measures taken to compel them to disclose the means by which they came into possession of the child. They were alternately flattered and threatened; but no disclosure could be obtained; and they seemed determined to submit to any punishment rather than make any communication by which the child's paternity could be ascertained. The Indians were discharged, and the child placed in the orphan asylum. He was subsequently sent to Mr. Filley's friends. He could tell of being at Green Bay, and of riding on a steamboat. He accompanied the Indians in their wanderings, and was used as a mendicant to supply himself with clothes, and the wandering party with food. In the summer they made their peregrinations back and forth through Michigan and New York, sometimes visiting Connecticut. In the winter they usually quartered themselves in wigwams in the vicinity of some village and lived on game. He remembered living near Detroit, Catskill, Hudson and Hillsdale. During summer and winter he traveled barefoot, suffering from the extremes of heat and cold, and at all times from hunger and
fatigue. The kindness of his Indian sister, who, like a second Pocahontas, took unwearied pains to mitigate his sufferings, made his captivity more endurable.
Captain Wm. Marvin, father of Mrs. Filley, with whom the boy was then staying, received a letter from Congressman A. F. Collins, dated Isillsdale, N. Y., Feb. 13, 1845, in which the writer declares his belief in the fact that the child in question was the son of a white man living at Copake, and not that of Mr. Filley. Abel F. Fitch, who took a deep interest in the matter, prosecuted inquiries, with a result favorable to the opinions expressed by Mr. Collins.
Twenty years passed by when, in October, 1866, a letter was. received at the Jackson postoffice, bearing the signature, “William Willey," and the superscription “Coldwater, Branch Co., Mich., Sept. 28.” In it the postmaster was requested to infornı the writer where a man named Willey lived. This epistle was treated lightly by the official, but later, while conversing with Hon. Daniel B. Hibbard, he referred to the strange letter received, searched for it, found it, and again excitement ran high. Further inquiries and searches resulted in the appearance of the lost boy at Jackson, Oct. 19, 1866. He was readily recognized by many of his friends, while others withheld their opinions regarding his identity. He is still in the State, but seldom visits his friends. Untamed and untamable, he follows the dictates of his will, maintains a semibarbarous bearing, and takes an especial pride in claiming the friendship of the red friends of his years of captivity.
In 1847 a Mr. Barker, in Leoni township, was killed by his son, Wm. Barker. The latter escaped south through the woods, and has never been heard froin since. His father died within half an hour after the fatal blow.
In 1868 Marion Dodge and Miss Augusta Hardy were married. Both resided in the township of Blackman. In July, 1869, Mrs. Dodge refused to live with her husband, and sought refuge in her father's house. Here she dwelt in comparative peace until Jan. 5, 1870, when she met her husband, and responded to his earnest entreaties to return, by a terrible negative. Dodge, upon hearing a final answer to his final appeal, drew a revolver, and firing at her repeatedly, inflicted many ghastly wounds. The would-be uxoricide then hurried to dispatch himself, using a revolver, a butcherknife and poison. Too well he succeeded in his last effort; so that his death occurred 45 minutes after the committal of the rash act. Mrs. Dodge was placed under the care of Dr. G. Chittock and ultimately recovered!
The great sensation of June, 1870, was the trial of Pulaski Harrington, for the murder of William Maloney, in the township of Blackman, March 21, 1870. The address of Judge Higby to the jury was a magnificent resume of the facts and law connected with
But the finding of the jury “not guilty,” was too lenient, though evidently popular.
Lucius Westbrook, the supposed murderer of Mathew Kennedy, of Henrietta, in August, 1870, was brought before the magistrate of Jackson in June, 1876, and charged with the crime.
The trial of Howard H. Gridley for the murder of one Williams resulted in a finding of the jury holding the defendant guilty of manslaughter. Judge Higby fined him $200, to be paid within 10 days. This important trial was concluded in January, 1871, and the sentence was favorably received.
The murder of Warren Northrop, by his sister, Jan. 19, 1871, created intense excitement in Grass Lake, where the unfortunate man was favorably known.
In March, 1871, the body of a child was found near Trail street bridge; but no clue whatever could be obtained regarding the infanticide.
The attempted shooting of Michael Noon by Wm. McCurdy; April 2, 1871, was as comical as it was inexplicable. McCurdy filled an old musket with buckshot, iron bolts, and slugs, then banged at the iron head of Noon, but failing to inflict a wound, laid down his musket and offered himself a prisoner.
The shooting of Hammond, of Grass Lake, by Wm. Loker, of the same town, occurred March 12, 1872. Hammond and Loker dwelt in the same house, and were living on very friendly terms. At an early hour the former left the house without creating any noise, but on returning Loker was awakened, when, believing he had to deal with a burglar, he fired, and the bullet entered the breast of his friend, who died immediately. The scene that followed baffles every description. Friends looked on the corpse of him they loved, and among the truest mourners was the unintentional amicide.
A case of infanticide was reported Jan. 28, 1876. The body of a babe two and three-fourths pounds in weight was found imbedded in ice in the channel of the river, northeast of the J. L. & S. R. R.
During the year 1877 Daniel Lincoln and family, together with his son-in-law, Martin Eckert and family, came to Leslie from Gratiot county. The two families had, for a larger portion of the time, lived together, the former supported chiefly by his pension as a soldier, and the latter working at his trade of painter. Latterly they had lived on Franklin street. Rumor several times asserted that the men did not dwell in that peace and love which kinsmen should, and it has been said that "arguments” were offrequent occurrence, although their demeanor in public, at least, so far as we can learn, had always been friendly. Eckert was in the habit of drinking liquor, and when under its influence was very obstinate, though seldom seeking a quarrel. Lincoln seems to be a man of ungovernable temper, hesitating at nothing when under control of passion. During Christmas Eckert drank pretty freely, but was not, at the time of going home, in a very drunken
condition—he at least knowing what he was doing and saying. Upon entering the house he found all the family at home; took up his child, a babe, and commenced playing with it, finally letting it fall to the floor. Mrs. Eckert picked the child up and started to obtain some water, remarking that she thought the child's head was bruised by coming in contact with a corner of a handsled and she would bathe it. Eckert said that it did not, and Lincoln contradicted him, the assertion and denial being given two or three times. Finally Lincoln picked up a stick of stove wood, about 18 inches long and two inches thick, Eckert jumping to his feet and throwing up the rocking chair on which he had been sitting, as a defense. Lincoln caught hold of the chair with one hand, forcing it down toward the floor, and at the same time struck Eckert on the head with the stick. The latter fell beneath the blow, and Lincoln then jumped astride of the prostrate man, telling him to “behave himself," to which Eckert replied that he “had not been doing anything." Quite a scuffle occurred, Lincoln getting Eckert's thumb in his mouth and biting it savagely, Members of the family tried to separate the men, failing in which E. E. Shaw, a neighbor, was summoned. The latter went over and separated the men. Accounts differ somewhat, but it is said that Eckert, upon regaining his feet, struck Lincoln in the face with his clenched fist. Lincoln again picked up the stick of wood and struck Eckert upon the head, the blow being sufficient to knock the latter against the wall. The two men again clenched and renewed the fight, Eckert finally breaking loose and obtaining possession of the club, which had been dropped. Those present are in some doubt as to whether Eckert struck Lincoln with the club or not; some of them asserting that he did, while others are equally positive that he did not. Shaw again parted the men, whereupon Lincoln remarked that Eckert "must not attempt to hit me with a chair.” Shaw then returned home, accompanied by Eckert, and while at Shaw's the wounded thumb was dressed. Eckert stayed at Shaw's but a few moments, and then returned home. Almost immediately upon entering the house he went to his room and laid down upon the bed, remarking that he “ felt bad.” Lincoln's son, a boy of 17, went into the room, sat down on the bed and conversed with Eckert, but noticing that the replies were growing more feeble, the boy started after a physician. Dr. C. C. Wheeler was called and found Eckert rapidly sinking. Dr. J. J. Woodworth was also called, but in spite of the efforts of the physicians Eckert expired that evening.
The murder of Deborah Green was perpetrated Jan. 22, 1878, at her dwelling in the township of Liberty. The murdered woman was discovered on the 23d by Mr. Palmer, who reported the mat
A coroner's jury was summoned, an inquest was held, and a verdict given that the deceased woman was murdered by a person or persons unknown. Subsequently Ezra B. Walworth was placed under arrest, was examined before Justice Hunt in April, 1878, and held for trial in the Circuit Court. This trial began
April 18, and terminated on the 27th. The jury disagreed, and the case continued to the September term, "1878, when a nolle prosequi was entered by James A. Parkinson, Prosecuting Attorney, and Walworth was discharged.
Counsel for the people, James A. Parkinson, Prosecuting Attorney, assisted by W. K. Gibson. The counsel for the defendant comprised V. V. B. Marwin, John D. Conely and Col. A. Clement.
The inquest on the body of William Rumsey, who was shot by Charles A. Dorriell in Tompkins March 14, 1879, was held by Coroner Cook. The court room was densely packed with interested spectators, mostly from the vicinity where the tragedy occurred. Dorriell occupied a seat beside his counsel with his wife, father, and other relatives and friends. Sheriff Terry was sworn and testified that he was at Rumsey's house after the shooting took place. He had a conversation with Miss Leslie, during which she stated to him that after she arrived at the house she went to the door and asked for admittance but was refused by Dorriell. Rumsey then said that he would shoot Dorriell. J. M. Marvin testified that he was a cousin of the deceased. He saw him on the day of his death, about noon, at his (witness's) place. Rumsey said nothing about Dorriell. He asked witness if he had a revolver and he replied in the negative. Rumsey then said he would get one and left. There being no
There being no more testimony in the case, Mr. Conely made an eloquent appeal to the jury in behalf of his client, claiming that he shot Rumsey in self defense, and asked for a verdict accordingly. Prosecuting Attorney Haire read the law in such cases to the jury and submitted the matter without arguing the merits of the case. The jury then retired in charge of Sherift Terry, and after an absence of only a few moments, returned with the following verdict : “ The jurors upon their oath do find that the said William Rumsey, on the 14th day of March, 1879, at the township of Tompkins, came to his death by means of a gun-shot wound, that the gun by which said wound was inflicted was at the time of said wound in the hands of one Charles Dorriell. And the jurors aforesaid do further find that said wound was inflicted by said Charles Dorriell in self defense."
Early in the spring of 1855, one of the most deplorable cases of drowning recorded in the annals of this county occurred. Worter Thompson, a young man then, walked to an island in Goose lake for the purpose of collecting some bark, the tea of which was thought to be a specific against rheumatism—a complaint causing him much trouble. In returning, and within a half mile of his house, he fell through the ice, and battled with his grave for some time. His screams were heard by his young wife, who rushed to the rescue. He called out to her to keep away, but she, heedless of danger, went forward to save her husband, broke through the