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Mt. Echo Newspaper
Februay 1887 Issues
Abstracted & Copyrighted
by Gladys Horn Brown

Dividing Line

February 4, 1887 Issue


The clerk has issued marriage licenses during the month of January, 1887, to the following persons:
John E. Cambell 46 - Mrs. Myra Shanks 43
G. W. Hamlet 21 - Miss M. K. McCarty 18
D. N. Radford 17 - Miss Hattie Hampton 17
Dr. G. W. Bell 28 - Miss Sarah Ann Hogan 18
Horton Jones 20 - Miss. D. I. Cobbs 18
L. A. K. Dashields 19 - Miss Sarah Dodson 19
A. F. Hampton 21 - Miss M. J. Lee 18
James R. Taylor 23 - Miss B. M. Goodall 17
J. S. Bowers 25 - Miss Mary I. Johnson 33
J. A. Clem 17 - Miss E...? Taber? ?? [this name is all but cut off at the bottom of the page]


Mr. Martin, the tombstone agent, is in town.

Our railroad prospects at the present are very good.

W. B. Wood killed a fine doe on last Monday, the last day for killing deer this season.

We understand that Messrs. Chas. Noe and E. T. Record will not engage in mercantile business at Oakland.

Mr. James A. Young returned on Wednesday from Thayer, Mo. where he has been running a skating rink.

Eva, daughter of Mr. James Pierce, of this place, died late yesterday evening. She was about 10 or 12 years of age.

Mr. George Layton, and his charming niece, Miss Edna, entertained a number of friends at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. A. S. Layton on last Tuesday night.

Messrs. K. J. Hudson, A. S. Wood and John Alford left for Fort Smith on Monday. Mr. Hudson was summoned as a U. S. grand juror, and Messrs. Wood and Alford as petit jurors.

Mr. Felix Huddleston having completed his engagement with J. H. Berry & Son, has moved back to his farm on Buffalo. Felix we regret to lose you, but wish you good luck and a fine "crap."

The firm of Lewis Bros., general freight and forwarding agents, West Plains, Mo., are now ready for business, and will look after all freight consigned to their care. Their advertisement will be found elsewhere in this paper.

Mr. J. B. Thompson, collector for the S. B. Kirby Sewing Machine Co., of Little Rock, is in town today, setting up the business of the company, which has recently gone into the hands of the receiver. He is a clever, genial gentleman.

Last week we were shown a letter from W. R. Brooksher, Jr. who is attending medical college at St. Louis. He expects to start home about the 19th inst. He will receive a hearty welcome from his numerous friends here and in Blythe.

Mr. George Layton left on yesterday for Oakland, where he will engage in business with J. N. Griffin. Mr. Layton will be sadly missed by his friends here, for there is not a more jovial, genial gentleman in the universe. The Echo wishes him abundant prosperity.

Mr. W. T. Davenport, of Desota(sic), made us a pleasant call on Monday. He lives near the Tomahawk copper mines and gave a glowing description of those "diggings" and the work going on there. From him we learned that Mr. Guthrie had sold one eight of his interest (one fourth) in the mines to New York capitalists for $3,000. It is thought the work will be operated on a big scale soon.

At the late term of the county court, the following apportioning justices were appointed:
W. T. Gooch, Prairie township
W. H. Slagle, Tomahawk
T. D. Stone, Water Creek
L. Matlock, Desoto
A. B. Johnson, Bearden
N. B. Bearden, Buffalo
T. R. Poynter, White River
E. H. McCracken, James Creek
W. I. Due, North Fork
H. H. Perkins, Franklin
J. D. McGregor, Sugar Loaf
J. P. Brady, Blythe
J. W. Coker, Hampton
A. J. Noe, Union.

       On or about the 8th of December, Andy Hudspeth and George Watkins, both of Blythe township, came to town together in a wagon, bringing three bales of cotton. The wagon and team and two bales of the cotton belonged to Watkins. Watkins sold his cotton for the cash, and after making some purchases, the two men started for home about dark. Hudspeth drove to Watkins' place and reported that Watkins left him about six miles west of town, and said he was going off to work on the railroad. The last seen or heard of Watkins he was with Hudspeth going in the direction of home on the evening above mentioned.
       There are many suspicious incidents connected with the sudden disappearance of Watkins that indicate foul play. Deputy Sheriff Lawson arrested Hudspeth upon those suspicions, and brought him to town Tuesday evening, where he is now under guard. Search is being made for the body of Watkins but up to time of going to press no discoveries have been made.
       Soon after the disappearance of Watkins, his wife went to Fayetteville to join him she said. She has since written to her father, who lives in Boone county, that her husband was killed on the railroad. This story is not credited; and Deputy Sheriff Lawson started on yesterday for Fayetteville, and will bring the woman back here, when a thorough investigation of the case will be made.
       Watkins was said to have been a hard working inoffensive man, and there was no occasion for his leaving in the night, when within a few miles of home. The ......said he left his overcoat and gloves with Andy and started on such a journey on foot and in the night, looks very suspicious. Hudspeth is as dumb as an oyster on the subject.

       Sister Ann Noe, by her pious walk and Godly ways, ever adorned her profession. All through life she was a Christian, faithful in all the relations of life. She was affectionate as a mother, and true as a neighbor. To know her was to lover her. Her last words were encouraging. We hope the husband, motherless children and friends will profit by her long and tried experience and Christian patience, exhibited in her protracted affliction, and the Lord grant that we may all be housed in the House not made with hands eternal to the heavens.

Grand Jury
J. P. Brady
W. E. Brumbelow
P. D. Blankenship
J. T. Dosher
T. J. White
John B. Ott
W. T. Dowell
James Covington
Tom Musick
John A. Harris
Ward McBee
W. H. Perry
John Cowdrey
R. J. Hurst
E. C. Ticer
Dan Baily.
J. R. Cotton
William Williams
H. C. Keeter
F. L. Ball
John M. Smith
W. L. Dosher.
Petit Jury
Andy Ventrice
W. H. Wilbanks
Wm. Cunningham
George Young
Jasper Burlison
J. F. Davis
James Rose
John T. Gilley
R. B. Garrett
Wm. Slagle
John P. Sims
John C. Bryant
John Morrow
Milton Trimble
James H. McBee
J. S. Owens
T. H. Flippin
J. E. Wickersham
A. W. Wickersham
J. ?. Drake
Newt Baker
Henry Cowdrey
N. Estes
E. G. Huddleston
Wayne Hensley
A. P. Keeter
Harrison Poynter
E. F. Hand
J. N. Matthews
Isaac Cantrell.

February 11, 1887 Issue (Top)

The Evidence Adduced at the Examining Trial. Hudspeth Held for Murder in the First Degree.
       The Echo of last week gave the particulars of the sudden disappearance of George Watkins, of Blythe township, and the arrest of Andy Hudspeth, of the same locality, suspected of the murder of the former. The suspicions on which Hudspeth was arrested now appear to be well founded, and the testimony of the wife of Watkins and his twelve-year old son, is evidence that will be hard to overcome.
       Deputy Sheriff Lawson returned on Tuesday evening from Fayetteville with Mrs. Rebecca Watkins, who left her home and went to Fayetteville soon after the disappearance of her husband, and on Wednesday an examining trial of Andy Hudspeth, charged with the murder of George Watkins, was held before A. J. Noe, J.P.. The examination of the witnesses consumed most of the day.
       Below we publish the testimony in substance of the witnesses examined:
       being called as a witness on behalf of the State, after being duly sworn, said she was about 38 years of age, and that she was acquainted with George Watkins, now reported dead. I have know defendant Andy Hudspeth, since about April, 1886. The last time I saw Watkins was about the second week in December, 1886; the last I saw of him he started to Yellville, being about 8 miles distant, to sell a bale of cotton. Andy Hudspeth started off with him to come to Yellville in George Watkins' wagon. I never saw him (Watkins) afterward. He was my husband. Hudspeth returned with the wagon and team that same evening after dark. He said that Watkins had gone to the railroad to work and he said he might come back, and again, he might never come back. He said Watkins came part of the way back and gave him up the wagon and team. I examined the wagon next morning and found a great deal of blood on the bed and the right fore wheel, and on the axle also. The blood is on the wagon yet, though it has been out in all the weather since that time. I saw Hudspeth about the wagon about the time the blood was scraped off. When defendant came home with wagon and team without Watkins, I thought he, defend-ant, had killed him. That night defendant came to my bed and whispered to me and said if any of his folks missed him to tell them he had gone to see about some stock in the field. I think he was gone about 1-1/2 or 2 hours. From the sound of his footsteps I think he went in the direction of Dr. Pierce's house, on the creek, and came back the same way. I believe he took an axe with him. The next morning I wiped off the axe with my fingers what I thought to be blood. Two days afterwards I asked him if he had everything hid so it would never be found. He said he had. I do not know where the dead body of George Watkins is. Defendant brought me back some coffee, and said that George had bought it for me that day in town. He also gave me $35; said he got it out of George Watkins' pocket. I told him George had more money than that. He said that was all he found in his pockets. He (Watkins) usually carried a hatchet in the fore end gate of his wagon. I have never seen that hatchet since defendant came back with the wagon and team. Defendant brought Watkins overcoat home with him that night he came with wagon and team. Next day I examined the overcoat and found blood on the right sleeve, and the lining where it joins in the back was ripped two or three inches, up about the collar. I told him (Hudspeth) that was a bad job bringing that coat home I told him I would have left I on him. He said he never thought of it, or he would not have brought it. A few days afterwards he took the overcoat off over on Greasy Creek and said he sold it to a mover. I am well satisfied that defendant killed Watkins that night he came home with the wagon from Yellville. One or two weeks afterwards I asked Hudspeth if I had not better go to my father's, in Boone county, to keep down suspicion. He said I expect you had, and I went. He came up to my father's to see me when I was going to leave. He met me first night after I left my father's on my way to Fayetteville and stayed all night with me and my little boy. We all slept in the wagon together, on the same bed and under the same cover. My little boy and I went on from there.....[bottom cut off].... main two or three weeks, and he was to meet me there and we were to live together as husband and wife."
       She testified that she and Hudspeth had been criminally intimate previous to the disappearance of her husband. She said "this intimacy grew between us about fodder pulling time, 1886."
       She told of a private interview between herself and Hudspeth, had in the kitchen a few nights before the disappearance of Watkins. She said, "I told him how well I loved him, and if it were not for George Watkins, my husband, we could keep my little boy with us and have all of George's property, but if George was about and the little boy got made at Andy, the defendant, he (the boy) would go to George, his father, and I could never see him again. Hudspeth said he could do anything. I told him if he did undertake to do anything, not to do it here, but to do it while on our way to Kansas, or in the cornfield while George was plowing. Watkins had been talking about going to Kansas. Hudspeth and he could do it here as well as anywhere, for instance - when Watkins goes to sell his cotton. I understood from this conversation between myself and Hudspeth that defendant was to kill Watkins."
       On cross examination she said: "Andy Hudspeth wanted to leave his wife and go with me and my husband to live, and Watkins would not agree to it, and Hudspeth said then for me not to have anything more to do with Watkins, and d---n him, let him go to h---.
       Isaiah Watkins was placed on the stand, and after being sworn, said he would be 12 years old this spring, and made about the same statement as his mother as to his father's and Hudspeth's departure from home for Yellville with cotton and the return of Hudspeth with the wagon. He said, further: "I saw the wagon next morning, saw blood on the bed on the side my father always sat on, also found some bones off the wagon where the blood was. My father had his hatchet with him the morning they left home; have not seen it since. When I saw the blood on the wagon, I cried, because I thought it was my father's blood. Hudspeth told me the blood on the wagon got there by hauling some hogs for a man about two miles this side of Yellville."" The statements made by the boy agree with those of the mother as to the direction Hudspeth went that night when he left the house, also as to his staying all night with them on the road to Fayetteville.
       W. T. Dobbs, being sworn stated that he was acquainted with Andy Hudspeth and knew George Watkins when he saw him. l He said "I went to the house of Watkins and Hudspeth, both families residing in the same house at that time, to do some collecting for James Hudson. I asked Mrs. Watkins where Watkins was. She did not answer at once, but sewed on hurriedly for awhile, then looking over her shoulder said Watkins said he was going to Harrison to work on the railroad. I asked her if Watkins had gone to work on the railroad, why did he not take his team, to which she made no reply."" Hudspeth came in and in reply to similar questions asked by Mr. Dobbs, said that Watkins had gone to work on the railroad. This was in December last.
       Hudspeth did not take the stand. After hearing the testimony, the justice ordered that the prisoner be held for murder in the first degree to await the action of the grand jury, and Rebecca Watkins was bound over to appear as a witness. Hudspeth is now in jail, and the woman, failing to give bond for her appearance, is in the custody of Deputy Sheriff Lawson, at his residence.
       Diligent search has been and is still being made for the body of Watkins. Over a hundred men have scoured the country in the locality where the crime is supposed to have been committed, and every nook and corner has been searched, but up to date no discovery has been made. The accused refuses to talk on the subject, and there is no clew(sic) to lead to the place of concealment.
       We are not lawyer enough to say what turn the case will take if the body is not found. The woman, by her own testimony, is as guilty as the man, but if she is allowed to turn State's evidence, she will go free. If the body is not found, circumstantial evidence is thought to be strong enough to convict both.
       .........[bottom line cut off] no doubt, and without further comment we dismiss the subject for this time, believing in the old adage that ""murder will out," and trusting in the wisdom of the law to mete out justice to the guilty.


Mr. Henry Young's baby is quite sick.

"Uncle" Mike Wolf, the worthy county treasurer, made us a pleasant visit Wednesday.

Dr. James Small of Oakland, and Dr. R. J. Pierce, of Blythe, attended the meeting of the County Board of Medical Examiners held here on last Monday.

Get you pick, shovel, hoe or other implement ready, for Abe McVey will have you at work on the streets next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The barber and shoe shop has been moved into the rear of The Echo office, where Mr. Cantrell will be pleased to have his old customers call when wanting work done in his line.

R. T. Patterson and R. J. Shephard, of Prairie township, dropped in to see us Wednesday. Mr. Shephard is an old subscriber and friend of The Echo, while Mr. Patterson commences with this issue.

Two solid friends of The Echo, Messrs. J. H. Stonecipher and A. F. Keeter, of Blythe township, paid their respects to this office on last Monday. We are always glad to see our friends from the country.


Prayer meeting on Sunday night at the M. E. Church, South.

Rev. J. C. Barker is attending the annual Conference of the M. E. Church, which is in session at Judsonia.

Rev. O. H. Tucker will begin a protracted meeting at Pleasant Ridge four miles south of town, on next Sunday, consequently he will not fill his appointment here on Sunday night.

The plan of the new church to be built by the M. E. Church, South, at Dry Hill, four miles southeast of town, was shown us the other day. It will be a handsome structure. The bill for the lumber has been made out, and work will be commenced at an early date. A new house will also be built in the near future at Hursts Chapel. The lumber for the same has been contracted for. Success to every enterprise that points heavenward.

February 18, 1887 Issue (Top)


The wife of a Little Rock butcher has given birth to two pairs of twins within eleven months.


No new developments in the Hudspeth-Watkins case.

The next issue of The Echo will complete it's first volume.

J. C. Floyd, Esq., attended court at Marshall a few days this week.

Dr. W. T. Bryan is visiting relatives in Searcy county this week.

J. C. Berry went down the river on the steamer Home last Wednesday.

James Haskett was lodged in jail on Wednesday to await the sitting of circuit court as a witness.

The infant son of Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Young died late Saturday evening and was buried Sunday afternoon.

Mr. George Layton, of the firm of A. S. Layton & Co., of Oakland, spent Sunday and Monday with his friends in town. He is well pleased with the outlook in his locality.

Elopements are quite numerous of late. Mrs. Fletcher, aged about 54 summers and as many winters, deserted her aged husband and five children, all of tender age, the other evening and "skipped by the light of the moon" with the gay and festive Don Hampton. One or two other parties are conspicuously absent.

On Saturday Deputy Sheriff Lawson and several citizens of town went out in the locality where Watkins is supposed to have been murdered, taking Hudspeth with them, and a thorough search was made for the body of Watkins. The creek was dragged and every considerable nook was searched, but all to no purpose.

Jim Moore attracted quite a crowd of men and boys around the old hulk, called a jail, on Sunday by playing on his old banjo and singing some choice (?) selections. [There is a verse after this which is too blacked out to read.]

On Monday evening, in company of Mr. J. C. Berry, we visited McBee's Landing. Monday night we enjoyed the hospitality of Mr. W. C. McBee and his good wife. Mr. McBee has a pleasant, comfortable home, an interesting family, and enjoys a good business. Tuesday morning early, the steamer Home was heard down the river, and after chartering a light skiff, Mr. McBee, Mr. Jones, Cam and the writer started out on the raging waters to meet the boat. Four miles below McBee's we found the good steamer unloading goods for Cox & Denton. Our party was given a hearty welcome on board by Capt. Tom Stallings, and we enjoyed a pleasant ride back to the landing. The Home is an excellent little craft, specially adapted to the upper river, is fleet as the wind and has a carrying capacity of over 500 bales of cotton, and her officers are as clever as clever can be.

James Moore, a new comer to Marion county, rented land from Frank Hudspeth, in Blythe township, to make a crop. Taking a wagon and team that belonged to his wife, he left her and her children to "pitch the crap" while he meandered westward with the said wagon and team and his good banjo, but as she had been married before, Mrs. Moore concluded that a bridal tour with the bride left out was not the proper thing and she accordingly went before a justice and swore out a warrant for the arrest of her truant hubby, charging him with larceny. The warrant was put in the hands of Constable Tom Hudspeth, who overtook and arrested Moore in Madison county. Moore was brought back to this county, and after an examination before Justice Brady, was brought to town Saturday evening and lodged in jail, where he remained till Wednesday, when he was released on a writ of habeas corpus. Moore is about 23 or 24 years of age, and his wife was a widow with several children and some property when he married her, while his possessions included a banjo. He claims to be an "artist."

In Justice's Court, Bear Creek Township, Searcy county,
Arkansas. - Before J. A. Dodson, J. P. for said township.
Castleberry, Redwine & Co., Plaintiffs
W. A. Evans, Defendant.
The defendant, W. A. Evans, is warned to appear in this court within thirty days to answer the complaint of the plaintiff. Given under my hand this 9th day of February, 1887. J. A. Dodson, J.P.

Dividing Line

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