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Mt. Echo Newspaper
September 1889 Issues
Abstracted & Copyrighted
by Gladys Horn Brown

Dividing Line

September 6, 1889 Issue

Jack Spaniard and Bill Walker hanged for murder at Fort Smith.

Mrs. W. E. Christian, the only child of Stonewall Jackson, died at Charlotte, North Carolina.

Vagrants sold at Auction at Moberly, Mo. to farmers.

J. S. Berry was placed on trial at Springfield, Mo., charged with being an accessory to the murder of Capt. Kinney, the Bald Knobber chief.


Mrs. E. L. Berry reached Washington in safety.

You can get five pounds of coffee for $1 at Layton & Cowdrey's.

Leonard and Marion Seawel started to school at Altus last Tuesday. We wish them success.

A bouncing boy made his appearance at the residence of T. H. Swofford's last Friday night.

Mrs. Olive Phillips presented The Echo with two of the largest and finest sweet potatoes we have seen this year. Many thanks.

John Keeter made The Echo office a present of a peck of fine peaches this week for which we return many thanks.

Milum is drilling a well in the courthouse square this week, the money being raised by private subscriptions to do the work.

The Equalization Board meets the 3rd Monday in September at 10 o'clock. The Board consists of Rev. J. A. Rose, J. J. Horner and Isaac Kesee(sic).

It is reported that some one blew up William Hammond's house a few days ago, with a stick of dynamite, seriously injuring him and his wife. Mr. Hammond lives on White river not far from the Marion county line.

J. C. Berry moved to his new home last week.

H. B. Dallam, former editor of The Echo, is conducting a paper at Huntsville.

Jimmy Williams got back from Texas last Tuesday night. His health is very poor.

John Weast and Dave Wiggins left last Wednesday for parts unknown to us.

William Lee, being unable to pay his fine for carrying a pistol, is now languishing in jail.

Frank Sowel, a lad 14 years old, killed a deer in his father's yard yesterday morning with an ax. It had been run down by dogs.

T. W. Johnson of Harrison is here with a good force of men ready to push the work of making brick, finishing the church and building the foundation of the new High school building.

Several families will change locations this week. J. E. Wickersham will move to the property he bought of Dutch Covington, Dutch will move to J. S. Cowdrey's property in the east part of town, and Ed Middleton will move to the property vacated by J. E. Wickersham.

T. L. Wilson, of Valley Springs, authorizes us to announce that a meeting for the conversion of sinners and the sanctification of believers, will be begun and held one mile west of Valley Springs Sept. 14th. He requests all who believe in sanctification to be present. It is the intention to protract the meeting.

It is reported that William McIntosh has sold his 80 acres of rich mineral land in this county to Geo. Chase and other capitalists, for $10,000. As Mr. Chase is chief engineer of the Great Eastern railroad, the interest he is manifesting in mining property in this county gives us hope of railroad transportation at an early date.

So Says the Jury in the Blankinship Case.
       The case that has excited more interest this term of Circuit Court than any other, is that of the State against Jesse Blankinship, charged with Rape. The trial was begun last Friday, but a jury could not be impaneled until Saturday morning. The trial lasted till Monday evening, the State being ably represented by prosecuting attorney, DeRoos Bailey, and the defendant being equally as ably represented by Mr. Fisk and Judge Keener. The arguments on both sides lasted nearly the whole of the day on Monday. The jury returned about 5 o'clock in the afternoon, and did not reach a verdict until nearly sunrise Tuesday morning, when it reached a verdict of guilty. If this verdict is sustained by the courts, the punishment will be death. The prisoner seems to care but little about the verdict when taken back to the jail. After hearing the verdict he said "By G-d, I wish they would come on with their rope."
       The people are divided in opinion concerning the verdict.
       Following is a list of the jurors who tried the case: J. G. Estes, Wm. Caylor, J. S. Owens, W. H. Trueblood, James Lawson, Geo. W. Nelson, Eli Nipps, John B. Milum, J. W. Casper, J. E. Taber, John Stacy, Frank Estes.
       The crime for which Blankinship stands a chance of answering for with his life, is alleged to have been committed on the person of Mary Jane Fisher about 4 miles east of Lead Hill, June 30th, 1889. [NOTE: This should be 1888]. Blankinship was arrested soon after and has been confined in jail ever since. He was tried at the October term of court in this county in 1888. The result was a hung jury, eleven of the jury being in favor of returning a verdict of guilty, and one acquitted.
       Blankinship's attorneys have filed a motion for a new hearing and will argue it today. If the court overrules the motion, he will also pass sentence today. We have not learned whether an appeal will be taken to the supreme court, in case the court overrules the motion for a new trial.

[CIRCUIT COURT MINUTES Printed here are too faded to transcribe]


September 13, 1889 Issue (Top)

Unless Gov. Eagle Commutes the Sentence
       Last Friday evening was a serious one to the citizens of the peaceful and quiet town of Yellville, a jury of our county, had brought in a verdict that, unless overruled, would cause the sentence of death to be passed on one of our fellow creatures.
       One o'clock was the hour set for the prisoner to be brought into the court to listen to his attorneys' arguments for a new trial, and perhaps, his death sentence. He looked a little paler than usual when first brought into court, but soon regained his old time composure and looked as careless as ever. It was evident however, that he was deeply interested in what was going on.
       Judge Keener, who has so ably defended him all along, made an able argument for a new hearing. The prosecuting attorney made a very short reply, and Mr. Fisk had nothing to say. Judge Powell then reviewed the case briefly and overruled the motion for a new trial. Judge Keener than asked for one hour's time before passing sentence. This request was granted, and after a whispered conversation with Judge Powel and the prisoner, Judge Keener announced that the prisoner was ready for sentence. "Stand up, Mr. Blankinship" said Judge Powel. The prisoner gracefully obeyed and raised his right hand, looking perfectly composed. When asked if he had anything to say why the sentence of death should not be passed, he answered respectfully: "Nothing." Judge Powel then passed the following sad sentence: "You shall be taken by the sheriff of Marion county to the jail of Boone county, and there safely kept until the 17th day of October, A.D., 1889 on which day, between the hours of sunrise and sunset, the sheriff of Marion county shall hang you by the neck till you are dead." During the reading of this sentence, everything was still as death, although the courtroom was crowded with spectators. The prisoner kept his nerve and did not look half as pale as did Sheriff Poynter.
       The sheriff then started back to jail with the doomed man. How brightly the sun shone! How blue the clear skies seemed! How sweetly the birds and insects sang! How lovely the dark green cedars on the hillsides must have looked to the doomed man. The doom that was awaiting him must have bore heavily on his mind for as soon as he reached the jail, he sat down and wrote the following statement in a good hand. We give it to our readers without putting in or leaving out a word, merely correcting a few errors in spelling, capitalization and punctuating:

       Guilty? So says the jury. But there is a day coming when you will know who is the guilty one and how I long to see that day come when we may be judged by an all seeing eye. He it is that is the judge of judges. The law was given by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, our superior Judge that we all have to stand before at the morning of the resurrection. So the good people of Marion county, Arkansas should be a little careful whom they hang to please the lower class, that has sworn falsely against me. So this being the case it is hard to give up and leave my old gray headed father, my dear old mother, my brothers and sisters, my loving wife and darling little children. It is heart rending, but may it be a warning to the young men, and old men as well. Take warning of me and shun bad company. Associating with bad company has brought me to the gallows, and being a poor boy, I have got to hang, although I am innocent of the offense that is alleged - but I was sentenced to death today [This is at the bottom of the page and cut off]

Judge Powel, after considering the matter, modified the death sentence a little by ordering that the doomed man be kept in the Boone County Jail till the 16th of October and be brought back to Marion county on the 16th and executed on the 17th. He was taken to Harrison last Saturday.

There will be no appeal taken and the doomed man's life depends entirely upon the clemency of the governor. There is no one here who wishes to see Blankenship hanged. There are many circumstances in the case that are not satisfactory to the people, and while there is no one who wishes to see the doomed man go free, there will be great efforts made to have the governor commute the sentence to imprisonment for a long term of years. It is said that the Judge, prosecuting attorney, the entire bar and the jury who tried the case, will all unite in asking for commutation. A petition has been circulated among our citizens asking for clemency, and we have heard of no man refusing to sign it.


Mrs. Lon Caldwell is visiting relatives here.

Elbert Noe and Charley Wilson went to West Plains last Monday on a visit to friends and relatives.

Charley Wilson and John O'Neal went down to White river last Sunday to see their girls. Yea, verily!

Ida Carter and Dalia Hudson, our little typhos(sic), are learning the trade rapidly.

Morris Vance, the enterprising merchant of Rally Hill, was in town last Monday night.

Charley McMillan, a good looking and energetic young druggist, of Harrison, will assist Mr. Patterson in selling drugs.

Mrs. Zick returned to her home in Illinois last week. Mrs. J. H. Berry and Robert accompanied her as far as Springfield, Mo.

Elder Thomas Nowlin has come back to his old neighborhood. He has bought a farm of E. Phillips, about four miles west of Yellville. We extend to him a hearty welcome.

William McBride and family arrived at Yellville last Monday from Arizona, and is stopping at present with his father, E. D. McBride. He thinks Arkansas is far ahead of Arizona.

Rev. W. L. Downing will preach at Yellville Saturday night, Sunday and Sunday night next.

R. F. Patterson has moved to town in order to start off with the boom, and to send his children to the high school.

Our young friend, John O'Neal, passed a good examination before the bar last Saturday and is now a full fledged lawyer of the State of Arkansas. We wish Mr. O'Neal success.

The P. O. has been removed to the east room of the building in which school is being taught. We have seen many fellows confidently walk into the old stand to get their mail. They always come out kicking themselves with both feet.

There is considerable complaint about the postal service of this county. And if some careless post masters do not mend their ways, they are likely to get into trouble. We are very careful to mail our readers The Echo on time each week, but we are constantly getting letters of complaint.


September 20, 1889 Issue (Top)

Bob Younger is dead.

Nagle, the man who shot Terry, was acquitted.

Amy Morgan, colored, died at Helena, Ark., age 113.

Jack, the Ripper, has killed another fallen woman in Whitechapel, London.


John Steidly's family has returned from Harrison.

J. C. Higgs will close his school at the Cantrell school house, this week, and will start to the medical school at Little Rock soon.

Dan McCurry passed through town last Tuesday booming the nursery business.

J. A. Cowdrew will assist in making the big fruit tree drive.

Theodore Steidly went home to see his family last week, and, rather unexpectedly, found a brand new boy at his house.

Yesterday, J. B. Wilson's house caught on fire. Mrs. Wilson sent her little boy to town to give the alarm, but before any help could get out there, Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Carter had scaled the roof and extinguished the flames. The men who first arrived completed the work of putting out the fire. Moral - Build good stove flues and insure your house.

Henry Hudson is repairing and otherwise improving his dwelling.

Isaac Snyder is painting his meat shop.

John Covington is moving his shop to the rear of the lot so that work can be begun on the new bank building.


September 27, 1889 Issue (Top)


Sam Lawson left last week for Texas. We think he left Marion county at the wrong time but we wish him well.

J. W. Brady bought the T. L. Adcock place in Blythe township, last week. Mr. Adcock will go to Texas.

We received a very pleasant call this week from Mr. Mason, ex-editor of the Batesville Pilot. Mr. Mason is now a staunch citizen of Marion county.

W. R. Strickland closed his school at Concord last Friday. He made a complete success, giving good satisfaction to all. He gave an exhibition Friday night that was well attended and was very entertaining.

Prof. Blankinship, Newt Strickland, Stell Davis and H. H. Childress came over to the close of W. H. Strickland's school. We acknowledge a pleasant call from all of the above parties.

Judge Flippin called in to see us last Wednesday. He and Elder B. Rose have been holding a series of meetings in the counties south of here. At Opposition, in Lawrence Co., 45 additions were made to the church.

Mr. J. J. Joyce, of Eureka, was in this county this week looking at the mineral prospects for Thomas Payne of Eureka, a gentleman with plenty of money who wishes to invest some of it here. Mr. Joyce is well pleased with the outlook and will be back soon to prospect further.

Dividing Line

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