Homicides of Adults in Gilmer County, Georgia, to 1900



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Homicides of Adults in Gilmer County, Georgia, to 1900

SCM: Superior Court Minutes


File: Superior Court Case File – Georgia Department of History and Archives

CHECK: Temperance Banner (Penfield, GA) 1/26/1854: quoted in Ayers, 118: on two drunken murders in Gilmer Co. in 1854!

BEGIN with 9/1840t: & even then, some cases had unknown charges through 1851. [so count from mid-1840 on] // or, add the history cases & extend to 1833.

George Gordon Ward, The Annals of Upper Georgia: Centered in Gilmer County (Carrollton, Georgia: Thomasson, 1965).

NOTE: the cases at the head of the file are cases that were not tied to specific indictments.

GIL


Class of death:

Class of crime:

Relationship:

Motive:


Intoxication?:

Day of week:

Holiday?:

Time of day:

Days until death:

S
Suspect(s


USPECT(s):
VICTIM(s):

Cause of death:
Circumstances:
Inquest:
Indictment:
Term of court:
Court proceedings:


Legal records:


Newspapers:


Other Legal records:


Census:


Genealogy:

Suspect:
Ethnicity:

Race:


Gender:

Age:


Phys char:

Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation:

Town:


Birthplace:

Religion:

Organizations:

Personal history:



Victim:
Ethnicity:

Race:


Gender:

Age:


Phys char:

Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation:

Town:


Birthplace:

Religion:

Organizations:

Personal history:

[1830] GIL

HIST
Class: probable

Crime: HOM

Rela: NONDOM

Motive: POLITICAL

Intox?:


Day of week:

Holiday?:

Time of day:

Days to death:

HOM: [Cherokee] Indians m. James Charles

Weapon:
Circumstances:
Inquest:
Indictment:
Term:
Court proceedings:

Legal records:

Other sources:
Ward, Annals, 207: "One James Charles was killed, in pioneer days, by Indians, being the only white person so to die. He was only 18 years old at his death, and is buried in Town Creek district."

Newspaper:

Census:

Genealogy:

Accused: Indians


Ethnicity: [Cherokee]

Race: Ind

Gender: m

Age: adult

Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation:

Town:

Birthplace:



Religion:

Organizations:

Victim: James Charles
Ethnicity:

Race: w


Gender: m

Age: 18


Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation:

Town: [farm laborer]

Birthplace:

Religion:

Organizations:

1837, May 14 GIL

PROC


HIST
Class: certain

Crime: HOM

Rela: NONDOM

Motive: QUARREL / STORE

Intox?: yes, both

Day of week: Sun

Holiday?:

Time of day:

Days to death:

HOM: Benjamin Saunders [aka Crittendon] m. Robert Berry



Weapon: knife
Circumstances: at the victim's home / store, on the Federal road at a point which was later included in the county of Pickens.
Inquest:
Indictment:
Term:
Court proceedings: fled

Legal records:
Davis, R. S., Jr. (1982) The Georgia Black Book: Morbid, Macabre, & Sometimes Disgusting Records of Genealogical Value. Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, v. 1: 146.

Proclamation Book H, 1823-1853


131: MURDER: 5/14/1837, Robert Berry murdered by Benjamin Saunders in Gilmer Co. Saunders is 21 or 22 yrs old, 5' 9" tall, black hair & eyes, red complexion, about 3 parts Cherokee Indian. Issued 6/24/1837.

Other sources:
George Gordon Ward, Annals of Upper Georgia, 197: "Robert Berry, another member of the ancient inferior court, once lived on the Federal road at a point which was later included in the county of Pickens, where the late James Morrison lived. Mr. Berry married an Indian woman. He sold general merchandise and whiskey at the old home location, and was said to have consumed pretty liberally of the liquor on his own part. This appears to have been at old Love's, now Talking Rock.

"He was finally killed by an Indian named Crittendon, who stabbed him. Both were drinking at the time. The historian knew nothing of Mr. Berry's antecedents, but said he was considered to be of ordinary common sense and hospitality when sober. He was described as being, when drinking, quite violent."



Newspaper:

Census:

Genealogy:

Accused: Benjamin Saunders


Ethnicity: Cherokee / English

Race: Ind [3 parts Cherokee]

Gender: m

Age: 21


Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation:

Town:

Birthplace:



Religion:

Organizations:

Victim: Robert Berry
Ethnicity:

Race: [w]

Gender: m

Age: adult

Literate:

Marital Status: m. "an Indian woman"

Children:

Occupation: "sold general merchandise and whiskey" / merchant

Town:

Birthplace:



Religion:

Organizations: justice on the Inferior Court


1848, July 29 GIL

PROC


CT

PRI
NOTE: check. An error in my transcription of the proclamation book from Davis's BLACK BOOK. Who is WT? Who was 19 yrs. old?


Class: certain

Crime: HOM

Rela: NONDOM

Motive: UNK

Intox?:

Day of week: Sat

Holiday?:

Time of day:

Days to death:

HOM: Thomas C. Robeson [Robertson] (aided and abetted by James Cody and others, and aided after the fact by William May, Sr.) m. James Ledford



Weapon:
Circumstances:
Inquest:
Indictment: yes, murder
Term: 3/1849
Court proceedings: pNG. fG of VOLUN. MANSL. 4 yrs in penit. // James Cody, et al., accessories: np. // William May, Sr., accessory after the fact, np.

Legal records:
Proclamation Book H, 1823-1853
283-4: MURDER: Thomas C Robeson murdered Jas Ledford in Gilmer Co on 7/24/1848. Issued 7/29/1848. WT is a small man, about 19 yrs old, blue eyes, very cross eyed, light or rather sandy hair, about 5' 7 or 8" tall, weighs about 120 lbs, & is slim or light & spare built.
Prison Record
#1131: Thomas Robinson. Mansl. 4 yrs. 4/17/1849-4/17/1853: pardoned 11/2/1850. Carpenter. b. Va. lst sentence. Age 33. 5'10"; fair complexion; black hair; blue eyes.
SCM: 3/1849t
MURDER: Thomas C. Robertson pNG. fG of VOLUN. MANSL. 4 yrs in penit. // James Cody, et al., accessories: np. // William May, Sr., accessory after the fact, np.

Newspaper:

Census:
1850 Census:
43 Cody, James M 47 HH NC Farmer $2500; no wife, seven children

262 May, William M 61 HH VA Miner; wife (VA) and nine children, seven born in TN



Genealogy:
Ward, Annals, 213: "The Cody family was once prominent in Boardtown district. Other people of the name lived in Mountaintown in the earlier period of our history. This could have been the same family or relatives. For Codys have markers in the cemetary of the Mountaintown Baptist church. . . .

"Inscriptions at Mountaintown reveal: Pierce Cody, Oct. 10, 1754--Oct. 20, 1845; Charity, June 11, 1769--April 24, 1860.

"The Codys owned some of the fine farm land of the County. . . .

"'Captain' James Cody lived in the Boardtown section. He must have resided there considerably after 1850. There were daughters in the family, according to Mrs. Plemmons, who was a friend and associate of the girls. James Cody's title was probably earned by a military record."


Accused 1: Thomas C. Robeson [Robertson]
Ethnicity:

Race: w


Gender: m

Age: 32 70"

Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation: carpenter

Town: GIL

Birthplace: VA

Religion:

Organizations:


Accused 2: James Cody
Ethnicity:

Race: w


Gender: m

Age: 45


Literate:

Marital Status: widowed?

Children: seven

Occupation: farmer

Town:

Birthplace: North Carolina



Religion:

Organizations:


Accused 3: William May, Sr.
Ethnicity:

Race: w


Gender: m

Age: 59


Literate:

Marital Status: married

Children: nine

Occupation: miner

Town:

Birthplace: VA



Religion:

Organizations:

Victim: James Ledford
Ethnicity:

Race: w


Gender: m

Age: adult

Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation:

Town:

Birthplace:



Religion:

Organizations:

1852 GIL

CT
Class: probable

Crime: HOM

Rela: UNK

Motive: UNK

Intox?:


Day of week:

Holiday?:

Time of day:

Days to death:

HOM: Robert Kell m.

Weapon:
Circumstances:
Inquest:
Indictment: bnf for involuntary mansl.
Term: 11/1852
Court proceedings: grand jury took no action. disch.

Legal records:
SCM: 11/1852t
INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER [MURDER?]: Robert Kell

Newspaper:

Census:
1850 Census: 462 Kell, Robert M 17 TN Farmer

Genealogy:
Accused: Robert Kell
Ethnicity:

Race: w


Gender: m

Age: 19


Literate:

Marital Status: single in 1850

Children: none

Occupation: [farm laborer]

Town:

Birthplace: TN



Religion:

Organizations:

Victim: ___
Ethnicity:

Race:


Gender:

Age:


Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation:

Town:

Birthplace:



Religion:

Organizations:

1853 GIL

CT
Class: certain

Crime: HOM

Rela: UNK

Motive: UNK

Intox?:


Day of week:

Holiday?:

Time of day:

Days to death:

HOM: Jane Presley m.

Weapon:
Circumstances:
Inquest:
Indictment: yes, murder
Term: 5/1853
Court proceedings: [np]

Legal records:
SCM: 5/1853t
MURDER: Jane Presley tb

Newspaper:

Census:

Genealogy:
Accused: Jane Presley
Ethnicity:

Race: [w]

Gender: f

Age: adult

Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation:

Town:

Birthplace:



Religion:

Organizations:

Victim: ___
Ethnicity:

Race:


Gender:

Age:


Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation:

Town:

Birthplace:



Religion:

Organizations:

1853 GIL

CT
CHECK: Temperance Banner (Penfield, GA) 1/26/1854: quoted in Ayers, 118: on two drunken murders in Gilmer Co. in 1854!


Class: certain

Crime: HOM

Rela: UNK

Motive: UNK

Intox?:

Day of week:

Holiday?:

Time of day:

Days to death:

HOM: Thomas Wisshang m.



Weapon:
Circumstances:
Inquest:
Indictment: yes, murder
Term: 11/1853
Court proceedings: fNG. acquitted & discharged.

Legal records:
SCM: 11/1853t
MURDER: Thomas Wisshang

Newspaper:

Census:

Genealogy:
Accused: Thomas Wisshang
Ethnicity: [German]

Race: [w]

Gender: m

Age: adult

Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation:

Town:

Birthplace:



Religion:

Organizations:

Victim: ___
Ethnicity:

Race:


Gender:

Age:


Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation:

Town:

Birthplace:



Religion:

Organizations:

1853 GIL

CT
CHECK: Temperance Banner (Penfield, GA) 1/26/1854: quoted in Ayers, 118: on two drunken murders in Gilmer Co. in 1854!


Class: probable

Crime: HOM

Rela: [NONDOM]

Motive:


Intox?:

Day of week:

Holiday?:

Time of day:

Days to death:

HOM: Warrick Hazlewood (principal in lst degree) and Leander J. McArthur (principal in the 2nd degree) m.



Weapon:
Circumstances:
Inquest:
Indictment: bnf for murder
Term: 11/1853
Court proceedings:

Legal records:
SCM: 11/1853t
MURDER: Warrick Hazlewood (principal in lst degree) & Leander J. McArthur (principal in the 2nd degree). bnf Had been bound to appear (James Simmons, et al, sec.). disch.

Newspaper:

Census:
1850 Census:
536 Hazelwood, Warrick M 45 HH SC Farmer; married, two children
537 McCarter, Leander J. M 23 HH NC Farmer 250; wife, no children
NOTE: Hazelwood and McCarter were next door neighbors.

Genealogy:

Accused 1: Warrick Hazlewood


Ethnicity:

Race: [w]

Gender: m

Age: 48


Literate:

Marital Status: married

Children: two

Occupation: farmer

Town:

Birthplace: SC



Religion:

Organizations:


Accused 2: Leander J. McArthur
Ethnicity:

Race: [w]

Gender: m

Age: 26


Literate:

Marital Status: married

Children: none

Occupation: farmer

Town:

Birthplace: NC



Religion:

Organizations:

Victim: ___
Ethnicity:

Race:


Gender:

Age:


Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation:

Town:

Birthplace:



Religion:

Organizations:

1854 GIL

CT
CHECK: Temperance Banner (Penfield, GA) 1/26/1854: quoted in Ayers, 118: on two drunken murders in Gilmer Co. in 1854!


Class: certain

Crime: HOM

Rela: UNK

Motive:


Intox?:

Day of week:

Holiday?:

Time of day:

Days to death:

HOM: Simpson [Samuel?] S. Gilbert (principal in lst degree) and Murray [sp?] Cantrill (principal in 2nd degree) m.



Weapon:
Circumstances:
Inquest:
Indictment: yes, murder
Term: 5/1854
Court proceedings: [np]

Legal records:
SCM: 5/1854t
MURDER: Simpson [Samuel?] S. Gilbert (principal in lst degree), Murray [?] Cantrill (principal in 2nd degree) tb // Samuel S. Gilbert surrendered himself. 5/55t: James Cantrel, Eliza Cantrel, & Letty Powell, witnesses for dfts, have refused to attend under subpoena in this case to testify. Ordered to appear at next term or to be prosecuted for contempt. 11/55t: Wm & James Cantrell, Eliza Cantrell, & Letty Powell, James Ratcliff, witnesses for dfts, have refused to attend under subpoena in this case to testify. Ordered to appear at next term or to be prosecuted for contempt. 5/57t: Letty Powell & Andrew Ratliff, material wit., did not appear. 11/57t: WC, JC, EC, AR, Allen D. Woody, Nathaniel Paris, & Jos. Clayton, material wit. for dft, did not appear. $150 b. each to appear next term. Asa Morgan, Pierson Morgan, & Elbert Weaver, material wit. for state, did not appear. 10/58t: secured a new indictment because of a defect in the names of the grand jurors in the old indict.

Newspaper:

Census:

Genealogy:

Accused 1: Simpson [Samuel?] S. Gilbert


Ethnicity:

Race: [w]

Gender: m

Age: adult

Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation:

Town:

Birthplace:



Religion:

Organizations:


Accused 2: Murray [sp?] Cantrill
Ethnicity:

Race: [w]

Gender: m

Age: adult

Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation:

Town:

Birthplace:



Religion:

Organizations:

Victim: __
Ethnicity:

Race:


Gender:

Age:


Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation:

Town:

Birthplace:



Religion:

Organizations:

1855, Oct. 2 GIL

CT

PROC


Class: certain

Crime: HOM

Rela: HHLD SLAVE by MASTER

Motive: UNK

Intox?:

Day of week: T

Holiday?:

Time of day:

Days to death: 104

HOM: Newman Osborn m. Wilson [or George?] (a slave of Newman Osborne)



Weapon: with a knife to right side of belly near the navel. 3" deep. d. 104 days later.
Circumstances:
Inquest:
Indictment: yes, murder, malice af.
Term: 11/1855
Court proceedings: fled

Legal records:
SCM: 11/1855t
MURDER: Newman Osborn tb, special presentment. 10/2/1855 m. a negro man slave named Wilson, the property of Newman Osborne. Malice aforethought. with a knife to right side of belly near the navel. 3" deep. d. 104 days later. 10/60t: transfer docket.
Governor's Proclamation Book, 1854-1869
19: In Gilmer Co on 10/2/1855, a Negro man slave named George, the property of Newman Osborn, was murdered by NO. Issued 10/13/1855.

Newspaper:
Tuesday, October 23, 1855
A PROCLAMATION.
By Herschel V. Johnson, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of this State and the Militia thereof,
Whereas, I have received official information, that a murder was committed on the body of George, a negro slave, in the county of Gilmer, in this State, on the 2d instant, by Newman Osborn; and it being represented to me, that said Osborn has fled from justice, --I have thought proper to issue this, my proclamation, hereby offering a reward of $100 for the apprehension and delivery, to the Sheriff or Jailer of said county, the body of the said Osborn; and I do moreover charge and require all officers, civil and military, to be vigilant in endeavoring to apprehend and bring to trial the said fugitive, in order that he may undergo a trial for the offense with which he is charged.
Herschel V. Johnson.
By the Governor, E. P. Watkins, Secretary of State.
UNION RECORD (Milledgeville)

Census:
1850 Census:
158 Osborne, Newman M 59 HH NC Farmer 2500; wife and son

Genealogy:
Ward, Annals, 275, 278-279: "John [Osborn, father of Newman] was the father of [Newman's brother] Nicholas R. And he is believed to be buried where Nicholas R. and his wife are, on a wooded hill off Little Mountaintown creek on land now owned by Clinton Harper but once in the estate of the Osborn family.

"Five Osborn brothers came from England to America. One of these was Jeremiah, who settled in Virginia; but later moved from there to Western North Carolina. And he was the father of John Osborn who migrated from there to Gilmer County.

"Nicholas R. Osborn and his wife were charter members of Mountaintown Baptist church.

" . . . This family is most vividly remembered for the pioneer brothers, Nicholas and Jonathon, who came to Gilmer from Buncombe county, North Carolina, in 1840. . . .

"These two brothers seem to have had additional brothers, John and Newman, who also came to Gilmer but, after an indefinite stay, moved on. John died in Texas; Newman, in Illinois. . . .
"We present other data much of it copied from the Bible of Henry Grady I.

"Jonathon Osborn died November 19, 1877. He had brothers, Newman, who died in Texas; Jeremiah, in North Carolina; John, in Illinois; Nicholas in Gilmer County.

" . . . John Osborn, a pioneer, arrived in Gilmer 'soon after Jonathon L. Coggins,' probably late in 1836. He settled on a creek just below Mr. Coggins. He was reputed to be 'steady and reliable, having the confidence of people generally.' He remained on the place at least 50 years. Prosperous, he made it a rule of his life to be punctual in keeping his promises.

"Prior to 1880, Mrs. Osborn had died. She and Mr. Osborn were both Baptists, always having been classed with the best citizenship of the County. The later years of Mr. Osborn were said to have been 'troubled.'

"Newman Osborn was also an early settler. He first lived at the old Tucker place on the Cartecay river, remaining there several years. He then sold his home and moved to Texas with his son, Jerry. It was several years after his removal before his death there. Jerry long survived his father in the lone star state."

Accused: Newman Osborn


Ethnicity:

Race: w


Gender: m

Age: 64


Literate:

Marital Status: widowed by 1855?

Children: "son, Jerry"

Occupation: farmer

Town: GIL

Birthplace: NC

Religion:

Organizations:

Victim: Wilson [or George?]
Ethnicity:

Race: b


Gender: m

Age: adult

Literate:

Marital Status:

Children:

Occupation: slave of Newman Osborne

Town:

Birthplace:



Religion:

Organizations:

1862 GIL

HIST
Class: probable

Crime: HOM

Rela: NONDOM [CIVIL WAR]

Motive: POLITICAL / ALLEGED DESERTER by HOME GUARDS

Intox?:


Day of week:

Holiday?:

Time of day:

Days to death:

HOM: John Gatewood (aided and abetted by a band of men) m. Albert Ward

Weapon:
Circumstances: Ward killed "by a desperado named John Gatewood" while Ward "was home on a furlough from the Confederate army."
Inquest:
Indictment: no
Term:
Court proceedings:

Legal records:

Other sources:
Ward, Annals, 326: "Albert Ward was wantonly killed by bushwhackers led, it was told to me by people alive at the time, by a desperado named John Gatewood. His death occurred in 1862 while he was home on a furlough from the Confederate army.

"On April 6, 1857, Albert Ward had married Miss Sarah Holt, daughter of Osborn Holt, pioneer. The night Albert Ward was killed his courageous wife threw her arms around her husband and refused to surrender him to the mob. But the crowd fired anyhow, killing Ward and wounding her in the hand."


Ward, Annals, 345: "Such a gang (John Gatewood was in the lead) killed Albert Ward at a home in the Turniptown section. Mr. Ward's people maintained the man had no chance to prove himself innocent of anything and that he had a furlough from the Confederate ranks in his pocket at the time."
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