Thursday, April 12, 1923
A good deal is going on in this town this week. The big court is in session. The steam shovel is injuring the trailing arbutus along the Seneca Trail, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse was given at the theatre.
The time of the court the first week was taken up with the subjects of moonshine and murder, an unhappy pair, which the devil has joined together. The juries passed on six whiskey cases the first week in which three verdicts were guilty and three were not guilty. One man interposed the defense that a barrel of matter set in his back yard near the gate was hog feed and not mash for the manufacture of whiskey. A jury of farmers mostly inspected the samples and brought in a verdict of guilty. In these trials at the courthouse the distilling cases which are felonies require a stage setting. The apparatus is set up in the open space before the jury box and the legal battle is waged around the still. The unfortunate manufacturer sees his plant under new conditions and, in most cases, he refuses to recognize it.
William Dudley, aged about 45 years, was found guilty Saturday evening of murder in the first degree with recommendation by the jury of a sentence for life in the penitentiary.
He was charged with the murder of Bascom McFall in the town of Cass on the night of December 19, 1918. With him was indicted at the March 1923 grand jury, Samuel Davis, a lumberman, and Charles James, known as “Jellyroll.” Davis will be tried at June Court, and “Jellyroll” is serving time in the penitentiary for shooting a woman in Cass, on the morning following the killing of McFall. He was to have been brought to Marlinton as a witness in the trial of Dudley, but went insane and is now in an asylum…
OFFICERS WERE SHOT AT
Acting under a moonshine warrant, a party of officers went to the Sinks country last Sunday to arrest Melvin Gawthrop. The party was composed of Capt. R. F. Beasley, deputy U. S. Marshall, L. W. Cochran, Sergeant of Cass, E. W. Cochran, Constable, and B. B. Beard, Sheriff. J. L. Warwick went with them in a car as far as the road ran. The sheriff is still disabled with a sprained ankle received in the engagement of Buffalo Mountain two or three weeks ago.
The party of officers were walking on the trail leading to the extreme headwaters of the East Fork of Greenbrier…
Arriving at the Gawthrop homestead, the house was locked and apparently deserted. Across the front door was a bed, and it afterwards appeared that this was not a special barricade against the officers, as that was the customary place for the bed, the front door being dispensed with as an entrance. The back door was secured by a wooden button on the inside. An alarm being made at the door there was no answer. The officers prepared to go in. Capt. Beasley saw some signs of contraband through one window and he opened it, and was looking in when Mrs. Gawthrop came into the room and the officer halted her. Just at this time, L. S. Cochran put his shoulder to the door and broke it open. In the house were Gawthrop and his wife, and a man named Barclay and his son. The officers found signs of mash and moonshine. No still being in the house, a search was begun by circling the premises, and just then, someone or more persons on the mountainside opened fire with a high powered rifle upon the officers and the bullets fell around them, and one shot wounded Capt. Beasley in the hand, making a bloody, but not necessarily serious wound….
Gawthrop was brought to jail. He will probably be taken to the federal court at Charleston for trial…
MRS. PETER HILL
AT 8:00 a.m. on the morning of March 16, 1923, death came to the relief of Mrs. Margaret J. Hill, wife of Peter Hill, of Jacox.
On January the 9th, Mrs. Hill was paralyzed in her left side and later the right side of her body, except her arms, became helpless and during the intervening weeks she lay in a semi-conscious state and never regained entire consciousness of her surroundings.
She was given medical attention and the best of sympathetic care by her children, but all was of no avail.
She completed her 78th year on January 11, two days after she was stricken.
Before her marriage, Mrs. Hill was Miss Margaret J. Whiting, daughter of Ebenezer and Sallie McMillion Whiting…
Mrs. Hill had been the wife of Mr. Hill for almost 56 years and had spent all but a few months of their married life at their home at Jacox, and by hard work, and self-sacrifice had built up a good home and prospered financially and many a person can testify to Mrs. Hill’s financial help during some time of need.
On March 18, Sunday, her funeral service was conducted by her pastor at Hills Chapel and her earthly remains were followed by a large crowd of friends and relatives to the graveyard nearby and there laid away to await the great resurrection…