The Murder of Mrs. Brownlie
AWFUL MURDER !
Mrs. A.W. Brownlie at Long Grove Assassinated
Particulars of the Tragedy - A Most Cold Blooded Deed-
Presence of her Children-Absence of the Husband-
Burglars Enter the House
(From the Davenport Gazette)
An infamous, unprovoked, as well as
unaccountable murder as ever was perpetrated in this State, was committed at
Long Grove, Winfield Township, in this county, last evening. The victim was Mrs.
Lizzie Brownlie, daughter of Hon. Hugh M. Thompson.
are as follows: Mr. Brownlie left his home at half past seven o'clock,
accompanied by a hired man, and went to the house of his father, Mr. James
Brownlie, half a mile from his own home, to get some medicine for a sick horse.
He obtained the medicine, talked a while with his parents and brothers, and then
returned to his home. He went to the kitchen door, as usual, opened it, stepped
STUMBLED OVER THE BODY OF HIS WIFE!
He held his lantern down to it, for there was no light
in the room, and there was his partner literally weltering in her blood. Her
left arm seemed to be nearly torn away at the shoulder, and her right breast was
in a similar condition: her clothes on that side were scorched, and appeared as
if a gun had been held close to her and discharged. When Mr. Brownlie arrived,
his children, four in number, came forward from a hiding place in the house, and
told him how the
MURDER OF THEIR MOTHER
occurred. The names of the children are as follows: Sarah, aged eleven years;
Willie, aged eight years; Henry, aged six years, and Andrew, aged four years.
The house is a story-and-half one, the kitchen on the east side and a sitting
room on the west side. The mother sat close to the kitchen window, working with
a sewing machine when
came - first by a brick crashing through the window, and instantly two
discharged from a gun followed, right at the same window! Mrs. Brownlie shrieked
and fell to the floor,
"O Sarah! O Sarah!" Then all was still. In a moment more, the daughter
Sarah noticed fire on her mother's dress, and she stopped and extinguished it,
remained in the room crouching on the floor in darkness and in terror, waiting
for the return of their father. They were thus alone for more than half an hour.
The nearest neighbor was John Greve, a quarter of a mile south, across fields,
while their own house was half a mile from the Long Grove road, the nearest
public highway. And so they dared not leave the house, nor shriek for aid. After
Mr. Brownlie returned, he sent his hired man, Lewis Johnston, back to his
father's to tell them of the murder. Then, after the relatives had been informed
of it, there was little time lost in carrying the news to other neighbors-
several of whom started
of the murderers, but the result was not known at the time our informants left.
It would seem as if
was the object of the murders, or the neighbors discovered that the lower sash
of one of the sitting room windows had been broken to pieces, frame and all, and
that somebody had entered the room and rumaged [sic] through the drawers of a
bureau therein. Whether money or other valuables were taken was not known at
midnight, for the husband was nearly beside himself, though his agony was
Robert A. Brownlie, John A.P. Flook and another
neighbor, came to the city to
INFORM THE FATHER
of the murdered wife - Hon. Hugh M. Thompson - of the tragedy. He had been
serving as foreman of the Grand Jury of the District Court for the past two
weeks, and was stopping at the Ackley House. We draw a veil over this scene. His
terrible grief did not express itself in cries or moans-but he seemed to lose
consciousness, for the time, of everything about him.
was thirty-two years of age. She had been married about twelve
years, having lived at Long Grove from early girl-hood. She was a lovely woman
in all that pertains to the duties of wife, mother and neighbor and was regarded
with affection by all in the neighborhood.
as to the real motive of the bloody, heartless deed, is vain.
One can only hope that the murderer, or murderers may be caught.
---The Davenport Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; February
THE LONG GROVE HORROR
A Double Murder - The Babe Shot in the Brain
One Thousand Dollars Reward
Coroner Grant Holds an Inquest
Examination of the Wife's Wounds
The Testimony - A Dark, Awful Mystery- Adjournment
The awful murder of Mrs. A.W. Brownlie,
near Long Grove, an account of which was given in yesterday morning's GAZETTE,
shocked this community to an extent not felt before in many years. The object of
the murderer, as well as the murderer himself, is still shrouded in mystery,
nothing more being known as to either, last evening, than when the neighborhood
in which the victim lived was aroused on Wednesday evening.
Coroner Grant went to the house, yesterday forenoon,
for the purpose of holding an inquest. On the way he met Hon. Hugh M. Thompson,
father of the slain wife and mother, who had duties to perform as foreman of the
Grand Jury, from which not even his great affliction could release him. He was
in utter ignorance as to the animus of the crime. Arriving at the house the
doctor found some twenty neighbors assembled near by, while the wives of several
were inside attending to various duties. The house is some three miles north of
Eldridge, its location and surroundings being accurately given yesterday. Dr.
Grant at once entered upon his duties, and proceeded to hold an
W.G. Richie, Alex Brownlie, and John
Robertson were sworn as jurors. The first matter was
EXAMINATION OF THE BODY
There was every indication of effect
from two discharges of powder and shot. The first tore away the flesh from the
left shoulder and upper portion of the arm, and riddle and lacerated the left
breast; the second tore away a rib above the breast laceration mentioned, making
a hole large enough to admit the entrance of one's hand. The nozzle of the gun
had been held so close to Mrs. Brownlie as to burn the flesh while there were
powder marks all through the wounds. The doctor took seven buck shot from the
close to which Mrs. B. was seated when shot was examined. It was
at the southeast corner of the room. The brick that broke the glass, first took
a lower pane on the outside sash, struck a cross piece of the inside sash and
tore half the lower sash away. Mrs. B. was evidently in the act of soothing her
youngest child, Andrew, four years old, having her hand around his neck, resting
on one shoulder, when the crash came - she turned towards the window, received
the discharges, fell forward, the wounded shoulder striking the table of the
sewing machine at which she had been working and covered it with blood. As for
the rest, here is the
A.W. Brownlie, sworn - The body that
lies here is that of my wife; I was not at home when she died. I left home about
half-past seven o'clock last evening; my wife and children were in the house
when I left it; I had been at father's, James Brownlie, and up to the Station
for some liniment for a horse of mine that was injured. I arrived home a
little after nine - it was dark in the house. I struck a match, and went into
the pantry and got a candle as I could not see the kerosene lamp; came out into
the kitchen and found my wife lying on the floor, in the corner close to the
sewing machine; I thought she was asleep. She lay just as if she had fallen off
the chair while sleeping, and was in that posture on her side. I caught her by
the arm and put my hand into the wound. I screamed, and my little girl, Sarah,
came down stairs and told me what had happened. Before that she heard me, but
thought that it was the robbers - but she know my voice and came down stairs. I
went to go to the door, but she hung to me and cried, "you'll be shot,
you'll be shot" and begged me to go up stairs with her to the other
children. In a few minutes my hired man, Lewis Johnston, came home; he had come
from town, and had been to prayer meeting at the Grove. After I got up stairs I
opened the window and screamed for help, and he heard me and came running to the
house. He asked, "what's wrong?" I told him my wife was shot and to
run for some of the neighbors; neighbors soon arrived. My wife was thirty-two
years of age and in good health; my children are four in number - Sarah is past
eleven years; Willie is eight; Annie J. is six and Andrew J. is four years old.
My wife was on good terms with the neighbors - was a favorite of all of them. I
had double windows - and there was but one pane on the outside, sash broken, and
three on the inside sash. On further investigation, I found that the lower sash
of the south window in the sitting room was all smashed in. I noticed nothing
else at all that was different from when I left the house.
Sarah R. Brownlie sworn - I was at home when my father
left the house last evening with my two brothers, sister and mother. I was
present when my mother was shot. It was before eight o'clock, about twenty
minutes after my father left when I heard the first noise. My sister and my
brother and I were in the middle of the floor in the kitchen and my youngest
brother was sitting beside my mother on a chair. He was four years old last
November. He was with my mother in one corner at a sewing machine. My mother was
sitting beside a window - close to it. We heard a noise and thought it was at
the barn - it was like pigs, I thought, rattling at the platform. About five
minutes after that a brick came through the window, and after that there came
two shots. I saw the brick lying on a chair - it was half a brick. It went north
of my mother and struck no one. I was not looking at my mother then, but I
think she sat still and the gun shot came right through right after it, and
there were two reports. I didn't have time to get up and go and see the window,
after the brick came through, before two shots were fired. The shots sounded as
if they were from a two barreled gun. We screamed "murder" because we
were scared. I don't know whether my youngest brother screamed or not, I did. My
mother next said "Oh dear Sarah," gasped once or twice and fell over
slowly- her head rested on a chair and her body on the floor, and I think I
moved her. She said nothing else at all. I heard no noise outdoors after the
shots. I thought my little brother was dying; he was kind of crying; I picked
him up and tried to wash him; he was hurt and bleeding in the left side of his
head. After I got him washed I took him upstairs and the rest of the children,
locking the door after me, and went to bed. I thought my father was killed too;
I carried my little brother upstairs; I hears no noise in the room before the
brick came through, besides that we were making in the kitchen. The kitchen door
was shut, but not locked - all the outside doors were shout but not locked. I
fastened the door of the room we were in up stairs. It seemed about one hour
after my mother was shot before my father came home - I wouldn't say for sure,
though. After he lit a light I came down. At first I thought it was the robbers,
but I heard him scream and knew his voice. I thought he was going to go out, and
took hold of him. No one entered the house to my knowledge from the time the
shots were fired till my father came. Nothing was missed in the house -
furniture, money, nor anything else. I heard nothing like [?] going off, nor
people talking outside, after the shots were fired.
A.W. Brownlie recalled - I missed nothing about the
premises - nothing was taken, everything was in order save that the windows were
broken in and the lamp chimney was broken. Lewis Johnston (the hired man) hadn't
been home since last Saturday - he had been in town visiting. He didn't say when
he left how long he should be gone. He didn't come direct home from town, he
went to prayer meeting at the Grove. He has been with me about five years. He
was on good terms with my family. He just came to the door when he heard me
scream and turned and ran to the neighbors. I can't suspect any person I can't
imagine why any person should murder my wife- it's all a dark, awful mystery to
James Steffens sworn - I am not acquainted with Mr.
Brownlie's family. I heard one shot at 8 o'clock last evening; I was outside the
door at John Hell's where I am staying; when I heard the shot, I heard nothing
else, no other noise, no screaming; I live about half a mile from here, straight
across, but it is about a mile by the road. I thought to myself that it was an
awful rough shot, and "it is over there," (meaning Brownlie's); from
the noise I should judge the gun was pretty heavily loaded.
The witness Sarah is an unusually bright child for one
of her years, and her testimony was given with remarkable clearness. Her
presence of mind with her brothers and sisters at the time of the murder was
also remarkable. There was almost a
in fact it will in all probability turn out so, for the little
boy Andrew received six buckshot in the left side and top of his head. One buck
shot entered his brain certainly, as was ascertained by probing, and the doctor
was convinced without probing that another did so. The other shot tore through
the scalp to the skull in a glancing direction. There is scarcely a possibility
of the recovery of the boy. After examining the child the
until to-morrow forenoon.
While the inquest was in progress Police Justice
Kauffman and Chief Martens arrived at the house, but were unable to find the
least clue to either the coming or going of the murderer. In their presence,
several of the substantial farmers of the township held a meeting, and
authorized the GAZETTE reporter to announce a
REWARD OF $1000
for the detection and apprehension of the murderer. It would be
well for the Governor of the State and the Board of Supervisors to supplement
this with sums that will make the reward at least $5,000. It was a year ago last
September, only seven miles northwest of this place of this tragedy that
MURDER OF MRS. ALGER
occurred and the murderer has remained undetected to this day.
That was evidently for money, as the murderer secured $1100 in gold. The
murderers of both women were brutal, cowardly fiends, and who knows where they
may strike their next blows for money or to gratify feelings of revenge.
An awful tragedy hangs over this Long Grove tragedy,
which ought to be solved in some way. And the community ought not to rest till
it is solved.
---The Davenport Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; February
THE LONG GROVE MURDER
The Coroner's Inquest Resumed - Testimony of the Hired Man, Lewis Johnson
Sarah Brownlie Again on the Stand - Evidence of A.R. Brownlie -
The Crash in the Front Room - Adjournment
Coroner Grant resumed the inquest on
Mrs. Brownlie, yesterday forenoon, at the Court House. No new developments had
been made since the previous day, and the mystery continued impenetrable. One
piece of information was elicited yesterday, which explains a query that had
arisen in the minds of many. How could the murderer smash a half sash of glass
in the front room, next the room in which Mrs. B. was sitting, and not arrest
her attention. Sarah Brownlie, yesterday, said she and the other children were
making a good deal of noise, and when the crash in the other room came, Mrs. B.
turned and said warningly, "Hush-hush!" Then Sarah asked "What is
it?" Mrs. B. said it was the pigs in the barnyard. Evidently she did not
wish to alarm her children - but she knew the noise was about the house. When
the villain came to the window at which she was seated, she may have seen him,
and he knowing that she recognized him, murdered her to prevent exposing him.
Yesterday County Attorney Bills acted as examiner of
witnesses, his questions being very thorough. The testimony was taken in short
hand by L.P. Dosh. Here is the report of it:
Lewis Johnson sworn. - Live at Long Grove with A.W.
Brownlie, been living with him four years; my age is twenty-five years; did work
for Brownlie, but quit just before Christmas; haven't worked any place since,
but have made my home with Brownlie - doing chores for board; have no family;
wasn't staying out at Brownlie's last Tuesday or Monday, either; left there a
week ago this morning, and came to Davenport and staid here till Wednesday at 3
o'clock then started out for Brownlie's. Went with a farmer as far as the
six-mile house, and then walked up to the Grove - don't know who the farmer was;
he lives east of the six-mile house, but don't know how far; never saw him
before - he was a German; got out of his wagon at Steffen's at Duck creek -
don't know how long I remained at Steffen's. Didn't go into the six-mile house
when there. I went on the railroad track and stopped at the meeting house at
Long Grove; got there about 8 o'clock - there was a prayer meeting and stayed
till the meeting was out and went away when the rest did. Went away with James
Brownlie, Mr. and Mrs. Fearing and Mr. Exley, the minister; went with them as
far as James Brownlie's, the father of A.W. Brownlie; don't know what time we
got to James Brownlie's. Mr. and Mrs. Fearing turned off before we got there and
went to their own home. Exley went along as far as James Brownlie's but didn't
stop and I went into the house at James Brownlie's; couldn't say what time it
was, but it must have been after nine o'clock - remained there half or
three-quarters of an hour; saw Mrs. James Brownlie, her two sons, Robert and
Andrew, and son-in-law and Mr. A.W. Brownlie; the son-in-law's name is John
Flook; saw a cousin of his there named Catharine Watson; didn't see any one
else. From there I went to A.W. Brownlie's on foot - went along the railroad
track a little ways and then turned off on the road; no one went with me - no
part of the road; don't know how long A.W. Brownlie had been at James Brownlie's
- found him there when I went in; he didn't say anything about going away with
me. I went on foot, and he went on horseback - know no other reason why we
didn't go together; neither one said anything about going home together; I heard
him say he had been after medicine; he started away a minute or two before I
did. He started on the wagon road and went on the railroad - they are side by
side; we were in sight of each other for awhile. It is about a mile and a
quarter from James Brownlie's to A.W. Brownlie's; I didn't see him much of the
way, because he went faster than I did; I walked middling fast across there a
mile and a quarter. Don't know the way; was alone; when I got pretty near to A.W.
Brownlie's I say a light up stairs; I was a quarter mile off. The first thing I
heard was Brownlie calling me - he said, "Oh, Lewis." I don't mind of
his saying anything more till I got in; I answered when he called - he was up
stairs; It sounded as if he had his head out of the window; I went into the door
- only one door into the house - don't think there was any light below; when I
got up stairs I saw Brownlie and his daughter. Brownlie said his wife was
dead, that Sarah said she was shot. Brownlie wanted me to go down and help place
his wife's hands. The body was lying on the floor down stairs. Went down
immediately - Brownlie and myself and Sarah. Found her in the kitchen where she
usually sat. There were three windows - two in the kitchen and one in the
pantry. We did not remove the body - don't know who did. From there I went to
Robert Brownlie's, then to Jas. Brownlie's, and Mr. Thompson's and James Neal's
and John Robinson's and John Pollock's and then back to A.W. Brownlie's. Don't
mind what time it was when I got back - it must have been after one o'clock.
Remained there all night. Next was at A.W. Brownlie's part of the time and at
John Grieve's part of the time.
Witness then gave particulars of the family life at A.W.
Brownlie's - the kindness with which Mr. and Mrs. B. had treated each other -
and he said he had never witnessed any trouble between them; he was questioned
very closely by Mr. Bills. No other testimony was elicited, save that it
appeared that a double-barreled shot gun was taken from Mr. Robert Brownlie's
about a month ago and had been found since.
Adjourned till two o'clock P.M.
The inquest was returned at 2 o'clock,
the testimony being as follows:
Sarah Brownlie recalled - When father went away to go
down to town I didn't hear him say anything particularly about going; I knew
that he was going before he went; heard him tell mother so; he said he hated to
leave - didn't know why; we were in the kitchen when this talk was going on;
before that mother was in the kitchen washing dishes; father said he was going
after some medicine for a horse; mother told him, "yes, go" - but I
don't remember what else he did say; father didn't go away very often in the
evening unless he was at church. I washed the milk pails, and mother had the
rest of the things washed. I don't know how long it was after father went away
before mother sat down to the sewing machine - couldn't have been very long.
Then in about twenty minutes, I think, but couldn't say for sure, the robbers
came. That must have been from 10 to 20 minutes after father left, and pretty
much after mother sat down. Before that I and my oldest brother had been playing
ball for a few minutes. I did not see father after he went out to go away, but
he went down to the barn to unload some bran, and after that he went away. I did
not see him when he was unloading it. Willie went to help him unload. Willie was
eight years old last October. Father did not come back when he unloaded the bran
- but Willie came in; he wanted to go along but mother didn't want him to.
Mother didn't make any objections to father going - didn't say anything about
staying alone and wasn't a bit scared. Can't say what I was doing when the brick
was thrown through the window. There was a letup on the machine. Don't know
whether I looked out of the window or not - I was scared at first. I don't know
whether it was dark out doors or not, didn't hear anybody say anything outside;
don't think I heard a noise at any other window, but thought it was pigs
rattling on the planks; there was a curtain at the window when the shot came
through, but it was not down; heard nobody running after the shots were fired;
father had been in town before and got medicine - had no horse doctor - didn't ?
him was whether he got any medicine or not; the ..... [can't read rest of
sentence]. There was a gun that was ....[can't read]..out on the porch. It was
one barrel; he got it last winter, did not see Lewis have a gun lately; our
folks had a hired girl a few months in the summer but ...[can't read numerous
lines]. There is only one door to the house - everything came in and out of it.
Didn't hear father light the match. There were candles in the flour house. The
lamp went out when the shots were fired - but as I had just put a few cobs in
the fire there was light. The chimney fell off but the lamp didn't. I didn't try
to light the lamp. Father didn't come right up stairs; thought it was the
robbers till I heard him scream and then I knew him. I can't remember anything
that he said. I told him I would tell him about it. I told him there was a noise
and mother said "hush" to me and stopped to listen, and we all were
still. I asked her what she thought it was and she said it was the pigs running
over the platform. About five minutes after the brick came through the window
and the shots were fired. There wasn't time for the same man to throw the brick
and then fire - it was so quick. I didn't go out. I thought the door was
fastened; there was a catch over the latch, and I went to fasten it, and Willie
got into a sort of a pet and run and turned it up, and I suppose I got contrary,
too, and I fastened it again, and he unfastened it. My mother didn't look out of
the window. My brother Willie was with me most of the time before the shots were
fired. My father came up stairs - I wanted him to. I told him to come up and see
Andrew. Father acted as if he didn't know what to do - he was going to run out
of the door and I just held to him. No stranger has been in our house lately,
except a man who came and asked for A.W. Brownlie and Lewis told him he was at
the nearest neighbor's. Lewis told father the man was wild-looking, and wouldn't
look him in the face. Don't know how long ago it was. I haven't talked with
father and Lewis much since mother died, for I have been at grandfather's most
of the time. I was at home the next afternoon. Neither father nor Lewis has told
me what I was to say. Saw a double-barreled shot gun at grandfather's, but it
was stolen. Heard father and Lewis telling me about it - they said they couldn't
think who had stolen it. Father and Lewis never had the gun at our house. I
thing I should have known it if they had. Never heard that they got any track of
it. I don't think they looked after it.
To Juror - Brownlie - I never knew of father going to
grandfather's to milk cows and leaving mother to milk our cows; never heard of
it. He never did such a thing.
W.A. [sic A.W.] Brownlie recalled - After I left the
house, I got at father's twenty minutes before eight. I looked at the clock when
I got there. I remained there nearly an hour. Then I went up to the station. I
saw my mother and brother and cousin at father's; wasn't five minutes till I got
to the station - bout sixty rods off. I saw Mr. Riches' two boys there, Ned
Richardson and several other boys. Went to Dr. Richardson's store. I asked for
Pryer's balsam at the store - he hadn't any. I didn't take any other kind.
Remained there five minutes, and went back to father's. I don't know what time
it was when I got back to brother'. I didn't sit down at all. My father-in-law
had come in from the West and I staid and talked with him - this was the first
time. The last time father and Lewis came in from the prayer meeting. Said
nothing to Lewis nor he to me. I expected he was going straight home. Father
asked me why I hadn't been at prayer meeting. Lewis didn't go home with me
because I was on horseback. On foot we always go on the railroad. My mare wasn't
shod, and where it was hard I had her trot and when soft she walked. I never saw
Lewis on the road, never looked around; it was a tolerably dark night. Could see
no light at my home. Threw the halter over the mare's neck and opened the door -
it was dark. It was a few minutes after nine. I didn't expect to find my people
in bed. I struck a match and lit a candle. Looked for the lamp but it wasn't
where it always stood. Got a candle in the pantry. I then supposed they had all
gone to bed. I thought it was rather early. All slept up stairs. Been married
twelve years last January. Good many two-barreled guns in the neighborhood - at
Robert Brownlie's, my father-in-law's, Mr. Richies and one at father's, but it
was stolen. Lewis had my father's last winter - he got it for a few days for
chickens; used it very little; the gun has not been in the house since that
time; it was four weeks ago that brother Robert told me their gun had been
stolen. He said two young men came in there and wanted work, and after that the
gun was missing; they thought those men might have stolen it; they made no
search for it; I have a single barreled gun in the flour house; it was loaded
last March, and the load is in it today; my brother Robert loaded it for
me; I bought it to shoot prairie chickens, but never shot it off; I have
fired my father's gun some times; heard of no other gun missing about there. I
have two brothers and they both live at home; I have two uncles there -
Alexander and Robert; the former has a farm, I believe; he has some boys, Robert
has none; Robert told me he had a gun two weeks ago; he said they wouldn't let
him carry the gun in the cars. Three years ago yesterday I took my wife to
the Insane Asylum; she was there fourteen months and eighteen days (weeping.)
This winter she has appeared a little dull once or twice - not as talkative as
usual; didn't seem as lively and cheerful at these times as she commonly was.
She had no trouble with Lewis. This winter she said to me she didn't think we
needed a man, she'd rather we'd be alone. Had other hired men last summer - one
for a month last summer, Thomas McAdam - haven't seen him since. Never had a
word with a hired man that ever I had.
Here the witness, in reply to questions, spoke of a
matter that occurred five years ago between himself and another man, but it need
not be reported as the public has no present interest in it. He then resumed:
Wednesday evening from the time I left my house to go
to the grove, I met no person. No person would have been likely to come through
to the road to my house. I have no knowledge of any person being about there
only what Dr. Richardson told - that two men that drove up to his store about 7
o'clock, and one went in and bought four cigars. I was home all day Wednesday -
James Neal and wife and Mrs. Thompson, my mother-in-law, were at my house that
day. After they went away I attended to my chores and a sick mare. Nobody called
during the day, except these visitors. My wife has not been from home very
recently. I didn't know that Lewis was expected home that night - he went and
came just when he pleased. He told me he was taking in a couple of pigs to a
friend in town. He never had any company visit him from town. I have had no
hired girls recently - not since last harvest. When my wife was at the asylum, I
had two different girls - one four thirteen months and the other till the fall
after my wife came home; she is now living at my nearest neighbor's. We got home
from the asylum the last of May or first of June. We visited some friends before
we got home. Never knew my wife to have trouble with any one - except when she
was deranged she had a little difficulty with a girl. I have not been in the
habit of keeping money in my house, except in the form of certificate of
deposits. That night there was a little money in my pants' pocket on the wall
-but it was not disturbed.
The witness detailed particulars concerning the broken
window in the sitting room, given before - and also what his daughter Sarah told
him when he got home, not differing from Sarah's evidence. He also told of the
[?] of the windows. And then continued:
I made no examination of the house because I didn't
feel like it. Neighbors looked through the bureau and found nothing disturbed. A
great many people came to the house that night. I never heard anything about the
gun after it was lost. It took me fifteen to twenty minutes to ride from my
house to father's. My house is ???theast of father's - just about a mile and a
quarter. Know nothing of any suspicious character in the neighborhood that
night. Had observed nothing unusual about my wife's actions. No trouble ever
occurred between my wife and myself - never in the world. I went for the
liniment because my wife urged me to go. She was not afraid to stay alone. I
often went to prayer meetings leaving her and the children - she would say the
children were company enough for her. My wife and her relatives were on good
terms - extra good terms, I believe. My house is not on round that would
naturally be traveled - people would not come there except on purpose, except
they might be going across fields on foot. My wife and I had not a living enemy
that I know of.
[Can't read next paragraph.]
At five o'clock yesterday afternoon, the wounded child,
Andrew, was not expected to live through the night.
-- The Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; February 22, 1874
THE LONG GROVE MURDER
The Wounded Boy Rests with his Mother
The Inquest Continued - Testimony Concerning Family Relations - The Husband's
Treatment of his Wife -
What Time A.W. Brownlie Arrived at his Father's House Wednesday Night - No Trace
of the Murderer.
The murder of Mrs. Brownlie and her
little son Andrew - for the child died on Saturday evening, and was laid by the
side of his mother on Sunday afternoon - is a mystery still, and the guilty
person still pursues his own way and keeps his own counsel.
The inquest was resumed by Coroner Grant at the Court
House at 10 o'clock yesterday afternoon, with County Attorney Bills to conduct
the examination of witnesses. The Court room was almost crowded with spectators
who held their places from beginning to adjournment, although half of them could
hear but a small portion of the testimony of witnesses.
Henry Berg, gunsmith at the corner of Third and
Harrison streets, was called. He testified that one of the Brownlies, he didn't
know which one, brought him a double-barrelled gun for repair last fall, and did
not call for it until some six or seven weeks ago.
Then Edwin Richardson, son of Dr. Richardson, who keeps
a store at Long Grove, was called and testified as to his going to James
Brownlie's on New Year's to borrow a gun, and then it was ascertained that the
gun had been stolen. Was told that two men went to James Brownlie's and asked to
be furnished lodgings for the night; they couldn't [?] and they went away.
Afterwards the gun was missed.
Hon. Hugh M. Thompson, father of Mrs. Brownlie, was called to
the stand. He lived about a mile and a half from his daughter in a direct line -
two miles by road. She was married at his house twelve years ago on the 22d day
of January. Her mother is still living. The families have been on familiar terms
as much as possible. Witness had always been on pleasant terms with Mr. Brownlie.
Mr. Thompson, in answer to questions, gave account of Mrs. B's insanity, her
being taken to the insane asylum, and her return home - much of which has been
given in these columns as testimony of other witnesses. He had seen her
frequently since her return, and noticed no indications of return of insanity,
save a little absent mindedness occasionally. He then testified to the domestic
relations of his daughter and her husband, saying, in effect, that they were
contented and happy. He saw her at his house in the latter part of January, when
she was in very good spirits - he had not seen her since, as he has been in town
serving on the Grand Jury. When insane she never attempted to injure her
children. Mr. and Mrs. Brownlie were both inclined to save. He was well off -
owned his farm of 160 acres, and other property beside; has 490 or 500 acres of
wild lands in the State. They always had a well supplied table, their house was
not showy, but had a good many accommodations. The examination as to family
matters was continued at great length, but with only one result in information -
uniform kindness on the part of the husband, and calm, even-tempered, exemplary
conduct on the part of the wife. Then there was testimony as to Maggie May's
services as hired girl - and the only incident mentioned was that once when
witness and wife were at Mr. Brownlie's, at dinner, Maggie sat at the table, and
Mrs. B. waited on the guests. Maggie's character was beyond even an insinuation
of suspicion so far as witness knew. She left a year ago, on account of being
informed that if she stayed it would be at smaller wages. She has visited there
since, and has been at witness's house. Mr. Brownlie's treatment of his wife
since she came back from the asylum has been kind, good, liberal in every
Dr. Maxwell, of this city, testified that he had been
acquainted with A.W. Brownlie and wife for six or seven years. Treated Mrs. B.
for insanity on both occasions of affliction with the malady. The form of
insanity was puerperal mania. Never attended in any family where there was more
kindness and attention on the part of the husband. Noticed nothing like
penuriousness on Mr. B's part - he was liberal enough, as much as any family the
doctor ever attended.
The inquest then adjourned till two o'clock in
when the court room was again crowded.
John Greve, Mr. Brownlie's nearest neighbor, living one
hundred rods at the south, was sworn. He was out hunting some loose colts last
Wednesday evening and testified as to having heard what he thought were
footsetps in a certain part of his field, but went there next day and could see
none. Heard no gun fired in the evening. He made examination for tracks from A.W.
Brownlie's. Found some across the fields, which were ascertained to be those of
a woman who had crossed the previous afternoon. Then he testified as to another
track from A.W. Brownlie's barn southwest to a creek and he was questioned about
this to a great length, but no very important information was elicited. Witness
was not informed of the murder until the morning after it occurred.
Miss Maggie May was called and gave the names of
families for whom she has worked since her arrival to this city and county from
the North of Ireland, three years ago; her uncle, Thomas Johnson, resided at
Walcott. She lived at A.W. Brownlie's two months before Mrs. B returned from the
Asylum, and seven months after. After Mrs. B. came home, she noticed nothing but
the kindest treatment on Mr. B.'s part. Mrs. B. appeared well, was special, and
was affectionate towards her husband and children. She mended very fast after
returning, and was in good health all the time witness was there; witness did
most o the work - the cooking and house work. She left because Mrs. B. thought
she could get along herself, and didn't want to pay so high wages for winter
work. Mr. Brownlie had nothing to say about it. Witness was getting $12 a month
there. Witness saw no indication of insanity after Mrs. B's return. Never heard
her speak of being afraid of any person. Never knew her to have trouble with any
one. Witness said that she sat at the table on the [?] Mr. and Mrs. Thompson
were there, because Mrs. B. asked her to and desired to wait on her father and
mother herself. She nearly always sat at the table with the family - the food
was placed on the table and there was nothing t o serve except tea or coffee,
which was placed at Mrs. B's plate. Witness was at Mrs. Brownlie's last fall
when she appeared cheerful and pleased. She had no hired help, spent the say
once when Mr. B,. was absent, and the evening once after [?].
Andrew T. Brownlie, son of James and brother of A.W.
Brownlie, testified to his living at home, and in regard to A.W.'s coming there
on Wednesday evening last. He arrived about twenty minutes past seven, and
witness came in at half past seven. A.W. remained ...[cant read several
lines[... meeting, his father appearing soon after. He also gave particulars as
to the stealing of the gun, same as heretofore published. And also concerning
the departure of Lewis and A.W. He also testified as to the friendly relations
that existed between his family and A.W.'s family - all were on intimate
Robert Brownlie, also son of James and brother of A.W.
Brownlie, was called. The most important part of Robert's testimony concerned
the arrival of A.W. Brownlie at his father's house on Wednesday evening; when he
came in his mother said, "if you are going to prayer meeting its time you
were there," or words to that effect. Witness looked up to see the time;
there are two clocks, one above the other, one showing Arsenal time and the
other railroad time. It was twenty minutes after seven by one and about twenty
minutes to eight by the other. A.W. said he didn't think he should go to prayer
meeting, and spoke about wanting liniment for his horse. After remaining some
time he went to the station returned in a few minutes - after his father and
Lewis Johnson had come in. His brother started to go home a little before Lewis,
and witness followed out and talked about his sick horse. Witness then described
the return of Lewis with the news of the murder, the consternation of the
family, the going of himself and brother-in-law to look at the house, his return
home thinking the murderer might have attacked his father's family. He returned
to A.W.'s, inspected the premises some, saw no marks but the broken windows. He
and Mr. Flook and Mr. Richie then came to town to inform Mr. Hugh Thompson of
Hugh M. Thompson, Jr., was called - 21 years of age and
lives in Madison county, where he went last December. Returned on Friday
morning; saw his sister frequently when at home. The families were always
friendly. Witness never told Lewis Johnson that his sister was treated badly.
The inquest was then adjourned till 10 o'clock tomorrow
-- The Davenport Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; February
Continuance of the Brownlie Inquest - A Suspected Man Winds a Coil About
Himself, and it is unwound by Others -
Blank Contradictions Caused by Whisky - Pat Hennessy Not the Man - Further
Testimony - Adjourned Till Saturday.
Coroner Grant and his jury and
County Attorney Bills spent another day, yesterday, in endeavoring to gain
knowledge that might be of service in opening the way towards the lair in which
the murderer of Mrs. Elizabeth Brownlie and son lies concealed. A week has
passed since the innocent woman and her babe were assassinated and as yet the
murderer was safe from detection or even suspicion, as though he was in
Patagonia on the night of the 18th inst. We do not say there was no suspicion
attaching to any person, for there was - but last evening when the inquest
adjourned, the suspected man was considered as innocent of the crime as the most
harmless person in the Court room.
The proceedings were watched with close attention by a
crowd that filled the Court room- showing that public interest in the tragedy
has abated but little.
To give the reader a correct idea of the intention of
the day's examination, we may state that a teamster named Patrick Hennessy, who
lives at the corner of Tenth and Harrison streets, in this city, was strongly
suspected of being the guilty party. The suspicion was based on the fact that
some ten years ago Hennessy was employed by James and A.W. Brownlie, father and
son, to work in the harvest field - and one night while he was in their service
the house of A.W. was entered and a watch stolen therefrom. Hennessy was
suspected, was arrested and brought before Justice Blood, in Davenport, for
examination. He was discharged, and was heard to say that he "would pay
Brownlie for this, if he had to wait ten years for the chance." Added to
this, was a report that Hennessy had been seen once or twice since, looking over
Brownlie's place and also that he was seen in the neighborhood of Long Grove on
the night of the murder, driving in a wagon and accompanied by another man.
Besides, two "wild looking men" stopped in front of Richardson's store
that evening and one of them got out of the wagon and bought some cigars in the
store. And it was believed that Hennessy was one of those men. Furhtermore,
Hennessy left here on Friday morning, and his whereabouts were not known until
day before yesterday, when it was ascertained that he was at Maysville. On
Tuesday evening, Constable McNamara drove out to Maysville and found Hennessy at
a tavern there, subpoenaed him, and came to town with him yesterday morning.
These remarks will explain the tenor of
The first person sworn was Mr. L.A.
Towns, who testified that he was out at Long Grove last Wednesday afternoon,
accompanied by Mr. Wilson, and stopped at Mr. Richardson's store at 7 o'clock in
the evening and bought some cigars. He had a conveyance, being engaged in the
sewing machine business. After that he drove to town via the Dubuque road,
arriving here at 10 o'clock.
Patrick Hennessy was now brought to the witness stand -
and it will be seen that if only his testimony and that of his wife had been all
that could have been offered in proof that he was in the city, their stories
were so strangely contradictory that the suspicion against him would have been
strengthened to such an extent that he would have found himself in a perilous
He testified that he lives on Tenth and Harrison, in
Dr. Maxwell's house; that he had lived in Davenport for seven years, but had
been in the country a good deal of the time; that he trades horses once in a
while, and runs a threshing machine - had been hauling coal some this winter.
Has no family other than his wife. Was at home last Wednesday all day. In short
he came in from the country on Sunday with his wife, having been out to Mr.
Picken's and was taken sick, and remained in the house Monday, Tuesday and
Wednesday, and on Thursday till 10 o'clock A.M. Did not go out at all on
Wednesday - was not able to go out. Was not at his gate on Wednesday afternoon.
First heard of the murder on Thursday evening, when he was standing at his gate
and heard a young man tell another young man about it, and that the funeral was
to take place the next day - and he went to a neighbor's and asked about it.
Knew nothing of Dr. Maxwell's visiting his house on Thursday morning. He
reiterated the statement that he never had his team out of his barn from Sunday
evening till Friday morning. All this time his wife took care of the horses. No
one used his wagon on Wednesday - was sure of it. He was acquainted with the
Brownlies - worked for the old gentleman for two harvests several years ago. A
W. Brownlie had him arrested for stealing a watch and he was tried before
Justice Blood and acquitted. He never threatened to take revenge on him - has
never spoken to him since. Was out at John Greve's once, to look at a stallion -
but never was under a tree since watching A.W. Brownlie's place. Was not in Mr.
Noth's saloon on Wednesday, nor in his brewery, nor in any saloon that day. Was
in the habit of drinking enough to get out of his head sometimes.
Now comes the wife's testimony:
Mrs. Ann Hennessy sworn - I am Patrick Hennessy's wife
- been married 6 years - a year after I came from England. My husband heard of
the murder at 6 o'clock Thursday evening, and told me of it. He told me heard of
a lady out there being dead. My husband was sick in bed on Thursday. He got up
in the evening - also sick on Wednesday. I took care of his horses - fed them
and watered them. He was taken sick on Sunday evening and never got up until
Thursday. I guess he was bilious - I got some pills for him. He went out on
Wednesday evening to Mr. Shaughnessy's to get some corn - he was not able to to
but he had to, to get his corn. Mr. S's place is on Harrison street - below
where we live, it is below Eighth. He got about $2 worth. Our house is on Tenth.
He was gone about half an hour. I don't think it was six o'clock - about dark. I
was at home while he was gone - I was up when he got home. I lit a candle for
him at the barn. He unhitched his horses. Friday he drove into the country to
collect some money and said he would then go to Chicago as work was very dull
here. I did not hear from him again until this morning when he came in with a
man and a buggy. I remember Dr. Maxwell's coming there early on Thursday
morning, before eight o'clock. I told him he had gone down town, and I didn't
tell him my husband was in bed. I told him that my husband had gone after a beef
steak. This was about 8 o'clock. The doctor came for rent - but witness didn't
know why she said her husband was not at home unless it was because she didn't
want to call him up.
Thomas Shaughnessy - grocer on Seventh and Harrison,
testified that Patrick Hennessy came into his store on the night of the 18th,
Wednesday, between 7 and 8 o'clock, and got two bushels of corn, and that he
helped him to put it into his wagon. Several persons were in the store at the
time. He made entries of it in his books. Mr. S. was requested to appear with
his books in the afternoon.
George Noth, the brewer, testified that Patrick
Hennessy was in his barroom on Harrison street on Wednesday evening, the 18th,
to get a glass of beer - coming in ???? that he was there nearly an hour and a
half at a table with Nick Schlaback who was sworn and corroborated Mr. Noth's
Mrs. Hennessy was recalled and recalled her
testimony that her husband left home for the corn at 6 o'clock Wednesday evening
and was gone but half an hour and that was all the time he was gone.
Wm. Morrison, who lives a half mile west of Eldridge,
testified in regard to seeing a buggy going north towards evening on Wednesday,
but could not tell who was in it.
Adjourned till 2 o'clock. In the
the Court House was more crowded than at any previous time, word
having gone abroad that "Hennessy was in a tight place!"
William Brownlie, who lives in Davenport, explained the
gun business testified to by Mr. Berg on Monday. He took the gun to Mr. Berg to
get fixed, and went after it about six weeks ago. He has the gun yet.
Mr. Shaughnessy was recalled, and produced his day book
and ledger, and showed charges against Hennessy for two bushels of corn - dated
February 18th in the former and entered on the 19th in the latter.
Patrick Hennessy was recalled, and stated that he
recollected something about going to Shaughnessy's for corn, but the reason he
didn't remember it before was because he had been on a regular bender for three
or four days. He was under the influence of liquor when he was on the stand in
the forenoon. He also remembered now, that he stopped at Noth's and took a glass
of beer last Wednesday evening. He saw Mr. Noth and Nich Schlaback. He did the
drinking that had affected him, out at Maysville. He saw Mr. Cody at
Shaughnessy's and believed Mr. S's brother was there. He staid at Noth's pretty
late. Witness had never had the delirium tremens, but had felt mighty nervous.
Knew it was Wednesday night when he got the corn, because either he or his wife
put it down in a book.
Constable McNamara testified that he brought Hennessy into
town in the forenoon; started about 8 o'clock from Maysville; Hennessy drank two
or three times before he started, and twice while coming in. Was told out at
Maysville that Hennessy had been drinking hard all the time; witness saw him
drink seven or eight times on Tuesday evening.
Patrick Shaughnessy, who lives at Ripley and Eighth
streets, testified that he saw Hennessy at his brother's store at about 7
o'clock on Wednesday evening.
James Horan also testified that he saw Pat Hennessy at
Shaughnessy's store on Wednesday evening.
James Brownlie affirmed - I am father of A.W. Brownlie;
have lived at Long Grove thirty-five years. Was at prayer meeting last Wednesday
evening at the Grove. Noticed Lewis Johnson when he came in - it was just when
the meeting was out. The meeting was short, and we stood talking some time about
making arrangements to go on a visit - the preacher and some others. It occupied
from twenty minutes to half an hour. Witness took out his watch when they were
leaving and it was just twenty minutes to nine o'clock. Lewis must have arrived
there at eight or a little after. Lewis said he had been to town, and thought he
would be in time for the meeting. It would take about two hours and a half to
walk from where the Dubuque road crosses the railroad to the church, for a man
like Lewis. It would be equal distance for a man to go to A.W. Brownlie's
instead of the church - a little farther to the church, however. Lewis and I
walked home together and he came into my house with me and we found Alexander
and my son talking together. Noticed nothing unusual in Lewis' face or actions.
My son didn't remain at my house more than ten minutes after I got home. I don't
think it was quite 9 o'clock when I got home. Alexander got on the horse and
went ahead. I heard no more of Lewis until I heard him cry outside that
Alexander's wife was dead. It was an awful sound to me. He appeared very much
excited. Witness detailed the appearance of Mrs. Brownlie and child, and said no
search was made for tracks or evidence as it was very dark. He had no knowledge
as to what become of the gun that was stolen at his house. Lewis has sustained
an irreproachable character during the years he has lived at the Grove. Witness
had no suspicion as to who committed the murder.
John Hell who lives a mile and a half south of Long
Grove, and half mile from A.W. Brownlie's testified it was at his house that Mr.
Steffen hears the report of a gun - but "I don't believe it, because
Steffen isn't right in his mind." Steffen came to his house for a job of
work, and he gave him work for two weeks, the time expiring last Saturday
evening. Steffen was at his house on Wednesday evening when he got home at 7
o'clock, and was in the house after that. Witness testified as to his part in
the search for tracks the next day - his evidence being the same as that
heretofore given. He also testified that in going out of town on Wednesday
afternoon he saw Patrick Hennessy at his gate; Pat said good evening to him and
went on down town.
William Duncan, who lives at Long Grove, and one mile
from A.W. Brownlie's testified as to searching for tracks - found one, but
ascertained that it had been made by the woman who crossed the fields the
previous afternoon, as heretofore testified.
A.W. Brownlie was recalled, and testified as to the
death of his son Andrew, wounded at the time his wife was murdered.
Robert Johnson, who lives near Long Grove, testified as
to search for tracks, but found none besides those heretofore described.
Henry Gertz, who lives in Lincoln township, ten miles
from Davenport, testified that he was in the city on Wednesday the 18th inst.,
and on reaching Steffen's, a colored man got into his wagon with him, and rode
to the six mile house, and got out there and took the railroad track for Long
Grove. It was about five o'clock when the man out. The colored man had nothing
with him, he said that he was going to Long Grove ,and worked for Mr. Brownlie.
William Wertz was called. Lives on the Dubuque road.
Knows A.W. Brownlie. Never told any person that he heard Mr. Brownlie was to be
sent to the asylum again. It had been reported that he did make this remark
about Mrs. Brownlie.
The inquest was adjourned till Saturday forenoon at 10
Thus ended the days' investigation - with the officials
and the public as much perplexed, and quite as much excited, over the tragedy,
as when the inquest commenced.
--- The Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; Thursday,
February 26, 1874
The Gun that was stolen from James Brownlie Found
THE PLACE - HOW IT CAME THERE
Great Excitement at Long Grove
Lewis Johnson Arrested on Suspicion and Brought to Jail
History of an Important Day
On yesterday a discovery was made near
Long Grove which created excitement in the neighborhood equal to that which
prevailed one week ago yesterday morning after the murder of Mrs. Brownlie
became generally known.
which was stolen from the porch of the residence of James
Brownlie, father of the husband of the murdered woman, between Christmas and New
Years, was found. The discovery was made about noon by Mr. Spencer Clapp, a
well-known farmer residing in the vicinity of the Grove, his home being about
three quarters of a mile from the place of the tragedy. Mr. Clapp has devoted
his spare time to searching in out-of-the-way places for the gun since Saturday
last, having been requested so to do, in a quiet way, by a former policeman of
this city. He made the discovery about noon on yesterday, and
was a clump of hazel brush near the point where the lane to A.B.
Brownlie's house strikes the Long Grove road. It will be remembered that this
lane crosses the D. & St. P. railroad track just after it leaves the Long
Grove road, the distance between the highway and the railroad being something
like a thousand feet at that point. Well, the clump of hazel brush in which Mr.
Clapp found the gun was bout one hundred and fifty feet north of the lane, and
twenty-five feet east of the track, it having been thrown from the railroad
evidently, for Mr. Clapp discovered no foot tracks leading to the spot. The
stock and double barrel were ten feet apart, and both were sunk in the snow
enough to conceal them from the view of one on the track, and at just bout the
depth they would go from a throw and their own weight. Furthermore the barrels
were rusted only at the muzzles and at the nipples, and dampness had not
penetrated the stock - proof conclusive that the gun had been in the snow but a
few days. The stock and barrels were
by Mr. Clapp, as he wished that others should see them before
they were touched. So he went to the residence of Mr. James Brownlie, from whom
a gun had been stolen, and informed them of his discovery; and members of
the family proceeded to the place, and immediately recognized the gun as the one
that had been taken from its place in the porch between Christmas and New Years.
And then the news spread through the neighborhood, and the people assembled at
the place. Immediately Mr. R.K. Brownlie went to the D. & St. P. telegraph
office at Eldridge and sent
To Lawyer Bills:
The gun is found - send officers quick.
The dispatch was received at the Western Union office
here at 1:25 p.m. but it was nearly 2 o'clock before Hon. J.C. Bills, County
Attorney, received it. He immediately summoned Loftus Keating, ex-Chief of
Police, who had been making investigations as to the murder for several days,
and authorized him and ex-policeman Joe Clinton to proceed to Long Grove with
all possible haste. They hired a fast team and to Long Grove they went, arriving
there in about two hours and a half. A crowd of men were standing about the
place of discovery, and the gun had not been moved, but it was taken up
immediately thereafter. The gun was not large - calibre about 14. It bore
evidence of having been
in a barn or stack of straw or hay, for the strap on the
barrels, and the ramrod, which was in its proper groove, had been nibbled by
rats or mice, the marks of the teeth being fresh - or not discolored at all - as
if recently made. The iron pin which originally fastened the barrels to the
stock had been lost before the gun was stolen from the porch of James Brownlie's
house, and a pin of hickory wood had been substituted for it, and half of this
wooden pin was still in its place in the stock - showing that all the person who
threw the gun into the thicket had to do to separate barrels and stock, was to
strike the gun across some hard substance. Having done this, he threw one piece
into the thicket and then the other, from his place on the railroad. The place
of discovery was about a half mile northwest of the house where the murder was
committed. Loft Keating immediately proceeded to
HUNT FOR FOOT TRACKS
and he found some which had not been discovered before. Those
commenced about an eighth of a mile east of the railroad, toward A.W. Brownlie's
house, and followed a south-westerly direction in the snow till they struck the
railroad at a point south of the lane leading to the place of tragedy, and
between two hundred and three hundred yards south of the place where the gun was
found. The tracks were on a stretch of land which had not been examined before.
Of course, after the tracks had struck the railroad they would be traced no
further as the road bed was free from snow. When Messrs. Keating and Clinton
arrived at the place they found that
SUSPICION HAD ALREADY RESTED UPON LEWIS JOHNSON.
the colored man who had been employed by, and lived with A.W.
Brownlie for the last two years and whose evidence at the Coroner's inquest
removed the doubts of almost everybody who heard it, as to his innocence.
However, no move toward his arrest had been made when Messrs. Keating and
Clinton arrived, but prevention of his escape, should he attempt it, had been
determined upon. Now,
Lewis Johnson should be suspected cannot be told in a few
In the first place the measurement of the tracks above
noticed corresponded with the measurement of his boots or rubbers.
Secondly, Mrs. Brownlie had desired her husband not to
keep him through the winter, as she thought there was no necessity for it.
Thirdly, there was something over an hour of time in
his foot journey from the place near the Six Mile House, north of this city,
where he left the wagon of James Gertz, with whom he had ridden from Steffen's
to take the railroad track for his walk to Long Grove, which he had not
accounted for in his testimony. He left the wagon at 5 o'clock, the distance to
the church at Long Grove, where he went to attend prayer meeting was about six
miles and he did not arrive at the church till after 8 o'clock, yet he testified
that he walked right along and did not loiter on the way. And he had plenty of
time to reach the lane leading from the main road to A.W. Brownlie's home, take
the gun from the secret place, commit the murder, walk back to the railroad over
the track been found he seemed agitated. But, when questioned, he would look the
questioner straight in the eye, and answer as cooley as he did Attorney Bills
when on the witness stand.
What other reasons the people of Long Grove may have
had, are not known to us at the hour of this writing - but it is certain he
cannot be convicted on the grounds mentioned alone.
However, here comes in another fact which heightens the
suspicion. On Saturday last, Joe Clinton visited the house of A.W. Brownlie and
in looking about the kitchen in which Mrs. Brownlie was sitting when killed, he
PIECE OF PAPER
on the wall. It was a sort of flat roll, and when opened it was
not larger than one of his fingernails. Yet it was evidently a piece of the
wadding of the gun which was fired at Mrs. Brownlie. He put it in his wallet,
said nothing at the time, but exhibited it to Coroner Grant and Attorney Bills
after his return to the city. Yesterday he again went to Mr. Brownlie's house,
and opened Lewis Johnson's trunk; and on the top of the articles in it, he found
two pieces of newspaper, the size of the letters on which corresponded to the
size and style of those on the wadding. To be sure the wadding does not fit any
place on either of these two pieces, and no one but a printer would detect the
resemblance of the letters, for the wadding is soiled. The words on one piece of
the wadding are: "that house" with terminal letters of other words on
either side - the obverse bear the letters "igno."
Messrs. Keating and Clinton returned to the city last
evening and called on Mr. Bills at the Newcomb House at 9 o'clock, having the
gun with them. Their representations of the feeling at Long Grove towards
Johnson, the suspicions against him being so deep and prevalent, were such that
Mr. Bills thought best to have
and brought to jail, although the people of Long Grove had
devised measures to prevent his escape. Nevertheless, it is not exactly the
proper thing to allow a merely suspected man to remain in the keeping of a
people suspecting him of the perpetration of one of the most atrocious murders
ever committed in the State, and Messrs. Keating and Clinton were directed to
return to the Grove, arrest Johnson, and bring him to the Davenport jail. They
departed on this mission at 9:30 last night, and
MADE THE ARREST
at the residence of James Brownlie, where he was sleeping, at
11:30. When Johnson was aroused he was astounded and when the hand-cuffs were
fastened to his wrists, he became really weak from nervousness for the first
time. He dressed himself without haste, however, and was cool as when on the
witness stand. He bad good-bye to members of the family, and gave his gloves to
a party in the room. On the way he protested his innocence several times, and
said he "would leave it to God." He talked very little however, and
sat perfectly still, betraying no agitation whatever. He was brought to jail,
searched, and place in a cell.
So closes another day's efforts in endeavoring to dispel the
cloud of mystery which shields the murderer of Mrs. Brownlie and her boy. The
reader has the facts before him - he can draw his own conclusions as to the
grounds which rest the suspicion against Johnson.
--- The Davenport Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; Friday,
February 27, 1874
THE LONG GROVE TRAGEDY
Another Day of Inquest
Excited Thousands about the Court House
QUITE IMPORTANT TESTIMONY
Elder Exley's Interviews with the Prisoner - More Evidence from A.W. Brownlie
Johnson's Purchases of Shot - His Ride on the Dubuque Road
Although a week and three days had
elapsed since the murder of Mrs. Brownlie and her child, at Long Grove, was
committed, public feeling over the tragedy never exhibited itself as it did
yesterday. It will be remembered that the Coroner's inquest adjourned from last
Thursday afternoon till 10 o'clock Saturday forenoon; and as early as eight
o'clock yesterday morning people commenced assembling at the Court House and by
nine o'clock the Court room was completely packed with men, while hundreds were
crowding the outside steps and inside stairs, all impatient to hear the day's
evidence at the inquest, while other hundreds gathered in the square. Sheriff
Leonard saw that it would be utterly impossible to continue the inquest in the
midst of such a multitude, and at half-past nine he ordered the Court room
cleared - it was done. Very few men left the square, however, but crowds
gathered here and there, within the enclosure and on the outside walks, and in
every group the murder was the subject of discussion. By a quarter to 10
o'clock, from 2,500 to 3,000 men had assembled at the Court House. There was a
possibility of the recalling of Lewis Johnson - and the city police were sent
for to preserve order. Men lined the two or three paths, one of which Lewis must
use in going from the jail to the Court room. And late in the day our reporter
was told by reliable individuals that there were ropes in the pockets of several
in the crowd! We do not believe, however, that any illegal proceedings would
have been resorted to had Lewis made his appearance, but that he would have been
allowed to go directly to the Court room. A number of men were on the ground
from the vicinity of Long Grove, but they were bent on keeping matters quiet
rather than in making threats. Lewis was not summoned, however, and so the
mutterings in the wind were soon silenced. At 10 o'clock the
was resumed in the presence of about a hundred men in the court
Mr. Spencer Clapp was the first person sworn. He had
lived in Sheridan township for sixteen years, his home being a few rods over a
half mile from A.W. Brownlie's place. He had been hunting for the gun since the
morning after the murder, and about one o'clock P.M. on Thursday last he
discovered it. Mr. Clapp gave a succinct account of the discovery - a diagram of
the place and its surroundings being of service to him. The spot was among high
weeds eighty-three feet north of the lane to A.W. Brownlie's, sixty-five feet
east of the Long Grove road, twenty feet west of the D. & St. P. track, and
ten feet west of a rail fence which is twenty feet west of the railroad. Along
the fence were tracks from the lane to the place the gun was found. No officer
came until the ones from Davenport, and the gun was not taken up until they
came. The snow was five or six inches deep and hard. Witness went after other
persons, and went back with Robert Brownlie, Mr. Richie, and Martindale. Several
others came. Mr. Clapp described the tracks seen, and the recognition of the gun
by James, Andrew and Robert Brownlie. When Lewis came he said "the gun is
found," to witness, and walked back into the road. The gun was covered with
rust - had been rubbed off. Saw no tracks of animals- rabbits or rats.
Robert K. Brownlie was recalled, and told how and where
he first heard of the gun being found. He afterwards met his father and Lewis
Johnson, and stepped right in front of the latter, and noticed he "was all
a tremble." Lewis said, "Robert, the gun is found." "Yes,
Lewis." He asked, "Any news from the corpse?" "No,
Lewis." Lewis referred to the remains of witness's brother-in-law expected
from Georgia. Witness also gave clear account of the place, tracks, and
proceedings. Witness saw no other tracks than those heretofore described. Lewis'
voice trembled when he spoke, as if he wanted to say something and didn't know
what to say. Witness went to H.M. Thompson's - they all jumped up when he went
in, and he told them the gun was found, and then A.W. Brownlie said,
"where, where, was the gun found?" Witness said the gun was the same
as described by him before as hanging on the porch. There was chicken shot in a
shot pouch and a leather sack next by, but they were not disturbed - both sack
and pouch were exhibited.
Moses Bush, a colored man, who lives on Farnam street,
four doors north of Locust, testified that he is a laboring man, and has lived
where he does for seven years. He had known Lewis for three years. He spoke of
engaging the pigs from Lewis and how Lewis used to make his house his home on
coming to town and Lewis was there Saturday night, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and
Wednesday of the week the murder was committed. leaving on the latter day at two
o'clock. Witness has a wife and three little girls. The chief portion of the
witness's testimony was concerning Lewis going to Third and Harrison streets
(Berg's) about the second of January, and buying some shot - 15 cents worth, and
put it in his pocket, it being wrapped in a small piece of paper. Lewis told
witness he wanted to shoot wolves. Witness had heard his little girl speak of
finding a gun cap on the floor on Wednesday and handing it to Lewis. Witness
said Lewis spoke in the highest terms of the Brownlie family. Mrs. Brownlie was
a clever woman, and treated him well - he eat at the same table with the family,
no matter how many went there.
Mrs. Moses Bush also testified as to Lewis stopping at
her house, giving pretty full particulars. She spoke of the gun cap, and how the
little girl found it and Lewis said he had dropped it, and so put it back in the
pocket of his overcoat. Never heard Lewis speak ill of Mrs. Brownlie. Lewis did
not talk against Mrs. B. but praised her highly.
when the rain had kept many people away. But more than a
thousand men were in the court yard, however, when the court room doors were
again opened. The afternoon testimony was very important and we give it in full.
[Cannot read next paragraph]
John R. Thompson sworn - Am son of Hugh M. Thompson. Live at
Earlham, Madison county, Iowa. Was not here when the murder was committed- got a
dispatch about it the next day, and reached my father's on Friday morning's
train. Have had slight acquaintance with Lewis Johnson for five or six years. I
think he is a little taller than I. I have walked from the Long Grove Church to
where the railroad crosses at Dubuque road. Left the church gate at 8:8, stopped
four minutes at Robert Brownlie's and got to the middle of the Dubuque road at
9:52. I had to wait during that time for the train to pass at the cut.
When a man is not encumbered he can walk the distance very comfortably in an
hour and twenty or thirty minutes. I discovered a track about forty rods south
of first cross road that crosses north of Farber's field - near Claus Kiehl's.
It is north of the brick school house on the Dubuque road. It was larger track
than mine. The party had stumbled a little at the east side of the railroad and
that was the first that I had noticed. I followed it towards Mt. Joy and
wherever the new snow hadn't blown too deep I could follow it. I did not point
out these tracks to anyone else. There had been a good deal of travel on the
railroad north of Claus Kuehl's. Followed the track to within forty or fifty
rods of the place where the railroad crosses the Dubuque road. I saw the window
where the shooting was done - saw the powder mark on the sash; and I tried the
range from the outside, and found that to shoot the gun in the window with the
muzzle on a level with the powder mark, would require me to stand tip toe unless
the stock of the gun was very crooked. The black spot could not have been
made by the explosion of a cap.
Jennie Jackson, daughter of Mr. Bush, 6 years old, told
of her picking up one cap on the floor as related by her mother, and gave it to
Lewis; he said it was his, and put it in his over coat pocket.
Jonathan Boothe sworn - I live at North Davenport; keep
a store; have lived there 16 year; keep shot for sale. Have known Lewis Johnson
four or five years; been in my store frequently; he was in my store a week ago
last Wednesday, between three and four o'clock in the afternoon; no one beside
myself was in the store. He asked if a party had called for him that he expected
to find there. I told him no. He went out, came back in a short time, asked
for the man and I told him he was not there; he said it was late,
and he would go out and if the man came to tell him he had gone on to Steffen's.
The man came, and seemed disappointed at not finding Lewis there; Lewis had been
gone half an hour; Lewis bought five cents worth of shot, and said something
about killing something that was destroying eggs in the barn. The man that
called seemed to be on foot. I was not A.W. Brownlie - I know him; don't know
that I ever saw the man before; he had sandy whiskers, trimmed close around his
face; has mustache inclined to red; looked like an American. He seemed to be
expecting Lewis, and kind of stood at the door as if debating whether he should
go on or not. Lewis frequently stopped at my place, calling as he was going out.
Know all the Brownlies- the man was not any of them. Lewis asked if there had
been a man stopped here for him. The man called was about my size, but not so
tall as Lewis by a head. I didn't look to see what kind of conveyance he had -
if asked the question whether he had a team or not, I should say no. I should
say the man was afoot. He said nothing about Lewis wanting to ride with him.
After I told the man what Lewis said he kind of held the door knob in his hand
as if thinking. He had a short sack coat, no overcoat, and a kind brown,
sunburnt [?}; I should say his coat was brownish. His hair was not so much
inclined to red as his whiskers - straight and short hair. Nothing was in his
hands. I said to Lewis "I expect there is a good deal of game out your
way." He said "yes, there is, but I don't go out very often, "
and spoke of killing something that destroyed the eggs; John Keating came and
asked me if Lewis had purchased shot at my place. I remember very well that it
was Wednesday that Lewis bought them. He bought no other ammunition. It was
under a pound of shot - only five cents worth; it would answer for two charges
and a half. It was No. 2 shot. I gave some to Mr. Keating, Lewis made no
objection that they were too small.
--- The Davenport Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; March
One Thousand Dollars Reward.
Governor Carpenter has issued a
proclamation offering a reward of one thousand dollars for the apprehension of
the person or persons who committed the murder at Long Grove. In addition to
this, Mr. James Brownlie has personally offered a reward of five hundred dollars
for the arrest of the murderer. This in addition to the one thousand dollars
offered by the farmers of Long Grove, and the one thousand dollars by the Scott
county Board of Supervisors, makes a total reward offered of three thousand five
hundred dollars. Here is a chance for detectives and police officers.
No murder that was ever committed in Iowa created a
greater or more profound feeling of sorrow and indignation, or more excitement
than has the Brownlie murder. We are told that all through Scott county the
feeling is still intense, and should the murderer be captured and should there
be no doubt as to his guilt, there is not the slightest doubt that a piece of
rope would be turned into a necklace for him or them. Even at this distance the
first inquiry made of any one from Davenport, is in regard to this tragedy. All
trails for the murderer having now failed, the authorities are actively
searching for something more to develop.
The gun with which Mrs. Brownlie was shot was found
Thursday, and Lewis Johnson - a colored man who lived at Brownlie's - was
arrested. There are strong suspicious circumstances against him, although he
protests his innocence and shows not the slightest agitation.
---The Hawk-Eye; Burlington, Des Moines, Iowa; Thursday Morning,
March 5 1874
THE BROWNLIE MURDER
Why the Coroner's Jury Brought in a Verdict Against Lewis Johnson
The Davenport Gazette says that the
verdict of the coroner's jury in the Brownlie murder investigation, charging
Johnson with the crime, has the effect of enhancing public interest in the case,
and of renewing inquiries as to the evidence which ruled the minds or the
jurymen. And a statement of the testimony that produced the verdict will not be
1st. The entering wedge of the suspicion against Lewis
Johnson was the length of time he, on his own statement, took on the night of
the murder, to walk on the Davenport & St. Paul railroad track to the Long
Grove Church, being over three hours, when he ought to have made it in an hour
and forty minutes.
2d. The jury did not believe he followed the railroad,
but crossed to the Dubuque road, and rode thereon some distance with a farmer,
crossing from it to Brownlie's house where the murder was committed.
3d. The jury believed that for two Wednesday nights
successively, prior to the night of the murder, Johnson lay in wait watching for
Brownlie to go to prayer meeting, he (Johnson) having walked out from Davenport
on these occasions just as it is alleged he did on the fatal night - and that
circumstances, or fear, prevented him from carrying out his plan.
4th. The jury believed that Johnson stole the missing
gun from James Brownlie's and secreted it in a place in A.W. Brownlie's barn
that no one, beside himself, except Mr. B., could have well known. The finding
of the missing piece of the gun strap exposed the hiding place.
5th. Johnson's statement that he had bought no shot or
other amunition [sic] at any place besides Richardson's at Long Grove, this
winter, when he did, in fact, purchase shot at Boothe's grocery and at Berg's
gun shop in this city, was, in the minds of the jury, another important link in
the chain of testimony.
6th. The finding of shot in Brownlie's barn of exactly
the size of those bought at Berg's, with the paper in which it was believed Berg
7th. The weight and size of the shot taken from the
body corresponding with the Berg shot.
8th. The demeanor of Johnson at prayer meeting the
night of the murder, and elsewhere after it, and whenever the murder was
mentioned in his presence.
9th. The anxiety of Mrs. Brownlie to have her husband
discharge Johnson when he desired to remain, having a home where he was treated
as an equal, Mr. Brownlie desiring that he should remain. And the jury believe
that as Mrs. Brownlie alone prevented him from staying on the place as long as
he chose, he determined to remove this obstacle, especially as she disliked him
very much, and expressed her opinions freely to her husband and sometimes to her
10th. The straight aim with which the shots were fired,
the height of the window above the ground requiring a tall man to make it.
11th. To the last idea, the one that the murderer, from
all circumstances, must have been somebody familiar with the premises.
12th. The finding of a piece of paper gun-wadding, the
letters on both sides of which correspond exactly with the letters on both sides
of pieces of torn paper found in the top of Johnson's
---The Hawk-Eye; Burlington, Des Moines, Iowa; Thursday Morning,
March 12 1874
- The startling theory is now propounded that Lewis Johnson,
accused of the murder of Mrs. Brownlie, near Davenport, also committed the Alger
murder, in the same vicinity, several years ago. Mrs. Alger had about eleven
thousand dollars in gold, which the assassin obtained, and it is reported that
Lewis Johnson loaned out that amount of gold to a Scott county farmer.
---The Hawk-Eye; Burlington, Des Moines, Iowa; Thursday Morning,
March 12 1874
The Trial of Johnson
For two days the principal business of
the District Court for Scott county, Iowa has been the paneling of a jury to
hear the testimony in the case of the Statve vs Lewis Johnson indicted for
murder in the first degree. The regular panel of twenty four jurors was
exhausted then a special venire for fifty-nine citizens was ordered and when
this was exhausted on Wednesday evening another special venire for twenty-five
citizens was issued. The Sheriff did his duty. And at half past ? o'clock
yesterday forenoon after one hundred and fourteen persons had been questioned as
to whether they had read the papers or not and were competent to form an ?
judicial opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant a jury was sworn.
The names of the jurymen are:
F. Kautz, of Buffalo township
Geo W Robinson of Davenport township
C.J. Meyer of city of Davenport
John C. M'Cullough of city of Davenport
Chas. Hoffman of Buffalo
The case for the State was stated by
Hon. J.C. Bills who appears with District Attorney Ellis - and there was
adjournment at 3 PM when Hon John W Green counsel for defendant with W.A. [?]
Esq. made a statement of what defendant [? ?] to establish his innocence.
We [?] not state the particulars of the murder of Mrs.
Alex W. Brownlie and child which was perpetrated at Long Grove in this county on
night of the 18th day of last March [Note: murder was in Feb., not March]. The
details of the tragedy were given in the GAZETTE next morning and subsequently
the testimony before the Coroner's jury which was published in full in these
columns made our readers familiar with the circumstances of the case and of the
suspicions which led to the arrest of Lewis Johnson the hired man in employ of
Louis Johnson is a mulatto of tall form and rather good
head though he has high cheek bones piercing black eyes and curly [can't read].
He had been at work for Mr. Brownlie at the time of the murder for a long
The first witness called was Sarah Brownlie daughter of
the murdered woman. She was in the room playing with her little brother and
sisters when her mother was shot through the window of the kitchen. The only new
testimony given in her examination was that she looked at the clock just after
her mother was shot and that it was ten minutes to 8 - and that Lewis Johnson
had talked improperly with her on several occasions and had attempted improper
liberties with her person on two occasions. She had promised him - she a mere
child - that she would not tell any person of his [can't read] her personally
and concerning the two other colored men in the neighborhood had told him of
their doings with the little daughters of their employers....[cannot read rest
--- The Davenport Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; October
The Trial of Johnson
When the District Court adjourned on Friday
afternoon Mr. Dosh was on the stand, and a question as to the right of the State
to introduce the portion of Lewis Johnson's evidence before the Coroner's jury
which related to his purchase of shot without giving the whole of his testimony,
was pending, the Judge having taken it under advisement. When the Court opened
yesterday morning the State's attorneys withdrew the question, and announced
that their evidence was all in, save perhaps one witness that they might wish to
call. The trial opened on Wednesday, the 1st inst., and forty-five witnesses
have given testimony since then.
The defense now called their witnesses. Moses Bush
(colored) testified as to the time that Johnson left his house near the fair
grounds, on the afternoon of the murder, and also that Johnson's reputation
among the people of his color was good. Then several residents of Long Grove and
vicinity were called to prove Johnson's good character. David Harding, Wm.
Robertson, Sr., John Pollock, John Hell, Thomas Martindale, J.A. Knouse, John
Greve, James Brownlie, A.W. Brownlie, Alexander Brownlie, James Clapp, Wm.
Robertson, Jr., John Hardy, and Robert Johnson all testified that he had a good
character of the Grove up to the 18th of March, the day which Mrs. Brownlie and
son were murdered. Sheriff Leonard testified as to Johnson's good conduct in
jail. Rev. Henry Exley, pastor of the church at Long Grove, testified that he
was present at the prayer meeting, the evening of the murder, when Johnson came
in, that the room was not brilliantly lighted, but that he noticed nothing
unusual in Johnson's appearance; afterwards he shook hands with Johnson, the
latter's hand being bare, and that it was free from moisture. Henry Evans
testified that Johnson took dinner at Schomberg's about 3 o'clock that
afternoon. Washington Wilburn, a colored teamster, swore that he saw Johnson a
little beyond Duck Creek at a quarter to 5 o'clock on the evening of the 18th of
It was now three o'clock and being Saturday, and some
of the Jurymen wishing to go to their homes in the country, and Tuesday being
election day, the Court dismissed the Jury until 9 o'clock Wednesday morning.
It is likely that the defense will rest on Thursday and
that the case will be argued on Friday and Saturday, and be given to the Jury on
the latter day.
Court remained in session until after 4 o'clock, when
there was adjournment till Wednesday morning.
--- The Davenport Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; October
The arguments before the jury in the
Johnson trial were commenced yesterday morning by District Attorney Ellis, who
spoke till the noon hour, and then again to the hour for evening adjournment.
The court room was filled with spectators all day, who listened with the
greatest interest as the case was presented as the State understands it -
listened all day without a thought of tiring. It was one of those efforts which
have given Mr. Ellis popularity as an advocate, and assisted in keeping him in
the office he fills so well. He made an analysis of the testimony, and set forth
every feature of it which could help to fasten the guilt upon the prisoner, with
almost terrible earnestness. He went into a keen search for motives, and
fastened upon the prisoner's desire to conceal his improper conduct and
conversation with little Sarah, the eldest daughter of Mrs. Brownlie, from the
mother, as one; he feared the counsel claimed, that Sarah would tell her mother
- yes, and he charge her with revealing his conduct to her mother, for the
latter had changed in her conduct towards him. With exposure would come
blackened character in the neighborhood in which he was respected by all, and
treated accordingly, the color of his skin making no difference with the people
there. If he could put the woman out of the way, and still cover his tracks so
that the crime would never be imputed to him, then his course for the future
would be clear, and his chances for a home and maybe a farm improved. So the
speaker went on, showing the preparations of defendant for the deed, and
following his supposed plans and steps till the fatal shot was fired at the
window, making especial use of the ammunition purchased in the city, the
disappearance of the gun from James Brownlie's and the unaccounted for time in
making the six miles between the six-mile house and the church in which the
prayer meeting was held which defendant attended, and the appearance he
presented to old "Aunt Lucy" when he entered the room. From beginning
to ending the argument was granted.
Hon. J.W. Green follows for the defence to-day. W.A.
Foster closes for the prisoner and it is not likely that he will get through
before this evening. Hon. J.C. Bills will make the closing argument for the
State to-morrow - and the case will probably be given the jury late in the
--- The Davenport Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; October
The Trial of Johnson
The trial of Lewis Johnson for the
murder of Mrs. Brownlie, which commenced in the District Court on the 20th ult.,
came to an end at half past five o'clock yesterday afternoon, having been in
progress nearly three weeks. Hon. J.C. Bills made the closing argument for the
State and of the case yesterday. The Court room was crowded all day - a goodly
portion of the audience being composed of ladies. And there the people remained,
closely packed, through the hours, as on the argument days of last week, with
the closest attention. None of our readers need be told that Mr. Bills'
statement was solid and stupendous. It was for him to meet the able, ingenious
and eloquent efforts of the prisoner's counsel; he attacked all their main
points, exposed what he esteemed their sophistries, endeavored to undermine
their construction of testimony; to parry their hard hits and put in harder ones
in return, to shatter the foundation of the theory of innocence of the defendant
which they built - and then he turned to the evidence as he understood it, took
up each piece of it, connected all like a chain, and wound it about the prisoner
at the bar, and so handed him to the jury, claiming a verdict for the State. It
was an argument that will long be remembered by all who heard it.
Judge Brannan delivered his charge to the jury,
occupying some fifteen minutes in reading it. It was complete in instructions as
to their duty under the evidence and the law. He said at the close that the form
of their verdict might be guilty or not guilty, as charged in the indictment,
but they had the physical power to find guilty of murder in the second degree,
or of manslaughter.
The jury retired with the charge and various documents
and things offered in evidence during the trial.
At three o'clock this morning the jury was still in
consultation with little or no prospect of agreement.
EXCITING DAY IN COURT
There was another day of interest and
excitement at the Court House yesterday. Monday closed with the giving of the
case of the State vs. Lewis Johnson for the murder of Mrs. A.W. Brownlie, into
the hands of the jury that had listened closely to the evidence and the pro and
con of the arguments of the attorneys for nearly three weeks. And the morning
GAZETTE had informed the people that the jury had not agreed in the night. So
when the court opened a large number of people thronged the court room, all
anxious to hear something from the jury, and expecting they would ask a hearing
and seek advice from the Judge, concerning matters upon which they disagreed.
But when the Court was ready for business, cases which diverse lawyers had in
hand were brought up, and rulings announced - ...
... Towards noon the
entered, and their foreman stated that they had not agreed, and
that it was impossible for them to reach an agreement. The Judge made the usual
inquiries as to any advice they might wish, and the result was that they went
back into the jury room...
... Just as he finished, there came word to the Sheriff that the
JOHNSON JURY HAD AGREED!
The news quickly spread, and the crowd
about the Court House thronged into the room and filled it. Johnson was brought
in. Then the jury filed into their seats - a convenient apartment in that new
jury room. The foreman of the jury passed a package into the hands of the Clerk
White, who quietly unfolded it ,and raised a slip of paper to his eyes. There
was the silence of death in the crowded room, and every head was inclined
forward, every eye strained as if eyes could hear as well as see. The Clerk
read: "We, the Jury, find the defendant
The stillness continued for a moment,
then there was a murmur of applause, and then - Johnson sprang to his feet,
grasped the hands of the attorneys, Messrs. Foster and Green, and shook them
earnestly. And well he might - they had pulled him safely through a perilous
trial. Then Egglesht, at Johnson's side, arose and grasped Johnson's hands, and
the two shook, and the prisoner to be tried for forgery congratulated the
prisoner who had been tried for murder. They had been together in the jail for
long months and their now farewell "shake" as they supposed it to be,
was but natural. But it was not a final goodbye, for the Judge broke the
rustling and hum that prevailed with the words - and silence reigned again -
"gentlemen, there is
against the defendant Johnson, for the murder of the
"Yes, your Honor," quickly responded Mr.
Ellis, "and we propose to try him on it, too."
Messrs. Foster and Green rushed to Ellis' side,
and there were hurried but earnest whispers. Ellis shook his head, as the
negroe's attorneys whispered to him, and the latter went back to jail with the
Sheriff. A crowd followed him and thronged about the jail entrance as he
disappeared, expecting him to come out soon, a free man. But they had
misunderstood the cause of his going back, and went away when told that he was
to be held for another trial.
--- The Davenport Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; October