|Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from
microfilms of the Calhoun Chronicle dates as indicated.
About the time of the election, 1892, Mr. Warren Johnson had a steam
saw and grist mill burned at Chestnut Grove, this county, the work of fire
bugs. Suspicion rested upon some parties, but at no time a sufficient
amount of evidence could be procured to warrant the arrest of the parties
suspected. So matters have drifted along since, until one Daniel
Welch was arrested and lodged in jail to await the coming of his Honor,
when Daniel will be called to account for the larceny of a jar of snuff,
the property of Samuel Ayers. Now it seems that Daniel, who is 6
feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds, was indicted jointly with
one John Thomas Richards for the larceny of said jar of snuff, and Welch
not wishing to see an innocent man suffer, took upon himself all the sin
of stealing and carrying away the same, and the indictment against Richards
was, on motion of the prosecuting attorney, nollied.
Welch has been in jail for about a week, and in the goodness of his
heart, decided to make another confession. He confessed to being
present at the burning of Mr. Johnsons mill, also implicating Will Richards,
Thomas Richards, Wes Knight and others.
Upon the evidence of Daniel, G.W. Ritchea, a Justice of the Peace for
Calhoun county, issued a warrant for the arrest of the above named parties
and they were arrested and brought to town Wednesday evening, and committed
to jail to await a preliminary examination.
Witnesses for the State and defence were procurred and on Thursday at
1 o’clock, Squire Ritchea and Jasper Ball heard the evidence and held the
parties to answer an indictment and fixed their bond at $1,000 each.
With little effort a satisfactory bond was procured and the prisoners went
on their way rejoicing.
During the trial Daniel, the principal prosecuting witness, was very
restless and very much inclined to prosecute the case, asking for several
consultations with the prosecuting attorney. He also changed positions
on the floor of the court room several times, finally decided he wanted
a high seat in the synagogue; so he took up a chair, carried it up and
sat down along side the court, where he sat facing the audience, looking
as wise as an owl.
One thing was clearly proven in the trial, and that is that Daniel Welch
was there and saw the mill burning. As to the other parties, if guilty,
they ought to suffer the penalties of the law, and if not guilty it is
to be hoped they will prove themselves innocent.
Circuit Court Proceedings – State vs Perry Conrad and David Welch,
petit larceny, Welch confessed and sentenced to four months in the county
Jail, Conrad, continued.
Goliath and Sampson
The jail at this place was the scene of another bloody and maybe fatal
conflict last Saturday morning. One, David Welch, who stands 6 ft.
10 in. tall in his bare feet and Harvey George Sampson got into an altercation
over some trifling matter and David decided to knock Sampson out.
So the first round was fought without any special damage to either, but
in the second round Sampson got hold of a good sized rock and proceeded
to demolish the pimple that surmounts David's body, commonly called his
head. Several bad gashes were cut about his head and face.
It is claimed by some that the skull was fractured and that the physician
that dressed his wounds had taken out a small piece of the skull.
We are not prepared to say whether the tax payers of the county could afford
to pay the funeral expenses if they had killed each other or not, especially
if they had to pay for the ground necessary for Welch's grave.
The Blackshire Quartette
Owing to recent developments Charley Blackshire, the jailer, has decided
to do his own serenading hereafter, and for this purpose he has organized
from among his prisoners a vocal club which is destined to become one of
the most famous quartettes that has ever given public performances on the
American stage. The renowned and gigantic pugilist, Dave Welsh, noted
for his bravery and daring deeds in recent combats, has developed into
a prodigy of wonder as a soloist and leader of the quartette. When
joined by the other members of this band their discordant strains swell
upon the ears of passers by like the Stygian voices of pandemonium making
the night hideous by their unearthly howls and render the midnight gloom
more awful to Will Stevenson than the nocturnal prowlings of Tim Hagerty
and Mel McCroskey as seen in his troubled dreams, the deep base notes of
the aforesaid David's voice turning the mattress in Will's virtuous couch.
Immediately after the June term of court this wonderful band of vocalists
whose fame is spreading like wild fire over the country will startle the
natives into admiration and wonder by their public performances at Grantsville
and other large cities of this nation and Europe. Their initial step
in the musical arena will be marked by the rendition of the "immortal David's"
Court News – Indictments – Will Richards, Tom Richards, Wess Knight,
David Welch and Perry Conrad, felony.
Tilton Welch returned from the Reform School a few days ago and came
over to see his brother Dave who is held for a felony. The courteous
manly and all around improved disposition of the boy speaks well for the
institution and its management. It is said by some that a reform
school is only a prepatory department for the penitentiary, but we hardly
see how this can be possible.
The immortal Dave Welch concluded to do a little business on his own
account a few days ago and skipped out for taller timber, but they laid
for him and he now languishes in solitary confinement. A very good
place for him to be the balance of his life.
Circuit Court - State vs Thos. Richards, Al. Richards, Dave Welch,
Perry Conrad and Wess Knight, felony. Thos. Richards guilty, 3 years
in the penitentiary and continued as to other defendants.
After the preliminary examination of the parties charged with burning
Warren Johnson’s mill we suggested that a witnesses always made a mistake
by showing so much interest or feeling in the case while giving their testimony.
During the recent trial at which Thos. Richards was convicted and sentenced
to three years in the penitentiary the matter was more forcibly pressed
upon our mind than before. It is not good policy for one accused
of crime to prove too much, and especially they should not use as witnesses
members of their own family. We must say there was some very remarkable
testimony given in the case referred to above.
Dave Welch is acting as court house janitor.
Notwithstanding the good advice Dave Welch has given his brother Tilden,
Tilden is prone to wander in paths of sin and folly. But a short
time ago he returned from a term at the Reform School of this State, and
the little education he received at that institution seems to be a curse
instead of a blessing, for it only serves to help him carry out (illegible)
fully his evil inclinations. He is now in jail awaiting the action
of the grand jury, for forgery, in two cases. The charge is that
he forged two orders on Wm. Jackson and passed them on J.J. Thomas, a merchant
of this place, one of the orders being for about $7.50 and the other for
fifty cents. It is said that in the preliminary examination before
Squire Snider he virtually convicted himself by making some statements.
Judge Armstrong discharged Dave Welch from custody during court and
Dave with his mother and sister started to Marion county. But before
going far Dave turned his course and came back to town with a woe begone
tale about being met and chased by a gang of the Richards, but no one seemed
to give the report much credit, and upon inquiry it was found that the
whole thing was a fabrication. The truth is, Dave has been having
such a good time laying around here at the expense of the State, he is
loathe to give up the place.
Tilden Welch was wielding a wheelbarrow for C.J. Blackshere a day or
two last week.
Wonder if the county court house is to be ornamented by a Welch standing
in the hall door for the next decade? That has been its condition
for a long time, and there is no visible prospect of the nuisance being
Later – The bird has flown. About 5 o’clock Friday evening Tilden
decided to look for greener pasture, and walked out of town and up to this
writing has not been heard from. If his walking away so unceremoniously
has the effect of keeping prisoners locked up in the jail where they should
be instead of loitering around the court house and other public places,
and if he should be re-arrested and given a trial and convicted, if guilty,
we shall always feel a little glad he ran away. We don’t know how
other men feel, but to us it is a terrible eye sore to see some worthless
cuss laying around living at the expense of the public under the pretense
of being a prisoner, while we have to work 12 to 16 hours a day and then
can hardly pay our taxes. Keep them in jail where they ought to be
or turn them out on their own recognizance and let them go.
The famous Richards felony case was continued again at the instance
of the defendants. It is wonderfully strange that they are unable
to get their witnesses to attend.
”King” David Welch has been a conspicuous character about the court
house for several terms of court. So far as we are concerned we would
be glad to see him stand aside for awhile, that is to say, if he has finished
The remarkable statement made by Dave Welch to Worth Kelly sometime
ago and given in evidence by Kelly in the Wes Knight case, has been the
subject of many comments among the bystanders.
Circuit Court Proceedings
State vs Wes Knight, felony, tried by jury, verdict not guilty.
Some time ago we promised to hunt up and publish the State's cost in
the famous Richards-Knight felony case, better known as the mill burning
case. But for the fact that a petition is now being circulated asking
for the pardon, by the Governor, of Tom Richards, who was found guilty
of the burning, and is now serving a sentence of three years, we would
probably have forgotten it. Following is an itemized statement as
furnished by Clerk Hall:
From this deduct Attorneys fee, $10.00, and Clerk's cost, $113.37, which
has not, nor never will be paid, and we find the amount actually paid by
the State to be $1073.25. In addition to this the county paid for
bringing the Welch women from Marion county, $32.00.
There were as many, if not more, witnesses for the defendants, none
of whom received a cent of compensation so far as appears from the records,
but their hotel and traveling expenses were doubtless heavy, to say nothing
about the loss of time. The parties are now all free except Tom Richards,
and we understand nine of the jurors before whom he was tried have signed
a petition asking for his pardon, an we understand Judge Armstrong also
urges his pardon.
Our readers doubtless remember one Tilden Welch, who was arrested and
lodged in the jail of this county for forgery and made his escape a short
time afterward, a little more than two years ago. We believe we have
reliable information as to his present whereabouts, and that is that he
is in the Penitentiary of this State, having been sent there from Marion county.