Murder Charges Unfounded, Woman Released in 1915

(05/18/2002)

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 9/16/1915, 9/30/1915 and12/9/1915.

9/26/1915

Baby Drowned at Gilmer

The body of a little baby boy was found in the Little Kanawha river near Gilmer in Gilmer county early last Thursday morning. The child was about two months old and it presumably had been in the water twenty-four hours.

At the inquest held over the body Thursday afternoon no conclusion was reached as to who had committed this atrocious deed or for what reason it was done.  The only clue found was the stock number of the goods on the child's dress and there is some probability of the mystery being unraveled by this slight means of guidance.

The baby was buried in a cemetery at Gilmer Thursday evening.

9/30/1915

Woman Held for Drowning Babe

At a preliminary hearing before a justice at Glenville Thursday, Miss Ora Wilson, a teacher about thirty years old, of Strange Creek, Clay county, was bound over to await action of the grand jury on a charge drowning her two months old baby in the river at Gilmer, September 9.

In the last few days the woman has been acting crazily, and a plea of insanity will no doubt be entered at her trial.

12/9/1915

Failed to Indict

Glenville, Dec. 1. - Miss Ora Wilson, a school teacher of Clay county, charged with murder of her infant child in Gilmer county, was given her freedom, the grand jury having failed to present an indictment.  Miss Wilson had been imprisoned in the Glenville jail about three months.

It will be remembered that the body of an infant, a boy about six weeks old, was found floating in the little Kanawha river just below the Braxton county line, by a deputy sheriff.  At a coroner's inquest it was determined that the baby came to its death by drowning and charges were made against Miss Wilson.  She was arrested and placed in the Glenville jail.  Before the grand jury no witnesses were found who had ever seen the mother and the child in Gilmer county.


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