The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga,
May 16, 1876
---On the evening of the 8th inst., about good dark, Mr. C.P. Gordon,
jailor, discovered that the prisoners were making an attempt to escape. The
facts which led to his suspicion, and also the facts connected with the
attempt to escape, we give below as we obtained them from Mr. Gordon:
Mr. Gordon, who is special deputy sheriff, had been absent all day on
business connected with that office, and returned home about dark. He had
been in the house but a few minutes when he heard an unusual noise overhead,
which sounded like parties cutting. Upon hearing this noise his suspicions
were aroused, and pulling off his boots, Mr. Gordon slipped up stairs, and
passing the door where the cutting was being done, went to the lower end of
the hall and then came back to the door, and through a small hole saw a man
pass the door. After hearing and seeing what he did. Mr. Gordon was
satisfied that the prisoners in the cages were out. Locking the hall door,
he went back down stairs, and out in town to procure the services of
gentlemen to assist him in recapturing and reconfining these men in their
cells. In the company of with some other gentlemen, Mr. Gordon returned to
the jail and went up stairs. When he opened the door the prisoners, Wm.
Meeks and Bud Turbyville, had returned to their cells---Meeks' door partly
closed, and Turbyville's standing wide open. Mr. Gordon entered first,
pistol in hand, followed by several, and Turbyville upon seeing him said:
"We are all in our cages."
At first Meeks denied having any key, but owned that he opened the
cage-doors. A search was made, and in Meek's cell, a key, made of bone,
together with a buck-bale and old case knife, broken in two, were found.
When these were found Meeks owned that he unlocked his door with the bone
and bucket-bale, and then went and opened Turbyville's door. He denies
making the key, and lay it on Ned Larkin, colored. Ned says he did not do
it. The general opinion is that Meeks made it.
From the three Negro prisoners, Ned Larkin, Rick Pullen and Eli Adams, Mr.
Gordon learned that the program was to kill him, and that Meeks had a piece
of bed-slat, about 3 feet long and four inches wide, standing on one side of
the door, and that Turbyville had an old case knife, broken with a
sharp-point standing on the other side, awaiting his debut.
We have no doubt had Mr. Gordon entered alone, they would have killed him
and effected their escape. The jailor deserves great credit for his
promptness in this matter. both these men, Meeks and Turbyville, are
incarcerated for capital offences--Meeks is under sentence of death and
Turbyville is bound over on a charge of manslaughter awaiting trial at
August term of court.
Mr. Gordon engaged Mr. A. G. West to make some chains, and these fellows are
now fastened so as to preclude the possibility of escape. (The Constitution,
Atlanta, GA, May 16, 1876)
You are the 319 Visitor since moving site 1 August 2011
If you have information that would benefit other researchers, please email to
and it will be published on this website.