Cass County, Illinois Circuit Court Cases, 1893-1898

These cases were printed in The Cass County Historian, June 1995 and were originally taken from Virginia Gazette newspaper, Virginia, Illinois.
As published in the Virginia Gazette, the name of the reporter, whose caustic comments appear in various reports, is unknown.

The society members will not look up or copy any additional information concerning court cases at Cass County courthouse. The records are not easily searchable and some records are stored and not easily found.




October 13, 1893 - Another act in the BAILEY-MILSTEAD feud occupied the circuit court yesterday and highly entertained a large crowd who drank in the details, profane and obscure as they were, from lips of twenty witnesses. The whole matter was reviewed from a bloody fight at a dance last December. It is a neighborhood feud involving young and old for which there is no tangible cause. All witnesses were young girls and men under the age of 25. The case of Edward MILSTEAD was dismissed and BAILEY saw folly of keeping up the strife between the two families and agreed to dismiss.

January 26, 1894 - The trial of Father McMANNUS occupied all day Thursday to a densely packed crowd. Charges preferred by John McDANIELS for flourishing a deadly weapon. The defendant went to attend the funeral of Pierce RYAN, seven miles west of here. The deceased was Catholic all his life, although his son was of the C.P. Church. The defendant conducted a brief service in the house. Going to the buggy afterwards, he spoke to James COOK, some bantering remarks were made. The defendant called COOL to come out or come on. Bystanders told COOK to desist. As the defendant reached the buggy, he flourished a weapon and was rapidly driven away by Dick PAYNE, evidence showed that COOK made no hostile demonstrations against the defendant. Father McMANNUS justifies his act in going to the funeral armed as he had been informed he might suffer violence. He wanted to show he could take care of himself. The jury found the defendant guilty and was fined $50 and costs of $35. An appeal was filed Monday.

October 11, 1895 - George MITCHELL vs John RAY, a case repealed from the Chandlerville justice court. It involved a cow valued at $35. Like many petty cases that creep into courts, it cost the county more to try this case than if it had paid the bill in the first instance. The judgement was for the plaintiff but is wholly valueless to him as the cow was lost in the scuffle.

October 18, 1895 - There is an intense interest in the case against Kate ANDERSON, charged by the uncle, Harry TAYLOR for cutting up carpet and furniture in the hotel parlor at Chandlerville. A family feud of long standing is involved and should have been kept out of the courts. Verdict was for acquittal of the girl.

April 10, 1896 - The Circuit Court this term contains important business. Breach of promise, Mae BAKER vs. W.D. JOHNSON. An attractive 26 year old, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William BAKER of Chandlerville. JOHNSON. had lived here and in Mason county, he left in 1870 and accumulated large properties in Iowa and Texas. He is a widower, age 63, not unattractive but lacking graces that would attract a young lady. Their courtship began in 1893 where he proposed marriage on their first meeting. He went to his home in Iowa, from there, letters came to the plaintiff with frequency with protestations of love and affection. Some fourteen letters were read to the jury. Frequent journeys were made to Chandlerville. She was pressed to marry him in the spring of 1894. She arrayed herself in her wedding gown the evening of December 6. He was to be on the five or seven p.m. train and they would leave for Iowa after the wedding. He was not on the train. His excuse was that he forgot. The case lasted tow days and the girl was awarded damages of $3000.

October 8, 1897 - James CALEF vs Charles CALEF. A family row has been fought in and out of the courts. Suit based on claim of wages of the son against the father for a period of several years. The testimony of the two were in direct conflict. Jury decided in favor of the defendant.
     The docket of the present term of court is made up of the most trivial cases. A jury of twenty four men and a hord of witnesses have been compelled to waste a heap of time. To say nothing of the expenses to the county. We presume there will be lawyers and enough fools to keep them busy. The county would be better off to pay those trivial claims than to pay expenses of conducting a term of court to hear them tried.

October 15, 1897 - The really important jury trial this term. Involves validity of the will of Conrad BECKER who was killed by his son some months ago. The son committed suicide soon after. The will made ample provisions for the wife and remainder to daughter Mrs. Ed. PETEFISH. This was contested by Henry BECKER, son of Conrad. The widow of Conrad has since died and all property goes to the daughter. Pretty near the whole of Arenzville has attended as witnesses. The case had not been decided by press time

October 7, 1898 - An old case tried again. Thomas A. KNIGHT vs John KNIGHT et al. It is a suit of ejectment to recover property on 6th street in Beardstown. The plaintiff are heirs to deceased brother of defendant and claim title under a statue wherein twenty years tenure and adverse possession become a title in law. The result was a verdict for the heirs.

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