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Obituaries and Death Notices

 Cairo Weekly Times and Delta

4 Mar 1857-18 Nov 1857


Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois

Transcribed by Darrel Dexter

Cairo Weekly Times and Delta


Wednesday, 4 Mar 1857:

Dr. T. F. Blackburn of his place was shot in the most cold-blooded manner by Dr. D. T. Smith about 8 o’clock last night.  There had been a difficulty between the two for some time and Smith had said that he would kill Blackburn on sight.  Last night as Dr. Blackburn and Dr. M. Phillips were walking to the office of the latter, they had passed the office of Pettijohn & Smith and were nearly in front of S. S. Taylor’s office, when Smith opened his door and fired a pistol at Blackburn, the ball striking him on the left side under the arm.  Dr. Phillips returned the fire, but unsuccessfully and three more shots were fired at them before they reached Dr. Phillips’s office. 

            It is not feared that Dr. Blackburn’s wound will prove fatal.  He is much easier this morning.  Dr. Burke dressed the wound, but was not permitted to probe it.

            Smith has left Cairo for parts unknown.  Our statement is from an affidavit of Dr. Blackburn.

            P.S.  Since our paper went to press, Dr. Blackburn has died from the effects of his wound.



Wednesday, 11 Mar 1857:

Dr. Blackburn who was shot by Dr. D.T. Smith last week, died of the wound on Thursday night.  It was truly sad to see his noble form, which but two days before was so full of life and vigor, lying cold and dead, the victim of malice and revenge.  We trust this unhappy affair may prove a lesson to our citizens and those who may come among us, of the evil effects of quarreling and bickering.

            Thomas F. Blackburn was born April 10, 1828, in Culpepper Co., Va.  He moved to Ohio in 1836 and came West in 1840 and has been West ever since.  His widowed mother resides near Greenfield, Highland Co., Ohio, and his wife and children reside in the same state.

            During our short acquaintance with Dr. Blackburn we entertained personally respect for him and we believe that he was generally esteemed for his kindness and hearty gentlemanly bearing and many qualities.  His impetuous disposition was such to make either warm friends or bitter enemies; consequently, much good and much evil has been spoken of him.  He could not brook an insult nor do we consider that he could cherish malice.  His courageous spirit always prompted him to face an enemy openly and boldly, armed or unarmed, and we never heard him charged with a mean or cowardly act.  Dr. Blackburn was our friend and as such we shall always regard and esteem him. 

            His remains were taken to Ohio Sunday afternoon by his brother, C.H. Blackburn, of Greenfield, Ohio.          


            (The first part of this article is illegible.)

            Paul W. Allen, sworn.  Was at Reed & Pettijohn’s store Tuesday morning.  Blackburn came in with a comfort on his arm, and enquired for Reed Pettijohn said he was not in.  Pettijohn asked Blackburn what he said of him (Pettijohn).  Blackburn said he had called him a d----d villain, and he was a d----d villain.  Pettijohn asked him if he did not know he was an abominable ditto.  Blackburn slapped Pettijohn in the face.  Smith came out with a pistol and words passed between him and BlackburnSmith picked up a hatchet.  Blackburn went out, and told Smith to come out and he would fight him in any way.  Know nothing about the shooting.  Smith drew the first weapon.  Pettijohn tried to get the hatchet from Smith, and told me to get Blackburn away.  Blackburn had not said anything to Smith before he drew his revolver.  Blackburn did not draw his knife from the sheath.

            Melvin Parse, sworn.—Saw Blackburn and Dr. Phillips pass by the drug store that night, and as they passed a pistol went off.  Some man (supposed to be Blackburn) groaned, and as they were half way between the store and Taylor’s office he groaned more.  A man came out of the store and fired again.  They hurried on, and the man followed them and fired several times.  Witness knows Dr. Smith was at his own shop door.  The man who shot resembled Dr. Smith in size and form.  He had his hat on.  The first shot came out of the drug store door.  Blackburn was three or four feet past the door when the shot was fired; saw only the two outside the door.  They topped at the corner, and one turned and fired and snapped several caps.  Could not see the pistol, but saw the flash from the door, close to his hand.  Heard no words.  Heard the groan immediately after the first shot.  Does not know that he could tell in the dark whether a pistol was fired towards him or from him.  The flash was nigh the drug store; does not know whether it was nearest the door or them  A man came out of the store, and followed them, and fired when they were near the corner.  Does not know whether Blackburn fired.  They were coming up when they passed.  Does not know who was next the door.  Did not see any halt.  Saw Blackburn afterwards, and from the voice think he was the man who groaned.  If he was walking up, his left side would be next the door.  Saw nothing more of the man who shot.

            Dr. William Wood, sworn.—The night before the shooting, Phillips borrowed a pistol from me; did not say what he wanted of it.  It was a Colt’s revolver.  Saw the shooting.  Thought there might be some difficulty, and was on the lookout. Went to my door just at the time.  Saw two men twelve or fifteen feet beyond the drug store, stationary—think there were three men.  Heard a pistol go off with a very loud noise, and another almost immediately with a faint noise, and a cap snapped, and those shot at appeared to retreat, and there was more firing, and he who was shot seemed to stop, and then there were two reports at the corner.  Does not know the two men; they looked like Blackburn and Phillips.  First flash witness saw was about twelve feet above the store.  The pistol was borrowed not more than fifteen minutes before the shooting.  Witness’ pistol had been loaded for months.  Heard no words, and no groan.  Saw the flash; it was shot from the drugstore by the man standing there.

            Dr. W. R. Burke, sworn.—Was called on Tuesday night about half past nine to see Dr. Blackburn.  Went to Dr. Phillips’ and found him with his clothes on, groaning and complaining.  Took off his clothes and found him shot in the left side, anterior to the posterior arch of the rib.  There was no evidence that he had been shot through the stomach or liver.  It struck the upper third of the eighth rib, diverged up and got on the diaphragm and followed it, was again turned, came down, perforated the diaphragm, went though the lower point of the left lobe of the lung, and came out in the wall of the abdomen about 5 ½ inches below the right nipple.  There was very little hemorrhage.  Blackburn would not let witness probe the wound.  Wednesday about ½ past four his finger came in contact with the ball; from that moment he sunk, and said he would die.  Witness had not thought till then that he would die.  Saw him again at 6; gave an injection, which did not act, in an hour gave a large dose of Henry magnesia; gave brandy again, and left someone with him.  Went to supper, and came back; he was very cold then.  Left directions to five him brandy and medicines and keep him quiet.  Went home, and returned to my office about half past ten.  Took a bottle of ammonia and started with it to see Blackburn, and then heard he was dead.  Since the examination it is easy to way what killed him.  He died from the injury received by the bullet.  (Exhibits the ball.)  It is from a Colt’s five-shooter, rifled (?), of a 4 or 5 ½ inch barrel; it is a round ball.  Witness was called upon by the corner to make a post mortem examination, and did so in presence of the jury.  Tuesday night, when Blackburn was perfectly in his senses, he made an affidavit, signed by me as witness, and sworn to before Mr. Harman.  Mr. Willett wrote the affidavit from Blackburn’s statements, and read it to him twice.  The man who shot Blackburn was on a level with him—might have been a foot above him.  If he stood on the step, his hand was low.  When the affidavit was taken, Blackburn said he knew he was to die; he was perfectly in his senses.  From the first to the last he said he would die.  He made his mark, and witness wrote his name.

            John Q. Harman then read the affidavit, in which Blackburn says that he was shot by Dr. D. T. Smith.

            G. W. McKenzie, sworn.—Saw Smith at church a few minutes after he got there, after the shooting.  He was then in the door waiting for someone.  He came out alone.  Witness went a few steps with him, and he said he would have to leave; asked him if he had hurt Blackburn, and he said he thought he had hurt him.  Asked him if he was hurt; he said he did not know, did not think he was.  He was very much excited.  He said he was there to see Dr. Pettijohn.  Think he saw Dr. P.  Dr. D. T. Smith was the man.  Pettijohn went to the drug store; think Smith started in a northerly direction.

            Oliver Canfield, sworn.—Was standing on the corner by the jeweler’s store.  Blackburn and Phillips came, and were standing on the corner; they went on, and were passing the drug store, when some one shot out of the drug store.  Did not see more than two on the pavement; think they did not stop before the firing.  Heard no conversation.  Three shots were fired before they passed Taylor’s corner.  Do not know who fired from the store; think he was standing inside.  He followed them, and fired again.—Heard one of the two groan after the first shot; thought he was next the store; it was the largest one.

Frank Bryant, sworn.  Saw Smith when. . . . (illegible) . . . . church.  He came in, and . . . . Pettijohn . . . . Baird to stop the feud and settle any difficulty; think Pettijohn and Blackburn had been shooting at SmithPettijohn called witness out because he wanted company, the excitement getting great.  Did not hear Smith say anything about the shooting.

Frank Culbertson, sworn.—Was going in his boarding house door, heard a pistol, started down, met McKinzie.  Saw a man running, thought it was Smith.  Followed him to the church, and Smith was standing in the hall.  Asked him if he had shot Blackburn, and he said he thought he had; said he was not hurt himself.  Pettijohn asked me to go down with him, as he was afraid.  Never heard Blackburn or Smith say that Blackburn had threatened Pettijohn’s life.  Did not go to the store.  Did not see Smith after that.

James Lynch, sworn.  Blackburn came in to my room in the morning, said Pettijohn and Smith were hounding him to chase him out of town, that Smith had threatened to kill him, and he knew he would assassinate him, but meant to stay.  He wanted to borrow a pistol, but I had none.

Grundy Bryant, sworn.—Was in Pettijohn’s office in the evening, and Pettijohn said Blackburn had threatened to kill him and referred to SmithSmith said he had heard it.

Perry Cope, sworn.—Saw Blackburn and Phillips start from Blackburn’s office, and as they passed up a shot came from the drug store.  Blackburn walked on as if he was hurt.  Smith came out, and followed, and shot again.  Before the shooting he was walking up and down the pavement, and when they came stepped in the store.  They did not stop at the door.  Can’t say it was Smith who fired first, but it was him who came out and fired.  Blackburn was about two or three yards from the door he was walking, and did not stop till after the second shot.  Witness was at the silversmith’s shop on the corner.  Heard no conversation.  Smith did not return to the store; did not see him after he passed Taylor’s corner.

M. C. Walsh, sworn.—Was walking across his meat house to the corner of 7th street.—Saw Blackburn and Phillips coming along the walk.  As they came opposite the drug store door, a man standing at the door step inside the door and fired.  Dr. Smith then came out and fired again—think it was Dr.  Witness thought he head a groan; thought it was Phillips, for he was next the door.

B. S. Harrell, sworn.—Does not recollect any conversation about Blackburn threatening Pettijohn’s life.

Mr. Phillips, sworn.—Was walking up street with Blackburn Tuesday night about half past nine.  Passed the drug store, and when just below the corner of Taylor’s office met a gentleman, stopped and talked with him. Dr. Smith passed with two children; Blackburn made some remark to me, and I think Smith made some remark and passed on.  We stood talking some 25 or 30 minutes.  A shot was fired and I told Blackburn Smith was shooting at him.  He soon fired again.  I said he was trying to kill me, and as I had a pistol, fired at the man, and then snapped four times.  Blackburn groaned and said he was shot.  We went towards my office, and when about two yards past the corner another shot was fired, and another about ten feet further.  As we turned off, and were in the middle of the street I turned and saw it was Smith. We went around to the back door; Blackburn was faint; took him and put him to bed.  We were right below the posts, below Taylor’s office.  We passed the store with locked arms; I was next the door.  Saw two men in the store as we passed.  Blackburn said something about a cane and something about a pistol.  Did not hear that he ever said that he would kill Smith or Pettijohn the next morning; never heard him say so.

M. Mahany, sworn.—Was passing by Taylor’s office when Blackburn and Phillips came along.  Smith came towards to store, with Mr. Gorden’s two children.  Phillips said, “There he is.”  Blackburn said, “Yes, there he is, with his gold headed California cane.”   Smith put his hand in his side pocket, and said, “Do you mean to insult me in the street?”  Blackburn said, “Shoot if you want, I am not afraid.”  Phillips and Blackburn passed down and went into Wood’s office.  After a while they came out again and walked up street, and almost immediately the shots were fired.  Heard the shots fired and the caps snap, but did not see the shots.  Did not hear any threats from Blackburn or Phillips; thought Phillips was a little in liquor.  Saw a man I supposed to be Smith running past Taylor’s corner afterwards.  Expected something was to happen, and kept out of the way.

J. G. D. Pettijohn, sworn.—Tuesday morning on my return from breakfast at the hotel, I met Dr. Blackburn coming down the street.  As he turned from the walk to go to his office, after he left the sidewalk, he looked towards me and made some remark that I did not understand.  In an hour or two after, he came into our store with a comfort on his arm and asked me if Mr. Reed was in.  I replied that he was not. He then asked me if I would give Mr. Reed that comfort.  I replied that I would, and then asked him if he spoke to me in the morning when he passed me in the street.  He replied that he did.  I asked him what he said.  He replied about as follows, “I said you were a d----d rascal, and you are a d----d rascal and villain,” at the same time approaching nearer to where I stood.  I then said that he was certainly a contemptible puppy or rascal.  He continued in abuse and when he came near enough, struck me on the side of the head, knocking off my hat.  I ran back to get something to defend myself with, but Smith headed me and picked up the pistol.  Smith then advanced towards Blackburn with the pistol in his hand.  Did not see him cock it; don’t know whether he cocked it or not.  He ordered Blackburn out of the house.  Blackburn stepped back near or in the door, and drew from his bosom a bowie knife, holding the handle in one hand, and the other on the scabbard.  The excitement increased—I advanced and closed the door, and others came around it.  The door soon opened, and the conversation continued.  I asked Paul Allen to take Blackburn away, that I feared there would be injury done.  Smith caught a hatchet, and started to the door remaking that he would split him down.  As he came to the door, I caught his arm and held it, and told Allen to take Blackburn away.  Allen took hold of Blackburn and led him away.

In the evening, I told Smith I was going to church, and asked him if he was going to remain in the store.  He said he would not be there all the time, that he had promised to see a patient, Mrs. Taylor, at Gorden’s; after the he would be in the store and he took the key.  I then went to church, stayed till the meeting was almost closed, between 9 and 10 o’clock, I think.  Saw Smith enter the church.  He sent a messenger to tell me to come out, that he wished to see me.  I went out and as near as I can recollect he said, “I have killed Blackburn, and think I have shot Phillips, and am going to leave.”  I was much excited and we had conversation, which I cannot recall.  He said they had made the attack and had fired on him; . . . .(illegible) took no thought I would find. . . .about the house.  . . . .that they in passing about in the door, and said they snapped and burst a cap, or shot; he was not certain which, in the door, and that he should be off.  He then said, “Say to my friends that after the excitement was over I will be back; that they need have no fears.”  I then went down to my store.

(The remainder of Dr. Pettijohn's testimony is omitted as irrelevant.)

The jury retired and brought in a verdict that the deceased came to his death by being shot with a pistol bullet in his left side by Dr. D. T. Smith, in accordance with the testimony,

            Last Thursday, Miles Parker, John Harris, Bo Baird, Charley Arter, and Josh. Hendrixon started in pursuit of Dr. Smith, the murderer of Dr. Blackburn, who was reported to be at Mr. Baumguard’s about 15 miles from town.  Smith, however, got wind of their coming, and when the party arrived the bird had flown.  They crossed the river four hours behind him, and followed him, on foot, to Charleston, where they procured horses and took the field again.  Several citizens of Charleston joined them, and at the last accounts the Dr. was hemmed in, in a swamp waist deep, with but two points of egress, both of which were guarded.  The party returned Saturday night completely worn out, and another party started in pursuit last Sunday.  There can be no doubt that he will be taken.  A reward of five hundred dollars has been offered for his apprehension by a brother of Dr. Blackburn’s.  We hope he may be arrested.

            P. S.  Since the above was in type, Dr. Smith has been taken and is now in Cairo.  He was arrested near Charleston last Sunday night by Grundy Bryan and John Harris, and a gentleman from Charleston by the name of Deal.  He will undergo an examination this morning before a Justice of the Peace.



Wednesday, 29 Apr 1857:

Died April 24th of pneumonia, Richard Knight Finch, child of William F. and Betta (?) F. Finch, aged 14 years, 2 months and 4 days.



Wednesday, 13 May 1857:

William Wilson, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois from 1818 to 1849, died at his residence in White County on the 29th ult.



Wednesday, 3 Jun 1857:

John G. Goessman, editor of the Benton Standard, died at his residence the 29th ult.  Mr. Goessman was for many years a faithful Democratic editor.



Wednesday, 10 Jun 1857:


Examination of Richard Gallagher, charged with the murder of Enoch MacPherson.  Before B. Shannessy, Esq., J.P., June 5th, 1857—H. W. Webb counsel for the People, and G. C. Simons for the defendant.

Testimony for the Prosecution.

            David McMurtry, sworn.—Has known the defendant for the last month, and McPherson for about three weeks.  Gallagher same to my boat at the river Wednesday night, after his wife, to take her to a boarding house in town to wait for a boat, so that he could send her to Cincinnati to her folks.  She said she would not go until a boat came, and would stay there.  He took her trunk out of the boat, carried it out on shore, and then came back for her.  She said she would not go.  While he went out, McPherson went to Andy Peter’s trunk, unlocked it, and got out a knife.  When Gallagher came back, he reached in for his child, and McPherson said, “If you touch the child or her, I’ll cut your heart out.”  McPherson made a bulge at Gallagher with his knife, and as he did so, Gallagher shot at him, and shot him I the arm, McPherson dodged back with the knife still in his hand, and Gallagher shot again.  McPherson then ran to the window where I and my wife were sitting, jumped out and started down the raft.  Gallagher started after him and shot at him again.  McPherson stopped; they came together, and Gallagher fetched him a spot in the face with the pistol.  They scuffled around for a few minutes, and that is all I could tell about it, as it was growing dusk, and I could not see plainly.  Saw McPherson strike Gallagher with a big club and knock him into the river.  McPherson was running from Gallagher.  Saw Gallagher when he got out of the water.  They scuffled and I could not see what they were doing.  They separated; McPherson ran a short distance and fell.  Could not see Gallagher when McPherson went toward him.  McPherson came within two or three feet when he made the lunge.  He had his hand raised back.  Gallagher had been boarding with me for the last two weeks.  Had heard Gallagher make not threats with regard to McPherson.  Was at the inquest Wednesday night.  This happened on a raft about half past seven o’clock Wednesday evening.

            Cross-examined.—Enoch (McPherson) had things in the trunk where the knife was.  Do not know who the knife belonged to.  Never saw Enoch have it before.  It was a bowie knife, about a nine-inch blade, twelve inches with the handle.  He kept the knife in his hand until Gallagher came in, had it raised in a sticking position.  When he said to Gallagher that if he touched the woman or child he would cut his heart out, he had the knife in a sticking position.  Gallagher had hold of the child, Enoch told him to let go, and then said that if he interfered with the woman or child, he would cut his heart out.  Think Gallagher reached again and the woman dodged back, with the child in her arms.  The child was about two years old.  When McPherson said he would cut his heart out, they were about four feet apart, they were not so near when he made the pass at GallagherGallagher stepped back, when the pass was made.  He fired very quickly; it was not over two seconds.  Saw the stick McPherson struck him with, it was a piece of 4 by 6 inch scantling, about 5 feet long.  Gallagher had his hat on.  The scantling struck him on the side.  Gallagher went into the water towards the river; the water there was 19 or 20 feet deep.  Gallagher swam towards the raft; saw him climb out.  Did not see either use knives when they scuffled.  Do not know whether Enoch had a pistol in his hand, nor whether he owned one.

            Re-direct Examination.—From when Gallagher first fired, until McPherson came out of the window, it was perhaps four or five seconds.  The distance was about twenty feet to the window, and about the same to where he came out.

            Enoch Babbs, sworn.—Know the parties by sight. Was present at the difficulty.  Was sitting in a dugout alongside the raft.  Gallagher came alongside of the raft, shook hands with me, went aboard of the boat, asked his wife if she wanted to go somewhere to stop. She said no, that she had a place to stop.  He said, “I will take away her things.”  He went in and asked Dave McMurtry if he wanted the things to stay; think Dave said that he didn’t care.  Gallagher went into the boat, and the woman kept objecting; he shoved her away, and got the trunk, and took it out on a lumber pile.  He came back and took hold of the child, and tried to get it from the woman.  She objected; the child cried and screamed.  Enoch interfered and told him to let the woman and child alone.  Gallagher said he would have the child, and a few words passed between them—they were rough words.  McPherson had a knife in his hand, just back of his sleeve.  I was at the aft end of the boat, looking through the window.  Gallagher was outside of the boat.  When Gallagher said he would have the child Enoch said, “God d—n you, you won’t,” and made a motion to get at him with the knife and Gallagher commenced firing; think he fired two or three shots.  McPherson made his way back to the window, and got out on the raft.  Gallagher fired just after McPherson started after him with the knife.  Gallagher kept firing at him.  Remember three shots fired with the pistol.  McPherson ran down the raft, and Gallagher ran after him.  Three shots were fired, and a cap burst.  They got to scuffling, and one man got won, can’t say which one it was; one was hit on the head with a club.  IT was getting dark, and I could not see how they were fighting.  The one who was knocked down got up, and the other started away from him a step or two.  The one that was struck laid there two or three seconds, Macpherson started down to another section of the raft, don’t think Gallagher was struck in the water then.  There had been a man in the water before the man was struck with the club; he was struck in the water.  Don’t know how he got in the water; he was knocked or shoved in the scuffle, Gallagher was wet, and Macpherson was dry, and I suppose Gallagher was the man in the water.  The man who was struck with the club lay two or three seconds, and the other started away two or three steps.  The man who was struck got up and made at him with a knife.  Think ore or two licks were made then by the man who was in the water, and the other walked away a few steps and fell, he only breathed some four breaths after I got to him.  Never heard Gallagher make threats with regard to Macpherson.  Witness happened to be there on business.  Identifies Gallagher.  Cross-examined.—The trunk was carried out of the flat boat—McMurtry’s boat—at least he lived in it.  Did not see Enoch get the knife, Enoch was within three or four steps of Gallagher when the conversation took place about the child.  The dugout I was on was close to the boat, next to the raft.  Enoch was on the inside of the boat, and Gallagher on the outside when the conversation took place.  I did not go aboard of the boat, looked through the window,--Gallagher’s wife and child were standing in the door of the boat, the second time he went to the boat; the first time they were on the raft.  The followed him into the boat when he got the trunk out.  She was on the boat when he asked her if she wanted some other place to step.  When Gallagher reached for the child, he was outside of the boat on the raft and Macpherson was inside the boat.  When he reached the second time for the child, he was still on the raft.  His wife and child were both near the door in the boat.  Both had hold of the child at the same time.  Macpherson told Gallagher to let them alone.  Macpherson was in the boat when he drew his knife, and made an effort to get out.  Don’t know where Gallagher hit when he fired.  Macpherson jumped out of the window on the same raft where Gallagher was.  Saw one man in the water; saw him go in; he went in towards deep water; the water must have been 20 or 25 feet deep.  He fell in between two rafts, and tried to get out on one raft , and Enoch was heading him, and he swam across and got out on the other raft.  Enoch ran around and got on the other raft, just as the other got out, and struck him just as he got out, then the man who was struck laid on the raft two or three seconds.  I was 20 or 25 steps from them,.  Saw a hole in Gallagher, like the fresh cut of a knife; the cut was under the arm.  Only heard three shots in all.  Did not see Gallagher’s pistol.  The club was fine scantling about 4 or 4 ½ feet long, and about 3 inches square.

Isaac V. Catlett, sworn.—Heard Gallagher’s wife two or three days before the fight threaten her husband, that some person would give him a good whipping, if he did not leave her alone.  He wanted to know who it was, she said she would find a person.  Don’t think he used McPherson’s name.  Was on the raft at the time of the difficulty, fixing a skiff.  Enoch McPherson came down, went into the boat, and talked to Mrs. Gallagher.  They came out, and sat outside the door on a piece of raft, and were talking when Gallagher came down.  The child was with them.  Gallagher spoke to his wife, and asked her if she was ready to go to another boarding house, and if she knew that they did not want her there.  She said she could take care of herself, and would go on the first boat, and that she had somebody else to take care of her.  He asked McMurtry where her things were, and if he wanted them away.  McMurtry said he didn’t care.  He took one trunk out; came back and said something on the way with an oath in it; he was walking very quick.  He came and took hold of the child, and told her to come along.  The woman told him to keep his hands off.  Both had stepped inside when he went to get the trunk.  They did not come out, and were standing in the door when he came back.  McPherson said something—could not hear what, nor see what he did—words passed and immediately Gallagher drew back and fired into the door—McPherson jumped out of the stern of the boat, on to the raft.  Gallagher went back, and as McPherson jumped out he fired again.  They ran down the raft.  Enoch was ahead; he turned and two shots were fired—don’t know who fired them—thought it was too quick for one man to make both shots.  They scuffled, and struck a few licks, and one got off onto another raft, and got out on it in the middle.  One kept giving back—could not see which.  One got the other started, and ran him into the river—think it was Gallagher in the river as he was wet, and the other was not.  He jumped to get on the other raft, and got into the water.  The other man ran and headed him.  He found he could not get out there and saw to the other piece and got out.  The other ran around and got there just as he was getting out of the water.   Blows were struck—could not tell what with—a few licks were struck there, and they separated, going I different ways.  The one who was killed, walked some ten feet, and fell down; the other came back with the knife.  When Gallagher came back to the raft, he said he would take it out in a hurry or something like it.

Cross Examined.—Think Gallagher and his wife had been boarding there about two weeks.  Macpherson and Gallagher’s wife appeared very intimate before Gallagher left the boat.  She appeared to think more of Macpherson than of her husband.  She acted very coolly towards Gallagher and kind to Macpherson.  She was ordered away one or two days before the difficulty; would not go, and sent for Enoch; waited till dinner when he came; when it was over, he and she went into the back room, said down and talked, and she still stayed.  These conversations took place when Gallagher was not there; they were private.  After he left she did whatever Macpherson told her, apparently acting under his advice.  Heard Macpherson tell her he had a wife and two children.  They set up the night before the difficulty on the raft together, till 11 o’clock I was told, with no one else around.  Do not think they lodged together.  Did not see a pistol on Enoch.  There was a knife lying by him when he went to him, a butt of a pistol was picked up on the raft.  Could not see what took place in the boat.  McMurtry and his wife were in the boat.  When Macpherson got out of the board he got on the same piece of raft where Gallagher was.  After the man was in the water, the other had to run some 10 or 15 feet to get to him to head him.  Think the lick was made with the square stick of timber.  The knife picked up was a medium sized bowie knife.  Did not see Gallagher’s pistol.

Dr. William Wood, sworn.—Examined the body of Enoch Macpherson.  He came to his death by wounds from pistol shots and a knife.  One shot was through his left arm near the shoulder, passing completely through the left and grazing the body as it passed out; one shot entered the left side about as high as the small of the back, the ball passing just under the skin about six inches, and lodging near the surface.  There were four stabs; one though the left hand; one under the left arm, 2 inches below the armpit, which penetrated the cavity of the chest; another on the left side, immediately over the stomach, passing into the cavity, and ranging towards the left side, about horizontal; another above that, between the 7th or 8th ribs, penetrating some 6 inches, a little upward and backward, passing through or wounding the heart.  The last mentioned wound caused death.  (We omit the rest of Dr. Wood’s testimony, together with that of Dr. Kiechbach, who testified to substantiate the same state of facts.)

Fred Ehle, sworn.  Gallagher got my pistol Monday night; asked to buy it, and got it the next morning to try it about half an hour; has not returned it.  It was an Allen’s six-shooter.  (We omit the rest of the testimony.)

Testimony for the Defense.

            D. McMurtry, recalled.—Saw Gallagher’s pistol after the fray; it was whole.  Saw the butt of a pistol on the raft the next morning; it looked as if freshly broken.  Did not see any acts of intimacy between Gallagher’s wife and McPherson, except sitting out talking along till 9 or 10o’clock at night; saw this twice.  Her demeanor towards him was as if she did not care for Richard, but all for Enoch; she paid all her attentions to him.

            Henry Horne, sworn.—Has known Gallagher since spring; knows his wife and McPherson by sight.  Saw them sitting and talking together as man and wife, or as a boy sparking a girl, talking low and privately, and afterwards loud, so that Gallagher could hear it; also when he was not about.

            Enoch Babbs, recalled.—Got Gallagher’s pistol; it is not broken.  Did not hear two shots fired when they were scuffling.

            Margaret Gray and Thompson Gray testified to Gallagher’s good character.

            John Galy, sworn.—Has known Gallagher two months, and his wife and McPherson about two weeks.  Last Sunday saw McPherson and Gallagher’s wife commit adultery on the boat.

            Henry Horne, recalled.—Exhibits the handle of a pistol found on the raft.  The pistol belonged to Mr. Peters, and was usually kept in his trunk where the knife was.  (We omit the remainder of the testimony as unimportant.)

            The case was submitted to the Justice, who promptly discharged the prisoner, considering that he had acted in self-defense. 


It appears that Gallagher left his wife in Cincinnati and came to Cairo to live.  After settling here, he sent for her to come down.  On the way she made the acquaintance of the watchman on the boat and became very intimate with him.  This intimacy was kept up with until a few weeks ago when it was discovered that she intended to leave her husband and go off with the watchman and the arrangement was broken up.  Gallagher then determines to send her home to her friends and retain the child, a beautiful curly headed little girl about 2 years old.

            Previous to the discovery of her intended elopement, she became acquainted with McPherson after which time she seemed to have entirely abandoned her husband, treating him with the utmost coolness and contempt and was once detected in the very act of adultery with McPhersonGallagher determined to put a stop to these things and went down to the flat boat where both had been boarding for that purpose.

            From this point the evidence goes to show that Gallagher went to the boat and endeavored to persuade his wife to go with him and finding she would not do so, attempted to take the child, when he was assaulted by McPherson with a knife.  Gallagher fired twice at McPherson who ran out on the raft followed by Gallagher.  Here commenced a promiscuous fight, Gallagher giving ground until he stepped backward into the river.  He swam back to the other raft and before he regained his feet, was again knocked down by McPherson.

            He soon arose, however, and then commenced a bloody struggle.  Both combatants were armed with knives and they fought a close fight for about five minutes when they suddenly ceased and turned to walk in different directions.  McPherson walked about four steps when he fell dead.  He was literally covered with wounds, while Gallagher received but one severe wound under the left arm.  Gallagher was arrested and lodged to jail.

            The woman was a spectator of the fight and showing the utmost indifference as to what might be the fate of her husband and exhibited the greatest distress when she found McPherson was killed, shedding tears over and kissing the corpse and continually declaring that it was the fault of her husband.

            It is said that McPherson has a wife and two children in Covington, Ky.   



Wednesday, 17 Jun 1857:

The wife of J. W. Olney of Mound City was killed last week by the falling of a tree during the tornado.


An Irishman named John Kennedy committed suicide at Mound City by drowning last week.  He was suffering from delirium tremens caused by bad whiskey.


Died in this city on Sunday the 14th inst., William David, only child of Matthew and Kate Burns, aged 6 months and 5 days.



Wednesday, 24 Jun 1857:

The body of McPherson who was killed by Gallagher was disinterred last week by his friends and taken to Covington for burial.



Wednesday, 1 Jul 1857:

Last week as the train was passing in front of Williams & Stephens store, Joe Burton ran out of the store, deliberately placed his head under one of the tracks and was instantly decapitated.



Wednesday, 8 Jul 1857:

We are informed that Dr. Q.A. Snrad (?), recently a practicing physician in Cairo and a much respected and beloved, was among the victims of the Sonora massacre.



Wednesday, 15 Jul 1857:

On Tuesday last an altercation occurred between a laborer named Jerry Murphy and William Simpson, foreman of Messrs. Whaley and Wilkes brick yard, in which Simpson struck Murphy on the head with a club severely fracturing his skull.  Murphy is not expected to survive the blow.  Simpson made his escape.



Wednesday, 29 Jul 1857:

Monday evening last, as John Moffitt was bathing in the Mississippi River opposite the pleasure garden, he was seized with the cramps and immediately sunk.  His body was recovered by a young man who was in the river with him.  The deceased was a resident of Canada, aged about 50 years and was on a visit to his sons who are living in this city.


Dr. Cully, formerly of Thebes, who came to Cairo to open the Falls Hotel, died on Sunday.  He had been ill for some time.

(Listed in the 1850 census of Alexander County in household 185 is Matthew M. Cully, a 55-year-old native of New York and a physician.  A biographical sketch of Jasper Cully, in the 1883 History of Alexander, Union & Pulaski Counties states that M. M. Cully was born in Massachusetts in 1796 and settled in Thebes soon after 1843.)



Wednesday, 19 Aug 1857:

Died in Cairo this morning, Mr. James M. Kennedy, aged 29 years.  He was a native of Newtoncurds, County Down, Ireland, and has been a resident of Cairo during the past three years.



Wednesday, 25 Aug 1857:

Died on the 12th inst., at Rogersville, Tenn., Nona Newell, infant daughter of John E. and Mary L. Wilcox.



Wednesday, 9 Sep 1857:

We learn from the conductor of the Wednesday train that a man who was discharged from the employ of the railroad company last Wednesday, at Anna, procured a knife, asserting that his discharge was the fault of Mr. Kratzinger, that he intended to kill him.  A friend of Mr. Kratzinger happened to be standing by and took up for him, when the man assaulted him with the knife, cutting him so badly that he died in a few minutes.  The man was finally knocked down with a chair, secured and committed to the Jonesboro jail.



Wednesday, 7 Oct 1857:

Last Friday a man in the last stages of flux was taken from the David White to the Taylor House where he died the same night.  His name was F. H. Kitts, a painter by trade.  He formerly lived in Delta, Ohio, and was on his way to visit his uncle, who resides in Columbus, Ohio.  He was properly cared for by the Masons, who buried him with Masonic honors on Friday.



Wednesday, 14 Oct 1857:

Died in Cairo City on Friday the 2d inst., Julia, infant daughter of Maria and Henry Devlin.


On Wednesday last a fracas occurred on board the steamer Gazelle which resulted in the death of Mr. Gil. Boren of Mound City.  We have received the following account of the affray from Capt. Worthington of the Gazelle who was an eyewitness to the whole transaction.  At Mound City, Boren and two other gentleman from Caledonia, brothers, by the name of Hudson, got on board the boat.  They were all under the influence of liquor.  At the supper table one of the party called upon the cook for a spoon.  Boren observed, “Call for what you want and if he don’t get it, we’ll make him do it.”  A few minutes afterward, another called for a glass of water.  The cook replied that there were no glasses and that he had done the best he could.  Some words passed and a cup and saucer were thrown at the cook.  He ran into the cookhouse and took up the carving knife, but the captain quieted the difficulty, and ordered the cook to remain in the cookhouse.  A few moments elapsed when one of the Hudsons, we believe, rushed into the cookhouse, jerked the cook backwards into the cabin, where he was knocked down.  He rose and as he did so, the opposite party closed around him with drawn knives.  They were quickly separated.  The cook disappeared and it was supposed he had jumped overboard.  In the melee, Boren received what he considered an insignificant wound in the left temple.  He walked around the boat for some time, but finally approached the captain and told him he was badly hurt, that he believed he had received his deathblow.  From that moment, he commenced sinking.

            At Caledonia a physician was sent for and Boren taken ashore, where he died about 2 o’clock the next morning.  It is thought that the cook stabbed Boren, but it was impossible to say who did it, as the parties were close together and striking in every direction.  A knife was afterwards found in the cabin, supposed to belong to one of the Hudsons with the point broken off.  After the boat left Caledonia, the cook was discovered, the boat turned back and he was delivered up to the authorities at Caledonia, where he is now in jail.

            He has a wife and family living in Cairo.  Every effort was made to prevent this difficult, but without avail.



Wednesday, 24 Oct 1857:

Last Thursday a bright little son of Mr. William Standing of this place, about 4 years old, was playing back of the mill with some of his companions when a team of mules belonging to the mill took fright and ran away with the wagon in the direction of the children.  They all managed to get out of the way except Mr. Standing’s child, who was knocked down and the wheel of the wagon passed over his head, killing him instantly.  He was taken to Jonesboro for burial.  Our heartfelt sympathies are with the bereaved parents. 

(A marker in Jonesboro Cemetery reads, John Standing, son of William and Margaret Standing, was killed Oct. 16, 1857, by a wagon running over him while playing with some other playmates, aged 3 years, 10 months.)


A fatal affray occurred on board the steamer Julia on her last trip up river, in which Mr. John C. Goforth was almost instantly killed.  Mr. Goforth was for some time a resident of Cairo and has recently been practicing in Napoleon.  In giving the particulars of the affair, the Memphis Eagle says, “Among the passengers on board the steamboat Julia, when she left Napoleon, on Saturday night, was a lawyer of Napoleon named Goforth, also a person named Hudson, who being under bonds to answer for having killed a Mr. Murray was on his way to this city to deliver himself up to criminal court which commenced its fall term here yesterday.  When about 10 miles on this side of Napoleon, these two men got into a violent dispute.  The lie passed between them.  Goforth drew a pistol which it is said had no cap on it, when Hudson drew a knife and gave him one powerful stab in the side.  Goforth was taken to his stateroom and in 10 minutes was a lifeless corpse.  Hudson was very cool about what he had done.  He said he did not value his life and they could take it if they wanted, he had merely acted in self-defense.  The slayer and the corpse were put on board the Rainbow, which was met after the occurrence and sent back to Napoleon.  The circumstance of an individual killing one man, when on the way to answer for having caused the death of another, is inexpressibly shocking.”



Wednesday, 18 Nov 1857:

We learn from a friend who lives in Missouri that a fiendish murder was committed in Mississippi County a week or two since in which a laboring man named Jones and his wife were murdered by a man Horregan.  The particulars are about as follows:

            Horregan had stolen  some hogs.  Jones saw him kill them and was therefore the principal witness against him.  Horregan swore that Jones should not appear against him before the grand jury.  On Saturday night a man knocked at Jones’ door which was opened by Jones.  The man inquired the way to a neighbor’s and received directions.  He then asked for a drink of water and as Jones turned to get it, the man fired at him and hit him.  He was then assaulted with a hatchet and received several severe wounds on the hand, arms and head.  He succeeded in getting out a back door and escaped Horregan.  Mrs. Jones commenced screaming, when Horregan struck her on the head with the hatchet, breaking her skull from the effects of which she died in a day or two.  Jones eluded Horregan and fell down in the cornfield and fainted.  Both Jones and his wife made affidavits that Horregan was the man who committed the assault.  Jones in his affidavit said that the man had a veil over his face but he recognized his voice.  (Horregan and Jones were old acquaintances and had worked together a long time.)  Mrs. Jones swore positively that Horregan struck her on the head with the hatchet.  Horregan is now in jail at Charleston, Mo., and it is hoped he will get his just desserts. 

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