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Tragical Death of a Young Man While Out Hunting

On Monday, the 14th, a party composed of Joseph L. BOGAN, G. H. PATTON, 
J. K. ALBRIGHT, Theodore TROMLY, and C. D. MORRISON, left Mt. Vernon for 
Skillet Fork, in the south part of Wayne County, on a hunting expedition.  
At Middleton, some 15 miles east of here, the party was joined by Jarvis WILLIAMSON, 
E. N. KARN, Richard CHILDRES, and James LEWIS, old hunters who knew the country, 
and the former of whom owned a pack of hounds.  The party went out for the purpose 
of shooting deer, turkeys and other game.  They were equipped with everything 
usually taken with such expeditions, such as provisions, bed clothing, cooking 
utensils, etc.  Arriving on the hunting ground, they encamped a short distance 
below the McLeansboro & Fairfield bridge.  Here they remained until Thursday morning, 
when it was agreed that they would move some three or four miles further down, where 
it was thought that game would be found in more abundance.

As Mr. WILLIAMSON, who owned the hounds, desired to return home at noon, the whole 
party concluded to hunt until that time, and then all come in and start for the new 
quarters.  Mr. WILLIAMSON and Mr. ALBRIGHT went out on horseback with the dogs, 
while BOGAN and TROMLY started off afoot.  In a few moments a large buck was started 
by the dogs.  The animal was fired at by BOGAN and one or two others as it passed, 
while WILLIAMSON followed it on horseback.  By this time the members of the party 
were scattered in every direction, all eagerly watching an opportunity to get a shot 
at the deer.  It ran a great distance, followed by WILLIAMSON and the dogs, and it 
soon became evident that it would make its escape.  So he called off the hounds, and 
soon after, in company with the Middleton party, left for home.

At noon all the balance of the party except BOGAN, had returned to the old camp, 
preparatory to moving in accordance with the morning’s arrangements.  Signals were 
given for him, but he did not come.  Word was left with some board members nearby 
to tell him to follow when he did come in, and the party gathered up everything and left.  
They reached their destination a short time before dark, and having completed their 
arrangements for camping, began their signals for BOGAN, which were kept up until 
twelve o’clock. He not arriving at that time, it was naturally concluded that he had 
remained at the old camp, which was a log shanty, and would be in the next morning.  
Up to noon Friday no uneasiness was felt, as it was thought he would take his own time 
in coming.  Indeed, it was not until evening that his non-appearance began to create a 
suspicion that all was not right.  But even then it was suggested that he had gone to 
Middleton, and as they intened to return on Saturday morning they would find him at that 
place.  This presumption seemed to be plausible.

On Saturday morning they came on to Middleton, but were surprised to hear nothing of him.  
It then became evident that he was back in the woods, and that he had either got lost or 
some accident had befallen him.  Feeling that they would do very little towards finding him 
in the deep and almost impenetrable forest, which covers an area in the counties of Hamilton, 
White and Wayne of a good sized county, with but a house here and there, they reasoned that 
the shortest and best way would be to come on here and gather a crowd to go in search of him.  
This was done, and about 25 or 30 men were in a very few minutes on the way there.  It was 
late Saturday night when they arrived in the neighborhood, and nothing would be done until 

At daylight search was immediately instituted, and about 9 o’clock he was found dead, near 
the place where he had last been seen.  His body lay in a lagoon, the head entirely gone, 
and his whole person horribly mangled by hogs, which were at that very moment holding a 
carnival over the remains.  His gun lay near a tree, at a distance of 15 feet, with both 
barrels discharged, and the stock broken just behind the breech-pin.  The body was nearly 
buried in mud, which was tough, and it was with great difficulty that it was dragged out.  
The sight was a shocking one, moving and melting the stoutest heart.  The body had evidently 
lain there since Thursday, and had the discovery been two hours later it was the opinion of 
all that it would have been stripped of every particle of flesh by the hogs.

The sad news reached Mt. Vernon about 4 o’clock Sunday, and created the most profound feeling 
of sympathy and regret.  A sudden pall was thrown over every countenance, none expecting to 
hear of such a horrible fate of one who had so recently moved among us clothed in glowing 
health, young and vigorous with every promise of a long and useful life before him.

His body came in about 8 o’clock and was take to the Court House, where it was examined by 
the physicians, washed, dressed, and placed in a neat coffin, and then taken to the residence 
of John S. BOGAN, brother of the deceased.  The funeral took place at 10 o’clock on Monday, 
and was attended by a very large number of our citizens. 

There are, of course, a great variety of opinions as to how he met his death.  Many believe, 
from certain indications manifested by the appearance of various mutilations of the body, 
that he was murdered.  Others are firmly of the opinion that he was accidentally shot while 
leaning on his gun, which seems the more probable; but what the incidents were leading to an 
accidental discharge of the piece of course never will be known.  The future may unravel 
circumstances that may reveal the whole mystery, and it may not.

Mr. BOGAN was in his 25th year.  He was born in Washington, D.C., where his father, several 
of his brothers, and other relatives now reside.  He had a brother here, J. S. BOGAN, Clerk 
of the Circuit Court, and one sister, wife of Geo. H. VARNELL.  Another brother, H. M. BOGAN, 
lives in Jefferson precinct, this county.  He was a young man of good education, and very good 
business qualities.  He was a pet with the young men of the town, and was loved and respected 
by all, old and young.  He was very fond of the chase, and was always ready to drop everything 
and go when such enterprises were named.  He was a good shot – one of the best in the country.  
He had killed a fine fawn on Wednesday evening, and was in high glee over his good luck.  
But “accidents will happen” and poor “Joe’s” has been tragical enough, yet the inscrutable will 
of Providence must be submitted to and acknowledged.

Source: Mt. Vernon Free Press 
Date: Friday, October 25, 1867
Submitted by: Mary Zinzilieta


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