H A N G E D --------- Steve Clark and Will Gatlin Pay Extreme Penalty. --------- BOTH DIED GAME --------- Many Persons Witness Hanging of the Two Murderers. Clark Hanged First.
The Daily Republic Vol. 1 POPLAR BLUFF, BUTLER COUNTY MISSOURI, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 1903 The first hanging in Butler county for twelve years took place this afternoon at 2 o'clock, when Steve Clark, the murderer of Pearl Clark, paid the penalty of his crime by being hanged. At 1:55 the march to the scaffold began, headed by Sheriff James R. Hogg, followed by W. C. Yost, John Cox and Lennis Hogg. At 1:56 the black cap was adjusted, and in four minutes more Steve Clark hung at the end of the rope. The body twitched and contorted for 11 ½ minutes, and was dead at 2 15½, and was cut down at 2.23. His neck was broken. So tender was the flesh that the rope cut his neck on the left side just below his chin. He talked a few moments and declared himself not guilty of the crime of murder in the first degree, but admitted to have done an awful act while insanely angry. He was cut down and the body placed in a coffin and conveyed to the court house. He requested that his body be buried beside that of the woman he murdered. He forgave all and went out of the world with no felling toward any one. He was dressed in the same black suit he has worn continually since his imprisonment, blue striped shirt and no collar. The second hanging was close upon the first, and at 2:40 Will Gatlin headed by Sheriff Hogg and Rev. Fr. O'Flaherty, followed by a force of deputies, began the march. Gatlin mounted the scaffold in a steady step, and proceeded to talk, pray, preach and pray for 34 minutes. At 3:12 the black cap was adjusted and at 3:14 the body of Will Gatlin was jerked to eternity. Gatlin talked at length upon religious lines, and the history of his crime. He paid a few parting words of an inflammable sort to Pat Hill, one of the witnesses for the prosecution. Gatlin was perfectly composed, and seemed anxious while in jail for the time to go. He was dressed in his train porter uniform of blue-black clay worsted, fancy silk vest, white shirt, lay-down collar and black string tie. ---------------- CLARK'S CRIME The crime for which Steve Clark paid the extreme penalty demanded by the laws of the land is still fresh in the minds of most of the people of Poplar Bluff and Butler county. Steve Clark was a professional gambler and pimp, who "toiled not, neither did he spin," but lived a life of apparent ease and leisure. It was very necessary that some one furnish the money upon which he might lead a life of idleness. In the woman he so foully murdered he found the coveted one. Pearl Clark was a prostitute and conducted a house of prostitution in a two-story yellow frame house in the southwest corner of the city, and Steve Clark lived with her as her husband, or rather, to use a common phrase among that class of people, as her "lover." He was clothed, fed and furnished with money at the expense of this poor, ignorant, degraded woman. He encouraged her loathsome profession by pimping for her resort, and thus did his share to assist her in her nefarious vocation, in order that he might evade "earning his bread by the sweat of his brow." In the course of her affairs it was necessary for her to look and act sweet on all men who might be caught in her web. To this Clark acquiesced until a "green-eyed monster" appeared, in the personage of one Ed Lewis, and Iron Mountain railroad brakeman. At first the wary smiles of the woman toward Lewis were regarded by Clark as being "legitimate" and strictly in the line of business; but the smiles and glances became too serious to suit Clark, who had begun to notice the waning of his erstwhile reigning star, and then it was that murder began to take a foothold in the bosom of this fiend incarnated Steve Clark and the woman, who went to her grave as a human sacrifice to his love and lust, began to quarrel; he in an effort to maintain his easy living, and she to rid herself of a burden which had grown tiresome for her to carry. Their quarrels were at first only trivial, but time soon worked them into matters noticeable to the other inmates and habitues of the resort. Clark realized that his star was on the wane and that the pleasant smiles an d gallant attentions of Lewis toward "his woman" were having a-telling effect, and to one who had sunk so low in the mire of human degradation it was but natural that he attempt to curb the tide. But he had waited too long, for the love of the woman who had supported him for the many years past had flown and had found a safe resting place in the bosom of another, Ed Lewis. Several times Steve and Pearl Clark had quarreled, and finally he forbade her ever speaking to Lewis again. In order to pacify him, and possibly realizing what desperate efforts he might resort to, she promised him she would have done with Lewis. This seemed to be a balmy oil for a troubled sea, and their friendly relations were again renewed. This lasted for several weeks, when on June 25, 1901, Steve Clark saw Lewis and Pearl Clark talking together near the Iron Mountain freight depot. He went to where they were standing and created quite a disturbance in reprimanding the woman and warning the man against a repetition of the event. The woman finally induced him to desist his demonstrations and return home with her, promising fidelity and all things good. He agreed and the two left the scene of the encounter between Clark and Lewis and returned to her resort, where Clark told the woman that he would positively kill her should he ever find her in the company of Lewis again. She promised him his words should be law, and that she would obey his mandates. But a prostitute's word is no better than her morals, and as a consequence that same afternoon Clark found Lewis and Pearl Clark in a wine room in a south end saloon. It was like flaunting a red flag in the face of an enraged bull. On the impulse of the moment Clark seized a large iron cuspidor, which he attempted to use on the wrecker of his happiness, Lewis, but before he could put his murderous intentions into execution he was looking down the barrel of a large revolver, which Lewis had pulled in his defense. Lewis did not shoot, more is the pity, but forced Clark to drop his weapon and retire. The woman, realizing the awful condition of Clark's mind, soon left Lewis and returned to her home. In the meantime Clark came up town and attempted to borrow a revolver from several of his acquaintances. He was unsuccessful, and failing in this he returned to the home of the woman and procured a large butcher knife and again returned up town, where he whetted the blade to razor-like sharpness and returned to the house, with one thought raging in his poisoned mind - that of murder. Without a word to any of the female inmates, or their male friends, he walked through the house with his murderous weapon encased in his trousers between the waistband and shirt. Pearl Clark was drawing a bucket of water from a well in the rear of the house. He walked up to her and told her to get ready to die, as he was going to kill her. The woman regarded it as only a mad raving, and told him to go into the house and let her alone. That was the straw that broke the camel's back, and without another word he drew his death-dealing knife from its place of secretion and plunged it into her breast, just over her heart. Throwing her arms around him and her eyes to Heaven, she begged him in the name of God to spare her life. Seeing that her entreaties were vain, she then imploringly called to some men and women sitting on a porch, "For God's sake, are you going to sit there and see me murdered?" But one glance from the fiendish eyes of this human devil was sufficient, and as if by magic they vanished and left the heartless murderer and his helpless victim alone. But the work of this brute in human form had been accomplished, and writhing in her own blood at his feet lay the dying woman who had sacrificed her virtue, her honor and her all, that he might live a life of absolute ease and leisure. After all had left, the awfulness of his hellish deed dawned upon his inflamed mind, and he made a feeble attempt at self- destruction. But it was only a half-hearted one. Taking a small penknife, he inflicted an abrasion of the skin, just over the heart, and then lay down near the body of his victim, who was then cold in death, and awaited the awful results. The news of the tragedy soon reached the ears of Chief of Police John Harding, who post haste repaired to the scene, where he found the lifeless body of Pearl Clark lying in a pool of blood, and not far from her lay the blood-stained knife that had but a few moment previously been the means of sending her soul before the judgement bar of God, without a moment's time in which to prepare to meet her Maker. Not far away lay the red-handed murderer, rolling and tossing and praying that God might relieve him of the awful predicament into which he had maliciously plunged, by letting him die. But while the troubles of Pearl Clark were over and her soul had winged its flight to the merciful God who gave it, the life and death struggle of Steve Clark had only begun. He was arrested by Mr. Harding and taken to the county jail, where he suffered for several days from the self- inflicted wound. His wound was dressed and he was soon nursed back to good health. An information was filed against him before Judge A. S. Armstrong, justice of the peace, by Prosecuting Attorney D. W. Hill. He was arraigned, pleaded not guilty, and held to await the action of the October term of the Butler county circuit court. He was placed in jail, where for nineteen months and twelve days he remained, secluded from the rays of the sun, the ravages of the wintry blasts, except to go to and from the court room where his fate was fixed and his doom sealed. At the October term circuit court, 1901, he was summoned to appear before the court, and plead, answer or demur to a charge of the gravest crime in the annals of Butler county. With steady step and a brazen countenance he walked into the court room, guarded by two officers, and said, "Not guilty," when told of the crime which he was charged with having committed. Judge fort then asked him if he had employed counsel to defend him, and he replied he had not, and asked the court to supply him with legal talent necessary to fight for his miserable life. Judge Fort, realizing the importance of the trial, and wanting to give the prisoner at the bar every chance to purge himself of the terrible accusation, appointed Hon. S. M. Chapman, Judge L. R. Thomason and Hon. John H. Raney, three of the best lawyers in the state of Missouri. The fight for life with Steve Clark was then on, and it proved to be a battle between legal giants, with d. W. Hill for the prosecution and the three above named lawyers for the defense. A special venire was issued to Sheriff Henry Turner, for forty jurymen, returnable on the 18th day of October, when the battle that meant so much to Steve Clark was to begin. Of the forty jurymen the following were chosen and accepted: J. W. Wood, W. P. Gross, Wes Kearby, J. G. Riley, A. J. Huskey, J. C. Lucy, James D. Hendrickson, C. A. Hoskins, Albert Miller, John Macom, John A. Hayes, and W. J. Randles. After listening to the almost blood-curdling testimony of a large list of witnesses, after one of the hardest fought legal battles ever witnessed in the Butler county court house, where every technicality known to the legal profession was taken advantage of, and after listening to the grand display of oratory on behalf of the defendant and on behalf of the people and society, and after listening patiently to the long and numerous pages of instructions by the court, the jury repaired to the seclusion of their room, with the life of Steve Clark closer and closer to the scaffold, where he would, and to-day was, compelled to atone for one of the foulest, most inhuman, diabolical and unmitigated murders ever recorded upon the annals of the criminal history of Poplar Bluff. The jury was composed of representative men of the county, who were not inclined to act hastily, but who believed that in all cases justice should be done. They were out all night, when they arrived at the following verdict: "We, the jury, find the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree, as charged in the information. "JOHN A. HAYES, Foreman." The prisoner was sent for, and walking erect and defiantly, he marched between two officers to the court room, where he heard the words which meant so much to him read out by the clerk of the court. Without a quiver, or the least sign of emotion, he accepted his fate, and seemed to look to his lawyers for protection. He was remanded to jail, where he remained until the latter part of the term of court, when he was again ushered before the tribunal, to show cause why sentence should not be passed upon him. There being no apparent cause, Judge Fort, in solemn through distinct tones, said: "The jury have found you guilty of murder in the first degree. The penalty is death, and it is therefore the order of this court that you be taken by the sheriff to the county jail and there safely kept until Friday, December 10, 1901, when he shall take you to a place in the jail yard, arranged as the law directs, and at the hour of 2 o'clock in the afternoon of said day, hang you by the neck until you be dead." The attorneys for the defense then asked for a new trial, which was denied. They then filed a motion for an appeal to the supreme court of the state, and were given twenty days I which to file their bill of exceptions. They complied, and the case went to the supreme court for a final hearing. By some irregularity, the case went over to the last October term of the supreme court, when it was taken up and the decision of the lower court sustained, and the date for the execution set for December 19, 1902. An appeal was made to Governor Dockery for an extension of time, and a respite was granted to January 16, 1903. Afterwards another appeal was made to the Governor, asking for the second extension of time, in order that Clark and Gatlin could be hanged on the same date. It was granted, and to- day the curtain was run down on one of the most brutal tragedies of life, where two souls went before their Maker as a result of love, lust and intemperance. The witness who testified in Steve Clark's life and death struggle were Maggie Dawson, Ed Bone, Amanda Sloan, W. Clemmons, Ed :a;ard, John Harding and Henry Turner, for the prosecution, and James Young, M. James, Joe Kennedy, T. J. Roberts, Lou Burnham, Mr. Atkinson, Steve Clark and Jake Kerns, for the defense. ---------------- GATLIN'S CRIME. The history of the crime for which Will Gatlin was hanged to-day could be summed up in two words - wine and women - as is usually the cause with such for the law being compelled to treat such desperate cases with such desperate remedies. For several years there dwelt in Poplar Bluff a mulatto woman named Carrie Bryant. She was a bad woman in more ways than one. She was a prostitute, going forth seeking whom she could ensnare in her hellish net. For some time previous to the murder for which Will Gatlin to-day paid his life, she had been living with a colored man named Tom Graham, in the southwest part of the city, the next house south of where Steve Clark committed his awful deed. Carrie Bryant enjoyed considerable popularity among the tough class of young colored men in the city. She became enamored with a colored boy, Zeb Crite, a boot-black in the Quinn barber shop, and when not watched by Graham she would manifest her admiration for Crite. Graham soon learned of the secret intimacy going on between Crite and his sweetheart, and on one or two occasions engaged Crite in a quarrel, and it is alleged threatened his life unless he desisted from the marked attentions he was paying the Bryant woman. Crite was in love with her, and the thought of giving her up was the most foreign to his mind; to the contrary, he began to devise ways and means whereby he could in some manner outwit Graham and have the affections of the woman all to himself. He learned that a colored fellow named Will Gatlin, who was employed as porter on an Iron Mountain train, was looking upon this ebonyhued damsel with a wishful glance. Crite hunted Gatlin up, who was an old acquaintance and companion of his, and related the circumstances regarding the recent quarrels and slight indignities heaped upon him by Graham. Gatlin was quick in his decisions, and quicker still in his acts. There was but one thing to do and that was to rid the country of Tom Graham, either by fair means or foul. The deed had to be done, and too well both Gatlin and Crite knew that an open personal encounter, or an attempt to meet Graham in anything like an equal position, would be suicidal. Crite was a harmless, inoffensive boy of 19 years, who had never been in trouble of any kind before, so naturally when the subject of getting rid of Tom Graham by means of murder was suggested to him, de demurred and would not hear to it. That was during the summer of 1901. A while later Graham again quarreled with Crite, and called him some very vile names. Crite reported the matter to Gatlin a few days later, who told him to wait a few days, until he came in on his next trip, and they would fix Graham. Upon his return he hunted Crite up and advised him to do the worst. Crite refused, whereupon Gatlin placed a large revolver in his hand and said: "You take this gun and go kill the _____ ___ __ _ ___ or I will kill you." After which Crite, Gatlin and Ike Torrence walked toward the Graham home. This was about 3 o'clock on the morning of September 19, 1901. A few moments later they arrived at Graham's home, and called to him to come out. He asked them who it was that wanted him, and Gatlin is said to have answered that it was Lawyer Scott, an attorney of this city. Graham arose and walked to the front door, when a pistol shot rang out and Ton Graham was mortally wounded. He managed to reach his room and sat down on the side of the bed. The window curtain was up and he could be plainly seen from the street. Walking up to the window, Crite took deliberate aim and shot him the second time. The ball struck a vital point, and the mighty frame of Big Tom quivered and fell over dead upon his licentious bed. Gatlin, Crite and Torrence then left, and each of them returned tho their homes. The murder was reported to the authorities the next morning, and a search was begun for the trio. Crite was found peacefully sleeping at his room in the colored rooming house just across the street from Hogg's livery stable, and placed under arrest. Gatlin and Torrence were arrested the next day, and all three were placed in jail on a charge of murder. They were later arraigned before Judge A. S. Armstrong, where they waived examination and were each held to the circuit court on a charge of murder in the first degree, without bail. They were remanded to jail, where they remained until the October term of the circuit court. They were brought before the court, pleaded not guilty and asked for counsel to defend them. The court appointed H. N. and Sam Philips. The Crite case was set for trial Oct. 11. On that date the prisoner was brought into court to face a jury of his peers and given an opportunity to show his innocence. In the trial of the case it was soon seen that Torrence was not connected with the murder, and he was accordingly released. He returned to his work as passenger porter on the Iron Mountain,, where he is still a trusted employe. Gatlin and Crite were called into court, and announced ready for trial. A jury was called from a special venice of forty men, and the following men sworn to try Crite's case in a fair and impartial manner: John P. Treece, W. P. Gross, J. W. Wood, John Lucy, G. M. Harman, A. J. Huskey, J. W. Tate, David O. Lutes, J. W. Ferguson, Daniel Smith, L. H. Prior and Wiley Owen. All that day the jury listened to the evidence from the following witnesses: Fannie Sanders, Carrie Bryant, Theo. Johnson, Pat Hill, A. T. Bozarth, Tom Davis, John Harding, T. C. Bullock, John Hightower, Joe Hicks and James Sloan; then the arguments of the lawyers and the instructions from the court, after which they retired to the jury room for undisturbed deliberation. They were out only a short time, when the following verdict was returned: "We, the jury, find the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree, as charged in the information. "GEO.H. HARMEN, Foreman." Crite was called into court and heard the reading of the verdict, which meant "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." He received the verdict coolly and without the least sign of emotion. He was taken back to his cell, to await further action. A motion for a new trial was overruled and an appeal taken to the supreme court. Before the supreme court reached Crite's case, he had settled the whole affair and his soul had left this vale of tears by a route not laid out by the law. About April 1 Crite became sick with a stomach trouble, and grew rapidly worse until the night of April 18, when his life went out, and lying still in death his troubles were over. It is alleged that Crite ate soap left in his cell, for the purpose of killing himself. Whether this be true or not will never be known, but he died, and thus cheated the gallows of a victim. Before he died he called the county physician, Dr. C. F. Greens, to his bedside and told the whole story of the crime for which he was then under sentence of death. He said had it not been for Gatlin he never would have killed Graham, and laid all the blame of his misfortune to the bad advice and forced execution of a bad mind at the feet of Gatlin. On the morning of October 23 Will Gatlin was ushered before the bar of Justice, and announced ready for trial. The following jury was chosen and sworn to try the case: O. S. Roberson, C. J. Appleby, John Macom, James P. Scott, George Raferty, J. H. Voiles, D. H. Allison, J. H. Shuck, John Freer, Wm. Treece, S. P. Stotler and W. M. Montgomery. With pronounced patience they listened to the testimony, the arguments and final instuctins, and on the evening of October 23 they were allowed to retire to determine as to the futre of Will Gatlin. The deliberated the entire night, there being one for acquittal and eleven for conviction. The obstinate one was finally convinced, and when the court convened on the morning of October 25, the following was returned: "We, the jury, find the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree, as charged in the information. "JOHN J. FREER, Foreman." As in Crite's case, a motion for a new trial was overruled, and he stood a doomed man. He, too, was remanded to jail, to await the final passing of sentence upon him. Judge Fort waited until the latter part of the term, when he commanded the sheriff to cause the prisoner to appear before him. Gatlin, with smiling face and steady step, appeared before the court, and after saying he had no cause to offer why sentence should not be passed, Judge Fort, with a voice that showed his regrets for such an act, spoke the following words, which, eventually, meant death to Will Gatlin: "The judgement of the court is that you be returned to jail of Butler county, Missouri, and there safely kept until Friday, Dec. 19, 1901, at which time and place the sheriff of Butler county will take you to an enclosure in the jail yard, constructed as required by law, and will hang you by the neck until you are dead.." Gatlin received his sentence in an indifferent manner, and was remanded to jail. His case was taken to the supreme court, where last October the finding of the lower court was affirmed and the date for the execution set for Friday, Jan. 8, 1903. A few weeks elapsed, when Governor Dockery granted a respite of 33 days, and set the final day for to-day. Thus ends one of the most dangerous gangs of colored people ever known to Poplar Bluff. Tom Graham was a teamster for W. B. Hays & Co., and a bad man when drinking, but a splendid workman. To-day the curtain went down on the last actor in this tragedy, when Sheriff Hogg sprung the trap and caused Will Gatlin to shoot into eternity, with the blood of Tom Graham upon his hands. Fannie Sanders died last winter. Zeb Crite died while under sentence of death, Ton Graham was murdered, Will Gatlin was hanged, and the cause of all the trouble, Carrie Bryant, was a few days ago given hours in which to leave Poplar Bluff never again to return. The curtain is dropped, the drama is closed, and the murder of Tom Graham has been legally stoned for. Thus ends this chapter of human devotion, love of lust, and last but by no means least, the almost inevitable result of young men associating with lewd women and drinking to excess. ---------------- SONG OF A PRISONER IN JAIL. I use to be a railroad man, A porter on the train; but Now I am a prisoner, boys, In Butler county jail. Chorus If the courts don't change my sentence I am going to hang, I know they will find out some day they have hanged an innocent man, The jury has found me guilty, The clerk has wrote it down, The judge has passed my sentence, On the scaffold I must hang. Chorus They have got me charged with murder, I have never harmed the man, The judge has passed the sentence, On the scaffold I must hang. Chorus I had to go with them, I thought they were friends to me, But since I have been a prisoner, They have turned their backs on me. Chorus If I had listened to my mother's advice, I wouldn't have been here today, But drinking whiskey and women, boys, Have brought me to my ruin. Chorus And if they hang me for this crime, I know they will do wrong, And they will find it out some day, When I am dead and gone. - Composed by Will Gatlin ---------------- A LETTER FROM GATLIN. Poplar Bluff, Mo., Feb. 5, 1903 I want to give special credit to Bro. Chas. H. Hicks for his kindness, his time and attention to me in my time of trouble. He has devoted his time and energy toward me, such as no other colored man has done. I want him to have due credit for this, as he has done this out of the goodness of his heart, without any reward, and I desire that he accompany my body to Malvern, Ark. WILL GATLIN. D. B. DEEM, Witness ---------------- The following letter was written a few days ago by Gatlin, addressed to the colored preachers of this city: Poplar Bluff, Mo., Jan. 26, 1903 To the colored elders of Poplar Bluff: I write you to express my feelings for the way you have treated me since I have been in jail. You have never been to see me to speak one word of consolation to me concerning my soul. I don't want you all to think I have forgotten to pray, for I have not. I have prayed every day, and know that God has heard my prayers and has forgiven me of my sins, and I am glad that I am not ashamed to confess the love of God. I write you because I feel that it is your duty as ministers to visit the prison. It is true that I have had good instructions from the white ministers; also from the Catholic priest. But I would have highly appreciate to have had a word of consolation from one of my own race. It would have shown a Christian act of you. Certain colored brothers have given me good instructions in regard to my being prepared to meet my Savior, which I have prepared to do. Dear brothers, read St. Luke, 22d chapter, 31 to 33 verses, and you will see what your duty is when you are converted; also read St. John 21: 15-25; St. Luke 6: 7, Dear brothers, have you all considered that I should have holy communion? Read St. John 6:8; read Sr. Luke 17:1-15; also read St. Matthew 10 and 11 chapters. Dear brothers, did you ever read who Christ said was his brother and sister? I will ask you to read St. Matthew 12:46- 50; read St. Matthew, 18th and 19th verses; read Corinthians, chapters 7 and 8; read Romans, chapters 6 and 7. My dear beloved brothers in Lord, and sinners, I pray, you who are out of Christ, seek him for your refuge. He can give you eternal life. He will save you from the world and guide you in the path of righteousness. Seek him while you are at liberty; if you will exalt him, he will guide you from all trouble. I hope you will read the points in the Scripture I have pointed you to. Read them and understand them. They will keep you from the hour of temptation. Dear elders, I hope you will not be offended when you read this. If you will be kind enough to read St. Luke, 15th and 16th chapters, you will find the words of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Pharisees and Sadducees. I hope to meet you all in heaven. Peace and grace of God be with you. So will close for this time, now and forever. Yours truly, WILL GATLIN Good-bye, bye. Meet me in heaven. I must say C. H. Hicks has been very kind in advising me in regard to my soul, and I highly appreciate his kindness to me. ---------------- NOTES. Gatlin was 26 years old. Clark was 38 years old. Mrs. W. C. Yost made the black caps. The scaffold and stockade were built by Joe Scales. Will Gatlin was in jail 1 year, 4 months and 25 days. Clark broke down and cried last night while talking to Ed Mayhew. Clark was a member of the Catholic church; Gatlin a Baptist. Clark was born and raised in Middle Tenness; Gatlin at Hope, Ark. Gatlin was an Iron Mountain passenger porter. Clark was a professional gambler. The ropes were 21 feet long and cost $12 each. They were three-quarter-inch size hemp. Both were men of bad disposition and quite quarrelsome. Both were regarded as "bullies" among their associates. Clark's breakfast consisted of two eggs, a slice of fried ham, cup of coffee and a glass of sweet milk. He ate very little. The physicians who attended the execution and determined when the two men were dead were Doctors Adams, Greene and Eskew. Gatlin had been married, but his wife died several years ago. He leaves a 7-year-old son, who lives with an aunt at Melvern, Ark. Among the visiting sheriff's to witness the execution of Clark and Gatlin we noticed S. B. Stone, the very popular sheriff of New Madrid county. Clark's breakfast was sent him by friends from Graham's restaurant. It consisted of two eggs, a beefsteak, two cakes, and a cup of coffee. He ate with a relish. The ropes were tested this morning at 10:30 by Sheriff Hogg. The test was made by looping the ropes around a sack of sand weighing 200 pounds. Both tests were successful. ---------------- Clark Intended to Suicide. Last night about 10:30 Joe Murphy, a colored prisoner in the county jail, whispered to Deputy Sheriff Hogg that Steve Clark was contemplating suicide. Clark was handcuffed and taken from his cell to the front room of the jail occupied by the guards and his cell searched. A small piece of paper containing a white powder was found concealed in his bed. A while after he had been in the front room he turned to Deputy Sheriff Livingston and said: "Mr. Livingston, you are a good man and have been kind and good to me, and I won't do anything to cause you harm. If you will take off my shoes you will find some steel springs with which I had intended killing myself, but you fellows watched me to closely." His shoes were removed, and concealed between the insole and bottom of his shoes were two springs in each shoe. Clark no doubt would have committed suicide had his nerve not failed him. He was compelled to spend the remainder of the night in the front room, with his hands fastened behind him. ---------------- Clark's Dying Statement. I know I have shocked the community by my dreadful deed of June 25th, 1901. When my anger and excitement passed over, I must say I was more shocked myself. To-day I pay the penalty of my crime; I command myself to the mercy of God, who said to the sinner: "If thy sins be as red as scarlet, I will make them as white as snow." May the Lord have mercy on my soul. Steve Clark.RETURN TO BUTLER COUNTY NEWSPAPERS -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- © This page created by Mary Hudson for the USGenWeb Butler County MO. web site 18:45 11/4/2002 Return to BUTLER COUNTY If you have any questions about the content, please feel free to contact me.Mary Hudson This page sponsored by:Rootsweb.com And is a part of: USGenweb, MOGenWeb project