Grayson County TXGenWeb

A List of Fugitives from Justice, 1878

Sherman Register
20 April 1887  
Mack Robinson on Trial for Killing James Williams
Mack Robinson, colored, charged with the murder of James Williams, colored, was called in the District Court for trial today at noon, and the Sate announced ready. The defense were given until after the dinner recess to announce, and at the reconvention of the court this afternoon announced ready.  At this hour the Stat has just commenced the examination of its witnesses before the jury, who were selected without exhausting the special venire. The murder is said to have been committed in Denison in February, 1884.

Sherman Register
22 April 1887
Baker Jury Hangs Again -- Other Court Notes
The Jury of the Mack Robinson case, where the defendant was charged with the murder of Sam Williams at Denison, four years ago, were charged by the Criminal Court last evening, and after a short stay returned a verdict of not guilty, and the defendant was given his liberty.
This is a case where the state alleged that the defendant killed the deceased because his (defendants) wife, after having been compelled to leave home on account of his cruelty, sought for and procured shelter and protection at the home of the deceased, against the wishes of the defendant, who became enraged and deliberately committed murder.

The defense set up the plea that the deceased was the aggressor, and that the defendant, in order to protect the honor of himself and family, remonstrated with his wife for an intimacy with the deceased and that the deceased had made an attack on him with a pocket knife, and that in order to protect his own life he killed him.  The evidence of both the prosecution and defense was very pointed, but the jury found aas is given above .

which has been hanging fire in th Criminal Court at Sherman, has again resulted in a hung jury, it standing ten for acquittal and two for conviction.  The defendant is charged with having committed arson for the ostensible purpose of securing the insurance held by him on a building and stock of drugs in the town of Tioga, twenty-two miles from Sherman.  The case has been on trial four times and three times have the juries hung, and once convicting him.  He is under a small bond, but has answered proptly every time.  The sentiment is largely in his favor in Sherman, if not almost totally so, and a petition which has been prepared will be circulated, and signers solicited, asking County Attorney Randell to not press the charge p ending against him.

7 April 1889
In the Indian Territory - United States Jurors.
PARIS, Tex., April 6. - Deputy United States Marshal Sam Williams came in from McAllister, I.T., with Sam Allen, colored, who is charged with the murder of Wilson Coley, a Choctaw, March 13.  Allen was lodged in jail and will have a hearing before United States Commissioner Kirkpatrick Wednesday.  This is the first case for the new federal court which meets here April 15.
United States Jury Commissioners J. F. McMurray and H.H. Kirkpatrick have drawn the following to serve on the federal grand jury at the April term of the court which meets April 15

Galveston Daily News
January 16, 1891

Jim Isbell, Bells town Marshall

Galvestion Daily News
April - July 1892
George Smith tried for murder of Jim Isbell

Hattie Haynes, Miss Teen Hawley, Maud Kramer, Rose Stavart

Sunday Gazetteer
20 August 1893

Mrs. Mundis, aka "Tom King"

MONDAY JUNE 11, 1894


Creed Herndon fires eight bullets into the body of J.J. Reasor near Collinsville -- Herndon makes his escape but officers are in pursuit.
The murder unprovoked.  

John J. Reasor
1849 - 1894
John & his wife were charter members of the Mt. Zion Church, established 1877
(located on the Grayson/Cooke Co. line, west of Tioga)
contributed by Cass Reasor, grandson

A horrible murder occurred near Collinsville about 7 o'clock yesterday evening. J.J. Reasor, who lives just over the Cooke County line, was shot and killed by Creed Herndon. The shooting was witnessed by a young son of Resor. He states that Herndon came to the house and he and 

Resor sat down on the porch and were talking. They did not appear to be quarreling. Herndon called Resor's attention to a rabbit in the yard

and as Reasor turned his head Herndon shot him behind the ear.

Herndon fired two more shots, both of which took effect. Reasor ran around the corner of the house and fell. Herndon then reloaded his pistol and fired five more shots into the prostate form. He then walked away to the home of Hugh Burns, where he told about the killing, giving as a reason that Reasor had insulted and assaulted him. He told Burns that he was going to kill his wife who had lately separated from him, and that he would then kill himself. Herndon then mounted his horse and started west and at midnight last night was seen at Burn's City.

Herndon has been drinking heavily for some time and a short time since his wife was forced to leave him. She was raised by a brother of Reasor's and when she left her husband was given a home on Reasor's farm. No motive for the shooting has yet been discovered and it is believed that Herndon was crazed with liquor.

Squire Reasor was one of the best known men of Cooke County, having served several terms as assessor and for years as Justice of the Peace of
his precinct. He was sober, peaceable and prosperous and the feeling against his murderer is intense. The Cooke County officers are after Herndon and if he is caught an attempt at lynching will undoubtedly be made.

Note : from Cass Reasor, grandson of J.J. Reasor :
My grandfather was killed in 1894.
Craig Herndon, after shooting my grandfather rode west and it is presumed that he caught a train at Valley View and left the country. He showed by up in Virginia, was recognized, and disappeared again.
He eventually made his way to Oregon, changed his name to Jesse Fisher, remarried, had children, some with the first names as his original children. In later life he made contact with one of the original children and that's how we know what happened to him. He died in 1929.

The Sherman Daily Register
12 June 1894

Esquire J. J. Reasor was shot Sunday evening by Craig Herndon.  Mr. Reasor was well known and popular, living in the south east part of the county near Collinsville.  He was a good citizen and pleasant gentleman of the old Virginia style.  Herndon, who had married a step-daughter of Mr. Reasor in Virginia, had trouble with his wife.  They lived near Mr. Reasor.  Mr. Herndon had been gone for some time and returned Sunday morning.  He came to Reasor's Sunday afternoon.  They talked for two hours and finally Herndon drew his pistol and shot Reasor through the head from behind.  He then shot him seven more times.  He then went to a neighbor's house where his wife was, but did not see her.  He left immediately.  The sheriff sent out the following : $100 reward will be paid for the arrest of "A white man named Craig Herndon, about 30 years old, fair complexion, dark hair, prominent forehead, dark eyes, sandy mustache, but dyed black, about 5 ft, 9 in. tall, weight 155-160 lbs.  Last seen wearing dove colored suit, cut-away coat, straw hat, gaiter shoes, white shirt with black dots and has a 38 caliber pistol.  
Mr. Reasor was buried Monday with Masonic honors.

Letter from Claude D. White to Linnet Moore
20 August 1901

White tells her of a murder in Whitesboro, Texas. He says that an African American was captured, confessed, and was burned at the stake.

Dallas Morning News
3 May 1903


Rev. John Powers Is Instantly Killed by an Unknown Mexican Near Gainesville

John D. Powers
1843 - 1903

  GAINESVILLE, Tex : May 9 - News has just reached here of a strange and brutal murder which was committed at Burns City Friday about noon. Burns City is about fifteen of here. It is an inland village with a population of less than a hundred. Without provocation or apparent reason, an unknown Mexican split open the head of Rev. John Powers, a Baptist Minister, killing him instantly. The Mexican attacked Powers with an axe as the latter started to go inside the door of the home of Mr. Miller, a neighbor. The Mexican was afterwardly killed by a posse which surrounded the house and failed in its efforts to capture him alive.

  About 10 o·clock the the Mexican came to the field of Mr. Miller, a neighbor of the preacher. While there the Mexican struck Miller's hired man in the head with a piece of iron, knocking him down. Miller at once ran to the hired man's aid, but in the tussle which followed the Mexican got away.
Becoming alarmed, Miller then hurried to his house, removed his family to his neighbor's home and then asked Rev. Powers help, as he feared the Mexican would prove troublesome.

  When they got to Miller's house, they found that the Mexican had gone inside. Rev. Powers walked to the door, opened it and was just starting to walk inside when the Mexican struck him on the head with an axe, killing him instantly.
Miller ran at once to the nearest telephone and summoned the officers. Sheriff Pat Ware happened to be the vicinity and he soon had Miller's house surrounded with a posse.
After a hard fight the Mexican was killed at 4:30 o'clock, having been shot four times.
None of the members of the posse was hurt by the Mexican's shots. The body of the Mexican was brought to Gainesville last night.

  The murdered minister was an influential man in his community and the people are greatly wrought up over his death. His funeral was held today from his late home.
Newspaper Clipping furnished by Cynthia Broyles)

Ft. Worth paper
4 May 1903

John D. Powers was born in Missouri on Oct. 19, 1843 to Moses Powers and Lucy Ann Cason Powers. John married first to Isabella M. Hutchison about 1868. They had two children: Pete Powers and Elizabeth Powers. Pete was born in Kansas in 1869 and Elizabeth was born in Texas in 1872.
  John's first wife died before 1878 - have never found her gravesite.
  John married second to Almedia Clements on May 2, 1878 in Cooke County, Texas. They had no children.
  John was a well-known Baptist preacher, in fact he was the first pastor of Mt. Zion when it was organized in 1887.  Family stories indicate that John also had two brothers that were preachers.
  John Powers was killed in 1903 and is buried in the New Hope Cemetery near Burns City.
  John's son, Peter Elsworth Powers, born July 26, 1869 in Kansas. Pete Powers married Mattie Florence Umsted on April 3, 1892 in Cooke County, Texas. They had 12 children, one of whom was Arch Powers.
  Arch Powers married Aylene Lemons on Oct. 8, 1941 in Marietta, Okla. They had two sons, Troy Powers and Harold Wayne (Sam) Powers. Troy is deceased and Sam lives in Tioga with his wife Valta.
  Arch Powers had a sister named Mamie. Mamie Powers married Cecil Stevens. Cecil and Mamie had two daughters, one named Rita Sue Stevens who married me.  ~ ~ ~ Cass Reasor

Van Alstyne Leader
10 April 1919
One Negro in Grave, One in Jail
B. C. Stone, a young negro man of Sherman, better known as "Dude, was shot and killed by Homer Murphy another young negro, in front of the Andrews building, 215 East Mulberry street, at 1:30 Thursday afternoon of last week.
Murphy used a 38-calbre revolver and while he fired four or five times at Stone, only one shot took effect striking Stone in the small of the back to the left of the sine.  Stone was taken into the rear of Goodson's drug store, a Negro establishment in the Andrews building, where he died about 1:45.
Murphy was arrested by Deputy Sheriff Allen, and is now in the county jail.  The cause of the shooting is unknown though it is said to have arisen from a quarrel over a dice game.  Both Negroes were about 20 years of age.
Stone was the son of Bill Stone and lived on South Montgomery Street near the Texas Nursery.  Murphy lives on the farm of John McKinney, two miles southeast of town, but has been working at Nall's drug store, the Binkley hotel and other places in Sherman for some time.

Sherman Democrat
10 July 1919
Jim Crabtree Shot & Killed Near Pottsboro


Elaine Nall Bay
Grayson County CC