Grand Jury Indicts For Illegal Voting

TRANSCRIBED BY : TINA EASLEY

tina@grnco.net

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ar/county/greene/

FROM THE WEEKLY SOLIPHONE

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MAY 14 , 1915

ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SIX BILLS RETURNED IN CONNECTION WITH BALLOTS CAST IN RECENT CITY ELECTION - NINE JUDGES INCLUDED .

( FROM SATURDAY'S DAILY PRESS )

ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SEVEN PERSONS WHO VOTED IN THE RECENT GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION IN PARAGOULD , AND THE NINE JUDGES WHO HELD THE ELECTION IN THE THREE WARDS OF THIS CITY , WERE YESTERDAY INDICTED BY THE GRAND JURY FOUR VOTING ILLEGAL AND PERMITTING ILLEGAL VOTES TO BE CAST.

WHILE RUMORS BECAME RIFE EARLY IN THE WEEK THAT THE GRAND JURY WOULD PROBABLY INVESTIGATE ALLEGED ILLEGAL VOTING IN THE CITY ELECTION , THEY DIED OUT WEDNESDAY WHEN IT WAS UNDERSTOOD THE GRAND JURY WAS WINDING UP ITS BUSINESS AND WAS ABOUT TO ADJOURN . ON THURSDAY , WHEN THE JURY REPORTED TO THE COURT THAT IT HAD FUTHER BUSINESS TO INQUIRE INTO , RUMORS WERE REVIVED WITH REFERENCE TO INSERTING THE PROBE INTO THE ELECTION MATTERS, AND YESTERDAY AFTERNOON ABOUT FOUR O'CLOCK WHEN THE GRAND JURY FILED IT REPORT WITH THE COURT, ACCOMPANYING THE REPORT WITH ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY BILLS OF INDICTMENT , SUSPICIONS THAT CHARGES OF ILLEGAL VOTING IN THE ELECTION HAD BEEN INVESTIGATED , WERE CONFIRMED.

A REPORTER FOR THE PRESS IMMEDIATLEY SOUGHT THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY AND THAT OFFICIAL ADMITTED ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SIX OF THE INDICTMENTS WERE RETURNED AS A RESULT OF THE ELECTION PROBE. HE FUTHER ADMITTED ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SEVEN OF THE BILLS WERE AGAINST PARTIES WHO VOTED WITHOUT HAVING PAID A POLL TAX IN GREENE COUNTY FOR THE YEAR 1913 , AND NINE INDICTMENTS WERE AGAINST THE JUDGES WHO CONDUCTED THE ELECTION.

THE LATTER ARE E.I. McKINLEY , CLARENCE DICKINSON AND P.M. WEBB , JUDGES IN THE FIRST WARD : MAY WALKER , J.M. AGEE AND C.E. RICHARDSON , JUDGES IN THE SECOND WARD ; W.A. SMITH , R.L. ELMORE AND LON TYNER , JUDGES IN THE THIRD WARD.

R.L. ELMORE WENT TO THE SHERIFF THIS MORNING , WHEN HE HEARD OF THE INDICTMENT AND PROMPTLY MADE THE REQUIRED BOND FOR $1,OOO WITH FRED WATSON AND ALBERT WOOD AS SURETIES.

E.I. McKINLEY , WHO WAS CITY CLERK AT THE TIME OF THE ELECTION AND WHO RESIGNED THAT OFFICE TO BECOME DEPUTY STATE LABOR COMMISSIONER UNDER J.C. CLARY , WAS IN FORT SMITH LAST NIGHT WHEN HE HEARD OF THE INDICTMENT AGAINST HIM. HE WIRED SHERIFF GROOMS THIS MORNING HE WOULD COME IMMEDIATELY TO PARAGOULD . HE ALSO WIRED SENATOR FUTRELL TO MAKE HIS BOND , SENATOR FUTRELL AND ALBERT WOOD FILLED OUT A BOND FOR $1,000 FOR MR. McKINLEY AND TURNED IT OVER TO THE SHERIFF.

UP TO THE NOON HOUR TODAY SHERIFF SPENT MOST OF THE FORENOON CLASSIFYING THE BIG STACK OF WARRANTS , AND FAMILIARIZING THEMSELVES WITH THE NAMES AND PLACES ABODE OF THE PARTIES WANTED.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THE GRAND JURY FOUND THAT THIRTY-FIVE PERSONS VOTED AT THE FIRST WARD BOX WITHOUT A POLL TAX RECEIPT , SEVENTEEN AT THE SECOND WARD BOX AND SEVENTY-FIVE AT THE THIRD WARD BOX . THIS INFORMATION IS NOT ACCURATE BUT IS APPROXIMATELY SO.

WHEN QUESTIONED THIS MORNING BY A REPORTER FOR THE PRESS SEVERAL OF THE JUDGES SAID THEY ENDEAVORED TO CONDUCT A FAIR AND HONEST ELECTION AND THAT IF ANY ILLEGAL VOTES WERE POLLED THEY WERE DEPOSITED WITHOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT . NEARLY A SCORE OF CHALLENGES WERE MADE IN THE SECOND WARD , AND JUDGES IN THE OTHER WARDS SAID THEY ASKED NEARLY EVERY VOTER IF HE HAD PAID HIS POLL TAX FOR 1913. SOME OF THE JUDGES SAY THE VOTING WAS SO HEAVY THAT FOUR OR FIVE WOULD COME INTO THE VOTING PLACE AT ONE TIME AND IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO QUIZ EACH MAN OFFERING TO VOTE WITHOUT SERIOUSLY DELAYING THE CONDUCT OF THE ELECTION.

THE ELECTION COMMISSIONERS FAILED TO FURNISH THE JUDGES WITH A PRINTED LIST OF THE NAMES OF THOSE ENTITLED TO VOTE , THOUGH THE JUDGES IN THE SECOND WARD , AFTER INSISTENT DEMANDS WERE FINALLY FURNISHED WITH A SOILED COPY OF THE LIST. THE JUDGES CLAIM IN THE ABSENCE OF THIS LIST WHICH THE ELECTION COMMISSIONERS ARE REQUIRED UNDER THE LAW TO FURNISH , THEY WERE SERIOUSLY HANDICAPPED IN WEEDING OUT ILLEGAL VOTERS.

THE ELECTION COMMISSIONERS CLAIM THEY COULD NOT FURNISH THE PRINTED LISTS BECAUSE THE SUPPLY HAD BEEN EXHAUSTED . IT IS THE DUTY OF THE COUNTY CLERK UNDER THE LAW TO HAVE ITS SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF LISTS PRINTED TO FURNISH THE ELECTION COMMISSIONERS FOR USE IN ALL GENERAL ELECTIONS .

GUSS POWELL, COUNTY CLERK SAYS HE PLACED AN ORDER WITH THE PRINTER FOR EIGHTY COPIES OF THE LIST, THE USUAL NUMBER PRINTED , BUT THE PRINTER SAYS HE MISUNDERSTOOD THE NUMBER WANTED AND PRINTED ONLY THIRTY COPIES. THESE COPIES WERE USED IN THE GENERAL ELECTION LAST SEPTEMBER AND NOVEMBER AND WERE LOST OR DESTROYED.

THE LAW UNDER WHICH THE INDICTMENTS WERE FOUND IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 1686 OF KIRBY'S DIGEST AND READS AS FOLLOWS:

ANY ELECTION OFFICER WHO SHALL FRAUDULENTLY AND CORRUPTLY PERMIT ANY PERSON TO VOTE ILLEGALLY OR REFUSE THE VOTE OF ANY JUSTIFIED ELECTOR , MAKE A FALSE RETURN OF SAID ELECTION , OR ANY PERSON WHO SHALL VOTE WHEN NOT A QUALIFIED VOTER .

(PART MISSING)

COMISSIONERS TO DELIVER THE SEALED BALLOT AND POLL BOOKS INTO THE CUSTODY OF THE COURT TO BE USED AS EVIDENCE IN THE CONTEST PROCEEDINGS. THIS MOTION HAS NOT BEEN ACTED UPON AND WILL PROBABLY NOT BE PRESSED FUTHER IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE GRAND JURY DEMANDED AND RECEIVED THE BALLOTS AND THEY ARE NOW IN THE CUSTODY OF THE COURT TO BE USED AS EVIDENCE IN THE CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS THAT WILL FOLLOW THE INDICTMENTS FOR ALLEGED ILLEGAL VOTING.

IT IS EXPECTED THE CONTEST PROCEEDINGS OVER THE MAYOR'S OFFICE WILL COME UP FOR HEARING DURING THE PRESENT TERM OF COURT. JUDGE J.L. LIGHT , ATTORNEY FOR MAYOR MIDDLETON , HAS FILED A MOTION TO DISMISS THE SUIT AND THIS MOTION WILL PROBABLY FURNISH THE FIRST ISSUE IN THE CASE.

PROSECUTING ATTORNEY HUDDLESTON SAYS THE WARRANTS ISSUED ON THE INDICTMENTS FOR ALLEGED ILLEGAL VOTING ARE MADE RETURNABLE AT THIS TERM OF COURT AND HE EXPECTS TO HAVE ALL OR A LARGE NUMBER OF THE CASES DISPOSED OF BEFORE THIS TERM ADJOURNS.

THE LAW FIXES A MINIMUM BOND OF $1,000 IN FELONY CASES AND THIS AMOUNT OF SURETY WILL BE DEMANDED OF EACH DEFENDANT WHEN THE WARRANT OF ARREST IS SERVED UPON HIM.

THE CITIZENS WHO COMPOSED THE GRAND JURY THAT MADE THE INVESTIGATION AND RETURNED THE INDICTMENTS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

R. JACKSON , FOREMAN , W.F. TRICE , J.R. COOPER , E.C. WALDEN , J.W. HILL , L.S. HORNE , J.M. HALLEY , E.ALLEN , W.C. LAMB , L.C. NEWBERRY , JOHN WOOD , J.J. NORTON , J.W. COOLEY , R.M. COTHREN , W.A. WELTON AND A.P. MACK.

THE GRAND JURY WAS IN SESSION FIVE DAYS AND RETURNED ON HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-ONE BILLS OF INDICTMENT , THE LARGEST NUMBER EVER RETURNED IN THAT LENGTH OF TIME BY A GREENE COUNTY GRAND JURY.

MAKING ARRESTS ON INDICTMENTS

(FROM MONDAY'S DAILY PRESS )

SIXTEEN ARRESTS HAD BEEN MADE UP TO THE NOON HOUR TODAY ON INDICTMENTS RETURNED BY THE RECENT GRAND JURY IN CONNECTION WITH THE INVESTIGATION INTO THE GENERAL CITY ELECTION HELD IN PARAGOULD. ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SIX BILLS OF INDICTMENT WERE RETURNED BY THE JURY , OF WHICH NUMBER ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SEVEN WERE AGAINST PARTIES WHO ARE CHARGED WITH HAVING VOTED ILLEGALLY AND NINE AGAINST THE NINE JUDGES WHO CONDUCTED THE ELECTION.

AS STATED SATURDAY R.L. ELMORE ONE OF THE JUDGES IN THE THIRD WARD , SOUGHT THE SHERIFF THAT MORNING AND MADE HIS BOND. PROF. C.E. RICHARDSON , A JUDGE IN THE SECOND WARD , DID LIKEWISE. E.I. McKINLEY , A JUDGE IN THE FIRST WARD , WIRED FROM FORT SMITH HE WOULD COME AT ONCE BUT SHERIFF GROOMS SENT HIM A TELEGRAM STATING HIS BOND HAD BEEN ARRANGED BY FRIENDS HERE AND IT WAS NOT NECESSARY HIM TO RETURN TO PARAGOULD IMMEDIATELY.

OTHERS AGAINST WHOM INDICTMENTS ARE PENDING AND WHO HAVE MADE BOND ARE LON TYNER , JUDGE IN THE THIRD WARD. J.M. AGEE , JUDGE IN THE SECOND WARD , P.M. WEBB .

MORE ARRESTS IN ELECTION CASES

WARRANTS SERVED UPON NINE PARTIES CHARGED WITH ILLEGAL VOTING IN CITY ELECTION

SINCE NOON YESTERDAY SHERIFF AL GROOMS AND HIS DEPUTIES HAVE MADE NINE MORE ARRESTS OF PARTIES INDICTED BY THE RECENT GRAND JURY ON CHARGES OF ALLEGED ILLEGAL VOTING IN THE CITY ELECTION HELD HERE ON APRIL 6 . UP TO NOON YESTERDAY SIXTEEN OF THE ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SIX HAD BEEN SERVED WITH WARRANTS AND PLACED UNDER BOND. THOSE PLACED UNDER BOND SINCE YESTERDAY ARE "DUTCH" ALTON , M. MOFFILL , H.B. STEVENSON , BUD DUNNIGAN , "SALTY" JACKSON , RICH SIKES , ARTHUR THOMPSON , C.E. ALVEY AND SID LENNINGTON.

THERE HAVE BEEN NO NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THE ELECTION CHARGES AND IT IS NOT KNOWN WHAT ACTION THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY WILL TAKE WHETHER HE WILL INSIST ON A PENALTY IN ALL CASES WHERE PARTIES ARE SHOWN TO HAVE VOTED WITHOUT THE 1913 POLL TAX RECEIPT OR WILL INSIST ON PUNISHING THOSE WHOM THE EVIDENCE DISCLOSES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MANY OF THE ALLEGED ILLEGAL VOTES. THE CASES ARE SET FOR HEARING NEXT MONDAY MORNING AND IT IS PRESUMED THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY SILL INDICATE HIS COURSE WHEN THE FIRST CASE COMES UP FOR HEARING.