Old Newspaper Collections Project

By Clayton, Deb, & Holice

Poughkeepsie Horsethieves and Desperados


Extra special thanks to Holice B. Young for being such a trooper and typing a ton of old news articles! Without her this project wouldn't be here!


NY Tribune, 1872

A terrible thunder-storm passed over the city of Poughkeepsie on Tuesday night. The lightning was unusually vivid, and the thunder shook the earth. Balls of fire entered the telegraph offices, and the operators received a severe shock, but no serious results are reported. A violent storm ranged north of Poughkeepsie in the afternoon, and a culvert was washed away over the Hudson River Railroad, near Catskill. The afternoon and evening trains were seriously delayed by the transfer of passengers and baggage.

On Saturday a bill in equity was filed in the Circuit Court of the United States for Boston district by Mr. Munson, against the assignees of the Boston, Hartford, and Erie Railroad Company and the trustees under the Berdell mortgage. This is similar to the bill filed by Mr. Dillon in May last. These bills claim a first lien on the proceeds of the bonds secured by the Berdell mortgage, and on the property of the Company purchased therewith securing these bonds. If sustained, the claims of Munson and Dillon, amounting to about $2,000,000, will have to be paid in full.

A dispatch from Fairview, San Pete County, Utah, says the Indians attacked a party of herders, shot two men, and wounded many others with arrows. The Settlers turned out and had a fight with the Indians, who retreated toward the mountains, driving a lot of stolen horses. The pursuers pushed on to Thistle Valley, and succeeded in recovering the horses and herds. Tabby, a well-know Indian chief, sends word to all the bishops that he cannot longer control his tribe. A dispatch to Agent Dodge says that the Indians are stealing horses and killing men at every opportunity. Gov. Woods made a requisition on Gen. Morrow for troops, which will immediately be hurried forward to the scene of the outbreak.

On Saturday night last three young men, Andrew King, John Johnson, and Howard Johnson, went to the residence of Mrs. Martha E. Blackwood, who kept a small saloon in Scottsville, Sullivan County, Missouri, and demanded that she should go over to the saloon and get them some oysters. She refused, where upon they threatened to kill her, and stated that they had come there for that purpose. She then opened the door, and, as she stepped in the doorway, was struck in the temple with a stone and knocked insensible. She died in two hours. King was arrested, but the others had not been captured at last accounts. Mrs. Blackwood was connected with some families in Virginia, and with prominent people in Sullivan County.

On Wednesday morning, at 2 o'clock, while six miners were returning from the Continental colliery, near Centralia, Penn., where they had been working, they were attacked, and fired upon buy two parties who were in ambush on both sides of the railroad. John Webster was shot seven times, and has since died. George W. Davis was severely wounded, being shot near the heart. The other four were slightly wounded, large tacks were found in some of the wounds. All of the men but Webster succeeded in reaching the engine-house, when the villains escaped. The cause of the attack is generally believed to be that jealousy which exists among miners. The six miners had been transferred from the Old Colliery to work at the Continental. This is the same place where, last spring, several men attacked A. C. Green, a school teacher, in open day, while in the performance of his duties, wounding him and compelling him to fly for safety. The vicinity of Centralia is reported to be infested by desperadoes.

Copyright Clayton Betzing, 2001

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