January 1, 1904
Clinton Register


I have sold my interest in the Clinton Register to my partner, G. W. HUGHES, who took possession today.  There is nothing strange about the deal, only I decided to retire from the business and gave my brother the first opportunity.   We agreed on a price and time for him to take possession.  As for the reason of my retiring, that is of but little importance to the public, but will say that on advice from a good oculist, it seemed best that I should give up the newspaper work on account of my eyes.

After being connected with the Register over twenty years, and over eighteen years a proprietor, it does not seem strange that I reluctantly transfer my interest to another.  I feel that in transferring my interest to my brother I have done the best for the paper and the Democratic party, as the paper is not in the hands of a stranger, but one who has worked side by side with me since Sept. 28, 1885, in making the Register what it is.  Whether the work done is creditable, we leave for others to say.  But I feel our work has not been in vain, when I realize that Illinois, or no other state, has in a town of equal population a printing office so fully and well equipped as the Clinton Register.  That the paper will continue to grow and improve, I have no doubt.  I feel justified in saying that if the Democratic party will do its full duty toward the paper, it will yet be much better equipped, and its influence far greater.

While I am no longer a part owner of the paper and have no say in its management, I will not cease to feel a deep interest in it and will do what I can for its success.   For a short time until the business of the firm is settled up, at least, I will be connected with the business at the request of the new proprietor.  What I will do after that time has not been decided.

To those who have, by their patronage and good wishes, assisted in giving Clinton and DeWitt county a printing plant and paper which they need not be ashamed of, I am sincerely and profoundly grateful and trust they may continue to give no less encouragement than in the past.  Wishing the new proprietor and all patrons many, many prosperous years, I reluctantly and feelingly say a final good-bye.     Perry HUGHES

January 1, 1904
Clinton Register

The Clinton Register and Clinton Public Change Owners With the Beginning of the New Year.

There is something doing in the newspaper field in Clinton.  Besides the change in the Register, the Public is changing owners.  Prof. E. B. BENTLEY, E. H. PORTER and W. M. PHARES have bought the plant and business of F. E. and B. E. PINKERTON and M. F. BOVARD, the latter having owned a half interest in the paper only a few months.

Prof. Bentley is superintendent of the Clinton schools and Messrs. Porter and Phares are employees of the Register, the former about seventeen years and the latter over a year.   Both are industrious young men and good printers.   Mr. Bentley has had no newspaper experience, but will no doubt be able to conduct the part that will fall to him.

For the new firm the Register has no unkind words, and hopes their expectations for success may be realized.  They are all well enough known to the people to need no introduction from the Register.  Our relations with them have been always that of friendship and we hope it may continue.  During Mr. Porter’s long service with this paper he has always been most faithful, always interested in the paper’s success, and while we hate to see his leave, we hope he has bettered himself.

January 1, 1904
Clinton Register

Mrs. W. H. KELLY, formerly of Clinton, was taken to the asylum in Jacksonville yesterday.  The family moved on a farm north of Clinton about five years ago.   Her condition is said to be worse than that of anyone sent to the asylum from this county for several yeas.

January 1, 1904
Clinton Register

Mr. and Mrs. Emerson HARTSOCK are very proud of their Christmas present, as it is a bouncing boy, and they both declare that if he was 35 years older he would be a candidate for governor against Mr. Warner without danger of defeat.


July 29, 1904
Clinton Register


On account of the death of his father, Judge L. R. HERRICK forwarded his resignation to Gov. Yates, and asks to be relieved of the duties of county judge, Aug. 1.  If the resignation is accepted, a special election must be called, but whether it will be held before November no one knows but it probably will not.

All, without regard to party, regret that Judge Herrick is compelled to resign.  He has shown an ability seldom known in a young man, and all recognize his fitness for the office.  Even before his father’s death, the practice of the firm was so large that he had thought of resigning, so that with the whole work falling upon him, he is certain he could not hold the office except to the injury of his practice.

Those who are spoken of as aspirants are Wm. MONSON and Geo. MARVEL, Democrats; Fred HILL and Frank LEMON, Republicans.  It is likely primaries will be held.


August 22, 1904, Monday
The Daily Review
Decatur, Illinois

Theory as to Motive in Murder of Dr. Chapin.
Murderer Was Frequent Visitor in Chapin Family.

Bloomington, Ills., Aug. 22.—The verdict of the coroner’s jury in the case of the killing of Dr. Samuel L. CHAPIIN by George WILKINSON at Saybrook holds Wilkinson for murder to the grand jury which meets in September.  Aside from the testimony relating directly to the murder, the story of Wilkinson’s daughter aroused most Interest.


Mary WILKINSON, the young girl, who made her home with Dr. and Mrs. Chapin, and whose father shot the doctor, was the second witness examined.  She is 18 years of age, but appears younger.  She is apparently quite girlish and immature.  Her position was a most embarrassing one, but she made an excellent impression on the jury.  Her testimony could but convict her own father of a heinous crime committed against one who seemingly had been her best friend.  Her love for her father struggled with her duty towards her foster parents, and the effect was touching in the extreme.  Her evidence was given in a low voice, slowly, but with evident sincerity.  She is well aware of the charges that her father has made against Dr. Chapin, and so was obliged to defend her honor and good name, even against her parent.


“Never did Dr. Chapin treat me in any manner otherwise than as a daughter,” said the girl in her testimony.  “He and his wife were good to me and I fully appreciate their kindness.  There never was any trouble of any sort between us at any time.  The children seemed to me like my brother and sisters.  I always was well treated.  At no time did I ever say or write to my father, or anyone else, reflecting on Dr. Chapin in any way, as I had no reason to do so.  I am a member of the Presbyterian church.”

“The only reason I knew of that father said, he would shoot the doctor was because he, father, was insanely jealous of Dr. Chapin, believing that I cared more for the doctor and ‘aunt’ than I did for him, father.  The Wednesday before the Thursday of the shooting I was with my father for some three hours, and again he told me he was going to shoot Dr. Chapin.  I again talked to him and reasoned with him till he again told me he would not do so, and I believed him.  He never gave me any reason why he wanted to shoot Dr. Chapin, but I always supposed it was because father thought I cared more for Dr. and Mrs. Chapin than I did for him.  He seemed jealous of them.”


“Father never had any trouble with Dr. Chapin that I ever heard of and do not believe they ever had any at all.  Dr. Chapin never attempted in any way to alienate my affection from father.  I always wrote to father, addressing him as ‘papa ’ and ‘dear papa.’  Recently father has seemed to have had hardly any control over himself and was extremely nervous.”


The residents of Saybrook and for miles around are much concerned, there being an unusual degree of interest taken in the murder, as well as in the coroner’s inquest.  Dr. Chapin stood remarkably well with all classes of people and nothing but regret is spoken, at his terrible taking off.  Wilkinson, the man who did the shooting, is not very well known in Saybrook, as he never lived there, but has often been there on visits to his daughter.  He calls Farmer City his home and enlisted in the Second Illinois cavalry from that city.  He has the reputation of having been a good soldier, but for some time past has been exceedingly nervous and ill at ease.  He remarked to a Saybrook man last week that for over a week he has neither eaten nor slept and was almost crazy.


It is the common belief at Saybrook that Wilkinson has brooded over imaginary griefs until his mind has given way, causing him to commit the dreadful crime.  Miss Mary Wilkinson, the young daughter of old man Wilkinson, is a social favorite among Saybrook people and stands high in every way.  She was looked upon quite in the nature of a daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Chapin, she being a cousin of the later.  She has made her home with Dr. Chapin and wife since the death of her mother, some five or six years ago.   Her father has made only occasional visits to her since, always going to the home of Dr. Chapin, where he was entertained and treated as one of the family.

August 26, 1904, Friday
Clinton Register


G. S. WILKINSON, who murdered Dr. S. L. CHAPIN at Saybrook, is crazy or playing crazy to prevent being hung, which he deserves.  When he learned of Chapin’s death he became very nervous and refused to talk.  When Attorney A. J. BARR visited him he refused to answer questions and attempted to strike Barr.  It is thought to be a game of bluff.


November 4, 1904
Clinton Register

Had Come Here With Other Tramps but None of Them Knew His Name.

About 2 o'clock Monday night the body of a man was found in the north yards of the Central and north of the subway.  There was no warmth in the body and it is thought he was killed early in the night.  The body was badly mangled, the head being badly cut and bruised, one arm cut off and part of one foot.  His overcoat, hat and other clothes were pretty good.  He had blue eyes, dark hair, no beard and was about 5 feet 8 inches in height and weighed about 165 pounds.  Some tramps who had camped at the north part of the city said he had come to Clinton from Wenona on a freight train with them but had not told them his name and they had not seen him for several hours.  A glycerine bottle in his pocket had written on it the name of a town in Iowa and on a spectacle case was the name of a town in Minnesota.  The index finger of his left hand was off, perhaps for several years.  This may lead to his identity.  The remains were buried on the poor farm at Hallsville.

November 25, 1904
Clinton Register

Former Clinton Man Finds Two Sisters He Had Not Seen for Over Fifty Years.

L. S. HOWELL, of St. Louis, formerly of Clinton, recently met his two sisters that he had not seen for over half a century, though they lived in Chicago and he in Clinton until he moved away about four years ago.

In 1853, when the Illinois Central was being built, Mr. Howell’s mother conducted a boarding house south of Clinton near Salt Creek for men working on the road.  She had two daughters and a son and another son was born to her in that year.  When a little less than a month old, she left him in the care of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. CUNDIFF with whom he remained until grown.  Mr. Cundiff died and the widow married Wm. GREER [William H. GRIER] who still lives in Clinton.  His mother and sisters moved away when the railroad was completed.  When he was about 9 years old she came to see him but he was not told she was his mother.  That was the last time she saw him.  Until grown, he was known as Lon CUNDIFF; he then learned the facts, but was never able to learn where the family was.   And the family had not found him, though he had lived in Clinton all the time, and the sisters in Chicago.

A short time ago, one of them sent a letter to “The Postmaster, Salt Creek City, DeWitt County, Ill.”  Postmaster Davidson, of Clinton, got the letter and gave it to Mr. Greer [Grier], who sent it to Mr. Howell, and two weeks ago he and his daughter Miss Gertie, went to Chicago to visit the sisters.  The other brother was killed in the war, and the mother died many years ago.


December 2, 1904
Clinton Register

Hon. C. H. Moore Answered the Call of a Former DeWitt County Man for Assistance, and Got Land.

Congressman Warner told of a trip he intended to make soon to Georgia which brings out a little history connected with lives of two DeWitt county men that is interesting.

Wilson ALLEN for many years was a resident of Texas township and prominent in its early history.  He had not a very friendly feeling for Hon. C. H. MOORE, but they were not enemies.  He moved to Georgia where he bought land near LaGrange.  In a few years he was much in debt, and was about to lose his land, which was mortgaged.  In the time of need he thought of no one of his Illinois friends more able to assist him than Mr. Moore.   He wrote of his trouble and asked for a loan to save his home.  Mr. Moore answered the letter personally, going to LaGrange prepared to give the desired assistance, if necessary.   He found conditions as Mr. Allen had given them.  He advanced the money needed; the mortgage was paid off, and over 200 acres of the land put in Mr. Moore’s name, it being agreed that Mr. Allen could pay the money back as he could; and the land deeded to him when the whole amount was paid.  This he never did, and Mr. Moore never collected any rent from him.

After Mr. Moore’s death, Mr. Warner learned a daughter of Mr. Allen lived on the land, and that her husband was in poor health.  He wrote her that all he would expect her to pay until otherwise notified was to pay the tax and send the receipt to him each year.   This she has done.

Mr. Warner expects to visit LaGrange soon, inspect the land and learn all particulars.  He says if the daughter’s condition is as he understands it to be, he expects to allow her to have the land on the same terms she has had it since Mr. Moore’s death.