May 12, 1905, Friday 
Clinton Register

The Result of Trouble That Began Last Fall and Was Continued in Court Last Week.

About 8:30 yesterday morning Truman Mason shot Dr. V. Davis and then committed suicide with the same revolver.  The men had had trouble and those who knew them expected serious results, but had thought Davis would do the shooting.

The trouble which led to the shooting began Nov. 30, 1904.  The evening of that day Mason and two or three others were in Geo. Lighthall’s store.  Dr. V. Davis entered and he and Lighthall began quarreling about a stove Davis had bought.  Davis struck Lighthall; Mason took hold of Davis in assisting Mr. Hume to prevent further fighting.   Davis attempted to strike Mason and he [Mason] struck Davis on the head with a heavy cane.  Up to this time Mason and Davis had been good friends, but that was the last time they spoke to each other.

Davis’s head was so badly hurt that he thought he should receive damage and began suit for damage.  The case was heard last Friday and as there was no court Saturday the verdict of the jury was not known until Monday morning.  Davis was given judgment for $1200, Mason to pay costs.  It seems both parties had said little about the matter since the trial.  Citizens of Wapella had expected the men to meet again and feared Davis would be prepared to shoot, as he weighs only about 135 pounds, about half as much as Mason.

But it seems Mason had been thinking and had resolved to act.  After the mail arrived from the north Davis went to the post office, which is on the north side of the street.  Mason was in the post office and went out when Davis entered, and stood a little west of the door.  When Davis came out he started east toward his home.  Mason quickly put his revolver near his back and fired.  Davis said he was shot and ran.

Mason followed about fifteen feet, but did not attempt to shoot at Davis again.  When about twelve feet east of the post office he stopped and shot himself in the left breast.  He sank to the walk without speaking, except to say, “Oh.”  He was carried into the post office and Dr. Nichols called, but he died within a few minutes.

Davis stopped at a store door half a block away and asked for a revolver, and then went to the office of Dr. Robertson, one and a half blocks from the post office.  As he entered he told the doctor he was shot and asked him to examine the wound, which he did and then had Davis taken to his home half a block north.  Dr. Wilcox was telephoned for and arrived about 9:30.  He and Dr. Robertson located the ball, which was near the skin, having passed nearly through the body.  As Dr. Guthrie, of Bloomington, had been sent for, Dr. T. W. Davis, father of the wounded man, requested that nothing be done until his arrival, which was about 11 o'clock.  The bullet was easily removed and the examination showed the wound was not dangerous, as no vital part had been pieced by the ball, and the doctors believe he will be up in three or four weeks.  The ball had entered near the fifth rib and passed to the left of the heart and lungs, making little more than a flesh wound.

Coroner Jones held an inquest yesterday afternoon, the following being the jury: J. J. Rolofson, J. T. Greene, Chas. Swearingen, Alvah Jeffrey, Wm. Bethel, Walter Anger.  The verdict was based on the facts given above.

Dr. Vesselius Davis is about 50 years old and has lived in Wapella all his life where his father has practiced medicine, and since his son became a doctor they have been partners.   He has two children both grown.

Truman Mason was born in Logan county, July 18, 1842, and was nearly 63 years old, and his father later moved to Tazewell county, where he owned 600 acres of land.  He went to the war in 1863 and served two years in Co. A, 107th [117th?] Ill. Reg. Oct. 11, 1866, he was married to Miss Jane E. BEARD.  In the fall of 1867, he moved to Wilson township, DeWitt county, and bought 120 acres of land, where he lived until 1869, when he bought property in Wapella and had since lived there.  He was not quarrelsome, and it is thought the trouble with Dr. Davis had worried him until his mind was affected, and he resolved to kill Davis and himself.  His first vote was for Grant and he had always been a Republican and was a member of the G. A. R. post.  He is survived by his wife, who is in poor health, and son, Oliver, who lives at home, and two daughters, Mrs. John Hurd and Mrs. Frank Merrifield, both of Wilson township.  Funeral will be held in Wapella this afternoon.

May 12, 1905, Friday
Clinton Register


Pratt NELSON, who is spending a couple of months as the guest of Sheriff HOFF, does not regard his extended stay as a joke, yet he jokes about it. Since he has been there he has had his meals prepared up town. Tuesday he telephoned his cousin, C. D. NELSON, about his breakfast, and he told him he could not take it to him for a short time. Pratt told him it was not necessary to hurry about it, as he would be there all day.


June 9, 1905, Friday
Clinton Register


The case against Pratt NELSON was continued on account of the state being unable to get a principal witness in the case.

C. D. NELSON, gaming, will come up in Judge Hill's court as does also Jas. LANE for conducting a confidence game and the bond for Lane had been fixed at $1000 by Judge Hill.


July 5, 1905, Wednesday
The Decatur Review


Kenney, Ills., July 5.—James McDONALD, 48 years old, was accidentally shot in the leg with a blank cartridge by Samuel McELVIRLEY and seriously injured.

Submitted by Sheryl Byrd


August 5, 1907, Saturday
The Decatur Review


In the county court Herbert L. TAYLOR pleaded guilty to false pretenses and was fined $19 and cost and sentenced to twenty days on the rock pile and ordered to restore the money he had fraudulently obtained. He had been working on the railroad and before pay day he sold his time to two different persons. He got $31 in this way.

Submitted by Sheryl Byrd

August 12, 1905, Saturday
The Decatur Review


Attracted by the shows of the county fair, held here recently, the 15-year-old daughter of W. M. JASPER of Clinton ran away with one of the companies. She is now under arrest in Monticello on complaint of her father. She will be brought home.

Submitted by Sheryl Byrd


September 3, 1905, Sunday
The Decatur Review


(Review Special Service.)

Clinton, Sept. 2.—Last chapters have practically been written in what is thought to be the most extraordinary suit ever started in DeWitt county. The county will be gainer to the extent of $1,800 or $20,000 [sic] when the suit is finally disposed of. The complainant in the case has even been threatened with criminal prosecution on the charge of fraud and perjury.

The case is that of Mrs. Ellen C. HOGAN of Charleston, S. C., against the estate of the late Charles MARKLAIN, to prove heirship. It was started about a year ago but it was never finished. E. J. SWEENEY, attorney for Mrs. Hogan, has, however, signified his intention of withdrawing the suit and thus practically end the case. As there are no heirs, the estate will escheat to the county.


Charles Marklain died in Midland City about two years ago without disclosing much about his life or his people. He came to Midland City when he was past middle life and worked there at carpentering. He was very secretive about his past, never telling even his closest associates, of whom there were but few, of his life before he arrived in Midland City. One day his best friend asked him:

"Charley, where were you born and raised?"

Charley's tart reply silenced the curiosity of the friend.

"I don't consider that any of your business," he said.


By industry and economy Marklain managed to accumulate some money. He worked as often and as hard as he could. When he was not at work for somebody else, he was building something for himself. The houses he built he sold, clearing enough to pay him well for his work and to give him a small profit besides. He invested part of his money in five lots and two houses, worth in all perhaps $1,800 or $1,400. The rest, about $2,200, he put in a bank.

Finally, after he had lived in Midland City a good many years, he fell ill. Just before his death he sent for Father DOOLING, who had charge of the Catholic church, of which he was a member. The priest had notice of Marklain's death inserted in some Catholic paper, which afterward fell into the hands of Mrs. Hogan.


About a year ago she appeared in Clinton and asserted that she was Marklain's niece, her father being Marklains' brother. No relatives having been found previously and the estate not having been settled, she employed Mr. Sweeney to file suit in the county court to prove her rights as heir. The case was started before Judge F. M. SHONKWILER of Monticello, who was then acting judge of the DeWitt county court before the selection of Judge F. C. HILL. J. H. PARKER of Midland City was administrator of the estate and Attorney John FULLER was the representative of the county in the case. The hearing was started but never finished. Depositions taken in Charleston are still in the county clerk's office, unopened.


The county obtained a continuance and sent Attorney Fuller to Charleston to find out what he could about her. The result of his investigations convinced him that she was a fraud. He found the name of her father to have been MANNING, not Marklain. He found also that Mrs. Hogan was involved in another suit, similar to the one in DeWitt, out in the state of Washington. A little later the Washington people got wind of the DeWitt suit and opened a correspondence.

Mrs. Hogan never appeared in Clinton after the first time. Through her attorney, however, she threatened to fight the case. Criminal proceedings were talked of and finally Mrs. Hogan decided to drop the fight.


The estate is the largest the county has ever obtained under similar circumstances. When all debts and fees are paid $1,800 or $2,000 of the original $3,500 will go to the county.

Submitted by Sheryl Byrd

September 27, 1905, Wednesday
The Decatur Review

Loot Reynold's Saloon of Money Without Omitting Drinks.

(Review Special Service.)

Clinton, Ills., Sept. 27.—Burglars entered the saloon of L. REYNOLDS some time Tuesday night and secured $6.05 from the cash register and between $7 and $8 worth of wine. A music machine containing about $10 was broken into, but the money was not reached. The burglars entered the saloon through a window by first getting on the roof.

The discovery of the burglary was made Wednesday morning at about 6 o'clock when the saloon was opened. There is no clew [sic] to the perpetrators.

Submitted by Sheryl Byrd