The Demise Of Pet (Gandy) Magill

Friday, May 31, 1907
Clinton Register
DeWitt County, Illinois


Mrs. Fred Magill Found Dead This Morning at Her Home by Her Husband.

Last night about 11 o'clock Mr. and Mrs. Fred MAGILL retired for the night. This morning when he awoke she was not in bed with him. He thought she had gone down stairs, but when he went down stairs she was not there. He asked his daughter about her, but she had not seen her. He then went to another bedroom and found her dead with a bottle of chloroform near her. This was soon after 6 o'clock.

Coroner JONES was notified at once and held an inquest. The jury was composed of F. K. LEMON, Foreman; John WARNER, F. C. DAVIDSON, Dr. F. H. BLOME, Ed FREUDENSTEIN, and W. F. GORMAN. Among the witnesses were Dr. MYERS and BLOME, who testified that deceased was afflicted with rheumatism and heart trouble and was subject to severe headache, and that she had been taking treatment. The verdict of the jury was that she had become despondent on account of her ailments and committed suicide.

Pet GANDY was born in Ohio, Oct. 5, 1869, and came to Clinton where her father, Alex GANDY, was in business, when she was about 18 years old. March 28, 1889, she was married to Fred H. Magill, and had since resided in Clinton. Their only child, Marguerite, is 17 years old and lived with her parents.

During her residence in Clinton she made hundreds of friends who were shocked to learn of her sad death. She was pleasant and kind to all. The many friends of the family deeply sympathize with the husband and daughter in their great bereavement.

The time for the funeral has not been decided upon, but it will be Sunday, probably in the afternoon.

Submitted by Judy Simpson


Clinton Register
DeWitt County, Illinois
Friday, June 7, 1907


The funeral of Mrs. F. H. MAGILL was held Sunday at the home at 3:30, conducted by Rev. S. C. Black, a large number being present. A quartette composed of W. F. GORMAN, H. F. HARRISON, C. W. DANKS and Peter LUNDH sang "Sometime We'll Understand" and other favorite songs of deceased. Miss Mamie TULL played a selection on the piano.

The Rathbone Sisters, of which deceased was an honored member and had served as the highest officer in the Clinton Temple, attended in a body, as did the Clinton band of which Mr. Magill is a member. Numerous floral offerings were evidences of the esteem of friends.

At the cemetery the Rathbone Sisters performed the burial services of the order. The pall bearers were Frank LEMON, G. B. MARVEL, Ed FREUDENSTEIN, J. G. ROYCE, R. CRANG and R. HARTSOCK. Burial was in Woodlawn cemetery.

Submitted by Judy Simpson


Clinton Register
DeWitt County, Illinois
Friday, July 12, 1907


Five Weeks After the Suicide of His Wife in Clinton He is Married in Denver, Colorado.

Our readers will remember that Mrs. F. H. MAGILL committed suicide the night of May 30, just six weeks ago last night. There was then and has since been much mystery connected with the suicide, and the manner things were conducted after it, including the holding of the coroner's inquest, which was held within two hours after the lifeless body of Mrs. Magill was found in an upstairs room of her home. It was also thought strange that none of the letters, claimed to have been written by Mrs. Magill, were made public, though it is said several were allowed to read them. There was also much talk about Magill's infatuation for Miss Faye GRAHAM, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. W. GRAHAM, and a chum of Magill's daughter, aged 17. This report, however, was strenuously denied. Miss Graham had been a frequent visitor at the Magill home, but this was said to be on account of the close friendship with the daughter, and the matter had begun to be less talked about until last week.

Mr. Magill disposed of his interest in his mother's farm and city property immediately after his wife's death, and it was reported he and his daughter would leave Clinton to remain. People were expecting something to happen and many guessed correctly what it would be. June 29 Miss Graham left Clinton for—as she told her parents—a visit with her uncle, Dr. S. A. GRAHAM in Kankakee, and probably visit friends in Chicago, saying she might remain in that city if she could secure employment.

The next day, June 30, Magill and his daughter, Marguerite, left on the interurban south, and were last seen by Clinton parties in Decatur at the depot, one saying they were going to Denver and the other that they were going to Los Angeles.

Nothing certain was heard further of them until Wednesday when copies of the Denver, Col., Post was received in Clinton. In that paper, of July 6, the following appeared:

"Frederick Magill has a daughter 19 years of age; his wife is one year older! It isn't strange, either; the fact is that he simply married his daughter's 'college chum.'
It was hard to say which was the happiest of the three, who came to Denver yesterday from Decatur, Ill., Frederick H. Magill, the middle-aged groom, Miss Faye E. Graham, the bride, or Miss Elizabeth Magill, who is the daughter of the groom by a former wife.
'We want a marriage license!' exclaimed Magill, as he and the two young ladies stepped into the office where those documents are granted.
Mrs. Maude Fellner stared. 'Which is the lady?' she said at last.
'Why, right here,' said Magill, turning toward his daughter. 'No, I mean this is she,' he said finally, catching sight of Miss Graham. A few minutes later the couple was married by Rev. Thomas Uzzell, after which they started on their return to the home of the groom.
The first wife of Magill died a number of years ago when his daughter was but a little child. Two years ago, when Miss Magill was attending college she met Miss Graham, with whom she became very intimate.
Following an invitation of Miss Magill for her friend to spend a few weeks at her father's home in Decatur, Ill., the young woman, whose own home is in Chicago, found that she not only cared a great deal about Miss Magill, but that she had fallen in love with the latter's father. As the affection was mutual, it was decided that the three should come to Denver, where the marriage ceremony was performed."

As Magill's wife had been dead only five weeks, and Miss Graham had lived in this county all her life, the truthfulness of Magill's story in Denver is easily understood.

Submitted by Judy Simpson


Clinton Register
DeWitt County, Illinois
Friday, July 12, 1907


In the matrimonial line many strange things have taken place that Clinton people have been parties to, but nothing more strange and more to be regretted than the marriage of Fred MAGILL just five weeks after the suicide of his wife has been recorded. And that, too, to a young lady half his age and of one of the most respected families in Clinton. To further add to the disgrace, the seventeen-year-old daughter of Magill was present when the wedding took place, and as the Denver paper said, was one of the happiest of the three.

It would seem the trio were crazy or so far lost to common decency that they had no respect for the dead or the living. The spectacle of a man whose wife's death five weeks previous was shrouded in mystery, being united in marriage and his daughter not only a willing witness, but being unusually happy, is among the rare occurrences in civilized countries. It was well for themselves that they went where they were strangers to join in such a proceeding; for even in patient Clinton there would have been a protest in the form of a reception that would not have been pleasant.

Is it any wonder the "bereaved" husband requested, three hours after his wife's lifeless body was found, that there be no big headlines above the notice of her death in the papers. Could there have been any real sorrow in his heart or regret in his pacing steps about his home? Did he wish he could join his wronged and abused companion in death, as reported? Was it necessary to watch him carefully lest he do what he ought to have done, and saved another family from disgrace? Today the hearts of a loving mother and kind father are overflowing with grief; bleeding with sorrow, and aching with misery over the disgrace an unwise daughter has so foolishly brought to those who gave her life and cared for her until she was old enough to have lessened the burden brought by advancing years. God pity them; for their burden is too great.

The foolish girl! God pity her too, though she perhaps does not deserve it. She is old enough to have been wise enough and strong enough to have not brought such deep disgrace, such profound sorrow to her home and her parents, who always have been her truest friends, and loved and honored her as no other ever will. She has done what foolish girls often do—broken the hearts of her parents and filled their home with a sorrow that could be but little greater.

Submitted by Judy Simpson


July 19, 1907
Cook County Herald
Arlington Heights, Illinois


Officials Go to San Diego to Get Alleged Wife Slayer.

State's Attorney Arthur MILLER and Sheriff H. A. CAMPBLELL of Clinton went to Springfield, procured from the Governor requisition papers for Frederick A.[H.] MAGILL and his bride of ten days and left for San Diego, Cal., to bring back the prisoners. Magill must answer to the charge of administering poison to his first wife, and his bride is held as an accomplice. Magill and his bride were arrested in San Diego, where, with Magill's daughter Marguerite, 17 years old, they were stopping on a tour of the West. Magill was married in Denver July 5 to Miss Fay GRAHAM, a stenographer, who was a school chum of his daughter. The arrests were ordered by State's Attorney Miller, on what he thinks is sufficient evidence to warrant their being taken into custody while the investigation is being held. The accusations against Magill and his bride furnished a climax to the rumors which have been rife in Clinton for the past month. The pressure of public opinion became so strong that the State's Attorney felt forced to take radical action. He is being supported by nearly the entire population. The feeling against Magill is so intense that when George MERWIN, one of his friends, attempted to speak a word in his defense, he was knocked down by an indignant bystander.

Magill is 38 years of age and has spent his entire life in Clinton. He is a son of an old and wealthy family. He inherited a good-sized fortune, spending nearly every cent of it.

Submitted by Sheryl Byrd


Clinton Register
DeWitt County, Illinois
Friday, July 26, 1907


Attorney Lemon Acts as Her Spokesman—Refuses to Reveal Hiding Place of Girl.

Clinton, Ill., July 26 — Margaret MAGILL says her mother, Mrs. Pet MAGILL, committed suicide. The 19-year-old daughter of Fred MAGILL, accused of wife murder, clears her father of all blame for her mother's death and sweeps away all suspicion that the state authorities attach to his movements after his wife's death. She exonerates Faye Graham MAGILL, her stepmother, and declares no blame attaches to her for her mother's death. Margaret's statement was made public Thursday through Attorney R. A. LEMON, of the law firm of Lemon & Lemon, who has concealed the young woman in an adjoining county two hours' ride from Clinton.

Attorney Lemon denies positively that the daughter of the accused ex-banker is in hiding at his home. He declares he is not simple enough to bring her to Clinton in order to give the state's attorney a chance to subpoena her and obtain involuntary admissions that may favor the cause of the prosecution.

He says he wants no "third degree" for the unsophisticated girl who is characterized as an enigma by the residents of Clinton.

"My mother committed suicide," are the words of Miss Magill as repeated by the lawyer who will defend her father against the charge of having caused his first wife's death by poison.

"I am certain she took her life," the daughter says. "I know she bought chloroform and strychnine in large quantities from George H. MITCHELL, the druggist in Clinton. I know she told a number of people she intended to end her life, and she often spoke to me and said she was tired of it all.

"As to the letters which State's Attorney Arthur F. Miller claims to be forgeries, they are in my mother's handwriting. I have seen them and I know that she wrote them. Neither my father nor my stepmother had anything to do with them."

"The prosecutors will find that there are not nearly as many letters as they think there are. They are talking about five letters. I know there are not that many."

Submitted by Judy Simpson


July 27, 1907
Stevens Point Journal
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Grave of Mrs. Magill Opened with Great Secrecy.

Clinton, Ill.—Dr. Adolph Gehrmann and Dr. W. A. Evans, both of Chicago, Wednesday night directed the exhumation of the body of Mrs. pet MAGILL, wife of the Clinton ex-banker, who is now under arrest at San Diego, Cal., charged with her murder. The internal organs of Magill's first wife were taken to Chicago in sealed glass jars for chemical analysis. The unearthing of the body was performed with the greatest secrecy.


Earlier in the evening another sensational incident in this case of many sensations occurred at the grave of the woman who is declared by the prosecution to have been murdered by her husband in order that he might marry his daughter's chum.

Mrs. Mabel PARRETT, said to be an old sweetheart of Fred. H. MAGILL, was found unconscious on the grave of Mrs. Magill. She had taken strychnine, it is alleged, and, despite the efforts of physicians who are working over her the attempt at suicide may be successful. The young woman was sometimes known under the name of Lillian RYAN.

"Oh, Fred, why did you do this," the woman murmured when she was revived by the use of powerful antidotes. Later in the night, when she had partially shaken off the effect of the poison, she muttered: "Fred and Fay caused this."

The woman was taken at once to the dispensary, where Dr. CAMPBELL was called.


San Diego, Cal.—Sheriff CAMPBELL of DeWitt county, Ill., left on the morning train Sunday for Clinton, accompanied by Fred MAGILL and the latter's wife, who go to face the charge of murdering Mrs. Pet MAGILL of Clinton.

It was learned Sunday that Miss Margaret MAGILL, daughter of the accused man, arrived in Clinton Sunday afternoon. Her departure from this city two or three days ago was kept in close secret.

Submitted by Sheryl Byrd


August 9, 1907
Cook County Herald
Arlington Heights, Illinois

Grand Jury Holds Banker and His Young Bride for Murder.

Fred H. MAGILL and his wife of twenty-six days, Faye Graham MAGILL, were indicted for murder by the special Clinton grand jury called to weigh the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Mrs. "Pet" Magill, the banker's first wife, on the night of May 30. True bills were, a dispatch says, found against both, holding them for trial on evidence pointing to a conspiracy to bring about the death of Mrs. "Pet" Magill. The indictment of Faye Magill was a surprise to many people of Clinton who believe that this young girl could not have participated in the plot, if there was one, to get rid of Pet Gandy Magill. The grand jury did not deliberate long over the evidence. After the last witness had retired State's Attorney MILLER was excluded from the room and the short sleeved farmers had their minds made up in half an hour. The word was carried to Magill and his wife in jail, but they did not break down. They declared they were ready for trial and had expected this. The grand jury in all of the four days' session found no direct evidence of murder against either the man or the girl. There was plenty of evidence of a serious nature, but all was circumstantial. That which turned the tide against Magill and his wife and put the murder vote in the realm of certainty was the testimony of Chicago physicians that they could give no adequate pathological reason for the woman's death. This gave an opportunity to play up a new and startling theory, that Magill had smothered his wife. The State's Attorney took full advantage of this opportunity to inject a greater amount of "reasonable doubt" in the minds of the jurors. Added to this was the additional fact which was leaked out, that the friends of Magill, who were relied upon to testify as to the authenticity of the letters, backed down before the jury. The constant hammering of the State's Attorney and the bits of enlightening evidence which dribbled in finally disposed of the suicide pact theory in the juror's minds, and they voted a murder bill against Magill, at least on evidence showing that he knew what his wife was doing and urged her on. They figured that Magill either aided and abetted his wife to kill herself or planned to kill her and leave the impression and apparent proof of suicide. Fred Magill has been released on $5,000 bond, his mother, Mrs. Emily S. MAGILL, and uncle, Fred DeLAND, being his sureties. Faye Graham MAGILL was released on bond in the same amount, her father, W. W. GRAHAM; her uncle, Dr. S. A. GRAHAM; William OGLEY and Ed DeBOICE signing for her.

Submitted by Sheryl Byrd


August 10, 1907
Stevens Point Journal
Stevens Point, Wisconsin


State Now Contends that First Spouse of Clinton Man Was Smothered—Defense Wants Quick Trial.

Clinton, Ill. — Fred M.[H.] MAGILL and his second wife, Faye Graham MAGILL, must stand trial on the charge of murdering Pet Magill.  The special grand jury which has been investigating the death of Magill’s first wife returned indictments against both defendants in Judge W. G. COCHRANE’S court Friday.  Magill and his wife were excluded from the court while the grand jurors made their presentation.  The indictment against each of the defendants contains six counts.  They charge that Mrs. Pet Magill came to her death: 1. By the administration of strychnine.  2. By the administration of arsenic.  3. By being smothered with a quilt.  4. By a suicide compact, with the advice and counsel of the defendants.  5. By poison with chloroform.  6. By some means unknown to the state.

Counts are specific.

Each of the indictments covers nine typewritten pages and the two are identical in their charges. The three counts charging the administration of poison specify two drams of strychnine and two drams of white arsenic, respectively, reported to have been given to Mrs. Pet Magill in a mixture of half a pint of beer and chloroform in large quantities and administered through the victim's nose.

The count covering the smothering clause charges each defendant with exerting "a mortal pressure" and "of choking and strangling" the victim with a blanket.

The count on the suicide compact charges that Pet Magill was "persuaded" to take chloroform.

The last count alleges that Pet Magill came to her death "In some way and manner and by some means, instruments, weapons, poisons or deadly drugs unknown to the jury," and that the defendants, "willfully and with malice aforethought did deprive said Pet Magill of her life."

Magills Win a Point.

Clinton, Ill. — Judge COCHRAN Friday sustained a motion to quash the sixth count of both indictments against Fred MAGILL and his wife. He overruled the motion to quash the other indictments, holding that they were good.

The defense immediately filed a motion to consolidate the two cases, so that both husband and wife should be tried together, and the court took this under advisement. The defense then asked that the cases be set for trial as speedily as possible, and Judge Cochran announced that November 9 would be the earliest possible date, but after considerable argument on this subject, the judge adjourned court until Saturday morning, by which time he will decide whether the trials shall begin next week or in November. The defendants were arraigned and pleaded not guilty.

Submitted by Sheryl Byrd


August 17, 1907
Stevens Point Journal
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Magills Allowed Early Trial.

Clinton, Ill. —Circuit Judge COCHRAN has allowed the petition of the defense for the immediate trial of Fred MAGILL and his wife, Fay Graham MAGILL, who are under indictments charging responsibility for the death of Mrs. Pet MAGILL, the first wife of Magill. The Magills are at liberty on $5,000 bonds pending trial.

Submitted by Sheryl Byrd


December 2, 1907
Decatur Daily Review
Decatur, Illinois


Day to Get Jury and Day to End Case Is Program—What Is Verdict Good For?

(Review Special Service.)

Clinton, Ill., Dec. 2.—The $50,000 suit of Fay Graham MAGILL against the Chicago American was taken up in the DeWitt county court this morning at 9 o'clock.

Not much interest was shown by the people of Clinton in the case, few besides the lawyers and possible jurymen being present. Fay was there in gray and Marguerite in black, with a red coat. The first day was spent getting a jury and it was said after that the case would be short.


The lawyers for the defense, the Evening American Publishing company, and C. C. Maxwell, a reporter, are E. G. Masters and George G. King of Chicago and Lot R. HERRICK of Farmer City. William R. Hearst was named as one of the defendants, but service was not got on him, so he was not presented in the court room. Attorneys Dick LEMON, John FULLER, G. K. INGHAM and Marshall C. GRIFFIN are representing the prosecution. Attorney G. K. Ingham was not able to be present this morning on account of the death of his brother, but it was decided to go on with the case without him.


Fred MAGILLl and wife and Marguerite MAGILL came to Clinton at 8:50, having left Decatur on the 8 o'clock interurban car. They came near being too late, as the interurban car had to be held a few minutes in Decatur for them. No one met them at the station and they went directly to the office of Attorney Dick Lemon. After about ten minutes they went to the court room.

Fay Graham Magill wore a gray suit and Marguerite was dressed in black, with a red coat.


Attorney Dick Lemon gave it as his opinion Monday morning that the case would be finished some time Tuesday, also that it would not take a great while to get a jury. The Chicago lawyers appearing in the case are young men, about 30 years of age, and appear to be very bright. One of them was asked how long it would take to try the case, and he answered it was hard to tell, as in a case of this kind one can't tell what will be introduced.

Fay Graham Magill first took a seat just outside the bar rail, but after a few minutes was taken by Dick Lemon into one of the side rooms and remained there.


Contrary to expectations, only a small crowd was in the court room at 9 o'clock. Of the thirty people present, twenty-two or twenty-three were veniremen. Judge COCHRAN asked Deputy SAMUELS to see that either himself or the sheriff is in the court room throughout the trial, as he did not want to run the trial and the court room too.


Just before the case began Judge Cochran had a short talk with the lawyers on both sides and then he ordered a special venire of twenty talesmen. This indicates that it was the opinion of the judge and lawyers that a jury could not be secured out of the first twenty-four men. The judge ordered that the special venire be drawn from the box and that the men drawn be telephoned to report at the court room at once.


It was 9:26 when Dick Lemon began to examine the first juryman, Ray FLEMING. The examination lasted twenty minutes. Mr. Lemon went a good deal into detail in his questioning and the indications were that if he did this with all of the jurymen it would take quite a while to get a jury.

One of the questions asked was if the jurymen had read the Clinton Public and if its editor had any influence on him. Another was, "If the court should instruct you peremptorily to find the defendant guilty, what would you do?" This indicates that Mr. Lemon is looking for instruction from the court to the jury to find the defendant guilty.


Attorney Lemon also asked the juryman if the evidence warrants would he be willing to aware substantial damages. He also asked how much the man had read the Chicago American. He was particular on this point. Another question was:

"Have you any prejudices against the plaintiff; have you any preconceived notions as to her general reputation?"


The examination of the jurors was being taken Monday by Murray J. Brady, who is here for the Chicago American to report the case in full for it. Miss Laura Fox, the regular court reporter, was sick and asked Brady to act for her. He was therefore sworn in this morning, and will also act as official court reporter until relieved by Miss Fox.


About a hundred character witnesses have been called. Among them are some of the most prominent women in Clinton. They are dreading an appearance in court and some of them have sent their husbands to the lawyers and court officials to see if it could not be arranged to have them left out of the case. They have been told that as they were subpoenaed they had better appear. However, there is an intimation that the number of such witnesses may be limited to twelve. The federal court's limit is seven.


There has been some question as to the value to Fay Magill of a verdict against the American. It is stated that the paper could not be made to pay one. The newspaper publishing company has no property. All the plant used in publishing it belongs to a company from which it rents the outfit on short terms. This is the plan of W. R. Hearst in all cases. Then judgements against his newspapers do not affect him financially.


Four jurors were obtained by 11 o'clock. They were as follows:

Ray FLEMING, Clinton.
Albert LEEPER, Wapella township.
John Q. JONES, Farmer City.
Hiram E. MILLER, Hart township.

By noon it looked as if the following would become jurors, the first three having been accepted by the defense:

A. J. SNODGRASS, Barnett township.
Edward MAY, Clintonia.
Art ARGO, Clinton.
Bert HARROLD, Hart township.

By noon the defense had used three of the five peremptory challenges allowed it. The plaintiff had used none.


Some of the questions asked the veniremen were as follows:

"Will you consider the general reputation of the plaintiff in the trial of this case?"

"Are you prejudiced against the Chicago American?"

"Will you try the case for the Chicago American the same as if it were the Chicago News or the Chicago Record-Herald?"

A peculiar feature of the morning session was the fact that of fourteen veniremen examined, only one, Henry DIEBOLD, failed to qualify. The veniremen were a good, intelligent-looking set, all men who may be expected to give both sides fair consideration.

None of the Magills remained in the court Monday morning, but W. W. GRAHAM, the father of Fay Graham Magill, was there.


The "sick list" in Clinton had a marvelous growth Monday among the "character" witnesses subpoenaed in the case. When they were called the witnesses were lame, halt and all but blind. Following is a list of the indispositions given as excuses for non-appearance at the trial:

Lame legs.
Bad colds.
Threatened with pneumonia.
Lame Back.

More excuses were expected.

One girl gave as a reason for her non-appearance that Attorney Lot Herrick had told her father she need not show up.


In the court room Monday morning one man declared to Judge Cochran:

"Women can't be abused at this trial as they were in Decatur. If they are, there'll be something doing. People up here will fight."

"Well," dryly responded Judge Cochran, "we keep a man, Sheriff Campbell, around here for just such emergencies."

Judge Cochran's humor is appreciated when it is remembered that Sheriff Campbell is one of the biggest and most muscular men in DeWitt county.


When the damage suit was begun, the declaration laid such stress on the assertion that Richard HOUGHTON had said that Fred Magill and Fay GRAHAM had stayed together at his house one night before the death of Pet MAGILL.

In the amended declaration, filed Nov. 22, the emphasis is laid on the assertion that the two conspired to bring about Pet Magill's death. The charge in the original declaration was almost overlooked.

The jury was completed at 2:30 this afternoon.

The jury as finally secured was as follows:

Ray FLEMING, Clinton.
Albert LEEPER, Wapella township.
John Q. JONES, Farmer City.
Hiram E. MILLER, Harp township.
A. J. SNODGRASS, Barnett township.
Edward MAY, Clintonia.
Art ARGO, Clinton.
Bert HARROLD, Harp township.
John FLOREY, Texas township.
Frank REED, Harp township.
Ulric SHEPHERD, Tunbridge township.
Will QUEERFIELD, Texas township.

The second four jurors were selected at 1:12 o'clock. In all 19 men were examined. Four were peremptorily challenged by the defense. One man was let go because it was found that he was wanted as a witness.

Attorney John Fuller made the opening statement for the prosecution. He said that only one charge would be pushed against the Chicago American. This will be that Fay Graham Magill was stated to have been heard to conspire to kill Pet Magill.

Submitted by Sheryl Byrd


March 13, 1908
Cook County Herald
Arlington Heights, Illinois


Principals in Noted Murder Case to Make Home in the West.

Fred MAGILL and his second wife, Faye Graham MAGILL, left for St. Louis, and from there will go to San Diego, Cal., to make their future home. They will be accompanied by Magill's daughter by his first marriage, Marguerite. The Magills were arrested last October in San Diego, being accused of responsibility for the sudden and mysterious death of Magill's first wife. After a long trial they were acquitted. The couple will now carry out the plans disturbed by their arrest.

Submitted by Sheryl Byrd


Wednesday, March 20, 1929
The Decatur Herald


Clinton, March 20— Fred H. MAGILL who has been ill for several months in the home of his mother, Mrs. E. L. MAGILL, 104 South East street, died at 7:45 o'clock Monday night.

Mr. Magill was born in Clinton, Feb. 23, 1869, the son of Robert and Louisa MAGILL. He was married to Miss Pet GANDY, March 28, 1888. Mrs. Magill died several years ago. Mr. Magill is survived, in addition to his mother, by a daughter, Mrs. Peter YARBOROUGH (Marguerite Magill), and a sister, Mrs. Nellie (Magill) Pond, all of this city.

Submitted by Judy Simpson

UPDATE – 2013

Fay (Graham) Magill was listed with Fred and Marguerite Magill in the 1910 census in Missouri.  At some point she divorced Fred and moved to California and he moved back to Illinois.  Notice that she was not mentioned in his obituary.  She married Elmer N. Johnson and they lived in Oregon until he died in 1943.  Then she moved back to California to live near her brother.  After leaving Fred, she went by her middle name, Estelle.  A family member described her as being soft-spoken, a good cook, baker and seamstress.  She lived to be 93 years old.  No one in her family ever knew about the murder trial until it was discovered just recently.

Note: Fay’s picture can be seen at