Deaths

1878-1882 Deaths

The following death information was typed from the actual death records as recorded, misspellings and all, by JoEllen Langwell.

1878    1879    1880    1881    1882   

1916-1950 Deaths

The lists displayed at the links below were extracted from the Illinois Archives website. The Illinois Archives database provides listings of death certificates filed with the Illinois Department of Public Health between 1916 and 1950.  If you are interested in an ancestor listed, please visit the Illinois State Archives website for more information and/or for instructions to obtain a copy of a death certificate.

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TRAGEDIES

This county has had its share of crime and much to our shame one man executed by the law. Harrihon Burklow, a man belonging to an old respected family, while under the influence of liquor, shot and killed a man by the name of Wagner. Wagner tried to persuade him not to kill him, as Burklow had gone with that intent, to where Wagner was working, but crazed with liquor he would not listen to the pleadings and shot him outright. Burklow had served in the Civil War, and had many friends and relatives in the community, who would have assisted him, but the case was so aggravated, the death penalty was invoked, and he was hanged in the old jail yard just a little above where the present jail now stands; in spite of the fact, that the hanging was private, as the gallows had been built in a large enclosure people filled the town to its limits. J. H. Carter was the sheriff and W. R. Wiley was the deputy who carried out the sentence of the law about 1877. Another crime occurring here before the Civil War, which was as useless as heinous, was the whipping of a negro to death on the streets of Vienna. Dr. Gerry kept a hotel on Third and East Main streets, where Issac Hook now lives. A traveler on horseback came to the hotel to spend the night. Some time while there he had three hundred dollars taken from his saddle bags. A colored boy who did the chores around the hotel, was accused of the theft. A company of citizens took him out, drove him from place to place, beating him with switches, hanging him up by the thumbs at intervals to make him tell where the money was. Although he would tell them the money was in different places to get a respite from the punishment, he stoutly denied it in the beginning. This continued until the negro finally dropped dead on the street, just south of where the library now stands. It is said the wife of Doctor Gerry later confessed to taking the money, establishing the innocence of the negro.
Franklin J. Chapman, son of Samuel the pioneer, was shot and killed at Old Foreman, while he was asleep in his room. The perpetrator of this deed or the reason for it was never known.
James Arnett, who lived west of Vienna, about four miles, near Cache River was tried three times in our courts for murder, but never convicted. He was shot from ambush about a mile west of Vienna, on his way home from the town by Burbe Stanley, a neighbor, who was convicted of insanity and committed to the Southern Illinois Hospital at Anna for a short time. William Arnett, a brother of James, also living on the west side of the county, while hauling a load of wheat to market was shot from ambush on the road near the present home of Roy Shelter. This murder occurred about 1876 and was committed by Powell Short, who was never apprehended.
Another crime of the same nature was the killing of John Murrie near his home, now the home of John Farris, about four miles east of Vienna, on the Metropolis Road. This murder was supposed to have been done by a man named Holt, but no certainty is attached to this and no arrest was ever made.
The killing of Young Elkins was a much talked of incident, and occurred sometime in the fifties in Vienna. There was a "clock-tinker," as they called them in those days, who came here with his wife from Jonesboro. His name was Merriman. John Bridge's young boys had been in the habit of going to his house and throwing rocks through the windows. One day he caught one of the boys and gave him a whipping. Young Elkins, was an uncle of these boys, and it seems, prided himself on his physical prowess, being full of liquor, went down in company with Ross Sanders, with rocks for weapons to give the old man a "licking," as he called it. Merriman ordered Elkins not to come in, but Elkins paid no attention to the old man's order. He shot Elkins with a gun which he had made some time before by cutting off a rifle. The old man had used this improvised shot gun in the peaceful occupation of killing birds. It is supposed that he had expected trouble after he whipped the boy, and had loaded the gun with buck shot to defend himself. The sheriff put the old man in jail to keep Elkin's friends from mobbing him, and afterwards turned him out and ordered him to leave the community, which he did.
John Maupin was killed near the Johnson Cemetery, three miles east of Vienna, about twenty-five years ago. His body was carried to the home of Charles Farris and left in front of his gate. Marcus Burnett, a brother-in-law of Maupin, was convicted of the crime. The cause was some family feud.
A. Franklin was a captain in the Civil War, serving from this county. He was a farmer and lived near Grantsburg. Some two or three years after the war, two strangers came along by Captain Franklin's about the noon hour, and wanted the Captain to trade horses with them. Franklin discussed the matter with them, but would not trade. The two men went on their way, as the Franklins thought, but shortly after the meal they found the stranger's horse in the barnyard and the horse belonging to Franklin gone. He immediately set out to find the man and horse, overtaking them a short distance beyond his home, and on demanding his horse the stranger shot and killed him. The community was soon aroused and went in search of the murderer, surrounded and captured him, not far from the present residence of Pleasant Rose, on the farm of James Rose. They took him to old Grantsburg, now Wartrace, and placed him under guard, in the office of Dr. W. J. Fern, a young physician, practicing there at that time, while some one went to summon the sheriff. During the night a mob of fifty men or more gathered and overpowered the guards took the prisoner to a large group of walnut trees, about two hundred yards west of Wartrace, at the bend of the road and hung him. The tree on which he was hung was pointed out to the youth and strangers for many years, but has since died or been cut away. The prisoner gave the name of Patilo and his home as Kentucky.
Captain Franklin was a very popular man, especially among men who had served under him in the war, and it has been remarked that some of his men were instrumental in raising the mob but no trouble was ever taken to find out who they were.
J. W. Bayles was a bachelor and lived alone on his farm about three miles east of town. He was a native of Baltimore, Md., was well educated and must have belonged to a good family. He was supposed to have money, which was without doubt, the cause of his murder. Some parties went to his house at night, murdered him and left their masks. It is not known whether they secured any money or not. There were arrests made, but no one could be convicted of the crime.
Daniel Gage a peaceful and inoffensive citizen was shot by David Avery, apparently without any reason, and none was ever found, except it was thought Avery mistook him for another man. There was no jail in the county at this time and Avery, under arrest was being taken to the Cairo jail. He was sitting near a window in the Big Four station waiting for a train, when he was shot from the outside. It has never been known who committed the deed.
Charles Farris drove up in front of his sister's home, Mrs. Joshua Howell, who lives about a quarter of a mile east of Wartrace. Mr. Farris stopped and the family came out to visit with him, when his nephew, Duff Howell, raised his gun. It was discharged accidently and shot his uncle through the head, killing him instantly. No motive could be found as no unpleasantness existed between the parties. This accident occurred about 1910, and was no doubt a sudden and unrealized action of the moment.

Extracted 10 Apr 2016 by Norma Hass from 1925 History of Johnson County written by Mrs. P. T. Chapman, pages 137-141

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