Shelby  County  Indiana
Newspaper  Articles


The  Indianapolis  Star
September 12, 1915
Page 43 Column 5
          Dr. George VanPelt  of Montgomery, Ala., is here visiting his brother,  C. E. VanPelt  and  other relatives.
Contributed by Virginia Latta Curulla

The  Shelbyville  Democrat
Shelbyville, Ind., Thursday, November 9, 1911
Set forth Thinks Defense Will Bring Out to Show that
VanPelt Had Been Driven Insane at Time He Committed Murder.
          Great surprise was expressed on all sides when, at 11:30 o'clock today, the state rested in the trial of the case against Charles  E. VanPelt  for the murder of Attorney  Charles  H. Tindall  in this city last August as the prosecution at that time had used but thirty of the eighty witnesses it is reported to have in readiness for use in the case.
          Mr.  Elmer  Bassett,  of counsel for the defense, began at once with the opening statement for the defense.  He read the Indiana law on homicide in which the three degrees of homicide are explained.  He told the jury that under the law they can, if they see fit, find the defendant guilty of either of the lesser degrees of homicide if they did not see fit to find him guilty of first degree murder.  Mr. Bassett then read the law of the state on unsoundness of mind and said the defense would try to show that VanPelt was a monomaniac at the time of the murder; that he had brooded over the accusations made by Tindall against his wife until his reason was dethroned, and his will power destroyed, and he was led to the commission of the crime.  Mr. Bassett went into detail as to what the evidence will show with reference to the procedure in the auditing of the lodge books and other lodge affairs.
          Mr. Bassett said the evidence will show that in June, 1910, at the solicitation of  Mrs. C. H. Tindall,  Mrs. VanPelt assisted the Tindall's in receiving the visitors at the Tindall home, who came here from Indianapolis where the supreme lodge was holding its sessions.
          Mr. Bassett said the evidence would show that at that time Charles H. Tindall was withholding the report of Mrs. VanPelt as recorder of the lodge and that at the meeting that night Tindall arose on the floor of the lodge room and said: "Mrs. VanPelt is a thief.  She has stolen lodge funds and is short $53."
          Mr. Bassett said that the evidence would show that Mrs. VanPelt arose in the lodge room at that time and declared that she was not short in her accounts, and insisted that a special auditing committee be appointed to audit her accounts, and that this was done,  Dr.  J.  Willard  Parrish,  Thomas  Whitaker  and  I. N.  Cooper  being appointed as the special auditing committee.  Mr. Bassett said that evidence would show that this special auditing committee found Mrs. VanPelt's reports correct, but that Mr. Whitaker refused to sign the report at the instance of Charles Tindall, but that later Whitaker did sign the report.
          Court adjourned for the noon hour when Mr. Bassett had hardly gotten well into his opening statement.
          Counsel for the state objected frequently to Mr. Bassett's statements during the portion of the opening statement made during the morning hour.  This was again indulged in by Attorney  Carter,  of counsel for the state, as soon as Mr. Bassett resumed his statement after dinner, and it resulted in several sharp legal clashes.  At one time when Judge Blair ruled that Mr. Bassett keep within bounds, Mr. Bassett said:  "Your honor, I would be glad to do so if I knew how."  At this point, Attorney Carter jumped up and said, "If Mr. Bassett doesn't know how to do this, I suggest that he give way to associate counsel, as I am sure they can do it."
          Mr. Bassett again went into details concerning the lodge troubles in which he himself took an active part in VanPelt's behalf.  Mr. Bassett said he tried as many as a dozen time to get Tindall to prefer charges of embezzlement against Mrs. VanPelt, but that Tindall refused.
          Mr. Bassett said the evidence would show that Tindall went to Judge Hord and said, "Judge Hord, I've made these charges against Mrs. VanPelt and I've got to be vindicated.  If you can get her to pay a part of the money back, and vindicate me, I'll pay you a damn good fee."   Mr. Bassett said these accusations, made by Tindall had resulted in the nervous break-down of  Mrs. VanPelt and that one day when VanPelt went home, he found  Mrs. VanPelt on her knees before the picture of her father, the late  Mr. Works,  a one time prominent attorney of Aurora, Ind., wringing her hands and crying, "Oh, father, why do I have to be punished as I am? Is there no relief?"
          Riley  Sedgwick,  who testified this morning as a witness for the state, was the first witness put on the stand by the defense.  Mr. Bassett asked the witness if he was present at the Court of Honor lodge the night that Tindall made the speech accusing Mrs. VanPelt of embezzling lodge funds, and on Mr. Carter, of counsel for state, interposing an objection to the witness answering the question Judge Blair had the jury retire to the jury room while the attorneys fought the legal points involved, before the court. Judge Blair permitted the witness to answer the question when court was again resumed. Mr. Sedgwick said that after the report of the special auditing committee, Mr. Tindall made a speech, in which he said: "Mrs. VanPelt is short in her accounts with the lodge, and in order to cover up her guilt, she has burned the records and dumped the ashes on the banks of Blue River," and that she was stealing the dues of the members and putting the money in her stocking. Mr. Sedgwick said VanPelt asked him on the 5th day of August, 1911, if he would run for director of the lodge.  Mr. Sedgwick testified that he believed VanPelt to be man of unsound mind at the time of the conversation detailed by the witness this morning, in which VanPelt became excited and wrought up.  On cross-examination Mr. Sedgwick testified that he believed that any one who will say,  "I feel like taking a revolver and killing a man,"  is insane.  Mr. Sedgwick said that when Tindall began his speech in the lodge room on the night that he accused Mrs. VanPelt of being an embezzler, Mrs. VanPelt left the room and did not remain to hear Tindall's speech.  Mr. Sedgwick said that Elmer Bassett made a speech in reply to the one made by Tindall.  Mr. Bassett acted in the capacity of attorney for Mrs. VanPelt.
          Up to the time of going to press but one witness had been introduced by the defense, the legal wrangles of counsel, and the grilling cross-examination of Mr. Sedgwick, consuming the entire time of the court since noon.
          The fourth day of the VanPelt murder trial opened at nine o'clock this morning, with  James  M. Moore,  county sheriff, on the witness stand.  Mr. Moore testified that he was at his store on east Jackson street at the time of the shooting, and that he went at once to the to the Schroeder pharmacy.  Mr. Moore said he did not search the victim's body until after the arrival of the coroner.
          John  Farrell,  a member of the city police force, testified that on the night of the 23d of  August he saw VanPelt sitting on the corner of  Jackson and Harrison streets, and the witness said VanPelt looked pale.  When asked by the witness what the matter was, VanPelt remarked:  "There goes that dirty cur."  Farrell asked who he meant and VanPelt replied:  "Tindall."  On cross-examination Farrell testified that VanPelt was very white and seemed to be very much excited and that he was mumbling to himself.  Mr. Farrell said the street was crowded and altho he looked in the direction indicated by VanPelt he saw nothing of Tindall.
          Riley  S.  Sedgwick  told of a conversation that he had with VanPelt at the Democratic office, some weeks before the tragedy, in which VanPelt told how Tindall had notified the bonding company not to go on Mrs. VanPelt's bond and how the company had refused.  He said that VanPelt detailed how they had accused his wife of being short in her lodge funds, and just before the witness left to catch a car, VanPelt said:  "I feel like taking a revolver and killing the s--- of a b---."  Mr. Sedgwick testified that he is a member of the lodge and that he knew something of the trouble between Tindall and VanPelt before the shooting. On cross-examination Mr. Sedgwick testified that VanPelt said that worry over the charges made by Tindall against his wife was almost killing her.  He said that the longer VanPelt talked the more excited he grew and that his voice changed from its natural state almost to a whisper; that he eyes grew wild looking, and that he shrugged his shoulders and cracked his knuckles.  Mr. Sedgwick said that VanPelt was highly wrought up over the matter.
          George  W.  Jacobs,  a farmer, residing east of this city, testified that he is a member of  the Court of Honor lodge in this city.  He said he was in Shelbyville on the 22nd day of August before the killing and that some time in the forenoon of that day he met VanPelt in front of  Harry Walker's grocery on east Washington street and that VanPelt told him that Tindall had pushed him off of the sidewalk and that he had stood it as long as he was going to.  The witness testified that VanPelt said  "I have never had to carry a revolver before.  I have always been a law-abiding citizen."
          Sherman  A.  Havens,  the poultry fancier, residing six miles north of this city, and one of  the most active members of the local Court of Honor ledge, testified that a few days before the shooting, VanPelt came up to him in front of Rapp's grocery on north Harrison street, and said:  "I saw you, that dirty villain, Charles Tindall,  Alfred  Lee  and Tom Whitaker sitting up in that dam dirty hole.  I saw you looking at me as I talked to  Daly  Kerr  in front of the Cheney building.  That damned villain ought to be shot down on the street.  If a man would shoot him down he would never be arrested."  The witness said VanPelt told him of having shook his finger in Tindall's face.  He said VanPelt was angry and mad.  Mr. Havens said he told VanPelt that he would run before he would kill a man; that he would rather be a running coward than a murderer.  The witness said VanPelt replied to this by pecking himself on the chest and saying:  "I've got Kentucky blood in me," and then walked away.  The witness said he went to Tindall immediately and told him what VanPelt had said.  On cross-examination Mr. Havens testified that he made Tindall's office his headquarters when he came to town and that much of his correspondence was carried on in and thru Tindall's office.  The witness said he was a very intimate friend of  Tindall's and had often borrowed money from the Tindall's.  He said that during the conversation in front of the Rapp grocery, VanPelt showed him a letter, copies of which were mailed to all of  the members of the supreme board of directors of the Court of Honor lodge, and read it to him.  In this letter VanPelt accused Tindall of offering to barter the virtue of the lady members of  local lodge as an inducement to get a certain man to become a member of the lodge.  He also accused Tindall of cursing the  Cossairts  in lodge one night, and accusing them of sitting around and waiting for members of the lodge to die, so they could sell their flowers.  The defense attempted to show that twenty-five years ago Mr. Havens used to come to Shelbyville with a brace of revolvers strapped around him, and that he was whitecapped at one time, but this testimony was ruled out by the court at the instance of the state's attorneys.  Mr. Havens confessed to having paid several fines for various misdemeanors committed by him to the county during the past few years.  These offenses consisted of assault and battery on various persons, of drunkenness, cruelty to animals, and larceny, for which latter offense he also served ten days in the county jail.  When the state attempted to show by Mr. Havens that he was at one time a drunkard, but took the Keeley cure about 1896, it brought forth a hotly contested legal discussion as to the admissibility of such evidence on re-direct examination. Judge Blair ruled against the admission of such evidence, stating as he did so that the supreme court has uniformly held that any evidence intended to permit the witness to explain or excuse in any manner improper conduct which he had previously confessed on the stand, is not proper evidence.
          Shep  Stafford,  a member of Shelby District Court, No. 244, testified that both Charles H. Tindall and Mrs. Tindall were members of the local court, and that Tindall was also chairman of the supreme board of directors of the supreme lodge.

Wednesday Evening.

          During the time that Alfred Lee, who had been testifying for the state yesterday evening regarding the time when VanPelt was said to have pointed his finger at Charles H. Tindall on the public square, was being cross-examined, the defense attempted to have Mr. Lee admit that he had nagged Mr. VanPelt, but this was objected to by the attorneys for the state, and Judge Blair sustained the objection.
          J. W.  Lennox,  of Shelby township, corroborated the statement made by Mr. Lee, and said he saw VanPelt shake his finger at Tindall three or four times and then walk away without a word.  He said that  John  Hogue  who was with them, then went into a saloon and Tindall followed him into the saloon.
          Thomas Whitaker was recalled to the stand to testify to the circumstances of the meeting between VanPelt and Tindall on the public square, when VanPelt shook his finger in Tindall's face.  Mr. Whitaker's testimony on direct examination tallied pretty closely with that given by Lee and Lenox.  On cross-examination Whitaker testified that Tindall saw VanPelt down on the street talking to John Hogue, and that Tindall, Lee and himself had talked about the fact that VanPelt was down on the street before they came down out of Tindall's office.  He said that when he left Tindall's office he did not know that Lennox was over on the square. He said that Tindall did not go into the saloon after VanPelt left him.
          John Hogue, county recorder-elect, testified that VanPelt came up and asked him if he was figuring on buying the K. of P. building. Looking up at Tindall, who was standing in his office window, VanPelt remarked: "Look at that red-headed s--- of a b--- up there. No, I'll take that back, for his mother was a nice woman, but he whipped his mother."  Mr. Hogue testified that later VanPelt talked to him about Tindall accusing his wife of being an embezzler of lodge funds.  He also saw VanPelt shake his finger at Tindall.  Hogue testified that Tindall followed him into Hartman's saloon and asked what VanPelt had been talking about.  On cross-examination he testified that  John  Cheney  wrote down the evidence given by him before the grand jury and that it was not exactly as he had given it to the grand jury.  He said that VanPelt detailed at length how Tindall had accused his wife of stealing lodge funds, and that Tindall had solicited the membership of several men, offering them certain inducements which can not be put in print.  He said he met VanPelt on the street on August 25 before the shooting and had a conversation with him.
          D. C.  Kerr,  auctioneer, of this city, testified that he and John Hogue were in conversation in front of the Lyric theatre building one day last August when VanPelt came up and asked them if they were going to buy the K. of P. building.  Then, looking up toward Tindall, who was standing in his office window, VanPelt inquired:  "Do you see that red-headed s--- of a b--- up there?"  On cross-examination  Mr. Carr [Kerr?] testified that VanPelt said that Tindall was around offering men certain vulgar inducements if they would join the Court of Honor lodge.  He testified that VanPelt said that Tindall accused his wife of being an embezzler.  He said that Tindall followed him up to his office after his conversation with VanPelt and asked him what VanPelt had said about him. Carr answered that he did not want to tell him because he did not care to cause trouble between them.  Tindall then asked if VanPelt had threatened him.

          Instead of it being Attorney  John  A. Tindall,  in whose favor Judge Blair made an exception with reference to allowing him to remain in the court room during trial of the case against  Charles  E.  VanPelt  for the murder of Charles H. Tindall, as reported in the Democrat, it was Mrs. Tindall, the wife of the murdered man.
Submitted by Phyllis Miller Fleming

The  Shelbyville  Daily  Democrat
Thursday, September 21, 1905
Page 1
          Squire Vanpelt  celebrated his eighty sixth birthday anniversary at his residence, 66 west Broadway today.  Of his relatives present there were, Miss Emma Vanpelt  of Cincinnati;  Mrs. Emma Murphy,  Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Major  and  Mr. and Mrs. S. L. Major,  of this city and county.
          Hon. S. L. Vanpelt  was born in Warren county, Ohio, September 21st, 1819, and at the age of two year came with his parents to Shelby county to reside.  The family located on Flat Rock, near the mouth of Conn's creek, and there Mr. Vanpelt grew to manhood.  Early in life he became interested in politics and cast his first vote for the Democratic ticket, although his father was a Whig.  Throughout his long career he has taken a remarkable interest in the political affairs of the country and he many now be said to be the Nestor of the Democratic party in Shelby county, although he has long since ceased to take any active part in the party's management.
          Mr. Vanpelt also claims the distinction of being the oldest resident of Shelby county, not the oldest citizen in the county, for there are several now residing in the county who are older than he, but they have not spent so many years of their lives in this county.  For eighty four years he has resided continuously in Shelby county and this, he claims makes him the oldest resident of Shelby county now living, by several years.
          Notwithstanding his more than four score years, Mr. Vanpelt is able to walk up town and enjoys a pleasant half hour's chat with his friends as well as he ever did.  His mind is clear and he reads the papers carefully every day, keeping himself in touch with current events in a remarkable degree for one of his years.  In the discussion of the historical events of the United States, going back to the settlement of the colonies and coming down to the question of time, he shows a wonderfully retentive memory.
          He has witnessed the development of Shelby county from a primeval forest until today her lands are recognized as unsurpassed, her resources and productiveness as good as any county in the state and her people the best on earth.  His life has been a model and may he live to crown out one complette century of a life of usefulness and beautiful Christian manhood, is the wish of the Shelby Democrat.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

The  Daily  Republican
Friday Evening, July 6, 1888
          The Democrats of this city held a meeting at the court-house on Saturday evening for the purpose of forming a Cleveland and Thurman Club.  Between one and two hundred Democrats were present.  S. L. Vanpelt  was made the president of the club and it was reported that 160 names had been signed as members.  Several in the court-room declined to sign the paper circulated on account of the requirement attached that they should support the entire ticket.  J. W. Kern  was down from Indianapolis and talked to the boys for an hour.
Copied by Phyllis Miller Fleming

The  Shelby  Volunteer
Thursday, December 18, 1862
Notice  To  Borrwers[sic]  of
School  Fund.
          All persons delinquent in the payment of interest on School Funds are hereby notified and requested to settle the same between this and the 25th day of December.  The mortgaged premises of all persons delinquent at that time, will be advertised for sale in pursuance of the statute in such case made and provided.    See Acts 1861, pp. 86, Sec. 97.
S. L. VANPELT, Auditor.
Dec. 11, 1892[sic].
Copied by Phyllis Miller Fleming

The  National  Volunteer
Shelbyville, Indiana
~ * ~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~
February 9, 1854
Court of Common Pleas - - Settlement of Estates
Alexander Van Pelt
Daniel Hayden
Peter Dewitt
James Vanorsdol
Zadock Plummer
Levi Collins
William Corkins
Submitted by Sherry Badgley Ryan. Permission from: Mr.Maurice Holmes.  Selected items from Shelbyville, Indiana Newspaper Excerpts: 1853 - 1859.  Maurice Holmes, 1141N 450W, Shelbyville, IN 46176

The  National  Volunteer
Shelbyville, Indiana
~ * ~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~
December 2, 1853
          Married - - on Thursday the 24th inst. by Reverend J.O. Smith,  Mr. Nicholas Van Pelt  to  Mrs. Elsie Stafford, all of this place.
Submitted by Sherry Badgley Ryan. Permission from: Mr.Maurice Holmes.  Selected items from Shelbyville, Indiana Newspaper Excerpts: 1853 - 1859.  Maurice Holmes, 1141N 450W, Shelbyville, IN 46176

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