Shelby  County  Indiana
Newspaper  Articles

Walton



The  Daily  Evening  Democrat
Monday, March 26, 1883
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L  O  C  A  L      N  E  W  S
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          An unoccupied house in Fairland, belonging to a Mrs. Walton, was set on fire about two o'clock this morning and totally consumed.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming


The  Cincinnati  Commercial  Tribune
September 22, 1882
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MURDERERS  SENTENCED.
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MRS. WALTON  AND  FRAZIER,  AT  GREENSBURG.
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Special to the Cincinnati Commercial.
          GREENSBURG, IND.,  September 22. -- A motion for a new trial in the case of  Ellen V. Walton,  who was, on last Saturday, found guilty of complicity in the murder of her husband, was argued in the Circuit Court this afternoon.  A large number of errors were assigned, but the one chiefly relied upon was the insufficiency of the evidence to support the finding.  The Court overruled the motion, as was expected; and the case will be immediately taken to the Supreme Court, which has once before held on substantially the same evidence that the proof of guilt was not evident or the presumption strong.
          Immediately after the ruling upon the motion, the Court passed sentence upon the prisoner, who in answer to the usual question, whether she had anything to say, replied firmly, "Nothing, except that I am not guilty."  She will be taken to the Reformatory at Indianapolis soon.
          Aaron Frazier, the negro who did the shooting, was next brought in.  A plea of guilty was entered by his counsel, and he was sentenced to the States prison for life, over the objection of his counsel, who appeared for the Walton family, and insisted upon a prosecution and trial by jury.  Frazier quite broke down, and pleased his ignorance, and his subjection to Garrett as an excuse for his crime.  It now rests with the Supreme Court to say whether this county is to be afflicted with another installment of the Walton trials.
Contributed by John Addison Ballard


The  Cincinnati  Daily  Gazette
May 1, 1882
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THE  WALTON  TRAGEDY.
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An Attempt to Assassinate an Important
Witness Against Ellen Walton.
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Special Dispatch to the Cincinnati Gazette.
          GREENSBURG, IND., April 30. -- Since lynching of  Oscar M. Garrett  on last Sunday night there has been much speculation as to the result of the trial of Ellen Walton.  The testimony of Garrett in his own trial threw the crime upon Ellen Walton, and he was to be the strongest witness of the State in the prosecution against her.  But he has been removed, and his evidence placed beyond the jurisdiction of this court.  Another feature of this case was the attempt to assassinate  John Markel,  a witness against Ellen Walton, and the only one who corroborates  Frazier.  This witness has lived in the Walton family for the last twelve years until three weeks ago, when he was dismissed.  He testified in the Garrett trial that he had seen and heard Mrs. Walton and the negro Frazier talk together about removing  John Walton;  that Mrs. Walton arranged the chair and the window blinds on the night of the shooting, and that he was in the room at the time.  To your reporter he said that he was cutting wood, and he heard the report of a gun and the bullet whistle past him; saw a heavy set man run away, but could not tell who it was.  Said that  Joshua Walton,  a son of Ellen Walton, was out hunting that morning; that he was not certain, but thought it might be him.  He said that they were afraid of his evidence, and wanted to kill him.  Markel is now in Greensburg, and will remain here until after the trial, as he is afraid to go to St. Omer, where he resides.
          The defense filed two affidavits for continuance.  They asked until the September term of court, but the Judge gave them only until the 9th of May, and said that they must then be ready for trial.  One of the affidavits claimed the  Henry Bellows,  a convict in the State Prison South, is a resident of Dayton, O., and was born there, and that his reputation at that place is bad, and they wanted to take depositions at Dayton.  In the trial of Garrett at Vernon, Bellows swore that he was a resident of Paris, France.  The other affidavit was that  St. Clair Bryant  is an important witness, and is now in West Virginia; that he will testify that John Walton arranged the chair and the blinds himself and placed the light on the stand; that after the shooting Mrs. Walton cried piteously, and remained with her husband until he died.
          A special venire of forty men has been ordered for the first day of the trial.  There are ninety-five witnesses summoned from Decatur County, and several in each of the counties Shelby, Bartholomew, Jennings, and Morgan.  The foreman of the jury that acquitted Garrett, with two of his associates, are among the number.  Mrs. Walton has expressed the opinion that she would be acquitted, and that the attempted shooting of Markel was false.  Her counsel are closeted with her most of the time, and they expect to make a strong fight for her liberty.  No one is allowed to talk with the negro, Frazier.
          The Grand Jury have worked for four days in an attempt to ferret out the members of the mob which lynched Garrett, but they report no success, although they have examined neraly all of the citizens in both St. Omer and St. Paul.
Contributed by John Addison Ballard


The  Cincinnati  Daily  Gazette
April 25, 1882
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A  LYNCHING  IN  INDIANA.
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MOB  MEETS  OUT  JUSTICE   TO
OSCAR  M.  GARRETT.
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One Hundred Men Take Him From His Cell
at Half-past 1 in the Morning and Hang
Him to a Tree in Front of the Jail -- No Clue
to the Lynchers.
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Special Dispatch to the Cincinnati Gazette.
          GREENSBURG, IND., April 24. -- The last chapter in the exciting life of  Oscar M. Garrett  is now closed, and the murderer of two men and the instrument of untold family misery and shame has at last paid the penalty of his crimes.  Oscar M. Garrett was one month ago tried as an accessory to the murder of  John M. Walton,  a wealthy farmer, living near St. Paul, and contrary to the expectations of every one was acquitted by a jury of Jennings County farmers.  At that time there was much comment on such a verdict, and many threats were made of lynching, but as time passed the affair was forgotten.  On his return from Jennings County he was arrested on a charge of arson, and confined in the Decatur County Jail, and has been an inmate since that time.  The climax was reached this morning, and outraged justice demanded its victim.  At 1:30 a.m., the Jailer was aroused from his bed by a ring at the door, and at his response he was seized by masked men, and ordered to deliver the key to Garrett's cell.  This he refusted to do, and he was knocked down and a rope put around his neck, but before any injury was inflicted upon him, some of the mob discovered Garrett's cell, and at a single stroke of a sledgehammer it was opened.  Garrett seized a chair, and the first two men who entered his cell he felled to the floor.  He was then knocked down and beaten terribly.  His head and body were marked, and his cell covered with blood.  A rope was placed around his neck, and he was thne dragged down the stone steps, and hanged from a tree immediately in front of the jail.  His feet and hands were tied, and the rope placed close to the body of the tree.  While this was being done he simply said:  "G-d d--- you, I know you all!"  Mrs. Ellen Walton,  the wife of the murdered John M. Walton, occupied a cell next to Garrett's and during this transaction she fainted, and is not able to give any report of the proceedings.  Frazer, the colored man who was hired by Garrett to shoot Walton, was so overcome by fear that he crouched in a corner in abject terror.  A guard was kept over the Jailer all this time, and until the body of the mob dispersed, and he was then told to remain in the house for five minutes or he would be shot.  He soon after aroused the Sheriff and Coroner, and they cut the body of Garrett down and placed it in a coffin.  The Jailer's face is all scarred up as a result of the rough handling he received.  On the breast of Garrett was pinned a card with the following inscription:
Fiat justitia, ruat caelum.
Gone to meet Jesse.
Decatur sends greeting to Jennings.
          This was printed in Roman letters for the purpose, no doubt, of concealing the handwriting.  The Latin phrase, translated, reads:  "Let justice by done though the heavens should fall."  "Gone to meet Jesse" undoubtedly refers to the tragic fate of Jesse James, and "Decatur sends greeting to Jennings" refers to the fact that Decatur County punishes her criminals when the civil authorities fail.
          The victim was strangled to death, and his neck was swollen in a terrible manner, while his head and face presented a horrible sight from the beating he received in the cell.  He was asked for a confession, but was not allowed time to pray or intercede for his life.  The entire time did not occupy ten minutes.  Mrs. Garrett is sick and confined to her room, and this tragedy, it is feared, will cause her death.  The negro, Frazer, and Mrs. Walton are not communicative.  Frazer was certain the mob was after him, and was scared almost to death.  He has not yet recovered, and dreads the coming of the night.  Mrs. Walton does not seem to care for anything, still protesting her innocence.  This evening the Coroner has the body in charge, but will not return a verdict till to-morrow.
          There is considerable talk about the Sheriff allowing Garrett to occupy a cell which is the poorest one in the building and the easiest one opened, as a small single bolt was the only fatening upon it.  The size of the mob is variously estimated at from twenty to 100.  The City Constable examined the place where the horses were hitched, and reported that the place was one mile northwest of town, on the road to St. Paul, and that there was one buggy, one carriage, and at least one hundred horsemen.  The Gazette correspondent was allowed to view the corpse, and it presented a very firghtful sight.  While the face horribly mangled, it could still be recognized, and bore its usual determined appearance.  As he lived a fearless and determined life, so he died, and if he had been armed more than one life would have been lost in this last tragedy.
          The history of this crime for which he suffered death is too well known to need a review, and his death was expected, but all supposed it would be takne according to the forms of law.  In an interview with  R. W. White,  the foreman of the jury that acquitted him, he said that he was not surprised, that he was no doubt guilty, but not proven so, and that Mrs. Ellen Walton and the negro Frazer should also be hung.  Hon. David Overmeyer,  one of Garrett's counsel, denounced the lynching as an outrage and the death of an innocent man by a prejudiced community, but said that it was not entirely unexpected.  Judge John Berkshire,  before whom Garrett was tried, replied to interrogatory that the people would see justice done if they had to take it in their own hands, and said it was the natural result of such a verdict.  Col. John Scobey,  the other counsel for the defense, was surprised at such a result, and thought mob law never justifiable.
          The Sheriff of Decatur County has taken no measures to find who were in the mob, and said that he did not intend to unless ordered to do so.  The people of both Jennings and Decatur counties regard the action of the mob as right, and no odium would attach to the parties if they would make themselves known.
          There is some difference of opinion as to the motive of killing Garrett.  While the great mass of the people regard it as simply men performing their duties and enforcing justice when the courts fail, some look further, and say it was done to aid Ellen Walton.  The family of Ellen Walton is a powerful one, and not only her husband, but also a brother, owe their death directly to this man Garrett, and it many be simply their revenge and hatred that they desire to satisfy.  Not only this, but the case of Ellen Walton as an accessory to her husband's death will be called up for hearing at the present term of court, and as Garrett is the principal witness against her, this fact suggests to some a probably motive for his death.  If this bad occurred immediately after his acquittal, revenge, hatred, and the removing of an important witness would not have figured in the opinion of the public, but on the eve of her trial it is but natural that men should think of it.  Several of the witnesses who testified against Garrett, knowing his determined and fearless character, have been uneasy since his acquittal, and one remarked to-day that he could now walk the streets without fear of his life.
          The family of Garrett late this evening have not come in to claim his body, and this fact causes much talk.
Contributed by John Addison Ballard


The  Cincinnati  Daily  Gazette
March 23, 1882
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THE  ST.  OMER  TRAGEDY.
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Oscar M. Garrett on the Stand in
His Own Defense.
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Special Dispatch to the Cincinnati Gazette.
          VERNON, IND., March 22. -- As the jury slowly filed into their seats Tuesday it was plainly visible that they were tiring of their close confinement, and the sharp answers and sarcasm between the opposing counsel failed to amuse them, as formerly, since it necessarily prolongs the trial and their absence from their families.  Your reporter was present Tuesday evening at the meeting of  Mr. Garrett  and his youngest daughter.  They both attempted to control their feelings, but nature proved stronger than will power, and as Garrett held his daughtyer clasped to his bosom they both broke out into piteous sobs.  Eva Garrett,  the daughter, and  Lydia Garrett,  the wife of the defendant, testified that Mr. Garrett woned but one powder horn, and that they had never seen the one taken from the negro Frazier in their house, and that the blowing of the horn, that the prosecution claim was a signal to Frazier, was a common occurrence, and was done on that evening to amuse his baby, with whom he was playing.  James Story,  a strong witness for the defense, was then called.  This man is an ex-convict, and has been in the Decatur County Jail several times.  He was asked in regard to his being in the penitentiary, and he refused to answer.  The Judge ordered him to be put in jail and to be kept without food until he consented to answer, but before the Sheriff had locked the jail on him he relented, and was brought back into court ready to answer the question.  Story testified that he had a conversation with the negro Frazier in the jail at Greensburg (both being inmates of the jail), and that Frazier said he had a quarrel with Mr. Walton a few days before the murder; that Walton pulled a knife on him and threatened to kill him.  That he had accused Garrett of the crime so that it would lighten his sentence, and because the people would think it true since Walton and Garrett were unfriendly.  Said he would make it murder in self-defense by telling the jury that Garrett said he would kill him (Frazier) if he did not kill Walton.  That Mrs. Walton gave him $50 to kill her husband, he lost $20 and she gave him another $20.  James Gillum,  another jailbird, testified that Frazier told him that Garratt[sic] was innocent and would get cleared.  This witness for a time occupied the same room in the Greensburg jail with Garrett.  Perry Smith  and Henry Bellows, two convicts, at the present time in the State Prison South, were in the Greensburg jail at the same time that Frazier was, and they each swore that Frazier told them separately that Mrs. Walton hired him to kill Mr. Walton; that he got $50 and an extra $20, and that Garrett was an innocent man.  Both these men are young, yet they have served several tems out in the penitentiary.  One of them, twenty-five years old, has served eight years in prison; the other came to his country from France in 1874, and has spent the most of the time since in jail.  Oscar M. Garrett, the defendant, was placed on the witness stand.  As he was sworn the trembling of his hand was very perceptible.  His statements were all very clear.  He confessed as to his criminal intercourse with Mrs. Walton, and said it had been going on since 1865; had given her many presents of all kinds, but had never been caught in the house by Mr. Walton.  Said that he knew of the plan to burn  Mr. Willis'  house, and that Mrs. Walton hired Frazier to do the owrk and she furnished the coal oil.  He explained his attempt to kill himself by saying that he knew public sentiment was against him, and that he was afraid he could not be cleared, and that the exposure of his illicit intimacy with Mrs. Walton would disgrace his family.  The cross examination is not yet finished.  During this examination, in which Garrett confessed that he had broken his marriage vows, his wife, who has been so grossly injured, yet who has been true to him through all this trouble, sat by his attorneys with bowed head and tearful eyes.  She has the sympathy of all persons on both sides.  There is much discussion as to the weight that will be attached to the testimony of the jailbirds.  They are the main support of the defense, and their only hope.  There will be a night session to-night, and the defense expect to be able to close their side.
          To-day was the most interesting day of this important tiral, and was entirely consumed by the arguments of the counsel.  During the whole day the court room was crowded with spectators, many of whom were ladies.  The Prosecuting Attorney,  W. G. Holland,  opened the argument in a speech of two hours' length.  He presented the case in a very able, clera, and concise manner.  He was followed by  David Overmyer  for the defense, who made an eloquent plea for his client.  He occupied four hours in reviewing the facts in the case, and closed with an appeal to the feelings of the jury, asking them for mercy and sympathy for the accused and his family.  John Miller  then addressed the jury, and portrayed the murderer inall his hideousness.  His speech was argumentative and was listened to very attentively by the jury.  Col. John S. Scobey,  for the defense, and  Ed. P. Farris,  for the State, will finish the argument to-morrow.
          During the argument the prisoner and his family wre seated together at their counsel's table, and occasionally betrayed signs of emotion, which was plainly manifested as counsel depicted the depravity and unfaithfulness of the defendant, as made plain by his confession of his relations with Mrs. Walton.  The jury will obtain the case for their decision by to-morrow night.  The defense spent much of their time in the discussion of reasonable doubt, and laid no great stress on the testimony of the jailbirds.  They only hope for a disagreement among the jurors.
Contributed by John Addison Ballard


The  Daily  Evening  Democrat
January 25, 1882
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POST  MORTEM
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Held on the Remains of Mary French,
Who Was Burned to Death Near St.
Omer Last December.
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          A St. Paul special to the Indianapolis Times says:  Since the murder of  John Walton  a strong suspicion has grown up that  Miss Mary French,  who lived in the Walton family, and was said to have been burned to death just four weeks before the murder of Walton, had been foully dealt with.  This afternoon the Coroner held a post mortem examination, and  Drs. J. L. Wooden  and  F. M. Howard  made an examination of the head to ascertain if the skull had been fractured.  There was a cut on the crown of the head, but the skull had not been fractured.  No other facts were elicitied by the examination.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming


The  Indianapolis  Sentinel
January 13, 1882
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ST.  PAUL  TRAGEDY.
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Further Particulars of the As-
sassination of John M.
Walton.
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The Wife of the Murdered Man Escapes
by Disguising Herself in
Male Attire.
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Removal of Garrett to the Greens-
burg Jail -- Talk With the As
sassin by a Sentinel
Reporter.
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ST.  PAUL  TRAGEDY.
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The Victim Dead -- The Wife Escapes -- The
Paramour in Jail -- Full Details.
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Special to the Sentinel:
          GREENSBURG, IND., Jan. 12 -- The Sentinel correspondent today visited St. Paul, and thence, with the Coroner, went to the residence of  John M. Walton, the scene of the late tragedy.  Mr. Walton died from his wounds at half past 8 o'clock this morning.  Coroner [C   I brhards] was summoned and, accompanied by  Marshall Littell,  of Greensburg, and  Drs. J. L. Wooden  and  P. M. Howard,  proceeded to hold a post mortem examination.
          The autopsy showed that the skull had been penetrated, several shot having entered the cranium and the wounds were necessarily fatal.  Soon after the death of the victim orders were given for the rearrest of Ellen Walton, the wife of the deceased, who had been admitted to $5,000[? hard to read] bail.  Marshal Littell, acting as Depute Sheriff, and  Constable George S. Dickey  proceeded at one with a warrant, but arriving at the house found that the bird had flown, and parties were hunting for traces of her flight.  Among the searchers was  Bill Arnold,  her brother, who seemed anxious to have the search made in a certain direction.  The officers suspected the intentions of Bill Arnold, and returned to the house, which they searched, but with no success.
          A brother of the deceased says that he saw Walton carry a pair of  Josh's  boots to the barn, and afterward Mrs. Walton was seen going thither with a large bundle under her arms.  The inference is that Mrs. Walton has escaped, dressed in the masculine attire of her brother Bill, as Bill knew of the order for the second warrant at least one hour before the Constable started from St. Paul.
          At 4:30 o'clock the express train was topped at St. Paul, and O. M. Garrett was placed on board and conveyed to the Jail at Greensburg, the doctors having pronounced him in a condition to be removed.  Garrett, though suffering from the wounds resulting from his attempted suicide, is communicative.  He said to the Sentinel reporter:  "Ellen is not gone; she is hid in a closet under the stairway.  I have been hidden there by her many a time when the husband came upon us unexpected."  Upon this information a special constable was ent to make a more thorough search for the woman.
          Garrett persistently denies any complicity in the crime, but admits that he knew the woman had been endeavoring to get the negro to do the bloody work.  He says that formerly and frequently on the occasion of his visits to Ellen Walton (in Walton's absence) the dogs were often troublesome by their noisy barking, that once he furnished the woman arsenic to poison them, but afterward, fearing she might poison Walton, he returned and took it away.
          Garrett, in speaking of his attempted escape, said,  "While sitting in the Court room I thought of the terrible complications into which I'd been drawn; of the shame and disgrace to be brought upon my wife and daughter.  I first resolved to kill the nigger and myself, but feared I would be prevented from killing myself, decided I'd kill only myself and end the trouble, but made an unlucky shot."
          Mrs. Arnold, the mother of Mrs. Walton, to-day attempted suicide by cutting her throat, but was prevented from doing herself serious injury, only a slight gash in the left side of the neck being made.
          There is no disposition to execute mob law.  The citizens are law abiding, and feel aggrieved that reporters draw upon their fancy to such an extent.  They are only anxious "that no guilty man escape."
          The body of the murdered man will be taken by his brother to Kentucky for burial tomorrow.  The Walton family consisted of father, mother and two boys,  Frank  and  Josh.  It seems that in the family troubles Frank took the part of his father, and is now active in the prosecution of the murderers, while Josh stood by his mother, and is even now paying his addresses to one of Garrett's daughters.
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ANOTHER  ACCOUNT.
Special to the Sentinel:
          SHELBYVILLE, IND., Jan. 12 -- John M. Walton  died this morning from the wounds received at the hands of the negro assassin,  Aaron Frazer.  His remains will be taken to Anderson's Ferry, near Cincinnati for interment.  Mrs. Walton left her home to-day, and has not yet been found, although diligent serach has been made.  A short time before she left, in a conversation with a reporter, she declared that she had had nothing to do with employing Frazer to kill her husband.  Mrs. Walton was at liberty under a bond of $5,000.
          The Sentinel scribe visited Frazer at the Jail to night.  He says that the statments made by him heretofore are all true, and that he is determined to stand by them in Court.  When asked about Mrs. Walton's having instigated the assassination, he said that she never spoke to him about it, although Garrett had given him to understand that she was to furnish the money he was promised for committing the deed.  Garrett also told him that he had $700, which would be given him if he killed Walton.  He said,  "I am a poor man, and did not understand what I was doing.  I can not read or write, but I intend to make a true statement of this when brought into Court."
          He is a man about forty five years of age and very black, with sort whiskers over his face, and has the appearance of a very ignorant man.  He is married and has five children.
          When asked whether he had ever seen Mrs. Walton and Garrett together, he replied,  "Yes, I saw them together about two years ago in a blackberry patch and they were at that time having criminal intercourse."
          "Would you be afraid to go back to St. Paul again?" Frazer was asked.
          "Yes; I do not want to be taken there, for they will hang me, sure."
          He expressed great regret at having committed the crime, and hoped the Lord would forgive him.  Garrett was brought to Greensburg to-night and placed in Jail.  He was brought on a couch and carried from the depot to the Jail by six men.  Upon arrival there he was aked how he felt, and said,  "My stomach and my head pain me so that I would like to be dead."  His wife and daughter also came with him.  They do not seem to grieve much over the matter.  A rumor got out this afternoon that  Mrs. Joshua Arnold,  the mother of Mrs. Walton, had attempted suicide.  Your correspondent visited the parties and found that Mrs. Arnold had simply picked up a knife and the folks thought she intended to take her life.
          The physicians informed the Jailer, to-night, that Garrett would recover beyond all doubt, although he will be quite weak for some time.  The reports heretofore sent out, stating that Judge Lynch would, no doubt take this matter in charge, are entirely false.  The people are will ing for them to have a fair trial.
          The Sheriff of Decatur County to-night issued the following:
          "Murder! -- Mrs. Ellen Walton, implicated in the murder of her husband near St. Paul, this County, January 9, escaped to-day.  She is supposed to be dressed in male attire.  Description:  Age, forty years, height, five fett six inches, complexion, dark, long black hair, large black eyes, eylashes[sic] long and black, right leg enlarged, weighs 175 pounds.  Should you see anyone filling this description, please arrest and detain her and telegraph.
' STOUT.    
" Sheriff Decatur County "  
Contributed by John Addison Ballard


The  Cincinnati  Commercial  Tribune
January 11, 1882
Page 5
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MURDER  AND  SUICIDE.
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Another Terrible Tragedy in Indiana
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TWO  PARTIES  IMPLICATED  ARRESTED --
PROBABLE  SUICIDE  OF  ONE.
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A Woman Figuring in the Case.
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Special to the Cincinnati Commercial.
          SHELBYVILLE, IND., ---  A crime unparalleled in the history of this county was committed near St. Paul, a small town ten miles from here, last night,  John Walton,  a wealthy farmer, being the victim.  The particulars of the horrible affair have been carefully gleaned, and are herewith given in detail.  Mr. Walton, before retiring for the night, sat down near a window in his sitting-room for the purpose of reading the papers.  While in this position, in view of the road, he was suddenly, and without hearing the slightest noise outside, foully murdered, some unknown person shooting him in the head with a shotgun heavily loaded with large shot.  The household soon spread the alarm, and  Dr. Howard,  of St. Paul, was called on to attend the dying man.  Dr. Howard as soon as he heard of the assassination immediately suspected  Aaron Frazier,  a negro.  Search was commenced for this fellow, and at 4 o'clock this morning he was found and arrested.  When he found that his crime had been revealed Frazier broke down and made a full confession, which is as follows:
          "My name is Aaron Frazier, and I am forty-five yeras old.  I live in St. Omer, Decatur County, about one-half mile from where Mr. Walton resides.  I was persuaded to commit the crime by  O. M. Garrett,  who told me that Walton was in his way, and that if I would kill him he would give me a large sum.  The last time I saw Garrett was in St. Paul on last Sunday about noon.  On Monday, I eat dinner with  Valentine Hess,  and from him I obtained the gun--an army musket.  I was out hunting with Mr. Hess' son most of the afternoon, and along toward evening we went to St. Omer, where I ate my supper at home, and shortly after left for Walton's house, arriving there between 6 and 7 o'clock P.M.  I saw Walton sitting in a chair by the front window, and I walked up until I was about fifteen feet from where he was sitting and fired at his head.  I then left for home, and concealed the gun in the barn where I kept my team."           As aoon as Frazier made this statement the Constables and a number of citizens started to arrest Garrett, which they did without trouble.  He was taken to a 'Squires office in St. Paul, where he was soon surrounded by a large crowd of excited citizens.  After he had been in 'Squire Fugit's office a few minutes he asked that official to allow him to leave the room a short time.  This was granted him, and he, in company with a deputy sheriff, started out.  They crossed the street, went through a saloon into an adjoining coal-shed, where Garrett suddenly drew a revolver, and before he could be prevented, shot himself twice in the head, making fatal wounds.
          Garrett, knowing that he would soon be dead, desired to make a statement of the case, which was taken down.  Mr. Garrett, on what he thinks is his death-bed, said:
          Aaron Frazier  told me that some one wanted him to kill Walton.  Did not say who wanted him to kill him.  I told him not to kill him.  I had no idea that he would.  I never hired him or offered him anything to kill Walton.  Ellen Walton  said that she would make me sorry for not letting her see the letter which I had before six days.  That was on yesterday evening before the shooting.  She (Ellen Walton) talked about this a month ago.  She said that she would have to have something done, that she could not live this kind of a life much longer.  She said she did not have to have anything done on my account; that Walton kicked and cuffed her, choked her, and threatened to shoot her, and drew his knife and threatened to cut her throat time and agina.  She told me that Walton slapped her off the chair and then kicked her the evening after I saw him in  Henry Hoover's saloon, when  Doyle  was present.  I never wronged John Walton or any other man in my life.  While I was at Walton's yesterday evening twenty minutes before 4 o'clock, she said, 'Give me that letter, you villain; I could kill you.'  I handed her the pistol and told her to kill me.  She said, 'I will if you will go down the road.'  Then some school children came along on their way home."
OSCAR  M. GARRETT
          No explanation of his attempt at suicide.
          The foundation of this affair has grown out of domestic troubles between Walton's wife and Garrett.  For some months it has been suspected that the two were criminally intimate, which fact was in a measure known to Mr. Walton.  Dr. Howard, the attending physician, based his suspicions on Frazier a month ago as a tool of Garrett, and warned Walton that he must keep a watch on his wife and Garrett, as Garrett, in his opinion, was then trying to get Frazier to kill him.  Garrett is about forty years old, and a man that always went armed.  Two years ago he shot and killed  Dol. Arnold,  a brother of Mrs. Walton.  Even this did not break off the relations existing between them, and it went from bad to worse till the events of last night and to-day occurred.  Garrett is married and has a living wife and five children.
          Too much credit can not be given Dr. Howard in the part he played.  Had not Frazier confessed the crime he would have been proven guilty beyond a doubt owing to the detective ability of the Doctor.  In Walton's house was found the wadding that had been used to hold the sot in the gun, it being a piece of a Sunday-school paper.  This the Doctor picked up and preserved.  When Frazier was arrested and searched there was found in his picket the paper from which the was was torn, the two pieces fitting exactly.
          The excitement in and around St. Paul is terrible.  Indignation runs so high that had not Garrett shot himself there is heardly any doubt but that he would have been lynched.  The people are not so much infuriated at Frazier as at Garrett, but there is a general feeling that he should and will hang as soon as Court convenes.  Mrs. Walton is under arrest for complicity in the crime, and Frazier is in jail.
Contributed by John Addison Ballard

Note from John Ballard:  The wife of John M. Walton,  Ellen Victoria Arnold, whose brother married a sister of my Ballard great-grandfather, sounds like one of the villains of the piece.  Oscar Marion Garrett was one of the childen of Simeon Garrett, whose obituary is on this website.


Note:  The Genealogy Room of the Shelbyville-Shelby County Library has a booklet on the Walton-Garrett-Frazier drama, including census records, marriage records, a nine-month-long account as reported in the Greensburg  Saturday Review, pictures of the main four involved and a very lengthy legal petition for Ellen Victoria Arnold Walton's parole. Ruth Dorrel compiled the information for the booklet in 1992.

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