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Lee Griffith Accused of Shooting Perry Melville

Bloomington (Monroe County, Indiana) Weekly Star, March 27, 1931, p. 3.

Submitted by Randi Richardson

Prosecutor Vern Ruble went to Spencer Wednesday to start a grand jury investigation into the shooting of Perry Melville by his brother-in-law, Lee Griffith, in the South Main Street Garage at Spencer last Saturday


Owen County (Indiana) Democrat, March 18, 1915, p. 1.

Former Indiana Legislator Sent to Prison for Kidnapping

Submitted by Randi Richardson

A prison sentence of from one to 12 years has been imposed upon Calvin R. Worrall, a former pension attorney of Bloomington, later in business in Indianapolis, and well known in Owen County, who was sentenced for being in a plot to kidnap two little girls at Tillamook, Ore., and hold them for ransom. Worrall and another Oregon man employed a third man to kidnap the children, according to word received here. The "go-between" laid the whole plot before the sheriff at Tillamook and the foster father was informed. The children were kidnapped, and the father wrote a check for $800 payable to Worrall as ransom. The check was taken to the office of Worrall and handed to him, but he refused to accept it, as he had seen the sheriff and the woman talking together and became suspicious of the "trap." He was found guilty of conspiracy. Worrall was born and reared in Monroe County and was a member of the Monroe County bar for many years. Afterward he formed the Monroe County Fair Association and was its secretary for several terms. Later he devoted all his time to the pension business. He served as a representative in the State Legislature from his district in 1887. Before leaving Bloomington, Worrall was divorced from Mrs. Worrall who is now a resident of Indianapolis. Worrall went to Indianapolis himself and started an employment bureau. He married the stenographer in his office who was an Indianapolis girl; the pair went to San Francisco, Cal., where Worrall opened a law office. From there he went to Tillamook and opened a law office. While in San Francisco he was divorced again.


Cincinnati Daily Gazette; 23 October 1876

Submitted by Debbie Jennings

An old German, named T. D. Dronning, a stock dealer, living in Gosport, Owen County, Indiana, was attacked by three young ruffians, at the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Depot, Saturday, and was robbed of a check of $423, about $25 in money, and a watch. He carried an unloaded gun, which was not taken from him. He had received the check for a drove of cattle sold to Weber, Loper, & Co., and came to the depot to take the train for home when he was set upon. The police failed to find any clue to the perpetrators of the robbery.


Owen County Leader September 14, 1921

T.S. Tungate Arrested Thursday Charged with Manufacturing Illicit Booze

Submitted by Kathy Bargerhuff

Thurman S. Tungate, living east of Cunot near the north end of the county was arrested Thursday morning about daybreak by Sheriff McCarty on complaint of citizens which seemed to indicate that he was making illicit whiskey or wine. Sheriff McCarty and deputies B.E. Meguschar and Bernard Burks of Spencer, Joe Meek and Zeb Beaman of Cataract searched the Tungate farm Wednesday night in an effort to locate a still. Near daylight the found a quantity of alderberry mash sufficient to make some 25 gallons of wine. This was hidden in a shock of corn. In the house was found a gallon of blackberry wine and five quarts of alderberry wine.


Owen County Leader September 21, 1924

Submitted by Kathy Bargerhuff

Charles Greenwood of Quincy was fined $5.00 and costs on two charges Monday; allowing minors to congregate and play pool in his pool room.


Owen County Journal May 5, 1930

Submitted by Kathy Bargerhuff

Incendiaries made two attempts to burn the Royal Center school building, but both fires were extinguished at a loss not exceeding $200. Coal oil ws used. The erection of a new school building is contemplated and a special election has been called for May 9 to get views of taxpayers. The old building is insured for $4000.

"John Laymon of Spencer, Whipped By Whitecaps For Intimacy With a Woman"

The Evening Herald (Montpelier, Indiana) 27 April 1907

Submitted by Kathy Bargerhuff

Spencer, Ind. April 2? -- Early this morning the home of JOHN LAYMON, three miles west of town was visited by whaitecaps who took him out and administered to him a sound whipping with switches xxxxxxxx, he was shot xxxx xxxx he is now in critical condition. It is claimed that his relations with a woman was the cause of the xxx xxxxxx taken by the whitecappers. Laymon is married and has a family and the affair has caused much excitement. Officers are investigating the case.

JOHN LAYMON STILL ALIVE "Authorities Awaiting His Recovery Before Prosecuting Assailants."

The Evening Herald (Montpelier, Indiana) 1 May 1907

Submitted by Kathy Bargerhuff

Spencer, Ind., May 1 --- There is no perceptible change in the condition of JOHN LAYMON, shot during an encounter with "whitecaps" Friday night, and his recovery is still a matter of doubt. The state authorities have telephoned to the deputy prosecuting attorney of the county, making inquiry as to what action has been taken relative to bringing the trespassers to justice, but the local authorities so far have not moved in the matter, as they are awaiting the outcome of Laymon's injuries. No affidavits have been filed, althought Laymon in his statement to the prosecutor, said he identified the man who shot him, while the LAMBERT woman professed to know several of the principals.. There is but little outward excitement over the matter .

NOT PARTY TO WHITECAPPING "Revenge Said to be Motive for Connecting Watchman With Outrage"

The Evening Herald (Montpelier, Indiana) 6 May 1907

Submitted by Kathy Bargerhuff

Spencer, Ind., May 6 --- JOHN LAYMON, the whitecap victim, is rapidly growing worse, and in spite of the favorable reports xxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxing from his bedside for the last two days, it is feared he will die. MONN BAUGH, whom LAYMON implicated in the shooting, has produced twenty-five witnesses to prove his alibi and the citizens of the town are now convinced that the associating of his name with the mob was a deliberate attempt on the part of the woman to obtain revenge upon him for searching her home in an attempt the officers made to arrest LAYMON. BAUGH ended his work as marshal Monday night, but his resignation was not, as was stated, a result of his being under suspician. His contract with the merchants to act as the night watchman ended at that time, and previous to the raid he made arrangements to begin other work.


The Evening Herald (Montpelier, Indiana) 16 May 1907

Submitted by Kathy Bargerhuff

Spencer, Ind., May 16 --- Warrants have been served on JOHN LAYMON, who is still confined to his bed, the result of being wounded by "whitecaps" in a raid on his home at the midnight hour, and MRS. JENNIE LAMBERT. Based on complaints in which they are accused of immoral relations, and the LAMBERT woman has been arrested and committed to jail. LAYMON was not disturbed at his home, where he will be permitted to remain till he has fully recovered from his wounds.

"Charles E. Cash Wanted in Owen County For Highway Robbery"

Ft. Wayne News 25 June 1897

Submitted by Kathy Bargerhuff

CHARLES E. CASH surrendered to Greencastle officers yesterday as a fugitive of justice from Owen County. In May, 1896, THOMAS BRYANT, a peddler, was waylaid and robbed, and Cash was charged with the crime. Cash since then wandered over the greater part of the country, and he worked for several months near Bluefields, Nicaragua, in a mahogony camp. He returned to this country last May. He claims that he left home because he had no money to fight the case.


Indianapolis Star 20 November 1917

Submitted by Kathy Bargerhuff

Spencer -- BENJAMIN SHOUSE of Freedom was held up Sunday night near Freedom, bound and robbed of his watch and $5. No clew was obstained, but the two robbers who blew the post office safe at Freedom, Ind., Sunday morning, when they obtained only $3 and a few stamps, are supposed to have been the same fellows.


The Evening Herald (Montpelier, Indiana) 5 August 1907

Submitted by Kathy Bargerhuff

Worthington, Ind., Aug. 5 --- GEORGE SHOEMAKER was arrested and imprisoned here on a charge of stealing $200 from his father, a miller of Spencer. The prisoner confessed that he took the money out of his father's safe and left town, but said that he did it for a joke. He was taken home in handcuffs to try to explain the joke to his parent.


Indianapolis Star 19 Sept 1913

Submitted by Kathy Bargerhuff

OWENSVILLE -- Lige Anderson, 32 years old has been found guilty of bigamy and given two to five years in prison.

Shot in Poker Row

Owen County Leader July 14, 1934

Submitted by Carole Heidrick

John Medaris, former Spencer man, was shot Sunday in the Eagles lodge room at Bicknell, according to a story in Monday's flier. The shooting was done by James Crenshaw following an argument over a poker game, it was said. He was persuaded to go home, but later returned to the Eagles room and began shooting as soon as he entered. Medaris was shot in the side, Kenneth Pinkstaff? received a wound in the shoulder and Norman Keith was shot in the stomach. It is thought he will die.

Medaris is the son of Newt Medaris who formerly lived in Owen County.

Bodies May Be Exhumed...

Bloomington Weekly Courier, June 11, 1915; PAGE 1

Spencer, Ind., June 8--Spencer today transferred its interest to another angle of the "Poison Plot" case following a report that several bodies might be exhumed to determine whether any murder secrets have been carried to the grave. Ever since the sensational disclosures of a poison plot growing out of the sending through the mails of bottles of quinine adulterated with strychnine, there has been much speculation whether certain deaths within recent years, some of which occurred under suspicious circumstances, might have been due to poison. Suspicion has grown to conviction in the minds of many persons and all today the town was fairly buzzing with talk that the county authorities had decided to open a number of graves... "For my part, I don't believe there would be anything gained by exhuming and examining bodies unless we have strong evidence not only that Drescher might have had a hand in the death, but that some other person aided him. We can't take criminal action against a dead person, of course, but it may be that some other person was involved. In that case, it might be necessary to exhume some bodies," (said J. L. Duncan, deputy prosecutor in charge of Owen County). ...Many sudden deaths within recent years have been recalled since Drescher was found dead in his home Wednesday evening, and of these it is said that nine died under mystifying circumstances. One of these persons, Maud Clark, died in the Drescher home. She was a domestic employed there. That death occurred before Drescher became coroner and at a time, it is said, when he and the girl were the only persons in the house. Drescher, who was an undertaker, embalmed the body before the coroner arrived, it is said, and no autopsy was performed... F. K. Mason died in Spencer two years ago, quite suddenly, it is said, and his name is another in the list of nine. Drescher, as coroner, pronounced death due to natural causes and conducted the funeral. Mrs. Baldon, a third whose sudden death has been recalled since the present poison mystery developed, died at her home near Spencer while alone in the house. Mrs. Baldon had been ill. She had taken some medicine from a bottle found on the table near her bed. The woman evidently had died in convulsions for she was lying on the floor when found having thrown herself out of bed. Drescher conducted no autopsy. As undertaker, however, he embalmed the body and conducted the funeral. No examination ever was made of the remaining contents of the bottle. Mrs. Alice McHenry is the fourth in the list...Drescher pronounced death due to cerebral hemorrhage and, as undertaker, he embalmed the body and conducted the funeral. D. H. Johnson, fifth of the nine, died in Gosport under similar circumstances...Thomas Karns died while in apparent good health. His death was declared to be due to mitral insufficiency by Drescher. Jacob S. Harris, the seventh, was said by the coroner to have died of heart disease. John W. Rivers was said to have suffered from organic heart disease. He, too, died in convulsions. The Rev. A. B. Banta, the most widely known man of the list, who was the pastor of the church of which Drescher was a member, died in bed, also while in the throes of convulsions. In none of these cases was an autopsy performed... (Justice and Acting Coroner James) McClure is continuing his investigation but declines to reveal what has developed. It has become known, however, that one point brought out was that just before his death Drescher visited a shed in the rear of his home and was heard hammering something. This gave rise to a rumor that some of the quinine packages might be hidden in the shed, and it is likely that a thorough search will be made of the premises tomorrow...

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