Lawsuits, Court News & Pardons

Page last updated February 28, 2016


Bloomington (Monroe County, Indiana) Telephone, June 12, 1929, p. 1.

Submitted by Randi Richardson

The Owen County jury disagreed yesterday in the case of the State against Dr. Tilman Rawley, charged with possession of a still.

Dr. Rawley is a veterinarian of Spencer and is 63 years of age. Prosecutor Donald A. Rogers represented the state.


Bloomington (Monroe County, Indiana) Star, March 1, 1935, p. 1.

No Clues Found in Truax Mystery Case

Submitted by Randi Richardson

The Owen County grand jury will be called to investigate circumstances surrounding the murder of Ed Truax, Owen County farmer, at his home northwest of Gosport, on February 12, Prosecutor Leroy Baker said Thursday. Authorities have held and questioned Truax's widow, Mrs. Gladys Truax, and her mother, Mrs. T. L. Hensley, but have admitted they can find no clues leading to solution of the murder. Truax was found in a dying condition by the two women when they returned from a rip to Gosport. He was lying in an upstairs room, shot through the head. He died en route to the hospital. It was discovered later he had suffered a fractured skull


Bloomington (Monroe County, Indiana) Telephone, June 6, 1929, p. 1.

Submitted by Randi Richardson

A petition filed in Owen circuit court by Loren Thomas asking that his son not be required to visit the divorced mother, Mrs. Blanche Thomas, may bring to light some interesting and rather entangling details if the grand jury investigates as it is expected to do. It was brought out in the hearing of the petition that two persons in the Thomas family had died under mysterious circumstances and that the son, age seven, returned sick from visits with his mother. Mrs. Thomas resides at Gosport. Charles Thomas, father of the divorced husband, and Mrs. A. A. Zein, mother of Mrs. Thomas's first husband, are the persons whose mysterious deaths were rehearsed. Miller & Treadway, attorneys for Mrs. Thomas, withdrew from the case on instructions from Judge H. A. Rundell. An early investigation by the grand jury is expected.


Indianapolis (IN) Journal, January 27, 1893

Submitted by Randi Richardson

Spencer, Ind., Jan. 26-The jury in the case of Mrs. Nancy Shuman against the Island City Coal Company at Spencer returned a verdict awarding $2,000 damages to the plaintiff. Her husband was killed in the company's mines.


Owen County People; December 9, 1880

J.R. Fritts, charged with violating the pension laws, was acquitted in the United States Court last week.


Gosport Reporter; April 16, 1936

Trial of the case of Mrs. Sam Stierwalt, Gosport , against the A. Hart estate for services has been postponed. Trial was to have been this week in Owen circuit court. Postponement comes through Mrs. Stierwalt's counsel, Pearl Lee Vernon being unable to attend because of an injury.


Owen County News April 25, 1874

The Supreme court of the town of Spencer has passed on the "hog ordinance" and declared it unconstitutional. So the porkers have a right to tear anybody's gate down and go into anybody's garden they want to, until the next meetng of the Board.


Owen County News April 25, 1874

The case of Mary Hubble vs. Dock Smith, for bastardy, came up before Esq. Coffey Tuesday, and for the want of a proper "alibi" about the time he needed one, he was recognized to the court.


Harry Gibbs Sues Guy Dyer and Jane Dyer; Filed in Owen Circuit Court Monday Morning.

Gosport Reporter; April 16, 1936

Suit was filed in Owen circuit court Monday morning by Harry Gibbs, a truck driver against Guy Dyer and his daughter, Jane of Freedom in which $500 damage is asked. The suit grows out of a collision of Dyer's car and Gibbs' truck in the narrow bridge near Romona on State Road 67 on December 17, 1935. The complaint alleges that Miss Jane Dyer, a minor was driving her father's car and drove it into the narrow bridge despite the fact that she knew two cars could not pass on the bridge. The crash resulting is alleged to have damages the Gibbs' truck to the extent of $400 and causing him loss of $100 in business.


Owen County News Journal November 17, 1920

Two cases were tried last week, one occupying two days and the other three. The first; State vs. Clarence White, charged with assault and battery with intent to kill Walter Ooley, took up two days. The jury was out only a few minutes and brought in a verdict of not guilty.

The second was the arson case from Quincy; State vs. Ray Herbert, charged with arson. He was accused of having burned the store of Dunkin & Gaither on October 13, 1919. Three days were occupied with this trial. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.


"Possible Motive for Woman's Deed Seen in Attitude of Public Toward Unfortunate Girl,"

Indianapolis Star; Tuesday 12 November 1912

Miss Ada B. Pines, an assistant at the Y.W.C.A., testified before Coroner Durham yesterday relative to the deaths of Mrs. EMMA D. WHITE and her daughter, DELLA FRANCES WHITE, who died of strychnine poisoning taken or administered in the dormatory of the Y.W.C.A. late Saturday night. Her testimony strengthened the belief that the deaths were not the result of a suicide pact, but that the daughter was poisoned. Coroner Durham is inclined to favor the theory of homicide and suicide. "When I arrived at the bedside" said Miss Pines, "the girl was rigid and suffering great pain. The mother apparently was not suffering much. She had one arm thrown across the form of her daughter." Miss Pines said she asked what they had taken and the woman, between gasps for breath, said that it was strychnine. Miss Pines testified that she asked the mother if she had given the daughter some and that her answer was "yes". Miss Pine testified that crackers and candy were found strewn about the bed. Before Coroner Durham had an opportunity to examine them they were destroyed. Lotes (illeg.) E. TRUAX, undertaker from Gosport, the home of the women, yesterday said that the daughter was a child of obscure birth. It is said that the school children at Gosport had twitted the girl about her birth and that the mother had been informed of their talk. It is believed that this fact prompted the mother to decide to end her life and take the daughter with her. The mother was 34 years old and the daughter 14, according to Traux. *** - Monday 11 November 1912 Indianapolis Star *It was learned yesterday that MRS. WHITE was formerly EMMA GOSS of Gosport, Ind. She had been married years ago and divorced from her husband. *Mrs. WHITE is the divorced wife of DAVID WHITE of Allentown, PA, and the daughter of GEORGE GOSS, a gardener, one of Gosport;s oldest citizens..


Hammond Times; 23 July 1935

Spencer, Ind., July 23-- (I.N.S.) -- Mrs. GLADYS TRAUX, housewife, charged with the second degree murder of her husband, EDWARD TRAUX, was freed here by a direct verdict order by Circuit Court Judge Donald A. Rogers. The prosecution had charged that Mrs. Traux shot her husband in order to collect insurance policy benefits. Judge Rogers granted a motion of S, C. Kivett, of Martinsville, defense attorney, for a directed verdict, stating that the state had not presented a case. The judge ordered the prisoner released immediately. Mrs. Traux thanked the jury and the judge. Evidence produced during the trial had been only circumstantial, Attorney Kivett contended. Traux was found shot and allegedly beaten to death at his farm home north of Gosport on the afternoon of Feb. 12.

"Owen County Journal" News

11 April 1918

"Defendant is Found Guilty in His Second Trial"

The second trial of the case of the State of Indiana vs. NICK WOLGAMOTT, who is charged with assault on NATHAN BEECHER with intent to commit murder resulted in the defendant being found guilty. The trial began Thursday morning and ended Saturday. The hearing of the evidence was concluded Friday and the arguments occupied Saturday morning. The jury receiving the case at noon. They were only out a short time before they returned their verdict. Sentence was to be passed Wednesday. The first trial resulted in a hung jury.

Owen County People

December 9, 1880

J. R. FRITTS charged with violating the pension laws, was acquitted in the United States Court last week.

Owen County Murder

Peden Sues Railroad for Damage to Property

Bloomington (IN) Telephone, Apr 16, 1912, p. 4.

The jury, trying the Peden Vs.Vandalia Railroad Company, also the county clerk and lawyers, went to Spencer Friday to view the bridge which Mr. Peden alleges has been built in such a manner that it causes his land to be damaged by water from Rattlesnake Creek. The case has been in progress in circuit court all week. Those who went to Spencer were the jury, composed of: A. T. Massy, B. J. Hough, J. A. Able, W. R. May, T. W. Mefford, A. H. Beldon, R. S. Hunt, S. T. Smith, Andrew Deckard, L. H. Hanna, W. A. Whaley an Samuel Bray. County Clerk Fowler accompanied the party as also did Baliff B. B. DeMarcus and Attorneys Miers, Batman, Hickam and White. Mr. Peden is one of the most wealthy farmers of Owen County.

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