Iowa Old Press
The Murder of Mrs. Brownlie
AWFUL MURDER !
Mrs. A.W. Brownlie at Long Grove Assassinated
Particulars of the Tragedy - A Most Cold Blooded Deed-
Presence of her Children-Absence of the Husband-
Burglars Enter the House
(From the Davenport Gazette)
An infamous, unprovoked, as well as unaccountable murder as ever was perpetrated in this State, was committed at Long Grove, Winfield Township, in this county, last evening. The victim was Mrs. Lizzie Brownlie, daughter of Hon. Hugh M. Thompson.
THE CIRCUMSTANCESare as follows: Mr. Brownlie left his home at half past seven o'clock, accompanied by a hired man, and went to the house of his father, Mr. James Brownlie, half a mile from his own home, to get some medicine for a sick horse. He obtained the medicine, talked a while with his parents and brothers, and then returned to his home. He went to the kitchen door, as usual, opened it, stepped forward, and
STUMBLED OVER THE BODY OF HIS WIFE!He held his lantern down to it, for there was no light in the room, and there was his partner literally weltering in her blood. Her left arm seemed to be nearly torn away at the shoulder, and her right breast was in a similar condition: her clothes on that side were scorched, and appeared as if a gun had been held close to her and discharged. When Mr. Brownlie arrived, his children, four in number, came forward from a hiding place in the house, and told him how the
MURDER OF THEIR MOTHERoccurred. The names of the children are as follows: Sarah, aged eleven years; Willie, aged eight years; Henry, aged six years, and Andrew, aged four years. The house is a story-and-half one, the kitchen on the east side and a sitting room on the west side. The mother sat close to the kitchen window, working with a sewing machine when
THE ATTACKcame - first by a brick crashing through the window, and instantly two discharged from a gun followed, right at the same window! Mrs. Brownlie shrieked and fell to the floor,
EXCLAIMING"O Sarah! O Sarah!" Then all was still. In a moment more, the daughter Sarah noticed fire on her mother's dress, and she stopped and extinguished it, then these
CHILDRENremained in the room crouching on the floor in darkness and in terror, waiting for the return of their father. They were thus alone for more than half an hour. The nearest neighbor was John Greve, a quarter of a mile south, across fields, while their own house was half a mile from the Long Grove road, the nearest public highway. And so they dared not leave the house, nor shriek for aid. After Mr. Brownlie returned, he sent his hired man, Lewis Johnston, back to his father's to tell them of the murder. Then, after the relatives had been informed of it, there was little time lost in carrying the news to other neighbors- several of whom started
IN PURSUITof the murderers, but the result was not known at the time our informants left. It would seem as if
ROBBERYwas the object of the murders, or the neighbors discovered that the lower sash of one of the sitting room windows had been broken to pieces, frame and all, and that somebody had entered the room and rumaged [sic] through the drawers of a bureau therein. Whether money or other valuables were taken was not known at midnight, for the husband was nearly beside himself, though his agony was silent.
INFORM THE FATHERof the murdered wife - Hon. Hugh M. Thompson - of the tragedy. He had been serving as foreman of the Grand Jury of the District Court for the past two weeks, and was stopping at the Ackley House. We draw a veil over this scene. His terrible grief did not express itself in cries or moans-but he seemed to lose consciousness, for the time, of everything about him.
THE DECEASEDwas thirty-two years of age. She had been married about twelve years, having lived at Long Grove from early girl-hood. She was a lovely woman in all that pertains to the duties of wife, mother and neighbor and was regarded with affection by all in the neighborhood.
as to the real motive of the bloody, heartless deed, is vain. One can only hope that the murderer, or murderers may be caught.
---The Davenport Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; February 19, 1874
THE LONG GROVE HORROR
A Double Murder - The Babe Shot in the Brain
One Thousand Dollars Reward
Coroner Grant Holds an Inquest
Examination of the Wife's Wounds
The Testimony - A Dark, Awful Mystery- Adjournment
The awful murder of Mrs. A.W. Brownlie,
near Long Grove, an account of which was given in yesterday morning's GAZETTE,
shocked this community to an extent not felt before in many years. The object of
the murderer, as well as the murderer himself, is still shrouded in mystery,
nothing more being known as to either, last evening, than when the neighborhood
in which the victim lived was aroused on Wednesday evening.
Coroner Grant went to the house, yesterday forenoon, for the purpose of holding an inquest. On the way he met Hon. Hugh M. Thompson, father of the slain wife and mother, who had duties to perform as foreman of the Grand Jury, from which not even his great affliction could release him. He was in utter ignorance as to the animus of the crime. Arriving at the house the doctor found some twenty neighbors assembled near by, while the wives of several were inside attending to various duties. The house is some three miles north of Eldridge, its location and surroundings being accurately given yesterday. Dr. Grant at once entered upon his duties, and proceeded to hold an
W.G. Richie, Alex Brownlie, and John Robertson were sworn as jurors. The first matter was
EXAMINATION OF THE BODY
There was every indication of effect from two discharges of powder and shot. The first tore away the flesh from the left shoulder and upper portion of the arm, and riddle and lacerated the left breast; the second tore away a rib above the breast laceration mentioned, making a hole large enough to admit the entrance of one's hand. The nozzle of the gun had been held so close to Mrs. Brownlie as to burn the flesh while there were powder marks all through the wounds. The doctor took seven buck shot from the wounds. The
close to which Mrs. B. was seated when shot was examined. It was at the southeast corner of the room. The brick that broke the glass, first took a lower pane on the outside sash, struck a cross piece of the inside sash and tore half the lower sash away. Mrs. B. was evidently in the act of soothing her youngest child, Andrew, four years old, having her hand around his neck, resting on one shoulder, when the crash came - she turned towards the window, received the discharges, fell forward, the wounded shoulder striking the table of the sewing machine at which she had been working and covered it with blood. As for the rest, here is the
A.W. Brownlie, sworn - The body that
lies here is that of my wife; I was not at home when she died. I left home about
half-past seven o'clock last evening; my wife and children were in the house
when I left it; I had been at father's, James Brownlie, and up to the Station
for some liniment for a horse of mine that was injured. I arrived home a
little after nine - it was dark in the house. I struck a match, and went into
the pantry and got a candle as I could not see the kerosene lamp; came out into
the kitchen and found my wife lying on the floor, in the corner close to the
sewing machine; I thought she was asleep. She lay just as if she had fallen off
the chair while sleeping, and was in that posture on her side. I caught her by
the arm and put my hand into the wound. I screamed, and my little girl, Sarah,
came down stairs and told me what had happened. Before that she heard me, but
thought that it was the robbers - but she know my voice and came down stairs. I
went to go to the door, but she hung to me and cried, "you'll be shot,
you'll be shot" and begged me to go up stairs with her to the other
children. In a few minutes my hired man, Lewis Johnston, came home; he had come
from town, and had been to prayer meeting at the Grove. After I got up stairs I
opened the window and screamed for help, and he heard me and came running to the
house. He asked, "what's wrong?" I told him my wife was shot and to
run for some of the neighbors; neighbors soon arrived. My wife was thirty-two
years of age and in good health; my children are four in number - Sarah is past
eleven years; Willie is eight; Annie J. is six and Andrew J. is four years old.
My wife was on good terms with the neighbors - was a favorite of all of them. I
had double windows - and there was but one pane on the outside, sash broken, and
three on the inside sash. On further investigation, I found that the lower sash
of the south window in the sitting room was all smashed in. I noticed nothing
else at all that was different from when I left the house.
Sarah R. Brownlie sworn - I was at home when my father left the house last evening with my two brothers, sister and mother. I was present when my mother was shot. It was before eight o'clock, about twenty minutes after my father left when I heard the first noise. My sister and my brother and I were in the middle of the floor in the kitchen and my youngest brother was sitting beside my mother on a chair. He was four years old last November. He was with my mother in one corner at a sewing machine. My mother was sitting beside a window - close to it. We heard a noise and thought it was at the barn - it was like pigs, I thought, rattling at the platform. About five minutes after that a brick came through the window, and after that there came two shots. I saw the brick lying on a chair - it was half a brick. It went north of my mother and struck no one. I was not looking at my mother then, but I think she sat still and the gun shot came right through right after it, and there were two reports. I didn't have time to get up and go and see the window, after the brick came through, before two shots were fired. The shots sounded as if they were from a two barreled gun. We screamed "murder" because we were scared. I don't know whether my youngest brother screamed or not, I did. My mother next said "Oh dear Sarah," gasped once or twice and fell over slowly- her head rested on a chair and her body on the floor, and I think I moved her. She said nothing else at all. I heard no noise outdoors after the shots. I thought my little brother was dying; he was kind of crying; I picked him up and tried to wash him; he was hurt and bleeding in the left side of his head. After I got him washed I took him upstairs and the rest of the children, locking the door after me, and went to bed. I thought my father was killed too; I carried my little brother upstairs; I hears no noise in the room before the brick came through, besides that we were making in the kitchen. The kitchen door was shut, but not locked - all the outside doors were shout but not locked. I fastened the door of the room we were in up stairs. It seemed about one hour after my mother was shot before my father came home - I wouldn't say for sure, though. After he lit a light I came down. At first I thought it was the robbers, but I heard him scream and knew his voice. I thought he was going to go out, and took hold of him. No one entered the house to my knowledge from the time the shots were fired till my father came. Nothing was missed in the house - furniture, money, nor anything else. I heard nothing like [?] going off, nor people talking outside, after the shots were fired.
A.W. Brownlie recalled - I missed nothing about the premises - nothing was taken, everything was in order save that the windows were broken in and the lamp chimney was broken. Lewis Johnston (the hired man) hadn't been home since last Saturday - he had been in town visiting. He didn't say when he left how long he should be gone. He didn't come direct home from town, he went to prayer meeting at the Grove. He has been with me about five years. He was on good terms with my family. He just came to the door when he heard me scream and turned and ran to the neighbors. I can't suspect any person I can't imagine why any person should murder my wife- it's all a dark, awful mystery to me.
James Steffens sworn - I am not acquainted with Mr. Brownlie's family. I heard one shot at 8 o'clock last evening; I was outside the door at John Hell's where I am staying; when I heard the shot, I heard nothing else, no other noise, no screaming; I live about half a mile from here, straight across, but it is about a mile by the road. I thought to myself that it was an awful rough shot, and "it is over there," (meaning Brownlie's); from the noise I should judge the gun was pretty heavily loaded.
The witness Sarah is an unusually bright child for one of her years, and her testimony was given with remarkable clearness. Her presence of mind with her brothers and sisters at the time of the murder was also remarkable. There was almost a
in fact it will in all probability turn out so, for the little boy Andrew received six buckshot in the left side and top of his head. One buck shot entered his brain certainly, as was ascertained by probing, and the doctor was convinced without probing that another did so. The other shot tore through the scalp to the skull in a glancing direction. There is scarcely a possibility of the recovery of the boy. After examining the child the
until to-morrow forenoon.
While the inquest was in progress Police Justice Kauffman and Chief Martens arrived at the house, but were unable to find the least clue to either the coming or going of the murderer. In their presence, several of the substantial farmers of the township held a meeting, and authorized the GAZETTE reporter to announce a
REWARD OF $1000
for the detection and apprehension of the murderer. It would be well for the Governor of the State and the Board of Supervisors to supplement this with sums that will make the reward at least $5,000. It was a year ago last September, only seven miles northwest of this place of this tragedy that the
MURDER OF MRS. ALGER
occurred and the murderer has remained undetected to this day.
That was evidently for money, as the murderer secured $1100 in gold. The
murderers of both women were brutal, cowardly fiends, and who knows where they
may strike their next blows for money or to gratify feelings of revenge.
An awful tragedy hangs over this Long Grove tragedy, which ought to be solved in some way. And the community ought not to rest till it is solved.
---The Davenport Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; February 20, 1874
THE LONG GROVE MURDER
The Coroner's Inquest Resumed - Testimony of the Hired Man, Lewis Johnson -
Sarah Brownlie Again on the Stand - Evidence of A.R. Brownlie -
The Crash in the Front Room - Adjournment
Coroner Grant resumed the inquest on
Mrs. Brownlie, yesterday forenoon, at the Court House. No new developments had
been made since the previous day, and the mystery continued impenetrable. One
piece of information was elicited yesterday, which explains a query that had
arisen in the minds of many. How could the murderer smash a half sash of glass
in the front room, next the room in which Mrs. B. was sitting, and not arrest
her attention. Sarah Brownlie, yesterday, said she and the other children were
making a good deal of noise, and when the crash in the other room came, Mrs. B.
turned and said warningly, "Hush-hush!" Then Sarah asked "What is
it?" Mrs. B. said it was the pigs in the barnyard. Evidently she did not
wish to alarm her children - but she knew the noise was about the house. When
the villain came to the window at which she was seated, she may have seen him,
and he knowing that she recognized him, murdered her to prevent exposing him.
Yesterday County Attorney Bills acted as examiner of witnesses, his questions being very thorough. The testimony was taken in short hand by L.P. Dosh. Here is the report of it:
Lewis Johnson sworn. - Live at Long Grove with A.W. Brownlie, been living with him four years; my age is twenty-five years; did work for Brownlie, but quit just before Christmas; haven't worked any place since, but have made my home with Brownlie - doing chores for board; have no family; wasn't staying out at Brownlie's last Tuesday or Monday, either; left there a week ago this morning, and came to Davenport and staid here till Wednesday at 3 o'clock then started out for Brownlie's. Went with a farmer as far as the six-mile house, and then walked up to the Grove - don't know who the farmer was; he lives east of the six-mile house, but don't know how far; never saw him before - he was a German; got out of his wagon at Steffen's at Duck creek - don't know how long I remained at Steffen's. Didn't go into the six-mile house when there. I went on the railroad track and stopped at the meeting house at Long Grove; got there about 8 o'clock - there was a prayer meeting and stayed till the meeting was out and went away when the rest did. Went away with James Brownlie, Mr. and Mrs. Fearing and Mr. Exley, the minister; went with them as far as James Brownlie's, the father of A.W. Brownlie; don't know what time we got to James Brownlie's. Mr. and Mrs. Fearing turned off before we got there and went to their own home. Exley went along as far as James Brownlie's but didn't stop and I went into the house at James Brownlie's; couldn't say what time it was, but it must have been after nine o'clock - remained there half or three-quarters of an hour; saw Mrs. James Brownlie, her two sons, Robert and Andrew, and son-in-law and Mr. A.W. Brownlie; the son-in-law's name is John Flook; saw a cousin of his there named Catharine Watson; didn't see any one else. From there I went to A.W. Brownlie's on foot - went along the railroad track a little ways and then turned off on the road; no one went with me - no part of the road; don't know how long A.W. Brownlie had been at James Brownlie's - found him there when I went in; he didn't say anything about going away with me. I went on foot, and he went on horseback - know no other reason why we didn't go together; neither one said anything about going home together; I heard him say he had been after medicine; he started away a minute or two before I did. He started on the wagon road and went on the railroad - they are side by side; we were in sight of each other for awhile. It is about a mile and a quarter from James Brownlie's to A.W. Brownlie's; I didn't see him much of the way, because he went faster than I did; I walked middling fast across there a mile and a quarter. Don't know the way; was alone; when I got pretty near to A.W. Brownlie's I say a light up stairs; I was a quarter mile off. The first thing I heard was Brownlie calling me - he said, "Oh, Lewis." I don't mind of his saying anything more till I got in; I answered when he called - he was up stairs; It sounded as if he had his head out of the window; I went into the door - only one door into the house - don't think there was any light below; when I got up stairs I saw Brownlie and his daughter. Brownlie said his wife was dead, that Sarah said she was shot. Brownlie wanted me to go down and help place his wife's hands. The body was lying on the floor down stairs. Went down immediately - Brownlie and myself and Sarah. Found her in the kitchen where she usually sat. There were three windows - two in the kitchen and one in the pantry. We did not remove the body - don't know who did. From there I went to Robert Brownlie's, then to Jas. Brownlie's, and Mr. Thompson's and James Neal's and John Robinson's and John Pollock's and then back to A.W. Brownlie's. Don't mind what time it was when I got back - it must have been after one o'clock. Remained there all night. Next was at A.W. Brownlie's part of the time and at John Grieve's part of the time.
Witness then gave particulars of the family life at A.W. Brownlie's - the kindness with which Mr. and Mrs. B. had treated each other - and he said he had never witnessed any trouble between them; he was questioned very closely by Mr. Bills. No other testimony was elicited, save that it appeared that a double-barreled shot gun was taken from Mr. Robert Brownlie's about a month ago and had been found since.
Adjourned till two o'clock P.M.
The inquest was returned at 2 o'clock,
the testimony being as follows:
Sarah Brownlie recalled - When father went away to go down to town I didn't hear him say anything particularly about going; I knew that he was going before he went; heard him tell mother so; he said he hated to leave - didn't know why; we were in the kitchen when this talk was going on; before that mother was in the kitchen washing dishes; father said he was going after some medicine for a horse; mother told him, "yes, go" - but I don't remember what else he did say; father didn't go away very often in the evening unless he was at church. I washed the milk pails, and mother had the rest of the things washed. I don't know how long it was after father went away before mother sat down to the sewing machine - couldn't have been very long. Then in about twenty minutes, I think, but couldn't say for sure, the robbers came. That must have been from 10 to 20 minutes after father left, and pretty much after mother sat down. Before that I and my oldest brother had been playing ball for a few minutes. I did not see father after he went out to go away, but he went down to the barn to unload some bran, and after that he went away. I did not see him when he was unloading it. Willie went to help him unload. Willie was eight years old last October. Father did not come back when he unloaded the bran - but Willie came in; he wanted to go along but mother didn't want him to. Mother didn't make any objections to father going - didn't say anything about staying alone and wasn't a bit scared. Can't say what I was doing when the brick was thrown through the window. There was a letup on the machine. Don't know whether I looked out of the window or not - I was scared at first. I don't know whether it was dark out doors or not, didn't hear anybody say anything outside; don't think I heard a noise at any other window, but thought it was pigs rattling on the planks; there was a curtain at the window when the shot came through, but it was not down; heard nobody running after the shots were fired; father had been in town before and got medicine - had no horse doctor - didn't ? him was whether he got any medicine or not; the ..... [can't read rest of sentence]. There was a gun that was ....[can't read]..out on the porch. It was one barrel; he got it last winter, did not see Lewis have a gun lately; our folks had a hired girl a few months in the summer but ...[can't read numerous lines]. There is only one door to the house - everything came in and out of it. Didn't hear father light the match. There were candles in the flour house. The lamp went out when the shots were fired - but as I had just put a few cobs in the fire there was light. The chimney fell off but the lamp didn't. I didn't try to light the lamp. Father didn't come right up stairs; thought it was the robbers till I heard him scream and then I knew him. I can't remember anything that he said. I told him I would tell him about it. I told him there was a noise and mother said "hush" to me and stopped to listen, and we all were still. I asked her what she thought it was and she said it was the pigs running over the platform. About five minutes after the brick came through the window and the shots were fired. There wasn't time for the same man to throw the brick and then fire - it was so quick. I didn't go out. I thought the door was fastened; there was a catch over the latch, and I went to fasten it, and Willie got into a sort of a pet and run and turned it up, and I suppose I got contrary, too, and I fastened it again, and he unfastened it. My mother didn't look out of the window. My brother Willie was with me most of the time before the shots were fired. My father came up stairs - I wanted him to. I told him to come up and see Andrew. Father acted as if he didn't know what to do - he was going to run out of the door and I just held to him. No stranger has been in our house lately, except a man who came and asked for A.W. Brownlie and Lewis told him he was at the nearest neighbor's. Lewis told father the man was wild-looking, and wouldn't look him in the face. Don't know how long ago it was. I haven't talked with father and Lewis much since mother died, for I have been at grandfather's most of the time. I was at home the next afternoon. Neither father nor Lewis has told me what I was to say. Saw a double-barreled shot gun at grandfather's, but it was stolen. Heard father and Lewis telling me about it - they said they couldn't think who had stolen it. Father and Lewis never had the gun at our house. I thing I should have known it if they had. Never heard that they got any track of it. I don't think they looked after it.
To Juror - Brownlie - I never knew of father going to grandfather's to milk cows and leaving mother to milk our cows; never heard of it. He never did such a thing.
W.A. [sic A.W.] Brownlie recalled - After I left the house, I got at father's twenty minutes before eight. I looked at the clock when I got there. I remained there nearly an hour. Then I went up to the station. I saw my mother and brother and cousin at father's; wasn't five minutes till I got to the station - bout sixty rods off. I saw Mr. Riches' two boys there, Ned Richardson and several other boys. Went to Dr. Richardson's store. I asked for Pryer's balsam at the store - he hadn't any. I didn't take any other kind. Remained there five minutes, and went back to father's. I don't know what time it was when I got back to brother'. I didn't sit down at all. My father-in-law had come in from the West and I staid and talked with him - this was the first time. The last time father and Lewis came in from the prayer meeting. Said nothing to Lewis nor he to me. I expected he was going straight home. Father asked me why I hadn't been at prayer meeting. Lewis didn't go home with me because I was on horseback. On foot we always go on the railroad. My mare wasn't shod, and where it was hard I had her trot and when soft she walked. I never saw Lewis on the road, never looked around; it was a tolerably dark night. Could see no light at my home. Threw the halter over the mare's neck and opened the door - it was dark. It was a few minutes after nine. I didn't expect to find my people in bed. I struck a match and lit a candle. Looked for the lamp but it wasn't where it always stood. Got a candle in the pantry. I then supposed they had all gone to bed. I thought it was rather early. All slept up stairs. Been married twelve years last January. Good many two-barreled guns in the neighborhood - at Robert Brownlie's, my father-in-law's, Mr. Richies and one at father's, but it was stolen. Lewis had my father's last winter - he got it for a few days for chickens; used it very little; the gun has not been in the house since that time; it was four weeks ago that brother Robert told me their gun had been stolen. He said two young men came in there and wanted work, and after that the gun was missing; they thought those men might have stolen it; they made no search for it; I have a single barreled gun in the flour house; it was loaded last March, and the load is in it today; my brother Robert loaded it for me; I bought it to shoot prairie chickens, but never shot it off; I have fired my father's gun some times; heard of no other gun missing about there. I have two brothers and they both live at home; I have two uncles there - Alexander and Robert; the former has a farm, I believe; he has some boys, Robert has none; Robert told me he had a gun two weeks ago; he said they wouldn't let him carry the gun in the cars. Three years ago yesterday I took my wife to the Insane Asylum; she was there fourteen months and eighteen days (weeping.) This winter she has appeared a little dull once or twice - not as talkative as usual; didn't seem as lively and cheerful at these times as she commonly was. She had no trouble with Lewis. This winter she said to me she didn't think we needed a man, she'd rather we'd be alone. Had other hired men last summer - one for a month last summer, Thomas McAdam - haven't seen him since. Never had a word with a hired man that ever I had.
Here the witness, in reply to questions, spoke of a matter that occurred five years ago between himself and another man, but it need not be reported as the public has no present interest in it. He then resumed:
Wednesday evening from the time I left my house to go to the grove, I met no person. No person would have been likely to come through to the road to my house. I have no knowledge of any person being about there only what Dr. Richardson told - that two men that drove up to his store about 7 o'clock, and one went in and bought four cigars. I was home all day Wednesday - James Neal and wife and Mrs. Thompson, my mother-in-law, were at my house that day. After they went away I attended to my chores and a sick mare. Nobody called during the day, except these visitors. My wife has not been from home very recently. I didn't know that Lewis was expected home that night - he went and came just when he pleased. He told me he was taking in a couple of pigs to a friend in town. He never had any company visit him from town. I have had no hired girls recently - not since last harvest. When my wife was at the asylum, I had two different girls - one four thirteen months and the other till the fall after my wife came home; she is now living at my nearest neighbor's. We got home from the asylum the last of May or first of June. We visited some friends before we got home. Never knew my wife to have trouble with any one - except when she was deranged she had a little difficulty with a girl. I have not been in the habit of keeping money in my house, except in the form of certificate of deposits. That night there was a little money in my pants' pocket on the wall -but it was not disturbed.
The witness detailed particulars concerning the broken window in the sitting room, given before - and also what his daughter Sarah told him when he got home, not differing from Sarah's evidence. He also told of the [?] of the windows. And then continued:
I made no examination of the house because I didn't feel like it. Neighbors looked through the bureau and found nothing disturbed. A great many people came to the house that night. I never heard anything about the gun after it was lost. It took me fifteen to twenty minutes to ride from my house to father's. My house is ???theast of father's - just about a mile and a quarter. Know nothing of any suspicious character in the neighborhood that night. Had observed nothing unusual about my wife's actions. No trouble ever occurred between my wife and myself - never in the world. I went for the liniment because my wife urged me to go. She was not afraid to stay alone. I often went to prayer meetings leaving her and the children - she would say the children were company enough for her. My wife and her relatives were on good terms - extra good terms, I believe. My house is not on round that would naturally be traveled - people would not come there except on purpose, except they might be going across fields on foot. My wife and I had not a living enemy that I know of.
[Can't read next paragraph.]
At five o'clock yesterday afternoon, the wounded child, Andrew, was not expected to live through the night.
-- The Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; February 22, 1874
THE LONG GROVE MURDER
The Wounded Boy Rests with his Mother
The Inquest Continued - Testimony Concerning Family Relations - The Husband's Treatment of his Wife -
What Time A.W. Brownlie Arrived at his Father's House Wednesday Night - No Trace of the Murderer.
The murder of Mrs. Brownlie and her
little son Andrew - for the child died on Saturday evening, and was laid by the
side of his mother on Sunday afternoon - is a mystery still, and the guilty
person still pursues his own way and keeps his own counsel.
The inquest was resumed by Coroner Grant at the Court House at 10 o'clock yesterday afternoon, with County Attorney Bills to conduct the examination of witnesses. The Court room was almost crowded with spectators who held their places from beginning to adjournment, although half of them could hear but a small portion of the testimony of witnesses.
Henry Berg, gunsmith at the corner of Third and Harrison streets, was called. He testified that one of the Brownlies, he didn't know which one, brought him a double-barrelled gun for repair last fall, and did not call for it until some six or seven weeks ago.
Then Edwin Richardson, son of Dr. Richardson, who keeps a store at Long Grove, was called and testified as to his going to James Brownlie's on New Year's to borrow a gun, and then it was ascertained that the gun had been stolen. Was told that two men went to James Brownlie's and asked to be furnished lodgings for the night; they couldn't [?] and they went away. Afterwards the gun was missed.
Hon. Hugh M. Thompson, father of Mrs. Brownlie, was called to the stand. He lived about a mile and a half from his daughter in a direct line - two miles by road. She was married at his house twelve years ago on the 22d day of January. Her mother is still living. The families have been on familiar terms as much as possible. Witness had always been on pleasant terms with Mr. Brownlie. Mr. Thompson, in answer to questions, gave account of Mrs. B's insanity, her being taken to the insane asylum, and her return home - much of which has been given in these columns as testimony of other witnesses. He had seen her frequently since her return, and noticed no indications of return of insanity, save a little absent mindedness occasionally. He then testified to the domestic relations of his daughter and her husband, saying, in effect, that they were contented and happy. He saw her at his house in the latter part of January, when she was in very good spirits - he had not seen her since, as he has been in town serving on the Grand Jury. When insane she never attempted to injure her children. Mr. and Mrs. Brownlie were both inclined to save. He was well off - owned his farm of 160 acres, and other property beside; has 490 or 500 acres of wild lands in the State. They always had a well supplied table, their house was not showy, but had a good many accommodations. The examination as to family matters was continued at great length, but with only one result in information - uniform kindness on the part of the husband, and calm, even-tempered, exemplary conduct on the part of the wife. Then there was testimony as to Maggie May's services as hired girl - and the only incident mentioned was that once when witness and wife were at Mr. Brownlie's, at dinner, Maggie sat at the table, and Mrs. B. waited on the guests. Maggie's character was beyond even an insinuation of suspicion so far as witness knew. She left a year ago, on account of being informed that if she stayed it would be at smaller wages. She has visited there since, and has been at witness's house. Mr. Brownlie's treatment of his wife since she came back from the asylum has been kind, good, liberal in every respect.
Dr. Maxwell, of this city, testified that he had been acquainted with A.W. Brownlie and wife for six or seven years. Treated Mrs. B. for insanity on both occasions of affliction with the malady. The form of insanity was puerperal mania. Never attended in any family where there was more kindness and attention on the part of the husband. Noticed nothing like penuriousness on Mr. B's part - he was liberal enough, as much as any family the doctor ever attended.
The inquest then adjourned till two o'clock in the
when the court room was again crowded.
John Greve, Mr. Brownlie's nearest neighbor, living one hundred rods at the south, was sworn. He was out hunting some loose colts last Wednesday evening and testified as to having heard what he thought were footsetps in a certain part of his field, but went there next day and could see none. Heard no gun fired in the evening. He made examination for tracks from A.W. Brownlie's. Found some across the fields, which were ascertained to be those of a woman who had crossed the previous afternoon. Then he testified as to another track from A.W. Brownlie's barn southwest to a creek and he was questioned about this to a great length, but no very important information was elicited. Witness was not informed of the murder until the morning after it occurred.
Miss Maggie May was called and gave the names of families for whom she has worked since her arrival to this city and county from the North of Ireland, three years ago; her uncle, Thomas Johnson, resided at Walcott. She lived at A.W. Brownlie's two months before Mrs. B returned from the Asylum, and seven months after. After Mrs. B. came home, she noticed nothing but the kindest treatment on Mr. B.'s part. Mrs. B. appeared well, was special, and was affectionate towards her husband and children. She mended very fast after returning, and was in good health all the time witness was there; witness did most o the work - the cooking and house work. She left because Mrs. B. thought she could get along herself, and didn't want to pay so high wages for winter work. Mr. Brownlie had nothing to say about it. Witness was getting $12 a month there. Witness saw no indication of insanity after Mrs. B's return. Never heard her speak of being afraid of any person. Never knew her to have trouble with any one. Witness said that she sat at the table on the [?] Mr. and Mrs. Thompson were there, because Mrs. B. asked her to and desired to wait on her father and mother herself. She nearly always sat at the table with the family - the food was placed on the table and there was nothing t o serve except tea or coffee, which was placed at Mrs. B's plate. Witness was at Mrs. Brownlie's last fall when she appeared cheerful and pleased. She had no hired help, spent the say once when Mr. B,. was absent, and the evening once after [?].
Andrew T. Brownlie, son of James and brother of A.W. Brownlie, testified to his living at home, and in regard to A.W.'s coming there on Wednesday evening last. He arrived about twenty minutes past seven, and witness came in at half past seven. A.W. remained ...[cant read several lines[... meeting, his father appearing soon after. He also gave particulars as to the stealing of the gun, same as heretofore published. And also concerning the departure of Lewis and A.W. He also testified as to the friendly relations that existed between his family and A.W.'s family - all were on intimate terms.
Robert Brownlie, also son of James and brother of A.W. Brownlie, was called. The most important part of Robert's testimony concerned the arrival of A.W. Brownlie at his father's house on Wednesday evening; when he came in his mother said, "if you are going to prayer meeting its time you were there," or words to that effect. Witness looked up to see the time; there are two clocks, one above the other, one showing Arsenal time and the other railroad time. It was twenty minutes after seven by one and about twenty minutes to eight by the other. A.W. said he didn't think he should go to prayer meeting, and spoke about wanting liniment for his horse. After remaining some time he went to the station returned in a few minutes - after his father and Lewis Johnson had come in. His brother started to go home a little before Lewis, and witness followed out and talked about his sick horse. Witness then described the return of Lewis with the news of the murder, the consternation of the family, the going of himself and brother-in-law to look at the house, his return home thinking the murderer might have attacked his father's family. He returned to A.W.'s, inspected the premises some, saw no marks but the broken windows. He and Mr. Flook and Mr. Richie then came to town to inform Mr. Hugh Thompson of the event.
Hugh M. Thompson, Jr., was called - 21 years of age and lives in Madison county, where he went last December. Returned on Friday morning; saw his sister frequently when at home. The families were always friendly. Witness never told Lewis Johnson that his sister was treated badly.
The inquest was then adjourned till 10 o'clock tomorrow forenoon.
-- The Davenport Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; February 24, 1874
Continuance of the Brownlie Inquest - A Suspected Man Winds a Coil About Himself, and it is unwound by Others -
Blank Contradictions Caused by Whisky - Pat Hennessy Not the Man - Further Testimony - Adjourned Till Saturday.
Coroner Grant and his jury and
County Attorney Bills spent another day, yesterday, in endeavoring to gain
knowledge that might be of service in opening the way towards the lair in which
the murderer of Mrs. Elizabeth Brownlie and son lies concealed. A week has
passed since the innocent woman and her babe were assassinated and as yet the
murderer was safe from detection or even suspicion, as though he was in
Patagonia on the night of the 18th inst. We do not say there was no suspicion
attaching to any person, for there was - but last evening when the inquest
adjourned, the suspected man was considered as innocent of the crime as the most
harmless person in the Court room.
The proceedings were watched with close attention by a crowd that filled the Court room- showing that public interest in the tragedy has abated but little.
To give the reader a correct idea of the intention of the day's examination, we may state that a teamster named Patrick Hennessy, who lives at the corner of Tenth and Harrison streets, in this city, was strongly suspected of being the guilty party. The suspicion was based on the fact that some ten years ago Hennessy was employed by James and A.W. Brownlie, father and son, to work in the harvest field - and one night while he was in their service the house of A.W. was entered and a watch stolen therefrom. Hennessy was suspected, was arrested and brought before Justice Blood, in Davenport, for examination. He was discharged, and was heard to say that he "would pay Brownlie for this, if he had to wait ten years for the chance." Added to this, was a report that Hennessy had been seen once or twice since, looking over Brownlie's place and also that he was seen in the neighborhood of Long Grove on the night of the murder, driving in a wagon and accompanied by another man. Besides, two "wild looking men" stopped in front of Richardson's store that evening and one of them got out of the wagon and bought some cigars in the store. And it was believed that Hennessy was one of those men. Furhtermore, Hennessy left here on Friday morning, and his whereabouts were not known until day before yesterday, when it was ascertained that he was at Maysville. On Tuesday evening, Constable McNamara drove out to Maysville and found Hennessy at a tavern there, subpoenaed him, and came to town with him yesterday morning. These remarks will explain the tenor of
The first person sworn was Mr. L.A.
Towns, who testified that he was out at Long Grove last Wednesday afternoon,
accompanied by Mr. Wilson, and stopped at Mr. Richardson's store at 7 o'clock in
the evening and bought some cigars. He had a conveyance, being engaged in the
sewing machine business. After that he drove to town via the Dubuque road,
arriving here at 10 o'clock.
Patrick Hennessy was now brought to the witness stand - and it will be seen that if only his testimony and that of his wife had been all that could have been offered in proof that he was in the city, their stories were so strangely contradictory that the suspicion against him would have been strengthened to such an extent that he would have found himself in a perilous situation.
He testified that he lives on Tenth and Harrison, in Dr. Maxwell's house; that he had lived in Davenport for seven years, but had been in the country a good deal of the time; that he trades horses once in a while, and runs a threshing machine - had been hauling coal some this winter. Has no family other than his wife. Was at home last Wednesday all day. In short he came in from the country on Sunday with his wife, having been out to Mr. Picken's and was taken sick, and remained in the house Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and on Thursday till 10 o'clock A.M. Did not go out at all on Wednesday - was not able to go out. Was not at his gate on Wednesday afternoon. First heard of the murder on Thursday evening, when he was standing at his gate and heard a young man tell another young man about it, and that the funeral was to take place the next day - and he went to a neighbor's and asked about it. Knew nothing of Dr. Maxwell's visiting his house on Thursday morning. He reiterated the statement that he never had his team out of his barn from Sunday evening till Friday morning. All this time his wife took care of the horses. No one used his wagon on Wednesday - was sure of it. He was acquainted with the Brownlies - worked for the old gentleman for two harvests several years ago. A W. Brownlie had him arrested for stealing a watch and he was tried before Justice Blood and acquitted. He never threatened to take revenge on him - has never spoken to him since. Was out at John Greve's once, to look at a stallion - but never was under a tree since watching A.W. Brownlie's place. Was not in Mr. Noth's saloon on Wednesday, nor in his brewery, nor in any saloon that day. Was in the habit of drinking enough to get out of his head sometimes.
Now comes the wife's testimony:
Mrs. Ann Hennessy sworn - I am Patrick Hennessy's wife - been married 6 years - a year after I came from England. My husband heard of the murder at 6 o'clock Thursday evening, and told me of it. He told me heard of a lady out there being dead. My husband was sick in bed on Thursday. He got up in the evening - also sick on Wednesday. I took care of his horses - fed them and watered them. He was taken sick on Sunday evening and never got up until Thursday. I guess he was bilious - I got some pills for him. He went out on Wednesday evening to Mr. Shaughnessy's to get some corn - he was not able to to but he had to, to get his corn. Mr. S's place is on Harrison street - below where we live, it is below Eighth. He got about $2 worth. Our house is on Tenth. He was gone about half an hour. I don't think it was six o'clock - about dark. I was at home while he was gone - I was up when he got home. I lit a candle for him at the barn. He unhitched his horses. Friday he drove into the country to collect some money and said he would then go to Chicago as work was very dull here. I did not hear from him again until this morning when he came in with a man and a buggy. I remember Dr. Maxwell's coming there early on Thursday morning, before eight o'clock. I told him he had gone down town, and I didn't tell him my husband was in bed. I told him that my husband had gone after a beef steak. This was about 8 o'clock. The doctor came for rent - but witness didn't know why she said her husband was not at home unless it was because she didn't want to call him up.
Thomas Shaughnessy - grocer on Seventh and Harrison, testified that Patrick Hennessy came into his store on the night of the 18th, Wednesday, between 7 and 8 o'clock, and got two bushels of corn, and that he helped him to put it into his wagon. Several persons were in the store at the time. He made entries of it in his books. Mr. S. was requested to appear with his books in the afternoon.
George Noth, the brewer, testified that Patrick Hennessy was in his barroom on Harrison street on Wednesday evening, the 18th, to get a glass of beer - coming in ???? that he was there nearly an hour and a half at a table with Nick Schlaback who was sworn and corroborated Mr. Noth's testimony.
Mrs. Hennessy was recalled and recalled her testimony that her husband left home for the corn at 6 o'clock Wednesday evening and was gone but half an hour and that was all the time he was gone.
Wm. Morrison, who lives a half mile west of Eldridge, testified in regard to seeing a buggy going north towards evening on Wednesday, but could not tell who was in it.
Adjourned till 2 o'clock. In the
the Court House was more crowded than at any previous time, word
having gone abroad that "Hennessy was in a tight place!"
William Brownlie, who lives in Davenport, explained the gun business testified to by Mr. Berg on Monday. He took the gun to Mr. Berg to get fixed, and went after it about six weeks ago. He has the gun yet.
Mr. Shaughnessy was recalled, and produced his day book and ledger, and showed charges against Hennessy for two bushels of corn - dated February 18th in the former and entered on the 19th in the latter.
Patrick Hennessy was recalled, and stated that he recollected something about going to Shaughnessy's for corn, but the reason he didn't remember it before was because he had been on a regular bender for three or four days. He was under the influence of liquor when he was on the stand in the forenoon. He also remembered now, that he stopped at Noth's and took a glass of beer last Wednesday evening. He saw Mr. Noth and Nich Schlaback. He did the drinking that had affected him, out at Maysville. He saw Mr. Cody at Shaughnessy's and believed Mr. S's brother was there. He staid at Noth's pretty late. Witness had never had the delirium tremens, but had felt mighty nervous. Knew it was Wednesday night when he got the corn, because either he or his wife put it down in a book.
Constable McNamara testified that he brought Hennessy into town in the forenoon; started about 8 o'clock from Maysville; Hennessy drank two or three times before he started, and twice while coming in. Was told out at Maysville that Hennessy had been drinking hard all the time; witness saw him drink seven or eight times on Tuesday evening.
Patrick Shaughnessy, who lives at Ripley and Eighth streets, testified that he saw Hennessy at his brother's store at about 7 o'clock on Wednesday evening.
James Horan also testified that he saw Pat Hennessy at Shaughnessy's store on Wednesday evening.
James Brownlie affirmed - I am father of A.W. Brownlie; have lived at Long Grove thirty-five years. Was at prayer meeting last Wednesday evening at the Grove. Noticed Lewis Johnson when he came in - it was just when the meeting was out. The meeting was short, and we stood talking some time about making arrangements to go on a visit - the preacher and some others. It occupied from twenty minutes to half an hour. Witness took out his watch when they were leaving and it was just twenty minutes to nine o'clock. Lewis must have arrived there at eight or a little after. Lewis said he had been to town, and thought he would be in time for the meeting. It would take about two hours and a half to walk from where the Dubuque road crosses the railroad to the church, for a man like Lewis. It would be equal distance for a man to go to A.W. Brownlie's instead of the church - a little farther to the church, however. Lewis and I walked home together and he came into my house with me and we found Alexander and my son talking together. Noticed nothing unusual in Lewis' face or actions. My son didn't remain at my house more than ten minutes after I got home. I don't think it was quite 9 o'clock when I got home. Alexander got on the horse and went ahead. I heard no more of Lewis until I heard him cry outside that Alexander's wife was dead. It was an awful sound to me. He appeared very much excited. Witness detailed the appearance of Mrs. Brownlie and child, and said no search was made for tracks or evidence as it was very dark. He had no knowledge as to what become of the gun that was stolen at his house. Lewis has sustained an irreproachable character during the years he has lived at the Grove. Witness had no suspicion as to who committed the murder.
John Hell who lives a mile and a half south of Long Grove, and half mile from A.W. Brownlie's testified it was at his house that Mr. Steffen hears the report of a gun - but "I don't believe it, because Steffen isn't right in his mind." Steffen came to his house for a job of work, and he gave him work for two weeks, the time expiring last Saturday evening. Steffen was at his house on Wednesday evening when he got home at 7 o'clock, and was in the house after that. Witness testified as to his part in the search for tracks the next day - his evidence being the same as that heretofore given. He also testified that in going out of town on Wednesday afternoon he saw Patrick Hennessy at his gate; Pat said good evening to him and went on down town.
William Duncan, who lives at Long Grove, and one mile from A.W. Brownlie's testified as to searching for tracks - found one, but ascertained that it had been made by the woman who crossed the fields the previous afternoon, as heretofore testified.
A.W. Brownlie was recalled, and testified as to the death of his son Andrew, wounded at the time his wife was murdered.
Robert Johnson, who lives near Long Grove, testified as to search for tracks, but found none besides those heretofore described.
Henry Gertz, who lives in Lincoln township, ten miles from Davenport, testified that he was in the city on Wednesday the 18th inst., and on reaching Steffen's, a colored man got into his wagon with him, and rode to the six mile house, and got out there and took the railroad track for Long Grove. It was about five o'clock when the man out. The colored man had nothing with him, he said that he was going to Long Grove ,and worked for Mr. Brownlie.
William Wertz was called. Lives on the Dubuque road. Knows A.W. Brownlie. Never told any person that he heard Mr. Brownlie was to be sent to the asylum again. It had been reported that he did make this remark about Mrs. Brownlie.
The inquest was adjourned till Saturday forenoon at 10 o'clock.
Thus ended the days' investigation - with the officials and the public as much perplexed, and quite as much excited, over the tragedy, as when the inquest commenced.
--- The Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; Thursday, February 26, 1874
The Gun that was stolen from James Brownlie Found
THE PLACE - HOW IT CAME THERE
Great Excitement at Long Grove
Lewis Johnson Arrested on Suspicion and Brought to Jail
History of an Important Day
On yesterday a discovery was made near Long Grove which created excitement in the neighborhood equal to that which prevailed one week ago yesterday morning after the murder of Mrs. Brownlie became generally known.
which was stolen from the porch of the residence of James Brownlie, father of the husband of the murdered woman, between Christmas and New Years, was found. The discovery was made about noon by Mr. Spencer Clapp, a well-known farmer residing in the vicinity of the Grove, his home being about three quarters of a mile from the place of the tragedy. Mr. Clapp has devoted his spare time to searching in out-of-the-way places for the gun since Saturday last, having been requested so to do, in a quiet way, by a former policeman of this city. He made the discovery about noon on yesterday, and
was a clump of hazel brush near the point where the lane to A.B. Brownlie's house strikes the Long Grove road. It will be remembered that this lane crosses the D. & St. P. railroad track just after it leaves the Long Grove road, the distance between the highway and the railroad being something like a thousand feet at that point. Well, the clump of hazel brush in which Mr. Clapp found the gun was bout one hundred and fifty feet north of the lane, and twenty-five feet east of the track, it having been thrown from the railroad evidently, for Mr. Clapp discovered no foot tracks leading to the spot. The stock and double barrel were ten feet apart, and both were sunk in the snow enough to conceal them from the view of one on the track, and at just bout the depth they would go from a throw and their own weight. Furthermore the barrels were rusted only at the muzzles and at the nipples, and dampness had not penetrated the stock - proof conclusive that the gun had been in the snow but a few days. The stock and barrels were
by Mr. Clapp, as he wished that others should see them before they were touched. So he went to the residence of Mr. James Brownlie, from whom a gun had been stolen, and informed them of his discovery; and members of the family proceeded to the place, and immediately recognized the gun as the one that had been taken from its place in the porch between Christmas and New Years. And then the news spread through the neighborhood, and the people assembled at the place. Immediately Mr. R.K. Brownlie went to the D. & St. P. telegraph office at Eldridge and sent
To Lawyer Bills:
The gun is found - send officers quick.
The dispatch was received at the Western Union office here at 1:25 p.m. but it was nearly 2 o'clock before Hon. J.C. Bills, County Attorney, received it. He immediately summoned Loftus Keating, ex-Chief of Police, who had been making investigations as to the murder for several days, and authorized him and ex-policeman Joe Clinton to proceed to Long Grove with all possible haste. They hired a fast team and to Long Grove they went, arriving there in about two hours and a half. A crowd of men were standing about the place of discovery, and the gun had not been moved, but it was taken up immediately thereafter. The gun was not large - calibre about 14. It bore evidence of having been
in a barn or stack of straw or hay, for the strap on the barrels, and the ramrod, which was in its proper groove, had been nibbled by rats or mice, the marks of the teeth being fresh - or not discolored at all - as if recently made. The iron pin which originally fastened the barrels to the stock had been lost before the gun was stolen from the porch of James Brownlie's house, and a pin of hickory wood had been substituted for it, and half of this wooden pin was still in its place in the stock - showing that all the person who threw the gun into the thicket had to do to separate barrels and stock, was to strike the gun across some hard substance. Having done this, he threw one piece into the thicket and then the other, from his place on the railroad. The place of discovery was about a half mile northwest of the house where the murder was committed. Loft Keating immediately proceeded to
HUNT FOR FOOT TRACKS
and he found some which had not been discovered before. Those commenced about an eighth of a mile east of the railroad, toward A.W. Brownlie's house, and followed a south-westerly direction in the snow till they struck the railroad at a point south of the lane leading to the place of tragedy, and between two hundred and three hundred yards south of the place where the gun was found. The tracks were on a stretch of land which had not been examined before. Of course, after the tracks had struck the railroad they would be traced no further as the road bed was free from snow. When Messrs. Keating and Clinton arrived at the place they found that
SUSPICION HAD ALREADY RESTED UPON LEWIS JOHNSON.
the colored man who had been employed by, and lived with A.W. Brownlie for the last two years and whose evidence at the Coroner's inquest removed the doubts of almost everybody who heard it, as to his innocence. However, no move toward his arrest had been made when Messrs. Keating and Clinton arrived, but prevention of his escape, should he attempt it, had been determined upon. Now,
Lewis Johnson should be suspected cannot be told in a few
In the first place the measurement of the tracks above noticed corresponded with the measurement of his boots or rubbers.
Secondly, Mrs. Brownlie had desired her husband not to keep him through the winter, as she thought there was no necessity for it.
Thirdly, there was something over an hour of time in his foot journey from the place near the Six Mile House, north of this city, where he left the wagon of James Gertz, with whom he had ridden from Steffen's to take the railroad track for his walk to Long Grove, which he had not accounted for in his testimony. He left the wagon at 5 o'clock, the distance to the church at Long Grove, where he went to attend prayer meeting was about six miles and he did not arrive at the church till after 8 o'clock, yet he testified that he walked right along and did not loiter on the way. And he had plenty of time to reach the lane leading from the main road to A.W. Brownlie's home, take the gun from the secret place, commit the murder, walk back to the railroad over the track been found he seemed agitated. But, when questioned, he would look the questioner straight in the eye, and answer as cooley as he did Attorney Bills when on the witness stand.
What other reasons the people of Long Grove may have had, are not known to us at the hour of this writing - but it is certain he cannot be convicted on the grounds mentioned alone.
However, here comes in another fact which heightens the suspicion. On Saturday last, Joe Clinton visited the house of A.W. Brownlie and in looking about the kitchen in which Mrs. Brownlie was sitting when killed, he discovered a
PIECE OF PAPER
on the wall. It was a sort of flat roll, and when opened it was
not larger than one of his fingernails. Yet it was evidently a piece of the
wadding of the gun which was fired at Mrs. Brownlie. He put it in his wallet,
said nothing at the time, but exhibited it to Coroner Grant and Attorney Bills
after his return to the city. Yesterday he again went to Mr. Brownlie's house,
and opened Lewis Johnson's trunk; and on the top of the articles in it, he found
two pieces of newspaper, the size of the letters on which corresponded to the
size and style of those on the wadding. To be sure the wadding does not fit any
place on either of these two pieces, and no one but a printer would detect the
resemblance of the letters, for the wadding is soiled. The words on one piece of
the wadding are: "that house" with terminal letters of other words on
either side - the obverse bear the letters "igno."
Messrs. Keating and Clinton returned to the city last evening and called on Mr. Bills at the Newcomb House at 9 o'clock, having the gun with them. Their representations of the feeling at Long Grove towards Johnson, the suspicions against him being so deep and prevalent, were such that Mr. Bills thought best to have
and brought to jail, although the people of Long Grove had devised measures to prevent his escape. Nevertheless, it is not exactly the proper thing to allow a merely suspected man to remain in the keeping of a people suspecting him of the perpetration of one of the most atrocious murders ever committed in the State, and Messrs. Keating and Clinton were directed to return to the Grove, arrest Johnson, and bring him to the Davenport jail. They departed on this mission at 9:30 last night, and
MADE THE ARREST
at the residence of James Brownlie, where he was sleeping, at
11:30. When Johnson was aroused he was astounded and when the hand-cuffs were
fastened to his wrists, he became really weak from nervousness for the first
time. He dressed himself without haste, however, and was cool as when on the
witness stand. He bad good-bye to members of the family, and gave his gloves to
a party in the room. On the way he protested his innocence several times, and
said he "would leave it to God." He talked very little however, and
sat perfectly still, betraying no agitation whatever. He was brought to jail,
searched, and place in a cell.
So closes another day's efforts in endeavoring to dispel the cloud of mystery which shields the murderer of Mrs. Brownlie and her boy. The reader has the facts before him - he can draw his own conclusions as to the grounds which rest the suspicion against Johnson.
--- The Davenport Gazette; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; Friday, February 27, 1874
Submitted by: C.J.L.
Iowa Old Press