The Christmas Murder, Part Seven: For the Defense

The lawyers charged with defending Henry Wehrli were well-known local attorneys with roots and connections in Tuscarawas County. The task in front of them was to somehow defend a client who, according to preliminary testimony, had frequently spoken of, and threatened to, shoot the victim. Henry Wehrli’s defense team consisted of two attorneys, Philip S.Continue reading “The Christmas Murder, Part Seven: For the Defense”

The Christmas Murder, Part Six: Final Testimony and Charges

Henry Wehrli’s preliminary hearing continued on Tuesday, January 6, 1891 with the testimony of a few more minor witnesses. When the hearing concluded, Henry would learn what charges he would face when the trial began. What follows is the testimony of the other witnesses based on contemporary press accounts. Four more witnesses, none of whomContinue reading “The Christmas Murder, Part Six: Final Testimony and Charges”

The Christmas Murder, Part Five: Testimony of Mary Hart

Henry Wehrli stood in the Tuscarawas County courtroom for his preliminary hearing in front of the Mayor of New Philadelphia as the prosecution brought forth witnesses who offered their testimony as to what happened the morning of Christmas 1890. What follows is the testimony of murder victim James Booth’s aunt, Mary Hart, based on contemporaryContinue reading “The Christmas Murder, Part Five: Testimony of Mary Hart”

The Christmas Murder, Part Four: Testimony of William Gribble

As Henry Wehrli stood in the Tuscarawas County courtroom for his preliminary hearing in front of the Mayor of New Philadelphia, the prosecution brought forth several witnesses who offered their testimony as to what happened the morning of Christmas 1890. What follows is William Gribble’s testimony based on contemporary press accounts. The first witness toContinue reading “The Christmas Murder, Part Four: Testimony of William Gribble”

The Christmas Murder, Part Three: The Capture

Henry Wehrli headed off into the woods on Christmas morning 1890 after fatally shooting James Booth. He took with him the murder weapon, some cash and a bottle of his beloved whiskey. He would not make it far before word got out about the murder and his effort to flee would be short-lived. “Good byeContinue reading “The Christmas Murder, Part Three: The Capture”

The Christmas Murder, Part Two

Henry Wehrli, William Gribble, and James Booth spent most of Christmas Eve 1890 drinking copious amounts of rye whiskey, eating oysters and arguing amongst themselves. By the time they all decided to go to their separate rooms, Henry and James were threatening one another with death while William attempted to stay out of the fray.Continue reading “The Christmas Murder, Part Two”

The Christmas Murder, Part One

While researching the life of New Philadelphia lawyer, judge and politician Abraham W. Patrick, a previous occupant of my home, I came across newspaper accounts about a murder on Christmas Day 1890. Abraham W. Patrick served with the prosecution during the murderer’s trial. It is a story worth telling. Our modern conception of the celebrationContinue reading “The Christmas Murder, Part One”

The Last Chapter: Frank Foote Part Three

Frank Foote, Jr. was convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of George Clawson in December 1861 and experienced violence and death as a soldier during the Civil War from 1862 until 1865. He returned home to Cincinnati after the war to begin the last chapter of his short life, accompanied by the ghosts ofContinue reading “The Last Chapter: Frank Foote Part Three”

“On the Front Line All the Time.”: Frank Foote Part Two

Frank Foote, Jr., convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of George Clawson in December 1861, found himself enlisted in Company I, 70th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in early 1862. He served in the regiment from 1862 until 1865, experienced a number of bloody engagements, until his discharge and return to Cincinnati. It is unclear exactlyContinue reading ““On the Front Line All the Time.”: Frank Foote Part Two”

“A Surly and Offensive Reply”: Frank Foote Part One

When studying an ancestor’s personal story, I often wonder how the events and actions they experienced impacted the course of their lives. In the case of my 3rd-great-uncle, Frank Foote, Junior, there is little doubt his death was hastened by the violence of his youth. (The Foote surname is spelled Foote and Foot in theContinue reading ““A Surly and Offensive Reply”: Frank Foote Part One”