News Items taken from News Papers

In 1849 Hiram Peter Sweat of Leopold Twp., Indiana went south with a flat boat of Hoop Poles, caught cholera on steamboat, returned, died and buried at next landing by boat crew. Son Martin, Later hunted grave, could not find it.

Otto Faulkenburg accused of killed Henry Knight in 1907 and for ten years no officers were able to arrest him. In 1917 Edward Hemphill, then marshall of Cannelton, and Victor Gelarden went to Faulkenburg’s home and hid in the barn until the next morning. When Faulkenburg came out to milk, the officers seized him. Faulkenburg was acquitted at his trial.

The Messenger: Owensboro, Ky., Thrusday Morning, Nov 13, 1913 Shot to death by an aged Man, John Van Lahrr Killed by George Watson at Waitman had engaged in disputer over a load of corn.Van Lahrr waws on a wagon.Son was seated at his side when It is alleged, that two bullets struck him. John Van Lahrr, a substantial farmer of the Waltman neighborhood, Hancock county, was shot and instantly killed by George Watson, marshal of Lewisport, Ky., Wednesday afternoon, when a disagreement arose as to the distribution of the year’s corn crop.  Owing to the prominence of both Van Lahrr and Watson, excitement is at high tension in the Waltman and Lewisport neighborhoods. According to the story related by a Mr. Robinson, who resides at Waitman, and who saw Watson shoot Van Lahrr, the two men quarreled while weighing a load of corn on the scales at Waitman.  Mr. Robinson asserts that Van Lahrr accused Watson of trying to cheat him out of a load of corn which open stoned the dispute.   Watson, he alleges, walked away from Van Lahrr while in his bad humor, and stationed himself about 300 yards from where Van Lahrr was busy weighing the corn. After completing his work.  Van Lahrr, accompanied by his two young sons, eight and ten years old started for his home, only a short distance from Waitman station.  His ten-year-old, son was sitting by his side.  Watson, it is alleged, stepped from the side of the road as Van Lahrr drove by and fired twice.  Van Lahrr tumbled from the seat of the wagon to the ground.  His wife, hearing the shots, ran screaming down the road and when she reached her husband’s side, life was extinct.  He had been shot in the heart and just above the temple.Watson immediately after the shooting, went to the livery stable and hitched up his horse.  He drove to Lewisport where he surrendered himself.  Last night he was under guard at his home.  He is 80 years old and was one of the most widely known men in Hancock county.Watson when questioned, said that Van Lahrr made an unprovoked  attack upon him and attempted to strike him with an ear of corn.  He said he shot him in self-defense.It was learned last night that the sheriff of Hancock county had in his possession a warrant for the arrest of Watson charging him with making attack on Van Lahrr with an axe two weeks previous to the killing.Van Lahrr was 50 years old and leaves his widow (Adeline Lamkin) and six children.  He was a popular farmer and his untimely demise will occasion a great deal of regret in Daviess and Handcock counties.

Tuesday Morning, Nov. 18, 1913

Van Lahr’s Boy Testifies

The little seven year old son of John Van Lahr who was shot to death last Wendnesday by Marshal George Watson, of Lewisport, told the grand jury today that after his father was shot from his side on the wagon by Watson, that the latter them ordered him to drive the load of corn to Watson’s barn, where his father had refused to drive it, and the child in great fear complied though he know his father was shot and dying.  The five little orphans bore in tears today with their widowed mother, caused many expressions of grief.

Murder Case

Continued Until Next Term of Court

Physicians Tell Court a Hawesville That G. G. Watson is Physically Unable to Stand Trail.

Hawesville, Ky., April 8 1914 – It was necessary to continue the prosecution against G. G. Watson, the aged man accused of the murder of John VanLahr at Waltman, several months ago, when called for trail this morning in circuit court.

Two physicians made a trip to the home of Watson and after a careful examination reported to the court that the man was physically and mentally incapable of attending his trail at this term of the court.  An order was then entered by the court continuing the prosecution until the next succeeding term of circuit court, which will not be convened until next Fall.

The 30 Mar 1923 edition of the Tell City News contains front page death notice which reads :  “Mr. Nicholas James — Veteran of Civil War Dies Suddenly at His Home in This City — Mr . Nicholas James, a veteran of the Civil War and prominent citizen of this city, passed away suddenly last Friday evening, his death being due to heart trouble.  There had been many rumors of Mr. James’ serious illness but during the past two or three weeks he apparently had recovered and was seen about town almost every day.  Just a few minutes previous to his death he went across the way to the home of a neighbor to take him a bucket of coal and on the return trip fell dead just before reaching his home.  Mr. James was born in Belgium and came to this country with his parents when a lad of about five years of age.  They moved to Leopold township and he grew up there on a farm.  As a matter of fact, practically his entire life was spent on the farm with the exception of the past eleven years which have been spent in this city.  He was 75 years of age.  Soon after the outbreak of the Civil War he answered the call of Lincoln for volunteers and at the close of the war was given an honorable discharge and came back to Perry  Co., where he has since made his home.  Mr. James is survived by his aged wife and the following children:  Mrs. Jennie Bouchie of Melstone Mont.; Mrs. Mary Franchville of Casper, Wyoming; Mrs. Emma Holman of Leopold Mrs. Maggie Cassidy of Apalona, John P. of Mt. Carmel, Ill., Joseph E. of Branchiville, Dr. N.A. of this city and Henry of Louisville.  Mr. James was a devout member of the Catholic church throughout his entire life, and since he retired and came to this city, he very seldom missed church services when able to attend.  The funeral was held at 8 o’clock Tuesday morning at St. Paul’s Catholic church .  Interment at St. Mary’s.”

The 7 Apr 1923 edition of the Cannelton Enquirer gives the Last Will and Testament of Nichola s James of Tell City.  He left all of his property (except 50$ to St. Paul’s Catholic Church for masses) to his wife Mary D. James.  The Will stipulated that after the death of his wife, the property will be divided among children:  Emma Holman; Mary Franchville, John P. James  Maggie Cassidy, Joe James, Henry James and Nicholas A. James.  A copy of the will is on file.

August 1878 (Thursday) Cannelton Enquirer Reporter: “On Tuesday [August 6] Francis Devillez, about 60 [62], residing at Sulphur Fork of Anderson River killed his 24 [28] year old wife and himself. Francis Devillez (1816) came from Setur, Belgium, around 1853 with his wife,  Frances Thiery (1816) and at least five children.  Three others were born in Leopold Township by 1859.  In the 1860s the family moved to Anderson Township where Frances Thiery Devillez died by 1876.  On March 5, 1877 Francis Devillez married Nancy J. Lawrence (1851), daughter of Adam and Ellen Noble Lawrence.     In mid-summer of 1878 “Mr. Devillez became suspicious that an effort was being made to get his property from him. Last week Mr. Devillez sent his wife away from home, telling her that he would give her several hundred dollars if she would not bother him anymore, and also sent his daughter, who was living with them, away; but on Tuesday he sent for his wife to return and get her clothing which was left at the house.  He then took at pistol, and going out upon the road, some 200 yards from the house, waited for his wife, who shortly came along, accompanied by the daughter.  As they passed Mr. Devillez, he called to his wife to come back, as he desired to speak to her.  As she turned towards him, he discharged the pistol square in her face, killing her instantly.  He then went into the house, where he at once sent a ball completely through his own head.  Mr. Devillez was evidently under a fit of temporary insanity.” The Devillez daughter who was the only witness to the shootings was Elizabeth (1854).  Antoinette (1849) had married Henry Gelarden January 10, 1872. The other daughter, Emily (1851) had married Frances M. Rhodes on November 1, 1870.   In the murder-suicide there obviously is no prosecution or verdict.  The only legal actions to perform are to identify the victims and to complete the coroner’s inquest report.  No listing for either Frank or Nancy Devillez can be found in the Perry County Cemetery listings.”

Aug. 5, 1921 – Shot Himself twice.  The following appeared in the Evansville Courier on last Monday:  Tell City, July 31. _ (Special.) John J. Lamkin, age 50, a widower and the father of six children, may die as the result of shooting himself in the side twice Sunday afternoon with a rifle in an attempt to take his own life.  He said worry was the cause of the attempt suicide.  Lamkin had been a very successful farmer until about two years ago, when he moved to Cannelton and ran the Eagle Hotel for a short time.  He then moved to Tell City.  It is believed that money matters worried him. Lamkin was in the woodshed when he shot himself.  The first bullet hitting him but failing to inflict a serious injury, he loaded the rifle again and put another bullet into his side below the heart. He then walked to the house and sat down on a chair, telling one of his children to go to the neighbors and ask them to come. The neighbors found Lamkin sitting in the chair.  He told them he had tried to take his life.  Medical aid was called. Lamkin had been in the best of humor early in the morning, his friends said. His wife died about a year ago.

Indiana Man Gets Heart Transplant

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (UPI) – A 34-year-old man who received a human heart transplant was

reported in stable condition today at Humana Hospital Audubon.  Charles Hart of Lincoln City, Ind., who was disabled by a weakening of the cardiac muscle, received the transplant in an operation completed Thursday by Dr. Roland Girardet. In keeping with hospital policy, details on the donor were withheld by Audubon.  Meanwhile, Aubudon today identified by name for the first time another Hoosier who received a human heart transplant last week.  Harold Wayne Lamkin, 45, of Bristow, Ind., received his transplant March 6 and was reported in “very good condition” today and nearing his hospital discharge.  Donna Hazle, a spokeswoman for Audubon, said Lamkin’s family had requested that his name be withheld pending his recovery.  Pharos-Tribune, Logansport, Indiana, Friday, March 14, 1986

Cannelton Reporter newspaper of 28 May 1859: “Circuit Court:” The important case of the term was the trial of Robert Prather and Richard Prather – father and son – for receiving stolen horses. The old man has been bed-ridden for several years, and was brought into court on his bed. The son was a boy of 18 years of age. They were ably defended but the first was sent to the penitentiary for five and the son four years. Four brothers were sent up from Crawford County at the last term for two years for the same offense.”

PAIN IN BACK AND RHEUMATISM Torment thousands of people daily.  Don’t be one of these sufferers when for so little cost you can get well rid of the cause.  Foley Kidney Pills begin their work from the very first dose.  They exert so direct an action on the kidneys and bladder that the pain and torment of backache, rheumatism and kidney trouble is soon dispelled.  They are worth of a trail as a trail is the only sure test.  They contain no habit forming drugs.  Friedman’s Pharmacy – Advertizement.

Dec 18, 1891 – Jasper Courier One of the most outrageous whippings occurred at Mentor Wednesday of last week, that ever disgraced the camera of our county’s history. About midnight a band of masked men entered the residence of Bazil Abel and dragged John Lee out of his bed and stripped him stark naked and literally lacerated his body. Even witnesses say that his back and legs were beat into a jelly. Leaving the victim tied to a tree they disappeared as suddenly as they came. How long will the government stand such outrageous scenes? It is is shame and disgrace that our prosecutors nd grand juries and the governor of the great state of Indiana will allow scenes of terror to be enacted in our country without making an effort to punish the guilty scoundrels and to prohibit such villainous and hellish work such as this. (These masked men were members of the white caps—a terrorist group similar to the KKK).


27 Aug 1833 – 10 Mar 1910 Captain Joshua O. Abshire, one of the best known river men in this section of the country and for 25 years a familiar figure on the levees at the towns between Cannelton and Owensboro, passed quietly away at his home here at 5:30 p.m. last Thursday of “arterio chlerosis.”

For the past year and a half he had been in failing health, and although he made one or two trips on the Gazelle last summer, he had practically retired from service. He did this only after his health had failed and his strength gave way. Prior to the selling and taking away of the Gazelle he stoutly maintained that he would take charge of the boat again, but when he heard that she had been sold and that he would probably see her no more, it is said that this deeply depressed him and that it hastened his death.

His only son Frank was drowned in 1883 or 1884 in a disaster that befell the Mountain Boy which turned over and sank during a terrific windstorm at Owensboro.

The funeral of Captain Abshire was held at the beautiful home of his daughter, Mrs. Lewis on lower Front Street at 2 p.m. Sunday, attended by a large concourse of persons who knew him. The services were short, conducted by Rev. Oscar Jean of the English M.E. Church.

The pall-bearers were: Messrs, Aug. Bergenroth of Troy, Jesse Barker, M.F. Casper, Frank Uehlein, Alf Webb and Jos. Farquher of this city.

Several wreaths and bouquets of cut flowers were presented by friends of the deceased.

The funeral was a large one. The Methodist Church bell toiled as the procession wended its way slowly up the hill to Cliff Cemetery. A United States flag was placed at half-mast on the steam ferry Major.

As the remains were lowered into the grave at Cliff Cemetery Rev. Oscar Jean pronounced the Methodist Episcopal burial service and all that remained of Captain Abshire was committed to earth.

May he rest in peace!

FAG Memorial 25089045

Captain Josh Abshire, the veteran steamboat-man, was born in Hawesville, August 17, 1833.

The family came to Hawesville from Virginia and his father and grandfather were both river pilots, the grandfather being a flatboat-man who brought salt from the Kanawha salt well to all Ohio and Mississippi River points and the father following as a flatboat-man at first and afterwards as a steamboat-man.

The grandfather died at Hawesville and the father, lost his life at New Orleans while there on a steamboat trip. The exact manner of his death was never known and his grave is not located.

The family early became interested in the coal mines in and about Hawesville where they were the only ones between Pittsburg and New Orleans, and the senior Abshire was one of the first to take coal to New Orleans for the purpose of inducing the people there to use it.

During the war, “Captain Josh,” as he has long been familiarly called, was wharf-master at Hawesville and sold coal to all the boats that passed. In this way he became familiar with some of the most stirring events of the war between the states in this part of the country, for Hawesville was a strong secession town and Cannelton was just as radically pro-Union.

Gunboats were often landed on either side or anchored in the river, as there was such demand for coal in those days that there was often much delay. Sharpshooters infested the high hills on either side of the river here and thus there was frequent excitement.

For sixty years, Captain Abshire had been on the river in some form of service and for thirty years he had been in charge of the boats of the Crammond Line between Cannelton and Owensboro. He was in charge of many night and Sunday excursions between Cannelton and Evansville and he was always genial and accommodating and was well known to thousand. He made friends of all and yet he was a man of most positive character and asserted himself whenever the occasion presented itself without the least mental reservation. He didn’t mince words and was no policy trimmer. In politics he was an ardent Democrat and often expressed the wish that he might live to see at least one more Democratic president. He never ceased to be an un-reconstructed rebel and was never afraid to hurrah for Jeff Davis during or since the war.

He was one day standing in the presence of the writer some years since on the Owensboro wharf when suddenly he turned and pulled out his knife and went to a board nearby and cut a notch saying as he did so: “This is my third notch in thirty years. I have been able to get away from here on time only three times in that many years, and every time I got away on time in the past, I cut a notch. I am now cutting the third.”

It was his last notch. H soon afterward went into that decadence that released him from anchor here and set him free to go to the haven beyond earthly scenes.

J.D. Kelly, Hawesville, Kentucky.

Captain Abshire first commanded the Str. Judelle about 1883 or 1884 and was master of that boat until she went to the scrap heap at Hawesville some 10 or 12 years later.

In the meantime Captain Crammond bought the George Strecker, which was run as a low water boat for a number of years. She sank on a trip up Green River. After the Judelle was dismantled at Hawesville the Gertrude was built there to take her place.

She was a boat of heavier draft and considerably larger than the Judelle.

Captain Abshire commanded her for ten years or more when he sold her to parties up on the Monongahela River above Pittsburg.

Some fifteen or more years ago Captain Abshire commanded the Str. Belgrade, which was used in towing between Cannelton and Owensboro.

After the passing of the Gertrude came the Str. Gazelle which was built at Hawesville some 6 or 8 years ago. This was the last boat ever commanded by Captain Abshire.

The Louisville and Evansville Packet Company last summer cut the life out of rates between here and Evansville in which trade the Gazelle had worked up a nice business, and Captain Crammond was forced to lay her up. Tired of doing nothing, in January of this year he sold her to Chattanooga parties and now owns only the steam ferry Major plying between Cannelton and Hawesville.

It was in the summer of 1908 that Captain Abshire’s health began to fail and he left the Gazelle for good.

Cannelton Telephone – March 17, 1910

On February 12, 1894 William H Artman murdered his wife Mary Cotton Canaday and his oldest son Charles in Tell City,IN. The murder was very gruesome. His other four children in the house survived and were raised in Crawford County IL. He was arrested and tried and sent to Jeffersonville IN State Prison. He tried to escape in May and was recaptured. He died in prison. The prison cemetery no longer exists. It is under the parking lot of the Proctor & Gamble Company which is in the old prison building.



History, Genealogy, Early Settlers and Historical Points of Interest in Perry County, Indiana