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Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Museum Minute: Doctor hangs for murder


Museum Minute
April 15, 2021

Museum Minute presents:  This Week in History (According to Herrman’s Archives)

Middle of April in the Year…

1903, April 17 – Dr. James L. Gartrell Hanged – Gallows behind Jail on Lyon St. 

                           Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Arkansas City, Kansas:  
                           Former Texas Senator Ruined by Drink and Drugs
         Butler, Mo. April 17 – Dr. James L. Gartrell aged 68 years, was hanged here today for the murder of D. B. Donegan.  Before the trap was sprung he spoke he spoke a few words of advice to young men and touched slightly on his career.  The Doctor in 1880-1882 was a member of the Texas senate.  Whiskey and drugs ruined him.  He accepted the hospitality of Donegan, a colored miner, on a wagon tour to the south, slew him with an ax while he slept and robbed the corpse.  Gartrell was once probate judge of Refugio County, Texas, and lost several fortunes.  Eight children, two of them bank cashiers in Texas, declined to aid him after his arrest.

Note:  My Grandpa, the late, Fred Wheatley’s father took him and his brothers to this hanging and told them to stay on thestraight and narrow in life or this could be their fate as well.  He was 12 years old at the time.  Grandpa would laugh and say he guess ‘it took’ because he never got in trouble with the law.

1890 – Three saloons have opened in Butler.  With the $1,000 city license and the $500 county license, the must be money to be made in selling booze.
1895 – A late night storm floods Rich Hill.
1884 – A big GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) meeting is held at Adrian with the gigantic supper provided by the Howerton Hotel.
1895 – Rich Hill Marshal Beaty says any loose dog not collared & licensed will be shot.  Cows & livestock at large are subject to confinement and will cost $20 a head to be released.
1896 – William Hubbard of Deepwater Township kills, what is reported to be, the largest wolf every seen in Bates County. 
1913 – Lucky Bill’s Big Wagon Show exhibits at Hume, featuring ‘Little Cupid’ the educated Shetland pony, the 8thwonder of the world.
1884 – In a monster hail storm, some places around Virginia have 3 feet of the hail piled up.
1888 – Martin V. Owen, who served in the War Between the States with ‘Fighting JO Shelby’, is elected president of the Adrian Banking Company.
1844 – Captain William Waldo sails the steamer “Maid of the Osage” to the Harmony Mission area past Papinville.
1903 – Cole Younger visits his sister, Louisa Kelly, two miles Northeast of Amoret.