James R. Scott
MR. WHITE SAID: “My wife and I were married in 1880, in Johnson County, Illinois, where most of our relatives live. Last fall we came west, to take a claim. When we reached Winfield, I thought it would be better to stop here, work at my trade, painting, until spring and then go out west. But I was unable to obtain much work, rents were high, and we had a hard time to get along. Last April I got permission of T. J. Johnson to build this shanty, to save rent, and here we have since lived. We rented a garden patch, my wife tended it while I painted, and we were getting along well. In Illinois I was once in the edge of a fearful cyclone, one that tore up everything in its track, and I have since been deathly afraid of storms. My wife wasn’t afraid, and so since living here I have been in the habit of going down into the lime kiln (on the creek’s bank, in the edge of the timber about a hundred feet from the house), and staying there till the storm was over. Last night, about 12 o’clock, it looked like a cyclone, and leaving the babies asleep and my wife lying on the side of the bed with only her shoes off, went down to the kiln, thinking to prepare it for the wife and babies; but on reaching there, I covered my head with an oil cloth and stayed probably an hour and a half, not considering it worthwhile to get the folks. It quit raining and calmed down and I went to the house. Before I got there a flash of lightning showed the door to be ajar and it looked like the light was out. On getting there I found the door partly open, but the light burning all right. My wife was lying as I had left her excepting her head was hanging over the edge of the bed and her face was covered with blood. I thought she had fallen, hurt herself, and fainted; and I ran for Mr. Mann and Mrs. J. R. Scott (both living only a little way) and got some camphor. She was unconscious and her hair had fallen down over the awful gash covering it so that I didn’t know how bad she was hurt until somebody brought Doctors Emerson and Graham. Then it dawned upon me that some devil had come into the house while I was out and dealt the awful blow. My wife or I hadn’t an enemy in the world that we knew of; have always got along well and were as happy as our poor circumstances would admit. I don’t have the least idea who could have done the deed. I heard no screams and had suspicioned no one or any such harm. She is my first wife and we only have these two children. She is twenty-four years old and I am thirty-six. She weighed about one hundred and fifty pounds, was unusually healthy and always light-hearted. Her folks are well off in Illinois, and we have both seen better days. I have been painting for twelve years. I took much pride in landscape and sketch painting, and hope to make a fine artist.” Several sketches of Winfield residences and scenery were lying around the house, among them sketches of the homes of W. J. Wilson and Dr. C. Perry, painted for practice.
THE NEIGHBORS. Our reporter interviewed the neighbors and found that all had formed a good opinion of Mr. and Mrs. White. None had ever heard of a family jar or anything that would denote domestic infelicity. Both husband and wife always appeared to be industrious and happy as possible with such meager pecuniary comforts. Mr. Mann was the first neighbor aroused last night, between one and two o’clock. He hastily put on his clothes and went over. When he got there, White had his wife in his arms dashing water in her face, which was streaming with blood. When Mann came in he laid her down on the bed and ran over to J. R. Scott’s, the painter, and Mrs. Scott was soon at the murdered woman’s side. Mrs. White and Mrs. Scott had been more intimate than any of the rest of the neighbors and takes much sympathetic interest in the sad affair. She found Mrs. White lying on the bed unconscious, her frame in a terrible tremor, and the blood streaming from her mouth and nose. The husband was trembling from head to foot, though making no other demonstrations. The physicians arrived at four o’clock, and not till then, when a number of neighbors had gathered, did any realize the terrible extent of the injury. White told all the neighbors when he aroused them that his wife had fallen and hurt herself, and he didn’t appear to understand how bad the hurt was. Mrs. White had often told Mrs. Scott how good her husband was to her. One day last week she called Mrs. Scott’s attention to a trampish looking man whom she said was an utter stranger to her and yet had passed by her door several times with a queer stare at the house. The children didn’t wake up until the noise made by the neighbors as they came in, and knew nothing of the tragedy that takes away their mother.
J. R. Scott, the painter, who was so ready to swear that he obtained intoxicants and got drunk in Farnsworth’s lunch room, and then on the witness stand swore that he drank sweet cider and got “sick,” got a good deal sicker yesterday. He was hauled up, as soon as the Farnsworth case was over, before Judge Turner and plead guilty to a “plain drunk” and got $12.25. Then Sheriff McIntire gobbled him and in Justice Snow’s court Scott’s pocket was relieved of $23.50. It costs something now-a-days to go off on a little booze. A double dose, one in municipal court and one in the State.