March 10, 2014

Man Kills Son-in-Law Over Mistreatment of Daughter, 1915



[August 5, 1915] -

Rockcastle County Shocked

Rockcastle County people are in deep mourning because of one of the most tragic deaths in all its history.

Tuesday, August 3rd, at 9 a. m., about two miles below Wildie, Squire Abney, aged 48, met his son-in-law, William Shearer, and settled a family quarrel by shooting and killing instantly young Shearer. 

The trouble between the men originated in the alleged cruelty of the husband to his young wife Flora.

Abney is under guard and will be tried Friday of this week.

The slayed was buried Wednesday.

More particulars will appear in our next issue. [1]


[August 6, 1915] -


Victim Is Said to Have Beaten His Wife--No Witnesses to Tragedy.

Mt. Vernon, Ky., August 3.-- With the statement that he had killed his son-in law, William Shear, a blacksmith at Hummel Station, four miles from this place, this morning, Squire Abney surrendered to the authorities here this afternoon, and after he had made a statement of the alleged facts in the case he was released on bond pending the action of the coroner's jury.

According to Abney's statement, while on his way to this place to take an oath as deputy sheriff at the primary election, he stopped at Shear's home at Hummel.  He says he found Mrs. Shear, his daughter, weeping, and in explanation was told that her husband had given her a beating.  According to Abney, he proceeded to the shop of his son-in-law and found him at the forge with a red hot piece of iron in his hand.  He accosted Shear, he says, demanding why he had mistreated his daughter.  For an answer Shear is said to have flung a file at Abney, hitting him in the head.  According to Abney, Shear followed this up with an attack with the red-hot iron, burning and bruising his left arm.  Abney says he fell to the ground, and while prone on his back pulled his pistol and fired, killing Shear instantly.

So far as is known, there were no witnesses to the killing of Shear. [2]


[August 12, 1915] -

Squire Abney Cleared

At the trial set for Friday, the 6th, in which Squire Abney was tried, for the killing of his son-in-law earlier in the week near Wildie, lasted only a short time, when he came clear. [3]


[1] "Rockcastle County Shocked." The Citizen, Berea, KY. August 5, 1915. Page 5. LOC.

[2] "Kills His Own Son-in-Law." Hartford Republican, Hartford, KY. August 6, 1915. Page 8. LOC.

[3] "Squire Abney Cleared." The Citizen, Berea, KY. August 12, 1915. Page 5. LOC.


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