January 8, 2015

Man Stabbed to Death While Supervising a Juvenile Fair Fight, Rockcastle, 1878


Click here for a list of my other Pulaski/Rockcastle/Laurel County KY articles


[August 9, 1878] -

A SINGULAR ROCKCASTLE TRAGEDY.-- On Wednesday, of last week, a 15-year old son of O. J. Shrewsberry and James Myers, a youth of the same age, attending the same school, had a difficulty, which old man Shrewsberry and John C. Myers agreed should be settled by a fair fight between the boys. Accordingly a ring was formed, and the fight began. It was soon seen that the Myers boy was getting the best of his opponent, when old man Shrewsberry became excited and started toward him with a cane. The older Myers demanded fair play, and ran between Shrewsberry and his brother, when he was himself felled to earth by the cane. He endeavored to get up, but was again knocked down, whereupon he drew his pocket-knife, and rushed at Shrewsberry, stabbed him four times in the side, literally carving up his lungs. Shrewsberry lived until last Monday, suffering intense pain, when he was relieved from his sufferings by death. Myers was taken in custody and will receive his examining trial at Mt. Vernon to-day. [1]


[August 16, 1878] -

John C. Mise, charged with killing O. J. Shrewsberry, was held to bail in the sum of $500 to appear before the Circuit Court, at the examination of the charge against him last Friday. He also gave bond. [2]


[September 17, 1878] -

William Pendleton, charged with killing R. A. McElroy at Pine Hill on the 5th of August last; John Mize, charged with killing O. J. Shrewsbury a few months since, and Louis Rains, an old negro, charged with killing Andrew Burch, another negro, are all under bond of $500 each for their appearance to answer an indictment for manslaughter. [3]


[October 3, 1879] -

Since our last, the mill of justice in our Circuit Court has continued to grind. The case of the Commonwealth vs. Wat Bledsoe for killing Wm. Hicks  was tried last Wednesday and resulted in a verdict of acquittal. Same vs. Lewis Rains, an old colored man, for killing Andy Burch, another negro, in 1877, resulted in a like verdict. Both cases went to the jury without argument, the proof on the part of the Commonwealth almost warranting a peremptory instruction. The case of the Commonwealth vs. John C. Mize, for manslaughter; same vs. Wm. Cundiff, for murder; same vs. same, for manslaughter; same vs. Emmett Snodgrass and J. J. Thompson, for murder, were all continued to next term. [4]


[April 30, 1880] -

The next case called was that of the Commonwealth vs. John C. Mize for manslaughter. Mize is charged with killing O. J. Shrewsbury in 1878. Both sides being ready the selection of a jury began. The jury was completed Tuesday at noon, and on account of the illness of Hon. W. O. Bradley, the taking of the testimony was deferred until this (Friday) morning. [5]


[May 7, 1880] -

Tuesday the evidence in the case of the Commonwealth vs. J. C. Mize began, and was completed at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The jury received the instructions of the Court and the case was submitted to them without argument. After a deliberation of three minutes they returned a verdict of not guilty. The defendant after listening to a few words of most excellent advice from Judge Randall, was discharged. [6]


[August 5, 1878] -

Name of Deceased: Oscar J. Shrewsberry; Color: White; Sex: Male; Age: 42; Condition: Married; Occupation: Farmer; Date of Death: Aug 5, 1878; Cause of Death: Stabbed; Place of Birth: Virginia; Residence: Rockcastle; Place of Death: Rockcastle; Name of Parents; Phillip & Charlotte Shrewsberry; Father Birth-place: Virginia; Mother Birth-place: Virginia; [7]


[1] Excerpt from "Local News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. August 9, 1878. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1878-08-09/ed-1/seq-3/

[2] Excerpt from "Rockcastle County News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. August 16, 1878. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1878-08-16/ed-1/seq-2/

[3] Excerpt from "Mt. Vernon, Ky." The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY. September 17, 1878. Page 2. Newspapers.com.

[4] Excerpt from "Rockcastle County." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 3, 1879. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-10-03/ed-1/seq-2/

[5] Excerpt from "Rockcastle." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 30, 1880. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1880-04-30/ed-1/seq-2/

[6] Excerpt from "Rockcastle." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. May 7, 1880. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1880-05-07/ed-1/seq-2/

[7] Kentucky Death Records, Rockcastle County, 1878, page 3. Retrieved from Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1953 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.


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