March 19, 2015

Somerset Mayor T. R. Griffin Helps Foil Train Robbery Attempt, Pulaski, 1895

T. R. Griffin was acting mayor of Somerset, elected in 1894, when he helped stop this train robbery which took place on the Cincinnati Southern Railroad near Tunnel No. 9, in modern day McCreary County. Here is a webpage that has recent photographs of Tunnel No. 9. 


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[March 27, 1895] -


SIX BANDITS

Hold Up the Cincinnati Southern Fast Florida Special

At Tunnel No. 9, Seventeen Miles Below Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky.

One Was Shot Dead, Another Paid the Penalty Two Hours Later and a Third Will Die.

The Messengers and Railroad Officers Were Well Prepared for the Attack.

The Citizens of Greenwood, Ky., Do Not Recognize the Bold Wretches.

The Train Messenger Is Daniel Laseke, Who Lives on Seventh Street, Cincinnati.

There Was a Terrific Fight Between the Robbers and Trainmen.

Railroad Detective Griffin Did the Most Telling Work With His Revolver.

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A sensational attempt was made about 2 a.m. Wednesday to rob the fast Florida special on the Cincinnati Southern Railroad, in the vicinity of Greenwood, Pulaski County, Kentucky.

Two of the robbers were killed by train agents, and another was severely wounded and will die.

The train was No. 3, which left Cincinnati Tuesday at 8 p.m. for the South.

The attempt was made by a gang of six.

The engineer was signaled to stop, and did so. 

Part of the gang stood guard over the engineer and fireman while the others proceeded to effect an entrance.

The train agents were prepared however, and gave them a hot reception.


It Was a Battle.

A regular battle ensued, numerous shots being exchanged.

One of the robbers was shot dead in his tracks, another died at 4:08 a.m., and the third was so badly injured that his capture was easily effected.

It is understood that none of the crew or passengers were injured.


The information of the tragedy was received by the Adams Express authorities by wire from Daniel Laseke, of 611 West Seventh Street, this city [Cincinnati], who filed his message at Dayton, Tenn.


The run was not an unusual one and their booty would not have been large had the desperadoes succeeded in their attempt.

The Secret Guard.

All the express cars on the Q. & C. are provided with a secret guard, which fact, it seems, was not generally known. I suppose that at the critical moment this guard, together with the train agents, appeared and took the would-be robbers unawares.

The Adams Express authorities say that their safes are locked at this end of the line and are not opened until they reach their destination.

The Attack.

The attack was made at the south end of Tunnel No. 9, about a mile from Greenwood, Ky.

Greenwood is 17 miles from Somerset and 23 miles from the Kentucky-Tennessee State line.

When the train reached Somerset, Special Train Agent Griffin boarded the train together with two assistants.

They, as usual, occupied different cars and were heavily armed.

Knew Something Was Wrong.


When the train was signaled to stop, at the end of the tunnel, the crew knew that something was wrong and were prepared for an attack.


The spot is one of the loneliest and wildest on the road, and is in a mountainous location, where the train has to climb grades, wind in and out of tunnels, and must necessarily proceed cautiously. There were at least six in the gang, and their plans well laid out, but they were surprised at the resistance, and after the first firing the uninjured ones fled.

The bodies of the dead and wounded were picked up and taken to Greenwood, Ky., where one of the men died at 4 o'clock Wednesday morning.

The wounded man gave his name as Miller, but refused to give the names of his pals.

They are all supposed to be natives, as the country is full of lawless characters and moonshiners.

Griffin, who lives at Somerset, is one of the trusted men on the road, but one of the most modest.

Griffin Killed Two.

It is understood that he killed the two men who attempted to enter the opposite doors of the car in which he was riding. The train was only delayed 12 minutes, and reached Chattanooga on time.

None of the passengers or train officials were hurt, it is supposed, while 50 per cent of the robbers were captured.

Messenger Laseke is 28 years of age, and has been working for the company more than 11 years. He lives with his sister and his wife in this city, and has been making this run on the Southern for about six years.

CONGRATULATED.


This Episode May Stop the Trainrobbing Business.

The railway and express companies were receiving congratulations on the successful defeat of the robbers. Manager Fogg, of the Adams, said to a Post reporter: 

"It is a good thing for the business throughout the country, and will do much toward checking lawlessness. A few such encounters as these and the attempts to rob express cars would cease.

"Even if the robbers should have captured the train they could not have reached the money, as it is in a safe, and the messenger himself does not know the combination. The safe is fire- and burglar-proof, and is built in the car, so that it could not be carried away."

At the Cincinnati Southern offices the officials were in

A Happy Frame of Mind.

President Felton is in New York and he was telegraphed to Wednesday morning. General Manger Carrol said to a Post reporter:

"It is surely a record-breaker. In 12 minutes half of the gang was captured, the bodies secured and the train was on its way, some of the passengers sleeping through it all."

"Didn't Know It Was Loaded."

Tom Griffin, who was the principal character in the affray, is the Mayor of Somerset,, Ky., besides being the Chief of the detective force for the entire system of the road.

He is a small man, and always carries the two trusty friends with which he did the work Wednesday morning.

He is known as a square fellow, and has a reputation throughout the South as a fearless man.

He is the man who went into the cave in Alabama after the noted outlaw Rube Burrows, and is also the man who took Barney Higgins from Somerset over to Danville when the entire country was threatening to lynch him.

He came to Somerset when quite a boy, and is a self-made man. 

He is very quiet, but full of Irish wit, and Wednesday morning telegraphed Manager Carrol: "They didn't know it was loaded." [1]



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[March 28, 1895] -

FIGHT WITH BANDITS

Would-Be Train Robbers Foiled in Their Work.

TWO OF THEM SHOT AND KILLED.

Recognized as Being Desperate and Daring Criminals--How an Attempt to Rob an Express Train on the Cincinnati Southern Railroad Was Foiled by the Company Getting a Tip.

SOMERSET, Ky., March 28.--The fast express train on the Cincinnati Southern railway, leaving Cincinnati at 8 o'clock, was held up by a band of train robbers, 17 miles south of this place, about 2:30 yesterday morning, for the evident purpose of robbing the express car. One of the parties, named Frazier, gave a pointer to T. R. Griffin, the railroad company's detective and he was prepared for the assault. The battle was short, but very sharp while it lasted, and the robbers were obliged to beat a hasty retreat, leaving two of their men behind, one dead and the other mortally wounded. He died about an hour and a half after being shot.

The train left Somerset on time and was in charge of Engineer T. J. Springfield and Conductor Peter Gorman. It proceeded without incident to tunnel No. 9, about two miles north of Greenwood. Just as they emerged from the tunnel the engineer was given a signal to stop by some one with a lantern. He at once shut off steam, reversed his engine and applied the brakes. As it is a heavy up-grade at this point, he stopped within a short distance. The man who gave the signal at once climbed on the engine and covered the engineer with his revolver, at the same time remarking he would tell him when to start. At the same time three or four more of the gang came down the bank and made for the express car. They entered by the front door of the car, next to the mailcar, which proved to be the baggagecar and occupied by the baggage-master, J. F. Donovan, with a good run of baggage. On account of the heavy run of express and baggage an extra car has been used for some time past.

Evidently the robbers were not aware of this, and as soon as the mistake was perceived, they turned and left the car, intending to go to the express car, which was the next car in the train. Mr. Griffin, who was expecting the attack on the express car, had taken up a position in this car heavily armed. The express messenger, Dan Luske, an old employe of the express company, was in charge and had occasion demanded, would undoubtedly have defended the property of the express company entrusted to him with his life. As the train stopped, C. F. Algood and W. S. Edde, deputy special agents, who were in the forward part of the smoking car, which car was just behind the express car got out on the ground and started forward. A sentinal standing out on the bank above espied them by the light of the train and began firing on them at once. The fact that the night was dark, is all that saved them from instant death.

By dodging and running forward, they escaped, and seeing the robbers, who had been in the baggagecar, advancing they opened fire upon them, killing one instantly and so badly injuring another that he died about 4 a.m. from the effects of his wounds.

As soon as the firing began Mr. Griffin jumped out of the express car, and in so doing nearly lost his life, as a bullet barely missed him as it sped past. The detectives were armed with double-barrel and repeating shotguns loaded with buckshot, and the firing was quick and decisive. The battle lasted by a few minutes, when the robbers beat a retreat up the bank and disappeared in the woods and underbrush, leaving their dead and dying comrades behind.

A tramp giving his name as William Martin, residence Allegheny, Pa., was riding on the blind baggage and when the train stopped he got off and ran ahead to avoid being seen by the train crew. He heard the man who climbed on the engine say he would give the engineer word when to go, and turned back to get on again, thinking the train was about to start. During the firing he was struck in the left arm and side and was afterward found badly wounded. He was brought to the hospital at Somerset and it is doubtful whether he will recover, he being shot through the intestines. It is not though that he was concerned in the attempted robbery.

The time consumed in the attack and repulse was so short that it was all over almost before the passengers were aware of what was taking place, and the train was delayed not over 15 minutes in all.

The man on the engine jumped off when he saw his comrades were repulsed, and disappeared up the bank in the darkness remarking as he jumped: "Now you can go."

The dead robber proved to be Jerry Morrow, and the wounded man his son Tom, two well known characters living in the edge of Wayne county about 15 miles from the scene of the attempted hold-up.

Morrow is a man of about 55 years of age and is thought to have been the leader of the gang. He and his two sons have long been a terror to the neighborhood and country in which they lives. Jerry and one son were on trial before the circuit court of this county twice for the killing of Gilee. Now two years or more ago. On the first trial the jury failed to agree, while they were acquitted on the second by proving an alibi. He has been engaged in many petty larcenies, and altogether was considered a dangerous man.

There were probably six men engaged in the attack. One of them, presumably Frazer, left with the horses on top of the tunnel, one flagged the train and mounted the engine when it stopped, while a third stood guard on top of the earth cut, while three remaining ones attacked the express car.

The scene of the hold-up is in a heavy cut just south of tunnel No. 9, and at a lonely spot. The robbers were evidently intent on plundering the express car and reaching here before daylight if possible. The remaining members of the gang will probably be apprehended and brought to justice.

The attempt was well planned, and would probably have been successful had information not leaked out. As it is, it is a signal victory for Mr. Griffin and his associates, and they are deserving of the highest praise for their bravery and gallant defense of the train.

The bodies of the dead men were taken to Greenwood on a train following No. 3, and were turned over to the coroner of the county, who will hold an inquest. The younger man had in his possession several good sized strong sacks, in which it is presumed they intended placing their plunder.

Mr.  T. R. Griffin, the special agent of the road, and who planned and so successfully carried out the defense, has been in the service of the road or 16 or 18 years, and has a wide experience with criminals of all classes. He has the faculty of making friends readily, and his successes have been almost, if not entirely, unbroken. He is courageous and fearless to a fault, and is tireless in his endeavors to serve his employers. His two assistants, Messrs. Edde and Algood, also have records for bravery and daring, and the work entrusted to them could not have been in better hands.

It is not known at the present time whether the express safe contained an unusual quantity of treasure or not, and whether the gang had confederates advising them of special consignments, but indications are that they had no outside assistance expecting to take what they could get. That the country has been freed of two desperate men is admitted by all. [2]



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[March 27, 1895] -

The train had just reached the south end of the tunnel No. 9, a mile north of Greenwood, when the robbers signalled it to stop. They had scarcely disclosed their purpose until Griffin and assistants began active operations.

In ten minutes three robbers had bitten the dust. The other three had flown and the train was speeding on its way. No injury was suffered by any one on the train.

The engineer, Tom Springfield, of the train held up by the robbers at the tunnel 10 miles south of Somerset, Kentucky, early today, says the train was flagged by a man standing on the track. When he stopped the train the man stepped into the cab and pointed a pistol at the engineer, saying, "stay here until I tell you to go on."

When the shooting began the robber left the cab and ordered the engineer to "Go ahead."

"After the fellow told me to 'Go ahead," said the engineer, "we had gone but a short distance when Rankin found a wounded man on the tender. We stopped at Cumberland Falls, four miles from the tunnel and put him off, leaving him in the telegraph office. He was badly shot in the arm and said he was a tramp stealing a ride and was not with the train robbers, but we did not believe it."

A telegram from Cumberland Falls says that the third man taken from the engine has since died. The robbery was planned for March 11, but as the creek was out of its banks the men were afraid they would be caught and postponed it. [3]



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[March 28, 1895] -

Clint Fallgood, the brave little detective who took such a prominent part in the prevention of the robbery, returned to the city this evening from the scene of the robbery. To a reporter of the Times he gave the following statement of the affair:

"I am employed by the Cincinnati Southern Railroad as a detective, and Tuesday morning received a telegram from Superintendent Griggs to report at Somerset.

"I reported and asked the superintendent what was wanted. he replied that he wanted me to come down to Chattanooga that night. He did not tell anything further about what was going to happen, but I suspected something was wrong. I thought I was going into danger and prepared myself with a double barrel shotgun.

Griffin, the chief detective of the road, and Will Eddy, another detective, came out on the train also. They were prepared with double-barrel shotguns. Eddy and myself were sitting in the same seat, while Griffin was secreted in the express car. As we passed out of the mouth of tunnel No. 9 I heard the engineer blow his whistle twice, which was a signal that he had been flagged and was to stop the train. Eddy and myself walked out the door on the last step of the smoker on the east side, while I got on the last step on the other side, and we were in that position when the train stopped.

"Three men passed by Eddy, who at the time had squatted down under the edge of the car, and went to the baggage car. One of them had a double-barrel shotgun in his hand, and looked down at Eddy, but passed into the car. The three men then went int he car, where they remained five minutes. I heard one of them say: "Hands up!" and something about money in the car. They then walked about in the car, I think, and were looking for money in the safe. I later heard them cursing, but could not tell what they were saying. I think they had found they had made a mistake and got into the wrong car. They came out the same side and the way they had entered the car.

"The two younger men made a break for the express car, while the big fellow, who proved to be Jesse Morrow, stepped down at the side of the car with a shotgun in his hand. He put it to his shoulder and pointed it at Eddy, who was at the place where he had left the smoker. Eddy had been watching and had his gun levelled on him all the time, but when he found he had been discovered and was about to be shot at, he fired one shot at the robber, which did the work. The load of buckshot struck the man in the left side, a little below the arm, and passed out on the right side of the body, killing him instantly. 

"About this time the two men who had come out of the car with Morrow opened fire upon Eddy and were shooting at him pretty lively. When they stopped I got under the truss rods of the baggage car, which are near the wheels. I saw a party at the steps of the express car and as soon as the two men opened fire on Eddy, this man advanced toward me and got on the first step of the baggage car. I fired on him and he fell to the ground and did not utter a word. When I went to find him afterward he was gone and I do not know what became of him.

"The shooting on the other car had stopped and the men were nowhere to be seen, except the two that were near by, one dead and the other mortally wounded. The confederates who escaped, I think are three in number. A large posse of people residing in the vicinity of the robbery started out in pursuit of the parties, who, I think, have taken to the mountains." [4]


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[March 28, 1895] -

Train robbery would soon become unpopular if all attempts resulted as disastrously to the robbers as did an attempt to hold up a Cincinnati Southern train in Pulaski county early yesterday morning. Mayor Griffin, of Somerset, chief detective of the railway, and two other detectives, who had obtained information of the intended raid, were on the train, armed with shotguns. In the exchange of shots that followed two robbers were killed. Three others escaped, accompanied by the informer. A tramp concealed on [t]he train was probably fatally injured. The men killed were identified as farmers of the county, a father and son of bad character. Neither of the detectives was injured. [5]






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[March 28, 1895] -

FATAL RAID

Train Robbery Receives a Severe Check

AND KENTUCKY GIVES IT

Splendid Work Done By Brave Detectives.

TWO ROBBERS SHOT DEAD

Three Others Escaped, But Are Being Pursued.

A TRAMP FATALLY WOUNDED

Graphic Stories of the Encounter Told By Participants.

Somerset, Ky., March 27. -- (Special.) -- The industry of train robbery received a blow in the county last night that will doubtless discourage any early to revive it. The blow was delivered when a bold attempt was made by a gang of masked men to hold up the south-bound passenger train No. 3 of the Cincinnati Southern railway, near Greenwood, in the southern part of Pulaski county, at 2 o’clock this morning.

The railway and express officials had been expecting an attack for some time and were prepared. The result was a hot and exciting fight between the robbers and the detectives on board in which one robber was killed outright, another shot so that he died a few hours afterward and a man giving his name as Martin, who was stealing a ride, was probably fatally wounded, while not a single detective or member of the train crew received a scratch.

The dead robbers have been identified as Jerry Morrow and Thomas Morrow, his son. There were six members of the gang, three of whom escaped. The sixth is Sam Frazer, who tipped off the plot to Special Railroad Agent T. R. Griffin, of this place.

About three weeks ago Special Agent Griffin received information that a plot was on foot to wreck fast express No. 3. at Greenwood, about seventeen miles south of here. He told his informant, Sam Frazer, to get into the confidence of the gang and wire him when the attempt would be made. Last night Mr. Griffin received a telegram from Frazer saying that fast express No 3 would be held up at Greenwood. When No. 3 left here at 1:50 this morning she had on board Special Agent Griffin and Detectives C. F. Allgood and W. S. Eddy. The train crew consisted of Engineer Tom Springfield, Conductor Peter Gorman, Baggagemaster J. F. Donovan. The express car was in charge of Daniel Laseke.

The train was flagged at the south end of tunnel No. 9 in a deep cut and while pulling up a steep grade. As soon as the train stopped a man jumped to the cab of the engine and commanded the engineer at the point of a gun to stand still and said: “I’ll tell you when to go.” At this time two masked men made for the baggage car. They directly, however, came out of this car and started to go into the express car in the rear.

While on the ground and just before they had reached the first step of the express car they met Special Agent Griffin and Detectives Allgood and Eddy. A shot was fired from the robbers’ party, when the railroad posse let go with one volley at the men in front of them with fatal effect. Eddy then attempted to shoot the robber who was standing watch at the top of the cut, but he escaped before he could fire the second shot, Eddy being delayed by his gun refusing to work.

When the firing began the man in the engine skipped and made for the woods, and when it ceased Engineer Springfield was free to pull out, which he did, leaving the detectives in charge of the two Morrows.

In the skirmish in the dark Albert Martin, a tramp, who was riding “blind baggage,” was shot, and it was thought fatally wounded. Martin claims to hail from Allegheny, Pa., and is now in the Perkins-Reddish Hospital in this city.

The bodies of Jerry Morrow and his son Thomas were taken to Greenwood, where they were laid out. Coroner L. D. S. Patton, of this place, viewed the remains to-day and will hold an inquest to-morrow.

Jerry Morrow lived with his three sons on a farm about eight miles west of the scene of the attempted robbery. He bore an unsavory reputation, and was last June tried for the murder of Jils New, but wore the case out and intimidated the witnesses and was acquitted. Morrow had always been considered a bad man, but, although often stealing a ship o[r] bacon, it was never deemed that he would aspire to the high rank of an express robber.

The locality selected by Morrow and his gang in which to rob the express train was the best to be found, and the entire plan shows no little skill. The train was stopped in a deep cut on an up grade, at least two miles from the nearest dwelling, and in the dense mountain underbrush.

Hon. T. R. Griffin, special agent of the Cincinnati Southern railroad here, is Mayor of Somerset, and has been with the Cincinnati Southern road as special agent for over fifteen years. He enjoys the entire confidence of his employers, and he has brought a long list of criminals to justice, and his experiences would read like a romance. Mr. Griffin's employers and the city over which he presides as Mayor are both proud of his success in bringing the robbers to justice.

Morrow and his gang were doubtless expecting to get a large haul, as they had their horses lined up near by ready for flight. Circuit Court is n session here, and the attempted express robbery was the theme of conversation. Special Agent Griffin has in his possession the names of the escaped robbers, and they will if possible be brought to justice.

Morrow and his gang were doubtless expecting to get a large haul, as they had their horses lined up near by ready for flight. Circuit Court is in session here, and the attempted express robbery was the theme of conversation. Special Agent Griffin has in possession the names of the escaped robbers, and they will if possible be brought to justice.

The passengers on the train held up were not aware of what occurred until it was all over. The entire delay caused the train did not amount to over fifteen minutes.

Sam Frazer, who tipped off the plot and who held the horses, is en route to Somerset with the horses, but up to a late hour had not arrived.

Morrow and his gang were a menace to the citizens of the southern part of the county, and they rejoice that he is rid of. The citizens of the county regret very much that the recent hold up was done by home talent, but are jubilant with the result.


EXPERIENCE OF THE TRAINMEN.

Engineer Springfield Did Not Like the Robber's Big Pistol.

Chattanooga, Tenn., March 27. -- (Special.) -- The Cincinnati Southern train which the attempt to hod up in Kentucky last night resulted so disastrously to the would-be robbers, arrived in the city on time this morning. Scarcely a passenger knew of the fight until this morning and no one at all of those occupying berths in the sleepers. One woman was quite jubilant over the adventure and angry because she was not waked up.

The attempted robbery was in the territory of the Adams Express Company, which reaches only to the Tennessee line. Southern Express officials in this city say there was only a few hundred dollars in the express car and the robbers if successful would have been unprofitable.

Engineer Tom Springfield has been running on the road for a number of years and is regarded as a very reliable engineer. This is his first experience with train robbers, and to a reporter he told the following story: “We were coming along on time. Engine 586 is a humper, and Rankin, my fireman, was keeping her hot. We had a mail, express and baggage0car, a smoker, two day coaches and two sleepers. We left Somerset on time. I slowed down a little as we ran through No. 9, about sixteen miles south of Somerset.

“About 300 yards this side of the tunnel a man on the track with a white light lantern flagged me down. This is one of the loneliest spots on the entire road. You know it is up in the rough and rugged mountain districts of Kentucky. In fact I don’t know of a house that is nearer than Greenwood. That little station is about two miles to the south. The road somewhat curves, too, and altogether a better place could not have been selected for a train robbery.

“The fellow in front kept swinging his lantern. He stood in the center of the track. I could not imagine what was the matter. I did not see anybody else. When I stopped to see what he was swinging the lantern for the fellow climbed into the cab and said: “Stand here till I tell you to go on,” and pointed a pistol at me. He stood on the left hand side of the cab. He looked like a desperado. As near as I can recollect, he had a big black mustache, a slouch hat and rather seedy clothes. He looked like a rough countryman.

The fellow did not say another word, but just kept his pistol pointed at me. I don’t know what kind of a pistol it was, but it was a big one.”

“Rankin, my fireman,” continued Springfield, “looked out of the cab on his side, and said: “They’re killed two of them.”

“After one or two more shots were heard up in front the robber backed out of the cab and said: “Go ahead.” I opened the throttle, and we ran on to Cumberland Falls, about four miles further down.”

When we asked why he did not shoot the robber as he left the train Mr. Springfield said that neither he nor his fireman had any weapons of any kind.

“After the fellow told me to go ahead we had gone but a short distance when Rankin found a wounded man on the tender. We stopped at Cumberland Falls, four miles from the tunnel, and put him off, leaving hi in the telegraph office. They say he was badly shot in the arm and side. He said he was a tramp stealing a ride, and that he was not with the train robbers, but we did not believe it. We were not stopped by the robbers more than ten minutes. We came on to Chattanooga, and got here on time. That’s all I know about it, and I don’t want the experience of any more fellows standing in my cab and pointing a big pistol at me.”

Engineer Springfield is a citizen of Chattanooga, and resided on Montgomery avenue.

Conductor Pete Gorman, who was in charge of the train, says: “We were sixteen miles south of Somerset, and had come through tunnel No. 9. I was in the rear sleeper checking up my fares when the train came to a stop. I got off on the ground with the flagman. I saw the blaze of a pistol and then another one. I told the flagman he had better climb back on the train, as the shooting was going lengthwise of the train and he might get shot, and I did the same. Then I went forward, and found that train robbers had boarded us.”


DETECTIVE ALLGOOD’S STORY.

Detailed Account of the Tragedy By One of the Brave Officers.

Chattanooga, Tenn., March 27. — Clint F. Allgood, the brave detective who took part in the prevention of the robbery, returned to this city from Greenwood. He seemed in good spirits and did not have a scratch upon him. He gave the following account of the affair:

"I am employed by the Cincinnati Southern railroad as a detective, and Tuesday morning received a telegram from Supt. Griggs to report at Somerset. I reported and asked the Superintendent what he wanted. He replied that he wanted me to come down to Chattanooga on the No. 3 that night. He did not tell me any further about what was going to happen, but I suspected something was wrong, having had reason for this. I thought i was going into danger and prepared with a double-barreled shotgun.

"Griffin, the chief detective of the road, and Will Eddy, another detective, who is a very fearless officer, came out on the train also; they were prepared, as well as myself, with double-barreled shotguns, which were loaded with No. 4 shot. Eddy and myself were sitting in the same seat, while Griffin was secreted in the express car, for what purpose I can not tell, as I do not know.

"As we passed out of the mouth of tunnel No. 9, I heard the engineer blow his whistle twice, which was a signal that he had been flagged down and was to stop the train. Eddy and myself walked out of the door of the smoker together. Eddy got down on the last step of the smoking car on the east side while I got on the step on the other side, and we were in this position when the train stopped.

"Three men passed by Eddy, who had at the time squatted down under the end of the car, and went to the baggage car. One of them had a double-barreled shotgun in his hand and looked down at Eddy, but passed on to the car. The three men then went on in the car, where they remained for from four to five minutes. I heard one of them say, the big man, I think, 'hands up,' and something about the money in the car. They then walked about in the car, I guess, looking for money in the safe. I later heard them cursing, but could not tell what they were saying. I think they had found they had made a mistake and got into the wrong car. They came out the same side and way they entered the car. While the three men were in the car a fourth one was on the bank by the side of the road.

"The two younger men made a break for the express car, while the big man, who later proved to be Jerry Morrow, stepped down at the side of the car with a shotgun in his hand. He put it to his shoulder and presented it at Eddy, who was at the place where he had left the smoker. Eddy had been watching him, and had his shotgun leveled on him all the time, and when he found he had been discovered and the man was about to shoot at him, he opened fire, or rather fired one shot at the robber, which did the work.

"The load of No. 4 buckshot struck the man in the left side a little below the arm and passed out on the ride side of the body, killing him instantly, and he fell to the ground and never uttered a sound. He was at the steps of the baggage car when he fell.

"About this time the two men who had come out of the baggage car with Morrow opened fire upon Eddy and were shooting at him pretty lively. When the train stopped, I got under the tress rods of the baggage car, which are near the wheels of the car. I saw a party at the steps of the express car and as soon as the two men opened fire on Eddy this man advanced toward me and got on the first step of the express car. I fired on him and he fell to the ground and did not utter a word, but lay there. When I went to find him afterward he was gone and I do not know what became of him.

"The firing on the other side of the car had now stopped, and the men were nowhere to be seen, except the two who were nearby, one dead and the other mortally wounded. The confederates who escaped, I think are three in number. A large posse of people residing in the vicinity started out in pursuit of the parties, who, I think, have taken to the mountains.

"The man who was killed outright was Jerry Morrow, aged about forty-eight o[r] fifty years. He was known as the worst and most desperate man in the community, and I have heard a number of people say before i left the place that whoever fired the shot which killed him had fired the best shot ever fired in the county. The people on all sides were loud in their praise of the man who killed him."

"Thomas Morrow, the man who was picked up near the dead man, was found to be shot through the breast, and I think twelve buckshot struck hi. He was picked up and carried by myself and another person to the depot at Greenwood, where he died at 4:08, after suffering intense agony. This man was a son of the big man who had been shot and killed instantly, and was about thirty years of age and a tough customer. He, I heard, lived near his father, and had been in trouble several times.

"No one made an attempt to arrest any of us detectives for killing the men. he leader of the gang," he continued, "is a man by the name of Underwood, and he is a desperate criminal, having been implicated in several arson cases, and has been arrested on the charge of murdering a friend. This was some time ago. I do not know which way this man went after the affair was over. He resided in the vicinity of the attempted robbery, and I am of the opinion that all parties concerned were residents of that portion of the country." [6]




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[March 29, 1895] -

A daring train robbery on the Cincinnati Southern was foiled early Wednesday morning. No. 3, the fast train South, was flying at its usual rapid speed when Engineer Tom Springfield observed a man with a lantern waiving it across the track. It was 2:30 in the morning and the scene was near Tunnel No. 9, in Pulaski, the loneliest spot on the road. The engineer slowed down and the fellow pointed a pistol at him, told him to await his orders. Several men sprang to the cars with the intention of robbing the express, when Detective Griffin and two assistants, opened fire on them with Winchesters killing one outright and mortally wounding two who have since died. The company had been warned of an intended hold-up and was ready for it. The detectives did their work bravely and to their coolness and quickness is due the failure of the scheme.

The dead robbers were identified as Jerry Morrow and Thomas Morrow, his son. There were six members of the gang, three of whom escaped. The sixth is Sam Frazer, who tipped off the plot to Special Railroad Agent T. R. Griffin, who is mayor of Somerset and to whom the credit of the notable rout is due. He is said to have killed the two men. Morrow and his gang were a menace tot he citizens of the southern part of Pulaski county and they rejoice that he is rid of. [7]






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[March 29, 1895] -

ATTEMPTED HOLD-UP

Further Details of the Kentucky Tragedy.

DEAD BANDITS BODIES CLAIMED.

Relatives Will Bury the Father and Son in Their Family Burying Ground--But Little Regret That They Are Out of the Way -- The Other Would-Be Robbers Will Soon Be arrested.

SOMERSET, Ky., March 29. -- There have been no sensational developments in connection with the attempted robbery of Cincinnati Southern train No. 3 Tuesday night. The bodies of the two dead men remained in the depot at Greenwood all of Wednesday and Wednesday night. Coffins were sent from here late Wednesday evening by freight train.

The bodies lay in the depot until about 10:30 yesterday forenoon, when they were called for and claimed and taken away by Gilson Tucker, a son-in-law of Jerry Morrow, the old man, Dan New, a brother-in-law of Tom Morrow, and Henry Nevelo, a neighbor of the Morrows. They will doubtless inter them in the family burying ground. They said but little to anyone, but seemed glad that they were dead, and this feeling is no doubt shared by their neighbors as it appears to be by all who were acquainted with the men and their habits.

Special Agent Griffin is confident that at least one of the would-be robbers who made their escape was wounded. This seems to be borne out by the fact that John Underwood, who was thought to be one of the bandits, is said to be wounded, and, if true, he is the one who was shot as he was going up the bank. He will probably be captured soon.

The fact that Mose Morrow, another son of Jerry, did not come for the remains of his father and brother, is held as sufficient proof that he was another of the gang. No attempt has been made by the road to apprehend these men, and it is possible that none will be for some time. While the officials refuse to talk it is generally believed that they know the names of those who escaped and will be able to secure them in the near future.

Sam Frazier, the man who is supposed to have ripped off the raid, was seen here yesterday, but disappeared, and later it was reported that he had been seen several miles out of the city, headed north.

It develops that the man who signaled the train to stop and climbed into the cab, covering the engineer with his revolver, remained on the engine after the others had been put to fright and might have been either killed or captured had the guards been aware of this fact. He stole away int he dark without  having been seen.

The jury impanelled by Coroner Patton viewed the remains there, but no inquest has been held, and it may not be until some time next week, as Special Agent Griffin, who will be one of the chief witnesses examined, will be busy for several days to come with other matters, and it is desirable to wait until that time, with the hopes that the young man Martin, the tramp who was so severely wounded, will be able to give his statement. He is now lying in the railroad hospital here very low from the effects of the gunshot wound and the operation which was performed late Wednesday evening, but Dr. Reddish is very hopeful of his recovery.

Train Baggagemaster Donovan, who was alone in the baggagecar when the train was held up, was busy sorting his train mail and checking up his receipts when the car was entered by the three men, one of them, apparently the leader, asked in a rough voice:

"Where is T. R. Griffin?"

Donovan replied he did not know, and feigning ignorance, asked: "Who is he?"

The would-be robber turned on his heel and went out the same way he came in, remarking as he did so: "Come on boys, this is the wrong car, we're all right." Almost as soon as he was out, firing began. [8]



---

[March 29, 1895] -


TWO KNOWN


Names of Escaped Train Robbers Revealed.

ONE PROBABLY WOUNDED.

A Large Reward Offered For Their Capture.

BODIES OF THE DEAD REMOVED.

Sadly Carried Home From Their Disastrous Raid.

Somerset, Ky., March 28. -- (Special.) -- The bodies of Jerry Morrow and Thomas Morrow, the dead express robbers, were removed to their late homes at noon to-day after remaining in the Greenwood depot over thirty-six hours. Coffins were sent down from here last night. The bodies were removed by Gilsin Tucker, a son-in-law of Jerry Morrow; Dan New, a brother-in-law of Thomas Morrow, and Henry Nevells, a neighbor of the Morrow family.

Moses Morrow and John Underwood have been identified as two of the escaped robbers. Detective Eddy, as reported last evening, claimed that he wounded one of the men who escaped. A search was made this morning, and blood was tracked westward from the scene of the "hold-up" and in the direction of the home of John Underwood, who is supposed to be the wounded robber.

John New, who resides near Greenwood, on the Cumberland river, says that he rowed Sam Frazer over to the Greenwood side of the river the day before the robbery. The place where the horses were held by the robbers was visited today by the Courier-Journal's correspondent. There are six places at which six horses ere tied, showing that six men were implicated in the hold-up.

William Martin, the unfortunate victim of the robbery, is still alive and is at the Perkins-Reddish Hospital at this place. The bullet wound perforated his intestines in three places. Drs. Reddish, Warren, and others operated on Martin at 4 p.m. yesterday. This evening at 8 o'clock Martin [seemed] to be [rest]ing easy, but is still in a precarious [condi]tion, but he may pull through.

The inquest over the bodies of Jerry Morrow and his son Thomas will be held some time next week, the delay being caused by the condition of Martin, who is wanted as a witness.

The firearms belonging to Jerry Morrow along with his shot bag made of coon skin; also two large grain bags are in the possession of Coroner L. D. S. Patton, of this place. The firearms are unreliable looking and the shot bag is of home make. Morrow evidently intended to make a large haul as the two bags he carried would hold at least four bushels.

Sam Frazer, who tipped off the robbery, arrived here this morning. He said that John Underwood and Mose Morrow, a second son of Jerry, are the men who escaped and that these two stood watch on the top of the cut. Frazer says that Morrow's first plan was to wreck Express No. 3 and then rob the express car and the passengers. Frazer, who had been a railroad man, talked Morrow out of this. After this Morrow adopted the plan which was so fatal to himself and son.

Frazer has not been seen since this morning and neither he nor the railroad people here will talk further in regard to the robbery. Developments, however, may be expected at any time. A large reward is out for Mose Morrow and John Underwood, and, if captured, they will no doubt get the limit of the law. 

Special Agent T. R. Griffin to-day received a large number of congratulatory letters and telegrams from railroad and express company friends who feel that he has rendered a most valuable service to them. Mayor Griffin was the center to-day of a large crowd of admiring friends who wanted to know just how it occurred.

The Courier-Journal was complimented for its accurate account of the attempted robbery. [9]



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[April 1, 1895] -


GETTING REVENGE.

The Man Who Tipped Off the Southern Hold-Up Arrested and Jailed.

SOMERSET, Ky., April 1. -- Sam Frazier, the man who tipped off the holdup of the Cincinnati Southern train Tuesday last is now in jail here, having been arrested at the residence of James Owens, some 20 miles west of this place by Deputy Sheriff Sumpter. A warrant was sworn out by Daniel New before County Judge Catron for grand larceny and placed in Sumpter's hands, who soon located his man, and Saturday night about 11 o'clock arrived here and turned him over to Jailer Catron for safekeeping. New, who swore out the warrant, is distantly related to the Morrows and claims the horses in possession of Frazier belonged to Mrs. Morrow, while Frazier states he bought them from Jerry. It is doubtful if the charge can be sustained. 

Frazier, who was interviewed yesterday, has been under the influence of whisky almost continuously since the attempted hold-up of the train. It was not so, however, yesterday, as he told the story of the hold-up. He claims there were but four men in the job and gave at some length the history of it, the main facts having been already given. He made so many contradictory statements, it is difficult to know what to accept as the truth. 

John Underwood, the man implicated by Frazier as being one of the party, was seen at Cumberland Falls station Saturday, but soon returned to his home.

The tramp, Martin, continues to improve under the care of Dr. Reddish, who is greatly encouraged. His father is so well pleased with the prospects of his speedy recovery that he expects to return to his home in Allegheny tomorrow, if no unfavorable symptoms develop by that time. [10]




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[April 1, 1895] -

FRAZER IN JAIL.

Express Robbery Informer Gets Into Trouble.

CHARGED WITH HORSE-STEALING

He Tells His Story of the Attempted Hold-Up.

Planned Nearly a Year Ago By Desperado Jerry Morrow.

KENTUCKY NEWS NOTES

Somerset, Ky., March 31. -- (Special.) -- Samuel Frazer, who became a hero by turning informer and preventing the attempted express robbery near Greenwood, has learned that the life of the informer is not a happy one. He is now in the Pulaski county jail on the charge of stealing the three horses of the dead and escaper robbers. He was captured last night by Joe Sampler, a Deputy Sheriff, at the residence of Jas. Owens, near Mintonville [Casey County], about twenty miles west of here.

Frazer was sober this morning for probably the first time since the attempted robbery and gave what he claims to be the first true story of the hold-up, as follows: "Last June, while Jerry Morrow and others were being tried at Somerset for the murder of Jiles New, Jerry Morrow approached me in reference to holding up a train. I at the time put him off and told him it would not do. Last December Jerry Morrow came to me again and proposed to wreck an express train and rob it. I put him off from time to time until about the last of February, when Morrow told me he that he had decided to wreck the fast express on a trestle near Greenwood and there rob it. I persuaded him out of this and then he decided to hold up a fast express.

"I informed the officers of the road that there was a plot of on foot, but could give them none of the details as Jerry Morrow was the leader, and only he knew them. I went to Greenwood and [...fold in page...] day and he returned in the vicinity of his home until the hold-up. The evening before the hold-up Jerry Morrow, John Underwood, Thomas Morrow and myself rowed over the Cumberland river in John New's boat, and procured horses which were on the Greenwood side. We arrived at the scene of the proposed hold-up at 9 a.m. Jerry Morrow sent me to Greenwood, which is two miles distant, for whisky and lunch. I was gone some time, as I could not rouse the barkeeper. While at Greenwood I sent a message to T. R. Griffin that No. 3 would be held up. After getting lunch and whisky I started back to join the gang. They became suspicious of my continued absence, and Jerry Morrow threatened to kill me. I appealed to him for mercy. I told him I had not proposed the hold up, and wanted him to give it up. Jerry Morrow said, "No, I will make you go in front of me when we rob the express."

"At 2:30 the express whistled for tunnel No. 8, John Underwood had the lantern. I purchased it at Lewis' store in Greenwood. He had tied a piece of red flannel around it. He stepped to the side of the track and swung the lantern, and signaled the train to stop. The train stopped and the engine was not far from Underwood. Underwood jumped on the engine, and Jerry Morrow placed me in front of him and told me to go to the express car. He had a revolver pointed at me all the time. I obeyed his orders, and went for what I thought was the express car, but which turned out to be the baggage car. I was in front, Jerry Morrow was just behind me and Jerry's son Tom was just behind him. When we got to the baggage car Jerry found out the mistake and turned and went out, followed by Tom. I did not go with them, but remained in the baggage car. When Jerry Morrow and Tom Morrow stepped out I heard several shots fired. The train then pulled out.

"I jumped off and went to where the horses were hitched, and came to Somerset. Jerry Morrow wanted his son Mose to help hold up the train, but Mose said he had been in enough trouble, and would have nothing to do with it. I have always been afraid of Jerry Morrow, and believe he would have killed me if I had not done what he told me. Jerry Morrow sold me the horses I had with me when arrested last night, and I gave him my notes for them."

It is not thought that there is much foundation in the charge of horse stealing, as Frazer at most would only be guilty of a breach of trust.

According to Frazer's story there is only one of the robbers at large, John Underwood. As far as the citizens of Greenwood and vicinity are concerned, there will be no further trouble over the shooting of the Morrows. Jerry Morrow was a desperado of the meanest type, and even the worst element of the county rejoice at his deserved fate. John Underwood has not been found, but is thought to be wounded and hiding near his home. [11]




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[April 2, 1895] -

The more we hear about the result of the attempted train robbery on the Cincinnati Southern, the better the news gets. The fourth robber was found dead near the scene with his body riddled with bullets. He has been identified as John Underwood. All honor to Mayor Griffin and his fearless escort! [12]





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[April 2, 1895] -

The [Somerset] Paragon says that Jerry Morrow and the gang concerned in the attempted train robbery, were not Pulaskians, but lived across the line in Wayne county. [12]




---

[April 2, 1895] -

The body of John Underwood, the leader of the gang of train robbers who so signally failed to hold up the Queen & Crescent train, near Greenwood, Ky., was found near the scene of the attempted robbery. The body was riddled with buckshot. Three out of four of the amateur robbers were therefore slain. Mose Morrow was the only one who escaped and he will likely be captured and sent to the pen. Albert Martin, the tramp who was stealing a ride and was badly shot may recover. [13]





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[May 7, 1895] -

Tom Griffin, the hustling Mayor of Somerset, Ky., whose splendid work in repulsing the trainrobbers at Greenwood will be remembered is in the city [Cincinnati], the guest of Detectives Crawford and Schnucks. Mayor Griffin is looking after a reward in an arrest in which he figured about two years ago. 

Mr. Griffin was asked about the report that Frazier, the man who informed on the trainrobbers, was insane. He says that Frazier is insane, but is not violent. "Frazier is a queer fellow. At times he appears to be completely off, and then again he develops a shrewdness that is remarkable. He is considered harmless in the community where he is known."

Mr. Griffin will leave for home in a few days.

He was a caller at Police Headquarters Tuesday, and had a long talk with Chief Deitsch.

Griffin's brave deed on the night of the terrible affair makes for him the friendship of the police all over the country. [14]




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[1] "Six Bandits." Cincinnati Post, Cincinnati, OH. March 27, 1895. Page 1. Genealogybank.com.

[2] "Fight With Bandits." The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, KY. March 28, 1895. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87060190/1895-03-28/ed-1/seq-1/

[3] Excerpt from "Robbers Baffled." Tacoma Daily News, Tacoma, WA. March 27, 1895. Page 1. Genealogybank.com.

[4] Excerpt from "Holdup in Kentucky." Fresno Morning Republican, Fresno, CA. March 28, 1895. Page 1. Genealogybank.com.

[5] Excerpt from Column 1. The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. March 28, 1895. Page 1. Newspapers.com.

[6] "Fatal Raid." The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. March 28, 1895. Pages 1 and 2. Newspapers.com.

[7] Excerpt from "City and Vicinity." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. March 29, 1895. Page 3. LOC. http://c
hroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1895-03-29/ed-1/seq-3/

[8] "Attempted Hold-Up." The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, KY. March 29, 1895. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87060190/1895-03-29/ed-1/seq-1/

[9] "Two Known." The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. March 29, 1895. Page 1. Newspapers.com.

[10] "Getting Revenge." The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, KY. April 1, 1895. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87060190/1895-04-01/ed-1/seq-1/

[11] "Frazer in Jail." The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. April 1, 1895. Page 1. Newspapers.com.

[12] Excerpts from "City and Vicinity." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 2, 1895. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1895-04-02/ed-1/seq-3/

[13] Excerpt from "Around and About." Hopkinsville Kentuckian, Hopkinsville, KY. April 2, 1895. Page 5. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069395/1895-04-02/ed-1/seq-5/

[14] "It is a Blank." Cincinnati Post, Cincinnati, OH. May 7, 1895. Page 4. Genealogybank.com.

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Previously:

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

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