December 26, 2017

Man Kills Neighbor in Right-of-Way Dispute, Lincoln, 1877

Previously:

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

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[February 9, 1877] -

FIGHT. -- SHOT GUN AND PISTOLS THE WEAPONS. -- THREE MEN SERIOUSLY WOUNDED. -- Last Saturday a feud that has for some time existed between Povall Sampson and Wm. Martin, culminated almost in a terrible tragedy. The ill feeling grew out of a dispute about the right of a roadway through Sampson's premises. The latter seriously objected to the road and at several points through his farm, put obstructions across it. These, Martin had, previous to the time of the fight, cut down, for which he was abused by Sampson in strong terms. He renewed the obstructions and Martin having occasion to come to town in his Spring wagon, commenced again to cut them away. He was approached by Sampson, who ordered him to desist, at the same time threatening Martin. The latter drew a pistol and told Sampson that if he came any nearer he would shoot-- Sampson remarked that he had no arms, save a barlow knife, was not afraid of Martin, and could run him off with a stick. Martin then fired several times, and finally succeeded in shooting Sampson in the breast, the ball ranging downward to the bowels, and producing a wound that was at first thought fatal. Immediately after he was shot, he called for his gun, which was handed by some one (his son it it reported.) Martin having exhausted his ammunition and seeing his danger, retreated behind his wagon, when Sampson fired, three of the buck-shot striking Martin in the breast and shoulder, and another burying itself in the leg of a man named Dunaway, who was standing at a distance. Sampson then sank down from exhaustion, and friends prevented further trouble. Both of the combatants are seriously wounded, so much so, that a trial of the case before an examining Court had to be postponed. Dunaway is suffering severely from his wound, the ball having batter itself against his shin, split and ranged around the bone into the calf. He will probably be confined for some time. [1]



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[February 9, 1877] -

DIFFICULTY. -- On last Saturday a serious, and perhaps fatal, difficulty occurred, about 4 miles from town [Stanford], in the neighborhood of Hall's Gap. It seems that Wm. Martin, who lives back of P. Sampson's farm, has been making an effort in the County Court to have a passway opened through Sampson's land for his egress and ingress to and from the pike. Sampson resisted the motion, and very bitter feelings were the result. On the morning of the 3rd inst., these parties met, as Martin was on his way through Sampson's premises to town, and the difficulty ensued. We cannot give all that passed, and perhaps it would not be proper for us to do so even if we could, for it might prejudice one party or the other. It is said that after some words Martin drew his pistol and fired, striking Sampson in the left side, just below the ribs, the ball ranging downwards and entering the stomach, producing a wound from which he died last night. After being shot he seized his gun and fired a load of buck-shot at Martin, -- three striking him, -- one on each collar bone, fracturing the left, and one in the left hand, mangling it badly. Jno. A. Dunaway, who was standing by, was accidentally struck on one leg just below the knee, breaking the bone and being itself split in two by the bone. He seems to suffer more than either of the others. Martin was arrested and is now under guard at his home. [2]



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[February 9, 1877] -

A telegram sent to his relations [in Mercer County], this morning, stated that young Sampson, recently shot in Lincoln, was dead. [3]




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[February 16, 1877] -

The young man Dunaway, who handed the gun to Mr. Sampson who shot William Martin with it, had an examining trial last Monday, and was acquitted without any trouble. The prosecution admitted that there was but little, if any evidence, tending toward his conviction as a particeps criminis. [4]




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[February 16, 1877] -

The trial of Wm. Martin, for the killing of Sampson, was called by the Examining Court, composed of Esquires Carson and Hughes, last Wednesday morning, but as the parties were not ready to proceed, the case was laid over until next Tuesday week, at which time it will be disposed of so far as the preliminary Court is concerned. The prosecution will be conducted by our County Attorney, assisted by several Attorneys from Harrodsburg. The warrant has been altered, and now charges Martin with murder in the first degree. [5]



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[February 16, 1877] -

Fearing violence at the hands of the friends of young Sampson, who was killed by Wm. Martin a few days since, the latter requested that the officers of the law should have him brought to town for safety. Consequently, he was brought here last Saturday morning, and lodged at the Myers House, under a proper guard. Mr. Martin's wounds are healing rapidly. [6]




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[March 2, 1877] -

The examining trial of Wm. Martin, for the murder of Powell Sampson, is now progressing and will probably consume tomorrow. The Commonwealth is represented by the County Attorney, Wat. Hardin, Esq., of Harrodsburg, and G. A. C. Rochester. The defendant is represented by Saufley & Warren and Capt. Welch. [7]





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[March 2, 1877] - 

The case of the Commonwealth vs. Wm. Martin, for the killing of Povall Sampson, three weeks since, occupied the Examining Court, composed of Squires Carson & Lynn, from Tuesday, till Thursday of this week. Some forty odd witnesses were summoned, at least thirty of who were examined. A great deal of interest was felt in the case and the desire for punishment of the accused by the brothers of the deceased, led to the employing of Mr. P. W. Hardin, of Harrodsburg, and Mr. G. A. C. Rochester, of this place, to assist Mr. Bobbitt, in the prosecution. Two days were consumed in the examination of witnesses, and on yesterday morning the argument was commenced by Mr. Rochester, followed by Mr. Warren, then by Mr. Hardin, then by Judge Saufley, and closed by Mr. Bobbitt. All the speeches were good, and to the point, and at the close, at a late hour yesterday afternoon, the Court, after a short consultation, decided that the case is not one of murder in the first degree, but a strong one of manslaughter, and sent him on to the Circuit Court, allowing Martin bail in the sum of $1,500. He gave the required bond with a number of responsible sureties, and is again at liberty. [8]







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[April 20, 1877] -

The Grand Jury have found indictments against the following men and their trials have been fixed for the present term on the days opposite their names:

Tom Baughman, colored, murder, 7th day.
Henry Green, horse stealing, 7th day.
Agnes Craig, grand larceny, 8th day.
Wm. Fowler, grand larceny, 9th day.
Andy Gentry, grand larceny, 9th day.
Wm. Martin, murder, 10th day.
Biff Floyd, cutting, 11th day. [9]


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[October 19, 1877] -

The case of Wm. Martin for the killing of Mr. Sampson is next on the docket and will be called this morning. [10]



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[October 26, 1877] -

Circuit Court Notes. -- Owing to the difficulty in getting the Martin Jury, and the tediousness of several minor cases, there has been but little done in this Court since our last issue. [11]





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[October 26, 1877] -

The case of William Martin for the killing of Povall Sampson in February last, has occupied the Court nearly the whole of the week. Eighty-three men were examined before the jury could be obtained, then a great many witnesses were introduced, which, added to the fact that there were six lawyers engaged, has made the case thus lengthy. The testimony was completed yesterday morning and the argument of the case begun. Messrs. P. B. Thompson, Jr., Jas. A. Alcorn, and the regular Attorney represented the Commonwealth, and Messrs. J. S. Van Winkle, W. G. Welch and M. C. Saufley, the defendant. All of them made speeches and the case was given to the jury at 5 o'clock last evening, and after a retirement of about an hour, returned a verdict of "not guilty." [11 ibid]




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[November 2, 1877] -

Since our last report, Wm. Martin, for killing Powell Sampson, has been tried and cleared. [12]




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[1] Excerpt from "Local News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 9, 1877. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1877-02-09/ed-1/seq-3/

[2] Excerpt from "Our Neighbors -- Lincoln County." The Kentucky Advocate, Danville, KY. February 9, 1877. Page 2. Newspapers.com.

[3] Excerpt from "Our Neighbors -- Mercer County News." The Kentucky Advocate, Danville, KY. February 9, 1877. Page 2. Newspapers.com.

[4] Excerpt from "Local News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 16, 1877. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1877-02-16/ed-1/seq-3/

[5] Excerpt from "Local News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 16, 1877. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1877-02-16/ed-1/seq-3/ (ibid)

[6] Excerpt from "Local News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 16, 1877. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1877-02-16/ed-1/seq-3/ (ibid)

[7] Excerpt from "Our Neighbors - Lincoln." The Kentucky Advocate, Danville, KY. March 2, 1877. Page 2. Newspapers.com.

[8] Excerpt from "Local News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. March 2, 1877. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1877-03-02/ed-1/seq-3/

[9] Excerpt from "Circuit Court." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 20, 1877. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1877-04-20/ed-1/seq-3/

[10] Excerpt from "Circuit Court." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 19, 1877. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1877-10-19/ed-1/seq-3/

[11] Excerpts from "Circuit Court Notes." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 26, 1877. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1877-10-26/ed-1/seq-1/

[12] Excerpt from "Lincoln County." The Kentucky Advocate, Danville, KY. November 2, 1877. Page 2. Newspapers.com.

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