January 10, 2018

William Austin Hanged for the Murder of Betsy Bland, Garrard, 1882


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


[January 24, 1882] -

Our Lancaster correspondent gives an account of another horrible murder in Garrard. The devil seems to have been turned loose again in that county. [1]


[January 24, 1882] -

The blood had scarcely dried on the axe which murdered the Wilmot family, before the tale of a most brutal murder, scarcely less bloody than its predecessor is brought to our ears. The victim this time is Miss Betsy Bland, aged 85; the murderer, is Wm. Austin, a young man about 24 year old. Jos. Bland, an old widower, lives about one-and-a-half miles from town, near the Danville pike. His sister, Miss Betsy, kept house for him. For about three months, Wm. Austin, a grand-nephew of theirs, has lived with them, helping about the work on the small farm. He is a wild, drunken fellow, and altogether his reputation is not of the best. Friday, January 20th, Jos. Bland came to town on business, and remained till about 5 o'clock. Austin also left home and was seen last (previous to any knowledge of the murder,) at Herring's still house, which place he left about 4 o'clock, for home. As a party of men were returning from town, they were met by Austin at the mouth of a lane leading to Bland's house, and he told them Aunt Betsy (as she was familiarly known,) had been murdered. At first they laughed at his story, but were finally induced to go to the house where they found the old lady lying on the floor with her head nearly severed from her body. They did not disturb it, but hastened back to town to inform her brother and the officers. As soon as they were notified, Sheriff Higginbotham, with Marshal Singleton, and a posse, went out to the scene of the murder, where they encountered Austin standing in the door, apparently very much affected. Suspicion had already pointed to him as the murderer, and when a little scrutiny revealed stains of blood on his pants and boots, he was arrested and put under guard. The Coroner not being convenient, Esquire Boyle, who is the nearest Magistrate, was summoned to hold an inquest. The Court was in session till near 10 o'clock, P. M., at which time sufficient circumstantial evidence had been obtained to confirm the suspicion that Austin was the murderer. The Court adjourned, how ever, without a verdict till next day. In the meantime, Austin's pants and boot had been taken from him. After supplying him with these articles from Mr. Bland's wardrobe, he was mounted behind the Sheriff, brought to town and lodged in Jail. Had the citizens been fully convinced of his guilt it is quite probable an attempt would have been made then and there to administer justice on a speedier plan than the one by which that article is usually obtained. The body of Miss Betsy was still warm when the officers arrived, which, with the fact that she had made a fire in the stove for the purpose of getting supper, goes to prove that she was killed only a short while before. Her head and face bore several deep gashes from an axe, three of which, beside the lick across the neck, which severed the vertebra would have been instantly fatal. Her face also bore marks of a boot heel as if the wretch had stamped her. When the Court of inquest convened the next day, several witnesses were examined as to the relative time of Austin's being seen on the way home, and his first appearance after the murder. All this testimony strengthened the chain of circumstantial evidence which, with the addition of another link furnished by his clothing has bound him so closely that his life will no doubt pay the forfeit. When his pants were produced in Court, besides the blood on the legs, the right hand pocket was found to be bloody. An inspection of the boots revealed clinging to the heel of one of them several long gray hairs which corresponded exactly with the hair of the murdered woman. Austin told several tales in regard to the blood on his clothing. One was that when he opened the door his aunt in her death struggle threw the blood on him -- another to account for the blood and gray hair on his boot, was that he caught a rabbit on his way home, put his foot on its head and pulled it off, the blood spurting on his boot, He did not produce the rabbit, however. But one reason can be given for the perpetration of such a cruel murder. It was generally known that Miss Betsy kept some money in the house, never less than fifty dollars, and some time more. This she kept in the drawer of a sideboard, the keys to which she carried. The keys were found lying on the floor near her. The drawer had been forced and it is presumed, robbed as but about two dollars were found which in his haste or purposely, the murderer had left. No money was found on Austin, with the exception of twenty-five cents, which he proved by a negro to have been paid him that day. Austin was not brought into Court Saturday, whether from an apprehension of a mob or not, I don't know. But there was a crowd in town and excitement was very high. A leader could in a few moments have organized a mob, but whether he could have got hold of Austin or not, is another question. Beside putting Austin in a cell, no other precaution against a mob has been taken. The fact that Circuit Court convenes today, and that the Grand Jury might attend to his case as it deserved, may have something to do with preventing an outbreak of popular indignation. [2]


[January 24, 1882] -

Rev. J. M. Bruce was called over to Garrard Sunday, to preach the funeral of Miss Bland, the murdered woman, and, of course, missed his appointment here. We learn that it was his intention to have announced his acceptance of the pastorship of the Baptist Church for another year, in which event he will give up the Mt. Salem charge, and preach here and at Crab Orchard. [3]


[January 27, 1882] -

After a retirement of only seventeen minutes, the jury in the case of William Neal, one of the fiends who raped and murdered Emma Thomas and the Gibbons children on the night of the 24th of December, returned a verdict of guilty, and fixed his punishment at death. Thus in exactly a month from the time the heinous crime was committed, the sentence to avenge it is passed. If the crime of murder could always be followed with such summary punishment, red handed murderers would cease to follow their bloody inclinations and the dark and bloody ground would be redeemed from its almost daily baptism of blood. In this connection we would express the hope that the murderer of Miss Bland, in Garrard, may meet with the same condign punishment. There should be none of the usual delays and continuances, no change of venue or other dilatory steps, but he should be tried during the present Court, that the people may be convinced that the law is yet supreme. They have acted with great forbearance in not hanging him without Judge or jury, and the Court owes it to them to brook no delay. If Wm. Austin is guilty of the foul murder, and the circumstances all point that way, let him suffer at the earliest possible moment for his crime or the people may be driven to take the law into their own hands. [4]


[January 27, 1882] -

Wm. Austin was brought into Court Wednesday, and his case set for next Wednesday, the 9th day of the Term. George Denny, Jr. has been engaged to assist the Commonwealth's Attorney. J. H. Claggett was licensed Wednesday to practice law in the Circuit Court. [5]


[February 3, 1882] -

Austin's attorneys informed me he is very anxious for a trial, and does not, as has been reported, want a change of venue. He will be ready for trial at the special term. He still persists that he is innocent, and his father and family believing this will stand by him to the last.

The Grand Jury is still in session, and seems to be doing its work thoroughly. The chances for the "guilty man" to escape indictment are exceedingly slim. The trial of of Wm. Austin for murdering Miss Betsy Bland, was to have begun Wednesday, but the defense not being ready the case is continued for a special term to begin Monday, Feb. 13th. Judge Owsley informed the defense if it is not ready then he would transfer the case to Boyle county, and try it any how. The Sheriff has been ordered to summon 100 men from adjoining counties, and remote points of this county, so we may expect the trial to begin at the time specified.  .... 

My statement that the counsel in defense of Austin was appointed by the Court, seems to have been a mistake. I am requested by Austin's father to state that he employed the attorneys in the case. [6]


[February 14, 1882] -

The sale of the Flannery estate takes place the 25th of this month. At the sale of Miss Betsy Bland's personalty, every thing sold high. [7]


[February 14, 1882] -

(By Telegraph.)

LANCASTER, Feb. 13, 6 P.M. -- The case of the Commonwealth against Wm. Austin was called this morning. The defense announced not ready on account of lack of time and absence of witnesses, the Commonwealth agreeing to accept depositions of absent witnesses the Court refused to continue, and proceeded to select jurors. After examining 130, eleven were chosen, and a venire of 30 ordered for to-morrow. The Commonwealth has exhausted four challenges and the defense eight. Court adjourned till to-morrow morning. [8]


[February 17, 1882] -

Col. Bradley, of Lancaster, who was here yesterday, gave it as his opinion that there would be a hung jury in the Austin case. We hope, however, for the sake of justice and law that the Col. is for once mistaken. [9]


[February 17, 1882] -

The all absorbing topic is the Austin trial. The twelfth juror was obtained Tuesday morning, when the prosecution proceeded with its witnesses, eliciting nothing more, however, than was brought out by the Coroner's inquest, and which has been given in these columns heretofore. The Commonwealth examined about 20 witnesses and rested its case Wednesday afternoon, at 5 o'clock. Court reconvened at 7 o'clock, P.M. and defense examined a few witnesses to show the good feeling existing between Austin and his Aunt Betsy and to prove threats against her life by a negro, Sam Gibbs. The latter was not sustained. Old Court records and Deed books were introduced to show that her brothers and sisters would, at her death, become heirs to her property, and in this way to prove her relatives were probably sufficiently  interested in her death to have caused it. The defense has worked faithfully against a strong case and public opinion, but it is generally thought their labor will be ineffectual in securing an acquittal. It concluded its work about 9 P.M.  Court adjourned till Thursday morning, when the jury was taken out to view the scene of the tragedy, after which, the argument of the case was commenced by the Commonwealth. The defense was arguing at a late hour yesterday afternoon. [10]


[February 21, 1882] -

The speaking in the Austin case began Thursday afternoon. Burdett occupying the entire afternoon session. After supper George Denny put in some ponderous blows for the prosecution. Court adjourned till morning, when Sam'l Walton, opened in a nice speech for the defense. He was followed by Tomlinson, and he by Noel, Warren closing the case in the best speech of his life. The case was given tot he jury at 4 P.M. They remained in consultation till 8:30 P.M., at which time they filed solemnly into the Court room. Silence immediately fell upon the restless crowd which had been waiting there several hours to hear the verdict. In answer to the question from the Judge, the foreman, with a countenance which would have done credit to an undertaker, informed him they had agreed. The Jailer was ordered to produce the prisoner; and the jury retired to write the verdict. There were apprehensions that in case the prisoner was convicted he would attempt to escape, and on the other hand, if acquitted, he would be mobbed, therefore on every side could be heard the voices of the lawyers calling for hats and overcoats, preparatory to stepping ashore should the b[o?]iler bust. The prisoner, under a strong guard was brought in and stationed within the railing of the Clerk's stand. The jury came out and in the presence of B. F. Doty, read the following verdict: "We, of the Jury find defendant, Wm. Austin, guilty of murder and fix his punishment at death." To which all responded "agreed." During this impressive and ordinarially to criminals, trying scene, the prisoner maintained the utmost stolidity. Not a muscle moved. Not a feature changed, but with the same indifference which has marked his case from the beginning, he said, "Well its no use to cry over it" -- and, "I want every man on this jury to come to my hanging. I want to talk to them." He walked from the Court-house to the Jail with as firm a step as any of his guard, talking and laughing. Saturday the defense presented 36 exceptions to the verdict and moved for a new trial, but the motion was overruled. Austin was brought into Court for sentence Saturday evening, at 7 o'clock. Being asked if there was any legal reason why sentence should not be pronounced he answered, "I am not guilty" -- where upon Judge Owsley informed him as he had after a fair and impartial trial, in which he had been represented by able and competent attorneys, been found guilty of murder, it became his painful duty to order that he be taken thence to the Jail there to be safely kept till Tuesday, April 18th, when he should be taken by the Sheriff to a place to be hereafter specified, and hung by the neck till dead. As the words commending him to the mercy of God left the Judges lips, some of the audience uttered a fervent "Amen," which caused Austin to turn his eyes in that direction with the look of a caged lion. Since Austin's conviction it has come out that the ladies who prepared the body of Miss Betsy Bland for burial discovered that she had been outraged. Had this been made known at the time of his arrest he would never have seen Judge or Jury. Another story in connection with Austin has come to light in the last few days. Last Christmas night he proposed to a negro of this town that they should rob John Dunn, a citizen of this county, but the negro refused and has kept silent from fear. It is also hinted that Austin is the man who attempted to rob several parties near the Dix River bridge at different times within the last year. It is furthermore said he could throw some light on the mysterious disappearance of young Vaughn, who, with Austin, left Texas last September for this place, since when, nothing has been heard of him. But then a man in Jail with little prospect of liberty, is a good person to bring such charges against. If by a simple twist of the Governor's wrist Austin should again be a free man, it would be a hard matter to put your hand on the author of many of these charges. This is the second sentence of death which has been pronounced in the county in 20 years. It is noticed that Judge Owsley never sets his hangings on Friday. His reason for this is, he does not desire to hang a criminal on the same day of the week our Savior was crucified. [11]


[February 21, 1882] -

The verdict in the case of William Austin, for the very fiendish murder of his great-aunt, Miss Bland, a woman of over 80 years of age, gives as much satisfaction here, and perhaps more than that against Guiteau, for there are those who are charitable enough to believe the latter insane. But not a word can be said in palliation of Austin's crime. He murdered for money his best friend on earth, a friend who, notwithstanding his waywardness and worthlessness, had stood by and supported him, and even gone so far as to furnish him means to get him of numerous troubles. Then the manner of the murder, the supreme cruelty of it, is shocking to contemplate. He not only inflicts three terrible wounds, each one of which was fatal, but he stamps he[r] on the face and head with his heavy boot heel as she lay gasping and writhing in the agonies of her awful death. The sentence of hanging is therefore doubly deserved, and we congratulate Garrard county, that she has men that will not flinch from a plain discharge of their duty when summoned to pass upon such a case. Sentimentality and a false opinion in regard to the punishment of murderers, have brought our section into disrepute. Murders the most foul have been committed, and no one has suffered the penalty of them, until such cattle, emboldened by the leniency shown them, have grown fearless and more bloodthirsty, and rendered human life so cheap, that any body can take it with impunity. The carnage must be stayed, and it can only be done by meeting out the direst punishment on all offenders. Let murderers know that death shall as certainly follow their bloody sets as their cases are tried, and we shall have a far better state of affairs. As it is, immigration is stopped and many are leaving for localities where the law is more strictly enforced. Ours is naturally the finest in heritage on earth. Let every law loving man strive to make it what its Great Creator intended. [12]


[February 21, 1882] -

WORTHY OF PRAISE. -- The Commonwealth's Attorney, R. C. Warren, cannot be given too much praise for the masterly manner in which he prosecuted the murderer of Miss Betsy Bland, in the Garrard Circuit Court. Thoroughly convinced of the guilt of the prisoner, he went into the case carefully fortified with all the facts and circumstances connected with it, and ready to meet the defense on every point. His statement of the case, his general management of it, and his final speech are all worthy of the highest credit. In fact we are told that his closing effect was not only the best he had ever made, but one of the grandest ever delivered in that Court building. As a fellow towsman we are proud of Mr. Warren, and expected to get prouder and prouder of him as he continues to warm up in his battle against crime. [13]


[February 28, 1882] -

A crank writing from Danville, warns Sheriff Higginbotham, in a badly written and worse composed letter, that unless he liberates Austin by the last of March, this town will be burned, and the inhabitants murdered. Of course he is scared to death. [14]


[March 2, 1882] -


A Denial f the Numerous Other Crimes Charged Against Him.

(To the Editor of the Courier Journal.)

LANCASTER. March 1. -- I noticed in your issue of the 2d of February a special from your reporter of this place under the following head lines: "Wm. Austin sentenced for the murder of his aunt, Betsy Bland. Judge Owsley overrules the motion for a new trial. Charged with other crimes."

I have noticed the drift of public sentiment and that wonderful scourge "They say" since Wm. Austin was first charged with the murder of his aunt, Miss Betsy Bland, on the 20th day of January, 1882, and can I say that it has been unrelenting and terribly awful against him. At one time a mob was threatened and then "they said" he ought not to be defended. Then "they said" his father and brothers would not and had refused to employ counsel to defend him. "They said" no lawyers should defend him, yet "they"' wanted him to have a fair and impartial trial, but that he ought to be hung, if that was bad enough for him. "They said" he had committed a rape upon the person of his aunt, Betsy Bland, and then murdered her; that he was the man who attempted to rob R. H. Bettis, near the iron bridge over Dix river, between Lancaster and Danville, some months ago; that he killed his cousin, Sydney Vaughn, in Texas, several months ago; that he attempted to rob John Dunn, a well-to-do farmer who lived about two or three miles out on the Stanford road, on last Christmas night.

I desire through your columns to correct some of above-mentioned charges against Wm. Austin, the sentenced man. I ask this in the name of justice to a legally-doomed man.

James Austin, the father of Wm. Austin, than whom God never made a better man, and his three sons, Ed., George and Robert Austin, did employ counsel to defend their son and brother, Wm. Austin, and paid them as liberal a fee as they could afford, and it was right liberal. The gentlemen employed as his counsel did defend Wm. Austin as best they could.

The ladies who dressed the corpse of Miss Betsy Bland for burial say that rape was not committed upon her person.

R. H. Bettis says that Wm. Austin was not the man who attempted to rob him near the iron bridge over Dix river. He says he knows who the man was, and knows he was not Wm. Austin. No other attempt was ever made to rob any person near that bridge that I can hear of, except a man some considerable while ago halted Rev. ---- Randolph near that place and examined his face with the assistance of a dark lantern, and, seeming to have missed his man, let him pass on, and, so far as I can learn, no particular man was ever suspected.

Sidney Vaughn, whom Austin is charged with having killed in Texas, is now alive, and supposed to be residing in Texas. I have now in my possession a letter purporting to be from him to William Austin. It was mailed at Monkstown, Texas, and directed to William Austin, at Lancaster, Ky. The letter was dated December 11, 1881, and was mailed December 13, 1881, as the postmark shows, and William Austin has been living at Miss Betsy Bland's since October, 1881.

John Dunn, whom, it is charged, Austin proposed to the colored man to rob, is a clever man, belongs to a good family, is a bachelor, and lives with his mother, sister and brother, about two miles from this place, near the Danville pike. He occasionally goes to town and gets on a spree, and stays two or three days. On Christmas night, or, rather, night before Christmas, he was in town on a spree, and fell in about dark with William Austin, and they were together all night at different places around town. Austin at one time during the night proposed to a colored man, Bill Bland, to borrow a half dollar. Bland said he had none. Austin said, in a jocular way, let's rob John Dunn, he has some money. Bland said no, and he walked on. Austin then applied to Bob Patterson, a colored man, to borrow a half dollar. Patterson said he had none. Austin, in his same jocular manner, said let's knock John Dunn in the head and rob him. Patterson laughing, said no, and walked on. Dunn, Austin and two or three colored men went on another way and were frolicking the balance of the night in a noiseless and harmless way. Austin borrowed a half dollar from Dunn during the night, and they separated separated as friends after daylight the next morning. If Dunn was robbed, or attempted to be robbed that night, I have not heard of it. Nothing was ever said about the proposed robbery until after Austin was arrested under charge of murdering Miss Bland. The colored men do not believe that Austin was at all in earnest about wanting to rob Dunn, and was merely joking.

I would have written these corrections before this, but it has been exceedingly difficult to ascertain the correct state of facts, on account of the great indisposition on the part of the people to tell anything that might possibly benefit William Austin. I make the above corrections after a full and fair investigation of the matter.

Austin's counsel feel perfectly confident that they will reverse the case in the Court of Appeals. They feel that Austin has been tried and convicted under and by the force of public hue and cry, and pressure of such false reports as those above named. Austin says he is not guilty, and does not believe he will ever be hung. He was hurried through his trial too fast for a fair trial -- arrested on the night of the 20th of January, and sentenced on the night of the 18th of February following, with a continual talk of mobbing if he was cleared, and to mob if this court granted him a new trial. [15]


[March 7, 1882] -

Quite a ripple of excitement was created here last Tuesday when Austin's attorneys reported they had discovered an error in the Court record which would the next day result in liberating Austin on a writ of habeas corpus. The supposed error was that the Judge had by turning two leaves at once in the record failed to sign a certain order and that this invalidated the whole proceedings, consequently Austin would be a free man forever, so far as the murder of Betsy Bland was concerned. Judge Owsley pronounced the whole matter "moonshine" as it has been decided that a signature on an order book is good for all that precedes it. Moreover that the Court in his case does not adjourn till after the 13th of this month (which time was given the defense to prepare its exceptions &c.,) and this particular order could yet be signed. [16]


[March 17, 1882] -

The Attorneys of Wm. Austin filed their exceptions in the case at a called term of the Court, Monday 13th inst. The habeas corpus writ was issued on grounds of the Judges failure to sign an order in the case, but Austin was remanded. [17]


[April 18, 1882] -

Tomorrow was the day set for the execution of William Austin, but he will not hang. The Court of Appeals has gotten hold of the case, and that means a good deal for Austin. [18]


[April 18, 1882] -

The city papers are telegraphing for reserved seats at the Austin hanging which was to take place to-day. The case was argued before the Court of Appeals last week and his attorneys confidently expect a reversal. [19]


[June 9, 1882] -

The Court of Appeals is still mum as to their decision in the Neal and Craft cases as well as in the Austin case. Should the people interested in these cases get impatient and want to hang somebody, we suggest that they try their hands on the members of this Court, not necessarily to entirely suspend their animation, but to convince them that something more is expected of them than junketing around the country on their own business. [20]


[June 15, 1882] -

Austin v. Commonwealth

Court of Appeals of Kentucky
June 15, 1882, Decided
No Number in Original
11 Ky. Op. 664 * | 1882 Ky. LEXIS 258 ** | 4 Ky. L. Rptr. 29


Disposition: Judgment affirmed. 

Counsel: O. D. McManama, Burnett & Noel, H. T. Walton, for appellant.

Denny & Tomlinson, P. W. Hardin, for appellee. 

Judges: Judge Hines. 

Opinion by: Hines 

 [*665]  Opinion by Judge Hines:

Counsel for appellant insists upon a reversal, first, because the court instructed the jury orally after argument of counsel, and after the case had been given to the jury. The instruction complained of is as follows: "The jury have no right to decide as to the guilt of the prisoner by lot." Crim. Code (1876), § 225, provides that the court shall instruct the jury before argument of counsel, and that the instruction shall be in writing, and § 340, as amended, provides that this court may reverse for any error of law appearing on the record when, upon consideration of the whole case, the court is satisfied that the substantial rights of the defendant have been prejudiced thereby. When these two provisions are considered together it is manifest that the first is simply directory, and that no reversal can be had except upon a consideration of the whole case; the instruction, though given orally, appears to have been prejudicial. In this case [**2]  it only appears inferentially, if at all, that the instruction was oral, and it clearly appears that it could not have been prejudicial because the verdict was not arrived at by lot, either as to the question of guilt or as to the degree of punishment to be inflicted. The conclusion as to the guilt of the accused was reached by ballot, but not by lot, and there is nothing to indicate that the conclusion as to the degree of punishment was so reached, but if it had been so reached it would not be a ground for reversal.

The correct rule of construction of the last mentioned provision is, as stated in Rutherford v. Commonwealth, 78 Ky. 639, that  [*666]  when fundamental rights are involved, such as the right of trial by jury, the right to be heard by counsel and the right to be present during trial, this court will reverse unless it affirmatively appears from the record that the accused has not been injured; but in cases where fundamental rights are not involved this court will not reverse unless it affirmatively appears from the record that the error complained of is detrimental to the substantial rights of the accused.

Second, it is complained that the court erred [**3]  in stopping counsel in argument in regard to the analysis of blood found upon the clothing of the accused. This was not error because there had been no analysis of the blood, and no evidence introduced in reference thereto. It was proper for the court to say that the jury, in arriving at their verdict, should determine the truth of the charge from the evidence heard, rather than from the argument of counsel. Considerable latitude should be allowed to counsel in the argument of a cause when it is confined to the facts and circumstances of the case as developed in evidence, but outside of that limit it would rarely be a reversible error for the court to restrain the argument.

It is further insisted that evidence was heard on the view of the premises, and that the view was ordered by the court without authority, because made at the suggestion of the jury. As to the last suggestion, the Crim. Code (1876), § 236, says that a view may be ordered when in the opinion of the court it is necessary. It would appear that the making of the order by the court, no matter of whose suggestion, would be sufficient evidence of the fact that the court was of the opinion that it was necessary that the [**4]  view should be had. As to the hearing of evidence on the view it is only necessary to say that the prisoner, his counsel, the judge and the jury were present, and that ample opportunity to cross-examine the witness was offered; besides, the statements made in the presence of the jury on the view had no material bearing on the question of guilt or innocence of the accused.

Judgment affirmed. [21]


[June 16, 1882] -


Unless the Governor Interferes.

(Special Dispatch to The Interior Journal.)

LANCASTER, June 15, 6:03 P.M. -- The case of Wm. Austin for killing Betsy Bland last January, for which he was tried, convicted and sentenced to be hung at the last term of the Garrard Circuit Court was affirmed to-day by the Court of Appeals. Austin turned pale and trembled slightly on receipt of the news, but soon regained his composure and said if there was no interference by the Governor he supposed he would have to hang, but he intended to get out of it if possible. [22]


[June 20, 1882] -

The County Judge decided Friday morning, after several affidavits as to the probability of an attempt by Austin's friends to liberate him and the unsafe condition of the Jail had been made, to send Austin to Richmond for safe keeping. The Sheriff accordingly notified him to be ready to go by train that day. After the Sheriff left the jail Austin went to the cell of Bishop, the prisoner from Rockcastle county, to borrow a razor, which by some means had come into his possession. Bishop at first refused to let him have it as he apprehended intentions of violence on Austin's part, but loaned it to him after his declaring be only wished to shave himself. Returning to his cell he said loud enough to be heard by the others, "I have stood all I can, they have sworn my life away and what little time I have to live I can't see any of my friends. I will die before I will leave here." He then cut a gash in the left side of his throat severing the outer jugular vein, and another slight gash on the right side, but it is thought it hurt a little worse than he expected or else the rapid flow of blood from the first wound caused him to think it fatal and he threw the razor out the cell window and allowed the others to give the alarm. The alarm was not understood and it was supposed Austin had or was attempting to make his escape. Quite a crowd gathered at the Jail, some with pistols and all excited. On discovering the true state of the case, Dr. J. B. Kinnaird with one or two assistants entered the jail and found Austin on his bed gasping and apparently dying, but as now seen evidently "possuming." Alter stopping the blood and dressing the wound which was pronounced not fatal, he was hand-cuffed and taken to Richmond under a guard of five and a Surgeon in case the wound should need attention on the way. Arriving there he walked from the depot to town, which started the blood afresh and it was with difficulty stopped again. Austin begged them to do what they could for him and expressed great sorrow for his rashness and was very much relieved when the blood was staunched. At last accounts he was doing well. It is thought he hoped for aid to escape which his removal would frustrate, and thought this wound would delay the removal long enough to give his friends an opportunity to get him out. [23]


[July 18, 1882] -

One of Wm. Austin's attorneys, who went to Frankfort to induce the Governor to commute his sentence, says there is little or no show in that quarter. It seems strange, however, if he does not intend to pardon or reprieve, that the Governor does not set the day for the execution. [24]


[August 8, 1882] -

William Austin, the convicted murderer of his aunt in Garrard county, who is in jail at Richmond, till the Governor finds the time to say whether he shall be hung or not, has, according to the Register, been caught in a plot to murder the jailer and make his escape. A letter to his brother, which he tried to smuggle to him, fell into the jailer's hands and disclosed the business. He and two of his fellow prisoners were to saw out of their cells, and with the pistols that he begged his brother to send him, they were to march forth to liberty. If Austin receives the justice due him, though, his release from jail will only be to strangle to death on the gallows. [25]


[August 29, 1882] -

We are informed that the reason that Gov. Blackburn has done nothing in the case of William Austin, who killed his aunt in Garrard county, and who has been sentenced to be hung, is that on the same day that the Court of Appeals adjourned for the summer, a petition for a new hearing of the case was filed, which of course has not been passed on yet. The chances are in favor of Austin. As long as his friends have money to fee lawyers he will not hang. [26]


[September 12, 1882] -

It is now with our goody-goody Governor whether Wm. Austin shall hang and when, the Court of Appeals having overruled his petition for a new hearing. A paper asking that his sentence be commuted to imprisonment for life is being signed by a sentimental few. [27]


[September 15, 1882] -

The Governor refused to commute the sentence against Wm. Austin, and has ordered his execution to take place Friday, October 13. [28]


[September 29, 1882] -

If Austin is hung in the jail-yard, as it is now expected he will be, it will have a good effect on the thieving population. A negro would rather go to the penitentiary for life than stay in the neighborhood of the jail after the execution. [29]


[October 10, 1882] -

Wm. Austin's days on earth are rapidly drawing to a close. "Providence permitting" he will be hung Oct. 13th. Reports from Richmond where he has been confined since the action of the Court of Appeals in his case are to the effect that he is very cheerful and apparently indifferent in regard to his fate. Those who attend the execution may hear a confession. They will certainly hear the usual pious exhortation to meet the criminal in heaven. I understand that his spiritual adviser is satisfied that Austin will be there. He either believes him innocent or does not believe a confession of sin before men necessary or Austin has confessed. [30] 


[October 13, 1882] -

We are indebted to Sheriff J. M. Higginbotham for a ticket to the hanging today. The gallows have been erected and the execution can be seen from any of the neighboring house-tops and windows. Austin was brought down from Richmond yesterday under guard and when he got off the train at Lancaster his face wore a smile and his step was as firm as if no thought of his fearful end, so near at hand, occupied his mind. [31]


[October 13, 1882] -

Probably before this has reached the eyes of one-half your readers, Wm. Austin, who so ruthlessly butchered his old aunt, Betsy Bland, the afternoon of January 20th, will have paid the full penalty of the law with his life. The gallows is about completed. It was designed by Mr. Stafford, Stafford, of Richmond, after the style of the one from which Guiteau started on his journey to the "Lordy," and was built by Mr. Solon Henry, one of the Grand Jury which indicted Austin for the murder for which he is now to pay the penalty. It occupies a position directly in the rear of the jail and is built of heavy oak timber. The scaffold is about eight feet from the ground, from which it is reached by steps in the centre of the scaffold is the trap, about two-and-a-half or three feet square. This is held in position by a bolt working under it, which is manipulated by a lever in the hand of the Sheriff on the scaffold. After the drop the trap is held back by weights. The rope for the occasion has arrived. It was made by F. Vonderheide, of Cincinnati. It is long enough after fastening to the cross-beam to allow a fall of seven or eight feet. The machinery will all be properly tested beforehand to insure against any bobble that might torture the criminal and executioner. Sheriff Higginbotham with a good guard went to Richmond, Wednesday afternoon, and returned with the prisoner Thursday morning. morning. His appearance has not changed much since his removal. He is a little thin, and very pale. No fear of attempted rescue are entertained, but every precaution has been taken to prevent any thing of the kind. [32]


[October 17, 1882] -


After Making a Confession of His Cruel Murder. 

And Exhorts Against Whisky Drinking and Evil Companions. 

The Ca[l]mest Man that Ever Met an Ignoble Death. 

(From Interior Journal Extra of Friday afternoon, October 13.)

As some of our readers may not know or have forgotten the history of the case, we give the following summary of 

The Crime.

On the afternoon of the 20th of last January, the citizens of Garrard -- not yet recovered from the effects of the Wilmot tragedy of a few days before -- were shocked to learn that Miss Betsy Bland, an old maid of 85 years, who lived with her brother, Joseph Bland, 1 1/2 miles from Lancaster, had been cruelly murdered in her own room. Mr. Bland had gone to town and William Austin, a grand-nephew  of his and the murdered woman, had left as he did for Herring's distillery, where he remained till about 4 P. M. and until he had gotten outside of a quantity of the new liquor. This was the last seen of him till he met a party of men in the road near his aunt's house and informed them that some one had killed her. Loath to believe such a story, they were finally induced to go to the house, where they were horrified to see the old lady lying on the floor in a pool of her own blood, with several deep gashes from an ax on her head and face and another on the neck which severed the vertebra, any one of which would have been fatal. Without disturbing the body, which was still warm, the men hastened back to town and informed Sheriff J. M. Higginbotham and Marshal Singleton, who went at one to the scene. Suspicion had already been directed to Austin as the murderer, and when, on a little closer scrutiny, stains of blood ware found on his pants and boots, he was immediately arrested, and during the Coronor's inquest, which was held that night by 'Squire Boyle, made several ineffectual attempts to escape. The inquest adjourned without a verdict at 10 o'clock, and Austin was taken to jail till the following morning, when it was resumed. Further examination of the body showed that the face bore numerous imprints of a boot heel, as if the wretch had stamped her as she lay in her death throes. Austin' boot heel not only had blood on it, but a number of gray hairs which compared exactly with the hair of the dead woman. The chain of circumstantial evidence was now so complete that the least idea that he was innocent was dispelled and he was taken back to jail, and bail of course refused. The excitement over the affair was at blood heat, and threats loud and long were made of lynching the prisoner, but upon promise that the case should be tried at the court then about to convene, it was given up. Twice during the term was the case continued to give the defense further time, and finally Judge Owsley fixed a special term for the trial of the case, to begin February 13th. It was commenced that day and a jury obtained after 150 men bad been examined. The evidence adduced at the inquest was strengthened and corroborated, and at 9 P M. Friday night the jury returned a verdict of guilty and fixed Austin's punishment at death. With the indifference that had characterized him since the murder, he said with a smile: "Well, it's no use to cry over it. But I want every man on that jury to be at the hanging -- I want to talk to him. The execution was fixed for Apr. 18, but his attorneys filed some 30 odd exceptions and took the case to the Court of Appeals. This stayed the execution and in June the County Judge fearing that efforts would be made to release or mob Austin, he was ordered to be taken to Richmond for safe keeping. Hearing this, he borrowed a razor from a fellow prisoner and made an ineffectual attempt to kill himself, but it hurt so badly that he stopped after severing the outer jugular vein and he was taken up the same day, where he has been till Thursday last.

The Execution. 

LANCASTER, Oct. 13. -- Three thousand people, embracing women and little children are crowded here to get a glimpse of the legal neck breaking of William Austin for the murder of his grand aunt. The gallows is situated in the rear of the jail and as it stands higher than the plank fence that encloses it, all will be able to see. When we arrive a little before twelve, the word passes through the crowd that the condemned has made a confession to his spiritual advisers Revs. R. R. Noel and J. R. Peeples. Showing our ticket we pass the line of heavily armed guards and are soon in the presence of the doomed man. He is standing at his cell door and extends his hand for a cordial shake. After a few irrelevant remarks, we ask him if he has made a confession. He says he has and will repeat it to every body from the scaffold after dinner. At the suggestion of some newspaper men he agrees to let it be taken down now. It is in his own words as follows:

This is my dying CONFESSION, I did murder my aunt Betsy Bland, on the 20th of last January. Whisky was the sole cause of it. I had nothing in the world against her; I had no motive in the world To kill her. I loved her like a mother. She has always been as a mother to me. I am 25 years old. I did not rob her or take any money or other things from her. When I got home from the still house I saw the ax at the wood pile and then the awful thought came over me to take it and kill my great aunt. I did take it and when I got into her room, she was sitting at the fire knitting. I first sat down near the fire and several minutes thereafter I arose with the ax and struck her with the sharp edge of it. This is all I recollect about the killing. I have no excuse on earth to offer for this fearful deed. I want my fate to be a warning to all; old, young, white and black. I offer myself a willing sacrifice on the gallows for the deed. I die happy, believing that the vilest sinner can be forgiven if he truly repents. I believe God has given me full pardon. I believe my aunt was a christian and that I will meet her in Heaven. I have been accused of killing Sid Vaughn, but I am not guilty of that crime. I am also accused of trying to rob Randall Bettis, but I am not guilty of that either. I always tried to live honestly and the murder of aunt Betsy is the only crime I ever committed. I say this in view of immediate death and it is all true. W. M. AUSTIN.

This was signed in his own hand, and when asked why he had not made the confession before, he replied : "I was hoping for a reprieve from, the Governor, but I have made peace with my Savior and do not wish one now." He had stubbornly up to 11 o'clock denied his guilt, and at 9 assured his counsel, Mr. B. M. Burdett, that he was not guilty. The ministers named plead with him to confess his sins before men and read to him the 51d Psalm, the 3d verse of which seemed especially to cheer him, and he at once expressed a hope of salvation. He told us as he stood at his cell door as calmly as a man ever talked, while smoking with evident relish a cigar given him by John Farris, that he felt much better since making the confession and sure that the Lord had forgiven his sins; that whisky had been his ruin and warned every body to shun it. 

From the first he has been calm and collected, and only once since his return to Lancaster has he shown any signs of emotion, and then on yesterday afternoon when his brother Robert bid him good-bye. He burst into a flood of tears and exclaimed aloud, " Lord have mercy on me." His father and mother, fearing they could not stand the trying ordeal, did not visit him but he sent them affectionate remembrances.

His last night on earth was spent with his friends till 11 o'clock, when he retired, and soon fell into a deep sleep from which be had to be awakened this morning by his guards. He got up when told to do so, dressed himself in a neat suit of black and ate a very hearty breakfast. Then calling for pencil and paper he wrote to his brother George a very affectionate letter of warning which we will give in our regular edition Tuesday. A great many of his old acquaintances, including a number of young ladies, called afterwards to tell him good-bye. He received them kindly and through his grated door shook hands with them all. Through all this he showed no signs of fear and looked upon the gallows from his window with more unconcern than his visitors. 


Lancaster Jail. Oct. 13. --Dear Brother: I write you a few lines, my time is short. I have a better home to go to. I feel happy. I tell you, shun all bad company, and never drink spirituous liquors, for my sake I ask it. You know whisky has caused me to come to the gallows, and caused people to think hard of me. I have been wild and desperate, and I feel like I am going to a home of rest, and will be in my Savior's arms before the sun sets this day. I hope to meet you in heaven. Change your course, dear brother, and be ready to meet me in the better land. Don't entertain any grudge against any body about my trial. Tell father and mother good bye, and I leave you in God's hands, and bid you a final farewell. Your affectionate brother, W. M. AUSTIN. 

When the town clock struck twelve, he remarked with a sigh of relief, "Praise The Lord, but one hour for me on this earth." At 12:45 the ministers, at his request, prayed and sung the "Coronation" song with him and at 1:05 Sheriff Higginbotham and guard were announced. He went directly to the cell and opening it said, "Bill, I'll read you the authority under which I am acting." "All right" said he, and he listened to the reading of the death warrant as composedly as if it bore the best of news. Once when the Sheriff could not make out a word he bent over to assist. The reading through, the 


begun, arriving at which Austin ran lightly up the steps, turning to smile at a man, who had unintentionally knocked his hat partly off. On the gallows Rev. Lowber read the 51st Psalm and Rev. Peeples prayed a most touching prayer, as he held his arm around the condemned man, who, with him, was on his knees. 

The rain was falling in torrents, and Sheriff Higginbotham sheltered the poor man as best he could with an umbrela. Rev. Mr. Moore pronounced the final words of the service, and then Austin, with the utmost calmness and self-possession addressed the vast crowd, giving the confession as written, and exhorting every body to shun whisky and evil companions, so as to meet him in heaven. He said his sins had been forgiven; he had forgiven every body, and this evening he would be in the presence of his Master. 

He had never committed any crime but this, though many had been laid at his door. He knew that it was a terrible murder and he willingly gave his life for it and hoped his enemies would be satisfied. His speech was well delivered and his gestures were those of a regular speaker. He closed with an exhortation and bowing to the crowd on every side, bade them a last farewell. He then shook hands with those on the scaffold, the Sheriff and his deputies, George Higginboththam and Hiram Rothwell, and the guards. W. C. Wherritt, W. S. Miller and another gentleman and the reporters. The scene was a most touching one and strong men bent their heads and wept. 

After saying good-bye he walked to the trap, took his stand and submitted to the pinioning without a tremor. The Sheriff adjusted the noose, drew the black cap over his face, touched the lever and the body of William Austin, at 1:22, shot through the trap, made one or two convulsive twitches of the shoulders, and the outraged law was vindicated -- the wages of sin had been paid.

The Surgeons, Drs. Kinnaird, Huffman and Burnside, reported that no pulse was perceptible at 1.27, but at 1:29 it was 64, at 1:31, 90, at 1:33, 84; at 1:39, 78 and at 1:42 they pronounced life extinct and the body was cut down and given to his friends, who took it to Fork Church for interment, the same church that he joined and was baptized by when in his 16th year. 


The rope was hand made and the work of Vonderheide, of Covington. It cost $10 and could have been sold for three times that sum. 

Bishop, who was in jail for the killing of the Sigman women, was very much affected. He was probably thinking of himself in a similar position. 

The last legal hanging in the county was just before the war, when John Cumley went by the hempen route for killing a man named Spratt. He took the dose almost as fearlessly as Austin. 

Sheriff J. M. Higginbotham is to be congratulated on the excellence of his work. There was not a hitch in it and although it is said that his neck was not broken Austin died the easiest death we ever witnessed. 

It was a big thing for the owner of lots and houses around the gallows, but as long people were fools enough to pay from 50 cts. to $1.50 to see a man choked to death, it ought to have been taken from them. 

The Louisville Commercial sent its city editor, Mr. J. Hawthorne Hill to report the hanging, while the Courier-Journal, Louisville Post, Cincinnati EnquirerGazetteCommercialTimes-Star and other dailies were represented. 

There was a good deal of drunkenness but no disturbance occurred. Just before the noose was adjusted, some fellow in the crowd hallooed to those on the scaffold to stand out of the view, he had paid as much as any body and wanted to see the show. 

Telegraph operator, W. M. Bogle, sent over 6,000 words over the wires to the daily papers and although it kept him up till midnight, he showed no signs ill-humor. He is the cleverest man in the business and the reason is that he was born and raised a gentleman. 

There was a total lack of appreciation of the solemnity of the occasion by the crowd who seemed to look at it more in the light of a circus than any thing else. The strange part of the business was that women with children stood in the crowd and held them up to look at the fearful sight. [33]


[October 20, 1882] -

Eld. J. W. Lowber preached a sermon Sunday night on capital punishment, taking for his text "Whoever sheds man's blood by man shall his blood be shed." In his remarks he spoke of Austin's confession, that "whisky was the sole cause" of his crime, and traced the responsibility of Betsy Bland's murder through Austin and the whisky dealer to the people. [34]


[1] Excerpt from "Local Matters." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 24, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-01-24/ed-1/seq-3/

[2] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 24, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-01-24/ed-1/seq-3/

[3] Excerpt from "Religious." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 24, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-01-24/ed-1/seq-3/

[4] Excerpt from Column 1. Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 27, 1882. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-01-27/ed-1/seq-2/

[5] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 27, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-01-27/ed-1/seq-3/

[6] Excerpts from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 3, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-02-03/ed-1/seq-3/

[7] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 14, 1882. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-02-14/ed-1/seq-2/

[8] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 14, 1882. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-02-14/ed-1/seq-2/

[9] Excerpt from "Local Matters." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 17, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-02-17/ed-1/seq-3/

[10] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 17, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-02-17/ed-1/seq-3/

[11] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 21, 1882. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-02-21/ed-1/seq-2/

[12] Excerpt from Column 1. Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 21, 1882. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-02-21/ed-1/seq-2/

[13] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 21, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-02-21/ed-1/seq-3/

[14] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 28, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-02-28/ed-1/seq-3/

[15] "Betsy Bland's Murderer." The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. March 2, 1882. Page 5. Newspapers.com.

[16] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. March 7, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-03-07/ed-1/seq-3/

[17] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. March 17, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-03-17/ed-1/seq-3/

[18] Excerpt from "Local Matters." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 18, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-04-18/ed-1/seq-3/

[19] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 18, 1882. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-04-18/ed-1/seq-2/

[20] Excerpt from Column 1. Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. June 9, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-06-09/ed-1/seq-3/

[21] Austin v. Commonwealth, 11 Ky. Op. 664 (1882). Retrieved from Nexis Uni.

[22] "Austin Must Hang." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. June 16, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-06-16/ed-1/seq-3/

[23] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. June 20, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-06-20/ed-1/seq-3/

[24] Excerpt from "Local Matters." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. July 18, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-07-18/ed-1/seq-3/

[25] Excerpt from "Local Matters." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. August 8, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-08-08/ed-1/seq-3/

[26] Excerpt from "Local Matters." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. August 29, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-08-29/ed-1/seq-3/

[27] Excerpt from "Local Matters." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. September 12, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-09-12/ed-1/seq-3/

[28] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. September 15, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-09-15/ed-1/seq-3/

[29] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. September 29, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-09-29/ed-1/seq-3/

[30] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 10, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-10-10/ed-1/seq-3/

[31] Excerpt from "Local Matters." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 13, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-10-13/ed-1/seq-3/

[32] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 13, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-10-13/ed-1/seq-3/

[33] "William Austin Expiates His Crime." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 17, 1882. Pages 1 and 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-10-17/ed-1/seq-1/

[34] Excerpt from "Garrard County - Lancaster." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 20, 1882. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1882-10-20/ed-1/seq-3/


See also:

[] “More Garrard Gore.” The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. January 21, 1882. Page 3. Newspapers.com.

[] “The Bland Butchery.” The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. January 22, 1882. Page 4. Newspapers.com.

[] “Lancaster.” The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. February 14, 1882. Page 2. Newspapers.com.

[] “Matters in Kentucky -- The Betsy Bland Murder.” The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. February 16, 1882. Page 6. Newspapers.com.

[] “Kentucky -- The Austin Case.” The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. February 17, 1882. Page 2. Newspapers.com.

[] “Matters in Kentucky -- Betsy Bland’s Blood.” The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. February 18, 1882. Page 3. Newspapers.com.

[] "Wm. Austin Sentenced." The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. February 20, 1882. Page 1. Newspapers.com.

[] “Matters in Kentucky -- Lancaster." The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. June 16, 1882. Page 2. Newspapers.com.

[] "The Rope Route." The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. October 14, 1882. Page 4. Newspapers.com.


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