The Killing of Wild Bill Hickok; Trial; Funeral

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The Killing of Wild Bill Hickok; Trial; Funeral - I Dog-and-Cat a a a if a a or apart- on the my...
I Dog-and-Cat a a a if a a or apart- on the my is I I got THE DEADWOOD TRAGEDY. Particulars of the Killing f " Wild Bill" The Murderer Tried and Acquitted A. Novel Verdict and a Flrat-Clasa Funeral. f Special Correspondence of the Chicago Inter- ucean.j Deadwood, D. T.t Aug. 3, 1876. Yesterday afternoon about 4 o'clock the people of this city were startled by the report of a pistol-shot in the saloon kept by Messrs. Lewis & Mann, x our correspondent at once hastened to the spot and found J. B. Hickok, commonly known as Wild Bill," lying sense less upon the floor. He had been shot by a man known as J ack McUall. An examination showed that a pistol had been fired close to the back of the head, the bullet entering the base of the brai little to the right of the center, passing through in a straight line, mak nassino - thrnno-h in : ing its exit through the right cheek be tween the upper and lower jaw-bones, loosening several of the molar teeth in its passage, and carrying a portion of the cerebellum through the wound. From the nature of the wound death must necessarily have been instantaneous. A jury was convened which decided that J. B. Hickok came to his death from a wound resulting from a shot fired from a pistol in the nands of Jack McCall. TRIAL OF THE MURDERER. A meeting was called during the evening at McDaniels's Theater, which was given up by Mr. Languishe for that purpose. Officers' were elected to conduct the trial, which was set for 9 o'clock this morning. Three men were also selected, one to go up Whitewood, another up Deadwood, and the third down Whitewood early this morning, for the purpose of informing the miners of the trial. At the time appointed, the prisoner was led into the theater by the guard, ana in charge of Joseph Brown, who had been elected Sheriff, and placed upon the stage beside the table at which was seated Judge Kuy-kendall and other officers of the court. The Judge called the meeting to order, and, in a neat address, asked the peo ple to sustain him in the discharge of duties which devolved upon him in the unenviable position which they had forced him to accept. THE PRISONER. Never did a more forbidding counte nance face a court than that of Jack McCall. His head, which is covered by a thick crop of chestnut hair, is very narrow as to the parts occupied by the intellectual portion of the brain, while the animal development is exceedingly large. A small, sandy mustache covers a sensual mouth. The nose is what is commonly called "snub," cross eyes, and a florid complexion, and the picture i3 finished. lie was clad in a blue flannel shirt, brown overalls, heavy shoes, and, as he sat in a stooping position, with his arms folded across his breast. He evidently assumed a noncha lance and bravado which was foreign to his feelings, and betrayed oy the spas modic heavings of his heart. SELECTING A JURY. A hundred names were selected, each written upon a slip of paper, and placed in a hat, lrom which they were taken by one of the committee, who had been se lected to draw the jurors. Nearly all the list was exhausted before the jury was declared full. The names of those who had "formed or expressed an opinion for or against the defendant'" are J. J. Bumfs, L. D. Brokaw, J. II. Thomp son, C. Whitehead, George S. Hopkins, J. I. Cooper, Alexander Travis, K. F. Towle, John E. Thompson, L. A. Judd, Ed. Burke, John Mann. THE TESTIMONY. The first witness called was Charles Rich, who said he was in the saloon kept by Lewis & Mann on the after noon of the 2d, and wa3 seated at a table playing a game of poker with Wild Bill and several others, when the prisoner, whom he identified, came into the room, walked deliberately up to Wild Bill, placed a pistol to the back of the deceased, and fired, saying "Take that!" Bill fell from the stool upon which he had been seated without uttering a word bamuel loung testihed that he was engaged in the saloon ; that he had just delivered $15 worth of pocket checks to the deceased, and was returmug to his place behind the bar when he heard the report of a pistol-shot; turning around he saw the prisoner at the back of Wild Bill with a pistol in his hand which he had discharged; heard him say : "Take that." Carl Mann as one of the proprie tors of the saloon In which lid Bil was killed ; was in the poker game ; noticed a commotion ; saw the prisoner (whom he identified) shoot wild Bill. THE DEFENSE. The defense called for the first wit ness, P. H. Smith, who said he had been in hi3 employ four months : that he was not a man of quarrelsome disposition tnat be nad always considered him man of good character ; that he (the witness") had been introduced to Wild Bill in Cheyenne, and drank with him that the deceased had a bad reputation and had been the terror of every place m which he had resided. II. II. Pickens said that he had known defendant four years, and believed him to De a quiet and peaceable man Wild Bill's reputation as a "shootisf was very hard ; he was quick in using the pistol, and never missed his man and had killed quite a number of per sons in different parts of the country Ira Ford had known defendant about one year; "like a great many others he would go upon a spree like the rest of the boys." Wild BUI had the repu tation of being a brave man, who could and would shoot quicker than any man in the Western country, and who always got away" with his antagonist. The defense called several others, the tenor of whose evidence was but a repetition of the foregoing. No attempt was made to show that Wild Bill had ever seen the prisoner. the prisoner's statement. The prisoner was called upon to make a statement. He came down from the stage into the auditorium of the theater, and, with his right hand in the bosom of his shirt, his head thrown back, in a harsh, loud, and repulsive voice, with a bull-dog sort of bravado, said : men, I have but few words to say. Wild Bill killed my brother, and I killed lm. lid Bill threatened to kill me if I crossed his path. I am not sorry for what I have done. I would do the same thing over again." The prisoner then returned to his place on the stage. WILD BILL'S CHARACTER. The prosecution then adduced testi mony to prove that lid Bui was a much abused man ; that he never im posed on any one, and that in every instance where he had slain men he had done so either in the discharge of his duty as an officer of the law or in self- defense. Bill's reputation as a gambler was bad. THE VERDICT NOT GUILTY. The case having been placed in the hands of the jury, the theater was cleared, with the understanding that the ver dict should be made known in the saloon where the murder was committed. The prisoner was remanded to the house where he had been imprisoned during the night. At 9 o'clock the following verdict was read to the prisoner: Deadwood City, Au. 3, 1876. We the urors find the prisoner, Mr. John McCall, not guilty. Charles whitehead, Foreman, The prisoner was at oace liberated. and several of the model jurymen who had played their parts in this burlesque upon justice, and who had turned their ooodthirsty tiger loose upon the com munity, indulged in a sickening cheer which grated harshly upon the ears of those who heard it. All law-abiding citizens feel that a terrible injustice has been done, and realize the fact that their only protection now is in forming 4 V lgilantes." The first vote taken by the jury resulted in eleven for acquittal and one for conviction, and the single man who desired justice was so intimidated by his fellow-jurors that he was induced to sanction the iniquitous verdict. It was even proposed by one of the jurymen that the prisoner be fined fifteen or twenty dollars and set free. THE FUNERAL OBSEQUIES. After the inquest the body of the de ceased was placed upon a litter made of two poles and some boards then a procession was formed, and the remains were carried to Charley Utter's camp, across the creek. Charley Ltter, better known as Colerado Charley, had been the intimate friend of the deceased for 15 years, and with that liberality which is a feature among mountaineers, had always shared his purse with him. Charley was much affected by the death of his friend, and incensed atthe villain who had murdered him. A tepee was pitched at the foot of one of the giant trees which rise so majestically above Charley's camp. Preparations were at once made for the funeral. The follow- ng notice was printed and sent out : Funeral Notice. Pied in Deadwood, Black Hills, Aug. 2. 1S76, from the efforts of a pistol hnt, J. B. iiivkok (Wild Hill), formerly of Cheyenne, Wyoming, funeral services will be held at Charley Utter's amp, on Thursdav afternoon, Ausr. 3, 1870, at 3 o'clrck. All are respectfully invited to attend. SOMETHING FOR BRET U ARTE. At the time appointed a number of people gathered at the camp Charley Utter had gone to a great deal of ex pense to make the funeral as fine as could be had in this country. Under the tepe, in a handsome coffin covered with black cloth and richly mounted with silver ornaments, lay Wild Bill, a picture of perfect repose. His long chestnut hair, evenly parted over his marble brow, hung in waving ringlets over the broad shoulders; his face was mustache, which shaded a mouth whicE in death almost seemed to smile, but which in life was unusually grave ; the arms were folded over the stilled breast. which inclosed a heart which had beat with regular pulsation amid the most startling scenes of blood and violence, The corpse was clad in a complete dress-suit of black broadcloth, new under clothing, and white linen shirt; beside him in the coffin lay his trusty rifle. which the deceased prized above all other things, and which was to be buried with him in compliance with an often expressed desire. A clergyman read an impressive funeral service, which was attentively listened to bv the audience, after which the coffin-lid hid the well known face of Wild Bill from the prying gaze of the world forever. SCENES AT THE GRAVE. A grave had been prepared on the mountain side toward the east, and to that place irr the bright sunlight, the air redolent with the perfume of sweet flowers, the birds sweetly singing, and all nature smiling, the so emn cortege wended its way, and deposited the mor tal remains of Wild Bill. Upon a large stump at the head of the grave the lot lowing inscription is deeply cut : A brave man: the victim of an assassin J. B. Hickok (Wild Bill), aged 48 years murdered by Jack McCall, Aug. 2, 13. o. The cky is now exceedingly quiet, although the people are determined to have no more jury trials. Ltoc A good citizen is a peace-maker. But, says a surly friend, so is a bull in a chi na b hop it makes pieces too to the of gers etc., on well he that the four by held the ject, and ast. of one portion only was bt. you old was eft, the into sold each sent ladies raise v ill t as of that to and The arm with the in two told er saw and of you at ous be as his w id a 1

Clipped from
  1. The Advertiser-Courier,
  2. 25 Aug 1876, Fri,
  3. Page 1

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  • The Killing of Wild Bill Hickok; Trial; Funeral

    staff_reporter – 18 Jul 2017

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