Saturday, July 13, 2013

Religious Dog 1892 and Identity of Murderer of George Bopp

Sumner Press
February 25, 1892

Estray, But Religious
Some months ago a stray dog came to John Brian's and in spite of all opposition took up his abode. If one judges by appearances, he must have been raised by very religious people. Whenever Mr. B's family go to church the dog always follows. Nothing they can do will keep him away. When tied up, he manages to get loose; if put in the smokehouse, he digs his way out; and in spite of every effort made by Uncle Isaac Herrin, the janitor, the dog will slip into church as he does not mind in the least the clips which he gets from Uncle Isaac's cane. Once inside he feels very much at home. In attending every church service His Dogship sets an example worthy to be followed by all, as whenever the Bell rings for meeting in the daytime, the dog will deliberately set out for church without waiting for the family.

F Price and  R Robeson have presented a large  1939 Lawrence County Plat Map to  both the Museum and Genealogy Library. Rt  181 is marked for the highway that  is now marked Rt.  33. The number on this highway was changed in 1948. Thanks Ladies.

Ok so who did you think killed George Bopp? It turns out that Tom Palmer did leave the state of Illinois afterwards and was found in Missouri using an assumed name.  After being brought back to Lawrence county he stood trial and admitted being the father of Clara J. Lee's child.  He also admitted shooting George Bopp but said it was in self-defense.  He said he was being falsely arrested under a warrant without a seal from a judge on the bastardy charge, and therefore was justified in doing so.   The court found though that Tom had pulled a revolver and threatened to shoot Constable Newman  a few days before the shooting because Tom thought he was going to arrest him on the same charge.  The jury found him guilty and sentenced him to 20 years.

On appeal to the Illinois Supreme court, his attorney E. Callahan argued several points in Tom's defense including that the jury resorted to chance in determining the punishment. A paper with figures upon it was picked up in the jury room after the verdict was rendered.  A man named  Sage made an affidavit that M. A. Propes, one of the juryman, told him that each juror put down the number of years he was in favor of, and that all the numbers were added together and divided by 12 leaving the quote of 20. Propes filed an affidavit denying that the verdict was brought about in any such way, saying that the term was fixed as a result of judgment and deliberation by all the jurors. Several other jurors made affidavits to the same effect. The only other affidavit making the same statement as Sage was a man  named  Kitchen who swore that he heard two of the juryman say what Propes is alleged to have said, but Kitchen afterwards made another affidavit steadily retracting what he had first sworn to and saying that he was not positive about his former statements and that his recollection was not clear. The court held that the affidavits of juryman will not be received to impeach their verdict. Thus the  charge against Tom Palmer for the murder of George Bopp was affirmed.