Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Murder of Wm Milligan

JULY 1, 1896
FLAT ROCK NEWS: "A.J. Richardson received a telegram from St. Francisville Saturday morning to bring his blood hounds to that place. A man named Milligan had been shot and killed a few miles west of there. The dogs tracked the parties sixteen miles, when it began to rain. They would probably have gone farther, but the officials had to pull them off, as they are satisfied now who the guilty parties are. It is now an evident fact that the dogs are O.K.

Lawrenceville is at the front with another killing. About daylight Saturday morning Wm Milligan, living in the southwest part of the county, was called to the door by some one knocking. He opened the door and seeing no one picked up his shotgun and went toward the barn. Three shots were heard in rapid succession and Milligan was found dead, from the effects of a load of shot. Both barrels of his gun had been fired at one or more of the parties whom he heard retreating in the distance, while another fired the fatal shot from the shade of a cedar tree a few feet away.

Blood hounds from Seymour, Ind., and Flat Rock, Ill., were sent for. They tracked the assassins for several miles and darkness coming on, and with it rain, the pursuit was stopped.

On the following day John Cunningham and George Hazelton were arrested on a warrant charging them with complicity in the murder. As soon as the arrests were made crowds collected around the prisoners and threats of lynching were heard, but the sheriff escaped with the prisoner to Lawrenceville.

Last fall some clover seed was stolen from B.J. Worth in the neighborhood, and Milligan traced the thief and had him sent to reform school. About two weeks ago Milligan procured a statement from the boy in the reform school implicating five others in the stealing and the penitentiary stared them in the face. They concluded, it is thought, to kill Milligan and stop proceeding against them.

John Cunningham had been heard to remark that he had kept the boys from killing Milligan, and if he (Milligan) did not shut up about the clover seed he would turn the dogs loose on him.

Soon after the killing George Hazelton passed the home of Milligan, while the family was in the yard crying over the dead body, but never offered to assist.

Several attempts had been made to decoy Milligan from his house and he was cognizant  of his danger.

The supervisor of Lawrence county have offered $500 reward for the capture and conviction of the assassins and Milligan's father and brother offered an additional $500 reward."

(The actual court papers will be transcribed and this case will no doubt in included in a future book.)