Nesbitt Memorial Library

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Inquest Minute Book, 1902-1922 J. K. Davidson, Justice of the Peace Precinct No. 8, Colorado County, Texas

1902-1922 District Clerk

synopsized by Ernest Mae Seaholm

The categories for information in the book, although never filled in completely, are the following: name of deceased, description of deceased, date of inquest, place the inquest was held, date of death if known, place where died or where body was found, nature of information given by JP, by whom information was given, names of suspected person(s), whether person was principal or accomplice, residence of suspected person(s), date of arrest of suspected person(s), in what jail confined, date of bail bond, amount of bail bond, where person on bail bond can be found, names of sureties on bail bond, residence of sureties, and the finding of the justice.

p. 1 An inquest was held on Willis Kyle on Apr 13, 1902 at 3 p. m. at Henry Thomas’ house. Kyle died on Apr 13, 1902 at Thomas’ house. J. W. Callison notified JP by phone. Robert Woodard, the suspect, was arrested on Apr 13, 1902. Bail bond was set on Apr 14, 1902 at the amount of $750 with sureties of Henry Thomas of Matthews, W. A. Burtschell of Eagle Lake, and W. T. Eldridge of Eagle Lake. Findings by the justice: "I find from the evidence that Willis Kyle was killed at Henry Thomas’ in Colorado County, Texas on the night of the 12th of April 1902 by Robert Woodard." J. K. Davidson

p. 2 An inquest was held on W. R. Kinard on Jun 6, 1903 in Eagle Lake. Constable J. M. Callison notified the JP. W. L. McDow of Eagle Lake was named the suspect. Findings by the justice: "I find from the evidence that W. R. Kinard was shot and killed on Main Street in the town of Eagle Lake on the 6th day of June 1903 by W. L. McDow." J. K. Davidson

p. 3 An inquest was held on Garfield Allen on Sept 11, 1902 at Matthews. Mr. Matthews notified the JP by telephone. Findings by the justice: "I find from the evidence that Garfield Allen was accidently [sic] shot by Buster Wharton from the effects of which he died the same day." J. K. Davidson

p.4 An inquest was held on Steba [Steno?] Jones, a tall black Negro on Oct. 13, 1902. Jones died on Oct 12, 1902. The JP was notified by telephone from Matthews. Albus [Alfons?] Henry, the principal suspect, was arrested on Oct 12, 1902. Findings of the justice: "I find from the evidence that Steno Jones was shot and killed by Alfons Henry with a shot gun." J. K. Davidson

p. 5 An inquest was held on Bat Green on Apr 3, 1903 at Thatcher’s Plantation. Date of death was Apr 2. 1903 in Mrs. Thatcher’s plantation. "I find from the evidence that Bat Green was killed on Mrs. Lizzie Thatcher’s plantation in Colorado County, Texas on the night of the 2nd of April 1903. That he came to his death from a gun shot wound inflected by a pistol in the hands of and fired by Isaral Boykins or Hory Harris." J. K. Davidson

p. 6 An inquest was held on W. R. Kinard on Jun 4, 1903, in Eagle Lake. Date of death was June 4, 1903. "From the evidence I find that W. R. Kinard was killed by a Winchester shot, fired by W. L. McDow." J. K. Davidson

p. 7 An inquest was held on W. L. McDow on June 4, 1903 in Eagle Lake. He died at his residence. "I find from the evidence that W. L. McDow was killed by pistol shots fired by W. R. Kinard." J. K. Davidson

p. 8 An inquest was held on Pierce Hammons on Jun 6, 1903. He died on June 6, 1903, in Eagle Lake. "I find from the evidence that Pierce Hammons was killed by an accidental shot fired by either W. L. McDow or W. R. Kinnard." [A space has been cut in the book after the finding.] J. K. Davidson

p. 9 [name of individual has been cut out of book] Date of inquest was on Mar 27, 1903 in Eagle Lake. Individual died on March 26, 1903 on Main Street. "I find from the evidence that C. R. McPherson fell dead on the street in Eagle Lake on the night of the 26 of Dec 1903 and that heart failure was probably the cause of his death." J. K. Davidson

p. 10 An inquest was held on John Bell on Dec 29, 1903, in Eagle Lake. He died on Dec 29, 1903. JP was notified by Mr. Waugh by telephone. Name of suspected person was Henry Holms who was arrested on Dec 29, 1903 and sent to Colorado County jail. No bond was allowed. "I find from the evidence that John Bell was killed on the night of 28th of Dec 1903 by Henry Holms with a piece of iron pipe and placed on the track of the Galveston Harrisburg and San Antonio Rail Road in the eastern part of Eagle Lake and I find further that said rail road was in no way responsible for the said death." J. K. Davidson

p. 11 An inquest was held on Emil Bell, "a child seemed to be between two and three years old and appeared to be a cross between Mexican & Negro," on Dec 29, 1903. He died on Dec 29, 1903 on SP tracks in Eastern part of Eagle Lake. JP was notified by A. M. Waugh. Name of suspected person was Henry Holms who was arrested on Dec 29, 1903 and confined in Colorado County jail. No bail was allowed. "I find from the evidence that Emil Bell was killed on the night of the 28th of Dec. 1903 by Henry Holms and placed on the track of the Galveston Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway in east Eagle Lake." J. K. Davidson"

p. 12 An inquest was held on Brad Roberts on Aug 22, 1904 on J. J. Raezer’s rice farm. He died on Aug 22, 1904 on the rice farm. JP was notified by J. J. Raezer. "I find from the evidence that Brad Roberts died on the rice farm of J. J. Raezer on the 22 day of Aug 1904 with heart failure." J. K. Davidson

p. 13 An inquest was held on Green Cox on Aug 25, 1904 at residence of the deceased. He died on Aug 25, 1904 at his residence. JP was notified by constable. "I find from the evidence that Green Cox died at his residence in Colorado County on the 25th day of Aug. 1904 from the effects of a pistol shot accidently [sic] discharged by himself." J. K. Davidson

p. 14 An inquest was held on Len Robinson on Jan 12, 1905 at his residence. He died on Jan 12, 1905 at his residence. "From the evidence I find that Len Robinson died at his residence on the night of the 11th or morning of the 12the day of Jan 1905 and that he probably died with heart trouble." J. K. Davidson

p. 15 An inquest was held on James Harnass (who had a club foot) on May 8, 1905, at his residence at pump on river. George Williams brought the message to JP. He died on May 7, 1905, in his residence. "I find from the evidence that James Harness died at his residence at pumping plant on the river on the night of the 7th of May 1905 and that he probably died with heart failure." J. K. Davidson

p. 16 An inquest was held on Fanny Henry, alias Fanny Coleman, an old Negro woman, on Oct 10, 1905 at Horace Corporal’s house in Eagle Lake. She died on Oct 10, 1905, at Horace Corporal’s house. "I find from the evidence that Fanny Henry alias Fanny Coleman fell dead on the morning of the 10th day of Oct 1905 in the residence of Horace Corporal and that she probably died with heart failure." J. K. Davidson

p. 17 An inquest was held on Simon Warner, an old Negro man, on Dec 25, 1905 at his residence in Eagle Lake, Tex. He died on Dec 25, 1905 at his residence. William Lott informed the JP that Simon Warner had suddenly died. "I find from the evidence that Simon Warner died in bed on the night of the 25th day of Dec 1905 with heart failure." J. K. Davidson

p. 18 An inquest was held on Andrew Gomez, a 12 year old Mexican, on Jan 30, 1905 at 10 p. m. He died on Jan 29, 1906. JP was notified by phone message from E. Faber. "I find from the evidence that Andrew Gomez a twelve year old Mexican boy was instantly killed by the accidental discharge of a gun in the hands of Louisana Luna on the 29th day Jan, 1906." J. K. Davidson

p. 19 An inquest was held on Nathan P. Smith on March 26, 1906 at Donovant [Dunovant] Plantation. He died on March 26, 1906 near residence. Name of suspected person was Josephine Speckes who was arrested on March 26, 1906 and confined in Colorado County jail. Bail was set on April 2, 1906 at $750.00. G. H. Northington of Egypt, Texas and J. R. Westmoreland of Eagle Lake, Texas were sureties on Bail Bond. "I find from the evidence that Nathan P. Smith was shot and instantly killed on the 26th day of March 1906 by Josephine Speakes. Mch 27, 1906." J. K. Davidson

p. 20 An inquest was held on Lucy Lewis on July 2, 1906, in Eldridge. She died on July 1, 1906, at her house. Charles Davis phoned the JP. Henrietta Edwards was the suspected person. She was arrested on July 2, 1906, and confined at the Colorado County Jail. "I find from the evidence that Lucy Lewis was stabbed in the neck, on the night of the first day of July 1906 by Henrietta Edwards, from the effects of which she died in a few minutes span. Under my hand this the 3rd day of July 1906." J. K. Davidson

p. 21 An inquest was held on Katharine Brown on Sept 1, 1906, in Eagle Lake. She died on Aug 31, 1906, at restaurant. JP was notified by phone by Henry Hahn. Name of suspected person was John Armstrong. He was arrested on Sept 1, 1906 and confined to Colorado County jail. "I find from the evidence that Katharine Brown was cut with a knife by John Armstrong on the night of the 31st of Aug 1906 from the effects of which she died in a few minutes." J. K. Davidson

p. 22 An inquest was held on Henry Young on Oct 16, 1906 at 2 P. M. in Eagle Lake, Texas. He died on Oct 16, 1906, on Main Street in Eagle Lake. The JP was notified by J. M. Callison. Charles McDow and Terry Balhorn of Eagle Lake were the suspects. They were arrested on Oct 16, 1906, and confined in Colorado County jail with a $5,000 bail bond for each. I find from the evidence that Henry Young was killed on Main Street in Eagle Lake, Texas on the 16th day of Oct 1906 by Charles McDow and Terry Balhorn." J. K. Davidson

p. 23 An inquest was held on Mary Hawkins on Nov 18, 1906 at 8 p. m. at house of Ellen Simmons. Mary Hawkins died on Nov 17, 1906 in back yard of Ellen Simmons. JP was notified by Tobe Caldwell, Jr. of Mathews. "I find from the evidence that Mary Hawkins was killed at the residence of Ellen Simmons in Colorado County, Texas on the night of the 17th of Oct 1906 by Tobe Caldwell, Jr." J. K. Davidson

p. 24 An inquest was held on W. L. Johnson on March 9, 1907. Johnson died on March 9, 1907 in his residence. JP was notified by Rye Deleno.

p. 25 An inquest was held on Curley Howard on March 16, 1907 at his residence. He died on March 16, 1907 at his residence. "I find from the evidence that Curley Howard was instantly killed by the accidentally discharge of a gun held in the hands of Stephen Lott —Ford Blanton on this 16th of March 1907." J. K. Davidson

p. 26 An inquest was held on Morgan Smith on April 1, 1907, at residence on John Matthews place. Smith died on Apr 1, 1907, at his residence. JP was notified by a Negro.

Ben Polk was the suspected person. He was arrested on April 1, 1907 and confined in the Colorado County jail. "I find that Morgan Smith was killed by Ben Polk by stabbing him with a knife on the 1st day of Apr 1907." J. K. Davidson

p. 27 An inquest was held on Austin Francis on June 12, 1907 on the train in Eagle Lake. He died on June 12, 1907, on the train. JP was notified by the conductor. "I find from the evidence that Austin Francis died on the Cane Belt Train on the 12th day of June 1907, and that his death was probably cause by heart failure." J. K. Davidson

p. 28 An inquest was held on J. R. Bell on Nov 30, 1907, in Eagle Lake. He died on Nov 30, 1907, in Eagle Lake. The JP was notified by phone message from S. P. depot. "I find from the evidence that J. R. Bell was run over and instantly killed by a freight train on the Cane Belt Rail Road on the night of the 30th of Nov 1907." J. K. Davidson

p. 29 An inquest was held on William Lehms on Feb 2, 1908, in Eagle Lake. He died on Feb 2, 1908, in the lake. The JP was notified by phone message from Lakeside. "I find from the evidence that Wm Lehms was drowned while duck hunting on the Lake on the 2nd day of Feby, 1908." J. K. Davidson

p. 30 An inquest was held on Davis on April 14, 1908. Will Davis, the suspect, was arrested on April 14, 1908, confined in the Colorado County jail. No bond was allowed. " I find from the evidence that —Davis was killed by her husband Will Davis by shooting her with a shot gun." [Section below this was cut out.] A warrant was issued on April 14, 1908. J. K. Davidson

p. 31 Section cut out--see p. 30. [An inquest was held on Vaughan Beaks.] Joe Duke of Eagle Lake, Texas, the suspect, was arrested on November 4, 1908 and confined in the Colorado County jail. A bail bond of $2000 was set on November 9, 1908. The sureties on bail bond were the following: A. C. McClanahan, Henry Burtschell, E. L. Mooney, J. R. Westmoreland, W. E. Welford, C. H. Brosig, E. A. Saleday, and Wm. G. Kohleffel, all of Eagle Lake. "I find from the evidence that Vaughan Beaks was shot and instantly killed in Brosig’s saloon in Eagle Lake on the 2n day of Nov. 1908." J. K. Davidson

p. 32 An inquest was held on Dave Hodge on December 2, 1908, in road on Dunovant farm. Hodge died on December 2, 1908. The suspect was Joe Rososke who lived on Dunovant farm. Rososke was arrested on December 2, 1908 and confined in Colorado County jail. Bail was set at $5000 on December 7, 1908. Sureties for the bond were J. W. Thatcher, P. T. Gordon, and J. U. Frazer, all of Eagle Lake. "I find from the evidence that Dave Hodge was shot and instantly killed on the 2nd day of Dec 1908 by Joe Rososke." J. K. Davidson

p. 33 An inquest was held on John Gonzales on January 3, 1909 in Eagle Lake. Gonzales died in his back yard on January 3, 1909. Dennis Montania, the suspect, was arrested on January 3, 1909 and confined in the Colorado County jail. "I find from the evidence that John Gonzales was shot and killed on the morning of the 3rd day of January 1909 by Dennis Montania." J. K. Davidson

p. 34 An inquest was held on Max Theumann on March 14, 1910 in Eagle Lake. Theumann died on March 14, 1910 in Eagle Lake. JP was notified by H. S. Vinyard [Vineyard] who provided the information. Henry Burtschell, the suspect, was arrested on March 14, 1910, and confined in the Colorado County jail. "I find from the evidence that Max Theumann was killed in Brosig’s saloon in Eagle Lake, Texas, on the 14th day of March 1910 by Henry Burtschell by shooting him with a shot gun." J. K. Davidson

p. 35 An inquest was held on Maggie Harris on March 27, 1910 in Eagle Lake. Harris died on March 27, 1910. JP was notified by operator at the S. P. depot, Will Holt. Abbie Cameron and Lillie Jackson, the suspects, were confined in the Colorado County jail. "I find from the evidence that Maggie Harris was killed at the S. P. Depot on the morning of the 25th day of March 1910 by Abbie Cameron and Lillie Jackson." J. K. Davidson

p. 36 An inquest was held on Paul Alexander on January 22, 1911 near Faber. Alexander died on January 21, 1911, near Faber. The JP was notified about 2 o’clock at night by H. S. Vineyard. Tom Lewis, the suspect, was arrested on January 21, 1910. "I find from the evidence that Paul Alexander was killed near Faber on the night of the 21st of January 1911 by Tom Lewis with a shot gun." J. K. Davidson

p. 37 An inquest was held on Jim Moore, on January 22, 1911, at Faber. Moore died on January 21, 1911, at the convict camp at Faber. JP was notified by Dr. Fitzgerald. "I find from the evidence that Jim Moore, a state convict at Eldridge, died on the night of the 21st of January and that his death was the result of natural causes." J. K. Davidson

p. 38 An inquest was held on Liddy Bell, black Negro woman, on March 29, 1911, near Matthews. Her body was found on March 29, 1911. JP was notified by phone from Will Matthews. There were no suspects. "I find from the evidence that Liddy Bell died on the night of the 28th of March 1911 and that her death was from natural causes." J. K. Davidson

p. 39 An inquest was held on Bill Payne, an old Negro, on May 3, 1911 near Matthews. Payne died on May 3, 1911. JP was notified by phone from Will Matthews. There were no suspects. "I find from the evidence that Bill Payne died on the 3rd day of May, and that his death was caused by heart failure." J. K. Davidson

p. 40 An inquest was held on Jim Samuel, a black Negro, on May 17, 1911, near Matthews. He died on May 17, 1911. JP was informed by J. M. Callison. Nelson Eaton, the principal suspect, was from near Matthews. "I believe from the evidence that Jim Samuel died on the 17th day May from the effect of a pistol shot wound and that the shot was fired by Nelson Eaton. Warrant issued for the Negro can not be found. May 17, 1911. J. K. Davidson

p. 41 An inquest was held on Ed T. Evans was held on January 2, 1912, at 9 p. m. in Eagle Lake. The date of his death was January 2, 1912, in bed over the garage. The JP was notified by H. B. Vinyard [Vineyard] by telephone. Findings by the justice: "I find from the evidence that Ed T. Evans died from effects of pistol shot in the head and the shot was fired by himself with suicidal effect."

p. 42 An inquest was held on Sandy Irvin on Apr 8, 1912 at 2 p. m. in Eagle Lake. He died on Apr 8, 1912. The JP was notified by J. M. Callison by telephone. Findings by the justice: "I find from the evidence that Sandy Irvin died with heart failure caused by an over dose of intoxicating liquor."

p. 43 An inquest was held on Robert Rias on June 1912 in Eagle Lake. He died in June of 1912 in Eagle Lake. The justice was notified by the sheriff. Name of suspected person was N. W. Callison of Eagle Lake. Callison was arrested on June 4, 1912, and bond was set at $100. Findings of the justice: "I find from the evidence that Robert Rias was killed shot N. W. Callison and that the killing was in self defense."

p. 44 An inquest was held on McCuller Jackson on Oct 7, 1912, in Eagle Lake. The date Jackson died was Oct 7, 1912 in Eagle Lake. The JP was notified by Dr. Fitzgerald by telephone. Will Shropshire who lived in Eagle Lake was the suspect. He was arrested on Oct 7, 1912, in Eagle Lake and $500 bond was set on Oct, 1912. E. L. Monney and T. R. were sureties for the bond. Findings from the justice: "I find that McCuller Jackson was killed on the night of the 6th of Oct 1912 by Will Shropshire by stabbing him with a knife." J. K. Davidson

p. 45 An inquest was held on Refugio Rivis on Feb 12, 1913, in Eagle Lake. Rivis died on Feb 12, 1913. Findings of the justice: "I find from the evidence that Refugio Rivis was killed on the 12th day of Feby. 1913 by an engine on the west bound train on the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Rail Road and I further believe that the engineer was in no manner to blame for the accident." J. K. Davidson

p. 46 An inquest was held on Robert Lanceces on Feby 28, 1913, in Eagle Lake. He died on Feby 28, 1913. Body was found in Sally Shropshire’s yard in Eagle Lake. Findings of the justice: I find from the evidence that Robert Lanences was accidently [sic] shot and killed by Edward Shropshire while playing with a pistol on 28th day of Feby 1913." J. K. Davidson.

p. 47 An inquest was held on William McKinly Smith on April 28, 1913, in Eagle Lake. He died on Apr 27, 1913 in the river. Findings of the justice: "I find from the evidence that William McKinly Smith was drowned while bathing in the Colorado River, Apr 27, 1913." J. K. Davidson

p. 48 An inquest was held on A. E. Anderson on Nov 8, 1913, in Eagle Lake. He died on Nov 8, 1913, on . JP was notified by J. M. Callison. Findings of the justice: "I believe from the evidence that A. E. Anderson froze to death on the night of the 7th of Nov 1913." J. K. Davidson

p. 49 An inquest was held on Will Scott on Dec 25, 1913 in Eagle Lake. He died on Dec 25, 1913. The JP was notified by telephone by Frank Douglas. "I find from the evidence that Will Scott was killed by a work train on the San Antonio and Aransas Pass rail road on the evening of the 25th day of Dec. 1913." J. K. Davidson

p. 50 An inquest was held on Leroy Williams on Dec 29, 1913, at Lake Side. Williams died on Dec 27, 1913. The JP was notified by message sent by C. H. Brosig. The findings of the justice: "I find from the evidence that Leroy Williams was accidently [sic] drowned in the lake on the 27th day of Decr.1913." J. K. Davidson

p. 51 An inquest was held on George Westcot on Jun 21, 1915 at 3 p. m. at bank of Lake. Westcot died on Jun 20, 1915. JP was notified by telephone message. Findings of the justice: "I believe from the evidence that Geo Westcot accidently [sic] fell from the boat and was drowned in the Lake on the 20th day of June 1915." J. K. Davidson

p. 52 An inquest was held on Alberta Ereva on July 6, 1915. Ereva died on July 4, 1915. JP was notified by message from Chas. Davis. Names of suspected persons were President Hamilton, the principal, from Eldridge; Ollie Swan, an accomplice, from Eldridge; and Nick Johnson, an accomplice, from Eldridge. They were arrested on July 6, 1915 and confined in Colorado County jail. Findings from the justice: "I believe from the evidence that Alberta Ereva was killed on the night of the 3 day of July 1915 by President Hamilton that Ollie Swan and Nick Johnson were accomplices." [section of page torn out.] A warrant was issued by Justice court on July 6, 1915. J. K. Davidson

p. 53 An inquest was held on Fred Beaks [large section of page us torn out] James Barnett was arrested on July 17, 1916 and confined in county jail. Findings for the justice: "I find from the evidence that James Barnett killed Fred Beaks on the 17th day of July 1916 by shooting him with a pistol." Warrant issued on July 17, 1916. J. K. Davidson

p. 54 An inquest was held on Fecunda Aldoco on July 19, 1917. Aldoco died on July 19, 1917, on plantation. JP was notified by T. J. Balhorn. Name of suspected person was M. L. Anderson of Matthews. He was arrested on July 19, 1917 and bail set at $1000. Findings of the justice: "I find from the evidence that Fecunda Aldoco was shot and killed by M. L. Anderson on Haynie Matthews plantation on the 19th day of July 1917." A warrant was issued on July 19, 1917. J. K. Davidson

p. 55 An inquest was held on Mollie Thomas, a black Negro woman apparently between 55 and 60 years. Inquest was held on May 10, 1921 in garden near I. V. Duncan’s store. She died on May 9, 1921 in the garden near Duncan’s store. JP was notified by telephone from Mr. Duncan’s clerk that a Negro woman had been found dead in her garden near the store. Findings of the justice: "I find from the evidence and facts that the deceased Mollie Thomas came to her death by natural causes whether by heart failure or by lightning. I found her lying at the end of a row of freshly transplanted cabbage; in one hand she held eight cabbage plants and on the ground by the other hand was a case knife and a pipe by the side of her mouth. She evidently fell dead while transplanting the cabbage. After a careful examination no bruises or other evidence of foul play could be present. As there was a considerable electric cloud above the time she was supposed to be setting out the cabbage, I think it very probable that she was killed by lightning. She was lying about three feet from a wire fence." J. K. Davidson

p. 56 An inquest was held on Henry Herbert, a black Negro about fifty or fifty five years old. Inquest was held on Oct 18, 1921 at 8 p. m. at Eldridge. He died on Oct 18, 1921 at Eldridge. JP was notified by telephone from Harry Johnson to Max Conner and sheriff’s department. Findings of justice: "I find from the evidence that Henry Herbert died of natural causes perhaps heart failure." J. K. Davidson

p. 57 An inquest was held on John Williams, a black Negro middle age, on May 4, 1922 at 2 p. m. near Ramsey. He died on May 4, 1922 near rail road. JP received message by telephone from Ray Munn Fitzgerald. [large section containing findings was torn out.] J. K. Davidson