The Monroe Bulletin
Wednesday, March 12, 1884
Page 2, Column 3
MURDERED FOR MONEY.
The Terrible Fate of John C. Rogers and His Wife.
Our usually quiet and well-conducted parish was greatly shocked on Saturday by the news of the most horrible murder that has ever stained the good name of Ouachita. John C. Rogers, one of the oldest and most respected of our citizens, lived with his wife in the Seventh Ward, near Cadeville. Rogers was seventy-three years of age, and his wife nearly as old. The old couple lived alone about a mile from a married daughter, Mrs. James B. Landrum, and about half a mile from the nearest neighbor, Mr. Stuckey. On Saturday morning Mrs. Landrum went to her parents' house and found both dead, and lying in a vast pool of their own blood. Greatly overcome by the shock of this terrible discovery, she returned, in an almost unconscious condition to her husband, and informend him of the fact. Mr. Landrum collected some of the neighbors, and together they repaired to the scene of the tragedy, where they beheld a spectacle, horrible and pathetic beyond description. John Rogers lay across a chair in front of the fire- place, with a bullet hole entirely through his head, and his skull smashed in by some blunt instrument, supposed to be an axe found in the room. Mrs. Rogers was also lying across a chair, near her husband, with a bullet hole through her head.
The floor was a lake of blood. The room was in great disorder and the bed torn to pieces. The old man's pockets were rifled of their contents, all of which had disappeared, except his pocket-knife and tooth-pick, which were lying on the mantle-piece. The mattress had evidently been ripped open and searched for money, two thousand dollars of which was hidden in it in a canvas-belt, but which the murders failed to find. Trunks, boxes, and every article that could afford a place of concealment for money, were bursted open, and the contents scattered around. Two horses, one a colt recently gelded, were missing, and also a man's and a woman's saddle. The old man's gun was gone, besides various other articles.
of the murder was evidently robbery, and it was equally evident that the fiend, who committed it, was familiar with the locality, and the habits of the old people. Just how long they had been dead, no one could say, but circumstances pointed to Thursday night, as the time. No one but the guilty parties witnessed the awful deed, and owing to the lapse of time before its discovery, nothing certain could be premised concerning it. Circumstantial evidence, however, points to two men, MULLICAN AND CLARK, as the assassins. These men were seen going towards the Rogers house on Thursday evening. They were the last known to be with the old people. They were at the time fugitives from justice, having stolen three mules in Lincoln parish a day or two before. Mullican had been in the employ of Rogers about six months of last year, and had lived in the house as one of the family. Both were known as men of hardened character. On Thursday night, Mr. Stuckey, the nearest neighbor, heard two pistol shots from the direction of the Rogers house. The same night Mr. Huey Dickerson heard two horses ridden by his house at a rapid gait. Mullican and Clark have both disappeared.
is that the men stopped at the house to stay all night. All were sitting around the fire, Mrs. Rogers on one side next to the chimney, her husband next to her, and the two men on the opposite side. One of the men, on pretence of going to the water bucket, which was behind Mrs. Rogers, passed behind the old man and shot him in the back of the head, the ball going entirely through, and lodging in the mantel-piece beyond. It is supposed that as the old lady turned her face, the assassin shot her, the ball penetrating just below the left eye, passing through and also lodging in the facing of the mantel-piece. Her face was badly powder-burned.
is described as a man about thirty-three years old, five feet eight inches; dark hair and whiskers; rather heavy built; had moustache and whiskers when last seen; rather slow in his speech, and has a hoosier appearance. He comes from Mississippi, and had been informed a few days before that a party of men from his old home were in pursuit of him, and would kill him on sight — for what cause we did not ascertain.
is described as a man about 35 years old but looking younger; same height as
Mullican, stout but not so heavy; swarthy light hair, no whiskers or mustache, and looks like he will never have any; is more genteel in appearance than his companion, and had on new gray jeans pants and light clored clothes. He is a stranger, a waif, and bears no good reputation. Is supposed to have come here from Texas.
Sheriff McGuire is making strenuous efforts to apprehend these parties, but
with the start they have had the chase is likely to be a long one. A posse is also in pursuit of them from Lincoln parish for mule stealing, and as it is led by our friend Jim Huey, will certainly catch them if they are still within the State.
Since writing the above we have seen a dispatch for Gov. McEnery offering
$1,000 reward for the arrest and delivery of the murderers.
According to one researcher's info on genealogy.com (http://genforum.genealogy.com/rogers/messages/10769.html ). . ."The Murderers were caught , and a few days later were taken by a mob, from the jail and lynched.". But, I have not found confirmation of that assertion.
Elizabeth Allen Tharp Rogers mentioned in her father's will
The Last Will & Testament
John A. Tharp
(Son of Vincent A. Tharp)
Taken from Will Book in the Bibb County, GA., Court House by Eleanor Pearl Davis and included in her "Notes on the Allentharp and Tharp Families", 1944, pub. By D. B. Tharpe, pp 30-31.
In the name of God, I, JOHN A. THARP, in the County and State aforesaid, being in sound mind, memory and understanding, do hereby adopt this my last will and testament.
Item 1. I wish and direct that all my just debts may be fully satisfied and paid out of the effects which I may leave behind.
Item 2. I give and bequeath to Eliz. A. Tharp my lawful wife all my lands, Negroes, household and kitchen furniture, horses, cows and hogs, together with all the ready money I may have in hand and all the effects and property I may die possessee of during her natural life widowhood and at her inter marriage or death I wish my property divided in the following manner.
Item 3. Mary Boon, James Madison A. Tharp, William A. Tharp, Robert A. Tharp, Caroline Reynolds, Elizabeth Rogers, Catherine A. Tharp, Cicero A. Tharp, Obedience A. Tharp, Henrietta A. Tharp, Mathew A. Tharp, John Vinson A. Tharp.
Item 4. I do hereby appoint Eliz. A. Tharp my wife as aforesaid Executrix to this my last will and also William A. Tharp and Robert A. Tharp my children above mentioned Executors to this my last will and testament as aforesaid dated this 25 day of Nov. in 1834.
JOHN A. THARP.
Henry S. Ross
Update. . .Aug 25, 2012. . .I was given the follow-up articles from the Monroe Bulletin by Margarite Carbry, also a descendant of
Elizabeth and John Cloud Rogers
The Monroe Bulletin
March 19, 1884
THE ROGERS MURDER
We learn from a correspondent at Vernon, that Mullican and Clark, the parties suspected of the murder, passed Mr. Shows' place on the Natchitoches road on Friday, the day following the commission of the crime. This locality is eight miles south of Vernon. They were going towards St. Maurice, and said they were in search of horse thieves. A posse struck their trail Tuesday morning, and are now in pursuit. All the ferries on the Dugdemona are said to be guarded, so the chances are the wretches will soon be in custody.
We learn from Rev. B. F. Wite that two men who passed through Delhi, last week, were suspected by the citizens to be the fugitives Mullican and Clark, and a posse was organized to pursue them.
A dispatch from Natchitoches also states that the two men passed through that town on Saturday following the murder and were inquiring the road to Longview, Texas.
Later accounts are that the Sheriff of Natchitoches and a posse were eight hours behind Clark and Mullican. One of the horses stolen from Rogers was recovered near Louisville in Winn parish, and a dog belonging to the men was found in the same neighborhood.
LATEST - Since the above was written, Sheriff McGuire has received a dispatch from DeBerry, Pulaski county, Texas, informing him that John Mullican was killed while resisting arrest. Clark was being closely followed by a posse. The particulars up to going to press were very meager.
It seems that the murderers obtained more money than was at first supposed. They secured one wallet from the mattress containing about $2000.
The Monroe Bulletin
March 26, 1884
THE ROGERS MURDER
John or Albert Clark, as he is variously known, was captured near Terrill, Kaufman County, Texas, by a posse led by Mr. James G. Huey of Lincoln parish. He was known to be at a certain house, heavily armed and prepared for resistance. The case with which he was taken reflects credit on the address of his captors. They approached the house in the guise of surveyors and asked for a drink of water. A constable with the party followed the woman into the house and found Clark asleep on the bed. He immediately classed his pistol to Clark's head and ordered him to cross his hands, which Clark did without protest.
John Mullican was taken at Marshall, Texas, by a posse led by John Rogers, Jr. The prisoners are looked for daily. Both the missing horses and the shot-gun were recovered, and it is asserted that it will be no difficult matter to prove that Clark and Mullican were in possession of them and traded them off.
Sheriff Duson of St. Landry arrested a man whom he is still confident is Mullican. He will hold him until Sheriff McGuire is satisfied whether he is the right man.
This is no occasion for lynching, and we hope the indignation aroused by a horrible crime will not hurry our citizens into an act in violation of the law, which will surely be vindicated if the parties suspected are guilty. The moral effect of a legal conviction and punishment will be much greater than any that a mob acting in violation of the law could inflict.
The following telegram was handed us by Sheriff McGuire just as we go to press:
Shreveport, March 25. - To J. E. McGuire: Mullican leaves here for Monroe today. Boat leaves at 12 M.
John Lake, Sheriff
The Monroe Bulletin
April 30, 1884
THE TRIAL OF MULLICAN AND CLARK
There having been a severance granted by the Court in the case of the State vs. John Mullican and John alias Albert Clark, they were tried separately, the trial of Mullican terminating Thursday evening and that of Clark Saturday noon, both having been convicted of murder as charged. The public, generally, is acquainted with the facts in the case, the evidence adduced upon the trial being, in nearly every particular, similar to the newspaper accounts already given. We therefore omit a review of the evidence. The trial of both cases occupied about three days of the Court, and probably attracted more attention than any case that has been tried here in a number of years. The Courthouse was crowded during the entire time, a great many ladies being present. A feeling of indignation against the prisoners was universal and the verdicts of the juries met with entire approval. Mullican was sworn as a witness against Clark, and in the face of a vigorous cross-examination maintained his story made in the jail the day after his arrival here. It was almost entirely false. Clark made a voluntary statement to the Court and jury in his own behalf, and like Mullican did with him, laid the entire blame upon Mullican, and like Mullican, also told a false story.
They both made confessions Saturday evening after all hope was gone. They stated that the plan had been agreed upon to rob the old people, and if need be, to kill them. Mullican was to shoot the old man and Clark the old lady. They made no effort, however, to get the money before killing them. Clark stated that Mullican got up and shot the old man, and that before he could draw his pistol, it having caught in his pocket, to carry out his part of the diabolical plan, Mullican turned and shot the old lady also. Clark admitted knocking the old man in the head with the axe.
Retributive justice was fast and sure in this case, and the last act in the bloody tragedy was enacted last Saturday night.
Saturday night between one and two o'clock, a mob variously estimated at from 50 to 150 men quietly gathered around the jail and equally as quietly took therefrom John Mullican and John alias Albert Clark, the murderers of old man John C. Rogers and his aged wife, Elizabeth Rogers, and Kin Hill, charged with the murder of young Nick Milling, and hanged them to the two china trees just opposite the old Sherif's office. They obtained the jail keys from Deputy Sheriff Charles Brooks, who slept in the attic of the court house. He testifies before the Coroner's inquest that about ten minutes to two o'clock four masked men came to his room and demanded the jail keys, and upon his refusal to give them up told him that there was no use resisting, that they had come for the keys and were going to have them; that he then threw the keys out to them; that they then went to the jail and took the prisoners out and hanged them as above stated. He watched them through the sky-light. They first brought out King Hill. There was but little fuss made at the jail, heard only one scream which seemed to have been stopped by a blow. King was hanged to the tree to the left of the door of the Sheriff's office. Mullican and Clark were next brought out and hanged to the tree to the right of the door. The prisoners were all gagged and bound.
The mob seemed to have taken every precaution against being surprised or foiled in their attempt. They had all approaches to the jail guarded and made every preparation to break in the doors of the jail in case they failed to get the keys. A sledge hammer and an ingeniously constructed battering ram were some of the means of forcing an entrance into the jail left behind by the mob. After hanging the three prisoners mentioned the mob liberated a white prisoner charged with murder in Madison parish and confined here for safe-keeping, and then dispersed, no one knowing whence they came nor whither they went.
The sight next morning (Sunday) was a ghastly one to see - three men hanging to trees right in the heart of town, cold in death - and need not to be seen twice to be long remembered with a shudder.
The Monroe Bulletin
April 30, 1884
TESTIMONIAL TO J. G. HUEY
Whereas, It has come to our knowledge that James G. Huey, of the Parish of Lincoln, did at great personal sacrifice and without the hope or desire of reward, successfully pursue through the States of Louisiana and Texas the alleged murderers of our late venerable and esteemed fellow-citizens, Mr. and Mrs. John C. Rogers; and,
Whereas, It was principally his untiring zeal and watchfulness coupled with his unequaled fearlessness and ability which led to the eventual capture of the murderers Mullican and Clark.
Therefore, We, the undersigned citizens of the Parish of Ouachita take this method of showing, 1st. Our full and hearty approbation of the services, ability, energy, courage and indomitable perseverance of James G. Huey in the discharge of his duty as a citizen. 2nd, That we heartily thank him on the part of the people of our parish and State for his inestimable services in upholding the arms of justice. 3rd, That we request the papers of the Parishes of Lincoln and Ouachita to publish this testimonial.
F. G. Hudson, Austin Green, J. E. McGuire, H. Molse, M. L. Dedman, H.W.. McLeod, A. B. Scholars, F. Vollman, L. W. Stubbs, S. S. Kirkpatrick, Ed Ball, Frank P. Stubbs, R. Richardson, H. H. Russell, A. F. Parker, W. G. Kennedy, W. B. Miller, Millard Parker, D. P. Parker, W. H. Hanna, W. A. Bracey, J. H. Mitchell, A. L. Smith, W. T. Oakes, A. S. Rabun, John A. Moore, W. S. B. Mitchner, S. L. Bracey, C. W. M. . .nic, J. B. Garretson, F. M. McCormick, A. S. Brown, Thos. A. Garrett, A. Mitchell, Franklin Garrett, John H. Milling, D. A. Breard, Jr., J. S. Boatner, Thos. O. Benton, W. Y. Logan, R. C. Abey, John E. Hanna, W. T. Theobalds, D. M. Sholars, R. H. Endom, C. J. Boatner, Lewis D. Allen, Jr., J. H. Simon, Chas Crosley, S. C. Murphy, W. C. Williamson
The Monroe Bulletin
April 30, 1884
Most all serious things have a ludicrous side to them and the wholesale hanging Saturday night - quite a serious thing, by-the-way, to some people - is not an exception. Our friend, Dan Doyle who intended going out on the train Sunday morning, rose quite early - about four o'clock - and started up town before the golden tints of dawn had began to throw its light upon the beauties of a glorious spring morning and light the way of the early traveller. He came along with elastic step and buoyant spirit, whistling an Irish melody, when his progress was impeded by a man hanging to a tree! Undaunted, however, he took another step forward and Holy St. Patrick - another! With implicit faith in his patron saint and his own Irish courage to back him he pressed on, when with an exclamation of Holy St. Mary, still another! Dan took to his heels. It was too much for him and as our reporter appeared upon the scent he heard Dan murmering as he moved off a familiar quotation from Shakespeare beginning - "Ministers of grace and Angels defend us." He lost no time in getting to the residence of Mr. T. N. Conner and arousing the household, and when Mr. Conner appeared Dan said, said he to Mr. Conner, "By my faith Mr. Conner, there are a man hanging on every tree in town!"
The Monroe Bulletin
April 30, 1884
SATURDAY NIGHT'S DOINGS
In another column will be found full particulars of the lynching of Mullican and Clark and King Hill last Saturday night. Opinion is divided as to whether the act should be condemned, or the mob thanked as public benefactors. The mob has cheated the law and justice of a full and complete vindication, but at the same time it has saved the people the spectacle of a harrowing, revolting public execution. Yet we desire, for one, to put the seal of our condemnation upon the act as unmistakable terms. It is hurtful to the material interests of the parish, in that it conveys the impression abroad that we are a lawless people, and consequently such acts impede our material advancement. It robs the law of its sancity and the respect of the people for it, and morality and society of the good effect - the purifying atmosphere - that would have followed a vindication of outraged justice.