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the Semi-Weekly leader, n^ri
PUBLISHED WEDNESDAYS AND SATURDAYS. VOLUME 24-NUMBER 66. BROOKHAVEN, MISSISSIPPI, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 1905. SUBSCRIPTION $2 A YEAR. 1WE ARE [too BU5Y This week to write ads. I 1 * • I Keep in touch with our store and keep posted ! A. C. Seavey & * • ^ -v ** ♦ <r ^ <» FARMERS BLACKSMITHS j ■- ...... <» ATTENTION < > I have just received a car-load of the fa* ;; mous “ETNA” Blacksmith Shop Coal, which “ we are selling at $1.25 per sack of 200 pounds • A WELD MADE WITH ETNA STICKS l Wagon and Buggy Material j I ”T~ “ ii We have a big stock on hand and are buy* ;;.j \\ ing direct from the manufacturers, thereby ;; II saving the jobber’s profit***fhis we give to II you. Come in and get .our prices. II Roofing Material 1 | Have a big stock of Black Diamond Felt Roofing. Anyone can | not leak or burn. [Three Papers 1 year for $2.25—280 Issues The Leader, The Memphis News-Scimitar and The Home and Farm THE CIRCUIT COURT. IT OPENED MONDAY MORNING WITH A FULL DOCKET. • Judge Wilkinson Delivers a Strong Charge to the Grand Jury. Says Lincoln Is Making Progress Along Law and Order Lines. Judge Wilkinson apened court promptly Monday morning and proceeded to draw the grand jury'. Several persons whose names were drawn from the box were excused for one cause and anoth er. The grand jury as finally em paneled and sworn in was as fol lows: II. D. Bullock, W. A. Brewer, W. B. Allen, J. S. Reeves, W. J. Ellzey, I. W. Ma son, Jesse Hoggatt, James Hux, Virgil Brister, H. F. Morgan, J. B. Greer, S. S. Applewhite, Clowe Gill, W. J. D, Hart, N. b. Grice, N. M. Nevils, E. b• Scott, -Eewis, AH of the jurors are farmers except W, A. Brewer, who is a railroad engineer. W. J. Ellzey was appointed foreman and Sam Dunn bailiff. After the usual introductory remarks, the judge charged the jury to present no person in a spirit of revenge, and to spare np one through fear, favor Or affec tion. He congratulated the jury the county on the progress made along law aqd order ljnes singe he was first called to the bench here, but admonished them that there is still much important work to be done in this direction.' There are some things yet that need to be straightened out, and if the jury will do its duty and bring the offenders to the bar of this court, the court will endeav or to see that theyr are taught the needed lesson. It will be the first duty of the vrand jury to investigate the seises pf persons in jail, chayged with crifne, The ye have ligsp thyee oy four homicides commit ted in the county since the last sourt, and three men are in jail charged with murder. Xo person has a right under the law to take human life except in negessayy self-defense, the jury must investigate all killings reported to it and see if murder has bee^ committed. /^i i ■ • _ MuuiM-^g was reterred to as one of the most demoralizing apd corrupting vices with which so ciety is alfiicted, and the jury was charged to investigate and indict the whole fraternity, if the evi dence cquid be secured, fyom the gambler in cofton futqres in thw Bjroo.khavep (dotton Exchange down to the niggey crap shooter. Uon’t begin on the insignificant negro yrap shooter first, but go after the big game, the business man who gambles or the card players around Brookhaven, who wear standing collars and red neckties, and if they are indicted and convicted the court wifi see that they are put behind jail bars like ordinary crap shooters. Cot ton exchanges are all right and serve the farmer and merchant a good purpose when they furnish the latest market quotations, but the gambling feature is against the law and should be broken up. The cotton future gambler sooner or later comes to grief. The game is foo big and tempting. Look at tlie fate of SuHyi the great cotton byll, and Theodore Price, tbe big New York bear. When men like these fail, what can the small-fry fellow in the country markets expect when he gambles in futures? It will be a good thing for the future gam blers themselves for the jury to indict them. Another thing, the clems cm ployed in the' merchants stores can’t live on the salaries they re ceive and gamble at the same time without lobbing their employers. There is no such thing as an hon est gambler in this day and time. In the days jong past there may h^ve tteeii, but not jn tips ago and generation. In my town the mer chants won’t employ a young man in their stores who is known as a gambler, and wlmn you see a youDg man behind their counters and desks it is equivalent to a cer tificate of character on this point. The court here gave several ex amples of young men who had gone to town from the country ti engage in business and been led into temptation and ruined by the gambling element. There is nc place in Mississippi under the law’for the gambler or vagranl except the jail or county farm. The court referred two or three times in the course of his charge to the hoodlumism at Harpiohj school hou§e in the northern por tion pf district No. 3, which was so justly anq severely ponclerauec by prof. Campbell in last Satur day’s Reader, That crowd was just ljke that teacher-describee them, declared the Court. I reck on there were no men presenl when they were making that dis graceful exhibition in the pies ence of the women and children or they would not have got awaj as they did. If I was at a place where a slot of drunken hoodlums acted that way before a lot ol (Continued on 1th page, column 6.) SENSATIONAL MURDER. DR. BUTLER KILLED BY MRS. BIRD SONG AT MONTICELLO. She Visits His Office and Shoots Him Without Warning. Desperate Woman Committed to Jaii Without Benefit of Bail. On last Saturday morning the town of Monticello was the scene of one of the most sensational and startling tragedies which has ever occurred in South Mississippi, when Mrs. Dr. Jas. R. Birdsongi of that place, went to the office of Dr. Tbos. Butler, and, . without warning, shot him to death with a revolver. Naturally enough, such an extraordinary incident threw the quiet old town snugly nestling on the banks of the Bear! into a fever of the most intense excitement; all stores and offloes were closed, and the people did nothing the rest of the day except to discuss the details of the blood; y affair and the probable and pos sible causes leading up to it. Dr. Butler was a promineot physician of Monticello and per sonally and professionally ope of the most popular men of that town and Lawrence county. He was about 40 years of age, band some in person, genial and socia ble in disposition apd counted liis friends tay'the hundreds. He was a sop-in-law of Ifon. Samuel Ilickmap, of F.awrepce county, a pephew of ex-Gov. Lopgipo, apd otherwise related to some of the most prominent families of Law rence county, and had a wife and four children. Mrs. Birdsong, his murderess, is likewise a member of one of the oldest and most rU8Peuled families of ^awrenpe cqupty, be ing thp daughter of Mr. Geo. \Y. Fox, of that county. She w«s married to, her husband, Dr. dasr R. Birdsong, a dentist, formerly of Hazlehurst, and a member of one of the leading families of Co piah, when she was only 13 or 1$ years of age. and i§ pqw hut 19, hardly np.°l'P thaq a girl, She is tlie mother of two small children the youngest of which »» scarcely yet two ve»rs old. Very soon after the first shock of surprise and excitement over the shouting had subsided, Mrs. Birdsong was taken in custody by Sheriff D. M. Lee and placed in jail, and later in the day her hus band was arrested and placed in jail, charged with being an acces sory before the fact to the mur der, Yesterday was set for the pre liminary trial before Justice J. W. Steen at Monticello, and the court house was packed to. tne doors with an anxious, curious crowd to witness the proceedings. Hon. A. C. McNair, of Broakha ven, Ex-Gov. Longino, of Jack son, and L.. E. Grice, of Monti cello, appeared for the State, and lions. B. N. Miller, of Hazle hurst and G. Wood Magee, of Monticello, for the defense. After the examination of only a few of the many witnesses sum moned on both sides and no little sparring and argument by coun sel, Justice Steen announced bis decision remanding Mrs. Bird song to jail without the benefit of bail and discharging Dr. Birdsong from custody. A representative of The Leader spent yesterday in Monticello at tending the trial, talking with many of the witnesses in the case and examining the scene of the terrible tragedy, and a condensed summary of what was learned is given below: for a goon long time ur. cut ler Lad been the physician of the Biidsong family. He had lately built a new office on fhe main street of the town running from the new railroad depot to the court house, and situated on an air line about 75 or 80 yards from the Bjrdsong residence, and in full view of the front of the resi dence. The doctor's office was on the north side of the street and fronted south, and the Birdsong residence is situated on a differ ent street and fronts west, the nearest course between them-be ing diagonally across the street and a small enclosure. The doc tor’s office is about 24 feet long by 16 wide,* divided into two rooms, with a gallery covering the front end 6 feet wide, railed up except at the corner, w here the steps lead up from the side walk three feet from the gallery floor, The front dpor apa steps are lo cated on fhe east corner, and front south, Immediately in line with the front door is a partition door that opens ipto the rear room- A back door tp the rear room opens on a garden lot. The rear room has two windows, one on the east and one on the west side. The front room has two windows, one in front, opening on the south, like the front door, the other on the east side between the front door and the partition door. All of the windows are of extra thick glass and have shutters. At the time of the shooting all of the | window shutters and all of the doors, except the back door, were thrown wide open. Two of the saying SIIU wauicu mm ID give her ’ something else, the doctor blandly answering that hedidr’t know what else to do, but would try to find ber something and about this time Williamson de parted and hadn’t gotten but about 25 or 30 yards when he heard the pistol shots. Messrs. Cowart, Williams and Welborne, who were still in front of the bank building when the shooting took place, testified in substance that they heard three shots tired inside of the offlee, loud exclamations of pain, got a glimpse of somebody on the in side through the side window of the front room, then saw Dr. Butler emerge through the front door in a stooped position with his hands clasped to his breast and stagger down the steps, quickly followed by Mrs. Bird song with her smoking revolver in her hand. Dr. Butler turned to the right as soon as he got on the side walk, got to the west end of the gallery, turned and fell in a little V shaped space between the west end of the gallery and a picket fence that jutted up against the office building. 'After follow ing him down the steps and fumbling with the cylinder of her revolver, as if it wouldn’t work, Mrs. B. 6eerped to fire ofi one chamher accidentally, then turned and fired the two remaining cham bers at the prostrate form of her victim as he lay on the ground, coolly placed her smoking pistol, which was a 32 silver mounted Smith & Wesson Special, back in her satchel,and started back toward home. When the excited eye witnesses reached Dr. Butler a few seconds after the last shot, he was gasping his last breath and never uttered a syllable. Nearly half way home from the office, she met Dr. Birdsong with a double barreled shot gun, in his shirt sleeves and bare-headed, who exclaimed on meeting her, “AJy God, Angie, what have you done?” Her only answer was, ‘‘I know what 1 have done,” and they walked on to the house to gether. State Witness Bryant testified that on the way to the house, after the meeting, Birdsong was heard to ask his wife why didn’t she wait and let him shoot him. This witness also testified that after Dr. Birdsong got on his gallery he took the pistol used by his wife, broke it and emptied the exploded shells out of the cylin der. The physical signs showed that Dr. Butler was struck by two of the shots fired in his office, the range being so close that his clothing was powder burnt. One bullet entered just above the left nipple and passed out his back just under tne snoulder made. A second entered the back and came out where the other entered, pass ing through the heart. The third missed him and struck the floor of the office gallery as he was go ing out, and the three fired on the outside missed him. It is the theory of the State that he was stooping down to get an empty bottle put of one of the boxes in the rear1 room when he received the first shot, A broken bottle was found lying by the box, and one witness saw him through the window right by this box imme diately after the first shot was fir ed. The real cause which incited the woman to commit the desperate act may never be known. The theory advanced by the defense was that she was wrought up to a state of desperation over re ports she had heard that her vie tim circulated reflecting on her virtue. The testimony which it was sought to be introduced to prove this was ruled out by the court. There is a well authenti cated report that she sent for Dr, Butler to come to see her last Wednesday and that he did not go. At the same time a rumor, gained currency that she bad tak en %o overdose of morphine with suicidal intent. Dr. Alford, who was sent for after Dr. Butler fail ed to respond, found that she was not under the influence of the poisonous drug. The most generally accepted theory is that she had become strangely infatuat ed with her family physician, and, feeling that she had been re pulsed or mistreated by him in some way, resolved on a desperate revenge. She displayed remark able nerve after the killing up to yesterday morning when, she was brought into court. Then she showed signs of weakening, and several times during the proceed ings displayed extreme agitation. She is a blonde of medium size, and far from being a handsome woman. DI. Birdsong took the stand and testified in his own behalf. He said he reached Monticello Friday evening after several days absence, and before going home heard the report about his wife having attempted suicide. After getting home he informed her what he had heard and they dis cussed the subject some. He no ticed she appeared despondent, but having satisfied himself that she had not tried to kill herself, as reported, he did not care to hear anything more on the sub ject and dismissed it. That, night he drank quite heavily from a bottle of whisky he had in the house, getting up and taking a drink several times during the night, and had not dressed to go out next morning when the trage dy occurred. When he heard the" hrst shot he inquired of his mother “Where is Angie?” and being answered that she bad gone to Dr. Butler’s office, be looked out in that direction and hearing other shots and getting a glimpse of his wife through Dr. Butler’s office window, he instinctively suspected that she was in trouble over there and might be killed, and grabbed his shot gun, which was standing behind the-door, and hurried in that direction without coat or hat. He denied having an}r previous knowledge of her intentions or making the state ment about shooting Dr. Butler ascribed to him by Witness Brv ant. The shocking and lamentable affair continues to be the all absorbing topic among the people of Monti cello and all the surround ing country. Pending further legal proceedings, Mrs. Birdsong will be made as comfortable as possible by Sheriff Lee in the new Monticello jail. Tomorrow will be the biggest day of all at the Mississippi Ex position now in progress at Jack son. A great many people from other towns will'spend Thanks giving at the Capital taking in the sights. The I. C. is selling round trip tickets for one fare, bee schedule of daily excursion train iu this paper. See The Leader about your Job Printing. * Hartman & Co. vs. Butterfield. Washington, Nov. 27.—The de cision of the Supreme Court of the State of Mississippi in the case of F. H. Hartman & Compa ny vs. The Butterfield Lumber Co., was today affirmed bv the Supreme Court of the -United States, the opinion being by Jus tice Brewer. In the case of Esau Harness, while seeking to secure land in Lincoln county, Missis sippi, under the preemption laws of the United States, made a con tract with a lumber company to convey to it the pine timber on the land and a right of way one hundred feet wide for roads, trams and railroads. After he had obtained a patent on the land he made a conveyance to the lum ber company of the timber and right of way and then sold the land itself to Hartman. The court held that, although, the contract made before Harness’ title to the land was complete, was void un der the statutes of the United States in respect to pre-emption and could not have been enforced by the lumber company against him, yet by the patents he ac quired legal title and could sell or give the land away to whomso ever he pleased and that by bis conveyances to the lumber com pany it sustained a title which could be defeated only by the United States and could not be challenged by one acquiring an interest, on the land through a conveyance from Harness after his deed to it. Justice White dissented. An Old Newspaper Man. Mr. J. T. Ballance is one of the notable visitors to Jackson this week. Mr. Ballance is an old newspaper man aud “picked up his stick” in 1846, and in 1852 was editor of the Whig-Intelligen cer at Paulding, where the Clarion was then published. He worked on the Clarion in this city in the early ’70s. He dow edits and publishes the Centreville Jefferso nian,. owned by Mr. H. M. Quin, of this city. Mr. Ballance cele brated his 76tb birthday on the 4th of last July and is now hale and hearty and evinces a great interest in public matters.—Clar ion-Ledger. Thanksgiving Service. There will be a union Thanks giving service at the Presbyterian church tomorrow at 11 a. m. The sermon will be preached by the pastor, Rev. W.. E. Phifer and special music will be furnished by a select choir. The public is cor dially invited to attend. James W. Nesom, aged 37, died at Laurel, leaving a wife and sev eral small children. walls of the front room are lined with shelves and bottles contain ing drugs and medicines, and the rear room contained a couple of boxes filled with empty bottles, and a number of large bottles sit ting around on the floor. Being newly occupied and the painting not quite finished, the only furni ture in the office was three chairs in the front room. Across the street, immediately in front of the doctor’s office is Mr. Garrett’s residence, and 25 or 30 yards east, and on the same side of the street with the office, is the new brick bank building, nearing comple tion. A little after 10 o’clock Satur day morning ex-Sheriff VV. W*. Williams, Postmaster E. O. Cow art and Bob Welborne were all sitting on a pile of bricks in front of the bank building talking, when Mrs. Birdsong was noticed to pass them going toward the doctor’s office, with a little satchel in her hand. Henry Williamson, a farmer who lives south of Mon ticello, but who was not called to the stand during the preliminary trial, is quoted as sayiug that he wa3 in the doctor’s office for the purpose of getting a prescription when she appeared, and that Mrs. Birdsong, who at once noticed his presence, began by complaining that some medicine the doctor had prescribed for one of her children' had not had the desired effect and <» OPENS DAII Y AT 7 A M CLOSES SATURDAY AT 9:30 P. M. 0 O closes DAII Y p'm" CLOSES ALL DAY THANKSGIVING 0 vluju daily 0:ju r. w. CHRISTMAS DAY AND NEW YEAR’S 0 ° — ■ ' ‘ 41 4> 44 McGrath’s Handsome Holiday Goods ° Arc rolling in at a lively rate and wil be ready for display early in December. Particulars regarding the many attractive items <» purchased specially, tor Christmas trade will appear at an early date. 4> *ii i | ^ou cann°f nOord to buy these lines till you get a look at the McGrath stock. Prices will be marked in plain figures and T .. 'v’‘ J10 low enough to win your favor. Remember, too, that in addition to the special holiday line you will find many items in ° regular stock admirably suited for Xmas presents-useful as well as ornamental. ° at fhe BP0cials in Furs, Ladies’ Wraps, Waists and Skirts, elegant Silks, Dress Goods, Linens, Scarfs, Hand- o ° verchiefs, Ltc., Ltc. ISo trouble to find just the thing wanted ’if you patronize McGrath’s. Special orders promptly and o effectively executed. Aside from Xmas buying remember the . F J ° " ST. LOUIS SACRIFICE SALES ;; o a^stbe mi,lioua of dollars in clean, fresh merchandise offered at a bargain, many items being sold BELOW MANUFACTURERS’ ° ■ ^ '\a? a f0 a bnisb between the big St. Louis wholesale merchants and goods were sold regardless as a result of the ° <► keen competition and the wild scramble for trade. t om f!'ora the MoUnth stores were on band “ready for business,” and John McGrath & Sons, of Brookhaven, were I ♦ * * heayyl buyers of attractive merchandise. Though already equipped with a magnificent stock of goods in all departments o P"c.e*V™e b& bt Louls saie Wl11 enable the one-price store to SELL THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS OF MER- ° •’ AT \VH0LESALE 0031 AN" L0WER ™AN I11E AVERAGE MERCHANT CAN BUY THEM <> " .1 .1 ' .A;k aboufc t7ls bargain offerings tliat arc to be found in every department of the Big Store. The lively Fall Campaign .. 0 already instituted will become more vigorous as the season advances, and prices will be extremely lew. <> will pay you to investigate the claims ot the Big Department Store. McGrath’s Little Side Show Grows More lively and interesting as the weeks roll on. Last Saturday the Big Wagon Sale in front of the store was a hummer ° half price 3 °f Shrewd buyers tooIi advantaSe of the bargain offerings that went to the highest bidder-many of them going at o Vanoiis guesses were made as to the wh}7 and wherefore of the window and wagon sale. One wide-awake customer said 1 he thought McGrath wanted to relieve the annual Xmas Eve rush (when goods are given away from the roof of the store) by doing T a little of it every Saturday. ’ J ♦ Another thought it must be to relieve the crowded condition of the big store incident to the usual heavy Saturday trade. f ,, Another figured^that perhaps we had too much stock, but while all these guesses were pretty fair, the real reason is—well, ♦ o that’s another story—suffice it to say now that you can look for another I ;; Big Wagon Sale in Front of McGrath’s Store " Saturday, December 2nd, at 2 P. M. " ' O Big lot of Merchandise sacrificed—goods sold to the highest bidder. You cannot afford to miss it. It may be the last of it the season. Bear in mind that the contents of the :: AUCTION WINDOW t ♦ Will betaken out at 3 p. m. Saturday and SOLD REGARDLESS Oh COST. You buy at your own price. McGrath pavs the I o freight. You will always find special attractions at the well-stocked store of | - John McGrath & Sons ; BROOKHAVEN, MISS. .