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Tioga County Court House and Jail in Wellsboro
Crime and Crime Again
ca 1788 The Collins Murder 1843 Dolen Suspected of murder of Gear 1851- Troy - Peters murders Pomeroy
1874 Bank Robbery in Wellsboro
1875 Hanging of Albert Brown for Murder 1880 Floyd Whitney Kills Warren Stafford at Chatham 1880 Parkhurst - Howell Murder/Suicide
1883 Murder of Martha Sylvia of Charleston 1884 Fatal Shooting of Charles M. Elliott at Blossburg 1885 Bank Robbery at Osceola
1885 Burglary in Chatham 1885 Murder at Pike's Mills 1886 Murder of John Cole at Nelson
1887 Abused woman kills husband 1889 Hancock Murders in Clymer
1890 A. J. Smith Assaults Lorinda Packard in a tool squabble 1890 Mann Murders Willcox 1891 William Decker Murders Nellie Foster
1893 - A Scandal in Sylvania 1897 Murder in Mansfield of Effie Copley by her husband, Walter Goodwin 1901 William Decker visited after ten years in jail
1900 Isaac Borriolo Hanged for murder of wife --- Another Borriolo Article 1902 The Mudges and Bowens of Charleston - or is the Hatfield and the McCoys? 1903 Murder of Mrs. Payne
1904 James Benson Murder - Elmira 1905 Police Chief Fenner of Troy Killed
1907 Warren Rumsey Murder at Tioga 1913 Kinner Murder Trial
1913 Arson Case 1914 - Murder of 15 year old Iva Christian
1914 Wheeler Murders Kline 1918 - TenBroek Murder at Tioga
1928 Beach Murder Troy Physician Shoots Bank Clerk
1940 Harold Frisbie Trial in Forksville Murder of Rhode Moe - Franklindale (Need Date) 1954 Review of hangings in Chemung County
1972 - Corene Ashley "Slocum" Abduction 1974 Ralph Avery Murder
Joyce's Search Tip - November 2008
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Wellsboro Agitator [Wellsboro, PA] 1928 June 14
Sunday Tragedy Shocks County
Justin C. Beach Kills Self and Wife at Sabinsville Home - Neighbors Powerless
Six crashing shots which rent the silence of Sabinsville's Sunday morning sleep sounded the knell of Justin C. Beach, aged 60 years, and his wife, Azella Chisom Beach, aged 52 years, and overshadowed one of the bloodiest tragedies in the history of Tioga county. Afflicted with softening of the brain, and possessed of a groundless antipathy for his wife, who had recently left him, Beach shot her through the body with a high powered rifle, while she slept, turning the gun on himself a half hour later, when he had wandered through the house and about the premises, calling his wife's name and discharging the gun. Interference on the part of neighbors would have been dangerous and probably unavailing, since Beach was heavily armed and desperate.
    Information came to Coroner Wm. White, and Sheriff John Wilcox soon after daybreak Sunday morning when the tragedy had been discovered and reported by a Sabinsville milk man. Their investigation revealed that Beach had been a drinking man, of ugly disposition and that recently he had betrayed symptoms of a disordered mentality. Mrs. Beach, fearing bodily harm from threats of murder and mistreatment by her husband had been spending some time with relatives in Buffalo. Her visit to the home at Sabinsville was to have been for the purpose of collecting her goods before returning to Buffalo.
    Before Mrs. Beach's arrival, Saturday afternoon, Justin Beach was seen in Westfield, where he drew a large sum of money from the bank, and after experiencing difficulty in counting the bills, stated that if his wife returned that day "there would be a wedding."
    The early part of the evening seems to have been spent in peace, Beach seeming to be in excellent spirits and of more friendly disposition than usual. It appears that he had but lately regained possession of his firearms, he wife having hid them in self protection.
    Evidence of the mute, jagged bullet holes in the bed room and about the house indicates that Beach stood over the bed, shot at his wife and missed. As she arose, horrified, he fired again and she fell back, dead upon the bed. William VanDusen, a neighbor, states that he heard the first shot about 1:30. The murderer seems then to have come to the realization of his crime, attempted first aid and in crazed despair wandered the premises until he turned the rifle upon himself and fell prostrate in the living room. The shot entered Beach's body.
    The gaunt, barren old house at the edge of the village is empty. Justin Beach's vicious eccentricities are at an end, and his considerable wealth will be distributed among those outside his family, since no close relatives survive.
    Mrs. Azella Chisom Beach was born 52 years ago at Little March. In 1892 she was married to Justin C. Beach, a native of Sunderlinville. Mrs. Beach leaves two brothers, John Chisom and Frank Chisom, of Sabinsville.
    According to a request of Mr. Beach, the Elks' Lodge, of Hornell had charge of the rites at his burial on Tuesday.
    Perhaps no man was better known throughout Tioga and Potter counties than "Judd" Beach. He covered this territory, selling cigars for 18 years. The first automobile in Tioga county, a Cadillac was his proud possession. For a number of years he was Buick dealer in his community, Upright and honest, Mr. Beach was esteemed by his business associates.
    All who knew Mrs. Azella Beach loved her for her fine womanly qualities. Until the worry over money seemed to affect her husband's mind, they were a devoted couple. It is believed that she went to Buffalo, fearing to stay in the home with him longer.

Wellsboro Agitator [Wellsboro, PA] 1928 June 14
Deplorable Condition Corrected by Court
Eleven Adults and Children found living in Two-Room Shack
    A family by the name of Burgess, consisting of a father, mother and five children, ranging in age from 2 to 11 years living on Armenia mountain, Sullivan township were brought into court on Tuesday afternoon by Sheriff Wilcox. The children were found delinquent due to improper home conditions. Neighbors, Dr. G.A.Meikle, of Lawrenceville, and Assistant County Superintendent E.E. Marvin, of Covington, testified that the Burgess family and four men were living in a two room shack, under unspeakable conditions. The court ordered all the children to the Blossburg Hospital for medical supervision. As soon as in a fit condition they will be sent to Bethel Orphanage.
    Eldon Kurtz, ages 19 years, of Linden, Pa., who had been confined in the county jail after having pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while intoxicated, was paroled by the court June 6 for a period of two years, after he had served a part of his two months term of imprisonment. Relatives, friends and the employer of the defendant interceded in his behalf, stating that he was a temperate, hard working young man who had fallen into bad company on the day of his arrest.
    Samuel Rosencrantz, fruit truckster, of Buffalo, who has been confined in the county jail for a period of one month, after pleading guilty to possession and transportation of liquor, was paroled for one year by the court on Saturday.
    Max Keesler, aged 40 years, of Corning, pleaded guilty before the court on Monday to a charge of driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to pay the costs of prosecution, a fine of $200 and undergo imprisonment in the county jail for a term of two months. Keesler was arrested this week by Patrolman Ralph Day in the vicinity of Richards bridge.
    Andrew Zabiega, of Blossburg, who was arrested this week in the vicinity of Richards bridge by Patrolman Ralph Day on a charge of possession and transportation of intoxicating liquor, brought to Wellsboro where he waived a hearing before Justice of the Peace O.H. Davis and committed to jail, entered a plea of guilty on Monday afternoon and was sentenced by the court to one year in the county jail and a fine of $500 and costs. Zabiega has been before the Tioga county courts before, charged with a similar offense.
    Andrew Bubacz, of Blossburg, who had completed his term of imprisonment for the possession of intoxicating liquor, was paroled by the court on Monday, in order that he might pay the fine imposed and the costs of prosecution. The last two weeks of his imprisonment was served in the Blossburg Hospital, where the defendant was removed because of ill health.
    William Boom, hotel proprietor of Knoxville, who was convicted by jury on a charge of possession of intoxicants and released on bail while his case was being appealed, was brought before the court on Monday for sentence, the appeal having been refused. He was fined $500 and the costs in the case and sentenced to a term of three months imprisonment in the county jail, in spite of the fact that several reputable citizens of Knoxville appeared in his behalf and a petition asking the court for leniency was offered. This was Boom's second offense of liquor law violation.
    In court chambers on Monday a divorce was granted in the case of Harry C. Severson vs. Rozella Severson, both of Wellsboro.

Wellsboro Agitator, Tioga, PA - Wed.,  Dec 6. 1899, Pg 1
Strong Drink Made Men Quarrelsome - Murderous Knife Nearly Causes Mattison's Death.
Gaines, Dec. 5 - A serious stabbing affair occurred in the basement of the hotel last evening, when Johnnie Mattison was stabbed by G. H. Furman.  He was struck back of the ear with a knife and three arteries were severed and the murderous blade only just missed the jugular vein.  He was at once removed to Dr. Bentley's office where three doctors worked over him until midnight.  He seems a little stronger this morning, and may recover.  Furman and Mattison had been drinking some through the day and had had some trouble.  In the evening both met in the pool room and Mattison commenced to strike at Furman.  Furman either had a knife in his hand or drew one from his pocket and struck Mattison in the neck, inflicting a wound three inches long and about two inches deep.  Mattison would have very soon bled to death but for the prompt attendance of Dr. Bentley who happened to be in and was stanching the flow of blood within five minutes after it happened.  Furman was allowed to go without being arrested, although it was thought at the time that Mattison could not live an hour.
Another item on same page:
Furman was arrested yesterday afternoon and, after an examination before Justice M. W. Atwell, was committed to the county jail.  Constable G. R. Black brought Furman to jail last evening.  Furman is about 25 years of age.  Mattison was still in a dangerous condition last evening.

In the 4/6/1900 Wellsboro Gazette, Pg 4, the case is being brought before the Commonwealth against Bert Furman for a trial for his recent Gaines stabbing of John Mattison.  The article says John Mattison is a bad egg and had assaulted Furman during the day and that the stabbing that evening might have been in self defense.

Wellsboro Gazette, Tioga, PA - Thur., Sept. 15, 1910 Pg 5
The remains of George Furman, who was killed by a shot wound in North Carolina, were taken to Gaines last Saturday for burial. A correspondent says that the saddest part was that the parents of the deceased and the other immediate members of the family are in Wyoming and could not be present at the funeral.

Wellsboro Agitator from Sept. 21, 1910, Pg. 1:
"The remains of George Furman, who was killed by a shot wound in North Carolina, were taken a few days ago to Gaines, where the funeral was held in the M. E. church.  Rev. Charles Howard officiated."

Wellsboro Agitator, 4 December 1888
The November Term – Reports by the Grand Jury
On Tuesday morning the case of the Commonwealth against George S. Bailey, charged with assault with intent to kill Serena A. [Bowdish] Bailey, his wife, was called for trial. The case was fairly under way when Mr. Henry Starkey, of Richmond Township, one of the jurors hearing the case, received a dispatch stating that a member of his family was sick and that he must come home. After considerable argument by counsel on both sides of the case it was finally decided to allow Mr. Starkey to retire from the box and go home, and the trial proceeded with eleven jurymen. The case terminated suddenly on Wednesday afternoon when the defendant withdrew his plea of not guilty and pleaded guilty, whereupon Judge Wilson immediately sentenced him to three years and three months imprisonment at hard labor in the Eastern Penitentiary and to pay a fine of $100. It the case had gone to the jury for a verdict the defendant would undoubtedly have received a much heavier sentence, as the full extent of the law would have been seven years. The story of the crime is familiar to the reader of the Agitator, having been published at the time of the preliminary hearing last summer.
The parties are from Farmington. The man and woman had been living together for nearly six years as husband and wife, the marriage ceremony being performed August 28, 1882. A little boy just past 5 years is the fruit of this marriage. Something over two weeks prior to the shooting, which took place on the 28th of July last, the couple separated. Allegations that the man had two or more living wives became current and trouble began to grow out of the situation. The man and woman after a short separation met clandestinely and talked over their affair. They agreed to meet again on the Babcock road on the morning to July 28 last and there make final preparations to live with each other again.
In the meantime James A. Bowdish, brother of the woman, had sworn out a warrant for the man’s arrest on the charge of bigamy. Officer Frank VanDusen was given the warrant and directed to the spot on the road where the defendant and his wife had arranged to meet. As the officer came up and began to read his warrant the defendant took a large quantity of opium in his mouth and began to chew it. Mrs. Bailey informed the officer that Mr. Bailey had taken opium, and an effort was made to get him to spit it out of his mouth, but refused, saying he wanted to die. VanDusen started for help, and Mrs. Bailey went to Mr. Finch’s for assistance. Coffee was offered the defendant as an antidote for the poison, but he refused it. Preparations were then made to get the man to some place where medical aid could be procured, but upon the defendant positively declaring on the way that he had only taken plug tobacco and not poison the plans were changed an it was decided to go to officer VanDusen’s house and see if some fix-up could not be made releasing him from the charge of bigamy.
Bailey asked his wife if she was afraid to have him ride with her up to the Constable’s house. She replied she was not, and offered to let him ride with her. The Constable objected, desiring the defendant should ride with him; but defendant insisted upon riding with his family, and so the Constable yielded, and the man, wife and little boy drove together, the Constable following closely behind. The woman drove the horse at the request of the defendant, and just as they neared the residence of John R. Weeks, and she had started the horse into a trot Bailey pulled a revolver from his pocket, pointed it at her and fired, the ball taking effect in her left shoulder. She fell forward and her feet became fast in the wagon-box, while her head and shoulders hung down under the wagon. The horse started to run, dragging the woman in this position some 15 to 20 rods before it stopped. Almost immediately after Bailey shot his wife he placed the pistol to his own head and fired, the ball passing obliquely through the right side of the head and coming out about two inches from where it entered, making simply a severe scalp wound. When the horse stopped, the defendant extricated his wife from her perilous position. Mrs. Bailey said to her husband, “George, you have shot me and I am dying.” He replied, “I have shot myself and am dying, too.” She said, “George, why did you shoot me?” He answered, “I shot you to kill you.” The officer placed Mrs. Bailey in his wagon and drew her by hand to Mr. Weeks’ house, and then came back for Mr. Bailey, whom he found wholly unconscious, lying upon the ground. He was also removed to Mr. Weeks’ and physicians were called.
Dr. Rumsey, of Nelson, was first to arrive, but shortly afterward Dr. W.D. Humphrey and his son William arrived from Osceola. Dr. Humphrey said it was his impression that the defendant had taken some 90 grains of opium, and that 30 grains would ordinarily cause death; that when he arrived the defendant was so low that it was thought hardly possible to resuscitate him. Large doses of belladonna were injected into his arm, and, contrary to all expectations, the man rallied and was able to be brought to Wellsboro the next day. Mrs. Bailey, however, remained for seven weeks on the lounge where she was placed in Mr. Weeks’ house. She says she has not seen one hour since she was shot that she has been free from pain. She told her story in a slow impressive way and exhibited to the jury her wounds.
The defendant went upon the stand in his own defense, and claimed that he did not remember anything after he took the opium at the time of his arrest. He said he had no recollection of shooting his wife or of any one of the attending circumstances.

Tri-Counties Page 16404
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 11 October 2008
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice

Relocated fromteh Main Articles page 11 Oct 2008

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