Life and Times in
Hamilton County, Tennessee

Marriages, Murders, Deaths, Obituaries, Courts, Robberies, Fires,

and Other Bizarre Occurrences taken from the

Newspapers of Hamilton County, Tennessee 1872 – 1900

Transcribed by Dennis C. Wilson


© 2014  by Dennis C. Wilson.  All rights reserved.


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The Jackson Tragedy


The Desperado Yet At Large


His Victim Still Living


Chattanooga was thrown into a fever of excitement on last Saturday evening by one of the most shocking tragedy’s that have occurred in this city for several years.  Many contradictory reports are in revelation, but from hearing them all the following seems to be the truth in substance. 

About half past four o’clock on Saturday afternoon, Jim JACKSON, a noted desperado who has for some years lived in and around Chattanooga was seen walking near the Roane Iron Co’s Rolling Mill, in company with Mr. E. B. COLWELL, a well known citizen.  The two were alone.  The next attention drawn towards them was by the cries of COLWELL for help, when a passerby looked and saw JACKSON stooping over the prostrate form of COLWELL smoking his pipe and deliberately plunging a knife into COLWELL’s body.  COLWELL was taken to the house of Mr. Joseph RICHARDS where surgical aid was at once procured and his wounds dressed.  It was found that his injuries were very serious, the knife in one place having entered his right lung, beside other frightful gashes in various parts of the chest.  His hands were also badly cut in his efforts to ward off the blows.  Subsequently the wounded man was removed to his residence in East Chattanooga and at the present writing it is thought to be barely possible that he may recover.  The difficulty seems to have resulted from COLWELL’s refusing to pay JACKSON ten dollars for catching some saw logs on Williams Island more than a year ago.  Mr. COLWELL placed his refusal on the ground that JACKSON had previously turned the logs loose for the express purpose of catching them and receiving the bonus.  This imputation probably exasperated JACKSON and caused him to commit the deed.

But to return to the thread of our story, JACKSON, crossed to the north side of the river in a rowboat.   He then came up at about dark crossed over to the foot of Market Street and went into KEATERSON’S Saloon where he took a drink of whiskey, about the same time making the observation that he would not suffer himself to be arrested.  Presently three policemen came along:  J. H. CARVER, George WHITE and Sandy TEMPLETON.  The two later are colored.  As they entered the saloon Jackson retreated through a back door.  The three followed him into an open lot in the rear, Jackson still retreating until he secured refuge behind a gate post at the back of the lot.  Shots were exchanged, Jackson shooting from undercover while the policemen were in the open lot.  Three of Jackson’s balls took effect.  One passed through Carver’s breast and probably perforated the lungs.  White was badly wounded in the abdomen and Templeton in the leg.  Jackson received a flesh wound in the arm as was afterwards ascertained.  He made his escape to the wharf where he entered his skiff and rowed off down the river.  The City Council being in session the same evening the Mayor was authorized to offer a reward of $500 for Jackson’s delivery to the Sheriff of Hamilton County.  On Monday Dr. VAN DAMEN, of this city was induced to go down to William’s Island where he found Jackson sitting by a fire in an open field.  He extracted a bullet from his arm and returned with it to the city.  Jackson still says he will not be arrested, and we have heard of no one who has yet brought up his courage to the point of attempting it.

Policeman CARVER at last accounts, was in a very precarious condition and is not expected to survive.  White and Templeton are not dangerously hurt, and with proper treatment will recover. 

The Weekly Herald, December 12, 1872.


Recorder’s Court:

John WELCH, white, for whipping his wife, breaking the cook stove, cutting feather beds, and smashing household furniture generally -$10 and costs and ten day imprisonment.



Mr. A. C. CARROLL of the livery firm of CRAWFORD & CARROLL died at his residence in this city of pneumonia, at seven o’clock Tuesday morning. Mr. CARROLL was a valuable citizen and his loss will be felt by the community as well as by his sorrow stricken family.

The Chattanooga Commercial, December 12, 1872.


Mr. John KING, who lives near the Market street landing is very ill with the dropsy. As we go to press, we learn that Mr. KING is dead.

Capt. James P. LONG returned with his bride from their bridal tour on Monday last.

The Chattanooga Commercial, December 12, 1872.


Gallant Conduct of Policeman Jack Farmer


Night before last policeman Jack FARMER heard someone rapping at the door of STROTHER, RAMSEY & BURDETT. He asked him what was the matter. The person, who was Mr. James GILLESPIE, said that his room over WARNER’S store, was on fire and he wanted a bucket. Jack at once went to the police office, got a bucket full of water and entering the room found the bed clothes burning and a light table by its side all in a blaze. He dashed the water on the bed and then seized a pick which stood near and smashed the table and trampled out the embers. By this time more water was brought and the fire was extinguished without further damage. After it was all over, a loaded pistol, with the handle burned off, was found among the fragments of the table. Some gallant conduct as this is worthy of admiration; and we are glad to see that the City Council has shown their appreciation of Mr. FARMER by electing him Roundsman.

Chattanooga Times March 2, 1873.


Shooting Scrape

Wm. SATTERFIELD was dangerously and perhaps fatally wounded yesterday by Geo. M. THOMAS in the Third District. The two were driving deer. They, or one of them, killed a deer, and a dispute arose as to the ownership of the carcass; hence the difficulty. Mr. SATTERFIELD was shot three times; two taking effect in the face, and one in the breast. Our informant thinks he will not long survive his wounds.

The Chattanooga Times, March 2, 1873.


Ike SANDERS will move on Monday, out of the old warehouse, into the building recently occupied by Joe OUERBACKER, next door to VANCE & KIRBY, where we presume he will be as accommodating and pleasant as ever.

The Chattanooga Times, March 2, 1873.


On Marriage

Happy Relief for Young Men from the effects of Errors and Abuses in Early Life. Manhood restored. Impediments to Marriage removed. New method of treatment. New and remarkable remedies. Books and Circulars sent free in sealed envelopes.

Address. Howard Association, No. 2 South Ninth street, Philadelphia, PA.

The Chattanooga Times, March 6, 1873.




Everybody to know E. B. DOBELL has the largest and best moving Wagon in the city, and will haul any Furniture at short notice. Apply at 220 Market street

The Chattanooga Times, March 8, 1873.



J. R. RYAN has begun work on two buildings on Georgia avenue, to be used for residence. One is to be occupied by Mr. BRAWNER and the other by Mr. RYAN, HIMSELF. Other buildings in different parts of the city are in progress of erection, or will be commenced soon.

The Chattanooga Times March 14, 1873.


The following is a list of marriage licenses issued by the County Clerk for the week ending March 15th


John RHEA and Sarah Ann BAKER

Richard JACKSON and Ally KINKLER, col.

James HOESHAW and Laura JACKSON, col.

The Chattanooga Times, March 15, 1873.


Mr. A. G. SHARP returned to the city yesterday. He is not yet certain whether he is postmaster or not, but judging from the fact that Senator BROWNLOW went home directly after the confirmation, he thinks he is safe. We have not yet learned whether TURBIN is to be provided for or not. Joe HUNT’S      dog was in the city yesterday but Joe himself has not yet reported.

The Chattanooga Times, March 19, 1873.


Chattanooga Fifteen Years Hence

“Col. FORT, of Chattanooga, says that within fifteen years, there will be a million population within fifty miles of Chattanooga.” If the Colonel is at all within the bounds of reasonable possibility, the Branch Lunatic Asylum should be located at Chattanooga, rather than Knoxville, which is the next craziest town that we know of, and where they one day permit the sheriff to sell their Fair Grounds for an insignificant sum and on the next propose to donate a hundred thousand dollars to build an additional University.

Col. FORT said fifty years instead of fifteen, but as the impression has gone out from a typographical error, that he said fifteen, we propose to stick to it. We shall not attempt to get the Lunatic Asylum located here, Knoxville needs it and is welcome to it.

The Chattanooga Times, March 21, 1873.



We understand that Mr. Jas. L. WHITESIDE is confined to his house by nervous prostration, caused by his yielding too readily to the constant applications of his friends to show them the spirit writing.

The Chattanooga Times, March 21, 1873.



Marriage licenses issued by the County Clerk for the week ending March 22

Thomas COOPER and Fannie GARNER

Robert JONES and Frances JOHNSON

John NELSON and Margaret FOSTER

The Chattanooga Times, March 22, 1873.



Mr. J. S. WILTSE has returned to the city after an extensive tour of the North, where he has accomplished much good for the city.

The Chattanooga Times, March 23, 1873.



DIED – Patrick McNELIS, at the National Hotel, in this city, on Tuesday March 25, in the 28th year of his age. The funeral will take place from the Catholic Church at 3’oclock this afternoon.

The Chattanooga Times, March 26, 1873.



Notice to the Public

I have moved my shoe shop from J. W. NESBITS, on 9th street, to Market street, opposite POSE’S new building, where I am prepared to make all kinds of boots – paten leather boot, morocco boot, Napoleon boot, French cork sole boot, and Gaiters of every style, not to be equaled in the State for style and workmanship and as cheap as Eastern boots. Gentlemen and Ladies boots and shoes repaired without delay. Thomas G. KENNEDY

The Chattanooga Times, April 1, 1873.



Attempted Burglary

Night before last about 1 o’clock, some fellow attempted to enter the store of J. W. MCCRATH by one of the rear windows. He placed a box on top of some other boxes, resting one side of it on the window sill. The would-be burglar got on top of this and was trying to remove the sash, in which operation he made sufficient noise to awaken young Mr. A. J. GILLESPIE, who sleeps in the store. He fired at the figure of the man through the window, the ball passing through the glass just breast high to an ordinary sized man. If it didn’t pass through the rascal also, it’s a pity. He, however, ran away and will probably seek a victim whose property is not so vigilantly guarded.

The Chattanooga Times, April 2, 1873.



What has become of the hog law, the pound, and other necessary appliances to keep the swine from living at free quarters among respectable people? It strikes us our City Council could not, now that summer is at hand, do a better thing than to abate the hog nuisance.

The Chattanooga Times, April 2, 1873.



Housebreaker Caught

Mr. H. MARTIN recognized a man by the name of Geo. W. BROOKS, on the street Tuesday, who labors under the charge of housebreaking, the offence having been committed in Birchwood, James County. Officer BELL took BROOKS into custody, and last night the sheriff of James County took him to Ooltewah.

The Chattanooga Times, April 3, 1873.


Court Matters

            In the City Court, Recorder CATE fined J. J. LYNCH $60 and costs in two cases, for carrying and using a pistol. His Honor then said, if it was in his power, he intended to put a stop to the carrying of concealed weapons. He gave notice to the police force that if they did not use due diligence in the apprehension and arrest of persons who carried pistols and knives he would discharge each one who was derelict, and then stated that hereafter, whenever any party was found guilty of carrying weapons, he would fine such party $50 and costs and send him to jail for thirty days irrespective of who that party might be.

            This is a step in the right direction and we hope the Recorder will always be found equal to the emergency.

The Daily Times, Friday, April 11, 1873



            We note with pleasure the enlargement of the business of our popular boot and shoe maker Mr. R. V. BRENNAN. He moves to the commodious shop in rear of NISBET’S on 9th St. Those who want good work and perfect fits, will give him a call.

The Daily Times, Friday, April 11, 1873



            COSTIN – Michael COSTIN, brother of John COSTIN, at the residence of E. P. ROACH, Gillespie Block, Market street at 9 ½, Funeral at 3 o’clock this evening. Friends of deceased and his brother and his brother-in-law, Mr. ROACH, are invited to attend.

The Daily Times, Tuesday, April 15, 1873



Pistol Practice

            On Sunday, a couple of stable boys in charge of the stables at the A. & C. Depot, to kill time, indulged in shooting at a mark. The police hearing the fusilade, went for the culprits, but they “refugeed” in the barn and locked the door. The minions of the law were, however, on the alert yesterday, and towed the lads to the station house, where a charge of shooting in the corporation was entered against them.

The Daily Times, Tuesday, April 15, 1873

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