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Vinton Eagle; March 2, 1888

Catherine Hover Willford

Mrs. Jacob Wilford died Saturday night. The funeral took place at the house Monday, at 10:30 a.m.

{Submitter comment: Daughter of David Hover/Hoover and Elizabeth Anderson. W/o Jacob Pifer Willford; m/o Catherine M. (Hinkle), James H., Dougal C., Robert A., Mary Ann, Sarah Jane (Allerding), Daniel P., Jacob P., George W., Elizabeth, Austella, Emaline (Bisbee), Samuel, and Florence (Davis).}
Submitted on Sun Feb 4 17:38:23 2001 by
Theresa Postel Payne,

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Mysterious Disappearance of D. P. Willford
Daniel P. Willford

Last Thursday morning our quiet community was suddenly set agog by the announcement in the Village of the disappearance of Mr. D. P. Willford, a farmer well known in this vicinity, living 1 1/2 miles north of Garrison. Wed. evening, in company with his niece and housekeeper, he spent time at the residence of Mr. John Davis, --returning home with the understanding Mr. Davis would accompany him to Vinton Thursday morning.--They returned home and soon after retiring Mr. Willford, it was thought, was heard leaving the house; but nothing strange was thought of it 'till the next morning. Then it was discovered that his bed had the appearance of having been occupied but a short time and his horse was gone from the stable though the saddle was still in place and nothing gave cause for serious alarm.

As the day passed his horse was discovered near the artesian well in Vinton. Tracks were discovered, supposed to be his, on the river bank. Mr. Willford was a lame man and the track of the whole root and the toe of the other tally with his precisely. The tracks had the appearance of having been made by a man advancing and retreating up and down the bank. Other theories have been based on the statement of Mr. Sam'l Burkey. Coming home that night he saw Mr. Willford's horse at the east end of Carlisle Grove. On seeing him, the rider, whom he was sure was not Mr. Willford, turned into the willows and dismounted and, upon his passing, remounted and galloped away toward Vinton.

It is evident that he had not run away as he took no supply of funds, there being $200 in his trunk along with a deposit check for $1000.

Mystery shrouds the whole affair--foul play or suicide seems to be suggested. It is hoped in a few days the whole affair will straighten up.

(Trade News--Special from Monday's Extra).

A most brutal murder has been committed. Late Saturday afternoon Mr. Jacob Henkle, a brother-in-law to Mr. Willford, in his search around the premises, made a passing examination of an old abandoned well on the Willet farm just north of the Willford farm, into which a number of old rails had been thrown. His improved grappling hooks were insufficient for a thorough examination but he discovered some sort of an object in the bottom of the well. He resolved to make a thorough search the next morning. Taking others along, they found the body of the missing man. Fastening the body with a rope, intelligence was sent to Coroner Kirkpatrick, Sheriff Barr, County Attorney Burham, Drs. Griffin, Whitney of Vinton and Snyder of Garrison. On their arrival, the body was raised and a jury having been impaneled--consisting of J. B. Reeves, G. A. Barkdoll, and J. T. Ravenscroft. The body was taken to the house and an inquest was begun. The following circumstances constitute the first evidence before the jury:--a pool of clotted blood with the finding of Mr. Willford's pocket knife about four rods from the well was taken as indication of foul play.----badly fractured skull---no water in the lungs, stomach or heart- -presented a unanimous decision of the physicians that the deceased was murdered.---Mr. Willford's gold watch, money to the amount of $15., right shoe and hat were missing. The hat and shoe were doubtless intended to turn suspicion.--Robbery was no doubt the object, but it failed.---The jury is in the session today and will doubtless go to the bottom of the affair.

From Tuesday's Extra (Trade News).

From the first announcement of the disappearance of D. P. Willford the coincidental absence of Dan Ridge was remarked upon and the discovery of the body with the unquestioned evidence of murder, none hesitated to name him openly as the guilty man. According to Sheriff Barr, on his return to Vinton, he immediately telegraphed to Republican City, Nebraska where it was supposed he would go from here. He received a dispatch from there this morning as follows "Dan Ridge shot himself here and died instantly." Of course this is accepted here as evidence of guilt until other evidence shall appear to the contrary. Robbery was certainly contemplated, but it is most unthinkable that Ridge, a boy playmate with Willford, could have done so vile a deed.---Let the matter be thoroughly sifted and let no guilty escape. such things cannot be looked at carelessly. They disgrace our community.

Dan Willford, son of Jacob Willford, was born in Wisconsin in 1852 and died May 23, 1888. He was buried in the Carlisle Grove Cemetery. He was a member of the Garrison Methodist Church.

{Submitter comment: s/o Jacob Pifer Willford and Catherine Hover, brother of Catherine M. (Hinkle), James H., Dougal C., Robert A., Mary Ann, Sarah Jane (Allerding), Jacob P., George W., Elizabeth B., Austella, Emaline (Bisbie), and Samuel.}
Submitted on Sun Feb 4 17:56:51 2001 by
Theresa Postel Payne, dauber

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Vinton Eagle; April 7, 1891

Jacob Pifer Willford

Mr. J. P. Willford, of Carlisle Grove, died Friday, April 3d, 1891. The funeral services were held at the residence Saturday, April 4th, by Rev. J. Haymond at 10 o'clock a.m. Burial at the Carlisle Grove Cemetery. Mr. Willford has been sick quite a long time, in fact he has been failing gradually all winter, on Friday he took worse and he went down and was at rest at 4:30 p.m.

{Submitter comment: S/o Dugal Campbell Willford and Susannah Pifer, numerous siblings, one being a twin by the name of James Henry; h/o Catherine Hover; f/o Catherine M. (Hinkle), James H., Dougal C., Robert A., Mary Ann, Sarah Jane (Allerding), Daniel P., Jacob P., George W., Elizabeth, Austella, Emaline (Bisbie), Florence (Davis), and Samuel.}
Submitted on Sun Feb 4 17:45:54 2001 by
Theresa Postel Payne,

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