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L.D. McCoy


Posted By: Debbie Boe (email)
Date: 6/25/2016 at 07:51:16

~ July 19, 1883 ~ Jackson Sentinel ~ Maquoketa, Iowa


Alias C.L. St. Ormand, Turns Up in Yuma, Arizona, Marries a Talented Lady and Deserts Her. – A Letter from the Lady.

On Tuesday a rumor reached a SENTINEL reporter that our fellow citizen, J.E. Goodenow, had received a lengthy letter from a lady away out in the territory of Arizona, enquiring after a man who had married and left here and describing the man in such a manner as to prove beyond a doubt that it is no other than the identical L.D. McCoy, who was arrested in this county about twelve years ago on the charge of forgery and narrowly escaped being sent to the penitentiary. The same man who was appointed administrator of the Hutchins estate and finally absconded with several thousand dollars of the estate, never to be heard of until this letter turned up. The same man who deserted his loving wife and three children. And during the past year this poor heart broken woman has been driven to the insane asylum through poverty and trouble. Two of the children are at the poor house, and one has been adopted by friends. This heartless man is again doing his vile work and ruining the life of another woman who is wrapped up in the meshes of his beguiling perfidy. The letter was obtained of Mr. Goodenow by the reporter and it is herewith published in full, as follows:

Yuma, Arizona Territory,

July 10, 1883.

Messrs. Goodenow and Pangborn:

SIRS: -- I address you a letter of inquiry concerning a gentleman by the name of C.L. St. Ormand, who is conversation with Mr. Post, a resident of Yuma, (a brother-in-law of Mr. Pangborn) spoke of an acquaintance with you and your town of Maquoketa. I judge some years ago. Since this acquaintance and residence, I married St. Ormand without any knowledge of his antecedents or family. He appeared to be very much of a gentleman and I appreciated his intelligence and ability, and to conform to circumstances, which were of a very trying nature – being similarly circumstanced – our sympathy each for the other resulted in marrying upon a rather short acquaintance. My history and social standing, well known and approved, St. Ormand felt an especial pride in making me his wife, and wrote his parents, residing, as he supposed, at Troy Mills, Linn County, Iowa, of his intentions, and asking their sanction and early reply to his letter. A few weeks ago this letter was received at Yuma from the dead letter office at Washington and assured us his parents no longer resided at Troy Mills.

Mr. St. Ormand owned and edited with marked ability a newspaper called the Arizona Advance; had quite a library of books, and took any cases that promised sufficient returns for time devoted to the interests of his clients; was ever enthusiastic in his chosen profession of law practice. This village, being small, and business opportunities limited, he accepted the position of secretary of the prison board of commissioners at a salary of $500 per year. Board holding quarterly meetings gave him ample time to keep books, along with his other duties, which promised in time, very reasonable returns. Just four weeks ago this day, the commissioners held a meeting in our building and office proper, and without one word of disapprobation or complaint, asked for his resignation then and there. Without one word he sat down and wrote his resignation. The commissioner bowed acceptance and withdrew. My husband then sought me in my room where I was engaged in dressing, and I tell you, gentlemen, he was so changed in his looks by this shock that I hardly realized who intruded. He came up to me with uplifted hand, and seemed only conscious something had hurt him, and with terrible force brought down his hand upon my shoulder with this exclamation, hissed, rather than spoken: “It comes to this, an honest man won’t let an honest man live!” He fainted; fell at my feet – as I supposed dead. I hastily applied restoratives and succeeded in reviving him. He then made me promise not to mention this; and now I tell you, sirs, this is the first I have ever spoken of it, that you may advise together and conclude some inference that is plausible, for what transpired since it too terrible for a wife to write or believe. That day he stood in the office and appeared to listen to the board in their awards to bidders upon contracts for supplies to the prison located here. Then he would walk into the printing room, adjoining where I was working busily on the paper, attempting to assist me; could not work, and late as 5 p.m. made up his mind to go to Tuscon upon that evening’s train. The commissioners returned on the same train to Tuscon. He interviewed them concerning his dismissal and secured their influence and signatures for a young prisoner whom he desired to restore to citizenship and pardon his offence – quite trifling, comparatively speaking. St. Ormand, as his attorney, undertook his case and was obliged to go to Tuscon, and thought this a very favorable opportunity to interview the commissioners, secure their influence, as a friend informed him they had expressed sincere regret and acknowledged this a political move from their superiors, viz: The governor to control votes of certain counties in the next election and use of funds.

It was late when he made up his mind to go, and was also suddenly thought of as a wise mover. I urged him to leave all to my care and take a week’s absence – a vacation like. He promised to return in one day and bade me an affectionate and hurried adieu, informing me he had money in his possession that belonged to the prison board, uncalled for and must be deposited at a certain house to whom contract for prison supplies had that day been awarded. He ran in haste, jumped aboard a moving train, as the purchase of a ticket on the cars would indicate. He wrote me the very next day, “business accomplished; some new cases secured: $200 in cash paid and $500 soon to be paid; for he could to a certainly win this new case and would return in 5 days as these new suits took him to Tombstone and Phoenix.” Now, gents, no further trace of him or territorial funds, except that fact of his being enroute to Tombstone from Tuscon, and mailing this letter to me at “Pantan,” a small station. Not a trace of him since the post master received this letter. Mr. Post can inform you that policies, and struggles desperate to keep and influence all offices, in the principle business of this village, and to appropriate all funds that can be stolen or obtained by an pretext, is the pride of officials. St. Ormand fought this clique, if I may so express it, bitterly, and every expression that fell in private or public was indicative of the man’s character – upright – and a determination to show up corruption and villainy. Now, suddenly this denouncement. He is missing from his home, business, friends and wife, without any cause whatever, except the possession of $375 and his salary reduced that amount by $100 (full quarter not included).

Now, gentlemen, its plain to intelligence that that amount was no object to leave business, wife and friends, who were warm friends. So I think you will agree with me, a type of insanity must have seized him, and as I am placed in a most trying position I appeal to you to enquire and learn his antecedents and of his family if you can possibly do so. He has informed me his parents and brother lived, when he last saw them, upon a farm he gave them, at Troy Mills, Linn County. That he was mayor four years at Andrew, Jackson County. That Mr. M. Phillips, of Andrew, has his property in charge and pays his Masonic dues, taxes, etc. My letters remain unanswered; this I mail upon the cars passing through this place, and trust I may receive a reply and that you will pardon this very voluminous letter. I wish to place my self in communication with his relatives and friends. My health is quite delicate and if I cannot survive, I wish to leave my affairs in their hands for his and their benefit. My property is prospective, most of it, but known to be of value, $20,000 has lately been named as an offer I may expect to receive for this mine. Disappointment may await me. The name of the mine is Mariquitte, and located near here.

Clement Lemuel St. Ormand, occupation, attorney; farmer in boyhood, clerk 5 months in the war; received salary and bounty money; education finished at college in Chicago; has been successful insurance solicitor through Iowa and also in his early career a school teacher. He speaks of Miss Laura Randall as a cousin, a teacher in Chicago. Lem. (as always called) is a pure blonde in complexion; gold colored hair, deepred whiskers, blue eyes, white as possible, hight about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches and gives his age as 38, July 12th last; was a most affectionate husband and delighted at the prospect of becoming a father; could not refrain from publishing the fact in an insinuation in our paper. The property is now in the sheriff’s hands. Do you know Rev. Wm. Hungerford and Albert Wilcox, that left your city for Arizona a year ago last April? Lem. Superintended Sunday school under him at M

The lady furnishes these towns as points of enquiry regarding her husband, as follows:

Jackson County – Andrew, Bellevue, Maquoketa, Sabula, Union Centre and Monmouth.

Linn County – Cedar Rapids, Marion, Troy Mills, Waubeck, Centre City.

If you would kindly address a postal card, requesting answers either to yourself or John Rogers, No. 121 Washington Street, San Francisco, Cal., (to each post master) might result in a reply. I cannot hear from them and have sent a letter immediately. I became alarmed. His will orders me to address D.K. Smalling, Sec’y Masonic Benefit Association, Davenport, Iowa. T.S. Andrews, Sec’y Masonic Ass’n, Chicago, Ill.

I have addressed the above and received no reply. My health is certainly failing. I don’t believe him guilty of an intentional fraud. I am anxious to hear and will make those funds good and wish some advertisement or letter could reach him and assures him and his friends of this. He suffers greatly from catarrh, a most distressing complaint, and little sympathy given the sufferer, because it leaves little trace outwardly of its intensity. Neuralgia also tortures him. So I fear he has wandered off unconscious and is insane, or fell into the hands of Indians. You don’t wonder I send you such a terrible letter and beg you send this to a post master and do hope he will send it to another, until some trace of Lem., or his friends who can substantiate his good character, can be found. Some one wrote here from Cedar Rapids, that he was well know there and was a brilliant attorney, but, given to absenting himself 3 years at a time and as suddenly disappear as if killed and reappear as mysteriously. Gentlemen, I crave your indulgence and look to you to assist me and am sure you will.

Gentlemen, will you have the extreme kindness to address reply to a half-crazed wife in care of John Rogers, 121 Washington Street, San Francisco, Cal., who will register and send it to me. My health or duties may take me from Yuma. I am existing in an atmosphere of 130 deg., so you can imagine how I suffer while I write. When I hear, will send samples to your paper.

When you have considered this letter, if unable to give definite information, pray send it to Andrew, Jackson County, to post master for Mort. Phillips, if he can be found, but direct it to post master and ask him to try and get clue of Albert Daniel St. Ormand, the father, or Talcott St. O, the brother, the Mother’s name, Mable, always called Aunt Mable. I shall die! Shall go insane! If you don’t help me. I judge I am quite crazy now. It is too great – this grief!

Mrs. Julia St. Ormand.

From the tenor of the letter and its minute description of the man there isn’t any doubt of his identity and the sooner this poor, deceived woman can wipe away her tears and declare “good riddance to bad rubbish” the better off she will be. We are lead to think with others that the letter mailed to Mrs. St. Ormand from Cedar Rapids is from no other that McCoy who was traveling eastward. As to the cause of the prison board requesting his resignation it is natural to suppose they had by some means got an inkling of his former career in this part of the country and his uneasy state of mind at this juncture is easily accounted for. Possibly he had learned of the sorrowful condition of his first wife and family, and the stings of a guilty conscience, if he had one, was dragging him down. Or, it may have been the fear of exposure brought about his changed condition. If the man can be punished this way, it is well, but it would be far more satisfactory if he could be overhauled by Judge Lynch.


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