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Man Killed Near Lynnville - 1884


Posted By: JCGS Volunteer
Date: 8/25/2019 at 18:06:23

From Mr. W. T. Little, who returned from Lynnville yesterday, we learn of an unfortunate affair which occurred near there. Alex Thompson, who lives in black Oak Grove three or four miles north west of town has been trying to shut up a road which runs through his farm claiming, we understand, that it was not a public highway.
Saturday Isaiah Fenderson tried to go through, but was met by Thompson and received a blow on the head from a club. He unhitched one of his horses and rode into town and told what had happened, and soon afterwards became unconscious and remained so till Monday, when he died. Thompson was arrested and placed under $500 bonds by Justice Ives. After Fenderson’s death he was again taken into custody. It seems that no one was present when the affray occurred except the two men. We understand that Thompson does not deny the striking but claims that it was done in self-defense. Coroner Newell went to Lynnville yesterday to hold an inquest.
Source: The Journal (Newton, IA); Wednesday, July 23, 1884

The Murder of Isaih Fenderson
The Lynnville Times gives the following additional particulars of this unfortunate affair:
On last Saturday morning Mr. Alex. Thompson was fixing up the bars across a road near what is known as the Hunter place in Black Oak vicinity. As there was a new road laid out near there for the travelling public, Mr. Thompson was fixing the fence so that there could be no more passing along the old route. Mr. Fenderson drove up with his team and wagon to the fence and began tearing down the bars. To this the old man remonstrated. According to the statements of the old man and his son Joseph the old man ordered Fenderson to go off and not bother him Joseph tried to get them both to stop quarreling, but seeing he could not do this, left, and the rest is only known from Thompson’s and Fenderson’s statements. The old man states that Fenderson pushed him twice, and then he struck him with a club. The club weighed two pounds, was two feet eight inches long, was about as large in circumference as a man’s wrist, and was of seasoned black oak wood. The blow cut a gash over the left temple over an inch in length, and knocked Fenderson senseless. When he returned to consciousness, he went home and unhitched his horses, took the harness off of one of them and without a saddle, rode to town and called at C. E. Quire’s office at this place and wanted his wound dressed. He complained of much pain in the left ear. The Dr. probed the wound with his finger and instrument and it was his opinion that the skull was not fractured. He washed the wound and applied adhesive plasters. Mr. Fenderson was rational during all this time, and as soon as his wound was dressed, went over to Ed. Briggs’ blacksmith shop, where he took sick in a few minutes. The Dr. took him to Ed. Briggs’ home, about a mile and a half from town. While on the way he vomited very much and gradually grew unconscious and when they reached the house reason had left him, and from that time up to his death returned only for a few minutes at a time. While in Dr. Quire’s office he stated when he drove up to the fence and got out of the wagon he laughed at and chided Thompson, who had an axe in his hand, about striking him with that. He stated that the blow was struck from behind. Mr. Fenderson lingered from about 11 o’clock on Saturday morning until 10 p.m. Monday night. His right arm and left were paralyzed.

A post mortem examination and coroner’s inquest was held, and a verdict rendered that the deceased came to his death from a blow at the hand of Alex. Thompson, and that the act was felonious.
Source: The Journal (Newton, IA); Wednesday, July 30, 1884

The Lynnville Times gives the evidence taken at the preliminary examination of Alex C. Thomson for the killing of Fenderson; the latter was sent to jail without bail to await the action of the District Court. Mendenhall evidently thinks Thompson will be hung, for at the conclusion of his article he says:

Hands stained with the blood of a fellow mortal will be raised to Heaven and cry for mercy without avail. The gnawings of the conscience will only cease with the death of the murderer. May the God of Heaven have mercy on his soul and may the ends of justice be meted out to him.
Source: The Journal (Newton, IA); Wednesday, July 23, 1884


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