14 December 2010

Native Sons Gone Wrong: A Genealogical Account of Murder in Bryan, Ohio

Native Sons Gone Wrong:

A Genealogical Account of Murder in Bryan, Ohio

Detailing the Brown, Burchell, Elkins, and Plummer Families
with Allied Families of Williams County, Ohio

by Pamela Pattison Lash


Click above link to see a surname listing of those included in this account.

A 27 page narrative about the murder of Arthur  Brown, tracing the history of the families involved from the view point of the mothers.

About 9:40 the night of Wednesday, May 4, 1892, Christian Arnold left his livery barn of the west side of South Beech Street, north of the Butler Street school and went to the Hotel Williams. As he walked, he saw three men walk south: Arthur Brown, a 30 year old well driller, George Burchell, a 25 year old blacksmith and his younger brother, Michael Burchell, also a blacksmith.  Joseph Frost, a night watchman at the Plow Works on Beech Street, saw three men turn into the school grounds. Judge and Mrs. Long, in their house west of the alley that then extended from Butler to High Street, west of the school and Arnold's Livery, heard men pass through the alley, speaking drunkenly.

Frost...heard noises like beer bottles being broken against a wall, then a rattling from a woodpile, followed by dull thumping sounds.

Brown's body was found by Will Taylor, a Butler Street resident and John Long at 6:30 the next morning. After the body was found, the news spread rapidly and before it was removed, the corpse was viewed by a great many persons, including the two Burchells.

Arthur Brown was unmarried, the last of the children of Mr. and Mrs. James Brown of Jefferson Township. He lived on East Butler Street with his widowed mother. He had recently been paid $250 and had been freely displaying a roll of bills in Bryan stores and saloons. He had been seen earlier Wednesday evening in front of the Jones Opera House with the Burchell boys. When Arthur Brown's body was found he had been dead for eight to ten hours...his roll of bills was gone.

The Burchells were arrested Friday noon. They were jailed...a jury found them guilty of murder in the second degree. They were sentenced to life at hard labor and went to the Ohio penitentiary.


1 comment:

Pamela Pattison Lash said...

Bryan Democrat, 15 Sept 1904, p3
Application for Pardon of Walter Plummer
Notice is hereby given that at the next meeting of Ohio State Board of Pardons an application will be made for the pardon of Walter Plummer convicted at the November term, 1893, of the Court of Common Pleas of Williams County, of the crime of murder in the second degree and sentenced to imprisonment in the Ohio Penitentiary for the period of life. Walter Plummer

Lincoln E Plummer died at Toledo, OH, Sept 8, 1904. He was born in Bryan, OH, Oct 19, 1860 and had lived in Toledo for the last 18 years. He leaves 3 sisters, and 2 brothers Mrs H McCollum, Mrs William Pryke of Toledo, Mrs Ina Bottrall and George Plummer of Grand Rapids, MI, and Walter Plummer of Columbus. His remains were accompanied here for burial by his two sisters and laid in the family lot beside his father and mother. His mother, Mrs HJ Plummer having just recently passed away.