Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another Unsolved Murder

Located at Old Newtonia Cemetery in Newtonia, MO.
C.E. Garritt
May 25, 1816
Dec 8, 1891

The Newton County News
Dec. 10, 1891

C. E. Garritt, an Old and Esteemed Citizen of Near Newtonia Murdered for His Money - A Masked Robber Commits the Bloody Deed.

One of the boldest murders that was ever enacted in Newton county, was committed last Tuesday evening at about 8 o'clock. C. E. Garritt, a well to do farmer, and money loaner, living two and one half miles southwest of Newtonia, being the victim.

The family had closed the doors for the night, and Mrs. Garritt and her granddaughter, Rena Kinnear, a little girl about twelve years of age, were sitting by the fire reading, and Mrs. Garritt was lying on the lounge asleep, when two hurried steps were heard on the porch immediately followed by sharp, quick reps on the door. Mrs. Garritt, thinking it was her son coming in for a short visit, went to the door when she was confronted by a masked man, who covered her with a large revolver and ordered her to "Wake up the old Devil," referring to Mr. Garritt, who was dozing quietly, all unconscious of the doom that awaited him.

Mr. Garritt awoke and was immediately commanded by the robber to get up and turn his face from him, as he had also instructed Mrs. Garritt and her granddaughter to do, and then the assassin demanded of them their money. Mr. Garritt turned his head and looking at the man said, "I would like to know what business you have coming into my house and ordering my family around in this way." For answer the would be assassin pointed his revolver at Mr. Garritt and fired, the ball entering Mr. Garritt's right side. The wounded man fell bleeding across the lounge.

When the shot was fired, the little granddaughter, Rena Kinnear, ran out of the house through the south door; the murderer, thinking rightly that the little girl was running for assistance, rushed out at the east door, almost running over Rena at the southeast corner of the house, which so frightened the little girl that she ran back into the house, but the murderer kept on, taking a westerly direction.

Jean Dianmore, a man who was working for Mr. Garritt, had just gone to bed in an upper room, when the shot was fired, but was not asleep. On hearing the report of the revolver he came down and after laying Mr. Garritt on the lounge went to call Mr. Austin and family, who reside but a short distance from the Garritt residence.

A young man by the name of Hill, who was working at Mr. Austin's went to carry the sad news to Mr. Kinnear and family, relatives of the deceased. Fred Austin and Jesse Dianmore went in haste to Newtonia for medical assistance. Drs. Hancock and Chapman returned with them, but Mr. Garritt had breathed his last before they reached him. He only lived about one half hour after the shot was fired and never spoke after receiving the fatal wound.

The physician's affidavit is as follows; We, the undersigned physicians on December 8th, 1891, being summoned to the residence of C. E. Garritt, arrived at 10:30 P. M. and found him lying on the lounge dead. On examination we discovered a gun shot wound, the ball probably of 44 caliber, having entered the right side at a point about two inches below the crest of the ilium, passing directly through the body, the point of exit being about one half inch above the crest of the left ilium. We believe the above described wound was the cause of his death.
J. B. Hancock, M.D.
M. R. Chapman, M.D.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 9th day, December 1891, at the residence of the deceased.
D. T. Wainright, Justice of the Peace.

The fiendish murderer wore a mask of some kind of blue cloth on the face and had on an oil cloth coat that nearly covered him. He is a tall, broad shouldered man, and carried in one hand a rope, which it is thought the assassin meant to use in tying Mrs. Garritt as the supposition is that the murderer expected to find the two old people alone.

D. T. Wainright, Justice of the Peace, arrived at the residence Tuesday night. A jury was empaneled Wednesday morning, who gave in the verdict that the deceased came to his death from a pistol shot fired by an unknown person. Mrs. Garritt and her little granddaughter are almost prostrated from grief and terror.

Mr. Garritt was seventy five years of age and was well known in this part of the county as possessing a great deal of means and as a money loaner. The assassin, however, went away without taking any booty. Deputy Constable G. R. Wainright is tracing up the case, and everything in the power of man will be done by the relatives, friends, and neighbors of the deceased to bring the vile murderer to justice.

Funeral services will be held today at 2 o'clock t the Baptist church. Elder Largen will conduct the services, after which the remains will be interred in the Newtonia cemetery.

Sadly after this incident life changed drastically for Mrs. Garrit.  The following are about her.

The Newton County News
Feb. 4, 1892

Mrs. Betsey C. Garritt, administratrix of the estate of Charles E. Garritt will offer at public sale two and one fourth miles southwest of Newtonia, at the residence of the late Charles E. Garritt, on Saturday, February 20th, 1892, the following described property: Two horses, one milch cow, four head of yearlings, one double work harness, one sulky plow, one mowing machine, a wagon, one hay rake, two harrows, one fanning mill, cultivator, turning plow, one rick of tame hay, and many other articles.
The Newton County News
Jan. 22, 1903

Mrs. Betsey Garritt has sold her farm southwest of Newtonia to a Mr. White from Tennessee. N. S. Jones has purchased Mrs. A. T. Large's town property in the northeastern part of town. Consideration, $210.00. Mr. Jones purchased the residence property for his daughter in law.
The Newton County News
Mar. 15, 1906

Died, at her home in Newtonia, on Sunday, March 11, 1906, near 1 P.M., Mrs. Betsey Garritt, age 76 years, 10 months, and 27 days.

Mrs. Garritt's health had not been good for some time, but she was able to be up and around and work at her fancy work of which she was very fond and very neat. She took worse late Thursday evening, but was better Friday and got up. She seemed to be getting along very well Saturday, but took worse early Sunday morning and passed peacefully away at about 1 P. M., heart trouble being the immediate cause of her death.

Betsey Claria Brown was born in New York, April 14, 1829. She was married in the year 1851 to Edwin Sheldon who died in the year of 1868. To this union were born seven children three girls and four boys, four of whom are living - Frank G. Sheldon of Grand Blank, Michigan, Oscar A. Sheldon of Holly, Michigan, Mrs. Eva V. Rosell and Grant G. Sheldon of Newtonia, Mo.

She was married a second time to Charles E. Garritt, Sept. 22, 1872, who died in 1892. Mrs. Garritt was converted some time before her last marriage and united with the Missionary Baptist White Lake, Michigan. She with her husband and family moved to Missouri in 1882. After settling near Newtonia, Mrs. Garritt united with the Missionary Baptist church in Newtonia.

She was a faithful member, her life showing her Christian character. She was loved by everyone, as she always had a kind, pleasant word for all.

Besides her children she leaves 20 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and two brothers and a sister living in New York, and a host of friends. Funeral services were held at the Baptist church in Newtonia on Monday at 2 P.M., conducted by the pastor, Rev. T. M. Norris, and Rev. S. M. Skaggs.

Interment in the I. O. O. F. cemetery. The sorrowing ones have the sincere sympathy of the whole community, which, too has sustained a great loss in the death of so noble a Christian woman.

Asleep in Jesus, peaceful rest,
Whose waking is supremely blest.
No fear, no woe, shall dim that hour,
That manifests the Saviour's power.

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