My Grandmother’s Sister – Belle
WILSON COUNTY, Big Hill Murderers Captured.
The bandits who so brutally shot down Otis Taylor and O. J. Brown on the morning of July 16 while all were on a Frisco freight train near the Big Hill station have been caught and are now in jail at Independence. One is a negro named Charles Scott and the other a white man named Williams. The capture of these criminals is due to the vigilance of Sheriff Paxson who has been working continually on the case since the crimes were committed. Scott, the negro, has been in Independence for about six weeks. Three weeks ago this morning Paxon arrested him and he has been in jail ever since.
He has been severely “sweated” and finally divulged the name of his companion and Paxson got a line on him, Williams, nearly a month ago. He was finally run down and arrested in the Glass Mountains of Oklahoma by Paxson Saturday. Paxson rode 40 miles with him to a railroad station and came to Independence reaching there early this morning. Williams confessed the whole story to Paxson and related the details of the murder of tbe two young men who were returning from the Western Kansas harvest fields. According to Williams, he and Scott took the train at Neodesha and held up a number of harvesters on the train between. Neodesha and Oherryvale and after the train left the station here they attempted to take the money belonging to Taylor and Brown who put up a fight and Williams and Scott shot them down, alighted from the train and escaped.
They headed for Independence, passing Cherryvale below the Union Brick Plant. They look a Mo. Pacific train at Independence. Scott went to Little Rock and Williams to Oklahoma and they have been fugitives ever since until their capture as stated above.
Sheriff Paxson will receive $700 reward for the capture of these desperate men. The reward is made up as follows: $400 by the state, $200 by Labette county and $100 by the father ot Otis Taylor. Sheriff Holmes passed through Cherryvale Monday enroute to Independence to get these criminals Warrants charging each with first degree murder will be served on them and they will be given trial in the district court at Oswego. No small measure of credit is due Mr. Paxson for capturing these desperadoes. The crime was committed in Labette county but the officers of that county failed to capture the criminals, this work being done by Paxson and to him belongs the credit of capturing two desperate criminals.
The killing of Taylor and Brown in an attempt to rob them of their hard-earned. money was one of the most wanton murders ever committed in Southeastern Kansas and the penalties should, and no doubt will be, severe. – Cherryvale Republican.
We are informed that the Williams above mentioned as being one of the Big Hill murderers is “Windy” Williams, son of C. P. Williams, who some time ago ran the Frisco restaurant in Neodesha, but who, it is said, now lives at Hanna, Mo. .
“Windy” is married and has several children. He was living with his family on a claim in Oklahoma when arrested. The negro, Scott, is a well known Independence tough character who has had a police court record there since he was a mere lad. “Windy” got acquainted with the negro while a member of the Salvation Army at Independence. Both Williams and Scott are sure to go to the penitentiary for life.
The confessions of both men tell of the cold-blooded crime from a criminal’s standpoint and in the language of a criminal. Not a single detail of the mur der near Cherry vale was left out They told of their start at Neodesha, when Scott proposed that they “ride the deck” of the freight. They tell of -meeting the two men on the train, of the conversation, of the hurriedly laid plot to hold them up and if need be shoot them. They tell of the quarrel and how when Williams was being hard pressed by Brown, he called for Scott , to shoot him.…To see him (Williams) in his cell and hear him talk, the average man would never dream of his having been a murderer and desperado. He has a dissipated look, but his size and attitude would not lead one to believe him a desperate man. Williams jests when the story he is telling is one of horror. He is a criminal and bears all the earmarks. Of the two confessions Williams’ seems to be the more cold-blooded.
- “Charles “Windy” Williams marries Belle Vining” – Neodesha Register, Neodesha, Kansas, Fri, Nov 07, 1902 · Page 1
- “Big Hill Murders Captured” – Neodesha Register, Neodesha, Kansas, 22 Nov 1907, Fri • Page 1
- “Confess Murder” – The Altamont Journal, Altamont, Kansas, 28 Nov 1907, Thu • Page 1
- Reward Raised after Escape of 4 Men – The Leavenworth Post, Leavenworth, Kansas, 01 Aug 1914, Sat • Page 1