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Author Topic: Old Fallen Tombstone in Longton Cemetery  (Read 2177 times)

Offline W. Gray

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Old Fallen Tombstone in Longton Cemetery
« on: November 13, 2009, 05:31:04 pm »
I received an Email from Audrey (Floyd Vestal family) Tharp, a former Longton resident, wanting to know if i knew anything about a grave in the extreme southeast area of Longton cemetery.

She used to help maintain the cemetery and she has always wondered about the circumstances of the individual in this grave. She believes the person was murdered. She indicated that the name might have been Daugherty. I took a look at the Longton cemetery list and did not see a person by that name.

There is an indication of 1877 on the fallen and  broken stone but no indication whether the individual was born in 1877 or died in 1877.

Can anyone shed any light help shed any light?


« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 10:03:31 pm by Teresa »
"If one of the many corrupt...county-seat contests must be taken by way of illustration, the choice of Howard County, Kansas, is ideal." Dr. Everett Dick, The Sod-House Frontier, 1854-1890.
"One of the most expensive county-seat wars in terms of time and money lost...” Dr. Homer E Socolofsky, KSU

Offline W. Gray

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Re: Old Fallen Tombstone in Longton Cemetery
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2009, 07:50:02 pm »
In a followup Email from Audrey (Vestal) Tharp:

My sister found this information about the first recorded murder in Longton, in some information that some people in Longton had research several years ago. This information was taken from the stone when it was still in good shape and could be read. It reads:

The first murder recorded in Longton was of Robert Daughery in July 1877. According to information on the stone, which is located in the far south eastern part of the cemetery, he was around 60 years of age. The only information we could find as to the cause was something about a mule, or perhaps a horse but that is indefinite.

"If one of the many corrupt...county-seat contests must be taken by way of illustration, the choice of Howard County, Kansas, is ideal." Dr. Everett Dick, The Sod-House Frontier, 1854-1890.
"One of the most expensive county-seat wars in terms of time and money lost...” Dr. Homer E Socolofsky, KSU

Offline Buddyboy

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Re: Old Fallen Tombstone in Longton Cemetery
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2009, 07:32:47 am »
I remember when we were young that my dad in his attempt to make a trip to a cemetery fun or educational one (not for sure) always took us to see this stone. It is only a few rows away from my great and great great grandparents. It's been awhile, but I think I remember him saying it happened at a dance or a bar.

Offline W. Gray

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Re: Old Fallen Tombstone in Longton Cemetery
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2010, 09:36:49 pm »
Just discovered that the broken Longton cemetery stone shown in the first post above is related to Marcia's post of March 11, 2010, concerning the assassination murder of Robert Dougherty.

Marcia's post was as follows:

Taken from the Elk County Ledger – Aug. 4, 1877
MURDER IN ELK COUNTY
MR. ROBERT DOUGHERTY ASSASSINATED
     Intense excitement has prevailed at Longton and vicinity during the past week caused by the mysterious murder of Mr. Robert Dougherty, an old and inoffensive citizen of Longton.
     The murdered man lived alone on his farm about four miles from Longton, and on Friday morning, July 27, Mr. Charles Keys of Longton, having some business in that neighborhood, called at Mr. Dougherty’s and was horror stricken to find the old man lying stark and stiff in the cold embrace of death.  The alarm was immediately given and an examination proved that the unfortunate man had met his death while peacefully sleeping in bed and from appearances death had been so sudden that he had never stirred after the fatal blows were struck.
     The murderer had, it seems, taken a hatchet from a box of tools under the bed and had struck his unconscious victim upon the forehead and the blow crushing the skull caused instant death.  The villain had then returned the hatchet to the box and after securing the murdered man’s pocketbook left the house, and, taking one of the old man’s mules, left the country.  At all events the mule was gone and it was natural to suppose it had been taken by the murderer.
     A coroner’s jury was empanelled by J.N. Thomas, a Justice of the Peace in Longton, which, after an inquest lasting two or three days, rendered a verdict to the effect that Robert Dougherty came to his death from the effects of blows upon the head at the hands of a person named Newton R. Scott.
     It was perfectly apparent that the murder had been committed for the purpose of robbing the victim, and it was almost certain that the murderer was the person who had taken the mule.  Who could have done this? was the momentous question.
     The young man named Scott, who had been in the neighborhood for a few days and who had acted in a suspicious manner, was missing after the murder.  He occurred to the minds of the people as being the probable criminal.
     The mule was found running at large in Independence on Friday morning, the murder having been committed the night before.  On Tuesday evening of this week Scott was discovered lurking in the neighborhood and was arrested and brought to Longton where he is still held.  His preliminary examination will commence on Monday next.
     The circumstances which point to Scott as the criminal we will not mention, as we do not care to say a word to cause prejudice either for or against him.
     The victim, Mr. Robert Dougherty, was a widower between fifty and sixty years of age who came to Elk County from Topeka some four or five years ago.  He has lived in or about Longton ever since and was a quiet, unassuming man and had no enemies.  He had enough money to live comfortably, and to the fact that he was known to carry a considerable amount of currency upon his person and the additional fact that he lived alone in a secluded neighborhood may be ascribed his untimely and violent death.  Mr. Dougherty had no children or relatives living in this county.

Taken from the Elk County Ledger – Aug. 11, 1877
     Newton Scott, who was arrested last week on suspicion of having robbed and murdered Mr. Dougherty, near Longton, confesses that he was at the robbery, but that a man named Ross, his (Scott’s) father-in-law, who is also under arrest, planned the crime, and it was he who went into the house and got the old man’s money.  Scott says he stood outside and watched while Ross went into the house, and persists that he did not know that Dougherty was killed.  When Ross came out of the house he handed Scott a roll of money, remarking, “The old man did not have as much money as I expected.”  They then took one of Dougherty’s mules and left, Scott going to Independence, where he turned out the mule, got his breakfast and took the train for Parsons.
     There is not a shadow of a doubt but what Ross and Scott were engaged together in this terrible business, though Ross, we understand, denies everything.  The people about Longton were terribly excited and there was some talk of lynching the prisoners, but fortunately better counsels prevailed and the men were carried to the Eureka jail to await the next term of the District Court.
     The men, who are under arrest, are entitled to a fair and impartial trial according to law, and whether they are guilty or innocent, no good citizen of Elk County will for a moment think of using violent means toward the defenseless prisoners.  Circumstances – other than Scott’s confession – point to these men as being the guilty parties, and there is no doubt but what Scott can be proved to have taken the mule.  But we will say no more about the matter at present.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 09:38:32 pm by W. Gray »
"If one of the many corrupt...county-seat contests must be taken by way of illustration, the choice of Howard County, Kansas, is ideal." Dr. Everett Dick, The Sod-House Frontier, 1854-1890.
"One of the most expensive county-seat wars in terms of time and money lost...” Dr. Homer E Socolofsky, KSU

Offline W. Gray

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Re: Old Fallen Tombstone in Longton Cemetery
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2010, 08:53:27 pm »

Audrey Tharp advised this evening that the old unidentified stone at the Longton Cemetery that was originally intended for Robert Doughtery (or Daugerty) has been replaced with a new stone. The elderly man was the victim of a hatchet murderer in 1877 and is reputed to be the first murder victim in the Longton area.





"If one of the many corrupt...county-seat contests must be taken by way of illustration, the choice of Howard County, Kansas, is ideal." Dr. Everett Dick, The Sod-House Frontier, 1854-1890.
"One of the most expensive county-seat wars in terms of time and money lost...” Dr. Homer E Socolofsky, KSU

Offline Marcia Moore

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Re: Old Fallen Tombstone in Longton Cemetery
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2010, 09:31:47 pm »
That is great!  Glad to hear it.  There are so many old broken-down and missing stones in the cemeteries.  It is so good to hear somebody cared enough to replace the stone.  Wish all the bad and missing stones in all the area cemeteries could be replaced.  Trouble is, though, many of the cemetery records in the area are incomplete or have been lost through the years.

Offline Janet Harrington

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Re: Old Fallen Tombstone in Longton Cemetery
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2010, 05:38:10 pm »
That was super nice of someone to do that for that poor man.  Thank you whoever you are.

Offline twirldoggy

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Re: Old Fallen Tombstone in Longton Cemetery
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2010, 06:15:10 pm »
Longton seems like a place where murders would not occur.  Have there been other murders there?

Offline patyrn

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Re: Old Fallen Tombstone in Longton Cemetery
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2010, 10:17:46 am »
Wouldn't it be nice if there could be some type of fund set up for donations to repair, reset, or replace gravestones of forgotten people in the county cemeteries?

Offline twirldoggy

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Re: Old Fallen Tombstone in Longton Cemetery
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2010, 11:34:00 am »
We once went on a trip to Indiana and Illinois.  We found a very old cemetery in Illinois were my great great grandmother had been buried.  Her stone was in half, but someone had placed it on her grave.  We got a photo of it and were very grateful to see it.  After her death her husband and two children came to Kansas.