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Police Blotter: Rape, Violence, Murder, Mayhem

Think Charlotte is rough today? Let's go back in time, to the early 1900s, when crime in the Queen City was a daily sport


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• Ten years later, Dora Allison wasn't as lucky. After her July 1912 arrest for keeping a "disorderly house," another term for a brothel, she was sentenced to four months in jail.

FOUL-MOUTHED BASTARDS: In January 1902, John Hemphill (alias Bruno Rodman) was arrested on profanity charges for being drunk in public and using profane language. His sentence was 30 days in jail, to be spent working on a chain gang.

• Dink Crowell was arrested for using profanity on a public street in September 1910. According to his indictment handed down by the grand jury, the words he spoke were "Damn" and "God Damn."

• E.L. Madison was arrested in July 1911 on charges of slandering a woman. According to his indictment, he had both spoken and published statements that accused her of "incontinency," a word that people used often in the late 1800s and early 1900s that meant unchaste. More than 30 witnesses were summoned to appear at Madison's trial, including witnesses to the "crime" and supporters of both the woman and Madison. The verdict in the case was not recorded.

• In January 1902, Maria Young was arrested for slander for spreading rumors that Lelia Chrisholm had participated in unwholesome activities and given birth to an illegitimate baby.

ANIMAL RIGHTS: Lon Donaldson was arrested on animal cruelty and larceny charges in June 1912 after he was a day late bringing back a horse and buggy his friend M.M. Warren had lent him. According to the arrest warrant, Donaldson had maliciously overdriven the animal and beaten it with a whip.

YESTERYEAR'S SEX OFFENDERS: J.W. Youngblood was the first of about a dozen men arrested on "assault" charges against young girls in the first decade of the last century. In Youngblood's case, the girl was 9. As in most of these cases, what the "assault" consisted of wasn't included in the newspapers or court documents.

WHIPPED: In August 1900, Forest Elmore, a white man, was confronted on a county highway by a group of five black men and three black women who asked if Elmore was a Democrat and if he had voted for a recent amendment that made it harder for blacks to vote. After Elmore volunteered that he was a Democrat and had voted for the amendment, the men and women tied him to a tree and whipped him, the Charlotte News reported. (Payback's hell, isn't it?) Because it was dark, Elmore didn't get a good look at his attackers and they were never caught.

HIGHWAY CANNIBALS: Chas Knox went to town to buy whiskey and was attacked on the long walk back to Squire Henry Bryant's farm in the Providence Township of south Mecklenburg, where Knox lived and worked as a servant. Somewhere along the rural highway, he was attacked by someone who fractured his skull and bit off his finger. Knox passed out in the front yard and his family found him there the next morning. Gangrene set in quickly, and doctors later had to remove Knox's arm. The attacker, whom Knox didn't get a good look at, was never caught.

BUT SHE LOOKED 16: In October 1912, Allen Jackson was arrested on charges of carnal knowledge of a child under 14. He was accused of having sex with 12-year-old Rosa White.

• According to court documents, Sam Harris "enticed, induced and persuaded" Addie Falls, who was under the age of 14, to flee town with him in April 1911. Harris, whom court documents noted was a married man, was arrested on charges of child abduction.

RAILWAY CHASE: Luther Foard, 20, was arrested by police for trying to elope with Bertha Everhart, 15. Everhart's father chased the two from Lexington to Charlotte. They gave him the slip in Salisbury, but the father wired ahead to Charlotte, asking police to arrest Foard when the train stopped. Police were waiting for the couple and arrested Foard when he got off at the Trade Street stop. She sat by his cell all night, holding hands with him through the bars, until her father showed up the next day to reclaim her.

GUNNED DOWN: Before he left town for a few days in August 1900, Mr. Parks Kirkpatrick gave the servants and farm hands who worked on his estate in the Sharon township permission to hold a picnic and jubilee. After drinking heavily, Wash Clark, angry at a call in a baseball game, picked up a gun and began firing it at people. Jesse Ross rushed into the house and got a shotgun and gunned Clark down. Ross was arrested for manslaughter.


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