could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

The Murder of Art

1902 – Art, 20, a Buffalo County farmer’s son, was sent to penitentiary for burglary
        After a month he escaped, but was captured near the Colorado border

November 22, 1903 – Art was released after serving 1 ½ years in the pen.
        Returned to Kearney

About March 10, 1904 – Art left Kearney; went to Fremont

March 15 – Art, now calling himself Harry Rogers, and another man, Jake Kelly, were arrested for intoxication and quarreling.
        Put in Dodge County jail at Fremont.
        Kelly, 42, was a plumber and well known crook in Nebraska;
                suspected of helping with a murder in Holdrege in 1891

March 16 – They were released the next day if they would leave town;
        They did not leave so they were arrested again and given 10 days

        During that time, other prisoners heard Art & Kelly arguing;
            Kelly said he would kill Art, whom he knew as Harry Rogers, first chance he got
            That Rogers knew too much about him

March 26 – After 10 days they were released again; this time they headed west

March 27 – Next day they were both seen in Humphrey
        At night they burglarized a store

March 28 – Art was murdered and left in a vacant house between Columbus and Norfolk.
        He had a bullet in the head. The theory he was killed outside the house and dragged in.

        When the body was first found a couple days later, his identity was unknown
        Cards found in his pocket had name Harry Rogers; written by a man in Fremont jail when Art was there
        Sheriff in Fremont recognized clothes as those belonging to man he knew as Rogers

        Body taken to Lincoln to turn over to medical college if unclaimed
        A heavily veiled woman and a man came to the under taking rooms;
            woman identified body as her son and arranged for burial under the name William Bell.
            She refused to give her name.

Sheriff’s investigation (Sheriff in Columbus near the murder site)

        Went to the penitentiary and found Art’s record
        Found that a young lady from Hastings knew Art was using the name Harry Rogers

        Buffalo County deputy sheriff went to Lincoln and identified Art from a photo
            [he had apparently brought with him]

April 28 – Kelly arrested in late April

May 3 – A picture of the dead man was brought to Kearney by the Buffalo County deputy sheriff.
        Art’s parents positively identified him as their son.

        Deputy wrote to the Lincoln undertaker asking were the body was buried
        Undertaker said it was not Art and that relatives had identified him and paid for burial

Sheriff’s investigation continued (Now gathering evidence against Kelly)

        Included evidence that Art and Kelly were in Humphrey the day before the murder
            and Kelly was there alone the day after, before the body was found

Trial against Kelly

        Took place in Columbus June 16 & 18, 1904

        Art’s mother testified and broke down when questioned about the waywardness of her son.

        Two men in Fremont jail with Art and Kelly swore they heard Kelly tell Art he knew too much
             and he would have to “put him away”

        Another man testified that when he went to see the corpse, Kelly entered with a policeman and said
            “If you send a photograph of this man to Kearney you will find his relatives.”

        Kelly testified on his own behalf.
            He admitted they were in jail together in Fremont and both released at the same time
            But he did not see Art again until he saw the body at Humphrey the day of the murder

June 18 – After 15 hours of deliberation, jury declared Kelly guilty of murder in 2nd degree
        Sentence to be life in prison

Addendum: One of the two men from the Fremont jail, apparently brought from jail to testify, eluded the sheriff, jumped from a second-story window of the courthouse and escaped the day after testifying

Attempted Murder – Frank shot by wife

June 28, 1911

Frank was in serious condition at WCTU hospital, shot by wife, Nellie, because husband continued to annoy her by watching her windows

They were operators of a room & board house on 23rd street
        Frank was standing out front when he felt the sting of a bullet in his neck
        Tried to run but was hit in the thigh
        Managed to get a block east to offices of Dr. G.M. & Eliza Mills
            where they worked over him for an hour to stop the bleeding and then took him to the hospital

Nellie said she was sitting under one of the trees near the house

Doctors said that was not possible, judging from the angle of the bullets which was downward. They said it had to have been someone sitting up in the tree.

Sheriff, deputy, & city policeman, however, believed the wife shot him.

She had been threatening recently she would kill him if he did not stop annoying her

A few weeks earlier she had filed for divorce, citing cruelty, not providing proper support and although able, food for the family table.

She said he refused to pay the doctor’s bill when she was ill, that he brought home stale dry bread and doughnuts expecting her to make them fresh by steaming them, and that she had to do all the washing and housekeeping for him and his two small children.

She also said that when she came to the house when they were married six months ago, it was dirty and full of dirty clothes.

Frank was about 50 years old.
        This was his fourth marriage.
        Two of first three wives had died of kidney disease.

This was Nellie’s fifth marriage.

They had not known each other very long before they married

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Revised: 06/02/2018