I have loaned out a lot of material and this book as well as a lot of the 150 year celebration of the county. I managed to purchase everything pertaining to the Rush County celebration as well as the Milroy and Anderson Township celebration. I frequently dig them out and sort of page through them just for fun. I also have an 1888 thick Almanac of Rush County that is verbose and redundant but even so interesting if you have time and ability to hold the darn thing. I bet it weighs 4 pounds! My daughter now has this tome and I hope it remains in the family. All of these things I enjoy and frequently go back to for my articles.
The one and only public execution in the county was for murder. As might be expected, at the time it was the thing to talk about and see. The trial and the sentencing of the culprit were front page news for the local paper, The Whig, and people from all over the county and around the country could not get enough of it. The gentleman convicted was a local and, from what I remember, had more than adequate liquor one night and got into the inevitable fight with someone else. I believe a young lady’s affection was involved and, of course, that only lent a little spice to the story. The trial was held in Rush County Court. I don’t believe the courthouse had yet been built so this was the wooden structure used prior to a more permanent structure.
Witnesses were called and testified; juries were chosen with some difficulty as both people involved were popular young men, at least young in regards to the time. As with all capital crimes, the judge made sure that all the i’s were dotted and the t’s crossed before the jury got the case. Both the defense and prosecution eloquently did their job. Witnesses were called and testified, many were not at all happy about having to do this, but all felt it was their civic duty.