Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Murder of Frank C. Kendall, Arkansas.

  I have a very good friend who is a historian her name Wanda M. Gray, she is from Waldon Arkansas.  I met her a few years ago while she was working on one of the Civil War Battles that happen around Waldon.  Being a hobby military historian she asked for helpe on her book "Civil War in Scott County, Arkansas.''  She writes to me when ever she needs help on one of her stories.

She asked help on the story you are about to read, but I must say I was very little help.  I found the story very interesting and asked if it was ok to post it of couse she said yes. ''Thanks Wanda.''

Murdered Civil War Veteran.
Historian Wanda M. Gray.
On the steamy hot day of 8 July 1920, Civil War veteran Frank C. Kendall, who served in Company I, 52nd Illinois Regiment of Volunteer Infantry of the Union Army, met a brutal death in the now extinct community of Newman, in the also extinct township of Brushy, in Scott County, Arkansas. This 74 year old solitary figure lived alone near the caring and congenial neighbors Andrew J. and Myra Harrell near this remote village and when he didn’t stop by on his return from Waldron on the 6th of July to get the bread she had baked for him, Mr. Harrell went in search of him.

It would be two weeks before his ravaged body was discovered in an abandoned well about a mile from his home. Upon the recovery of the body, it was discovered that this old soldier, who had survived the bullets and cannon fire of many bloody battles in the Civil War, could not survived the furry of two shotgun blasts to the face and neck. 

Acting swiftly, Sheriff O. S. Bird arrested fifty year old Andrew Sherrills and twenty-two year old Alva Lamar, and charged them with the crime of murder, with robbery being the motive. In the August term of court they were speedily indicted for the meditated, deliberate assault and killing of Kendall by shooting him with a gun loaded with gun powder and leaden bullets. The evidence indicated that it was generally believed that Kendall drew a $50.00 a month pension check from the government and that on the 6th of July when he made this three month journey of 19 miles into Waldron to buy supplies that he had $200.00 on his person. 

Prosecuting Attorney J. Sam Wood tried Case No. 741 in front of Judge John Brizzola at Waldron o the 1st, 2nd, 3rd of August 1921. The defendants hired two local law firms Bates and Duncan, and Smith and Payne for their defense. Inspite of the best efforts of the able prosecutor J. Sam Wood, a jury of twelve highly respected citizens of the county returned a verdict of not guilty for both Sherrills and Lamar. 

There were no further arrests, therefore, the murderer of veteran Frank C. Kendall has never been brought to justice in this life. His body rests in a beautiful but remote forest, atop a ridge in the southeast part of Scott County, Arkansas in an abandoned cemetery. His government grave marker is protected only by a huge uprooted fallen pine tree that had also lived out its life’s span

Frank C. Kendall, Service Record.
Illinois Civil War Detail Report.
Rank: PVT
Company: I
Unit: 52 IL US INF
Personal Characteristics
Residence: DUNDEE, KANE CO, IL
Age: 18
Height: 5' 10
Complexion: LIGHT
Occupation: FARMER
Service Record
Joined When: JAN 25, 1864
Joined Where: DUNDEE, IL
Joined By Whom: LT DAVIS
Period: 3 YRS
Muster In: FEB 23, 1864
Muster In Where: ELGIN, IL
Muster Out: JUL 6, 1865
Muster Out Where: LOUISVILLE, KY
Muster Out By Whom: CPT GUTHRIE

The story as it appeared in the Walden News.

Push to enlarge.

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