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day of April, 1852, and Williams County was embraced in the Second Subdivision of the Third Judicial District. John M. Palmer, who had been chosen, at the annual election held in October, 1851, as Judge of the Subdivision, produced his credentials, signed by Reuben Wood, Governor, with the great seal of the State of Ohio thereto attached, and dated the 16th of January, 1852, with and bearing the official signature of William Trevitt (one of the fathers of Bryan), Secretary of State.
The officers of the new court were: John M. Palmer, District Judge ; Walter Caldwell, Clerk; Thomas Shorthill, Sheriff.
At the April terms of court, 1853, 1854 and 1855, the names of the same court officers appear upon the journal, with the exception that, at the April term held the last-named year, the name of William A. Stevens is recorded as Clerk; and at the terms held in 1856, there appear to have been no changes, except that John Bell appears to have succeeded Thomas Shorthill as Sheriff.
At the March term, 1857, Alexander S. Latta appeared and presented his credentials as Judge of the Second Subdivision of the Third Judicial District of the Court of Common Pleas of Ohio, after the reading of which, court was duly opened. No change had occurred in the other offices.
March term, 1858— The same officers were at present this as at the last term, with the exception that Jacob Youse succeeded William A. Stevens as Clerk, and at the March term, 1859, the same officers appeared; and at the March term, 1860, the only change that had occurred was that Hiram Byers had been qualified as Sheriff.
From 1861 to 1863, inclusive, the same judicial officers were in service; but in 1864, Milton B. Plummer had been elected Clerk, and William S. Lewis; and 1865 and 1866 brought no changes in court officers, but at the March term of 1867, Lewis E. Brewster became Clerk. At the March term of 1868, Edwin J. Evans was sworn in as Sheriff.
[From this forward, only new officers in the judicial force, as they occur, will be noted.]
In the several years of 1869, 1870 and 1871, there had been no change, but in 1872, Henry L. Walker took charge of the Sheriff's office.
In 1873, no change, and the only one in 1874 was that Henry L. Walker was superseded in the Sheriff's office by William W. Darby.
At the first term held in 1876, E. E. Bechtol was qualified as Clerk.
At the March term, 1877, Selwyn N. Owen presented his credentials as Judge.
February term, 1878, George C. Kober entered upon his duties as Sheriff.
At the February term, 1879, William H. Chilcote entered upon his duties as Clerk.
In 1880 and 1881, no changes had occurred; but in 1882, Ezra E. Bechtol succeeded William H. Chilcote as Clerk, and Jacob A. Dorshimer succeeded George C. Kober as Sheriff.
And now, having concluded the list of judicial officers for the Court of Common Pleas, it may be added that a most important part of the Ohio judicial system is the office of Probate Judge, which was created by the constitution of 1852; and a full list of the several incumbents who have filled the office is here appended : Joshua Dobbs, elected in 1852 and reelected in 1855; Meredith R. Willett, elected in 1858; Isaac R. Sherwood, elected in 1861, and resigned to enter the military service. William A. Hunter was commissioned by the Governor to succeed Sherwood, but he also very soon entered the army, and November 6, 1862, William H. Ogden succeeded Hunter. In 1863, Alexander Bodel was elected, but resigned, and August 26, 1864, the Governor appointed George E. Long to fill the unexpired term of Judge Bodel, and in 1867 Judge Long was elected for the full term. In 1870, John W. Leidigh was elected, and in 1873 was re-elected. In 1876, Charles A. Bowersox was elected, and in 1879 Martin Perky was elected, and in 1882 re-elected, and under circumstances highly flattering to himself and friends.
CONVICTIONS FOR MURDER. Only two cases of trial and convictions on charge of capital crime appear in the judicial annals of Williams County. The exceptional case was that of the State of Ohio vs. Daniel Heckerthorn and Andrew F. Tyler, who were arraigned at the September term, 1847, on the charge as explained below, in a synopsis of the bill of indictment, found by the grand jury at said term : WILLIAMS County.
} Court of Common Pleas of the term of September, in the year A. D. 1847, the Jury of the Grand Jurors of the State of Ohio within and for the body of the county of Will. iams upon their oaths and solemn affirmations, in the name and by the authority of the State of Ohio, do present and find that one Daniel Heckerthorn, late of said county of Williams, heretofore, that is to say on the 20th day of June, A. D. 1847, with force and arms, at Jefferson Township, in said county of Williams, in and upon one David Schamp, in the peace of God and State of Ohio then being, feloniously, willfully and purposely, and of deliberate and premeditated malice, did make an assault, and that said Daniel Heckerthorn, with a certain stick, did then and there, with force of arms, etc., * * And that one Andrew Tyler, late of the said county of Williams, not having the fear of God before his eyes, but being seduced by the instigation of the devil, before the felony and murder aforesaid, by the aforesaid Daniel Heckerthorn, in manner and form aforesaid, done and committed, that is to say, etc. * And the jurors aforesaid, in the name and by the authority aforesaid, on their onths and atfirmacions aforesaid, do
further present and find that the said Daniel Heckerthorn, not having the fear of God before his eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil, and of his malice aforethought, wickedly contriving and inte ng the said David Schamp with poi80p, feloniously, willfully, unlawfully, purposely and of deliberate and premeditated malice to kill and murder,
to wit: the quantity of two drams of the sail white arsenic, did put, mingle, mix and infuse into and with a certain quantity of candy, and then and there gave to him, the said David Schamp, a large quantity of the said while arsenic, so as aforesaid by him, the said Daniel Heckerthorn, mixed, mingled and infused with the said candy to eat and swallow.
And that one Andrew Tyler, late of the county of Williams, not having the fear of God before his eyes, but being mored and seduced by the instigation of the devil by the felony and murder last aforesaid, by the aforesaid Daniel Heckerthorn,
did stir up, move, abet, counsel, a'lvise and procure, contrary to the form of statute, etc. [Signed]
Joshua Dobbs, Pros. Atty. On which bill of indictment was the following indorsement, to wit:
Williams County, Common Pleas, State of Ohio vs. Daniel Heckerthorn and Andrew Ty. ler, indictment for murder. A true bill. Addison McNabb, foreman. Found upon the testimony of witnesses sworn in open court, by order of the court, on the request of the Prosecuting Attorney, sent before the Grand Jury. Filed September 8, 1847. Jolin Paui, Clerk, by F. M. Case, Deputy. J. Dobbs, Prosecuting Attorney.
And afterward, to wit :
On the 10th day of September, 1847, on motion to said Court of Common Pleas, it is ordered that Charles Case be appointed Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in this case. The Court appoint Andrew Coffinberry and William Semans to defend the said Daniel Heckerthorn ;
And afterward, to wit:
On the day and year last aforesaid came the said State of Ohio and the said Daniel Heckerthorn and Andrew Tyler, being each separately arraigned, in their own proper persons, in open court, and the said indictment being read to them, and the said Daniel Heckerthorn and Andrew Tyler, being each separately inquired of what they pleaded to said indictment, do each of them, before pleading to said indictment, elect to be tried in the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio to be holden within and for the county of Williams. It is therefore ordered by the Court that the said Daniel Heckerthorn and Andrew Tyler be remanded to jail and there confined to await their said trial in said Supreme Court upon said indictment, which was done accordingly; and afterward, to wit, on the day and year first aforesaid came the said State of Obio, and the said Andrew Tyler being arraigned in his own proper person, says he is not guilty as he stands charged in said indictment, and thereupon came a jury, to wit, Joseph Stoy, Bannister l'oole, William Sheridan, Volney Crocker, Jonathan Hoge, Harvey Koons, William H. Ozier, John Bowman, Daniel Aucker, William C. Preston, Benjamin Bowman and John Turner,
who being duly tried, empaneled and sworn well and truly to try the issue joined between the State of Ohio and the said Andrew Tyler, upon their oaths aforesaid do say that the said Andrew Tyler is guilty of willfully, deliberately and purposely and of deliberate and premeditated malice stirring up, moving, selecting, counseling and procuring the said Daniel Heckerthorn willfully, purposely, and of deliberate and premeditated malice the said David Schamp to kill and murder in manner and form as he stands charged in said indictment, and the said Andrew Tyler being set to the bar of the court, and it being demanded of him to say why the sentence of the law should not be pronounced against him, says that he has nothing to say further than he has already said ; wherefore, it is considered, sentenced and adjudged that the said Andrew Tyler be taken from hence to the jail of the county, and therein be safely kept until Friday, the twenty-sixth day of
January next, between the hours of twelve o'clock, M., and three o'clock, P. M., the said Andrew Tyler shall be taken to the place of execution, and hanged by the neck until he is dead. And as to the said Daniel Heckerthorn this case is continued.
P. Hitchcock, Chief Judge. At the Williams County Supreme Court term, held in Bryan in 1819, Heckerthorn was tried and sentenced to be hanged, but the Governor of Ohio commuted the sentence to imprisonment for life in the Ohio Penitentiary. And thus began and closed the only murder trials adjudicated in Williams County.
THE WILLIAMS COUNTY BAR. Following is the roster of the members of the Williams County bar at different periods :
1837–At this time, there was a law in force imposing a capitation tax on lawyers of one dollar. In Williams County three were listed, namely-Curtis Bates, Horace Sessions and William Semans. William C. Holgate, afterward successful as a lawyer, and Prosecuting Attorney of Williams County, though more eminent as a sagacious business man, was at this time a law student in the office of the late Horace Sessions, at Defiance.
1844–The names of the following Williams County lawyers, and then all residents of Bryan, appear at the terms held this year upon the bar docket: Leland & Blakeslee, Case & Foster, Joshua Dobbs, S. M. Huyck and James Welsh.
1846—The following names are docketed for the terms of this year : John Paul, J. Dobbs, Coffinberry & Semans, Carter & Case, Leland & Blakeslee, William Carter, S. E. Blakeslee, Carter & Case, H. Sessions, C. Case, E. H. Leland, Case & Coffinberry, Peter Snook, Case & Case, Saunders M. Huyck, J. A. Simon, G. H. Wilson, John K. Morrow, S. A. Treat, Foster & Pratt and McKinley & Treat.
1882—Pratt & Bentley, Leidigh & Scott, Foster & Bowersox, Emery & Boothman, Smith & Strayer, Serrels & Johnston, M. R. Willett, J. A. Simon, J. W. Nelson, M. H. Bond, S. E. Blakeslee, H. Preusser, B. E. Sheldon, Solomon Johnson, C. W. Pitcairn, 0. C. Beechler, A. D. Austin, Peter Friend, George E. Coy, Hiram H. Calvin, John M. Caulkins, C. P. Winbigler and Charles B. Jones.
DESTRUCTION OF LANDMARKS. The erection of Defiance County under the act passed March 4, 1845 (the same day Mr. Polk was inaugurated President of the United States), was, for the time, disastrous to the interests of the county as originally formed, in several respects, not only by mutilating its symmetrical lines, but by transferring to the new county a large portion of its most valuable taxable property; while it also opened up & vexatious war for the removal of the county seat from Bryan to West Unity, and in this conflict many old friendships were for the time severed. At the time of the erection of Defiance, Williams was composed of seventeen townships, namely: Defiance, Tiffin, Springfield, Brady, Mill Creek, Jefferson, Pulaski, Washington, Delaware, Farmer Centre, Superior, Bridgewater, Florence, St. Joseph, Milford and Hicksville. Some of these townships exceeded the established limits of the United States surveys, owing to the clashing of the Harris and Fulton lines, which finally resulted in the boundary conflict between Ohio and Michigan; but yet it left Williams a territory considerably in excess of the minimum area prescribed by the constitution ; and the General Assembly, in 1849, erected Fulton, which further despoiled the old county by clipping off three of the eastern sections of Mill Creek and two from Brady Township. But this last legislative act was comforting to Bryan local interests, because it placed the eastern boundary of Brady so near the “ragged edge,” that it blasted all hope of West Unity for capturing the county seat, and made perpetual peace between the two places by consigning the vexed controversy to “ the tomb of the Capulets.” With these two clippings, we find, according to that eminent and experienced surveyor, Miller Arrowsmith, that the present superficial area of the county is about equal to eleven and two-thirds townships, or 420 square miles—being then, according to this good authority, only about twenty square miles above the constitutional limits; but the lines as now drawn may be regarded as perpetual, except that the fundamental law be changed establishing the minimum limits of counties-an event not probable to happen, as it has remained a policy that has existed unchanged since Ohio became a member of the Union.
WILLIAMS COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY. At one time there existed a strong medical association in the county, but from some cause the organization was abandoned, and the society became extinct by reason of a discontinuance of the annual meetings. The profession have material for a medical society which might occupy the highest rank.
WILLIAMS COUNTY INFIRMARY. This farm, buildings and improvements, reflect credit upon the County Commissioners who undertook the enterprise; upon the boards of Infirmary Directors who succeeded them; and upon the superintendents and matrons, who have had management of its affairs since the opening of the house for the reception of inmates. Work upon the main building was begun in 1873, and so far completed in the following year that, on its opening day, six unfortunates were received, and before the close