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Monday, December 20, 2010

1902 :: Murder in Second Degree

Dallas Morning News. December 20, 1902. Murder in Second Degree. Verdict of Jury in Connell Case at Belton -- Twenty-Five Years in the Penitentiary. Special to The News. Belton, Tex., Dec. 19. -- "We, the jury, find the defendant guilty of murder in the second degree and assess his punishment at twenty-five years in the penitentiary," was the verdict of the jury in the John Connell homicide case. Connell was charged with the killing of his father in May last.

See also :-

Sunday, December 19, 2010

1902 :: Awaiting the Verdict

Dallas Morning News. December 19, 1902. Awaiting the Verdict. Jury in Connell Case at Belton Out All Day with No Prospect of Agreement Before This Date. Special to The News

Belton, Tex., Dec. 18. -- A night session of the District Court was held last night, when District Attorney W.W. Hair closed the argument in the Connell homicide case. Judge Furman delivered his charge to the jury at about 11 o'clock. The jury has been out all day, with no prospect of a verdict before tomorrow.

See also :-

Saturday, December 18, 2010

1902 :: Connell Homicide Case

Dallas Morning News. December 18, 1902. State Brevities. Special to The News. . . . 

Belton, Tex., Dec. 17. -- The entire day has been consumed in argument of the Connell homicide case. John B. Durrett opened for the State and was followed by Hon. Winbourn Pearce and Judge T.S. Henderson of Cameron for the defense. District Attorney W.W. Hair will close for the State tomorrow.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

1902 :: Connell Homicide Case

Dallas Morning News. December 17, 1902. M'Connell [sic] Homicide Case. Testimony All in and the Argument of Counsel Begins Today at Belton. Defendant Examined. 

Special to The News. Belton, Tex., Dec. 16. -- The testimony in the John Connell homicide case was concluded at 6 o'clock this afternoon. Court adjourned until tomorrow, when argument of counsel will begin. Much of today was spent in the examination of the defendant. This is the eighth day of the case.

See also :-

Thursday, December 16, 2010

1902 :: Belton Court Proceedings

Dallas Morning News. December 16, 1902. Belton Court Proceedings. 

Special to The News. Belton, Tex., Dec. 15. -- The taking of testimony in the John Connell homicide case was resumed in the District Court this morning. Much of the day has been spent in the examination of Mrs. Jane Connell, wife of the deceased. It is likely that both sides will conclude their testimony tomorrow.

See also :-

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1902 :: Connell Homicide Case at Belton

Dallas Morning News. December 14, 1902. Connell Homicide Case at Belton. 

Belton, Tex., Dec. 13. -- The State rested this afternoon in the John Connell homicide case, and the defense began the introduction of its testimony.

See also :-

Monday, December 13, 2010

1902 :: Connell Homicide Case

Dallas Morning News. December 13, 1902. Connell Homicide Case. Jury Empaneled and Taking of Testimony Begins at Belton. 

Special to The News. Belton, Tex., Dec. 12. -- It was not until 3:30 this afternoon that a jury was completed in the John Connell case. At the night session of court last night the special venire was exhausted with only ten jurors. Judge Furman adjourned court until today at 1:30 o'clock, and forty additional men were summoned from which the jury was completed and the taking of testimony was begun. There are a large number of witnesses fro this and Williamson County and the case will consume a greater portion of next week.

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Genealogy of Ex-Speaker Reed (1839-1902)

On this date . . . the 13th day of December . . . in the year 1902 . . . in the extended branches of our family tree . . . the following article ran in The New York Times . . . the ex-Speaker Reed mentioned below is my 5th cousin 5 times removed, Thomas Brackett Reed (1839-1902) . . . he had fallen ill and died in Washington, D.C. on the previous 7th day of December . . . shortly after attending the 67th birthday party of his friend (and another of our distant cousins), Mark Twain . . . 

Incredulity has been excited in some quarters by the statement that ex-Speaker Reed belonged to the eighth generation of a Portland family. This statement appeared in several obituary articles, and it did seem inconsistent with general impressions as to the antiquity of American families and towns.

Portland, however, was not founded yesterday or the day before, and Mr. Reed took more than usual pains to look up the records of his forbears, making the task the amusement of an active life, of course, instead of the business of an idle one, and thereby avoiding any possible criticism on the subject of his genealogical tastes.

His investigations carried him back to one George Cleeve, who settled in 1632 on what was then called Falmouth Neck, first as the agent of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, who owned all the land thereabout, and remained in a similar capacity for Alexander Rigby, who, exercising authority derived from Cromwell, erected the region into a province named Lygonia, and made Cleeve Governor of it.

Cleeve had no sons, but his only daughter, Elizabeth, married an adventurous Irishman, Michael Mitton, who had drifted to the colony, and one of her daughters, in turn, married the famous Indian fighter, Anthony Brackett, from whom Mr. Reed derived his middle name. The remainder of the line, as Mr. Reed himself once gave it, runs --

  • Anthony Brackett of Portsmouth
  • Thomas Brackett (killed by the Indians in Portland)
  • Joshua Brackett
  • Anthony Brackett
  • Thomas Brackett
  • Mary Brackett (married Joseph Reed)
  • Thomas Brackett Reed, Sr.
  • Thomas Brackett Reed, Jr.

The fancy may be innocently, if not very profitably, exercised in crediting to one or another of these ancestors the various elements in Mr. Reed's character. Many a European nobleman cannot trace his descent so far, or with so much reason for honest pride and personal satisfaction, as the ex-Speaker could. Several times, as now, the house had depended for perpetuation upon an only daughter.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

1902 :: Connell Homicide Case

Dallas Morning News. December 12, 1902.

Page 3. Newspapers as Evidence. Publishers of Bell County Press Summoned in Connell Case. 

Special to The News. Temple, Tex., Dec. 11 -- The District Court at Belton is engaged in trying the case of John Connell, charged with the murder of his father at Belton. The defendant is seeking a change of venue, and all the publishers of newspapers in Bell County were served yesterday with instanter summons to appear before the court with copies of their papers of the dates about the time the offense was committed, in May of this year.

Page 10. Connell Homicide Case. Judge Furman at Belton Overrules Motion for Change of Venue. Special to The News. Belton, Tex., Dec. 11. -- At the opening of court this morning, Judge Furman overruled the motion for change of venue in the John Connell homicide case and Connell was placed on trial for the alleged killing of his father. The entire day has been consumed in the examination of special venire for jurors, and up to the adjournment of court at 6 o'clock this afternoon, only seven jurors had been secured. A night session is being held tonight, and it is likely that the remaining five jurors will be secured. A great deal of interest is being manifested and large crowds are in attendance owing largely to the fact that the deceased was well known in Bell and Williamson Counties, where he had lived for more than forty years.

See also :-

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Advent Calendar :: Treasured Memories

There is a place within our hearts
where we keep our favorite memories
the ones that never fail to make us smile
those are the dearest memories of all.

Wishing you a Christmas filled with
the warmth of caring
the joy of togetherness
the love of friends and family
and happy memories that linger
long after the season is gone.

That verse by Amanda Bradley is featured on the ca. 1996 Christmas page on the left of this collage . . . and that page also appears in my Advent Calendar blogpost about Tearbottle Ornaments (which highlights memories of our first Christmas without my Dad) . . . we have quite an assortment of photos of Dad in front of the family Christmas trees over the years . . . but this one from the mid-1970s is definitely one of my favorites . . . the name card is from his 1945 high school graduation announcement . . . prepared for Grab Bag Day on the 2010 Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories . . .

FYI . . . this scrapbook page was created in Picasa using the collage feature with a scan of an open book as the background . . . the image used for the photo corner mounts is actually a ribbon from a dingbat font called WWDesigns . . .

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

1902 :: John H. Connell Case

Dallas Morning News. December 7, 1902. Notes Cases at Belton. Special to the News. Belton, Tex., Dec. 6 -- The John H. Connell case is set for the 9th instant. Connell is charged by indictment with the killing of his father in May last. A special venire of 200 men has been ordered.

See also . . . Son kills father in 1902 . . .

Monday, December 06, 2010

Advent Calendar :: Dere Santey Claus

The two adorable girls in the collage to your right are my little sisters, writing their letters to Santa ca. 1958. 

They also appear in the dere santey claus collage in footnoteMaven's 2009 Holiday Edition of Shades the Magazine

In the excerpt below you will find what I imagine the letter they are writing might have said, as well as samples of some letters to Santa as published in December of 1899 in the Dallas Morning News. Since I am online via a dial-up connection at my home, I like to download Shades from it's bookshelf at, and then view it page-by-page in PDF format.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Black Sheep Sunday :: Son kills Father in 1902

During the month of December . . . in the year 1902 . . . in the extended branches of our family tree . . . the Dallas Morning News ran at least 15 separate articles on the trial of one John H. Connell of Belton, Texas . . . who had been charged by indictment with the killing of his father in May last (May 1902).

The deceased was my 1st cousin 4 times removed, John Connell, Jr. (1833-1902), who was the son of John Connell and Matilda Connell Allen Allen nee Roberts (1808-1879). This Matilda is an older sister of my 3rd great-grandma, Mahala Lee Sharp Hall nee Roberts (1816-1885).

This story was completely unknown to me . . . until I found it last week while browsing around in the online archives of the Dallas Morning News . . . and as of this date, I have not been able to make a connection with any living descendants of John Connell, Jr. During the course of this 1902 trial and subsequent appeal(s), the Defendant testified as follows:-

"I saw my father drive up that evening and noticed some children with him. He called out to Darling [Defendant's brother] to 'Come and get the papers.' At that time I had been to the gate and was coming back to the house after bedclothes, and was right at the southwest corner of the house. When he called to Darling I made the remark that Darling was sick and that I would get them. I turned then and walked out towards where he was to get the papers. As I walked up to the fence I asked him 'Where in the hell he stayed last night.' He said it was none of my God-damned business, and I said I thought it was, and he said, 'You are a God-damned lying son of a bitch.' By that time he started towards me. I was stooping, picking up the papers, and just as I raised he kind of grabbed at me with his left hand. I tried to dart back a little, but he caught me in the collar and struck at me and came at me with a knife, and in an instant as soon as I saw the knife I cut him. I had the knife buckled in a leather strap at my belt. I did not have on a coat or vest, and my suspenders were down. I struck my father to get loose from him and when I got loose I went immediately to the house. He turned me loose when I cut him. I did not intend to kill him, but I cut him to get loose because I saw he would cut me if I did not."

There is more to this story . . . and I will be posting more details during the coming weeks . . . stay tuned . . .

Sentimental Sunday :: Happy 35th Pam & Mike

On this date in our family history . . . the 5th day of December in the year 1975 . . . my youngest sister, Pam, marries the love of her life, Mike . . . and in that same year . . . I married my Bennie in February . . . and we moved to Flint, Michigan . . . and I hated it there . . . and we came back to Texas . . . and my middle sister, Rebecca, gave birth to her 2nd son, Monty, in June . . . and we threw a surprise party for Mom & Dad's 25th anniversary in October . . . and then another wedding in December . . . 1975 wound up being a rather busy sewing year for my Mom . . . she made my blue velvet wedding dress as well as the dresses for my two sisters (my attendants) . . . and then she made our dresses for this December wedding, and her dress, as well as all sorts of table coverings, etc. for the receptions . . .

In the photo . . . Bennie (1948-2010) & Vickie . . . Robert (my brother) . . . my Dad, Forrest Lee (1927-1996) . . . Pam & Mike . . . my Mom, Roberta (1932-2023) . . . Rebecca holding Monty . . . Dennis (1953-1990) holding Trent . . .

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Advent Calendar :: Vintage Christmas Postcard

The vintage Christmas penny postcard highlighted in this collage was sent / given to my paternal grandpa -- Master Jake Pounders, Beaumont, Texas -- by his Uncle Ed

In the collage, you can see both the front and the back of the card, as well as a photo of my Pa Jake (1902-1957) when he was yet a little boy. I need to do a little research on this postcard. I do not know who Uncle Ed is (neither parent had a sibling named Ed), and I do not know why Jake would have been in Beaumont. 

The condition of this Made in Germany postcard is very delicate. Divided-back postcards were first printed in Germany in 1905. During World War I, the industry suffered greatly, and many of the printing plants were never re-built after the war. U.S. Publishers tried to fill the void in the postcard market. To conserve ink -- beginning about 1915 -- publishers left a white border around the edge -- until the 1930's. These postcards will usually have a designated stamp box that reads something like -- Place one cent stamp here.

I found this image online in a free clipart collection while looking for info on when the above postcard might have been printed. I do not know what the back of this card looks like, but I do see similarities between this card and the one in the collage.

This blogpost originally written for the 2009 Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories . . . freshened up a bit and reposted for the 2010 Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

1956 Christmas Tree

The dolls my sister and I are holding in this photo were Christmas presents from our Uncle Bob (1930-1997). The tree is a live cedar like many of those brought in by my Dad during the years of our childhood . . . he would go out into the woods somewhere around Rockdale or Tanglewood, select what he deemed to be a suitable tree, cut it down, and bring it home. With the allergies he had (and so generously passed on to most of us), I don't know how we endured having those cedar trees in the house. I actually do not remember a huge problem with allergies when I was young, but by the time I was living in Austin in the 1970s, I was taking allergy shots, with cedar big on the list of known allergens. 

This particular collage was originally created for Captured Moments in the 2009 Holiday Edition of Shades the Magazine. And > HERE < is my blogpost for the 1st day of December for the 2009 Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. 

This is posted for inclusion in the special holiday meme known as the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. Now hosted through Geneabloggers, it was originally dreamed up back in 2007 by Thomas and Jasia (aka the Queen of the Carnival).

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