the coroner's jury re the death of Christian William Shoup, find
that he came to his death on May 11th, inst. from a bullet
wound, and from the line of evidence produced we believe the shot
was fired by one Emerson Shelley."
That was the
verdict rendered by a jury of Walsingham farmers at the town hall
there, after listening to the evidence that County Crown Attorney
T. R. Slaght placed before them.
Meek of Port Rowan, presided. The jury was composed of
the following: Ansley Woolley (foreman), Chas. Wingrove,
Chas. W. Bowyer, James Craig, J. Alvin Woolley, James Hill, Roy
Marshall, Whitfield Wingrove, Robert Hines and Charles H. Moore.
A large gathering of people of both sexes
hall beyond the "standing room only" sign, filled all
available windows, and overflowed into the surrounding fairground.
Dr. W. A.
Broddy of Port Rowan, being sworn, testified that he had performed the autopsy. He founded the
deceased to have been a well nourished, normally healthy man, who had died from
a bullet wound.
produced in court, was a .32 calibre. It had been fired by someone
standing higher than the victim. It entered the right cheek two
inches from the mouth. Its course was down, back and to the left.
It had severed two arteries, scraped the spine, and was found
loose in the left pleura, which was flooded with about two quarts
of blood. It was of necessity fatal. Shoup could not have lived
more than a minute.
Shoup, a neatly dressed, refined looking woman, told in quiet
tones a most circumstantial story of what happened, so far as she
knew, on the fateful afternoon.
She and her husband had
lived at her present home for about ten years. Both of them had
been married twice. Mr. Shoup had two sons by his first wife, and
she a son and daughter by her first husband. All four, however,
were doing for themselves, and the couple lived alone.
57 years of age on the 6th of February last. He conducted a mill
where he did chopping and sometimes make stone flour. He bought
grain from other farmers and prospered.
He usually had money for use
in his business handy to get at. He did most of the work of 60
acres of farm land, was a teetotaller [sic], of a most
kindly disposition, enjoyed the esteem of the neighbors, and so
far as she could learn had no enemy in the world.
On the day of
the murder he had his dinner, took a short rest, and
about two o'clock went to a field to gather up roots where he
intended to plant potatoes. After finishing her work she went to
her vegetable garden, to plant seeds. To do this
she passed close to where her husband was working and spoke to
got back to the house it was 3:30 o'clock," she said.
"When I was busy with my planting I glanced up and saw a man
walking towards my husband. I paid so little attention that I
cannot describe his person. I saw my husband walk towards him, and
went on with my work. Coming back I did not see Mr. Shoup, but
gave it no thought and felt no uneasiness until six o'clock.
Shortly after I saw the man, about three o'clock, I heard a shot, but it did not even
cause me to look up as I thought it came from the neighboring
gully, It was not unusual to hear shots, where many come to
There is a deep
ravine between where I was and the spot at which my husband was
working, and the ravine is bordered by trees.
and finding the mill shut up, I concluded Mr. Shoup had gone to
his son's who, unable to work, had phoned his father at noon to come over and fix his pump.
stayed there an hour or more, and on my return home did some
chores, and was thinking of getting supper, when I saw Mr. Hagan's
man coming down the road. When I did not find Mr. Shoup at his
son's, I had concluded he was at Hagan's. So I called: "Jim,
is Chris up at your place?" He said he didn't think so. It
was then that I became uneasy, and started to look over the place.
As I passed through the house the clock struck six. Passing out at
the back of the house, I came to a rise that overlooked the field
where I left my husband, and I saw him lying on the ground near
the fence, where I could not see him as I came along the road.
I went up to him, knelt down and took his hand. He was quite dead. I saw the blood and the bullet wound. I returned to the house
and phoned Mr. Wheeler, a near neighbor, and John
Kreiss, the postmaster at Ambrose, Mr. Shoup's cousin: also Dr. Meek. They were all soon with me.
My husband always carried
money about with him in a blue duck sack I had made for him. but he never took any great quantity on his person unless we were
both going to leave the house. That day there was $112 in the
house, and he probably had between eight and ten dollars in his
On the ground beside his body were two or three small
pieces of tobacco that he carried in the same hip
pocket of his overalls as the money. I put my hand on his pocket and found that
his money bag was gone."
Wheeler testified to having been summoned to the Shoup's about six
o'clock on the 11th, and that he found the dead man lying on his
back, his feet to the southwest, his legs crossed, his left arm
under his left leg, and his right arm lying on his knee. He
the tobacco as described by Mrs. Shoup,
and heard her say the money was gone. I have lived in the
neighhborhood all my life and would think it an easy matter for a
man to get away unseen from the place of the murder by keeping to
the ravines and the woods."
testified: I was called to Shoup's. I have heard Mrs. Shoup's testimony;
also Wheeler's, and corroborate both as to the finding of Shoup's
Mrs. Shoup said his money was gone. I saw the tobacco. I am
familiar with the locality. A man could travel five or six miles
from the scene through woods and gullies and keep out of human
Kreiss, son of the former witness, confirmed his father's
Lambert lives in Simcoe, and certainly provided something of
a sensation with the extraordinary story he related.
"I know Emerson Shelley, not intimately, but by sight. I met
him in Simcoe on Thursday, May 6th. I was with Lew Weaver and a
fellow named Wilson. Shelley was with a tall, slim, dark man, with
a light cap, who I did not know. We were all on the Melbourne
Shelley said he had got into trouble over a lady in
Norwich, and that he had hooked [stolen] a wheel [bicycle] there in the garage.
proposed that we help him with some jobs. One was the robbery of a
mail driver in Walsingham. He also proposed shooting a hog
buyer and the murder of Shoup, a miller.
He said the hog buyer
generally carried six or eight hundred dollars on his person, and
that we might count on getting $200 and his jewelry from Shoup. He
proposed these three jobs for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. My
reply was "Nothing doing." Weaver and Wilson heard all
-- I live near Forestville. The Sunday before the shooting I was
at my mother's house two miles west of Walsh. I know Emerson
Shelley; went to school with him.
Shelley came to my mother's house at
noon Sunday on a bicycle. He said he was nearly broke, only had
$2.00 left. He had to have money, and I bought the wheel for $5.25.
He showed me a revolver. It was nickel-plated, and broke down from
the top. It was of .32 calibre. He had cartridges -- I saw them.
He stayed until five o'clock. When he left he said he was going to
-- I am a farm laborer, live in Charlotteville; keep house. I
remember the Sunday afternoon before the shooting. Shelley came to
my house. He got there between 7 and 8, and stayed all night.
showed me a revolver and some cartridges. He claimed to have
hooked it. Told me the make, but I have forgotten. It was
nickel-plated, and broke open in front. He took it out of his hip
pocket, and as he did so exclaimed: "That's the boy that'll
fetch 'em." He said he had to get some money and that he
guessed that was the only way to get it. Before the week was out I
would hear of some man being killed. He mentioned no particular
man to me.
Next morning two men drove by, each with a load of
hogs, and evidently on the way to Delhi. He wanted me to go with
him to a woods north of Pine Grove church and hold the two men up
on their way back.
I know George Halliday. He came along immediately
after, and Shelley made the same proposal to him. He said if a man
didn't stop when he hailed him he would shoot him.
Halliday and I left my place together, and walked to William Mater's,
where Shelley turned back and left us. We went on north; and this
was the last I saw of him. That was about 10:30 Monday.
Underhill, housekeeper for Laforge, corroborated much of his
story. Shelley told her he took his revolver off a man. He said that he
had made $3.00 that day and wanted to make more. He told her he
would just as leave shoot a man as a dog.
He told us we would hear
of a man around there being shot some day soon. When I asked if he wouldn't get caught, he replied that
among so many ravines
and woods they could never get him.
Halliday who lives on the 5th concession of Charlotteville said: "I
have known Laforge since last fall; went to school with Shelley. Monday preceeding shooting I passed Laforge's place about 9
a.m. and stopped in. He and Shelley were cutting wood. The farmers
with the hogs had passed before I got there, but Shelley told me
about them, and wanted me to help him hold them up on their way
I asked if he would shoot
them. He replied: 'If I tell a
man to hold up his hands and he doesn't, he goes down.'
He said he
did not want to be seen about the neighborhood as he had some jobs
to do. I took it he meant jobs of stealing. We parted at Mater's
at 10 or 10:30, and he went south which would be in the direction
lives on the 7th line of Walsingham. He owns a farm there and
lives alone with his wife a long way from the road. He has known
Shelley ten years, and he came to Carr's place between 4 and 5
o'clock the day before Shoup was shot. He remained until noon the
next day. When he left he said he was going to Jim Alexander's.
had in his possession a revolver that looked like a .32. He
brought it out of his hip pocket with a handful of cartridges.
Carr did not hear him say anything about a job, but he talked
of being in trouble over a girl in Norwich, and Carr thought he was
trying to keep out of sight. He left about one o'clock Tuesday.
The road cannot be seen from the house, but he took the direction
through the woods that would take him to Shoup's mill. He would
find it easy to keep hidden in the woods and gullies of the
Carr, wife of last witness, confirmed her husband's story. She
gave Shelley his supper, breakfast and dinner. He flourished his
revolver and talked about his trouble in Norwich. She took it
he was hiding.
Alexander who lives on the 8th of Walsingham, testified he knows Emerson
Shelley, but Shelley had never been to his place in his life.
There is no other James Alexander.
and the crown attorney summed up the evidence, laying stress on
the fact that although Shelley was in an excellent locality to
hide away, he set out the afternoon of the murder for
Woodstock, where he was wanted for the Norwich offence, and
practically gave himself up, pleading guilty and asking for a
after a short consultation brought in the verdict printed above.