HOMICIDE CASES IN OTTAWA COUNTY.
The following are all the cases of homicide which have come before the courts in the county. The information is kindly furnished by the prosecuting attorney, A.C. Adsit, Esq.
October 11th, 1855, Jordon Turpin was indicted for the murder of a man by the name of Fox, in the town of Spring Lake. His trail was commenced on the 23dd of October, and lasted four days. He was found guilty, and received a life sentence. He died in prison.
In1856, Ebenezer Spencer was tried for murder; found guilty of manslaughter, and sent to prison for three years.
A case of uncommon interest occurred in 1875. On the 5th of June, 1875, one Wilson Pound, an eccentric old bachelor, residing in North Holland in a little cabin, was missing under circumstances that excited neighborhood suspicion, which was directed towards John H. Fuller. Fullerís son, and John S. Watson, who lived near neighbors. The prosecuting attorney was informed of the facts, as far as known, and of the suspicions. The prosecuting attorney and sheriff went directly to Holland, and after three daysí investigation, came to the conclusion that Pound had been murdered, and that John H. Fuller, Melvin C. Fuller and John S. Watson, must have been implicated, all of whom had disappeared.
In the meantime Watson, conscience-stricken, and no longer able to retain the dreadful secret-and not knowing that the sheriff was on his track-came to Grand Haven, and proceeding to the office of the prosecuting attorney, gave himself into the custody of the law; confessed a knowledge of the crime; indicating the vicinity of the spot where the murdered remains of Wilson Pound lay concealed. Mr. Adsit, with Watson in charge, immediately went to Holland, and informed the sheriff, who soon succeeded in arresting John H. Fuller. Under the direction of Watson, the body of Pound was discovered, staked down in the mud and water, and covered with weeds and turf, in a march at the head of the bay, about four miles from Holland city. The son was arrested a few days afterwards.
At the October term, the father and son were tried for the murder. The young man was not convicted; his father was sent to prison for life. Watson was used as Stateís evidence, and was released after being in jail about four months. The trail was the most exciting that Ottawa county has ever had, and lasted six days.
The probable motive of the murder was to prevent Pound from being a witness against the Fullers, who were charged with displacing the track of the railroad.
On that charge, the young Fuller was afterwards twice tried, each time escaping conviction, by one dissenting juryman. He stands before the public, a free, but branded man. Guilty or innocent, he has a heavy load to bear; that is, if he has a sentient soul.
The following, too good to be lost, is taken from the Grand Haven Herald:
In the spring of 1838, the Grand Haven Company had about 15,000 logs in rafts run into the bayou, staked by the shore and called safe by all. But heavy winds sent the logs adrift and the whole marsh was covered with them.
The fact was reported to Mr. Robinson and he blamed the agent of the company somewhat, for the want of attention to the proper securing of the rafts, no could he be made to believe that the winds and current were such as to break all fastenings. At the request of the agent of the company (W. M. Ferry) he remained at Grand Haven a few days, and while there one Sabbath morning, a recurrence of wind and current came, and the logs with acres of marsh and weeds rushed to and fro like a maelstrom.
Mr. Robinson called out the men and with boats caught and towed to the shore many logs, which he fastened with ropes and stakes. The work had hardly been accomplished and Robinson was viewing it with satisfaction, when the returning tide caught the logs and again scattered them against all efforts made by himself and men.
Robinson looked mad. He called to "Uncle Mike" to get out his oxen, and with two yoke he had hauled up on the shore three large logs, and then told the teamster to put up the cattle. To the inquiry "what are you going to do with the three logs you have secured?" he replied, "I shall put them in Mr. Ferryís cellar and see if I can keep them still there."
That evening, after quite a chat over the occurrence of the day, Mr. R. turned to his office desk, and in a very short time laid down his pen and handed me the accompanying paper, which I have always carefully preserved. I think it will be of interest to all old citizens of Grand Haven.
PROCLAMATION AND BLOCKADE
Whereas, There is a bayou situate at Grand Haven (a little speck in the west at the mouth of Grand River of Lake Michigan), said bayou being adjacent to a steam saw-mill now building and nearly completed by the Grand Haven Steam Mill Company.
And whereas, sundry saw logs and pieces of hewn timber were lodged in said bayou for safe keeping, and whereas, for several months past it has been the universal and continual practice of said saw logs and timber to take French leave and desert from said bayou, and transport themselves into Lake Michigan, and scattering themselves along the coast thereof, without consulting the interest of the owners of said property, and much to their annoyance, inconvenience and damage.
And whereas, in the course of human events it sometimes becomes necessary for the public good and safety as well as peace and repose of individuals to lay heavy hand on certain outrageous movements and aggressions, and severely rebuke and punish the perpetrators and aggressors, and in order to restrain and prevent the repetition of those things, powerful means are justifiable in many cases.
And whereas, moderate and ordinary means have altogether failed to produce the desired effect in constraining said logs and timber in their trouble some and unpardonable movements.
Now, therefore, know ye all whom it may concern. That by the power vested in me and the pile-driver, and men which have been steadily employed in and about said bayou for some considerable time past, I do hereby declare said bayou in a state of rigid blockade, and I do interdict and prohibit all saw logs and timber now lying in and about said bayou from passing or attempting to pass the line of force under my charge, now lying at anchoror move across said bayou near the mouth thereof, and I do further order and drect that as soon as the ice shall be dissolved in said bayou, or be removed out of the way, that said logs and timber immediately remove from their strongholds in said bayou, where they are now seated and come forth with directly into the boom prepared to receive them, near the steam mill above spoken of, there to be dealt with us as may seem most to the interest of their proprietors or owners-hereby pledging myself that in case of a strict and due obedience to the above orders no more punishment shall be inflicted on any log than to slit it up in the ordinary way into lumber fit for market.
And I do further order and direct that no undue influence be made use of, by force or secretion, or in any other way whatever, to prevent the due submission of said logs and timber as aforesaid, either by marsh grass, flags, cat-tails, wild-rice, or by floating claims, (many of which have been extremely active in said bayou during the high winds of last autumn), or by any seaweed or other vegetable substance whatever, but that they immediately uncover and relinquish said logs, that they may pop out from behind them, and immediately proceed to their place of destination as above directed.
And I do further hereby interdict all connection and intercourse between said logs and timber and the amphibious powers, to wit; such as bull-frogs, tad-poles, turtles, terrapins, muscles and crawfish, and I do most especially prohibit said bull-frogs from clambering up said logs (much to the injury of their toe-nails), and then bellowing to the annoyance of the good citizens of Grand Haven and its visitors. I also expressly forbid turtles and terrapins from mounting said logs, and using them as a convenient place for making love in the sunshine by winking in each others faces; but that all and everyone of the above named powers and animals desist from such evil practice, and permit said logs and timber to float along peaceably and unmolested into the boom as above directed.
Done in the office of the Bayou, on board the Pile Driver scow, this 25th
Day of February, A. D. 1838, and sealed with the hammer thereof.
Rix Robinson, [L.S.]
Commander in Chief of all the forces in said bayou.
T. W. White, [L.S.]
Second in command, etc., etc., etc.
John Broabridge, [L.S.]
Admiral and Commandert on board the ship "Thump-Hard."
Transcriber: Barb Jones
Created: 12 June 2010