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Murder of Hon. Sharon Tyndale, Ex-Secretary of State
He is Murdered and Robbed Within Ten Minutes After Leaving His House
$1,000 Reward

            About 5 o’clock this morning, as John A. Webber, who keeps a stall in the South Market, was coming eastwardly on Adams street from his residence, he discovered lying near the north wall of Lamb’s foundry, the body of a man, which he at first supposed to be that of some unfortunate sot, but which upon a closer examination proved to be the bloody corpse of Hon. Sharon Tyndale, ex-secretary of state, who had been robbed and murdered.  Of course Mr. Webber was not long in giving the alarm, and soon a horrified throng of persons collected.  The place where the murder was committed is but a short distance from the late residence of the victim, and in a short time Mrs. Tyndale was awakened from her slumber by the shocking intelligence of the death of her husband.  Within a few moments after the corpse was discovered the widow and step-son of the deceased were in the throng about the body, and the distressed cries of the bereaved wife made the scene still more terrible.  It seems that the fact of the death of Mr. Tyndale had been conveyed to his family without any of the preparation which is used by men of gentle minds, when they are obliged to be the unwelcome messengers of such direful tidings, and for a time the widow was distracted.

            The situation of Mr. Tyndale’s residence is well known in this city, but for the information of our readers in other places, and to make the circumstances of the fearful event more plain, we will describe the locality.  The residence occupies the west half of the block of ground bounded on the west by First street, north by Adams, east by Second, and south by Monroe.  The east half of this block being divided for the purposes of this description the north half is occupied by Lamb’s foundry, on the corner of Second and Adams, and the north half, on the corner of Second and Monroe, is vacant.  Lamb’s foundry is so located that the north wall of the main building stands about forty feet south of Adams street, while the residence grounds of Mr. Tyndale nearly approach the west line of the foundry yard, and abo(u?)t on Adams street.

            Last night Mr. Tyndale determined upon a visit to St. Louis, and perhaps to Belleville, but as to the exact extent and nature of his visit were are not at the moment of writing informed.  He packed a small traveling sack with such articles as he needed, and placed in his wallet $50, in addition to a small sum (less than $5,) then in his possession.  At the usual hour the family retired, and Mr. Tyndale, after setting an alarm clock so as to wake him at 1 o’clock this morning, without undressing, lay down on a lounge.  He intended to take the train which passes south on the Chicago and St. Louis railroad at 1:50 A. M.  Railroad time is fifteen minutes faster than city time, and this gave him thirty-five minutes after the stroke of the alarm to arise, leave the house and walk the four blocks to the station.

            The alarm faithfully performed its office, and at one o’clock Mr. Tyndale arose, took his traveling sack, and entered his wife’s room.  He bid her an affectionate good-bye, bade her not disturb herself, and left the house.  This was the last time he was seen alive by any of his friends.

            And now we enter upon a description which conjecture is so supported by evidence and probability as to become almost certainty.  The house is situated almost in the middle of the half block of ground mentioned above, and the Chicago & St. Louis passenger station is situated two blocks north of Adams street and three blocks north of Monroe.  Instead, therefore, of going out the front door of his residence, which faces south toward Monroe street, the now murdered man went out the back door, which faces north or towards Adams.  A short walk north brought him to Adams street, and then he turned eastward.

            The west end of the foundry yard has a high fence on the north side, and next east of the inclosure thus formed, is a coal shed, containing a certain kind of coal used in particular operations.  It was, undoubtedly, when upon the sidewalk opposite the vacant forty feet on the north side of the foundry, that a highwayman sprang upon him.  As Mr. Tyndale was coming from the west, the robber, who was no doubt in hiding on the east side of the coal shed, might survey his victim and mark by the sound of his footfalls how near he approached.  At the same time the intended victim would be totally unaware of the proximity of his adversary.  When the body was found this morning, there was a shocking bruise on the left forehead and temple, which extended down the cheek.  This wound, though severe is not fatal, or even dangerous.  On the right side of the back of the head, just behind the ear, was a pistol bullet wound, into which the probe passes four inches in a fronting and slightly upward direction, and this wound was necessarily and instantaneously fatal.  The shirt collar of the deceased was torn open, and the neck tie was at some distance from the body.  The body lay on its face on the angle formed by the north wall of the foundry building and the east side of the coal shed.  The situation and appearance of the body is more fully described in the evidence taken before the coroner’s jury, but the facts mentioned are all which are necessary to complete an understanding of the nature of the crime.  We add, however, that near the body was found an oak stick an inch and a half wide and an inch and an eighth thick, and two feet two inches long.  The ends of this stick are mitred off for about an inch and a half in the line of width.  A single barreled cartridge loading pistol tied to a package of cartridges and bird shot, was also lying near the body.  The pistol is of the sort known as a pocket Derringer, and is of the make of the Brown Manufacturing Co., of Newburyport, Mass.  By an ingenious contrivance the barrel, which is about two inches in length and strongly rifled, can be turned to one side on a pivot and loaded with a cartridge.  The weapon is marked “Southerner” on the top of the barrel.  It is quite new, and the cartridges found with it were marked caliber 44 100th of an inch.  Some tufts of short brown hair and a few hairs from the head or beard of Mr. Tyndale were found on the ground, and there were several fragments of brick laying about.  It is, therefore, reasonably certain that when Mr. Tyndale approached this convenient lurking place we have tried to describe, at a few minutes after one o’clock this morning, a robber sprang out and demanded money.  Those who were best acquainted with Mr. Tyndale, know best that his answer would be such as would convince his assailant that force would be necessary to effect the object.  The assailant, either then, or later, in a severe struggle, struck, with the club found, a blow which Mr. Tyndale, no doubt evaded partially, and then the two men clinched.  The struggle was continued for some time, with the violent attack and desperate defense, and in this struggle hair was torn from the heads of the combatants, and Mr. Tyndale's collar was rent, as we mentioned.  At last, while the men were still locked in a deadly struggle, the robber, or an accomplice, for there may have been more than one robber, placed a pistol close to the head of Mr. Tyndale and fired a single shot, which ended the victim’s life.

            The robber then rifled the body of the victim, but was frightened by some means from his prey before he had completed his work.  He took out the pocket book and seized the $50, but left some other smaller sums.  He pulled at the gold watch, but this was secured by a steel chain about the waist, as well as by a stout metal neck-guard chain.  The gold spectacles which Mr. Tyndale constantly wore, and which he had on when struck with the club, as shown by the bend in the left limb, probably fell to the ground in the struggle, or were perhaps knocked off by the blow.  These and the traveling sack were left on the ground, when the robber and murderer was obliged to depart.

            When the body was discovered this morning, as we mention above, information was conveyed to Coroner E. Bierce, who proceeded to impannel the following


James Taylor,                                      G. A. Sutton,

            Foreman                                  Michael Hagan,

John Armstrong,                                 Joel Johnson,

A. W. Coleman,                                  Geo. Howarth,

Jacob Ripatine ,                                   J. H. Johnston,

J. J. Parkerson,                                    O. A. Wright,

                                    Gus Spies.

            The jury was impanelled at 7 A. M., and at once adjourned until 9 A. M.  At 9 A. M. the jury again met at the Revere and proceeded to examine witnesses.  C. M. Morrison, esq., prosecuting attorney of this district, was present and conducted the examination.

            At the request of Hon. C. M. Morrison, prosecuting attorney, we refrain from publishing the evidence.


            The wounds on the body are thus described by Dr. Geo. T. Allen, who made a professional examination:  A wound by club on the left side of the forehead and temple, raking the skin and flesh to the bone not dangerous.  Death was caused instantaneously by a pistol ball entering the base of skull through right parietal bone; (behind the right ear) and passing deeply into right lobe of cerebellum.  The direction of the ball was forward and upward.


            At any time, and under any circumstances, the death of Sharon Tyndale would have greatly grieved this community.  He has resided here since his entrance, in 1864, upon his four years’ term of service as secretary of state, and was highly esteemed.  The violent and mysterious manner of his death greatly intensifies the sorrow, while, in every circumstance his death is terrible.  Almost every man in the city is grieved and stricken, and while the flag at half mast on the state house testifies of the death of a man widely known and of public station, the hearts of those who knew him best sincerely mourn the loss of one who was the exemplar of every social and private virtue.


            So far as we know, the criminal who has thus plunged the community in grief is not only undiscovered, but is entirely unsuspected.  It is to be hoped that the authorities will spare no pains to discover the double villain, who for a paltry sum shed the blood of a noble man.


            As one of the later incidents in Mr. Tyndale’s life, we mention that at 5 o’clock on yesterday afternoon he secured in the agency of Hill & Flower an accident policy of $6,000.


            The remains will be interred at Belleville, Illinois, the former home of the deceased, and will be taken from here by special train on Monday morning.


            The mayor of the city, Hon. John W. Smith, has issued a proclamation offering $1,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the murderer.
Illinois State Register - April 29, 1871

The Case Still in Mystery

            The dreadful murder of Hon. Sharon Tyndale is still involved in mystery, and is the chief topic of conversation.  Up to the date of writing, however, there have been no developments tending to the arrest of the perpetrators of the dreadful deed.  The city is, of course, full of rumors, the gossipers being incited to fabricate all sorts of stories by the fact that the evidence taken before the coroner is not published.  Some of these stories are entirely false, while others have a slight admixture of fact.  The REGISTER will furnish, in each issue, every fact connected with the matter up to the hour of going to press.


            On yesterday Dr. George T. Allen extracted the ball from the head of the deceased.  The external wound and direction of the ball being stated in our last issue, the bullet was found near the upper frontal plate of the skull, which had not bee slightly fractured by the bullet.  The bullet was much flattened and deformed, as might be expected when it is remembered that it passed through the thick bone at the base of the skull, and then through the brain until it reached the upper plate, near which it was found.  In spite of the condition of the ball there is no difficulty in recognizing it as of the same size and original shape as those belonging to the cartridges found near the body.


            About 2 o’clock yesterday morning, the police arrested a man who was seen lurking about the streets, and took him to the calaboose.  Upon his clothes were spots of blood, which appeared as though an attempt had been made to wash them out.  He stated that he came from Quincy on a freight train, which arrived a few moments only before he was arrested, and that he was looking for a place to sleep.  He said the spots were of blood, and that they, with a bruise on the cheek, were the result of a fight he had with some boatmen at Quincy, on Saturday.  During yesterday Capt. Robbins and Policeman McLean got the conductor of the freight train to visit the calaboose, and he at once confirmed the statement, that the man had arrived in the city on that train.


            The body having been prepared for the funeral, was removed to the station of the Chicago & St. Louis railroad, and taken to Belleville, at 1:50 A. M. to-day.  A number of friends accompanied the sorrowing family on this sad journey.  Just forty-eight hours after Mr. Tyndale left his home in full strength, and with all the hopes incident to mature manhood, his body was taken to the same train and transported to the city he had intended to visit where it will be interred.


            Beside the $6,000 accident policy which the deceased purchased at the agency of Hill & Flower, as stated on Saturday, he also had a policy for $5,000 in the Travelers’ Accident Company, of Hartford, Conn., which he had bought at the agency of Grant & Burrill some time since.  He also had, it is said, one or more policies in other companies, but we are unable to state the name of the companies or the amounts.


            On the night before the murder three men got on the Monroe street car which leaves Sixth street at 9:30, and rode as far west First street, on which street the west line of the Tyndale property fronts.

These men are strangers here, and are described as being evidently roughs.  It is thought that they may be concerned in the murder, but they have not been seen since.  It is said the conductor of the 1:50 train on which Mr. Tyndale intended to go to St. Louis testifies that three men answering a description of those mentioned above got on his train and paid in money their fare to St. Louis.

            On the afternoon before the murder, Mr. Tyndale got excused from further duty as a juror in the circuit court.  He stated to the court that he had pressing business in Belleville, and that he intended to take the 1:50 train next morning.  It is stated to us that upon one of the benches in the back part of the room a man was lying (who answers the description of these men) at the time Mr. Tyndale made his statement and was excused.  These facts together would lead to the conclusion that the three ruffians knowing of his intended trip, went to the house on the street car, and then placed themselves on watch for him, and that after effecting their murderous purpose they left the city on the very train the victim intended to take.


            The following is the evidence taken before the coroner’s jury at the Revere House on Saturday morning.  The witnesses were all sworn before being examined:

            Dr. Geo. T. Allen – Am a physician and surgeon; was called at 71/2 o’clock to examine the body of the deceased, Sharon Tyndale, which I found near Lamb’s foundry; it was lying on the back with the head to the east, near the wall of the foundry; I washed the head and face and examined the wound, which was on the left side of the temple, extending down the cheek; I saw that it was not a fatal wound, and turned the body over and found the pistol shot in the back of the head; death was caused instantaneously by the pistol ball entering the base of the skull through the right parietal bone, behind the right ear, and passing deeply into the cerebellum; the direction of the ball was forward and inward, and the probe passed in 4 inches; such a would kill a man in a second; the wound on the head and face were inflicted by a club, such as the club produced [described in the REGISTER of Saturday] would make; the blow would probably knock a man down; the indications are that the pistol when fired was pressed directly against the head, as the hair and scalp are burned with powder; the wound on the face could not have been made by falling; it was deep and too severe to have been caused by a fall; the earth was so trodden down when I got there that I could not judge if the deceased had slipped.

                John A. Webber – I reside in Springfield, and keep a stall in South Market; discovered the body of S. Tyndale about 5 A. M. to-day, as I was going to market; it was lying on the ground, on the north side of Lamb’s foundry; he was lying on his face; though he might be drunk, and went up to him; found he was dead; his coat was turned over his head; a pistol was lying there; another man came along, and with him I looked at the body; a railroad ticket was found in the pocket book; we walked to the house of Mr. Tyndale, and I found nobody there but the servant girl; asked if Mr. Tyndale was in; girl said yes, he was in bed; told her he was dead near the foundry; girl said I must be mistaken, as he had not gone away.  [The package of shot cartridges and the pistol were here shown the witness]  This package and pistol were on the ground near the body; the pistol was tied to the package; the body was lying about 8 feet from the wall of the foundry; the man with me looked into the pocket book; it was lying open, a little beyond [north] of the body; I told that man the we ought not to touch anything till the coroner came, but he looked in the pocket book and at the body; the coat deceased had on was black, and the tail was turned up so as to cover the wound on the back of the head; the pistol was two feet from the body; it was attached to the bundle by a string around both. [The stick described in the REGISTER of Saturday, was shown the witness.]  I saw this stick lying at the feet of the body; when I went to the house I saw nobody there but the servant girl.

                Thos. Walker – (This witness is a bright lad about 14 years old; is the son of Mrs. Tyndale by a previous marriage.)  I first saw the body about 6 A. M.; one man was there, but I don’t know who he was; I came down from the house above; the pistol was lying between the body and the foundry; the package was tied up with a leather string; I cut the leather string off; the pocket book was lying near his feet; Mr. Spies and I found a box of cartridges; my mother came in five minutes after I got there; when I went to bed last night, mother and father were talking about his going away; father said he thought he would sit up until the time came to go; his traveling sack was against a post when I saw the body this morning; I think the sack had not been opened; the jury was there before I took the sack home; I saw no one at the house last night except the family; may have, but don’t think I did; no hired man lives at the house; a black man was working for us last week; did not see him at work yesterday; he was cleaning up the yard when he worked there; Arthur Young is the husband of the servant girl, but I don’t know whether he slept at the house last night or not.

                Gus. Spies – Is turnkey at the jail; saw the body at 5:30 A. M.; I stay at the jail all night; came by the market house this morning and met Taylor, and we met Webber, who told us a dead man was lying by the foundry; we went there, and Mrs. Tyndale and her boy were there; she was greatly distressed; Mr. Armstrong came soon and got her to go home; Mt. Taylor went away; I agreed to stay; more people came very soon; Mrs. Tyndale said that when he left home last night he had $50 to go and return upon; I opened the pocket book; there was only 50 cents in it that I saw; this package of cartridges was lying on the east of the body; a shoe string was around it; found two cartridges wrapped up in paper at the feet of the body; did not see marks of a struggle; there was hair on the ground; his head was lying to the east; saw no signs of blood; did not examine the satchel; it was closed; his gold watch was still on his person; after they took him home his son took his watch off; a ring was on his finger; his spectacles were lying four feet from the body with blood on them; some of the hair on the ground looked like that of the deceased; Mrs. Tyndale said she would take the body home in spite of anyone; she said he was going on the train at 1 A. M., and that he had $50, which would do him to go and come; I did not see that his clothing was torn or disarranged; his hat was mashed down, and his shirt collar was torn open; his neck tie was four feet from the body; Mrs. Tyndale said the pistol was not his, he had none like that; he had a big one.

                Thomas Walker re-called – Father owns a pistol, but he did not carry it since the war; it was a six-shooter; the ball is smaller than that.

                John A. Nafew – Had been to market, and was going north on Fourth street; Mr. Johnson met me, and said that a stranger had told him that Tyndale was lying dead near the foundry; Mrs. Tyndale, the boy and Spies were there when I got there; she was kneeling by the body, and got up and asked me to help take the body home; she insisted I should do so, the oil cloth package of cartridges was open, lying near the shoulder; the pocket book was open; I went to get somebody to move the body, in hopes to pacify Mrs. Tyndale; I came back, and there was quite a crowd there then; I examined the ground more closely then; in looking around a pool of blood I saw two tufts of hair much like Morrison’s; it was not Tyndale’s hair, but we could see some of Tyndale’s hair also; it was from the head, and not from the beard; it was about two inches long; his head was lying on his hat, which was crushed; his specs were out of the case, but were lying on the ground; one stem was badly bent; it was the left stem which was bent.

                Jas. Taylor – I met Spies at market house early this morning, and we walked to Chicago railroad crossing, where we met Webber; he said Tyndale was dead at the foundry; Mrs. Tyndale was there; he was lying on his left side; face to the foundry; the head was east; she wanted us to carry him home; we objected, and she said she would shoot the coroner or anybody who interfered with her taking the body; went and got the coroner and came back; there was a big crowd there then; I noticed dust on his knees; Mrs. Tyndale was in a distressing condition; his right hand was badly bruised and bloody; there was blood where he lay.

                John Ripstine – At 6 o’clock I met Mr. Moody; he told me that Tyndale was killed; I went there; I noticed the ground; I noticed in the ashes near the fence the tracks of two pairs of boots, and the crowd soon obliterated them; one was a long one, like Tyndale’s, and the other was shorter; two men, strangers, made some inquiries, and afterwards said “their suspicions were confirmed;” I don’t know the two men; the tracks were about a step from where he laid; one was a long one and one a short one; the largest boots had the heels toward the foundry; I saw the hair Nafew picked up; it was only “a pinch;” do not think it was Tyndale’s; I saw the wound on the face; it was too deep to be made by a fall.

                John Armstrong – Came to market at 5:30 A.M.; Johnson told me something dreadful had happened to Tyndale, I went to the place and saw the body: Mrs. Tyndale and boy were there; she was excited and distressed; after persuasion she went home; saw nothing but the wound on the head; it was a big wound; more than a man would receive in falling down; the head laid about 8 feet from the foundry and feet two feet from the coal shed; I examined the pocket book; found about $3.25 in it; his clothes were in proper place, except his collar was loose and neck tie off; Mrs. Tyndale said Mr. Tyndale was going to St. Louis on the 1 A.M. train; she said the alarm clock was set, and he laid down on the lounge; the alarm went off; he got up, came into her room, kissed her goodbye, and went away; that was the last she saw of him.

                Carter Tracy – Heard of Mr. Tyndale’s death at 6:30 A. M.; came by the foundry after breakfast; met two men after I passed there, east of Lamb’s house; I went back to the body; I saw the same men last night standing near Lamb’s; can’t tell positively whether the men met last night are the same as those met this morning; both had curly hair.

            At this stage of the inquest the jury adjourned to the late residence of the deceased to take further testimony.

            Mrs. Louisa Tysdale sworn – My husband left home as near as I can tell, at 1 o’clock, or perhaps 15 minutes after, for the two o’clock train going to St. Louis; he intended going to St. Louis on last Thursday, but was detained, expecting to testify as a witness in a case in court on that day; he spent the evening at home last night, and was not out until he started for the train; no one spent the evening in the house except members of the family; I don’t know whether my cook’s husband remained in the house over night or night (not?); he sometimes stays here all night with her; he is cook at the Revere House; I don’t think my cook was aware that my husband was going to St. Louis last night; it was not mentioned in her presence; there was no one called at the house last evening that I know of at all; my husband said he would not retire, but would lie down; I intended to remain up with him, but he said he would lie down without undressing until train time; at 1 o’clock he came to me and said: “Wife, don’t wake up; just kiss me good-bye, and go to sleep again;” I turned and kissed him, and he went out of the west door; he said he would go out there, so I would not have to get up and lock the door, as there was a night lock upon it; he said he was going out at the north gate, which would take him out on Adams street; I saw nothing more of him until today; my husband owned a seven-barreled pistol, but not at all like the one found near the body; he has not been in the habit of carrying a pistol since the war; he carried one at that time; I always slept with it under my pillow when he was gone; I saw the pistol found near the body of my husband this morning; the one owned by him is not like that at all; I never saw that one before; he had about $50 in his possession when he left the house – at least so he said when he went away.  He would take that amount with him; I know nothing about his obtaining $700 from any source yesterday; if he drew any money from the bank or got that amount from anybody, I was not aware of it; I do not think he did; if he had received that much money, he would have not started to St. Louis with it, as he was a careful man in that respect; yesterday morning he sent a small check to Mr. Kreigh, to pay a small bill; I don’t know whether anybody saw him do so or not; after my husband left home last night I heard a noise, which I suppose was my boy in the next room; the door was opened and the noise awakened me; my son was going to a pic-nic today, and I supposed it was him preparing to rise in his eagerness to get ready; I called to him not to yet get up, as he might get sick rising so early; he did not answer me, and I went in and found him asleep; I didn’t know whether the noise was in the room or upon the porch; it made me restless, and I didn’t sleep again; the noise sounded like some one stepping; I don’t know what time it was, probably, about 4 o’clock; my husband was in his usual health and spirits; he had made all his arrangements to return from St. Louis on Tuesday and had intended to go down and see about opening a coal shaft, and also to see about some land he owned near New Athens; he had intended also, upon his return from Belleville, to go to New York and Philadelphia; he always, when he went away on a trip, got an accident policy; he brought home a policy on Thursday, and when he was going that night, he said he got one that would last long enough to cover his trip to New York and Philadelphia. [Pistol found near deceased is exhibited.]  I think that is the pistol I saw this morning; I am not certain; it was like that; I don’t know of my husband having had any difficulty with any one recently, and don’t think he had or he would have told me about it; he always told me anything like that; I don’t think his watch, or anything about his person, was disturbed this morning, except his pocket book, which he carried in his back pocket; when I saw him he was lying upon his face, the skirts of his coat thrown aside, so as to expose that pocket; the pocket book was taken out and was lying near his feet, with the rubber off; he was very methodical, and carried his larger bills in a separate pocket from his small change; the small change, I don’t think had been disturbed; his satchel was not locked, but I don’t think its contents was disturbed.

                Fannie Young, colored servant of Mrs. Tyndale – Sworn and examined by Mr. Morrison: I was here at home last night; my husband works at the Revere House, but was with me last night; he went away this morning about 5 o’clock, when Mrs. Tyndale and me went down to where the body was; we went together; we retired last night about nine o’clock; my husband went to bed at the same time I did; my husband was here at the time the news of Mr. Tyndale’s death was brought to the house; I saw nobody about the house last night except the family; I was here all evening after tea; I have seen nobody about the premises within a day or two.

                Captain Troiluis Tyndale was next sworn, and he said:  He was at home last evening; saw his father about 10 o’clock; he was aware at the time of his father’s intention to leave on the train; as soon as he was aware of the occurrence, he went this morning to see the body; examined the ground closely, and saw two distinct impressions of foot steps that might have been his father’s; this was more probable, as at that time but few people had collected.  The feet were evidently pointing in different directions.   Also saw a small quantity of hair on the ground, near the body.  Upon examination, recognized it as belonging to his father.  He did not know of an difficulty existing between his father and other parties.  He did not know of any persons on the premises or in the house yesterday evening. The package of shot tied to a pistol near deceased, did not belong to any member of the family.  His brother owned a Henry rifle; he (the witness) had two pistols.  Young Walker, step-son of the deceased, had an old shot gun, but had not used it for some time.  Did not believe he had any shot in the house.

                Mr. J. S. Bradford was next sworn, and testified as follows:  In company with his wife he went out home on the 9:30 car last evening; when west Seventh street, three men, apparently strangers, got on the car, and seating themselves in the center, engaged for some time in a whispering conversation.  Afterwards one of them removed to a seat in the corner of the car directly opposite witness, and seemed to look eagerly at the property of Mr. Tyndale.  While engaged in this the conductor asked the other two men for their fare; they referred him to the other man.  Upon being asked for it, he turned around and searched his pockets.  He did not have quite enough for the purpose, and one of the other men paid the remainder.  One of them asked the conductor how far out the car went; upon being told, he said that they would go out and return on the next car.  Upon being informed that no other car would return that evening, the three men, after consulting together in an under tone, left the car going out the front way, past driver, and alighted on the corner of Spring street, and took the sidewalk on the right, leading to Adams street.  The appearance of the men was unprepossessing: the youngest of the men witness could not describe, beyond his being smooth and very red in the face, as he managed to conceal his features; his hair was sandy.  Another of the men was apparently about thirty-five years of age, rather stout built, and had a beard four or five inches in length.  The other had a beard clipped short, but other than this we could not describe his appearance.  His wife was, to say the least, very unfavorably impressed with the men’s appearance and actions.  Upon being told of Mr. Tyndale’s murder, these men immediately recurred to her mind.

                After Mr. Bradford’s testimony was concluded, Mr. Tyndale, jr., said that the statement just made by Mr. Bradford recalled to his memory a circumstance that had occurred a few evenings previous.  In returning home he noticed two strong and healthy looking men at the house asking for some food.

                Mr. Johnson testified to having seen, for several days, two men who seemed to make the corner of Third and Washington street their rendezvous.  They were strangers in the city, and had attracted some notice by the regularity of their meeting.

                The inquest adjourned to meet Monday morning, at 9 o’clock at the Revere House.
Illinois State Register - May 1, 1871

Continuation of the Evidence Taken Before the Coroner
The Funeral at Belleville

            At 10 A.M. yesterday the jury assembled, as per adjournment at the Revere House. The following evidence was taken:

            Frank Simmons – Went home about 12:45 the night before the body was found; live a half block of Lamb’s foundry: saw an object on the side of the street north on Second street; did not notice the size of the man; he was standing up, apparently dressed in black; did not pay any particular attention to him; he was half way about from his house to the corner; on yesterday he went to the same place where he saw the man; could obtain a full view of the gate on the north side of Mr. Tyndale’s residence; he went home and paid no more attention to the matter; heard no report or noise afterwards; he believed he was a medium sized man, about 5 feet 6 or 7 inches; he could not positively say as to what he wore on his head, but believed it was a black slouched hat; the man was standing on north side of Adams street, about a quarter of a block on Second street; when first seen he was in a stooping position, or probably sitting down, but when witness arrived at the gate leading to his house, he turned around, and the man was standing up; witness lives on Second street.

                Mr. Hurst said – Residence on corner of Second and Washington; on Friday night I retired about 8 o’clock, between 1 and 2 o’clock was awoke by men running along 2nd street at a rapid rate toward the depot; they were running north, and turned east on Madison street; from the sound I judged that there were two or more in the party; did not strike me as unusual until next morning, when I heard of the murder; I was of the opinion that the hour was between 1 and 2 o’clock; on the Monday night previous some persons were in my yard, and it made me be on the lookout for any noise.

                Dr. Geo. T. Allen Testified that he made a further examination of the body on Saturday evening, assisted by Dr. Roman; made a thorough post mortem examination and took out the brains; the position of the ball verified the statement he made before in regard to the manner in which the ball was fired; the shot wound could not possibly have been made by the deceased; death must have been instantaneous; he still believed that he was struck with a club or other instrument; the pistol (shot) entered the brain through the right side of the occipital bone, about an inch and a half behind the right ear, and then passed forward, inward and upward, through the upper part of the right lobe of the cerebellum, through the upper part of the nedella (medulla) oblongata, severing this completely, and then entering and passing through the left hemisphere of the cerebrum, thus passing entirely through the brain and fracturing and lodging under the front edges of the left parietal bone, near its junctions with the frontal and temporal bones; these portions of the bone were held together by the scalpel alone, and when it was removed fell away; the ball lay immediately below the bones  outside and above the brain; his impression was that marks on the left side of the head were made by a club, and the scratches made by dragging; on the right side of his face he noticed some marks that had escaped observation before; they were parallel marks, running up and down his face, evidently being caused by being pulled or dragged over the ground.

                Arthur Young, (colored,) being sworn, said – He has lived in Mr. Tyndale’s house since 14th February, sleeping there at night, as his wife was a servant there; he had been employed outside at the St. Nicholas until 21st March, then one week at the Leland Hotel, then at Revere House up to present time; always go home between 7 and 8 in the evenings except two evenings each week, when he attends meetings of a society; went home on Friday, direct from Mr. Johnson’s, at 20 minutes before 8 o’clock; it was about dusk when he went home; saw none of Mr. Tyndale’s family; his wife’s room is the southeast room; does not know the location of the rooms of any other member of the family; did not get up until he was woke up Saturday morning by the alarm; he came up to see the body; Mrs. Tyndale and his (Young’s) wife preceded him; did not know young Mr. Tyndale until Saturday morning; believe young Mr. Tyndale has been in the house somewhere about 6 weeks or two months; never saw his wife until yesterday morning; saw no one about the house on Friday evening; went in at south gate; never heard from his wife of any unfriendly feeling existing between members of the family; saw Mr. Tyndale last alive on Thursday evening, about 7 o’clock, building an arbor in the garden; had a man employed cutting grafts in the garden last week, for two or three days; never was out of the house between Friday night and Saturday morning; his wife came in the room at the time he did; his wife usually rises about 5:30; his wife awoke on Saturday morning about the usual hour; did not have the slightest idea of the location of Mr. Tyndale’s room; heard no noise at all that night; saw the man who was employed grafting on Monday afternoon about 3 or 4 o’clock; also on Wednesday and on one other occasion; never spoke to him; comes to Mr. Tyndale’s every afternoon to carry wood into the kitchen; on Saturday morning left the house and went out of the north gate; overtook his wife; the first thing he noticed was the valise, and then a pistol, lying some distance from the body, together with a small package in oil cloth; his wife has been at Mr. Tyndale’s since February 14, last.  He never had any hard feelings towards Mr. Tyndale, nor never spoke even to him.  Never heard of Mr. Tyndale, having a quarrel with any person outside; have seen a black man, named Burton, working there about a month ago, or may be about six weeks.  I think he works there occasionally.

                John Lawler said that shortly befor 5:30 A.M. on Saturday, he was coming down 2nd street and met a man who looked like a foundry man, who asked him if he knew Mr. Tyndale; he answered no; he told him he was murdered, and lay at Lamb’s foundry on Adams street; he (the witness) then to where the body lay; no one was there; the body was laying east and west; a little boy 10 or 12 years of age came running up and said that that was his pa; a pistol was lying about three feet from the body, tied to a package; the boy pulled out a knife and cut the package; a pocketbook was lying a few feet from the body; the coat seemed to be pulled up under him; his (Mr. Tyndale’s) wife then came up crying and said that her husband was murdered, and turned the body over and kissed it; the valise lay three or four yards east of the body; the man that first told him of the murder, said that he thought his name was Tyndale, as they had examined the pocket book and found that name in it; he did (not?) tell him anything about the money, and witness did not know of any money being lost until between 7 and 8 o’clock; the boy reached the body a minute or two before the wife; he did not know the name of he man who first told him; the boy pulled out a small knife and cut the pistol from the package, and seemed terribly excited, and swore an oath that he would shoot the man who murdered his father.

                After the conclusion of Mr. Lawler’s testimony, P. W. Harts, druggist, was brought in, and weighed the ball extracted from the murdered man, and compared its weight with one taken from the package.  It proved to be two grains lighter, but the balls in the package also varied two grains and more, some differing as much as three grains.

            The jury adjourned until 2 P.M.


                Jeremiah Sexton – I live on the corner of Wright and Third streets.  Worked at gas works.  Worked there all of last Friday night, until 5:10 next [Saturday] morning.  Started to go home south, by Second and Washington streets.  Met a man near the corner, who told me a man was lying dead at Lamb’s foundry.  We both went down.  I supposed the man was asleep, but upon approaching him I saw he was really dead.  The first thing I next noticed was a revolver lying close to the body.  I picked it up and looked at it.  A small, heavy package was attached to it.  Saw a pocket book lying to the left of the body.  I examined it; Mr. Tyndale’s name was inside of it.  Pocket book was open when I found it.  I did not know how much money was in it; did not look for that purpose.  The man with me [Webber] said he knew Mr. Tyndale well; he lived west on the hill.  The body was lying on its face.  A ring was on one finger of the left hand.  The collar of the coat was pulled over the head.  Am not much acquainted with Mr. Lawler; have been in his saloon occasionally.  Do not think he knows me by name.  Mr. Webber came with me from the body down Second street south, to Monroe street.  I proceeded him home, but he went west, on Monroe street, to inform the family.  No one was with the body when we left it.  I heard no noise on Friday night outside the gas house.  I’m not acquainted with any of Mr. Tyndale’s family. [Witness shown a pistol and bundle, which he identified as the same as seen with the body.]

                Mr. J. M. Rickard said – He lived on the northwest corner Second and Adams.  Was home on Friday night.  Retired about 9:30 or 10 P.M.   Heard no noise during the night.  Did not see the body until after six the next morning.  The further testimony of witness was in relation to the position of the body, and was merely a repetition of the previous evidence.

                Dr. H. H. Roman sworn – His description of the pistol wound was exactly similar to that of Dr. Allen, Dr. Roman, however, did not believe the wound on the left side of the face was caused by a club.  It was of too superficial a nature, not reaching further than the surface, and could be easily accounted for by the dragging of the body over the ground.  He was intimately acquainted with deceased for 14 years.  Did not know of any ill-will between him and others.

                Mr. Chatterton said – He had nothing at all to say in any regard to the matter, further that he had seen the body of the deceased after six o’clock on Saturday morning, but had come away immediately.

                Christian Bremen, (who lives inside of Mr. Tyndale’s inclosure, in a house belonging to the deceased) was examined – He said that for some time Mr. Tyndale had great trouble keeping his gates closed, as the chains and locks were broken and straps cut.  Had heard him often speak of it and express a wish to know who did it.

                Mr. Thos. York said – He was the night watchman in the new state house.  Was there on Friday night at the state house.  Heard a pistol shot about one or two o’clock.  Did not pay any attention to what direction it came from, as it is a frequent occurrence.  Hear shots every night.

                Mr. Robinson and Thos. Burton, (colored,) were examined, but nothing new was elicited.

            Mr. James Hill, insurance agent, testified – That Mr. Tyndale took two accident policies to the amount of $3,000 each, from him on Friday.  Said he was going to St. Louis.  One of the policies was drawn in favor of his wife and youngest son, the other in favor of his eldest son.  It had been customary for Mr. Tyndale to take these policies out.

            Adjourned until 9 o’clock tomorrow morning.

            The jury of inquest met pursuant to adjournment, at Revere House, at 9:30 this morning.

            Several witnesses were examined who were supposed to know something in regard to the murder, hitherto undeveloped, but the result of their examination was the same as those examined on yesterday.  One man, a German, was examined, who said that on Friday night, at a late hour, he passed down Second street, in the vicinity where the murder was committed, and saw a shadow from the gate west of the angle of the fence at the foundry, but further than this no information was obtained from him.  He said it might have been the shadow of a man.

            Another witness was examined, but nothing that could throw the slightest light upon the subject was obtained.

            The most important witness who was examined before the jury this morning was a man who gave his name as Bernard Liesner, hailing from Hamilton, Ohio.  This is the same man who was arrested in Quincy, on suspicion, and brought from there to this city by Officer Allen.  His statement was materially as follows:

            My name is Bernard Liesner.  I came here from Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio, where I have lived 22years.  My object in leaving home was to obtain employment.  I left Hamilton on Tuesday last, the 25th day of April.  I intended going to Quincy, Ill., and try to obtain work there.  If I failed in doing so, my intention was to go to Kansas.  I am not acquainted in Quincy.  I am well acquainted in Hamilton. [Here witness mentioned the names of several persons residing there, among them the sheriff and deputy sheriff Allen, brother of our police officer Allen.  I came to Lafayette, Indiana, and remained there a few hours in order to see the place; came to Indianapolis, and remained there for the same purpose.  Did not intend staying there.  Came on to Springfield.  Arrived here on Saturday morning about four o’clock, as near as I can judge.  Did not want to go to bed.  Met a policeman – I believe he was a policeman – at the depot.  I told him I would remain there a short time.  He told me the depot would close soon; I had better go to a hotel.  I walked up with him until I arrived at the square here.  He then pointed me out the American House.  I went there and washed my face and hands, after which I took a walk.  I first went to see the old state house on the square, and on returning was told that the new one was in the course of erection, west and south of that one.  I went down there leisurely.  When I arrived there I found a rather aged man in the building.  He appeared to be a watchman, and I entered into conversation with him.  I cannot describe him particularly however.  I think he was an Irishman.  I did not talk to him very long.  I then went up to the hotel.  At that time it was broad day and breakfast was ready.  I had breakfast.  I went down in company with another man from the hotel to the place where the murdered man lay.  I saw the proprietor of the hotel there.  Came back.  Afterwards saw proprietor in saloon with another man taking a drink.  I had a drink myself there.  I learned the name of the murdered man and wrote it upon a card.  [Here the card was produced, and upon it was written, “Sharon Tyndale, state treasurer, Springfield, Illinois.”  Mr. Nafew identified the card as the one witness wrote upon.]  After that I departed for Quincy at 7 A.M.

            The witness underwent a cross-examination, but his statements were always the same.  Officer Allen was asked if his statement before the jury corresponded with the conversation he had with him on the way.  He answered affirmatively.  The witness was released and the jury adjourned until 2 P.M.


            The jury examined no more witnesses, but, after consultation, returned the following verdict:



                We, the jury, summoned to hold an inquest on the body of Sharon Tyndale, on their oaths, find that the said Sharon Tyndale came to his death, on the morning of April 29th, 1871, in the city of Springfield, from a wound in the head caused by a pistol shot; said shot being fired by a person, or persons, unknown.


Jas. Taylor, foreman,                          G. A. Sutton,

J. J. Parkerson,                                      Joel Johnson,

John Armstrong,                                  John H. Johnson,

A. W. Coleman,                                   Jacob Ripstein,

Michael Hagen,                                   Gustav Spies,

Geo. Howarth,                                      O. A. Wright


            As the governor has failed to offer any reward for the arrest of the murderers, in addition to that offered by Mayor Smith, a number of citizens have subscribed a considerable amount to be paid for the arrest and conviction of the criminals.  As soon as the subscription is closed, we shall state the amount, which is already quite large.


            A special dispatch from Belleville gives the following account of the arrival of the remains at Belleville, and the funeral services there:

            BELLEVILLE, May 1 – The remains of the late Sharon Tyndale arrived here, his former home, at about 11 A.M., by the Southeastern railway.  The body was taken in charge by the Masonic fraternity, and at once conveyed to the residence of his son-in-law on Charles street, where remained until 4 o’clock, the hour designated for the funeral.  During the interval the house was visited by hundreds of sympathizing friends.  At four o’clock the funeral was moved from the house under the direction of the Masonic order, delegations of which were in attendance from East St. Louis, Freeburg and O’Fallon, and proceeded to the Harrison cemetery, where the usual solemn and impressive ceremonies of the order were had.  The Saengerbund sang two solemn and appropriate pieces, and at intervals a brass band played funeral dirges.  Ex-Gov. Koerner made some feeling allusions to the life and character of the deceased, and to the tragic manner of his death.  The funeral was very largely attended, among the number being many citizens of prominence.
Illinois State Register - May 2, 1871