Arkansas Genealogy Express


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Source:  Patriot (Harrisburg, PA)  Vol.: XI  Page: 1
Dated: Saturday, June 22, 1878
Executions in Maryland, Ohio, Illinois and Arkansas.
LITTLE ROCK, ARK., 21.  Jacob Levels (colored) was hanged in the county jail yard here to-day for the murder of another colored man.  Levels ascended the steps as firmly and with as little emotion as a man would walk up to a banquet.  He took his place on the trap door and stood for a moment regarding the upturned faces of the crowd beneath him.  A religious ceremony was gone through with, after which he was asked if he had anything to say.  Only one thing he replied - "Prepare to meet me in glory."
     The officers bade him adieu and the black cap was drawn over his face.  The noose having been drawn he stood a spectacle to be remembered, not even the light drapery showed signs of the slightest emotion.  His hands were clasped and his chin slightly elevated.  The sheriff raised a handkerchief, the trap fell, and Jacob Levels dangled in the air, having fallen about four feet.  His gasps and struggles for breath were painfully audible and his shoulders and chest underwent convulsions.  After hanging seventeen minutes he was pronounced dead.

Source:  Arkansas Gazette (Little Rock, AR)  Page: 4
Dated: Friday, Apr. 25, 1890
Reported to Have Died in California last Winter
He Confessed The Crime on His Death Bed - A Startling Story From the Pacific Coast - Gov. Eagle Refuses to Talk.
     LOS ANGELES, CAL., April 25, - Regarding the report that Thomas Hooper, a rancher, who died at Ranchito, near here, last winter, was implicated in the murder of John M. Clayton, of Arkansas, the following facts are learned:
     Last June Charles Lewis called on Sheriff Arguirre and said that in the latter part of 1888 he had made the acquaintance of Thomas Hooper and cared for him when he was sick.  Hooper was often moody and Lewis asked him the reason.  Hooper replied, intimating that he had killed two men in Conway County, Ark., whose names Lewis caught as Thomas and May.  Little by little Hooper told Lewis that several years before his father had been killed in Arkansas by a body of men who took him from jail and lynched him.  He swore vengeance upon the lynchers, and told Lewis the men whom he had killed were two of the ring-leaders in the party, while Clayton was a third.  "If you ever hear of Clayton dying with his boots on,"  Hooper remarked to Lewis, "you will know who killed him."  During December Hooper disappeared, and soon after Lewis read of the assassination of Clayton Lewis called at Hooper's house, and Hooper's son said he did not know where his father was.  Later Lewis learned Hooper had reappeared and bought a ranch at Ranchito.  During an investigation by the Sheriff _etters were received from Gov. Eagle, of Arkansas, stating that Tom Hooper was brought up in Conway County, Arkansas, and went through the war in the Confederate Army; that he was in Eagle's regiment when quite a boy.  He left the State in 1868 or 1869, and had not been there since to live.  The Governor's description is said to fit Ranchito Hooper.  He also said Hooper's father was murdered about the time stated.  The Sheriff was about to arrest Hooper last winter when the floods came and cut off connection with the ranch for several days.  During that time Hooper was taken down with pneumonia and died.  Gov. Eagle, in replying under date of March 31, 1890, to a communication from Sheriff Arguire, of Los Angeles County, requests specimens of Hooper's writing.  He concludes by saying the circumstances that have come to light point to Hooper as the probable person who committed this crime.  "If he did, and is now dead, he cannot be convicted in the courts, but I hope you will immediately take this up and help rush it to a conclusion."
     A representative of THE GAZETTE called Governor Eagle, at his residence yesterday afternoon, and asked him about the current rumors, the report from Los Angeles and the disclosures, which he was reported as being ready to make.  He replied:  "From the day Clayton was killed until the present time, I have been earnestly and honestly trying to catch the assassin, irrespective of who he was or where he lived.  I have followed two or three traces that seemed to indicate strongly that they might lead to the discovery of the assassin.  I have kept my counsel to myself mainly; have not given out anything in references to the matter and will not do so now until the proper time.  I am after catching the murderer.  As to what there is in the paper and as to current rumors and the reported correspondence with the California man, I have nothing to say at present."


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