All Brutes, article, partial transcription (Buffalo News, 1895-10-08, 5th edition)

All Brutes, article (Buffalo News, 1895-10-08).pdf

Dublin Core


All Brutes, article, partial transcription (Buffalo News, 1895-10-08, 5th edition).pdf


Two Policemen and a Deputy Stood by Helpless While the Cowards Ran Riot.

Arrested now number 16: Nick Waudle, Ed. Dunn, James Reilly, Ed. Mulligan, George Hyde, Bonnie Warren, Joseph Dixon, Fred Oderkirk, John Lasher, John Stevens, Michael Kohn, Abe Wheeler, James Dixon, Art Lauw, Philip Perew and Ed. Lawrence.

Autopsy of Phillips showed a single bullet wound, left breast, 2: to left of nipple. Phillips a slight man of 5'6", 45, 150 pounds. 38 caliber bullet recovered. Deputy Marshal George A. Smearing inquest testimony a "striking confession of helplessness, in fact, absolute uselessness." 

Testimony of Deputy Marshal George A. Smearing (Coronor's Inquest)

"I arrived here Friday afternoon and staid on the boats that night. I had been told about the association of boat owners in Tonawanda and understood that they did not take freight except under certain conditions and rules. According to stories that came to my ears Phillips came here and got a load ahead of men who had been waiting five or six weeks and they said there was likely to be trouble. I was on the boats all the while except a few hours Sunday, when I went to Buffalo. No one called upon Phillips or made any demands upon him to my knowledge.

Last night about 12:30 o'clock about 80 men came down to the boat. I heard the noise and walking up on a pile of lumber saw the men coming down the tow-path in groups of twos, threes and fours. When they were about 150 feet from the boat I left the lumber pile and returned to the boat. The crowd then got up on the lumber pile. Someone yelled: 'Anybody aboard who wishes to go ashore?"

"I replied. 'No one.'

"This was repeated and they received the same answer. One of the men yelled, Well, let's set her adrift.' Then as a marshal of the United States, I called upon them not to take the law into their own hands. They paid no attention to me and started to come aboard. I warned them again and for a moment they hesitated and talked among themselves. Then they separated and jumped aboard.

Capt. Phillips yelled, 'Keep off; my life is my own and I will protect my property.'

"He stood beside me on the boat John Graff. He had a piece of wood in his hand. When the mob jumped on the boat Phillips went back to the stern. As the men came over the side I tried to [count] the men, but could not. In the midst of the scramble and without any preliminary violence a shot was fired. Then another and I saw the captain fall. One of the men pointed a gun at me and I did nothing. I did not see the captain strike a blow.

After the shots were fired the men jumped ashore and cut the ropes and I followed them to the dock, I hurried for a doctor— Dr. Edmunds. We found the two boats at the bridge."

"Did you see the son?" asked Mr. Penney.

"Young Phillips had his head half way out of the hatch of the boat May when the men charged. I don't know how he was injured. I did not see him on the John Graff. I had a 31 caliber revolver, but did not use it."

"Did not Perew tell you to lay low?" Smearing was asked by Foreman Smith. After some hesitancy he replied, "no."

Testimony of Murphy, Phillips's driver, aged 20 (Coronor's Inquest)

"I was asleep in the cabin of the Graff when the mob came," he said. "I was awakened by the sound of voices and the tramping of feet. It sounded as if they were un the Graff. It sounded as if all of the orders were given by one man. I heard this unknown give orders to let go the stern line and I heard lumber thrown, and stones clattered on the boat. The windows were smashed in the cabin. After piling lumber against the door to keep me in they paid no more attention to me.

They followed the boats after they were cut adrift, throwing stones and lumber, trying to hit the girl, Capt. Phillips' daughter. I crawled out of the window after the boats were sent adrift and reached the cabin of the May. Young Phillips was lying on the floor with a big wound in his head. His sister was bathing his head.

The other driver and myself got the boards away from the windows in order to get into the cabin. I looked at the clock. It was 2:30. The mob had been there two hours. After helping the girl with her brother I tried to get a line ashore. I found Capt. Phillips on the deck of the May, about the center of the boat. He way lying face downward, in a position as if he had fallen away from the dock. I felt of his pulse and found he was dead. We turned his body over and put a coat under his head. Meantime young Phillips was madly delirious, and the girl called for us to help hold him. We were holding him when we came to the bridge."

Testimony of Stephen Shover, Phillips's driver, age 19 (Coronor's Inquest)

"Stephen Shover was the next Witness. He is 19 years old and lives in West Troy. He is also a driver. He testified:

"I was called just before the row began; was In the cabin of the May when I heard a lot of fierce yells; looked out and law a lot of men on the boat. One of the men yelled, 'Come on; if there are any good men among you, come on.'

Then I saw a man jump on Capt. Phillips. I saw Capt. Phillips raise his stick. Immediately two shots were fired by a man who stood close by the captain. I did not know any of the men.

When the men first came aboard I heard Capt, Phillips say, 'Men. I have got to do this to keep myself and children from starving.' Soon after Capt. Phillips was shot I saw a fellow hit his son and knock him down in a corner. Then I ran for the cabin because I was afraid they would kill me. Next thing I saw the son when he staggered into the cabin.

The men were then jumping off the boat. 'Father's dead,' he said to his sister. The blood was pouring down his face. Then he fell on the floor, crying and yelling. I am sure the captain fired no shots, I saw no one have a revolver.

I heard the marshal say, 'Don't come on here; obey the law.' The mob yelled, 'We'll take State's Prison to kill that man.' "

Shover's testimony corroborated that of Murphy. Murphy and Shover identified a revolver found on the deck on the left side of the captain. It...

[Policeman] Christ Kumro was a witness. He is one of the two policemen who saw the whole affair. He is a very "husky"man. He said:

"I have special instructions on Sunday night to protect Scribner's dock. The mob put in an appearance at 12:40. There were from 50 to 75 men in the party. Some were on the dock and a lot more were on the lumber.

'Come on, men; don't be cowards, get aboard,' yelled some one of the men on the lumber pile to those on the dock.

'Stay oft,' Capt. Phillips cried, 'I am on my own boat; my life is my own. I will, shoot the first man that comes aboard."

I ordered the men away. They grabbed me and thrust me aside. 'Kill him; kill the cop,' someone hollered. 'If he lays another hand on you shoot him.' They were too much for me, and I was ready to quit.

The two shots came soon afterward. I saw the flash and saw the captain drop. The moon was shining but a lumber pile threw a shadow oh the boat so I could not distinguish the face of the man who fired the shot. He was within four feet of the captain. I did not see the boy.

Then I heard the order, 'Let go the line,' and saw the mob jump ashore. They threw lumber and stones at the boat as it floated down stream. I knew some of the men by name. I arrested three of them today, Perew, Mulligan and Wheeler. I am positive they were there. I arrested another man this morning whose name I cannot remember. I know his face well."

Policeman Duffy was the next witness: "The mob came from the east as if from the bridge," he said. "When they put in appearance I was talking with the Deputy Marshal. He then got on the boat and stood beside the captain.

The mob stopped on the way picking up stones and clubs. I saw Wheeler and another man whom I know and whose name I cannot recall as they jumped on the lumber pile. I also saw Perew there.

They called the captain a lot of vile names and ordered him to get off the boat. 'Gentlemen,' said the captain, "I knew what I was going to do when I left Rochester and I am going to do it."

They yelled that he was robbing them of their job and urged their companions forward. The captain said he would shoot the first man who boarded the boat. Two shots and a big fight followed. Then the bow lines were cut, the mob jumped off and the boat swung into the stream.

I recognized Wandel, Jim Riley and Abe Wheeler. They are locked up. I recognized another man whose name I cannot remember. He Is also under arrest. I then went away with Kumro. His story as told on the stand is substantially correct."

Mr. Penney called Abe Wheeler, who is one of the prisoners. He is a square-jawed, brutal-faced fellow over six feet tall and weighs at least 200 pounds. Mr. Penney told him he need not answer any questions which might Incriminate himself, unless so disposed. "I refuse to testify," said Wheeler.

Coroner Hill then adjourned the Inquest until 9 o'clock this morning. After the Inquest Is concluded a jury will be empanelled to sit upon the son. Charles L. Phillips. Upon the evidence brought out at the inquest Justice Wallenmeier, Jr., will decide whether to hold the prisoners for the action of the grand Jury, After the Coroner's verdict the case goes into the hands of District Attorney Kenefleck.

In the eyes of the law every man in the mob is equally guilty with the man who fired he shot or delivered the fatal blow to young Phillips.

Miss Florence Phillips, the captain's daughter, who was nearly prostrated by the terrible affair, was taken to the home of Mrs. Wattengel and is somewhat recovered.

Henry Reynolds, accompanied by Mrs. Phillips, arrived at Tonawanda on the 12:09 train last night, When informed of her son's death at the station she nearly broke down. The meeting between Mrs. Phillips and her daughter at the house of Martin Wattengel was almost heartrending.

Capt. Charles Lorenzo Phillips was a canal boatman, 48 years old. He lived in Constantantia, N. Y. He had a little home, a plot of land there. His family consisted of his wife, his son Charles, 23 years old; his daughter Flora, 20 years old; another daughter, I5 years old, and two sons, 10 years old and 5 years old respectively. He owned two canal boats, the John Graff and the May, and last fall bought a [18?]-acre farm at Constantia for $5000, making a small payment on It. The boats were paid for in full. "

Then interviews with Godard and Rose, who insist they had no union.