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  1. #1
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    203 times

    Crowley's Teapots of Gold

    Attempted Assassination of "Wooly" Hiram Crowley Nearly 50 Years Ago:
    A Mystery That Has Never Been Settled, (article from the Richmond
    newspaper, "The Missourian") by Jewell Mayes

    Sitting across the desk from me, tonight, is a gentleman, slight of build,
    graying hair, a man of few words. I have known him since childhood. His
    word or his bond are good. he tells me this narrative about my kinsman, the
    "Wooly" Hiram Crowley, some parts of which my mother (whose mother was Mary
    Crowley-Stephenson) confidentially whispered to me years ago.

    This trusted friend who pledges me to secrecy as to his identity in
    connection with this peep into the grave, nets up the picture and tells the
    true story of the attempted assassination of "Wooly" Hiram Crowley. He
    frankly told me the name of the man whom he thinks fired the fatal shot --
    but he further tied me to secrecy, because some of the man's family are
    still alive!

    Without further comment, this is the narrative as he tells it to me
    tonight, as we sit together in our room, with a single lamp burning.

    "Wooly" Hiram Crowley got his nickname partly because his cousin, "Smooth"
    Hiram Crowley, was smooth-shaven.

    The nicknames, "Wooly" and "Smooth", came into use to designate which Hiram
    Crowley was being referred to.

    "Wooly" Hiram was an economical, saving man, living frugally, credited with
    having large sums of money secreted about his home. Banks were far and few
    between -- and Hiram was not trustful of banks of that day.

    He lived near the south edge of Caldwell County, near the Ray line, more
    than two miles west and north of Lisbonville.

    It must have been about 1878 or 1879, maybe a little later. Hiram's wife
    was dead, his only daughter married, and his two sons, James "Blutcher Jim"
    and Jefferson, on that late evening, at the moment of the shooting, were at
    an entertainment at Old Lisbonville, sometimes known as Chickenbristle.

    Hiram was sitting alone by the fireplace in his home, eating apples. He had
    pulled down the window blinds but failed to get one entirely down, lacking
    about 2 inches. The rifle shot crashed through the window, aimed under the
    narrow space below the window blind, the bullet striking him in the upper
    part of his body, a serious yet not immediately fatal wound, but from the
    result of which he in fact died two years later.

    The bullet knocked him off the box on which he was sitting --yet his mind
    acted with remarkable quickness.

    He realized that the light of the fireplace would expose him to further
    shots, since he could not put out the fire -- so he instantly crawled to
    his bureau drawer, got his pistol, then crawled under the bed, ready to
    defend himself.

    He heard his assailant, the assassin, walking around the house but no
    further attempt was made to shoot him again or to enter the room.

    Soon he noted that he was bleeding rapidly, and that if he remained there
    he would bleed to death. Taking his pistol with him, he staggered along a
    half-mile to the home of his cousin, General William Crowley, and fell
    exhausted on the doorstep.

    He was sufficiently conscious to knock on the door -- they came and dragged
    him into the house, finding him more dead than alive.

    Dr. George James of Lawson was sent for -- and his incorrect random
    accusations as to the authorship of the crime prevented his practicing any
    more in that family.

    After recuperating, somewhat, becoming able to take care of himself, Mr.
    Crowley went back to the old home where he had lived so long, where he was
    locally looked upon by many as a miser with a lot of hidden money.

    Some time after he was shot, he took his cousin, "Smooth" Hiram Crowley's
    daughter, Miss Sina Crowley, out to the barn and uncovered cast-iron
    tea-kettles fairly filled with gold coins. This was not all he had "put

    This also is the first time that this circumstance has ever been made
    public. Cousin Sina Crowley said, before her death, she never told any of
    the relatives of this confidential trust in her. It is not known to this
    day whether or not those tea-kettles of gold were ever taken up by Mr.
    Crowley, who died 10 months afterwards.

    When asked as to whether he had any idea as to who shot him, Mr. Crowley
    always answered, "I have." "But," he said, "I am not going to say." Uncle
    Hiram's course in this matter was in keeping with a by-word saying that was
    part of his life, that of caution. When asked what he thought about
    something he did not want to express himself on he would often answer in
    these words:

    "Well, it might" -- then, waiting a few minutes, he would complete the
    sentence, " and, again, it might not."

    Nobody was arrested.

    >From the notes of Evelyn Petty, Clay County Historian:

    Mr. Parks of Lathrop and Mrs. Barnes, also of Lathrop, (descendants of this
    Crowley family) told Evelyn during a visit with them in 1966, that
    "Blutcher" Jim shot both the father and Jefferson (brother of Blutcher
    Jim). They said the father dodged and lived. Poor Jefferson was not so
    lucky. The only other male heir was murdered when he was 21. He got off the
    train at Converse and started to walk home through the country. He was
    found dead in a well.

    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow



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