Scrapbook clippings with Monroe County, Tennessee Ties

These newspaper articles were typed as they appeared in the Sweetwater Telephone.  They were submitted by: Joan B. Troy.  


From the Sweetwater Telephone, January 25, 1900

"McGhees Acquitted"

The trial of John B. McGhee and his son Joe for the murder of Earnest Howard was concluded at noon Tuesday when the jury brought in a verdict of not guilty. The verdict was a surprise in many respects, as the general opinion was that a mistrial would result. There are two other murder cases against the McGhees, one for the murder of Henry Howard and one for the killing of James Murr. These cases will not come up this court.


From the Sweetwater Telephone, February 1, 1900

The McGhee Trial

Madisonville, Tenn., Jan 29

The McGhee trial is still the talk of Monroe County. It will be remembered that the only witness to the killing introduced by the state on the former trial were Tom Howard and his wife, Alva Howard, who is a daughter of John McGhee and a sister of the other defendant, Joe McGhee. At that time her testimony was exactly the same as her husband’s. On this trial her evidence was contradictory of his on every material point and was a substantial corroboration of her father and brother’s. She was introduced by the state, and of course, the state was bound by her statements. And the court rules that she could not be impeached by the state.

The state was represented by Attorney General A. J. Fletcher, who was assisted by Hon. H. A. Mann. Gen Fletcher conducted the examination of witnesses for the state. Mr. Mann made the opening argument for the state in a very strong speech. He was followed by Mr. McClung and Col. Welcker for the defense. These gentlemen both made telling speeches.

The attorney genera, in a speech of nearly three hours, closed for the state. His argument was one of the most eloquent made in the case. After the argument was in and the jury charged it was thought there would be mistrial and the verdict of not guilty was a surprise, but it was impossible for the state to overcome the swearing of Mrs. Howard.

The other cases were continued till the next term. The grand jury returned an indictment against Mrs. Howard for her swearing in the last trial. The indictment is said to be fifteen counts, and it requires fifty pages of legal cap to cover it. It is the longest indictment ever returned by a grand jury in this county. Mrs. Howard, so her attorney says, will please duress in that her husband made her swear as she did in the first trial. She has been living with her father for some time. She has a bill for divorce which is now pending before Judge Parks.

From the Sweetwater Telephone, September 20, 1900


McGhee-Howard Feud Renewed at Madisonville

As Result, Charles Jones is Dead, Josh Jones and

Calvin Howard Mortally Wounded

News reached the city shortly after noon Tuesday of a terrific feudist affray which occurred just before noon at the clue Hotel, in Madisonville. The trouble, it seems, was the renewing of the old feud between the Howard and McGhee families, the facts concerning which are familiar to the readers of the Telephone.

The men met at the Clue hotel just before 12 o’clock, where all had gone to get dinner. The shooting was done on the porch of the hotel and in the yard and street in front.

It is not known who began the difficulty, but some twenty-five or thirty shots were exchanged.

Charles Jones died an hour later from pistol wounds in the stomach. Josh Jones was shot in the breast three or four times and may die. Calvin Howard is perhaps fatally shot, a ball having penetrated the right side. He was also wounded in the right leg.

Tom Howard escaped unhurt, as did Moutrie Jones, Dick Denton and Oscar Howard.

The preliminary trial will take place today.

Another chapter has been added in the history of the old feud, which has already claimed three victims, besides entailing a heavy expense, and causing much suffering and sorrow. The tragedy is deeply deplored by all law-abiding citizens.

From The Sweetwater Telephone, March 20, 1902:


Shot Down in Knoxville Yesterday

by Josh and Moultrie Jones

The following account of the killing of Tom Howard, in Knoxville yesterday afternoon, by Josh and Moultrie Jones, is given in this morning’s Journal and Tribune:

At a shooting gallery, located at the second door south of the southwest corner of Gay and Jackson avenue, Tom Howard, a resident of this city, was shot to death by Joshua Jones and Moultrie Jones of Monroe County, aged 50 and 19 respectively.

The shooting occurred at about 1:55 or 2 p.m. Wednesday and was witnessed by several persons.

The killing of young Howard is the result of a feud which has been going on between the Howard-Jones and other families in Monroe county for three years.

The are a number of stories regarding the shooting which resulted in the death of young Howard. One is to the effect that Howard was crossing the Gay street bridge going south when he espied the Jones on the opposite walkway going in the same direction.

Knowing that a meeting meant the use of firearms, Howard went into the shooting gallery near the corner of Gay street and Jackson avenue, expecting that trouble would be averted.

But such was not the case. The Jones’ had seen Howard take refuge in the shooting gallery and they followed him inside. Nor did they reach the inside before they commenced shooting at Howard.

Joshua Jones commenced to shooting before he and his companion, Moultrie Jones, had entered the shooting gallery. Joshua fired his first shot and perhaps two at Howard from the pavement outside. The first shot evidently struck Howard, for he ran behind the counter as if to hide. Howard was then shot to death by the Jones. Immediately after the shooting the Jones went south on Gay street and walked into the Knoxville Banking company’s establishment, at the corner of Gay street and Vine avenue.

Both the Jones were acquainted with H. M. Johnson, a relative in the bank and police headquarters were immediately notified of the occurrence.

In the meantime, Constable Charles Carter had been notified and had arrived at the bank. Joshua Jones and Moultrie Jones gave themselves up to Carter, and in fifteen or twenty minutes’ time the Jones were in the Knox county jai on warrants sworn out by Carter and charging them with killing Thomas Howard.

Another story of the shooting

According to the best authenticated reports of the affair the Jones saw Howard near the shooting gallery, which is situated near the corner of Gay and Jackson avenue. Joshua Jones commenced firing on Howard, after the latter had taken refuge in the shooting gallery. Two shots were fired by Joshua Jones through the north window of the shooting gallery and both the Jones then advanced through the door and continued firing. They used 32 calibre Smith and Weston pistols.

Howard, who was, to all appearances, attempting to avoid a fight with the Jones, ran into the shooting gallery and tried to get behind the "rack" which is used for the purpose of displaying knives, etc., but he was unsuccessful.

Before he could get out of harm’s way he had been shot six or seven times. He fell over the railing dividing the "rack" from the front part of the store and while he was in a helpless posture several shots were fired at him, nearly all which took effect.

Ten shots were fired in all, five by Joshua Jones and five by Moultrie Jones Either six or seven of these took effect in the body of Howard.

"That’s enough," said the elder Jones. "we’ve got him."

[line obscured in photocopy]

At the office of Squire Sellers where the men wer taken and enroute to the jail, the Jones talked willingly of the murder.

The funeral of T. C. Howard will be held today at the old home of the deceased, five miles from Madisonville.

From the Sweetwater Telephone April 3, 1902


Josh and Moultrie Jones Remanded to Jail

As a result of the preliminary hearing of Joshua and Moultrie Jones on the charge of murdering Policeman Tom Howard, the defendants were remanded to jail without bond Friday afternoon.

It is reported that the decision was reached by a majority vote of the three justices. Justice Wm. Sellers and B. S. Williams arguing that the defendants should be refused bond and Justice Knabe dissenting. However, by previous agreement of all three it was decided that the majority vote should be the decision of all. The three magistrates, when seen by a Journal and Tribune reporter, refused to discuss the matter, or to tell how their decision was reached.

The refusal to be granted bail was a great shock to the defendants and a disappointment to their attorneys who confidently expected bail. Joshua Jones was heard to remark t his friends that it was an outrage, and he could see no reason why he had been refused bail. The decision was reached by the magistrates after a conference of twenty minutes in an ante-room following the conclusion of General E. F. Mynatt’s closing argument for the prosecution, completed after 5 o’clock.

The announcement was made by Squire William Sellers, who stated that the committing court had found it impossible to ignore the unimpeached evidence of seven of the state’s witnesses. The announcement was made while the court room, crowded to the doors, was so quiet that a pin dropping could have been heard. Immediately following the decision there was loud applause from the crowd stationed in the eastern portion of the courtroom. Squire Sellers rapped in vain for order, the handclapping and stampging of feet continued as the crowd began making its way out of the courtroom.


From the Sweetwater Telephone, April 17, 1902


By Judge Allen for Josh and Moultrie Jones

The Journal and Tribune of Sunday says:

Judge N. Q. Allen of Athens, sitting in this city on the habeaus corpus cases brought by the attorneys of Joshua and Moultrie Jones to secure their release from jail on bond, granted the defendants a joint bond of $20,000 Saturday morning as a result of the hearing which began Friday morning. This bond was at once signed by the following parties: W. L. Welcker, J. W. Culton, Joshua and Moultrie Jones, James Bacon, James T. Rich, Charles T. Cates, Jr., Ed McQueen, of Loudon, Mr. Carmichael, of Loudon, Martin Gaines, of Loudon, D. A. Carpenter, of this city, and a Mr. Ward, of Monroe county.

The defendants returned to the jail, secured their clothing and left on the afternoon train for Maryville, where they spent the night, leaving Sunday morning for their homes near Madisonville.

Judge Allen took the evidence under advisement, and then delivered his opinion, in which he state that he had investigated the case closely, and he did not think the defendants were guilty of murder in the first degree, and should be allowed bond, which he fixed at $20,000.

Their trial comes up at the May term of court, unless it is continued. Judge Sneed, owing to a distant relationship to the defendants, is incompetent to sit on the case, and Judge Allen may be asked to sit on the case when called.

The defendants shot and killed Tom Howard in this city March 19.