John Fogwell Murder...

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John Fogwell Headstone John Fogwell Headstone

Very near here at about 8:00pm on October 22, 1872, John Fogwell, husband of Rebecca Harner-Fogwell, was returning to his home from Dayton via the train, when he was fired upon by William Richison, who was hiding in the corner of a fence row.  The weapon was a shotgun loaded with balls.  The flash of the gun revealed the face of the assassin, and he was recognized by the murdered man, who lived long enough to tell the name of the shooter.

Richison was arrested, and at his trial, evidence was brought which fastened the guilt of the crime upon him: besides the testimony of the victim, the paper used for the wadding of the shotgun was found to correspond with pieces of torn newspaper found in the assassin’s own house.  He was found guilty on his first trial, but for some reason, was granted a second trial and was again declared guilty and sentenced to death by hanging.  Before the day fixed for his execution arrived, he committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell in the Xenia jail.  He was buried in his own front yard in a lone, unmarked grave near the scene of the tragedy.  John Fogwell was laid to rest at Beaver Cemetery.


Have been doing some more research with the GREAT people over at the Greene County Archives... it turns out that in the good 'ol days before prevalent photography, a surveyor would be sent following a crime to document the scene.

In this case the surveyor was Washington Galloway, descendent of early Greene County Settler James Galloway.  DOWNLOAD his survey below as it's too wide for our image generator.

This survey gives us some great information as to the layout of the buildings, mill, millrace and road configuration around Trebein at the time.

Also, take a look at the news clipping in the image gallery - it reads:

Richison, the murderer of Fogwell, in Greene County, was found guilty, by the jury, of murder in the first degree.  He is a very hardened villain, and recently expressed the wish that when he is buried his grave may be filled with stones so that he may stone Fogwell out of hell!

Nice guy.  It does make you wonder what let up to the murder... and that we're still working on at the Archives!

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Brett Williford

Re-introducing you to the Beavercreek you love... from 1803 to today!


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