The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Moment In History

Murder and Mayhem

Near Hopper's Mill in 1890 William and Barnum Brown went to the home of their brother-law, George W. Holly.

An argument developed. Mr. Holly ordered them off the premises several times. Barnum, who had a loaded shotgun, said to Holly, " I have a notion to shoot you."

Holly cried out, "Don't shoot, I will give up." William called to his brother, "Barnum, shoot him; you came to kill him; let's kill him."

A gun discharged and Holly fell dead with a shotgun wound in his breast. At trial in 1891 the jury found both Brown brothers guilty and fixed their punishment at 30 years in the penitentiary at Joliet.

After serving about 16 years, they were released. (Local legend says that Holly had been beating Mrs. Holly, the Browns' sister, and they came to her aid.)

1911 History of Henderson County