Thomas S. McMahan & Nancy Harrington

Family Group Record                 0014
Husband's Name   Thomas S. McMahan
 Born:       Abt 1802    Place: Horse Prairie, Randolph, Illinois
 Died:       Aft 1854    Place: Madison County, Illinois (last record of)
 Married:                Place: Madison County, Illinois
 Father:         Robert McMahan
 Mother:         Nancy Kester
Wife's Name      Nancy Harrington
 Born:       Abt 1808    Place: Lincoln County, North Carolina
 Died:                   Place: 
 Father:         Whitmel Harrington
 Mother:         Susanna Hall
 1. Sex Name
     M  Francis M. McMahan
        Born:       Abt 1825    Place: Madison County, Illinois
        Died:    06 Sep 1865    Place: Hempstead County, Arkansas
        Married:        1848    Place: Pike County, Arkansas
        Spouse:  Ann Eliza Griffin
 2. Sex Name
     F  Emily McMahan
        Born:       Abt 1828    Place: Madison County, Illinois
        Died     15 Feb 1883    Place: Logan County, Illinois
        Married: 13 Feb 1853    Place: Madison County, Illinois
        Spouse:  John Waddell
 3. Sex Name
     F  Sarah McMahan
        Born:    04 Apr 1831    Place: Madison County, Illinois
        Died:    26 Jan 1898    Place: Madison County, Illinois
        Married: 22 Dec 1853    Place: Madison County, Illinois
        Spouse:  William W. Hall
 4. Sex Name
     M  George W. McMahan
        Born:       Abt 1834    Place: Madison County, Illinois
        Died:    28 Mar 1892    Place: Logan County, Illinois
        Married:                Place: 
 5. Sex Name
     M  Charles H. McMahan
        Born:       Abt 1836    Place: Madison County, Illinois
        Died:    18 Aug 1882    Place: Logan County, Illinois (murdered)
 6. Sex Name
     F  Permelia McMahan
        Born:       Abt 1838    Place: Madison County, Illinois
        Died:                   Place:
        Married: 28 Feb 1856    Place: Madison County, Illinois
        Spouse:  Noah P. Hall
 7. Sex Name
     M  William T. McMahan
        Born:       Abt 1841    Place: Madison County, Illinois
        Died:                   Place:
        Married:                Place: 
Sources of Information: Census Records: Madison County, Illinois 1830,
1840, 1850; Pike County, Arkansas 1850; Logan County, Illinois 1870, 1880;
Records of the Antioch Church of Christ 1933-1916, Delight, Arkansas; Pike
County, Arkansas Tax Lists 1850-1853; Madison County, Illinois Marriage
Records; Logan County, Illinois Probate Records; Tombstones, inscriptions
of: Laenna Cemetery, Logan County, Illinois (George W. McMahan & Charles H.
McMahan); Madison County, Illinois Deed Records; The Atlanta Argus, August
25, 1882, (Atlanta, Ill.), Volume XV, No. 16, page 1.
State of Illinois, Logan County, ss. To the Hon. S.A. Foley, County Judge,
Logan County, Illinois. Your petitioner John F. McMahan would respectively
represent unto your Honor that C.H. McMahan departed this life on or about
the 18th day of August, A.D. 1882 and that Erhardt Stoll was afterwards, by
order of this Court, appointed Admr. of his Estate.

That said Charles H. McMahan left surviving him, among his other heirs,
the heirs of Francis McMahan, decd. The said Francis McMahan having been
a brother of said Charles H. The said Francis McMahan departed this life
on or about Sept. 6th, 1865 at Hempstead county, Arkansas leaving the
following named children as heirs who are still living and are entitled to
a distributive share in the Estate of said C.H. McMahan amounting to one
share, or to one sixth of said Estate (the said C.H. McMahan having left
six heirs or heirs of heirs), to wit: Albert McMahan, Thos. E. McMahan,
John F. McMahan, Permelia Patterson (formerly McMahan), Sarah C. Kelley
(formerly McMahan), James H. McMahan, Wm. J. McMahan. All of said named
heirs being adults with the exception of Wm. J. McMahan who is a minor,
and your petitioner being one of said heirs. The Estate of said Francis
McMahan never having been probated and there is not now and never has been
an administrator or Executor of said Estate appointed.

Your petitioner would further represent unto your Honor that he has by
deed or power of atty. purchased and now owns and has control of the
interest in the Estate of C.H. McMahan of the following named heirs of
said Francis McMahan, decd., to wit: Albert McMahan, Thos. E. McMahan,
Permelia Patterson, Sarah C. Kelley and James H. McMahan, the same being
the said adult heirs of said Francis McMahan, decd.. Said sales being
induced by certain deeds and power of Attys. &c., this day submitted to
the Court and filed for record in the Recorder's Office of Logan county,

Your petitioner would further represent unto your Honor that Erhardt
Stoll, said Admr. came into this Court in, to wit, the 25th day of
Sept., 1884 and made final settlement of the Estate of C.H. McMahan,
whereupon the Court ordered said Admr. to distribute the balance remaining
in his hands to the heirs of said Estate, said distribution leaving to
each heir or set of heirs, the sum of 215.29. That a(m)t. of said sum of
215.29 so due the heirs of Francis McMahan, he is entitled in his own
right to 30.75 and by said purchase of said five shares above referred to,
to the further sum of 153.75, being the total amount due your petitioner
in his own right and by purchase &c., of $184.50. The same being the full
amt. due all the heirs of said Francis McMahan, decd., except minor, Wm. J.

Petitoner would further represent that said Erhardt Stoll, admr., has paid
unto the Co. Clks. office subject to order of this Court, said sum of
215.29 belonging to said heirs of Francis McMahan.

Your petitioner would therefore respectfully ask this Honorable Court to
consider his proof sufficient of the heirship to said Francis McMahan,
decd. and direct said County Clerk to pay to him an account of same sum of
$184.50. And as in duty bound your petitioner will ever pray &c., &c.
(Signed) John F. McMahan.
John F. McMahan being duly sworn states that the statements of above
petition are true and correct in substance & fact. (Signed) John F.
McMahan. Subscribed & sworn to before me this 6th Jany., 1885. C.M. Knopp,
Clk: Petition of John F. McMahan, Probate file of C.H. McMahan, Box 48,
Logan County, Illinois.
The Triple Murder. A crime came to light on Sunday, August 20, 1882, that
was characterized by the press and citizens as the most atrocious ever
perpetrated in Logan County.

It occurred on a farm two miles south of Chestnut, the victims were Charles
McMahan, Robert Matheny and John Carlock, the last two being hired men of
McMahan. The McMahan house stood alone in the field one-half mile from any
road ... there were no fences and no garden, the building standing in a
clump of weeds. The house itself was a one-story building 18x30 feet. It
was never painted and was black with the storms of 30 winters. The interior
of this gloomy place was equally forbidding.

The last time the three men were seen alive was on Friday evening when the
neighbors noticed them at work stacking oats ... later a neighbor, David
Long, became quite perturbed at McMahan's horse being left in the corral
unattended and it seemed to be trying to warn someone.

David Long went to the house and noticed quilts were hung at the windows
and that some things were out of place. Frank Lyon and Alfred Ayres
afterward joined in the search which lasted, perhaps, two hours when led
by a sickening odor from a clump of tall weeds near some corn-pens, they
came upon the body of one of the three slain men. Eventually all were
found and lying on their backs with their throats cut from ear to ear. All
were blindfolded and gagged with their hands tied behind their backs and
their feet hobbled. Their hands had cluthed the weeds beneath them so
tightly in their death agony that the weeds had to be cut before they could
be removed.

Governor Cullom offered $200 each for the arrest of the murderer. The
Board of Supervisors offered $1000 reward; in addition the relatives of
McMahan offered $1000; residents of Latham and vicinity $500; and Mt.
Pulaski $500 ... these (and other) rewards attracted a number of detectives
and many arrests were made during the succeeding months. No evidence
sufficient to convict anyone was found. January 1, 1884, the matter was
placed by the authorities directly into the hands of the Pinkerton Agency
and they arrested J.H. Hall. The jury found Hall guilty and sent him to the
penitentary for life.

Hall professed his innocence up until he died and the guards of the prison
believed that an innocent man suffered for the crime that someone else

Tombstone. Just inside the main gate of Laenna Cemetery, one mile west of
Chestnut, stand monument(s) erected to the memory of Charles McMahan,
Robert Matheny and John Carlock, which in addition to the names, bears this
inscription: "McMahan murdered for his money August 18, 1882 by person or
persons unknown." McMahan age 46 years and 2 months; Robert Matheny 20
years, 8 months, 10 days; John Carlock 17 years: Chestnut, 100 Years,
1872-1972, Betty Drake Koening Montgomery, Chestnut, Illinois, edited.
Update 03.07.00              David Kelley 1999                 FGR-0014.HTM