- Examination of R. H. Stillwell
R. H. Stillwell was the first witness on the stand on cross-examination.
Before the witness began testifying, Judge Hendrick, Dr. Hearneís
attorney, wanted to know of Judge Harrison if he issued subpoenaes in the case.
ďI do,Ē was the reply.
ďThen I want a subpoenae for R. H. Stillwell. I learn that he is going to light out this evening,Ē said
ďWhat do you mean by Ďlight outí?Ē asked Mr. Mahan, who
suggested that Mr. S. was merely going to leave the city on business.
Judge Hendrick then said: This
is a witness who came out of his way to bring evidence irrelevant in this case.
All the evidence introduced in this case bearing on the murder of
Amos J. Stillwell is irrelevant and immaterial. The answer of the defendant denies that they made any such
charge. The witness in his evidence
of yesterday, partly in response to the questions which were asked him and
partly of his own volition, came forward and made statements which are
positively blasting, not only to the reputation of the plaintiff in this case,
but also to a certain citizen who is not a party to this action and an attorney
in this city. The newspapers state
that the wife of Dr. Hearne is on her way here and will probably arrive here
this evening or in the morning, and it is nothing more that right that the
witness should be confronted and compelled to renew his statements.
We enter upon the cross-examination with the understanding that we
proceed to a certain point and shall ask the witness to appear on Tuesday or
Wednesday of next week. If not, I
want him subpoenaed as a witness in behalf of plaintiff.
Judge Harrison stated that the matter would be taken under advisement
and passed upon later and the deposition of Mr. S. was proceeded with.
Mr. Mahan, on direct examination, first became the questioner as
Have the grand juries ever investigated the murder of Amos J. Stillwell?
How frequently, to your knowledge?
During what period of time?
Now, if I am permitted to do so, Mr. Hendrick, I would like to state that I have been accused by ninety-five per cent of this community of having done all within my power to suppress any conviction, or bringing to light this crime for a period of five or six years. I believed firmly in the innocence of both Dr. Hearne and his wife, and I so asserted myself boldly on many occasions. I simply stated yesterday that these developments brought to mind within the past two weeks have changed my mind about the matter, and I want the public to know it. I do not say they are guilty of the crime, but these circumstances which have been brought before my mind had changed it.
ďHow long will you probably be gone, Mr. S.?Ē asked Judge Hendrick.
I could not say.
By Judge Hendrick: Where
were you on the night of December 28, 1888?
Do you know how much money your father had on his person that night?
About how much?
How much money was found after the murder?
Did you count the money after it was found?
Cannot state exactly how much paper money was found?
You are also sure there was $35 of it?
When you first noticed the bed and bedding in which he was sleeping that
night, what was the condition of the bedclothes?
You refer now to the bed covering which was under him?
I refer to the bed covering with which he was covered, if any, on that
Did you examine them to see if there was any blood on them?
Can you say whether they were bloody or not?
You say the bed and bedding were removed - do you know under whose
Have you not in your testimony, either before the coronerís jury or
grand jury, stated that you ordered the bed and bedding to be removed and the
room cleaned up?
Do you know where you were?
Did you, as a matter of fact, order the bed and bedding removed from the
Did you have the body removed?
You were present all the time?
Is it not a fact that you picked up your fatherís pants at the
foot of the bed?
That Dr. Hearne cautioned you about them?
Do you know Mr. Charles Clayton?
Do you remember seeing him there that morning?
Do you remember of being with him and Dr. Hearne in the front hall on
the first floor?
Do you remember a conversation that he had with Dr. Hearne on that
occasion about removing the body down stairs?
Did you hear Dr. Hearne tell him in reference to that matter that if the
body remained upstairs it possibly would not have kept?
If there had not been any such conversation there between him and Dr.
Hearne, do you think you would have remembered it?
You testified on yesterday that when you saw your fatherís wife that
night that she seemed always to be in charge of Dr. Hearne.
Was not Dr. Hearne her physician?
I might state in this connection that my father was a man who was opposed to the use of medicine in any shape or form; that he was opposed to the employment of any doctor; but his wife was rather inclined to employ a physician; and on many occasions I have heard my father say to her that he had no faith in the world of medicine, but if she insisted on having a medical doctor to send and get one.
Your father was a very strong man, was he?
And his wife rather a frail, delicate woman?
Had not his wife had hysteria for some years before the murder?
Such required the attendance of a physician?
You spoke of the extreme attention shown your fatherís wife by Dr.
Hearne that night. Was there
anything more than an excellent physician of keen sensibilities would have
shown? Did you remark it that
Were there not women with her all that time?
What was her condition that night?
How long did she remain in it?
Do you not believe she is innocent?
Had she and your father had any trouble before that?
They had a delightful home, did they not?
Well furnished with all the luxuries and necessaries of life?
You stated that a week or two after the murder she went to a Battle
Creek sanitarium, and Dr. Hearne went with her, I believe?
State your opinion as to whether her physical condition was such that
she needed a physician on that trip.
Was there anything remarkable in her taking Dr. Hearne on that trip?
Where was she when you wrote the letter to her stating that if she
wanted to be respected in this community by respectable people that she ought to
get rid of Dr. Hearne?
What did you say?
Where was she when you wrote that letter?
Had been there from the
time she went there?
How could you then, be cognizant of any affectionate attention which the
doctor was showing her?
Well, didnít you know that from the night of your fatherís murder
the newspapers of this place and some other places have hounded Dr. Hearne and
But what were the remarks in the newspapers then?
Well, but you say you wrote this letter on account of the scandal and
remarks of the newspapers?
What were these remarks?
Then there were no remarks about the undue-familiarity between Dr.
Hearne and your fatherís wife?
Donít you remember that immediately after your fatherís death his
wifeís father came on here?
And lived in the house with her until she started
to Battle Creek.
Mrs. Stillwell had servants in the house?
How old was her daughter Mollie at that time?
Well, when you saw Dr. Hearne and Mrs. Stillwell frequently together, in
what way did they manifest their pleasure in each otherís society before they
went to Battle Creek?
Was she too sick to manifest fondness for anybody?
Was she confined to her room?
Did you sign your name to the letter you wrote to her?
Did some one ever offer a reward for the arrest and conviction of the
When you offered the reward of $10,000 of your fatherís estate, did
you do so after consultation and advice with your fatherís wife?
You stated that your fatherís wife did not go to the cemetery at the
time of the funeral. Who
remained with her?
Do you know whether Mollie went to the funeral?
What was the reason that she did not go to the funeral?
How did you become possessed of the information you gave yesterday in
regard to the criminal conduct of Dr. Hearne and your fatherís wife?
ďWe are perfectly willing for you to refrain from answering that,Ē
said Judge Hendrick, ďif you will notify me or Dr. Hearne.Ē
Mr. Mahan: We prefer to
have the question answered. It is
his duty to answer.
Judge Hendrick: Are you
willing to do that?
Judge Harrison: I certainly
do rule that the questions have to be answered, provided they will lead to any
criminal prosecution on your part.
Judge Hendrick: We will let
that question remain pending for the time being. I believe you stated that there were two persons who gave you
Have you had any talk with Mr. A. L. Clarke?
Did you tell him this information?
As you stated yesterday afternoon?
And yet you are, after having given your testimony reflecting so
seriously on the former wife of your father, unwilling to give me the name of
I know, but you were by me in a private conversation.
Mr. Mahan: It is on the
witness stand and I suppose it will be necessary, as he insists on your answer.
Mr. Stillwell: I only
suggested to him.
Judge Hendrick: And you
were unwilling yesterday afternoon, after giving your testimony, to give me the
Quite a colloquy ensued between those assembled, and Judge H. finally
said: I ask the names of your three
Witness: Do I understand
that the notary rules that I must answer that question?
Judge Harrison: Provided it
does not lead to any criminal prosecution on your part.
Witness: Part of this information was gathered from Mr. C. P. Heywood, part of it from Mrs. John Hayward, part of it probably from W. A. Munger.
What did Mr. C. P. Heywood tell you?
Witness: Well, itís only natural for a person -
Judge Hendrick: Well, just
repeat what he told you.
Judge Hendrick: You mean
that he told you all of the testimony that you gave yesterday in regard to the
criminal conduct of Dr. Hearne and your fatherís wife?
What party told you that Dr. Hearne said he could have a man slug your
What kind of a woman is Mrs. Hayward?
How did he do it?
Did she say how?
Where is Mrs. Hayward living?
Why canít you?
Did you see her there?
Where did you see her?
How did you happen to see her? How
did you get her?
What are their names?
That is one of the parties from whom you received your information?
Where do they live?
Where are they residing?
How did you first learn that Mrs. Hayward knew anything about this
Well, did you find her?
Did Mrs. Susie Hayward claim to be intimately acquainted with Dr. Hearne
and his wife?
Well, know them very well?
Is she a married woman?
Where is her husband?
Are they divorced?
What does she do for a living?
Did Mr. C. P. Haywood tell you that he had learned these things from Dr.
Hearne in conversation with him - these things that you testified to yesterday?
Well, how did you learn from him - what did he tell you?
And didnít give you his source of information?
Did Mrs. Hayward tell you why she had been so long in revealing these
Did she say these were the reasons?
She said these are the reasons?
Did Mr. W. A. Munger tell you that he knew of his own knowledge of these
facts or that somebody had told him?
From Mrs. Hayward?
He did not tell you from whom he did hear them?
Judge Hendrick: Yes?
When can you promise to be here, Mr. Stillwell?
Will it be two or three days?
Judge Hendrick: We do not
care about any statement of that again. It
is digressive. Addressing Judge
Harrison, Judge Hendrick said: Your
Honor, have you prepared the subpoenae for Mr. Stillwell?
Judge Harrison: I have,
sir, with the exception of the date.
Judge Hendrick: Monday, I
think, unless Mr. Stillwell can tell us that he will be here Tuesday or
Wednesday. We are willing to make
an extension of two or three days for him.
Judge Harrison: The witness
is here now.
Judge Hendrick: I would
like to have the subpoenae served on him for next Monday. Dr. Hearne wants the witness to make a statement.
Let Mr. Stillwell make his statement why he does not wish to meet Mrs.
Judge Harrison: Proceed,
Mr. Stillwell: Whilst the
facts and circumstances which I have stated are true to the best of my
knowledge, I believe I would prefer to have any cross-examination continued now
than to postpone it later, when, by inference, I presume, she would be present,
which presence seems to me a circumstance calculated to influence me in this
The witness was excused at this juncture, but was later subpoenaed to
appear at 9 oíclock Monday morning on the part of the plaintiff.