The first chapter is about the killing of Jackson Carney and his wife, Cordelia Carney, by Carney's cousin George Moore at Shell Knob in December of 1869. Moore had grown up in the Carney home almost like a brother to Jackson, but he had left home about a year earlier and had apparently led a wayward life during the intervening year. He showed back up in Barry County in December and on the fateful day hung around Carney's store all day apparently just waiting to enact his murderous design. After the store closed, he killed both Carney and his wife, stole a couple of hundred dollars, and took off. He was captured a day or two later and taken to the Barry County jail at Cassville. A day or two after that, he was strung up on a corner of the Cassville square by an indignant mob bent on vengeance for the foul murders. Carney and his wife were buried at the Carney Cemetery, now called the Old Carney Cemetery, which is located about ten or fifteen miles south of Aurora just a few miles off Highway 39.