Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written fifteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Bushwhacker Belles, Wicked Women of Missouri, and Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Chenoweth-Mann Murder Case

Another chapter in my upcoming Murder and Mayhem in Missouri book concerns the murder of Dr. Albert Chenoweth at Pineville, Missouri, on September 12, 1883. Garland Mann, a farmer and former saloon keeper who lived outside Pineville, was immediately suspected of the murder because of prior threats he had reportedly made against the doctor and other circumstantial evidence. In fact, the evidence against Mann seemed so overwhelming that, at least according to certain newspaper accounts at the time and according to Sturgis's History of McDonald County written a few years later, almost everybody familiar with the case believed he was guilty.
Mann was, in fact, arrested and tried for the murder. His first trial in the spring of 1884 ended in a hung jury with the jurors evenly split. He was retried in August of '84 and found guilty, but the Missouri Supreme Court overturned the verdict on a technicality. His third trial in the spring of 1885 again ended in a hung jury. He was in the midst of his fourth trial in August of the same year when he was killed in his cell at the Newton County jail in Neosho by a mob that broke in, bent on vigilante justice.
When I first started researching this case, I, too, thought, based on the superficial evidence, that Mann was probably guilty. However, the more I researched it, the more doubt I began to have to the point that I now think that it is just about as likely that he was not guilty as it is that he was guilty. For more details on this interesting case, check out my book when it is released (probably within the next few days).

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