PERKINS, AUGUSTUS E - Benton County, Arkansas | AUGUSTUS E PERKINS - Arkansas Gravestone Photos

Augustus E PERKINS

Summit (Bella Vista) Cemetery
Benton County,
Arkansas

Died February 12, 1902
Age about 65 years

*Obituary (as written)
Benton County Democrat
Thursday, March 5, 1903

PERKINS, A.E. - A well—to—do farmer named A.E. Perkins was found dead at his home a few miles from Bentonville and the circumstances point strongly to a foul murder. When the body was found indications showed that he had been dead several weeks. Will J. Powell, an adopted son, and the young wife of the murdered man are missing. Perkins was 60 years of age and the missing couple about 24 years of age. The body was concealed in a clump of bushes and a faithful dog had guarded it from the time of death.

*Obituary (as written)
Benton County Democrat
Thursday, March 5, 1903

S. Ribelin and wife of Topeka, Kas. arrived here Wednesday morning and drove, in company with Deputy Sheriffs W.F. Orr and James Hickman, to the scene of the Perkins murder. Mrs. Ribelin, who is a sister of Mrs. Perkins, is of the opinion that her brother-in-law committed suicide. After viewing the premises they left immediately for their home.

*Obituary (as written)
Benton County Democrat
Thursday, March 5, 1903

PERKINS, Augustus E. - On the 9th day of August 1902 Wilson Brown, postmaster at Rago, six miles north of this city, received a letter from William A. Powell of Kansas City, Mo. asking for information in regard to government claims. Mr. Brown answered the latter stating that good claims could be secured in his neighborhood. Upon receipt of this information Powell wrote Brown that he would arrive in Bentonville on Monday, Aug. 25th, 1902. On the above date Powell, together with Mr. and Mrs. A.E. Perkins, all of Kansas City, arrived here. Their household goods, horses, cattle, etc. arrived about the same time. They rented the H.O. Jones farm house near Rago and moved thereto immediately. They were well supplied with fine furniture and seemed to be in good circumstances. Mr. Perkins was about 60 years old. He was a man of considerable intelligence and was well thought of by the people in the community. His wife is a young and attractive woman about 28 years of age. W.A. Powell was their adopted son and was about 26 years old. On the 5th day of Sept. 1902 Perkins and Powell went to County Clerk Casey and filed homesteads, each taking 160 acres of government land 11/2 miles from Rago. They received their duplicate receipts from the land office on the 9th of Sept. and afterwards built a temporary house of two rooms where they were living at the time of the tragedy. During the time between the 8th and 27th of Feb. not a living soul was seen about the place. A letter from Kansas City, Mo. to Mrs. Perkins was received at the Rago postoffice and not being called for within the required number of days it was sent back in accordance with the directions on the envelope. Mail for Mr. Perkins also lay uncalled for in the postoffice. At last the suspicion of neighbors was aroused and on the 27th day of February a party composed of D.K. Cash, Sam Cantrell, John McNalley, E.O. Stroud and others decided to make an investigation. On approaching the house they could see no signs of a living soul, so they entered. The dining table was set for three persons. Two plates had been used but the third plate was turned down and had never been used. Under this plate was found the following note from Mrs. Perkins to her husband: "Feb. 8.- Gus: When you return tonight you will not find me here. I am going away with the man I love. You have goaded me to it with your abuse. I thought when I came to Arkansas with you and you were away from my folks, that you so much disliked and they you, that you would stop your treatment, as you promised me before you came, but I tried and tried, but I could not stand it longer. Good-by. Margaret. P.S. Tell ma to forgive me, Her address, if you remember, is 2333 Mercer street, Kansas City, Mo.." Search was then made for Perkins and a short distance from the house the dead body of the old man was found suspended by a rope which was tied to the top of a fallen tree and thrown over a small sapling. He was in a sitting posture and his feet were resting on the ground and the body was only about six inches from the earth. The officers here were immediately notified and a coroner's inquest was held Saturday, the 28th of Feb. by Squire J.W. Floyd, acting coroner. After hearing the evidence and viewing the remains the jury rendered the following verdict: "The deceased, Augustus E. Perkins, came to his death by wounds that he received on the back of his head, which in our opinion were sufficient to cause his death and we believe he was killed by some wooden instrument and then taken to the woods and hung by parties unknown to us." After the inquest the remains were buried in the Summit cemetery near Rago. Early on the morning of Feb. 9th a young man and young woman, supposed to be W.A. Powell and Mrs. Perkins, drove to Rogers and leaving the team at Fleek's livery barn took the south bound train and have not been heard of since. After the parties had been gone two weeks without calling for the team an investigation was begun which revealed the fact that the team and buggy was the property of old man Perkins. It is the general belief that Powell and Mrs. Perkins are the guilty parties who committed this heinous crime. There is a chain of circumstantial evidence against them which would indeed be difficult to overcome. After the bloody deed had been committed the guilty parties did not take the precaution necessary to accomplish the result they had in view at the time - suicide. It seems almost certain that the note had never been found by Perkins, and that being the case what reason would he have in taking his own life? Then again, the position in which the body was found is proof that he could not have taken his own life. The body was not swinging in the air but deceased was almost sitting on the ground - a very peculiar attitude in which to find the remains of a suicide. The rope was so fastened about the neck that those who examined the body say it could not have caused death. But the strongest and most convincing evidence of foul play is the wounds on the back of the head. The cold weather had helped preserve the body so that there was no trouble about identification or in discovering the cause of death. There should not be a stone left unturned until the guilty parties to this terrible crime are brought to justice. We reproduce the following from the Kansas City Star which is an interview by a reporter of that paper with Mrs. Perkins' father: "John Langdon, the father of Mrs. Perkins, was found at his home, 2333 Mercer street last night by a reporter for The Star. He said he knew nothing about the alleged murder of his son-in-law. He had not heard from his daughter for three weeks. She was then in Rago, Ark. with her husband. They were married in Kansas City eight years ago. Perkins was 52 years old and his wife was 20. Perkins was a carpenter, a machinist and a musician, Mr. Langdon said, and had property. Immediately after Mr. and Mrs. Perkins were married they moved to Humansville, Mo. They lived there for six years and then returned to Kansas City and remained here till last July when they moved to Arkansas. Mr. Langdon said he never knew of his daughter and her husband having any trouble."

Contributed on 9/17/13 by judyfrog
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Record #: 927754

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Submitted: 9/17/13 • Approved: 9/18/13 • Last Updated: 12/6/14 • R927754-G0-S3

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