Bloomington (IN) Evening World
October 9, 1916
ALLEGED CONFESSION ANDERSON MURDER
Bedford, Ind., Oct. 8–The murder of Ora Anderson in the Bartlettsville neighborhood seven months ago is to be avenged, local authorities declare, as a result of the confession of William Ridge, a neighbor of Anderson, which implicates several other men. Ridge and James Covey have been under arrest several days and are in jail here. The grand jury will be convened in special session to investigate the case for the third time. Ridge, a farm laborer who came from Kentucky, worked near Bartlettsville several years. Since the murder he has been working in northern Indiana but returned recently, and when confronted with evidence is said to have confessed the murder. Covey is a young married man who has always borne a good reputation.
Anderson, a bachelor who lived alone, was attacked early one night while he was feeding his cattle. He was dragged to his house, and in a struggle his skull was fractured with a stove shovel. His farm hand found him unconscious the next morning, and he died two days later in the City Hospital here.
Ridge, in his alleged confession, admits that he learned Anderson usually carried a large amount of money and that he and Covey, with two other men whose names are withheld, planned the robbery. Ridge declares that the party found Anderson feeding his stock and, while Ridge engaged him in conversation, Covey struck the man from behind with a club. Fearing that the victim would revive, they attacked him again in the house. From the appearance of the house, it had been ransacked, but it is said the robbers obtained nothing of value. Anderson had been obliged to borrow money the day before to buy feed.
The authorities are making efforts to prove that the Ridge gang was responsible for continued thefts of chickens and farm produce in the neighborhood for months before the Anderson murder.
Bloomington (IN) Evening World
October 10, 1916
THREE MORE MEN PLACED IN JAIL
Bedford, Inc., Oct. 9–Three more men were placed in jail here today in connection with the murder of Ora Anderson, a farmer, several months ago, their arrests being based upon statements of William Ridge, who already was a prisoner, that they took part in the attack upon Anderson. William Covey, living near this city; John Chastain, whose home is near Sanders, and John Watson of Bedford, are the men arrested. The prisoners, all of whom are married, have been employed as farm laborers. When Deputy Sheriff Fred Brown of Lawrence County and Sheriff Jones of Bloomington attempted to arrest Chastain, he dashed into a woods and eluded them for three hours. Ridge, in his alleged confession, declared that he did not know two of his companions well but that they said their names were James Covey and Zan Kindred. James Covey, a brother of William Covey and Zan Kindred, were arrested but established their innocence and were released. The authorities assert they have evidence that Watson and William Covey were the culprits who used the assumed names. If the alleged slayers are convicted, Deputy Sheriff Brown is expected to receive the rewards offered by the county commissioners and the Odd Fellows lodges of Harrodsburg and Bartlettsville which aggregate $650.
Indianapolis (IN) Star
November 25, 1916
MURDER TRIAL DATES SET
Bedford, Indiana, November 24–Dates for two murder trials in the Lawrence circuit court have been set. William Ridge, indicted with William Covey, John Watson and John Chastian for the murder of Ora Anderson, a farmer, will be placed on trial December 5. He had made a confession, the sheriff declares, but with the others, pleaded guilty...
Typed and donated by Randi Richardson.