Chicago (IL) Daily Inter Ocean
July 13, 1876
THE ORLEANS TROUBLE
Additional Outbreak in Orange County, Indiana
Prisoners in Jail Fired Upon
Information was received yesterday at the executive department of an assault made upon the Orange County jail Saturday night by a mob that fired through the bars wounding Alonzo B. and Lee Jones. Coupled with this statement was a request that the governor furnish troops to enforce submission, but the governor declined and directed the sheriff to the Floyd County jail at New Albany, which was done yesterday afternoon.
The assault is an outgrowth of the Moody-Toliver-Jones troubles that have disturbed that part of the state for several years past. The main facts are about these, as gleaned by a reporter of the New Albany LEDGER-STANDARD for the issue of that paper on last Friday morning:
In 1870, William Toliver, an aged and respected farmer of Lawrence County of considerable wealth, died. He was the father of the Tolivers now in jail. William Toliver left upon his death, besides children, a widow, Polly Toliver, who was his second wife. He had married her a few years before his death. She was a sister to the Moodys, and she had long lived neighbors to the Tolivers upon an adjoining farm with her three brothers, all of them being unmarried until she married old man Toliver.
After the death of William Toliver, the Toliver children, under the lead of Bent Jones, a son-in-law, objected to letting Polly, the widow, have that portion of the estate that the law allowed her. She appealed to the law and obtained her legal right. These suits produced other suits by the Moodys for slander and for assault and battery in which the Moodys were uniformly successful, and the Toliver party had to pay large damages and costs. In the year 1871, the Jones and Toliver party determined to exterminate the Moody famly at one blow.
The attack was made June 24, 1871, but the family miraculously escaped death, although several of them were injured.
"Bent" Jones, the leader of the gang, then conspired with his associates to kill the Moody family, but all their efforts failed until about a year ago when Thomas Moody was shot dead in his door yard in Orleans. According to the confession of Eli Lowery, one of the gang, the shooting was done by Lee Jones and Parks Toliver, although Bent Jones, Thomas Toliver and Lowery were in the plot. The grand jury returned a bill of indictment against the above five persons. Lowery pleaded guilty and was sentenced to the penitentiary for life; the other four were confined in jail to await trial, bail having been refused them.
In pursuing his plan for vengeance against the Moody family, Jones had by his influence and address surrounded himself with a band of desperadoes and outlaws who stood together and swore for each other and became the terror of all good citizens. Among these characters was Eli Lowery who had no other motive to join in the killing except the sum of $20 which, he says, Jones paid him. Lowery is a young man 24 years old.
Jones had implicit faith in his ability to successfully defy the law by means of the perjured testimony of his gang of confederates to establish an alibi. But two of his witnesses were indicted for perjury and the others did not come up.
Typed and donated by Randi Richardson.
NOTE: In an earlier article, a member of the Toliver family was identified as Tolliver.
NOTE: There is quite a bit of information about the Moody family and Bent Jones in the INMONROE Rootsweb mailing list archive. For more information about this incident, and the many travails of Bent Jones, search these archives.