21 March 2015

On This Day: Lancaster Daily Intelligencer tracks murderer

The Lancaster Daily Intelligencer tracked a murderer On This Day in 1881 through various accounts, including a burglary in Leaman Place.

The home of Charles Lafferty, the station agent at Leaman Place, was broken into on 22 February 1881. A pair of pants, $40, and a valuable watch were taken. At that time, there was no reason to suspect anyone other than a recent loafer. 

Samuel Clugson was murdered at his Valley Forge home when he surprised a burgler. The burglar/murder left behind his clothes, which contained a pawn ticket for an Elgin watch. The watch was pawned at Consolidated Loan office in Baltimore, Maryland 

The watch had been made, it was determined after an examination, for H. F. Andrews. Andrews is a jeweler in Strasburg, Lancaster County. The watch is described in detail. Andrews, confirmed, through his records, that the watch had in fact been sold to Lafferty on 21 December 1872.  

Police continued on the trail of the murderer after another burglary. This burglary, which happened on 18 March 1881, was in Malvern, just six miles from Valley Forge (Chester County). It occurred – here is where my interest got piqued! – at the home of J. Jones Still. The burglar took only food and a change of clothes. This time thought the burglar/suspected murderer left behind a footprint. The police tied the incidents all together nicely and believed they had a good description of the culprit. 

J. Jones Still
This is one relatively (no pun intended) geographically close Still but I have not been able to connect him with certainty to my Still line. That said, I believe he may be distantly related. It is so hard sometimes tracing my Still line since Margaret got “put out” by her father, Charles Still. Nonetheless, a copy of this article from the Daily Intelligencer will get clipped and put into my general Still folder where I have much other information about J. Jones Still. 

Lancaster daily intelligencer. (Lancaster, Pa.), 21 March 1881. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. 


On This Day is a prompt I started this month to further explore historical events.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.