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Joseph T. Stillinger - Recalled

Recalled, testified as follows upon examination:


Q You remember something after you left the stand, which you know of now?

A Yes, sir, as quick as we left the room, it come to me that my daughters here they had already thought of it, but hadn't mentioned it, but just about a month ago a man come to the house, he telephoned to us first at Clarinda, and asked us if it was the case we wanted a hand, and I told him it was, and he come up and hired, just with the understanding that he would work the rest of that week to see whether or not he wanted to work for me, and whether I wanted him, and at the end of the week, we talked it over and he said that I wasn't offering him as much wages as he had expected to get, but he was going to come back to this part of the country any how, he had to go to Burlington to get his clothes. I said, well now, I want to know about that, whether I can depend upon you, and why you would have to go to Burlington just to get your clothes, and he said, yes, his clothes were scattered a good deal and he would have to go back there and get them, and I said, well I do not know whether to be sure to depend upon him, and he said I will be back either Sunday evening, or Monday morning, and that is the last we have ever seen of him.

Q What was his name?

A His name was Martin Luther Kellums.


Q Did he seem to be a weel [well] balanced sort of a man, notice anything peculair [peculiar] about his actions?

A We did not think so, my folks did not hardly approve of me offering to hire him, after he had been there those few days. We think it was on the 15th of May that he come there and he went up in the field in the forenoon, worked along with me, he did not work in the forenoon, just wanted to get acquainted with the team I was using team of colts. Said he would just like to stay with me in the forenoon, and he would go to work at noon, and that night when my girls, those two there going to school in town come home on the road, he was working in the filed [field], I don't know how close he was to them, but he recognized the girls and waived at them, and one of them told me about that and did not think that he was very ungentlemanly [gentlemanly], or something of that kind, made some remark like that, that I would be sorry if I had to have him.


Q Did you get a description of that man?

A Well, I cont [can't] know whether I could or not, I am not very good at that.

Q What was his age apparently?

A Well, I should think he was, I would say from 25 to 28 years old.

Q Light or dark?

A Well, he wasn't very light or very dark either.

Q Color of his eyes and hair?

A I would not know.

Q Hair?

A His hair was just neither light nor dark.

Q Was he pretty well dressed when he came to your place? A Fairly well.

Q Fairly well dressed?

A Yes, sir, from appearances, just a stiff black hat.


Q What kind of a shirt and colar [collar] did he have?

A I could not tell you.

Q Dark suit or light?

A I think he had rather a grey, light color, not a real light, but a grey suit of some kind.

Q Was he a tall man, or short?

A Just medium.

Q Just medium?

A Just medium.

Q Medium built?

A Yes, I should think so.

Q Use good language?

A Yes.

Q Seemed pretty well educated, did he?

A Well, I thought so, for a farm hand at least.

Q Usual for a farm hand to go out in the field to get acquainted with the horses?

A How is that?

Q Usual for a farm hand to go out in the field to get acquainted with the horses, --for a hired man to want to get acquainted with the horses, to be out with you?

A It would not under those circumstances, I asked him if he wanted to hire out to me, if he could handle any horse that could be worked all right, if they were green. I said you will have to work with green horses, I am just breaking two colts in the same tean, and I said he would have two in the team, --he would have two colts in a team of four, and he said you did not need to be afraid, but he said, I don't want to work this forenoon. I did not think it was unusual I thought it was a little bit cautious to want to go to the field and get acquainted with the team before he took them.

Q He did not have any clothes with him at all?

A He did not have any working clothes at all.

Q Went the whole week and worked in the clothes he had?

A He did not stay a week, he was with us three days and a half, and I paid him $1.50 a day, paid him $5.25. e had come to Clarinda to get work with the Clarinda Pultry butter and egg Company and telephoned to me from Clarinda. Said he got a party here, could not tell from who it was, he heard we wanted a hand just the Saturday before.


Q This man appear like a laboring man, the hands show used to hard labor?

A No, he did not. He told me, I don't know whether that was the last work he done, but he told me he had been six years in a restaurant.

Q Did he tell you where his home was?

A He said he had no home. Told me his father died when he was a year old, told me that other people had raised him and he had knocked all over the country and he come from Burlington to here.

Q Did he stay in your home while he was here?

A Yes.

Q Did he stay home nights or come to town nights? A He was to town one night with my other hired man, just come in and was here just a little while and come back with John.

Q Did he make any inquiry of you about any people in town?

A Well, he inquired if Chris Tieman still lived there, said he was acquainted with Mr. Tieman, or acquainted with his brother in Illinois.

Q This man, you notice anything perculair [peculiar] in his talk or his actions while he was with you, any more than you stated?

A Well, he was kind of a funny nervous fellow, he stepped into our stairway into the cellar steps when he went to put his feet on the cement floor, intended to go up stairs, and the two doors were not closer, --they are about 18 feet apart, and in his talk in his general talk he showed a little bit of that nervousness, and he was not particularly a loud talker, he was nice and quiet with the horses, although I had cautioned him about that, he told me, you dod not need to worry about that, if I don't handle them, I would not abuse them or talk roughtx [rough] with them, I know enough, he says, to be ghentle and quiet with colts, but he was rather a nervous disposition in his talk.

Q He was supposed to come back here and work for you again?u would have to go back there for your clothes. I said I wanted to know if I should have the chance at some body else, I want to know whether I can depend on you or not, he says, I think you can. He never said positively he would be back. He said, I think you can. He said he would be back Sunday evening, and ready to go to work Monday morning. But he never did say positively that he would be back, or that I could depend upon him, but he did say that he would work for me, because he intended to come back here whether he worked for me or not.

Q Smooth faced man, or wear a mustache?

A He had a mustache, I feel sure he had.

Q Ever say anything about his actions to them while he was out there?

A Nothing further than he come and offered to turn the cream separator once for them and they spoke of that, that they thought that he was entirely too forward for a stranger and them telling me about his waiving at them. That is all that they ever said.


Q You have that cancelled check?

A It is in the bank. I have never taken it up.


Q Was it made payable to order or bearer?

A To bearer.

Q To bearer? He would not have to endorse it then?

A No. I know he would not have to endorse it, because he was afraid of getting trouble, and said he was afraid of getting trouble to get this check. I wrote this check to Ed Sandall.


Q Did you notice anything around the home whether he was particularly friendly with the children, or playful with the children or not, --the smaller children?

A No, I don't know that. I don't remember of it, and really I would not have very much chance, because I was alwys [always] the first one out to the chores, and I was always the last one at night, and just during noon hour would be all the time that I would have any chance of seeing him.

Q Did he help you about your chores around the barn?

A He simply took care of his team. That was all he was supposed to do. He did not help me with my chores.

Q You did not notice any thing particularly uncommon in his disposition around where the stock was, or where the horses were?

A No, he did not show anything to me, and while he was there, he was very quiet and gentlemanly in his talk.


Q Did not make any inquiry about the Moore's or anything like that, while he was there?

A No.


Q Did you ever talk to your other man about this man, while he was there?

A Well, we just had a little talk, as to whether I thought he would come back, and that if he did not come back, why we just talked about it, but I wasn't surprised for my part, I hadn't expected to see him back.


Q Did they work together in the field?

A Well, they worked some in the same field, they went and come together, but I don't think that they meet on the work there, I don't really think they worked together. They worked in the same field, but I think they were on the opposite side of the field, and used different implements. I don't think they realy [really] worked together at any time.


Q This man have any baggage at all when he came to your place?

A I think that he did not have a thing except a bundle, and he told me that he would have been out as soon as he agreed to, or that morning, whenever it was, but he had to wait until the stores were open to get a pair of overalls and a jacket, and I think that is what he had, --I am satisfied that is what he had in the bundle.


Q How did he come from Clarinda up here, beat his way or walk?

A I don't think it was mentioned, and I don't think I know at all, yet when he telephoned to me too, he told me something about the trains, and it looks very much, I supposed undoubtedly he come up on the train. He told me when the train would come up, he said if every thing was favorable and agreeable with me he would come out that night, and we would have a talk, and he did not come there, at all, but he telephoned, he telephoned out and said the way everything looked if it was very wet for me to come out after, because it looked as though, --if I remember righ [right] it did rain a little, but it looks as though it is going to rain.


Q He left your place on Saturday night?

A Yes, sir.

Q Came to town Saturday evening?

A Yes.


Q That would be about a month, wouldn't it?

A It would be just about a month, wouldn't it?

Q Just about a month?

A Yes, if I had it in my head right, he must have commenced about the 15th and quit the 18th, if the 18th was on Saturday, or May?

MR JACKSON: --15th of May was Wednesday, 18th was Saturday.

A See that would make it out right, if he commenced to Wednesday at noon the 15th of May, would allow him to work three and one-half days, at a dollar and a half which would amount to $5.25. I think that is correct.


Q You think that he went back to Burlington?

A I don't have any idea in the world where he went.


Q Did he ssy [say] anything about where he had been. --of the movements, wandering around?

A Yes, he spoke of being in the south, in Oklahoma, he spoke of being in Denver.


Q Did not mention Colorado Springs?

A I don't remember.

BY ANOTHER JUROR: -- He might have been in Denver or Colorado Springs?


Q Been down south?

A Yes, in Texas, I understand.

Q Mentioned Monmouth, ILL?

A I don't remember that he did.


Q What nationality would you say he was, Mr. Stillinger?

A Well, I would not know, I don't think.


Q What was the name?

A Kellums.

Q Martin Luther Kellums.


Q Did he inquire about Mr Tieman as to where he lived here in Town, --suppose that he went to see Mr Tieman when he went to town.

A Well, he simply asked me if Chris Tieman still lived here, and I said yes. I remember it, said, "I know his brother well". Seems to me he told me his brother was dead now. I think he said that he saw Mr Tieman when he was back there, I believe he did, then he went on and asked me. I think perhaps, he said, he lives in town now, either that or he asked me whether he lived in town or in the country.

Q You ever talk to Mr Tieman about it?

A No, sir.


Q Yo did not notice anything strange in his actions as to whether he was, --

A I did not have a chance to, he slept up stairs and we slept down stairs. Of course we never knew him to move around, -- move around in his room and go up or down stairs any time.

Q Was it ehf [the] first night he fell down stairs or after he had been up and knew the way?

A Oh, he had been up stairs, I could not say whether it was the first, night, --I think it was either the first night he was there, but he had been up stairs through the day any how.

Q There wouldn't be any reason them, --to have his full senses to fall down cellar?

A It would not hardly seem so at that time of day.


Q Did he seem to be particularly interested in any special subject?

A No, I don't, --I can't recall that he did. I don't know that he talked on any one particular thing.

Q Did this other hired man of yours, --be able to throw any light on his actions?

A Well, of course, I don't know. I would not, --I would not naturally suppose that he would. I don't think that they were together to amount to anything at all.


Q They come to town together one night?

A Yes, sir, that is true.

Q Has your other man mentioned this man since the tragedy, said anything about him?

A In regard to this other man. No, I don't think it has ever been mentioned at all. I don't remember that it has ever been.

Q You heard this Van Gilder's description of this man she saw?

A No, sir.

Q You don't know whether this would comply with her descriptions?

A No, I would not. There is one man in town here that is very much of the same appearance of this young man, and I don't know, I am not sure of this, but I think his name is Brownlee.

Q Runs an automobile around here, works for Means?

A Is that the same one that did work for Mr Moore at one time. [?] I think that is the man I have reference to.

Q Smaller in size?

A Yes. I think those two. I don't know how it comes, but I seen this man at the depot this morning, and while looking at him, I thought of this hired man and it just come to me, while I have never seen him at Mr Means, I have never happened to see him there, but it occurred to me, I had heard he was working at Mr Means, I thought if that is the man it is the same man that worked for Mr Moore, because I had seen him there quite frequently. For some reason he reminded me of the other man.


Q Did this man read newspapers, that would indicate he was interested in something that happened and wanted to get track of it or something of that kind?

A I don't remember at all about it, but I did not see this man scarcely any at all except at noon, while he was there.

Q Seems to me if he was interested in this thing, or been guilty of anything of that kind that he would be after the newspaper to see the reports?

A One thing, we haven't this summer, --haven't taken a daily newspaper, haven't had a daily paper at the house at all.

Q You think he had any money to speak of besides what you gave him?

A My only guess is, I told our folks, I did not think he intended to work there at all, he intimated as though he wanted to go back, and I hired the man and I did not think he would work beyond those few days, that he was just getting fare back to Burlington. I supposed he wanted to get right back. I did not see any. In case that he had any money, don't know anything about that.

Q Did you see the letter that he got that day?

A No, sir.

Q He got some letters?

A Yes, sir/, that is one time. I did not think I mentioned, he was terribly worked up about his mail, because he did not get his mail. He was anxious about making inquires for it, to have it brought out there.


Q You don't know where it came from?

A No, I did not see any of his mail at all. I heard them tell that they finally got him some mail. Wanted the children to inquire for his mail at the post office as they might not attend to it and sent it out.

Q You suppose he would have left an [any] orders here, to the post office here, to have his mail forwarded?

A Well, I don't know anything about that.


Q No letter came after he had left your place for him?

A No.

Q Your wife really would have seen more of him that [than] any one in your family, she would see him at meal times?

A Yes.

Q She probably could give a better description?

A Undoubtedly, I should think so. Well, I don't know really that she saw much more of him than the girls, they were always there. They were always there, the girls when school was out.


Q This man go off, going to see a brother who was sick in a hospital some place?

A Well, I heard something about that, but I don't think I heard him say that at all. I don't think he ever mentioned it to me, if he did, I don't recall it now, but I remember of hearing something about that.


Q Did he tell you his name was Martin Luther Kellums, or did you get that from the letter?

A No, he, -- I don't think any how, that I knew his name at all, until I gave him the check. Yes it attracted your attention, we talked a good deal about it, I wondered if he was as good one as the great man Martin Luther, and mentioned it to him at the time, when he told us what his name was.

Q He got some letter while he was at your house?

A Yes.

Q Did you see the letter?

A I did not see that at all. I did not know of it until they told me that they had finally got his mail for him, but he seemed to be considerably worked up over his mail, thought he wasn't getting his mail at all, the kicks he had made, wanted to [the] children to look after, or look every time.

Q Do you know how many letters he got Mr Stillinger?

A No, sir, I don't anything about it.

Q Non come since he went away?

A No, I don't think there was.

Q Those letters come to your mail box, did they?

A I think they got that in town. Because I remember of them saying, he finally did get his mail, because they would have to go to the post office again, they must have come through the mail, --mail carrier.

Q Who usually gets your mail out of the box?

A That is just as it happens. I expect the smaller children get the mail oftener than any one else.

Q Who got the mail on this particular day?

A I don't know this at all.


Q You don't know where the past [post] mark was on this letter?

A No, I did not see that at all. Never saw them. He was not supposed to work much, he come here to get a job here with them, and he told me that was the reason he was hanging around for a job, said he fooled away a whole day, and finally they set him off until the next day, did not positively refuse him, but put him off to the next day. He said he, --well he had been in communication with them a year or two ago, I think he said he was down there, any how he had been engaged on their work a year or two ago and he said finally that instead of making a opening they would close one or tow [two] house and were letting off men instead of taking on men, that that was a year or two ago some time previous to this.

Q Say anything about having any experience along that line?

A No, he said, he hadn't had any experience, he spoke of that very thing, that he had been surprised when they lead him to believe that he could in a month or six weeks, could get as much wages out of it, as tehir [their] other men, that had been with them. He mentioned their wages. I don't remember what they were per month, but he mentioned the wages. He told me that he had had a good enough education, so far as that is concerned he said, "I could get a certificate to teach.

BY THE CORONER: --Is there any more questions?

BY THE CORONER: --We may have some one come out to get a description from your wife. She can give one?

A Yes.

BY THE CORONER: --This will be about all the evidence. All we have.

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