A Former Richland County Man (Robert Clingan) Murdered in Iowa

Richland Co., Ohio


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A Former Richland County Man Murdered in Iowa

OHIO LIBERAL:  18 July 1883


Submitted by Amy



A few days since Mr. Thomas Clingan, of Weller township, received a dispatch from Polk City, Iowa, stating that his brother had been shot on the evening of the 10th. inst, while on his way from his store to his house.  Robert Clingan, the murdered man, was formerly a resident of Weller Twp., and some years ago moved to Iowa.  An associated press dispatch from Des Moines, Iowa, dated July 13th. says:

A dispatch from Marne’s Station, on the Rock Island Road, in Cass county, says the Clingan murderers were surrounded in a grove eight miles north of that town this afternoon, and in an effort to dislodge them from their hiding places, a man named Frank Hallock, from Exira, was fatally shot.  Great excitement  prevails throughout this part of the State.  Three hundred or more men have surrounded the grove where the murderers are concealed, and there is no doubt that they will be captured.

A second dispatch from the same place on July 14th., says:

The murderers of Clingan at Polk City, last Tuesday night, were overtaken and surrounded in a large body of timber known as Bikhorn Grove, in the southeast corner of Shelby county, last night, and this morning attempted to escape.  One of them was fatally wounded, the other captured.  The wounded man gave the name of Benjamin Gates, and before he died he confessed that he was the murderer of Clingan.  The other man was threatened with hanging, and also confessed.  In the fight preceding the capture of J.W. Maddy, a druggist of Maroe, was fatally shot, and it is thought will die.  Benjamin Craig, a farmer, was also shot, though not fatally.  The captured man gave the name of Smith, from Missouri, and is in jail at Harlan, Shelby county, and intense excitement prevails throughout Western Iowa and is freely shared in this city.  Willis Hallock, wounded yesterday, died to-day.  Smith is safely in jail at Harlan.  He has made a confession, implicating his dead partner, who, he says killed Clingan.  Smith says he was present, but had no hand in the shooting.  There is intense excitement at Harlan, and probably Smith will be lynched before morning.

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