Search billions of records on

Nehemiah Daniel

The Fayette Journal
November 17, 1904
Wantonly Shot Down Without Provocation at Montgomery by Ed Jackson.
Murderer with $2,500 Reward on His Head Surrenders to the Law After Three Days Hiding in Morris Creek Mine.
Killing of Walla Jackson Pro- vokes Awful Tragedy.
Worst Affair in Criminal Annals
Sheriff Had Gone to Preserve Peace of the Town Threatened by Wild Pas- sions of the Jacksons - Shot Three Times Without Warning While At- tempting to Arrest Ed Jackson- Tragic End of a Busy Life of Useful- ness--Full Story of Affair Which Cast a Sorrowful Gloom on Peace- ful Community.
N. Daniel, sheriff of Fayette county, was shot down and killed on the street of Montgomery last Thursday morning while attempting to preserve the peace of the town.
His assassination followed a night of the wildest terror in the town occasioned by the murder of Constable Walla Jackson Wednesday evening by Policeman Elliott and was the insane act of Ed Jackson, brother of the dead constable.
The martyred sheriff had gone to Montgomery to assist the town officials in preserving order and his wanton murder occurred in little more than hour after he was there.
After firing three bullets into the defenseless sheriff the murderer walked away and although a reward of $2500 was at once offered for his capture he was never apprehended until three days afterward when he voluntarily surrendered to the law and was placed in the Charleston jail.
No crime in the history of the county ever caused more excitement. Sheriff Daniel was known and beloved by more people than any other man in this section and the vengeance of the horror stricken knew no bounds.
He was in the act of arresting a man bent on murder when without a moments warning or the slightest chance for self protection he was cruelly slain.
To properly understand the situation which led up to the tragic murder of the sheriff it is necessary to begin with the murder of Walla Jackson which occurred the day before. Hundreds of false reports have been circulated in connection with the affair and correspondents of outside papers have vied with one another as to who could give the most sensational details of the trouble. A truthful account of the affair has never yet been given to the public. The wildest and most exaggerated reports emanated as usual from Huntington's irresponsible press correspondents who allow their dopy imaginations full sway when detailing happenings in "bloody Fayette."
Wednesday evening following a day of republican jubilation over the election in Fayette, Walla Jackson, constable in Kanawha district, and others were drinking in the Mecca saloon. Dan Hemmings, a miner, made some insulting remark relative to Judge Bennett and Jackson slapped him over. At that moment Policeman John Elliott, of the Montgomery force came into the saloon and arrested both Jackson and Hemmings. He insisted on both of them going to the town jail with him. Jackson, whose home is in Montgomery, declared he would not go to jail but would report at the mayor's office whenever wanted. There was considerable of an argument over Jackson's refusal to be locked up and Elliott finally took Hemmings on to the lock up and in a few minutes returned to the Mecca saloon with Frank Hundley, chief of the police force. Jackson was standing on the street in front of the saloon when Elliott approached him and demanded that he go to jail. Jackson still refused. Then resulted the shooting over which accounts do not agree.
The policemen say Jackson drew a gun and was in the act of shooting them when he was shot down. Others say Jackson did not have a gun in his hand and Edw. Pinkey, a spectator, says Hundley took two pistols out of Jackson pockets after he fell. However this may be Jackson fell dead with one bullet in his abdomen and another in the back of his neck. Both shots were fired from behind him. Jackson never spoke after being shot. This shooting occurred about five o'clock Wednesday evening.
Elliott and Hundley went at once to Mayor J. C. Montgomery's residence and surrendered. The shooting caused the greatest excitement in the town and public sentiment condemned the killing of the constable as unwarranted. Walla Jackson was very popular and the family has many friends in the town who openly vowed vengeance on his slayers.
The situation was serious and Mayor Montgomery, who has always been able to cope with such troubles in the past, owned that it was about the ugliest condition he ever faced and telephoned Sheriff Daniel that night to come at once and take charge of the prisoner Elliott against whom there seem to be a lynching party organizing. The sheriff went to Montgomery on the early morning train arriving there about 10 o'clock Thursday. In the meantime Elliott had been driven to Handley and taken to Charleston during the night.
Sheriff Daniel, accompanied only by Constable Nate Davis whom he met on the train and persuaded to accompanied him to Montgomery, never realized how critical the situation was he had gone to quiet. He had always been friendly with the Jackson boys and had not the slightest intimation that his life was to be forfeited in his effort to call their passion.
There were five of the Jackson brothers, Walla, Ed, Robt, George and Ernest. After Elliott had been spirited away to Charleston to escape mob violence word came back that he and Hundley were quartered at the Ruffner Hotel and would not be sent to jail. With their passion already at white heat this report further angered the brothers of the dead Jackson and when the sheriff alighted from the train he found the enraged Jacksons at the depot in a murderous frenzy. Mayor Montgomery had attempted to reason with them and had been most shamefully abused and his life threatened. He was even accused by Ed Jackson of having given orders to his policemen to shoot Walla on the first occasion that presented itself. The Mayor's attempt at pacification only increased the murderous rage of the Jacksons who announced that they were going to Charleston on the first train and kill Elliott and Hundley if it was possible to reach them.
The sheriff attempted to persuade Ed, who was the most excited of the four brothers and who was doing most of the talking, to go home and not incite his friends to what might prove most disastrous violence. This conversation between the sheriff and Ed Jackson lasted but a minute or two and did not quiet the Jacksons in the least. The sheriff went to the mayor's office and after a conference with Mayor Montgomery it was decided to close up all the saloons at once and if the Jacksons and their friends continued their demonstrations they were to be taken in custody and the peace of the terrorized town to be preserved at any hazard.
It was while on his round closing up the saloons that the sheriff, who was all alone, came upon Ed, Bob and George Jackson in front of the Smart Clothing store. They were wild with anger and Ed was threatening to kill the first man who dared interfere with the murderous vengeance he had in keeping for all those who had had anything to do with his brother's killing.
Sheriff Daniel never knew fear in the line of his duty. He realized that something should be done at once and without hesitation walked directly up to Ed and taking him by the arm told him to consider himself under arrest. Jackson without a word reached in his pocket for his pistol. The sheriff did not have time to get his own gun or defend himself in any way. He caught at Jackson's hand and the two men scuffled for a few second across the street about 25 feet before Jackson got his pistol free and began shooting. Four shots were fired in rapid succession and the sheriff fell with three 41 Colts bullets in his body.
But few people saw the dreadful affair. Constable Keeney, of Boomer, was near and, as the murderer started to walk leisurely down the railroad track, he snapped his pistol at him but the cartridge would not explode. Bob and Geo Jackson who were standing by and saw all the shooting, covered Keeney with their guns and disarmed him. George then followed Ed and remained with him until the surrender to Squire Davis Saturday night.
The shooting occurred about 10:30 and the sheriff lived until 1 o'clock. He never spoke and was unconscious until the end. He was carried to Dr. Owen's office after the shooting. One bullet entered the left side of the head near the ear and lodged over the right eye. Another bullet had entered the lower part of the abdomen and ranging up passed entirely though the body. A third bullet lodged in the shoulder.
The excitement following the wanton murder of the chief peace officer of the county can well be imagined but it is hard to understand how the murderer should be permitted to walk away undisturbed and not a man in a town of 3000 people to follow him up and effect his arrest. Perhaps it was best that the Jacksons were allowed to go free then. Their capture would undoubtedly have meant the loss of several lives any time Thursday.
A telephone message to the sheriff's and prosecuting attorney's offices have resulted in the organization of armed posse of 40 who were taken to the scene of the tragedy on a special train. Officers all over the county hurried to Montgomery expecting rioting and bloodshed and Governor White was telephoned to have the state militia ready.
The presence of troops or armed guards was not needed however as the people of the little town awe stricken by the tragedy attempted no demonstration whatever. It was not until late Thursday evening that parties began going out in search of the murderer. A reward of $2000 was at once offered for Ed Jackson's arrest, dead or alive, by the county court and Gov. White supplemented this with an additional $500.
Dr. Montgomery returning from a trip up Morris creek about noon met Ed Jackson going up the creek alone. It was thought by everybody that the murderer would never surrender and those who took up the chase were prepared to kill on sight. Paint Creek, Cabin Creek and the whole country was soon covered and one posse went over into Boone county. Nobody suspected that the two Jacksons were in hiding in the Eureka mine not two miles way from Montgomery.
Realizing that escape was impossible word was sent to Squire Davis, who has always been a close friend of the Jackson family that if he would come to the Eureka mine Saturday night, they would surrender to him and go with him to the Charleston jail. Squire Davis and Constable Perry went to the mine about midnight Saturday night and the hunted men, Ed and Bob gave themselves up. The party crossed the river and took an early morning train for Charleston and were immediately placed in jail. Not a half dozen people knew of the surrender until they were in jail.
As the murdered surrendered to an officer whose duty it was to effect a capture without any other pay than his regular fees the reward of $2000 is forfeited and will not be paid Squire Davis.
The shooting down of Walla Jackson because he would not go to jail for a minor offense seems to have been entirely without provocation and those responsible for his death have much to answer for to the community. When Sheriff Daniel went to Montgomery he did not know the feeling which existed among the enraged Jacksons and their friends. Mayor Montgomery who has always been able to control every situation arising in his town for years was unable to restore peace and quiet. Threats had been made against him and his life was in jeopardy. Everybody seemed to realize that efforts to curb the wild passion of the Jacksons would end in bloodshed. The sheriff should never have been permitted to attempt their arrest without plenty of strong assistance. Had two or three as plucky officers been with him the taming of the Jacksons could have been accomplished without bloodshed. Yet it seems that the sheriff was the only officer in the town brave enough to approach the threatening murderers who were allowed to shoot him down and walk away unmolested.
The tragedies completely broke down the iron nerve of Mayor Montgomery, who exhausted all his energies in a hopeless endeavor to control the situation, and he left this week for the Mt. Clemens, Mich., health resort where he expect to remain several weeks. Geo. W. Champe, town recorder, is acting mayor in his absence.
No man in Fayette county had more warm friends than Nehemiah Daniel. His wanton murder while in the discharge of his duty brought sorrow and sadness to many a heart and he will be long remembered as a true and trusted friend and an obliging conscientious official who leaves a memory of good deeds nobly wrought and duty well done.
Had he been spared until next February he would have been 58 years old. He was a native of what is now Raleigh county. Most all his life was spent on New River where he worked as a miner for many years. He resided for many years at Fire Creek and in 1880 removed to Beury where he engaged in the liquor business.
He was elected sheriff four years ago and his term of office would have expired January 1st. His record as a county official was one of the ablest and best in the history of the county. Two years ago when the strike of coal miners in this section was on it was Sheriff Daniel's wise counsel and fearless action that prevented much disorder and bloodshed. He faced death many times during the summer of 1902 while in the discharge of his duty but he never shirked responsibility.
He always took an active and intense interest in politics and no man contributed more to the success of the republican party in this county in recent years than Sheriff Daniel. His services and means were always at the command of his friends and he wielded a power in politics none could surpass.
Mr. Daniel possessed considerable property and was a large stock holder in several new coal companies notable among them being the Mossy Coal and Land Co. and Gauley Consolidated Land Co. and Gauley Consolidated Co. It was his intention at the close of his term of office to take over the business management of the Gauley properties.
Mr. Daniel was twice married. He leaves a wife, prostrate with grief, a son, Jesse the well-known young attorney and an adopted daughter. Jas. H. Daniel, the Fayetteville liveryman is a brother and three other brothers reside in Raleigh county.
The funeral was held Saturday afternoon and was most largely attended by friends from all over the county who came to pay a last sad tribute to his memory. Rev. Barze, of Triadelphia, an old friend of the family, preached the funeral sermon in the M. E. church. The remains were interred in the new cemetery about a mile west of town.
The five Jackson brothers are sons of Andrew Jackson, who has been a resident of Montgomery for several years and is a highly respected and good citizen. The family have all borne good names with the exception of Ernest who has been the source of much worry and trouble upon the part of his parents and brothers. He served one short term in the penitentiary for assaulting a man and woman at Mt. Carbon a few years ago and has been in court several times. He was in a shooting affair with one of the Nauley's at Boomer only a few months ago. The other four brothers have never been in any trouble before.
Walla succeeded Tom Brannigan as constable in Kanawha district about 3 years ago and was known as a fearless and conscientious officer. He was elected constable at the election last week on the republican ticket with his slayer Elliott who is also a republican. He was 28 years old and was married about a year ago and leaves a wife and 2 weeks old babe. Ed Jackson, the murderer of the sheriff, conducted a restaurant and often assisted Walla in his constable work. The other boys were miners.
The funeral of Walla Jackson was held Friday and was the largest ever known in Montgomery. Deceased was a member of the Red Men and Eagle lodges and large delegations from several of these lodges were in attendance.
Sheriff Daniels term of office would not have expired until the first of January when Sheriff elect Hawkins will take charge of the office. C. L. Phipps, the late sheriff's trusted office deputy will be appointed administrator of the estate and the county court, whose duty it is to fill the vacancy in the sheriff's office, is disposed to turn the affairs of the office over to him and allow him as a administrator to serve as sheriff for the remaining few weeks of the term. The Parkersburg trust company which furnished bond of $250,000 for Mr. Daniel has had a representative here this week and satisfactory arrangements have not yet been made continuing the old bond in force.
All four of the Jackson brothers together with Policemen Elliott and Hundley are now in the Charleston jail where they will remain until ready for trial. The Jackson brothers are charged with conspiracy. Ed Jackson seems to be the true murderer and it is not likely any of the others will be convicted unless it be George who seemed to be an accessory before and after the crime was committed. All will waive preliminary hearing as it has not been deemed advisable to bring them into the county at this time.
It is understood that Attorney Adam Littlepage, of Charleston has been engaged for the defense. The prosecution will be the strongest it is possible to obtain. Dillon and Nuckolls, Gen. St. Clair, the present prosecuting attorney Osenton and others will assist the state prosecution. As criminal court is now in session a special grand jury can not be called and no indictment will be made until the regular January term of court.
The associated press reports sent out by the Huntington liar have been made up principally of the wildest fiction. The Jacksons did not "shoot up" the town; Deputy Marshal Dan Cunningham was not killed, Harrison Ash did not come within shooting range of the murderers, Policeman Solesby was not shot while attending the Jackson funeral, Jas Rolf nor an unknown colored man were not killed. Ed Jackson never returned to Montgomery, the militia was not called, bloodhounds did not aid in any capture and hundred of other impossible things detailed to the Associated press dreamers never occurred.
Frank Hundley, chief of the Montgomery police, left the town Thursday morning, on the advice of friends who feared the Jacksons would attempt to do him injury, and is now in jail in Charleston. Hundley's story of the killing of Jackson is about as follows as related in the Charleston papers.
Jackson had been drinking and had an altercation with a man named Hemmings in one of the saloons of the town, and had knocked him down. Officer Elliott went into the place and placed Jackson under arrest and asked him to accompany him to the mayor's office. Jackson refused and said he would come down when he got ready. The policeman insisted that there was no choice and that he must go with him. When he still further refused to go the officer laid his hand on Jackson's arm, and at this juncture Jackson drew a revolver. Just then chief of police Hundley came up and wrenched this pistol out of Jackson's hand. He immediately drew another gun from his pocket and was in the act of firing at Elliott, when he shot. The first shot struck Jackson in the center of the abdomen, and would have been fatal. As he whirled around another shot was fired striking him in the neck, and he fell to the ground lifeless. The second shot had broken his neck and death was instantaneous.
Uphold The Law.
The swift and proper punishment of the murder of Sheriff Daniel is a matter of common interest to every law abiding citizen of Fayette county. That an officer of the law should meet his death at the hand of an outlaw, while in the performance of his duty, should shock the sensibilities of all persons interested in public morals and public decency. There is an all too prevalent sentiment abounding outside the borders of Fayette county that the desperadoes within the county have the upper hand of the law and that persons and property lack that proper protection that the law is presumed to give. There are frequent incidents that go to make up a conclusion in favor of this inference.
The killing of Sheriff Daniel was in no wise provoked. The incidents that preceded it, starting with the murder of Wallie Jackson on the evening before, can not be reckoned as the slightest justification. It was the duty of Sheriff Daniel to preserve order in Montgomery. The Jacksons were terrorizing the town. Citizens could scarcely feel themselves safe during their demonstrations of out lawery. The attitude of the sheriff toward Ed Jackson, while firm, was patient and kindly. He did nothing, said nothing to warrant a sacrifice of his life.
The Journal insists that from the evidence as it appears at this time the killing of Sheriff Daniel was not only a crime against his person and his family but against the law, and should be speedily and appropriately avenged.


The Fayette Tribune
November 18, 1909
Jackson Is Paroled Murdered Daniel
The Murder of Sheriff N. Daniel by Ed Jackson, In 1904, Was Considered One of the Most Cold Blooded in History of County--Murderer Only Served Six Years
Ed Jackson has been paroled by Governor Glasscock. This news was received in Fayette county Tuesday, and those who heard it could not help but recall the cold blooded murder of Sheriff N. Daniel of this county which occurred in November 1904. Jackson was easily convicted of the crime and was sentenced to serve 18 years in the penitentiary at Moundsville.
Ed Jackson's brother, Wally Jackson, had been murdered, and when Sheriff Daniel went to Montgomery to attempt to quiet the mob he was mercilessly slain by Ed Jackson.
No crime had been committed in Fayette County that caused as much attention and excitement. The trial was bitterly fought but Jackson was convicted.
Since his conviction his friends have been attempting to secure a pardon for him but the news of his parole granted by Gov. Glasscock was received with the greatest surprise here.
It is said that among those who have been working for Jackson's parole were Rev. John T. Hickman, Rev. John K. Litner, Mayor T. J. Davis; J. B. Champe, M. J. Simms, of Montgomery and his attorney Ada B. Littlepage.
Transcribed by Rita O'Brien

Back to Daniel Index Back to Family History