"Black Sheep" of Fulton Co.

The Canton Weekly Register, Friday, August 18 & 19, 1892
transcribed and submitted by Kay Easley. Thank you Kay!



Andy Warfield Kills Charles Boswell in Cold Blood


One of the Notorious Warfield Gang Does a Murderous Deed--A Knife His Weapon and the Femoral Artery the Fatal Spot--Charles Warfield held as an Accessory to His Brother's Crime.

     There was committed at Maples Mills last night just at twilight a murder most foul. Charles Boswell, a respectable and hard working farmer, was the victim and Andrew C. Warfield, one of the notorious Warfield gang, was the murderer. The Warfields have a bad name and they delight in retaining and adding to it on each presentable opportunity a still more unsavory tinge. Though quarreling and fighting are the Warfields' chief divertisment, it has never before happened that murder has resulted. Elias Warfield, father of Andy, has served two or three terms in the "pen" for larceny and other minor offenses. One or two of his boys followed the example set by the father and the county jail has often received members of the family as guests.
     Andy Warfield longed to be known as a bad man, and "all things comes to him who waits." He was in Canton yesterday and fortified his nerve and benumbed what little spark of conscience he may have possessed with liquor. He returned home to Maple's Mills in the evening, hungry and full of a warlike disposition. He first went into James Mase's store and asked for some sardines. Being informed that none were in stock, Warfield began to pour a torrent of abuse out at Mr. Mase. He wanted to hurt Mr. Mase, but he (Mase) wisely withdrew. Constable George Elliott happened along just at this moment with a subpoena for Warfield. This diverted his attention from Mase. Next he marched into James France's store and postoffice and put out the lights with his hat. Mr. France requested him to desist. At this Warfield jerked out his knife and struck at France, and flourished it around calling France a d---s---of a b---, and other names familiar to his vile tongue. Constable Elliott again came to the rescue and made Warfield put up his knife and go out of the store. But Warfield wanted a "scrap" and was going to have it. He stumbled up against Charles Boswell who was sitting on the porch in front of the store. Boswell requested him to keep away. Warfield, dying for a fight, repeated the insult and began bragging that he was the best man in town. After repeated insults of the kind Boswell told Warfield to go away as he did not want any trouble. Warfield would not cease, and Charles Warfield says, but no one bears him out in the assertion, that Boswell struck at Warfield. At this Charles Warfield started in to help his brother out, or as he says to part them. Any way the scuffle was between Charles Warfield and Boswell. They wrestled around and backed across the road and fell down in a gutter on the opposite side, Warfield on top. At this Andy Warfield ran over and struck his knife blade in the femoral artery about five or six inches above the right knee. Blood shot out of the wound like out of a "stuck hog." Boswell got up and staggered across the road to the store porch where he expired in less than fifteen minutes. He bled to death.
     Before it was known that Boswell was fatally injured, Constable Elliott had placed Warfield under arrest and started with him for Lewistown. After stabbing Boswell Warfield defied arrest and attempted to cut Constable Elliott with the deadly knife, which is a common long bladed pocket knife. When the constable threatened to shoot him Warfield put his knife in his pocket. The constable then grabbed him by the arms. Owing to the well known vicious character of the Warfields every body was afraid to take the knife from Warfield's pocket. Finally his brother Charles did so and instead of giving it to the constable as he was ordered to do, he threw it into Allan Black's garden near by, where it was found this morning covered with blood.
     Constable Elliott did not wait to inquire how seriously Boswell was injured but started to the county jail with Warfield instantly. As soon as Boswell was found to be dead a messenger was started to Lewistown to get the coroner and sheriff. Warfield waived examination and was remanded to jail.
     Coroner Waggoner and Sheriff Donnelly arrived at the scene of the murder at 8 o'clock this morning, about fifteen minutes later than the REGISTER'S representative. After conversing with some of the witnesses it was thought advisable to hold Charles Warfield until after the verdict of the Coroner's jury, and he was thereupon arrested. The coroner empaneled a jury and after viewing the deceased the following witnesses were sworn, their testimony being as follows:
     Alexander Windsor--Reside at Maple's Mills. Know Andrew C. Warfield and Charles Warfield. Have known them for years. Went fishing yesterday with Boswell. Got home between 5 and 6 o'clock p.m. After supper came down to France's store. Saw Andy Warfield. He was at the store when I came. Boswell came afterwards as also did Charles Warfield. Andy was "cutting up" and asked Mr. France for something to eat.
     He seemed a little intoxicated, but was able to walk and get around all right, but was "cutting up." Boswell was sitting on the porch in front of the store. Andy ran against Boswell when he came out of the store. Did not see the fight. Saw Boswell after he had been stabbed come back to the porch and fall down. When Warfield was bothering Boswell, Boswell told him to keep away; he did not want any trouble with him. Warfield said, "Don't get your dander up" Did not see any more of the fuss.
     Charles McArthur (a boy thirteen or fourteen years of age)--Reside at Liverpool. Know Boswell and the two Warfield boys. Was at France's store last night when the trouble occurred. It was getting dark. Was at the store before Boswell was. Andy Warfield came first and was making a fuss. He was running against Boswell who was on the store porch. When Boswell wanted Andy to go away, Andy said, "Don't get gay." Do not know what Boswell said. Charles Warfield, Andy's brother, was there. The two brothers walked up the road and Andy came back and again began wallowing around over Boswell. Boswell got up and Charles Warfield made a run for him and they backed across the road and fell down. It was so dark I could not see much. Andy was going to help his brother out and I told him one at a time was enough. Did not see Andy cut Boswell. Andy had a knife flourishing it around before the cutting. Andy threatened to lick Jim France. I think he had been drinking. Did not see him strike Boswell. After Charles Warfield got off him Boswell walked across the road to the porch and said he had been cut. Did not say who had cut him. Constable Elliott caught Andy then and after the knife was taken from him by his brother, Charles, he was taken away. Boswell was not saying anything to Charles Warfield. About the first thing I knew was that I saw Charles Warfield and Boswell down and I went over toward them. It was just getting dark. I was about ten or twelve feet from them. Could see that Charles Boswell was under. Could not see the faces. Knew Boswell was under because Charles Warfield said, "You can not come up like that." Have not had any conversation with any of the parties since the cutting. Did not see Charles Warfield strike Boswell. Did not hear Boswell make any threats. I told Andy to keep off when he went to where his brother, Charlie, and Boswell were lying in the ditch at the side of the road. Did not see Andy with a pair of "knucks."
     Charles Warfield--Reside at Maple's Mill--was born there. Am twenty years of age. Andrew C. Warfield is my brother. Knew Charles Boswell--have known him a long time. Was helping thresh at Harry O'Brien's yesterday. Quit work at 6:30. After supper came down to Slabtown to get some copperas. Was at France's store. Andy was there and was cussing around about something to eat. Boswell was not saying anything. Saw Andy last on last Sunday evening. I think he was very much intoxicated last night. Boswell was sitting in front of France's store on the porch. Andy staggered against him. Boswell said for Andy to keep off. Andy said he would. Soon he did the same thing again and Boswell struck Andy. I got in between them. Boswell and I ran backward and fell down. I could not get up as Boswell had a hold of me. While we were down Boswell was stabbed. Andy must have done it. Did not see any one else around. Did not know Boswell was stabbed until he was going across the road. He then said, "He stuck a knife in me." Boswell struck me on the head when I first went in between him and Andy, and on the shoulder after he was stabbed and got up. I took the knife away from Andy and threw it over in Allan Black's garden. (The knife was here offered in evidence.) The knife was something like that, but cannot say that I recognize it.  Boswell and I never had much trouble. I do not know that Boswell had been drinking. I did not have an opportunity to know. Did not know of Boswell and Andy having any immediate trouble. Andy helped Boswell thresh. Did not know that Boswell was cut until he said so. Did not see Andy out at the place where Boswell and I were scuffling until after the cutting. Saw Andy going back across the road to store after the cutting. Did not see anything in Boswell's hands of any description. He did not say anything while he and I were scuffling. He made no threats. Did not think my life was in danger. Was not angry at any time. I went out to keep Boswell and Andy from fighting. Boswell struck me on the head with his fist before we crossed the road and on the shoulder after we got up. I saw him strike Andy before we crossed the road. It was about the first thing that happened. I then ran in between them to keep them from fighting. I threw the knife away. Constable Elliott wanted the knife, but I threw it away. My hand was a little bloody after handling the knife. The handle of the knife felt rough like the one shown. Could not say positive that it is the knife I took from Andy's pocket.
     George Elliott--Am a constable of Liverpool Township. Last night I had a subpoena for Andrew C. Warfield. Saw him at James Mase's store. Started to read the subpoena to him when he said that was enough of that d--n stuff and ran out. I informed him that he should consider that the paper was served. I then walked up to France's store. Andy came in and began to abuse Mr. France and flourish a knife. I made him put up his knife and put him out of the store. He still wanted to hit France. Mrs. Chase. came by just then and told Andy he ought to go home. At this he began to abuse Mrs. Chase. Then he began on Boswell, and to blow what a good man he was. Boswell and I went into the store and Andy came in there again and wanted to fight somebody. He then quieted down and I started home. Hearing a fuss I went back and arrested Andy. Wanted some one to take the knife from his pocket. Finally Charles Warfield did so and threw it away as far as he could. I asked for the knife. Before he let me arrest him he struck at me with his open knife two or three times. I put my hand on my gun and said "Andy put up that knife or I'll hurt you and hurt you bad." He did so and I grabbed him by his arms and asked someone to take away his knife. Did not know that he had killed Boswell when I arrested him and started to Lewistown with him.
William Windsor identified the knife as shown in evidence as one like a knife in Warfield's possession Sunday.
The jury not desiring any more evidence retired and in a few minutes brought in the following verdict:


We, the jury sworn to inquire into the cause of Charles P. Boswell's death, on oath do find that he came to his death from a knife wound inflicted by the hands of Andrew C. Warfield. We also find that Charles H. Warfield was an accessory to the said death of Charles P. Boswell.

G. W. RAY,

     The funeral of the murdered man will occur from the residence tomorrow at 10 a.m. and the remains will be interred in High Bridge Cemetery.
     The family left by Charles Boswell consists of a wife and four young children, the oldest but little past four and the youngest a babe in its widowed mother's arms. Mr. Boswell was a poor man and his family is left destitute, aside from what little personal property he had about, which consisted of such things necessary to till the farm at Maple's Mills he had leased. The people of Liverpool are righteously incensed at the crime. The Warfield people have caused the citizens of that township no end of trouble and have done much to give the "tough" name which that township bears to it.
Both of the Warfield boys are now in jail, being remanded without bail. (Source: Canton Weekly Register, Canton, Fulton County, Illinois, August 18, 1892)

Was Not Included

Zack Warfield, jr., a brother of Andy Warfield , called at the REGISTER office this morning to protest that he and other respectable Warfields should not be included in the category of the "Warfield gang." This gentleman has been in the West some time and so far as the REGISTER has been able to learn is a highly respected and thoroughly good citizen. He has never been involved in any of the disturbances with his brothers. The "Warfield gang," as alluded to in the account of the murder of Charles Boswell, does not include Zack Warfield, jr., or any other Warfield who has heretofore been and is now a good citizen. (Source: Canton Weekly Register, Canton, Fulton County, Illinois, August 19, 1892)


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