The Quincy (Illinois) Whig and Republican, Saturday Morning, April 2, 1869
A Desperado Murders his Father-in-law in Peoria County - He is Captured at Peoria
[From the Peoria Transcript]
The people in the vicinity of Princeville, in this county, have been thrown into a state of excitement by the attempted murder of Mr. Joseph Parnell and family, by his son-in-law, Joseph H. Newkirk. It seems that Newkirk married a daughter of Mr. Parnell, some eighteen months since, in opposition to the wishes of her parents and friends. They lived near Princeville for a short time, and last spring removed to Ford county. Not long ago Newkirk stole a span of horses and a wagon from his father and came back to Princeville. He has since so badly treated his wife, failing to properly provide for her, that she was obliged to leave him and go out to work for a maintenance.
It is said that a week ago Newkirk threatened to kill the whole family of his father-in-law, and told a friend so, who reasoned with him and extracted a promise that he would never talk in that manner again. Newkirk bears a hard character and is drunk, or nearly so, the greater part of the time. Week before last, he came to this city and sold the horses he had taken from his father, for $100.
At about eight o'clock on Monday evening, of the present week, he went to the house of his father-in-law, who lives four and a half miles south-west of Princeville. He broke in the door and entered, carrying in his hand an old corn knife, some two feet in length. He said that he intended to kill the whole family, and they had better prepare for death. Mr. Parnell has been crippled with the rheumatism for years, and since last spring has been confined to the house for most of the time. He was lying on the bed when Newkirk entered. The latter then made an attack upon him, striking at him several times. The first time, Parnell threw up his hands and Newkirk completely split his left hand to the wrist. He next gave him a severe cut on the head and the left shoulder. Mrs. Parnell begged him not to kill them, and Newkirk finally desisted and demanded money. A pocket book, containing between $80 and $90 was given him and Newkirk coolly lite a pipe and ordered one of the boys to saddle a swift horse. The boy did so, and Newkirk sprang into the saddle, shouting, "Now for Spoon River Timber" and started on the road to Peoria.
As soon as he was gone, the neighbors were summoned. Mr. Parnell was found to be seriously wounded and bleeding profusely. Word was dispatched to Solomon Bliss, Esq., of Princeville, Captain of the Princeville Detective Society, who called up three of his assistants and started in pursuit. Mr. Bliss left the residence of Mr. Parnell at day-break, yesterday morning, at which time he says the actual condition of Mr. P's wounds were unknown.
Mr. Bliss and his men tracked Newkirk to Edmunds Station, and then took the cars for this city. Arriving here they found Newkirk had been arrested on suspicion of officer Banvard of the night police.
He had arrived in this city at 3 o'clock, yesterday morning, and his appearance aroused the suspicions of policeman Banvard and Reid who followed him to the Washington House, where he dismounted. Banvard questioned him and he first said that he had come from Knoxville, and afterwards that he had come from Princeville. None of his stories agree, and the police took him to the calaboose.
Upon the arrival of the Princeville party, Newkirk was taken before Esq. Sweet, and after a partial examination was committed to jail to await the result of Mr. Parnell's wounds.
Newkirk is between 31 and 32 years of age. His victim is about 60.
The prisoner when confronted by the Princeville party and the officers yesterday, was informed that Mr. Parnell was dead. He replied, "I am glad of it, G-d d-n him; he ought to have died long ago."