The Murderous Affair of "Old Bill" Padgett

From the Oxford Times, July 31, 1878

    Murderous Affair.  William, better know (sic) as "Old Bill" Padget, appeared before Justice Brown Saturday, charged with attempting to discharge a loaded gun with intent to kill Chas. Marshman, for whom he worked upon a farm.  The examination showed that on Thursday Bill became angered at Marshman and drew a rifle on him and pulled the trigger; but the cap failed to explode.  Marshman struck Bill with a stick of wood, and his fists, and drove him off to the barn and he fled to the woods, where he was found by the officer.  Bill is not a very handsome or pleasant looking man when he is all right, and the beating he received had not added to his personal charms, he looked as though he had tempted death by tickling the hind foot of a healthy mule.  It was shown that Bill did not know the gun was loaded, he having set it away unloaded, and Marshman had loaded it unbeknown to him.  He was held for assault and battery, and on Monday a trial by jury was held.  The jury brought in a verdict of "not guilty".
Note:  This was probably the William Padgett who was born in 1811 and was the son of John Padgett, Jr.  At the time of the 1880 census (two years after this incident), William was widowed, apparently childless, and living with George H. Japhet and Elizabeth Hall Japhet (the granddaughter of his sister, Elizabeth Padgett Hall.)




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