Mysterious Death 2-26-1925
Foul Play Suspected in Burning of Mrs. Hicks
On Tuesday night, the 17th, a most mysterious death occurred near Honey Bee, when Mrs. Jane Hicks was burned to death and her home destroyed by fire.
Mrs. Hicks was of an advanced age, and very feeble. She lived alone, although she was the head of a large family.
Jesse Vanover, her nearest neighbor, noticed a light in the direction of her home on the 17th, so he hurriedly donned his clothing, called three of his neighbors, and hurried up to the house. They saw the building was affire, and when they arrived on the scene the house had fallen in and they could not tell whether the old lady was inside or not. They went to some of the other neighbor's homes to learn if she had gone to spend the night with any of them, but were unable to locate her.
They then concluded she was inside the house when it burned, and remained at the ruins, waiting until the embers would cool sufficiently for them to search for her.
The next morning they started the search, and found her in the fireplace, the chimney had fallen in on her. Her head was in the back part of the chimney, her body on the hearth. She was burned to a crisp, her legs and arms were burned off and her face was unrecognizable. The bedroom of the dwelling place was in the back of the house, and the body was found in the front room of the cabin.
It was generally known all over the country that Mrs. Hicks had some money hidden away in her house. She was moved but the rocks and the position in which she lay was not to be distrubed until the coroner could hold an inquest. In some manner, however, the rock on which she lay was moved before Squire Freeman could get there.
The inquest produced the fact thah there was blood on some of the rocks about the place, and after a thorough examination of the ground and the body the jury decided that Mrs. Hicks could not possibly have fallen into the fire in that manner, so they rendered a verdict of murder, robbery, and arson by an unknown party.
This is one of the most revolting crimes ever committed in this county, and we trust the guilty parties will soon be apprehended.
Contributed by: Della Perez
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