Miami Union

November 4, 1871 

ASTON, JOHN - Murder at Tippecanoe - Tippecanoe City, Oct. 30, 1871 - Saturday evening was a memorable time in the history of our city.  Early in the evening large numbers of low, drunken wretches, stimulated by liquor, made our streets the scene of the most disgraceful conduct.  Swearing, yelling and fighting were rampant.  As is always the case here, no officer of the law was near to quell the drunken rabble.  Those who witnessed the disgraceful proceedings were in a great measure, prepared to learn of a murder occurring in our midst.  Among the number of drunken rowdies were George K. Hart and John Aston, who were brothers-in-law.  A deadly feud had existed between these parties for a long time.  Scarcely did they meet but they quarreled, thereby widening the breach.  Each had often threatened to take the life of the other.  This evening they met, and quarreled, but "made up," took a drink of liquor together, and started for home, going in the same direction as they lived in adjoining houses.  They had proceeded but half a square, or little more, toward home, arm in arm, until they began quarreling.  They soon came to blows.  From all accounts, it is certain that Aston struck Hart once or twice before Hart attempted to retaliate.  He was about to strike him another blow when Hart drew a large, dull butcher knife and plunged it into Aston's left side.  Aston ran immediately and jumped down an embankment into his back yard, then running across his lot and up a flight of steps leading from the ground to a back porch, he entered a door and tried to ascend a flight of steps leading to the second story, where he lived, but he fell when about half way up the steps.  He was taken upstairs by his wife, with the assistance of the man and woman, who lived in the lower story into a room immediately at the head of the stairs, where he expired in less than five minutes without speaking a word.  A physician was called in, his services were of no avail, Mr. Aston was dead before he arrived.  Hart, after he committed the deed, went into his home next door to Aston's and told his wife what he had done.  From there he went to the residence of Mayor Shields and surrendered himself at once.  He was shortly afterward remanded to the calaboose.  John Aston, the victim, was a young man of twenty-two or twenty-three years of age.  He was of a quarrelsome, noisy nature.  There could be but very little good said of him.  The only loss he will be is to his wife and relations, who are worthy people.  Any community can spare such as he is without loss.  George K. Hart, the murderer, is a bad character; he is a regular rough, almost constantly drunk; and always ready and willing to take part in any fight or depredation.  He was a soldier, during the late war; but has a bad record.                      Monroe

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