Yes, John Valentine Edge, state attorney for Douglas County, was trying very hard to make a case that bad blood existed between John M. James and the murdered William K. Glover and for that reason James committed the murder.
Disagreements between James' son, Wash, and Glover had led to a terrible fist fight, and Glover had tried to prove fires at the James' home and store had been set by the John M. James himself, so that he could benefit from the insurance money.
In fact, when James realized his insurance company was actually paying Glover $500 for his information, he confronted Glover. It was said Glover claimed he would work for less money to prove the fire was NOT set if James would pay up. This didn't sit well with James and more angry words were exchanged between the two. James then told Glover to go to hell, with Glover telling James, "If you were not a one-legged man, I'd whip you."
James, who never backed down from a fight said, "Never mind that one leg … just wade in. If you have any evidence that I burned that store or had it burned, it's your duty to give it up and see that I am punished. But be careful you've got it straight."
It was there where the insurance matter and the quarrel between James and Glover stood at the time of Glover's murder on May 1, 1893.
Apparently, the three judges who heard the evidence in the preliminary trial decided they had not been convinced there was enough evidence to show John M. James had anything do with the Glover murder and like those before him, he was free to go. At that time James stated, "I do not blame Glover's brothers for trying to find the assassin, and I shall do as much as they to unearth him, but they ought to be careful how they go about it. Glover never had a better friend than I [because] I kept him out of the penitentiary more than once. Why, when he went short in his accounts at the post office, he came to my home at the dead hour of the night and begged for money to help him out, and I gave it to him, but for that he would have gone to [jail]."
J.H. Glover, brother of the dead marshal was "highly incensed," saying, "He is my brother, and I will take up his fight. I have the same evidence he had about the store burning, and I will just step into his shoes and see that money is never paid. I know, too, the men he had the information against for the blind tigers. I will take up his fight and avenge him and pass the fight down to my children and their children. The war is on now!"
The Glover family was hopeful the Grand Jury would take the matter up when the Superior Court convened at the end of the month, but since detectives were still on the case the Grand Jury did not take the matter up.
Superior Court Judge Charles G. Janes, however, did hear several true bills involving blind tigers and was able to pass sentence against two of men who had previously been held regarding W.K. Glover's murder -- Bud Moody and John M. James.
Earlier in this series I mentioned Bud Moody was a notorious "rough character" who had stood for murder once before and was a known moonshiner. He was found guilty of four different counts of selling whiskey and fined $600. He was unable to scrape together his fine, so he was sent to the "public works" for period of three years.
John M. James, who actually did run a legal distilling business also plead guilty to selling illegal whiskey along with his daughter, Flora, who was married to James Smith, the first man who had been scrutinized for the Glover murder. They both plead guilty with James being fined $500 and his daughter another $100. They paid their fines and were free to go, but not before Judge Janes addressed the pair saying very plainly that although James was a one-legged, ex-soldier who lost his limb should he ever again be before him of violating the local option law, that he would not give him a chance to pay out but would impose the full penalty of the law on him. Through his attorneys, both James' brothers, James announced to the court he would be sell out and quit the liquor business altogether. This information was received with genuine pleasure by the court and hundreds of others in the community.
And what of the Glover matter?
In the days that followed Governor Northern offered a reward of $300 which was then increased by donations from the citizens of Lithia Springs. Detectives including some from Atlanta worked the case, and in June 1893 it was announced Detective Louney of Atlanta had made an arrest.
Stay tuned next week for the final chapter!
Lisa Cooper writes the amazing stories of Douglas County each Sunday. You can find her new book "Every Now and Then: The Amazing Stories of Douglas County" online at Amazon, print and Kindle versions. Locally, her books can be found at the Douglas County Museum of History and Art, The Farmer's Table and Lithia Springs Pharmacy.