William Barnett

Murdered 1893

 A DASTARD'S              


  First They  Quarreled and Then Kenneth            Blake Kills William Rowley.
The Murderer Boasts of His Work and
Quietly Leaves the Community
  Kenneth Blake is a murderer and a
fugitive from justice. He was a blacksmith
and lived with his family at Harrisonville,
this county
  William Rowley, a farmer of the
same neighborhood, was his victim and
according to the evidence already at
hand the killing was one of the most
audacious ever committed in the county.
Our special correspondent at Scioto P.
0. sends us the following brief account
of the affair
  "A cowardly crime was committed
Saturday evening about four o'clock, on
the public highway, near George Clark's
above Sciotoville. Kenneth  A. Blake,
while coming from town, met William
Rowley, insulted, challenged him to
fight, then shot and killed him instantly.
Rowley, we judge, was about thirty-five
years old and was considered in most
respects a fine man. He leaves a wife
two children with many friends The
funeral was preached by M. H. Brown,
at the old Presbyterian church, of
Pleasant Valley, Sunday about three
o'clock. The house would not begin to
hold the congregation present
Blake the man who did the shooting,
while he has not done any crime before,
was considered by many as a hard character.
At last reports he was at large,
having came home after doing the deed,



and then taking to the woods and has
not been seen since Wesley Boyer and
one of his boys was with him when he
struck down his victim. He leaves
three boys by his first wife, from whom
be was divorced, and one child by his
last. The boys will probably carry on
the business, that of wagon-making and
  It seems that at the bottom of the
crime was an envious feeling between
the two men. When they met a quarrel
arose about the workmanship of
Blake on a wagon he had made for a
customer. The lie was passed and the
two men alighted from their vehicles
and started toward each other. Blake
drew his revolver and shot Rowley who
died immediately.
  The strangest and most unaccountable
feature of the murder is the fact
that Blake boasted to several persona
that he had killed Rowley and yet the
perpetrator of the deed walked out o£
the community and is still at large.
  Those who witnessed the murder and
those to whom Blake confessed his deed
were dazed by the audacity of the man,
and not one thought o£ trying to prevent
his escape.
  Saturday night Drs Lottridge and
Bing, of this city, held a post mortem
examination on the body of the murdered
Man.  Sunday Coroner Davidson
held an inquest and took the testimony
of several important witnesses, among
them John Rigrish, Henry Lantz, Chas.
Purdy, Jesse Lee, George Clark and
William Irwin, to all of whom Blake
told his story, and Wesley Boyer, with
whom Blake was riding, and who witnessed
the murder.
               “Portsmouth Times”
                    Sept. 23, 1893


  On Thursday Judge Dever ordered a special grand jury impaneled for the consideration of the case of Kenneth Blake charged with the killing of William Rowley. The following “good men and true” were chosen Henry Kalb, Geo. A Daniels, Wm. Burkholzer, A. Spencer Cole, E.E. Ewing, Ed Andre, L.H. Murphy, W A McFarlin, Chas. J. Foster, H.F. Thomson, W. Scott Foster, John Q Weaver, Michael J. Noel, Chas. O. Brown and Aaron T. Noel. E.E. Ewing was appointed foreman.
  On Wednesday the grand jury returned an indictment of murder to the second degree, against Kenneth Blake.
 The case will come up for trial next Wednesday.
           “Portsmouth Times”
                 Sept. 30, 1893


 Remembera in a Pleasant Manner  One Who Was His Friend.
  Deputy Probate Judge Gilliland received a package this morning from the Ohio Penitentiary, containing some
very acceptable presents from Kenneth
Blake, who is serving a life sentence
for killing Wm. Rowley at Dixson'a
Mills several years ago. Mr. Gilliland
befriended Mr. Blake in various ways
and the latter has evidently not forgotten it. The package contained a very
fine cane for Mr. Gilliland and a beautiful
shoe buttoner for Mrs. Gilliland.
The latter was made of a highly po
lished metal with pearl inlaid and
pretty carving. Mr. Blake is quite
genius and the articles were made
By him.
           “Portsmouth Times”
                 Mar. 27, 1897


From This County Is Seeking a Pardon.
Kenneth Blake, Who Shot a
Fellow Named Rowley, Wants to Get Out
Attorney Here in His Behalf.
   A Columbus attorney named Bennett
was in the city today circulating
A petition asking for the pardon of
Kenneth Blake, who is serving a life
sentence. The case will come up
April 13th.
   Blake was sent up in September
1893 for killing a fellow named
Rowley. The murder took place in
Harrison township. The men had
quarreled over a wagon, and, meeting
on the road, renewed the quarrel.
  Blake drew a gun and shot Rowley
dead. A reward of $250 was offered
for him and he was captured by
Green Neary, who got the reward.
It is said that Bennett was never
away from his home.
      “Portsmouth Times”
            Mar. 4, 1899


Don't Want Blake Pardoned.
Attorney T. C. Beatty goes to Columbus
tomorrow to protest against the
Board of Pardon's releasing Kennetl
Blake, who was sentenced for life for
murdering John - Rowley, of Harrison
township. Mr. Beatty is employed by
friends of the murdered man.
       “Portsmouth Times”
         April 12, 1899

Protest Against the Effort to
Pardon Kenneth Blake
His Cowardly Murder of John Rowley
Recalled and Described

And Various Other Crimes and Misdemeanors Mentioned is Connection With His Name.


Ed. Times:— We beg space in your
valuable paper in which to register a
protest against the pardon now being
sought for the notorious murderer,
Kenneth Blake, who was recently
sentenced to the Ohio -penitentiary
from this neighborhood. Now, a
large majority of the people of this
Place do not want him pardoned, and it               seems to us that the opinions of those                       who were closely associated with him,                       and who, better than all others, know                         traits of cussedness, are deserving of                        respect and consideration. The people                     
of this neighborhood still remember
that he at one time, in [the middle
of a dark night, with a butcherknife
as a weapon, ran his wife away
from her home, causing her to go
fully a mile alone to the home of Ex-
County Commissioner M. W. Brown
to seek for shelter. They also remember
that at the time she left his
home, never to return to it nor her
Little children, Blake boasted that he
had cruelly beaten her with a horsewhip
(this refers to his first wife).
Blake threatened frequently to kill
several other men in this vicinity.
He said to Joe Stokely, [at present a
policeman of Portsmouth], after his
capture, that the only regret he had                      (concerning his murder of Rowley)
was that he bad not killed a certain
other man one night when he had a
chance and then committed suicide.
A very short time previous to his mur
dering Rowley he made a murderous
assault on Jacob Yeagle, a peaceable
citizen. He attacked him on Twelfth
street in Portsmouth with "a heavy                            

street in Portsmouth with "a heavy                             wagon spoke, nearly breaking his
arm, but when Yeagle turned upon
the cowardly brute and paralyzed
him with a blow from his good right
arm, Blake hastened to the office of                          
Wm. Webb, at this place, and there
swore out a warrant for Yeagle's arrest,
charging him with assault with
intent to kill, thereby perjuring himself,
as Yeagle would have proved
had the case ever come up for trial,
that Blake made the attack, as stated
above. He was noted for miles
around, in fact wherever he was
known, as a most notorious liar. For
months previous of his conviction of
murder this neighborhood was kept in
an uproar on account of numerous
vulgar, slanderous anonymous letters,
and Blake was accused by almost
everyone of being the author, and
whether he was guilty or not, since
his departure the anonymous letters
have ceased to trouble. We deem it
the silliest rot for anyone to suggest
that the murder to Lew Young in
anyway added to the severity of
Blake's sentence. Many people cursed
the jury loud and long because they
did not hang him. We have written
nothing in this note but the simple
Facts, facts that can be established
by  reputable evidence. Hence we
cheerfully subscribe our name, believing
                               we have discharged our duty and
benefited the general public.
           LOUDEN LINDSEY.
            “Portsmouth Times”
                Mar. 16, 1899


   Seek a Pardon
Attorney Frank W. Moulton was
a visitor at the Columbus, penitentiary
Thursday, where he appeared
before the board of managers in
an effort to secure a parole for
Kenneth Blake, a Scioto county
life man, who has already served 15
years behind the prison walls. Mr.
Moulton was accompanied by. G.
II. Heinisch, an old friend of the
Blake family.
         “Portsmouth Times”
              July 14, 1906

      Foreclosure Suit Filed
A suit to foreclose a mortgage on rael estate             given to secure the payment of a promissory             note, was brought by Kenneth Blake against  Alexander blake and others in Common Pleas           court Friday. The land involved consists of                17 acres inMadison and Jefferson townships.            The suit was filed thought Attorneys Blair                  and Blair.
                 “Portsmouth Times”
                     Sept. 3, 1920


Taken lo State Hospital
Kenneth Blake, aged man, who was
recently adjjudged insane In probate
court, was taken to the Athens state
hospital Monday by Sheriff Rickey.
           “Portsmouth Times”
               Oct 11, 1921


  Cases Dismissed
Entries were filed in common pleas .
Court Friday showing that the following                     cases have been dismissed:
James Warnock vs. Grace Warnock.
Kenneth Blake VR. Alexander Blake.
Kena Lewis vs. John Lewis.
Mary Newman vs. Hays Newman.
Hattie Cramer vs. Frank Cramer.
Virgie Robbins vs. Junior Robbins.
Elizabeth Adkins vs. Robert A
         “Portsmouth Times”
             July 13, 1923



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