Source: History of Waveland by Virginia Banta Sharp p 28
The first murder trial in Montgomery County was that of the "State of Indiana against Mrs. Moses Rush" in which Mrs. Rush who lived with her husband in a rude log cabin on the banks of Sugar Creek near Waveland was charged with the murder of her husband. According to the pages of the first criminal docket of Montgomery county, she was a poor, illiterate but well-meaning woman whose husband was a drunken ne'er do well who made her life miserable by beating and abusing her One night when he returned home in a drunken condition, he threated to kill her and set his ax by the door before falling into a drunken stupor. His wife, in the firm belief he meant what he threatened and fearing for her life, picked up the ax and sank it into his head. Then, mourning for what she had done, went to the home of a neighbor and gave herself up. She was arrested and tried before Judge Naylor. The jury, knowing much of the trials she had suffered at the hands of her besital husband, deliberated 4 hours and then returned a verdit of acquittal. Later she remarried and made a good wife. The husband's body was buried near the house where he had lived and on a tree by the grave was cut the letters, Moses Rush, 1836. For many years the words could be seen and much later, a party of picknickers unearthed the remains and found the skull with a 3" deep cut in it.
Source: Beckwith, H. W. History of Montgomery County, Indiana. Chicago: H.H. Hill, 1881, p. 26.
In 1836, there occurred on Sugar Creek, at a point just below where Deer & Canine's Mill now stands, a most singular murder. Moses Rush and his wife lived in a cabin on a high bluff overshadowing the creek. He was an outlaw, and owing to some difficulty between him and his wife, he threatened to kill her, and secretly brought the axe into the cabin for the purpose of executing his threat. Not meeting with an opportunity to do the bloody deed just then, he lay down on the bed and fell asleep, when his wife took the axe he had brought in for the purpose of killing her and split his head open at a single blow. She then went to the neighbors, and told them what she had done. A number of persons met at the cabin next day and buried the corpse, but no steps were ever taken toward having the murderess arrested, the neighborhood, perhaps, feeling inclined to thank her for putting the desperado out of the way. The grave of the murdered man is yet to be seen near a large beech-tree, with the words and figures, "Moes Rush, 1836," cut in its bark. This grave is an object of interest to the many picknickers who every summer visit the wild and romantic region near the mouth of Indian Creek.
Note: Beckwith was an amazing historian but in this case, incorrect as to “no steps were ever taken toward having the murderess arrested.” Also, my father Fred Bazzani was rural mail carrier in that area during the 1950’s and said the tree was still there but it was not far from Sugar Creek and not real near the mouth of Indian.