Source: Crawfordsville Daily Journal Friday, 5 Dec. 1890 Edition
John Acheson Shot
The Worthy Store Keeper at Odell Visited by a Prowling Marander
John F. Acheson, who keeps the general store at Odell, about six miles south of
West Point, was shot in the
neck by some unknown man about 4 o’clock this morning. Mr. Acheson, who is a
bachelor, sleeps in the store. About the hour named, someone knocked at the
store door. Upon the door being opened, the man asked for some whisky. On
Acheson answering that he did not deal in whisky, the man said, “You ___ take
that!” Whereupon he fired his revolver, the ball taking effect in the neck just
missing the artery. The wound is thought not to be dangerous.
Acheson is the party who testified in the Pettit case to Pettit’s inquiring after strychnine at his store a few days before the death of Mrs. Pettit. Common rumor connects this fact with the attempt on his life, but so far as we are able to discover, without any tangible foundation—
Acheson Will Die
Thomas Bowles of Elmdale was in the city this afternoon and stated that the condition of John Acheson who was shot at Odell yesterday, is very bad. Beasley, the attending physician, says that there is no hope of his recovery. Acheson was in the store door when shot and after he fell, the party or parties shooting him went in and robbed the store.
Saturday, 6 Dec. 1890 Edition
A New Theory
The Gossips Whisper that John Acheson Disappointed in Love Shot Himself
The Lafayette Call in commenting on the Acheson shooting has the following: “Young Acheson says that when he regained consciousness at 6 o’clock, an hour later, he was lying in his bed with the covers tucked about him. He felt a twinge of pain in his neck, and threw back the covers, when he discovered that his shirt front was covered with blood. Mr. Acheson says that when he went to bed, about 11 o’clock the night before, he placed a wallet containing $51 under the mattress, and, a little nearer the head of the bed, placed two registered letters, $15 in bills, several dollars in coin and a gold and silver watch.” A search in the morning revealed the empty wallet lying on the floor, with his own pistol lying near it. The other money and the watches were not molested. His revolver had four empty chambers and one with a cartridge in it. The statement that Mr. Acheson should have been thus assailed, and then becomes unconscious until he discovered himself nicely tucked in his own bed, and have then himself given the first alarm, seemed a very strange one, as a desperate thief intent upon robbery and getting away would be unlikely to behave in such a kindly and decorous manner. The fact that the ball which caused the wound was apparently of the same caliber as Acheson’s own revolver, and that the course of the ball was such as would result from a pistol held in the hand in front and self-directed, served to somewhat weaken confidence in the entire reliability of the first accounts of the affair.
Gossip in the neighborhood favors the theory that business troubles and a love affair had preyed upon his mind, and that possibly, in a fit of temporary desperation, he had turned his own revolver upon himself. Perhaps the fact will never be known.