The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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general opinion was that the murderers got the money, but some of the settlers said that Chapman kept his treasure buried and thought they might not have found it.  A search of the premises was made, but no money has ever been found.

There were various theories advanced by the settlers as to who was the guilty parties; some laid it to John O'Brien, for the reason that he was a rough character and was afterward seen with some gold coin; others thought that the Louks committed the crime, and a party was organized to go up and hang Neak Louk or make him confess.  They went up on the night of May 11, but he had learned that they were coming so they did not find him.  Shortly after the murder Louk started a store at Reedtown and it soon became the general talk in Norton that it was Chapman's money that purchased the goods, but Mrs. Briggs says that the Louks got their money from Wisconsin, and that S. D. Reed did the corresponding for them, and there could be no mistake about where their money came from.  Neak Louk left the country as soon as he heard that he was accused of murder and has never been here since.  In 1880 the following letter was received by the county officials, addressed to Leota; it was turned over to Sheriff J. W. Vining by Alexander Morrison:

WlNNEMAC IND., June 12, 1880.
"Sheriff Norton County, Kansas.
Dear Sir: - Is there a family by the name
of Louk in your county?  Do you know
anything about a man by the name of
Chapman being murdered there?  I
have in my custody a young man, who
gives his name as Louk, who pretends
to be hunting for the man that mur-
dered Chapman. He is doubtless in-
sane; if he has any friends or relatives
in that county please notify them.
"Yours respectfully,
"JAMES N. ROLLER, Sheriff."

This letter was never replied to by Sheriff Vining for the reason that there was none of the Louks in this county at that time.

The friends of Reedtown and Louk accused Ed Newell and Coleman of the murder.  The evening before the crime was committed these two had started for Lowell, Neb., after lumber and did not return for several days; they brought home a large bill of lumber, and at once began the erection of several buildings.  As people here did not know where they got the money to make their purchase, it was very natural that their enemies should think it was Chapman's; but it afterward developed that the school district bonds were traded for the lumber, so thus was explained that circumstance.  Jack Brooks and others used to say that the bullet that was cut out of Chapman fitted Ed Newell's pistol, but that rumor was never verified.  Billings and Sam Newell were very loud in their denunciation of Louk and headed the party to go up and hang him.  This and other minor circumstances were used against Newell and Coleman by their enemies at the time, but so far as the writer knows every circumstance that pointed toward their guilt has since been satisfactorily explained.

Another theory of the murder that appears to the writer as being in line with the views of the settlers who were entirely unprejudiced in the matter, lays the crime to Jerome Cox and three other men whose names are now forgotten.

On April 30, three days before the murder, these four men came to Henry Oliver's place with a wagon load of corn meal which they tried to sell.  Henry kept them over night but refused to buy their meal.  The next morning they started west saying that they were going on a buffalo hunt; late that evening Cox came back on foot to Oliver's dugout with a message from Chapman

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