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West Virginia State Penitentiary Moundsville

Replies: 56

Re: West Virginia State Penitentiary Moundsville

Posted: 16 Aug 2012 9:01PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Marks
Hi Harry,

I am researching a relative, Abner Marks, who was a notorious robber who was incarcerated in Moundsville.

I am trying to find any old records relating to this case, hoping to document his marriage and any other information I can find out about Abner. This is all I know about the case. Any suggestions you have for additional places to search for his burial records, etc. would be appreciated.
I have already tried the WV death records, and he does not appear there.

This is what I know, most copied from newspaper accounts:

Sept/Oct 1864
Robbed the safe of the Adams Express Co. at Grafton West VA $15,000; Accessories to crime: Arthur Resley (Risley) and Charles Meredith; money was Recovered by Allen Pinkerton of the Pinkerton Agency (Chicago, IL)

Arthur Risley collected about $12,00 in counterfeit, broken bank and Confederate bills and sent the package to Grafton through the Adams Express Co. He had a duplicate key to the safe, which he gave to Marks, who broke into the building to steal the $12,000 package, which Marks burned, as per Risley’s orders. The next day, Risley went to the Express Office to pick up the package and was told of the theft. He sued the Express Co. for the recovery of his money. Pending the outcome of the suit, the safe was again robbed of $15,000 genuine money on 06 Oct 1864. The Pinkertons kept Marks and Risley under watch for six weeks, at which time they both left Grafton and went to Canada. The detectives enticed them to return to Detroit, where they were arrested and returned to Grafton. While there, Risley escaped but was captured in a day or two and again imprisoned. Almost all of the $15,000 was found on Marks at the time of his arrest in Detroit.

30 May 1865
Abner Marks was sentenced in the Taylor Co. court at Prunytown to 7 years imprisonment in Wheeling penitentiary. Shortly after sentencing, they broke jail and escaped.

15 Sep 1867
Abner Marks was arrested in Richmond, VA. The Mayor put him to work on a chain gang.

10 Jan 1868
Abner Marks, an escaped convict from the West Virginia penitentiary, and a desperate character, has been arrested near Petersburg (VA)

15 Jan 1868
G.S. McFadden, superintendent of the West Virginia penitentiary, arrived in this city yesterday morning and took charge Abner Marks, an escaped convict, who had been in the city jail for the last two weeks. He was handcuffed, his boots ripped open, and his legs secured by iron anklets. They left for West Virginia in the nine o’clock train yesterday morning. (Petersburg, VA)

17 Apr 1868
Revolt in the West Virginia Penitentiary

The Moundsville National of the 197th ult. Says: On the 17th inst., about 4 o’clock, the usual peace and quietness of our town was disturbed by a rapid firing of musketry at the penitentiary. Twenty-five of the convicts had made an attack upon the sentry box situated at the southeast corner of the stockade, and succeeded, by pouring in a shower of stones, in driving the guard from his post and capturing Capt. Williamson of the guards; also some six or seven muskets and ammunition. Many of the citizens, upon hearing the firing, rushed to the assistance of the guards, and after a sharp little engagement, succeeded in capturing several, killing one and wounding seven.

The convict killed was Woodsen L. Crews; those wounded, Abner Marks mortally, Mike Riblett and Jack Lawson slightly, Ben Coleman (colored), severely, Wm. Jetters still at large, Alpheus Copeland and Lawrence Cady slightly. While the firing was going on, some of them endeavored to make good their escape. They were pursued, however, and most of htem retaken within two miles of town; four are still at large, named Wm. Jetters, James Schroder, Bernard Brooks, and O.J. Woolbridge. They went off in the direction of Wetzel county and probably down the river.

Wednesday morning, 18th, Marks is still living this morning, but cannot long survive, as his wounds are very severe. He was shot in the breast and right arm with a load of buckshot.

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
harryforr 30 Dec 2013 4:06PM GMT 
mouthfulofbee... 17 Aug 2012 3:01AM GMT 
harryforr 17 Aug 2012 8:21PM GMT 
mouthfulofbee... 17 Aug 2012 9:58PM GMT 
harryforr 17 Aug 2012 10:56PM GMT 
harryforr 28 Mar 2014 7:55PM GMT 
sleepygal48 13 May 2014 7:12AM GMT 
harryforr 13 May 2014 1:01PM GMT 
sleepygal48 13 May 2014 6:34PM GMT 
harryforr 13 May 2014 7:31PM GMT 
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