MySource:Welltester/Michael Wilson, Horsewhipping Incident

MySource Michael Wilson, Horsewhipping Incident
Place Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan, United States
Franklin, Lenawee, Michigan, United States
Year range 1894 - 1894
Surname Furguson
Publication information
Type Microfilm
Publication Adrian Daily Times and Expositor
Michael Wilson, Horsewhipping Incident. (Adrian Daily Times and Expositor).
Name Adrian Public Library
Address Adrian, Michigan

From the ADRIAN DAILY TIMES and EXPOSITOR, Tuesday, October 30, 1894, Page 3, Column 3


Michael Wilson, a man 64 years old, residing in the township of Franklin, was arrested this morning for horsewhipping his 90-years-old mother. He not only admits that he is guilty of this inhuman cruelty, but declares that he will repeat the punishment, whenever he thinks that occasion requires.

The whipping occurred about two weeks ago, but the victim of the lash refrained from making a complaint against her son. Neighborhood indignation ran so high over the outrage, however, that redress was demanded, and even threats of tar and feathering made.

These threats would probably have been carried out, had not Wm. Wilson, a grandson of the old lady and son of the defendants, come to town and taken out a complaint against Michael Wilson and his second wife, Louise Wilson, charging them with assault and battery.

The story the grandson told was to the effect that the old lady, who made her home with her son, was abused and neglected. The incidents leading up to the assault were given by him to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Helme.

He said his grandmother was denied all the comforts of life which her relation and her age should have won her, and that she was not even given enough to eat.

On the morning of the whipping the old lady was suffering from the cold so much that she started to build a fire. Mrs. Wilson, Mich-ael’s wife, objected to this, the grandson said, and in an altercation which followed, knocked down her aged mother-in-law.

Then the wife, it is alleged, called her husband and he proceeded to apply a horsewhip to his defenseless mother. She was severely beaten, and the marks of the lash are said to be still visible across her back and arms.

Under Sheriff Ferguson went out to the Wilson home with a warrant for the man and wife this morning, placed them under arrest and brought them before Prosecutor Helme.

Wilson lives eight miles north of this city on the town line road, in the township of Franklin.

When the couple were brought before the prosecutor, they made no pretense of denying the charge preferred against them, and instead of expressing sorrow or shame for his act, Wilson acknowledged that he had horsewhipped his mother, and defiantly declared that he would do it again “if she did not behave herself.”

Wilson described his mother as an unbearable termagant, and gave as his reason for whipping her that she had applied insulting epithets to his wife. He said that his mother was defaming his wife, and that when he ordered her to go to her room and she refused, he drove her up stairs under the lash.

Wilson is an old gray-haired man himself, and it seemed strange to hear him say, “I have done nothing wrong, nor anything that I am ashamed of, and I will do it again if my mother continues to insult my wife.”

Wilson refused to plead when arraigned before Justice Vande-grift, and Prosecutor Helme en-tered a plea of not guilty for him.

His examination was set for Thursday, Nov. 8, at 9 o’clock a.m., and he was released on his own recognizance. His wife’s case was treated in the same manner.

The old lady’s name is Julia Ann Wilson. It is said that she never liked her son’s second wife, and that they have failed to get along well together. The daughter-in-law is a large, muscular woman. The aged mother is spry and industrious, notwithstanding her years, and when Officer Ferguson arrived at the home this morning he found her doing the family washing.

From the MICHIGAN MESSENGER, Adrian, Mich., Wednesday, October 31, 1894, Page 3, Column 3


Michael Wilson and Wife, of Franklin, Township


Used the Lash on Their 90 Years Old Mother.

Michael Wilson and wife, of Franklin, were before Justice Vandegrift Tuesday charged by their son, William, with having horsewhipped the ninety years old mother of the elder Wilson, Julia Ann Wilson, the 27 th day of the present month.

The charge againit(sic) them is assault and battery, to which they plead not guilty, and have entered into their own recognizance to appear for trial, November 8 th next.

Wilson did not deny using a whip on the old lady, and says he will do so again if circumstances require it. The neighborhood where Wilson lives in Franklin, has been all torn up over the affair, and considerable indignation is felt.

Wilson and his wife claim that the old lady is ugly and calls Mrs. Wilson, jr.(sic), who is Wilson’s second wife, all sorts of vile names. Wilson himself is a man about 60 years of age, and says the only way he can get along with the old lady is to horsewhip her. He is a man with a violent temper, and showed it in court.

He says it is no one’s business how much he horsewhips his mother, and he intends to do it again.

He professed to be greatly insulted by being arrested, and swore vengeance on everybody.

Prosecutor Helme convinced him that it was not the business of the law to interfere with any man’s family affairs, only when complaint was made which justifies such interference. And to convince him, he said that a plea of not guilty would be entered and if a jury of six men, at a trial to be held Nov. 8 could find that he was justified in whipping his mother with a horsewhip, well(?) he (Mr. Helme) was willing to let him go.

From the WEEKLY PRESS, Adrian, Mich., Friday, November 2, 1894, Page 3, Column 2

Michael Wilson and wife, of Franklin, were arrested Tuesday morning, Michael being charged with horse-whipping his mother, aged 90 years. The couple were brought before Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Helme, who investigated the case. Wilson did not deny the whipping, and said that his mother had called his wife vile names, and he thought he was justified in whipping her.

The woman is Wilson’s second wife. Wilson is about 64 years old. The complaint was made by a grandson of the old lady, and son of defendants. The examination is fixed for Thursday, Nov. 8, at 9 a.m., and defendants were released on their own recognizance.