This Turn of the Century Ernest Inscho photo of Tioga Junction was submitted by his niece, Jane WOHLSCHLEGEL Webb
These articles are typed exactly as they appeared; all grammatical and
spelling errors remain as read.
--Becki Sams Klansnic--Jun 2000~
First Article MARCH 16 1918 SATURDAY
HEADLINE: TIOGA JUNCTION MAN MURDERED BY ROBBERS
Edward TenBroeck, 56 years of age, was found murdered at his home in Tioga Junction late Thursday afternoon.
The first news of the crime came when a son of Mr. TenBroeck ran into the Erie Station
at Tioga Junction and begged the ticket agent to summon help as his father had been shot and killed. According to the son's story, Mr. TenBroeck was shot by four negroes who came to the house shortly before 4 o'clock demanding money. Upon coming down the stairs he found his father shot in the back of the head. $20 was stolen from the house.
As soon as he learned his father was dead, he ran from the house and sounded the alarm. Neighbors took up the search for the four men. Sheriff Husted was notified. The coroner found that he had been shot in the head and the bullet was in the brain.
Edward was a carpenter by trade and resided in Tioga Junction the better part of his life. He was ill on Thursday and he remained home from work.
Purpose of the murder points to robbery but no one except the son had seen the four black men. A thorough investigation is being done. A charge of murder and patricide has been made against John TenBroeck for the death of his father at their home in Tioga Junction on Thursday.
HEADLINE: JOHN TENBROECK is held on charge of killing his father.
District Attorney Leslie takes this step after investigation of strange shooting at Tioga Junction. The prisoner resides with brother on Herrick Street, Elmira.
A charge of murder and patricide has been made against John TenBroeck for the death of his father at their home in Tioga Junction on Thursday. The man was arrested on Saturday afternoon.
Mystery has surrounded the case since the elder TenBroeck was found lying on the floor of his cottage on Thursday. A most careful investigation has been carried out and every available witness interviewed, but it was not until Saturday that evidence was secured to arrest the son.
John TenBroeck clung to the story he was asleep on the second floor of the home when he was awakened by the four negroes leaving. A few minutes later he descended the stairs and found his father dead. No one could be found to corroborate the story told by the son. No one had seen the mysterious four negroes enter or leave the house. The charges against the son are one of the most unusual, and new developments in the case promise to be sensational at Tioga Junction. There are no houses near the scene.
Mr. TenBroeck followed the occupation of carpenter and was sometimes a farmer. His wife, and their daughter Hazel, a third son Lee, are employed as a telegraph operator by the New York Central in Corning.
John TenBroeck resided in Elmira, at No. 422 Herrick Street with his brother, Earl R., who are also employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad. John had gone to his fathers to visit. Hazel TenBroeck, a daughter, also lived in Elmira for a while residing with a family on Roe Ave.
He is survived by his wife, and granddaughter who is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Earl TenBroeck. Funeral service will be held this afternoon at Tioga Junction and the body will be taken to Lawrenceville for burial.
Leslie declares his case against young TenBroeck strong. Prosecutor of Tioga County refuses to go into details in evidence he has in Tioga Junction murder case. The career of John TenBroeck will be extensively investigated in Elmira. Last evening District Attorney Leslie told the Advisor that the young man charged with killing his father who was found murdered under mysterious circumstances last Thursday was in a bad plight. A strong case mostly circumstantial has been woven about the young man but the work of the authorities is yet to be concluded.
"We have an usually strong case. Every bit of evidence plainly accuses young John of committing the crime." Although investigation of the case has been undertaken and from the Pennsylvania end is nearly complete.
FOUL MURDER AT TIOGA JUNCTION
Son says four negroes killed his father, but no tracks of a group of men were found in the soft earth near the residence. District attorney Leslie of Wellsborough, and Coroner investigating.
Edward TenBroeck of Tioga Junction, 3 1/2 miles south of here, was found murdered in his home on Thursday night, being shot down by a revolver in the hands of some unknown person or persons. Evidently they stood behind the victim as they fired. The bullet struck the victim behind the ear, penetrating the brain and killing him instantly.
TenBroeck had been alone in the house at the time except for the presence of John TenBroeck, 21 years of age, and a trifle hard of hearing. He was asleep in an upstairs bedroom. The son says he was awakened by a commotion in the room below. It sounded like a scuffle.
He hurried down the stairs to investigate and found his fathers body on the living room floor.
Quickly taking in the situation he ran back up the stairs and jumped out a second story window. There were 4 men in the room, none wearing masks, and they were of swarthy complexion. The son, John TenBroeck ran to the Erie RR Depot to sound the alarm. When they arrived back at the house Mr. TenBroeck was lying on the floor dead. The house was in extreme disorder; evidence of a struggle having taken place. No weapons were found.
Returning to the outside, Mr. Perkins (neighbor) examined the ground, still wet from recent rain, for tracks which would give some indication on the direction taken by the man or men who committed this tragedy. The only tracks that were found were that of John TenBroeck when he fled to get help.
Alarms were sent out and soon posses were scouring the country in search for the intruders, who were described by John TenBroeck. No one had seen any strangers in the vicinity and no one had seen anyone going in or coming out of the TenBroeck home.
At the time of the killing, Mrs. TenBroeck and her daughter Hazel were out of the house. They had gone with a friend, Mrs. George Schenck, to Lawrenceville to see the high water in the river. Mr. TenBroeck had turned around, and went home complaining of a headache. That was the last time Mrs. TenBroeck saw her husband alive.
The TenBroeck house stands in the "Y" at Tioga Junction, at the point where the Tioga Division of the Erie RR leaves to go over the hill to Elmira. There are no houses near the scene. Family includes his wife, 2 sons Earl and John, 1 daughter, Hazel, and another son Lee.
Burial is supposed to be in Lawrenceville Cemetery.
[Note: "Lee" refers to John's older brother, Leon.]
The Wellsboro Agitator Wednesday, March 27, 1918
TEN BROECK HELD FOR TRIAL WAS GIVEN HEARING BEFORE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE E. B. YOUNG FRIDAY.
John TenBroeck, of Tioga Junction, who is charged with murdering his father,Edward C. TenBroeck, on the afternoon of March 14, at the TenBroeck home, located in the "Y" of the Erie railroad at Tioga Junction, was given a hearing at the courthouse last Friday afternoon before Justice of the Peace E. B. Young. The courtroom was crowded. Young TenBroeck, the defendant was represented by Thomas F. Rogers, Esq. of Corning and Dunsmore & Edwards,from Wellsboro.
Edward Tremaine, of Tioga Junction, was the first witness called. He stated that he lived about five minutes' walk from the TenBroeck home; that after he heard of the murder, he went with a neighbor, George Walker, to the TenBroeck home; found the kitchen floor wet; saw no blood on the kitchen floor; many other people came to the house while he was there; noticed that the dresser drawers in the bed room had been pulled out and contents scattered about the room, noticed nothing out of the ordinary in the other rooms. John TenBroeck was mopping the kitchen floor when he arrived. Miss Hazel TenBroeck entered the house just before he arrived. Mr. Tremaine said about 40 people came to the house at different times while times while he was there; said he went home to supper and returned to the TenBroeck house later. He stated that there had been very heavy rains and that there was a big flood in the vicinity and that the main roads were impassable except for a short distance near Tioga Junction.
Coroner William F. White, M.D., of Wellsboro, told about being summoned to the scene of the alleged murder, that he examined the body that night with Dr. Meeker of Tioga; performed an autopsy the following morning. He also held an inquest the next morning. He said he arrived at the TenBroeck house about 10 p.m. with County Commissioner R. E. Cleveland and Sheriff Husted. There were perhaps a dozen people in the house when he arrived. District Attorney Leslie was there when he arrived. Dr. White described the condition and position of the body and stated that he supposed from circumstances and information obtained that TenBroeck had been killed in the kitchen and the body dragged or carried into the bed room. He described the nature and location of the wound; described the autopsy and said the brain was sent to the Blossburg hospital to be "X-Rayed." Pieces of the bullet, weighing about 19 grains were recovered.
Miss Hazel TenBroeck, daughter of the victim, said she left the house with her parents and neighbors about 2 o'clock on the afternoon of March 14. Her brother, John, the defendant in this case, remained at the home. The others started down the track toward Lawrenceville to see the flood. Her father had walked only a short distance and then said he was tired and would return home. The last she saw him alive was when she looked back and saw him standing near a fence beside the track. When she returned home about 4:30 he was dead.
George H. Ferkins described the location of the TenBroeck house' said he heard that four negroes had attacked Edward TenBroeck and killed him; said that Miss Kelly, the operator at the station, told him and that she said John TenBroeck told her. John was at the station lying on a table, crying. All John said to him was, "Oh, George." Mr. Ferkins said he went to the TenBroeck house, found the kitchen door locked, tried all the windows down stairs and found them locked, looked into the windows, could not see into bedroom window, because curtain was down. He said the kitchen had water on the floor from an overturned pail. He went around the house two or three times, saw nobody about the place, called, "Ed" several times and received no response, then went to the home of Mrs. Cummings, Mrs. Edward TenBroeck's mother, nearby. Later he returned to the station, John was still there, crying. He was fully dressed except for hat and shoes; had one bedroom slipper on. Mr. Ferkins said he told John he must be mistaken about his father being murdered, that John said: "Oh, it's so."
Mrs. Cummings said the TenBroeck house was locked when she got there, that she looked in the kitchen window. She said John told her that four negroes had killed his father in the kitchen and that the body was on the floor between the stove and the table. When, later, after John returned home, she said he climbed a grapevine on the side of the house and entered the upstairs window, then came downstairs and unlocked the door. She went into the kitchen with John. John picked up a chair, which had been overturned, and sat down. She went to the bedroom door and looked in, but did not enter. It was getting dark, John lighted a lamp and both went to the bedroom door and looked in. John said: "Oh, my God, pa is killed." Then she went to the door and wailed.
Willis Reed, constable, of Lawrence Township, said he reached the TenBroeck house about 5:45 p.m., and remained there some time. He looked for tracks about the yard: near the house was sod ground; he saw some tracks near the grapevine but they were not very distinct. Went to the station and returned to the house with the District Attorney. They found a shot gun and a 22-caliber rifle in the corner of the bed room. On the Monday following, the day of the funeral, he went to the house and took them away, later turning them over to the Sheriff.
John TenBroeck was held for further examination and was remanded to jail.
District Attorney Leslie said last Friday that he received no letter from Attorney Thomas F. Rogers of Corning, representing John TenBroeck, held for the murder of his father at Tioga Junction, in which the Corning lawyer objected to the "third degree" being worked on the prisoner. Attorney Rogers admitted in the Sheriff's office that he had told a Star-Gazette reporter that he had made a statement credited to him in that paper, District Attorney Leslie produced a letter written by Mr. Rogers and displayed it, asking that the statement be pointed out in the letter. No reference to the "third degree" or an appeal to Governor Brumbaugh was found in the letter.
Attorney Rogers later said that he had dictated such a letter and supposed that it had been mailed, and did not intend to convey a misrepresentation when he had made the statement. Later the Corning attorney discovered the letter in his office at Corning, and said he would forward it to District Attorney Leslie.
District Attorney Leslie declares that the "third degree" has not been used against John TenBroeck. "I have not questioned the prisoner since he retained an attorney nor seen him, with but one exception," said Mr. Leslie. "He sent for me that time and I only answered the questions he asked. Neither the Sheriff nor other officials have tried to get him to talk. We have refused persons, not members of the TenBroeck family, permission to talk with the prisoner, at the request of Mr. Rogers."
During the hearing young TenBroeck seemed only slightly nervous and had little to say to his attorneys. In holding the prisoner Justice Young said: "In justice to this young man and the Commonwealth I hold the defendant to answer to the 'next grand jury'."
A Tioga Junction correspondent says: "The fact that the doors to the TenBroeck home were found locked, when visited by neighbors after the murder of Edward TenBroeck on the afternoon of March 14, is explained by the fact that the outside door to the kitchen is equipped with a spring lock. When the catch is thrown out, the door will lock when closed."
"It is said that if John TenBroeck, who is now in the Wellsboro jail, is indicted for the murder and goes on trial for his life, it will be shown by the defense that when Mr. and Mrs. Edward TenBroeck and Miss Hazel TenBroeck left the TenBroeck home to view the high water on the afternoon of the murder, that the bolt was turned back and caught. Thus, the door was left unlocked, it was not thought necessary to lock the door because John TenBroeck was lying upon a cot on the second floor of the house.
"The contention of the defense is that the four colored men saw the TenBroecks leave their home. This might give the strangers reason to believe that everyone had left the house. Finding the rear door unlocked, they entered and began a search of the first floor for valuables."
"Edward TenBroeck, who turned back, when a short distance from the house, the defense will contend, entered his home and discovered the four strangers. That he did not have an opportunity to put up a struggle is evidenced by the fact that his glasses were not disturbed. The defense will attempt to prove that Edward TenBroeck was shot from behind by one of the strangers."
"The appearance of John TenBroeck at the door of the stairway, the defense believes, was the first indication to the strangers that anyone else was in the house. When he returned to the second floor the four strangers....[the last 3 lines of this article are unreadable.]
TEN BROECK HEARING FRIDAY The Wellsboro Agitator, Wednesday, March 27, 1918
District Attorney Leslie Says He Has Discovered Motive for Crime.
John TenBroeck, of Tioga Junction, who is in jail charged with murdering his father, Edward C. TenBroeck on March 14; will be given a hearing next Friday.
District Attorney Norman B. Leslie said last week that he was positive that John TenBroeck would be convicted of the murder of his father. "We have possession of facts, which have not been made public nor will be made public until the trial," said Mr. Leslie.
The District Attorney and Deputy Sheriff H. C. Moore spent several days last week at Tioga Junction, Corning, and Elmira, investigating every clew that might shed light on the murder and the motive for the crime. It is said that important discoveries have been made at the TenBroeck house and in Elmira, where John TenBroeck had been employed, which will not be made known before the trial. The officials say they have discovered the motive for the murder. They have found the weapon with which the crime was committed. Where or how it was obtained has not been divulged. The bullet taken from the head of Edward TenBroeck is held by the authorities. It is badly battered, but the pellet of lead has been weighed and its' caliber is known.One fact, which was thoroughly investigated by the authorities is that after the alarm had been given by John TenBroeck, all the doors and windows of the TenBroeck house were found locked on the inside. When John TenBroeck returned home, after notifying Miss Kelley, the telegraph operator at Tioga Junction, that his father had been murdered, he had climbed up a vine on the out side of the house and through the upstairs window through which he says he left the house in order to unlock the door to let his grandmother, Mrs. Cummings, into the house.
District Attorney does not propose to "show his full hand" at the hearing next Friday. In speaking of the examination he said, "I shall simply display the tips of my fingers, just enough to hold this man on the charge of murder in the first degree. The defendant's attorney cannot expect us to reveal all we know before the trial."
Thomas F. Rogers, Esq. of Corning, has been retained as counsel for the defendant. Mr. Rogers after a conference with young Ten Broeck asserted his belief in the young man's innocence. He said, "Nothing has been discovered by the authorities that would indicate that young TenBroeck killed his father. The whole trouble seems to have arisen out of the fact that a lot of hysterical farmers who live in the vicinity of the home in which Edward TenBroeck was killed, have refused to believe anything that was told them as to the true manner in which Edward TenBroeck came to his death."
Edward TenBroeck, the murdered man, was in his younger years, a famous parachute expert. He had given exhibitions in many cities throughout the country. As a young man he assisted one of the famous parachute experts in giving exhibitions. One day the parachute man was taken ill and TenBroeck volunteered to take his place. Dropping from the balloon the man discovered that he had exhibited perfection on of the famous exhibition stunts of those days. He soon started out for himself and gave exhibitions along the Pacific coast. Later he returned to Tioga Junction and settled down to follow his trade as a carpenter.
"The working of the third degree upon John TenBroeck by District Attorney Leslie, Sheriff Husted and others at Wellsboro must cease," declared Attorney Thomas F. Rogers of Corning Monday morning. Attorney Rogers represents John TenBroeck, charged with the murder of hisfather, Edward TenBroeck, at Tioga Junction, Pa., March 14, says the Star-Gazette.
"I have written a letter to District Attorney Leslie," continued Attorney Rogers, "in which I informed him that if another attempt were made to work the third degree upon my client I would appeal to Governor Brumbaugh."
If John TenBroeck is held to await the action of the grand jury, is indicted and held for trial, it is probable that Attorney Rogers will apply for a change of venue, so he said.The Corning lawyer seems to think that the citizens of Tioga county have become so prejudiced against John TenBroeck from the stories circulated that it would be difficult to get a jury before whom his client could get a fair trial, says the Elmira Star-Gazette.
THE WELLSBORO AGITATOR Wednesday, March 20, 1918
EDW. TEN BROECK MURDERED
Tioga Junction man Shot Last Thursday Afternoon.
Edward C. TenBroeck, aged 52 years, of Tioga Junction, was murdered
in his home Thursday afternoon, between 3 and 4 o'clock. He was shot from
behind by an unknown person, the bullet, probably of 22-caliber, entering
the base of the brain on the right side. About an hour before the murder
took place Mr. and Mrs. TenBroeck and daughter, and
a neighbor, Mrs. Peter Schenck, left the TenBroeck house to go down to Laurenceville to see the flood. After going a short distance, Mr. TenBroeck said he was tired and returned home. His son, John aged nearly 18 years, was at home, upstairs.
THE ELMIRA ADVERTISER, TUESDAY MORNING, MARCH 19, 1918
LESLIE DECLARES HIS CASE AGAINST YOUNG TEN BROECK STRONG
Prosecutor of Tioga County Refuses to Go into Detail in Evidence He Has in Tioga Junction Murder Case.
The career of John Ten Broeck will be extensively investigated in Elmira. This fact became known last evening when District Attorney Norman B. Leslie, of Wellsboro, PA., told the Advertiser that the young man charged with killing his father, who was found murdered under rather mysterious circumstances last Thursday at Tioga Junction, PA., was in a bad plight.
A strong case--mostly of circumstantial evidence--has been woven about the young man, but the work of the authorities is not yet concluded.
"We have an unusually strong case," the prosecutor stated last night over the long-distance phone. "Every bit of evidence plainly accuses young Ten Broeck of this crime."
A thorough investigation of the case has been undertaken and from the Pennsylvania end is nearly done. Yet, there remain two or three important phases of the situation that even Prosecutor Leslie refused to discuss last night. He admitted that Ten Broeck's character would be looked up in Elmira. So far, the local authorities have received no word to act in the affair and have awaited official word before taking the initiative.
Some results of the probe into the puzzling death of the Tioga Junction man have developed that the son generally has a good reputation. Ten Broeck resided with his brother,Earl R. Ten Broeck, 422 Herrick Street, a brakeman on the Pennsylvania.
Motion For Nolle Pros.
Charge Against John TenBroeck Set Aside - - Immediately Rearrested.
John TenBroeck, charged with the murder of his father, Edward TenBroeck, at Tioga Junction on March 14, was taken from the county jail Monday morning before Judge S. F. Channell, when District Attorney Norman B. Leslie made a motion for a nolle pros. The defendant was than rearrested and he will be given a hearing on Saturday, May 11th at 10 o'clock.
The charge was set aside because the transcript from the court of Justice of the Peace E. B. Young was not filed within five days, as is provided by law.
Attorney Paul J. Edwards, of the firm of Dunsmore and Edwards, appeared for the defendant. Attorney Edwards informed Judge Channell that Attorney Thomas F. Rogers, of Corning, attorney of record for John TenBroeck, was not in Corning and could not be located. Attorney Edwards said that his partner, Hon. A. B. Dunsmore was in Philadelphia arguing a motion in Supreme Court.
"If it may please your honor," said Attorney Edwards, "I have been extremely busy recently, not only caring for my law practice, which comes first, but canvassing the county as a candidate for the Republican nomination for the Legislature. I did not know that this matter was to come before the court until a few minutes age. I endeavored at once to get in touch with Attorney Rogers, of Corning, who is the attorney-of-record for this defendant, but ascertained that he is out of Corning and could not be located by telephone. However, I will appear for this defendant at this time."
When it was explained to the court that John TenBroeck could not be held on the return from Justice of the Peace Young, because the transcript had not been filed within the time prescribed by law, the court held that the charge should be dismissed.
Immediately a new warrant charging John TenBroeck with the murder of Edward TenBroeck was served on the defendant. District Attorney Leslie has associated with him, the firm of Watrous, Marsh, & Crichton to assist in the prosecution.
District Attorney Leslie asked that Saturday of this week be fixed as the time for the second preliminary hearing of John TenBroeck. He said that if the date was not satisfactory to Attorney Rogers that he would be willing to fix another date.
May Sessions 1918 - - No. 2 - Court
And now, November 18th, 1918, after argument and due consideration thereof the reasons assigned for a motion in this case are overruled and the motion is refused.
By the Court
S. F. Channell, P. J.
To which ruling by the Court counsel for the defendant except and at their request this bill is sealed.
S. F. Channell, P. J.
And now, November 18, 1918, the defendant, John TenBroeck, Jr. ____ in open Court wherefore the Hon. S. F. Channell., President Judge, pronounced the following sentence: The sentence of the Court is that you, John TenBroeck, undergo an imprisonment by separate and solitary confinement at labor in the Penitentiary at Philadelphia, for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, for a period of not less than ten years nor more than twenty years, to be computed from this date, and that you stand committed until this sentence be complied with."
Certified from the Supreme Court with acceptance of this rule thereon by Norman B. Leslie, District Attorney. filed Dec. 3, 1919. Stenographer's notes of evidence filed Feb 25, 1919. Remittance from the Supreme Court received and filed July 3, 1919 in which the assignments of error are overruled and the judgment is affirmed.
Commitment issued July 5, 1919.
John TenBroeck transferred June 12, 1925 to the Western Penitentiary at Rockview, PA.
______ Court of Oyer and Terminer next to beholden and in and for the county of Tioga for trial.
By the Court.
S. F. Channell
Sept. 23, 1918, in obedience to the above order, the individual in the above-entitled case is this day certified from the Court of Quarter Sessions into the Court of Oyer and Terminer in Tioga County there to be tried and determined.
Edson J. Catlin
And now, Sept. 23, 1918 at 4 o'clock p.m., Norman B. Leslie, Esq., Attorney, moves the Court that the defendant be arraigned, whereupon the Bill of Indictment was read to the defendant to which he plead not guilty.
And now, Sept. 23, 1918, this cause came in for trial. The judge ordered a Jury called and there came Fred Brace, John Dorr, Robert F. Smith, George M. Miller, R.L Lounsberry, Hugh L. Stewart, S.D. Shaw, F.J. Adams, William Guy, Albert Fick, Minor Green, and Wm. Bache, twelve good and lawful men of Tioga County, duly drawn, summoned, impaneled and sequestered. (each Juror sworn separately upon his acceptance on Oct. 1, 1918, we the Jury selected for the trial of the Commonwealth vs. John TenBroeck do this day find him guilty of murder in the second degree.
Points filed Oct 1, 1918
Reasons in arrest in arrest of Judgment and motion for a new trial filed Oct 2. 1918.
And now, Oct. 2nd, 1918, motion allowed, and Oct. 21st, 1918 at 2 o'clock p.m. fixed upon for hearing.
By the Court.
And now, Oct. 21, 1918, the defendant being personally present in Court with his counsel, the hearing upon the above ruling is continued by agreement of counsel to November 11th, 1918 at 10 o'clock a.m.
Additional reasons for a new trial filed Nov. 2, 1918.
Court's opinion in "Rule to show cause why a new trial should not be granted in the above entitled case filed Nov. ____________
Article No. 12
Wellsboro, Tioga County, PA Issue No. 47
NEW TRIAL REFUSED.
Case of John TenBroeck to Be Appealed to Supreme Court -- Defendant Sentenced.
On Monday, Judge Channell handed down his opinion on the rule to show cause why a new trial should not be granted in the case of Commonwealth vs. John Tenbreock. A new trial was refused. The defendant being present with his counsel, Judge Channell pronounced the following sentence: "The sentence of the court is, that you, John TenBroeck, undergo an imprisonment by separate and solitary confinement at labor in the penitentiary at Philadelphia, for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, for a period of not less than ten years nor more than twenty years, to be computed from this date, and that you stand committed until this sentence be complied with."
Following the pronouncing of the sentence, counsel for the defendant gave notice that an appeal would be taken. This appeal will be taken to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Under the divisions of the state, Tioga County comes under the eastern district, which court meets at Philadelphia in May, 1919. Unless the case is advanced to some other place, at which place the court meets earlier, this case will not be argued until May, 1919.
The defendant, John TenBroeck, was convicted of murder in the second degree at the September Sessions of the Court of Oyer and Terminer for Tioga County. His counsel, Thomas Rogers, Esq., of Corning, NY., and Dunsmore and Edwards, of Wellsboro, filed their reasons for a new trial, alleging some nineteen specifications of error. Argument was had on these reasons on November 11, 1918.
Judge Channell in his opinion laid particular stress on the evidence adduced in favor of the good character of the defendant in its relation to other evidence offered and held that it should be considered with all the evidence taken. Concerning the irregular conduct of the jury he said, "We are therefore satisfied that no harm was done the defendant by the indiscretion of some of the jurymen in the brief intervals in which they separated themselves from the rest of the jurors.
The Elmira Advertiser, Monday Morning, March 18, 1918.
JOHN TEN BROECK IS HELD ON CHARGE OF KILLING FATHER
District Attorney Leslie Takes This Step After Investigation of Strange Shooting at Tioga Junction -- Prisoner Resides with Brother on Herrick Street, Elmira.
A charge of murder and patricide has been made against John Ten Broeck, for the death of Edward Ten Broeck, his father, at their home in Tioga Junction, Pa., on Thursday. The man was arrested Saturday afternoon after evidence was secured by District Attorney Norman B. Leslie of Wellsboro.
Mystery has surrounded the case since the elder Ten Broeck was found lying on the floor of his cottage Thursday with a bullet hole penetrating his brain. The most careful investigation has been carried on and every available witness interviewed, but it was not until Saturday that evidence was secured to arrest the son.
John Ten Broeck clung tenaciously to the story that he was asleep on the second floor of the home when he was awakened by the departure of four negroes from the room below. A few minutes later he descended the stairs and found his father dead.
No one could be found to corroborate the story told by the son. No one had seen the four mysterious negroes enter or leave the house although there were tracks in the soft mud surrounding the doorstep.
The Ten Broeck home stands in the "Y" at Tioga Junction, at the point where the Tioga division of the Erie railroad leave to go over the hill towards Elmira. There are no houses very near to the scene. Mr. Ten Broeck followed the occupation of a carpenter, and he also farmed on
a small scale. They lived with him at the house, his wife and his daughter, Hazel, a third son, Lee, is employed as a telegraph operator by the New York Central at Corning.
John Ten Broeck resided in Elmira at No. 422 Herrick Street with his brother Earl R., who is employed as _____ by the Pennsylvania Railroad company. John had gone to his father's house to visit. Other members of the family were away from the house. Hazel Ten Broeck, a daughter, also lived in Elmira for some time, residing with a family on Roe Avenue. The deceased also
is survived by his wife and little granddaughter, who is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Ten Broeck, of Elmira.
The funeral services will be held this afternoon, at Tioga Junction and the body will probably be taken to Lawrenceville for burial.
District Attorney Norman B. Leslie, of Wellsboro, was notified of the murder Thursday night, and he hurried at once to the Ten Broeck home to make a personal investigation. The district attorney found many obscurities surrounding the story of the killing as related by John Ten Broeck, and he set himself to the task of trying to clear these up or satisfactorily explain them.
At the time of the killing, Mrs. Ten Broeck and her daughter, and Mrs. George Schenck, a family friend, had set out earlier in the afternoon to go to Lawrenceville to see the high water in the river. After they had gone part way, Mr. Ten Broeck had turned back home, stating that he had a headache, and that he would return home and lie down with the hope that the rest would cure him. That was the last time Mrs. Ten Broeck saw her husband alive.
The charge against the son is one of the most unusual and new developments in the case promise to be sensational.
The Elmira Advertiser, Tuesday Morning, March 19, 1918
Leslie Declares His Case Against Young TenBroeck Strong
Prosecutor of Tioga County Refuses to Go into Detail in Evidence He Has in Tioga Junction Murder Case.
The career of John TenBroeck will be extensively investigated in Elmira. This fact became known last evening when District Attorney Norman B. Leslie, of Wellsboro, Pa., told the Advertiser that the young man charged with killing his father, who was found murdered under rather mysterious circumstances last Thursday at Tioga Junction, Pa., was in a bad plight. A strong case - mostly of circumstantial evidence - has been woven about the young man, but the work of the authorities is not yet concluded.
"We have an unusually strong case," the prosecutor stated last night over the long-distance phone. "Every bit of evidence plainly accuses young TenBroeck of this crime."
A thorough investigation of the case has been undertaken and from the Pennsylvania end is nearly done. Yet, there remain two or three important phases of the situation that even Prosecutor Leslie refused to discuss last night. He admitted that TenBroeck's character would be looked up in Elmira. So far, the local authorities have received no word to act in the affair and have awaited official word before taking the initiative.
Some of the results of the probe into this puzzling death of the Tioga Junction man have developed that the son generally has a good reputation. TenBroeck resided with his brother, Earl R. TenBroeck, 422 Herrick Street, a brakeman on the Pennsylvania.
The TenBroeck Murder Trial Opened and the Jury Drawn as We Go to Press.
Considerable interest has been manifested in this term of court owing to the fact that John TenBroeck faces the charge of murdering his father, and will be tried for such crime at this term. Long before the time for court to convene, a large crowd had gathered at the courthouse and when the court crier opened court, the room was crowded.
Prior to the opening of court, the Constables of the county made their returns, each return being passed upon as it was handed to the Clerk of the Court. At this time District Attorney Leslie addressed the Constables in regard to some of their important duties.
Judge Channell had the members of the grand jury called the jury box. John Lewis, of Delmar, was appointed foreman. In a brief but clear charge, Judge Channell outlined to the members of the jury their duties. He very forcibly instructed them as to the oath they had taken and the obligations incident thereto.
After dispensing with the he routine business of motions and other business, which naturally comes up at this time, Judge Channell called the first case on the list for trial, Commonwealth vs. John TenBroeck.
Aiding the District Attorney in the prosecution of this case is the law firm of Watrous, Marsh & Crichton, while the interests of the defendant are cared for by Attorney Thomas Rogers, of Corning, and Dunsmore & Edwards, of Wellsboro.
The case, after having been certified from the Quarter Sessions to the Court of Oyen and Terminer, Clerk of the Court Edson J. Catlin called the first juror and the challenging and selection of jurors began. At four o'clock yesterday afternoon a jury was drawn. The jury is composed of the following: Fred Brace, agent, Mansfield; F.J. Adams, farmer, Charleston; John Dorr, clerk, Westfield; Albert Fick, farmer, Liberty; William Guy, farmer, Morris; R.L. Lounsberry, farmer, Delmar; George M. Miller, undertaker, Jackson; Hugh L. Stewart, farmer, Delmar; Robert F. Smith, farmer, Charleston; S.D. Shaw, farmer, Richmond; Minor Green, clerk, Wellsboro, William Backe, Wellsboro.
The defendant, John TenBroeck, aged 18 years, is charged with having willfully and maliciously murdered his father, Edward TenBroeck, at Tioga Junction, on the afternoon
of March 4, 1918. At the time of the commission of this alleged offense, John TenBroeck was employed by the American Sales Book Company at Elmira. On the day that the offense was committed, he was home on a vacation. High water had caused floods in the region of this place and other members of his family had gone down to the tracks to witness same. While other members were away, it is reported that he was at home, asleep on the second floor of the house. He was awakened by a commotion downstairs and running down to see the cause of same, he found his father lying on the floor. He said he saw four negroes on in the room. Evidently becoming scared, he ran back up stairs and jumped out of the window and ran to the station near there and gave the alarm. The body of Edward TenBroeck was found in the bedroom. From the verdict of the coroner, the deceased came to his death by a wound in the head caused by a bullet. A .22 calibre rifle was found in the house.
This case promises to be one of the most closely contested murder cases Tioga County has had in some time. Both sides have a brilliant array of counsel and neither the prosecution nor the defendant will lack for legal talent.
All of the family members of the TenBroeck Family are standing by the defendant. The defendant himself apparently shows no interest in the proceedings.
As we go to press, the District Attorney is opening the case for the Commonwealth.
Sons Says Four Negroes Killed His Father,But No Tracks of a Group of MenFound in Soft Earth Near Residence -
District Attorney Leslie, of Wellsboro,and Coroner Investigating.
Lawrenceville, Pa., March 16 -
Edward TenBroeck, of Tioga Junction, three and a half miles south of here, was foully murdered in his own home Thursday night, being shot down by a revolver in the hands of some unknown person who evidently stood behind his victim as he fired. The bullet struck TenBroeck behind the ear, penetrating the brain and probably causing almost instant death.
TenBroeck had been alone in his house at the time except for the presence of John TenBroeck, twenty-one years old, a trifle hard of hearing, who says he was asleep in an upstairs bedroom. The son says that he was awakened by a commotion in the room below. It sounded like a scuffle. He hurried downstairs to investigate. He saw his father's body lying apparently lifeless upon the floor of the living room. Four men, none masked, but all appearing to be swarthy complexioned, were in the room.
Quickly taking in the situation, without waiting for action on the part of the intruders or parley with them, young TenBroeck bounded back upstairs, jumped from a second story window in his stocking feet and ran to the Erie railroad depot, a few rods away, to give the alarm. The railroad agent informed neighbors. Perkins, one of those, entered the house and found the elder TenBroeck dead upon the floor.
The house was in extreme disorder, and bore evidences of a struggle having taken place.
Bureau drawers had been wrenched open and their contents fumbled over. No weapon was found.
Returning to the outside of the house, Mr. Perkins examined the ground, still soft under the influence of the rain, for tracks which would give some indication the direction taken by the man or men supposed to have been responsible for the tragedy. He found no tracks of a group of men either leading to or from the house, but he found the tracks made by the son as the latter had fled from the house to summon aid.
Although Mr. Perkins had found TenBroeck dead, a physician was called as a precautionary measure to examine the remains and determine upon the probably time of death. Dr. Hughes Meeker, of Tioga, responded. He found that death had taken place only a short time before, as rigor mortis had not set in.
Alarms were sent out, and soon posses were scouring the neighborhood for possible traces of the men who had been described by John TenBroeck, as those he had seen in the death room of his father. No one had seen any strangers in the vicinity and as far as could be ascertained, no on one had seen any man entering or leaving the TenBroeck home.
At the time of the killing, Mrs. TenBroeck, and her daughter, Hazel, were temporarily absent from the house. Mrs. TenBroeck and her husband, their daughter and Mrs. George Schenck, a family friend, had set out earlier in the afternoon to come to Lawrenceville to see the high water in the river here. After they had gone part way, Mr. TenBroeck had turned back home, stating that he had a headache, and that he would return home and lie down with the hope that the rest would cure him. That was the last that Mrs. TenBroeck saw her husband alive.
GUILTY IN THE SECOND DEGREE.
The TenBroeck Murder Trial Closed Saturdayand Verdict Rendered Yesterday.
After deliberating since Saturday night, the jury in the case of Commonwealth vs. John TenBroeck returned a verdict of "Guilty of the murder in the second degree." When the Clerk of the Court Edson J. Catlin opened the envelope that contained the verdict of the jury, scarcely a sound could be hard in the courtroom. Each juror was polled and each announced in a firm voice that was his verdict. Judge Channell then thanked the jury and voiced his appreciation of their patience and their intelligence in arriving at a verdict. Especial attention did he give in his remarks to the necessity such a case had rendered in the insufficient means provided for the comfort of the jurors who are compelled to deliberate so long on a case, especially of this character. The defendant showed little signs of emotion as the verdict was read. He had that same composure that has been evidenced by him during the trial of the case. Only the mother and sister were near him when the verdict was given. No statement has been given by any of the counsel for the defense in regard to further action by them in the case.
Seldom has a case attracted as much attention as did this one. Many people had formed an opinion as to the guilty or innocence of the defendant and it seemed to be the prevailing idea that the defendant was guilty. At any time during the day people were discussing the possible verdict of the jury and the relative points of the case both for and against, the accused.
As was stated in the last issue of the Agitator, the jury in the case was not drawn until late Tuesday night. When William Bache of Wellsboro, was selected, the jury was complete. This jury was not chosen until after the regular panel had been exhausted and two special venires issued by the court. Many of the last two panels were excused on account of their views concerning circumstantial evidence and of their fixed opinions as to the guilt or innocence of the accused.
After the jury had been sworn and placed in the custody of constables appointed by the court, they were excused for the day, after having been instructed by the court as to their duties.
Promptly at 9 o'clock Wednesday morning, court was called and the trial of John TenBroeck was begun. As the prisoner at the bar took his seat near the counsel's table, he manifested that same attitude of indifference that had characterized his actions during the selection of the jury.
Seated about him were members of his family and only on one or two occasions did he indicate by any conversation he had with them, that he was at all sensible of the fact that he was being tried for the most heinous offense known to the law.
Mrs. TenBroeck, widow of the deceased, and mother of the defendant, next took the stand. She told the story of the trip that day to Lawrenceville and how when they reached the railroad station, the deceased had returned home, for the reason that he complained of not feeling well. Upon her return, she related the manner in which she found the house. Upon being asked how many guns were in the house, she said that there were two, both guns being in the bedroom of her daughter, Hazel, one shot gun, and the other a rifle.
Miss Kelly, the telegraph operator at Tioga Junction, testified as to what John TenBroeck said to her at the time he came running in to the station on the day the crime was committed. Here was where, for the first time, he told the story of the four negroes who were in the room and that they had shot his father in the head. Upon cross-examination, she testified that he appeared more frightened than excited. This bit of evidence, taken with other facts in the case, was one of the strong points of the Commonwealth, for the defendant had testified that he only looked through the door, and seeing his father lying on the floor and the four negroes standing about him, immediately closed the door and ran back up stairs and jumped out of the window. His memory of the exact place of the wound was insignificant.
Several witnesses were called who were neighbors, who testified as to certain acts that day of the family, the presence of John TenBroeck in the station after the shooting and the general appearance of the house in regard to doors and windows and the condition of the room in which the body was found.
Other witnesses were called who said that day they did not see any stranger persons in the vicinity of the home. One witness testified that around the house, there were numerous footprints, but he had not seen those until long after people had gathered to the scene of the crime. It appeared from the evidence that a spring lock was used on the back door and that all the windows and doors of the house were locked.
The most important witness called for the Commonwealth was one of the last sworn, Roy Burdett. His evidence in the opinion of some was the necessary link in the chain of evidence, in fact the "missing link." Up to this time in the case, nothing had been shown to fasten upon the defendant the crime. No motive had been shown, and neither had any evidence been offered that would in any way shed any light on the fact that there had been a struggle that day.
Roy Burdett testified that he had a conversation in Elmira with John TenBroeck, the defendant. He said that TenBroeck had said to him "that he had trouble with his father: that he would not go back home unless he was asked to or if he was sick. I will shoot the damned
s---- of a b--- the first chance I get. Mother goes to town twice a week and I'll do it then and take all the money I can find and give to mother. She helps me. And I will lay it onto Bill Cummings and they'll take him." Further in his conversation he said that he, Roy Burdett, "was the only person to whom he had told this, and if he told he would poison him and burn his barns."
On cross-examination counsel for the defendant grilled the witness concerning the testimony given by him. He was asked that if once did not receive a letter from the district attorney informing him that if he did not behave himself in regard to one Frank Russell, with whom he had trouble, he would be put in an insane asylum.
Paul J. Edwards, Esq., opened the case for the Commonwealth. In his opening, he clearly pointed out to the jury the facts the defense intended to prove. Among the most important was the fact that on the morning of Mar 15, the day after the murder, special police at the Erie station in Corning had seen four negroes enter the toilet room of the station and wash up. One negro had a big scratch on his face. The witness testified that as he had not heard of the murder nor had he been notified by any one, he did not pay any more attention to them. He also stated in his opening of the case that they would show by other witnesses who saw negroes in and about that vicinity, both on the day and the day after the commission of the crime.
He said further in his opening that they would show that Roy Burdett was considered crazy and was not to be believed under oath: That John TenBroeck had always borne a good reputation in the community: that he would take the stand and tell his story and the prosecution may cross examine him as much as they please.
Miss Hazel TenBroeck, the first witness called for the defense, stated the rooms of the house were in perfect order when those members of the family who walked down the tracks the day of the commission of the offense left it: that her father had money in his shirt pocket, and also had a watch: that on one occasion when John TenBroeck came home, her mother, her father and herself had gone to the station to meet him: that since August, 1917, John TenBroeck had come home three times and that John and his father were good friends and that she never knew of their having any trouble. She also testified that they were friendly that noon of the day the alleged crime was committed.
Witnesses were called who testified to the good character of the defendant. Not one of them had ever known of John having trouble with his father.
John TenBroeck, the defendant, was called. As he walked to the witness stand, he showed no signs of fear or of nervousness. His story in substance was as follows: That in March 1918, he was working for the American Sales Book Company at Elmira. His father met him at the station when he came home March 9: the relations between him and his father were friendly and there had never been any trouble between them. That the day the crime was alleged to have been committed, he did not go with his mother and sister to view the flood, but remained home and went up stairs to go to sleep. After sleeping for some time, he was awakened by a sound down stairs. At first he paid no attention to the noise but when he heard a noise that sounded to him as if a shot had been fired, he went down stairs and opened the door a little ways. There he saw his father lying on the floor and four negroes standing about the living room. He shut the door and ran up stairs and climbed out of the window and dropped from the porch to the ground and ran to the Junction station and told the operator about the killing.
When asked if he killed his father, he replied, "No: why should I ? I loved him." He denied the conversation between him and Burdett relating to anything being said as to taking the life of his father. District Attorney Leslie began the first comment to the jury for the Commonwealth. He outlined that the Commonwealth had proved a particular stress on the testimony of Roy Burdett. Hon. A. B. Dublin, in a forceful plea, argued the case for the defense. Mr. Dunsmore's plea was to the point out the phase of the evidence produced. T. A. Crichton, Esq., made opening argument for the Commonwealth. It was a good plea and one that clearly showed the essential points of the case for the Commonwealth.
Thomas Rogers, Esq., of Corning closed the case for the defense with a well-delivered address. Judge Channell began his plea to the jury about four o'clock and went over the facts of the case and pointed out to the jurors the circumstantial parts of testimony. In a clear but forcible manner, he outlined to them the law as relates to the charge of murder in the second degree, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter.
The case was given to the jury about twenty minutes to five o'clock. The jury was out Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. About nine o'clock they came into court and asked the court concerning his options as to the murder in the second degree. The court informed the jury if they could not, from the evidence, find a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree; they could bring a verdict in the second degree, and then retired and were out Sunday and then came into court Monday morning and told the judge that hey had been able to agree, that they the same now as they did when the ballot was taken. Judge Channell informed them that there was a precedent established in the county to discharge the jury unless they agreed. They retired and stayed Monday and Monday night, but did not reach their verdict until Tuesday. at nine o'clock, when they returned the verdict of guilty of murder in the second degree.
District Attorney Leslie opened the case for the Commonwealth. In his opening he first presented to the jury a brief description of the premises about the TenBroeck home and those somewhat adjacent and having relation to the locality of the house and the country around the same. He next took up, more in detail, the description of the house and pointed out to the jury the plan of the first floor and the relative distances of each room. Proceeding more into the facts which the Commonwealth expected to prove, in order to establish their case, he traced the acts of the family of the defendant that day from the time they left the house in company with Edward TenBroeck, the deceased, until the time the dead body was discovered by the members of the family. He then stated the Commonwealth would endeavor to prove that no negroes were seen in the vicinity that day, in closing his presentation of the case of the Commonwealth, he said that the prosecution would show that John had quarreled with his father and had on one occasion threatened to take his life.
Dr. Meeker, of Tioga, was the first witness called. His testimony in brief was as to the condition in which he found the body of the dead man, at the time he arrived and the description of the wound which caused the death. According to his evidence when he arrived and after examination of the body he found that the wound was bleeding slightly. He said that the deceased came to his death by a bullet entering the head behind the right ear and coursing diagonally across the brain. When counsel for the prosecution endeavored to show by the witness that in his opinion the wound could not have been self-inflicted, the defense objected. The court overruled the objection and the witness was allowed to state his opinion on that point. From the character of the wound, the position of the body and other facts relative to this phase of the inquiry, Dr. Meeker said in his opinion the wound was not self inflicted. He also testified as to the condition of the house upon arrival and he said that it gave every appearance of having been disturbed and it looked as if somebody had been searching for something. From his evidence was also shown the size of the hole which the bullet caused.
Coroner Dr. William F. White, of Wellsboro, was called. As coroner, he had performed the autopsy. This was done the morning after the crime had been committed. The bullet which was found in the skull was taken to Blossberg, as was the brain, and an X-ray picture taken of the same. On cross-examination, Dr. White testified that he had observed that no powder marks were visible on the body of the dead man nor did he see any evidences of powder marks about the house. As to the bullet, he testified that no fragments had been lost. To say how far the gun was held from the dead man when the crime was committed, Dr. White said he could not tell.
Minor Green, of Wellsboro, who made a survey of the ground of the TenBroeck house and its entire surroundings, explained to the jury the relative position of all things.