O'Farrell Family Data Sources

Testimony of Witnesses taken before Grand Jury


A.C. Brewton, Sr.

So far as who killed O'F, I did not see anyone kill him.

I only know the condition that I found O'F in when I went to him.   He had several shots in him and had his throat cut.

The shot holes were principally in body and chest and under the arms, through arm and one shot in the hip.

I reside about five miles from McDavid, West in this county.   It occurred in the Spring of '71, April or May.

He was dead when I got there.   No relation of either party.

Don't know how long he was dead when I got there.   Knew both parties about 2 ½ years.   So far as I know don't think they were enemies.   Heard from neighbors that there was an old grudge.

Alex Hall went to where I was plowing and he said Do you know mother is a widow again.   We went and killed JNO this morning."   Said I, we who?   He said Andrew, Colyer, Taylor, Jim and me. I shot but I didn't shoot to kill.   Colyer told me and Alex, to come and tell you we had killed John, and wanted you to go and do something with him.   I went and found him as I said before.   Mr. Vickery told and showed me how he was killed.   I was two and a half miles away from the killing.   Both O'F and Hall were farmers.   O'F married Halls step-mother.   I have not seen C. Hall since before murder.

A.C. Brewton, Jr.

I do not know who killed O'F, I did not see it done.   Don't remember date but think it was Apr. '71, that Alex Hall, came to me and father at work in the field.

He was on a horse.   He remarked well mother is a widow again."   Pa said how is that Alex.   Alex said we killed Jno O'F, Alex said I did not shoot to kill him.   He said I don't know who killed him but he is dead.   Father and I quit work and went over there.   Mr Alex Hall told us the names that did the shooting.   They were Andrew Hall, Colyer Hall, Jim Hall and Taylor Hall.   He said they were the men that did the shooting.   On our way we met Mr. Lee who went over to where Mr. O'F was lying.   He was killed something like 8 or 10 miles N.W. of McDd.

Shooting was done away from house in the woods.   O'F was making a cow pen or something like it and there we found O'F dead and his throat cut also windpipe and he was shot but don't know just where or how badly he was shot.   Not doctor there at all.

Mr. Kit Vickery and his wife Mary and Mrs. O'F were there and said they saw the shooting.   I knew Mr. C. Hall and O'F, about 3 or 4 years.   I do not know of any bad feelings between them.

Alex Hall is John O'F, step-son and lived at O'F

W.L. Williams, not at court.

William Godwin

I know nothing of my own knowledge.   Andrew Hall told me all I know about it.   I am not well acquainted with Colyer Hall or John O'F.

A. Hall told me that C. Hall, and Andrew Hall stole some cotton and got O'F to sell it which he did and the money was divided and C. Hall and A. Hall stole a mare and got O'F to sell the mare and O'F refused to divide the money.   O'F, got to talking about the transaction and the two Halls Andrew and C talked over getting O'F, out of the way and decided to kill him.

They got Jim, Taylor, and Alex Hall to go with them to where O'F, fed his hogs in the brush so no one would know it.   O'F did not go to feed his hogs at the fork so they went toward the house and they ran upon O'F in the wood and saw a pistol lying on a stump, and sent Alex Hall to attract his attention so they could slip up on him and when O'F, saw the men they were so close to him he could not get his gun and he ran and the Halls commenced to shooting.

When he fell Clem Hall ran and Andrew Hall fired his pistol to see him run.   Andrew looked around Colyer Hall, was down on O'F cutting his throat and Jim Hall holding his head.

Andrew said to Colyer get off damn you you have done enough.   And Colyer crawled off of him.

C. Vickery

I saw the shooting there was five of them.   Colyer, Jim, Taylor, and Alex Hall.   And began shooting a O'F, myself, O'F were rolling logs.   They all had guns except Andrew Hall, he had a pistol.   The Halls fired rapidly until all the guns were empty.   I was about 9 feet from O'F, who fell in about 6 feet from my wife.   After O'F fell Colyer Hall and James Hall went up to him and one of them cut his throat.   Colyer Hall had the knife in his hand and his fingers were bloody.

I met Mrs. Grren, at Wiley Halls house, on my way down to the station, and she intimated that if I did not come to court that I would be better taken care of and get more help.   She further intimated that I would be rewarded if I did not appear in court.

I was living at Canoe Station when summon was first served.

I know Mrs. Grren well.   Just before the firing Alex Hall came up to where O'F, was working and began jawing with Clem Hall to attract the attention of O'F's from the Halls.

John Beck

I was only 5 or 6 years old at the time of the shooting.   No relation of either part.   I was living with J. O'F, at the time he was killed.

Mary Vickery.

My age is sixty-seven.   The first man who fired was Colyer Hall the next Jim, next Taylor, next Andrew Hall and Colyer Hall fired again.

O'F, was in the woods rolling logs to make a cattle pen.   He had a pistol on a stump about 20 steps from where he was working.   Mr. Alex Hall came into the clearing and said Clem, when are you going to pen cattle and then the Halls commenced firing at O'F.   I was within ten steps of O'F, when he fell.   He fell on his stomach flat.   He never moved after he fell.   I stayed there until the men came to put him away.   After O'F, fell Colyer Hall ran by me saying if I can't get you one way I will another.   And went to O'F, pulled him over on his back and Jim Hall went up to O'F, too.   When Colyer Hall raised up off of O'F, he had a knife and the knife was bloody and his fingers bloody too.

Colyer Hall, then started to walk off and he told Mrs. O'F if she was a man he would put her in the same fix, then went off about 10 steps and sat on a log about an hour.   Mrs. O'F, said to Colyer Hall now you have all come here and done this what am I to do with him, Colyer Hall answered you can cut him up and put his pieces on a stump for buzzards to eat.

Mr. O'F throat was cut.   O'F and Colyer Hall, went to the depot at Canoe and took one bale of cotton and Clifton Hall and O'F took the cotton to the Navy Yard and sold it.   They stole the cotton everyone says.   Colyer Hall stole a mare and kept her concealed a few days and Mr. O'F came home and took mare off and sold her only knowing the latter by hearsay.

Mrs. Green, was Martha A. Costello, came to me and says, she Mrs. Green did not want me to go to the Collier Hall trial, and she flung a dollar in my lap and showed me her pocket book and said, I could have more if I did not go to court and if I did not testify against Colyer Hall.   I refused the money. Mrs. Godwin, came up as Mrs. Green threw the money in my lap and she Mrs. G, then turned and walked away.   Colyer Hall is Mr. Greens uncle.

W.L. Williams

Age 90 years.   Mr. Kit Vickery came to my house and told me that Andrew Hall, Colyer Hall, Taylor Hall, Alex Hall had come and shot O'F down and Colyer Hall cut his throat.   When I got to O'F, I found him dead and his throat cut.   I got tub of water and washed him.   1 rifle ball in his wrist, and twelve buck shot in his hip and back.   I think that he would have died from gun shot wounds.

J. A. Godwin

Knows nothing about the case, only hearsay.   Colyer Hall knocked him senseless with rifle.

Clarissa Godwin

Knows nothing about the killing of O'F.

Tom Godwin

Knows nothing.

J.J. Lee

Related to O'F, know nothing but hearsay.

Rebecca O'Farrell.

Widow of John O'Farrell.   Was living between Canoe and Williams Station at the time of shooting.   Colyer, Jim, Taylor, Andrew, and Alex Hall, came up before the rest came up possibly half and hour before.   The Halls began firing Colyer fired and then all fired twice.   After the firing began he O'F started to run to a horse hitched a short distance away and then he came back towards the men who continued firing at him.   When O'F got back to where he started from he fell.   When he fell Colyer and Jim Hall, went up to him and Jim held O'F head while Colyer Hall cut his throat.   Colyer Hall walked up toward me waving his knife and said if I was not a woman as I was he would do me the same way.   The Halls went back and set down on a log and said that if he was not dead he would wait and see.

Colyer Hall, got on a log and said I am one of the old blue hens chicks.   They did not stay on the log long.   Clem Hall saw the shooting but he ran away.   He was about 14 years old.   O'F, said to Colyer Hall if he had anything against him to come up and settle it like a white man but not to slip up on me and shoot me for I am willing to settle it any way Collier wanted it.   This conversation took place before.

Colyer Hall came to O'F and said if I had some way to get it I could make fifty dollars before to-morrow morning.   O'F, said tell me and I will help you.   O'F, and Colyer Hall, then went and got a bale of cotton and hid it in the swamp.   It stayed there for 3 weeks and O'F, carried the cotton to the Navy Yard and O'F gave Hall half of the money.   Colyer Hall afterward killed a sow belonging to O'F, which caused the first difficulty.

Clem Hall.

Step-son of O'F, was about 15 years at the time of the shooting.   Colyer H. and O'F were not on friendly terms.   O'F hunted for Hall 2 days and swore to kill him on sight.   Witness went with. Sunday O'F had been out all day with a musket and a navy pistol and remarked that he liked to got him that morning but his wife was with him and he remarked that he was sorry that he did not kill him then., even if he had killed his wife.

I was rolling logs with O'F when Mr. Vickery said look at the men and soon as the men began firing I run.   When Mrs. Vickery said look at the men Mr. O'F started to run and was running when the three guns fired.   I did not see Mr. O'F fall.   I was getting away myself.


©2004 John O'Farrell