Early Days of Greenbush: The Killing of Sheffield



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In 1836 or ‘7, in the village of Greenfield, Jerry Moles and his brother engaged in a quarrel and fight with Richard Ore and Roley Simmons. This Roley Simmons was a son of William Simmons, who was better known as “Old Billy” Simmons. Richard Ore was a son-in-law of Wm. Simmons. After the fight they separated, but the Moles brothers were not satisfied. About this time John Sheffield had come to town and was in the store, trading. As he went to pass out at the store door, one of the Moles brothers hit him on the head with astone. Moles was mistaken in his man; he thought it was Richard Ore.

Mr. Sheffield was taken to his home; he then resided in a cabin a short distance south of ‘‘Nigger’’ creek on lot 10, section 16. John C. Bond and Thomas Moulton with their wives waded through deep snow from Moulton’s house to Sheffield’s cabin. They found that Sheffield was badly injured. They washed the blood from his head and did what they could for him. In the meantime a doctor was called. Sheffield died a few days afterwards. It is alleged that he was buried in what is called the lost graveyard across the creek a short distance west of the Greenbush graveyard.

Jerry Moles was arrested on a warrant issued by Moses T. Hand, justice of the peace. At his preliminary trial, Cyrus Walker appeared for the prosecution. He was bound over and sent to Monmouth jail. The Moles brothers looked very much alike and it was difficult for the witnesses to tell which one threw the stone that killed Sheffield. Moles was finally acquitted.

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