Sunday, July 12, 2009


Fulton Journal
November 2, 1894
(See Blogs 2007: Puffer Obit)

Stole the Child
In June of this year Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Johnston, of this city, separated. They had not lived happily for several months and soon after the separation, Mrs. Johnston applied for a divorce, the case being on the docket of the present term of the circuit court of this county. Mr. and Mrs. Johnston had resided with Mrs. Johnston's parents, Mr. and Mrs. L.F. Puffer, and after the separation Mrs. Johnston continued to reside with parents, keeping house for her father, as her mother is blind, and doing such other work as she could get to support herself and child. In her application for divorce she asked for the custody of the child, a little boy two years old. Johnston had repeatedly threatened to take the child and leave his wife before they separated. After their separation he made no attempt to gain possession of the boy till Wednesday morning about 9 o'clock when accompanied by a confidant he drove near the house....Mrs. Puffer was alone, Mrs. Johnston having gone to a neighbor's for a few moments, and when the door was opened by Mrs. Puffer, in answer to the man's knock, he asked about having a carpet woven. Mrs. Puffer, thinking he was some resident of the city and being unable to see him, asked him if he would step into the house. The boy was standing near his grand-mother and the man stepped far enough into the house to get hold of him. He took the boy in his arms and ran to the buggy in which Johnston was seated and they drove rapidly away. The boy began to cry when taken from his grand-mother and Mrs. Puffer called a neighbor, George Goble, who ran after the carriage. Johnston turned and told Goble to go back or "he would"fix him." Goble turned back and came down town. The officers were notified and L.F. Puffer, accompanied by Frank Considine, city marshal, went to Clinton, where the horse and buggy were found in a livery stable. It was ascertained by the city marshal that Johnston had pawned a revolver with the livery man as security for the livery hire. The toll-man claims that but one man crossed the bridge, and the description given tallies with that of the man who took the child from the house. The location of Johnston and the child is not known and there seems to be no legal means of regaining possession of the child before the application for the divorce case is decided.