MURDER OF A. HOLLINGSWORTH BY 0. B. REED (1870)
On the 22d. of April, 1870, A. Hollingsworth, an old citizen of the county, 74 years of age, and formerly marshal of Springfield, and county jailer--well known as " Uncle Ev.," -- was killed a few miles south of Springfield, by another old man named O. B. Reed, of Christian county. It seemed that Reed had been to town with a load of lumber, and became intoxicated. He then started home, having a bottle of whisky in his pocket. He was next seen lying on the road a few miles from town by someone who passed on to Mr. Hollingsworth's house, a short distance, and informed him that a drunken man was lying in a helpless condition and ought to be taken care of. Mr. Hollingsworth repaired to the spot, where he found Reed entirely helpless, having apparently fallen from the wagon, and his team tangled in the brush and his wagon broken. Mr. Hollingsworth took a coffee pot from the wagon and filled it with water at the branch near by, and proceeded to bathe the head and wrists of Reed. He was thus engaged when Mr. W. H. Patterson, who witnessed the remainder of the affair, rode up on horseback. The effect of the cold water revived Reed so that he rose on his elbow, and begun to abuse Hollingsworth, asking him if he wanted to fight, etc. Mr. Hollingsworth paid little attention to him and proceeded to pour the water on Reed's head, when the latter sprang to his feet, drew a knife and attempted to stab Hollingsworth, the latter retreating slowly for a distance of about thirty yards, closely pursued by Reed, who finally caught Hollingsworth with his left hand and struck him five times with the knife. When Mr. Patterson discovered that Reed was using a knife, he immediately jumped from his horse, caught him and tried to take the knife from him. Failing in this, he jerked him down, placed his foot upon his wrist and, with a stone, broke the blade of the knife. Patterson then assisted Hollingsworth to get upon his horse. Reed, in the mean time, attempted another assault, when Patterson threw him in the branch where he left him.
Dr. Barrett was sent for to attend Hollingsworth and at first it was hoped his life might be saved. He, however, died the second day afterward. He was aged about 74, unusually stout and vigorous. The two were strangers to each other and no cause of quarrel existed between them. Reed was an old gray-headed man, feeble in appearance, with every indication of being inoffensive and harmless. He said he had no recollection of anything that passed after he left town until in the night when he awoke and found himself in a strange room under guard.
On preliminary examination before Justice Hubbard, Reed was committed to jail to await the action of the grand jury. He was afterwards tried and sentenced to three years' imprisonment in the penitentiary but was soon pardoned by the Governor.
(History of Greene County, Westerm Historical Company, 1883)