Skip to main content

V is for Veiled in Mystery: James Mooney Killed in the Line of Duty (A-Z)

Someone got away with murder.


Rome Tri-Weekly Courier (Georgia)
21 April 1874 -- pg. 3



…Rome has been thrown into much excitement in consequence of the mysterious taking off of Policeman Mooney, an officer of quiet and orderly habits, faithful in the discharge of his duties, and known as a reliable man and a good citizen.  The circumstances of his death are still veiled in mystery, the Coroner's inquest having developed no clue as to how and by whom the deceased came to his death.  It seems to be one of those well-laid plans of crime which leave no trace of the perpetrator or perpetrators.  So far the Coroner and his jury have been unable to unravel the mystery or to get on track of any information that promises to lead to the development of the crime.

Mooney's body was discovered late one Saturday night "along the track of the Rome Railroad, at the foot of Etowah street, almost directly upon the bank of the Etowah river, and but a short distance from the site of the steam mills of C. E. Hills & Co., recently burned."

Upon investigation it was discovered that the deceased had received a heavy blow behind the left ear, crushing the skull, and another across the left side of the head above the the [sic] ear, and rather to the posterior of the head. Both of these blows seemed to have been inflicted with a club, or a heavy, blunt instrument in the shape of a bludgeon, and either one were calculated to produce death...

It seems to have been a surprise attack, as there were no signs of a struggle.  The Coroner's Inquest, held "the whole of Sunday," found nothing that pointed "to the party who committed the deed."

Policeman Mooney leaves a wife and child who were entirely dependent on him for support…

The mayor of the city offered a $250 reward for information leading to the arrest of the murderer or murderers of Policeman Mooney, but the Coroner and his jury remained clueless.

Less than two months later, James Peter Mooney's whistle was found.  Following also from the Rome Tri-Weekly Courier, dated 9 June 1874:

We understand that the parties engaged in putting up the new telegraph poles through the city, found Policeman Mooney's whistle at or near the junction of the railroads in the upper part of the city.  The question is, Died he lose it there in the struggle for life, or did the murderers throw it away or lose it in that part of the city after committing the deed?

More than another month goes by, and still nothing.  The last I found from 1874 follows.

Rome Tri-Weekly Courier (Georgia)
14 July 1874 -- pg. 3


The Grand Jury Presentments for the First Week.

We have instituted as rigid and thorough an investigation as it was in our power to do, in relation to the brutal assassination of Policeman Mooney in the city of Rome in April last; but after an exhaustive effort on our part we regret to say that our labors, like those of the Coroner's Jury, to discover the fiendish perpetrators of the diabolical outrage have been unsuccessful.

Are you wondering what's up with all the "letter" posts? I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (links to official page). This challenge lasts through the month of April, with Sundays off.  Each day follows a different letter prompt, in order, from A to Z.  Click here to see all my letter posts on one page (in reverse order). This blog as a whole is one of my themes – telling the tales of tombstones, primarily from those found in the Southern United States and usually the State of Georgia.  You may follow along with me by email and other social media platforms listed at the top of the sidebar.  I and other bloggers in the challenge on Twitter will also be using #atozchallenge.

Though this is my second year in the challenge, it's my first with two blogs.  I am also participating with Lincecum Lineage.  Though it is a one name study blog, my theme there is "kinfolk direct." These genealogy and family history posts all involve a direct relative.

Are you participating in the challenge, too? Please leave a link to your blog in the comments, I'd love to pay you a visit.  Good luck to all involved!


Popular posts from this blog

Rocks, Rocks, and More Rocks

Why do people put rocks on grave stones? Some time ago, I learned that the rocks signified a visitor. That is true enough, but I decided to learn a little more about the custom and share my findings with you. Putting rocks on tombstones is most often described as a Jewish custom. There are many "Ask a Rabbi" columns out there, but I did not find one that knew for sure where the custom originated. They all agreed, however, that a rock symbolized a visitor and when put on a tombstone said, "I remember you." I also read that some people pick up a rock wherever they are when they think of a person that has passed. Then, the next time they visit the grave, they place the rock to say, "I wish you were here." Rabbi Shraga Simmons offers a deeper meaning: "We are taught that it is an act of ultimate kindness and respect to bury someone and place a marker at the site. After a person is buried, of course, we can no longer participate in burying them. H

Southern Cross of Honor

I'm late to this discussion, but it's one I'd like to join. :-) Terry Thornton at The Graveyard Rabbit of the Hill Country started with Grave Marker Symbols: The Southern Cross of Honor and UCV (link no longer available). Judith Shubert at The Graveyard Rabbit of the Covered Bridges continued with Hood County Texas: C.S.A. Veterans & Southern Cross of Honor Symbol . [UPDATE, 1 June 2009: Judith has moved this post to the blog, Cemeteries with Texas Ties . The link has been corrected to reflect this move. You may also link to her article via her nice comment on this post.] Wikipedia states: The Southern Cross of Honor was a military decoration meant to honor the officers, noncommissioned officers, and privates for their valor in the armed forces of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. It was formally approved by the Congress of the Confederate States on October 13, 1862, and was originally intended to be on par with the Union Arm

Thursday Link Love: EyeWitness To History

Yesterday, a link was added to the Genealogy Research Resources Group at Diigo. The link was to the website titled EyeWitness to History through the eyes of those who lived it . It's a great site, and I encourage all to visit it. Here are several items I found while snooping around. - Inside a Nazi Death Camp, 1944 : "Hitler established the first concentration camp soon after he came to power in 1933. The system grew to include about 100 camps divided into two types: concentration camps for slave labor in nearby factories and death camps for the systematic extermination of "undesirables" including Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally retarded and others." - Crash of the Hindenburg, 1937 : "Radio reporter Herbert Morrison, sent to cover the airship's arrival, watched in horror. His eye witness description of the disaster was the first coast-to-coast radio broadcast and has become a classic piece of audio history." [You ca

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live...'" (Ezekiel 37:1-5, NKJV)