History of Allegany County, N.Y.
Courts and Lawyers pages 265-266
At the February term, 1824, David D. How was indicted for the murder of Othello Church on December 30, 1823, by a grand jury which consisted of Moses Van Campen, foreman, William Bennett, Elijih Osgood,Wm. Gray, Hiram Gray, Ealazar Burbank, Freeman S. Wilson, Charles Swift, Horatio Smith, Levi Benjamin, Mathew P. Cady, Daniel Woods,
Soloman Chamberlain, Nathaniel H.Fordice, Walter Bennett, Azel Fitch,Ebeneezer Pettis, Stephen Merils, John Hammond and Jeremiah Fuller. On the 4th and 5th of February How was tried by a jury consisting of Daniel Scott, Isaac Smith, Amasa Hall, Peter Bacon, William Rose, Luke Maxon,George D. Patterson, Joseph Haynes, Ephriam Rowley, Joseph H. Root,
Simon Williams and Horace Whitney. The court was held in a room over the first jail which stood on the site of the present Catholic church in Angelica. Samuel S. Haight was the district attorney. He was assisted by John C.Spencer, son of judge Ambrose Spencer, [to whoom the court ordered a
payment of $100 for his services], and Daniel Cruger. For the prisoner appeared Fletcher M. Haight, Alvin Burr and Felix Tracy. Forty-one witnesses were sworn on the part of the people, and fifteen for the defense. William B. Rochester was the circuit judge and associated with him were John Griffin,Thos. Dole, Clark Crandall, Vial Thomas and Sylvanus Merriam, judges. Great interest was manifested in the case, and during the trial, which was ably conducted on both sides, a military guard was stationed around the jail. Public sympathy was largely in favor of the
prisoner. The jury rendered a verdict of guilty and How immediately confessed his guilt. He was sentenced to be hung on the third Friday of the following March. So much
sympathy for How was expressed by the people that the authorities placed a guard about the jail and the house of Sheriff Wilson for several days previous to the execution, fearing that an attempt might be made to rescue him. How was publicly executed as the sentence directed, and people came to witness the execution from Cayuga, Steuben, Livingston,Genesee and Cataraaugus counties, and from Potter county, Pa. Half a hundred Indians from the reservation at Canadea were present. The gallows stood west of where the Charles Hotel now stands. No other execution in this county has excited anything like the
degree of interest that prevailed on this memorable occasion.
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