The strange story of Nellie C. Bailey and her book
Nellie C. Bailey
Arkansas City Republican, November 7, 1885.
Nellie C. Bailey has been in the city this week canvassing for her book. The book, though written in the form of a romance, is by no means a fiction; the material which composes it is mostly based on sworn testimony. The characters are all real. Our reader will remember the trials and tribulations which have besought her. She was arrested for a most heinous crime: that of murdering Chement Bothamley. After being incarcerated for more than a year, she had her trial, being acquitted on June 20, 1885, in the U. S. Court at Wichita. We have not the space to devote to review of the book, but it is an interesting volume. It is truly a Kansas book. Mrs. Bailey will leave today for Winfield. She only canvasses the businessmen of a town and here she received numerous subscriptions.
The book mentioned in the story above is listed on Google Books.
Written by Mary E. Jackson, author of "The Spy of Osawatomie"
The book is downloadable in either PDF or ePUB formats for your reading enjoyment.
In October Deputy U.S. Marshal Cash Hollister learned of the murder of Clement Bothamley in the Indian territory. the deputy marshal journeyed to the area and arrested Nellie Bailey. the Caldwell Journal, October 16, 1883, told of the initial scenes:
Deputy U.S. Marshal Hollister received word that a man had been shot on Sunday night, Oc. 7th, on Hackberry, near Skeleton Ranche, in the Territory. Inquiring into the matter, Mr. Hollister ascertained the report to be true, and that the man killed was C. Bothamley, who formerly resided at Newton, and was, at the time of his death, on his way to Texas with 2000 head of sheep.
It was also ascertained that he had some friends at Newton, and a telegram was sent notifying them of the affair. In answer to the telegram, A. W. Carr, representing the British Association of Kansas, of which Mothamley was a member, came down, and at his solicitation, Hollister went down to Skeleton, exhumed the body, brought it up to this city , from whence it was forwarded to Newton.
Hollister also arrested a man and woman, who names were ascertained to be W. Dodson and Nellie C. Bailey. A boy, who was among with them, was also taken in charge. The woman claimed that she and the deceased were brother and sister and that Dodson was working for the deceased. That on the night of the 7th, the boy went out to where the man was taking care of the sheep, and while he was gone Bothamley shot himself. Afterwards Dodson claimed that the Bailey woman was his wife. We did not learn the name of the boy, but understand that his parents live at Newton. The boy's story is to the effect, that Dodson was out with the sheep, while the woman, the deceased and himself were at the camp. The woman told him to go out and help Dodson with the sheep, and he started do do so. He had only gone a short distance when he heard a pistol shot, and on retuning found Bothamley lying dead. The three were taken to Wichita where the man and woman were locked up. The boy was taken charge of by Mr. Carr, who took him to Newton.
We presume an examination of the persons will be held before the U.S. Commissioner at Wichita, when all the facts in regard to the parties will be brought out.
The next week (October 25, 1883) the Journal related more of the Bothamley story:
THE BOTHAMLEY AFFAIR.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Hollister returned yesterday from Skeleton, bring with him the personal property of Bothamley. In one trunk was found a lot of diamond jewelry, a fine dress and other wearing apparel, which evidently formerly belonged to his deceased wife. In another trunk was found about 300 pounds of silverware. All of the property, including the sheep, was turned over to Mr. Carr, the agent of the administrator of Mr. Bothamley's estate.
Mr. Hollister also brought up several witnesses who were cognizant of the burial of the body of Bothamley, and will go to Wichita with them today. The examination of the woman Bailey and the man Dodson will likely take place tomorrow.
While Bothamley was at Wichita, on his way down, a deed was made out to Bothamley's farm near Sedgwick City, in favor of Sarah E. Laws. Afterward, a deed was made out by Sarah E. Laws to Nellie C. Bothamley for the same property. After Bothamley was buried, the Bailey woman sent the first deed to Newton to be recorded, but Hollister, getting hold of the facts, telegraphed in time and had the recording stopped. Afterward the woman told Hollister about the second deed, and made a deed of the property to the heirs of Bothamley.
A preliminary examination was held at Wichita within a week and Nellie was bound over for trial before the U. S. district court. There on January 19, 1885, she was acquitted of the murder of Clement Bothamley.