Salt Lake Tribune, 19 Feb. 1881




Turner Killed for Money and to Gratify Personal Spite.


The Bloody Instruments that Did the Work Exhibited in Court.


The prosecution Rest and Defense Have Nothing to Offer.


     Long before Court opened yesterday morning the room was crowded with spectators, anxious to hear the evidence, which promised to be very interesting, and as the following testimony shows they were not disappointed, the evidence all through being of a very damaging nature to the defendant, who showed no signs of feeling at any time, but maintained the utmost indifference, seemingly, to all that transpired.  At a few minutes past 9 o’clock court opened, the jurors were called, and answered.

     Wm. Carroll, first witness, has lived at Provo for about three and a half years, knew John F. Turner, knew Welcome; had conversed in regard to J.F. Turner, two months before he left Provo.  He said he and W? intended to break jail, and would gag Chss. Turner, but for the good treatment of the sheriff did not, he said if he ever met John F. he would kill him; being asked if he would really kill a man, he replied, yes, by God, I’d kill a man for a breakfast.

     Cross examined- I am a carpenter; knew deceased intimately; we were hunting a cow when the talk took place; we were alone; he also said he would kill either the old man or Johnny; I was not a deputy, defendant was a prisoner then I think; he was allowed great liberty, we were out of sight of each other about an hour, we were in the fields; there was no lumber, saw him after I got back, the same night, he was doing nothing, he rode Mr. Turner’s horse; he didn’t say he would stay in Provo, and go into the harness business set up by Sheriff Turner.

     Chas Jones was the second witness.  I live at Park City, knew John F. Turner, also Welcome, knew their camp at the Park; it was on the road toward Heber, was at Park City at the time of the tragedy; passed at sundown and the three (Welcome, Emerson and Turner) were there; Welcome and Emerson were sitting on the wagon tongue; Turner was a little way off cooking; saw Welcome and Emerson after that, about 10:30, saw them in from of Simons hotel going up the street, they had a bundle; passed the camp next morning at 8 o’clock, saw three horses tied up; no one was in the camp; passed again at dusk; Welcome and another man were there, it as not Johnny Turner, passed again on Tuesday at about 6 o’clock; there was no camp there, all had gone, never saw Johnny Turner after Saturday.

     Cross Examined- I boarded at the hotel; passed the camping place nearly every day, it was probably twenty five or fifty feet from the road much travel on the road.  I was mining, had known deceased about eighteen months; he was with Welcome, never saw the three together previous in that time; did not see them drinking; passed “good evening: with all when I first passed; didn’t see the team after the evening of the 4th.

     I never saw Turner with Welcome and Emerson except in camp, saw Welcome and Emerson together, the camp was to sight of  town, it was three or four hundred yards from the McHenry mill.

                          GEO. AKOFF

Was the next witness called.  Live in Park City, knew J. Turner in his lifetime, knew the camp, saw Johnny with his teams, saw Welcome and Emerson, saw Fred on the morning of the 4th at Creek & Dodges saloon, he had blood on his shirt bosom and sleeves, asked him if some one had hit him, he said no, but some son-of a b-h called him across the road and he got away with his men, there was a lot of blood spattered on his shirt.

       Cross Examined-Saw the camp of the deceased.  It was about fifty or a hundred yards from the road, maybe not so far.  First seen the camp about the 1st of July.  Camp was about half a mile out of town.  Saw Welcome and two wagons and four horses-no one else.  Saw him with the blood on his shirt on the 4th, in the morning. He had on a coat.  Had on a white shirt, had blood on the shirt?  This was between six and seven o’clock in the morning.  Saw him about noon again.  He had on that bloody shirt.  Did not see him at the celebration on the 5th.  I have seen deceased and defendant together in town.  Also Emerson- but only once-after dark, when I saw them at the hurdy house standing around.  Did not see them drink.  Stayed until ten or eleven.  Did not see the deceased in the hurdy house.  Never did.  Only Welcome and Emerson were there and not Turner.  Welcome usually slept in the loft of the stable where I slept.  He did not come the night of the 3d.  There was a bar across the window.  I went to get a drink about six or seven.  Welcome was in the saloon and he took one drink with me.

                  CYRUS B. HAWLEY

Was the next witness:  Live at Pleasant Grove.  Was at Park City on the 3d and 4th of July.  I knew Johnny Turner, also Welcome.  Did not know their camp.  Saw Welcome on the 4th of July.  He said “Hello”.  He said “I hit a G-d-s- of a b-, and I hit him hard, look at my shirt”.

     Cross-examined-Saw him on the street, was not in the saloon.  Blood was on the bosom of his shirt; it was a white shirt; noticed no other blood, the blood was spattered.  Saw him no more that day.  I work at the Ontario mine.

    Chas E. Ba??a was the next witness: Live at Park City, as a book keeper.  Heard of the murder, remember the night, it was the 3d.  Did not know Johnnie Turner, knew Welcome, and saw him on the night of the 3d in the hurdy house about 11, his shirt front was spattered with blood, he was talking to a girl.  We spoke.  I noticed the blood and spoke of it; he tried to pull away, he afterward opened his coat and vest and showed the blood, also rolled up his left sleeve and shoed blood.  I saw a scratch on his hand.  He also said he had hit a son-of a b-h, and hit him hard.  I supposed it was a common fight, heard on no fight then nor since.

     Cross examined-In June, 1877, worked for Theriot Bro’s, butchers; stayed in the hurdy house only a few minutes, the room was crowded, saw him in the saloon, saw him talking to one of the girls.  I left soon after he did, saw him Sunday in Creek & Dodge’s saloon.

             ALMAND CLYDE

Was next called.  Live in Springville, have lived in Park City, knew Fred Welcome, worked with him hauling wood, heard him in January or February, 1880, speak of the Turners; said he would have revenge on the Turner family.

     Cross examined-Heard him speak of them when we were working in the Empire Gulch.  We were alone, and near together.  Welcome and I probably had words, think we had words.

     Re-direct-Bad words with Welcome in January or February.

                    SHERIFF WM. ALLISON

Next called.  Live at Coalville; I am sheriff of the county, knew Welcome was in Park City on the 3d, and left on the morning of the 5th, saw defendant at Park City in Creek & Dodge’s saloon, Emerson was also in the saloon; saw him also on Sunday and Monday he was drinking, saw both Welcome and Emerson on Tuesday morning.  I passed them about three mile from Park City, on the road to Wanship, they were driving a black horse and rode in the head tem, one wagon was new and had a wagon cover thrown over it loosely, the wagon seemed to be full, or nearly so; the greys were on about a half worn-out wagon, they were both in the front wagon, (withdrawn by the prosecution as recalled).

     Cross-examined-Went to celebrate the Fourth of July; saw Welcome in the evening in a saloon, saw him again about 10 or 11 in Creek & Dodge’s saloon, also Emerson, Welcome was drinking, saw him drinking, he was pretty full, he showed it; was not drunk when I saw him at Lane’s; saw him and Turner, noticed the teams particularly, spoke to the driver of the ? and said these are nice teams.

Sheriff Allison in? ? by the prosecution no one came up with Welcome and Emerson in the wagons.

    Wm. Reynolds was next called:  Live at Wanship, am a merchant, have seen defendant at Wanship; he and another an, they had two teams and a wagon, the wagon I got into had chopped barley; asked me if I wanted to buy chopped barley, bought four sacks; said I could not ? the barley as it was too expensive, and corn was cheaper; he said he’d sell the barley as cheap, said he would take it out in trade; he was awkward; got in to help him and he wanted the sacks taken from the rear of the wagon; would only le me have two sacks, the other person was in the front wagon, seemed to be drunk, wanted to have the sacks back.  I wanted them, but he wanted them back, they were seamless sacks.

   Cross-examined-This is about fourteen miles from Park City, stayed in town about one hour, left their wagons on the street, gave him money and he went to get a quart of whiskey, took sacks out of the rear wagon, no cover on it, never saw defendant before.

   By a juror-Could a body be concealed in the wagon and you not see it?  Yes, sir, the wagon was loaded about half way up; had side boards.

   Re-cross examination- He did not say he wanted to sell it because it was spilling.

                   LEONARD PHILLIPS

Was the next witness:  Live at Echo Cny.  Have for four years; have seen defendant, saw him when Mr. Turner; brought him there; not before; found a dead body; about seven miles up the canyon, about July 10, had not seen teams camped there; I saw the team there Turner brought back, saw the team pass my house on the 6th, going toward the place where the body was, found the body behind a big rock; it had an ? tent over it; had rocks thrown on it, the feet stuck out; head was ?, lain on the left side; body was ? and buried there to be delivered; it was delivered to Mr. Turner; there was no dirt on the body; had been; Mr. Turner came.  Thos. Fowler was with him; found a piece of scalp near the road quartering from where the body lay, gave it to Peter Brown; this was the same body I delivered.


     Cross-examined-The body was of a dark color; decomposition had set in to a certain extent; think the body was about three rods from the road.

     David Moore was next called.  Live: at Castle Rock; have seen the defendant, know the place the body was found; I saw the defendant camped there, together with some one else; had a wagon and four horsed; know the rock behind which the body was buried, I was riding up the canyon on the 6th, saw a wagon and four horses camped, also what looked like a man in a bed, saw a man coming toward me, it was the defendant, he said he was going to Evanston, wanted to sell the horsed, told their ages, said he had feed and would rather keep them tied up; he said he knew the horses ever since they were colts.

     Cross-examined-Did not know defendant before this, talked about fifteen minutes; the rock was about sixteen feet from the road; this was about dusk, July 6th.  ? about twelve miles from the place; there is ? about a mile from the road.

     Sheriff Turner was re-called by the prosecution.

     Mr. Phelps delivered the body to me, I brought it to Salt Lake City; the request was held by Dr. Benedict; Sheriff Allison accompanied me to Salt Lake, I took the body to Provo where it was buried.

                               H. H. Moss ?

was next called.  Live at Piedmont, Wyoming; have seen the defendant, saw him on July 6th at Piedmont with other man, about 4 or 5 o’clock p.m. he came to the store, and asked for me, wanted to hire me some teams, he had started from Park City, I looked at his teams, one was a roan and black, the other was a gray team, one was a new Fish wagon, the other was an old wagon.  I wanted him to chop and haul by the piece, he consulted with the others and said they did not wish to stay and he picked up his acquaintances at Hilliard, they had drank and he had to pay for it, a man came along and I got in his wagon to go home with him, he said he would take $200 for the gray team, we asked Welcome what sort of a bill of sale he could give, he asked if I would take the other man a word for it, he said he sold some grain in Evanston, I bought the team and took a bill of sale from the defendant, looked to see if he was embarrassed.  Did not seem to be.  Emerson witnessed it.  Went to unload the wagon. Said he was a fool to sell the wagon so cheap.  Offered him $150.00 to take the old wagon and let him take the team.  Left a sack of grain in payment for some ? he wanted it bad J. W. Turner on it.  The name was on the wagon.  The team was afterwards claimed by John W. Turner, about 14 days afterwards.  Welcome said he had worked the gray team at Frisco and Park City for four years.

     Cross-Examined- But nothing specific was brought out.

     Recess was taken till 2 p.m.


Afternoon Session

Court re-convened at 2 o’clock


           Dr. J. M. BENEDICT

Was then called.  Knew John W. Turner; did not know the deceased.  I examined the body; Mr. Turner had it in charge made the examination on the depot platform, several persons were present.  I had chare; examined it for wounds or injuries, have examined it since-three days ago; I marked the injuries on an old skull, here is the skull.  (A skull was produced showing by ink the condition of the skull of the deceased).    The body was ? decomposed and the hair was off on the left side of the heard.  There was a large broken place, apparently made by a blunt instrument, think it was done by an axe, death must have been instantaneous; there would be much blood, the blood might squirt eight or teen feet; a man could not avoid the blood if he stood over the head.  (The axe was here produced).  Know the axe.  A board could do it.

     Mr. Turner recognized the axe.  Mr. Allred also recognized the axe as the one he found at Green River.

     A bill of sale was offered in evidence.

                   GEO. CAMPBELL

Was next called.  Live at Green River, have seen defendant; it was in July 1880, between the 12th and 13th, two others were with him, one named Emerson, he had a team and wagon; one roan and dark bay or black house, he sold the team and wagon to Mr. Hall, Hall is dead, Hall told me, and defendant told me, too; defendant said he sold it cheap, nearly gave it away, said he had other teams at Park City.  Welcome said he had lots of money, he said he had some words with a saloon keeper and drew a revolver, but didn’t kill him; said he never killed a man, then he said “Yes I did, I killed an innocent young man,” think he said he used an axe.

     Cross-examined-Welcome was drinking, two men were with him, one was Emerson, they were drinking too, he stayed in Green River two or three days trying to sell the team, drank considerable, was to the saloon ? often; Emerson called him Fred, Emerson told me his own name.

                      ? ?

was next called.  Have been convicted of bigamy, was in jail with Welcome, I knew the defendant, saw him in August, 1879, to Provo; knew John W. but not John F. Turner.  Welcome bought of me a pair of sleeve buttons, said young Turner had bought a revolver and horse and saddle of him and he did not pay him, and he said by God, I’ll kill him if it’s ten years I’ll follow him to his grave, know of his confinement in jail.

     Cross-examination-first met him in August, 1879, knew him well, I was married, we were both in jail, the threat of Turner’s life was made twice; he, Welcome worked for Mr. Turner, there is no unkind felling between defendant and me; I never threatened Welcome, knew a thug called Driscoll; he was not a man I’d call him a thug, he was a ?, I probably threatened him.

                     SHERIFF WM. ALLISON

Recalled-I first saw Welcome in Cheyenne; saw him arrested on the Union Pacific platform; he was place in jail, left Cheyenne in charge of him at about 8 p. m. brought him to Salt Lake City.  I had a talk with him, know the spot where the murder was committed, talked of the killing, he spoke voluntarily, no promise of reward.

     By defense- He was arrested the day before we started; no excitement about being lynched; I said nothing about it; no armed parties got aboard.  I asked him what induced him to kill the boy.

     Exception, etc, overruled

     After we sat talking I said Fred how in the world did you come to kill Johnny.  He said I was arrested once in Provo, and after I was set free I got drunk again, got into trouble and was rearrested.  Johnny told on me, and I said I would get even on the family.  When I asked him if he killed the boy he said no.  He said we agreed to go to Montana; Johnny wanted to go, so did Emerson.  Welcome said he could if he had help to do the chores.  He said they went to Park City, where the wagons were camped.  Emerson came over where I was and we talked of the trip.  Emerson said, Johnny don’t want to go where we do.  If he won’t go where we want to God damn him, we’ll kill him.  Emerson went back to where Johnny was sitting and  I heard two heavy knocks, and Emerson said, “Fred, I’ve done it. I’ve killed him”.  Welcome said to Emerson, “It’s a bad job, but we must make the best of it.”  He was killed dead, was dead when we went to him; then they both began drinking; Welcome said they took the body to Echo Canyon, took him out of the Wagon and put rocks on him.  As we came to the place he turned and looked out of the widow and seemed excited.

                 T.J. Carr

Was the next witness.  Live in Cheyenne, am City Marshal.  In July I was sheriff, also a detective.  Knew defendant, saw him in July; on and before July the ?th; saw Sherif Turner then;  I arrested the defendant at the depot, a policeman helped me; Turner was near by; took him in jail, had several talks with him about the transaction.  Welcome said at first he thought he would swing.  Welcome was asked what he had done; he said he had killed this man’s son (Turner’s) near Echo or Park City; I asked him why; he said Mr. Turner had him in jail for a crime and had misused him, etc,. said he was broke and thought this was a good time to get even and make a raise.  Conversed with him in the afternoon; he said (voluntarily again) that he didn’t do it all, he had a partner- Emerson; Emerson killed him, he stood by and saw it done and shared the profits; Welcome said they hauled the body some distance before they buried it.

     The motion to strike out the first statement overruled, excepted to  Sheriff Turner was recalled.  My son informed on Welcome it caused his re-arrest.

     Cross-Examined-Have seen him work left handed, have seen him chop some both ways; have seen him use an axe left handed the most.

     Mr. Aldred re-called by prosecution.  Have seen Fred Welcome use an axe; think he is left handed.

     Cross-Examined-Never saw him chop right handed.

     The people rest.