Bio: McCann, Joseph
Contact: Stan

----Source: Transcribed by Ken Wood., Marshfield Times  Friday August 1, 1890 Page 1, Marshfield News Thursday August 7, 1890  Page 1, Marshfield Times  August 15, 1890

Surnames: Brooks, Buckler, Campbell, Daly, Frawley, Johnson, Marsh, Mason, McCann, O'Neill, Owen, Page, Shay, Sternitzky, Valentine


Joseph McCann

Clark County, Wisconsin Pioneer


A Murder at Lynn?

Lynn, the present terminus of the C. M. & St. Paul, D. and N. branch was on Saturday evening last, at about 7:30 the scene of a terrible tragedy, one, by which a Clark county citizens and one who has always commanded the respect of the citizens of the county lost his life and at the hands of an Eau Claire citizen, who likewise, so far as can be learned, commands the respect of his acquaintances.

The particulars of the fatal affair, so far as the Times can learn, were substantially as follows:  A. L. Owen, proprietor of a sawmill in the town of Lynn, on July 4th, had some words with one Joseph McCann, who was in charge of a construction crew on the C. M. & St. P. extension from Lynn, his brother C. W. McCann being the contractor.  No blows were struck at that time but the feud still existed and on Saturday last the parties met again and at Shay & Daly's saloon.  The quarrel began and Mr. Shay, after several attempts to quell the row, finally ordered them off the premises.  On the steps of the saloon the row again opened and McCann, who it is stated had not been drinking, struck Owen, who it is stated was intoxicated, a terrific blow which knocked him off the steps and into the street and afterwards jumped on him and kicked him.  Mr. Shay, who was inside at the time, came out and finding Owen lying on the ground, attempted to get him up when to his horror he discovered he was dead.  The body was taken into the building and a messenger dispatched to Neillsville for a physician and officer, the Lynn officers having neglected to act.  In the meantime McCann secured a conveyance and drove to this city where he took passage on the St. Paul limited for some point not yet discovered.  Deputy Sheriff Robert Campbell followed but was about two hours too late to secure his man and up to this time he is still at large, although Sheriff Page has a large force out and is making a every effort to capture him.  Mr. Owen was about 35 years of age.  He has a wife and one child.

On Monday a Coroners jury was empanelled consisting of Ernst Sternitzky, Henry Sternitzky, Alonzo Brooks, John B. Mason, E. A. Buckler, and Valentine Johnson with S. M. Marsh, Esq. officiating as Coroner.  Dist. Attorney Jas. O'Neill conducted the examination and Hon. T. F. Frawley of Eau Claire, was present in behalf of C. W. McCann, brother of the accused.

The following is the verdict rendered by the jury:

That the said A. L. Owen came to his death at the town of Lynn, Clark county, and state of Wisconsin, on the twenty-sixth day of July, 1890, by being knocked down and kicked in the head dislocating his neck, by one Joseph McCann.

Marshfield Times  Friday August 1, 1890 Page 1

McCann Gives Himself Up

Joseph McCann, who is charged with the killing of A. L. Owen, at Lynn on July 26th gave himself up at Neillsville on Wednesday of last week.  Since the date of the fight McCann has been in hiding in Eau Claire.  One of the conditions of his surrender is that he admitted to bail.  Judge Newman met the defendant and the attorneys in the case at Merrillan Junction, Thursday last, and fixed the defendant's bail at $3,000, which was readily procured, and McCann now has his freedom until December.  Although McCann is charged with murder in the first degree the testimony taken at the coroner's inquest indicates that he is only guilty of some degree of manslaughter, probably the first.

An Eau Claire Leader man interviewed Lal McCann with references to the whereabouts of his brother Joe, and enquires into the alleged killing of A. L. Owens at Neillsville last Saturday night and obtained this;

"My brother is not hid away, nor has he been hiding" remarked Contractor Lal McCann to the Leader man yesterday.

"Where is he then?"

"He is at the farm visiting his wife and family."

"Why has Joe a wife?  He is only 19 years of age."

"He has a wife for a fact, and a nice young lady she is, and what's more, Joe has as fine a baby as there is in the country."

"So then, Joe does not seek to evade the officers of the law?"

"No, sir, if they want him they can soon find him."


"At work at Lynn, superintending the construction of the Milwaukee, St. Paul roads."

"Joe then feels satisfied that the killing of Al Owens cannot be laid at his door?"

"He had no more to do with the killing than I did."

"Did he kick him?"

"No sir, he never kicked him."

"How did his neck come to be broken?"

"That is easily explained.  Al Owens made a pass at Joe, Joe dodged and away went Al head first, falling from the sidewalk a height of two feet, and striking heavily on his head.  He     never stirred after he struck just gasped twice and all was over, the man had broken his neck."

Marshfield News Thursday August 7, 1890  Page 1

Joseph McCann, charged with murdering A. L. Owens at Lynn, on the 26th, and who has been in hiding at Eau Claire since the crime, gave himself up to Sheriff Page at the Eau Claire depot last Wednesday night and was brought to Neillsville.  Tuesday he was taken before Judge Newman, who met the prisoner and District Attorney O'Neill at Merrillan, and boys for McCann's appearance at the December term of court, were fixed at $3,000, and the bond being satisfactory the prisoner was released.

Marshfield Times  August 15, 1890



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