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Tracy Hand Barrows
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Birth: Jan. 24, 1862
Chenango County
New York, USA
Death: Sep. 13, 1903
Chenango County
New York, USA

Note: Wife Hattie Louise Bacon. Grandson of Elhanah Winchester Barrows & Sarah Stanley. Son of Alvin Winchester Barrows & Maria Hand.

Murdered by Frank Commodore Gale (actually manslaughter) and he and Hattie had four children: Louella, Charles, Virgil and Adon.

His wife Hattie Louise Bacon Barrows:
Born-March 25,1869 and Died Dec. 30, 1935 in Carbondale, PA.
Children:Charles Alvin 1889-1953
Virgil Michael 1892-1963
Adon T.-1896-?

The following articles were from the scrapbook of Rev. E. R. D. Briggs.



A Sunday Afternoon Tragedy in McDonough

Tracy H. Barrows Killed in a Fight with Fred C. Gale, whom he had Shot in the Neck

To many minds of the peaceful residents of this little village of McDonough "the expected happened" Sunday afternoon. At a home on the edge of the village, made notorious by unlawful practices and drunken orgies of late, lay the owner dead and in jail is a frequenter of the resort charged with causing his death. While the tragedy was being enacted a daughter of the man killed was married in this village.

The victim is Tracy H. Barrows, aged 45 years, whose great fault was the love of liquor, and the apparent indifference to the acts of a faithless wife. His home has been the resort of men of evil habits and has been the scene of two shooting affairs, one of which was reported in THE TIMES not long ago, when a young man named Nightingale was wounded with bird shot fired by someone within the house. It is said that Barrows had twice attempted suicide with poison, once quite recently. His life and associations may have at least awakened and nerved him to desperate deeds, and probably started the one that resulted in his shocking death. He leaves the widow, two sons, and two daughters.

Frank C. Gale who is charged with killing Barrows, is a son of Winslow Gale, age about 25 years and unmarried. He has been a frequent visitor of the Barrows home and is said to have been infatuated with the woman, and supposed he had supplanted other men in her affections. His home is near East McDonough.

Gale and Mrs. Barrows had spent the week together at the Green fair, they returned to the woman's home about 1 o'clock Sunday afternoon. Gale's story is that he put his horse in Barrows' barn and went into the house, where he remained a short time, then started for the barn to get his horse, supposing that his relations with the wife were as agreeable to the husband as they had been for the past three months. Barrows followed him into the yard and shot him in the neck with a revolver. He jumped and caught Barrows by the legs and getting him down jumped upon his stomach and, believing it was his life or Barrows', kicked and pounded him until he was unconscious.

After the fight Gale went to Dr. Blair's office and had his wound dressed. The bullet entered the neck below the left ear and lodged at the base of the brain., where it now is, it being deemed unwise to attempt its removal. Mrs. Barrows leaving her husband weltering in his blood followed Gale to the doctor's office and remained until his injury was attended to. He then gave himself up to Constable Hoag, and at midnight the two drove to this village where Gale secured the services of V. D. Stratton as his counsel. He is said to have given away to violent emotions at times, as the tragedy was recited before the Coroner Monday, seeming to realize the terrible position in which his crime has placed him.

Parties who reached the scene of the crime possibly an hour after its occurence found Barrows lying dead in the yard. His face was badly cut and pounded. There was no fracture of the skull, death being due to internal hemorrhages caused by ruptured blood vessels in the abdominal cavity. This was shown by an autopsy that was made. The internal injuries were fatal from the start and a person receiving such could not long survive. It is said that Barrows' wife and son witnessed the affair and made no effort to interfere and save the husband and father from a brutal death. Parties at a mill or cheese factory across the way from the ill flavored home are said to have heard the noise made during the fight, if not seeing part of it, and for some reason best known to themselves did not interfere, possibly the frequent rows there had made them indifferent to anything-even murder.

There is a story that Gale left his victim after pounding him insensible, returned and jumped upon the prostrate body finished his hellish work.

The funeral of Barrows was held on Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock.

Coroner Willcox was at the scene of the tragedy, and at a preliminary hearing had Gale committed to jail.

Later Mrs. Barrows and her sixteen year old son were placed under arrest, all three being charged with the death of Tracy H. Barrows.

An examination will be held at McDonough today by the Coroner. District Attorney Brown will be present to represent the people.

2nd Article


But Little Additional Facts Brought Out At Inquest

Frank C. Gale in Jail Charged with Murder in the First Degree. Inquest Continued Today

If statements and rumors regarding the tragedy that occurred in McDonough Sunday afternoon, Sept. 14, are borne out by reliable testimony, the trial of Frank C. Gale for the killing of Tracy H Barrows, may reveal the most brutal murder ever perpetrated in this county, and a mess of rottenness that would be unlooked for even in a wicked city.

As the matter now stands Frank C. Gale is in jail charged with murder in the first degree. His paramour, Hattie E. (Bacon) Barrows wife of the murdered man, who was under house arrest charged with being an accessory to the death of her husband, was not appeared against in justice court by the District Attorney, and is at large. The woman who owned the small farm where the murder occurred has turned it over to Messrs. H. C. & V. D. Stratton, attorney for Gale, and removed to this village with her two youngest children. Just where the old quotation "what's one town's loss is another's gain" will apply in this case we are at a loss to determine.

Mrs. Barrows' eldest child, Charles, is in jail on a peace commitment for threatening the life of his brother-in-law, Martin Nightingale, who married his sister in the village about the time the murder took place, both parties wrongfully giving their ages to the clergyman. The marriage is said to have been distasteful to the mother and son. Young Barrows is described as a tough case, and is credited with doing the shooting at the Barrows home previous to the murder, by which another Nightingale was wounded.

An inquest on the death of Tracy H. Barrows was held at McDonough on Wednesday. But few additional facts relating to the murder, other than those stated last week, were brought out, but it developed that there were four or five witnesses of the latter portion of the affair, whose attention had been attracted by pistol shots said to have been fired at Gale by Barrows, and saw Barrows' life was beaten and stamped out by Gale.

We are indebted to the Chenango Telegraph for the above portraits, made from photographs taken at the time the parties were married some 17 years ago. dissipation has altered the looks of both since, more to the woman than the man, who will be readily recognized by those who knew him. Barrows had a good common school education, was a great reader, the dryer the subject matter the better was he pleased, and might have made a useful citizen but for the love of liquor and the immoral life the surrounded him.

3rd Article

The year is 1903, and as the wedding bells ring for Tracy H. Barrows' daughter and her groom, so does gunfire on his farmstead in the village of McDonough.

Tracy lay dead on his front lawn. His wife Hattie and her "lover" Frank Gale head to the doctor. Frank is wounded by a shot fired by Tracy.

In a time where horse back was the primary means of travel and medical care was minimal, Barrows lay dying of internal bleeding following an argument where Gale literally beat him to death.

After being charged with murder in the first degree, Gale was convicted of manslaughter in the second degree, tried in the Chenango County Courthouse, and sentenced to five years on a work crew in the State Prison at Auburn.

The story, although apparently cut and dry, takes twists and turns. Some believe the whole thing was a conspiracy.

What ever happened to Hattie and her two children? Why did neither parent attend their daughter's wedding the same afternoon of the murder? Was the murder really in self defense or was it a plan masterminded by Gale and Hattie? And, how and why did Gale (the murderer) defense attorney's gain the Barrows property just shortly after their client was sentenced to prison? Will what really happened that September day ever be known for certain?

Family links: 
  Alvin Winchester Barrows (1836 - 1908)
  Maria Adelaide Hand Barrows (1838 - 1862)
  Luella Barrows Nightingale (1888 - 1929)*
  Leonard A. Barrows (1903 - 1984)*
  Tracy Hand Barrows (1862 - 1903)
  Lena May Barrows (1871 - 1876)**
  Flora DeEtte Barrows (1873 - 1875)**
  Alta Winifred Barrows Grant (1877 - 1960)**
*Calculated relationship
McDonough Village Union Cemetery
Chenango County
New York, USA
Plot: Sec 1W-Lot 016-Plot 4E
Created by: Robi StoneCypher Green
Record added: Sep 11, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 96901676
Tracy Hand Barrows
Added by: Teresa A B Schopfer
Tracy Hand Barrows
Added by: Teresa A B Schopfer
Tracy Hand Barrows
Added by: NYGraveFinders
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 Added: Jul. 17, 2015

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