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Nathaniel H. “Nathan” Brewer

Birth
Carroll County, Tennessee, USA
Death
9 Jul 1904 (aged 31)
Paragould, Greene County, Arkansas, USA
Burial
Burial Details Unknown Add to Map
Memorial ID
View Source
Name - Nathaniel, Nathan and Nath.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Hurricane, Greene, Arkansas; Roll: 60; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0033
*****
Arkansas Democrat; 22 Aug 1903, Sat; Page 6; Little Rock, Arkansas

Bud Dortch was assassinated in his field near BoysdsviIle, Clay county, August 19. There were sixteen buckshot in his body.
*****
Daily Arkansas Gazette; 23 Aug 1903, Sun; Page 2; Little Rock, Arkansas

NATH BREWER ARRESTED

Says He Was Forced by Armed Men to Kill Bud Dortch.

Special to the Gazette.
Piggott, Aug. 22. - Nath Brewer was arrested today and placed in Jail for the killing of Bud Dortch. He made a confession, in which he said that two masked men forced him to do the killing at the end of shotguns. The sheriff is expected to reach town with the two men tonight.

Brewer's story is not believed. He is a resident of Greene county, and lived five miles from the scene of the killing.

The grand Jury will ferret out the crime to the bottom next week.
*****
Arkansas Democrat; 05 Jul 1904, Tue; Page 6; Little Rock, Arkansas

BREWER WILL HANG JULY 9

There Is No Prospect of an Interference by Gov. Davis.

It is almost a foregone conclusion that Nathan Brewer will be hanged at Paragould next Saturday. After Governor Davis' refusal to act in the case of Mart Vowell, It is not believed that he will interfere in this case. The execution is set for July 9, and the governor will be in St. Louis at the national convention nearly all week. The Paragould Democrat says: "Up to yesterday noon no word had been received from Governor Davis in regard to the Nath Brewer petition for pardon. The petition was carried to the governor after the state convention by Rev. J. N. Robinson and after hearing the cause he informed Rev. Robinson that he would take the petition under consideration and later notify either him or write to Hon. J. D. Block, attorney for Brewer. We called upon Mr. Block yesterday and he said they had heard nothing, also that he was just writing to the governor concerning the matter. The general opinion, however, prevails that no change will be made in the sentence and that the execution will take place as announced upon July 9.
*****
Daily Arkansas Gazette; 10 Jul 1904, Sun; Page 1 & 2; Little Rock, Arkansas

NATHAN BREWER PAYS PENALTY

Murderer Met Death on the Gallows at Paragould.

HIS NECK BROKEN BY DROP

He Ate Two Hearty Meals and Said That He Enjoyed Them - History of His Crime.

Special to the Gazette.
Paragould, July 9. - Nathan Brewer was hung here this afternoon at 3:50 o'clock, and the body was cut down by Dr. Dickson and Hopkins in sixteen minutes. Hi neck was broken and Brewer died without a show of weakness. Prayer was offered by the Rev. A. C. Griffin, the well-known Methodist minister, who delivered a short address. Three songs were sung.

Rev. Griffin continued singing until after the drop and then wept bitterly.

Brewer spoke as follows:
"Well, you all are standing there while I am here paying the penalty, but have a home up yonder and have nothing to fear. I have told the truth to you all and want you to all understand. I gave my statement to the press. Good-bye to you all."

Hanging was Orderly.

Order prevailed throughout the day, At least 3,000 people were around the jail most of the day.

Sheriff Grayson and a dozen deputies were kept busy most of the day, and hundreds of callers went in to see the doomed man in his cell. Brewer is a young man of 30, and has been in poor health for some time.

"I ate a hearty breakfast this morning, and am now eating my dinner, and enjoy it, too," said he, "for this is my last meal."

The statement was made at noon, as he sat in his cell with several other prisoners, all eating together. The same rope and scaffold was used today as was used one month ago, when Mart Vowell was hanged. There was only one hour's difference in the time of the execution. None of Brewer's relatives attended the execution, and none of "Bud" Dorch's family was here, but all will attend the funeral tomorrow, near Marmaduke. Rev. Mr. Cox of Rector will preach his funeral, by request. Brewer's wife kissed him good-bye Friday morning. Their parting was heartrending. Several sheriffs from adjacent counties were in attendance.

History of Brewer' Crime.

The crime for which Nathan Brewer today paid the extreme penalty of the law was the assassination of Bud Dortch, about one year ago, just across the line in Clay county, some sixteen miles north of this city.

Brewer and his victim were both white men and belonged to quiet, industrious families of more than average intelligence and social standing.

The crime was one of the most cold blooded and diabolical deeds ever perpetrated in this state. Dortch was an old and inoffensive man, living alone on his farm, and without an enemy in the world. He had lust sold some stock and was thought to have quite a sum of money, which he either carried on his person or had concealed about his house.

One day last August Dortch was found dead near his home, his body being riddled with buckshot. Evidence brought out at the inquest showed that Dortch had been assassinated and robbed, and suspicion pointed toward Nath Brewer as the guilty man. He had been seen in the neighborhood, although he lived several miles away, and was known to have inquired if Dortch did not carry his money. Three days after the commission of the crime Brewer was apprehended and placed in jail. As soon as arrested the guilty man, believing that his crime had been discovered and fearing mob violence, expressed a desire to make a confession. Being assured of protection by the officers, he fabricated a statement that afterward rendered the insanity plea useless and proved his utter undoing.

He alleged, in substance, that he had been held up by two strange men and at the point of pistols made to shoot Bud Dortch. The men were strangers, but he had seen them before, and although, he could describe them minutely, he did not know their names.

Meantime, the scene of the tragedy had been carefully examined. A brush blind had been discovered, built against the fence within a few rods of where Dortch's body was found, and inside of which the assassin concealed himself while lying in wait for his aged victim to approach on a nearby pathway, on his way to the fields to work. Within this booth were found footprints and impressions of the assassin's knees in the soft dirt, as he first stood and then kneeled, as he became tired first of one position and then the other, while waiting. The blind was worn slick by much use and showed that the assassin had lain there concealed, solitary and alone, watching for the innocent old man to come along and be shot.

All the tracks in the blind, and leading to and from it, were made by one man, and not three, and that man wore Nate Brewer's shoes.

A Change of Venue.

Brewer'a trlel was had here on a change of venue. He was defended by able counsel and after a fair trial was convicted and sentenced at the September term of the Greene county circuit court. An appeal was taken to the supreme court, but the judgment of the lower court was affirmed. The governor was importuned for clemency, but declined to interfere with the decision of the courts, and set today for the execution of the unfortunate young man.

Late yesterday evening Brewer made another confesion, containing a statement of facts entirely different from that of his first story of the crime. In this second statement he says that he alone did the killing, but that he did not kill Dortch for his money, that he never thought of money at any time in connection with the deed, and that he never touched Dortch's body, nor went near his house after the shooting. He said the sole reason he took Dortch's life was that Dortch had insulted or talked in a scandalous manner about hie wife.

Brewer and his wife were both young people. She is a daughter of Chas. Edmonson of this county, one of as highly respected families as there is in that section of the county. Dortch was an inoffensive old man, who lived several miles from Brewer, and parties living in that section say the two families were never known to have any relations with each other, friendly or otherwise.
Name - Nathaniel, Nathan and Nath.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Hurricane, Greene, Arkansas; Roll: 60; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0033
*****
Arkansas Democrat; 22 Aug 1903, Sat; Page 6; Little Rock, Arkansas

Bud Dortch was assassinated in his field near BoysdsviIle, Clay county, August 19. There were sixteen buckshot in his body.
*****
Daily Arkansas Gazette; 23 Aug 1903, Sun; Page 2; Little Rock, Arkansas

NATH BREWER ARRESTED

Says He Was Forced by Armed Men to Kill Bud Dortch.

Special to the Gazette.
Piggott, Aug. 22. - Nath Brewer was arrested today and placed in Jail for the killing of Bud Dortch. He made a confession, in which he said that two masked men forced him to do the killing at the end of shotguns. The sheriff is expected to reach town with the two men tonight.

Brewer's story is not believed. He is a resident of Greene county, and lived five miles from the scene of the killing.

The grand Jury will ferret out the crime to the bottom next week.
*****
Arkansas Democrat; 05 Jul 1904, Tue; Page 6; Little Rock, Arkansas

BREWER WILL HANG JULY 9

There Is No Prospect of an Interference by Gov. Davis.

It is almost a foregone conclusion that Nathan Brewer will be hanged at Paragould next Saturday. After Governor Davis' refusal to act in the case of Mart Vowell, It is not believed that he will interfere in this case. The execution is set for July 9, and the governor will be in St. Louis at the national convention nearly all week. The Paragould Democrat says: "Up to yesterday noon no word had been received from Governor Davis in regard to the Nath Brewer petition for pardon. The petition was carried to the governor after the state convention by Rev. J. N. Robinson and after hearing the cause he informed Rev. Robinson that he would take the petition under consideration and later notify either him or write to Hon. J. D. Block, attorney for Brewer. We called upon Mr. Block yesterday and he said they had heard nothing, also that he was just writing to the governor concerning the matter. The general opinion, however, prevails that no change will be made in the sentence and that the execution will take place as announced upon July 9.
*****
Daily Arkansas Gazette; 10 Jul 1904, Sun; Page 1 & 2; Little Rock, Arkansas

NATHAN BREWER PAYS PENALTY

Murderer Met Death on the Gallows at Paragould.

HIS NECK BROKEN BY DROP

He Ate Two Hearty Meals and Said That He Enjoyed Them - History of His Crime.

Special to the Gazette.
Paragould, July 9. - Nathan Brewer was hung here this afternoon at 3:50 o'clock, and the body was cut down by Dr. Dickson and Hopkins in sixteen minutes. Hi neck was broken and Brewer died without a show of weakness. Prayer was offered by the Rev. A. C. Griffin, the well-known Methodist minister, who delivered a short address. Three songs were sung.

Rev. Griffin continued singing until after the drop and then wept bitterly.

Brewer spoke as follows:
"Well, you all are standing there while I am here paying the penalty, but have a home up yonder and have nothing to fear. I have told the truth to you all and want you to all understand. I gave my statement to the press. Good-bye to you all."

Hanging was Orderly.

Order prevailed throughout the day, At least 3,000 people were around the jail most of the day.

Sheriff Grayson and a dozen deputies were kept busy most of the day, and hundreds of callers went in to see the doomed man in his cell. Brewer is a young man of 30, and has been in poor health for some time.

"I ate a hearty breakfast this morning, and am now eating my dinner, and enjoy it, too," said he, "for this is my last meal."

The statement was made at noon, as he sat in his cell with several other prisoners, all eating together. The same rope and scaffold was used today as was used one month ago, when Mart Vowell was hanged. There was only one hour's difference in the time of the execution. None of Brewer's relatives attended the execution, and none of "Bud" Dorch's family was here, but all will attend the funeral tomorrow, near Marmaduke. Rev. Mr. Cox of Rector will preach his funeral, by request. Brewer's wife kissed him good-bye Friday morning. Their parting was heartrending. Several sheriffs from adjacent counties were in attendance.

History of Brewer' Crime.

The crime for which Nathan Brewer today paid the extreme penalty of the law was the assassination of Bud Dortch, about one year ago, just across the line in Clay county, some sixteen miles north of this city.

Brewer and his victim were both white men and belonged to quiet, industrious families of more than average intelligence and social standing.

The crime was one of the most cold blooded and diabolical deeds ever perpetrated in this state. Dortch was an old and inoffensive man, living alone on his farm, and without an enemy in the world. He had lust sold some stock and was thought to have quite a sum of money, which he either carried on his person or had concealed about his house.

One day last August Dortch was found dead near his home, his body being riddled with buckshot. Evidence brought out at the inquest showed that Dortch had been assassinated and robbed, and suspicion pointed toward Nath Brewer as the guilty man. He had been seen in the neighborhood, although he lived several miles away, and was known to have inquired if Dortch did not carry his money. Three days after the commission of the crime Brewer was apprehended and placed in jail. As soon as arrested the guilty man, believing that his crime had been discovered and fearing mob violence, expressed a desire to make a confession. Being assured of protection by the officers, he fabricated a statement that afterward rendered the insanity plea useless and proved his utter undoing.

He alleged, in substance, that he had been held up by two strange men and at the point of pistols made to shoot Bud Dortch. The men were strangers, but he had seen them before, and although, he could describe them minutely, he did not know their names.

Meantime, the scene of the tragedy had been carefully examined. A brush blind had been discovered, built against the fence within a few rods of where Dortch's body was found, and inside of which the assassin concealed himself while lying in wait for his aged victim to approach on a nearby pathway, on his way to the fields to work. Within this booth were found footprints and impressions of the assassin's knees in the soft dirt, as he first stood and then kneeled, as he became tired first of one position and then the other, while waiting. The blind was worn slick by much use and showed that the assassin had lain there concealed, solitary and alone, watching for the innocent old man to come along and be shot.

All the tracks in the blind, and leading to and from it, were made by one man, and not three, and that man wore Nate Brewer's shoes.

A Change of Venue.

Brewer'a trlel was had here on a change of venue. He was defended by able counsel and after a fair trial was convicted and sentenced at the September term of the Greene county circuit court. An appeal was taken to the supreme court, but the judgment of the lower court was affirmed. The governor was importuned for clemency, but declined to interfere with the decision of the courts, and set today for the execution of the unfortunate young man.

Late yesterday evening Brewer made another confesion, containing a statement of facts entirely different from that of his first story of the crime. In this second statement he says that he alone did the killing, but that he did not kill Dortch for his money, that he never thought of money at any time in connection with the deed, and that he never touched Dortch's body, nor went near his house after the shooting. He said the sole reason he took Dortch's life was that Dortch had insulted or talked in a scandalous manner about hie wife.

Brewer and his wife were both young people. She is a daughter of Chas. Edmonson of this county, one of as highly respected families as there is in that section of the county. Dortch was an inoffensive old man, who lived several miles from Brewer, and parties living in that section say the two families were never known to have any relations with each other, friendly or otherwise.


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