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The Death of Stephen M. Reddish

Jersey County Murder Mystery

The Death of Stephen M. Reddish

I found a series of newspaper articles on the son of Stephen M. Reddish, Dr. Horace A. Reddish, who was accused and eventually acquitted of the murder of his father. Later Dr. Reddish was arrested for narcotics possession; and found living in squalor in St. Louis. If you have any information on the trial of Dr. Horace A. Reddish or whatever happened to him and his son Hubert, please comment below!

May 14, 1919. Jerseyville, May 14 – Prosecution of Dr. Horace A. Reddish will proceed immediately, State’s Attorney Hamilton says. Dr. Reddish will be tried for the murder of his father Stephan Reddish, wealthy retired farmer and his negro maid, found dead in the Reddish home here April 30. Hamilton declared he had sufficient evidence to hold Reddish for the grand-jury. A special grand jury session to pry into the murder mystery may be called, he indicated. Reports were circulated here today that Clarence Reddish, brother of the accused, should be able to clear him of suspicion. No details of the information of Clarence Redish was made public.

June 11, 1919. Stephen M. Reddish was alive and on the streets of Jerseyville, Saturday morning, April 26, according to testimony given by Ira W. Day, a garage proprietor, at the preliminary hearing of Reddish’s son, Dr. Horace A. Reddish, who is accused of murdering his father. The theory has been that Stephen Reddish was murdered the night of April 25 or early morning of April 26. Dr. Reddish offered as an alibi that he spent the night of April 25 at the home of John W. Mackelden in St. Louis and that he was in bed at the Mackelden home until 5:45 am, April 26. In an effort to break down this alibi, the prosecution had suggested that it would have been possible for Dr. Reddish to go from St. Louis to Jerseyville and return to St. Louis to go back to bed at the Mackelden home before 5:45 a.m. Day had told before of having driven Stephen Reddish home in his automobile, arriving there before midnight April 25, but his statement as to seeing him the next morning was first made known at today’s hearing. “Did you ever see Stephen Reddish after taking him home the night of April 25?,” he was asked. “Yes, I saw him the next morning in front of the bank building talking with Calvin Carroll.” One of the principal witnesses at yesterday’s hearing was the brother of Dr. Reddish, Clarence G. Reddish, cashier of the Jersey State Bank.

July 19, 1919. Attorneys for Dr. Horace A. Reddish, Jerseyville physician held in the jail at Jerseyville on a charge of murdering his father, Stephen M. Reddish, have started a movement to have him released on bond.

September 27, 1919. Dr. Horace A. Reddish of Jerseyville was indicted by the Jersey county grand jury yesterday for the murder of his father, Stephen M. Reddish, a wealthy Jersey county land owner, and Mrs. Rachel Cisco, negro housekeeper for Reddish. John W. Mackelden, until recently of St. Louis and now in New York, was indicted jointly with Dr. Reddish on the same charge, on indictment each being returned on the two charges. Mackelden’s wife is a sister of Reddish’s mother. The bodies of Stephen M. Reddish and his housekeeper were found in the Reddish home April 30 and on May 5 Dr. Reddish was arrested in Alton. Since then he has been confined in the county jail at Jerseyville. His preliminary hearing was not held until June 10 and lasted three days, resulting in his being held to the grand jury on a murder charge.

January 23, 1927. Wealthy Pair Is Living In Squalor. St. Louis, Jan 22. Dr. Horace A. Reddish, physician and heir to a large estate in Jersey county, Illinois, and his wife were taken into custody today by police after they were found living in squalor in a local hotel room. Their son, Hubert, 14, was taken from them and the authorities will endeavor to have him removed from his parents/ care on the ground that they are narcotic addicts. Seven years ago Dr. Reddish was acquitted in Jacksonville, Ill., of the charge of murdering his wealthy father, Stephen M. Reddish, who was mysteriously shot to death in his home near Jerseyville. Since then the family has lived in several places. Mrs. Reddish has been soliciting alms at the Union station here, police said.

In the 1930 census Hubert A. Reddish was living with father, Horace A. Reddish, no mother listed, mother born Ireland. In the Illinois Statewide Death Index a Hubert Reddish died in Chicago, July 14, 1944.

The Edwardsville Intelligencer Tuesday, July 26, 1927 Edwardsville, Illinois. Dr. Horace A. Reddish, Madison Hotel, 1831 Market street, St. Louis, formerly of Jerseyville, was bound over for action of the federal grand jury yesterday by United States Commissioner Atkins on charges of purchasing and possessing narcotics. Dr. Reddish was arrested June 29 in his hotel room by E. F. Griesser, a patrolman, who saw him obtain a package from a negro at Fourteenth street and Franklin avenue. An examination of the package, according to the government’s information, revealed that it contained morphine. In his defense, Dr. Reddish admitted the package contained drugs, but contended the seizure was made without a search warrant and was illegal. His contention was overruled by Commissioner Atkins, who bound him over for action of the grand jury. He was released on bond of $1,000. In January of this year the police found Dr. Reddish and his wife and 14 year old son living in destitute circumstances at the Madison Hotel, despite the fact he had an income of $50 a week from his father’s estate. In 1919 he was tried and acquitted for the murder of his father.

According to the LDS birth record, Horace Augustus Reddish was born May 12, 1886 in Jersey County, IL. His parents were listed as Stephen M. Reddish and Sarah M. Gilbert. Clarence Granville Reddish, Horace’s brother was born September 10, 1883.

Dr. H. A. Reddish Dies In New Orleans, Sunday. Word was received in Jerseyville, Sunday, of the death of Dr. Horace A. Reddish, former resident of this city, which occurred Saturday, February 5th, at a hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana. The deceased is a native of Jersey County. He was the son of the late Stephen and Sarah Gilbert Reddish, and was born in Fieldon, May 12, 1886. At the time of his death he was aged fifty-one years, eight months and twenty-three days. Dr. Reddish is survived by his wife; one son, Hubert Reddish; and one brother, Clarence G. Reddish of Jerseyville. Funeral services were held in St. Louis, Wednesday morning at nine-thirty o’clock and interment was in Calvary Cemetery. – Clipping from Jersey County Historical Society, dated Feb. 1938.

In the 1920 census for Jerseyville, Horace A. Reddish and his wife were living with his mother, Sarah G. Reddish. Horace’s wife was listed as Elizebeth, age 30, born in Ireland, who immigrated to the United States in 1903. Thanks to Jersey County Historical Society for this information.