R. T. Van Horn & Co., Publishers.*

March 10, 1870.


     It is with feelings of the most intense horror and indignation that we take up our pen to chronicle the brutal and unprovoked murder of Col. John Wilder, Senior Editor of the Journal.  In broad daylight, in the middle of a populous city, he has been hurried into eternity by the pistol of a cowardly assassin.  John Wilder was no coward, at his country's call, he flew to her defense, and often braved death in her cause, and now when peace has again visited our country, he has fallen a victim to the murderous hatred of one whom he never harmed.

     As far as we can gather the facts, Colonel Wilder was standing at the northeast end of the hallway, which runs through the Court House, in conversation with Mell H. Hudson, the City Clerk.  The murderer, James H. Hutchinson, was then standing in the west or front door of the Market House.  He walked over to the north side of Fourth street, and engaged in conversation with Mr. Sol S. Smith, and, pointing to Mr. Hudson and Colonel Wilder, asked if "that man was Wilder?"  Mr. Smith told him he did not know.  He then drew a revolver from his breeches pocket, cocked it under his coat, and walked rapidly towards where Colonel Wilder and Mr. Hudson were standing.  When within about sixteen feet of them, he muttered, "Now, sir, defend yourself," and fired the ball, striking Colonel Wilder just above the right mammary region, and traveled in a diagonal direction towards the heart. 

     Colonel Wilder did not at first seem to realize that he was mortally wounded, as he walked through the hall towards the Recorder's room, where two gentlemen, of of whom he recognized and called by name, assisted him into the City Attorney's office, in the northwest corner of the Court House.  Here he was laid on the floor, and Drs. Bennet, Morris, Porter, Dickson and Woodson were speedily in attendance.  Their skillful efforts, however, were of no avail, for in about twenty minutes he breathed his last.

     After firing the fatal shot, the murderer cocked his pistol but did not fire.  Officers O'Hare and Halpin, and Marshal Keck heard the shot and advanced to arrest Hutchinson, who retreated a few steps and pointed his revolver, but officer Halpin, clasping him from behind, secured him before he could do further mischief.  He was at once taken into the Recorder's Court room and searched, when two revolvers were taken from him.  He was then, to keep him from the crowd, taken down the stairs and locked up.  The pistol with which the murder was committed, is of the old Smith & Wesson patter, Pond's make, a six shooter.  All the chambers were loaded and only one was discharged.  The weapon is now in the possession of the Marshal.

     The following is the statement of Mell H.Hudson, City Clerk:
     The murder occurred about 11 o'clock.  Col. Wilder and I were standing in the hall of the Court House, conversing together.  Hutchinson approached us from the Market House, coming towards Main street.  He stopped within fifteen feet of us, and our attention was called to him by his making the remark, "Now, prepare!" or "Now, get ready!" or something to that effect.  As we raised our heads he was in the act of pointing his revolver towards us, and that instant he fired.  Col. Wilder was struck in the breast, and the shock caused him to turn partly round, and I did not know for a moment that he was hit.  I immediately ran a few steps to the front of the Court House and called for the police, and returned without delay.  I saw the Colonel apparently staggering, when a friend caught him, and asked him if he was hit.  He replied, "Yes, here," placing his hand over his breast.  He was then taken into the City Attorney's office, and laid upon the floor.  He did not utter another word, and in fifteen minutes he was dead.

     As soon as Col. Wilder was s hot Policeman O'Hare and Marshal Keck advanced toward Hutchinson to arrest him.  Hutchinson retreated a few paces and drew another revolver, holding one in each hand.  Policeman Halpin approached Hutchinson from the opposite direction and threw his arms around Hutchinson's waist, and the prisoner was then disarmed and put in jail, under a heavy guard.

    When the excitement had somewhat subsided, Justice of the Peace J. C. Ranson, who acted as Coroner in the absence of Captain Robert Adams, who empanelled an jury, and proceeded to hold an inquest.  Details of the inquest will be given in  tomorrow's issue.

     The murderer, James A. Hutchinson, is a short, thick set individual, apparently about thirty -five years of age.  He has resided in this city for about ten years, and is a married man.  For some time past he has been in the employ of Brooks, Thompson & Co., who have a stall in the Market in the Public Square.