Turning Back the Pages

Fleeing from the law

Charles Andrus, 23, the youth who is accused by the authorities of murdering Johnsburgh farmer William Hopkins, then setting fire to the house in which both men were staying, was captured at a farmhouse near Northville at 9 a.m. March 21, 1911 by Constable Charles Baker of Bakers Mills.

After driving a day and a half in a blinding snowstorm over country roads filled with drifted snow and frequently losing his way, the officer finally located Andrus at the home of William Baker to whom Andrus had hired out as a woodcutter. The constable took the prisoner into custody and arrived with him at 4:50 p.m. in Glens Falls where he was lodged in a cell at police headquarters and later taken to North Creek.

Andrus had come to the Baker farmhouse at daybreak after walking more than 30 miles through fields and forests the day before and was practically exhausted. He sought work as a woodcutter and William Baker had hired him. He showed the effects of exposure and cold he had endured.

When he recognized by the constable he began to cry and remarked that whiskey had got the best of him. He admitted to the officer that he had struck Hopkins and than left him in the burning room which had become ignited by the overturning and explosion of an oil lamp. He said that both he and Hopkins were intoxicated and he had only struck him when Hopkins had come at him with a pitchfork.

The crime was committed at an old house owned by Fred Jenks, formerly owned by the late Albert Jenks as Hopkins had rented the place for two years. Andrus is generally regarded as a half-witted giant as he is much over six feet tall. Those who know him cite his eccentric ways. He lived with his parents on the Dalaba place near Mill Creek.

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment