Turning Back the Pages

On Sept. 10, 1886 he “feloniously and wickedly by force” stole a silver watch worth $25 from Washington Durkee.

Hill was arrested as a suspect in the June 14, 1897 murder of Amasa Mead, 70, of Chestertown, who was shot and killed in Mead’s home on a lonely road outside the village. The man was described as “a peaceable old man” who was on his knees in prayer in his kitchen when the murderer fired a shot gun through a window and Mead was found dead kneeling in front of a chair. Nearly the whole charge of small buckshot, which had been fired using wallpaper for wadding, had entered his body and three of the slugs had entered his heart. The wall paper was of the same pattern, bearing the same stock number, as the paper in one of the rooms where Hill boarded.

Tim Hill was brought to trial but the Grand Jury failed to find an indictment against him. One newspaper at the time said that the cruel murder of Amasa Mead was one of the greatest unsolved mysteries ever in northern New York.

Eleven years later, on March 8, 1908, in a drunken monologue at a Horicon hotel barroom, Hill told several men that his cousin, Jay Hill had borrowed his gun and later confessed to him that he was the one who had shot Mead. Jay Hill was immediately arrested in Warrensburgh and taken to the Warren County Jail to be held there without bail for the Grand Jury.

At the time of the hearing, Tim Hill was having a hard time getting over yet another prolonged drinking spree and was in poor condition to testify against his cousin at the hearing and no definite information could be attained. Jay Hill was not indicted.

After this investigation in 1908, the newspaper said, “The Hills are men about 45 years of age. They are wild fellows and are not held in very high esteem by their fellow townsmen.”

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1@nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

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