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Follow-up on the Step/Fraley Murder
Posted by: David Alan Stapp (ID *****2483) Date: June 13, 2004 at 09:54:42
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THE MACON [GA] TELEGRAPH 1833-1839
November, 1838

STOP THE MURDERERS! A reward will be paid for apprehension of John Step and Solomon Step who murdered Martin Fraley, Sr. Oct. 8th near Wolf's Ferry, Hardin Co. Tenn. John is about 26, and Solomon about 23-24. The men formerly resided in the Cherokee country (note: countRy, not county as I had submitted in my first posting)in Georgia and it is thought they will either make their way back to Georgia or strike for Texas. Collect the reward by delivering the men to jail in Hardin Co., Tenn. Sally Fraley, Hamburg P.O., Hardin Co., Tenn., Henderson G. Fraley, Jackson Fraley, and Samuel Lenoy offered the reward.

THE WOODVILLE REPUBLICAN: MISSISSIPPI'S OLDEST EXISTING NEWSPAPER - November 17, 1838

$1000 reward will be paid by the undersigned for the apprehension of John Step and Soloman Step, who murdered Martin Fraley, Sen'r' on the 8th of October, near Wolf's Ferry in Hardin County, Tennessee. The Steps formerly resided in the Cherokee Country in Georgia and it is thought they will either make their way back to Georgia or strike for Texas. Sally Fraley, Benderson (sic) G. Fraley, Jackson Fraley, and Samuel Lenox. Foward information to Salley Fraley, Humburg, P.O. Hardin County, Tenn. (Description of the two Step men is included in the advertisement)

Also, in a book on Hardin County, Tenn. records, I have found what I believe to be the Steps getting kicked out of the county, only a matter of months before the "murder" occurred.

1 July, 1839. "Insolvent and removed from the County.: Pg. 271 Book C.

John A. Stoop

I don't know as to whether Mr Fraley was any sort of County constable, but it looks like John might have had a grudge against him, came back to the County with his brother Solomon and the rest is history...

David Alan Stapp
stappda@logcom.usmc.mil


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