In the U. S. Court—A Dead(?) Husband
Testifies in HisWidow’s (?) Pen-
A remarkable, interesting and important pensioncase was begun this afternoon in the U.S. Court.
John Wooten and his wife, Stacey Shafer, are ontrial for making false affidavits to the pension applications of theirhalf-sister, Mary Jacobs, of Huntington.
The history of the case reads like a story. In 1865 William Jacobs married a young womanafter he got an honorable discharge from the army. They lived in this state for a few years,apparently happy, and then separated for a period. After a year or two they came together and in1873 separated again for some reasons unknown.
A short time ago Mary Jacobs, the wife, appliedfor a pension, and it is alleged the affidavits she filed, claimed that shenursed Jacobs in his last illness, that she saw him die and that she buriedhim. Affidavits supporting this werealleged to have been made by Stacey Shafer and John Wooten.
Her plea was of such a nature that it was made aspecial case and a pension was granted.
It now turns out that Jacobs, the husband whomMrs. Jacobs alleged died with the measles in her presence
IS VERY MUCH ALIVE
and is hale and hearty. He was inthe court room this afternoon.
The case is full of sensational features and willbe interesting as well as important.
Jacobs says he left his wife in 1873 and has notseen her since.
A Deputy Marshal said Mrs. Jacobs is feigning sickand will not come to court. She lives atHuntington. Deputy Clark was sent for her yesterday. He returned with a doctor’s certificate ofher illness. Geo. W. Atkinson, Esq., isretained for the defendants.
[source: January 13,1893, Parkersburg Daily State Journal,Parkersburg, W. Va.]
U. S. COURT DOINGS.
The Big Pension CaseAdjourned Until
The joint trial of John Wooten and his alleged wife,Stacey Shafer for swearing to false affidavits in the now famous Jacobs pensioncase was adjourned over until Tuesday on account of the absence of DistrictAttorney Sturgiss, who went home Saturday. The case is about half finished. It is attracting considerable attention onaccount of the unusual and sensational features, which were noted in the STATEJOURNAL.
[source: January 16,1893, Parkersburg Daily State Journal,Parkersburg, W. Va.]
THAT PENSION CASE.
Mary Jacobs, the Alleged Widow,
Brought Face to Face
With Her Husband.
And Denies Ever Having Seen Him—Also
Disclaims Her Father and Mother-in-
Law—Sensational Testimony in the
Wooten-Shafer Case—Her Case will be
The trial of John Wooten and his alleged wife, StaceyShafer, for swearing to false affidavits in the Mary F. Jacobs’ pension casewas concluded today in the U. S.Court.
The sensational feature of the hearing was the testimonyof Mrs. Mary Jacobs, the alleged widow, who applied for the pension and sworethat her husband was dead.
It will be remembered that the husband, whom she said shesaw die, is now in the city and was a witness in the case.
The Jacobs woman was brought up from Huntingtonyesterday in spite of her alleged sickness and a Parkersburg physician examined her and saidshe was well enough to testify.
Her testimony in substance was as follows: I live in Huntington and am the widow of Wm. H.Jacobs. W. H. Jacobs, the supposed deadman, was brought before her then and she
DENIED KNOWING HIM
and said she never sawhim. She was married Sept. 5, 1865. She acknowledged this; lived with her husbanduntil he died in 1876, she said. “I amcertain he died in Connersville,Ind., for he wrote to me to come,and I went. Saw him. His father, Henry Jacobs, and his mother,Susan Jacobs, were present when he died.
Henry and Susan Jacobs, of Connersville, Ind.,father and mother of W. H. Jacobs, were then brought forward. She denied ever seeing them. Did not see my husband die, but gave himmedicine. He is buried in a church yardseven miles from Connersville,but did not attend the funeral. Do notknow whether I would know my mother-in-law.
Her testimony was contradicted by W. H. Jacobs, and hisfather and his mother. They swore thatshe was the wife and that she knew them all and that this W. H. Jacobs was herhusband.
It was brought out by testimony from Huntington citizens that Mary Jacobs had beenarrested for disorderly conduct. She isrelated to defendants, John Wooten and Stacey Shafer, and the affidavit theyswore to was practically the same as covered by her testimony. It is the general opinion that the three areguilty of perjury.
The jury in the cases returned a verdict of guilty ofperjury and false swearing against Stacy Shafer and John Wooten.
It is understood the Jacobs womanwill plead guilty.
A. E. Salmon, assistant clerk of Cabell county, was fined$100 and sent to jail for
oneday for false swearing in this case. There were extenuating circumstances.
[source: January 17,1893, Parkersburg Daily State Journal,Parkersburg, W. Va.]
THEY ALL GO UP.
Mary Jacobs, John Wooten and
Stacy [sic] Shafer Get Two Years
Inthe Penitentiary and Fined Each $100—
Endingof an Astounding Case Which is
Unparalelled[sic] in its Nature in the U. S.
The remarkable Jacobs pension case is now ended.
Mary Jacobs, the alleged widow, pleaded guilty and wassentenced to the Penitentiary for two years and John Wooten and Stacy [sic] Shafer,her half brother and sister, were convicted of perjury and false swearing andwere each sentenced to two years and fined $100.
A. E. Salmons,assistant county clerk of Cabell county, was fined $100 and
sentenced to jail for oneday, for making a false affidavit. Salmons it was shown committed his transgressions while strongly underthe influence of liquor.
The case is almost romantic in its history and is mostastounding in its nature.
The Jacobs woman, who has been leading a profligate lifein Huntington,applied for a pension. She alleged shewas a widow, and that she nursed her husband, Wm. Jacobs, in his last and fatalillness in 1876. She testified in theminutest way of his illness, death, funeral and burial, detailing how she andhis father and mother nursed and took care of him in Connersville, Indiana.
Her half brother and sister, Wooten and Stacey Shafer,made affidavits alleging his death and practically the same facts. About the time Mrs. Jacobs was about to getthe money due her for her dead (?) husband’s army services he turned up. He said he had not seen his wife since 1872when he went to Connersvilleto live.
With the husband present, with the mother-in-law and withthe father-in-law present, with proof of her marriage to him, in the face ofthe testimony of her husband and his parents that she was the wife, she assumeda defiant and dogged front and said she knew none of them; that she had neverseen them.
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Jacobs, the parents, were brought herefrom Indianato testify. They are honest, plain oldpeople who were shocked and surprised at the woman’s story and denial. They remembered her well and thoroughlyidentified her. The “dead” husband, whois a hale and hearty man, was equally confident.
It is the opinion of those familiar with the case thatthe Jacobs woman is responsible for the crime John Wooten and Stacey Shaferwere convicted of. She is a hard lookingcreature so sick with a loathsome disease that she had to be carried into thecourt room on a chair.
The brother and sister were convicted and the Jacobswoman pleaded guilty.
At five o’clock Tuesday afternoon Judge Jacksonpronounced sentence. It was animpressive sight. He said that the casewas unparalleled in his court. Hecharacterized the awfulness and extent of the crime in a forcible manner andthen spoke words of sympathy and advice to the convicts. The court-room [sic] was crowded with interestedhearers when Judge Jackson sentenced the trio to the penitentiary. He said that in his long experience on thebench it had been his lot to sentence but two women to the penitentiary beforethis.
The party was taken to the penitentiary to-day [sic]. It is doubtful if the Jacobs woman survivesher sentence.
[source: January 18,1893, Parkersburg Daily State Journal,Parkersburg, W. Va.]