MV Moments-Oldest Mystery by MPL46158


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Septimbes 1. 1999
The Times
Mooresville Moments
In honor of Mooresville's 175th Anniversary and the 200th
anniversary of the birth of Mooresville's founder, Samuel Moore,
the Mooresville/Decatur/Monroula Times Is publishing regular
articles about the history of Mooresville and Moore.
Mooresville's Oldest Mystery
By Solon M. McNabb
Copied from the Mooresville Monitor of July 20. 1916
Curious about an old rumor of	brother who had left his home in
disappearance and murder, I asked	Ohio with $2,500 and was on his
John Henry Rule, an old resident	way west to buy land. Two weeks
of Mooresville, what he knew of it.	passed and the brother returned
This is what he told me.
to his home without successful
"Late in the afternoon in early
fall, 1838, a stranger was seen
coming down Day Hill east of
Mooresville from the direction of
Waverly riding a sway-backed
"Mr. Cox had done well keep¬
ing his tavern since 1834 but the
rumors and suspicious of foul play
ruined his reputation and he fi-
horse and carrying saddlebags, nally left town with a crony who
Perhaps he exchanged words with lived northeast of town,
the miller at the ford as he pro¬
gressed along the rude road that at
the end of a half mile would take
him into Mooresville to the east-
em most boundary being Clay
"An old house on Main Street
"Thirty years passed before a
report came from Iowa that both
men had died. Mr. Cox without a
word. His companion confessed,
it was said, that they both were
implicated in the act of murder.
"In 1881, there cameaspell of
had once been a pioneer tavern wet weather that caused East
	kept by John J. Coxandthat is the White Lick Creek to overflow and
period of this account.
"Charley Rusie was 11-years
old, staying at the Cox place as a
choreboy and he waited on the
sickly stranger as he stopped there.
Mr. Cox dismissed Charley and
told him to go home. When he
returned for work the next morn¬
ing he learned the sick man had
gone away during the night and
strangely left behind his horse and
cut a deep channel across the
field and after the water receded,
John Wilson unearthed a skel¬
eton of a man. Dr. Reagan pro¬
nounced the bones to be of a man
about 35 years of age at the time
of death. So for all these years, it
is supposed to be the bones of the
missing man. But were they?
"The rumor from Iowa was
never traced to a reliable source -
no confession was ever made by
Mr. Cox - so the fate of the ailing
stranger who rode into town 78
years ago and put up at Cox's
tavern remains, and probably will
ever remain, a matter for specula¬
"There was much speculation,
but Cox had lived here a long time
and no one had any particular
interest in the missing man. The
talk was soon forgotten until two
years later, the stranger's brother
arrived here searching for his
The historical articles for Mooresville Moments are taken or
' copied from various materials located In the Indiana/Local
. History Room of the Mooresville Public Library and Include
newspaper clippings and notes from books edited by Becky
Hardin, Clara Richardson and Almira Hadley.

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