30 September 1885
A Negro and His Mistress Murdered in North Austin, Texas - Culprit Arrested
Austin, Tex., September 29.
About one or two o'clock yesterday morning, Mr. Dunham living in North Austin, heard a noise in his servants' cabin, back of his residence, as if some one had jumped through the window, followed by a woman screaming. Orange Washington and Gracie Vance, living with Washington as his wife, and two mulatto girls, Lucinda Boddy and Sofy Gibson occupied the cabin. Coming out with a gun Mr. Dunham found Lucinda scuffling with a man at the gate and he might have shot him, had the girl not caught Mr. Dunham in her agony and fright in such a way as to unintentionally prevent his shooting. This resulted in the man's escaping, though a number of shots were fired at him by others. Washington was found senseless and soon died. The two girls were, as one of them says, knocked senseless with a sandbag. She thinks from his voice, as he ordered her to keep quiet, that Doc Woods was the man. Gracie Vance was found to have been dragged through the window, thrown over the fence and dragged some distance from the cabin, where evidence of a severe struggle indicated that she had probably been outraged and then beaten to death with a rock which was found near by smeared with blood. A watch was found on her person with the chain tied around her arm. A horse was also found saddled and tied to a tree near the scene of the tragedy. These facts may lead to the identity of the murderer should Woods be the wrong man. His brother, Doug. Woods, has been arrested on suspicion of being an accessory, if not principal, in the murder; also Beverly Overton, another negro who owns the horse, but claims it was stolen from him. The police claim the watch had been stolen also. If so, it may have been tied to the arm as a device to fasten suspicion on the owner, Doc Woods was afterwards arrested and identified by Lucinda Boddy as the criminal.