This was submitted by a reader and it certainly does flesh out the scope and history of this most popular form of mayhem in 19th and early 20th century America.
"The Cobb Murders" - Murder of a Family in Maysville, Ky.The Union (Georgetown, OH) July 31, 1861.
One of the most atrocious murders we have ever been called upon to record occurred at a farm house on the Maysville and Orangeburg road, two miles from Maysville, In Mason County, Ky on the 24 inst. The victims were an odd man named Cobb and his two sons - one aged 16, he other about 21 years. Two men, named Charles Collins and ___ Moore, entered Mr. Cobb's house and seizing an ax, entered the room in which the young men slept, and deliberately butchered them. They then entered the bedroom occupied by Mr. And Mrs. Cobb. With a couple of heavily dealt blows upon the head they dispatched Mr. Cobb. They also struck his wife once or twice, and evidently thought they had killed her. - Though very severely wounded, she is likely to recover. Having completed their horrible work of blood, they proceeded to search the house for money, and finding about $200 in a bureau drawer, departed with it.
The object of the murder was booty, as one rullians understood that Mr. Cobb had a large amount of money in his possession at the time. What makes the deed appear still more inhuman is the fact that one of the murderers - Collins - is nearly related to Mr. Cobb.
The original article is located in the Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland OH.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky [Indictment for murder] against Charles Collins, Filed on the 26th Day of July 1861.
A True Bill
Witnesses for Commonwealth:
Mrs. Cobb - widow
Dr. L K Sharpe
Dr. M L Adamsen
Mrs. Frank Cobb
R. H. Baldwin
Cain B. White
"If the jury believes from the testimony beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant before the finding of the indictment and in the county of Mason did willfully and with malice aforethought kill and murder Geo. W. Cobb and Elijah Cobb by striking them with an axe, or other heavy weapon, they must find him guilty and if an the whole case the jury have a reasonable doubt of his being proven guilty, they will find him not guilty."