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Officer Charles B. Collis

Cambridge Jeffersonian
Thursday, March 10, 1904
Transcribed by
Contributed by Joyce Robinson

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NOTE: This double murder precipitated mob reaction that ended in the lynching of the accused (see Crime & Punishement; Lynchings in Ohio) and the burning of a section of the town.

Woman and policeman Receive Bullets Fired by Negro.

Colored Man Wound Paramour Because She Had Reported Him to the Police, and Shoots Officer For Having Arrest Him—Mob Violence Was Feared For a Time.

Springfield, O., March 7.—Mob violence was threatened against Richard Dickerson, a negro, who shot and likely fatally wounded Mamie Corbin and Officer Charles Collis. The deed was actuated by revenge. A small mob which soon gathered before the city prison was easily dispersed. With a daring laugh Richard Dickerson, a negro, pulled a revolver from his pocket and sent a bullet through the breast of Mamie Corbin, his paramour and turning, shot and fatally wounded Policeman Charles Collis, who he had asked to accom-pany him to the Jones hotel, where the deed was committed. Collis is dying at the City hos-pital of a wound in the stomach and another in his shoulder, and the woman will probably not recover. The crime was carefully planned, and was for revenge. Dickerson wanted to kill the woman because she had informed the police of their manner of living, and had a grudge against Collis because the officer once arrested him.

Dickerson came here from Cynthiana, Ky., late last summer. He and the woman had been living together, and, though never mar-ried, have two children. She said he abused her and [she] fled to Ohio to escape him, but he followed her to this city.

Dickerson spent his time trying to get a policeman to go to the Jones place with him. He claimed that he was afraid of the woman and he wanted to get two blankets and some books which he had.

Sunday morning about 8:30 he met Patrolman Collis. Collis unsuspectingly went with him. They went into the restaurant part of the hotel, where they met the Corbin woman. The with a laugh, before either Collis or the woman could realize what he was doing, he reached into his pocket and drew a 38-caliber revolver and began firing. The first ball struck the woman in the right breast.

Quick as a flash he turned upon Collis, who was reaching for his own revolver. He shot the policeman in the stomach, and again through his arm and shoulder. Then he burst open the door and ran across the street. With the blood gushing from his wounds Collis staggered after the negro and fired five shots, none of which took effect. Dickerson ran to the city building and fled up the stairway to the police headquarters on the second floor, where he surrendered to Sergeant Johnson.

Collis was removed to the City hospital, where it was found that he as not one chance in a thousand to recover. Collis was one of the oldest and most popular men on the force.

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