Eaton Mills Charged in Murder of Henry Ponton, Reward, NC, 1882-83

year 1883

February 1, 1883 (The Commonwealth, a newspaper of Scotland Neck, NC, 2d page, 3d column)


By the Governor.

$200 Reward

State of North Carolina,

Executive Department.

Whereas, official information has been received at this Department that Eaton Mills, late of the County of Halifax, stands charged with the murder of Henry Ponton, And Whereas, it appears that the said Eaton Mills has fled the State, or so conceals himself that the ordinary process of the law cannot be served upon him.

Now, Therefore, I, Thomas J. Jarvis, Governor of the State of North Carolina, by virtue of authority in me vested by law, do issue this my Proclamation, offering a reward of two hundred dollars for the apprehension and delivery of the said Eaton Mills to the Sheriff of Halifax County, at the Court House in Halifax, and I do enjoin all officers of the State and all good citizens to assist in bringing said criminal to justice.

Done at our city of Raleigh, the twenty-sixth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-two, and in the one hundred and seventh year of American Independence.

Thos. J. Jarvis.

By the Governor:

G.L. Dudley,

Private Secretary



Eaton Mills is a negro about 5 feet, 6 inches high, weighs about 150 pounds, and is about 45 years old. He is short, closely built, very stout, has a full, oval face, with a bad countenance and a quick accent in talking.

Feb. 1, 22-3t.

* * * * *

April 5, 1883 (The Commonwealth, a newspaper of Scotland Neck, NC, 3d page)

(1st column)

The jury in the case of Columbus Mills and John Henry Ponton, charged with the murder of Eaton Mills, returned a verdict of not guilty. They don’t hang in Halifax often.

(2nd column)

A number of citizens of Scotland Neck and surrounding vicinity were summoned to Halifax on a special venire in the Eaton Mills case, but not a single one of them was retained on the jury. Mr. O’Hara didn’t like them. Some of them looked like they would say hang him.


[I am a little confused on who killed who, or if there were two murders–one a revenge killing.]


About Kindra

Executive Director for Quaker House, bringing a little bit of peace through counseling and support to military members and their families.
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