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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : blogsold : verde heritage May 28, 2016

Verde Heritage
By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ
Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Monday, January 6, 2014

1901 MYSTERY: John McCarty; Lillie McCarty, Part 5.

Verde Heritage

"M'CARTY'S INSURANCE: Companies Refusing to Pay It Will Be Sued for Its Recovery."

"At the next session of the district court which will be held in Coconino county, the heirs of John McCarty, the hunter, who was found dead several months ago in the Mogollon mountains, will begin a contest against the insurance companies for $25,000 that is due his wife, says the Phenix Democrat."

"The insurance companies have never paid a single dollar of the money due on the policies taken out by McCarty before he was killed by a bear, and his almost unrecognizable body found by a searching party several weeks later."

"Thomas Armstrong of Phenix is the attorney who will make the principal fight for the plaintiffs and he says that a guardian of the widow who has been appointed in Coconino county, will in a short time file suits against six insurance companies, including the Manhattan Life, Frankfort Accident, Workmen, Woodmen, Foresters and Fraternal Brotherhood."

"Three out of this list have attempted to compromise with the widow of the deceased, but on the advice of friends she has refused to settle for less than the entire amount due her. The others have never done more than to refuse absolutely to pay the money on the ground that McCarty is still alive."

"'Several have said that they can produce McCarty at any time.' said the judge. 'I offered one of them $500 some time ago to do this, but when I made the offer he said that he never claimed to be able to produce McCarty alive.'"

"Since the tragic death of her husband, Mrs. McCarty has been constantly shadowed by sleuths employed by the insurance companies and every improvement made by her carefully watched in the hope that she would attempt to communicate with her husband, whom they believe to be still in the land of the living."

"Shortly after McCarty's death the vigil of Mrs. McCarty's movements was begun, and it was extended to such an extreme that her letters were even opened. She has been watched night and day and her private affairs made the subject of much interest to the hawkshaws and detectives."

"The closest watch was kept on Mrs. McCarty duing the time she spent in Tucson. While there she gave birth to a child, and on that night one or more detectives spent the hours of darkness watching the house. It was thought certain that McCarty, if alive, would call to see his wife. Several times the sleuths peered through the window."

"Once during all this watching the tables have been turned on the detectives. A sister of Mrs. McCarty left Tucson to go to Chicago. In some manner she was mistaken for the widow of the deceased hunter, and one of the detectives immediately put on a pair of false whiskers and followed her all the way to Chicago before finding out that she was not the right person."

"The cases have been filed by the guardian of Mrs. McCarty, owing to the fact that she is not yet of age and the guardian was appointed in order to hasten the legal proceedings. They are to be filed in Coconino county, owing to almost all of the witnesses residing there."

(Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; August 20, 1902; page 2.)

"Mrs. McCarty, wife of J. McCarty, game warden, who was killed in the Tonto country by a bear about two years ago, is raffling a crazy quilt. Same is on exhibition in the dining room of the Drais hotel. The life insurance companies have failed to pay the policies which Mr. McCarty carried on his life. Suits are now pending and Mrs. McCarty is desirous of obtaining enough money from this raffle to enable her to go to Flagstaff and push her claims against the insurance companies. --- Florence Blade." (The Coconino Sun; Flgstaff; August 30, 1902; page 2, column 1.)


"Susan Gosgray, guardian ad litem of Lillie S. McCarty, plaintiff, vs. the Grand Lodge of the Ancient Order of Union Workmen and Eugene Frippell, Robert Jennings, Clark Hitt and W. H. Norman and all other members of the Grand Lodge, defendants, is the title of a case filed in the district court of the county yesterday. The case, one in which the plaintiff sues to recover the sum of $2,000, the amount of insurance carried in the A.O.U.W. by John McCarty, who lost his life in Miller canyon on June, 1901, by the explosion of a gun. Mrs. McCarty is a minor and brings suit through a guardian. The attorneys for the plaintiff are Thomas Armstrong, Jr., of Phoenix, and E. E. Ellinwood of Prescott."

"The A.O.U.W. refuse to pay the death claim because of insufficient evidence of the death of John McCarty. The money to pay the claim has been collected from the members of the order, and the suit is brought to settle the dispute."

"Mr. McCarty, at the time of his death, carried life insurance policies amounting to $20,000, all payable to his wife."

"The case will be an interesting one, as both will make a stubborn fight. The case will be up for trial at the April term, 1903."

"Suits against other insurance companies in which McCarty caried policies, and on which payment has been refused, will be brought."

(The Coconino Sun; Flagstaff; October 4, 1902; page 8, column 1.)


"District court of Coconino county will convene on Monday next. The civil dockett is a light one, twenty-eight cases. The cases which will attract the most attention are the cases of Susan Cosgray, guardian ad litem, Lillie S. McCarty, a minor, vs. the Grand Lodge, A.O.U.W., of Arizona and New Mexico, and also against Woodmen of the World. Thos. Armstrong and E. E. Ellinwood are the attorneys for Mrs. Crosgray, and Baker & Bennett, of Phoenix, are the attorneys for the fraternal societies. John McCarty, the husband of Lillie McCarty, carried insurance policies in these societies. It will be remembered that John McCarty was killed by a bear in Miller's Canyon; the insurance companies claim that McCarty is still alive and refuse to pay the insurance to the widow, and they claim that they will be able to prove that McCarty is still among the living."

"The case has consideable interest all over the territory as McCarty was well-known in every part of Arizona, being an old hunter and collector of wild animals, his occupation took him to all sections of the territory."

(The Coconino Sun; Flafstaff; April 11, 1903; page 3.)


"The Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Woodmen of the World have each paid the insurance claims on the death of John McCarty, who was killed in Miller's Canyon, in June, 1901, by the explosion of his shotgun. McCarty carried $20,000 in life insurance at the time of his death, and the companies claimed that he was still alive, and that the body found four months after his death was not the body of McCarty, and that McCarty was still alive and living in British Columbia, and it was asserted that they would have McCarty here at the trial, which was to have been held at the April, 1903, term of the district court in this county."

"The cases wee continued by consent of both parties at that time, and so far as the A.O.U.W. and the W.O.W. are concerned, they are satisfied that McCarty is dead and that the body was not substituted. The insurance in the two orders named has been paid to the attorneys of the widow, Mrs. Lillie McCarty." ...

(The Coconino Sun; Flagstaff; June 20, 1903; page 1.)

[Last names are spelled "McCarty" and "McCarthy;" "Cosgray," "Gosgray," "Crosgray," and "Cosgrave."]

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