The Beating of Anna Quarles





Microfilm Roll No. 1. 1871-1894 [Janel Hutchinson, A. C. Public Library, got this from Kansas State Historical Society. [Company: CENSUS MICROFILM RENTAL PROGRAM, P. O. BOX 30, ANNAPOLIS JUNCTION, MD 20701-0030, TELEPHONE (301) 604-3699.]

                          From Cowley County. First Index, Alphabetical Listing.

1) Date of Conviction. 2) Crime. 3) Date Received. 4) Term of Sentence. 5) Age.

6) Occupation. 7) Height. 8) Nativity. 9) Habits. 10) Married or Single. 11) Times in Prison. 12) Conduct. 13) Days Commutation Allowed. [Quite often, not filled out.]

14) How Discharged. 15) By Whose Authority.

                        [Skipping Race, Color of Hair, Color of Eyes, Complexion]




2820 - Quarles, Anna.

1) December 4, 1882. 2) Grand Larceny. 3) December 6, 1882. 4) 3 Years. 5) 17.

6) Housekeeper. 7) 5' 8) 8) Texas. 9) Blank. 10) Married. 11) First Time. 12) Good.

13) 169. 14) Expiration. 15) June 17, 1885.




2820 - Anna Quarles

Sentenced December 4, 1882. Received at Prison December 6, 1882.

Crime: Grand Larceny. Plead Guilty. Term: 3 Years. Age: 17. Height 5'

Housekeeper. Born: Texas. Both parents dead. Married to T Quarles, No. 2821"

[Property in Texas] Cannot read or write. Time in Jail: 3 weeks. Times in Prison: First.

[No signature.]

2821 - Thomas Quarles [Two entries] #1

Sentenced December 4, 1882. Received at Prison December 6, 1882.

Crime: Grand Larceny. Plead Guilty. Term: 1 year. Age: 22. Height: 5'10-1/4"

Farmer [?] Born: Kansas. Father: living. Mother: dead. Father: J. T. Quarles, Winfield,

Cowley Co., Kansas. Married: Left blank. Property: 80 acres in Travis Co., Texas.

Time in Jail: 4 months? 4 weeks? [looks like Wa or Ma written] Times in Prison: First.

[Signature: Thomas B Quarles]

2821 - Thomas Quarles  [Two entries] #2

Sentenced: Left Blank. Received at Prison December 6, 1882.

Crime: Grand Larceny. Plead Guilty.

Term: 2 Years. Commencing at Expiration of above.



The following article really brings up questions! It starts talking about a widow lady [Anna Quarrels, widow of Col. Quarrels]...before article ends, paper refers to her as Anna Quarles. More articles follow, calling her "Quarles." I typed "Quarles"each and every time instead of alternating like the newspaper did. MA

Questions: Could this lady be related somehow to Tom Quarles, the outlaw? It is apparent that she could not be the wife of Tom Quarles, as that lady was only 17 when she went to prison. This widow lady was supposed to be about 30 years of age with three children [oldest about eight years old; youngest about four years old].

In 1882 Anna Quarles, age 17, wife of Tom Quarles, was convicted of grand larceny. Received in prison December 6, 1882. She was to serve 3 years, and was supposed to be released about June 17, 1885.

Thomas B. Quarles, who caused so much trouble while in Winfield jail, was sentenced December 4, 1882, for grand larceny for only one year. However, his term in prison was lengthened for another two years, commencing at expiration of first term (one year). His father was J. T. Quarles, who was listed as a resident of Winfield.

The Home of a Lone Widow Entered at Midnight by a Human Brute.
While in Bed--Screams and Neighborly Assistance to The Rescue.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 23, 1885.


An act was perpetrated Thursday night between the hours of twelve and one that makes a very dark spot on the fair name of Winfield. The home of Mrs. Anna Quarles, widow of Col. Quarles, so well known in days gone by, was entered by some damnable demon and she nearly beaten to death as she lay in her bed. A DAILY COURIER reporter called at the house on Riverside avenue, a block east of the Santa Fe depot, and found Mrs. Quarles lying in bed and suffering terrible pain. Just above her right temple was an awful gash about two inches long and to the bone, evidently made with some blunt instrument; her right shoulder and arm were beaten black and blue, her eyes swollen nearly shut, and other marks of violence. She said: "I was partially awakened last night by footsteps in my room. I though it was one of the children and said, "Who's there?" Before I had aroused from my comatose condition, a low flash came from the lamp, and before I could look around, I was struck an awful blow on the head. This stunned me for a second, when I screamed: "Murder! Murder!! And tried to rise from the bed. The blows, from what seemed to me to be a heavy cane or club, came thick and fast on my head and shoulders. I threw my arm up; and as I did so, a fearful blow was given me on my left side. I was sightless from fright and pain and could do nothing but scream for mercy. Everything came so suddenly that I could distinguish nothing. I got from my bed--I don't know how--and with blood streaming down my face rushed into the street, when Mr. C. C. Pierce and other neighbors came to my assistance. I have only a faint recollection of the circumstances. Can't tell whether there was more than one person attacked me or not--was too badly stunned and frightened to realize anything. Hardly knew what had been done until it was all over, and not till this morning did I know all. With my recalling memory, I think it was a large man who beat me. I have not an enemy in the world that I know of, and have no idea what caused this brutal assault. No attempt, whatever, was made to outrage my person--all was with the club and no words were spoken. Think I must have left the door unlocked last night, but don't know. My youngest child was sleeping with me, and the others in that bed (a small bed in the corner of the same room). Don't know what they did, but think they screamed also. The children say they don't know what kind of a person it was." Mrs. Quarles moved into this house last Monday. It is a small box house with two rooms, fronting north. Her bed was just to the right of the door on entering and the other bed was in the southeast corner, just back of hers. The stand on which sat the lam was a few feet from her bed to the left of the entrance. The floor and sidewalk where she went during the terrible assault were lined with blood. Mrs. Quarles is a woman about thirty years of age, of frail and delicate physique, and has seen a hard time in the last few years. She has three children, the oldest about eight years and the youngest four. Since the death of her husband, nearly three years ago, the only means of subsistence for herself and family have been her own exertions, with rent to pay. During the past winter she has been almost constantly sick, and dependent upon neighborly assistance. She is accomplished and fairly winsome. Her circumstances in early life were such as to make present circumstances terribly humiliating to her natural pride and ambition. Her ambition to do for herself and be free from the charity of others is traceable to her winter's feebleness. This brutal assault is very mysterious. One of the theories advanced by general gossip is that for some years there lived in this house a family whose domestic infelicity was the talk of the neighborhood. His threats were deep and loud. A year ago he departed for other pastures, and she soon after obtained a divorce. Since his departure the widow has occupied this house. Last week she took onto herself another husband, and together they vacated the premises last Saturday. Monday morning Mrs. Quarles moved in. Certain parties were almost positive that they saw the person in question in this city Thursday. This gave rise to the theory that he had returned in a rage at his former wife's re-marriage and with vengeance in his heart and blood in his eye sought the house where he supposed she still lived to beat her to death. The screams showing his mistaken victim, he suddenly decamped. To ascertain whether this man had been in the city during the past few days, the DAILY COURIER reporter visited the Santa Fe and Southern Kansas trains, interviewed the conductors, train, and depot men, Arthur Bangs, and everyone likely to know whether he came in, and found no trace whatever of his arrival. No one but the woman before named had seen anything of him, and she couldn't swear to identity. This theory is doubtless without foundation. The man was so well known that he couldn't get in and out of the city stealthily enough to avoid recognition. Another theory is that local jealousy did it, with a woman at the bottom. This case is so dark and unfathomable that every circumstance that seems in the least plausible is greedily devoured by a curious public, and much injustice is likely to be done. Mrs. Quarles stands well among her neighbors, none of them attributing for a moment the awful deed to any action of hers. That the scoundrelly savage was prompted by no desire to satisfy his animal passions is plain from the manner of the assault. That he did not enter for robbery is also very evident. The surroundings and circumstances were far from burglarious. He went into that house with murder in his heart, and the brutal determination and weapon with which to beat out life. The whole circumstances show nothing else. Our officers are following up every link in the case and will likely reveal something soon--If it can be done.

Several parties who reside near the Santa Fe depot report having seen a man on horse-back going down Riverside avenue west at full-tilt just after the screams of Mrs. Quarles were heard Thursday night. This would seem that the perpetrator of the damnable deed rode into town, concealed his animal, and rode right out after partially carrying out his very evident purpose of murder. Our officials are on the scent and will keep it warm until something can be unearthed. Mrs. Quarles is resting easily, and it is thought nothing dangerous will result from the terrible bruises.

Under the care of Dr. Emerson, Mrs. Quarles is doing as well as could be expected. The kind neighbors are giving all the care and assistance in their power.

Second article on Anna Quarles...


Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 23, 1885.

Some new clues are being developed regarding the villain who made the terrible attack with a club on Mrs. Anna Quarles, which the COURIER is not yet permitted to make public. Our officials are following them up with vigilance, and some startling revelations will soon be made, if the secrit [? secret?] pans out as indicated. It was the most dastardly deed ever committed on Cowley's fair domain, and the scoundrel must have the just penalties of outraged law. Mrs. Quarles is slowly recovering.

Third item that appears about Anna Quarles...


Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 30, 1885.

Mrs. Anna Quarles, the victim of the brutal and mysterious assault with a club, last week, is slowly recovering, though yet unable to be out of bed. She is terribly disheartened over her unfortunate circumstances. This is an opportunity for our ladies to do services that will redound to the honor and glory of the cause they espouse as well as to themselves. Mrs. Quarles needs your assistance. Call on her, ladies, and learn her condition. She is sensitive and will never call on you. Mr. C. C. Pierce and daughter, with other neighbors, have kept kind vigilance. But all should not be left to them. We are satisfied that our ladies will not let this victim of the most damnable assault ever committed want for anything, if her needs are ascertained. This woman and her little children need much more sympathy and assistance than they are now getting. THE DAILY COURIER is satisfied that she will get it, now that the matter is known.

What Was Done at Their Regular Meeting Last Night.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, June 4, 1885.

The rulers of the city met in semi-annual conclave last night with Councilmen Myers, Jennings, and Hodges absent. Ordinances relating to pilfering, telegraph companies, excavations in the streets and alleys and out lots and midnight prowlers, were postponed. An ordinance prohibiting the pesky fowl from running at large in the city between the first of March and first of November, was defeated. The yellow-legged fowl was too much for our Methodist Council. The City Fathers thus bring the stern rebuke of the female populace. An ordinance making an occupation tax was ordered. The following bills were ordered paid: J. H. Rice & Son, registration books, $10; City officers salaries for May, $180.38; J. C. McMullen, rent fire department building for May, $25; Judges and clerks of R. R. election, $52; Jas. McLain, four days night watch and special police May 22nd, $7.50; Black & Rembaugh, printing, $14.50, and A. T. Spotswood supplies Fire Department, $1.10. Bills of Black & Rembaugh, printing, $55; Ed Pate, costs in City vs. Brown, $24.35, and Pauper claim of Mrs. Scroggins were referred to the Finance Committee. Bill of A. H. Doane, coal furnished City Attorney, was rejected. Bids of L. Wise & son and Wm. Moore & sons for laying city sidewalks, were referred. Pauper claims of Reed & Robinson, rent of house to Mrs. Quarles, $14; G. H. Buckman R. R. fare for Wm. Fisher and Geo. Hushman, $11.00, and J. N. Harter, medicines, $4.25, were recommended to the County Commissioners for payment. Wm. Moore & Sons were given the contract for furnishing stone to the city. The Fire Marshal was instructed to purchase lanterns for the Fire department. The Street Commissioner was instructed to give no receipts for poll-tax unless the full day's work was done.


Somebody needs to look at this further and figure out who Anna Quarles was and what happened to her. I'll bet her descendents would be interested.

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