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Cortland Library

Location: 32 Church Street, Cortland, NY
(42.599888112601064, -76.17835012030878)

After a tense investigation, the identities of the two suspicious young men at Doyle’s Pub, on the night of the murder were discovered. John “Jack” McDonald, a 28-year-old moulder at Howe Ventilating Stove Co., and Louis Clark, a 25-year-old carriage painter for Cortland Wagon Co. Both were arrested and charged with murder.

Twenty-four witnesses would take the stand in May of 1895. The men were tried at the Cortland Courthouse (now the Cortland Free Library).

May 17, 1895
The first witness to take the stand was Thomas Dane. Thomas was in the Doyle’s Pub the night of the murder and testified that he had heard Patrick openly discuss the sale of his turkeys that day. After watching Patrick depart, Thomas also stated that he heard Louis say to McDonald “It’s about time for us to go up there,” immediately before leaving through the front door.

The second witness, Henry D. Keeling, had located Patrick’s lost pocketbook, in an out-of-the-way area Patrick would have never used to walk home.

Next was Ann Oatman, who under oath revealed that her true name was Ann Straight. It was suggested that she was only present to claim the reward as she had nothing of substance to contribute.

Amelia Reeves testified that Jack had boarded her Ithaca house, following the murder, the previous January.

John Doyle took the stand next. He assured the jury that Patrick was not prone to drunkenness and was indeed not drunk the night he was murdered, nor were the suspects in question. He, too confirmed that he had heard Jack and Louis state, “If we are goin’ up there, we have better go,” before leaving abruptly, following Patrick’s departure, at approximately 8:30pm. He could not, however, confirm which way they went after leaving.

Dr. George D. Bedford, the coroner, was the last to take the stand that day. He testified that a club, if used with sufficient force, could be responsible for Patrick’s injuries and that they could not have been caused by a man merely falling.