Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of John O. Brixley, 1886 Aug. 3.

Volume L, 326-335, 10 p.
O. Brixley, John.

Direct examination by Mr. Zeisler. Cross-examination by Mr. Walker. Testified on behalf of the Defense, Spies, August et al.

Testified as to Gilmer's general reputation for truth and veracity. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): Gilmer, Harry (vol.L 326).

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a witness called and sworn on behalf of the defendants, was examined in chief by Mr. Zeisler, and testified as follows:

Q What is your name?

A John O. Brixey.

Q Where do you reside?

A 297 West Randolph Street.

Q How long have you resided there?

A I think it is since January, a year ago.

Q How long have you been a resident of Chicago?

A Fourteen or fifteen years.

Q Were you born in this country?

A Yes sir.

Q Do you know a man by the name of Harry L. Gilmer?

A Yes sir.

Q How long have you known him?

A I have known him since 1880. I think that was the year.

Q Did you ever live in the same neighborhood with him?

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A Yes sir.

Q Where was that?

A Well, at 255 Carroll Avenue, I believe is the number--it was between Morgan and Carpenter. I lived in the same house.

Q When was that?

A That was in the year 1880, and part of 1881.

Q When did you again live in the same neighborhood with him?

A Some time last year.

Q Where was that?

A Where I am now living, 297. He lived next door to me.

Q Do you know the general reputation of Harry L.Gilmer? among his neighbors, for truth and veracity, yes or no.

A I think I do.

Q What is it, good or bad?

A It is bad.

Q Would you believe him under oath?

A No, I don't think I could.

Cross Examination by
Mr. Walker.

Q What is your full name?

A John O. Brixey, Brixey without an apostrophe.

Q You now reside at 297 West Randolph Street?

A Yes sir.

Q About how far was that from Mr. Moses place of residence?

A I think there are two stairs between him and me.

Q Do you know Mr. Moses?

A Yes sir, I have a passing

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acquaintance with him.

Q Are you acquainted with Mrs.Lee?

A Which Mrs.Lee?

Q I don't know only one Mrs. Lee, over there at 295 West Randolph Street?

A Yes sir, I know her.

Q And Mr. Mitchell there?

A No, I don't know him.

Q Do you know Moses, Salomon or Mr. Zeisler?

A No, I don't know him. I saw him here in the hall way a minute ago.

Q When did you first make the acquaintance of Mr.Gilmer?

A At 287 West Lake Street.

Q Was that before you lived upon Carroll Avenue?

A Yes sir, a few weeks.

Q You and he lived together at the same place on Carroll Avenue?

A We didn't live together, under the same roof, he lived up stairs.

Q Did you and he have any trouble there at Carroll Avenue?

A With him?

Q With Harry Gilmer in 1880, when you lived there on Carroll Avenue?

A No sir, never had any trouble at all.

Q How long were you there together?

A That I couldn't say exactly.

Q About how long did you know him there?

A I think about a year, more or less.

Q Then you say you lived in the same neighborhood with him,here where you now live?

A Yes, that is last year.

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Q How long a time elapsed between the time you knew him at Carroll Avenue and the time you met him last year?

Q How long between the two times?

Q Yes sir.

A You can count, yes---it was in 1880 and 1881, I lived on Carroll Avenue.

Q And last year you saw him again?

A I saw him various times between then and now.

Q Did you know his acquaintances and associates between those times?

A Some of them I did.

Q On Carroll Avenue?

A Some of them, yes sir.

Q Neighbors and acquaintances there?

A Did I know any of his neighbors and acquaintances there?

Q Yes sir, on Carroll Avenue?

A Yes sir.

Q Did you hear his general reputation discussed there on Carroll Ave.?

A Yes sir.

Q In 1880?

A There, more than anywhere else.

Q In the same building with yourself?

A Well, that is hard to tell--that is a long block of buildings--some twelve or thirteen buildings in a row.

Q Did you live in a flat or in the same building?

A It was a two story frame row, I think some ten or dozen houses--it occupied a whole block.

Q Were these people that discussed his character living in the same place you did?

A Same block, yes.

Q Was it a common hall in this building?

A No sir, only

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for Mr. Gilmer and myself.

Q You and he had a common hall?

A Yes sir.

Q You went in the same door?

A Yes sir.

Q Was it the people that lived in the same part of the house you lived in that discussed his character?

A Nobody there but myself.

Q Who are the people that discussed Gilmer's character, in your neighborhood?

A Would you like to hear their names?

Q Yes sir.

A I heard Mrs. Dunlap speak of him. You see neighbors sometimes speak that way and we dont make a note of it.

Q Are you positive you heard Mrs. Dunlap?

A I think I be.

Q Where does she live?

A I don't know, since we moved away from there, never saw or heard of her since.

Q Anybody besides Mrs. Dunlap?

A Mr. and Mrs. Hayes.

Q Moses didn't live there?

A No sir, he lives now where I am now living.

Q Lives on West Randolph Street?

A Yes sir.

Q Where does Mr. and Mrs. Hayes live?

A I think they live on Carroll Avenue, the same place now.

Q Where did they live?

A Next door to me.

Q In 1880--in the same room?

A Same room.

Q Was that a store floor?

A No sir, they are story buildings, dwellings.

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Q Anybody else there?

A Mr. and Mrs. Keith.

Q They lived in the same room?

A Yes sir.

Q They discussed his character for truth and veracity?

A Yes sir, it was a kind of general thing.

Q For truth and veracity?

A Yes sir.

Q Spoke about his truthfulness and veracity?

A Yes sir.

Q What is their name?

A Keith.

Q Where are they now?

A I don't know where they are living. You see we all broke up and the building was torn down and I did not keep track of them.

Q Keith lived in a separate house from yours?

A Yes sir.

Q Did Gilmer associate with them?

A I don't know whether he did or not.

Q How long did you and he live together after you discovered his character for truth and veracity?

A Well, some four, five or six months--you might say nearly all the time.

Q Did he associate with Mr. and Mrs. Keith after this general reputation was established?

A I don't know whether he associated with them or not.

Q You don't know whether they were friends or associates of his?

A Only take it as a rumor.

Q Do you know whether they were friends and associates of Gilmer?

A Only from hearsay.

Q Did you hear them say they were?

A They spoke familiar enough of his name.

Q As friends?

A I dont know.

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Q As his associates--people with whom he stood on social footing?

A You mean as an equal--I don't know whether they associated with the man or not?

Q What is Mr. Keith's first name?

A I don't know his first name. I only knew the man on sight.

Q What is his business?

A I can only say from hearsay. I heard he was on the police force, but I dont know whether it was so or not.

Q What is Hayes first name?

A That I dont know.

Q What is his business?

A He is on the force.

Q They lived in separate houses from yours?

A Yes sir. Hayes, I think, as well as I can remember, lived in the first house from me, that is next door.

Q Did you and Gilmer visit them in company?

A No sir.

Q Socially?

A No sir.

Q In any way?

A No sir.

Q Who else besides Mr. and Mrs. Hayes and Mr. and Mrs. Keith?

A I think I have heard--I cant say positively now, who the people were, but a sort of neighborhood, all the block.

Q You, heard Mr. Moses?

A I heard him.

Q You heard him discuss it, Moses on Randolph St.

A Yes sir, I have heard him.

Q And Mrs. Moses?

A Yes sir.

Q And Mrs. Lee?

A I cant remember whether I ever

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heard Mrs. Lee speak myself or not.

Q Anybody else there on West Randolph Street?

A I think Mr. Larson.

Q What is Larson's first name?

A Joe, I believe--Joseph.

Q Where is his place?

A He lives next door to me now, 295.

Q Do you know Mr. Gilmer's associates at all?

A Some of them I do.

Q Any besides these people you have noted?

A Yes, I have seen a Mr. Admas but we never discussed him.

Q Mr. Admas was one of his associates?

A I presume so; he visited at the house.

Q It was a friend of Mr. Gilmer's?

A I don't know whether he was or not.

Q He did not discuss his character?

A No sir.

Q Anybody else?

A Yes sir; Mr. Admas I have and Mr. Adams wife and sister.

Q You quote these people as discussing his character.

A I never discussed it with them.

Q For truth and veracity?

A No.

Q Can you give us anybody else besides those you have named, upon that question?

A I don't think I could positively. You see I don't keep account of those things. A man is not supposed to make a note of every rumor that he hears in ordinary

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business affairs with his family and neighbors. I am only speaking in a general way.

Q Is this rumor that you are testifying to, that you are now swearing to when you say you know his general reputation for truth and veracity?

A I think I do.

Q Swearing now to rumor or as to knowledge. Have you been testifying to rumor or personal knowledge?

A When a man comes to me and tells me he has heard any such things, and such and such things been said--

Q Answer my question, yes or no--is it knowledge with you or rumor?

A On what point?

Q Upon this man's general reputation for truth and veracity?

A As to truth and veracity I cannot speak from positive fact.

Q Is not it a fact you have been discussing this question of Gilmer's truth and veracity at 297 and 301 Randolph St., between Mr. Moses and to the neighbors there, since he testified?

A No sir, I have not been speaking to Mr. Moses in two or three months--have not spoken to Mr. Moses since he moved out of the building.

Q Who did you first speak to about this question since this case began, of Gilmer's truth and veracity?

A I think it was my wife.

Q Did you tell Mr. Salomon or Mr. Moses about this yourself?

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A Never until I come here a minute ago, was called at the door and asked me what I was going to testify to.

Q You didn't bring it to his notice that you would testify that Gilmer's character for truth and veracity?

A No sir, never told them; I wanted to keep out of this thing.

Q What is your business?

A I am a printer.

Q What place?

A I work in the Herald office.

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