Stillison was the stepfather of Mrs. Mary Montfort, whose husband, Albert Montfort, kept a country store in the edge of the village. Montfort had some money, while Stillison was a shiftless fellow. Mrs. Montfort and her husband did not agree. Her brother Charles J. Reynolds, now in Sing Sing Prison, took sides with her against her husband. Affairs were approaching a domestic crisis when, one morning in August, 1882, Montfort was found murdered in his store.
Stillison was the discoverer of this crime. Montfort had been called from his bed, and when he opened the door he was struck in the head with an axe, knocked down and his head was chopped to pieces. Mrs. Montfort had gone away the day before.The store was robbed of about $300, as near as could be estimated.
Coroner Schirmer’s investigation led him to suspect Stillison and Reynolds, his stepson, and he placed Stillison under surveillance and arrested Reynolds. An axe was found in the bushes covered with hair and blood. Reynolds was locked up and the Coroner informed Stillison that he believed he was guilty. Reynolds had been indicted for burglary and pleaded guilty to the surprise of the prosecuting officer, and was sent to Sing Sing for seven years. Stillison then commenced a suit for $2,000 damages against Coroner Schirmer. The trial fully sustained the suspicion expressed by the Coroner, and the ease was thrown out of court. Since that time . Stillison has been moody and restive. The District-Attorney has been weighing the evidence and collecting such as he could with a view to lay the facts before the Grand Jury.
Death has now put an end to further proceedings, but there is a suspicion that Stillison's death was not due to natural causes and Coroner Purdy will hold an Inquest.
The World. New York, New York, November 18, 1885.