Person Scioto County Infirmary

The Death of James Peyton in the Infirmary

“About a month since the Trustees of Brushcreek township had this attention called to the cruel and inhuman treatment of a child of James Peyton by Mrs. Peyton1, its stepmother, the child having been most cruelly beaten with a club. The Board had a warrant issued for the arrest of the woman and the custody of the child2, and Henry King was deputized as special constable to accompany the Board of Trustees to make the arrest. They found the door locked and Peyton and his wife threatening the posse with death, Mrs. Peyton asking the special deputy if he had brought his coffin along. The door was bursted opened, and Mrs. Peyton had a corn knife in one hand and a pistol in the other. Her husband had a gun, and she promptly commanded him to fire. The officer seeing his critical condition, fired, wounding Peyton in the left shoulder.”

“Peyton and wife were disarmed and taken before Esquire Freeman, who committed them to jail. Peyton’s wound being a serious one, they were afterward sent to the Infirmary, where the conduct of his wife was so violent and threatening to the physician and the Superintendent and lady, that she was returned to the jail. Thursday of last week Peyton was put under the influence of chloroform, and an exploration for the bullet was made by following its track. It was found it had severed the main shaft of the arm and blade of the shoulder, the whole joint being crushed, but the bullet was not found and it was believed it had lodged in the socket. Mortification set in, and, after suffering untold agony, Peyton died Monday evening last, his wife being returned to see her husband once more in life, but reaching the Infirmary a few moments after his death.”

“Mr. Peyton, before his death, said he attached no blame to the officer who fired the fatal shot, and blamed his wife bitterly for inciting him to a resistance.”

“The child, the unhappy cause of the trouble, is now in the Children’s Home.”3

Mr & Mrs. James Peyton’s Admittance to the Scioto County Infirmary

From the Record of Inmates Volume 0 showing James Peyton and his wife’s admittance to the Scioto County Infirmary. The record reflects that they were both admitted November 26, 1879, that his wife left December 4th, 1879, and that James died December 8, 1879. There is also a spelling variant for the name Peyton which is Payton. Also an Elizabeth Payton was admitted to the Infirmary January 20, 1880 and left february 6th, 1880.

  1. Elizabeth Younker Peyton
  2. Marion Francis Payton
  3. Sad Ending of Resistance to an Officer. (1879, December 13). Portsmouth Times, p. 7.