Lies, Lust, and Murder: The Truth About a Panhandle Preacher
The Texas Panhandle has a rich and salacious history. It's interesting when you run across a story you've never heard before and it's one for the history books.
Here's a sordid tale of love, lust, murder, and a minister of God.
A man by the name of Rev. George E. Morrison was the preacher of the Methodist Church in the Panhandle back in 1897. He was well-loved by his congregation. He lived a life in Panhandle with his wife Minnie, however, what the world didn't know is that this Preacher had a mistress that lived up in Topeka, Kansas. Oh, and the mistress didn't know he was married.
Mr. Morrison was in love with his mistress and wanted to marry her. However, he was already married to Minnie and what would the world think, if it got out that the Methodist preacher had an affair? Back in that time, that would get you shunned and run out of town so fast. Forget about bringing the word of God to the world, you have tainted your testimony for the rest of your life.
So what was the good pastor to do? He obviously couldn't get divorced or marry his mistress as long as his wife was living.
Yep, you guessed it.
He murdered his wife.
How did he do it you may ask. Well, he poisoned her. He poisoned her with strychnine. After she died from being poisoned, he told everyone she had died due to female complications. As if anyone back then would even question a Pastor.
According to a newspaper clipping, I came across:
He was caught because of the suspicions of a neighbor. They exhumed his poor wife Minnie from her early grave and apparently found (very advanced for the 1890s), strychnine in her system.
Here's the kicker, his mistress, Miss Whittlesey thought he was a big cattleman in Texas. Oh boy, was she mistaken.
Once they realized that Reverend Morrison had murdered his wife they put a warrant out for his arrest. He was eventually arrested in San Francisco.
He was put on trial for the death of his wife, the trial took place in Vernon, Texas. He was found guilty. His punishment was death by hanging, which was carried out. But before his death, he droned on for 30 minutes still claiming his innocence. How preacher like of him.
Oh, the tales of the Texas Panhandle.