The following article appeared in The Hartford Times on Wednesday, July 23, 1890:


Assailant of Frank Miner in Jail


Held for Murder in the First Degree


Details of Preliminary Trial in East Hartford

Hazen Bellware, a man of French decent, a resident of Glastonbury, was tried to-day, in East Hartford, before Justice Goodwin, for the murder of Frank Miner. He was found guilty and bound over to the September term of the Superior Court; to be tried for murder in the first degree.

Frank Miner, the victim of this shooting affair, was a comparatively young man, in the thirty-fifth year of his age. He was the oldest of six brothers, sons of Edward Miner, a farmer in Gilead. The other brothers are Charles Miner, who is with his father; Alfred Miner, a blacksmith in Elmwood; Fred Miner, who is employed in Bogue's grocery store on Silver Lane, and Ernest Miner, who is with Spencer & Stoughton.

The deceased was born in East Hartford and had lived some years in New Haven. He had been married twice, and by his present wife, a young woman of 25, one child, a little girl, was born. He moved to East Hartford on April 8, and occupied the upper tenement leased by Mr. Daniel Brian about a quarter of a mile south of Hartford avenue, on Main street.

He was a carpenter by trade, steady, industrious, and well known and liked in the community where he dwelt. His untimely taking off has caused great excitement in the quiet village.

The Prisoners Arraigned.

Shortly before 10 o'clock this forenoon the court-room in East Hartford, in Wells Hall, was crowded with spectators to witness the preliminary trial of Bellware and Golden.

Grand Juror, Ephriam Rood, read the complaint charging the two men in formal legal phrases, with causing the death of Frank Miner by shooting with a revolver. Both pleaded not guilty. For the purpose of preliminary examination the charge was framed for murder in the first degree. They also pleaded not guilty to the charge of being drunk and disorderly.

Mr. Walter Miner, who was with the deceased on the evening of the shooting, was the first witness called. He said: "I was at my brother's in the upper tenement of Daniel Bryan's house, spending the evening. About 9:30 we heard a disturbance outside consisting of vile talk and cursing. My brother said, 'That's pretty rough language to use where ladies are present.' So we went down and found these two fellows lying on the ground drinking out of a bottle. My brother said: 'This is pretty loud language to use in the presence of ladies, and I want it to stop.' The response was an oath. My brother said they must stop such talk and move on. They replied with and oath, that he did not know everything. Then they got up from the ground. The taller of the two (Bellware) got up first. When they were both on their feet Bellware said 'Come down this way and we will fix you.' They didn't move on and my brother and I took a step towards them, saying, 'That's all right; you must go on.' We advanced, and as we did so one of them fired a pistol. It was so near that the powder burned my face. They then fired again, and my brother cried out: 'I'm shot; the bullet has gone through me!'

"Up to that time neither of us had exhibited a pistol. Then my brother produced a revolver and fired at them. They fired again, then I took the pistol and fired twice at them. They were then about two rods off. The whole affair lasted less than two minutes. The tall man had a bundle under his arm. Both talked as though they were under the influence of liquor. After the firing was over I assisted my brother into the house."

Joseph L. Barbour, conducting the cross-examination, asked if they had addressed these men out of the window before they went down. Witness stated that nothing was said until they reached the ground. "Why, if you did not use force, did you not speak to them from the window?"

"We did not intend to use force at all. The first thought was to go down; they probably would not have paid any attention to us unless we had gone down." Witness did not hear his brother say anything about taking a pistol or see him get one before he started.

"We said nothing to these men till we passed through the gate. The idea was to get near enough to them to speak in a low voice so as not to increase the disturbance. We had advanced but three steps towards them when they fired. I was on the right side of my brother, but saw no pistol in his hand. After they fired the second time he said 'I'm shot.' then he fired and said, 'The ball's gone through my bowels!'"

Daniel Bryan, who occupied with his family the first floor of the house where Miner lived, testified that he heard no disturbance until three shots were fired. Then he rushed out. While he was getting out of the door other shots were fired. He reached the open air in time to see the flash of the last shot. Both men had disappeared. Returning to the house he found that Mr. Miner had been shot.

Frank Richardson testified that soon after 9 o'clock on Monday evening he was standing in front of Goodwin's store when he heard several pistol shots fired.

Sheriff Arthur Moore, who made the arrest, told his interesting story of the capture.

"The pistol and a pair of boots wrapped up in a paper bearing the advertisement of E. E. Strong were found in East Hartford. From Mr. Strong it was learned that a man answering Bellware's description had purchased a new pair of boots and the old ones were wrapped up. On the way to Glastonbury we obtained the first definite trace of the fugitives from one of Smith, Northam & Co.'s drivers. I was accompanied by Mr. Frank Pratt, Mr. Ephriam Rood and Officer Frank Ennis. Not finding Bellware at his own or at Golden's house we started on the road and came upon the pair evidently seeking to escape. As soon as Bellware saw who was after him he put his hand to his pocket to pull a pistol. Moore was too quick for him, and pulling his revolver, he ordered Bellware to throw up his hands. Bellware did so and he was disarmed and handcuffed. In his coat pocket was found a revolver of 32 calibre, all ready for use."

"Bellware asked why he was arrested and I told him for shooting a man. He said he had shot no one. I then called his attention to the new pair of boots he was wearing. He said he got them on Main street.

"He then asked me if I would shoot a man who shot at me? I said that under some circumstances I would shoot as soon as I could. He replied 'That's the way I did last night. They fired first and I returned the shot.' He wanted to know if he had hit the man, and how he was. He said he was telling the truth and wanted to know what would be done with him; if they would hang him for it."

Another pistol found in the bundle with the tools was shown. It was identified by the prisoner, Bellware, in the presence of Sheriff Moore as the one with which he did the shooting. The prisoner repeatedly said to the sheriff, "Oh, if I ever get out of this, I will never touch a drop of liquor again!"

Officer Frank Ennis stated that he saw the two men on Morgan street monday evening about 8 o'clock. The taller one seemed to be under the influence of liquor. The smaller one carried a bundle. When information of the shooting came and he remembered the two men, the officer then went to Mother Galvin's saloon on Morgan Street, who told him from the description that the men had been there. After the arrest in Glastonbury, Golden was taken into the wagon with Officer Ennis and Mr. Pratt. He told them that he did not shoot, but that Bellware did. They were sitting beside the road in front of Miner's place and drinking out of a bottle. Prisoner claimed he did not know who fired the first shot. At the time the affair occurred Golden said he was trying to get Bellware home.

After the conclusion of this testimony the State rested its case.

Attorney Barbour then moved that so far as the charge of murder was concerned the charge against Golden be withdrawn. There was no evidence, even in the testimony offered by the State, that implicates Golden. All the witnesses say that it was the tall man (Bellware) who was drunk and fired the revolver. But more than that, the statements of the accused parties point to the same thing, that whatever event or criminal act was committed was committed by Bellware.

Grand Juror Rood said that he did not wish to do any one an injustice; and, after briefly reviewing the testimony, concluded that he would be willing to enter a nollo in the charge of murder against Golden. On the other count, however, of drunkenness and breach of the peace, he urged that the utmost extremity of the law be enforced.

Attorney Barbour urged that this count should be considered entirely separate from the unfortunate tragedy which followed it, and claimed at most only a technical breach of the peace could be claimed.

It was also agreed that a nollo be entered on the charge of drunkenness and breach of the peace in the case of Bellware.

Justice Goodwin then announced that he would find probable cause for criminal action and hold Bellware on the charge of murder in the first degree for trial in the Superior Court, without bonds.

In the case of Golden, still remaining, he was found guilty and fined $7 and costs and sent to jail for thirty days for breach of the peace, and sent to jail for thirty days for drunkenness.

Bonds, in the case of appeal, were fixed at $250. After consulting with his attorney the prisoner concluded not to appeal.

After the conclusion of the trial, which lasted till nearly 2 o'clock, both prisoners were taken back to the Hartford County jail.


At 11 o'clock this forenoon Drs. McKnight and Griswold and Medical Examiner Sperry, made an autopsy of the body of Frank Miner, who died last night at 10:30 from the bullet wound.

The ball entered on the right side between the eighth and ninth ribs, passed through the large of the liver, about one-half inch from the gall bladder, under the transverse colon and embedded itself in the muscular tissues of the abdominal wall, on a line with the eleventh rib on the left side. Death resulted from internal hemorrhage.


The page is maintained by Daniel A. Bellware and was last updated on February 12, 2001.