The following strange story comes from Wheeling, W.Va.: Wm. Jackson Moore, an old man, arrived here this afternoon in search of legal advice to recover some property he had been deprived of. He told a wonderful story of sufferings and privations he has endured at the hands of designing relatives. For over ten years be has been kept a prisoner in a stone cellar in the rear of his step daughter's husband's house, on a farm near Tridelphia, Washington county, which farm, Moore alleges, lawfully belongs to him. Fourteen years ago he married a widow named Wallace, who, with her only daughter was living in Wheeling, W. Va. He brought them both to his farm. Two years later his wife died, and one year later his stepdaughter, then 21 years of age, married James Slavin, a worthless fellow whom the girl had known in Wheeling. They came to live with Moore. Slavin was continually borrowing money of Moore, and on several occasions took money from under the latter's pillow, also from a bureau drawer. When accused of these thefts, Slavin and wife would become very angry and threaten to murder Moore. Finally Slavin circulated a false report that his wife and Moore were on too intimate terms, and following this up with a threat of prosecution, induced the old man to will his property to Slavin and wife. "A few evenings later," said the old man. "a neighbor called at my house and said, 'I understand you are going on a visit to Michigan to see your relatives.' I was on the point of denying any such report, but my son-in-law made threatening gesture and I said, 'Oh, yes.' That night while I was lying in bed I was gagged, bound and placed In the cellar I speak of, and the door double locked and bolted. The next morning my son-in-law sawed a wicket in the door and in that opening food was banded me, and I have lived in that place off and on ever since. Only occasionally was I allowed to go out at night, hound with ropes about my body, and permitted to walk about the yard. The cellar was so arranged that my outcries, in case I made any, could nut be heard, and in case visitors came to the house a gag was put on my mouth, as an extra precaution. I heard after I escaped that it had been given out that I had died while in Michigan. About two weeks ago my usual allowance of food was not given me and hearing no sound about the house I thought I would try to get out. During my long imprisonment I had loosed a large stone from its position in the wall, and with this I approached the door and battered it down.
'There was no person in the house, and my relatives were nowhere to be seen. I ransacked the house and found nearly $100 in money in one of the drawers. I took the money and started for Wheeling, where I have been living ever since."
Wisconsin State Register (Portage, Wisconsin), March 28, 1885.