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Newspaper Article

Troy Call (Madison county, IL)
December 7, 1928

Orville Smiley Attempted to Escape After Leading Officers on Ruse

.Orville Smiley, of Collinsville, aged 32 years and an ex-convict, was shot and instantly killed Monday afternoon by State Patrolman George Kuelks on a farm north of Pocahontas.

Smiley was arrested near Collinsville last Sunday afternoon by Patrolman Kuelks on suspicion of being connected with a number of robberies, among which was the holdup of a filling station near Collinsville last week. When taken, Smiley was armed and another man escaped from the house when officers were approaching.

When questioned concerning the robberies, Smiley denied any connection with them but told the officers the house next door was being used as a “fence” for stolen goods. The house was raided and about 150 gallons of alcohol was discovered, but no stolen articles were found.

Smiley then agreed to accompany Patrolman Kuelks, Chief of Police Tim Kane and Henry Wegener of Collinsville to a farmhouse near Pocahontas where a woman could give them information concerning the robberies. Accordingly the party went to the Pocahontas farm and on arriving Smiley offered to summon the woman. Receiving no response to a knock on the front door, he walked around to the rear and when he failed to appear the officers became suspicious and started an investigation. There was no one on the farm and Smiley was found hiding in a clump of bushes. As the officers approached, Smiley threw a brick at them and started to run. Patrolman Kuelks commanded him to halt and fired a shot in the air which was unheeded. Kuelks fired another shot at Smiley which pierced his heart and he fell dead.

The sheriff and coroner of Bond County were notified and took the body of Smiley to Pocahontas where an inquest was held Monday night and resulted in a verdict of justifiable homicide.

Following the death of Smiley, Jack Adams, held in jail at Collinsville as a robbery suspect, declared it was Smiley and companion who held up “Doc” Schneider’s filling station on St. Louis road on Wednesday night of last week.

Smiley served six years in the Chester penitentiary on a robbery charge and was paroled about six months ago, since which time he was known to have been active in boot-legging and has also been suspected of participating in a number of robberies.

Funeral services for Smiley were held Thursday afternoon at the home of a brother in Collinsville, after which the remains were shipped to Ohio for burial. He was a World War veteran and is survived by four brothers and four sisters.

Submitted 27 May 2011 by James Douglas. Orville SMILEY was my grandmother's brother. For as long as I can remember my deceased father had been told that Orville was tortured and murdered by the Mafia.  How that story got started is anybody's guess.  I tried searching myself, but could find no evidence of his death in Illinois.  Finally, I found a private genealogist in Illinois who discovered that his name in death had been recorded as Arvil Smily.  No wonder I couldn't find him! Anyway, she provided me with probate records and even a receipt showing how much his brother had been reimbursed to ship the body to Wellston, Ohio.  The men in the family were all coal miners.  They started in Wellston, Ohio in the mid-late 1800's.  They moved on to Farmersburg, Indiana, which is near Terre Haute sometime around 1905.  There is still a large strip mine just east of Farmersburg.

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