March 21, 1924, Mrs. Ida Lee Daughtery of Hall, Texas, died. She was a woman of
some reputation—not as a ‘soiled dove,’ but as a devoted wife. |
was clerking in a Beaumont
cigar store when she met Paul Hadley, an automobile salesman of dubious honesty.
They married. Shortly afterward some of Hadley’s shady dealings caught up with
him. The Hadleys fled the state.
Hadley was identified in Kansas City,
Missouri, & arrested on the Texas warrant. Ida Lee
was with him. When the Texas sheriff, a man named Giles, came to collect Hadley
and take him back to Beaumont
for trial, Ida Lee pleaded with the sheriff to allow her to come along. Moved
by the wife’s devotion, the sheriff allowed Ida Lee to accompany her husband.
On the train between Muskogee and Checotah, Oklahoma, Ida Lee suddenly
pulled a pistol and shot the lawman dead. She pulled the emergency cord, the train
stopped, and she and her husband made their escape. They were found and arrested
at a farmhouse not far from the railroad. They’d told the farmer and his wife
they were eloping and fleeing her parents, who opposed the marriage.
Hadley and Ida Lee were tried for the murder. He was given a life sentence in
the Oklahoma state penitentiary. Although she actually fired the shot, she was
acquitted on grounds of ‘emotional insanity.’ She then proceeded to organize a
jail break for Hadley which very nearly succeeded. She was sentenced to ten years
in the Oklahoma pen for this. She pleaded to be allowed to serve her term near
While in the pen Hadley was given a sixty-day parole to find
someone to invest in an invention he was working on. He failed to return. This
was in 1919. While there was a nation-wide search for him, he apparently disappeared
In November, 1921, near Tucson, Arizona, an elderly couple
named Johnson picked up a hitch-hiker. She was found dead, her husband seriously
wounded by several shots. The motive was robbery.
A man who gave his name
as William S. Estaver was arrested and charged with the crime. He, of course,
pleaded not guilty. The trial resulted in a hung jury and a mistrial. In the meantime,
an identification expert was brought in to fingerprint ‘Estaver.’ He was positively
identified as Paul Hadley, a fugitive from justice in Oklahoma.
next trial resulted in conviction and a sentence to hang. Ida Lee, who hadn’t
heard from her husband in two years, pleaded with the governor of Oklahoma to
pardon her so she could spend his last days with him. On July 22, 1922, she received
her pardon. She immediately went to Arizona, where she worked tirelessly to secure
a stay of execution and an appeal. She succeeded in prolonging Paul’s life somewhat
with the appeal, but appellate court upheld the conviction and sentence. On April
23, 1923, Paul Hadley paid for his crimes on an Arizona gallows.
Ida Lee’s love for Paul had taken some major hits—especially after he disappeared
for two years. One week after Paul was hanged Ida Lee married Jack Daughtery of
Eckhardt's Texas" >
February 11, 2011 column