Simeon Rouse1

M, #3483
Last Edited=2 Jan 2009
     Simeon Rouse was the son of (?) Rouse and (?) Hodge.1

After the incident of murders committed 18 feb 1835, Simeon Rouse appears to have changed his name to Hodge which was apparently his mother's maiden name.1 Simeon Rouse was a a part of and incident recorded in newspapers and Court records at the time. For the specifics, refer to the narrative about Thomas King, III, ID number 1843, and father or father-in-law to most of the others involved; In February of 1835, there was an incident which apparently ended with the execution of Thomas King III, and the fleeing of his sons, John, Hiram and George. It is believed that sons John and Hiram eventually ended up in Mississippi and assumed the surname Adams. Two Rouse brothers also fled and they changed their surname to Hodge, which was their mother's maiden name.

In the Georgia Black Book the incident is reported this way:

"on the night of the 18th or 20th instant, THOMAS KING, HIRAM KING, GEORGE KING and JOHN KING, with two others names ROUSE 'entered into the house of MRS. JANE CASEY in the county of Camden in the State and in a most atrocious and savage manner, murdered her daughter NANCY CASEY (the mother of an infant child) and a young man named JAMES SCOTT, and also mortally wounded several other persons, members of her family.' THOMAS KING and his sons, HIRAM AND GEORGE, have fled justice."

The Camden County, Georgia, transcribed court records state that: April 8, 1835: Indictments for Murder were returned at this term against Thomas King 'commonly called Thomas King the Third', John King, Hiram King, George King, Simeon Rouse and William Rouse; Saml. F. Ryan, prosecutor. Thomas King, the third, was tried first, and found guilty. Witnesses for the State: Jane Casey, Garret Demott, Dr. Henry D. Holland; for the defendant, Adeline Casey and William McCulley. JOHN King was then placed on trial charged with murder in the second degree; found not guilty. On April 11, 1835, William Rouse and Simeon were placed on trial, and a mistrial was declared. On same date, Thomas King was sentenced to be hung May 8, 1835, and other defendants were ordered to be kept in Chatham County jail until next term. Note: Examination of minutes for the following two terms show that it was impossible to empanel a qualified jury in these cases, and so far as can be found the cases were never tried."

Researcher Frank J. Peugh relates the following regarding this incident: This story was "told by the oldest daughter (Mrs. Marion Rouse/Hodge Whatley) of William Rouse/Hodge to the mother (Mrs. Dee Alice Mosley Peugh) of" Frank J Peugh:
On the night of 18 February 1835, members of the Thomas King, III, group listened outside near the chimney of the Casey house. Parties in the Casey house were talking and laughing how 'Old Man King' would react the next morning when he discovered that his boats had been cut from their moorings and were floating down the river. This apparently angered Thomas king, III, because he operated a ferry service from Kings Ferry, Nassau County, FL between the South and North banks of Saint Mary's River. After learning of this act, Thomas King, III, led his group of six, including himself, on an emotional, insane and murderous charge into the Casey house seeking revenge. William Casey and his bride, Adeline King, had apparently anticipated her father's insane outrage and the bride and groom stayed elsewhere on the night of their wedding. Possibly, their anticipation or luck saved their lives.

On 25 Feb 1835, there was the following letter written to the then Governor of Georgia, Wilson Lumpkin, by a John H. McIntosh"
Dear Sir
On the day that I heard of the shocking and atrocious murders committed by Thos. King and His sons on the bodies of Nancy Casey and James Scott on the north side of St. Mary's River, I met with Mr. Small. Clarke one of the Justices of our Inferior Court, and we agreed that I should make out a rough copy of the statement of facts, which he would have...forwarded to your Excellency...I will again relate the facts of this horrid transaction as I have lately heard them as coming from one of the Rouse who with his brother and John King are now in our County Jail. There are two families, that of King and Casey who live on the St. Marys River -- Kings in the Territory of Florida on the south side, and Casey on the north in the State of Georgia. One of the Casey’s run off with a daughter of the Kings, and carrying her into the interior of the state several miles, married her. On the 18th inst. John King now in custody went with Rouse to Mrs. Casey, and made to the family some most horrid and violent threats -- He went away, returned soon after, threw open the door of the House, which had been shut after him, and cried out to those outside of it 'that all was now clear' -- Thomas King, the father, with hi other sons, George and Hiram, now rushed in with knives drawn -- The Father, Thomas, first met with Nancy Casey, a young woman with an infant in her arms -- Her he stabbed to the Heart -- she fell and was found the day after with her child yet at her breast -- He next stabbed and cut open the bowels of Mr. James Scott, who without resistance fell dead a few paces off -- Mrs. Casey, the mother of Nancy was the third victim of this demonology -- He stabbed and cut her, but not mortally -- Finally Garret Demot, who was endeavoring to intercede for this poor woman, received in his body the fatal knife in two places - While the Father was acting this bloody scene, his son George, discovered a youth sick and lying in bed, called Baldwin Casey -- He stabbed and cut his abdomen across, so as to sever some of his entrails -- Scott and Demott made no part of the family -- but had accidentally stopped in.

I have heard nothing of either Demott or Casey within two or three days -- but neither of them were at that time expected to live.

The Kings, say Thomas the elder, and his sons George and Hiram, then returned to Florida, and I fear are at large -- Parties from this side who saw the dead Bodies, went under the excitement to endeavour to apprehend these wretches but it is expected that they will not succeed.

A Jacksonville, Florida newspaper on Thursday, February 26, 1835, described the incident and reported further on the eventual capture of the Kings and Rouses. That article concluded with "It was a melancholy sight -- a father and his two sons accused of murder -- and that with the original design of taking the blood of a daughter and sister. The same Cause which leads to the Commission of the most aggravated crimes occasioned this monstrous deed: Intemperance."

Frank J. Peugh, in his manuscript, states that on 18 Feb 1835, at about 11 pm, Thomas King, three of his sons and two Rouse brothers, one of whom was Thomas's son-in-law, killed Nancy Casey, age 25, daughter of Mrs. Jane Casey; James Scott; and James Baldwin Casey (who actually died on 24 Feb. 1835.) Another man, Garret Demott was not expected to live but actually did survive.2,3,4,5,6,7 In the Camden County, Georgia, Superior Court Records: "It being expressed by the Sheriff that the jail of the County is insufficient for the safe and secure custody of George King - Hiram King - John King - Simeon Rouse and William Rouse - at the present Term of the Court for Murder. It is on motion of the Solicitor General - ordered that he do remove the said Prisoners under safe and secure custody to the Jail of Chatham County - and do there deliver them into the custody for the Jail of said Chatham County.

Then later, "The following Criminal Codes were continued - the prisoners having made their escape from the Jail of the County.8


  1. [S387] III, and his descendents Thomas King, Unpublished Manuscript, 23 April 1989, Compiled by Researcher Frank J. Peugh, Bryan-Lang Historical Library, Woodbine, Camden County, Georgia, p. 16.
  2. [S295] Robert Scott Davis The Georgia Black Book: More Morbid, Macabre, & Sometimes Disgusting Records of Genealogical Value - just when you thought it was safe to get back into genealogy., II (Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1982), page 144.. Hereinafter cited as Georgia Black Book, Volume II.
  3. [S296] Fred R. and Hartz, Emilie K. Hartz Genealogical Abstracts from the Georgia Journal (Milledgeville) Newspaper, 1809-1840, Volume Four, 1829-1835 (Vidalia, Georgia: Gwendolyn Press, 1990), p. 794-795.. Hereinafter cited as Georgia Journal Abstracts.
  4. [S373] Folks Huxford, compiler, Camden County, Georgia, Court House Records (Homerville, Georgia: Huxford Genealogical Society), p. 220.. Hereinafter cited as Camden County, Georgia, Court House Reords.
  5. [S384] Vertical Files of Camden County Georgia Records, Miscellaneous Unpublished Records, Bryan-Lang Historical Library, Woodbine, Camden County, Georgia, Leter to the Governor of Georgia by John H. McIntosh, on 25 Feb 18365. The original is on file in the Georgia Department of Archives and History.
  6. [S384] Vertical Files of Camden County Georgia Records, Miscellaneous Unpublished Records, Bryan-Lang Historical Library, Woodbine, Camden County, Georgia, Jacksonville courier, Jacksonville EastFlorida, Thursday, February 26, 1835.
  7. [S387] III, and his descendents Thomas King, Unpublished Manuscript, 23 April 1989, Compiled by Researcher Frank J. Peugh, Bryan-Lang Historical Library, Woodbine, Camden County, Georgia, p. 9.
  8. [S399] Judy Kroker, "Family Group Sheets for Thomas King III Sons and Daughters", April, 2009 (Longwood, Florida). These family group sheets are a compilation of the research of several King and Adams family researchers., Received by e-mail from Judy Krocker April 4, 2009.. Hereinafter cited as "King Family Group Sheets."