A report from the January 10, 1891 issue of the Xenia Daily Gazette details a rather confused justice proceeding, of which a very lengthy article, “How Gossip Brought About a Murder Charge,” by Howard Burba appeared in the December 15, 1935 issue of the Dayton Daily News:
THEY ARE DISCHARGED
REV. CLARK AND WIFE GO FREE
No Evidence Beng Found to Justify Holding Them, Prosecutor Trader Asks Their Release
The mayor’s office was fairly jammed by ten o’clock this morning, the hour set for the preliminary hearing of Rev. C. J. M. Clark and wife, who were charged by Dr. J. L. Steinberger, of Yellow Springs, with complicity in the supposed poisoning of a former Mrs. Clark. Some people have the erroneous idea that Coroner Broadstone had Clark and his wife arrested, whereas the coroner distinctly refused to do so, as that case had nothing to do with the death of Effie Taylor.
When the hour of trial arrived the Mayor was in his chair while the audience was all expectancy, not knowing what was within the knowledge of a few, that is, that there were no evidence against the accused which could be admitted in the court, and that the prosecuting attorney only awaited for the hour to arrive to have the accused persons released.
Even Dr. Steinberger, who had made the affidavit on which Clark and his wife were arrested, did not put in an appearance, which looks bad for him. There was, however, present a vast throng of sympathizing friends of the preacher and his wife, as many a two car-loads of people coming over from Dayton, to see their pastor through with his troubles.
When the moment arrived the prisoners walked out from the mayor’s private office, accompanied by their attorneys, Mssrs. Maxwell of this city, and Vanskeik, of Dayton. After silence was obtained Prosecutor Trader arose and stated that he had made a fruitless effort to find any competent testimony against the accused and having failed to do so, he therefore desired to have the Rev. gentleman and wife released. This speech was received with a whirlwind of cheers from the assembled multitude. The Mayor then discharged the prisoners, saying that it gave him great pleasure to give them an honorable discharge. At this Rev. Clark arose with great feeling and thanked the officers for their kindness and courtesy under the fiery ordeal had gone through and asked permission to call God’s blessing upon them. This was granted and he proceeded in a very eloquent manner to pray for Divine blessing to fall upon the officers, while many of the women folks present wept. It was quite an impressive scene.
While this winds up the case against Clark and his wife the question of Effie Taylor’s death is still unsettled. Coroner Broadstone’s verdict in the case is, “That Effie Taylor came to her death by poison.” No one is accused of having given it to her, so far as the coroner is concerned.
Prosecutor Trader and Officer Ed. Smith went to Yellow Springs yesterday in search of testimony in the matter of Rev. J. M. C. Clark and wife who were charged on the affidavit of one Dr. J. Clark’s former wife. After diligent inquiry Prosecutor Trader was unable to find anyone whose testimony would be received in court, what they knew being of an entirely hearsay nature. They did find, however, that Miss Effie Taylor, who is supposed to have suicided by taking strychnine, purchased the strychnine herself of Dr. Humphries, a druggist of Yellow Springs, on the pretext that she was going to poison dogs. This happened about Dec. 6th. This circumstance goes to carry out the theory that the unfortunate young lady did commit suicide, though the apparent calmness of her death, as evidence by the composed way in which she was found in bed is not the way in which that poisin general effects persons.