Barber County Kansas
Sharon News, June 17, 1884.
Two Men Murdered in a Melee.
For some time past there has been a great deal of fence cutting on the CE range, in the southwestern party of the county, and the men on the range were told to watch the gates closely, in order to detect the guilty parties.
Last Tuesday it rained, and fresh wagon tracks were seen heading westward from a gate which had been disturbed a short time before, the tracks being very plain. Two teams were not far distant, and Jo. H. Ringer, who had started out to look after the gates saw that the gate had been cut and reported it to D.T. Shipman, foreman of the range, when the two accompanied by Hi Dyer, Dick Stevens and John Court - five in all - started for the teamsters and overtook them.
A few words were exchanged, pistols were drawn and in a few seconds the two teamsters were shot dead. They were old man Watt aged 42, and his son aged 25 years. D.T. Shipman was slightly wounded in the right side.
It is a sad affair and just who is to blame is hard to tell, as the reports in regard to the matter are conflicting. However it is supposed that the fresh wagon tracks were an evidence of the guilt of Mr. Watt and his son.
They were poor men and leave their families in destitute circumstances.
Murder Case of Chas. Harvey Watt and his son T.K. Watt
The jury in the murder case of Chas. Harvey Watt and his son T.K. Watt, returned a verdict of "justifiable homicide." After the investigation, complaint was filed against Hi Dyer, D.P. Shipman, Dick Stevens, Jo Ringer and John Court, charging them with the unlawful killing of Watt and son. Four of the party waived examination and gave $2,000 bond. Jo H. Ringer declined to waive and will have his preliminary hearing today at Medicine Lodge.
The murder in Barber County.
At last one paper in Barber County has come out and called the killing of Mr. Watts and his son, in that county, by its proper name - a cold-blooded murder. The Hazelton Express ridicules the idea of it being justifiable.
The Times has from the first pronounced it murder although the accounts given in the Medicine Lodge papers, containing only the cowboy’s version of the story, were the only ones reaching our office. The plea of shooting in self-defense is ridiculous in the extreme. Pretty specimens of daring cowboys!
We have heard of no more cowardly and uncalled for murder in a long time. To add insult to injury the cattlemen fenced in a large portion of the public domain, including their farm, against law and justice. Any man in Harper has just as much right to fence up Main street or Central avenue. - Harper County Times.
Thanks to Kim Fowles for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news articles to this web site!