Barber County Kansas

Medicine Lodge Cresset, November 19, 1880.


Last Saturday, Sun City was thrown into a state of intense excitement, by an occurrence, which whoever may, have been to blame, was terrible in its results, and which furnishes another proof that whiskey is the great enemy of peace and happiness, a fit beverage for the purlieus of hell. The story, we give just as we have heard it without pretending to vouch for the authenticity of all the details:

Geo. Riter, who has been holding cattle on Big Mule creek, Comanche county, Kansas, was in Green's saloon at Sun City, engaged in a game of billiards with one Hopper, and made a bet with Green Adams and Lee Adams on the result of the game, Riter lost the first game, and then offered to double the bet, which was taken.

This time Riter won, when an altercation took place, in regard to giving up the stakes, which were, however, finally handed over to Riter, who, reaching in his pocket for a glove in which he kept his money, found, as he says, that it was gone. He then accused Adams and Green of having robbed him, whereupon Adams knocked him down and took his revolver from him.

Riter says that he then ordered everyone to stay in the room until a search was made for his money, and that Adams and Green started to leave. He followed outside the door and snatched the revolver from Adams, who started to run. Riter then fired two shoots at Adams, the first missing him, the second striking him in the right hip, the ball ranging upward and inward, through his bowels and lodging in his left groin.

Riter then turned his attention to Green, who started to run in the opposite direction, and fired three shots at him, one of the balls grazing his leg and another making a painful, though not necessarily a dangerous wound the ball striking him in the back, some two inches from the spine, passing through the spleen and out, two inches below his heart.

Dr. Kessler who had been called to Sun City to visit a patient, was present when the shooting occurred, and rendered the wounded men all the surgical assistance necessary. Examination showed that Adams was fatally wounded and could receive no assistance, other than an alleviation of his sufferings. His death occurred on Monday, at 5 o'clock P. M. Green, at last accounts, was recovering.

Riter was immediately arrested and his preliminary examination set for 1 o'clock, Monday; a continuance, however, was granted by Justice Davis, until next Monday. The prisoner, meanwhile, was released from custody, on giving bail to the amount of $2,000.00. The attorneys in the case are, J. T. Whitelaw, for State; Ed Sample and Orner & McNeal, for defense.

It is not our place to express any opinion as to the guilt of innocence of the parties engaged in this affair, but one thing is moderately certain: If there had been no whiskey shop at Sun City, there would be one less widow there today and one man whose mind would not now be burdened with the prospect of a trial for his life.

Col. Pepperd, of Big Mule creek, Comanche County, Kansas, came over on Monday for the purpose of signing Riter's bond for his appearance at court. Mr. Pepperd has a herd of about thirty-five hundred head of cattle in Comanche County.

William Adams and wife and Green Adams, were here from Sun City, Monday to attend the examination of Riter.

Also see:

Johnson M. Adams, Baptist minister in Sun City, father of Leander "Lee" Adams and Green Adams.

(Old) Sun City Cemetery, the burial place of Lee Adams.

Greenville "Green" Adams, Son of J.M. Adams, owner of the "whiskey shop" where his brother was shot.

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