History of the Sheriffs of Barton County
Barton County, Missouri
was organized as a County December
12, 1855, from Jasper County,
obituaries and articles
from the Lamar Democrat and other articles are typed as they were written, using
the same punctuation, spelling and capitalization.
#1 SHERIFF ALEXANDER HENRY
The first sheriff was Alexander Henry, appointed sheriff by
Missouri Governor Sterling Price in December 1855. This is recorded on page 2,
column 3 in the Historical Supplement of the Lamar Republican, 1905 – 1906.
This same reference lists other county officials appointed.
There is an A. Henry buried in the EastLamarCemetery. Civil War Veteran, PVT Co C MichInf, no dates. He
is not in the 1860 or later census.
Alexander Henry is also listed as a grantee of land from the
in Barton County. Page 505, History of Barton, Dade, Cedar and Polk Counties,
#2 SHERIFF JOSEPH H. BROWN
The second sheriff was Joseph H. Brown. Sheriff Brown was
appointed by the County Court in 1857. Referenced: Statutory Affairs, Page 511,
History of Barton, Dade, Cedar and Polk Counties,
published by Goodspeed in 1889. In the 1860 Barton County Census, Joseph H.
brown is listed as a blacksmith. We do not find him in later census nor in any
county cemetery or newspaper obituaries.
#3 SHERIFF JAMES H. ZEVELY
The next, or third, sheriff was James H. Zevely. Sheriff
Zevely was the first elected sheriff of Barton County.
The first election being in 1858. James H. Zevely was a grantee of land from
the United States
in Barton County, near Pettys Creek near the
future settlement ofBoston.
We cannot find any
record of his death or burial in Barton
#4 SHERIFF SAMUEL CONES
The fourth sheriff was Samuel Cones serving from March 31, 1864until 1866.
Sheriff Cones was appointed sheriff within and for Barton County
by Governor Willard P. Hall who became Provisional Governor January 31, 1864.
Governor Hall served until January
1, 1865 when Thomas Fletcher became Governor, Elected November
Copy of Samuel Cones appointment, obituary of Samuel Cones
and his wife, Martha Cones attached. Martha is buried in Lake Cemetery,
Lamar. Samuel died November
16, 1898 and is buried at West
Missouri State Archives can find no reference to James
Zeveley or Samuel Cones in their Governors papers in reference to the Barton
County Sheriff’s Office.
DEMOCRAT, DECEMBER 1, 1898
– Mrs. F. C. Norris received word last week that her father, Samuel Cones has
died in West Lake, Idaho, November 16, 1898 after a short illness. Mr.
Cones was 73 years of age at the time of his death. Deceased went to Idaho about 3 years ago
and had been living with a nephew, W. H. Denham. Samuel Cones was one of Barton County’s
first settlers, he having come here before the war and remained until he went
to Idaho. His
wife died some 4 or 5 years ago. Mrs. Norris and Mrs. A. B. Fast of Galena, Kansas
are the only living children of the deceased.
MRS. MARTHA D. CONES
DEMOCRAT, JULY 27, 1893
– Died at her home in Lamar on Wednesday, July 19, at 6:40 p.m., Mrs. Martha D. Cones, aged 63
years, 9 months and 20 days. The funeral took place from her late residence on
Friday morning at 10 o’clock
and was largely attended. She was born in Kentucky and at an early age moved to Indiana and while
attending the schools of that state met her husband, Sam Cones, who was her
schoolmate. They were engaged while attending school. Mr. and Mrs. Cones have
lived together as man and wife for 47 years. There have been born to them 8
children, only two of whom are now living---Mrs. Ella Watkins and Mrs. Callie
Fast. The marriage took place at Clarksburg,
Decatur County, Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Cones moved to Illinois from Indiana, but remained
only a year and a half, returning to their old home. In 1857 they moved to North Missouri and have lived in this state ever since.
Mrs. Cones, prior to her marriage, joined the Christian Church and has ever
since been a faithful member. During the war she took an active interest in the
care of the dead and wounded, and while on one of her missions of mercy she was
thrown out of the wagon and run over by the wheels, causing serious injury from
which she never recovered. Her last illness lasted 83 days and she never
complained or murmured. She was tenderly nursed by her husband, who seemed
never to tire or get weary, but day and night found him at her bedside.
#5 SHERIFF WILLIAM A NORRIS
The next or fifth sheriff was
William Allen Norris. Sheriff Norris died February 22, 1885 at the age of 41 from
consumption. He served one two year term as sheriff 1866-1868.
He is buried in LakeCemetery,
Section B Lot 11. Mrs. Josephine Norris, his wife died at age 86, September 5, 1939 and is
buried inLakeCemetery, Section J Lot 32.
William A. Norris was a Civil War
Democrat, February 26, 1885
– W. A. Norris, well known in Barton County died on Sunday last in Cincinnati, where he had
gone to recuperate his health. But death had marked him for his own long before
he left Lamar. We recall Will Norris of 15 years ago, full of life and vigor.
He leaves a wife and 2 children to mourn his untimely taking off. He was at one
time sheriff of Barton
County and at various
times held positions of honor and trust in the county. He was well known
throughout Southwest Missouri. At the time of
his death he was forty-one years and 10 months old. Friends from Cincinnati accompanied
the body, arriving here on Tuesday morning at ten o’clock. The funeral took place from the residence of
Fr. Chas. Van Pelt at 2 o’clock p.m.
yesterday and was largely attended.
March 12, 1885
memory of William Allen Norris, third son of Hon David Norris, who removed from
Ohio to Barton County, Missouri
in the year of 1858 when William was in his 15th year. His education
was completed at Sarcoxie, Missouri in 1860. The year 1861 saw him in
arms for the service of his country. In 1866, he was elected and made an
efficient sheriff for two years. He did not believe in a personal Diety or the
Orthodox God, but hoped for a future life of eternal progression.
#6 SHERIFF HENRY F. HARRINGTON
The sixth sheriff was Henry
Franklin Harrington. H. F. Harrington was sheriff of Barton County
1868-1872. He was a farmer in Northfork
Township, born in Ohio in 1837. His
father, A. S. Harrington was a miller. H. F. Harrington was a graduate from
State University of Ohio. Sheriff Harrington served in the Union Army during
the Civil War, and was a scout under Wild Bill Hicock. Both in the war and for
a short time thereafter in Kansas
when there were Indian troubles. H. F. Harrington married Lucinda Murphy in
City Hall, Ft. Scott, Kansas. Five children were born to this
couple. H. F. Harrington died January
18, 1911 in Ekalaka,
MT while sitting at the supper
table at the Custer House Café and died almost instantly from apoplexy. Mrs.
Harrington died July 20,
1928. She too is buried in the IOOF Cemetery,
Charles Harrington, a son, later
became sheriff of Barton County,
H. F. Harrington and family moved
and then to Montana
#7 SHERIFF MORRIS B. EARL
The next or seventh sheriff was
Morris B. Earl. Sheriff 1872-1876. Sheriff Earl was also a carpenter and later
an agriculture machine salesman. His wife Julia was born inNew YorkState
Democrat – August 13, 1896
B. Earl died at the home of his son-in-law, Wm. Unkerfer, in Barton City
Township, at 12 o’clock Sunday night. Mr. Earl was
born in Peoria County, Illinois in 1820. He came to Lamar, December 4, 1866. He was
twice elected sheriff of this county, served one term as County Treasurer
and one term as collector. He was a faithful, fearless public servant, who
enjoyed the respect and confidence of all with whom he came in contact. He had
been in poor health for more than 10 years and his death, was not unexpected.
His wife, who is past 80 years of age, survives him, besides four children, a
large number of grandchildren and Mrs. Sarah A. Smith, his sister. The
interment took place in Lake Cemetery Monday afternoon, under the auspices of
Lamar Lodge No. 292, A. F. & A. M., of which order he had been a member 54
in Section B, Lot 18
MORRIS B. EARL
Democrat – January 3, 1901
Morris B. Earl, at the ripe old age of 82 years died at the home of her
daughter, Mrs. Wm. Unkifer, living one and one quarter miles south of Verdella
on Sunday morning, December 30th. Old age was the prime cause of her
death. Her funeral was preached Monday at the Baptist Church,
two miles south of Verdella and Interment was made in the Barton City
Cemetery. Mrs. Earl is
one of Barton County’s oldest inhabitants. She
accompanied her husband to Barton
County in the spring of
1866 and moved to Lamar the next fall, occupying one of the few small houses in
the southeast part of the city. Her husband erected the first mill in the
county, it being for M. N. Wills. Mrs. Earl was the mother of four children, of
who two survived her. Lee Earl, the oldest son, died 12 years ago; Lon Earl
still lives in this county. Mrs. Francis Gaston died recently in Salt Lake City, and Mrs.
Unkifer now resides near Verdella. Mrs. Earl became very childish the last few
years of her life, but her friends were numbered by the score.
#8 SHERIFF JOHN Q. A. JACKSON
The eighth sheriff was John Q. A.
Jackson. Serving one term 1876-1878. The 1870 Census lists John Jackson, wife
Alfa and one daughter. The 1880 Census lists his occupation as “Saloon Keeper”.
Wife Alfa and two daughters.
Q. A. JACKSON
Democrat – May 23, 1895
Q. A. Jackson for many years a resident of Lamar, died suddenly on the 16th
inst. of paralysis. He was taken sick
about 4 p.m. on the evening
of the 15th while waiting on a customer. He started for home, which
he reached in a state of unconscious condition. He was put in bed and medical
aid summoned, but it was to no avail, as he died at 7:30 the following evening. Mr. Jackson was
born in Platte City, Missouri December 15, 1845. He served in Bacon
Montgomery’s regiment during the war. On March 4, 1868, he came to Barton County
In May of that year he returned to Sedalia
and was married to Alfa, daughter of Dr. Boyer, of that city. The couple
immediately returned to Lamar, where they continued to reside. He was elected
Sheriff of Barton County in 1876, and the sudden summons which took him hence
will be sadly regretted. He leaves a wife, daughter and four sisters to mourn
his loss, besides a host of friends, who sympathize with tem in their sad
bereavement. He possessed many good qualities of head and heart and never
knowingly wronged anyone.
in Lake Cemetery, Section G, Lot 98
#9 & #11 SHERIFF DENNIS SPRINGER
The ninth and eleventh sheriff of BartonCounty
was Dennis Springer. He was first elected sheriff in 1878 and re-elected in
1880, serving until 1882. He was then elected in 1886 for one term.
Dennis Springer enlisted in COE,
132 Illinois Infantry, August 1862 and was discharged in August 1865 as Second
Following is his summary written
for the 1910 gathering of Civil War Veterans as published by Doctor W. L.
Dennis Springer, Co E, 122 Illinois Infantry, 16th
A. C., General A. J. Smith. Enlisted August 14, 1862 at Carlinville, went to
Cairo, Columbus, Trenton, Tenn., Memphis, Eastport, guarding supplies for
Sherman’s army, Cairo, Nashville two days fight, New Orleans, to Mobile by
boat, helped capture Spanish Fort and Blakely, to Montgomery on patrol duty,
mustered out there August 15, 1865, discharged at Springfield, Illinois.
Married October 1850, 2nd marriage July 1866. Six sons, four
daughters, all married. Came to Leroy
Township October 1867.
Farming and mixed trade. Served three terms as sheriff of the county.
Dennis Springer died April 20, 1917, Burial in BartonCity
Cemetery, Barton County, MO.
His obituary as published in Lamar Democrat,April 26, 1917.
Democrat – April 26, 1917
Dennis Springer was born in McCoupin County, Illinois,
November 1829. He grew up in McCoupin, and in the early fifties married Miss
Bryant. Six children were born of this marriage. Mrs. Springer died long ago.
Five of these sons and daughters survive their father. They are Louis Springer,
of Leroy Township, W. D. Springer, of Moundville, J. B. Springer of Larped,
Kansas, Mrs. Andrew McMahan, of Liberal and Mrs. Henry Speer of Sapulpa.
Mrs. Springer died in 1862. Shortly after this, Mr.
Springer joined a regiment of Illinois
volunteers and served through the war. He entered the army a private and came
out a second lieutenant.
About a year after he returned from the war to his
home in McCoupin County, Mr. Springer married Miss Julia
White, who, with eight children, survives him. They are Jos. R. Springer of
Lamar; C. D. Springer of Richards; E. C. Springer of Lawrence, Kansas; John
Springer of Hannon; Mrs. Rosa Tracy of Nevada; Mrs. Mable Hemmenway of Colorado
Springs; Mrs. Mattie Lewis of Putman, Oklahoma; and Mrs. Wilbur Thomas of
In 1868, Mr. Springer left Central
Illinois, and came to Southwest Missouri.
He first settled in Dade County,
but in 1869, he moved to Barton
County and settled in Leroy Township.
Mr. Springer was elected Sheriff of Barton County in
1876 and again in 1880. Six years later he was elected again.
Mr. Springer was one of the eleven county officers
whose names were inscribed upon the corner stone of the Courthouse in 1888.
They were A. C. Morrow, A. Gilmartin and Simeon Isenhower of the County Court.
H. C. Timonds, Representative; W. L. Mack, Circuit Clerk; W. A. Leach,
Treasurer; A. C. Burnett, Prosecuting Attorney; Dennis Springer, Sheriff; Wm.
Dye, Recorder; John E. Rundell, County Clerk; and Marion Dale, Probate Judge.
This was twenty-nine years ago. If we are correctly informed, since Mr. Springer’s
death, Judge Gilmartin and Isenhower, A. C. Burnett are the only ones of the
eleven who survive.
In 1912, Mr. Springer left his farm, where he had
resided for more than forty years, and moved to Liberal. Up to about a year
ago, his health was good and he got about like a much younger man. But in
recent months, he has suffered from a recurrence of dysentery, which he
contracted while serving in the army. This sapped his vitality, and undoubtedly
was the immediate cause of his death.
Mr. Springer was a member of the local Knight
Templars, also an Odd Fellows, both orders officially attended his funeral. The
Masons, with Dr. Alice as Chaplain, officiated at the grave. The funeral was
held in the church at Hannon at 1:30,
Tuesday afternoon. From there the remains were escorted by a procession of
automobiles two miles long to the cemetery at Barton City.
The funeral was preached by Rev. McFarland, of Liberal, a life long friend of
#10 SIMON PETER FINLEY
S. A. Finley was the tenth Sheriff of Barton County, serving
two terms from 1882-1886. He died September 5th, 1928 of bronchial pneumonia and
is buried in Lake
Cemetery, Section K Lot
28, as is his wife Elizabeth who diedApril 4, 1954 at the age of 92.
Following from Goodpeed History of BartonCounty,
P. Finley, Sheriff And Farmer Of Barton
County, MO, Was Born
In Macoupin County, Ill, In 1840 And Is A Son Of J. T. And L. B.
(Bremion) Finley, Natives Respectively Of Kentucky And Virginia. The Father Was One Of The First Settlers
Of Macoupin County, Ill, And In 1867 Came To Barton County, MO
Where He Spent The Rest Of His Days, Dying In 1878. He Was A farmer By Occupation
And A Democrat Politically. When A Child, The Mother Was Taken To Illinois By Her Parents,
And Was There Reared And Married. She Is Still Living And Resides In Lamar. S.
P. Finley Was Reared To Mature Years In Illinois,
And Received A Good Education In The Common Branches In The Public Schools Of
That State. He Came To Missouri
With His Parents, And Engaged In Farming, And Has Served A Number Of Years As
Sheriff Of The County. November
4, 1885, He Was United In Marriage To Miss Elizabeth Miller, Who
Was Born In Missouri
In 1864. They Own A Good Farm Of 120 Acres, And Are Among The Thrifty Farmers
Of The County. He is a Royal Arch Mason, A Member Of The Farmers’ Alliance And
In His Political Views Is A Democrat. His Maternal Grandfather, Who Was Of
Scotch Descent, Was Born In Virginia
And Died In Illinois.
Following is from the Obituary printed in the Lamar
Democrat, Thursday, Feb 13,
THE LIFE STORY OF ONE OF BARTON COUNTY’S
POST WAR PIONEERS
S. P. Finley came to Barton
County when he was a youth of nineteen – was a part of that big migration from
Macoupin County, Illinois that gave so many leading me to Barton County – he
soon had many warm friends in the ruling regime – a close friend of R. P.
smith, of Ed Buler, of Wm. Mack, of C. H. Brown, of B. G. Thurman and H. C.
Timmonds – was the man the ruling Democratic regime chose to wrest one of
Barton County’s important offices from the control of the Republicans – he and
the late R. P. Smith were close personal friends and campaigned for office
together – was one of the leaders of the Folk Movement in Southwest Missouri –
despite the fact that he retired to his farm, shortly after his term of office
expired, his many friendships among the Men of Affairs kept him actively in politics for which he
had a natural genius – moved to Lamar in 1905 p took prominent part in City’s
Affairs – his going makes one more big gap in the now thin line of those who
came here sixty years ago to build a civilization and help erect a
the death of S. P. Finley, Barton
County loses on of its
picturesque and interesting post war pioneers. He had lived in this county for
sixty-one years. He was one of the moulders of its political and official life.
He was a contemporary of the late R. P. Smith, of Wm. Mack, of C. C. Daubin, of
John Rundell and of Merideth Wills.
was a son of J. T. Finley. His mother was born in Virginia and his father in Kentucky. The father was
one of the early settlers of Macoupin
County, Illinois. In
1867, the later joined that migration which brought so many people from this Illinois county to
Lamar. Macoupin County furnished more prominent citizens
to this new community of the Southwest than any other parent region.
deceased came to Barton
County with his father in
1867. He was then about nineteen years of age. His father settled in what is
now Northfork Township, and remained until his death
townsman was 80 years old. He was born May 8, 1848.
young man had a natural genius for politics and, of course, along with it a
capacity to make friends. It was not long until he was one of that genial and close
knit circle, that gave law and government to the county. Among these was R. P.
Smith, C. H. Brown, Wm. Avery, C. H. Morgan, Ed Buler and a little later G. L.
Crenshaw, B. G. Thurman and H. C. Timmonds.
1882, the popular young man was named by his party for Sheriff. This was an
office the Republicans had been holding for a long time. But the Democratic
organization in this popular and attractive member of the ruling regime had
found a man, who broke the Republican hold on this, at that time, very important
office and came in an easy winner. In 1884, he was nominated for a second term,
and ran far ahead of his ticket. At the time, Mr. Finley was Sheriff, R. P.
(Bob) Smith was Treasurer. The two young men were close friends. Each was very
popular and they made their campaigns for election, largely in each other’s
his second term in the Sheriff’s office, Mr. Finley went into partnership with
the late Henry Snyder in the ice business, here in Lamar, but he shortly
retired and went on a farm in Northfork
Township, near the
neighborhood where he had spent the years of his young manhood. He was no
longer an aspirant for office, but his many friendships among the prominent
Democrats of the county kept him active in politics. During those years he
became a close friend of the late R. E. Casement, who later served for twelve
years as Circuit Clerk.
the Folk movement began to form in Barton
County, Mr. Finley at
once became one of it’s directing heads. The fight was long and bitter. But so
magnanimous and gallant a fighter was he, that he never ceased to be a strong
personal friend of many of the leaders among the opposition to the rising St.
Louis Circuit Attorney.
1905, Mr. Finley sold his fine Northfork farm, purchased the C. Y. Trice
property and moved to Lamar. He was appointed coal oil inspector for Barton County
by Governor Folk. He at once took a prominent part in the affairs of the city.
He served upon the board of aldermen, and was one of the controlling factors in
that body during his service.
Finley was almost an encyclopedia of Barton
County politics. He had
the whole political history of the county at his fingers’ ends. There had not
been a prominent man in the public or official life of the county during the
past fifty years, with whom he was not acquainted. He was a hard fighter, but a
magnanimous foe. He had a genius for political affairs. He worshipped at the
shrine of the Great Woodrow Wilson with a faithful and devoted affection. Where
he placed his trust and his regard, there was he loyal even unto death.
1885, Mr. Finley married Miss
Elizabeth Miller, a jewel of a woman, whose qualities of heart and character
have long made her one of the outstanding women of Lamar. With one daughter,
Mrs. Leonard Knight, she survives him.
fifteen years ago, Mr. Finley suffered a very severe attack of bronchitis. The
deep seated irritation of the bronchial tubes became more or less chronic.
Despite his advancing years, his strong constitution enabled him to withstand the
effects of the chronic trouble, with little more penalty than an occasional
annoyance. But finally, the winters and indoor seasons of the year began to
tell on him. When the genial warmth of the late spring and summer came, his
still strong physical health threw off the enemy and it was almost as if he had
entirely conquered it. The coming of the present summer, however, failed to
restore his strength. Despite the grim and heroic fortitude, which like a Roman
of old, had ever been his, the enemy stealthily gained upon his strength. He
dauntlessly kept to his feet, but he grew weaker with the waning of the summer,
and finally six days before his death he was forced, from sheer weakness to
take to his bed. There he lay, in the final struggle in which he knew, only too
well, he would be vanquished. Slowly, and like the approach of an overwhelming
beleaguering force, death made its resistless advances, he lay there, suffering
cruelly, but with never an outcry or a complaint, going down amid the dim
shadows, dauntless as of old and to the last unafraid.
of the ever thinning line was he of those souls of dauntless adventure who at
the edge of the Great War came forth in the morning of life to this realm,
which then was Nature’s own, to make it bloom and burgeon with the works of
their hands, to build a social order and help erect a commonwealth
#12 SHERIFF GEORGE W. B. GARRETT
George W. B. Garrett was the twelfth Sheriff of
County, MO, 1888 – 1892.
George W. B. Garrett served in Co. G, 9th
Inf., 8th Bn. from November
16, 1862 until February
He served on the Missouri State Commission – History
Transportation, International Exposition, St.
Extract from History of
W. B. Garrett, Sheriff, was born in Loudoun
County, VA, May 27, 1857, and is the
son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Harden) Garrett, both natives of Loudoun County, VA,
where they were reared and married. After living there until 1866, they moved
to Northern Missouri, and in 1882 to Barton County,
settling on a farm, and there the father is living at present. The mother was a
worthy and consistent member of the Baptist
Church, and died in the
year 1888. The father is a Democrat in politics. In their family were twelve
children, of whom four are now living, all sons. The educational advantages of
G. W. B. Garrett were very meager in youth, but upon reaching manhood he earned
the money by working on a farm to take a two years’ course at the Kirksville
Norman. He then returned to the farm, and continued tilling the soil until
1888, when he was elected Sheriff of Barton County. Previous to this he had
held the office of justice of the peace of North Fork Township,
for a period of two years. In politics he is a stanch Democrat. Of Mr. Garrett
it may with truth be said that he is a man in every way fitted for the position
he is now holding, brave and fearless in the discharge of his duty, honorable
and conscientious in all his business relations, and a man universally
After his term as Sheriff, he was an Express Agent,
Collector for Lamar. He and his wife Cordie lived on what is present 9th Street.
Mrs. Garrett is buried in
we believe Sheriff Garrett is next to her in an unmarked grave.
SHERIFF #13 WILLIAM A. CARL
William A. Carl was the thirteenth Barton County
William A. Carl was born in Farmington,
April 18, 1848.
He died September 18, 1940
in Columbus, Montana. William A. Carl and Mary Ellen
Baker were married at Milford,
MO,January 1, 1889.
Mr. and Mrs. Carl lived in Milfordwhere they ran a
hotel until 1893
when Mr. Carl was elected Sheriff, at which time they moved to Lamar.
In 1908 they moved to Big Timber, Montanawhere Mr.
Carl managed an
experimental farm, and later the Columbus Apartments at Columbus, Montana.
Mr. Carl died February
6, 1934. Both Sheriff and Mrs. William A. Carl are buried at Big
#14 SHERIFF LEE LIVINGSTON
The fourteenth Sheriff of Barton County was Lee Livingston,
Extracted from the Lamar Democrat,Thursday, September 1, 1919
Ex-Sheriff Lee Livingston Died, Saturday, At Pittsburg
– Spent Nearly His Whole Life In Barton County – Buried here, Sunday.
remains of Ex-Sheriff Lee Livingston arrived, Sunday afternoon, upon the 4 o’clock southbound train, from Pittsburg, Kansas.
services were held at Pittsburg.
Quite a large procession of townspeople met the funeral party at the depot, and
proceeded with the body out to Lake
Livingston died, at his home, Saturday, a week after he had been stricken with
paralysis. Mr. Owen Blacker and Jim Livingston, the deceased’s son, went to Bloomington, Illinois,
as soon as they received intelligence of his condition and brought him home.
Livingston was conscious all of the time, after he received the stroke, but in
addition to being helpless, he was unable to talk.
Saturday afternoon, Mrs. Livingston came out of her husband’s room, and told
her son Jim, that she believed his father was dying. The young man rushed to
the bedside of his stricken parent. “You are not dying, are you papa?” he
asked. His father nodded his head, and very soon, it was all over.
Livingstone, up to two years ago, had lived in Barton County
since his young manhood. Back in the early eighties he was out in the mining
district, upon the state line, as weigh master for one of the big stripping
lived several years upon a farm, east of Lamar, during which time he was
elected as assessor of Lamar
Township. He took an
active interest in Democratic politics.
was nominated and elected Sheriff, in 1896, as served two years. Not long after
his term of office expired, he became engaged in the land business. For several
years, he was employed by Col. Trice, and later he was with Col. D. A. Beamer.
He knew absolutely every foot of land in Barton County.
Two years ago, he located in Pittsburg,
with a view of handling the lands of Western Barton, but he had never been able
to get the business fairly started.
his wife, Mr. Livingston leaves six children to mourn his death. They are Mrs.
Ed Owens, who lives in Oklahoma,
a married daughter in Pittsburg,
Jas. Livingston and Nellie, Mayme and Marie.
Livingston was a member of the W. O. W. and carried a three thousand dollar
insurance policy in that order.
Lamar Democrat article datedMay 12, 1898
a few minutes after noon,
our neighboring town, Golden
City, was filled will
excitement over the killing of Perry Hickman by Sheriff Livingston. The
unfortunate affair occurred over the sheriff’s attempt to serve a warrant on
Hickman, charging him with assaulting and beating his sister, Lucy Hickman, on
May 5th. Monday morning Sheriff Livingston drove over to Golden City,
in company with Prosecuting Attorney, Moore.
Upon making inquiries Sheriff Livingston was told that Perry Hickman was going
to Lamar on the noon train,
so he waited till after that time before he attempted to serve the warrant; wishing
to make the arrest in Lamar if possible. (The sheriff had previously arrested
Hickman’s mother and at that time had some trouble with him; and was
anticipating trouble in making the arrest.) Hickman did not go; and as soon as Livingston finished his dinner he went up town to the
office of Cory Deweese, his deputy sheriff. While they were sitting in the
doorway of Mr. Deweese’s office, Perry Hickman and his father, John E. Hickman,
came down the street; when they reached the post office door Livingston
said, “Perry, I want to see you,” and stepped inside. Hickman following him
into the office. Livingston then said “I have
a warrant for you” and began to read it. Hickman began backing out; J. C.
Hawley, who was standing in the door, put his arm and foot across the door
intending to block the way. Livingston said to
Hickman, “Don’t run, or I might hurt you.” Hickman pushed by Mr. Hawley and
went out onto the sidewalk. Deputy sheriff Deweese, who was present said “Hold
him, don’t let him out.” But Hickman started on down the street with his
revolver drawn; according to the testimony of J. C. Hawley he had two revolvers
at this time, a small one and a large one, but the small one has not yet been
found. Livingston followed him out onto the
walk. By this time Hickman was running, he was commanded to halt, but paid no
attention to the order. Livingston drew his
revolver and shot into the walk, intending to frighten Hickman, but the shot
only accelerated his speed. Livingston, Deweese and Hawley started in hot pursuit.
Deweese following Hickman down the street towards the west; Livingston,
knowing that Hickman lived in the southwest part of the city, ran between two
building to an alley, running east and west and then out onto the street.
Hickman turned south at the corner and Deweese and Hawley followed. Hickman was
about 150 feet ahead of them. He turned and shot back, but the bullet went wild
of its mark, so he ran on up the street. After running a short distance Hickman
stopped, turned, rested his gun on his left arm, took deliberate aim at Deweese
and fired, but the bullet again missed its mark. Then Deweese raised his gun
and shot twice at Hickman and attempted to shoot the third time but the cap
snapped. Some of the witnesses thought one of Deweese’s bullets hit the man in
the hip, while others think a bullet from Livingston’s
gun hit him there. About this time Sheriff Livingston came out of the alley and
again commanded the fleeing man to halt, but he continued to run and fired back
at Livingston, the bullet coming close enough
so he could hear it “sing”. Livingston then
fired three of four shots, intending to frighten him, but they had no effect;
so he took aim and fired again and by some of the witnesses this is thought to
be the bullet that hit him in the hip. This shot did not stop him, and Livingston fired again, the shot taking effect in the
left shoulder. Hickman slackened his pace, turned in his course and fell on his
face near the residence of Dr. D. G. Thompson, who was the first man to his
side. He was moaning and Dr. Thompson told him to put down his gun which he was
still holding in his hand. This he did and said “They have killed me.” An
examination of his wounds was mad and it was found that one ball had struck him
below the left shoulder blade and gone through his body, penetrating the left
lung producing the mortal wound. This shot was fired at a distance of one
hundred and sixty-five steps. The wounded man was placed in a wagon and taken
to the office3 of Dr. Thompson. He only lived about ten minutes after being
taken into the office. Dr. Cromley, the coroner, went down on the evening train
and held an inquest over the dead body. J. C. Hawley, J. S. Bays, J. R. Richardson, C. A. Cornell,
Robert Bivins, Dr. Thompson, Lee Livingston, and Cory Deweese, all eye
witnesses were examined, and the facts testified to by them was substantially
the same as above given. A jury composed of J. M. Harlow, Matt Price, G. W.
Thorpe, J. B. Hodges, R. C. Gill and E. M. Robinson, brought in the following
verdict after hearing all the testimony, making all the inquiry within their
power and having viewed the body, “Said Perry Hickman came to his heath on the
9th day of May, 1898, from a gun-shot wound inflicted by a revolver
in the hands of Lee Livingston, Sheriff of Barton County, Missouri, while said
Perry Hickman was resisting lawful arrest by said sheriff and his deputy, and
we further exonerate said sheriff from all fault or blame in said homicide.
After the jury returned their verdict the remains were turned over to the
father who had them placed in a neat casket furnished by the county and they
were then taken to his late home. The funeral took place Tuesday afternoon and
Mrs. Lucy J. Hickman, the mother of the deceased was taken down by Deputy
Sheriff Steelman and permitted to attend the funeral. Mrs. Hickman was, and is
now, confined in the county jail awaiting trial on a charge of disturbing the
peace, an account of which appears in another column of this issue of the
Democrat. The killing of a fellow man is always a serious matter; but no one
familiar with the parties and with all the facts surrounding this killing
attaches any blame to Sheriff Livingston, and no one regrets the unfortunate
affair more than he does. It is one of the unpleasantest (sic) things which at
any time may come within the path of duty of any sheriff, and everybody expects
a public official to do their duty.
This article from the
Democrat dated May 12, 1898
also talks about Sheriff Livingston and Perry Hickman.
Friday Sheriff Livingston
went to Golden City with a warrant for the arrest of
Mrs. Lucy J. Hickman. The warrant charged her with disturbing the neighborhood.
The Sheriff found Mrs. Hickman in the smokehouse and placed her under arrest.
She refused to go and tried to fight the officer, but he placed handcuffs on
her and took her to the hotel and kept her till train time. This Mrs. Hickman
is the mother of Perry Hickman who was shot by Sheriff Hickman Monday. At the
time of the arrest of Mrs. Hickman, her son made effort to interfere, but was
kept at bay by the officers.
Sheriff Livingston is buried
in Lake Cemetery, Lamar, Section J, Lot 61.
We find no record of Mrs.
#15 SHERIFF JAMES P. PHILLIPS
The fifteenth Sheriff was James. P. Phillips,
Extract from the
Lamar Democrat, Thursday,
March 23, 1916
P. Phillips, Sheriff of Barton County during the years 1899 and 1900, died at
his home in Golden
City the 15th
inst. Mr. Phillips was the first Republican
Sheriff Barton County had, since the retirement of
Dennis Springer. He defeated the late Lee Livingstone, who was then Sheriff by
228 votes, after a campaign that was perhaps the most exciting and spectacular
in the history of the county.
another very bitter campaign, Mr. Phillips was defeated for re-election by John
Harlow, by something less than 150 votes.
ran high during the time he was in office. Mr. Phillips was for years in the
stock business in Golden
City. He returned to this
business when he retired from office.
was a good citizen and left many friends in Barton County.
Mr. Phillips is buried in I. O.
F. Cemetery,Golden City,MO.
#16 & #20 SHERIFF JOHN HARLOW
The sixteenth and twenty-first Sheriff was John Harlow of GoldenCity,
serving from 1901-1904 and from 1916-1919. He was murdered, as was his son Dick
by Jay Lynch on March 3, 1919.
He and his wife are buried in the IOOF
The murder of Sheriff Harlow from the Lamar
Democrat, March 6, 1919attached. Also
attached from the same issue is the story of Jay Lynch.
SHERIFF J. M. HARLOW
His Son Dick Harlow, Desperately Wounded – J. W.
Lynch, Who Was To Have Been Taken To St. Louis, Monday Evening And Turned Over To
The Federal Authorities, Asked To Telephone His Wife – Permission Was Granted And
While At The Phone He Shot The Sheriff and his son – Then He Made His Escape –
His Revolver Must Have Been Give To Him By His Wife Or Mother, Both Of Whom Visited
Him In The Jail, Monday – Both Of The Women Placed Under Arrest.
7:30 p.m. Monday, J. W.
Lynch, of near Verdella, shot and almost instantly killed Sheriff John M.
Harlow, and dangerously wounded the sheriff’s eighteen year old son, Dick
had been arrested at his sister’s home, about three miles northeast of
Verdella, Sunday afternoon by Dick Metcalf, Marshal Gowdy of Liberal, Deputy
Sheriff Jim Pinkerton, and Arthur Metcalf. He was wanted in St. Louis, by the Federal authorities, upon
the charge of robbing freight cars in the yards at St. Louis.
Harlow intended to start with Lynch, for St.
Louis, on the Missouri Pacific Passenger, that leaves
Lamar at 7:55 p.m. The
Sheriff had just eaten his supper and supper had apparently been served to
Lynch, inside the jail proper, when the prisoner asked leave to come to the
telephone, and call up his wife, who was out on the farm, near Verdella. The
Sheriff, always kind and indulgent with prisoners, granted Lynch’s request.
telephone is on the wall, out in a little hall, between the dining room, and
the jail proper. As Lynch stood at the phone, the Sheriff stood in the dining
room door, not more than four feet to the south. As Lynch ceased to talk, he
suddenly whipped a revolver from his clothes, no one knows just where, pointed
it at the Sheriff and told him to put up his hands.
put up your hands!” said the Sheriff reaching for his gun. Then Lynch opened
fire. On bullet struck the Sheriff in the left breast, a short distance above
the nipple, was deflected by a rib, went out the left side of the chest, and
grazed the arm. Another bullet entered the chest up almost the same distance
above the nipple, about an inch and a quarter from the other, ranged to the
right, went through the breast bone, and came out under the right arm. This is
the wound that caused the Sheriff’s death. Dr. Miller says this bullet in all
probability, severed the aorta, the great artery leading from the heart. It
might have severed the windpipe, but the symptoms were rather that it was the
aorta. Harrison Bloomfield, the local undertaker, who prepared the Sheriff’s
body for burial, thinks that two other bullets enter the Sheriff’s body. One
shattered the left elbow, he declared, the other penetrated the left side of
the abdomen. Harrison claims this bullet
didn’t come out.
Harlow appears to have been in the dining room, not far behind the Sheriff, at
the time of the shooting. The young wife of the Sheriff’s son, Disk, had just
come down stairs. She met Dick at the front door, as was by his side, a moment
later, when he was shot by Lynch.
appears that the Sheriff grabbed his gun, got it out of the scabbard, and fired
wildly at the floor, once. Marshal Evilsizer, who picked the gun up a few
minutes later, says one chamber was empty. He thinks the bullet went through
the leg of a chair, that stood near.
Harlow, with Emmett Akers and Jim Williams had driven up in front of the jail
yard, in a truck, just an instant before the shooting stopped.
ran in, evidently to get his supper. Earl Rutherford, who was at the Southwest
corner of the jail yard, at the time, says if Dick had walked to the door
instead of run, he would have arrived too late to have been shot. But, boylike,
he ran. Just after Dick entered the door, the shots rang out and the women
began to scream.
seems, as the Sheriff was falling, he turned half around, to the south, so he
looked through the door, at the south end of the hall, and saw his son Dick,
who had just come in from the front, or south door. He called out, Dick, look
on the bed and get the guns, he’s shot me. Then he fell. Dick rushed into the
room to the west of the one where he was when his father addressed him, and
looked on the folding bed, for the guns, but there were none there. The boy then
rushed back to the hall, where his father was, and just as he entered the south
end of the hall, less than ten feet from where Lynch stood, near the phone, the
latter fired at him/point blank, the bullet entered his left lung, some little
distance above the heart, and stopping in the region of the spinal column.
sudden succession of shots, alarmed the neighborhood, Jim Williams, who was on
the truck with Dick and Earl Rutherford, who was just passing the jail, rushed
in, immediately after the shooting. They found the two men, lying there on the
floor, but a few feet apart, one at the west door at the hall, the other at the
south. It was plain that Sheriff Harlow was dying. Mrs. Harlow says just as he
fell, he gasped, He’s shot me, mother. Good Bye and God Bless You.
wounded as he was, Dick called out to Earl and Jim to take care of Dad, Don’t bother about me. I’m alright.
the murderer shot Dick he is declared to have exclaimed, Damn you, I’ll kill
every one of you. Then he went out the door that stood just at his back, on the
north end of the hall, ran over to the northwest, across Mrs. Seroy’s yard,
falling over a low chicken wire fence, she had about a flower bed. He proceeded
on, across the north and south alley, tore down the fence, getting over into H.
H. Fleisher’s yard, ran on northwest, past the home of Mrs. Galloway, angled,
still northwest, across Pacific Street, and either went through Will Jones’
yard or up the alley, and apparently ran straight north up this alley, half way
between Walnut and Maple Streets, until he disappeared in the gathering
was seen by a number of people: Mrs. Galloway saw him pass her corner, S. P.
Finley who was a block south, saw him and tried to head him off as Lynch
crossed north first street, he is declared to have run within ten feet of Will
Brummett, He went groping along through the dusk, falling into ditches, running
into fences. He seemed to be holding his right hand close to his side. This
gave rise to the notion that he was wounded, but apparently, he was merely
holding his gun.
the shots rang out, in rapid succession, followed by the screams of Mrs. Harlow
and her daughter-in-law, the neighbors rushed into the jail, to find a scene
that was both terrible and heartrendering. Sheriff Harlow died a few moments
after the arrival of Dr. Tom Miller, about ten minutes after the shooting.
of the Sheriff’s murder soon went over town. It flashed over the telephone
lines, through the country, and soon men were pouring into town, especially
from the vicinity of Iantha and Verdella. A posse of citizens, headed by the
sheriff, ran down from Nevada.
Bloodhounds, belonging to the Chief of Police, at Carthage, and another bunch from Springfield arrived. The
boys with the Carthage
dogs, quite naturally, got stuck in a mudhole south of Boston. Bernard Lookwood ran down and brought
the men and the dogs to Lamar. They arrived about 11:30. The Springfield dogs came on the 1:20 Frisco passenger. From the
arrival of the Carthage
dogs, until about 3 o’clock
Tuesday morning, the big crowd ranged up and down the route to the fair grounds.
The two groups of dogs didn’t follow exactly the same course, but they wound
up, first at the duck pond to the west of the fairgrounds, and then about the
gate, on the south side, by the ticket office. Right here at the gate, were
fresh tracks, where an automobile had come down the fairgrounds road, from the
east, and turned sharply around.
the dogs came, there were reports, that a car running, fifty or sixty miles an
hour, passed Heim’s just to the west of the Vanpool bridge, Clyde Lawson’s up
at the corner, Jack Kitner’s on the Iantha Road, Chas. Ihm’s a mile south and
still west, and finally De Loss McKibben’s, still further west and south. The
writer was not able to confirm this story.
gun with which Lynch did the shooting must have been slipped to him, either by
his wife or his mother, Monday. These women called in the forenoon, and asked
to see the prisoner. There was no one else confined with the jail, and they
were permitted to go in and talk with him.
following this first interview, Lynch’s mother went home, got a good sized
package, out of the house and returned. Then she and Lynch’s wife went to the
jail and asked for another interview. This request was granted, the two women
are declared to have gone in, and had another talk with the prisoner. The
presumption is strong, that it was during this last visit of his wife and
mother, that Lynch got the revolver.
long after their visit to the jail, the two women went back home. Walter Rix,
of Iantha, drove them to town, as we understand, took the elder Mrs. Lynch on
her first return trip, and then took the two women home, in the afternoon. A
bunch of men, under Dick Metcalf, kept watch about the Lynch home, Monday
night. They had some hope that Lynch might show up to communicate with the
women. But the boys stayed around the place, until well along in the wee’ small
hours, and there was not a sign, nor a movement. Finally, about five o’clock, they saw the lights of
an automobile, in the distance. The lights kept coming nearer. Mr. Metcalf
deployed his men, along the road, leading to the house. The car drew up and
some one got out. Then it started back. Mr. Metcalf fired over the car, and one
of the boys sent a bullet against the fender. It was ordered to stop. It pulled
up, and out stepped Constable Jesse Sumner, and Walter Rix. Walter had brought
Miss Stella Lynch, sister of the murderer, from Iantha, where she had just
gotten off the early morning, southbound Frisco train. Constable Sumner, who
was with the crowd, that watched the station all night, said he guessed he’d go
Lynch, the sister, had been in Kansas
City. As soon as her brother was arrested, Sunday, it
was known that they called up Kansas
City. They evidently communicated with her. Her
arrival on the 4:45 Frisco
passenger was obviously in reply to a summons. As she got off the train, at
Iantha, she walked up to J. T. Jeffers, who carries the mail, to the post
asked him if there was any chance to get a taxi, out home. He said he thought
Will Rix, or his son, Walter would take her. If they wouldn’t he would take her
all this crowd, doing here? She asked curiously.
brother murdered our Sheriff, last evening, Mr. Jeffers said, and these men are
on the look out for him. She showed neither shock, nor emotion, but went on in
a business like way, to the garage and arranged for a taxi to take her home.
about daylight, Tuesday morning, Dick Metcalf, and a number of the boys, who
had watched the house, during the night, went to the door, and knocked. The
elder Mrs. Lynch came to the door. Dick told her he would have to arrest her
and her daughter-in-law, as they were satisfied one of them gave Lynch the gun
with which he killed the Sheriff.
your warrant? She asked.
need any warrant Dick said, take your hand from down there in your skirt.
I won’t do it, she said, and
slammed the door in his face. Dick let drive right through the door. Charlie
McCuistion and one or two other boys, fired into the house. Dick’s shot ranged
along a shelf, upon which was sitting a lot of dishes. The breaking, falling
china ware created a great commotion. The old woman opened the door, and stood
with her hands up, saying, I surrender.
wife, who has an infant child, three months old, asked permission to dress the
baby. This request was granted, after which the two women were placed in the
car. The older woman was defiant. Going out to the car she forced herself to
sing, and shuffled her feet saying, such is life, you might as well sing and be
the women were gotten to the jail, Mesdames S. P. Finley and A. J. Kelly
searched them carefully, but found no weapons or incriminating evidence. The
women were detained in jail.
one hundred and twenty acre farm, upon which the Lynch’s live is owned by
Stella P. Lynch, a sister of the murderer. She is unmarried, and is in the
neighborhood of thirty years old. The Lynch’s came to Barton City
Township about six years
ago. Besides Stella, there were J. W. Lynch Jr., the murderer. The first year
they were there, the young man farmed the place. Then he disappeared. The
father is a roving spectacle peddler. He stays at home, for a time, then there
is a big row, and he leaves. There was a big bust up, during the present
winter, and he lit out. He has not been back, so far as the neighbors know,
last fall, a young woman came to stay with the family. The Lynch’s said she was
Mrs. George Owen, and gave her residence as some distant city. Sometimes, they
said she was a friend. Again, they would say she was the wife of their nephew.
She was, in truth, the wife of their son, J. W. Lynch. About three months ago,
some little time after she came to the Lynch home, her baby was born.
week or more ago, young Lynch came in, one night, in a Ford car. He ran out of
gasoline before he got quiet home, and had to borrow some on the road. Next
day, the elder Mrs. Lynch went to Verdella, bought some gasoline and said their
nephew, George Owen had came in during the night.
became known to the officers, that Lynch was wanted by the federal authorities
at St. Louis,
for robbing freight cars. Dick Metcalf knew that the pretended George Owen was
none other than Lynch. He came to Lamar, and told Sheriff Harlow. The latter
said he had gone out to the place, at previous times, recently, when Lynch had
quietly dropped in home. Each time, the man ran away from him, and the Sheriff
said, he didn’t want to shoot him. He told Mr. Metcalf he would deputize him
and he could arrest Lynch.
Mr. Metcalf went to Liberal, got Marshal Gowdy, Deputy Sheriff Jim Pinkerton,
and his brother, Arthur Metcalf, and drove to the Lynch home.
pretended, at first, one of their number, wanted to buy the place. The old
woman was anxious for them to come in the house. But they said, no, they’d go
first to the barn. They had seen Lynch go into the barn. They divided into twos
and approached the barn from different directions. They found Lynch inside.
Metcalf went up to Lynch, covered him with a revolver, and told him they wanted
him. Lynch threw up his hands and said, Well, you’ve got me.
he began to scheme. He wanted to go to the house and change his clothes. They
went right with him. Whenever he started to rummage in a drawer, Metcalf and
Pinkerton stood right by him. Lynch got mad and said they were not gentlemen.
But he gave up his ill concealed effort to get a weapon, and went with them.
the jail door, he turned to Dick Metcalf, and said, Damn you, I’ll get you, as
soon as I’m out of this, it it’s twenty years.
is a little past thirty, medium size, dark, has two gold teeth, wore a crushed
hat, and a light blue serge suit. The impression seems to be that he got away
with his hat. His overcoat was left hanging in the cell.
car was left at home. The boys watching, during the night, found it, somewhat
dismantled. He had evidently been working on it Sunday, just before his arrest.
Nobody can think of how a car could have been waiting for him. A good many
folks take the trail of the blood hounds, after their owners got them away from
the ground it was known Lynch had been over, with a very generous amount of
skepticism, and hence, don’t believe Lynch had any car waiting to take him.
LYNCH FACED FIVE YEAR
Under The Name Of George Owens, He Was A Detective In
The Employ Of The Wabash Railway – Declared To
Have Been A Good Gunman – Murderer Emptied Discharged Shells Of His Revolver, Behind
Al Crews Barn – Were Forty Fours – Said To Have Served At Least One Term In The
good many stories floated about, Wednesday, characteristic of the aftermath of
the tragedy of the jail. Most of them concerned J. W. Lynch, the man who murdered
Here are some statements that
are not absolutely verified, perhaps, but we believe, in the main, true.
a year ago, was a detective in the service of the Wabash Railroad. He held the
job under the name of George Owen. The railroad administration started in to
round up St. Louis
and East St. Louis.
It picked a squad of men, who were known to have good nerve, and who were
expert with a gun. Owen was one of these men. He is claimed to be a crack shot.
He is also an expert in handling a car.
was while he was acting as a detective for the railroad, that he was found to
have robbed box cars, billed upon an inter-state shipment. This violated the
Federal law, and is declared to mean not less than five years in a Federal
appears, that under the name of Owen, Lynch has served one or more terms in the
Metcalf says, that under this alias, he broke jail, in Kansas City, with a notorious bank robber,
was afterwards captured, and served a term in state’s prison. On what charge he
was held in jail, it does not appear.
has naturally arisen a good deal of gossip about Lynch’s father, J. S. Lynch,
Sr. He is a spectacle peddler, and goes under the tile of Old Dock Lynch. It
seems that Dock had something of a blow up, with his family, some time during
the winter, and left in anger. He stayed at Bennett’s hotel, in Liberal, but
some little time ago, left, owing a board bill. It seems that Mr. Bennett
located him, a short time ago, at a town in Kansas. A story has been in circulation,
indicating that Dock Lynch disappeared from Liberal the night his son murdered
Sheriff Harlow. The facts, as indicated in the experience of the hotel keeper,
at Liberal, are apparently otherwise.
W. H. Noble was marshal of Lamar, Dock Lynch came to town, and got on a big
drunk. Mr. Noble arrested him, kept him all night in the cooler, and took him,
next forenoon, before Judge Allen. The old man, very politely asked if he could
step across the street and consult a lawyer. The court granted him permission,
and he beat it out of town. The marshal understood the fugitive went to Iantha.
He ran out on the eleven o’clock
train, but the old man, who was actually in town, kept out of sight.
is now known, practically, as a positive fact, that as Lynch ran up the alley,
between Walnut and Maple streets, he stopped, behind Al Crew’s barn, and
dropped the five empty shells from his bun. He must have reloaded the weapon at
this juncture, otherwise, he would not have stopped to dispose of the empty
shells. Mr. Crews’ place, in at least two blocks up north, on the alley, from
where Lynch entered it, at the home of W. H. Jones.
Crews found the five empty shells, and turned them over to Prosecutor Timmonds.
The shells are forty fours. One of the bullets that went through the body of
Sheriff Harlow was recovered, at the jail. It is a steel nosed bullet, and
exactly fits any one of the shells found by Mr. Crews.
is therefore evident that the murderer fired five times. This would exactly fit
into the theory that four bullets struck the Sheriff, and, of course, one
entered the breast of his son, Dick Harlow.
Timmonds, however, says he is quite sure that only three bullets struck the
Sheriff. One of those that entered the breast, deflected to the right, he says,
came out at the left side and shattered the Sheriff’s elbow. The other bull
that entered the breast, Mr. Timmonds says, ranged to the right, and downward,
coming out of the abdomen, under the cartridge belt, and penetrating the belt.
A third bull grazed the left forearm. A fourth bullet struck Dick Harlow, and
Mrs. Harlow was quiet sure, a few minutes following the shooting, that, as the
murderer was turning to make his getaway, he shot at her and missed her.
story about the rapid car, swinging about over the Vanpool bridge, and then
speeding to the West and South is not taken much stock in by the Prosecutor.
Two such cars were reported in opposite parts of the county.
SHERIFF HARLOW SLEEPS
AMONG OLD NEIGHBORS.
The Baptist Church,
Not Only Was Paced, But The Yard Overflowed Into The Street – Wife And Mother
Called From Funeral To The Bedside of Her Stricken Son.
funeral of Sheriff John M. Harlow was held, Wednesday afternoon, at 2:30, at the Baptist Church,
Rev. Medearis, in charge of the services. The house was jammed, and the church
yard overflowed into the street. Not only did the people of the town turn out,
enmasse, but scores, yes hundred of people drove miles, over the country roads,
to pay their last tribute of respect to the dead Sheriff.
casket was covered with many beautiful floral gifts from friends and
sympathizers with the stricken loved ones.
add to the bitter poignancy of the scene, Mrs. Harlow was led away from the
church, weeping her heart out. The stricken woman could not accompany her
beloved dead to the grave. She must return home, for Dr. Miller brought word
that her son, Dick laid low by the same assassin that slew her husband, was
worse, and it would not be safe for her to be away, for fear of what might
develop, at his bedside, in the next brief hours.
The dead Sheriff’s body was
taken to Golden City, where it was laid to rest among
old friends and neighbors, who had preceded him to the Realms of the Sunset.
1919 Jay Lynch was taken from the Courthouse by a mob and lynched
on the North side of the Courthouse.
#17 SHERIFF JOHN SLAVENS
The 17th Sheriff of Barton County was John
Slavens, serving one term 1904-1906.
The following is an article from the Lamar
Republican, Who Was Elected Last Year in the Face of a Democratic Majority in Barton County.
BartonCountyhas no more accommodating official than
Slavens. He is one of the plain people, a republican of the sternest integrity
and an official of the highest honor. He is filling his present office because
of these elements of strength, and not because he is a skilled politician or
political manipulator. Though a life-long republican, who has always been
interested in the success and welfare of his party, he has not been a
politician and that alone.
many years he was one of the leading stock men and farmers of Barton County.
He bought, fed and shipped thousands of cattle and hogs in this section of Missouri for several
years and made a success of his business. His getting into politics at all was
largely accidental. Having retired from the active work of handling stock, he
was nominated by Thomas Egger, during his first year as mayor of Lamar, to be
night watch. He received the full compliment of democratic votes on the council
for confirmation, and he made one of the most efficient deputy marshals Lamar
ever had. He was a clean man, whose only object in having the office was to
give good service to the city. He was re-nominated by Mayor Egger the second
year, and was again confirmed by the council. When this term of office was
completed, the republicans of Barton
County chose him as the
candidate for the office of Sheriff. He was pitted against a good democrat, but
despite this and the further fact that every democrat on the ticket was
elected, except the judge of the Western District, Mr. Slavens was elected. The
campaign was a clean one and was not fraught with any ill will, but he was
simply a strong man who won the votes of the common people.
Sheriff of the county, he is devoted to the duties of his office, giving the
best service that his splendid abilities afford. He resides at the county jail,
where he has personal supervision of the county’s prison. His work as an
official is highly commended by all who have business with his office. And
while he is rigidly punctual as an executive officer, he is courteous and
obliging to every one. He often times goes clear beyond the duties of his
official station to do a friend or patron of his office a favor.
in Jackson County, Ohio, in 1852, he was the son of a miller and farmer. At the
age of six years he was brought by his parents to Henry County, Missouri. That
was before the day of railroads in Missouri,
and the trip from Jefferson City
had to be made in a wagon with an ox team. His early education was received in
the common schools. He began to battle for himself at an early age, doing such
work as could be found upon the farm. In 1882 he was married to Miss Mary Bell
Hill, in Henry County. She died twelve years ago,
leaving him with a family of five small children. He was then a citizen of Barton County,
having moved upon a farm near Irwin in 1882. He managed well, reared his
children and educated them in the public schools of this city. While on the
farm he handled stock, finally branching out until he became a large dealer and
shipper. He moved to Lamar soon after he came to the county, and with the
exception of two years, when he resided in Sheldon, this city has been his
of Mr. Slaven’s friends throughout the county maintain that he shall follow the
custom of accepting a second term as Sheriff of the county, but to this he
reserves assent. This office is Barton
County is not a very
remunerative one, and one term hardly pays one for making the effort to get it.
If he concludes to run again next year, it is generally conceded that he will
make a formidable candidate and will probably be re-elected.
Lamar Democrat, March 25, 1937
JOHN SLAVENS ONE OF
BARTON’S COUNTY’S OLD TIMERS
Was Born in Virginia 85 Years Ago – Father and Mother
Came When He Was a Boy, to Henry County – Grew to Manhood and Married There,
Coming to Barton County Nearly Sixty Years Ago – Lived for Some Years in Union
Township – Was Then in the Stock Business – Elected Sheriff in 1904 – Made
Small Fortune in the Produce Business in Later Years Before He Retired – Had
Friends in Every Part of Barton County – Funeral Sunday Afternoon at Konantz
Chapel – Interment in Sheldon Cemetery.
funeral of the late John Slavens was announced to be conducted at the Konantz
Chapel at 2:30, Sunday p.
m. by Rev. Homer DeLozier. Interment was to be in the Sheldon Cemetery
by the grave of the deceased’s late wife, who died forty-three years ago.
Slavens was the son of Reuben Slavens and Nancy Ann Stephenson. He was born in Jackson County, Virginia, January 7, 1852. His father during his boyhood,
moved to Henry County, Missouri, where John grew to manhood and married. He was
married in 1870, when little more than eighteen, to Mary Belle Hill. They lived
in Henry County until 1879, when they moved to Barton County.
Mr. Slavens located on a farm in Union
Township. Later he moved
to Lamar, where he was in the stock business until 1904, when he was elected
Sheriff. He ran the year of the Theodore Roosevelt landslide, and defeated the
late Jim Duncan. He served two year, later being nightwatch in Lamar. After
this Mr. Slavens went into the produce business. He was at that time, getting
along towards sixty years old, and was practically penniless. But ere he
retired about fifteen years later, he had amassed a modest independence for the
remainder of his life. Mrs. Slavens died in 1894. Her widowed husband devoted
himself to his family and was never remarried. Three of his daughters and his
one son preceded him in death. The daughters, who have passed hence were Mrs.
Alma McClain and Mrs. Ella Croy. Estella Slavens died when she was five years
old. His only son, Harry Slavens, who long held a position in the Kansas City
Stockyards, died, ten years ago.
leaves two daughters Mrs. Myrtle Thomas, of Salt Lake City, and Mrs. Ben Laizure, at
whose home in Pittsburg,
as all of his old friends called him, remained in Lamar, until a year ago, last
September. He was long a member of the Lamar Baptist
writer knew John Slanvens, for years. He was a man who was beloved by all who
know him. He had an acquaintance among the older generation that extended into
every part of the county. After he retired, from active business, about twelve
years ago, he liked to be about daily and meet his old friends. His genial and
sunny manner, his pleasing personality, his sound commonsense, and kindly but
very apt way of putting things were a constant source of delight and pleasure
to his friends, who met him daily. His memory will live in their minds to the
end. A good husband, a kind father, a warm and genial friend, a man who had a
kindly but commonsense outlook upon life. He had lived in Barton County
nearly sixty years.
Sheldon, MO Cemetery Record
SLAVEN HARRY 11/5/1919 1875 SHELDON
NOTE:DIED FROM T.B. AT HIS KANSAS CITY, MO.,
HOME. BURIED BESIDE HIS MOTHER. HE WAS ABOUT 43 AND HAD LIVED HERE WITH HIS
PARENTS SOMETHING LIKE 20 YEARS AGO AND HIS FATHER, JOHN SLAVES LIVES AT LAMAR,
MO., AS WELL AS HIS SISTER, MISS PEARL. HIS WIFE CAME WITH THE BODY FROM K. C.;
CARD OF THANKS—JOHN SLAVENS MRS. HARRY SLAVEN AND MISS PERL SLAVEN. HE HAD BEEN
INVALID FOR SOME TIME, TROUBLE WITH HEART AND KIDNEYS. BURIED BESIDE HIS MOTHER
IN THE CEMETERY. HE WORKED FOR A LONG TIME IN THE KANSAS CITY STOCKYARDS.
SLAVEN JOHN 1937 1852 SHELDON
SLAVENS ESTELLA JOAN 1887 1881 SHELDON
NOTE:DAUGHTER OF JOHN AND MARY BELL SLAVEN.
SLAVENS JOHN 5/21/1937 1/9/1852 SHELDON
NOTE:BORN, JACKSON CO. OHIO; DIED 1711 N. LOCUST, PITTSBURD,
OF CEREBRAL HEMORRHAGE. MRS. PERL LAIZURE OF SAME ADDRSS PAID FOR THE FUNERAL.
ALSO MYRTLE THOMAS OF SALT
WIFE—MARY BELL, DEX.’ C. SNIP IS THER ADMINSTRATOR OF ESTATE. KONANTZ FUNERAL
HOME, LAMAR, MO., SERVICES THERE 23 MAY 1937. 1 SON, HARRY DEC., 1
DAUGHTER, ESTELLA JOAN, DEC.
SLAVENS MARY BELL 1895 1855 SHELDON
NOTE:WIFE OF JOHN SLAVE. HE IS BURIED BESIDE
#18 & #20 SHERIFF WILLIAM JEFFERSON EVILSIZER
The eighteenth and twentieth Sheriff of Barton
William Jefferson Evilsizer, Better known as “Jeff”. Serving a two year term,
1906-1908 and then a four year term 1912-1916.
The Lamar Democrat endorsed Sheriff Evilsizer in
editorial Thursday, April 5,
Jeff Evilsizer, as he has
already told a good many of the boys is a candidate for Sheriff. Jeff’s friends
have told him for a good many years he ought to be Sheriff, and he has frankly
admitted that he would like to have the place, but he has been standing out all
of the time fro some of the other boys and to promote party, harmony.
This year, Mr. Evilsizer’s
friends believer it is his time to make the race and some weeks ago, he decided
to become a candidate. Jeff not only has to his credit a long record as a
loyal, unselfish Democrat, but he has proved himself a competent, cool headed,
courageous and honest officer of the public peace.
Hes never failed, when he was
night watch, or marshall
to arrest a man against whom he believed there was a legitimate case, and he
never put the city to costs and expense upon flimsy pretexts that fell to the
ground the moment they were brought before a jury. That he would make a
careful, painstaking and courageous Sheriff, no one who knows him well can
Mr. Evilsizer is a man of a
family, sober, industrious and attentive to whatever duties he has to
discharge. He is open, frank, and straightforward. He never tells one thing
behind your back and another to your face, and he never shirk what he believes
is his duty, however unpleasant it may happen to be.
Jeff is always found out at
the polls working for the Democratic ticket, whether he gets what he wants or
is turned down. He never sulks or complains, and is never around rubbing a
He appeals to Barton County
Democrats to consider his case He offers a long record of party service, a
courageous discharge of his duty as an officer, and an open hearted frankness
and honesty that the people just now appreciate. He has spent practically his
whole life in Barton
County. He knows its
people. He is conversant with the duties he would have to perform in the
Sheriff’s office, and should he be nominated no Democrat in the county could
find an honest, legitimate excuse for voting against him.
Obituary from the
Lamar Democrat, Tuesday,
August 25, 1936
JUDGE JEFF EVILSIZER
Well Known and Beloved Citizen of Lamar Died at His
Apartment at 2 O’clock, Monday Morning – Was Stricken Three Days to the Hour
Before the End Came – Did not Rally to consciousness from the Time the Slow
Hemorrhage Came that Caused His Death – Funeral Tuesday Afternoon at River
Chapel – Was Born at Nashville, Illinois, and Came to Barton County With His
Late Parents, Fifty Seven Years Ago – Was Twice Sheriff, Several Times Marshall
– Was a Brave Cool-Headed and Safe Officer – Was a Believer in Men and Women
and Had Faith in the Virtue.
Judge Jeff Evilsizer died at
his apartment at 2 o’clock
Monday morning His death came just seventy two hours after he was stricken. It
was 2 o’clock Friday
morning The Judge had been feeling pretty bad for two weeks. However, Thursday
evening, he went down the backsteps and visited the barbershop to get shaved.
At 2 o’clock Friday morning, Mrs. Evilsizer was
awakened by a convulsive movement of the muscles of the invalid at her side. She
spoke to him and tried to get him to speak, but he made no answer. Dr. Atkins
was called. He found that the symptoms were caused by a slow hemorrhage of the
brain. For some time, the pulse was slow and the breathing quite normal. Then
from time to time the pulse would quicken and the breathing grew faster. This
continued. These symptoms continued to grow more pronounced until the end came
at 2 o’clock Monday
The body was taken to the
River Funeral Home to be prepared for burial. The hour for the funeral services
was not definitely decided at this writing, but it was known it would be held
at the River Chapel sometime, Tuesday afternoon.
William Jefferson Evilsizer
was born near Nashville, Illinois, February 16th, 1862 and hence had
passed his 74th birthday. He spent his childhood in the neighborhood
of his birth, but when he was a youth of 17, he came with his parents, Mr. and
Mrs. Zachariah Hoy Evilsizer to Barton
County. This was in 1879.
The community still smacked of the days of the pioneers when Jeff arrived to
spend the remaining 57 years of his life, in this new home. One could still
drive in most any direction from Lamar across the prairies. But the tide of the
immigrants was rapidly flowing in. The family settled in the Ozark neighborhood
northwest of Lamar. Four years later when Jeff was 22 he married his own
cousin, Miss Jennie Evilsizer 16th, 1862 and hence had passed his 74th
birthday. He spent his childhood in the neighborhood of his birth, but when he
was a youth of 17, he came with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Zachariah Hoy
Evilsizer to Barton
County. This was in 1879.
The community still smacked of the days of the pioneers when Jeff arrived to
spend the remaining 57 years of his life, in this new home. One could still
drive in most any direction from Lamar across the prairies. But the tide of the
immigrants was rapidly flowing in. The family settled in the Ozark neighborhood
northwest of Lamar. Four years later when Jeff was 22 he married his own
cousin, Miss Jennie Evilsizer. They lived on the farm until in 1898. Mrs.
Evilsizer died in 1900 leaving him with two young motherless daughters.
July 4th 1901he married Miss Callie Tucker whom he leaves widowed.
She has been a most noble wife. She mothered his orphan daughters, she reared
two daughters of her own. She was ever at her post to help. She was his
mainstay and his unfailing pillar of support.
In 1898 Jeff was appointed
nightwatch in Lamar. He served two years. In 1901 he was elected marshal He
served two years. In 1906 he was nominated and elected Sheriff of Barton
County. He served two years In 1912 he was again named by the Democrats. He was
elected over the fusion of the Republicans and the Progressives and served four
years – the office by this time had been changed to a four year term. In 1917
Jeff was elected City marshal. He held it one term and declined to try for it
In 1928 after a hot contest
in the Democratic primary, Jeff was nominated for Sheriff. But the tremendous
landslide against Al Smith, that year, crushed him along with the other
Democrats. Jeff was serving his third term as Police Judge, an office to which
the people would have continued to elect him as long as he lived.
Jeff liked to mingle with the
people. He was a fine peace officer, courageous, cool headed, with good
judgment as to whether there was really a case against a man, singled out for
arrest. He had a tender heart and a ready sympathy. He was a true friend, ever
loyal to what he believed. He was idolized by his family and trusted by his
friends. Jeff liked to work with his hands. How many useful, ingeniously
thought things are there about Lamar that he turned out? He ran a cabinet
maker’s shop for many years before he died. Never was he more happy than when
he was at work in the shop. His greatest grief, when Dr. Atkins looked him over
near two years ago, was when the Doctor said Jeff, you’ll have to quit working
in that shop.
Many friends will long
remember Jeff. His strong kindly face will be limned in their hall of
recollection, his true and loyal heart, his simple abiding faith in men and
women and in the virtues of justice lived after he is gone.
Judge Evilsizer leaves his
wife, four daughters, one brother and one sister. The daughters are Mrs. Ollie
Rhine of Los Animas, Mrs. Nola Erandes of Claremore, Mrs. Claudine Boss of
Lamar, and Mrs. Nadene Hoover of Mason
City, Iowa His
brother is the well known citizen Mr. Walter Evilsizer of Iantha. His sister is
Mr. John Wells of Haines Grove.
Sheriff Evilsizer is buried in
Section K,Lot 32.
#19 SHERIFF CHARLES ALMOND HARRINGTON
The nineteenth Sheriff of Barton County, serving for
years was Charles Almond Harrington. His older brother, F. H. Harrington was
Sheriff of Barton County 1868-1872.
Charles Harrington was a boy of some eight to ten
age during the Civil War. He wrote the following for the 1910 Reunion of Civil
War Soldiers in Lamar.
Lamar Democrat, March 26, 1935
DEATH COMES TO CHAS. A. HARRINGTON
One Time Sheriff of Barton County, Son of Man Who (Homesteaded)
One of the Best Known Farms Near Lamar, Direct De3scendent of Family Who Fought
at Lexington and Bennington Goes to Join the Great Majority - Was Ill Four Months to a Day – His Elder
Brother Was Builder of the Large Dwelling that Yet Stands on Harrington Hill and Was the First Post Bellum Sheriff of
Barton County – Was Playmate of George Crenshaw and Late Judge Timmonds, Her in
old Lamar, During the Harried Years of the Civil War – Funeral at Konantz
Chapel, at 2:30, Monday Afternoon.
11:10, Saturday a. m., Barton
County lost the most
notable of her living pioneers, in the death of Chas. A. Harrington, one time
Sheriff of Barton County, whose father homesteaded one of the best know farms
near Lamar, and whose ancestors fought in the American Revolution.
Harrington had been ill four months to a day. His trouble seemed to be a
physical weakness, which grew slowly more marked as day followed day. For
weeks, he lay, unable to raise his head. But with it all, his mind save for now
and than a brief interval of delirium worked with its usual coolness and
services were announced to be held at the Konantz Chapel, at 2:30, Monday afternoon, followed by interment
in Lake Cemetery by the grave of his late wife,
who died September 19th,
1930. About 9 o’clock,
Thursday evening, Mr. Harrington seemed to fall into gentle sleep, from which
he did not wake.
Almond Harrington was born at Lima,
Ohio, February 3rd, 1854. He was the son
of A. S. Harrington and Eliza Mason. A. S. Harrington was born in Burlington, New
5, 1810, and died at Trinidad,
Colorado, April 3rd, 1891. Miss Mason
was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, May 24th, 1816, and died at Boston, in this county,
in September 1904, at the age of 88 years. They were married in Onida county, New York, in 1831. Four
sons and five daughters were born of this marriage. Our late townsman was the
youngest of the family.
1855, A. S. Harrington moved his family from Lima, Ohio,
where he had previously settled in Iowa
City. In 1857, he moved to Johnson county, Missouri, and in 1858,
he came to Barton county. Our late townsman was then a little lad of four. Mr.
Harrington homesteaded the Lewis place, on Highway 71 where the tall straight
family lived in Lamar, during the four terrible years of the Civil War. When
the great struggle began, our townsman was a lad seven years old. He was a
playmate, during those days of the harrowing border struggle, of the late Judge
H. C. Timmonds and Geo. L. Crenshaw. The little lads saw Barton county’s first
courthouse burned. They saw a prosperous village of five hundred souls, at the
beginning of the war, raided by conflicting forces, harried and burned, until
before it was over, the hundred odd homes had been reduced to forgotten heaps
of ashes – and only two small dwellings were left standing.
Harrington’s elder brother, H. F. Harrington, a veteran of the Civil War, was
the first sheriff of Barton county, after that internecine struggle. He was
first appointed by Gov. Thomas Fletcher and then elected to fill a second term.
It was this elder brother, who built the fine large home that yet crowns
Harrington Hill, five miles south of Lamar, just to the south of the old Carthage road. In natural
beauty this site is not excelled in Southwest Missouri.
late Captain Arnold was deputy under Sheriff H. F. Harrington, and the first to
occupy the present Barton
September 17, 1871, Charles Harrington married
Martha Ellen Cones. To
this union were born thirteen children. Eleven of them survive their parents.
They are Messrs Sumner and Harry Harrington, of Lemoore, California,
Mr. Frank Harrington of Lamar, Mr. Roland Harrington of Jasper, Mr. George
Harrington of Zack, Okalahoma, Mrs. A. C. Kopp, of Lamar, and Misses Josephine,
Ella, Edna and Elva at home.
1908 Mr. Harrington was elected Sheriff of Barton county. He was the first
Barton county sheriff to hold the office, after it was raised to a four year
term. He was an officer without reproach. He later served the city as a peace
officer. No one ever questioned his courage, his loyalty or his integrity.
Harrington was a boyhood friend of George Minor of Leroy, whose family came
here before the Civil War, and he was of judge Frank Caries of Liberal, whose
father came here in 1866. His ancestors fought in the American Revolution. Nine
of the Harrigntons were with Col. Stark, in the historic battle of Bennington. He was
therefore a direct descendant of the American Revolution. Daniel Harrington,
his great grandfather, was one of the patriots who fought at Lexington.
Barton county is indeed
laying to his final rest one of the most notable of its real pioneers.
Items from Chas. A.
A. Harrington as a boy 8 and 10 years old in time of the war.
on a farm one half mile south and east of Boston, on what was known as the
Carthage and Booneville road All the lead from Granby and Newtonia was hauled
up to Sedalia and goods of all kinds were brought back for sale. This road on
top of Pettis Creek hill forked, one going to Ft. Scott,
other on to Booneville. This lead was in pigs each one weighting 85 pounds, so
there was lots of travel along this highway at that time.
war was declared a great many of the people who lived in the north were
friendly to the south and they went to the south, and some of the men who were
in the south friendly to north, went up north. A great may stayed on their
farms and tried to hold their own.
and Raines I think met Seigel on Dry Fork and we heard every canon shot in the
fight. Our house was cleaned of provisions, all water drank in well and feed
for stock all taken.
next night was the camp of Jackson and Raines, I think on the hill and west
side from timber on Pettis Creek all over bottom as far as where Mrs. Stockdale
now lives, an immense army stayed a day and night. We then moved to the farm at
Forest Grove known as the Charley Fast place, then Westly Thompson home. While
there my brother was killed by Quantrells men near Carthage in the fall of 1862. We lived there
when the first fight was in Lamar, and we saw the light when the court house
was burned down, from our place. Our next move was the old frame store building
on or near the place where Humphreys store now stands. While there a fight was
had with a detachment of about 20 men detailed to care for stuff. The company
had orders to come to Springfield,
so only 20 men were left to watch it and Taylor’s
men made a dash, shooting, no one was hurt. Burned a wagon of supplies, which
they overtook out on the road, having started out without guards.
was a skirmish at or near Fair Grounds – but no one killed or wounded as far as
I know. Town was burned, a few houses at a time. We moved into a house near
where Adams’ house now stands. This house was
burned with most all our stuff in it, by a small band of Southern troops. We
then moved into Elisha Peters house, with Mrs. Carmell near where Al Reed now
lives, and this house was burned while both families were in it and most all
household goods with it. We then lived under an apple tree for ten days in fall
of 1863, got pretty cold in the night or before morning frosts went off. Moved
out to Big Drywood where Company C of 3 rd Wisconsin Cavalry were e3ncamped,
remained there until spring, then moved to Fort Scott, moved to Garland in
southwest corner of Vernon County on the line. After the war was over moved
back to farm near Boston
into a little log cabin, built a house on farm and moved into it. Every rail
was burned and all the building destroyed on the place. I grew up on that farm.
Sheriff Harrington is buried in
Section L,Lot 85
#22 SHERIFF JAMES O. PINKERTON
The twenty-second of
was James O. Pinkerton.
Sheriff Pinkerton had been a Deputy Sheriff under
John Harlow, and was one of the officers in the arrest of Jay Lynch, who, later
murdered Sheriff Harlow and his son Dick HarlowAugust 13, 1919.
Article dated Thursday,
March 6, 1919
Appointed By The
County Court To Serve Until Special Ballot, Which Will BE Taken On The Day of
The Township Election – Rewards For Capture of The Murderer.
County Court, as its first act, Tuesday forenoon, mad Deputy Sheriff Jim
Pinkerton Sheriff of Barton County. The court must call a special election with
in thirty days to name Mr. Harlow’s successor. So it was decided the election
would be held Tuesday, March 25, the day the townships elect their local
Gardner wired the County
Clerk, Tuesday, that he was offering three hundred dollars, for the arrest and conviction of the Sheriff’s murderer. The county court offered an equal sum. Five hundred dollars is the maximum reward the court can offer. It is believed that the local citizens will subscribe a considerable fund to be added to these rewards.
chances for catching the murderer, Tuesday, looked everything but promising.
There was nothing beyond the merest speculation as to how he got out of town,
or where he went.
Thursday, March 6, 1919
special election, made necessary by the murder of Sheriff Harlow, at a time
when the county had no coronor, will be held Tuesday, March 25th, the day of
the township election.
is just twenty days until the people will chose a successor to Sheriff Jim
Pinkerton, just appointed by the County Court.
was no talk of candidacies, Wednesday. The people were so shocked and grieved
at Sheriff Harlow’s cold blooded murder, that they though nothing of a
Mallett, chairman of the Democratic Committee, said he had thought nothing
about any means of nominating a party candidate. He thought it might be a free
for all, without nominations but he had really given the matter on thought.
(W. K. Sewell was elected at
this special election.)
Lamar, Missouri, Tuesday, April 13, 1948
JIM PINKERTON A
Shot Himself to Death in Kansas City Hotel Friday
Afternoon—Had Threatened to Take His Life for Some Time—Had Also Threatened to
Kill His Wife—Suffered from Senile Dementia—Left Suicide Note—Lived Most of His
Life in Liberal—Successful at Real Estate and Insurance—Funeral Service at 2:00
p.m. Monday—Interment in Lake Cemetery---Wife sole survivor
Pinkerton, seventy four, widely known Liberal man, shot and killed himself in
his apartment at the Rasbach hotel in Kansas
City about one
thirty Friday afternoon. The discharge from the revolver brought
instant death, completely shattering the chest of the suicide.
sclerosis which came early in Jim’s case, had progressed to the point of senile
dementia. For the past several months he had threatened almost daily to take
his won life as well as that of his wife Mrs. Grace Pinkerton.
latter, although aware of the fact that her husband was in possession of the
gun, did not believe that he was able to fire the weapon. Partial paralysis had
affected his hands to the point where it was difficult for him to hold a fork
at his mealtimes. An addition to this he resisted all efforts at removal of the
gun and was astute in his ability to conceal it from his wife.
afternoon he resumed his threats against Mrs. Pinkerton. He seemed more violent
than usual. Mrs. Pinkerton went downstairs to get help from the hotel
management. During her absence the suicide pulled a light chair into the
bathroom and seated himself with the gun pointed at his temple. At that moment
a Negro maid entered the room for the purpose of cleaning up. Jim perhaps
thought that it was his wife, aimed the revolver at the maid the latter
screamed and slammed the door. She heard the fatal discharge within a second.
signs of dementia had become so evident in the past few weks that the hotel
management had told Mrs. Pinkerton that she and her husband could no longer
remain in the hostelry. Mrs. Pinkerton came down to Liberal last week with the
idea of fixing up the apartment over a building owned by Jim. She had returned
only Thursday to Kansas City.
A retired doctor in the hotel and the maids had looked after her husband in her
when she informed Jim of the prospective move to Liberal he went into a violent
rage saying he would never go back to Liberal. The idea seemed to have
seriously aggravated his condition.
various times, when he had threatened self destruction in the past, he had
written suicide notes. The climax was no exception. In a note directed to whom
it concern, Jim directed that in case of “accident” his body be sent to Carl
Konantz at Lamar. He requested that there be no funeral service and no flowers.
body was taken to Stine McClure’s Funeral Home on the order of the coroner. The
latter after a brief investigation said there was no need o fan inquest. The
remains were released to the Konantz Funeral Home Saturday morning.
Pinkerton, who arrived in Lamar Saturday morning said that a simple funeral
service would be conducted Monday afternoon at two o’clock at the Konantz Chapel. She requested that
there be no flowers. Interment follows in Lake Cemetery.
was born at Harden in Ray County, Missouri, on June 12, 1873. His mother died when he was five
years of age. His father remarried and the family came to Barton County
in 1886, settling on a farm near Verdella. In 1901 Jim located in Liberal.
There he maintained a home for his stepmother to whom he was devoted. Through
his devotion he refrained from marriage as a young man.
good many years after his mother’s death on April 10, 1921, he married Mrs. Minnie Sweatt.
The latter died in 1933. On October
26, 1934, he was married to Miss Grace Noyes, a very efficient
trained nurse, who gave her elderly husband every attention and care throughout
the years of their married life. The wife of the deceased is the sole survivor.
engaged in the real estate and insurance business at Liberal during his active
years. He was considered quite a well-to-do man at the time of his death. About
thirty years ago he served as a deputy sheriff. It was with the gun purchased
at that time that he took his life Friday.
IN MEMORY OF JIM PINKERTON
old time Liberal and Lamar friends of the late Jim Pinkerton gathered at the
Konantz chapel to pay a last tribute to his memory, Monday afternoon.
deceased in his suicide note had requested no funeral service and no flowers.
As a consequence the last rites were of the simplest. Instrumental music
provided by Mrs. W. C. Haddock at the piano served in lieu of the traditional
funeral hymns. The Rev. Earl Bingham confined his remarks to a general summary
of the life of the deceased.
casket bearers were Jim Noyes, Fred Shaw, Joe Hedges, Francis Jones, Chas.
Bryant and Edwin Lipscomb. Following the service in the chapel the remains were
escorted to Lake cemetery for interment.
#23 SHERIFF WILLIAM A SEWELL
The twenty-third Sheriff was William A. Sewell.
Sewell was elected at the special election held March 25, 1919, due to the murder of Sheriff
Harlow, and to replace James O. Pinkerton who had been appointed Sheriff by the
County Court pending an election.
William A. Sewell became Sheriff
March 1919, and while nominated in the August 1920 Primary election, he had
already written his withdrawal from the ticket. His reason was that he had
started a new business – a modern up-to-date café.
In April 1920, two of
Sewell’s youthful prisoners tried to dig out of the jail. Ted Daniels was in
Jail for stealing brass from the Sheridan Steam Shovel, and Jap Barker for
helping rob Earp’s store. It was found they had removed brick and had a hole
near ready to crawl out when the wife of the Sheriff noted that the bricks had
been placed in the hole wrong end out as they did not match the paint of the
newly painted outside walls of the jail. Again it was pointed out the need of a
new sanitary and secure jail.
Troubles for Ex-Sheriff Sewell,
January 1921, a player piano was seized in behalf of the estate of Zelia Moquet
who had hanged herself in the Nevada Jail for $428.84. A judgment was also
rendered against the bondsman for Mr. Sewell.
Late January 1921
Former Sheriff Sewell was
to return to Lamar. He had left in his Buick car December 24, 1920 to go to Florida in hopes of capturing Arthur Dean
and Bob Slack, two of the murderers of Marshal Gowdy of Liberal in the Iron
Bridge Distillery robbery/murder.
Ex-Sheriff Sewell was sued upon
bond by Katherine Clements, Martha Redman and Milton Clements for just over
$900.00. The bondsmen were Chas. Ihm, C. S. Jones and Cal Nowlin. When the
Ex-Sheriff returned from Florida
money was paid to the beneficiaries of a land sale, but apparently not to the
Clements. The present whereabouts of the Ex-Sheriff are unknown.
The Sewell Café was entered
removing a pane of glass. Mrs. Sewell said there was about $5.50 in the
register when she closed the café. Also a warrant is issued for the arrest of
Ex-Sheriff Sewell. Sewell’s bondsmen had to pay heirs of the Clements estate.
Ihm and Jones each paid eleven hundred dollars and Nowlin about six hundred.
The bondsmen are offering a reward for Sewell’s arrest.
The Sewell restaurant was sold
Sheriff Nobel, under a mortgage which the Ex-Sheriff gave sometime in the past
to the Goodrum Trust Co. for fifteen hundred dollars. There was only one bid,
which was by Mrs. Sewell for one thousand dollars. The property will be in her
name only and not liable under any claim against the Ex-Sheriff.
In late April a circular
reward for the arrest of Ex-Sheriff Sewell for embezzlement was sent out by
Whereabouts of Sewell – Unknown.
July 7, 1921
Sheriff T. J. Harris of
arrived in Lamar with Ex-Sheriff Sewell. He had been arrested near Bixby, a
small town just North of Tulsa,
The plight of the Ex-Sheriff
both Sheriff Harris and Sheriff Noble. He was dressed in a shirt and overalls,
the shirt was worn and he had a considerable growth of beard and was a tragic
Col. Tom Carlton signed a bond
two thousand dollars as had been fixed by Judge Finks, so Sewell could go to
his old home. Sewell’s case will come up in the September term of Court 1921.
Mr. Sewell, before Judge
stated he had no lawyer to defend him. Lamar lawyers had been employed by
bondsmen or heirs, therefore Judge Thurman appointed Mr. Lee Ewing of Nevada. The Ex-Sheriff
has a defense, which he believes will get him a parole when it is placed before
Dr. A. B. Stone, as
Administrator, brought suit against Ex-Sheriff Sewell as former Administrator
of the late Zelia Moquet, who was appointed administrator of the Moquet Estate
in November 1919. He gave bond in the sum of $500.00 and Recorder Smith Long
was his bondsman.
Dr. Stone declared in his suit
Mr. Sewell owes the Moquet estate the sum of $422.84. Former claims against
Sewell are $1,469.00 so the total claim against his amounted to almost nineteen
Zelia Moquet ran a joint
Burgess. One night in October 1919, she got in a quarrel with her lover while
her seventy year old husband, Jules Moquet, was asleep in another room. He was
awakened by the noise and started to get up. Mrs. Moquet ran in and shot him to
death before he got out of bed then she went in and shot her lover but he
escaped by falling off his chair, down under the table. Mrs. Moquet was about
forty-two years old.
Sheriff Sewell went to Burgess
brought the murderess to Lamar, held her a day or two, then, as there is no woman’s
cell in the Lamar Jail, took her to Nevada.
She was in the Nevada Jail only a short time until she took her vest and tied
one end around her neck and the other end to the bedstead and choked herself to
The undertaker at Nevadasent his
bill for $300.00, but
Sheriff Sewell said the charge was excessive and would not pay it.
The case of Ex-Sheriff
having dragged on for almost a year, was concluded on January 18, 1922 when Judge Skinker
sentenced Sewell to serve two years in the state penitentiary. The bondsman had
failed to raise the money owed by Sewell and there was no chance for parole.
Sewell was taken into immediate custody by Sheriff Noble.
We cannot, so far, find out if Ex-Sheriff Sewell
brother, upon release, in Oklahoma or
not. There is no record of his death or burial inBartonCounty.
#24 & #26 SHERIFF WILLIAM HARVEY NOBLE
The twenty-fourth and twenty-sixth Sheriff of Barton
was William Harvey Noble. Sheriff Noble served as Sheriff 1920-1924 and then
Lamar Democrat,November 4, 1932
WILL NOBLE IN A WORD
TO THE VOTERS
Says He Wants the People to Know Why He Has Not Been
Actively Campaigning Believes In A Candidate Presenting His Case Personally to
The People, But Circumstances Over Which He Has Had No Control Have Prevented
Him—If Elected to The Legislature He Will Be On Hand To Vote For Laws To Cut
Taxes, Knock Useless Employees Off The Payroll And To Vote For any Measure
Designed Effectively To Suppress Crime.
people naturally expect one who is a candidate before the people to get out and
see the voters. This is a very reasonable expectation, and it has always been
my policy, in such a case to see as many people of both parties, as possible.
This time I have been unable to see many of my friends, and to circulate very
much among the people.
several weeks my only daughter was very ill at my home. Shortly after she
recovered, I came down with a very severe attack of malaria accompanied by an
acute case of tonsillitis. I am just now getting partially back on my feet.
Though I am a little better as day follows day, I am not able to go out and
campaign. I am not dwelling on these facts to give anybody a hard luck story,
but simply to tell the people the plain truth about why I am not actively
presenting my case.
me to say if I am elected, every chance I get to vote in favor of cutting the
costs of government in Missouri,
in any reasonable way, whatever, I’ll not fail to be on hand and cast my vote
just that way. We have far too many commissions, too many people hanging around
the stat capitol drawing salaries, for services that the people could do
without and never miss them.
Chance I get, I shall take pleasure in voting for any law calculated to enable
the state and the counties to suppress crime and safeguard life and property
and I don’t mind saying that my experience has convinced me that you do this by
coddling criminal’s and turning them back loose on society shortly after they
are run down. We can only discourage crime by actually punishing those who
W. H. Noble
February 10, 1939
THE DEATH OF EX-SHERIFF WILL NOBLE
He had Not Been Well and Had Suffered a Great Deal
from His Heart – He Had Felt Quite Well, However, the Day of His Death, Until
the Fatal Attack Began to Come an Hour of More Before the End – Funeral
Thursday Afternoon at Konantz Chapel – He Was the Only Man to Serve Eight Years
as Sheriff of Barton County – Born in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, Seventy
One Years Ago – His Father Moved to the Cow Country in Central Kansas in 1879 –
Will Came to Lamar When A Youth of Twenty, Nearly Fifty Two Years Ago – Was in
the Transfer Business for a Quarter of a Century – Was Then Twice Elected
Marshal, Twice Elected Sheriff and, Was for Twelve Years at the Head of the
Republican County Committee – Was a Natural Born Peace Officer – Had Many
Turbulent and Trying Situations During His Life, But He Met Them Bravely and
Noble, twice marshal of Lamar, the only man who ever served eight years as Sheriff
of Barton County, and for twelve years chairman of the Republican County
Committee of Barton County, died at his home in the Colonial Hotel, Tuesday
afternoon, at 4:20.
had suffered a lot recently from his heart. There were times, when he had trouble
lying down at night. Tuesday morning, however, he told Mrs. Noble that he felt
quite well. Not long after the noon
day meal, he stepped across to the home of Dr. Geeslin, his next door neighbor.
Mrs. Noble noted that he stayed quite awhile longer than she expected him to
stay. When he returned he said, he must have a return of pleurisy pains, only
he said, it doesn’t feel like the pleurisy pains. As Mrs. Noble expresses it,
she noted that he looked like death. He sat down on the sofa. He couldn’t lie
down apparently. She wanted to call a doctor. No, he said, there’s no use,
there’s nothing that a doctor could do.
continued to suffer, but in the course of twenty minutes perhaps, he was able
to lie down. He looked so bad that she called a doctor. Dr. Miller whom she
called, came at once, but the stricken man died just as the physician arrived.
body was taken to the Konantz Funeral home to be prepared for burial. Funeral
services were announced to be held at the Konantz Chapel at 2 o’clock, Thursday afternoon.
late townsman leaves his wife, one daughter, Mrs. Harlie Kinkead, two
granddaughters to whom he was greatly devoted, June Noble Kinkead and Ailsie
Jane Kinkead, seventeen and fifteen. He leaves two brothers, Hon. Merle Noble,
of Labette County, and James Noble, of Bartlett.
Noble as all his friends knew him, was born at Worthington, in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania,
June 2nd, 1867.
When he was a lad of twelve, his parents migrated to Kansas settling at Elsworth, in almost the
exact center of the state. The country in that region was a wild, practically
unsettled prairie, devoted to the grazing of vast herds of cattle. The cowboys
came into Ellsworth frequently, and took over the town.
he was a youth of twenty, Will left the cow country, and came to Missouri. He found
employment with the Ingersoll Transfer Company. He remained in the transfer
business for almost twenty-five years. Ere long he had a transfer line of his
own. This quarter of a century of his life, was strenuous and trying. He was in
charge of a group of employes who were often trubulent and hard to control. But
he was a natural enforcer of discipline.
1911, Will ran against the late Matt Wakeman in a citizen’s primary, for
Marshal. Matt was regarded as unbeatable. Will nosed him out by one vote. He
won at the city election and was re-elected two years later. When he retired
from the Marshal’s office, he traveled for a time for the Roach and Fowler
Publishing Company, later returning to the transfer business, in which he
remained until 1920, when he ran for sheriff. He was elected and made a great
record, the next four years. He was Barton
County’s first sheriff,
after Federal prohibition came.
At the close of his term as
sheriff, he was appointed as welfare officer. In 1928, he again ran for sheriff
and was re-elected. During this time he was fro twelve years the head of the
Barton County Republican Committee.
was a natural peace officer, really made to fit the part.
he was not much more than twenty-one Will married. His wife lived only a short
time. April 3, 1894,
he married Miss Ailsie Hamm, a most charming girl. It was a love match. And
through the vicissitudes of life, and the sorrows that came with them, mad more
poignant by the loss of two fine children, each lived for the other, and to the
last day, they were as devoted, even though it were in a quieter way as when
they first stood at the altar. Mrs. Noble has not been in good health, for a
good many years, though the last year or two she has been much better.
last three years, they have run the Colonial Hotel, which Mr. Noble acquired,
while he was sheriff the last time, and it was there that he died.
had an eventful life, full of responsibilities, and containing many situations that
required courage and fortitude that he met them well, and bravely, no one will
Sheriff Noble is buried in
in Section J, Lot 54, along side his wife and
two young sons.
#25 SHERIFF J. L. GARRETT
The twenty-fifth Sheriff of Barton County was J. L.
Notice of his being elected from the Lamar Democrat,Tuesday, November 6, 1924.
Garrett’s victory for sheriff is a real tribute to his honest and modest worth,
to his industry and to the confidence, which, through much personal contact, he
built up in his own behalf, among the people. For an opponent, in the person of
Harry Boss, Lisby saw five people to Harry’s one during the campaign.
An article from the Lamar Democrat dated July 3,
1934indicates that J. L.
Garrett was a Deputy Sheriff under Sheriff Noble.
Fred Daetwyler and Arthur
Stoltz, we fancy, have been strutting a little, since they went fishing last
week, down on the James. When they reached Cassville they were joined by Deputy
Sheriff Garrett. The boys parked the car near the river, Art and the officer
donned their bathing suits and all went down in the water. When they returned
the car door was open, Art had locked it before they left. The boys are stilling
figuring on how it was gotten open. But nothing at first seemed to be
disturbed. Presently the officer said, My gun and my money are gone. Art soon
found his bill fold had been picked. The gun stolen was the one with which the
Deputy Sheriff killed a counterfeiter some time ago. Art had two or three one
dollar bills taken. The officer lost a five. Fred didn’t have any bathing suit
with him, so he kept his clothes on. There was a story printed however to the
effect that Fred and Art lost a hundred dollars a piece. That ought to have
made them strut, we claim.
#27 & #33 SHERIFF JAMES D. BASSETT
01-01-1932 to 12-31-1936
10-31-1945 to 12-31-1952
The twenty-seventh and the thirty-third Sheriff of
County was James D. Bassett.
Sheriff Bassett served first from 1932 to 1936 and
from 1945 to 1952. The odd year of 1945 was caused by the murder of Sheriff
Patterson, Appointment of T. W. Box, a special election and resignation.
Lamar Democrat,November 29, 1954
JIM BASSETT DEAD
End Came Thanksgiving Eve – After Three Years – Of
Painful Illness – Served As Barton County Sheriff – For Three Terms – Retired
In 1952 – Born And Reared In County – Son Of Democratic Stalwart – Leaves Wife,
Son And Daughter – Noted As A Courageous Officer – of Judgment And Good Sense –
A Universal Favorite At The Court House
– Funeral Sunday Afternoon – Burial In Iantha Cemetery
Bassett, sixty four, three times elected sheriff of Barton County,
died at his home on West 10th
Street at 8:20
former sheriff became critically ill almost three years ago, on December 24, 1951. For a
time his life was despaired of but he rallied although no hopes were
entertained for his complete recovery. Since that time he had been confined to
his home with the exception of rare trips to town. He suffered with a complication
of maladies stemming from the fatal ailment cirrhosis of the liver.
last September he began to fail rapidly although he put up a gallant fight for
his life. About ten days ago he demanded information as to his exact condition
and as to his chances for survival from his physician, Dr. Edmond Guldner. The
latter, complying with the demand, informed the patient that there was no hope
of getting better, that he suffered with an advanced liver ailment for which
there was nothing to be done.
that moment the will to live that had sustained him through three long years of
suffering, much of the time acute, collapsed. It was apparent to his loved ones
that the end could not be far off.
on Wednesday, the day of his death, although suffering greatly, he was fully
aware of what went on about him and knew his loved ones up until perhaps half
an hour before the grim reaper claimed our townsman for his own.
D. Bassett was a native son of Barton
County. He was borne in
the Haines Grove neighborhood near Iantha on August 22, 1890, the son of Nathaniel Bassett
and Anna Nance Bassett. He grew up in the community, attending the rural
schools. On December 24,
1911 he was married to Miss Effie Halfhill.
leaves her widowed with one son, John Bassett of Wichita and one daughter, Mrs. Irkle DeMaire
of the home. One half brother, Woodson Bassett of Fayetteville, Arkansas
and two grandchildren also survive. One son, Maurice Bassett, a handsome youth
just on the threshold of manhood, was killed in an airplane crash on the public
square of Lamar in 1936.
deceased, like his father, the late Nathaniel (Than) Bassett, was a stalwart in
Democratic politics in Barton
County. He was elected
sheriff on the Democratic ticket in 1932, serving a four year term. He was
reelected in 1945 to fill out the three year unexpired term, resulting from the
resignation of Sheriff Chester Austin. He was re-elected in 1948 for another
four year term.
Bassett was probably the most courageous law enforcing officer that Barton County
ever knew. His friends often repeated an incident indicative of his physical
courage. During his first term he was called out to the scene of an accident
wherein a drunken driver had inflicted injuries that were eventually to prove fatal
to the lat Jack Orahood. The drunken man, belligerent, powerful physically, and
fired up with drink, taunted the sheriff, insisting that if the latter weren’t
armed with a gun, he would never be able to accomplish the arrest. At this Jim
cast gun and holster to the ground, remarking grimly, “By God, I’ll take you
with my bare fists.” And that he did.
was not only courageous but shred in the ways of criminals, yet at the same
time sensible, and tolerant of the frailities of human nature. He was also
gifted with a pungent wit that delighted his friends, who were legion from one
end of Barton County to the other. Habitues of the
court house, since he retired from office, have been wont to remark on the fact
that things were never the same, never as interesting and entertaining, in the
absence of their old friend’s humorous slant and witty sayings. Although his
death was not a matter of great surprise, there was yet a unique aura of
sadness about the court house and the square when business was resumed after
the Thanksgiving holiday, Friday morning.
sympathy of the whole town went out to the bereaved family, particularly to the
wife and daughter, who waited upon the deceased with unswerving devotion during
the long and painful illness.
body was taken to the Konantz Funeral Home to be prepared for burial. The last
rites were set for 2:30 p.m.
Sunday at the Konantz Chapel. Interment follows in the Bassett family plot at
the Iantha Cemetery.
#28 SHERIFF CHRIS SCHROLL WATTENBARGER
The twenty-eighth Sheriff was Chris Schroll
Lamar Democrat article fromTuesday, October 7, 1952
A BLESSED RELEASE
From Great Suffering – In Death Of Chris Wattenbarger
– Victim Of Stomach Malignancy – Deceased One Term As County Sheriff
– Four Terms As City Marshal – Later Successful In Real Estate Business – A
Popular And Personable Man – Leaves Wife With Son And Daughter – Funeral Monday
Afternoon – Interment In Lake
and former City Marshall Chris Wattenbarger, died at his home on South Cherry Street
at 2:20 a.m., Saturday. The
death resulted from a lengthy and agonizing illness induced by cancer of the
esophagus, that later involved the stomach.
end in this case came as a blessed release. For several weeks prior to his
death the sixty three year old man had been unable to take any kind of food or
liquid. The wasted body the torment, that at times failed to yield to strong
sedatives, were a source of the deepest anguish to his devoted wife and
first became ill from what he believed was a coronary disturbance about 2 years
ago. For many days it was believed that he could not recover. However he slowly
convalesced and eventually was able to spend some time in his office although
following a strict diet and rest routine.
last spring he began to complain of difficulty in swallowing. He was taken to
the Research clinic in Kansas City,
Later to the Mayo Clinic at Rochester,
Minnesota. There the diagnosis of
cancer made at Research was confirmed. An exploratory operation was performed
on the patient, disclosing the fact the entire stomach was deeply involved in
the malignancy. His sorrowing wife returned with her husband to Lamar to await
the inevitable and painful end, lavishing upon her husband the tenderest of
care and displaying a remarkable fortitude and feigned cheerfulness in an
effort to alleviate the pain if possible and to overcome the natural repugnance
against the oblivion that is death.
the whole however, the dying man aware of the nature of his illness displayed
remarkable courage, talking with his friends of everyday matters, and
dismissing his illness lightly until its ravages forced him to take to his bed.
Schroll Wattenbarger was born March
31, 1889 at Wheatland,
Missouri, the son of James T.
Wattenbarger and Theodosia Schroll Wattenbarger. He was married on June 6, 1917 in Kansas City to Miss
Eveline Daniel two years after he had located in Barton County
where he operated a farm near Lamar.
locating in Lamar in 1924, he operated a garage remaining in business about
seven years. In 1933 he was elected City Marshall and reelected in 1935.
active and devoted member of the Democratic Party, he was elected sheriff on
the Democratic ticket in 1937, serving the four year term. Not long after his
retirement as sheriff, following the outbreak of World War Two, he and his wife
located in St. Joseph
where he served as a guard at Rosencranz Field.
his return to Lamar at the elected for the second time to the office of city
marshal, a post that he held for two terms. At the close of the second term in
1949, he embarked in the real estate and insurance business with his friend
Vorice Eales. The two men doing business as Wattenbarger and Eales did well.
deceased, a fine looking man of pleasing personality, developed quiet a fair as
a salesman of real estate, leaving the insurance end of the business largely to
his years as a law enforcing officer, duties that ordinarily make more enemies
than friends for the incumbent, Chris was popular with the public at large and
enjoyed the sincere friendship of a great many Lamar and Barton County
people, who join in the deepest regret at his untimely passing at the age of
addition to his wife he leaves one son, Chris Mynatt Wattenbarger, Lamar city
alderman and trusted employe of the Frank Horton Company and one daughter, Mrs.
Irma Eales of Lamar. Two brothers, George and Roy Wattenbarger of Sand Diego, California, on sister,
Mrs. Helen Coleman of Encinitas,
California and five grandchildren
body was taken to the Konantz Funeral Home to be prepared for burial. The last
rites were set for 2:30 p.m.,
Monday at the Konantz Chapel with interment to follow in Lake Cemetery.
He is buried in Lake Cemetery,
Section N, Lot 42
#29 SHERIFF ROY EMMETT PATTERSON
01-01-1940 to 08-17-1944 END OF WATCH
Roy Emmett Patterson was the twenty-ninth Sheriff
County. Roy was born October
16, 1895 and was 48 years of age when he and his son Sammie
Patterson were murdered on August
17, 1944. Sheriff Patterson and his son were arresting three men
who had robbed a filling station in Jasper,Mo.
The three men, Victor Rush,
and Ernest Houston, were arrested for the murder. On October 22, 1945, in court at Warsaw, Judge Dewey
Thatch accepted a guilty plea and sentenced the three to life imprisonment at
the Missouri Penitentiary in Jefferson
Victor Rush was out of prison
1962, died in 1974. The Houston
brothers escaped but were caught after 30 days and returned to prison. They
were released in 1964-65. Both are now dead.
Gordon Boyer, a Lamar lawyer
appointed by the court to represent Victor Rush and at that time the court
appointed attorneys received no pay or expenses for their services. Now with
the Public Defender system attorneys are paid.
Gordon also said that about 5
after the Houstons and Rush were sent up for life a group of “Do Gooders” came
to him to try to get Rush and the Houston’s out of prison. They were good boys
and they had learned their lesson. Gordon told these people to go see Mrs.
Patterson, a lady with three small children. No more was heard from this group.
Sheriff Patterson and Sammy are buried in
in Section N,Lot 67.
Lamar Democrat article datedAugust 17, 1944
SHERIFF PATTERSON AND
HIS SON, SAMMIE MURDERED
Shortly After Four O’clock Thursday Morning By Three
Men Who Had Robbed a Filling Station at Jasper – They Had Made Quite a haul at
the Station – Got Between One Hundred and Thirty and One Hundred and Forty
Dollars from the Station – And $29.50 from the Attendant – Sheriff Patterson
Was Called – Apparently Met the Robbers at the Junction – They Ran don on 160
Opposite Ira FarmersWhere the Sheriff Must Have Taken Charge of
Two of the Men and Left the Third
One to Drive the Other Car in – They Murdered the Sheriff and Murdered Sammie
and Then Left in the Car Going East on 160 – It is Not Known When They Reached
the Junction Whether They Went Up or Down 71 or Whether They Dashed on East
Through Lamar – Bodies of the Sheriff and His Son Were Not Found Until About
7:30 A.M. Thursday – Sheriff Was Shot Three Times – Once in the Back of the
Neck – At the Back of the Right Arm – At the Back of the Neck – At the Back of
the Ear – Sammie Was Shot but Once – Bodies Left in the Sheriff’s Car at the
Side of the Road – Sheriff Was Forty Eight Years Old – Leaves His Wife and Six
Children – A Little Over Twenty Five Years Ago, Sheriff John Harlow and His
Son, Dick, Were Killed by Jay Lynch – Lynch Was Apprehended Three Months Later
and Brought Back to Lamar – Was Lynched Same Day He Was Brought Back
Roy Patterson and his son, Sammie, were murdered about 4:15 Thursday morning. They were shot in the
sheriff’s car. Sammie was shot behind the left ear. Roy was shot near the right eye. Both shots
were deadly. It is thought perhaps that the sheriff was shot more times than
one but this is not known at this writing.
car in which the two men sat when they were shot was not recognized until
around seven thirty Thursday morning. The man who drives the Cripe bread truck
came in to Lamar and reported the finding of the car and the bodies. At about
the same time Ira Farmer telephoned in news of the tragedy.
Farmer, who lives about half a mile west on 160 and almost in front of whose
place the car headed east, was found, heard the shooting. Ira says that shortly
after he heard the shots a little after four, a car dashed off to the east. He
did not see the car but he heard it start and he heard it run on down the road.
It left at a tolerably fast rate. Ira believed the sounds he heard were the
reports of car back firing and naturally made no investigation.
car was standing in the same spot as late as eleven o’clock Thursday morning. Latter it was brought in
by Carl Moore’s wrecker. The people were kept away from the car because of
Royhad gone out in a response to word from Hite’s
Phillip Sixty Six station at Jasper. It was help up at four o’clock Thursday morning. Between a
hundred and thirty and a hundred and forty dollars was gotten from the station
proper and there was a night man there named Hastings from whom the robbers
took a pocket book containing $29.50. The hold up men were three in number,
thought to be in their early twenties and each of them had a gun. They were not
car, the attendant at Jasper thought, was a 1936 or 1937 Ford and it carried no
supposition is that the robbers turned of 71 onto160 at the junction going
west. Toy followed them and intercepted them, perhaps pulling in front of them.
They turned around starting back east with Roy doing the same. This would explain the
fact that the car was headed east when it was found. Sammie was at the wheel. Roy was evidently getting
out to get the robbers to stick them up but they shot him before he could do
anything, and then shot Sammie.
Roy’s gun was empty. It is not believed possible
have started out on this errand without at least some shells in his gun. Some
think it might have been full, but Ira Farmer didn’t hear that many shots.
he had answered the call from the Phillips station at once was evident by the
fact that his shoes were unlaced when his body was found, and his belt was not
car of the killers, according to Ira Farmer, was parked directly behind Roy’s car and both faced
east. There were fours shells near Roy’s
car. They are from the guns of the killers. The theory is that Roy had cut in
front again of the killers after both cars had turned back east and that he was
in the act of stepping out of the car to go back toward the robbers. The
killers jumped from the car and shot Roy
before he could get out. Then they stepped around the car and shot Sammie at
Roy’s body lay slumped back through the south
door of the
car with both feet on the ground. Sammie’s body, which had fallen toward the
south, lay with his head against Roy’s
Later: The examinations at the River Funeral
the bodies were not completed until about one
was shot three times, once in the back of the neck. Another time he was shot
back of the right ear and the third shot entered the back of the right arm. The
bone of the right arm was fractured from the bullet.
would indicate somewhat that the previous theories of the killer shooting Roy from the front and
stepping around later to kill Sammie were not correct. Evidently all of the
shots were fired from Sammie’s side of the car.
was shot but once just behind the left ear. So far as is known. Sammie had no
boys who investigated the murder are inclined to think that Roy might have had two of the killers in the
car with him and had left the third to drive in the car. Roy had his shot gun, which was undisturbed
and then he had a twenty two. This had been fired at least once. An inquest
will probably be held over the two bodies some time tomorrow.
car of the killers went east after the shooting. It is not known whether it
turned up or down 71 or went on 160. No clues whatever of the killers are at
thing that makes some of the boys believe that Roy might have had two o f the men in with
him is the fact that he was absolutely fearless – and he was. He would have
taken any risk and engaged himself in any danger in an effort to capture the
Roywas forty eight years old. He leaves his wife, Mrs.
Hazel Patterson and six children, three by a former marriage. They are Ruth
Parker of Mr. Morris, Michigan, Mrs. Beulah Berthot of the home
and Martha Nell of the home. There are three children by the present Mrs.
Patterson They are Helen, seven, Bill, four and Linda, two.
was eighteen years of age. He had taken his examination at Leavenworth and been turned down because of a
bad hand. He graduated from the Lamar
High School with the
class of 1944.
Patterson was hysterical Thursday following the murder of her husband and step
son. She would cry for a long period and then she would laugh, which shows that
she was gripped by extreme hysteria.
five years ago, the third of last March, Sheriff John Harlow was murdered by
Jay Lynch and Lynch also killed the sheriff’s son, Dick, who like Sammie
Patterson, was just eighteen. Lynch paid for his crime by being hanged on the
large elm tree that stands in front of the court house to the east of the walk.
He had escaped and gone to Colorado.
In about two months, or nearer three, he was picked up at LaJunta, Colorado,
and brought back to Lamar. He was taken before the late Judge Thurman and
sentenced to serve life in the Missouri
State at that time did not have death for killers. A crowd of infuriated
citizens pounced upon him while he was being held here in Lamar to go the
penitentiary and hanged him to this tree.
three men, who murdered Sheriff Patterson and his son, are described by the
filling station attendant at Jasper. They will be identified quickly when they
are caught. And they will be executed.
Lamar Democrat articles datedAugust 22, 1944
LATE ROY PATTERSON AND HIS SON SAMMY BURIED AT A
Fifteen Hundred People Viewed the Corpses – All of the
Crowd Was Not Able to Gain Admission Into Memorial Hall at One Time – They Came
in Sections to View the Bodies – Rev. Cecil Laster Delivered a Short Address –
Bodies Were Taken in Two Hearses to Lake Cemetery – Contingents from American
Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars Fired the Final Volleys in Honor of the
the double funeral of the late Roy Patterson and his son, Sammy, who were
murdered early Thursday morning hard by the residence of Ira Farmer. Memorial
Hall was filled to overflowing and the crowd spilled over onto the lawn about
the building. Several hundred people were ranged about the outside of the building,
and the crowd came in sections to view the remains. The funeral service lasted
perhaps two hours.
two caskets were ranged end to end in the main hall of the building just at the
foot of the stage. The entire stage the wings and the walls at the back of the
stage were a muse of flowers. Over the coffin of the late sheriff was draped
the flag of the United
States and a guard of honor from the
American Legion stood at attention during the service.
Forest Grove quartette, composed of Frank Lee, Glenn Brown, Charles Quillin and
Floyd Joyce sang two numbers, “Where They Never Grow Old and Going Down the
Valley. The quartette was accompanied at the piano by Mrs. Dimple Haddock.
Cecil Laster spoke briefly at the funeral service. The center of his remarks
was “They know not when the day cometh.”
girls assisting with flowers for both funerals were Jane Ross, Gene Corn,
Bonnie Godfrey, Jean Niehaus, Norma Jo Hardenbrook, Jane River,
Daisy Stockdale and Roma Jean Walter.
casket bearers for the late sheriff were Ollie Dumolt, Roy Lawson, Lee
Clements, Gerrie Snip, Floyd Boles and Frank Lee. Those for his son were Arvid
Jenkins, Gordon Compton, Richard Lee, junior Gilbert, Billy and Joyce Clements.
the close of the services in Memorial Hall two hearses bore the bodies to Lake Cemetery.
Contingents from the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars fired
over the coffins the final salute. The Odd Fellows, of which the late sheriff
was a member, put on their graveside service, after which the coffins were
quietly lowered into the earth. The funerals and interment were under the
direction of the River Funeral Home.
A great line of cars
accompanied the funeral cortege to the cemetery and when the spot was reached
there were many more people already there waiting, than would generally attend
SEVERAL PEOPLE SAW ROY AND SAMMY AS THEY LAY IN THE
Some Thought Roy Was Working On the Car – Some Thought
He was Asleep – Others Probably Didn’t Think Anything – At Least None of Them
Stopped – They Drove Right On – Post Mortem Over the Two Bodies Showed Two
Bullets in Roy’s Body and One in Sammy’s –
A post mortem was held on the
late Sheriff Roy Patterson’s body. Those holding the post mortem, Dr. Guldner
and Raymond River, got two bullets out of Roy’s body and one out of Sammy’s. As
they took Roy
out of the car one bullet was found. This bullet came from his arm. It is the
theory of those holding the post mortem that this bullet that Roy got in his right arm was to make him drop
his gun. One of the bullets went into the lower part of the back of Roy’s head and came
through the vicinity of his eye. One bullet was found embedded in the brain.
Sammy had just one bullet in his body, in his head.
There is a good deal of
speculation as to whether Roy
fired any bullets at his assassins. The general belief now is that he did not.
He had one bullet in his gun when he went out after the bandits, it has now
developed. This bullet was found in the car.
There is also much
speculation as to when Roy
was shot. Ira Farmer gives the impression that he was shot about four o’clock in the morning. Those
who investigated more closely, are of the opinion that he was shot an hour
later, about five o’clock
as was Sammy.
There are a good many people
who say Roy in
the car as it stood there in the highway not far from Ira Farmer’s. The two
Evilsizer girls saw him, Gene Selvey and Herbert Carr, who were going to Springfield, saw him. Boy
Wright and Tommy Carlton saw him. Alec Trimble and Joy McCrea saw him. None of
those who saw the corpses stopped. This is regarded as a very peculiar fact but
it is a fact none the less. Some of those who saw Roy half out of the car, thought he was
working on the car some thought he was asleep. Others didn’t think anything.
#30 & #32 SHERIFF THOMAS WILLIAM BOX
08-18-1944 to 02-27-1945
10-08-1945 to 10-31-1945
The thirtieth and thirty-second sheriff of
was Thomas William (Josh) Box who was appointed by the County Court (now the County Commission)
on August 18, 1944
after the murder of Sheriff Patterson on August 17, 1944. He served until a special
election was held on February
27, 1945. T. W. Box also served as sheriff by appointment of the
County Court from October 8,
1945 until October
31, 1945 when a special election could be held to replace Sheriff
Austin who had resigned.
Since the coroner,
would have been next in line to become sheriff, we assume he must have
declined, even though there is no statement to that effect in county records.
T. W. Box was born August 27, 1872at
Missouri. At age six he came with
his parents to Barton
County, settling near the
community. He attended rural school in the county and State Teachers College at
Warrensburg. He taught in Barton
County rural schools for
a number of years.
For some years he was a U. S. Postal Railway Clerk,
appointed Postmaster in 1925 and serving at that position until 1928. He also
saw service in World War II and later purchased and operated the Lamar
Republican, a weekly newspaper. He was also a Deputy Sheriff for Sheriff Roy
Sheriff Box was a member of the American Legion
on the Building Committee for Memorial Hall and was a faithful member of the
Lamar Christian Church.
He is buried in Lake
Section L, Lot 52
#31 SHERIFF CHESTER E. AUSTIN
02-27-1945 to 10-06-1945
The thirty-first Sheriff of Barton County was
Austin. He was elected February
27, 1945 in a special election to replace murdered Sheriff Roy
Patterson. He resigned October
Sheriff Austin was born in 1903 near Mountain Grove,
He was a salesman for Platt Porter Grocery Company of Carthage, Missouri
a former Street Commissioner for the City of Lamar and he and his wife Mildred operated a
General Store inBoston,Missouri until 1971.
Sheriff Austin died December 25, 1983at the Brady
Building of St. John’s
Hospital inJoplin,Missouri after a long illness.
The term of Sheriff Austin was somewhat troubling.
10th he was absent from Lamar. Word has it that he was at his parents home near
Mountain Grove, and he did have problems and he was not with a lady friend. He
was having treatments in Kansas City
for a nerve in his neck, however, the Sheriff does not remember how or when it
No doubt the Sheriff had many problems with his
life and his duties as Sheriff. He resignedOctober 6, 1945
He is buried in Lake
Section L, Lot 154
#34 SHERIFF CECIL E. BLANCHARD
01-01-1952 to 12-31-1964
The thirty-fourth Sheriff of Barton County was Cecil E.
Blanchard serving from 1952 until 1964.
Obituary from the Lamar Democrat
Funeral services for Cecil E.
Blanchard, 72, Lamar, who died at 2:15
p.m. Friday at Cox
were held at 2 p.m. Monday
at Lohmeyer-Konantz Funeral Home. Rev. Gene Atkins and Father Frank Palermo
officiated. Burial was in Lake
Mr. Blancard was born to
James Blanchard and Dillia Jones Blanchard October 13, 1901, in Dade County. He had lived in this area most
of his life. He married Leta Maxine Divine, Sept. 25, 1924, in Iantha. She died August 18, 1963. He later
married Mary J Divine, January
19, 1965. For a number of years he operated a grocery business in
Kenoma, and was also associated with John Deere Co. He served three terms as
sheriff of Barton
County until his
retirement in 1965.
Survivors in addition to his
wife include two sons, Don Blanchard, Appleton City,
and Bill Blanchard, St. Joseph;
one daughter, Mrs. Devona Brown, Springfield;
four brothers, Ezra Blanchard, and Clarence Blanchard, both of Lamar, Charlie
Blanchardd, Joplin, and Coy Blanchard, Victorsville,
Calif.; three sisters, Mrs.
Eulalia Dennis, Mrs. Lora Powell and Mrs. Lyda Wilhelm, all of Lamar; seven
grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Active pallbearers were Carl
Finley, Bud Stilabower, Joe Purinton, Darrell Robertson, Wayne Poe, Joyce
Clements, and Herman Hauser.
Honorary pallbearers were Sam
McCoy, June Sharrock, Marion Thiebaud, Henry Noll, Leroy Erwin, Bill Phipps,
Edward Hawkins, Gene Gastel, and Nels Watkins.
Mr. and Mrs. Davie Barger
sang “Farther Along” and “How Great Thou Art.” Organist was Mrs. Jean Palen.
Sheriff Cecil Blanchard died August 30, 1974. He is
buried in Lake Cemetery, Lamar, MO,
Section B, Lot 18.
#35 SHERIFF CALVIN BEACH DOCKERY
01-01-1964 to 12-31-1980
The thirty-fifth Sheriff of Barton County was Calvin Beach
Dockery serving from 1964 until 1980.
Lamar Democrat Obituary datedAugust 11, 2001
Calvin Beach Dockery
will be held at 2 p.m.
today (Saturday) at Daniel Funeral Home, Lamar, for Calvin Beach Dockery, 86,
Lamar, who died at 1:30 a.m.
Thursday, August 9, 2001, at Barton County Memorial Hospital, after a short
illness. Doug Oakes, minister, will officiate. Burial will be in Memory Gardens.
Military rites will be
conducted by VFW Post 3691, and Masonic Rites will be conducted by Lamar Lodge
Survivors include a son,
Calvin Dean Dockery, Sugar Land, Texas; a daughter, Carolyn Taffner, Lamar;
four brothers, Howard, Stan and Lee Dockery, all of Lamar, and Loren Dockery,
Sheldon; two sisters, Nadine Walters, Irwin, and Helen Foley, Escondido,
Calif.; three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by
two sisters, Minnie Ethel Dockery and Reba Edna Owen.
Mr. Dockery was born August 18, 1914, at Milford, to Zella Beacher
and Edna May (Harmon) Dockery. He had been a resident of Barton County
for most of his life. He was a World War II Air Force veteran. He had been
sheriff of Barton
County for 16 years, and
was also a mechanic.
He was a member of First
Christian Church, Lamar; VFW Post 3691, Lamar; a 50 year member of Lamar
Masonic Lodge No. 292; a member of Abou Ben Adhem Shrine, Springield; Lake
Stockton Shrine Club, and American Legion Post No. 209.
He married Mattie Mae Welsh
on August 22, 1936,
at El Dorado Springs. She died August of 1985. He married Frances Virginia (Walz) Lewis on August 16, 1986, at Lamar.
She died January 22, 1995.
Carolyn Dockery Taffner,
daughter of Sheriff Dockery, is City Clerk for the City of Lamar.
Prior to being elected
sheriff, Calvin Dockery was head mechanic for Medlin Bros Ford, Lamar.
#36 SHERIFF RON JEFFRIES
01-01-1980 to 09-30-1985
The thirty-sixth Sheriff of Barton County was Ron Jeffries
serving from 1980 until October
Lamar Democrat article datedNovember 5, 1980
Jeffries New Sheriffby Dave Farnham, Editor
Jeffries won approval from all four of Lamar’s voting wards and lost only Union and Southwest
Townships in the rural
area as he rolled to a convincing victory Tuesday in the race for Barton County
gained 2,979 votes compared to the 1,183 totaled by his democratic challenger
Bob Winenger. Independent Don Miller held the second spot for most of election
night but by this morning had dropped to third with 1,123 votes.
will take over the position held for almost two decades by veteran law
enforcement officer Calvin Dockery. Dockery chose not to seek re-election this
strength was solid, as expected in the City of Lamar, but the first-time office-seeker also
dominated voting in the county’s townships where Miller, an Irwin farmer, was
expected to be a large factor.
the four Lamar wards, Jeffries’ best showings came in Lamar, Richland, Nashville and Ozark Townships,
all of which he won handily.
largest number of votes to offer with 483 and
Jeffries captured 280 of those.
the time Golden City’s returns arrived at the courthouse
the issue was no longer in doubt, but Jeffries also received that town’s
endorsement, picking up 331 votes compared to 126 for Winienger and 79 for
Miller and Winienger were successful in one township each. Miller took Union Township
with 69 votes with Jeffries getting 65 and Winienger 20. Winienger took Southwest Township with 88 votes, while Jeffries
was taking 85 and Miller 30.
ran on a campaign of austerity, saying he would attempt to live within a budget
which he forecast could be limited by loss of revenue sharing funds.
was formerly head of corrections in Jasper
County. He also holds
degrees in psychology and sociology from Missouri Southern State College in Joplin.
said today his is “overwhelmed” by the outcome of the race.
said he “feels real good” about the margin of victory. “It makes me think I did
a good job of campaigning.”
from the rural area was important, the sheriff-elect said, and added he was
pleased interest in his race and other races brought such a large number of
voters to the polls in Barton
78 percent of the registered voters in the county cast ballots in the election.
Lamar Democrat article datedAugust 29, 1985
Jeffries Resigns as Barton County
Citing an opportunity that
couldn’t be passed up, Barton County Sheriff Ron Jeffries resigned his office
It was discussed in a secret
session Monday afternoon which was closed to the public and the press, a rarity
for Barton County Commission.
Jeffries announced the
resignation to his officers in a special meeting Monday night at the Sheriff’s
office and jail facility in Lamar.
The resignation is effective
He said it was his
understanding that an election takes place on the eighth Tuesday after the
“I received an offer from
State Farm Insurance. It’s a good offer and I have to take it. It’s just
something I have to do…good benefits. I just can’t pass it up.” Jeffries told
his officers and auxiliary officers that he was concerned about them and the
department. “What worries me at this point is what’s going to happen after I’m
He said that hopefully
whoever was elected will carry on.
“We have good investigations
He also told the group that
he would like for them to stay together and would like to see everyone get
behind one person for the position.
He said he had talked with
the prosecuting attorney as to the date and appointed Wayne (Shackelford, the
current chief deputy) to do the job until that point.
“I will support Wayne on anything he
wants to do.”
Deputy John Seffinga told the
group that he would run for the office of sheriff. Shackelford said he didn’t
know and would have to think about running for the office.
Saffinga told the Lamar Democrat Tuesday morning that the
Commission had not set a date for the election so he was no able to qualify at
this time but that he would at first opportunity.
The five year tenure of Ron
Jeffries as Barton County Sheriff has been marked by modernization of area law
enforcement. The recent addition of a computer terminal to hook the county up with
the State Highway Patrol was only the latest effort.
At the time of the purchase,
Jeffries said, “We’re excited about this. The computer terminal links us with
the state and gives us the capability to run license numbers and criminal
history checks without having to call Nevada
or Carthage State.”
Under Jeffries, deputies and
reserve officers have undergone continuous training and responsibilities
deputies and dispatchers have been updated. A department manual was written for
the first time outlining responsibilities and duties.
During Jeffries’ tenure, Barton County
also joined the Southwest Missouri Sheriff’s Strike Force, which promoted
cooperation between several sheriffs departments.
Jeffries was elected to
office in 1980 emerging from a 12 candidate field to succeed Calvin Dockery,
who retired. He was re-elected without opposition last year.
Before running for sheriff,
Jeffries had been a deputy at Jasper
County. He was in charge
of the corrections system. He is a 1975 graduate of Missouri Southern State
College in Joplin
with a degree in psychology.
#37 SHERIFF WAYNE SHACKELFORD
10-01-1985 to 11-28-1985
The thirty-seventh Sheriff of Barton County was Wayne
Shackelford serving from October
4, 1985 until December
Sheriff Shackelford was appointed by the CountyCommission
due to the resignation of Sheriff Ron Jeffries which was effectiveOctober 4, 1985.
He had been Chief Deputy for Sheriff Jeffries during his
tenure as Sheriff.
Sheriff Shackelford died December 20, 1996of Pulmonary Fibrosis. He is
buried in Lake Cemetery, Lamar, MO,
Section M,Lot 141.
Lamar Democrat Obituary datedDecember 21, 1996
Lamar – Services will be at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 23, at
Daniel Chapel, Lamar, for Wayne Shackelford, 71, Lamar, who died at 12:15 p.m. Friday at Barton County
Lamar, after a sudden illness. The Rev. Arthur Rogers will officiate.
The body will be cremated
after the service. Interment will be in Lake Cemetery.
Survivors include his wife,
Janet Mae Shackelford, of the home; two sons, Gene Scott Shackelford and Paul
Scott Shackelford, both of Lamar; three brothers, Joe Shackelford, Oklahoma
City, Okla., Glen Shackelford, San Angelo, Texas, and Hugh Shackelford,
Anaheim, Calif.; and seven grandchildren.
Mr. Shackelford was born July 12, 1925, at Flint, Kansas.
He had lived in Barton
County for 20 years. He
was a Navy veteran of World War II. He had been a chief deputy for the Barton
County Sheriff’s Department and had worked for Rockwell International as an
aerospace engineer in California.
He was a member of the First
in Golden City.
He married Janet Mae Meuser
at Las Vegas, Nev.
#38 SHERIFF WILLIAM A. GRIFFITT
The thirty-eighth Sheriff of Barton County was William A.
Griffitt. He was elected on November
27, 1985 and was sworn in November 28, 1985. He served until December 31, 2004.
Sheriff Griffitt declined to seek office for another term
due to health problems. Currently he is engaged in farming activities in Barton County.
The ½ cent law enforcement tax was approved in November
Due to the Law Enforcement Tax that was approved in 1989 the
Jail was also brought up to date.
911 was approved by the voters of Barton County
in April 1991 and went into effect April 1993
Bill Griffitt was the longest term Sheriff in Barton County
#39 SHERIFF SHANNON C. HIGGINS
The thirty-ninth Sheriff of Barton County is Shannon C.
Higgins. Sheriff Higgins was a deputy, an narcotics investigator, and then Chief Deputy for Sheriff Griffitt.
Sheriff Higgins was elected in November 2004 assuming office
on January 1, 2005
for a four year term.
On May 26th 2006 Sheriff Higgins apprehends Americas Most Wanted.
May 25, 2006
Nationwide Manhunt Ends in Car Crash
Amazing police work by Sheriff's Deputies in Barton County, Mo. foiled the cowardly suicide attempt of the nation's most wanted couple and recovered yet another innocent victim. Contrary to earlier reports, Richard Davis and Dena Riley did not surrender: they were arrested at 4:50 PM on May 25 in Lamar after kidnapping a 5-year-old girl.
Police say the fugitives arrived in Arcadia, Kan. sometime on May 24 to stay with Davis' sister, brother-in-law and 5-year-old niece. Authorities are convinced these relatives were unaware that Davis and Riley were wanted by police. The next day, Davis and Riley drove the 5-year-old niece to a McDonald's restaurant at 11:30 AM with the girl's father following in another vehicle. Police say Davis and Riley sped off with the girl, never showed up at the restaurant and never brought the child home.
Local police quickly issued a wanted flyer through the LOCATOR Program (Lost Child Alert Technology Resource) provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It notified law enforcement agencies in five surrounding states that the young girl had been kidnapped.
Diane Pogue was anwering 911 calls in Barton County when a man called from the road to say he was overdosing on drugs and wanted to drop off a child. Pogue handed the phone to Sheriff Deputy Vincent Ashworth who couldn't believe the timing: he knew immediately that he was talking to the fugitives he read about on the LOCATOR Alert that morning. Click here to read the full transcript of the 911 call Davis and Riley made.
Knowing that the life of a 5-year-old was in danger, Deputy Ashworth talked to Davis for several minutes, trying to determine his location. But Davis was mostly incoherent, reportedly from the drugs he and Riley had recently taken to attempt suicide. Police say Davis was in no condition to talk, let alone drive. He passed the cell phone to Riley.
After great pressure from Deputy Ashworth, Riley finally mentioned a street sign they just passed on the road. Moments later Davis wrecked the vehicle they were driving and the 911 call went dead. Barton County Sheriff Shannon Higgins was monitoring the 911 call and had only one clue from Riley: the name of a rural county road that stretched for more than 8 miles. Higgins scrambled duputies all along the route in a desperate search for the fugitives and their young kidnap victim. On the way, deputies contacted police in Independence, Mo. where Davis and Riley commited their alleged crimes and an army of Independence police officers hit the road for Lamar.
It was the Barton County Sheriff who first discovered the accident scene a short while later. "The first thing I saw was a little girl getting into the truck of a farmer who stopped to help. She had a cut and was bleeding above the eye," said Sheriff Higgins. He then spotted Riley in the wrecked pickup truck. "She had some facial injuries -- a bloody nose and lip -- and was excessively incoherent from either her injuries or the pills." The sheriff ordered Davis out of the truck and down onto the ground. "He didn't resist. I made it very clear what would happen if he did," Higgins told AMW. "He said his name was Ricky Davis and I knew it was over." Sheriff Higgins took the young victim into protective custody and the captured fugitives were rushed to area hospitals and treated for their injuries and reported drug overdoses.
But the horrific facts of this case just keep coming. Police tell America's Most Wanted that the young kidnap victim was sexually assaulted by Davis and Riley and underwent surgery as a result of the assault.
Investigators have told AMW that interviews with captured murder suspects Richard Davis and Dena Riley have "gone very well." Now reports have surfaced that another body has been recovered in Clay County, Mo. that may be another victim of Davis and Riley.
A source close to the investigation tells FOX News that a body found May 27 in Clay County is likely that of 36-year-old Michelle Ricci, reported missing on May 3. Police released a photo of Ricci earlier in the month, asking for the public's help to identify the woman. The photo was reportedly made from a still frame of video seized from Davis and Riley's apartment. Ricci's mother told Kansas City newspapers and television stations that police notified her on May 28 that they found a body and asked her family members to submit DNA samples.
On May 30, Davis and Riley pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, first-degree assault, kidnapping, forcible rape and forcible sodomy in the death of Marsha Spicer. The couple, being held without bond, is next scheduled to appear in court in mid July. Jackson County prosecutor Mike Sanders says he expects Davis and Riley to face additional charges.
#40 SHERIFF L. MITCHELL SHAW