MURDER MOST FOUL
Hugh N. Brooks Shot to Death by Jas. D. McDermott
The Murderer Still at Large, But Every Effort Being Used to Capture Him
Wednesday night the people of Arkansas City were startled by a telegram from Trippe to the effect that Hugh N. Brooks had been killed by James D. McDermott.
It was known that bad feeling existed between the two men, but no one for once dreamed that there would be serious results. Up to a short time ago Brooks and McDermott were good friends. They lived on Crooked Bayou within a half a mile of each other.
The trouble that led to the killing grew out of the management of the school matters of the district by McDermott who was one of the directors. About two weeks ago Judge B. F. Merritt filed before Chancellor Robinson an application for an injunction in which he and Brooks were plantiffs and C. H. Halley, J. D. McDermott and Steve Vickers were defendants. The bill alleged that Halley, McDermott and Vickers were the directors of the district in which Trippe and Halley are located; that they had hired one of their members, McDermott, to teach school in the upper part of the district; that McDermott taught, or pretended to teach, the school in his own house for two months and had drawn forty dollars a month for the two months taught; that no one, not even Brooks who was his nearest neighbor, knew that McDermott was teaching school, and that no one had ever attended the alleged school but McDermott's own children.
The bill asked that Halley, McDermott and Vickers be restrained from issuing a warrant for the third and last month and for fifteen dollars for house rent that it was understood the directors had agreed to pay him.
The Chancellor grantedthe prayer of the petitioners, and so far nothing has been done with the petition.
McDermott became very much enranged at Brooks for the action that he took and hot words passed between the two men several times.
Wednesday McDermott came in Arkansas City from Trippe, and when he returned he and Mr. R. D. Crenshaw became involved in a controversy over the school matter. McDermott attempted to draw his pistol and kill Crenshaw, but was not successful. In the meantime Crenshaw knocked him down and in the scuffle that followed succeeded in takingthe pistol away from McDermott.
McDermott shortly afterward left for his home about a mile and a half above Trippe, and about five o'clock, arminghimself with a Winchester rifle, he came down to Brooks' house and, finding him in his garden picking up potatoes, fired at him without a moment's warning. The ball struck Brooks in the back just under the shoulder blade and passed out in front near the neck. McDermottran as soon as the shot was fired, but was seen as he was running off by Riney Brooks, a brother of the murdered man, and a negro man.
Brooks lingered until about 8 o'clock and died. He was buried yesterday evening by the Knights of Pythias of which order he was a member.
McDermott is still at large although every effort is being made to capture him. It is thought that he is still in the neighborhood.
Sheriff Henry arrived on the ground about eight o'clock Wednesday night. He hashad a posse of men scouring the woods and is leaving nothing undone in his efforts to capture the murderer.
Brooks, the murdered man, has always been considered a honorable, upright and inoffensive citizen. He had been a resident of Desha County for a number of years and had bought and improved a little farm just above Trippe. He was unmarried, butleft one or two sisterswho were dependent upon him.
McDermott, the murderer, has a wife and several children. While he has been addicted to the use of liquor to an excess for the past few years he has never been considered a bad man and the foul and cowardly murder committted by him was a surprise to everybody. The feeling against him is bitter and if he is captured will be prosecuted vigorously.
Messrs. W. M. Ogburn, Samuel Marks, J. W. Davis, R. W. Smith, J. S. Johnson, Joe Demarke and Albert Smith went out to Trippe yesterday to attend the funeral of Hugh N. Brooks.
Misses Mamie Bessellieu and Pina Burks came down from Monticello last Saturday. They are spending the week with Mrs. C. C. Hemingway.
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Townsend left yesterday for Little Rock. They will remain there for several days, visiting Mr. and Mrs. John W. Dickinson.
Mrs. J. M. Whitehill returned Wednesday from Hot Springs, where she had been for the past month or two.
Mrs. Eunice Godwin and her son Lennie went up to Little Rock Sunday to remain for several days visiting.
R. W. Smith returned Wednesday afternoon from Dallas, Texas, where he spent about ten days.
Today Messrs. E. B. Windes, W. H. Patrick, J. D. Welch and Mrs. Bolling, mother of Mr. W. J. Bolling of Monticello, came in from Monticello with the latter gentleman. Mr. Bolling has been an invalid for the past few months and is in an extremely bad physical condition. He is on his way to Memphis where he will enter the infirmary of Dr. W. H. Rodgers where he will remain for some time for treatment. The party left on the L.,N.O.&T. train this afternoon and will arrive in Memphis tomorrow morning. We sincerely trust that Mr. Bolling will return in a few weeks fully recovered.
Clerk M. W. Quilling came down from Pendleton Monday and returned Tuesday.
Mrs. Callie McKennon, of Monticello, is visiting relatives here this week.
Messrs. Pat K. Savage and John Ottman, of Dermott, were here yesterday.
Miss Alice Tillar went out to Tillar Saturday and returned Sunday.
S. M. Courtney went up to Searcy Saturday and returned Tuesday.
Messrs. A. S. Smith, Louis Marks, Charles DeSoucha and Abe Dreidell returned Tuesday from Little Rock. They went up Sunday to appear as witnesses in the counterfeiting case of R. H. Howell, the young man who was captured here about four weeks ago with some counterfeit silver dollars on his person. The case has been continued until the 14th of this month.
The JOURNAL was in error last week in stating that Lawyer R. A. Buckner of Dermott was dead. One last Sunday morning week the report was brought to Dermott that Mr. Buckner was dead. This report reached the editor of the JOURNAL and not hearing it contradicted we made note of it. We are glad to learn that the report was incorrect.
Jesse E. Lacy returned Sunday from a trip to Waxahatchie, Texas. Some of the boys had predicted that he would bring Mrs. Lacy back with him, but if they had backed their predictions with the money, they lost.
About a week ago George Miller, of the firm of George Miller & Co., Dermott, suddenly left for parts unknown, taking with him all the cash he had on hand and leaving behind many creditors to mourn his untimely departure. Miller had been located at Dermott for the past two years and had been extensively engaged in the stave, piling and railroad tie business. Following his departure numerous suits in attachment were brought against him by his creditors. About a week after his departure Miller was arrested at St. Louis at the instance of the Morrison-Decker Manufacturing Company of Newport, Ark., on the charge of obtaining money under false pretenses. He was released at the time because of some irregularity in the requisition proceedings. The irregularity was cured and on Wednesday Miller was rearrested in St. Louis. He will be brought back to Arkansas for trial. The charge is that he obtained $2,500 by representing certain staves as being his, which as a matter of fact he did not own.
THE DESHA BANK OF ARKANSAS CITY, ARK.
Henry Thane, Pres.; David A. Gates, V.P.; J. M. Barker, Jr., Cashier
DIRECTORS: J. M. Whitehill, Joe Demarke, S. Marks, R. W. Smith
PORTER & McKINNON, Staple and Fancy Groceries
S. D. SMITH & SON, Drugs, Medicines, Chemicals, Prescriptions Filled
J. W. STRAUGHAN, Jeweler, Optical Goods, Repairing Fine Watches
MARKS' ST. LOUIS CHEAP STORE, Ladies & Gents Ready to Wear, Carpets
LAMBE-DEMARKE LAND & LIQUOR COMPANY
Retail Dealers & Jobbers in Fine Wines & Liquors, Cigars
J. M. WHITEHILL, Groceries and Dry Goods
D. O. PORTER & CO., Wines, Liquors, Cigars
J. M. SCARRY, Kansas City Meats
C. F. KROEGER'S, Staple and Fancy Groceries
C. P. SMITH, Physician and Surgeon
W. K. BAKER, Surgeon Dentist
HENRY THANE, Clerk and Recorder of Desha County
CARLTON & MERRITT, Attorneys-at-Law
PINDALL & ROGERS, Attorneys-at-Law
MURPHY & GATES, Attorneys-at-Law
G. H. JOSLYN, Attorney-at-Law
Copyright 2000 by Louis Reitzammer