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The Western Star, May 10, 1890.


The Tragedy Enacted on the Streets of Coldwater

About 11 o'clock on the night of May first, S. W. Miles, a lawyer of this city, killed Dr. G. W. Prichard, one of our best citizens, by striking him over the head with some blunt instrument, fracturing his skill and causing his death the next day.

As we are able to learn the facts in this case, they are about as follows; Dr. Prichard was returning to his residence about 11 o'clock, on the night above mentioned, having been called to the St. Nicholas hotel to see a patient. When he had returned as far as the Main street crossing on Central Ave., he is supposed to have met S. W. Miles and H. Chapman and the three stopped on the crossing.


It is asserted by H. Chapman, the only witness, "that Dr. Prichard and S. W. Miles began quarreling over a point of law in regard to the re-arrest of Dr. Sombart, when they came to blows, Dr. Prichard struck S. W. Miles with his fist three times and in return Miles struck Dr. Prichard with something over the head."

The story of H. Chapman, who is a particular friend of Miles, is not generally credited, as some seem to think that there was no quarrel and that Prichard did not strike Miles at all. The gentlemen that were standing in front of Saunders' store did not hear any loud conversation between them, and Mr. Miles speaks in a loud voice at all times and especially when he is excited. If Prichard struck Miles, no one saw it but Chapman. Dr. Prichard was struck on the left side of his head, and he was undoubtedly taken unawares, as he was left handed and could have warded off the blow if he had been expecting it.

The doctor fell to the ground stunned from the blow, and Miles ran away down the avenue toward his home. Chapman, who was standing by, also started down Main street, and never went to the rescue of the Dr., who had been struck down. John McIntire, Milo Wright and James Ensley were engaged in conversation at the time the fatal blow was struck, in front of F. J. Saunder's store, not over 200 feet distant, and heard plainly the blow that struck Prichard, and McIntire ran after the fleeing Miles until he got close enough to discover his identity, and Messrs. Wright and Ensley carried the Dr. into Lockwood's drug store, where he remained conscious for about an hour, but his tongue seemed to be paralyzed and he was only able to say a few words, among others that Sol. Miles had struck him with a revolver.

Drs. Halliday and Langhead were summoned and did all their power to alleviate the suffering of the dying Dr., but he never regained consciousness. He remained at the drug store until the following morning (Friday), when he was carried to his home. An expert doctor was telegraphed for, but before he reached here on the first train, Dr. Prichard breathed his last at 12:40 o'clock Friday.

The autopsy held by Dr. Spiller, of Wellington, revealed the fact that the wound was fatal, from the beginning and that no medical skill could have saved his life.



State of Kansas, Comanche county, ss

An inquest holden at Coldwater, in said county, on the 3rd day of May, 1890, before me, Robert F. Boyce, coroner of said county, on the body of G. W. Prichard, there lying dead, the jurors whose names are hereunto subscribed, the said jurors, upon their oaths, do say: That on the 2d day of May, 1890, the said George W. Prichard came to his death by means of a blow given and struck in and upon the head of the said George W. Prichard, with a certain deadly weapon, a pistol, commonly called a revolver, made of iron and steel, or other blunt instrument, said blow being struck and given as aforesaid, by one Solomen W. Miles, in said Comanche county, Kansas, on the first day of May, 1890, with intent, then and thereby, the said George W. Prichard feloniously, to kill and murder.

Sam W. McClure,
A. J. Sparks,
J. A. Pennington,
J. S. Blount,
S. M. Jackson,
O. T. Leachman.

Attest: Robert F. Boyce,
Coroner of Comanche county, Kan.



In the meantime, after Miles had struck the fatal blow, he went home to his wife and five children, and we are told that he related to his wife what he had done. At any rate, he probably heard of the precarious condition of his victim and made his preparations to leave the city. As early as four o'clock Friday morning he woke up liveryman Kimple and told him he got into a little scrap with Dr. Prichard and wanted a buggy to leave the city for a few days until the matter blowed over. Mr. Kimple not knowing of the trouble let him have a buggy and team.

It was 5 o'clock Friday morning before any steps were taken toward the arrest of Miles, and when the sheriff and deputy called for him he had gone. Sheriff McIntire at once organized a posse, consisting of Hi Taggart, J. M. Baker, Parker Wright, Guy Wilson and Thos. G. Chambers and started in pursuit. This party went first to Gorham's ranch in the territory, distant about 23 miles, and there they learned that Miles had eaten breakfast there several hours before. At this point Messrs. Chambers and Wright returned home, and the balance of the posse and the sheriff went south toward Camp Supply. When they had reached Supply they met a man that had seen Miles and Ol. Rayl 18 miles west of Supply making their way toward Beaver, in No Man's Land. Sheriff McIntire there telegraphed Fred Edwards, U. S. Deputy marshall at Englewood to go to Beaver and capture Miles and bring him to Englewood and offering a reward, etc. The dispatch was sent Saturday evening, and at noon Sunday Edwards arrested Miles and reached Englewood with him at 3 o'clock Monday morning. Miles did not try to resist arrest. He was not informed of his victim's death until he was nearly to Englewood, and when the truth was told about him it is said he wilted down considerably.

Sheriff McIntire arrested Miles in the Englewood hotel Monday morning and paid marshall Edwards $75 reward for his capture. He reached this city with his prisoner between 5 and 6 o'clock Monday evening, and lodged him in jail. The sheriff's escort from Englewood was composed of Parker Wright, Perry Johnston, Hi Taggart, J. M. Baker and A. Hummer, of this city; Messrs. Heaton, Oller and Nighswonger of Avilla, and Wm. Taylor and Geo. Bunch, of Protection.


The preliminary of state vs. S. W. Miles, for the killing of Dr. Prichard, was by agreement of attorneys, continued until May 28, 1890 by Squire Duncan. The continuance being conceded by the county attorney, after swearing one witness, without objection by the defense, thus obviating the illegal arrest. The attorneys on record thus far are H. A. Smith and C. O. Blake for the state and W. J. Jackson for the defendant.


The killing of Dr. G. W. Prichard by S. W. Miles is truly a sad and unfortunate affair. Dr. Prichard was a useful man to the community, and his sudden taking off is a sad blow to his young wife and his large circle of relatives and friends. Miles, who is responsible for the deed, and now lays in the Coldwater jail charged with murder, has a wife and six small children, who are certainly entitled to sympathy. Miles is an excitable man and it is the belief of a great many that he did the deed in heat of passion without premeditation or aforethought. The theory that he killed the doctor to further the interest of Dr. Sombart in his case is not now generally believed, although at first it was the belief of a great many. The excitement over the affair is dying down and their is no danger of the people taking the law into their hands as has been reported by some of the daily papers. THE STAR is in favor of law and order and we believe that murder should be punished with severe penalty.



Dr. G. W. Prichard was born in Fulton county, Illinois, September 23, 1855, where he continued to reside with his father on a farm until he reached man's estate. Having concluded to enter the medical profession, he attended Rush College, at Chicago, for three or four years, and graduated with honor there, in February, 1887. In the summer of 1887, he came west to Comanche county, and began the practice of medicine in Coldwater, and has lived here continuously ever since, and built up a fine practice in his profession, as he had been phenomenally successful with his patients he was much sought after to attend the sick. On the 25th of December, 1888, he was married in this city, to Miss Agnes Stipp, a most estimable young lady who is left a widow, after a brief period of married life.

Dr. G. W. Prichard, was of brilliant intellect, of strong force of character, of upright ways, of happy, genial disposition, and true to his friends, and it was no wonder he moved a favorite in a circle of true and devoted admirers. No wonder his remains were bedewed by the tears of hosts of sorrowing friends. No wonder they came in crowds to pay a last tribute of respect to one so highly esteemed.

Tuesday, the funeral took place from the Opera House, at 2 o'clock, services by the I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 301, and the clergy of Coldwater. It was largely attended by the people from city and country surrounding, turning out to do honor to his memory. The remains were laid to rest in the Coldwater cemetery.


W. M. Taylor of Protection, has been appointed jailer since S. W. Miles was placed behind bars last Monday. He is the right man for the right place.


Dr. Prichard received his death blow within ten feet of where Dudley Murphy was killed. That crossing seems to be a fatal place.


Mr. Lou Miles, of Corydon, Iowa, who is United States District Attorney, for the Southern District of Iowa, was in the city this week in behalf of his brother, S. W. Miles, the slayer of G. W. Prichard.


The G. A. R. supper and entertainment that was to have taken place Saturday evening of last week, was dismissed through honor and respect to Dr. G. W. Prichard, who was lying a corpse at the time.


The Star was printed one day earlier last week then usual, in order that the editor might depart to Missouri for a visit, and consequently the paper had been printed when the unfortunate affair of the killing of Dr. G. W. Prichard occurred, and that, is why no mention was made of it in these columns last week.


To the friends who administered to our loved one in his last hours, and to those who have shown such great kindness and sympathy during our great affliction, we express our heartfelt thanks and assure them that their noble work will ever be held in grateful remembrance.
Agnes B. Prichard,
Robert Prichard & Family
J. H. Stipp & Family.


Among the relatives from a distance who were here to attend the burial of Dr. G. W. Prichard last Tuesday, were the father and mother of the deceased, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Prichard, of Lewistown, Illinois, and a brother, R. N. Prichard, from Ithica, Nebraska. Also, Geo. W. Stipp and Miss Lizzie Stipp, from Wellington, Kans., and Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus Cook, from Pratt, Kans., the latter being brothers and sisters of Mrs. G. W. Prichard.


Thanks to Shirley Brier for transcribing and contributing this article to this web site.

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