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The Western Star, June 21, 1890.

STATE vs. SOMBART

The Western Star June 21, 1890 From the Ashland Clipper, we clip the following in regard to the Sombart case that came up for trial at Ashland last week.

The case of John E. Sombart on the charge of murder of Dudley Murphy at Coldwater last January came up in the district court here Tuesday on an application of the defendant for a continuance. The United States District Attorney J. W. Ady, County Attorney H. A. Smith, T. G. Chambers and W. A. McCartney appeared for the state, and Judge H. C. Sluss of Wichita, Ed. Sample, of Medicine Lodge and G. W. Vickers, of Coldwater, for the defendant. The application for a continuance was made on the ground of absence of material and important witnesses and the inability of the defendant to get them in attendance at this term of court. The affidavit set forth that Geo. W. Bailey, better known in this community as "Tank Kee," if present would testify that Dudley Murphy, on Friday before the killing, said to him: "This d___ Dutch Jew, Doc Sombart, has made a lot of money in this country and I propose to have some of it. He has had the benefit of my wife when I was a way from home and now he shall pay for it. I went up to his room the other day and would have killed the d___ cowardly s__ _ b____ if other people had not interfered. I intended then and there to make him give up money to save his life. He is a d___ coward and he showed it by his actions that day and I can make another break at him the same way and get every thing he has. This man has got to educate my child, but I don't know whether it is mine or not. He has got to pay my wife's expenses back to her family and send her to a business college and educate her so she can support herself and he has got to give me enough money to get out of the country and start anew. I purpose to get this money from him as I started in to the other day. If he refuses I'll kill him, and if he gives up the money, which I believe he will, I propose to kill him anyhow," and other matters, all of which "Tank Kee" claims to have communicated to the defendant. The application further sets up that one _. Haskins, of Gate City No Man's Land, was present and saw the seven shots fired and Murphy killed and would testify among other things, "that Sombart called to Murphy who was crossing the street, to 'stop don't come any further.' I then saw Murphy place his right hand on his hip as if in the act of drawing a revolver concealed about his person. ** Immediately after the firing of the shots by Sombart two persons ran toward the party shot; they were both strangers to me. I also ran to the person that was shot but before I reached him, I saw one of the two men who first went toward him take from the deceased a revolver."

The affidavit also sets forth that C. M. Cade, Red Odem and Bert Brauner, all of Oklahoma, if present would testify that Murphy had repeatedly said he intended to kill Sombart and that all of said witnesses were beyond the arm of the law or compulsory process, because of the unorganized condition of that country.

Messrs. Ady and McCartney made pointed and powerful pleas for the state assaulting the grounds set up for a continuance and Judge Sluss and Mr. Sample sustained the application with equal efforts on behalf of the defendant and his right to have a fair chance for a defense.

In the afternoon Judge Price summed up the pleadings and found sufficient grounds for a continuance which he granted, fixing the defendant's bond as it had been, at $10,000. Much interest was manifested in this trial, the court room being well filled with interested listeners. There is a wide difference of opinion as to the justness of the continuance, as usually in such cases."


The Not-So-Gay 90s   by Evelyn Reed. An overview of the killings of Murphy by Sombart and Prichard by Miles, with the outcome of their trials.

W.D. MURPHY Slain on the Street by J.E. Sombart   The Western Star, February 1, 1890.

SOLOMON W. MILES KILLS DR. G. W. PRICHARD   The Western Star, May 10, 1890.

Dr. J.E. SOMBART: Obituary   The Western Star, 10 July 1908.

Sombart's Smash Up


Thanks to Shirley Brier, who transcribed and contributed this article for this web page, online since 15 August 2003. This website is being created by Jerry Ferrin.