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BROWNWOOD BULLETIN
JANUARY 18, 1945


Brownwood Bulletin, January 18, 1945 -
Front page [original with some text missing due to deterioration - in file of Gerald Cox - bjcox@home.com]
MAN SHOT TO DEATH OUTSIDE Jim W. Phillips Home at Byrds
Elector's Wife Fires Shot at Man Seen Near Bedroom Window
Mrs. Elizabeth Phillips, 53, shot and fatally wounded a man who appeared at the window of a bedroom in her ranch home at Byrds last night. Mrs Phillips' husband, former County Commissioner Jim W. Phillips, is in Washington attending the inauguration of President Franklin Roosevelt. He is Democratic xxxxxential elector for this district. The dead man was identified as xxxxy KELLER, about 60, who lives xxxxxke.
Mrs. Phillips, still recovering from an [illness] of double pneumonia xxxxxxxxxxr leaving a Brownwood xxxxxxx was with her daughter-in-law Mrs. James Phillips, Jr, and her two small children xxxxx and Annette, 4.
The momen thought a xxxxxx might be an excaped German war prisoner.
The shooting occurred around xxxxxx about 2 1/2 hours after Mrs. James Phillips saw some xxxx outside the living room window move. Mrs. Elizabeth Phillips was in her bed. Her daughter-in-law was putting on her pajamas and preparing to go to bed. As she turned off the gas stove in the living room, she said she the bushes outside the window move.
Mrs. James Phillips went into the bedroom where Mrs. Elizabeth Phillips was in bed. About that time, some one tried to open the front door, the two women said.
Little Jimmie Phillips, who was in the living room, invited the person at the door to come in, the child's mother related. Mrs. Elizabeth Phillips called, "Who are you and what do you want?" There was no answer, the women agreed.
The yard gate has a bell on it, and the two women said they heard the bell as the man went out of the gate. "Then we heard him trying to start my car, which was at the side of the yard," Mrs. Elizabeth Phillips said.
Later, the unknown person was heard returning through the gate, and again trying to open the front door again. He tried the door, they said, "Three or four times, " and also tried to start the car several times. Mrs. Phillips had the key to the car.
"We thought he might be an escaped German," Mrs. Elizabeth Phillips said.
She said the sounds were heard "off and on for 2 1/2 hours."
The women obtained firearms.
Mrs. Phillips was sitting a chair in one of the bedrooms, which are on the south side of the house, when a man appeared at a window in the adjoining bedroom.
"I raised the shotgun," Mrs. Phillips said. "I didn't take aim. I fired. He dropped, and then we could hear him snoring for a while."
A 12 gauge shotgun, loaded with birdshot, was used. The load tore a hole in the window screen, hit Keller in the head. All night long the frightened women and two small children remained in the house. They had no telephone, no way of communicating with neighbors. The nearest house is about a half a mile away. They did not know whether the man who had appeared at the window was dead or alive.
This morning the man's body was found lying at the side of the window, between the window and a post which is within two feet of the wall of the house. There was blood on the ground where he had lain.
Dr. H. C. Bowden, brother-in-law of Mrs. Elizabeth Phillips, was at the Phillips home today. He said the hammer of the gun kicked back and cut Mrs. Phillip's right hand.
"I never shot a shotgun before," Mrs. Phillips said. "It's terrible Yes, I felt like a pioneer mother. I had to do something."
Dr. Bowden said he would keep a close watch on Mrs. Phillips to make sure that the excitement did not cause a relapse of her illness. Friends gathered at the Phillips home, telling her that she was brave.
Sheriff's officers and County Attorney D. P. Parker investigated the incident this morning.
Mrs. Phillips said she hoped her husband, now in Washington, would not learn of the shooting.
Ernest Faulkner, Brownwood service station operator, lives on the Phillips ranch. He was the victim of a robbery recently. Mr. Faulkner went out to the Phillips home this morning, and stopped by his own home to tell his wife what had happened.

Barbara Cox My husband received a box of 3 old and rather tatered papers belonging to his grandfather, Marion M. Cox. Eliza Windham Phillips was a half-sister to Marion Cox. Thought this article found on the front page of one paper was worth transcribing and sharing. I've heard the story before, but reading the newspaper article makes the incident frightening.
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