Grayson County TXGenWeb
Tragedy at Sherman

* The Men Killed in this tragedy were John Stephenson b. 1864 - 4 May 1904, husb. of Elizabeth Lane Stephenson, 
buried in West Hill Cemetery. and, I find no information on who M. R. White is.
Dallas News, 5 May 1904 Page 7
Two men killed in difficulty with patrolman and deputy sherriffs.
Both victims left families
officers involved admitted to bail, many mortal wounds-bystander was injured.

Special to the News; 
Sherman, Tex. ,May 4 - A double killing occurred at John Stevenson's place of business here, known as the Frisco, this afternoon about 2:30. The fusillade of which the tragedy was the result were John Stevenson, proprietor of the Frisco, and M.R. White, a bartender, Patrolman Bob Parsons, Deputy Sheriffs, Dee Burris and Oscar Kirk. Stevenson and white were almost instantly killed. Neither of the officers was hurt.
During the exchange of shots, which were fast and continuous, a young man, Fletcher Harrison, an employee of the Van Noys News Company, was accidentally shot in the left cheek. The wound, while painful, is not serious, and was given prompt surgical attention. Harrison's home is in Fort Worth and this is his first trip on the Sherman division.
White fell and expired on the Avenue K side of the building, and Stevenson died on the sidewalk immediately in front of the Mulberry street entrance.
A large crowd gathered in a short while and it was impossible to find an eyewitness to all the tragedy outside of the participants, but from the best information obtainable from reliable sources the affair began and ended as follows;
Deputy Sheriffs Dee Burris and Oscar Kirk went to Stephenson's place with twenty warrants for the arrest of two negro men, charging them with violation of the local option law. The officers failed to find them there and were just about to leave, when Stevenson came in from a side room and accosted Burris and it is stated, displayed a knife. Deputy Kirk stepped between the men, and later on Patrolman Parsons, who was with the deputies, intervened with the remark, "We did not come down here for trouble, let's go."It is stated that the three officers then walked out on the sidewalk on the Mulberry Street side and Stevenson followed them to the door.
Eyewitnesses say he had his hand on his pistol and was making a demonstration with it at Parsons and Burris when the shooting began. Two shots were fired almost simultaneously, the shooting became general and Stevenson sank down.
Just about this juncture, or just before Stevenson fell, White emerged from the Avenue K entrance and, it is stated by eyewitnesses, fired in the direction of the officers, who returned the fire, and White retreated, but after taking a few steps fell and expired almost immediately.
Immediately after the shooting the officers engaged in the affair went to the Sherriff's officed, stated the occurrence and surrendered to Sheriff Russell. They did not enter into any detailed statement of the affair, but their versions of it in no particular varies from the general trend of the statements of other eyewitnesses to parts of the occurrence.
Both dead men have leved here several years. White was for some time proprietor of a liquor house here, but had been, up to the time local option went into effect, employed as a bartender at several places. He is a married man and leaves a wife and a family of small children.
Stephenson who is also married, has spent nearly all of his life in the county. He has been engaged in the liquor business at various times and places, and was at one time a peace officers at Van Alstyne.
The bodies of the dead men were taken to morgues and later on to their respective residences.
Justice of the Peace Towers, acting for Coroner Reece viewed the bodies, but has not gone into the investigation of causes and circumstances of the tragedy.
Officers Parsons, Burris and Kirk all made their appearance before Justice Towers, waived examination and were admitted to bail in the sum of $3000. each, said amount being agreed upon by counsel for State and defence.
A numer of prominent citizens made voluntary appearance in the court room and signed appearance bonds.
Tonight it was state at the Frisco Bar that the officers did not call for the negroes from whom there were warrants charging violation of the local option law. The officers on this point in their statement say they failed to find the negroes there when they went to the Frisco Bar to look for them. Subsequently both negroes, Jim Saull and Hardjoe McKinney, were found and placed in jail.
The wounds upon the bodies of the dead men were all of a mortal nature and were as follows;
On Stevenson, one entering about eighth rib on the left side, one entering about fifth rib under the heart and the other entering about the bridge of the nose and coming out under the left ear. Both body wounds passed entirely through.
On White, two shots entering within an inch and a half of each other to the left of the back of the head and boring their exit near the crown. From this would nearly all the brains oozed. Another bullet entered the left thigh and passed directly through, boring its exit in the right thigh. There was another bullet which entered the left breast and ranged diagonally, coming out in the right shoulder.
The pistols of both dead men were found near them where they fell. All the weapons used were of heavy patterns. Fron glass and fixtures about the bar show marks from bullets. About twenty shots were fired.

No state death certifates can be found on these men.

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