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A Bad Killing At Kingston

City Marshal Russell Fatally Shot

A Citizen and a Lad Struck by Stray Bullets and the Former Dangerously Wounded

The Shooter Makes His Escape

Special to The News
Kingston, March 5, 1888--W. B. Howard, editor of The Hunt County Chronicle, shot W. R. Russell twice today, about 10:00 AM, with a double barrel shotgun. Stray bullets hit one other name named Overholt and a boy named Kirkpatrick. Russell and Overholt will probably died before morning. Howard left immediately on horseback, well armed, with the Sheriff following.


Greenville, Texas, March 5, 1888--Some few months ago, W. B. Howard, formerly of Whitesboro, started a newspaper at Kingston, in this county, styled "The Chronicle." It suited the editor to sharply criticize the Cotton Exchange of Greenville, and, after having given that body and the editors of two of the Greenville papers all the attention he probably thought they needed, he turned his attention to what he conceived to be a vicious saloon in Kingston, kept by Norman and Quarles. He charged that the City Marshal of Kingston, W. R. Russell, the Justice of the Peace, the Constable, and some county officers were indirectly encouraging gambling and other evils in and around the saloon, and the personal character of his articles was such that the City Marshal and Norman and Quarles assaulted Mr. Howard in his office. This gave him cause for renewed attacks upon the Kingston officials, whom he denominated as "THE WHISKY RING." and applied to them some very abusive epithets. In a short time, Howard and Russell met in the street when the editor got the drop on the city official and forced him to retreat. This war was kept up until yesterday, when Mr. Russell went into The Chronicle office with the alleged purpose of seeing some gentlemen and Howard ordered him out, making a demonstration as if to draw a weapon. Russell left, and a short time afterwards, while Howard was in the dry good store at M. K. Harrell and Brothers, Russell entered for the alleged purpose of subpoenaing a witness, when Howard made demonstration as if to draw a pistol and ordered Russell not to follow him anymore. With a threat RUSSELL DREW HIS PISTOL and made Howard leave the store, and accused him of cowardice. Today Russell went to the Post Office, adjoining The Chronicle office, and, after getting his mail, was walking up the sidewalk, examining the mail with his back to Howard, when Howard stepped out of the office and fired two shots out of a breech-loading shotgun at him. One shot took effect in the spine, inflicting two severe and one probably fatal wound, the other striking his hat and slightly wounding him in the head and shoulders.

MR. GEORGE OVERHOLT, who was standing on the sidewalk in front of Boss (Ross?) and Anderson's Drug Store, about one hundred yards off, was also dangerously wounded in the right breast, and Francis Kirkpatrick, a boy who was in the drug store, was slightly wounded. Howard reloaded his gun and ordered Constable Hazal not to approach him, as he would be shot. He then walked through the printing office and mounted his horse, already saddled, and rode off. The officers think they will succeed in arresting him. He went northwest toward Blue Ridge, Collin County, in the direction of Whitesboro.

It is thought Russell will die and probably Overholt, also. Russell was not over fifty feet from Howard when the shooting occurred. Many of the citizens are strong friends of Howard, who was considered a courteous and fair-minded young man. The neighbors are about evenly divided, many saying he was driven to desperation and forced to do what he did.

(March 6, 1886, The Dallas Morning News)

Submitted by Sarah Swindell

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