John D. Laurence Murdered - July 1876
"...the truth is bad enough."
The following is a transcription of an 1876 Galveston newspaper article:
"LIVE OAK COUNTY"
"On Saturday morning three masked men who had concealed themselves in the upper story of the court-house for the purpose, fired upon and instantly killed a young man by the name of John D. Laurence. The men, after the shooting, walked away deliberately to where their horses were, outside the town. Mark Brownell, a carpenter, fired upon them with a pistol, and was wounded in return. After the lapse of an hour the sheriff summoned a posse, and followed a short distance. A good deal of smothered excitement exists among the citizens, but no opinions are expressed. Everybody belongs to the Know Nothings. Laurence was thought to be a very excellent man, and was a painter by trade.
"A party of Missourians are in the region of Oakville looking out for a permanent home...The Oakville Tribune begs newspapers to publish no accounts of murders in that county without being well assured of the facts, as "the truth is bad enough," without the addition of sensational rumors."
Source: Galveston News, July 1876.