Scott County Historical Society
Scott County, Virginia
Use your browser's back button to return to the previous page.
TENNESSEE, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1927
MAN KILLED AND ANOTHER WOUNDED
OPENS FIRE ON TRIO WITHOUT WARNING
Slayer Lodged in Jail at Gate City; Wounded Man Taken to Hospital
John Barnett Gives Self Up to Sheriff Palmer After
Shooting Creed and Will Frazier, Claiming
Three Fraziers Were After Him. One is Unhurt.
CITY, Va., Sept. 20óWill Frazier is dead, his father, Creed Frazier, is
thought to be mortally wounded, and John Barnett is in jail here charged
with the shooting. The
tragedy occurred shortly after three o'clock this afternoon near the Clinch River, about three miles west of Speers Ferry, Va., and
on a road hear the home of Barnett.
Barnett surrendered to Charles Palmer,
Scott County sheriff, about five o'clock, at the river bridge at Speers
Ferry, after having told a friend that he wanted to give up instead of
facing the cruel justice at the hands of an angry mob, of which he seemed
to have had a great dread.
At 6:30 o'clock this evening, the elder
Frazier was still alive and preparations were being made to take him to a
Kingsport hospital. Very little hope is held for his recovery.
The body of his son was being brought to the McConnell undertaking
establishment at 6:30 o'clock.
The shooting is said to have been the climax of a ten year squabble among Will Frazier and Barnett. Scott Countains declared that on numerous occasion, the two had had quarrels and fights and had an argument every time they met.
PALMER TELLS STORY
The only story of the tragedy this
afternoon was told by Sheriff Palmer, who gained all his information from
Barnett, who is confined in a very secluded cell of the jail here. A
dispute over a recent timber purchase is thought to be responsible for the
shooting this afternoon. The
Fraziers were operating a saw mill near the river.
Barnett's story, as told by Sheriff Palmer,
is as follows:
was "standing near my home and saw Creed Frazier, Will Frazier and
Roy Frazier (Roy Frazier is a younger son) walking down the road single
file. Creed and Will were armed and I thought they were coming to get me.
I fired at Creed. He fell. I
fired again and Will fell. Creed seemed to be trying
Approximately an hour after the shooting,
Telegraph Operator Wagner, at the railway station here, received this
message from the operator at Speers Ferry:
man shot and killed Creed, Will and Roy Frazier. Get Sheriff Palmer and
tell him to bring his high-powered rifle." A short message followed.
"The man who did the shooting was named Barnett."
Sheriff Palmer, with Mr. Jennings driving
immediately departed for Speers Ferry, where already a large crowd had
gathered. At the east end of the bridge, Sheriff Palmer stopped. Charles
Robinette came to him and whispered that Barnett wanted to surrender. The
sheriff ordered the crowds back and as he stood on the end of the bridge,
Barnett calmly walked
"You won't let them get me, will you
sheriff," Sheriff Palmer quoted
"No, I'll take you to Gate City and
put you in a safe place in the jail," the sheriff assured him.
A FORMER SHERIFF
Creed Frazier, thought to be dying, was
former sheriff of Scott County, being succeeded by Sheriff Palmer. He is
one of the best known citizens of the
county, well respected and liked. His
brother, George Frazier, is police
sergeant at Kingsport while another brother, Mahone, resides near Speers
Ferry and is interested in the saw mill business.
Creed Frazier's home is about four miles west of Gate City.
Will Frazier was about 30 years of age. He leaves a widow and four
children, his wife having been Ethel, Stokes.
Barnett is 29 years of age. He is married
and has several children. His
wife was formerly Lola Sloan.
Newspaper representatives arriving here
from Kingsport found Gate City the scene of much excitement.
Barnett had previously been locked up and Sheriff Palmer decided
best not to let anyone see the prisoner due to the strain under which the
latter had been placed.
Excited crowds were gathered about in spots
and it seemed that feeling was running high.
An ambulance from McConnell's establishment had been sent to take
the wounded man to the hospital. It
Was expected that the body of Will Frazier would be taken to his home near
Expressions of regret concerning the tragedy were heard on all sides.
Sheriff Palmer stated that he was stunned when he received the terrifying
message from Speers Ferry. Wagner, the operator, expressed himself as
being shocked. Due to the excitement at the time and pending the outcome
of Creed Frazier's injury, no attempt was made to arrange funeral for the
dead man. As to court action against Barnett, Sheriff Palmer intimated
that preliminary hearing will possibly be waived. There is also a
possibility that a special session of grand jury will be called to try
At 7:30 o'clock this evening, Creed Frazier was being removed to the
King's Mountain Memorial Hospital, in Bristol. A short stop was made here
and it was reported he was talking and appeared to have revived somewhat.