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This is a transcription from the newspaper, “Kiowa County Signal”, Greensburg, Kansas, published July 8, 1892.

 

TERRIBLE TRAGEDY !

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A.  W. Balfour Shot While Making an Arrest.

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THE BLOOD-THIRSTY DEVILS MOUNT AND ESCAPE.

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Officers in Hot Pursuit.

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The Funeral Wednesday.

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In common with all other patriotic people, the residents of Southeast Edwards county and Northeast Kiowa county united in a celebration on the fourth at Pryor’s Grove just across the line in Edwards.

The usual manner of commemorating our date of national birth was observed, including games of various kinds and racing.

On Saturday last, two young men, Ellsworth Wyatt and Chas. Bailey, came to Greensburg and put up at Roberts’ livery barn and after leaving, it was discovered that they had stolen a watch belonging to young Roberts and some halters.

On Saturday night a warrant was sworn out for their arrest for the larceny and placed in the hands of Constable A. W. Balfour for service, in the absence of Sheriff Bonsall in Iowa.

Learning that the man he wanted would be at Pryor’s Grove on the Fourth, Officer Balfour, accompanied by Geo. D. Brown, of this city, drove up there.  Both the men wanted were there and recognized.

In the course of the morning, after satisfying himself that the man Wyatt was in possession of the stolen watch, Mr. Balfour attempted the arrest.  He was at once warned by Wyatt to desist, but like the fearless man he was Mr. Balfour produced the warrant and began reading it.  At this moment some friend coming up, asked, “What are you doing, Bal?”  An instant only Balfour looked around and in that instant Wyatt drew a gun and shot him just below the heart.  Balfour fell but drawing his revolver, fired three times at his assailant, shooting twice through his coat grazing his hips and once through the palm of his left hand.  Meanwhile the scattered, and the murderers mounting swift horses, rode hastily away.  Mr. Balfour was tenderly cared for but the deadly missile had done its fatal work; and in thirty minutes after the shot was fired his soul winged in accusing flight to the impenetrable beyond.

The news was brought to Greensburg by Mr. Brown who was distant some two or three hundred yards at the time of the shooting.  Immediately a large force of men headed by Geo. W. Melville left to intercept the murderers, but learned on arrival at Haviland that they had already crossed the tracks of the railroads and were headed for the Indian lands.  Not being accoutred for a long chase, the party returned, and bright and early Tuesday morning steps were taken to make an organized successful chase.  A meeting of citizens was held at the Mayor’s office, and $165 in cash was raised in four minutes for immediate use of the pursuing party.

A.C. Grimes, of Wellsford, a cool, determined man, a quick and deadly shot, and a warm, personal friend of the murdered man, took the leadership.  He then selected for his assistants, John T. Sidener, for many years foreman of the T. W. T. ranche during the days when to hold such a position on the plains meant skill with a Winchester and familiarity with every foot of ground from the Pan-Handle of Texas to the Arkansas river; J. O. Hereford of Greensburg, a skilled trailer; and Frank Able, of Glick, a man whose fearless courage and quick action is not less noted than his associates on this perilous pursuit.  At this writing they are pursuing a hot trail, a fresh clue having been obtained at Evansville, Comanche county, where the killers had stolen fresh horses and gone on South.

Should Grimes and his party overtake the devils, it is safe to presume they will not make use of the warrants he carries for their arrest unless he perforates their hides with it wrapped around a Winchester ball.  When they overtake them, somebody will die.

 

THE FUNERAL

 

Soon after the shooting, the body of the dead officer was taken to the home of Wm. Anderson, at one time a resident of Kiowa county, and whose P. O. address is now Felisburg, near where the tragic event occured.  Monday evening Messers. Clarence Frazier, H. Benningfield and Seva Lee went after the body, returning Tuesday after an inquest had been held over the body by the coroner of Edwards county.

The finding of the coroner’s jury has not yet been given to the public.

A. W. Balfour was at the time of his death slightly over forty-one years of age, in the prime of manhood.  He was born in Illinois, and lived for a number of years in and around Augusta, that state.  His parents are still living and reside there.

The funeral under the auspices of the Knights of Pythias was conducted on Wednesday, from the house, followed by a concourse of citizens, the business houses very generally closing out of respect to the deceased.  Rev. L. J. Parker conducted a short service at the house.  He leaves a wife and six children to mourn his untimely end.  A kind, indulgent father, a loving husband, aan order loving citizen and respected neighbor, A. W. Balfour was a man whose loss will be felt by many and deplored by all.  He was a member in good standing of the Knights of Pythias and Independent Order of Forresters.  He carried a thousand dollar life insurance in the latter society which accrues to the benefit of his Wife and family.

 

THE PURSUIT

 

Word received from the line of the Southern Kansas railroad in the Territory report a fresh trail.  Wyatt is badly wounded in the hand which calls out observation.  He and his pal, Bailey, are evidently running for the tall timbered Chickasaw country.  Wyatt is supposed to be a member of the notorious Dalton gang, and is a very desperate character.  The following description has been furnished us by good authority:

“Known in Oklahoma as Six Shooter Bill or Cub Max.  His real name is Bill Wyatt; is 26 to 28 years of age; is about 5ft. 8 in. in height; weighs 150 or 160 pounds; has brown eyes and dark complexion.  Killed an operator at Horton, Kansas, and it is said that the Santa Fe R. R. has offered $1,000 for his arrest and conviction, and it is reported that his headquarters is on Big Bear creek, and that he is a notorious character.”

If the posse overtakes them it means a fight to the death, as they will resist capture to the last.  Sheriff Bonsall who returned  yesterday from Iowa, expects hourly to hear from the pursuing party. 

     

 

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