Sunday, September 15, 2013

Witness to a Shooting

Looking south toward Stamping Ground
In a previous blog I wrote about a "Double Murder in Stamping Ground".  A shooting that took place on September 18, 1899.  A shooting that left both my Great-Grandfather, Tom Southworth, and Sheriff Charles Duke of Stamping Ground dead.

Tonight's blog will give some of the witness's accounts to the shooting on that night in September and there are modern day photos that correspond to the witness accounts.

Approximate spot of Ollie Jameson's store
Witness Ollie Jameson stated "I heard shots and went to where the shooting took place.  I saw both Duke and Tom Southworth lying on the ground.  Southworth was dead.  Duke was still breathing.  The shooting occurred below my store about the little branch.  There were about 5 shots.  It was about 6:30."  Jameson's store is where the current Baker Pharmacy stands.

Witness William H. Green stated" I was in the drugstore heard someone calling for "Oh Duke."  There were two in the buggy.  I didn't know who they were.  There was an interval between the first shots and the last one or two."
Looking from area of shooting toward the Distillery
Witness Mr. Wilkerson stated " I was in the store and heard shooting.  I heard hollering for Duke before.  Several shots and then an interval and then one other.  There was no other hollering.  It was between 7 and 8 o'clock, I guess."

Witness Deputy Marshall Darnell stated "I think there were some other buggies there when I got there.  Young Luther Southworth was at his father's head.  He was crying."

Little Branch - Looking north. Approximate area of shooting 

From the accounts above,  Tom Southworth's son, Luther Southworth was both a witness of the shooting and a suspect of who shot Sheriff Duke.  They will bury my Great-Grandfather a couple of days later in the Beechwood Cemetery in Owen County.  At Tom Southworth's funeral, his son Luther will be arrested for murder.  My next blog in this series  will highlight what will happen to Luther Southworth at trial.

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