Joseph Young, Barber County, Kansas Barber County, Kansas.  

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The Barber County Index, December 25, 1901.

A VERY SAD AFFAIR

Joseph Young Accidentally Shot and Instantly Killed.

The dismal clouds of sorrow and distress have again gathered over a Barber county family. Joseph Young, a farmer residing about nine miles southeast of the city, was accidentally shot and killed last Friday noon within a half mile of town, a short distance from Elm Creek bridge.

He had been hunting and had a large sack of quails. He brought the birds to town but found no demand for them and was returning home when the accident happened. He was driving in a road cart. The last man to see him alive was James McGuire. He met him at the edge of town. Mr. Young was then carrying the gun the stock resting on the bottom of the cart and the barrel on the shoulder.

There are several ways in which the accident could have happened and it will never be known exactly how it was as there was no eye witness. Among the first to see the dead man were C. A. Blackmore and a colored man. They came to town and reported, and Sheriff Gano went with a few men and brought the body in.

Coroner Moore made an examination and found that the shot had taken effect in the brain entering at the right eye and ranging into the head diagonally. There was no exit but the incision on the forehead was horrible. Death must have resulted instantly.

The wife was sent for at once and she arrived at about 3 o'clock. No words of man can picture the distress of that woman when he looked at the lifeless form of her companion. In the morning he left her a strong healthy man; now his lips are stilled in death.

Besides the wife, he leaves four small children who lean on her for support, the oldest of whom is scarcely large enough to render much assistance. Recognizing the solemnity of the occasion, our people made up a purse to relieve partially at least, the stricken family. The amount raised was $75. J. H. Owen took it upon himself to secure subscriptions.

The funeral services were held at the court house Saturday afternoon. Rev. Swan and Elder W. T. McLain conducted the services. The funeral was largely attended. Rev. Swan preached a splendid sermon.

Mr. Young was a man about 35 years of age, a robust man in the prime of life. His sudden death is a great loss to the community and a calamity to the family which can not be estimated.

Our citizens are to be commended for the interest manifested in the sad affair and for the assistance rendered. Mr. and Mrs. Gano, especially entitled to great praise for the kindness shown to Mrs. Young.

It has never been our experience to witness a sadder misfortune than this one and our hearts go out in sympathy to Mrs. Young and her little children.


Medicine Lodge Cressset, December 27, 1901, page 1.

Death by an Accident

Joseph Young Found Dead on the Public Highway Last Friday

Joseph Young, a farmer in the Harris neighborhood southeast of Medicine Lodge, was accidentally killed about 12 o'clock last Friday.

The accident occurred between the Elm Creek bridge and V. S. Cook's residence, and death was caused by a discharge from his own gun, The entire load of small bird shot penetrated his brain through the right eye.

When Mr. Cook's little girl stopped the horse the gun was dragging behind the cart, being tied to the cart with a piece of gunny sack. One theory of the accident is that he saw some birds which he wanted to take a shot at; that he got out of the cart for that purpose and in attempting to unfasten the gun he caused the discharge of one load. This seems to be the only way, tied as it was to the cart in which the muzzle of the gun could be brought in range with his eye. Perhaps not five minutes before the accident he was in the full bloom of robust health and before death had chilled his body Sheriff Gano and Coroner Moore had been notified and were on the scene of the a accident. The face was to badly powder burned to enable them to recognize him. The body was removed to the sheriff's quarters in the quiet house and was viewed by a large crowd. Finally Wm. Fuller and others identified him by the horse he was driving.

His family was sent for and their grief was indeed heart-rending when they learned of the death of the husband and father.

The funeral service was conducted Saturday afternoon by Rev. G. Swan and Rev. W. T. McLain.

Mr. Young was about thirty-five years of age. His neighbors say he was a good citizen and a hard working man.

On Saturday J. H. Owen circulated a paper and in a few hours raised about $75 for the relief of the wife an four little children.


Death resulting from the accidental discharge of a firearm being taken from a wagon or carried in a horse-drawn conveyance was not an uncommon occurence around the time Joseph Young was killed.

Other examples from the Barber County area are: John Hillman/John Hillmon, killed in Barber County in 1879, Harrison Jones of Barber County, who died in 1887, Frank Robinson of Barber County, who died in 1890, Tom Brown of Barber County, who died in 1901, Willie Richardson, of neighboring Comanche County, in 1907, and Forrest Tatton, also of Comanche County, in 1919.


Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above The Barber County Index news article to this web site and to Ed Rucker for the Medicine Lodge Cressset article!

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