One of the most deplorable crimes in the history of Dickens County was brought to light Tuesday morning when the body of B.E. (Bob) Morgan, bearing three bullet wounds and other evidences of violence was found in a gulley on Cat Fish Creek 20 miles west of Spur, by Sheriff Jones and other officers and searching parties.
Three negro men and one negro woman are implicated and charged with the murder.
Bob Morgan left Spur Monday to look after affairs on his farms west of Spur. During the afternoon he rode horseback from his home place to the Brawley place where he had made a crop and had negroes pulling cotton. Two negro men, Robert Stanley and Son Gipson, and a negro woman were in the field where the signs indicate that a difficulty and struggling occurred between the negroes and Mr. Morgan. One of the negroes took the saddle horse back home, stating that Mr. Morgan was walking and would arrive later, and failing to return, Mrs. Morgan instituted a search, with the result that his body was found about ten o´clock the following day the searchers being directed to the place by one of the negroes implicated in the murder.
Son Gipson and the negro woman were arrested on the place Tuesday morning, while Robert Stanley, who left immediately after the killing, walking to Crosbyton and there securing a car to drive him to Lubbock to catch a night rain, was arrested by officers as the train pulled into Fort Worth.
The Negro Stanley confessed to the arresting officers that he killed Mr. Morgan when a difference arose in their laboring accounts, he refused to feed hogs on the place until Mr. Morgan´s return from a contemplated trip to Borger.
The negro man and woman on the place gave officers information to the effect that when the difficulty came up in the field Stanley drew his pistol and Mr. Morgan being unarmed, held the woman between himself and Stanley for protection for a time, the negro later getting the advantage and at the point of this then forcing Mr. Morgan to walk a mile or more from the field into the J.C. McNeill pasture and canyons of Cat Fish Creek, where he was killed, his body being carried across the creek ad placed in a gully. The negro woman, it is said, stated that Mr. Morgan, while being marched to his doom, plead with the negroes to spare his life for the sake of his family who were dependent on him.
In a statement by the negro Stanley, arrested at Fort Worth, it was brought out that he purchased new clothes in Sweetwater to change his appearance and thus escape identity.
Mr. Morgan was arranging to leave Tuesday for Borger with trunk loads of merchandise for Love Dry Goods Co. having about ninety dollars in cash on his person and which had been removed.
During the search Tuesday morning for the body, another negro, Ike Goldsmith, was arrested on suspicion, along the highway coming to town, a pistol being taken from him, and who was placed in the caboose for further investigation.
It is said that Mr. Morgan had had previous trouble with the negro Stanley, who had been on the place throughout the fall, and the general inference is that the negroes had prepared and planned to kill Morgan a the first opportunity.
Sheriff Jones and others are endeavoring to have Dist. Judge Mullican of Crosby County to call a special term of court immediately for the trial of the negroes implicated in the murder, and not withstanding the fact that the regular term of court convenes at Crosbyton March 7th, it is very probably that the judge will grant the request under the circumstances and thus avoid any delay in meeting justice and promoting the ends of law and order government.
Bob Morgan was a West Texan having been born in 1886 in Jones County, and had lived in Jones, Haskell and Dickens counties all his life, settling in Dickens soon the opening of Spur. He was a good citizen and well known throughout the county, having made a race for sheriff a few years ago. Funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon at the Baptist Church in Spur and his remains interred in Spur Cemetery, a large number of friends from all sections of the county being in attendance.
©The Texas Spur, February 1, 1927
Mrs. Lela Dell Morgan, 73, resident of Dickens County since 1910, died August 1.
Funeral services were held August 3, at the First Baptist Church with Rev. Riley Fugitt officiating, assisted by Rev. Billy Smith, Lubbock.
She married Bob E. Morgan in Knox County in 1906. He preceded her in death in 1927.
Mrs. Morgan was a member of the Spur Baptist Church.
Surviving are 3 sons, Clark, Odessa; Bob, Tioga, ND and Burian, Wichita Falls. Four daughters, Miss Viola Morgan, Angleton; Bernice Mayfield, Bakersfield, CA,; Mrs. Kathryne Handley, Carlsbad, NM and Mrs. Jean Westfall, Girard. Two brothers, John A. Mitchell, Bowie, and P. L. Mitchell, Osage, KS; and two sisters, Mrs. R. A. Thomas, Spur and Miss Ada Mitchell, Girard. Also surviving Mrs. Morgan are 17 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
Interment was in Spur Cemetery under the direction of Campbell Funeral Home.
©The Texas Spur,, August 4, 1960From the records of Lillian Grace Nay; transcribed by Linda Fox Hughes
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