District Court, 21 Oct 1903, Barber County, Kansas Barber County, Kansas.  

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The Barber County Index, October 21, 1903.

District Court


State vs. John Tyree

The first trial for the October term of court was that of the State vs. John Tyree, charged with committing rape on the person of Mary Graham, his wife's sister. It was on Thursday. A L. Noble and J. N. Tincher prosecuted. Samuel Griffin and Seward L. Field defended. He was found guilty by the following jury:

E. L. McCracken
G. T. Evans
M. A. Davis
J. H. Marshall
Henry Warnstaff
Olaf Olson
A. D. Baldwin
T. S. Greesham
F. C. Colborn
E. T. McMillian
J. L. Albright
S. J. Cole

Probably the most interesting feature of the trial was the question of personal feeling between the county attorney and the defendant. The evidence disclosed the fact that they were school boys together back in old "Mizouri" and that the sun scarcely ever shown on a day that they did not have a fight. It was agreed that Mr. Tyree wore the belt on every occasion except one. In that instance Mr. Tincher insists that he won out but he is willing to admit that it was more on account of Tyree's unfortunate predicament on that occasion than his own physical powers. According to Mr. Tichner's story the battle was fought soon after a Missouri orchard had been invaded and Tyree was burdened with more than a convenient number of red apples, which did not only affect the inner man but added to the weight of his wearing apparel as well. In this way he was handicapped.

The case as it applied strictly to the offense was up to the average for immorality and debauchery. The evidence would not lead anyone into the belief that any member of the family was entirely blameless and that some of them were equally as bad as John Tyree. Mr. and Mrs. Graham, the parents of Mary Graham and Mrs. Tyree, were not present at the trial, and so far as is known have left the country. Tyree was not prosecuted on their demand nor the girl's. They were seemingly satisfied with what had been going on.

The trial threw no new light on the disappearance of the child to which the girl gave birth. That incident still remains a matter of conjecture. The rape was committed in a barn near Pixley some time last November, December or January - the time was not definitely fixed.

Under the indeterminate sentence law passed by the last legislature the court does not fix the term of a prisoner in the penitentiary except in cases of murder or attempt to murder. That is now the duty of the penitentiary board, hence the board of directors of the penitentiary will fix Mr. Tyree's term. However, it cannot be less than five years nor more than twenty one. Under the law the judge and the county attorney file a report with the board which relates the prisoner's life's record, his character and his tendencies and the board uses the report in their deliberations.

Mr. Tyree has a wife and a baby a few months old. Her condition is indeed pitiable and an object of charity. The whole affair was very unfortunate and very expensive for Barber county and it is hoped that there will be no more like it.

(Also see: FAMILY IN DISGRACE: John Tyree and Mrs. and Mrs. Graham in the Cells of the Law., Barber County Index, August 5, 1903.)


State vs. Walter Maddox

The case of the State vs. Walter Maddox who was charged with assault with intent to kill, was tried on Friday and Saturday. The jury failed to agree and were discharged on Sunday morning after having been out all night. When Judge Gillett discharged them seven were for conviction for assault and battery and five favored conviction for assault with intent to do great bodily harm. None favored conviction on the first account of assault with intent to kill. On the first ballot, two favored acquittal on all counts.

This is the case which comes from Cedar township. The trouble occurred in July. T. C. Bridge is the prosecuting witness. He and Mr. Maddox are neighbors. There was a flood about the time of the fuss and in it some of Maddox's wheat was carried into Bridge's pasture. Bridge had heard that Maddox accused him of stealing the wheat and this started the trouble.

What followed is not agreed upon by the parties but anyway in the fracas Maddox beat Bridge quite severely with a pitchfork and broke his arm. Bridge and Maddox tell different stories as to the preliminaries leading up to the fight. Bridge says he went over to Maddox's field where he was at work to reason the wheat proposition, that Maddox cussed him as soon as he (Bridge) spoke and came toward him in a threatening manner with the fork. He admits striking the first lick, but otherwise he says he did nothing and Maddox beat him into insensibility besides breaking his arm and otherwise bruising him.

Maddox, however, tells a different story. He says Bridge came to him while he was hauling wheat from his field in an abusive manner, that he offered to show Bridge where his wheat had washed into his (Bridge's) pasture, and where the wheat had been laying, that Bridge cursed him, using the favorite epithet in usual word warfare, that he (Maddox) returned the epithet and that Bridge then struck him violently on the side of the head with his fist. His ear was cut and he bled inside the ear. He then struck Bridge with his fork two or three times. He said he did not know at the time that the arm was broken and had no intention of doing anything except defend himself.

From the evidence it is clear that Bridge was the aggressor and it is also clear that he very likely went to Maddox to find trouble. It is clear too that Maddox lost his head beat Bridge much harder than it was necessary to do, that he was very angry and did what he would not have done in his sober moments. It was very unfortunate that he had a pitchfork in his hands at the time. On the other hand there is no doubt that if Bridge had the fork instead of Maddox, the latter, instead of the former would be nursing a crippled arm.

Messrs. Bridge and Maddox are excellent citizens. It is very unfortunate that they have gotten into this trouble. The sensible and proper thing for them to do is get together and settle their differences and live peaceably and neighborly.

The following persons composed the jury:

E. L. McCracken
Wm. Shutts
G. T. Evans
Henry Warnstaff
F. C. Stone
Olaf Olson
J. H. Marshall
A. D. Baldwin
G. F. Willan
F. C. Colborn
T. M. Kidd
J. Q. Wheat

A. L. Nobel and J. N. Tincher prosecuted and G. M. Martin and E. Sample defended.

As a result of this case J. B. Best of Hazelton came near getting into trouble. He was a witness for the defense and was here the day before he was needed. That night he went home and was not on hand the following morning. In response to a demand for his appearance by a deputy sheriff, he stated that he was sick and would not come. This did not please Judge Gillett very well and he ordered an attachment issued forthwith. When the deputy sheriff got here with him late Saturday night the case had been submitted and he was not wanted so far as his evidence was concerned, but Judge Gillette reprimanded him and fined him a sum amounting to the costs of serving the attachment. Afterwards, however, he was more merciful and remitted the fine. Mr. Best did not realize the enormity of the offense and will probably be careful not to repeat the mistake. He is a hard working man and his wife is in poor health. He was not well himself but not too sick to obey a subpoena.

(Also see: The Maddox Case, The Barber County Index, August 12, 1903.)


State vs. Mary Graham

The case of the State vs. Mary Graham was dismissed on motion of the county attorney. Mary Graham was arrested on complaint of the county attorney in August. She was charged with trying to assist John Tyree to get away and escape punishment. There was never the remotest idea in anybody's mind that he was guilty, for Mary was Tyree's avowed enemy ever since she was in official custody. The fact of the matter is that the county attorney failed to commit her as a witness properly at the time of Tyree's arrest and the felonious charge was trumped up in order to hold her. The arrest was a great injustice to the girl and an inexcusable cost to the county.

(Also see: FAMILY IN DISGRACE: John Tyree and Mrs. and Mrs. Graham in the Cells of the Law., Barber County Index, August 5, 1903.)


State vs. Orville Robinson

Orville Robinson pleaded guilty to grand larceny and was sentenced to the reform school. He is the lad who broke into J. W. Metz's store at Kiowa last spring and stole some goods and money. He is a race horse rider by profession.

(Also see: Orville Robinson Arrested, Barber County Index, August 19, 1903.)


State vs. James Winters and Henry Cutler

The case of State vs. James Winters and Henry Cutler charged with stealing a load of wheat from Scott Circle of Hazelton, was called for trial Monday morning. The state was represented by A. L. Nobel and J. N. Tincher and the defense by E. Sample and Capt. B. B. Smith of Woodward. The defendants are citizens of Oklahoma. The following jury sat in the case:

F. C. Stone
Wm. Shutts
W. R. Lepper
A. C. Collins
J. Q. Wheat
G. T. Evans
J. R. Newsom
Olaf Olson
A. D. Baldwin
J. H. Marshall
John H. Lewis
E. L. McCracken

The case went to the jury at 5:30 in the evening and in less than thirty minutes a verdict was returned finding both of the defendants guilty of grand larceny. The penalty is imprisonment in the penitentiary for a term not to exceed five years. The prison board under the new law fixes the time.

The act for which Messrs. Winter and Cutler were convicted is that of stealing about 60 bushels of wheat from Scott Circle's granary in Hazelton township. They took it at night and took it to Sharon and sold it to E. S. Rule the following day. Mr. Circle trailed the wagon to its destination and arrived at Mr. Rule's a short time after the wheat was unloaded. The sheriff was notified and the men were arrested at T. B. Stockstill's farm within a few miles at Sharon, where they had purchased apples with the wheat money. The defendants claimed that they came into possession of the wheat by following threshing machines and cleaning up the waste. The jury, however, couldn't believe their story and convicted them on the first ballot.


("Captain B. B. Smith, of Woodward, one of Oklahoma's big legal guns, has been here a week attending court. He was one of the attorneys for the defense in the wheat stealing case. Capt. Smith served five years as county attorney of Woodward county and was a strong factor in state and congressional politics in Missouri before he became a citizen of Oklahoma. He once had an opportunity to be selected to congress but declined because he was pledged to an intimate friend." -- The Barber County Index, October 21, 1903.)


Elizabeth Rudolph vs. the A. T. S. F. R. R. Co.

The case of Elizabeth Rudolph vs. the A. T. S. F. R. R. Co. was taken up yesterday morning. Mrs. Rudolph is suing for 10,000 damages on account of the death of her husband, Chas. Rudolph, who was killed at Sharon, two years ago. He was brake man on the branch between Medicine Lodge and Attica. The plaintiff is represented by Samuel Griffin of this city and Mr. Gutherie of Kansas City, a partner of L. C. Boyles, who is probably the most able attorney general of the state of Kansas ever had. A. L. Noble of Winfield and J. D. Houston of Wichita represent the Santa Fe.

The jury was completed at noon. The following persons composed it:

G. F. Evans
Olaf Olson
F. C. Stone
J. H. Lewis
A. D. Baldwin
Henry Earnstaff
W. R. Lepper
A. C. Collins
W. H. Benefiel
N. A. Chenowith
J. G. Clayton
L. L. Tedrow

(Also see: A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT: Brakeman Charles F. Rudolph Fell From a Car and Both Legs Were Cut Off., Barber County Index, January 15, 1902.)


There are only two more jury cases - the Flohr cases - for this term. Court will adjourn the latter part of the week.


Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!

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