Comanche County people were shocked last Sunday to learn that Bill Chance, who had been a resident of the Wilmore community since 1931, had been shot to death in Siebert, Colo., last Saturday afternoon by Jess Miller, a 79 year old filling station operator in that city.
Mr. Chance died instantly from a .22 caliber rifle, the bullet entering his head near one eye. According to reports, Chance and two ranch companions were joking Mr. Miller about his handlebar mustache and Miller warned them to leave and not bother him or he would shoot the first man that came closer than the gasoline pumps.
Chance, jokingly, as he always did, told Miller that he did not have the nerve to shoot. Chance advanced to within two feet of the doorway and Miller fired without bringing the gun to his shoulder. A coroner's jury returned a verdict that death was felonious.
On Monday of this week many friends attended the military services held in Siebert by the John Wrenn Post No. 6492, Veterans of Foreign Wars, of which Bill was a member. Friends attending the services, now living in Colorado and who were former residents of this county, included Mr. and Mrs. Henry York of Hugo, Mr. and Mrs. Pete Huckelbridge of Genoa, Mr. and Mrs. Dean Jarnagin of Siebert, Mr. and Mrs. Byron Jarnagin of Burlington and Mr. and Mrs. Claude Bramlett and Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Bramlett of Flagler, Colo. -- Western Star
Eugene Bill Chance, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Chance of Okmulgee, Okla., was born in Sallisaw, Okla. November 19, 1907, and passed away in Siebert, Colo., October 2, 1948, at the age of 40 years, 10 months and 12 days.
He was one of six children. Three brothers and one sister preceded him in death. His mother and father passed away when he was a child and he made his home with his grandparents in Okmulgee, attending the Okmulgee schools.
On May 7, 1931, Mr. Chance came to Comanche county, Kansas and made his home with Godfrey Isenbart and family, with the exception on one year on the A. C. Perry ranch.
He entered the U. S. Army March 1, 1942 and attained the rank of section leader and staff sergeant, serving two years overseas with the 955th Field Artillery and earning five battle stars for service in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central European campaigns. He also earned the Good Conduct Medal.
After his honorable discharge from the service, Mr. Chance went to Colorado and made his home with Mr. and Mrs. Dean Jarnagin.
Bill's untimely death marks the passing of a real and dependable friend to all who knew him. He was always willing and ready to lend a helping hand to anyone at any time and his friendly spirit reflected a kind and loving nature. He was a lover of the great outdoors and was very ambitious, and his work was of a high standard.
He leaves to mourn his passing his finance, Margaret Isenbart, of Rock Island, Ill, a brother, John, three nephews and two nieces of Okmulgee, Okla., and a host of comrades and friends.
Funeral services for Mr. Chance were held in the Coldwater Methodist church Thursday afternoon of this week and burial was in Crown Hill cemetery. -- Western Star.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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