Kennett, Dunklin County, Missouri, Friday, July 13, 1917
FAMILY ROW ENDS WITH KILLING
R. D. Limbaugh Instantly Killed at Home Near Arbyrd, by Stepson, Wm. Potter, Aged 15.
R. D. Limbaugh, a well known and highly respected farmer, living about one-half mile south of Arbyrd, was instantly killed at about 1030 a. m. Friday, July 6th by his stepson, Wm. Potter, aged 15, following a fight in which his brother, Paul Potter, also participated. A full charge of No. 6 shot from a pump gun took effect in Limbaughs head just in front of and above his right ear and tore that side of his head off.
Limbaugh married the widow Potter about six years ago, and shortly after the marriage, according to Mrs. Limbaugh, Limbaugh and the older boy, Paul, had a serious quarrel; but she says they both apparently got over it and everything went along all right until last January when Paul had the measles; since which time he had not been able to do much and Limbaugh, she says, quarreled at him a good deal.
Just prior to the shooting, Mrs. Limbaugh announced that dinner was ready, and Paul, in a surly manner remarked, "Ill do without; thats the cheapest, anyway." Limbaugh spoke up and said he was not going to stand for any quarreling and after a few words a fight began, in which sticks of stove wood were used by Limbaugh and the two boys. During the fight, the younger boy, William, secured a shot gun, but his mother and Mrs. Welker, a near neighbor, who had been attracted by the fight, took it away from him and over to the Welker home, and hid it. However, she evidently overlooked a Winchester pump gun that belonged to the Welkers and the boy who followed her in search of the gun she had taken, ran across the pump gun, and when she demanded he give it up, threatened her and went on over to his home with it. As he approached the house Limbaugh came out of the front door to avoid Paul who had secured a hand axe, according to Mrs. Limbaugh, and when he saw the boy coming with the gun, he went around the house and onto the back porch, evidently intending to go in the back door, but just as he reached the porch the boy fired, the full charge of shot taking effect in the right side of the head, tearing it off and scattering his brains and pieces of his skull all over the porch.
The county authorities were notified and Coroner Harrison, Sheriff Hardin and the latters deputy, S. E. Gruggett, went down, arriving about 1200 oclock. A jury was immediately empaneled (sic) and an inquest held. After taking the testimony of Mrs. Limbaugh, Mrs. Welker, the latters son Ira Smith, and the two Potter boys, the jury, composed of W. A. Post, Mat McGuin, M. Bell, S. W. Glenn, W. H. Stovall and B. F. Killian, brought in the following verdict; "That deceased came to his death by gunshot wound from gun fired by Wm. Potter."
After the killing, Wm. Potter went up to Arbyrd, where he was placed under arrest by Deputy Sheriff Pat Griffin. Paul Potter followed arriving after Wm. had been placed under arrest, and insisted that Griffin release his brother; and when Griffin attempted to place Paul under arrest the latter resisted and it was necessary for the officer to knock him down before he would submit. The two Potter boys were brought up to Kennett Friday afternoon and placed in jail; the younger, William, charged with murder, and the older, Paul, with being an accessory.
The mother, Mrs. Limbaugh came up Monday, to see the boys, and while here, she too, was placed under arrest, charged with complicity in the killing and was also placed in jail.
NOTE BY CJB Arbyrd is in Salem Twp., Dunklin Co., MO.
R. D. Limbaugh is Robert Dean Limbaugh, son of William E. Limbaugh.