Stephen Douglas "Doug" Tuck
Born: Jan. 12, 1883
Died: Nov. 25, 1921
Dunklin County News, Kennett, Dunklin County, Missouri,
Friday, December 2, 1921, pp. 1, 4.
Dug Tuck Fatally Injured in Fight at Frisbee
Tragedy Occurred Thursday of Last Week, Victim Dying Friday Morning-J. H. Preslar and Elsey Preslar Charged With the Killing
Another was added to the list of killings in Dunklin county, Thursday afternoon of last week, about 4:30, when Dug Tuck, age 38, a married man with 4 children, who resided near Frisbee, about 10 miles north of Kennett in this county, was so severely injured in a fight in which several men participated, that he died of his wounds about 4:00 a.m. the following morning, without regaining consciousness. J. H. Preslar and his nephew, Elsey Preslar, both married men, are accused of inflicting the wounds which caused Tuck’s death, and they will have a hearing on a charge of murder in the first degree, according to an information filed by Prosecuting Attorney Bradley, before Squire Richardson, at Kennett, Saturday, December 3rd.
J. H. (Jay) Preslar is a brother-in-law of Tuck, and, according to information gathered from the testimony brought out at the inquest which was held by Dr. T. J. Rigdon, Coroner, at Frisbee, Friday morning, was one of the principals in the row when it first started, which originated between him and Tuck. Bryan Preslar, a son of J. H., was also a participant on the side of the slain man, who was his uncle, and against his father, from whom it seems he had been estranged since the death of his mother a good many years ago, and the remarriage of his father.
According to the testimony of the three witnesses examined at the inquest, all of whom were eye witnesses to the tragedy, three of the men, Dug Tuck, the slain man, Elsey Preslar and Bryan Preslar, were drinking. It seems that these three had been somewhere in a Ford car, and had just arrived in Frisbee, and had stopped. About this time J. H. Preslar, accompanied by his wife and some children, came along. Tuck had gotten out of the car, or got out after Preslar came up, and went out to meet him, and when they met the row, which resulted in Tuck’s death, started.
The story of the killing was perhaps best told in the testimony of W. D. Parker, owner of a traveling picture show which is being operated by his son, and was showing at Frisbee at the time. Mr. Parker said: I was standing on the porch of Tom Pritchard’s store and saw the difficulty. Saw J. H. Preslar and a woman and some children walk up to the railroad crossing and meet Dug Tuck. Preslar said to Tuck, “What is the matter with you?” Tuck said, “It sticks me to the heart, Jay, the way you are treating the children of my dead sister.” Preslar said, “You are wrong: I haven’t done that; come on and get in the car and go home.” J. H. then took Tuck by the arm and lead him across the street to the car. Tuck went around to the front of the car and said, “I’ll do that; put the juice to her.” The man in the back of the car said, “He’s been a daddy to me and no one can run over him.” I was told the man in the back of the car was Bryan Preslar. Tuck let go of the crank and said if you are not going, get out. Tuck came to the side of the car, but some woman grabbed hold of him and told him to get in the car and go home. But he would not get in, but got hold of Bryan and pulled him out. They went around in front of Lum Pritchard’s store cursing. Jay was standing in front of the store. Bryan grabbed him in the collar and told him he was going to whip him. Jay said, “what for? You couldn’t whip me is you wanted to.” I stepped around the corner of the store. Bryan fell around the corner of the store so I could see him. He got up and ran up to the restaurant. Mr. Tuck stepped off the porch, staggered and tried to run. When he got seven or eight steps I heard a lick, but could not see who struck him. After Tuck fell I saw Jay run up and strike him three licks with his fist in the face. Elsey Preslar ran up over Tuck with a quart bottle and threw it down at him. I could not see whether it hit him or not. Clarence Summers separated them and that ended the fight. We picked Tuck up to put him in Elsey’s car to take him home, but we put him in a wagon and he was taken home.
The testimony of W. R. Rollins and John Robertson does not materially differ from the statement of Parker. Both agree that Dug, Elsey and Bryan were drinking; that Tuck was angry at J. H. Preslar and began cursing him something about his children, who are nieces and nephews of Tuck. Rollins says that Tuck got Jay’s boy, Bryan, out of the car and tried to get him to strike his father. He says Tuck called Elsey a bad name, and that Elsey struck him with a Ford spark-plug wrench on the head, and then turned around and struck Bryan with the same weapon, and then again struck Tuck with it. He says Tuck ran about 40 or 50 feet and fell. He says J. H. Preslar ran to him after he fell and struck him a lick or two in the face with his fist. Elsey then came up where Tuck was lying and struck at him with a quart bottle half full of whiskey, but does not know whether he hit him with the bottle or not. Robertson says that Tuck was “wild drunk and did not know his friends;” that Bryan Preslar was “pretty full,” and that Elsey Preslar was “drinking a little.” He says, and the other witnesses seem to agree, that J. H. Preslar was not drinking at all.
The verdict of the coroners’s jury was that deceased came to his death by being struck with a spark-plug wrench in the hands of Elsey Preslar. The jury was composed of P. V. Horner, foreman; D. W. Thornsberry, Jas. Cunningham, W. W. Hudgens, W. A. Harris and C. A. Clover.
The coroner’s postmortem showed the following: Cut on right side of the head, 1 inches above ear and about 1 inch long, crushing skull bone. Also a similar wound on left side of head 2-1/4 [?] inches above ear and one inch back of ear. This was about one inch long and crushed the skull bone also. A piece was cut out of the top of the right ear the shape of letter “V”, about one inch wide and ¾ inch deep.
The slain man was 38 years of age the 12th of last January. He is survived by his widow, who was formerly Miss Beulah Tuck, daughter of the late Dr. Tuck of Holcomb, and was a first cousin of her husband. He is also survived by four children, two boys, Leland 14, and John R. 12, and two girls, Norine 10, and Virginia 8. He was buried at Pine City at 11:30 Saturday morning; funeral services being conducted by Rev. Burris, pastor of the Holcomb Methodist church circuit.
Deceased has resided with his family on the M. S. Hogue place, 1-3/4 miles north of Frisbee the past six years.