Faulkner Brothers Slain by Schwent


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Archles and Jewell Faulkner Slain In Altercation With Officer Tuesday Eve

Marshal Henry (Heinie) Schwent of Flat River shot and killed Archles Faulkner, 38 and his brother Jewell 28, Tuesday evening shortly after six o'clock near the home of George Stegmaier just back of National Hotel. Jewell was killed instantly and Archles lived about five minutes but never knew what struck him. The shooting followed more or less an argument between the marshal and his victims about getting off the main street and going home, since both men killed were very drunk. They came up town from the east side where they had an encounter with Graham Layne at the beer house owned by Lead Belt Beer Co., where they entered and proceeded to take some beer. Young Layne refused to let them take the beer, telling them they had enough to drink already. However, it is stated, they insisted and he talked them out of it and the men apologized and left. When they came to the main part of town they were hilarious and visited Byron Ball's filling station but caused no trouble. They then proceeded up Main street and were seen by many, who all stated both were drunk.

After crossing the street at Parker Motor Co., they went into the alley where Schwent joined them and from testimony introduced at the inquest must have been trying to get them to go home. However, both Faulkners and the marshal were seen looking about in the weeds for some apparently lost article. Mrs. George Stegmaier heard some commotion near her home and telephoned her husband at the Flat River Bakery asking that some help be sent the marshal. In the meantime, according to the only eye witness introduced, Schwent was knocked down and roughly treated by both men and came up shooting, Jewell Faulkner being the first shot at and instantly killed, Schwent immediately fired upon Archles, fatally wounding him.

The former was a single man and lived with his mother in Taylortown. Archles was married and lived in Crawley Bottom and leaves a wife and two children. Both men have been on the relief rolls of the county for some time. Archles was a veteran of the World War.

News stories reached St. Louis papers thru some channel to the effect that the killing was the outgrowth of city politics. The story went on to say that the former and first administration had been ousted and was a contributing factor. Nothing is further from the truth. None of the members of the first city council appointed by the County Court were candidates to succeed themselves. Those elected last spring to the various offices were those who had fought the incorporation thru the courts and lost. Immediately upon taking office they ousted all appointive officers and put in men of their own choosing, Schwent being one of them. It is doubtful that the Faulkners took any part one way or another in the incorporation fight, and if any part was taken by them it was probably on the side represented by Schwent.

Word went out rapidly of the killing and excitement ran high for several hours. It is probably the second time a killing by an officer of the law has taken place in Flat River despite the fact that this is advertised as a rough place in many parts of the country. A nightwatchman a few years ago killed a man while in the act of robbery.

No testimony was offered at the inquest that indicated either of the men were armed, despite the fact that a loaded "horse" pistol was found in a ditch some 50 yards from where they were shot down. None of the witnesses who testified saw a gun on either of the men either before or after the killing.

Before the arrival of Coroner Province, the bodies were removed to Caldwell Bros. Undertaking Parlors where an inquest was held at 8:30 by the Coroner and Prosecuting Attorney Thomas A. Mathews.

The first witness was Emmett Faulkner of Farmington, a brother of the two men. He stated that Jewell was single and 28 years old and that Archles was 38, married and had a wife and two children. When asked what he knew about the killing, he stated he knew nothing except that it was a cowardly cold blooded murder.

Everett Martin of Elvins was the next witness and he said he knew Jewell Faulkner but not Archles. He related that he saw Jewell between two and three o'clock at the Schramm Grocery Co., corner and that he was drunk and staggering and that a passing car came near striking him.

Byron Ball, filling station owner near Flat River bridge, testified that both men were at his place between five and six o'clock and did a lot of talking and hollering and that both were drunk and staggering. He said that they rolled over a couple of advertising signs and proceeded up the street toward the main part of town without further disturbance. In about ten minutes afterward, he said a call came to him from Stegmairer [sic] requesting him to go to a point near his home and assist the marshal. Ball called Jonas Sheppard, deputy constable, who was shaving and could not leave his home at the minute.

The next witness was Graham Layne who is employed by the Lead Belt Beer Co., and was at its warehouse near the old I. S. depot in the afternoon when the two men called and wanted some beer. He stated that he observed both men were drunk and that he refused them beer and that upon his refusal they became noisy and called him several bad names. However, Layne said that he talked them out of their intentions to take beer whether or not, and that they both apologized to him for their actions.

Dr. Adolplh Rohfling testified that he saw the men cross the street to the Crown Investment Co., building about 5:30 and that both were drunk and staggering. He stated that he knew Jewell but not Archles. He said they entered the alley between the Crown Investment building and Parker Motor building staggering and hollering and that Marshal Schwent went down the alley with Jewell and later took Archles by the arm and was evidently trying to take the men home and that Archles promised to take Jewell home.

The sixth witness was Thomas Adams who lives near the Christian church and close to the scene of the killing. He said that he only knew Jewell Faulkner. He said that he had seen him between the Crown Investment building and Parker Motor building and saw Schwent talking to him. He further stated that he was called to supper by his wife and about the time he seated himself at the table he heard two shots and remarked to his wife that Schwent has killed both of those fellows. He said he went out on the porch and saw Schwent with a pistol in his hand and that Archles was about to fall. He said Schwent was within two or three feet of them and that the two men killed were about three feet apart. He stated that Archles lived about five minutes after being shot. According to Adams the killing happened about 6:05 p.m. and that he saw no one else on the scene prior to the shooting except Marshal Schwent and the two Faulkners and no one had a gun except Schwent.

Mrs. George Stegmaier stated that she knew neither of the men but had noticed them near her home about 6 o'clock looking about in some weeks as though searching for something. She said she heard some words between the parties and heard one of them say "Heinie, we will kill you." Schwent asked her to call for help and she phone her husband at the bakery as previously stated. She did not witness the actual shooting but later saw both Faulkners laying dead and Schwent near them.

John Hutchings stated that he did not know either of the Faulkners but after viewing the bodies knew them to be the same men that crossed the street to this place and went down the alley drunk and hollering. He said that marshal Schwent appeared on the scene and tried to quiet them and neither of them would agree to go with him. He said that he saw no gun on either of the Faulkners but about five minutes later saw them scuffling and that Jewell knocked Schwent down and both men were kicking him. He stated further that Schwent gained his standing and shot Jewell, who fell in his tracks and immediately shot Archles who died within a few minutes. He said the men were about three feet from Schwent when killed and that they fell about 8 feet apart. Hutchings said that he had noticed them looking about in some weeds about 6 o'clock or a few minutes later.

Coroner Province gave a description of the wounds stating that Jewell had been shot in the left breast at close range and thru the heart and that Archles had been shot in the right side under the arm pit and that the bullet came out on the left side, piercing both lungs and the heart and that the later possibly lived five or ten minutes after being shot, the former being killed instantly.

H. W. Taplin was the last witness to be examined and he stated that he knew nothing of the killing until some passerby told him of it. He went to the scene and saw the two men lying dead and a gun in a ditch about 50 yards from the scene of the shooting which was wet and had possibly been in the ditch before the hard rain that fell just before the shooting took place. He said the gun was hidden in a ditch 18 or 20 inches deep. He gave the gun to Schwent he said, when he found it to be loaded and that Schwent told him one of the men threw it in the ditch. Coroner Province had the gun at the inquest. Taplin said he never saw the men alive.

The coroner's jury returned a verdict that the men met death by gun shot wounds at the hands of Henry Schwent.

In discussing the case with Prosecuting Attorney Mathews just before going to press, he stated that some additional evidence had been presented to him since the inquest and that he expected to file an information against Schwent Friday and that arrest would probably be made Saturday.

Archles H. and Jewell Lorance Faulkner were born in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri the sons of James H. and Nancy Ann (Thurman) Faulkner. Archles was born August 28, 1900, Lorance, June 5, 1908. Jewell came to Flat River six years ago and was employed at the National Lead Company until the plant closed down. He made his home with his aged mother.

Archles was a veteran of the World War, having enlisted at Jefferson Barracks. He spent fifteen months in France, where he saw active service. He received his honorable discharge at Camp Dodge in Iowa, November 4, 1919. On August 1, 1930 he was united in marriage to Miss Bernice Staufer of St. Louis. They were the parents of three children, two of them preceding their father in death. He is survived by his widow, also two sons, Paul Lee and Archie Eugene by a former marriage.

The brothers also leave their mother, Mrs. Nancy Faulkner of Flat River; three brothers, Tillman of Elvins, Emmett of Farmington and Ray of Flat River and four sisters, Mabel (Mrs. A. B.) Lupkey and Lee Etta (Mrs. Fred) Halter of Elvins; Beryl (Mrs. David) Barks of Farmington and Miss Leota Faulkner at home.

Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon at two o'clock at the Flat River First Baptist Church, conducted by the pastor, Rev. E. H. Zipprodt. Burial will be in Parkview.

Published by THE LEAD BELT NEWS, Flat River, St. Francois Co. MO, Fri. May 31, 1935.


    Henry Schwent, Flat River Marshal, who killed Arch and Jewell Faulkner in an attempted arrest last week, was arrested last Friday by Deputy Constable Joe Tinsley of Randolph Township on an affidavit made by  Emmett Faulkner of Farmington, brother of the deceased Faulkners, charging him with first degree murder on two counts.

On Monday, a writ of habeas corpus was filed by Harry O. Smith, representing the defendant, before Circuit Judge Smith, who considering the evidence given at the inquest admitted him to bail pending his preliminary hearing before Judge Vance at Elvins to be held June 20th.  The amount of bond is $6000, and is signed by O. S. Cole, J. W. Whitehead, W. C. Huff, J. A. Meehan, N.P. Aubuchon and John Manley.

Published by LEAD BELT NEWS, Flat River, St. Francois County, Missouri, June 7, 1935.


In the preliminary hearing of Heinie Schwent, Flat River City Marshall, before Justice of the Peace Harold Clark at Leadwood Thursday morning, Clark rendered the decision that the killing of Jewell and Archless Faulkner was justifiable homicide in the course of official duty and dismissed the charge.

    Schwent was charged with murder in the first degree.  Prosecuting Attorney Mathews stated to a Lead Belt News representative that he intended to present the matter to the grand jury which is to be called at the November term of court. 

Published by LEAD BELT NEWS, Flat River, St. Francois County, Missouri, June 28, 1935.