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Murder of Will Renfrow
Forks of the Creek--North of Hector, Ar.


From: The Courier -Democrat, Russellville, Ar. September 22, 1904
Note by Betty: Will Renfroe (spelled Renfrow, later this family used the spelling Renfro) was born Oct. 25, 1880 to Joshua Renfroe and J. Anna Brown. He was their first child. They married in 1879. Josh and Anna lived North of Hector, Ar. near Forks of the Creek. Josh farmed here from 1880 until about 1929 when his crops were completely washed out two years in a row. At this time he moved to Ok. where his daughter Sarah Lucinda Dixon and her husband Eldie lived.
Will Renfroe married Dora Olivia Ballard (daughter of Samuel Ballard of Solo, Ar) on May 29, 1904. Dolen Renfro said after Will was murdered Dora had a child (female). This would be the only child of Will. I do not know the name of the daughter. Dora and some of her family moved away after the murder. Dolen thought they went to Ok.

The article from the Courier--WILL RENFROW MURDERED
George and Marion Church
Also Wounded in the Fight
Which Occurred near Hector Thursday Night

As a result of a general row, doubless superinduced by an excessive flow of bad booze, another mound has been erected in a Pope county cemetery and the man charged with the crime awaits his trial in the county jail when he must either prove his jsutification or accept the verdict of a jury of his own selection. The case to which we allude is the killing of Will Renfrow by one George Church, Thursday night of last week. The murder took place at a small school houseat the forks of two creeks some seven or eight miles north of Hector, where citizens of the community had gathered for the purpose of witnessing a magic lantern exhibition.

During the progress of the show, or just at its close some six or seven young men of the community, said to be more or less under the infulence of "mountain dew" or blind tiger goods, engaged in a general row. Among them were George Church, Bud Renfroe, Larkin Mathis, Riley Church, and perhaps others. Whether Will Renfrow was a participant of the fuss or only interfered to quell the disturbance will doubtless be a matter of contention between the attorneys of the opposition sides. It is not disputed however that he was shot three times and instantly killed, and George Church was arrested, charged with the offense. A coroner's inquest before 'squire A. R. Jones was promptly held and Church was committed to jail to await an examining trial, which will take place before Squire H. H. Baird of this city, commencing at 10 o'clock this (Thursday) morning.

At the cornore's inquest it was brought out that several shots in all were fired, probably six, one fo which accidentally struck Marion Church, an uncle of the defendant, in the lower part of the leg or ankle and more or less shattering the bone. George Church is said to have lost the tip of one of his fingers by a ball fired by someone engaged in the melee. In advance of the examining trial, however, we do not care to undertake to relateany facts in connection therewith as any information recived would doubtless be of a partisan character and fail to state the real facts as they will eventually be proven in the courts.

Note by Betty: I could not find in the following weeks what happened in this case. I will continue to search. I can go to the Pope County Court House and search the records there. I do know that Will was laid to rest in the Forks of the Creek Cemetery. His young bride gave birth to a female child sometime after Sept. 1904.


Josh Renfroe@ Rootsweb


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