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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Did it Mean Murder?

Little Murders
(From Kansas City Times, Kansas City, Missouri, October 17, 1885)

Did it Mean Murder
Two Sisters Quarrel and Separate, and the Younger Visits the House of the Elder at Night.

Discovered, and Being Unknown, She is Pursued and Shot, and Two Revolvers are Found on Her Person.

A Probable Tragedy Averted.
(Special to the Kansas City Times.) 
Seneca, Kan., Oct. 16.—Capioma is a small trading point about sixteen miles southeast of this city, and is surrounded by one of the richest agricultural districts in the state, all the farmers being well-to-do, and some quite wealthy.  A highly sensational occurrence has just leaked out, which has thrown this unusually quiet neighborhood into a fever of excitement. The facts are as follows:

Walker Downs, one of the must substantial farmers in that section, was married to a Miss McCarty, who had a younger sister, Nellie, who lived with them prior to about three years ago. It seems that Nellie and Mrs. Downs had some difficulty which resulted in very bad feelings between the sisters and Miss Nellie left for Iowa to visit other relatives. A short time ago some one was seen to look into the windows of the Downs residence late at night, but on inspection no one could be found. The next night there was as a repetition of the occurrence of the night before, and the dog kept up an incessant barking until about 3 o’clock in the morning, but Mr. Downs and his hired hand, on going outside could see no one. The next evening about 10 o‘clock the dog began to bark but stopped in about an hour, and when the family awoke in the morning they found him dead on the doorstep. That night Mr. Downs and his hired man armed themselves and took their positions on the outside to watch for their tormentor. About 10:30 they saw what they supposed to be a man with an overcoat on approaching and demanded the person halt. No attention was paid to the command, and the party started to run, and the hired man followed calling several times to the fugitive to halt, with no better results, and he finally fired three shots, the past of which took effect and the wounded intruder exclaimed, “My God, you have killed me!” He and Mr. Downs hastened to the spot when they were horrified to find that they had shot Miss Nellie McCarty, sister of Mrs. Downs. She was taken to the house and it was found that the ball entered the fleshy part of the leg and was not dangerous. They also found on the young lady two 38-caliber revolvers and a large bottle of strychnine. Many stories are float as to what the young lady’s intentions were, some claiming that she intended to poison the stock, others that she intended to shoot her sister then poison herself. She is still at Mr. Downs’ and no prosecution will follow. She expresses herself deeply regretting her actions. She is about 25 years old, a school teacher and very pretty.


Kansas City Times, Kansas City, Missouri, October 17, 1885


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