24 May 2015

Newspaper Account of G-Grandfather Shooting G-Grandmother

From the Custer County (NE) Chief, May 29, 1896 --

Powell Canyon Farmer Attempts to Murder Wife
     Henry Walker, living three miles northeast of Arnold is in jail at Broken Bow charged with the most dastardly crime in the history of Custer County.
     On last Saturday, Walker attempted to kill his wife, firing three shots at her, one of them missing her.  He lives in Powell Canyon and the neighbors have known for years that he did not get along well with his wife.  He has often accused her of trying to poison him.
     Saturday morning Walker went to town and complained to Dr. Robinson that he was suffering discomfort, caused by the poisoning.  When he got home, he took a revolver he had purchased several days before, in Callaway and told Mrs Walker that  he was going to shoot her.  She ran from the house and got about ten feet away when he fired two shots at her, one missing her and the other entering her back.
     He then compelled her to return to the house and ordered her too get dinner.  When she became so weak from loss of blood, she had to lie down, he said, "Now, I'm going to finish you off", and pointed the gun at her head.  She begged him not to kill her and put her hands over her face.  He fired, the ball almost severing one finger, then lodging in her head.  After trying unsuccessfully, with a dull paring knife to dig the ball from where it was lodged, he sent the oldest boy to the nearest neighbor, Mr. Donaldson.
     Dr. Robinson and Dr. Matthews from Callaway were called and they removed that ball, but were unable to find the one in her back.
     All that saved Walker from being lynched was that some thought he was insane although he had never shown signs of insanity.  He was taken to Broken Bow the next day where the board judged him sane and he will stand trial for the crime at next term of court.
     Walker is about 35 years of age and has been in the county for a number of years.  Mrs Walker is suffering greatly, but it is believed her wounds will not be fatal.
From the Custer County (NE) Chief, December 1896 --
     The case of Henry Walker, Powell Canyon farmer accused of attempting to murder his wife was brought before the court.  Walker pleaded insanity and both sides fought stubbornly, but the verdict was guilty and he was sentenced to five years in the penitentiary.
On 27 July 1899, Lucy (Chesley) Walker married Warren D. Copeland, brother of Maria Jane (Copeland) Chesley, her sister-in-law.  My grandfather Keith was still a toddler when the shooting occurred.  Warren Copeland was the only father he ever knew.

For further information on what happened to Henry and Lucy and the kids after the shooting, search this blog.

Copyright © 2015 by Kevin W. Walker

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