Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written eleven nonfiction books, two novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Springfield: The Seamy Side of the Queen City, Murder and Mayhem in Missouri, and The Siege of Lexington, Missouri: the Battle of the Hemp Bales.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lane Britton

Another chapter in my upcoming Desperadoes of the Ozarks concerns the Alsups of Douglas County, Mo., especially the gunfight between sheriff Hardin Vickery and ex-sheriff Shelt Alsup in March of 1879 that left both men dead. However, since I've already discussed the Alsups in a previous post less than a year ago, I'm going to skip over this chapter and go to the next chapter, which deals with a desperado named Lane Britton, who hailed from Neosho, Mo.
The younger brother of Wiley Britton (who later gained fame as a Civil War author), Lane Britton first gained notoriety in 1875 when he was just a lad of 17 years. A night or two before Christmas, he was lounging at a "disreputable house" near the tracks in Neosho kept by Lizzie Sanford when a gentleman caller named Huffaker rapped on the door and demanded admittance. Both Lizzie and Britton told the man to leave, and when he kept banging on the door, Britton shot him through the door, killing him almost instantly.
The killing was eventually ruled justifiable homicide, and Britton settled in the booming mining town of Blende City (near present-day Carl Junction) in the early 1880s. He somehow got himself appointed city marshal but got in trouble in early 1883 for supposedly terrorizing the town instead of upholding the law. Soon afterwards, he killed two deputies who tried to arrest him on a warrant from Newton County on a felonious assault charge resulting from an incident a couple of years earlier. He fled west and turned up in Phoenix in the summer of 1885. He was captured but broke jail, eluded an intensive manhunt, and was never heard from again.


Blogger irishoma said...

Hi Larry,
I'm glad I found your blog. I enjoyed reading your post and will be back.
Donna Volkenannt

September 23, 2011 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Larry Wood said...

Thanks, Donna. I've been doing this for about three years now. At first, I was writing mainly to myself, but I'm gradually getting a few readers.

September 24, 2011 at 3:18 PM  

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