Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.
- Name: Larry Wood
- Location: Missouri
I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written twelve nonfiction books, two novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Murder and Mayhem in Missouri; The Siege of Lexington, Missouri: the Battle of the Hemp Bales; and A Concise Encyclopedia of the Ozarks.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
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.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Granby Outlaws Revisited
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Born near Poplar Bluff, Missouri, around 1850, Bud moved west with his family about ten years later and eventually settled in Granby, where he grew up among the rough characters who populated the mining town. Bud, also called Newt, first got in serious trouble in 1871 when he was implicated as a possible accessory in the murder of a man on the streets of Granby. A few months later he was charged with felonious assault in Newton County. In the mid 1870s the whole Blount family moved to Arizona but came back to Mo. and settled at Carterville. Shortly afterward, Bud and his sidekicks terrorized Webb City in what became known as the "Webb City Riot" or the "Blunt Raid."
Not long after this, Blount went west again, committed several crimes in Colorado, and killed a man in Arizona.
Back in this territory in the mid 1880s after a hitch in the Arizona prison, he was sent to the Kansas State Prison for stealing horses or cattle in Mongomery County. When he got out around 1890, he came back to Carterville, and, on a visit to his old hometown of Granby, killed a railroad brakeman. He was sentenced to death but the sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. Still later, he was paroled and still later pardoned altogether. Around 1900 or shortly after, he came back to his hometown area and became a bartender at Joplin. In his old age, he went to the State Hospital at Nevada, where he died in the 1920s.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Baxter Springs Again
The first Baxter marshal to lose his life in the line of duty was H. C. Seaman, who was killed by Texas cow poke Thomas Good in the fall of 1870 when he tried to arrest Good's carousing partner, a sporting lady named Nellie Starr, for disturbing the peace.
Seaman's successor, Cassisus M. Taylor, was appointed by Baxter mayor J. R. Boyd, but the two men soon became political enemies. Boyd killed Taylor in the summer of 1872 when the marshal tried to arrest him for assaulting a local lumber dealer over a disputed debt.