Missouri and Ozarks History

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

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I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Killing of Ed Daugherty

A shooting affray disrupted the small town of Willow Springs, Missouri, on the evening of June 25, 1885. According to one report, Ed Daugherty, "a gambler and a hard case generally," had for about two months been embroiled in a feud with William Hughes, proprietor of the Willow Springs Hotel, supposedly because Hughes objected to Daugherty using the hotel for his gambling operations. On the night in question, Daugherty reportedly went to the hotel, where he confronted and theatened Hughes, using "the foulest language known to the blackguard ilk."
Afterwards, Daugherty met Hughes on the street and, flourishing a pistol, commanded the hotelkeeper to arm and defend himself. Hughes (who was called "Captain Hughes" and presumably was a veteran of the Civil War) then went home, retrieved a shotgun, and went back out on the street. When he neared Lockey's saloon, Daugherty reportedly fired a shot at him from inside the saloon, and Hughes advanced into the building and returned fire. The shot struck his assailant in the breast and face, and Daugherty died within thirty minutes.
In the aftermath of the incident, the Springfield Express reported, "Public sentiment justifies Hughes in the killing on the grounds of self defense." Another newspaper account said essentially the same thing in more expressive language, stating that "the verdict rendered is, 'Served him right.'"
Daugherty was reported to be about 35 years of age at the time of his death, and he left a wife, who was said to be "an estimable lady," and one child.


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