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From: "Betty Sellers" <>
Subject: JOHN MORRISONS STORY
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 21:30:56 -0800


Hopkinsville New Era 1886

A reporter visited JOHN MORRISON in his cell at the jail, Wednesday
morning and he give a different v erwion of the affair. His story is as
followed. "Out family live about two miles from Princeton road in the
Bainbridge neighborhood. We moved to that locality last January from
Caldwell county.

Sometime in 1884 my brother, Bill, had a shooting scrape with TIM MITCHELL
down in Lyon county. they were both firing at each other but my brother ran
him. Nobody saw the shooting but MITCHELL claimed he was unarmed and that
Bill made an unprovoked attack on him. He swore out a warrant, which the
Sheriff of Caldwell county has been trying for sometime to execute but Bill
kept out of his way. this is the same warrant that hanberry had. The
reason that Bill would not submit to arrest is that he knew the Mitchell's
would swear him into the penitentiary falsely. When Hanberry came down he
didn't get Bill because my brother told him he couldn't take him. Last
Tuesday about 1 o'clock Boyd and his man rode up. Bill was in the yard. My
father, mother, wife, Misses MOLLIE AND LIZZIE ASHBY and myself were sitting
in the house. The first thing I knew of the presence of the officers were
the report of a gun and my wife came running into the room and said, "they
have shot Bill down." I grabbed my gun which had 9 b uckshot in one barrel
and twelve in the other, and rushed to the door. One barrel went off before
I took aim. I leveled the other at Wiley but he jumped behind a tree so I
missed him. There were no other shots fired form the house. There was only
one gun and two pistols in the house. Bill had one of the pistols and the
other was in my trunk. I gave up because my wife asked me to. She told me
to remember that I had a wife and child to take care of. The officers had
the advange of me and forced me to come to town."

MR. GORDON HANBERRY was present during this interview and they both
agreed that the prisoner did not draw a gun on him on the occasion of his
visit to make the arrest. JOHN MORRISON, the prison, is about 5ft 10 inches
tall, well built and every inch a man. He has ahandsome face lighted with
two dark brown eyes and set off with jaws and mouth that denote firmness,
resolution and endurance. In his conversation he was uncompromising and
talked with the courage of a lion. He said that the officers now "had all
the advantage of him but it would not always be so." He is 25 year old and
has a wife and a child. His wounded brother is only 22 years old. He was
quick to correct all contradictions of his version of the affair in the most
emphatic manner. The arrest of JOHN MORRISON and the shooting of his
brother is one of the most exciting events in the history of this county.

The officers acted with great courage while the Morrison's showed they were
not afraid of anything. How it was possible that none of the others were
wounded is a mystery. there is no doubt about a man's arrest when our
Sheriff starts after him. Violaters of the law should learn that they will
surely be taken if they remain in the county. The affair has caused the
wildest excitement. While the courage of the Morrisons may be admired,
their efforts to resist the officers of the law is to be deplored.
Wednesday morning JOHN MORRISON was brought before Judge Anderson charged
with shooting with intent to kill and resisting arrest. He was placed under
a bond of $600. Sheriff Boyd was also placed under a bond of $500 to appear
before the court next Wednesday. Morrison's trial was set for nest
Wednesday. About noon Wednesday intelligence reached the city that WILLIAM
MORRISON was dead. He breathed his last shortly after the officers left.
The shot took effect in his side and was necessarily fatal. He was carried
to Lyon county, his former home, and there interred.
Betty Sellers

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