Lynching, Righteous Hanging?
[MORE PERSONALS: MARCH 5, 1879.]
KILLED. J. E. Starbuck was shot and instantly killed by Francis Small, in Sheridan township, on the 24th February. The difficulty arose about the possession of some corn in a field claimed by both parties. It looks as though our Sheriff would have a chance to take someone to Leavenworth at the next term of court. We like to see a man have nerve and sense enough to fight in his own defense, but when it comes to shooting down a man at his own house over a dispute about a peck of corn, and leaving his wife and little ones unprotected in the world, it looks a little salty, and we don't care if the assassin did go to the Sheriff's office and give himself up. He no doubt thought of lynch law, and that his neck would be more secure behind the bars. Murder has become quite too common in our county, and all because we neglect to do a little righteous hanging.
[MORE PERSONALS: TRAVELER, MAY 21, 1879.]
The trial of Small for the murder of Starbuck resulted in the conviction of the defendant of manslaughter and five years in the State prison. Five years for deliberate murder? This is a disgrace to Cowley County. Why, the cow thief was sent up for four years and six months, and yet the life of a fellow man, in Cowley Co., is worth but a trifle more than three cows--so say the jury! Small's own testimony, before a competent jury, is strong enough to convict him of murder. We say, if we have a law, let us live by the law, as good citizens; but it is just such verdicts as this against Small that gives a complexion of justice to vigilantes in hanging the culprit and the jury to the same rope. We have had enough of this in Cowley Co. It is time to stop.