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A Retrogression (florid prose) on Hugh H. Siverd and the Conditions in the City
by W. P. Hackney

Winfield Daily Courier - October 26, 1893
Clip 8931026b


We are in the midst of gloom our hearts are as stone, grief shame and remorse composeth us about, because of the wickedness of men.
Today all that is mortal of Hugh H. Siverd lies cold and dead at his home in this city.

Murdered in cold blood in broad daylight upon the principal business corner of the city, before hundreds of men, because knowing his duty he dared to do it.

A trusted faithful officer, reverecing the obligation of his oath, in the fear of the Loard and rightouse altogether, he girede himself around about with an undying love of duty done, and went to his death.

A brave soldier, a loyal patriot, a good husband, a loving father, a true christian, a generous friend and noble man always. He has been the one officer in our midst who understood the obligation of an oath and his responsibilities as a citizen.

Placing himself across the pathway of crime in our midst, he for years has been a bulwark and shield to us, unawed by the menacing and vicious elements of our society, with courage and steadfastness in the discharge of official duty that is indescribable. He, for hears has withstood the vicious clamour of cowards, and the misrepresentations of scoundrals and villians, with a heroism unspeakable indeed -- and for this he is dead, -- murdered by a brace of brutal, cowardly and contemptable wretches whom the people of this city, by their sufference, have permitted to live too long already.

Verily we this day pay in the blood of this man, the awful penalty which always waits upon that community that winks at iniquity.

He was massacred upon our streets, because we as a people and as individuals, one and all are responsible for the crimes tolerated in our midst.

Had the people of this community been as loyal to him in his efforts to ferret out and punish crime, as he was to their constitution and laws, the villians wh basely assassinated him, could not have found and abiding place among us.

As a people we have permitted joints, gambling halls and houses of ill fame to prosper here, thereby furnishing an asylum for the human parisite, thugs, outcasts and the the very offscourings of hell its self that have infected our community.

These vile holes of infamy, which we have tolerated too long already, furnishing an abiding place where his murder was discussed, planned and instgated.

These foul and loathsom wrenche, harbored and abetted in our midst as aforesaid, breed crime, organize villany and bring out the outlawery, which compassed his untimely death.

And as sure as there is a God in Israel, so will the conditions which caused the infamous murder of John F. Fulton and Hugh H. Siverd bring about the murder of others. Hugh H. Siverd is no more. He died as the soldier dies, at his post. He died a christian obedient to his official oath. He died a law-abiding citizen, doing his whole duty. He died faithful to his obligations as an officer. His blood today darkening the sidewalks which these dens of iniquity in our midst were tolerated to repair.

His blood reddens the very sidewalks which it was claimed couldonly be consstructed with the price of shame. His life has gone out because we as a people thought more of gold and infamy, than of God and humanity. His life has gone out because we as a people were willing that sin and shame should help pay our taxes.

His life went out because we as a people have, in tolerance of crime, been sowing the wind and in his death we have reaped a whirlwind of outraged law.

In his death we have paid in part only the debt incurred by outraged constitution and laws both sacred and profane. And we, the whole people, are respoinsible tehrefor "Woe unto the world because of offenses, for it must need be that offenses come. But woe unto that man (or people) by whom the offense cometh." In his death the people of this city and county , gives up one of the bravest, truest and purest men ever known. The most loyal officer ever sworn into office here. We have tolerated here in violation of law the accursed liquor traffic with the awful ill which that damnable business brings to a community, over his protest and against his judgement always, without wich his assassination would have been an impossibility.

Every joint, every house of ill fame, every impute and loathsome creature in our midst in responsible for this murder.

Such a crime is sucha a commentary and under such circumstance and y such means is at once the shame and disgrace of all. 'Therefore hell hath enlarged herself and opened her mouth without measure and their glory and their multitude and their pomp and be they rejoiceth, shall descend into it"

Siverd the brave, noble and true goodbye.

Thou wast brave and better than we.

No more will we find courage and strength in thy counsel.

No more will thy clarion call wake us to obligations unfulfilled.

We pledge thee here and now by thy blood never more to swerve from the path of rectitude.

We will guard your good name, and defend your honor with our last breath.

Let no crime seared, sin begrimed wretch assault thy memory.

"Rack to your kennels; 'tis too late
To sully Siverd's name:
To us it is the synonym
Of valor, worth and fame.
But siverd is no more.

The muffled drums sad roll has beat
The soldier's last tatto;
No more on life's parade shall meet
that brave and fallen few.

On fames' eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread.
And glory gaurds, with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead."

---W. P. Hackney

Cowley County Historical Society Museum