Stories of Injuries and Unusual Deaths 1909
submitted by Julie Coley

Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) > 1909 > July > 2


The reunion of the Fore family will be held tomorrow at Lake Wichita and a number of the kinsmen have already arrived in the city to attend the gathering. The guests come from far distant places, some of them, and all are happy at meeting their relatives again.
Three tents have been erected at the lake and there the kinsmen will gather tomorrow for a hearty celebration. Those in the city are: W.M. Fore and family of Memphis, W.L. Fore and family of Memphis, Mrs. Blevins of Texokla, Texas, J.R. Fore and son of Graham, R.O. Hunt of Bowie, Judge L. Gough and wife of Hereford, Mrs. Whittenburg of Graham, Texas. Others will arrive tonight. 

Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) > 1909 > July > 10


Jury Found Dave Coffey Guilty of First Degree Murder Early Today.


Convicted for Killing His Brother in Law on May 15th, Following Domestic Infelicities

"We, the jury in the case of Dave Coffey, charged with the murder of Sam Barnett, after carefully considering the evidence, find the defendant, Dave Coffey, guilty of murder in the first degree and assess his punishment at confinement in the State penitentiary for life."
After being out all night, the jury in the Dave Coffey murder case returned at 7:15 this morning. Judge Carrigan was notified by phone that a decision had been reached and he came up and court was opened. Coffey was brought into the court room and Judge Carrigan read the verdict.
Coffey heard the decision without a tremor. He was chewing tobacco when it was read and his jaws did not stop working nor his face change color.
The attorneys for the defense will move for a new trial at once and will carry the case to the higher courts if it is not granted.
The verdict did not cause much surprise. It was the generally accepted belief that the verdict would be one of murder in the first degree, but owing to the illiteracy of the defendant, it was not believed that the death sentence would be imposed.
None of the jurymen would discuss their proceedings, but one of them stated that none of them were in favor of hanging. One or two, it is understood, favored a sentence of as low as thirty years. Coffey was represented by three young attorneys of this city, Messrs. Foster, Householder and Smoot, District Attorney Martin and County Attorney Greenwood conducted the State's case.

On May 15, while Sam Barnett was coming from work in his field, about two miles north of the city, he was approached by Coffey, armed with a Winchester, who wanted to know where Mr. Shields, father of Mrs. Barnett and Mrs. Coffey was. Barnett stated that he did not know, whereupon Coffey told him he lied. Barnett said that even if Coffey did have a gun, he could not talk that way to him and started for the house, with Coffey in pursuit.
As Barnett turned the corner of his house, Coffey fired, the bullet making a flesh wound in his arm. He kept on running, going through the kitchen to the bedroom where he seized his shotgun and raised it to his shoulder. Coffey then fired, striking Barnett in the left breast. He fell, firing a wild shot from his shotgun. Coffey fired two shots into the prostrate man's body and left the house, walking across a field to town.

Mrs. Barnett was an eye witness to the shooting.
Barnett lived until 10 o'clock on the morning of May 16. He had been shot twice through the right lung with a 38-calibre gun. Before his death, he gave County Attorney Bruce Greenwood a statement of the affair.
About nine months previous to the shooting, Mrs. Coffey had left her husband and gone with her father, Mr. Shields. It is stated that Coffey abused her and she stated recently that she would be glad to pull the rope that would send him to death. Mrs. Barnett sided with her sister in the matter, as did Barnett himself, and this first aroused Coffey's resentment. Barnett stood good for Coffey when the latter bought some goods for Coffey at a local house and when he did not pay for them, Barnett confiscated them. This intensified the feeling between the two men. In his ante-mortem statement Barnett said that Coffey had threatened to kill him nine months before.
After his wife left him, Coffey left the city, remaining away until the day of the shooting. He returned and secured a gun in this city, waling out near Barnett's home. Barnett, returning home from a trip to town, saw him drinking from a pool at the roadside, but if Coffey recognized Barnett he did not indicate. Barnett hitched his team near his house and then worked in the field for about an hour. Then he went up to the house, where Coffey approached him and the shooting followed. 
Coffey is about 32 years of age and is a native of Dallas county. He cannot read or write and is said to be a simple sort of fellow.


Mrs. Rebecca Coffey, wife of Dave Coffey, and Mrs. Susie Barnett, widow of the man killed, left this afternoon for Oklahoma to join their father who resides about ten miles southwest of Guthrie. During the recent trial, Mrs. Coffey's sympathies have not been with her husband and she is said to have expressed a desire to see him hung. 

Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) > 1909 > July > 20

On Trail in the District Court

The case of J.E. Walton, upon charges made by his stepdaughter, is on trial in the district court today and will probably go to the jury this afternoon.

Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) > 1909 > July > 21


J.E. Walton Given Minimum Penalty on Assault Charge

The jury in the case of J.E. Walton in the district court, returned yesterday afternoon, finding the defendant guilty and assessing his punishment at two years in the penitentiary. No appeal will be taken. The charge against Walton was that of assault, the complaint being made by his step daughter.

Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) > 1909 > September > 8


Five Year Old Jack Chandler Nearly Licked By Blow From Heels


Very Delicate Operation Performed and Child May Survive the Accident

Jack Chandler, the five year old son of Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Chandler of 303 Travis, lies at the Wichita Sanitarium this morning in a very serious condition as the result of being kicked by a horse yesterday afternoon. A piece of his skull two inches in length has been removed, but he is conscious today and in the opinion of the physicians, has an excellent chance for recovery.
Mrs. Chandler had just returned from a drive and had sent the child into the horse lot after it had been unhitched. One of the neighbors called to her a moment later that the boy had been hurt and she found him lying near the stall entrance with his head laid open by the blow. As she took him in her arms, the horse kicked viciously at her and his heels narrowly missed her head. Dr. DuVal was summoned and the child was removed to the sanitarium, where the operation was performed last night. Dr DuVal being assisted my Drs. Walker and Burnside.
A sliver of the skull was driven into the brain and several fragments of the bone had been broken by the blow. It was necessary to remove a piece about two inches square, some of the brain tissue also being removed. The child soon regained consciousness and was taking a lively interest in his surroundings this morning.
The horse has been used by Mr. and Mrs. Chandler for some years and has always been as gentle adn safe as a lamb, so that Mrs. Chandler had no thought of danger when she allowed the child to go and feed him.

Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) > 1909 > September > 21


The Civic League is making plans for the further improvement of the cemetery and contemplates the fencing in of some property just outside of the present enclosures. There are a number of graves outside of the main enclosure and it is thought that they should be fenced in and taken card of. The extension of the water mains to the cemetery has been completed and the pipe laterals to every part of the enclosure have been laid.
The League is quite proud of the work on the park on 9th street and the improved appearance there is considered worthy of praise. A campaign for more members is shortly to be inaugurated, it is announced, and the organization hopes to be able to continue its excellent work for the city.

Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) > 1909 > September > 22

Miss E.C. Monty of Arizona, after a few days visit to her brother, W.M. Monty, left here yesterday for her home. They had not met each other for twenty-one years and the meeting of brother and sister was a very happy one. Mr. Monty is 64 years of age and his sister is 52 years of age.

Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) > 1909 > October > 16

Mrs. Mary Friberg Remembered

Last Saturday, October 9, marked the reaching of the seventy-fifth milestone by Mrs. Mary Friberg and the occasion was not forgotten by her children and grandchildren, who arranged a surprise party and made the day a most happy one for "Grandma" Friberg. Those present were: Mr. and Mrs. W.M. Friberg, Mr. and Mrs. E.V. Friberg, Mr. and Mrs. E.G. Friberg, Mr. and Mrs. A.E. Anderson, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Byman, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Byman, Mr. and Mrs. Casper Geyer and Mrs. Levi Cary.

Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) > 1909 > October > 29


Young Man Tries to End His Life With Chloroform

A young man by the name of Park Miller, on Ira Tollison's farm, four miles down the Wichita River, attempted to end his life by taking chloroform yesterday afternoon, but his life was saved by the timely arrival of Dr. L.C. Tyron, who reached him within twenty minutes after he had taken the drug.
After the boy had been revived, he persisted in trying to carry out his intentions, and to prevent this he was brought to town and placed in jail where he is still confined. Domestic troubles are said to be the cause of the young man's actions.

Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) > 1909 > November > 16


J.O. Roling, aged twelve years, son of J.W. Roling, was seriously injured late yesterday by a charge from a shotgun in the hands of a boy named Tabor, also aged about twelve years. Roling was shot in the left foot which was badly mangled by the shot, and is today in a serious condition, although it is not probable that amputation will be necessary. The shooting is understood to have been an accident. Young Roling was walking ahead of the other at the time, they being out hunting near the cemetery. Tabor says that the shot was fired accidentally and this is believed to be true, as the boys had always been friends and there was no malice between them. Roling was taken to his home on Lamar avenue, where Dr. Miller dressed the wound and he is thought to be in no danger.

Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) > 1909 > November > 19

Mr. John Harmyre living at 607 Broad Street has recently became insane and was committed to jail. He has tried to commit homicide and suicide. Dr. Swarts reports that he will be taken to Indiana as soon as his brother arrives.

Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) > 1909 > November > 22

Suit has been filed in the district court by Mary Plascek and children against the Wichita Mall and Elevator company, for damages aggregating ten thousand dollars. This suit grows out of the death of Frank Plasek at the mill last August, it being alleged that his death was due to the negligence of the defendant company.

Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) > 1909 > December > 3


The reckless shooting of someone with a Winchester rifle came near causing the death of Mrs. Dieterman, residing across the river about three miles from Wichita Falls, early this week. Mrs. Dietermann went out to a well near her house to draw some water, when she became conscious that some missile had struck her. She fainted and was quickly taken into the house, where in removing her clothes members of the family dislodged a Winchester ball of large calibre, which had entered the skin in the left side of the body. It had barely penetrated the skin and fell out when the clothes were removed.
Just who fired the shot is a mystery, as no one heard the report. It is not believed, however, that it was fired with any intent to injure Mrs. Dietermann and the incident is believed to have been purely accidental.

Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) > 1909 > December > 16

Stricken With Paralysis

W.E. Cobb Taken Home Unconscious This Morning

W.E. Cobb, a prominent real estate man of this city, was stricken with paralysis at his office on 7th street this morning and was conveyed to his home on Indiana avenue by friends.
He was unconscious from the attack and his condition is considered serious. Mr. Cobb had been confined to his room for several days, yesterday being the first time he was able to leave it.



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