Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 2, July, 2000 Page: 105
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Reminiscences of Dilue Rose Harris
the Emni-ty betwen messrs. Bell and West has
caulminted in murder. there has been aspell of
cold wether and severe sain storm. the first cold
wethe since we have been in texas. all out door
work stoped. Father was going to Harrisburg with
a lode of cotton. the cold wether prvented him.
he has been sick for several days. one Sunday
eying after dark Mr Dyer came to the gate and
calld for Father. he was sick in bed uncle James
went to the gate. we were not sur-prised as it
was not un-common to call for the doctor. after
afew minutes uncle came in. messrs Safford
Dyer Neal Bell and Harrvy Stafford were with
him. Mother set chairs for them they would not
be sated. mr Bell steped to the bed told Father
he had Shot West. didn't think he had kild him.
wanted Father to go and assist them in geting
Mr. West home. Said he was hunting found
aplace in his back fence where abears had passd
through. set his gun down against atree was going
to fix the fence turned round met West in the act
of shooting at him. Weste's gun mist fire as he
was trying to shoot the second time Bell got his
gun. as West fireed he sumbled. Bell fired at the
same time. his shot struck West in the left side.
he had kilde adeer had it tied on his back. after
he fell to the ground asked Bell to take the deer
off his back and go for the doctor. Mr Bell did as
reqested. put his coat under West head. draged
the deer away so if wolves were near they would
page 33 continued
they would not trouble the wounded man. after
making Mr. West comfortable as circum-stance
would permit he went home told his wife what
had happend. Saddle his horse went to Mr. Neals
his near neigbor. asked Neal to go with him to
Mr. Dyers. Mrs. Neal went with them as she
had no one to stay with her. when they got to
Mr. Dyers found the two brother Adam and
Harviy Stafford's there. asked them to go to the
assistance of Mr West. they thought it advisable
to get the doctor and all go to gather. our house
and Mr. Dys was on the edge of the prairie. the
others families lived in the bottom. it was only
one mile betwene the two houses. Father said
he could not go. advised them for five men to go
and if they found West alive to carry him home.
if dead to guard the body till they Could get men
from Mr. Shipman's neighborhood. the men were
all young. three of them married Harvy Stafford
said he would go for assistonce. the others
returned with mr Bell. all of them appearde to
be scared as it was first crime that had every
happend in the neighborhood after acouple of
hours Mr. Cote and the Roarks Boys came said
Harvey Stafford sent them Father told them to
go neare Mr. West house and see if he had been
carried him home if not to come back too our
louse and waite for Mr. Ship-man. they returned
after ahalf hour said West was dead they
page 34 four the Bell and West tragedy continued
could see atorchlight near Bell house found the
men waiting they had made afire gatherd cane
for torchlights. had Bell's cart and oxen ready to
carry the corpse home. after midnight Mr.
Shipman and sons Edward John came they stoped
to warm. it was very cold wether Mr Shipman
said he didnt know what to do. Father told him
he was the oldest man and had re-sided longest
in the neighborhood. he must hold an inquest.
take down evidence. arrest Mr. Bell. put him
under guard. and send him to Harrisburg to the
Mexican Alcalde. the messrs. Shipman went on
after warming and and drinking coffee. Father
said he would go in the morning and make an
ex-amination of the wound & giv a certifi-cate
of deth. Mother and Father didnt sleep much that
night. it was ahorrible Calami-ty to happen so
soon after the ball at our house. it was then
rememberd that West had past our house twiced
that night with his gun. but as every man carried
a gun it didn't at-tract atention. mother had in-
vited his family to the ball Father had asked mr.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 2, July, 2000, periodical, July 2000; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151409/m1/41/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.