Shocking Tragedy! Deadly Encounter Between A.M. Hallgarth And Woodson Gray and Young Son.
Hallgarth Dies From Wounds 36 Hours Later. His Slayers Held In Bonds of $30,000
The people of Elgin were thrown into a state of great excitement last Friday morning by the statement that A.M. Hallgarth, a prominent rancher living about 4 1/2 miles east of town had been shot by N.W. Gray, a neighbor. The news was brought to town by the young son of the wounded man and the details of the tragedy were not learned until people arrived on the scene.
Dr. McNaughton and Whiting started for the wounded man’s home as quickly as possible and a number of friends of Mr. Hallgarth also went along to investigate the matter and see if they could be of any assistance in caring for him. On arriving there, the physicians made an examination of the injured man and found him suffering from a pistol shot in the right side and a number of knife wounds in the back, the latter having been inflicted by a young son of Gray’s who was with him at the time of the encounter. The injuries were dressed and the wounded man given the best of attention but he died at 7 o’clock Saturday evening, about 36 hours after being shot.
A warrant was sworn out for Gray and Constable Morelock, accompanied by J.C. Christiansen, went to arrest him but on arriving at his home failed to find him. While searching the premises they observed Gray and a married son coming through the fields from the direction of the mountains and brought him to town, together with his 15 year old son, who had been concerned with his father in the encounter with Hallgarth.
The trouble between the two men originated several months ago and was occasioned by the young son of Gray’s and Hallgarth’s children rowing on the way home from school. The school difficulty finally terminated in Gray’s boy being suspended by the teacher and Gray and his son were on the way to the school house to see about having the latter reinstated when the encounter with Hallgarth resulted. The two Grays had passed Hallgarth’s house several feet (?) when the latter halted them as he was coming out of his field and asked Gray, Sr. where he was going. This started a quarrel which led up to Hallgarth’s climbing over the fence and starting for Gray, who drew a pistol and commanded him to halt. Hallgarth paid no attention to Gray’s demand and walked up to the latter and attempted to disarm him, when the shooting began. Three shots were fired when the men grappled each other and a deadly struggle for the possession of the pistol began. The weapon was discharged once during the tussle but no one was hit by the bullet and Hallgarth got possesion of the gun and got Gray down when the latter’s son began stabbing him in the back, which resulted in forcing Hallgarth to release his opponent. Gray and his son then went back immediately and Hallgarth’s neighbors carried him into his house.
An autopsy was held on the dead man Sunday by Drs. Whiting and McNaughton, who state that death was caused by a gun shot wound which entered the right side under the arm and made it’s exit not far from the naval.
Gray and his son were taken to Union Saturday evening but were brought back Monday and the preliminary hearing was set for 1 p.m. Tuesday. they were charged with murder in the first degree but the charge being reduced to murder in the second degree, the prisoners waived extradition and Justice Morelock set bail at $20,000 and $10,000 respectively for father and son. The constable took the prisoners to Union Wednesday evening and turned them over to Sheriff Pennington.
Elgin Recorder Friday March 27, 1903
The earthly remains of the late Archibald M. Hallgarth were laid to rest in the Elgin cemetery Monday afternoon. The body was brought in from his home Monday forenoon and placed in the Presbyterian church until 1 o’clock which the religious services were conducted by Rev. Harry Benton. After the funeral discourse the Masonic fraternity took charge of the remains and conducted the burial services of that order at the grave. The funeral was the most largely attended of any that had ever occurred in the town and was a living demonstration of the esteem in which he was held in this town and community.
Deceased was a native of Indiana, having been born in that state, April 15, 1862. His father, mother two sisters and two brothers survive him. In addition to his own family, which consists of his wife and four children. His untimely death deprives his family of a kind and considerate husband and father, and the community of an upright, industrious citizen.
Elgin Recorder Friday March 27, 1903
Guilty of Manslaughter
The trial of Woodson Gray for killing A.M. Hallgarth the 20th, of last March, was completed at Union last Saturday. The jury brought in a verdict of manslaughter and recommended the defendant to the mercy of the court. Judge Eakin passed sentence on Gray yesterday forenoon, fixing the penalty at five years imprisonment and a fine of $100.
Elgin Recorder Friday February 19, 1904