Vigilantes

 

Custer County Vigilantes


    According to Jules Haumont, well-known Custer County homesteader, vigalantes were formed by Central Nebaska farmers to protect themselves from bands of horse-stealing desperadoes.  He admitted that their method of dealing with these criminals was not always right.
     On Easter Sunday of 1885, Mr Haumont recalled that he was riding to a meeting being held by the people of District 105 (Elton School on French Table northwest of Weissert), to pick the site for a school when he saw two horsemen riding toward him.
     Once had a gun strapped to his saddle and they didn't seem friendly so he continued on to the meeting. While he was there, four men rode up and asked if anyone had seen two horsemen.  Haumont told them where he had seen the men and group left.
     After dinner, Alfred Tipman rode up to the meeting-place and told the group that four horsemen had stopped at his house and reported a dead man on the prairie.
     The men at the meeting rode out and found a body with two buckshot wounds in the chest about 60 rods south of the Mottinger house.  (Mottinger farm)
     The group reported the killing to the Justice of the Peace Milt Parkhurst, and the body of the man, identified only as Arnold (Joe Arnold, note) was taken to Sargent for burial.
     Haumont's story indicated that the second man he had seen earlier in the day had surrendered to the vigilantes.  He had attempted to hide in a draw, but had been found.  The two were accused of being horse thieves.

             - taken from colum, MY NEBRASKA with etched drawing, of man on hrseback pullin a horse lying on ground with a rope and other horses and buttes in background, both text and drawing done by Marjoie Travis, in the newspaper, The Grand Island Daily Independent, issue of Saturday, December 24, 1966, Grand Island, Hall County, Nebraska, an inside page of said paper.

             (note:  This was a Vigilante Committee from Brown Count, the 2 men were above Mr. Arnold and a Mr. Bohannon who was conviceted and sentenced to the prison in Lincoln where he served his sentence.)
              (note:  above incident transpired just south off French Table in Upper Clear Creek Valley west, slightly northwest of Weissert village and Mottinger place later was longtime home of Harvey Kleeb, Sr.)
     

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