This week's theme is tragedy. Bad things happen in all families, but this is a most interesting one from my family.
Harlan Turner, my great aunt's husband certainly was involved a a tragedy . I did not know much about him, except that he married my Aunt Gert Hannah in Butler, Missouri on April 4, 1890. Then they divorced 9 years later.
Harlan was born Morgan County, Kentucky on February 27, 1857 to James and Elizabeth (Trimble) Turner. The 1860 and 1870 census describe him as living at home with his parents in Kentucky. In 1880 Harlan is living in Valley, Linn, Kansas. He is described as a farmer and a partner in the farm. When he arrived in Butler, Missouri is a mystery to me. However, I got more information about him from the Butler newspaper.
Imagine my surprise to read that he was involved in a gun fight in a saloon in Butler. Compared to
the size of most of the articles in the paper, this was a much longer article so I suspect it was a big story in Butler. As I read the article, this is what seems to have happened. Harlan Turner and his friend, J. W. McVeigh had spent most of the day from noon to early evening drinking in the Goose Saloon. About 7 o’clock they began to hit each other over the head and in the face with their hats. To avoid further trouble, the bartender closed the bar, and Turner and McVeight left, and went their separate ways.
Later in the evening they both returned and their gun fight ensured. The bartender, Robert Plummer, described the incident as follows: