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About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (July 5, 1895)
THE RED CLOUD CHIEF, FRIDAY, JULY 5, 1895.
BARRETT SCOTT STORY
RcmarlcnWc Criminal Ccc That Ig
Still mi Unsolved Mystery.
FEATURES OF THE AFFAIR.
arty KcnU That Led tip to Tim Lynch
lag of the KiTreaarer Mnllllian,
Klllott and tlarrl, Declared In no.
cent and Tliey Ara Free Men,
Buttk, Nob., Juno E8. Tho alleged
tourdorcra of Burrott Hoott hnvo boon
oqulttod mid tho final cluipter In ono of
Ibe most retnarlctiblo criminal casoi of
tho Ago concluded. Fur moro tlinn two
ytara tho stnto of Nobrnaka lion boon
disturbed by nomo features of tho sons.
Uonal ftffnir, nnd for tho pant nino
months tho northwestern section of ths
statu ban been on tho vcrgo of civil wot
M n roanlt of tho dovolopmonts in tha
Tho court's instructions woro vory
lengthy. In tho matter of venno liu in
Btractod tho jury that it would bu itcc
esaary to find beyond n roasonablu doubt
that Barrett Scott was hauled or came
to his (loath in Boyd county
In order to convict. Ho also
Instructed tho jury that political parties
and factions and sympathy for tho
friends or relatives of defendant or
Bcott Hhoald not Ira considered iu ur
riving at tho verdict.
Whon tho Jurj won asked if thoy
had readied a vonlict, each man
aswerod yes, and as tho foreman
handed up tho vordlct a stillness per
vaded tho room. No indication oould
be found in tho fivooH of the jury what
their verdict was, but tho defendants
and thoir attorneys did not ruom to be
at all worried. When tho court road the
wrdict of not Rullty Mrs. Mnllihan and
Mrs. Elliott broko down nnd jjiivo vont
to their overwrought fuolings in n burst
of tenrn. Tho dofondants woro visibly
affected, and rocoivotl the congratula
tions of their friends, counsel, court and
Jury, all evidently being thankful that
tho long trial was over.
UUtory of the Cie.
Two years ago Troasnrer Barrett
Bcott of Holt County Iwciitno n defaulter
to tho extent of $100,000, and (led to
Mexico. After a series of poouliar inci
dents ho was captured and returned to
Nebraska. A trial rosnlted iu his con
viction. By tho exortiou of great
political influence ho secured a stay of
enteiico and continued to enjoy his
liberty. Feeling had reached fever boat
between his friends and onomlos iu this
part of tho state by this time, and tho
situation was known to bo critical.
Whilo onjoyiug a rido in his family
earriugo with his wifo and child in a
thickly settled neighborhood, Bcott was
surprised by a body of masked mon. Ho
wan nrmod and resisted. Tho carriago
Was riddled with bullets, several of tho
occupants wounded nnd tho convicted
defaulter dragged from his screaming
wifo and child. Ho was never seen
live again. A month later his muti
lated body was found under tho ieo in
the Niobrar. river miles from tho scono
of tho captunt. Dozens of mon woro
arrested, the most sensational charges
Indulged in by both friends and ene
mies, and after tho employment of do
tectlves galore, tho private fortunes of
tnauy and all tho legal machinery of
tho state, tho authors of tho crime have
not yot been brought within tho palo of
The interesting phases of tho Bcott
cao continue to bo a fruitful theme of
peculation throughout the west.
Among tlioso familiar with tho per
plexing atfair there exists no doubt that
tho details of the mnrdor are known to
many people, and that at least a dozen
people participated in tho bloody work.
The information upon which tluiso
opinions are based also satisfy tho samo
persons that, though the ordinary mur
der case "will out," those rosponslblu
for tho killing of Barrett Bcott will
never bo brought to justice.
Fiiuilly anil Neighborhood Fouil.
Tho atl'air from sturt to finish involves
family and neighborhood feud so tlerco
an to startle every individual who bus
pent yearn on tho bordor, whore humau
lifo is looked upon with somo dogroo of
indifference, a vigilantes organization
which, for a quarter of a century, has
been a law unto itself, two strong
political factions aud a multitude of in
dividuals whoso lovo or hatred for Bar
rett Bcott led thou, into tho horriblo
affair on ouo sido or tho other. And
though tho ono man who has directly
or otherwise boenjtho causo of tho ro
markablo situation lies iu a dishonored
gravu, the development incident to his
murder will probably form tho issuos in
business and social affairs in Ndrthwest
em Nebraska for several decades.
With tho rise of tho Populist party
and tho doclino of tho old parties several
yoars ago in Nebraska came rumors in
many sections of looted public treasuries.
In many casos thoso report woro urged
with much effect. Somo couutles had
been In tho bauds of ouo swt of poll
ticinns since their formation. Daring
this time one set of men frequently hud
tho udministuatlon of financial affairs.
This condition naturally provoked very
tooso business 'methods. Holt county
Was no cxcoptlon to tho general rule.
Iu lbUS Barrett Scott was closing his
second term as treasurer of Holt county.
PrioV to that it had been iu tho bauds
of Scott's f riouds. Ho was a Republican
and u good follow, iu tho common ac
ceptation of tho phrase. Scott would do
anything for u friend. Ho had hosts of
them; in fact it was commonly said ho
could have any oilleo ki tho gift of the
peoplvho kitew him. no was being
prominently mentioned na a candidate
for state treasurer.
Fir tt Niuplvton of Trouble,
The firr.l suspicion of trouble de
veloped iu tho shape of ugk- rumors
about tho county funds. It was said
t?cot bird loauo1 it promiscuously to his
f. ioiuls. At iit theso reports woro at-t.-ibuted
to politico enemies. '' But tho
loud grew rapidly. Bcott wnntcfl a
third term. Being n "good fellow"
covers a multitude of sins in the wost,
but tho nvorngo voter draws the line on
throo coAiecnttvo terms in offlco, bo tho
position ever so small. Scott's frionda
remonstrated. He could not be re
elected again, thoy said. Scott was de
termined. HoAplendod with his friends
to stand by him. Ho appeared toe
anxious. Mnny began to credit tho
rumoiB of crooked work in tho Holt
county treasurer's ofllce. Tho Populists
aw Scott's situation and, to make
political aapital, forced tho issuo by de
manding that ho permit n committee to
ate his cash. Bcott did not dare rofuse.
If ho did the pcoplo would bo satisfied
the money was gone. If he permitted
the investigation tho result was equally
fatal, for in truth tho money was gone.
Iu desperation he visltod an Omaha
bank and, on tho payment of $1,000,
oouiploted an agreement by which, on a
oertniu day, tho bank would send a
trusted ngeut to Holt county with 50,
000 in gold. Scott might count it as
Hfllt oounty funds for ono day, but
always iu tho presonco of the Omaha
bank's agent, who was armed and
ready for fighting iu tho event tho
mouoy was unsafe. Tlion Scott began
to defy tho Populists, nnd boasted that
on a certain day ho would exhibit n pile
of gold in his owu prlvato vault, which
bolotigod to tho county, and that ovory
ponny was there. It was n desperate
game but for tho time it lookod llko n
winner. At tho timo announced tho
Omaha man arrived, and ho did tho
gold. Scott proudly pointed to the
great stacks of yellow inotal and de
manded that tho Populist committee
exonerato him of any wrong doing.
Tho committee counted tho gold. Evory
dollar was there. Scott's friends were
jubilant and tho opposition correspond
ingly dopresscd. Barrott Scott wae
nover stronger politically in nolt county
than on tho ovo of his fall. A third
term was iu sight. All wan smooth
Money Win Not There.
It will never bo known jnst how tho
ecret leaked out. Perhaps tho prosonco
of tho strange man from Omaha con
stantly at tho vault door provoked sus
picion. However, tho noxt day, boforo
signing tho stntomout exonerating
Scott of all charges of dishonesty, the
Pop commltteo nekod for n hut peep at
tho county money. Ouo moro look aud
they would sign tho stntomout that
would htivo elected htm to n third term
nnd at least postponed tho humiliating
confession for two yoars, and porhaps
forever. But tho money was not thoru.
Tho bank agent had started that very
morning for Omaha. Scott had to re
fuse Yet there was no excuse for the
refusal, us far us tho commltteo know.
But tho moro Scott protested that tho
press of other business demanded his
immediate attention, tho moro persist
ent tho committee became. Tho mom
bers saw a chauco to avoid helping n
political enemy. Finally they boldly
demanded to seo the mouoy. Tho de
faulter saw that ho had reacliod tho end
of his string. Ho had played a despor
ato gamo and, whou in tho vory sight
of success, had lost. Ho vory ploasantly
told tho commltteo that ho wonld open
tho vault again tho next day and show
them tho money. Thoy consented.
Scott at once fled. Ho was not to be
found tho next day. Tho vault was
lockod and, though it appeared a triflo
suspicions, tho truth did not dawn on
tho Populist couiinitteo until Bcott was
nfu in .Mexico. Then it was discovered
that tho lock of tho vault had boon de
liberately broken. Tho door could not
bo opened for several days. When it
was not a cent of county funds could
Captured In Merlco.
All Holt county was wild. Tho farm
ers were poor, uud with no prospects of
a croj) they had to face an impoverished
oounty treasury. Months Inter Scott was
captured in Mexico. Ho iiiado a desper
ate light against extradition. Ho de
clared that if he was taken back to Holt
county tho pooplo ho had betrayed
would lyuch him. Tho fugitive was
finally taken back to tho scene of his
crime. At once a number of influential
friends gathered around Bcott aud an
abnndauco of money was coutrlbuted
for his defense It was said openly that
theso mon camo to Scott's assistance bo
cause they had participated in tho loot
ing of tho county treasury and feared
tho cousequonces of Scott being deserted
nnd forced to a confession. Their in
fluouco was powerful. They could not
prevent a Holt county jury speedily
fluding him guilty, but after ho had
boon sentenced to the penitentiary for
five yoars somo mysterious influence
gavo him his liberty and the convicted
defaulter walked tho streots as free us
if he had never stolon $100,000, Months
passed and it looked as if Barrett Scott
would never bo sent to tho penitentiary.
Perhaps it was nothing moro potent
than ordinary technicalities with which
ho surrounded himself, but be that us
it may, the situation began to look
dangerous for tho peace of tho com
munity. Farmers wero daily taunted
by Scott's overzealous friends with their
defeat. Finally the farmers got the im
pression that Barrett Bcott still had tin
county funds concealed somuwheiv, urn!
when tho prosecutiou hnd been v. en
out ho would secure the money and hw ,
in luxury at tho expense of Ikl I
Vl,l!iiitr Acnln Active, I
When Northwestern Nebraska w.i
fin ATfMtlln Yv.l.i. it ..... ...... .....Ill .
...w ..... ....' .'.. .. w WV.11TUI1 UIYIII. (
uou mo uuers m tho soil had bee,
forced to organizo a vigilantes cum
mitto for protection agaiust tho rovi (
bonds uud individual horso thieves, li
that day, when might was right, th'
vigttotites of Norfh western Nebmski
were a power for good. Criminals won
notgiron tho benotrt of logal technicali
ties. Tho vigilantes watched a suspect
long enonith to feel that ho was a inn
uce.to tlio community, thou thoy quietly
selected a committee, who took th-
doomed niaii to tlio nearest treo niri
bunged him. Sometimes, to nvon
xusvoriug trouUwsomu questions, the
I Krvlv rJ ttfa mlti.- . .- t.
mrj v ...v.. IIVHUI IW VUHI, JUKJ UBW
of tho numerous prairio streams, to be
buried Instantly in a sea of quicksand
that nevor gives up its dead. If it was
in winter and ice covered the river, ao
mnoh the better, for a hole was cat at a
oonvoniont spot, tho vigilantes' viotim
puahod iu and all trace ml their bloody
work was hid from inquiring oyes.
When state and municipal organisa
tions canio into existenoe in Nebraska
tho terriblo vigilantes order became loss
prominent. There was little demand
for tho pioneer law guardians. Still
thoy novor wholly disbanded their or
ganization. Old Methods Employed.
It is no necrot that about tho timo it
appoured that Defaulter Barrett Scott
would cscapo tlio arm of tho law the
old vigilantes ordor began to be talked
of again in Holt county. Tho rugged
old mon who had fought tho early battles
with outlaws and Indians begau to talk
aggressively of the manner iu whloh
thoy handlod oommon roguos. Thoy
beirau to look over tho rottr nf tha
vigilantos organization nnd found many
momoors on an sides. Hevornl meotinga
Woro held. If tho fate of Bnrrntt Hnttt
was discussed tho fact will never be
known. No man lias over lived to
boast of having botrayed tho sccrcta of
tho vigilantos of tho groat northwest.
Scott's frionds assort that at theso meot
lugs Scott's murdor was arranged. On
tho contrary, tho old mombers of tho
law nnd order leaguo doclaro that tho
rumors were circulated by tho real
murderers; that thoy woro planning tho
murder of their dupo for fear ho would
betray them and explain who helped
him spond tho Holt county money. Por
hups tho vigilantos wero wrongly ac
cused; porhups Scott was murdered by
his friends, but tho truth is that tho
mon who killed tho defaulting treasurer
employed tho ancient methods of the
Nebraska vigilantos to au alarmingly
Scott started with his wifo, baby nnd
Miss McWhortor for a hunt a fow miles
from homo. Tholr hirod man drove tho
fumily carriago. There are many here
who thhik Scott went ou that oxpodl
tiou to recover Holt countv fmuls wliirh
ho had burled out oil tlio prairie. This
rumor gamed currency. It is on record
that tho Farmers' Protective rmsnein.
tlon, nn organization said to havo been
lormoii n snort timo boforo for tho pro
tection of small cattlo men. which, hv
tlui way, contained all tho nolt county
ex-vigiiamos, wnicn is commonly said
to bo tho old viuiluntca under n nnw
namo, bellovod Bcott hnd tho monoy
unrled and wont nfter it on this oc
casion. Ho was returning from bin
alleged hunt, Itaving been gono throo
uays. no was passing i'arkcr's mill In
Holt county, Deo. .11, 18DJ. Jnst before
tho now year dawned tho Scott carriago
was surrounded by n dozen maskod
men. Not a word was spokou. Scott real
ized his dnugor nnd instinctively lashed
his horses into a run. Tho avengers
wero taken by surprise. Tholr viotim
was nbout to escnpe, when thoy openod
a terriblo tiro on tho carriago. Tho two
horses sank iu their tracks. 8cott was
wounded in two places. Miss Mc
Whortor rocelvod a Winchostor ball iu
tho back and tho hired man and Mrs.
Scott narrowly escaped. Scott was
dragged bleeding from his wife's
ido aud gagged. Tho othors
wero placed hurriedly iu another
wagon brought from a ravino nnd
drivon within sight of their homo by
two masked mon. Not u word was
siwkeii. Tho family wero tumbled out,
nnd boforo tho alarm was misprt thn
masked men nnd tho team had dis
appeared in tho wilds of tho Niobrara
breaks. Scott's futo remained a mvs-
tery for a month. Thon the body was
accidentally found by tho small nrmv
of searchers. Tho ico of tho Niobrara
had 1hoh cut nnd tho body cast into tho
water. It had struck n firm li'stim?
place nnd was easily recovered. A ropo
stiu around tho murdered man's neck
told the story of his death.
It is freouentlv ussm-toil thnt thn
murderers ot Ilarrett Scott got posses
sion of tho stolen funds of Holt county.
Many believe this to be tho truth, whilo
others nru satisfied tho vigilantos tried
tho defaulter and fouud him mill r v. nn.
cording to thoir primitive methods, and
proceeded to reniovo him without pity.
Tho other side is equally confident that
tho men who profited by Scott's steal-
lugs killed him to cloio his mouth
Hunt For the Murderer.
Somo uffort wns mado to 1unt down
the murderers. Tho county officials
were tmralvzcd. Thn old vli-il.mtiw
organization permeated nil branches of
tho county government uud tho legisla
ture ordered the attorney general to
proceed iu tho case.
A dozen men wero arrested, all con
nected with tho protective association
or ex-viinlantes. Tho prosecution win
pushed on tho theory that tlio murder
was commiuon oy mat order. But tlio
Btretigth of tho order was iwnlerosti.
muted. Mon mado no secret of their
connection with either organization
aftor tho fight started. It wits not such
a Krriblo thing In tho estimation of
those stiMjn pioneers to havo assisted in
removing a felon who could not Iw
ranched by tho law which punishes the
poor man. Tlw representative in tho
legislature from tlio enhuty boasted on
tlio floor of tho cnpltol that ho was u
member. Wiion tho trial approached
Geor; D. Munition, Alf. 11, Harris
aud Moses T. EHjott were tho only onm
tho Btnto thought it could couvict. To
avoid tho rniltionoo of tho vigilante
Hio c.isa was taken to Boyd county.
Mie defendant? admitted thoy were
vigilnntes, and there fs littlo doubt th.it
tuutfy of tho jury were niembers of thi'
same order. Tlw defense of nH was rn
alibi. Thoy proved by dozom of nl.i
settlors that whilo tluy wero not ai
homo tho. night Barrett Scott was nun
dered, thoy wwo out on tho phm
looktng for stock. It was n little sitn
lar thut flipy weco hunting stoek'nt t'hih
timo of the year, but the word ot jo
many pioneers could not bo iiupccvh . -.1
imd tho prisouers were acquitted.
A splendid rain last Friday, (tic
corn looks good and is growing rapid-
Children's day in Micrs' grove was
well attendod. The Micsionry Mr.
Kizcr wns there in tho f'cinoon and
gavo several illustrations to the
children and also to the older people.
Tho program was good.
C. W. aad Wm. Barrett went to
Lebanon last Monday.
Miss Sadie Mountlerd has returned
home from lied Cloud.
Miss Dollie Davis nf Hed Cloud is
visiting her mother this wek.
Children's day was observed at
Oriole last Sunday; t very on roport
n goad time,
There was no Sunday school ut Mt.
Hope last Sunday on account of
quarterly meeting aud Childran's day.
A Viiluuhle I'tiul.
After years of study nn lbor, thero has
at last boen discovered a ssro and never
failing remedy, It Ims been letted on
patients, whe havedtspairedef ever being
oured, the results have been, in every ease
wonderful. O toft's HheamatiBtn Cure is
nnequaled as n positive remedy in all
cases of Chronic nnd Acute Inflammatory
Rheumatism, Gout, Lumbago, Solution,
Neuralgia, Dysmenurrhoen nud nil kind
red affections. It is nlon vnhinble Ulood
Purifier, being espceinlly useful in Eczema
Psoriasis, Serofutn, nil Glandular Eulnrge
ment and dieanusof the liver nnd kidneys.
It is absolutely free from all narcotics.
Severe nttneks nro relioved in from one
to three dayn and n positive euro effected
in from flvo to eighteen days. O. L. Cot
ting Red Cloud, Neb. lU-4tn
Plenty of rain at present.
Mr. aud Mrs. Iilouk spout Sunday
with their parents.
Mirscs Oortio Brown and Alta
Hakor were uuesis of Jessie Uuckrull
O. W. Hekcr nnd daughter Susie
were in lted Clou4 Tuesday.
Sid Cox und wifo spent Sunday at
1). F. Trunkey's.
Several of our pcoplo will celebrate
J. W, Saladin aud wife spent Sun
day in lied Cloud.
Mrs. Ogden was visiting her pn
routs Sunday, Mr. and Mrs. Kniick.
Mrs. Charley Riissrr is recovering
from her spell of sickness.
Mrs. Meade returned to her home
i Crete last week.
Mrs. I, Frisbio is not much im
proved but wo hope for a change
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i i 9 i
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Address Th Sliirlimr Uamnilv P.
Chicago otllce, 15 Randolph Sf, Now
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Words ol Comfort to All who Suffer from
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uorth half of the iiorlf w,.'it cii'ianer indT lit
north half of tho tmrtl i it , art?"f seii on
twenty-six C.'fi . In township twi (3) nirtlo?
rne twelve li). west el tho Ctli 1 M li
Webster eouuty, Nebraska. "' ' M" '
a! u.'imS? my luuul ,1,ls Clh tlay or JuB.
(Irlffis Itlnaher & mi?' "cnv, Blicrllf.
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