A Terrible Tragedy in Warren County - 1876
HOWRY, WESTFALL, DILLARD, FREMONT, FLANNIGAN, BATTLES, GROOM, MEEK
Posted By: cheryl moonen (email)
Date: 10/18/2017 at 17:12:01
Thursday, May 24, 1866
Paper: Anamosa Eureka (Anamosa, Iowa)
A Terrible Tragedy in Warren County
Indianola, Warren Co. Iowa
February 20th, 1876
ED. EUREKA: -Last night a few miles north-west of this place, in Greenfield Twp., was the scene of a terrible tragedy resulting in the death of two young men, and almost certain death of another, and seriously wounding one of the oldest settlors in the county. It seems that for years past there has been difficulty between one David Howry and a neighbor Reuben Westfall, and is always the case when malice is permitted to smolder there is something occurring at all times to increase the antipathy, and so in this case the breach became wider, and, as a natural result, others were drawn into it, and that addition to the members of both families swelled the ranks to a miniature army. Their frequent broils disturbed the peace of the neighborhood, but nothing serious occurred until last night, between nine and ten o’clock when they became involved in a general quarrel, as they were returning from church. They had got about forty rods from the church when David Howry, the father and leader of the Howry party, became engaged in a quarrel with one of the other party. From this they engaged into a general conflict. The Westfall party soon brought firearms into requisition. The Westfall party consisted of Benjamin and Levi Westfall, aged respectively 22 and 20 yrs., sons of Rueben Westfall, Thomas Fremont, Jack and George Dillard, all between 20 and 24 years of age, Frank Battles and Thomas Flannigan - eight men in all. The Howry party consisted of David Howry, the father, his son George, 22 years of age, his son John, 19 years of age and a young Irishman named James Groom. There were eighteen or twenty shots fired during the battle, most of which failed to take effect. The Westfall party had three six shooters with them, and one or both parties were well armed with brick bats, stones, knives, slug shots and brass knuckles. The fight lasted but a short time and upon examination it was found that George Howry had fallen dead in his tracks, caused by several wounds with a knife. John Howry was stabbed in the left side and walked about forty feet, fell and expired in a few minutes. The father David Howry received several serious wounds about the head. He may recover but it look doubtful. James Groom also received injuries that will likely prove fatal. After the battle the victorious party went to the house of Mr. Dillard and remained until arrested by Sheriff Meek, today, and are now occupying the lower part of the jail in this place and are carefully guarded, as there are some well-grounded apprehensions of mob-law, but it is to be hoped that nothing of the kind will disgrace this usually quiet city.
A. W. Morris
Warren Documents maintained by Karen S. Velau.
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