Family Files Submitted By
Rita Stepp Ficht

Murder of Robert Stepp


Robert Stepp was shot at a dance in a tent by Roscoe Dixon Wednesday night of last week in  the Clifty creek neighborhood.

Stepp was carried on a stretcher by friends who walked over a rough road over a mountain into the White River valley to this place and put him on a train for Fayetteville to have treatment in a hospital. Dr. Brown and the young man's father were on the train with him. Dr. Brown saw that death was near soon after the train left St. Paul, and young Stepp was taken from the train at Combs, where he died in the station there a few minutes later.

Stepp's mother, several young sisters and two brothers and his father and about 25 boys and girls riding horseback came in when Stepp was carried here on a stretcher. The mother and sisters stood by, weeping when young Stepp was put on the train. They stood and watched the train as it rumbled around a curve---the mother remarking " It is hard to see my boy carried away like that". After collecting together in the station and crying tears of sorrow for a few minutes, the mother and her daughters and sons and friends went over to the Justice of the Peace Hammond's office. The mother was in this office when the telegram came, saying her son had died at Combs. She never shed a tear on this news, as her crying had ceased, and she stoicly nerved herself to the ordeal and swore to a complaint charging that Roscoe Dixon fired the 5 shots that killed her son. Then she and the other women and girls mounted their horses and rode back into the hills.

Thursday night young men of Combs and St. Paul volunteered and brought the body of Stepp, wrapped in a white sheet, on two handcars from Combs to Pettigrew and they pumped the car upgrade, thirteen miles in two hours. Then they went back to St. Paul and brought a coffin here on a handcar that night. The father of the dead man rode on the handcar with the corpse. Friday morning the body was hauled in a wagon by mule team, fourteen miles out to a country cemetery and buried near Burns' Knob.

Roscoe Dixon fled immediately after he shot Stepp; and is still hiding in the brush.


( This happened September 8, 1921. The cemetery is Radford-Free Will)

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( The following from Madison County Record, July 19, 1923)


Dixon Brothers Arrested on Murder Charge

Roscoe and Otto Dixon, brothers, who are charged with first degree murder for the killing of a young man named Stepp at a dance near Red Star in September 1921, were arrested at Drumright, Okla, one day last week and brought to Huntsville Sunday by Sheriff Berry and lodged in jail. The father of the young men was here yesterday presumably for the purpose of trying to provide bond for them but the Record is not informed what further action will be taken.

We do not know the particulars of the killing further than that it occurred at a dance, as stated above, the Dixon boys and Stepp, also a young man of their age, 20 to 25 years old, becoming involved in a quarrel which resulted in Stepp being shot to death. The Dixon boys left the scene immediately and have since been at large. Their apprehension followed the offering of a reward of $100.00 by the father of the dead boy.


Indictment of Roscoe and Otto Dixon


    Rosco and Otto Dixon Indictment

                   Madison Circuit Court


The State Of Arkansas against Otto Dixon and Roscoe Dixon--Indictment   September term 1923


The Grand-Jury of Madison County, in the name and by the authority of the State of Arkansas accuse Otto Dixon & Roscoe Dixon of the crime of murder in the first degree committed as follows, to-wit: The said Otto Dixon & Roscoe Dixon in the said county of Madison, in the State of Arkansas, on the 7th day of September, 1921, unlawfully while acting together with a common purpose and design unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously, and with malice aforethought, deliberation, and with premeditation did kill and murder one Bob Stepp by cutting him on the body of the said Bob Stepp with a knife held in the hands of him the said Otto Dixon and by shooting him on the head and body of him the said Bob Stepp with a pistol loaded with gun powder and leaden bullets, and then and there held in the hands of him the said Roscoe Dixon, from the effects of wounds so inflicted he the said Bob Stepp died on the 8th day of September, 1921.

against the peace and dignity of the State of Arkansas.

                                                                                      John W. Nance

                                                                                      Prosecuting attorney 4th Judicial Circuit,


State of Arkansas


Otto Dixon &Roscoe Dixon                        Witnesses

 A True Bill                                                Cora Stepp

                                                                Odessa Clark

H. L. Montgomery

Foreman of the Grand Jury

Filed in open court this 4th day of September 1923

Recorded this 4th day of September 1923              D Simpson

                                                                          Circuit Clerk and Ex-Officio Recorder


( Submitter's note: I can find no record of the actual trial. I think charges were dropped against Otto for some reason. From family members I learned that Roscoe only served about 2 years. Due to over crowding in the jails, he was let out.)



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