E. C. JUSTICE
OLD INDIAN CEMETERY
The following information was provided by B.O. Roop:
MURDER AT BELL*, I.T.
Ervin Justice, a well known and highly respected citizen and merchant of Bell, I.T. was killed on the night of the 15th. About dark two masked men came on the porch, Mr. Justice got up
and opened the door, thinking they were some of his neighbors. Just as the door opened they ordered him to throw up his hands, but before Mr. Justice had time to raise them they shot him 6
times in the breast and arms, killing him instantly. No trace as to who they were, or the cause of the murder is known. Mr. Justice was a more than average civil and quiet, law-abiding
citizen. No one thought he had any enemies. He was well to do and earned his living by honest hard labor and fair dealing. He leaves a wife and 2 children and a host of friends to
mourn his death. There was no better citizen in our county. B.L. Campbell
Special to the Elevator (Newspaper: Fort Smith Elevator)
March 22, 1895
*Bell was near Loving, Indian Territory
THE JUSTICE MURDER
Last week we published an article of one of the most diabolical murders ever perpetrated in the Indian Territory, that of Mr. Ervin Justice, a prominent and well-to-do business man of Bell,
I.T., Choctaw Nation, who was called to his door and literally shot to pieces a few nights previous by 3 or 4 (at this time unknown men.) Bell is in Sugar Loaf County about 10 miles
Southeast of Wister and about 2 miles from the Ark. line. The murder stirred the people from miles around and an investigation was at once begun. The horses ridden by the outlaws were
hitched a short distance from the house, and they were tracked from where they stood directly to the house of Bill Frazier where it was ascertained that John Gregory, Charles Perry and
Chas. Harris had taken supper the night of the killing. Charles Perry was arrested at the home of his father, Nail Perry, by Peter Coinson, sheriff of Sugar Loaf County, and the other
suspects fled to the mountains. Young Perry acknowledged that he had held the horses while Gregory and Harris went to the house. He heard 11 shots fired, and directly afterwards the boys
came back and said they had killed him.
Deputy Marshal John Salmon visited the scene with writs for the men mentioned, but saw at once that it would be a troublesome and dangerous task to capture Frazier in the mountains
fastness, with every inch with which the fugitive was thoroughly acquainted. The armed crowds who were scouring the county had sworn swift vengeance against the murderers of their
neighbor, and Frazier would never surrender to them for fear of being mobbed. So the officer called on Frazier's wife and advised her to take him to the hiding place of her husband and
induce him to surrender, assuring her that he would protect him from all harm, and take him directly to Ft. Smith. This was on Saturday morning last. She told Salmon to return at 12
o'clock and she would give him an answer. He came back at the appointed time and she told him she would go. Salmon had one man with him and Mrs. Frazier also took one, and carried a
Winchester strapped to her saddle herself. She led the officers into the mountains some distance, and soon brought him to the base of a high point in the hills on which Frazier had put
up a small stone fort from which he could see in all directions, and could have successfully fought off an ordinary number of men. After a short parley Frazier came down and give up his
arms, and the party at once struck out for (A few words are missing here) midnight train and lodged Frazier and young Perry in jail. Their examination was begun Monday before U.S.
Comm. Brizzolara, but it has not been concluded, the men being held at this writing to await further testimony. So far it looks as if Gregory and Harris did the killing, and were aided
and abetted by Frazier and young Perry, who furnished them pistols. Harris and Gregory are still at large, but their arrest is thought to be only a question of time, as they are both
mere boys and will not likely leave the country. William Frazier is not entirely unknown in Court Circles here, on Oct. 5, 1887 in the same locality where he now lives, Deputy U.S.
Marshall Geo. Williams, with Abe Barnhill, Lou Lovelace and J.G. Henderson as posse, went to serve a writ on a charge of larceny. They found him at home, but he declined to surrender. He
sent the women and children out of the house and after a long parley the marshalls fired into the building wounding him in the leg. He then went out the back door and shot Abe Barnhill
in the ankle with a shotgun and in the knee with a 6 shooter. He then made a running fight and got away, wounded 8 times. He was so badly hurt that he could make no further resistance
and surrendered late in the evening to the officer. He was brought out of his trouble, and this is his first offense against the law since. His wife came here with him when he was
wounded and stayed by him through all his trouble. She came in with him again Saturday night and remained by him all through his trial before the Comm.
Bill Frazier, John Gregory, Chas. Harris
Frank Young and Charles Perry
Charged with the crimes--Frazier, Young
and Perry under arrest
March 29, 1895
OTHER ARTICLES OF LATER DATES TAKEN FROM THE FORT SMITH ELEVATOR
April 5, 1895
Frank Young, charged with complicity in the murder of Ervin Justice, was discharged by Comm. Brizzolara.
April 12, 1895
Charles Perry was discharged.
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Copyright 2013 by Delaine Edwards & the submitters
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