May 3, 2014

Moonshiner Kills Councilman, Wounds Town Marshal in Arrest Escape, 1913

Previously:

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[August 19, 1913] -

FORMER MOONSHINER KILLS BURNSIDE MAN

Josh Tarter, a Desperate Character, Also Wounds Marshal and Escapes

BURNSIDE, Ky., Aug. 18.--Josh Tarter, a desperate character and former moonshiner, at this place shot and killed John Fitzgerald and wounded Town Marshal John Coomer in a pistol duel late this afternoon.  Tarter had been to Somerset with a friend and returned drunk.  When he stepped from the train he was arrested by Marshal Coomer, who started with him to jail.  On the way Tarter drew his pistol and shot Coomer inflicting a slight flesh wound.  Tarter then ran to the ferry, pursued by a posse of citizens.  He compelled the ferryman at the point of the [p]istol to set him across the river and as he was crossing opened fire on his pursuers, killing Fitzgerald instantly.

The posse could not return the fire effectively for fear of killing the ferryman.  When Tarter stepped ashore the posse opened fire and he was  wounded as he ran away.  A great crowd of angry and excited citizens gathered at the river and there was talk of mob violence.  Tarter is still in hiding.  Officers have been summoned from Somerset and the fugitive will be surrounded and captured at once.

John Fitzgerald was one of the most respected citizens of Burnside.  He leaves a wife and ten children.  One of his daughters recently won a scholarship at Georgetown college. [1]





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[August 19, 1913] -

In a pistol duel at Burnside between Town Marshal Coomer and Josh Tartar, John Fitzgerald, a bystander, was killed and Coomer probably fatally wounded. [2]



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[August 22, 1913] -

Councilman John Fitzgerald is dead from a stray bullett and Town Marshal John Commer probably will die from gun shot wounds in the neck, as the result of a desperate pistol at Burnside between the town officer and Joshua Tartar, who resisted arrest with deadly effect.  Tartar escaped.  Councilman Fitgerald was an innocent bystander. [3]



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[August 23, 1913] -

Councilman Slain.

Councilman John Fitzgerald, of Burnside, a bystander, was killed in a shooting affray between Town Marshall Commer and Josh Tarter, who resisted arrest.  Commer was probably fatally shot. [4]





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[August 27, 1913] -

WITH CAVE AS FORT, HE DEFIES THE OFFICERS


Somerset, Ky., Aug. 24. -- Badly wounded, but heavily armed and guarded by two friends, who were also heavily armed, Josh Tartar, who is wanted for the alleged murder of John Fitzgerald, a businessman of Burnside, and the shooting of City Marshal John Coomer, of that place, last Monday night in a running battle with officers and citizens, was located to-day by Chief of Police H. G. Waddle, of this city, in a cave at the mouth of Pitman creek.

Tartar announced to the chief that he would not be taken alive, and under the circumstances no attempt at arrest was made by Chief Waddle.  Tartar is wounded in the right leg and the left arm, but is full of fight and has with him a large supply of ammunition.

Tartar's hiding place was made known by a Burnside surgeon, who was called to attend him.

Tartar first shot Marshal Coomer and then killed Fitzgerald, who was one of a posse of citizens who pursued him.

It was known that Tartar was wounded, as he left a long trial of blood behind him.

Gov. McCreary will be asked to offer a reward for Tartar's arrest and it is expected that the Mayor of Burnside will also offer a reward.

It is expected that a posse will go after Tartar to-day. [5]



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[August 29, 1913] -

Badly wounded, but heavily armed and guarded by two friends, who were heavily armed, Josh Tartar, who is wanted for the alleged murder of John Fitzgerald, a business man of Burnside, Pulaski county, and the shooting of City Marshal John Coomer, of that place, last Monday night in a running battle with officers and citizens, was located Sunday by Chief of Police H. G. Waddle, of Somerset, in a cave at the mouth of Pitman creek.  Tartar announced to the chief that he would not be taken alive, and under the circumstances no attempt at arrest was made by Chief Waddle.  Tartar is wounded in the right leg and the left arm, but is full of fight and has with him a large supply of ammunition.  Tartar's hiding place was made known by a Burnside surgeon, who was called to attend him.  Tartar first shot Marshal Coomer and then killed Fitzgerald, who was one of a posse of citizens who pursued him.  It was known that Tartar was wounded, as he left a trail of blood behind him. [6]








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[May 8, 1914] -

Reward for Josh Tartar

Gov. McCreary has offered a reward of $200 for the arrest of Josh Tartar, who is charged will killing John Fitzgerald at Burnside.  Circuit Judge Bethurum asked that the reward, be offered. [7]



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[1] "Former Moonshiner Kills Burnside Man." Lexington Herald, Lexington, KY. August 19, 1913. Page 2. Genealogybank.com.

[2] Excerpt from "News Notes." The Richmond Climax, Richmond, KY. August 19, 1913. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069162/1913-08-19/ed-1/seq-2/

[3] Excerpt from "News Notes." The Richmond Climax, Richmond, KY. August 22, 1913. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069162/1913-08-22/ed-1/seq-2/

[4] "Councilman Slain." Hopkinsville Kentuckian, Hopkinsville, KY. August 23, 1913. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069395/1913-08-23/ed-1/seq-3/

[5] "With Cave As Fort, He Defies The Officers." The Hartford Herald, Hartford, KY. August 27, 1913. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84037890/1913-08-27/ed-1/seq-1/

[6] Excerpt from "State News Pickups." Mountain Advocate, Barbourville, KY. August 29, 1913. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87060032/1913-08-29/ed-1/seq-2/

[7] "Reward for Josh Tartar." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. May 8, 1914. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052023/1914-05-08/ed-1/seq-1/

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