June 2, 2014

Shootout Victim's Brothers Retaliate With Dynamite, Whitley, 1901



[January 17, 1901] -


Rioters Terrorize the Town of Corbin -- One Dead, 
One Fatally Wounded and Others Missing.

Corbin, Ky., Jan. 17. -- Intense excitement prevailed in Corbin Wednesday night.  About 1 o'clock Wednesday afternoon James Shotwell and Rollie White met in front of Hagan's drug store and began quarreling.  Few words were spoken when White drew a pistol and fired three shots into the body of Shotwell.  Shotwell was carried to his room, and is not expected to survive more than a few hours.  White took refuge in his brother's grocery, and submitted to arrest.  A guard was placed over him, awaiting the arrival of the county sheriff.

John Shotwell, a son of the dying man, was in Williams burg attending circuit court.  A hasty summons brought him to Corbin at 4 o'clock.  He at once swore vengeance on his father's murderer.

A Terrific Explosion.

At 6:30 a terrific explosion occurred under the grocery of E. R. White, where his brother was being guarded.  So severe was the shock that it tore the building literally to pieces.

There were about a dozen persons in the building at the time.  Several escaped with slight injuries, while several remain in the debris. No one at this time can say how many are killed.

One old man in trying to extinguish the blaze, declares that he took hold of a corpse.  Susan Cox, a well-known character, was found dead between the wrecked building and William Harp's residence.  It is supposed she was taken refuge there, and was hit by a stray ball.

Rapid Firing Begun.

Immediately after the explosion rapid firing in the neighborhood began by unknown parties, who were concealed.  About 9 o'clock more shooting took place, the result of which can not be learned.

Citizens are afraid to visit the rioting districts.  It was thought that the morning will find three or four persons dead.

The trouble between Shotwell and White grew out of the fact that White had been paying attentions to Shotwell's daughter, much against the will of the entire Shotwell family.

Wednesday afternoon when the two met Shotwell told White he must not visit his house again, as he did not wish such a man in his family.  From this the quarrel began.  Shotwell is about 50 years of age and a well respected citizen.  White is a young man about 22 years old. [1]


[January 17, 1901] -


At Corbin, Ky., Grows Out of a Shooting Scrape There Yesterday.


Store House Blown Up By Men After the Proprietor For Killing a Brother.


Corbin, Ky., Jan 17. -- There was a pitched battle here last night.  It grew out of the shooting yesterday of Jim Shotwell by Rolla White.  The brothers of the latter attempted to arrest White, threatening to lynch him, and a miniature fight followed.  During the promiscuous firing Susan Cox and Sutton Farris, bystanders, were killed and three others wounded.  White's store was wrecked with dynamite used by the Shotwells.  White was captured, but en route to Williamsburg, to be jailed, escaped and is still at large.  Jim Shotwell, wounded yesterday, is dead.  Peace reigns today, though the excitement is intense.  White's recapture would no doubt renew the troubles. [2]


[January 18, 1901] -

Terrible was the state of affairs which prevailed in the little town of Corbin Wednesday and Wednesday night, the result of which is, two persons dead, four wounded and one building completely recked by a dynamite.  James Shotwell and Rolla White, the two principals in the fight, who had been enemies for some time, met near the L. & N. depot and the trouble began.  Shotwell was mortally wounded by White, and before the deputies could arrive from Williamsburg, the house in which White was located, was attacked by dynamite and other explosives. [3]


[January 18, 1901] -

Sequel to Shooting Shotwell.

Corbin, Ky., Jan. 17. -- The blowing up of White's grocery where Rolla White, who had shot James Shotwell, was awaiting officers to put him under arrest, was supposed to have caused the death of several persons.  Mrs. Susan Cox, an innocent bystander, was found dead from a bullet wound outside the building.  Sheriff Sutton and posse made a thorough search of the White premises.  They found one dead body in the debris, that of Sutton Faris, a painter.  In a rear room, not damaged by the explosion, they found the two White brothers and placed them under arrest.  It is uncertain what further action will be taken by Shotwell's friends in the way of vengeance.  White had shot and fatally wounded James Shotwell for being refused to keep company with Shotwell's daughter. [4]


[January 19, 1901] -


Militia Patrols Streets of Corbin to Preserve the Peace.


Shotwell Boys Attend Funeral Under Escort -- Rolla White Landed in Jail -- Paterson Murder Trial Submitted to Jury.

Corbin, Ky., Jan. 18.-- State militia, under command of Colonel R. D. Williams, arrived here before daybreak and began disciplining riotous citizens, on account of whose conduct three person were killed and three fatally wounded by bullets and explosions of dynamite Wednesday.  Colonel Williams ordered the arrest of three of the Shotwell boys, sons of James Shotwell, who was killed by Rolla White Wednesday, and they have been sent to Williamsburg, where they will be held to appear before the grand jury on the charge of intimidating.  The men with their friends after the killing of James Shotwell paraded the streets and fired numerous volleys at the store where the officers had White under guard.  they also attacked Sheriff Sutton and posse while that official was taking White to Williamsburg Thursday morning.  There was great excitement when the Shotwell boys were put on the train, and indignation against the troops was pronounced.  In many instances there were open threats.  At Williamsburg a strong guard was placed over White, and a detachment of militia will guard him, while the remainder of the troops will remain at Corbin to prevent further clash.  Several clashes between friends of the feudists have been narrowly averted.  Both factions want the troops withdrawn and the feud fought by the principals to a final settlement.  Armed men are marching the street and surreptitiously leaving here.  It is believed that all are intent on joining one of the factions at some mountain rendezvous.  Rolla White reached Williamsburg at night under guard of officers who were afraid to bring him in daylight or on the train.  The Shotwells were permitted to attend the burial of their father at Rockhold in charge of deputy sheriffs and a squad of militia. [5]


[January 25, 1901] -

An indictment has been returned by the grand jury of the Whitley circuit court against Rolly White, charging him with the willful murder of James Shotwell. 

Tom Thatcher thinks that Judge Morrow might have suppressed the Corbin mob more effectually by ordering from Somerset a few smallpox suspects, instead of the bluegrass militia, to the scene.--Journal. [6]


[February 1, 1901] -

The Shotwells and their friends, a total of ten, have been indicted in the Whitley Circuit Court for murder and conspiracy to murder.  The crime was the dynamiting of White's store in Corbin January 16 after the fatal shooting of James Shotwell by Rolla White. [7]


[February 8, 1901] -

Rolla White, for the murder of James Shotwell, at Corbin two weeks ago, was acquitted in the Whitley Circuit Court Tuesday.  There was a hung jury in the Shotwell case, for dynamiting the storeroom which White was in. [8]


[February 12, 1901] -

At Williamsburg Circuit Judge Morrow refused to allow bail to John and Charles Shotwell.  The other defendants were granted bail in sums of $2,000 to $4,000.

The jury in the Shotwell murder cases at Williamsburg hung, standing 10 for conviction and two for acquittal. [9]


[May 3, 1906] -


Convict Paroled Who Blew Up Restaurant With Dynamite.

London, Ky., April 27.-- Chas. Shotwell, who died at Corbin Thursday was paroled from the Frankfort penitentiary about two months ago on account of consumption.  He and his brother Jonathan were serving life sentences for blowing up the restaurant of Rolla White, in Corbin, several years ago with dynamite, when Sutton, Farris and Susan Cox were killed by the explosion.  White had killed Shotwell's father the night before. [10]


[1] "Building Blown Up." Daily Public Ledger, Maysville, KY. January 17, 1901. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069117/1901-01-17/ed-1/seq-3/

[2] "Fatal Battle." The Paducah Sun, Paducah, KY. January 17, 1901. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052116/1901-01-17/ed-2/seq-1/

[3] Excerpt from "Locals." Mount Vernon Signal, Mt. Vernon, KY. January 18, 1901. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1901-01-18/ed-1/seq-3/

[4] "Sequel to Shooting Shotwell." The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, KY. January 18, 1901. Page 1. LOC.  http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87060190/1901-01-18/ed-1/seq-1/

[5] "Troops in the Town." The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, KY. January 19, 1901. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87060190/1901-01-19/ed-1/seq-1/

[6] Excerpts from "In Neighboring Counties." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 25, 1901. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1901-01-25/ed-1/seq-1/

[7] Excerpt from "News Items." Mount Vernon Signal, Mt. Vernon, KY. February 1, 1901. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1901-02-01/ed-1/seq-1/

[8] Excerpt from "Locals." Mount Vernon Signal, Mt. Vernon, KY. February 8, 1901. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1901-02-08/ed-1/seq-3/

[9] Excerpts from "In Neighboring Counties." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 12, 1901. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1901-02-12/ed-1/seq-1/

[10] "A Triple Murder Recalled." The Citizen, Berea, KY. May 3, 1906. Page 7. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052076/1906-05-03/ed-1/seq-7/


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