January 17, 2015

Somerset Town Marshal Kills Man Who Resisted Arrest, Pulaski, 1883


Click here for a list of my other Pulaski/Rockcastle/Laurel County KY articles


[January 30, 1883] -


SOMERSET, Ky., Jan. 29.-- J. Reynolds was shot and killed to-day by Marshal Hansford. Reynolds became disorderly and Hansford tried to arrest him, but Reynolds resisted and fired at the marshal and then ran. The latter pursued and fired, when Reynolds fell dead. The coroner's jury found the killing necessary to self defense. [1]


[January 30, 1883] -



SOMERSET, Jan. 29.-- Jonas Reynold was shot and killed to-day by Marshal Hansford. Reynold became disorderly; Hansfored tried to make an arrest; Reynold resisted, fired at the Marshal and then ran. The latter pursued and fired till Reynold fell dead. The Coroner's jury found the killing not necessary to self-defense. [2]


[February 1, 1883] -

Jim. Reynolds a notorioius character was killed at Somerset on Friday by Town Marshal, J. M. Hansford, while resisting arrest. [3]


[February 2, 1883] -

The town marshal of Somerset has glorified himself by chasing a drunken man and firing on him until the drunkard fell dead, because the drunken man risisted arrest. Although the drunkard fired a pistol before running, the Coroner's jury very justly rendered a verdict that the killing was not in self defense. We repeat again, that there is not one man fifty that knows what self-defense is, and that the very explicit law defining it ought to be published semi-annually in every newspaper in the State at the expense of the public Treasury. [4]


[February 2, 1883] -

KILLED. -- Marshal J. M. Hansford shot and killed Jonas Reynolds Monday under the following circumstances: Reynolds, with a woman and two men, went to Somerset and after getting drunk started to whoop, swear and brandish firearms. Mr. Hansford attempted to arrest them, when they resisted, and he fell back for assistance. Again advancing toward them, Reynolds drew a dirk and made demonstrations of fight. Hansford then fired at him, at which Reynolds turned and ran, the Marshal following, firing as he went. The fourth shot took effect and Reynolds dropping dead. An inquest was held and a verdict rendered that deceased came to his death by shots fired from a pistol in the hands of Mat Hansford and not in necessary self-defense. Upon hearing the verdict Mr. Handsford gave himself up. The sympathy of the people is entirely with Hansford as Reynolds was a desperate character and had frequently made threats against the officers. On Wednesday the examining trial was held, when Mr. Hansford was honorably discharged. [5]


[May 1, 1883] -

J. M. Hansford has been indicted for the killing of Jim Reynolds. Upon hearing of the indictment Mr. Hansford immediately surrendered himself and tendered his resignation as marshal. Although the indictment will really amount to nothing except unnecessary expense, Mr. Hansford's friends regret it, because it is generally acknowledged that he has been the most efficient officer the town has ever had, and the indictment will only encourage desperadoes. [6]


[June 29, 1883] -

Marshal Hansford has resigned and our town [Somerset] is now without a marshal. [7]


[1] Excerpt from "Crimes and Casualties." Grand Forks Daily Herald, Grand Forks, ND. January 30, 1883. Page 1. Genealogybank.com.

[2] Excerpt from "Somerset." The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY. January 30, 1883. Page 3. Newspapers.com.

[3] Evening Bulletin, Maysville, KY. February 1, 1883. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069125/1883-02-01/ed-1/seq-2/

[4] The Bourbon News, Millersburg, KY. February 2, 1883. Page 4. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069871/1883-02-02/ed-1/seq-4/

[5] "Killed." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 2, 1883. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1883-02-02/ed-1/seq-3/

[6] Excerpt from "Pulaski County." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. May 1, 1883. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1883-05-01/ed-1/seq-2/

[7] Excerpt from "Pulaski County." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. June 29, 1883. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1883-06-29/ed-1/seq-3/


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