July 24, 2015

Boy Shot and Killed While Trying to Board Train, Pulaski/McCreary, 1909


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


[November 29, 1909] -



One Man is Arrested For the Killing When Another Admits He Fired Bullet.

(Special to the Leader.)

DANVILLE, KY., Nov. 29. -- Starling Litton of Greenwood, Pulaski county, is under arrest in this city, it being alleged that he shot and killed the 10-year-old son of Tilford, Shadowan of Burnside, Ky., Friday afternoon. The boy, according to the statements of those who are informed as to the circumstances of the killing, attempted to board a freight train. A shot was fired and he fell from the moving cars mortally injured. Richard Smith of Danville, was arrested and charged with the shooting, but after his arrest Litton appeared and admitted the shooting. He claims that it was accidental as he only shot to scare the boy. He will have his examining trial this week. [1]


[December 2, 1909] -


Brakeman, Accused of Murder, Says He Was Trying to Save Victim.

DANVILLE, KY., Dec. 2. -- An unusual defense has been made in connection with the case of Starling Litton, the Queen and Crescent brakeman, charged with killing the 10-year-old son of Tilford Shadoan at Greenwood. Litton's examining trial has been set for Friday at Somerset, in which county the deed was committed. With other boys, Shadoan was attempting to board the freight train and Litton and the other trainmen warned them of the danger, but they seemed to be inclined to disobey the crew.

In order to save the boys from danger, he says, Litton fired his revolver at the mountain side. The bullet struck a rock seventy-five yards away from the Shadoan boy and glancing, turned its course in a right angle, and striking the boy killed him. Litton contends that he is innocent of the charge of murder, and, on the other hand, was exercising his best judgment in trying to save the boy from danger. [2]


[February 18, 1910] -

The administrator of McKinley Shadoan has filed suit in the Pulaski circuit court against the Queen & Crescent railroad for $20,000. The boy was stealing a ride on the company's train and Brakeman Litton fired to scare him. The bullet struck a rock, bounded almost at right angles and struck the lad, killing him instantly. Robert Harding, of Danville, and Denton & Waddle, of Somerset, represent the plaintiff. [3]


[February 23, 1910] -

The third case is against Starlin Lytton, a brakeman on a freight train on the Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific Railroad, for the killing of McKinley Shadoan, a young boy of a well-known family, of Burnside, this county. The boy, with some others had been riding on the train and were ordered off by Lytton, and when they had gotten some little distance from the train, Lytton fired his pistol, the bullet entering young Shadoan's back and killing him almost instantly.

The grand jury indicted Lytton for wilful murder, although he says he did not fire at the boy, but that the bullet struck a rock and glanced and thus struck the boy. Beside the case of murder in this instance, young Shadoan's father has filed suit against the railroad company for $20,000 damages, alleging carelessness and negligence on the part of the company through its employes. [4]


[1] "Boy Shot." Lexington Leader, Lexington, KY. November 29, 1909. Page 1. Genealogybank.com.

[2] "Novel Defense." Lexington Leader, Lexington, KY. December 2, 1909. Page 11. Genealogybank.com.

[3] Excerpt from "In Neighboring Counties." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 18, 1910. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052021/1910-02-18/ed-1/seq-1/

[4] Excerpt from "Pulaski Court." Lexington Leader, Lexington, KY. February 23, 1910. Page 4. Genealogybank.com.

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