William Boles is Shot Dead by Sheridan Stoner
The Chronicle, February 20, 1890
(the newspapers are on microfilm at the Scottsburg Public Library)
Last Saturday night William Boles was shot and killed by one Sheridan Stoner. The scene of the tragedy was in the Hardy neighborhood about two or three miles southeast of Lexington.
A new hall had just been completed and was being dedicated by an oyster supper given by the Farmers’ Alliance.
The trouble which led to the shooting is said to have originated over some one putting down a window which had been raised to admit air. Boles accused Stoner of letting down the window, and angry words passed. The story we learned of the sad affair states that after a few angry words had been exchanged by the two men that Boles picked up a bench leg and began striking Stoner. After receiving a few licks Stoner pulled a revolver and fired a shot at Boles. The ball struck Boles on the forehead, making only a slight wound and glancing off struck a bystander, Frank Wells, in the arm near the elbow. This occurred in the hall which was well-filled with people. Soon as a shot was fired friends interfered and the combatants were separated.
It was only a few minutes afterward when the two met again and the trouble was renewed. As before, so the story goes, the attack was made by Boles striking Stoner with a club with such force as to knock him down, and then began beating him. At this point Stoner fired another shot, the ball striking Boles in the left breast and he fell forward, being killed almost instantly.
When the result of the fatal fight was fully known the excitement in the hall was high and many women are said to have fainted.
Soon as Stoner regained his feet and seen the effect of his shot, he fled.
It was well for Stoner that he fled for strong talk of lynching was talked by the friends of the dead man, and it was late Sunday afternoon before cooler heads overcame the lynching fever.
The man who lost his life is well known throughout the county. He is said to have been in the habit of taking liquor, and to this, is alleged the cause which led to his untimely death. Boles was about 40 years of age and leaves a wife and several children.
Sheridan Stoner, who did the shooting, is about 23 years of age. He resides with his father in Clark county not far from Marysville. Those who are acquainted with him say that he has always been considered somewhat weak in mind, yet fully accountable for his acts.
Sheriff Rice was telegraphed for and went to Lexington early Sunday morning. Tuesday he sent a message to deputy prosecutor J. H. Shea stating that Stoner had been captured. Shea went at once to Lexington where Stoner was to be given a preliminary hearing.
Since the above was put in type we hear another version of the affair which is that no shot was fired during the first melee but that both were fired during the second, and that the first shot killed Boles. It is possible that the true facts will not be learned until Stoner is put on trial, there being so many reports.
LATER — At 3:30 yesterday afternoon Sheriff Rice returned to Scottsburgh, having Stoner in charge. Tuesday Stoner voluntarily surrendered himself and yesterday morning he was arraigned at Lexington. He waived examination and was bound over to circuit court on the charge of murder in the first degree. He is now in jail. Stoner will plead self-defense.
News about Hardy residents in the New Washington Courier, New Washington, Indiana, 27 March 1903.
Clyde Anderson adn family will move to Louisville next week.
Miss Erma Stonehouse spent several days last week with her brother Charles near Lexington.
Miss Maude Taylor left for Illinois Friday.
James Mills is moving to Chelsea.
Bertha and Pruda Wilson visited their uncle, A. E. Stonehouse Wednesday.
T. M. Anderson and wife visited Tom Smith and wife at Marble Hill Sunday.
O. N. Boles and family, Golda and Maggie Close spent Sunday at T. J. Wilson’s.
The above information was submitted by Janice Hardy Stanley.