Guns and Pistols, Bloodshed and Death

The Gazette
July 18, 1894

This is the newspaper article about the shootout Gene wrote about a few days ago.

Pistols and shot guns rang out, one man is dead, another, an old man, lies seriously wounded, and two others carry scars made by bullets. A home is robbed of its head, children made orphans, and a wife robbed of her husband, while the whole community is disturbed and made sick over the affair.

News reached town Monday night that Joseph Platt, who lives north of the D’Loutre, between this place and Marion, had been killed near his home while engaged in a row with Dan Pardue and W. L. Tisdale. We have been informed that some injurious remarks had been made about a young lady who lives near Mr. Platt’s. Her father hearing of the rumor demanded as investigation in order that he might find the originator of the report. The authorship of the slander was narrowed down lately to Joseph Platt and Dan Pardue, a young man who lives in the community, and it was agreed that all parties interested should meet Monday morning near Pratt’s to fix the responsibility and settle the matter. It seems that Platt’s wife was sick and he could not leave home. Pardue, accompanied by W. L. Tisdale, called at Pratt’s house Monday morning, but the condition of his wife was such that he could not leave her. They called again in the evening and Platt, with his father-in-law, Jno. Stewart, accompanied them three hundred yards on the road from his house where the following parties living in that community were assembled: W. T. Hollis, Wm. Tisdale, Jim Defee, P. G. Defee, two young men named Williamson, a man named Brown and Joe Goolett. On reaching the crowd the question of the origin of the scandal was sprung and hot words at once began to pass between Dan Pardue and Joe Platt as to which one of the two was the originator of the scandalous remarks. The Pardue crowd got their guns and were about to begin to open fire on Platt, but Mr. W. T. Hollis and Brown had them to lay down their guns. The discussion continued to wax warm, Pardue abusing and cursing Platt and Goolett, in vigorous  terms, while still holding to his shot gun. When Platt started at Pardue the latter opened fire on him when a general fight ensued, participated in by Dan Pardue, and W. L. Tisdale on one side and Joe Platt and Jno. Stewart on the other side.

Both of Platts hands were torn to pieces by buckshot, a full load of the same kind of shot entering his right leg near the hip, another full load entering his abdomen from the front, and another load from the side. He also received a pistol wound in the breast and a ball from a Winchester in his leg. Stewart was shot back of the hip, the ball ranging through to the front of the body and he was terribly beaten on the head with a pistol, Goolet received a slight wound in the hand, Tisdale was also wounded by one ball, while Pardue escaped unhurt. Platt died immediately, but the others are still living, thought Stewart is suffering from the wounds he received in the body and on the head.

We give the above facts as stated to us by a gentleman who was present at the time the inquest was held over the body of Platt.

It is the general impression that more parties than Tisdale and Pardue engaged in the shooting on their side against Pratt and Stewart, and warrants have been issued for the arrest of the following persons: W. L. Tisdale, and his uncle Wm. Tisdale, Dan Pardue, Jim and P. G. Defee, and the two Williamsons. Tueday morning Sheriff Daniel sent out a strong posse of deputies to arrest the parties. We have been informed that immediately after the shooting Tisdale and Pardue mounted their horses and are now either in hiding or in the State of Arkansas.




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