The Maffette Killing

The Gazette
April 1, 1896

Last week we made mere mention of the killing of S. J. Maffette at Homer by Nick Ramsey. The Guardian-Journal gives the following particulars of the terrible murder:

“One of the most deplorable and terrible tragedies which ever occurred here was the shooting and killing of Mr. S. J. Maffette last Thursday night by Nick Ramsey. It occurred just after dusk in the rear end of J. T. Ramsey’s drug store, where the two men met only a few minutes before. Mr. E. A. Kelley was the only witness to the deed and the following is his evidence as giver before the coroner’s jury:

“Mr. E. A. Kelley sworn states: ‘I was present when the shooting occurred. Nick Ramsey did the shooting. Maffette said to Ramsey, ‘I want to see you privately.’ Ramsey, said ‘I don’t want to see you.’ Maffette insisted on speaking with him. Maffette then walked to the fire place; he then asked him to go around the back way and talk with him. Ramsey refused. He said, ‘Maffette, you are drinking. I will see you when you are sober.’ Maffette said, ‘I want to talk with you now, a friendly conversation.’ Ramsey says, ‘No, I have no talk for you.’ Maffette asked him then, ‘Haven’t I always been a good friend to you?’ Ramsey said, ‘Yes, you helped me when I was in trouble here. I don’t want you to bother me tonight.’ Maffette said, ‘Nick, I have always been a good friend to you and didn’t think you would treat me that way.’ Nick then pulled two pistols out of his pockets. Maffette then was leaning with his elbow on the mantle in an inoffensive manner when I looked around. Ramsey then said, ‘Maffette, I understand that you said that you would kill the man that threw the brick through the window.’ Ramsey said, ‘I threw the brick through the window, but didn’t throw to hit you.’ Maffette said, ‘Nick, I am not afraid of you for all you have those two pistols.’ Nick said, ‘I know you are not afraid of me or anybody else; did you say you would kill the man who threw the brick.’ Maffette said, ‘Yes,’ and made some reply that was not harsh or insulting then Nick raised both pistols and fired. Mr. Maffette had no weapon that I saw. Myself and C. M. Thomason made a search at once after the shooting and found no weapon. Maffette never spoke after the shooting occurred; neither did Ramsey, but turned and walked out. Before the shooting I said: ‘Oh, Nick, put up your pistols; Maffette is friendly and don’t want any trouble,'”

“After the shooting  Ramsey walked out of the store with his pistols in his hands and made his escape. The sheriff was in the second ward when the killing occurred, but was notified at once and came to town that night. Friday morning Ramsey surrendered to the sheriff and is now in jail.”

“Mr. Maffette was well known here and had many friends. Like all human beings, he had his faults, but he possessed many admirable qualities of head and heart which attracted people to him and made them his friends. He remains were buried Friday evening with Pythian honors, of which order he was a prominent member.”

“The terrible affair is generally deplored and condemned by our citizens.”




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