Written by Robert A. Carroll
A few years ago I began searching for information regarding the shooting death of my great grandfather Albert A. Carroll (1857-1893) in Marion. My father (Robert Lee Carroll, 1920-1989) related to me a story told to him by his father (Robert Garland Carroll, 1885-1944) about the shooting.
According to the story handed down, Albert made bricks and had sold some to one of the Cox brothers. When Albert attempted to collect payment, an argument occurred resulting in a shooting which left Albert dead. The story was that James R. Carroll (1854-1893) then avenged his brother’s death by killing one of the Cox brothers, but was himself shot and killed by another Cox brother.
Although I could find no surviving newspapers from any of the surrounding areas for that time period, I did find minutes of proceedings in the Union Parish Courthouse of a manslaughter trial in 1893 involving Wade Cox, Oscar Cox, Lee Cox, R. A. Alexander, and T. J. Roark. While Albert was not mentioned in the court records, it was obvious that the trial was related to his death.
The following is a summary of the trial:
On Feb. 14, 1893, indictments were handed down against Wade Cox, Oscar Cox, Lee Cox, R.A. Alexander, and T. J. Roark for manslaughter, carrying a concealed weapon, disturbing the peace in a public street or highway, shooting with intent to kill, and inflicting a wound less than mayhem. Jim (James R.) Carroll was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Wade Cox, Oscar Cox, Lee Cox and Jim Carroll each plead guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and were sentenced to fines of $15 or 40 days in jail.
On Aug. 12, 1893, Wade Cox and R. A. Alexander were found guilty of manslaughter and were sentenced to 15 months at hard labor in the state prison. Manslaughter charges were dismissed against Oscar Cox, Lee Cox, and T. J. Roark. On Aug. 16, 1893, a motion was filed by Wade Cox and R. A. Alexander for a new trial. On Aug. 22, 1893, arguments for a new trial began and the motion was overturned on Aug. 23, 1893. On Aug. 25, 1893, the defense’s motion for suspension appeal was granted and the case was returnable to the Supreme Court in Shreveport. (I do not know the outcome of the appeal.)
My sister, Mary Anne Carroll Williams, recently received a copy of an article published in the Jan. 4, 1893 New Orleans Daily Picayune which provides details of the shooting:
FATAL SHOOTING AFFRAY
An Encounter Between Prominent Citizens, Which Results in Death and Serious Wounding
Farmerville, La. Jan. 3—(Special)—A deadly shooting affray occurred yesterday at Marion, a small town fourteen miles northeast of here, between A. A. Carroll and J. R.
Carroll on one side and Lee Cox, Oscar Cox, and A. Alexander on the opposite side,
resulting in the killing of A. A. Carroll and the mortal wounding of J. R. Carroll and Lee
Cox, and Alexander and Oscar Cox receiving painful wounds, but not dangerous. There
were some thirty shots fired, the weapons being pistols.
There had been bad blood existing between the parties for some time, owing to a law suit. The affair occurred yesterday after a hearing before the magistrate in Marion, and it is believed the affair resulted through the law suit. All parties involved are farmers and stand high in their communities.
(Note: no mention is made in the newspaper article of T. J. Roark or Wade Cox who were also indicted as a result of the shooting.)
Albert left his widow Helen Marie Graves Carroll, who was five months pregnant with Mary (Mae) Frances, and the couple’s other four children: Robert Garland, Maude Irene, Lula Cleo, and Albert Carlton.
Listed in the Jan. 14, 1893, inventory of Albert’s estate was an account against T. J. Roark for $23.20, which was noted “in litigation.”
While I was unable to locate the lawsuit that apparently led to the shooting (it is either missing or misfiled in the Union Parish Courthouse), Albert’s widow was in court on Feb. 20, 1893, asking that a lawsuit filed by Albert be continued against T. J. Roark. Details of the lawsuit were not revealed in the court record; however, on April 17, 1893, a jury found in favor of Helen Carroll. It is likely that the argument was over payment for bricks made by Albert and sold to Roark (and not one of the Cox brothers as family stories had told). Apparently Albert made bricks because listed in the inventory of his estate was almost 2,400 bricks valued at $17.50.
Albert Carroll and Thomas J. Roark had entered into several land transactions in Union Parish: July 23, 1889, Albert Carroll sold land to T. J. Roark; May 21, 1891, Albert Carroll sold land to Thomas J. Roark; and Nov. 22, 1892, Albert Carroll bought land from T. J. Roark. It is not known if these transactions had any influence on the shooting on Jan. 3, 1893. Apparently, Albert’s death was the result of the lawsuit and an attempt to collect a $23.20 debt.
James R. Carroll died on Sept. 28, 1893. It is not known if his death was related to wounds he received in the shooting on Jan. 2, 1893. He left his widow Sarah Frances Graves Carroll and a daughter Stella. Albert, Helen, James and Sarah are all buried in the Union-Sadie Cemetery.
NOTE FROM StC: This article was send to me by a follower. I have read this before but can not remember where, so I can not give credit to the website. I have given credit to the author. If the author has a problem with this story being on here I will take it down.