Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

From the April 11, 1912 Skidmore New Era (Skidmore, Missouri), page 1:

Graham People Fight Over Division Fence.

A. J. Thornton Assaulted by C. E. and Branson Taylor, Friday Morning.  Taylor Arrested and Cave Bond for Appearance at June Court.

A fight between A. J. Thornton and C. E. Taylor and son, Branson Taylor, took place Friday morning in front of Taylor’s barn in the public highway just north of Graham.  It is said that the weapons used were an iron crowbar and a pitchfork.  thornton was quite badly hurt, having received several cuts and bruises about the face and head.  After the fight Thornton was taken to his home by Sam Eckles, a neighbor, and Drs. Rowlette and Findley were called and dressed the wounds.  Mr. Thornton is reported to be getting along as well as could be expected.

Thornton and Taylor own adjoining farms and it is said that the trouble grew out of a dispute over a division fence, and ill feeling had existed between them for some time.

This “division fence” was a hedge of long standing, whether it stood exactly on the line between the two farms or not, we do not know, perhaps it will take the services of the county surveyor to establish that point.

From what has been reported to us, it seems that Thornton’s men had been cutting some of this hedge for post, then Taylor, wanting to get his share, commenced cutting posts, when he received notice not to cut any more post until the line was established.

It also seems that on a part of this hedge was a hog tight wire fence, placed there by Taylor to keep Thornton’s hogs from off his premises.  Mr. Taylor removed this wire, and Mr. Thornton then went to the hardware, purchased more wire and had taken it to the farm to replace the wire removed by Taylor.  When Thornton, with his 11 year old son, was on his way back to town, the fight took place.

C. E. Taylor is one of the oldest citizens of Graham.  He owns a farm adjoining the town, and was for many years in the mercantile business in Graham, and is well known throughout this part of the county.  Branson is his son about 20 years old.  A. J. Thornton is a son-in-law and partner of A. C. Snyder, and is also well known in Graham and this part of the county.

The many friends of both parties deplore the fact that this trouble between the neighbors has arisen.

Deputy Sheriff George Evans arrested C. E. Taylor and son Saturday on an information issued by Prosecuting Attorney George Pat Wright, charging them with an assault with intent to kill.  The Taylors gave bond to appear at the June term of court.

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