Patton-Peter Feud, 1902

We break from the usual news of business, agriculture, baseball and ice cream socials to bring you this startling news and an unusually long account from the July 11, 1902 Skidmore Standard.  Sounds like the heat got to everyone:

Shooting Scrape.

Jesse Patton Seriously Wounded by Gun Shot and Beat Over the Head With a Club.  Was Attacked by Five Men. Clubs, Hedge-Knives and Revolvers Used in the Fight.

Yesterday afternoon about three o’clock as Jesse Patton was coming to town, he was waylaid at the Peter’s corner, four miles east of town, by three Peter brothers.  He was accompanied by a boy by the name of Wampler.  Two of the Peter boys caught hold of the team while the third one tried to pull Patton out of the buggy. When the scuffling was going on, young Wampler had presence of mind enough to strike the team with the whip.  Upon being struck the team plunged forward, and breaking loose from the boys who held them came very near running over them.

Not to be outdone so easily the three Peter brothers, with two other brothers, hitched up and followed Patton to town with the avowed purpose, so it seams, of doing him personal harm.  They again made an assault on him in front of French & Co’s. hardware store.  When the second attack was made, Joseph T. Tate was with Patton, but Lee Peter, the oldest brother, persuaded Tate to look at the dangerous end of a cocked gun while the other brothers all commenced to beat Patton. Being too many for him, he backed into French & Co’s. hardware store and, getting hold of a hedge knife, he made his adversaries all flee for the door, ,but they were not satisfied and again went into the store after him.  he made them retreat a second time, and finding he was too much for them, they called to their brother, Lee, who had been holding Tate at bay.  Upon coming to their rescue a shot was heard and Jesse Patton sank to the floor.

Thinking, no doubt, that their work was accomplished each of the brothers who were not armed secured a hedge knife — a weapon they had found very effective — and, leaving the store, they crossed over to the north side of Elm street and walked down toward the railroad crossing where they had their team and horse — Lee rode a horse — hitched and left town.

But little attempt was made to arrest the Peter brothers at the time as everybody was so excited.  Constable Bodle got on a horse and overtook the parties, but being better equipped with shooting irons than he was, they convinced him that he would better reinforce before he took them, which he sensibly concluded to do.

A shot gun posse was soon made up and started after the boys.

Two of them were captured at their home, four miles east of town, and two on toward Maryville.  The oldest one, Lee, had gone on east on his horse.

During the fight Patton got in several effective blows on his assailants and one of them was cut very bad on the arm.

Patton was shot in the back about the lower rib, the ball ranging down and forward.

Joe Tate, in trying to prevent the trouble, was beaten over the head and knocked down and came very near being shot.

The trouble first started last winter when one of the Peter boys made an uncomplimentary remark within the hearing of a girl that Patton was with.  He afterward apologized to the lady but Patton was not satisfied and caught him one night and gave him a good threshing.  From that time the trouble has been getting worse but no overt acts have been done until yesterday.

At such a time as this when everybody is very much excited it is very difficult to get all the particulars, but we have tried to give the facts as best we could get them.

Up to going to press Lee Peter had not been apprehended.


Patton was taken to the St. Francis hospital, at Maryville Tuesday evening and an operation performed, and the bullet extracted.  The wound, which at first was thought to be fatal, is not a serious one, as the bullet struck a bone and curved around the body instead of penetrating the stomach as was at first thought.

He stood the operation well and at latest accounts is doing nicely.

Claude Peter, the one who was cut on the arm, will probably have a stiff arm at the elbow as in dressing the wound a portion of one of the bones had to be taken out.  After having his wounds dressed he was taken to the home of his uncle at Maryville.

Four of the Peter boys, Russ, Elbridge, Claude and Rhue, were arrested Tuesday evening and waived the preliminary examination.  Judge Johnson fixed their bonds at $1000 each.  Their trial is set for July 21.

Lee Peter has not been heard of.  The last seen of him he was going east from the Peters farm.