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The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Contributed by Gigimo

Description: Missouri Monsters. Outlaws Who Have Taken Forcible Possession of Two Counties. WINSLOW, TUTTLE, BROOKS, HAYWORTH, MOORE, COGBURN, KINNEY, ORR, INGRAM, PHILLIPS, MCAFFEE, REYNOLDS.

Date: December 13 1886

Newspaper published in: Philadelphia, PA

Springfield, Dec. 12.

Trouble is feared here over the action taken by the Federal authorities in arresting six prominent leaders of the Ball-Knobber organization. The order thought itself too firmly intrenched in Taney and Douglas counties to be interfered with, but they will not be rash enough to resist a prosecution by the government. The present arrests are made on complaints that the Ball-Knobbers have molested and driven off inoffensive settlers who held homestead grants deeded under patents of the United States, and hence entitled to Federal protection.

"Speaking of Ball-Knobbers," said a leading anti-Knobber, "last winter they had things pretty much their own way in the county of Taney. There was Mr. WINSLOW, who had some trouble with a Knobber about some land. He was notified that he 'was fooling with the wrong end of the mule.' That's their great expression, and meant that he was fooling with the wrong end of the Knobbers. WINSLOW was finally terrorized and driven out of the county. Then they had young Ed TUTTLE arrested on the charge of stealing money from his father. There was no evidence; but a party of Knobbers took him out one night to hang him. After the rope was put around his neck he was permitted to make his will, and then released on a promise to leave the country at once, an obligation which he lost no time in observing to the very letter. He sold his land at a very low price to a Ball-Knobber. About the same time they shot around Jonathan BROOKS' house and frightened him away.

"Last February they notified Mr. HAYWORTH, nephew of the judge, that he shouldn't cultivate Dick MORRE's land, which he had rented. The pretext was that he had been dogging stock. After they had shot around him house he conceded the point. Then followed the killing of COGBURN by KINNEY. That in my opinion was a cold-blooded murder, but neither the Coroner's jury nor the grand jury thought so. There were too many Knobbers on both juries.

"I will give you the experience of one of the ORR boys. He had homesteaded a tract of land. The Knobbers claimed that it interfered with the rights of INGRAM, who was a Knobber. He was ordered to pay INGRAM $25 damages and give up the place. ORR only had $12.50, but was so anxious to settle that he sent over a two year old heifer with the money. A mare belonging to one of the gang had broken her leg near ORR's place. The Knobbers charged it to him, and made him give his only horse for the disabled animal. He was then ordered away, and was so badly frightened that he would have broken his neck to get away. He went out of that county without even a coat on his back.

"These outrages led to a meeting at Forsyth of law and order citizens in April. A committee was appointed to go to Jefferson City and lay the matter before Governor MARMADUKE and obtain authority to organize a militia company. The first committee was afraid to go, and at length PHILLIPS and MCAFFEE were prevailed upon to make the trip. Judge REYNOLDS was sent a portion of the papers necessary for the organization. In the meantime then Knobbers had a meeting. Adjutant-General JAMESON came down and both the militia and Ball-Knobbers were disbanded.

"About two o'clock in the afternoon on the day after JAMESON's arrival, eleven or twelve companies of the Knobbers, numbering 257 men, met at Forsyth, when KINNEY made them a speech and formally disbanded them. Among other things, KINNEY said: 'We are disbanded, but we know our obligation.' What that meant is left to the imagination of the uninitiated. The better class of citizens who had been beguiled into joining the order took this opportunity to drop out. Before many weeks they were at work again reorganizing, but it is now only the hard cases and the foolish boys, with a few exceptions, that are affiliated with the order. The Knobbers are said to be so strong that they have demoralized the Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges."

Submitted: 12/11/13 (Edited 12/11/13)

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