100 Years Ago in Bienville Parish – Brother Shot Brother, Sister-In-Law

On Saturday afternoon, June 4, 1921, J.B. and Fred Davis, brothers, and their wives were camping about 2 miles south of Bienville.  They were travelling through Bienville Parish from Oklahoma.

J.B. and Fred argued over Fred’s failure to carry out his part in a contract with J.B.  Fred’s part of the contract stipulated that he give J.B. “a wagon and team [of horses] and $100 as an inducement to marry a 14 year old girl who was the niece of Fred Davis’ wife and who had been living with them for several years, and was soon to become a mother with Fred Davis as the responsible party.”  42-year-old J.B. had recently married the 14-year-old girl, but Fred had failed to give J.B. the wagon and team.    

The argument escalated until Fred pulled gun and began shooting.  Fred practically shot J.B.’s arm off, then shot J.B.’s wife in the face.  J.B.’s arm was unable to be saved and had to be amputated.  J.B.’s wife recovered but had a “bad wound.”

Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Poland arrested Fred and transported him to the Arcadia Jail.  Sheriff John Currie left immediately for Bienville to investigate the shooting.  After interviewing several witnesses, Sheriff Currie returned to Arcadia to interrogate Fred.  Confronted with the information by the Sheriff, Fred confessed to the shooting.  

Fred pled guilty in open court on a charge of shooting with the intent to murder.  Judge Reynolds sentenced Fred “to serve not less than fifteen years nor more than sixteen years in the state penitentiary.”

Source:  Bienville Democrat, June 9, 1921, p.1.

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