Sunday, April 14, 2013

This Day in History April 14, 1881

Marshall Dallas Stoudenmire
I had never heard of this particular event before.  The Manning Brothers had stolen a herd of cattle.  They escaped to El Paso, Texas, and Texas Ranger Ed Fitch took two Mexican farmhands with him in hot pursuit of these brothers.  Unfortunately, the two farmhands were killed.  As a result, 75 men showed up looking for the missing farmhands.  The matter went before the constable, but that only delayed the inevitable gunfight.  At the hearing, two men were arrested for the murder of the two Mexicans, and this satisfied the Mexicans--they left with the bodies.

On this date in 1881, the "Four Dead in Five Seconds" gunfight ensued.  Here's what happened.  At a saloon on El Paso Street, the former Constable Krempkau was retrieving his rifle and pistol following the hearing.  A confrontation began between him and George Campbell.  Campbell criticized Krempkau's handling of the case and his friendship with the Mexicans.  John Hale was the owner of the ranch where the Mexicans' bodies had been discovered, and he was quite drunk.  Though he was unarmed (reportedly), he decided to get involved with this confrontation because he was upset with Krempkau's handling of the situation as well.  Hale grabbed a pistol from Campbell, and fired at Krempkau.  As Krempkau fell backwards, he grabbed his own pistol. Marshall Dallas Stoudenmire heard the commotion, and he ran out into the street firing a shot wildly.  This killed an innocent Mexican, Ochoa.  Hale was also running for cover, but Stoudenmire shot him between the eyes.  Hale came out and tried to get Stoudenmire to stay out of the fight.  In the process, he was shot by Stoudenmire three times and died.  Within five seconds, four men were shot dead.

You can imagine the uproar, and in time, there was a feud between Stoudenmire and the Manning brothers which resulted ultimately in the death of Stoudenmire.  The Mannings were later acquitted.  This is definitely what made the Wild West wild!!

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1 comment:

  1. I just love reading all the interesting articles you post here. I never knew this. So fascinating. Thanks for sharing.


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