“Thought It Wasn’t Loaded.”
HILL CITY, KAN – Willie Walton and Harry Wheeler, boys about 16 years of age, were connected with the amateur drama that was to have been played last Saturday evening at Miller’s Hall, in Hill City. About half past seven, Willie was temporary door keeper, when Harry approached and asked Willie jokingly to let him have a ticket. Willie replied by drawing a revolver and said laughingly, “Here’s your ticket,” when Harry also drew a revolver, which is a self-cocking, and which he supposed was not loaded, and snapped it in Willie’s face, discharging the only load it contained. The ball, a number 44, entered the forehead, passing through the brain and lodged in the back of the head. Willie fell and expired without saying a word. Harry became terrified, dropped his revolver and dashed down the street for a doctor. He found Dr. Ardery in his office, who arrived at the scene of the accident within five minutes after the shot was fired, but found the poor boy breathing his last. Willie’s father, who was only about a block away, at his place of business, was soon at the side of his dying son and became almost frantic when he realized that his boy was a corpse. A coroner’s jury was soon impaneled and rendered a verdict in accord with the facts. The remains were taken charge of by Undertaker Lightfoot, who, with the assistance of Dr. Ardery, embalmed the body and prepared it for burial. The interment took place in the Hill City cemetery Sunday afternoon, Rev. Conner conducting appropriate exercises at the house and cemetery. The affair is made doubly sad by the fact that Mrs. Walton was confined to a bed of sickness and could not attend the burial of her boy. Nearly everybody in Hill City attended the burial. The grief-stricken parents and brothers and sisters of the deceased have the heartfelt sympathy of every one in this hour of trial and bereavement. Harry Wheeler gave himself up to the sheriff Sunday evening. The Western Kansas World, WaKeeney, Kansas. April 13, 1889. Page 2.