Thursday, July 11, 2013

Who Killed George Bopp? 1890 Part 4

 The Sumner Press published in 1890 a lengthy account of the murder of George Bopp, the constable.  Before he died, Bopp told  the Coroner the name of the man who  shot him.  Yet at the Coroner’s inquest the dying man’s declaration was not enough to have the alleged murderer arrested.  All testimony of witnesses will be presented over the next week, and at the end we ask you the readers to consider the evidence, and tell us who you think shot George Bopp. Tomorrow we will publish the dying declaration by George Bopp.

Theodore Pepple's Testimony
I was at Spring Hill school house on the evening of December 26th.  I heard two shots fired near Sam Palmer's residence about 8:30 PM. When the girl came to the door she said, “oh my God! Tom!” Most of us ran out of the house. Dolly Pepple, Tom Palmer, Link Piper and myself were among the first out.
Tom Palmer ran around the schoolhouse to the north – the rest of us to the south. Before we got to the bridge, we heard someone say “halt!” and immediately the shot was fired. Don't think it possible for Tom Palmer to have run around the house and onto the bridge in front of us. Heard Bopp say that Bobby Palmer shot him. Can't say that Tom Palmer went all the way around the house. It was not so dark but I could recognize anyone three or 4 feet off.

Lincoln Piper Testifies
 I was at Spring Hill school house the evening of December 26. After Tilly Palmer came into the house and made her statement; the first persons out were Dolly Pepple, Drury Gowin, Theodore Pepple, Theodore Lewis, Tom Palmer, and myself. After we came out Tom Palmer turned north – saw him until he was at the north end of the house going north; the rest of us went south perhaps 100 feet when the shot was fired.

All that I could see on the bridge was one man – saw the flash of the pistol; it seemed to be in the hands of the man standing there – who was George Bopp, heard Bopp say to Ott  Rice “come here, I am shot through the lung; am shot bad.”  Dolly Pepple and I asked him who shot him; he replied he did not know; after he walked up the hill he was again asked and  replied, “Bobby Palmer”; never heard Bob say it was Tom Palmer who shot him, did not hear anyone say it was Tom Palmer. But believe that someone of his own crowd shot him through mistake. Tom Palmer told me he expected to leave today. Ott Rice was 100 feet north of Bopp when the shot was fired.  (continued tomorrow)