The Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad Strike

By Orville Thrasher Gooden | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
THE WISE AND ORR CASES

CIRCUIT court convened on the second Monday in January. The most pressing cases for investigation by the grand jury were the depredations on the M. & N. A. A large number of the strikers were under subpoena, and they charge that the whole matter was arranged to insure their presence when the mob arrived. On the night of Wednesday, January 10, 1923, a bridge near Everton burned. Tracks of an automobile were found and evidences that oil had been used on the bridge. Albert Stevens, L. A. Wise and V. D. Orr were indicted and arrested for the crime. Orr and Stevens requested not to be placed in jail until they had an opportunity to make bond. On permission of judge Shinn, Sheriff Shaddock took them to his house for the night. Some of the strikers, including Wise, who had not yet been arrested, maintained that they had been made deputy marshals and were going armed. The strikers claimed that they were afraid Stevens and Orr would be mobbed, and several gathered near the sheriff's house, ostensibly to protect Stevens and Orr, and refused to leave at the orders of the deputy sheriff. One of them "offered to shoot it out" with the deputy. The officers thought it was part of a plot to take the prisoners from them; and accordingly the prisoners were removed to the jail. At this time (about three days before the coming of the mob) feeling was pretty high, and many of the citizens wanted to deal summarily with the strikers. The Ku Klux Klan was in session, and it seems

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