Decatur County Journal-Iowa Thursday, July l8, l9l8
T.J. GUTHRIE, who moved from Decatur County to near Douglas, Wyoming, some months ago, was shot and killed on July Fourth by his son-in-law, ARTHUR EPPERLEY, at the EPPERLEY home near Douglas.The Coroner's jury at an inquest held the following day, exonerated MR. EPPERLEY of all blame.
On the day of the tragedy, MR. GUTHRIE had taken his rifle and accompanied by his children, FRANKIE and JULIAN, had started out to look for a team that had strayed away.The GUTHRIE home was located on a ranch twelve miles west of Douglas, where they were working.They passed the home of his son-in-law, who had also moved from Decatur County at the same time that the GUTHRIE family had left Iowa.They stopped and talked for a short time and then MR. GUTHRIE had gone on and found the team.In returning he again stopped at the EPPERLEY home where MR. EPPERLEY was at work building a fence about his house.MRS. EPPERLEY, who was in the house heard her father say, "I'll kill you." MR. GUTHRIE grabbed up his rifle and attempted to shoot MR. EPPERLEY, who knocked the rifle aside with a spade.MR. GUTHRIE then knocked him down with the rifle and finally managed to get the point of the rifle under MR. EPPERLEY's chin and pulled the trigger but the gun did not work.MRS. EPPERLEY had run from the house with their shot gun which she managed to get into her husband's hands.MR. GUTHRIE grabbed her by the hair and threw her aside and then MR. EPPERLEY shot from the ground where he lay, the charge of shot tearing away the left side of his father-in-law's skull, killing him instantly.The inquest and funeral was held the following day at Douglas.
The Coroner's jury quickly exonerated MR. EPPERLEY of all blame.MR. EPPERLEY was painfully injured in the struggle with his father-in-law, who is a large and powerful man.His injuries are not believed to be serious.Letters from members of the family to relatives here state that they attach no blame to MR. EPPERLEY and say that he acted solely in self defense.MR. GUTHRIE had tried to make trouble before and another son-in-law, LEONARD HAGEMAN, had heard him threaten MR. EPPERLEY some days before but had had no opportunity to see and warn him.Later letters from the family state that MR. GUTHRIE's mind had been affected for some weeks.MR. EPPERLEY naturally feels very badly over the unfortunate and tragic affair.He is a young man of fine qualities and never sought trouble with anyone.He has many friends back in Decatur County.