Henry VanSickle shot and killed a murderer named Sam Brown on 6 July 1861.I read this story years ago in Thompson & West's "History of Nevada", 1881, 2nd(?) edition published by Howell & North, Berkeley CA 1958, p.356-357, in the chapter entitled, "Homicide & some of it's causes".
According to the story, there was no grudge; it was Sam Brown's birthday and he was just out looking for someone to kill!Brown left Carson City that day for Aurora, with another man named Alexander Henderson.On the trip, Brown first tried to kill two other men; Mr. Webster, proprietor of Webster's Hotel; and then Robert Lockridge, in Genoa.However, Brown backed off from both men, after seeing that each one was ready for him.
Henry VanSickle kept a hotel near Genoa.He knew Sam Brown but never had any quarrel with him.Brown thought VanSickle would be an easy victim.Brown rode up, got off his horse and drew his pistol, threatening that he'd come just to kill VanSickle, but didn't shoot him in time.Unarmed and taken by surprise, VanSickle ran inside his hotel to get away, with Brown in pursuit.Upon seeing the many guests in the hotel dining room, Brown then left the scene without firing any shots.
Fearing future attacks, VanSickle "got possession of his gun - a double-barreled fowling-piece" and went after Brown to "settle the affair at once", overtaking Henderson & Brown about a mile down the road.VanSickle told Henderson to get out of the way, then shot Brown off his horse, wounding him.Brown shot back twice and managed to ride off, taking refuge at the home of William Cosser.VanSickle followed and then reloaded his empty gun.Brown then left the house, with VanSickle chasing, and then overtaking him near Mottsville, where there was another exchange of gunfire.
Brown then took refuge in the home of Mrs. Mott.Nightfall came and VanSickle waited, finally asking a passer-by to check the house.Brown was gone.Vansickle then went to Luther Old's hotel and waited.He soon heard Brown's spurs and ran outside to meet him on the road, just as Brown was getting off his horse.Henry VanSickle then shot Sam Brown dead.
An inquest was held the next day and Henry VanSickle was acquitted - and probably rewarded - the day after that.
As far as I know, I'm not related to VanSickle.The name caught my eye because Ida Van Sickle, 23, b. NV, and Dora Van Sickle, 21, b. NV, parents b. NJ & KY, are listed in the household of John & Mary Connery, just a few households above my Canon-Coleman family, in the 1880 census, in Carson City, Ormsby Co. Nevada.
Anyway, I thought this was a very interesting story.