DISCLAIMER:I am not and DO NOT research the Abey surname.The following is from an article written by Van Craddock in the September 19, 2009 issue of the LONGVIEW NEWS-JOURNAL in Longview, TX.Certain portions have been deleted for brevity.
EARLY EDITOR'S SHOOTING STILL NOT RESOLVED
The incident remains a mystery 125 years later.
Longview newspaperman Alex Abey was severely wounded by a self-inflicted gunshot in August 1886.Was Abey waiting for an adversary when his pistol accidently discharged?Or was it a suicide attempt?
William Alexander Abey was a two-fisted newspaper editor who wrote what he thought.
Abey began publishing the LONGVIEW DEMOCRAT in 1880.The eight-page weekly ("One Dollar per annum - In Advance") quickly developed a following thanks to Abey's lively writing. By 1883, Abey was elected secretary of the Texas Press Association. ... Abey was a charter member of the Longview Volunteer Fire Department and the local Knights of Pythias lodge.
In 1884 Abey left the DEMOCRAT (which discontinued publication in 1885).He was elected grand chancellor of the Texas Knights of Pythias for 1885-86.
Abey traveled to Terrell in April 1886 for the Pythians' annual convention.That's where the mystery begins.
On April 22, Abey asked fellow Pythian Joe Clemmons, a Longview banker, to meet him at Terrell's lodge hall.Accoding to newspaper accounts, Abey asked if Clemmons had a "good pistol" because Abey's pistol was "rusty and in bad condition."
The men walked to Clemmons' room in Terrell's Harris Hotel where Clemmons removed his pistol from a valise.
"Clemmons was suddenly startled by the report of a (second) pistol, and turning saw Abey gasping on the bed, his weapon on the floor.The ball ... entered his breast just left of the heart.Abey is very low, and there is very little chance of his recovery."Abey told a physician that the shooting was accidental.
A Dallas paper reported:"For several years Abey has had a feud with P. S. Wren, county clerk of Galveston County, a prominent Knight of Pythias who is in attendance at the convention.The theory is that Abey, in view of the possibility of meeting Wren, desired to be well armed, and that he was examining his own weapon when it was discharged."
(Galveston politician Powhatan S. Wren later moved to Arizona and in 1912 served in the state legislature there.) ... Curiously, Joe Clemmons said Abey "received a telegram a few minutes before the shooting which seemed to worry him very much."The banker also said that immediately after the shooting, Abey "sent for Mr. Wren and had a consultation with him.But what passed between them at the bedside is not known."
Abey recovered from his wound, eventually moving to Fort Worth.He was 81 when he died there on December 8, 1928.
All these years later we still don't know why Abey needed a "good pistol."