Jim Kershner’s This day in history


From our archives, 100 years ago

Mrs. J.W. Best was out collecting eggs on her ranch near Mica Peak when she came across a man with a rifle, lying in the brush, looking sickly.

He rolled over and told her he was a hunter, but he was feeling ill and needed some coffee. So Mrs. Best told the man to go on to her house and she would be there shortly and give him breakfast.

He got up and walked to the house. Her husband and three grown sons were in the house and they all chatted amiably over breakfast. However, a suspicion began to grow: Could this be William Byrd, the desperado who shot down three men in Dishman and was last seen heading toward Mica Peak?

But he never threatened them. He just took off, disappearing into the dense undergrowth around Mica Peak. Best hurried off to notify the sheriff’s office, who confirmed the description: It was the fugitive Byrd.

A posse immediately embarked on his trail up the mountain. Suddenly, the posse heard a single gunshot “no more than 80 rods ahead.” Some believed Byrd had killed himself. The posse surrounded the area, but decided not to approach in case of a possible trap. They planned to advance at dawn.

Check this column Sunday to see what they discovered.


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