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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Four men were dead, including Tekoa’s marshal and deputy sheriff, in a tragedy that began with a saloon poker game.

At 1 a.m., a farmhand named Pat Collins exchanged angry words with Curly Gardner, who ran the saloon with his brother, Ernest. Curly Gardner went behind the bar, grabbed a revolver and pistol-whipped Collins in the head. Collins later died of the injuries.

Later that morning, county prosecutor Paul Pattison arrived to investigate the crime. Ernest Gardner announced he would “get” Pattison. An outraged Tekoa City Council held an emergency meeting and voted to rescind the license of the Gardners’ saloon. The town marshal and deputy sheriff, along with the mayor and some council members, marched over to the saloon to shut it down.

When the marshal announced that the license was revoked, Ernest Gardner responded by pulling a 30-30 short-barreled carbine. He shot the marshal and deputy dead and grazed two council members. Ernest Gardner then turned the rifle on himself and committed suicide.

Pattison was unharmed because he had stopped at a nearby confectionary to have a lemonade.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1921: The United States signed a peace treaty with Germany.



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