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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Springdale city Marshal Charles E. Bartholomew testified in his own defense at his trial for the murder of saloonkeeper C.H. Gneist.

Bartholomew said he had visited the saloon several times that day because it was payday for Phoenix Lumber Company workers and the men were rowdy. The last time he went, he was looking for Bill Curry because Curry’s wife wanted him fetched home.

Bartholomew woke up the sleeping Curry and then Gneist said, “Leave that man alone!”

An argument ensued and Gneist brandished a butcher knife. Bartholomew said, “Drop that knife or I’ll shoot!” 

But Gneist swung the knife at him and then dove for a drawer and pulled out a gun. In the ensuing struggle, Bartholomew struck Gneist with a length of gas pipe and shot him three times.

He pleaded justifiable homicide, by reason of self-defense.

Bartholomew said he had a long history with Gneist, and had once arrested him for selling liquor illegally. Gneist once accused Bartholomew of being a “tool” of the family that owned Phoenix Lumber. 

Other witnesses testified that Bartholomew had vowed he would “get” Gneist and “get him damned hard.”