The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

We have written several fragmentary accounts as furnished us by a number of parties relating to the King and Everette War. Most of these are disconnected. Capt. A. S. (Bud) Wood who is one of the old pioneer resident of Marion County, Ark. was an eye witness to this fight and gives me a connected account of this memorable encounter between those old time people that took part in the battle. Capt. Wood furnished me the story of the fight at him home at Kingdon Springs on Sunday evening the 4th of August 1907. Here is how he told it. "The Everettes were from the state of Tennessee and settled in Marion County in a very early day. Ewell Everett was the oldest. John Everette was the next oldest, Cimeron Everette was the next. Jess Everette was next to Cimeron and Barton Everette was the youngest. A year or more after their arrival here Barton Everette was elected sheriff of Marion County and served out his term of office. When the Everettes first arrived here they had dealings with Hansford Tutt who was a one horse merchant in Yellville. Soon after this Jefferson Tutt and Davis Casey Tutt was involved in the quarrel and it continued to grow worse until other men were drawn into it but up to this time the quarrel had not culminated in a fight. Finally the Kings moved into Marion County from Alabama. There were Billy King, James King, Hosea King and Solomon King. These were the old men and they had nothing to do with the battle but some of their sons did. The quarrel continued to grow until Sam Burns and Silas Cowan took a part in it. These men were brothers in law. Cowan was on the Everette side and Burns was on the Kings side. One day in 1847 a great crowd of men gathered at Yellville which was then a mere hamlet and a few of the men began to quarrel and it went on until the leaders of each side began forming two lines opposite each other and only a few yards apart. Sam Burns and Silas Cowan were the starters of the disturbance that day and while the lines were being formed for a fight about 15 men on each side fell in line armed with rifles shot guns pistols stones and clubs. Just as the enraged men were ready to strike each other a blow a violent whirl wind that resembled a small tornado suddenly formed just east of where the lines were standing and swept toward the men and passed between the two lines and jerked the caps and hats from the men’s heads and passed on toward the west. The great whirl wind had collected a thick cloud of dust and when it struck the men it bewildered them and they all backed off, separated and scattered and the trouble ceased for the time. The quarrel was not renewed to amount to anything until one day in the early fall of 1848 when another big crowd of the settlers gathered at Yellville which included some of the Everettes and Kings and a number of their friends. Some of the men of both sides become very boisterous and it was evident that a fight was brewing, the most of the men were assembled around a small grocery store. I had went to the village that day on a young bay horse I called Tom. This horse had been pretty wild but I had him almost under control. When I arrived in town I tied the horse to the body of a small tree with a strong rope. This tree stood near the grocery store. The men of each side grew more war like until I saw that it was going to be a bloody one. They were all around my horse and I started on a run to take him away but before I had time to reach him the firing began and the fight was on and I hesitated and stopped and turned back for fear I might get shot accidently. My horse was greatly frightened at the yelling of the man and the reports of the guns and he reared up on his hind feet and it seemed as though he tried to climb up the tree. Though he plunged and pulled hard at the rope but he was not able to break it and had to stand the racket until the fight was ended. The casualities of the fight were as follows. Francis Everette son of Ewell Everette shot Jack King with an old squirrel rifle and he died on the following day. Barton Everette was killed at a black locust tree and as the fatal bullet struck him he clasp his arms around this tree and sank down at the foot of the tree and died he had a ribbon around his hat for a hat band and when his body was removed from the tree some of the men took the ribbon from his hat and tied it around the tree and it remained there several months before it rotted away. Martin Sinclair a Missourian killed Cimeron Everette. After Everette was shot he walked to the grocery and fell in the door with his head on the inside and his feet on the steps. Francis Everette after he had shot Jack King a man of the name of Mears advanced on him as if to take his gun away from him and Everette struck Mears with his gun and broke his arm. Dick King shot a man of the name of Watkins at the edge of the hair in the forehead which cut a trench through the skin to the top of the head without fracturing the skull. But he fell to the ground as if dead but soon revived. Just after the bloody scene closed Sinclair mounted his horse and called out, "Here is enough beef to feed all the hungry hounds of this town and neighborhood". There were only four of the Kings engaged in the battle these were Loomis and Richard sons of Billy King and Jack and Torn King sons of Solomon King. None of the Burns or Cowans were in the fight nor none of the old set of Kings as we have stated. Near about one year after the big fight come off Hansford Tutt was waylaid and shot on the bluff near where Laytons Hotel stood. He was shot on Monday and he died on the following Thursday. Shortly after the battle Jess Everette and his family went to Texas and he and his sons came back to Arkansas several years before the beginning of the Civil War and went to Springfield in Conway County where some of the Kings were living then and arrested Loomis King and his father Billy King and young Bill King son of Solomon King and brought them 10 miles south of Yellville and shot them. Their dead bodies were brought to Yellville and given interment on the Jim Wickersham property." As Capt. Wood ended his account of this bloody affair he said there were 11 men killed from first to last as the result of the King and Everette War.

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