Salem News June 30, 1898
Occurred North of Here Tuesday Evening,
When the life of Ab. McDowell
was Taken by Clayton Hockett
Amidst the already excited population of Henry county, owing to the fatal shooting of three people in the immediate vicinity during the past week ,there was added another terrible tragedy, committed Tuesday evening at 8:30, about four miles north of Salem, when Clayton, son of Nathan Hockett, shot and killed Ab. McDowell.
The cause to the fatal deed grew out of a dispute in which a certain young lady with whom McDowell was keeping company, informed him thatshe had been insulted by Hockett on the evening of the 18th, inst. at a dance held at Edgar Scott's. On last Sunday night the two young menmet and disputed the statement, when Hockett stated that he would have it out with him. Tuesday evening he went to the home of McDowell and met his victim in the barnyard, when a few words were exchanged and Hockett drew a 32 - caliber revolver and shot at McDowell three times, two shots taking effect, one in the lower part of the breast and the other close to the armpit. McDowell fell and died almost instantly. Hockett then went to his father and reported the act, and said he wanted to give himself up to the officers and requested his father to drive him to Mt. Pleasant, which was done. McDowell was a young man of 32 years. Thus ends another dark chapter in Henry county's history.
The funeral takes place form the house today at 10:00 o'clock. The remains will be interred at Faulkner's burial grounds.
Salem News July 7, 1898
In a special to the Hawk-Eye from Mt. Pleasant the following is gleaned from the testimony of Bert McDowell and from a conversation with Clayton Hockett, the murderer of Albert McDowell: It was between 8 and 9 o'clock and getting dark. McDowell was the first to speak, and he demanded of Hockett what he wanted. Hockett replied: "I want to settle this fuss." "Well, I reckon it's a good night," replied McDowell. And to this retort Hockett demanded that they repair to the public highway and fight it out. McDowell declined and ordered Hockett off. McDowell started towards Hockett. Hockett himself claims McDowell had a club, shows marks on his chin and face, where he alleges he was hit. A club, a piece of single-tree, according to Hockett, was also found near by, which hadbeen there but a short time. Bert however says his uncle had nothing in his hands. As McDowell approached Hockett drew back and finally drew a revolver and fired. He missed as he says, purposely. McDowell kept following Hockett up and clinched him. The struggle must have been terrific. McDowell was fighting for the possession of the pistol and for his life. During the clinch Hockett fired again and McDowell fell to his knees, but immediately regained his feet and put after Hockett again, who was backing off. He had gotten within ten feet of Hockett when the latter shot again with effect. McDowell staggered a few steps and fell. Hockett ran to his horse and galloped off. Bert McDowell rushed to his uncle and asked him if he was badly hurt. He replied that he was, and in the heart. Bert asked him if he wanted water, but he never answered. Dick Karr and John McDowell, who were near by, hastened to the sceneand carried the body of McDowell to the house. He was then dead. Hockett stopped in his flight and told his brother, M. S. Hockett, and the following conversation was had, according to evidence before the coroner's jury: "Did you do that shooting?" Clayton replied, "I did." "What did you do it for?" his brother asked. "I don't know," replied Clayton, bursting into tears, "I am afraid I have killed him, I wishhe had killed me."
Salem News March 2, 1899
The Clayton Hockett trial for the killing of Ab. McDowell is at last ended, the jury bringing in a verdict last Wednesday night that acquitted the young man and he is now a free man. The evidence in the case seemed to prove that it was done in self defense.
Salem News August 3 ,1905
Clayton Hockett, under sentence of ten years in the penitentiary, has been paroled by Gov. Cummins. He was sentenced by Judge Smythe in December, 1900, and released June 27 last. He went to the home of his father in Marshall county, where he will be permitted to remain during good behavior.
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