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Shooting Fray
Ash Grove

Barnard Bee, 25 February 1926

Jesse Cox, merchant of Ash Grove, was lying in the Asbury Hospital at Salina, dangerously wounded Tuesday as the results of shots fired by Fitzhugh Thompson, Ash Grove Santa Fe station agent last Friday. Ash Grove is located about 14 miles southwest of here. The shooting took place after a heated argument between Cox and Thompson. It seems according to reports, that Cox and Thompson, with several other young men of Ash Grove, had been playing pranks and joking with each other for several months. As near as investigating officers can ascertain the shooting was done after Thompson had written the minister of Ash Grove, Rev. B.A. Brooks, an invitation to attend a dance which was being held in Ash Grove that evening and signed Cox’s name to it. He then gave the invitation to Cox’s small daughter for delivery. Upon receipt of the invitation the minister went to Mr. Cox with it and Cox in turn hunted up Thompson for an explanation. A heated argument is said to have followed and a stove poker came into play. The men then separated and in a short time Thompson went to Cox’s store and called him out. More words followed after which Thompson is said to have drawn a gun and fired at Cox. The bullet entered Cox’s abdomen and tore away part of his intestines and the lower portion of his stomach. Dr. Hope of Hunter was immediately called and upon his arrival he found Cox in such a dangerous condition that he decided to rush him to the Salina hospital. Owing to impassable roads, the trip was made on a gasoline motor car used by the section men. Cox and Dr. Hope were both strapped on the car to prevent them being thrown off. At the time this was written the condition of Cox was said to be extremely dangerous and chances for recovery were very poor. Thompson is being held in the Lincoln County jail as he was unable to raise the $5,000 bond which was required. The seriousness of the charge to be placed against him will depend upon whether Cox recovers or not.

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