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George Stevens

Taken from Farnam Gazette, G. B. Dunton, editor, Dec. 2, 1893. Paper furnished by Mrs. W. T. Ainlay, Denver, Colo.

The day set for the meeting of the district court was last Tuesday, but as Judge Holcombe was unavoidably detained and did not arrive here until evening the judicial machinery was not started until Wednesday morning.

Wednesday was occupied in hearing motions on equity cases; also Thursday morning.

The next important case on trial, and one that claimed almost exclusive attention was that of the State of Nebraska vs S. B. Walker, charged with murdering George Stevens on the 11th day of last July at Farnam, this county. Considerably difficulty was had in securing a jury, in consequence of the wide publicity given the tragedy by the county press, and by which means a very large majority of citizens had formed opinions of the matter which disqualified them as jurors.

The impanelling of the jury was completed about two o’clock yesterday afternoon, when the trial of the case begun, the prosecution occupying until morning in examining their witnesses.

The defense is now at work, the plea upon which they hope to save their client from punishment for his great crime being insanity. They have a good many witnesses, among them being several insanity experts, but it is thought they will get through with all this afternoon and evening, and that argument to the jury will begin on Monday morning next.

Every person has a well-settled conviction of what should be done with Walker, who is being tried for the murder of Stevens, but there is great disparity of opinion as to what will be done. We hear a great many say he ought to be hung but not one is convinced that he will be. We may not be any better satisfied when we hear what the jury says.


EXPLANATIONS

The item in regard to the Walker Murder case fails to give all the facts. Walker was being tried for the murder of Stevens which occurred on the streets of Farnam. Stevens left the Durham drug store which was located where the drug store is now on the west side of main street and started directly across the street to the Buss & Divoll store, located about where Hines store now is located. Walker began shooting at Stevens as he crossed the street, Stevens however was able to reach the store across the street where he collapsed with three bullet wounds in him. He died a short time later.

Walker it was thought had brooded over the fact that the homesteaders were taking up the land and that it was ruining the range, and he had had considerable trouble with his neighbors. Stevens had been picked to negotiate with Walker for the homesteaders and difficulties arose between them, which finally led to up to the shooting. Walker was found guilty of murder by the jury, sentenced to be hanged, but on the day of execution, the governor of Nebraska commuted his sentence to life imprisonment and he died years later in the penitentiary.

The Farnam Echo 50th Anniversary Edition, 30 July 1936


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