of the killing of Tennyson Wright by A.E. White at Goff on the evening
of Thursday, February 22, and the subsequent suicide of White, show that
Wright was shot down in cold blood without the slightest warning.
The shooting occurred at Levander’s place in Goff and two of
the Levander boys were eye witnesses. Wright was in the act of leaving the house in order to avoid
a possible clash with. White,
when the latter suddenly drew an automatic revolver and shot Wright
twice, killing him instantly.
story of the tragedy from its inception to its climax reads like that of
a Kentucky mountain feud, excepting that Wright at all times was a law
abiding citizen and did his utmost to keep out of trouble.
He was shot at time and again, his horses, cattle, hogs and dogs
were killed, his hay burned, his fences demolished, his crops destroyed
and he was even arrested on a trumped up charge of insanity.
trouble arose over the possession of a tract of land in the Squaw creek
district. Wright being the
oldest settler, had first claim to the land.
When the survey was made it was found that White’s house and a
portion of his improvements were located on the tract claimed by Wright.
White contested Wright’s claim and was beaten in the courts.
autumn when Wright’s title to the land was cleared by the courts, he
notified White that the latter must move his improvements from the land
within 30 days. White
became enraged and beat Wright over the head with a revolver and
threatened to kill him. White was arrested on a charge of assault with intent to kill
and bound over to the district court.
The two men were on their way to Grangeville to attend the trial
when the tragedy occurred.
and prior to the last assault Wright’s life was in constant jeopardy.
White and his friends were determined to run Wright out of the
country and they resorted to despicable and criminal means to accomplish
cattle were shot down, one by one until he only had one head left.
The same thing happened to his horses.
Even his dog did not escape the bullets of his belligerent
neighbors and his hogs were killed or stolen.
ON several occasions White and his friends tore down Wright’s
fences and turned their stock into his fields, daring him to interfere.
Shots were fired into Wright’s house time and again and when he
attempted to save his hay from from destruction by fire bullets whizzed
by his ears.
the instrumentality of White and his friends Wright was arrested on a
charge of insanity. Mrs.
Wright was away from home at the time and it is supposed that the White
faction intended to burn down Wright’s house and barns when the latter
was under arrest. The
timely arrival of Mrs. Wright on the night of her husband’s arrest, it
is believed, prevented the execution of the plan.
The charge of insanity was disproven with ridiculous ease and
Wright returned to again become a target for his neighbor’s bullets.
arrived at Levander’s on the afternoon of February 22, intending to
remain there over night. He
was on his way to Grangeville to appear in court.
A short time after his arrival White rode up to the house, tied
his horse and went into the room where Wright and the two Levander boys
transpired afterwards is told by Stage Driver Freeman and a Mr. Thompson
who was a passenger on the Meadows stage.
White came in Wright said: “I’m afraid of you, White, and I don’t
want to go out with you.” “That
will be all right, Tenny,” responded one of the Levanders, “we will
not put you in the same room and if you don’t want to you need not
sleep in the same house.”
immediately started to leave the room and as he did so White whipped out
a revolver and shot him twice. One
shot took effect in the neck and the other in the short ribs.
Wright dropped to the floor dead.
after firing the last shot White dashed out to his horse, mounted and
started back towards his home. The
Levander boys started after him on horseback.
As they neared Squaw creek, about three miles south of Goff, they
overtook White. As they did
so they heard a shot and supposing that White had fired at them they
turned back for help. Returning
with a posse they found White’s body about 60 feet from the road with
a bullet through the brain. It
is supposed that White feared he was about to be captured and committed
was buried at Pollock on Friday afternoon.
Wright’s body was brought to Pollock on Friday and will be
taken in to Caldwell at once, reaching the latter place on Tuesday
morning. The funeral will
probably occur at Caldwell on Tuesday afternoon, Mrs. Wright’s father,
Mr. Fuller of Moscow, will accompany the remains.
Wright came to Boise in 1876 and lived here until 1885.
He went to Squaw Creek about 10 years ago and located the land
over which the dispute arose. White and others came to the district some time later and
immediately began to make trouble for Wright.
Their conduct was notorious and at one time the matter was
brought to the attention of the state authorities and the officials of
Idaho County were instructed to protect.
It is possible that
the tragedy will result in a searching investigation of conditions at
Squaw creek and possibly some indictments.