Barely Escapes Death


No Politics Whatever in Bowen Tragedy, Says Eye Witnesses.

Beach, N. D., Aug 2.—Beach is much incensed today over alleged efforts to make political capital from the killing of M. K. Bowen, at his farm eighteen miles south of Beach, by E. W. Taylor, a constable of the same neighborhood, during an altercation of the replevening of cattle owned by D. R. Offley, a nearby rancher, which had been taken up by Bowen. Bowen was a prominent leaguer in the southern part of Golden Valley county, and Socialist agitators here are alleged to be endeavoring to make it appear that Bowen was murdered because of his politics. There are open threats of a necktie party, in which Taylor, who is confined in the county jail here, will feature, and promises of what Governor Frazier will do.

The Story.

The story as related by eyewitnesses of the shooting, D. R. Offley, owner of the cattle, and John Stark, a township constable, was to the effect that the party visited Bowen's place Thursday evening to recover some cattle which Bowen had taken up and which Offley had replevined. There were some words, it is said, over the condition of the cattle. Bowen, it is alleged, started for the barn in a high rage, in spite of efforts of Taylor and Stark to detain him. When he reappeared he was, it is alleged, pumping shells into a Winchester.

Constable Taylor swears that Bowen was aiming at him when he (Taylor) whipped an automatic and fired two shots at Bowen. This failed to stop Bowen, and, as he came on, Taylor, it is alleged, fired a third time. All of the shots, it was later discovered, took effect, but the third shot evidently was the one which caused Bowen's death.

Attracted to a window in her home by the shooting, Mrs. Bowen, it is said, began to fire upon Offley, Taylor and Stark with a rifle. The trio then took to their heels, and as rapidly as possible proceeded to Beach, where they reported the tragedy. Sheriff John Piersina and the county coroner went to the scene of the shooting late last night and made as thorough an investigation as possible. This afternoon an inquest is being conducted, at which Mrs. Bowen and neighbors and witnesses of the shooting will be called upon to testify.

There has been bad blood for some time, it is said, between Bowen and Offley and other of his neighbors. The affair has created intense excitement here, and the killing is fast developing into a bitter partisan issue, although friends of Taylor insist that he fired only in self-defense and that his act had no political significance.

Grand Forks Herald, 8/2/1919

Seized With Cramps

Posted 08/03/2017