While In The Act Of Stealing Cabbage William Barber Is Shot By Willard Simmons At An Early Hour On Friday Morning Shooting Occurred Just South Of The City Barber's Condition Reported To Be Serious Simmons Had Been Missing Cabbage For Some Time And Had Been Watching His Patch All Night No Affidavit Filed Against Man Who Did The Shooting--Caught in the act of stealing cabbage, William Barber, colored, was loaded with shot early Friday morning in the Simmons' cabbage patch north-east of the Essex Glass plant in South Vernon, when Mr. Willard Simmons, who, in company with his father, Mr. S. J. Simmons, had lain awake all night in wait for thieves, fired twice at the intruder, the second load bringing him to the ground with this right side full of shot. Then Simmons sent for Sheriff woolison and Deputy Sheriff Mossholder and the wounded man was taken to the Mt. Vernon hospital in the Miller ambulance. A physician was called in attendance and a hasty examination made of the man on the operating table. It was estimated that about 100 shot had entered his side and it was thought useless to attempt to extract them for the present.. The shooting occured about 4:30 Friday Morning. Mr. S. J. Simmons has been carefully cultivating some truck on his small farm in South Vernon all of this summer. In addition to cabbage, he had some corn set out and some other garden truck. The cabbage patch, however, was his chief pride. A month or so ago, it was noticed that marauders had been in the corn field and had acted without principle. The growing corn was torn down and deliberately carted away. Several weeks ago, the cabbage patch was ravaged. These practices continued until fifty heads of cabbage had been removed from the patch, according to Mr. Simmons. It seemed as if the entire crop, so carefully nourished during the summer, might be stolen and Mr. Simmons' endurance was finally exhausted. For the past week, he and his son, Willard, have lain in wait at the patch for the person or persons robbing them of their vegetables. Their watch had been fruitless until Friday morning, when detection of the robber occured. Mr. Simmons states that the hour was about 4:30 and that both were pretty well tired out from waiting for something to develop. Suddenly a man was seen entering the cabbage patch. Under his arm, he carried a burlap sack. He first walked over to the hog-pens, which are situated nearby the patch and, seeing nobody there, started in on his depredations. His first act, according to Mr. Simmons, was to pull out a large knife and cut off one of the heads of cabbage which he dropped into his sack. He then started towrad that part of the patch where the largest [sic] of cabbage grow, which would seem to show a very good knowledge of the lay of the land. It was when he started to cut off another cabbage that Willard Simmons shot. The man started up and ran as fast as he could in the direction of the corn-field, whcih lies between the patch and Dry Creek. A second time, Mr. Simmons blazed forth with his gun and this time the man dropped. The Simmmons [sic] (Simmons) rushed over to him and saw that he was unable to move and hence escape. Accordingly, they left the field and telephoned as quickly as possible to the sheriff, who, with his deputy, arrived on the scene shortly. When Barber was on the operating table at the hospital, he seemed to be in great pain and every time he breathed, it appeared as if his side were straining. Also, at every breath, bubbles of air would come out of the shot holes, which would seem to indicate that one of his lungs was punctured. The physician in attendence stated that probing for the shot would not be advisable at present, owiing [sic] to the depth to which they had penetrated. Barber stated that he was about 40 years of age and had come to Mt. Vernon in 1908 from Pittsburg, Pa. He says that he had been employed with the Essex Glass Co. since he has been in the city. At the Banner's press hour, information was given out at the Mt. Vernon hospital that Barber was resting quite comfortable and that his condition was practically unchanged. It will be necessary to wait for several days, the attending physician and hospital authorities state, to determine the exact seriousness of the wounds. No affidavit has been made against Simmons.
The Democratic Banner
"Shot Down In A Field" (1914). Newspaper Articles. Paper 179.