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Death - Kyle Terry killed by Volney Gibson - 24 January 1890

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Death - Kyle Terry killed by Volney Gibson - 24 January 1890

Posted: 1477064873000
Classification: Death
Article from The Abilene Reporter, Abilene, Texas, 24 January 1890 reads...

TRAGEDY AT GALVESTON

Kyle Terry Shot and Killed by Vol Gibson in the Court Room

Kyle Terry was killed by Vol Gibson in the court house at Galveston Tuesday. Terry with many others was connected with the Fort Bend County troubles about a year ago and belonged to the woodpeckers.... He killed in Wharton last June, Ned Gibson, brother to Vol. As soon as Gibson caught sight of Terry, the shooting begun, both men armed. Gibson's first shot struck Terry and he died without a struggle with his pistol in his hand. Eight shots in all were fired by different parties, but Terry was killed so quickly that he could not shoot, as is shown by his weapon which was full of cartridges when picked up. That such an occurance as this would be permitted in a city like Galveston is to be deplored by the entire state. Terry was there to answer for the killing of Volney Gibson's brother. Volney Gibson was witness for the prosecution. The officers knew the feeling existing between the two factions, and permitted, through their negligence, the carrying of pistols into the court house. From the reports it would appear that at least twenty men, witnesses in the case, were there "heeled" with six shooters.

ORIGIN OF THE FEUD

The killing of Ned Gibson by Kyle Terry at Wharton, Texas, in June 1889, and the circumstances leading up to that fatal event, are yet fresh in the memory of those who have kept pace wit the Richmond troubles. It was at an election ante-dating that the trouble had its inception. Political differences arrayed the citizens of Richmond, the county seat of Fort Bend County, into two factions designated as the jaybirds and the woodpeckers, both claiming allegiance to the democracy. The woodpeckers were successful in electing their candidates to political office, among who was Kyle Terry, elected as tax assessor for the county. In celebrating their political victory the woodpeckers gave a social ball, to attend which invitations were sent not only to their political friends and followers, but some were sent to members of the jaybird faction. It was claimed that some of these invitations had been remailed to negroes in the county as a mark of disrespect to the woodpeckers, and Kyle Terry, charging Volney Gibson with this intended insult, had an altercation with him in consequence, during which he slapped Gibson's face.

This was the beginning of the Terry-Gibson feud, which subsequently led the killing of Ned Gibson by Kyle Terry and today of the killing of Kyle Terry by Volney Gibson, with whom the original difficulty took place. During the time intervening between the difficulty between Volney Gibson and Kyle Terry, the bitterest feeling existed between them and several attempts were made to avenge the insult. Before the killing of Ned Gibson there were three brothers living in Richmond, Ned, Volney and Jim, all of them born and raised in Fort Bend County. Another brother Giff, was then in California, but returned to Texas after the killing of his brother. It was known by those familiar with all the circumstances that the meeting of the Gibsons and Terrys meant death to one or more of them. No on seemed to have a keener appreciation of this that the parties themselves. It was simply a matter of opportunity.

This condition of affairs existed when Terry went to Wharton, expecting and prepared to meet the Gibsons. One of them, Ned Gibson, was there attending court, he being a practicing lawyer. How Terry stood in the doorway of a saloon with a double barreled shotgun and killed Gibson as he was crossing the street toward him, are facts known to those who remember the evidence in that case. Indicted for murder, and fearing the result of a trial at Wharton, Terry obtained a change of venue to Galveston County, and it was to answer the charge of murder, founded on the killing by him of Ned Gibson that he appeared this morning, and received the fatal shot which peremptorily expunged the case from the docket of the court.

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