A DESPERADO KILLED
Simeon Garrard of Warren County, Indiana
Submitted by Adina Watkins Dyer
Simeon Garrard was the son of John Garrard and Elizabeth Martindale, and an uncle of my great-grandmother, Jane Garrard Watkins.
Newspaper articles concerning Simeon Garrard:
Warren County, Indiana
November 18, 1886
A DESPERADO KILLED
"Recently farmers about Battle Ground, Tippecanoe County, had been missing property from their premises and the pilferings had become so extensive that the Horse and Cattle Protective Association took the matter into hand, determined to bring the guilty parties to justice. On Wednesday morning of last week, John C. Shaw, Edwin Birch, John Cunningham, and Jesse Shortridge, of Battle Ground, got on the trail of one Simeon Gerard and of his probable whereabouts. Procuring a double-seated buggy the four started out Wednesday for Attica where they arrived in the evening and immediately made known their business to Marshall Beymer and all started up the river on foot, going up on the west side. Arriving at the mouth of the Kickapoo they discovered a tent which they immediately recognized as their property. A fishing boat was found which also had been stolen. Going inside the tent they found no one, but discovered boots, socks, a clock, spoons, cooking utensils, knives and forks, a pair of eyeglasses, rubber boots, overcoat, a dagger, 2 revolvers, 4 pocket knives, lap robes, a coat and vest, a pair of red woolen mitten, a lady's gossamer, a pair of pants, screw drivers, razors, a double-barreled shotgun, etc., some of the articles being readily identified, and some having the name of the owner plainly marked. The four men concluded to remain until their man returned, and Beymer returned home. A watch was kept all night and at 4 o'clock Thursday morning they decided to take their property, put it in the boat and return to Attica. As by accident one of the party looked in the direction of the west bank of the creek, which is high and steep, and saw a man standing some 30 steps away, and just as he called the attention of his companions, the fellow raised his revolver, aimed and as he was in the act of firing, he fell, rolled down the bank and remained in the tall weeds of the bottom land. No one dared to go to him for they did not know what he might do. when daylight came a search was made and the man found--dead, only a short distance from where he fell. Three buck shot had pierced the right side and breast and on the right forearm. The authorities of Attica were immediately informed and Coroner Lewis of this county sent for, who went to the scene and investigated the matter. The dead man was identified by J. H. Messner, W. P. Ermy, Elisha Little, Chas. Riggs and Robert Hall as Simeon Gerard. Deceased was 48 years of age, about 5 feet 8 inches in height, heavy build, weighing about 180 pounds, dark hair and beard. He was born and raised in this county about 3 miles south of Pine Village. Mr. Lewis rendered a verdict of death from gun shot wound, fired by parties unknown. Mr. Lewis took charge of the body, had it prepared for burial and brought to Hillside Cemetery where it was properly buried Thursday afternoon."
There were some who didn't think the killing of Simeon Garrard was justified:
Lafayette Daily Courier
Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co., Indiana
Saturday Morning, November 20, 1886
WAS IT MURDER!
Revengeful Relatives After The Horse Company Whose Carbines Filled the Body of
Sim Gerard with Buckshot-Details of the Tradgedy-Gerard Offered no Resistance--Was He Murdered!
"The fact that Sim Gerard made a raid upon the silverware belonging to our Battle Ground neighbors would not justify any individual or company in shedding his blood. We are not authorized to do evil that a good result may follow, neither are we justified in taking human life to avenge the taking of a "pewter spoon." Sim Gerard (or Jarret) lived for years in the neighborhood of Pine Village, and was not angelic by any means, and yet he did not have the horns of a demon. The day before his tragic death he rode to Attica with Hon. Elish Little of Warren county, and behaved himself unusually well. He was an athlete, a great wrestler, and prided himself on being able to jump a greater distance than any man in the county. He was not quarrelsome, but would always resent an insult. His greatest fault was found in the fact that his fingers formed a kind of "magnet," and things not his own would naturally follow his hand. It may be that the Battle Ground Horse Detective company took the life of a worthless cuss, but the important question now presents itself, "Why was (he) killed?" Was he likely to take three prisoners and burn them at a stake? Did he quite suddenly (with blood in his eye) get the drop on three men who carried loaded muskets? The JOURNAL don't profess to know anything about the death of Sim Gerard. If he had ambushed himself among the shelving crags and mossy rocks of the secluded Kickapoo and was trying to play "Peekaboo" with our Horse Marines then he died just in time, but if he came out of his hiding place and walked leisurely toward the tent offering no demonstration of harm then the Battle Ground boys have "got their foot in it." The Attica Ledger of yesterday contained the following:
"Sim Gerard was quite well known over the country as Sim Jarret, though the former is his correct name. From youth he had been of a roving disposition and was known for expertness in the use of firearms and in athletic sports. He was one of the finest built small men ever seen in this vicinity, having solid muscles without an ounce of superfluous flesh, and very wiry and able to endure almost any physical hardship. He was a good marksman, it being told of him that he could get a squirrel from the tallest tree with one shot from his revolver. He was in the Union army for a while during the late war, deserting from his regiment and afterwards becoming a bushwhacker. He did not know fear and his dare-devil bravery pulled him through scrapes that would have cause other men to quake in their boots. Simeon was 39 years old. A brother and sister of the deceased are well known and respected citizens of Adams township, Warren county.
There have been may rumors flying concerning the killing of Gerard, among them one to the effect that the four men from Battle Ground would be arrested on the charge of murder, and that the brother of the dead man would institute proceedings in that direction. To back this rumor it was also reported that Gerard made no resistance; that he was shot down before being given an opportunity to surrender, that he had no revolver in sight, and that he could have been captured alive with proper precaution. It is quite probable that these and the various other rumors concerning the affair have no real foundation. The Ledger has made diligent inquiries and believes that the report of the tragedy, given in last week's paper is substantially correct. It came from first hand, within an hour after the man was known to be dead, and at present there is no ground for disbelieving it. The verdict of the coroner was "death from buckshot wound, at hands unknown."
Warren County, Indiana
Thursday, January 19, 1888
John Cunningham, of Tippecanoe county, residing near Battle Ground, committed suicide on Monday, January 9, by jumping from the cupola on his residence, causing instant death. It will be remembered that he was one of the party of three men who in the early part of last year came to Attica, Ind. on the hunt of one Girard, a notorious character of the Wabash who had stolen, as was believed, article from the three men. They got trace of their game at Attica and learned his place of rendevous, and following him up and waiting for him overnight, succeeded early the following morning in killing him. Cunningham, it seems, believed he was the one who fired the fatal shot and this so preyed upon him that he became unbalanced in his mind, and admitted one day to a friend that he found it was with great difficulty that he resisted the tempation to kill himself. The attempt was made the same day he jumped from his cupola to take his life, by firing a gun into his mouth. The family had taken the precaution before hand of drawing the load and thus foiled him in his murderous intent. The deceased was a man advanced in years. Shortly after his acquittal here last spring for the shooting of Girard, he was compelled to borrow $300, and to secure payment of the sme gave a mortgage on his farm. This was the first time in his life he had been compelled to do such a thing, and he felt, as he expressed to friends, that ever since the killing of Girard everything had gone wrong. He believed this firmly and it had such a depressing effect upon his mind that he sought relief in taking his life. The remains were buried last Thursday.