About Us
Museum Membership
Event Schedule
Museum Newsletters
Museum Displays


John Snyder

                                                              Maple City.

Excerpts from lengthy article: Snyder, Maple City...
Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 7, 1886.
Last week we started from Winfield on a trip to the southwestern part of the county,  arriving in Dexter Monday evening.
From Dexter we went to Otto . . . .
Next we went to Maple City, a thriving little place on the stage line between Otto and Arkansas City. Here we made the acquaintance of a number of THE COURIER’s readers and secured several new subscribers. We also visited the fine stock farm of Josiah Johnson, about one and a half miles east of Maple City. Mr. Johnson took pleasure in showing us his herd of more than 50 short horn cattle and some high bred trotters. During our stay in Maple City, we visited the lyceum and were highly entertained, especially by the reading of the Maple Leaf, edited by Mr. Snyder. As the Leaf is quite outspoken, some of the boys asked us to “write up” the editor, but they will please excuse us, as it is out of our line of work.
                                                        CUPID MURDER!
                      A Murderous Romance at Maple City in Which John Snyder
                                                       Lays Down His Life.
                                                   A PRETTY GIRL IN IT!
                   John Marshall, a Groom of a Week, Wags a Slanderous Tongue
                                                    And a Wicked Revolver.
                                           A THRILLING LOVE TRAGEDY.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 4, 1886.
Maple City comes forward with a romance mixed up with love, jealousy, and slander. A very pretty and accomplished young lady, Miss Clara Andrews, well known to many of the young people of Winfield, and daughter of John Andrews, the cattle and sheep man at Maple City, is the central figure. John Snyder, a young man of twenty-four, who has been paying very devoted attentions to Miss Andrews, got “wind” of remarks that seemed to reflect on the character of Miss Andrews, and made threats that came to a clash Wednesday morning at about 10 o’clock, when he met the accused slanderer, John Marshall, in front of the Maple City schoolhouse. A few words ensued, when Marshall drew his revolver and sent a ball through Snyder’s head, and then gave himself up to the authorities. Sheriff McIntire was dispatched for, went down Wednesday afternoon, and at 2:51 Thursday arrived on the Santa Fe from Arkansas City with the prisoner, who was accompanied by the bride he wed only last Friday evening. Our reporter met the sheriff at the train and got his pointers and the story of the murderer.
                                                   MARSHALL’S STORY.

“I knew John Andrews and family near Columbus, Ohio, from where I came to Maple City last November, intending to canvass as a book agent. I stopped with Andrews. I soon saw that the book business was no go, so I got up a writing school. Mr. Andrews had a lame shoulder, so in the day times I helped him. I got up his winter wood and did anything and everything. I asked no pay and got none. I didn’t try to go with Clara, and she treated me respectfully. During my stay here, John Snyder, a young fellow from New Orleans, who was living with whom he claimed as an old friend, Dr. E. H. J. Hart, came to see Clara and appeared to be badly “gone.” I never disturbed him. We knew each other, but were not intimate. I left Andrews a few weeks ago and went to boarding at Mr. Clay’s, my anticipated wife’s folks. Thursday week I was up here to get my marriage license, and in conversation relating to certain girls, whose fellows were busted, I said, ‘That’s nothing. We’ve got two fellows down our way whose girls keep them’—meaning Snyder and myself. This got to Snyder, and in a day or two a friend came to me and said that Snyder said I had been lying about his girl and he was going to horsewhip me, and this friend said I had better arm myself. I did so, and carried a Smith & Wesson 32-calibre in my coat pocket, cocked, a week before the fracas yesterday. Others told me that Dr. Hart had bought a black-snake and that he was going to hold me up with a revolver while Snyder horse-whipped me. I didn’t run across either of them until yesterday. When I was coming up from the spring with my big mittens on and a pail of water in each hand, I met Snyder and Hart taking their team across to the barn to hitch up. Snyder was twenty feet ahead of Hart, who was driving the unhitched horses. He threw down his wraps, done up with a shawl strap, and said: ‘You’re the s     of a b      I’ve been looking for, I’ll maul h    l out of you!’ He made for me, with his hand on his back pocket and I yelled ‘Halt!’ several times. He kept coming and I drew my cocked revolver quick as a flash, and shot. As I shot, he dodged, and the ball went into his head behind the ear, they say, and came out of his forehead. Snyder fell and Hart dropped the lines and rushed up. I yelled, ‘Halt!’ and came down on him, and he threw up his hands, where I held him, till the crowd came, when I gave myself up.”
Marshall is a young man of twenty-six, of sandy complexion, and rather small stature, a good face, and talks well. He was married last Friday night to Miss Clay, who is now at the jail with him. She is a girl of about sixteen, whose folks are old settlers of Maple City.
Snyder came from New Orleans two months ago, supposedly to visit his old friend, Dr. Hart. He and Dr. Hart, whose wife and three children are back in Ohio, boarded with Mrs. Goodrich. Snyder didn’t do much work, dressed only moderately well, and didn’t appear to have any money. His natural appearance was good and he took pretty well. It was well known that he was badly in love with Miss Andrews, and she seemed to reciprocate. On investigation Sheriff McIntire had Dr. Hart arrested as an accomplice, and Deputy Sheriff Joe Church brought him up by buggy this afternoon. No revolver was found on either Hart or Snyder after the affray, though it is claimed that Snyder was not searched until after Hart had examined and conveyed him to the office.
Snyder was unconscious up to death, which occurred at 10 o’clock last night.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 4, 1886.
The body of John Snyder, the victim of the Maple City tragedy, was interred Saturday, in the Union Cemetery, northeast of this city.
                                           THAT LOVE TRAGEDY AGAIN.
                                Other Developments in the Maple City Tragedy
                               That Appear to Make It a Cold-Blooded Murder.
                                                          Dr. Hart’s Story.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 4, 1886.

Dr. G. H. J. Hart, who was arrested and brought up by Deputy Sheriff, Joe. Church, charged with complicity in the murder of John Snyder, swore out a warrant for John Marshall, Thursday. The Doctor was released until after the preliminary examination of Marshall, who was taken before Justice Buckman, Friday morning. The preliminary was set for February 8th, at one o’clock, with bonds at $5,000. Of course, Marshall can’t give bonds and won’t try. Dr. Hart’s story gives a very different phase to this tragedy. Hart and Snyder were raised together and the Doctor thought a great deal of him. Snyder was a young man of refinement, was a good singer and talker, and performed nicely on the piano. Andrews’ were the only ones in the neighborhood who had a good instrument and Snyder in this way got very friendly with the family. He thought a great deal of Miss Andrews. He admired her beauty and accomplishments, but was not particularly in love. He had been engaged for several years to a girl back east. He was raised in the south and was of that extremely sensitive southern nature, and when he heard what Marshall had said about himself and Miss Andrews, he told Hart that he proposed, before returning home to New Orleans, to give Marshall a good pounding. The Doctor tried to persuade him out of the idea; said it was a foolish thing to fight over, and to let it go. Nothing was said about any horse whipping: Snyder was going to leave the next day. “When we met Marshall Tuesday morning, Snyder started for him—I knew there would be a fight. Knowing that Snyder had no revolver, I thought there would be only a little knock down, and started around my team to get a view of the affair. Just as I got in plain view, only a few steps off, I noticed Marshall stoop over and as he raised up, brought out his revolver and fired. Snyder, on seeing the revolver, was just in the act of wheeling to run when the ball took him behind the left ear, coming out over his left eye. He fell over on his face, without uttering a word. I ran up and was going to pick him up when Marshall covered me and held me up. Snyder breathed only mechanically until 10 o’clock, when he died. He never knew, farther than the momentary sight of the revolver, what hurt him. He said not a word to Marshall. He never carried or owned a revolver in his life, and I never carried one but three days in my life. Neither of us had the sign of a weapon about us.” The Doctor telegraphed to Snyder’s parents at New Orleans today, took a casket down with him, and will inter the body tomorrow. Miss Andrews, who is postmistress at Maple City, is greatly distressed over the terrible tragedy in which she is innocently the central figure.
                                              THE CORONER’S INQUEST.
     The Facts in the Maple City Murder As Elicited by Coroner Wells’ Examination.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 4, 1886.
Coroner H. L. Wells and Capt. H. H. Siverd, after nearly two days’ examination, concluded the inquest on the body of John Snyder, at Maple City, Saturday afternoon. Thirty-two witnesses were examined. The jury, J. G. Shreves, Geo. Eaton, H. S. Libby, S. S. Blakesley, and P. S. Gilgis, returned a verdict that John Snyder came to his death on January 27, 1886, from a pistol shot fired by John W. Marshall. About the only new facts developed, other than those given in THE COURIER, came from William Clay, father-in-law of John Marshall, the murderer. He said: “Three or four days before the shooting, I met Jack Snyder crossing the street. He said, ‘Where is Marshall?’ I answered, ‘In the house.’ He said: ‘I am going for the s      of a b      before I leave town.’”

“There was a dance at my house during the holidays and Snyder, who was there, handed me a revolver, saying he did not like to have it jolting up and down in his pocket while he was dancing. I laid it in the bureau drawer. When he came for it in the morning, he said, ‘It is not a nice thing to carry, but I hain’t gone without one since I was a boy.’”
Robt. E. Howe said that Dr. Hart did buy a whip of him within the week before the tragedy. Hart told him he bought it to whip a dog with.
Leo J. Arithus said: “I saw Snyder in Arthaton’s store on January 22nd. His whip was hanging on a nail behind the counter and he asked one of the boys to hand it to him. He rolled it up and stuck it under his vest. I said, I suppose you are going to jump into some old cripple? He said, ‘No, but I give you a pointer that I am going to use it.’ Dr. Hart soon came in and the subject of horse-whipping Marshall came up.”
Mr. Drury said, “I understand that you are going to hold Marshall up with a pistol while Snyder whips him? Dr. Hart answered, ‘That is the way of it.’”
Mr. Drury continued, “That kind of business has never been done in this county and the people will not allow it. If Marshall has done him wrong, the law should punish. Hart said, ‘You would not want your wife or sister brought into law. I intend to stand there with my pistol in my pocket and see that Jack whips him and that no one interferes.’”
E. A. Goodrich said: “I met Dr. Hart at Arthaton’s store. He said, ‘Wait a few minutes and you will see some fun. Jack is going to horse-whip Marshall.’ I told him he could not do it. He answered, ‘I am going to stand by see it done.’ I told him the people would not allow it. He said: ‘How can they help it and me with this,’ showing me a revolver. I then went to Justice of the Peace A. Gilkey, and told him to stay in town or appoint someone to watch and stop the trouble. He said he would stay himself.”
John Drury: “On Jan. 22nd I saw Dr. Hart in my store and asked him if it was true that he had said he was going to hold Marshall up with a revolver while Snyder whipped him with a horse whip. He first denied it, then said if he had said it, he said it in a passion. He believed it ought to be done and in his country (New Orleans) it would be done. Other talk was had when Hart called me out on the steps and said he would take back all he said—he didn’t mean a word of it and he wasn’t positive he had said it, and anyhow he didn’t intend to do it.”
Melinda Clay, mother-in-law of Marshall, said she had seen both Hart and Snyder have revolvers at her house. She had heard Marshall say he should protect himself if they went for him. Heard Marshall say he was afraid Snyder would attack him and that he would prepare himself for defense.
H. B. Wiser: “On the 10th I went to get medicine of Hart and he told me he was going to leave the next Friday—he wouldn’t stay in a place where they slandered so much. I told him that I would not pay any attention to that. We need a good doctor here and I wanted him to stay. He said he was going to have his partner give a son of a b     a good whipping before he left. They would whip him just like a nigger in New Orleans—horse-whip him. I told him he had better let that out. The neighbors would not stand it. He might get hurt doing the deed. He said he was not afraid; he would hold his ‘pop’ down on Marshall while his partner did the business.”

Dr. Hart’s testimony, touching the whipping points only slightly, is in exact contradiction of the evidence as given above. He swore that himself or Snyder were not armed at the time of the shooting and never were. Also that Marshall held him up, after firing the fatal shot, and had a passing school boy search him; that no weapons or whip was found on either he or Snyder.
Capt. Siverd showed us the revolver and bullet this morning. The weapon is a 32-calibre, double-action Smith & Wesson. The bullet’s course, from the evidence, indicates that Snyder was turning to run when the ball struck him—behind the left ear, going through the brain over the left eye, glancing and lodging over the right eye. The bullet was badly mashed. Nothing regarding Miss Andrews or the reports circulated by Marshall about her and Snyder were brought out in the evidence.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 11, 1886.
Capt. Siverd went down to Maple City Friday to summon the thirty or more witnesses in the Marshall-Snyder murder case.
                                              MARSHALL BOUND OVER.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 11, 1886.
The preliminary examination of John Marshall for the murder of Jack Snyder, at Maple City, on the 27th ult., was concluded at 10 o’clock Tuesday, before Judge Buckman. County Attorney Asp conducted the prosecution and McDonald & Webb the defense. Very few facts were deducted—mostly held back for the District Court trial. The evidence was merely a reiteration of that at the Coroner’s inquest and published in THE COURIER. The fact that Marshall was twenty feet away from Snyder when the fatal shot was fired and that Snyder had actually turned around and had taken one step toward retreating, were proven by several witnesses. About thirty witnesses were examined. It was proven also that Dr. Hart had bought a whip and had threatened to horse-whip Marshall, but afterward took it all back and said that nothing of the kind would be done. Marshall was bound over with bond at $5,000. He will languish. Dr. Hart, the principal witness, was put under $200 bond for his appearance and the other witnesses under bonds of $100 each. A large number of Maple City people attended the trial, the court room being a jam.
                                             THE MAPLE CITY TRAGEDY.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 11, 1886.
The preliminary examination of John Marshall for the murder of Jack Snyder, at Maple City, the 27th ult., began at 10 o’clock Monday before Judge Buckman, at the Court House. McDonald & Webb are conducting the defense and County Attorney Asp the prosecution. J. H. Fazel, the stenographer, was appointed to report the case. There are about thirty witnesses to be examined, only one or two of whom have yet been on the stand, developing no facts that haven’t already appeared in THE COURIER. A large number of Maple City people are here, to take in the trial. The court room is crowded. It will take several days to conclude the examination.
Arkansas City Republican, February 20, 1886.
Marshall, the man who shot Snyder at Maple City, was released from custody the first of the week on requisite bond of $5,000 being given. Several of the citizens of his neighborhood went on his bond.
Arkansas City Republican, April 10, 1886.

The jury in the Mowry trial was impaneled Tuesday morning and the hearing of the evidence has been going on since. The trial of Marshall for the killing of Snyder at Maple City is next on the docket, and then comes the recent Elliott murder. These three cases will consume about three or four weeks of this term of court.


Cowley County Historical Society Museum