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Barber Brothers "Series"

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lynching parties looking for the Barber Boys




Chicago, June 7.  --- A dispatch to the Tribune from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, say the excitement ereated by the capture of the Barber brothers was so great in and around Waverly that the authorities have had hard work in keeping the outlaws out of the hands of the mob.  The bandits were last night taken from Waverly to Waterloo, a distance of 20 miles, and were there put aboard the Illinois Central passenger train for Independence. Horsemen were riding all night in every direction determined to find them. William, the younger, was very much excited in the Waverly Jail on hearing the news from various places that mobs were on the way to hang them, and he pleaded that he would like to see mother once more before he died. The outlaws were finally landed late last night in the stone jail at Independence. This morning at Independence there was great excitement when it was learned that the notorious outlaws were in jail there, and throngs gathered about the town to discuss the situation. Word was received from West Union that the crowds that had been disappointed by going to Waverly would come to Independence, and it has been arranged to take the boys to the Animosa Penitentiary in case there is anything like a warlike demonstration from the north. They asked the Sheriff to-day for clubs with which to protect themselves in case a mob should come. After considerable urging the Sheriff permitted a photographer to take several pictures of them in the jail. When the subject of sending a picture to his wife was mentioned, Ike broke completely down  and wept like a child. He is the older and more intelligent of the two. He is 25 years old, has been married five years, and has two children. His hand has done all the fatal and bloody work. Marion Sheperd, Henry Kersting, Jr. and his father have all died by shots from his revolver, and Deputy Sheriff Jarvis and the two young men wounded on the night of the capture were all shot by him. He is uncommunicative, but has a head that denotes his character very plainly.  William is the larger one. He is 23 years old, has been married five years, and has three children. He is very proud of his record, and glories in telling about it. Henry Kersting, the brave German who was shot in the back and killed by Ike while alone grappling with William, mastered him empty-handed, while the outlaw had two self-cocking revolvers and was using them on him.


The prisoners say they had no intention of leading the life they have until after they killed Sheperd, and then thought people would look down upon them and be against them the same as against Jesse James and the Youngers, and they decided to fight it out on that line.  They say that many of the men who were hunting them with guns after they shot Shepherd met them and ran away, and that was one reason why they dared to come back again. They believed the people would fear them, and they claim to have purchased railway tickets and ridden to Independence less than a week ago. They intended to visit all their sisters and friends and then leave the country for good.  They say they would have joined their mother at Glendive, Montana, where she went about six weeks ago. They have nothing on them except shirts, trousers, and waistcoats, and their fat faces, heads, ears, and hands are badly bruised and cut from rough usage. During the last week they threw their boots away, waded in the river a considerable distance on Sunday in order to elude the pursuers whom they saw at various times near them.


There is intense excitement throughout that entire portion of the State, and it is the one general theme of conversation. After they were captured the father of the dead boy put one of the revolvers to Ike's head and tried to shoot, but did not know how. If he could have discharged it he would have blown the brains out of both of them on the spot. The old man died to-day.


A later dispatch from Waverly says the jail at that place, where the outlaws were kept until the train started for Independence, was surrounded and forced by a mob of 1,000 men about this morning. The lynchers arrived about four hours too late. There are fears that the jail at Independence will be attacked to-night, and the officers will hurry the Barber bandits by the first train to the penitentiary at Anamosa. There are, however, several mobs yet to be heard from. 


~source: The New Your Times, June 8, 1883

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