Dallas County, Iowa

Cemetery Directory


Panther Creek Church of the Brethren Cemetery History


Colfax Twp. Section 4, Dallas County, Iowa

Click here to view submitted Gravestone Photographs for Panther Creek Church of the Brethren Cemetery.


   A little ways off of Highway 44 west of the Four Corners - near "Panther Creek."

   A German Baptist Church was organized in 1869.  Four years later they built a commodious edifice on Sec. 4, and called it the Panther Creek Church.  The township only post office was Panther.

   It is the resting place for one of the first murders committed in Dallas County. (article following)

   A stone in the NE section, is barely readable,

          John N. Bold

          was shot by J.E. Elliott

          Aug 23, 1872

          died Aug 25, 1872

   John N. Bold and J.E. Elliott were neighbors and they became angry after an argument over a cow, leading to the shooting.  Bold was shot from ambush, and died 2 days later.  Elliott's trial was held in Adel and he was acquitted of the charge of murder.

   John Bold was a distant relative of Mr. Harold Manders.

   It is a beautiful cemetery, located right west of the church and holds many friends from the Dallas Center area, one our own Mary Emmert and her father.



Tombstone revives legend

of 1872 Panther shooting

by Jim Owen

   Everyone who has grown up in the Panther are northwest of Adel in the past century has heard stories about the 1872 shooting.

  A quarrel between two neighbors led to the shooting death of John N. Bold.  He lived one-half mile north of the Panther general store, a property now owned by Bill Brewer.

   The story of the shooting was revived recently when Bold's tombstone was remade.  The original marker had become illegible, so Carl Myers of Adel - who was born in Panther in 1900 - asked a Winterset Monument Company official to look at it.  The company recarved the stone free of charge.

   Myers got the idea of fixing the grave marker when he taped a conversation with Clarence Harrison in late 1979.  Harrison, who was born in Panther in January 1889, now lives at a senior citizens' home in Perry.

   Clarence's father was Ed Harrison, who lived on a farm northwest of Panther now owned by Earl Reves.  Clarence remembers hearing his parents talk about the shooting.

   A quarrel between Bold and his neighbor, J.E. Elliott, became serious.  Elliott went to another neighbor, said Mrs. Elliott was ill and asked to borrow a gun with which to shoot some prairie chickens for her.

   Elliott got the gun and, knowing Bold's choring habits, waited for him to return from the field with cows in the early evening.  He shot Bold, who died two days later.

   Although there were no telephones or automobiles, news of the shooting reached Adel by later in the evening.  Apparently, someone had jumped onto a horse-drawn wagon and raced to town to notify the sheriff.

   Meanwhile, Elliott ran two miles south of his farm to George Britton's place, where Lewis Robbins now lives.

   He rapped on the door, told Britton what he had done and asked for a room for the night, and he would turn himself over to the sheriff in the morning.


   Elliott kept his word, walking to town in the morning and surrendering.

   During the night, the sheriff went to the of Harrison's parents and said he was looking for Elliott.  After searching a crawlspace beneath the house, the sheriff left.

   Bold's grave was the first one to be marked in Panther Creek Cemetery, but his was not the first burial there.  His daughter, Martha Estella Bold, was buried in an unmarked grave after she died at the age of 5 on Feb. 29, 1871.

   When John Bold was buried next to his daughter, a marker was erected honoring both of them.

   Panther area folks will never let the legend of the shooting die.  Although it was not the community's proudest hour, it was its most memorable.


Gravestone photo

All of the above provided by Velma Renfrow.  Do not know date(s), but prior to 1985. 

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