Neosho Times, April 7th, 1887

A Sad Death

Wellington Benton, an old and esteemed gentleman of Neosho and Neosho township was accidentally shot and instantly killed on Thursday evening at about 6PM. He had been out hunting with his son, Dr. Benton and J. M. Pardy in the Dr.’s spring wagon and a driver was sent back to meet them at the Granby Fort across Hickory Creek on their return. They had met with good luck and Mr. Benton was particularly cheerful as they drove on toward town. Dr. Benton was stopped at Mr. Rader’s to make a sick call and directed Mr. Pardy to drive on to the Doctor’s house and let the old gentleman take out the guns and game and then drive in and leave his team hitched at his office. When the old gentleman got out, he took out the two guns and then passed around on the left side of the wagon and Mr. Pardy handed them out to him and placed them in the bend of his right arm at the elbow, the accouterments, with the birds killed, piled on top. While he held the guns on his left arm. Mr. Pardy inquired of him, if he had not better place the guns inside the gate before he took out the accouterments, but Mr. Benton rather insisted in taking all at once.

When he had packed the game and accouterments on his right arm as stated, Mr. Purdy turned around and started up the team. But had not gone ten steps when he heard a loud gun report, turned and saw Mr. Benton as if apparently he had sunk upon the ground. The game was scattered around and the two guns had fallen out of his grasp. He stopped the team with a few steps, hitched them to the fence and returned to the side of Mr. Benton, but the body was motionless, not a muscle moved, life was extinct.

Mr. Pardy says that the guns carried by himself and the Doctor were breech loading shot guns and the charges had been drawn out before the guns had been placed in the wagon. The old gentleman’s gun was an old fashioned muzzle loader and if he had had the least suspicion that it was loaded, he would have refused to deliver the game and accouterments to the old gentleman until he had put the guns within the gate. The charges from the gun entered under the left side of the jaw, tearing away that side of the head and producing instant death.

Wellington Benton was 63 years old and has been a prominent farmer of the county since the year 1871, having a fine fruit farm on the Granby Road. He leaves three sons and one daughter. Dr. A. W. Benton of this city, John Benton, a farmer and a son living in Iowa and a daughter, the wife of Frank McClinlock. All are among our best citizens. He buried his wife about a year ago. Deceased was a consistent Christian and member of Rev. a. J. Smith’s congregation of this city.

The remains were buried from the residence of Dr. Benton yesterday at 3:00.

Contributed by: Rae Clinesmith