Back in 1905,
was having its share of violence, murder, revenge, and the like.
In those days if you had a quarrel with someone it was usually settled
with firearms and although Hollywood would portray it differently;
there were very few times when the participants dueled face-to-face
on some dusty western street and the man with the quicker draw being
It really didn't happen that way, more likely than not, the poor
victim was shot from ambush.
When a lady was the cause of some dispute, it seemed as if revenge
was the order of the day. And it didn't take long for the grieving
family members to get even. As is the case in the following story
taken from the pages of an old issue of The Hallettsville Herald.
This article is unedited and appears just as it did nearly 110 years
Herald - May 18, 1905
has occurred in Lavaca
County. Tuesday morning at 6:30 o'clock. Shell Mason, a prominent
citizen of Yoakum, was shot and instantly killed by M.A. and P.A.
Newman. Mason was shot as he was leaving Fred Mason's residence, the
Newman boys being in a lower room of the Lane Hotel across the street.
(Headline: SHOT AND KILLED)
Shell Mason Pays the Penalty of a Woman's Ruin
Both men used Winchesters. One ball crashed through Mason's head and
another entered his body. The spark of life flickered for an hour
and a half when it abandoned the shattered hulk and another soul was
sent into eternity for a woman's ruin.
The killing of Mason recalls the death of Miss Lillian Newman in Runge
three weeks ago. Mason was held accountable for her death, and Dr.
J.M. Boyd of Yoakum
is now under $5000 bond in the case. Abortion was alleged.
Miss Newman was a trained nurse and was regarded as a heroine. In
the summer of 1903 when yellow fever appeared in this locality, she
volunteered to nurse the fever patients in the Bennet family in DeWitt
County. She also contacted the fever but recovered. As a token
of appreciation for her heroism the citizens of Yoakum
made up a fund and presented her with a fine gold watch. She was 28
years old, an intelligent woman, and of comely appearance.
After the shooting the Newmans surrendered to Constable Allan Humphries
and were held in Yoakum
for an examining trial. Deputies Jim Deborah and Charley Munson and
County Attorney W.T. Bagby went over on the afternoon train. The examining
trial was postponed until yesterday and at the hour of going to press
nothing further had been heard of the case.
Star Diary March