Nathaniel Bratcher Shot
Home Up Nathaniel Bratcher Shot Winfry Caught Nat S Bratcher Runs for JP Nathaniel Bratcher Dies


Canton Telephone 

April 3 1886


George H. Winfry,
 a Farmer Shoots County Attorney-N. S. Bratcher in the Court Room.

Our people were thrown into great excitement last Monday at 2 o'clock p.m. by the shooting of County Attorney N. S. Bratcher by George H. Winfry. The circumstances are about as follows:  Mr. Winfry was indicted by the grand jury, charged with unlawful carrying a pistol. The case came up last Monday in Justice Court. Mr. Winfry's defense was, that he used the pistol in defense of himself and family. Being at a neighbors, several hundred yards from home a gentleman whose name is Green came up and cursed Winfry, and tried to cut him with a knife, in the mean time Mr. Winfry drew his pistol from a pair of saddlebags, and stood Green off. All this occurred in the presence of Mr. Winfry's family. County Attorney Bratcher , in his opening argument to the jury, said: "Trust Winfry surely did not have any respect for his family, as he cursed in their presence." Then Winfry arose and told the County Attorney if he said that he did not have any respect for his family, he was a d---liar. In an instant Mr. Bratcher threw a law book at him. striking him in the face, bruising his nose a little. They ran together , and a few  licks were passed; but being immediately separated by constable I. B. Wallace, neither were hurt. Court them took several minutes recess. In the meantime Mr. Winfry went down in town and tried to borrow a pistol to shoot Bratcher with--he finally succeded in securing one. Court resumed business again and the County Attorney finished his 
argument and Mr. Gentry made a speech for the defense. Another recess was then taken, and while the County Attorney, the jury and a few others were in the court room, Winfry approached Bratcher, and said: Bratcher, do you mean what you said today?" He (Bratcher) said in reply: "George, I don't want to have any trouble. You have got your pistol and I am unarmed." Winfry Said: "Yes, caliber Smith & Wesson and fired at Bratcher three times in rapid succession. The first ball striking the ceiling over head, as his hand was knocked up by a bystander who tried to prevent Winfry from shooting Bratcher. The second ball taking effect in the lower part of the abdomen and ranged down-ward, lodging in his thigh. Several of the bystanders took hold of Winfry and tried to keep him from shooting Bratcher, but he told them if they didn't turn him loose and get out of his way that he, (Winfry) would shoot them. After firing the third shot at Bratcher he broke to run and ran down the aisle out of the Court room into the yard, in the meanwhile some one ran to the window up stairs and said: "Catch Winfry, he has shot Nat. Bratcher." Sheriff A. W. Meredith was on the out side of the Court yard fence and fired three shots at him. one taking affect in the shoulder, we learn. Winfry dropped his pistol the last shot sheriff Meredith made. He (Winfry) mounted his horse which was standing hitched to the Ecliples Livery Stable fence, and broke for the brush, Sheriff Meredith, Constable Wallace and T. R. Yantis went in hot pursuit of him, but never overtaken him. Mr. Bratcher is not seriously wounded it is believed--and Winfry is still at large.