(From "Arkansas City Traveler" (newspaper), July 23, 1879, about local men's venture across Oklahoma-Kansas Line into "the Territories")  


                  FIGHT ON THE MAIN CANADIAN


Four Robbers Murder Two Men and Wound the Third One.

On the evening of July 2nd, as W. W. Woods, Troy Stockstill, James Henderson, and T. H. Candy were driving up the Shoto valley, at a small creek emptying into the Main Canadian, about 18 miles above Johnson’s store, and 80 miles from Fort Reno, near where the Chisholm trail crosses the river, they noticed four men riding in a slow lope toward their camp. Mr. Stockstill and Woods were on their horses, and James Henderson was standing in front of the wagon, while the cook and one herder were close by. Candy was with the herd and not in sight.

The men rode up, halted, and remarked: “Hello, boys, how are you getting along?”

One of the party responded: “Slowly.”

After taking a glance around, the men all dismounted at once, and drawing their revolvers, the leader said: “I guess we will have to arrest you.”

That game had been played often in the Territory, to “arrest” men under pretense of law, and then disarm and rob them, but these men fully understood the movement, and Stockstill said: “No, you don’t,” and drew his pistol and raised his arm to fire. Just then one of the robbers shot him in the side, which caused his horse to turn, and another shot was put in his stomach. The horse then ran with the lifeless body a full half a mile, when the corpse fell clear of the saddle to the ground.

Henderson was shot in the heart and dropped dead in his tracks as he stood unarmed before them. Several shots where then fired at the cook as he ran; and also the herder, who was badly wounded in the arm.

At the first shot, Woods’ horse became unmanageable and ran half a mile with him before he could control him. As soon as he could turn him he made towards camp, when the robbers sent a volley after him from their Winchester rifles, shooting his horse from under him.

As Stockstill’s horse ran he was shot twice.

The wounded herder was then requested to step out where they could finish him; but he begged so hard for his life that he was allowed to go.

Troy Stockstill was a resident of Medicine Lodge, Barbour County, Kansas, where he had been engaged in raising cattle, and was a gentleman and well-respected citizen. He leaves a wife and six children, the oldest being young ladies of about 17 or 18 years.

James Henderson was a single man, whose parents live in Oskaloosa, Kansas.

This is only one case out of many that are transpiring almost continually in the Territory.

In the section we speak of there are at least forty outlaws from Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri, and the state of society is fearful.

Many an officer in search of criminals that have gone into this and other neighborhoods have mysteriously disappeared, and never been heard from, all going to prove that the Territory should be brought into the Union and have competent men and civil laws instead of being a den for desperadoes.