The following is taken from The Rockdale [Milam County, Texas] Messenger, Thursday, June 27, 1889, p. 8, col. 4 (Microfilm edition, The Barker Texas History Center, The University of Texas at Austin). The article is captioned, "Killing At Cameron."
"About 2 o'clock Saturday . . . Will Rogers . . . killed Joel Walker, both well known to the [Cameron, Milam County, Texas] community."
"Rogers and Walker had been neighbors living six miles southwest of Cameron. Bad feeling has existed for a long time because of differences arising out of the alleged depredations of their stock, one upon the other. Walker is represented as of a very quarrelsome disposition, having killed two men and, it is believed by some, three, near about Cameron. Rogers is well-known as a peaceable and law-abiding citizen. They were both raised there in the neighborhood."
The article goes on to say that Rogers heard that Walker had made threats upon Rogers' life and was waylaying Rogers upon the road. Rogers believed that he had to either kill, or be killed by, Walker. Walker was sitting at the back door of McIver's store, in Cameron, when Rogers shot Walker in the head with a six-shooter. Rogers fired two more shots immediately thereafter into Walker's body. Rogers then surrendered his pistol to a deputy sheriff. Rogers was released on $800 bond.
Milam County records show that Rogers pleaded not guilty. On November 19, 1889 the twelve-man jury (L. L. Lee, foreman) returned the following verdict, "We the jury find the defendant not guilty." Criminal Minutes of Milam County, Texas, Vol. C, Page 312 (Case No. 4858).
The following two families (Joel Walker, wife, and kids and William Rogers' widow Sarah and kids) appear on the 1880 Milam County, Texas Census near each other (ED 100, Page 30). Because of their proximity on the census, I suspect that the individuals marked with a double asterisk (**) are the individuals mentioned in the article. Because both families have a daughter named Jerusha, I have wondered whether these two families are related.
Joseph "Joel" Walker** (b. 1848--s/o William Henry Walker & Sarah Wilhelm).
Married: Dorothy Ann Cooley (b. AL 1849; d. 1913; buried Salem Cemetery, Milam Co., TX).
1-William Henry Walker (b. AL 1873; md Lula E. ________; d. Cameron, Milam Co., TX 1913)
2-Jerusha Ann Walker (b. TX 1876; md Stephen S. Burdick; d. McLennan Co., TX 1967)
3-Marcellus Walker (b. TX 1878)
4-Lavenia Estelle Walker (b. TX 1879; md Wm N. Frasure; d. 1903)
5-Arthur Adolphus Walker (b. 1882)
6-Joel Ernest Walker (b. 1885; d. 1971; buried Oak Hill Cem., Cameron, Milam Co., TX)
William W. Rogers (b. TX ca. 1828; d. 1868; buried Salem Cem., Milam Co., TX).
Married: Sarah A. Unknown (b. TX 1834; d. 1900; bur. Salem Cem., Milam Co., TX).
1-Martha Rogers (b. TX ca. 1852)
2-Mira Rogers (b. TX ca. 1855)
3-Nancy Rogers (b. TX ca. 1859)
4-Lula Rogers (b. TX ca. 1862)
5-William Rogers** (b. TX ca. 1864)
6-James B. Rogers (b. TX ca. 1865; d. 1937; buried Salem Cem., Milam Co., TX)
7-Jerusha Rogers (b. TX 1868)
If anyone has additional information on these familes, please share with me.
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