I've talked about the murder of Charles Dow by Franklin Coleman that happened in Hickory Point a few miles north of Baldwin City. Dow's death was never avenged. Coleman implicated a friend of Dow's in his murder and Coleman would later go on to fight against John Brown in the Battle of Black Jack. Dow's murder happened on November 22, 1855 but nearly a year before, on November 29, 1854, Lucius Kibbee was imprisoned for the murder of Henry Davis.
|an illustration of Lucius Kibbee, courtesy FindAGrave
Kibbee turned himself in to Judge Elmore and was sent to stand trial in front of Chief Justice Samuel LeCompte. His trial took place on December 27, 1854 and was the second trial held in the territory. A dozen or so witnesses testified about Kibbee and Davis' confrontation. According to Johnson's testimony, after learning about the burnt property, Kibbee threatened to report Davis to the authorities. Davis threatened "I'll report you to Hell", brandished a knife and struck at Kibbee, missing him.
Kibbee passively turned away citing that he had no quarrel with Davis. Davis then swore he'd cut Kibbee's heart out and made two more lunges with the knife before Kibbee shot him right before Davis made a third lunge. The arguments were submitted and Kibbee was released on $1,000 bail until a trial could be held.
Lucius Kibbee was born in Iowa in 1815 and came to Kansas with his wife and children settling on land near Hickory Point about a mile from the Santa Fe Trail. Since preemption laws required improving the land, Kibbee built a small cabin. In July of 1854, Reverend William Goode preached the first sermon under the authority of the United Methodist Church. For months it was rumored that Missourians were going to come in from Missouri and hang Kibbee and in March 1855, Rev. Goode found the Kibbee cabin surrounded. The group was dispersed but Kibbee was charged with assault. Knowing he wouldn't get a fair trial, Kibbee gave up and returned his family to Iowa. He would later move to Nebraska where he died in 1880.
|Kibbee Cabin replica at Baker University. Photo courtesy Baker University.
If you would like to support my writing or research, you can buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi.