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Hicks, John

The Daily Constitution
Atlanta, GA
October 4, 1879
Transcribed and submitted by: 

Hicks, John

A Paulding County Tragedy;

From a private source was learned yesterday of the mysterious killing of John Hicks, a resident of Paulding county, who was found dead Wednesday last in the woods a few miles from Dallas.

Mr. Hicks, it seems, had gone out hunting the day previous and by reason of his not returning his friends started out in search of him and found his corpse laying in the woods with a bullet hole through his body.

As yet no one knows who killed him, but suspicion points to Jerry Shelton, a resident of Dallas, as the guilty party, owing to the fact that it was pretty generally known that these two men were on bad terms and that Shelton was a man of gad character and has not been seen since the murder was committed.

Hicks was considered a peaceable man and a good citizen. He leaves a wife, whom we learn was insulted a few days since by Shelton. This was the cause of the hard feeling that existed between the two. The deceased and Shelton had a meeting a few days before the mysterious death of the former which came very near being a serious affair. Shelton, it seems, has a very bad record in the community in which he lives. A few years since he and his brother, Poke Shelton, had a difficulty with Bud Puckett in a saloon in Dallas, which culminated in the killing of Puckett. The two men were arrested and sent to jail, where they remained only a short while when they gave a sufficient bond and were released from custody.

When the cases of these two men were called, Poke Shelton was tried and found guilty and sentenced to five years imprisonment in the penitentiary service. He is now working on the Cartersville and Van Wert railroad with a number of convicts at work there.

In some way counsel for the defense in the case against Jerry Shelton managed to stave off the trial, and the defendant remained on bond until a few weeks since, when he was arrested for carrying concealed weapons, tried and fined for the offense. He remained in the jail about ten days before he was able to pay his fine, and was out about one week previous to the time of the killing of Hicks. It is said that it was during this interval of one week that he made the insulting remarks to Hicks’s wife, which is said to have been the cause of the enmity that existed between the two men. The residents of Paulding, and especially those in the vicinity of Dallas, feel highly incensed at the murder, as Hicks was much liked by every one. Every effort will be made to solve the mystery and find out the guilty party. If it is ascertained that Shelton did the killing, efforts will be made to secure his arrest, and if arrested, he will have to defend himself in the criminal prosecution for murder at the next term of Paulding superior court.

11 Oct 1879 (The Daily Constitution - Atlanta} The Killing of Hicks in Paulding; We learn from parties who are in the city from Paulding county that it is a thought that Mr. Hicks, who was killed a few days ago in the woods in that county, shot himself accidentally, and that Mr. Jerry Shelton had nothing to do with it. It appears from their statement that Mr. Shelton, at the time of the shooting was nowhere near the place. While there had been a difference between them, it was not sufficient, so it is reported, to cause any serious breach between them. It is thought by many that Mr. Hicks accidentally shot himself while in the woods gathering chinquapins.

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Last modified: Wednesday, 07-Apr-2010 18:00:00 CDT