Deaths of Wilgus Steele & Vance Lynch
(Transcribed by Debi Kendrick)

Owsley County Courier, Friday, 7 July 1939

Two Men Die In Weekend Battles

Beattyville, July 6 -

Two men died in Lee County during the past week end as a result of gun battles.  Two are in hospitals in critical condition suffering from bullet wounds;  and another was only slightly wounded.

The dead are Wilgus STEELE, 48, of Pebworth and Vance LYNCH, 25, a W.P.A. worker.  T. M. PENDERGRASS, 58, Owsley County, is in the Gurrant Hospital, Winchester, suffering from bullet wounds in the head and arm.  Ned ALLEN is in the hospital suffering from wounds received Sunday.  Charles THOMAS, wounded only slightly, is now in the Madison County jail.

STEELE met his death Saturday evening in a fight with THOMAS at Rowland's Inn on the Beattyville Booneville highway.  According to reports he and THOMAS had trouble in Beattyville shortly before the shooting.  STEELE was wounded about the head and taken to the Pattie A. CLAY Infirmary, Richmond where he died soon afterwards.

PENDERGRASS, Owsley County, was said to be acting as peacemaker when he was struck by bullets.  He was brought to Beattyville where first aid was rendered then rushed to the hospital in Richmond.  His condition at present is reported as serious.

THOMAS was treated for slight wounds and released from the hospital.  He was arrested on a warrant issued in Madison County and placed in the Lee County jail;  later to be transferred to the Madison jail to await the examining trial which is set for Friday.

LYNCH was killed Tuesday morning at about 11:30 near the home of John WYATT of Old Landing.  An inquest was conducted at the scene of the killing by Coroner Robin RILEY and the verdict stated that he died as a result of a shotgun charge fired by WYATT.  The charge fired by WYATT struck LYNCH in the face killing him instantly.

Witnesses stated that an argumnet preceded the shooting.  Afterwards WYATT was brought to Beattyville and placed in jail.

(See Will of Wilgus Steele  & Tom M. Pendergrass)


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