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Murder of Marshal George Flatt - Caldwell, KS
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 37° 01.972 W 097° 36.411
14S E 623907 N 4099425
Quick Description: After a great job as Marshal, his replacements decided to get him gone. Sounds almost like the Mafia handled things in the 30s.
Location: Kansas, United States
Date Posted: 3/25/2015 3:51:25 AM
Waymark Code: WMNJTH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 0

Long Description:

County of Marker: Sumner County
Date Marker Erected: 1993
Location of Marker: 12 N. Main St., Caldwell
Marker Erected by: The Caldwell Historical Society
Marker Sponsors: Erected 1993 by Donations from Vernon and Alleyne Elliott,
      Elliott - Schaeffer Mortuary

Marker Text: George Flatt (1853-1880), Caldwell's first city marshal, and a fearless gunfighter, was gunned down here the night of June 19, 1880, 2 months after leaving the police force. Flatt had argued with two police officers earlier in the evening and died in a hail of gunfire walking home. The mayor, new marshal, and the entire police force were arrested by the county sheriff. Only the marshal, William Horseman, faced a trial, and he was acquitted one year later.


"One of the first incidents occurred at the Moreland Saloon on July 7, 1879, when Deputy Constable James Wilson and a citizen, George Flatt, cornered two cowboys named Woods and Adams, who had been firing their guns outside the saloon in celebration of being paid for a Texas cattle drive earlier in the day. The confrontation; however, soon led to gunplay and when the smoke cleared, Woods and Adams were dead. In the melee, an innocent bystander by the name of Kiser was wounded. Having now made a reputation for himself, Flatt was soon made Caldwell’s first City Marshal. He gladly took credit for shooting the cowboys, but no one ever came forward to accept responsibility for wounding Mr. Kiser.

"However, Flatt was not well liked by local citizens and on April 5, 1880, a new mayor was elected in Caldwell, namely one Mike Meagher. One of the first things Meagher did was discharge City Marshal George Flatt because he disapproved of Flatt's confrontational way of law enforcement.

"He then appointed William Horseman as the new marshal; Frank Hunt and Dan Jones as deputies, and James Johnson stayed on as constable. Flatt was none to happy about this event and wasted no time voicing his complaints about town.

"On the evening of June 18,1880, a drunken Flatt made his rounds in a number of Caldwell saloons, voicing his complaints to anyone who would listen. Somewhere along the line, he ran into Frank Hunt and the two argued until Hunt was finally able to persuade Flatt to go home about 1:00 o'clock in the morning. But Flatt wouldn't make it. On his way, he was ambushed and died in the street with a bullet in the back of his skull.

"Mayor Mike Meagher, and police officers William Horseman, Frank Hunt, James Johnson, and Dan Jones for the murder were soon arrested by Sumner County Sheriff, Joe Thralls. Although all of the men were bound over for trial, only William Horseman was tried. A year later he was acquitted.

"But for Mike Meagher, he would get his due on December 17, 1881 in a shootout with Jim Talbot and three other men. Meagher was killed. Also killed by the gunfire was George Spears, a former policeman, who had changed to the Talbot side. The gunfight lasted long enough for a hardware store to pass guns and ammunition out to townspeople. Only one of Talbot's men was ever convicted for the murder. Talbot was acquitted but was later killed, probably by Mike's brother, John, who was seen following Talbot from the courthouse after his release." ~ Legends of America

This on the Officer Down memorial page

Date of crime: 6/19/1880

Public access allowed: yes

Fee required: no

Web site: [Web Link]

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