Sheriff John M. Cross

Sheriff John M. Cross

Stevens County Sheriff's Office, Kansas

End of Watch Wednesday, July 25, 1888

John M. Cross

Sheriff John Cross and three posse members were shot and killed in what became known as the "Hay Meadow Massacre", the result of a fight between two towns, Hugoton and Woodsdale, to become the county seat of Stevens County.

The citizens of both towns were holding a meeting in nearby Voohees when the Hugoton Marshal hit the Woodsdale Sheriff with the butt of his revolver. A warrant was issued for the marshal. Sheriff Cross and four men he deputized, Ted Eaton, Bob Hubbard, Roland Wilcox, and Herbert Tooney went after the marshal but failed to find him. While on their way back to Woodsdale they were ambushed by the marshal and five men with him. Sheriff Cross, Deputies Ted Eaton, Bob Hubbard, and Roland Wilcox were shot and killed. Deputy Tooney was wounded but escaped.

Two weeks later the Kansas Militia established martial law in the area. All six suspects were arrested and charged with four counts of murder. In July of 1890 all six were convicted of murder and sentenced to hang. On January 26, 1891, the U. S. Supreme Court voided their convictions because the killings took place in "No Mans Land", the present day Oklahoma Panhandle, where no court had jurisdiction. They were never tried again.

Bio

  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Oklahoma
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Conviction overturned

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in Peace Special Deputy Cyrus W. Eaton (Ted).
I never got to know you but heard many stories from your nephew, my father.

Martha Eaton Gonzalez
Grand Niece

March 23, 2016

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