In researching our family genealogy a cousin of mine found this interesting and shocking story.
Whitfield and Boen Denham Brothers - by Marie Moody Foster and Erma Melton Smith
Whitfield and Boen Denham, Jr., sons of Boen, Sr., and Elizabeth Jane (Moody) Denham, were born in Madison County, Kentucky, on the Old State Road, formerly Boone's Trace. Whitfield, called "Whit" was born on January 7, 1850. Boen, Jr. was born in the fall of 1852. They became known as the "Denham Brothers."
Whitfield Denham left Madison, County in the fall of 1871 with other kinsmen who were migrating to Missouri. He settled in Ellenorah and went into the merchandising business. He remained there until 1875. He moved to Maryville, Missouri, where he owned and operated a hotel.
Whit's brother Boen Denham, Jr., left Kentucky, following his brother to Missouri in 1872. The Denham brothers were never too far away from each other, as they were very fond of one another.
Boen Denham, Jr., became involved in trouble when he had to shoot some dogs that belonged to his neighbor. He would ride his nice "driving horses" to and from the pioneer town of Denver, Worth Country, Missouri, which was about two and a half miles away. He had to pass his neighbor's farm. The neighbor's dogs would run out onto the path and nip at the horses noses, which without a doubt caused the horses to "act up." Boen had to draw his weapon to protect himself and his horses and shot the dogs.
Afterwards, the neighbor swore out a warrant for Boen Denham's arrest. Immediately Whit came to his brother's rescue. It must be remembered that in 1876, the Denham brothers were "newcomers" in the Denver, Missouri area. The neighbors were "old timers" in the pioneer town, and all "old timers" thought a dog's life was more valuable than fine horses.
Records show that a constable of the area could not arrest the Denham brothers, or claimed he could not. But while the brothers were in town (Denver, MO) on August 25, 1876, and in the "Youngman's Drug Store," a posse of five men came in to arrest the Denham brothers. Then and there, both the Denhams were shot down in cold blood!
It was written up in the Annals of Worth County, Missouri, years later, defending the act of the so called posse, but the conclusions of many, many, "old timers" of Denver, MO, differed; they too, claimed the shooting of the Denham brothers was in cold blood.
There's more about where they were buried, etc. but it doesn't say what happened to the posse, although their names are known. The Denham brothers were only 26 and 24 years old when they were murdered. So sad. This is the first piece of truly violent family history that I've found out about.
Do you have any skeletons hanging from your ancestral tree?