Killer Politics

November 3 of 1903, was Election Day in Scott County, Virginia. The battle started before the polls even opened. The men in attendance waged some objection to the fact that C. O. Roller was to serve as the Republican judge. It wasn’t character that caused discord; Roller was selected by two Democrat election commissioners: John Osborne and Ezekiel Nickels. Those objecting cited political malfeasance.

The heated words became physical blows and shortly after, four men pulled their guns out. The two judges were armed and the protestors: J. H. Catron and Alexander Keys were also ready to fire.

The confrontation ended up with all four shot. John Osborne and Ezekiel Nickels both died on the spot. J. H. Catron was shot in the neck and expected to die. Alexander Keys barely survived with a gunshot to the hip.

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