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He hurled coffee pot so she fired a shotgun

Late night dispute leads to lead

by Carolyn Newman

WALSENBURG — This was the headline in a Nov. 8, 1929, issue of The Independent newspaper. But there is more to the story, printed here as it appeared in the paper. Do you believe she was conferring with her lawyer at midnight?

“Culminating a week of jealous quarreling, Mrs. John W. Davis (her newspaper photo shows an attractive fashionable woman), pretty 32 year old mother, shot her “husband” Roy Newman, night cook at the Alpine Cafe, with a .410 guage shot gun at 6:20 o’clock, Wednesday morning as he was trying to enter their home, which is located just east of the Sporleder Selling company.

Photo from Vintage Everyday

“Mrs. Davis, who claims to be the divorced wife of John W. Davis, Eldora, Kansas railroader, spent until 12 midnight interviewing a local lawyer on the possibility of forcing her alleged divorced husband to support her three little girls, Eiral, aged 6; Edra, 10; and Echo 11. She arrived home at 12:30 o’clock Wednesday morning and according to her story, Newman entered shortly after and “swatted” her between the eyes knocking her down. Her then accused her of being unfaithful she says and threatened her with a gun. She says he then left saying, “I’ll back in the morning to finish the job unless you leave”.

“Mrs. Davis avers that she then loaded the shotgun and sat down to await his return. He came back at 6:20 o’clock Wednesday morning and pounded on the door. She says that she told him to ‘stay out or you’ll get shot’ but he persisted so she fired low through the door to scare him. The shot struck him in the right knee.

“Newman’s story of the morning happenings tallies thus far and he says that he persisted in his efforts to get in and that she finally told ‘someone’ to open the door. She affirms that one of the little girls opened the door. Then things became quite active in the little green house according to both of the combatants.

Her Story:

“Mrs. Davis had the following to say: ‘He flounced into the house and I retreated into the adjoining bedroom. He then pick up a percolator and flung at my head but I dodged it — in the meantime I was reloading the shotgun. He came across the room and struck me between the eyes knocking me flat and as I fell I fired again.’

His Story:

“’I have had more suspicions for a long time, ‘ Newman (no relations to this writer) said, ‘so when she wouldn’t let me in when I returned in the morning I demanded entrance for I am paying of the upkeep of the house and have a right there — more right than anyone else. When I beat on the door she fired and struck me in the knee. I kept insisting that she let me in and when she did I grabbed the coffee pot and let her have it. She shot me then with the shot gun.’

Shot Not Fatal

“Newman was shot the second time through the groin and right leg but his injuries are not serious according to the attending physician, Dr. G. M. Noonan, who was called immediately after the shooting by Mrs. Davis. Sheriff’s deputies Juan Medina and Henry Hart were also called to the scene but made no arrests and released Mrs. Davis to friends on her personal recognizance. Newman remained in the house with his wounds.

“The three little girls are with her mother at a local hotel. They attend Walsenburg public schools.

“Both of the warring parties state that he is jealous and he says that she ‘tom cats’ around when she should be caring for her children’.”

The History Detective is a service of the Huerfano County Historical Society. huerfanoheritagecenter@outlook.com

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