Marcy 17, 1929


He had Resisted Arrest on State Warrant Issued
Gun Battle at Eldon With Local Officers Ends in Second Fight on Gravois

Con Tyler was shot and instantly killed at the Gravois Creek low water bridge crossing near Gladstone Sunday afternoon about 4:30 by a posse of officers from Eldon who had followed an Essex car in which he was driving, accompanied by two other men, who gave their names as Paul Kelley and Harry Winters, and two women.

Tyler had resisted arrest in Eldon on a state warrant issued by H. W. Scott, Justice of the Peace, on a charge of assault at a dance at the Wes Jones home near West Aurora, last week. Sunday morning it was learned by Asa Gunn and Willard Rea, city marshals of Eldon, and deputy sheriffs, that Tyler had returned to Eldon about 11:00 o'clock. They attempted to arrest him on Grand Avenue as he was leaving the city by way of the overhead bridge across the Rock Island railroad. Just off Grand Avenue in front of the John Hetsel home, Tyler was ordered to halt and when he failed to heed the command, officer Gunn fired a shot in the air as a warning. The men in the car ahead at once broke the glass out in the rear of their car and opened fire upon the officers. Several shots were exchanged, but as the officers were driving a slow car and were outnumbered by the gang, they decided to better equip themselves with fire arms and call for help. Sheriff Charles Abbett was called from Tuscumbia and came, accompanied by his deputy, George Nichols, who with Asa Gunn, Willard Rea and two other deputies, W.E. Lehr and L. H. Gunter, started out in search of the Tyler car after notifying the officers at California, Versailles, and Linn Creek to watch for the fleeing party. Early in the afternoon the officers learned that the Tyler car had been turned back from the California road and was headed toward Gladstone through Barnett. The chase ended when the Essex car stalled at the Gravois Creek and a battle took place in the open on the large gravel bar. The stream was up and when the Essex car struck a slough of water in the gravel bar a short distance from the low water bridge, the carburetor was flooded by the splash and killed the engine. The three men got out of the car and ran for the bridge which was covered with swift running water. Tyler succeeded in getting across, but the other two men were washed off the bridge into deep water where they lost their guns and surrendered. Tyler was shot down soon after he reached the opposite bank of the Gravois.

As the killing took place in Morgan County it was necessary to send to Versailles for a coroner to hold an inquest, and as there was no telephone connection between Eldon and Gladstone, it was almost midnight before Tylers' body could be brought back to Eldon where it was taken to the W. A. Phillips undertaking rooms.

While on the gravel bar, all three men were shooting at the posse as they attempted to escape, making the situation very dangerous.

The two men giving their names as Paul Kelley and Harry Winters, were brought to Eldon and placed in the jail here charged with assault with intent to kill. Monday afternoon it was agreed to give them five days in which to prepare for defense and they were taken to Jefferson City and lodged in the Cole County jail by Sheriff Charles Abbett, W. E. Lehr and W. P. Berry.

Although the Eldon posse had a narrow escape during the two gun fights they were well prepared with sawed off shotguns, pistols and a long range rifle. Charles Lawbaugh, who was riding on the side of a truck on Grand Avenue at the time of the first battle, was hit under the eye by a spent shot and his eye was blacked by the bruise but sustained no other injuries. Mr. Lawbaugh was unaware of the trouble and when the first shot was fired, thought it was a tire exploded. The second shot hit him below the eye.

Con Butler Tyler was born in Linn Creek, Mo., August 23, 1903; met with death near Gladstone, Mo., March 17, 1929. He came to Eldon, Mo., in about the year 1917 and has been in and around Eldon ever since.

By his death he leaves his mother, Mrs. Art Jobe, a stepfather, Mr. Art Jobe of this city; two brothers, Flynn and June Tyler, both of Kansas City, Mo.; a sister, Mrs. Ola Odom, also of Kansas City, Mo.; two sisters-in-law and one brother-in-law, of Kansas City, Mo., besides other relatives and friends. All of his close relatives were present for the funeral service except the sister.

Funeral services were conducted at the home of Mr. Tyler's mother, Mrs. Art Jobe, on South Mill Street, Tuesday afternoon by Rev. R.L. Bowers, pastor of the Methodist Church. Interment took place at Salem Cemetery.

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