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Abner S. Brassfield

(7/17/1868 - ?)


FOUL MURDER

Marion County, Arkansas
Mountain Echo, October 31, 1890

About two weeks ago Wm. Ham, a J.P. of Tomahawk township about 12 miles south of this place, had Abner Brassfield arrested charged with stealing a pocketbook. On account of technicality, Brassfield was discharged. Last Saturday Brassfield went into the field where Ham was picking cotton and proposed to sell his field of cotton to Ham saying he intended to go to Texas. He told Ham that he had picked four rows of cotton and told him how much cotton these rows had made. He then told him how many rows he had and told him to make a calculation as to what the field is worth. Ham began figuring on the problem, when Brassfield made an assault on him with a club, crushing his skull in two or three places and bruising him up terribly. Samuel Bradshaw and a Mr. McFarland were present when the assault was made. Bradshaw tried to stop Brassfield from committing murder, but was prevented by McFarland, who it is thought is an accessory. McFarland has been arrested, but Brassfield is still at large. The sheriff went down there Monday to assist in arresting him and he will probably be caught. Mr. Ham was just alive Monday morning and cannot possibly live. LATER. Mr. Ham is dead. Brassfield was captured last Wednesday evening. Floyd and Fee were down at Bruno attending the examination of McFarland at the hour of going to press.

Abner S. Brasfield was sentenced to 21 years in the Arkansas State Penitentiary, however while his case was being appealed he escaped yet again and fled to the Indian Territories.  He was recaptured by Federal Marshals near Eufaula, Indian Territories (present day Oklahoma), but escaped a 3rd time.  His father Sedrick Perry Brassfield and a cousin (Abner B. Brassfield) were charged with aiding him in that escape (see story on this site at: 1893 Escape) but charges against them were eventually dropped..  Abner S. Brassfield then fled to Texas and was later wounded by a lawman there. Two years later he returned to the Indian Territories and turned himself in.  He served 4 years in the Arkansas State Penitentiary, but then received a pardon.  He returned to Eufaula and served as a lawman himself for several years.  Further information about the fugitive's arrest in the Indian Territories can be found in the book by Art Burton entitled "Black, Red and Deadly".