M. M. Meeks, well known Guthrian, who has lived in this city and county for more than twenty years, was called to his door last night shortly after 11 o'clock and shot to death by a mysterious stranger. It is though by some that the crime was premeditated, but the more prevalent opinion is that the murderer was a tramp.
At a few minutes after 11 o'clock last night a knocking at the screen door of the Meek's home, one mile east of he city on the road to the Country club, brought Mr. Meeks to the door. He was confronted by a burly fellow who first asked for a drink of water. When informed that he could get a drink at the well, the man then demanded something to eat and when told that there was no cooked food in the house he asked for money. " I have no money and no food for you; get away from my door or I will telephone for officers," Meeks is quoted by his wife as saying.
"Well, I will get you right now," was the answer, as the man blazed away through the screen door. The ball struck Meeks squarely in the center of the forehead and he was dead before he reached the floor."
"I did not see the man who did the shooting, but if I ever hear his voice again I will recognize it," said the slain man's widow this morning. The voice was deep and guttural and had a peculiar accent that I will never forget" she said between sobs."
Edwin Meeks, 12-year-old son of the dead man, says he saw the man and that he wore a light colored cap and was clean shaven, with big busy hair. 'I would know him if I met him again," he said.
It developed this morning that the man who killed Meeks visited the home of a German named Albright earlier in the night. As near as Albright can account for time it was between ten and eleven o'clock. "He asked me for a drink of water; I gave him the water, then he demanded food; this I also gave him and then he asked me if I had money. I began to fear him then and explained to him that I was a poor old fellow who lived all alone and had no money and little food but was willing to share what I had with my fellowman. He looked ugly at first, but after he had eaten his bread and meat he laughed and asked me the way to town. I told him to go west, but I watched him and he took the opposite direction. Later on I heard a shot. I know he is the man who shot Mr. Meeks. He was a man about 180 pounds in weight, I should judge 40 years old, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, wore a dark suit of clothes with vest and a light colored peaked cap and was smooth shaven."
The above description has been added to by measurements taken by Deputy Sheriff Redman of the footprints that led from both the Meeks' and Albright yards. The footprints indicated that the man wore a number 9 shoe with a broad sole similar to a military shoe.
Five posses of citizens in automobiles scoured the country for miles in all directions last night, but so far the assassin is at large. Sheriff Sherwood and Deputies Redman and Robertson have been on the job since 12 o'clock last night. The only clue found so far is a report received from Coyle, where a farmer's wife saw a man driving a horse at a furious rate about 2 o'clock this morning. This tallies somewhat with the story advanced by Sheriff Sherwood that a party who stole the George Rotterman horse and buggy also killed Meeks. The Rotteman horse was stolen from in front of the Logan County bank between 8 and 10 o'clock. The murder occurred at about 11 o'clock. The Cole woman says she saw the man driving past her house at two o'clock. This all fits in nicely as to time. On the other hand, Fred L. Wenner, who lives in the Meeks' neighborhood, was returning home last night at about 11 o'clock met a man in the road who was walking rapidly in an easterly direction. "The description given by the Meeks' boy and Mr. Albright tallies with the man I saw," says Wenner.
County Attorney Swank is inclined in the opinion that the murderer is a peripatetic tourist, who being refused money and probably half drunk, became angry and fired the fatal shot.
Men in automobiles are searching the county in all directions out of the city for the assassin, while Chief of Police Mitchell is making a systematic search of the city and railroad yards.
Anti Horse Thief association of the county has taken up the chase, not only of the slayer of Meeks but also the thief who stole the Rotterman horse and buggy. Today the antis have sent out 1,000 postal cards to all parts of the country describing the slayer and also the stolen hose and buggy.