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A Bloody Affray
Submitted by: Ruby Yeakley


Fort Smith Elevator
Friday, January 9, 1903, Page 1

Sam Sorrells Killed at Coal Creek
While Trying To Make an Arrest
Coal Creek a small station on the Fort Smith & Western railroad was the scene of a bloody encounter last Friday between Deputy Marshal Ralph Scargall and Sam Sorrells, his posseman and two men who were supposed to be Oklahoma desperadoes. One of the latter was killed in the melee and his companion wounded. Sorrells was instantly killed and Scargall shot through both legs.
Scargall got on the train at McCurtain and found the two supposed outlaws in a box car. He had either been informed of the presence of the men or suspected them. Selecting Sam Sorrells who was on the train as a posseman he watched the suspects one of whom was supposed to be the man wanted in El Reno county, Oklahoma for the murder of the sheriff of that county about Christmas time. Upon the arrival of the train at Coal Creek the suspects got out of the car and started to walk down the platform, and Scargall and Sorrells attempted to place them under arrest. The attempt met resistance and a fusillade ensued. Sorrells was shot and instantly killed, and Scargall fell with a bullet through the fleshy part of both legs. One of the suspects was also shot and died in a few minutes. The other was wounded, but walked to where Scargall was laying and taking the belt and pistol from him reloaded the weapon hastily and walked off. It is said he moved very leisurely when he first started, but after going some distance quickened his pace until it reached a slow run. The passengers were powerless to prevent his escape, being without arms.
The man who was killed was slain by Sorrells, who shot him through the breast. He and Sorrells fired almost simultaneously, and his bullet struck Sorrells in the breast also. This man is suppoe to be Bob Barke. He was about 40 years old, had dark complexion, was about five feet and ten inches in height, and weighted 100 pounds.
Twenty or Thirty shots were fired by both sides and the shooting was so rapid that it was over before a majority of the passengers had time to realize what was taking place.
The body of Sam Sorrells was brought to this city by his sister, Mrs. George Coleman and interred in Oak Cemetery. Sorrells formerly lived here and was well known. He was married twice and by his first marriage leaves four children. He married his second wife about two weeks ago. He was 34 years old and lived at Kinta, I. T.

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