Ex-Deputy U.S. Marshal Dow Braziel Killed by Carter County Deputy Bud Ballew
Copyright The Daily Ardmoreite – Ardmore, Oklahoma
Friday Morning, January 31, 1919
EX-DEPUTY U.S. MARSHAL KILLED IN RESTAURANT
DOW BRAZIEL DIES IN A PISTOL DUEL WITH BUD BALLEW
Dow Braziel was shot and killed at 6:40 this morning, in the California Cafe, corner of Main and Mill streets. Bud Ballew, deputy sheriff, was arrested by Police Chief Les Segler and taken to the police station and later transferred to the county jail.
Chief Segler told the story of the killing. He said he had come home this morning to meet the 4 o’clock train and then went to the police station, where he remained for some time. Hearing there had been some shooting in the east part of the city, he started out East Main street and when east of Mill street some distance, he met Bud Ballew.
He said they talked for a time, moving along slowly and then turned and came back west on the north side of Main street and when they reached the California Cafe, Ballew asked him to go in and have some breakfast. He said he answered that he did not care for breakfast at that time, but as Ballew insisted, he turned to enter the cafe.
Chief Segler said he entered first and Bud Ballew was right behind him. Just as he entered the door he noticed Dow Braziel standing on the east side of the room, next to Mill street and before he could realize what doing Braziel fired a shot and another immediately followed and then Bud Ballew began shooting.
He said Braziel fell and believing he was dead, tried to secure an undertaker but failing to get an answer to his call, some person called the Hardy sanitarium and an ambulance was sent from there.
He said he then took Bud Ballew to the police station and later Assistant Chief Butcher went to the county jail with him.
He said he took the pistol Braziel was firing and found two cartridges had been exploded in it. He also took Bud Ballew’s pistol and found it empty, as the later had fired six shots.
The body of Braziel was taken to the Hardy Sanitarium and later the undertaking room. Asked the sanitarium, Dr. Cowles said he was no doubt dead when they started with him.
There are six wounds on Braziel’s body, showing that every shot took effect, unless two of the wounds in the arm have been made by one shot. There was a slight wound on top of the head, one in the left arm, another in that arm just above the elbow and another just below the elbow. There was one wound in the heel, all these shots being on the left side of the body but one wound on the right side which went through the liver and kidneys, is the only one of the six that was necessarily fatal and it was no doubt the one that caused his death.
Bud Ballew lives at Wilson and is a deputy under Sheriff Buck Garret. Most of his work lies in the oil field and during the days when that section was “untamed” he was a very active officer and has had to deal with many rough characters who flocked to the oil field. In this he won the reputation of being a good officer. He also has a ranch and is a shipper of stock. He is one of the most widely known men in Carter county.
Dow Braziel, too, had been an officer for many years, most of his labors having been under the federal government. He was at one time a deputy United States marshal and has been an officer of the internal revenue department. W.R. Hignight, deputy United States marshal, with whom he has worked, was out of the city at the time of the killing and inquiring at the federal building did not disclose the fact if Braziel was an officer at time of his death. One man there said he understood he had been offered a position as special officer of the revenue department to look after illicit stills in the eastern part of the state, but had recently declined it. He was known as an officer, however, owing to long service. He was a man of fine appearance, courteous to those with whom he came in contact and had the reputation of being fearless. He is survived by his wife and has two brothers residing in Ardmore.
Just what led up to the killing is not stated by any of those who witnessed the shooting. Chief Segler said he did not know Braziel was in that cafe when Bud Ballew asked him to go in there to get breakfast.
When Bud Ballew was seen at the jail and asked what the chief of police said about the killing, he said that was about the way of it. He was satisfied that Braziel did not intend to shoot the chief, but was shooting at him when the later was hit by a bullet.
It is a fact very well-known and widely discussed that there has been an old feud between the parties to the shooting and a result something like that occurring this morning was not unexpected by the friends of both.
Chief Segler said when he and Bud Ballew entered the cafe there was about a dozen people in it. He recognized Harry Brown, the manager of the cafe; Windy Lane and Louis Eaves.
There are many stories afloat as to the movements of all the parties concerned and many more as to words that have been said and threats made, but none of this can be related with any degree of correctness until after it has all been told on the witness stand.
J.H. Mathers said he had talked briefly with Bud Ballew and the county attorney, Russell Brown, and the latter told him he would arrange for an early preliminary hearing in the case.