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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Tales of the US Marshals: Addison Beck - September 27, 1883

By 1883 Addison Beck had been a Deputy U S Marshal working out of the Fort Smith court for eight years and promised his wife he would find a safer occupation after one more trip to the Indian Territory.

During that last trip Beck and his posseman Lewis Merritt were looking for John Bart (or Bark) for whiskey violations.

About 11 A. M. on September 27, 1883, they located Bart working in a corn field with Johnson Jacks near Big Vienne, east of Webbers Falls and about 40 miles from Fort Smith.

As the officers approached the men a gun battle broke out and Deputy Beck was shot in the head and killed instantly.

Merritt was wounded in the chest and head and was still alive when a wounded

Jacks approached the posseman and shot him several more times before beating his head in with a gun.

Besides a wife Beck had two children.

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