Traces of Texas reader Mary Haner graciously submitted this wonderful photo of the Sayers family outside their home, which comes with a good story Says Mary:
“This is the Sayers home in Dumont. Farley Says is 5th from the right. Burk Burnett shot Farley Sayers over a cattle dispute in May 1912. Farley was married to my Dad’s half-sister, Rosa Magee. I remember Dad telling me how proud the young rancher was with his newly built home. Left to right: the carpenter (unknown), Minnie Magee Morgan (Rosa’s sister), Walker Morgan (who was in the washroom when Farley got shot), Jess Sayers, Farley Sayers, Little Farley, Rosa Magee Sayers, Lois Sayers, J.T. Sayers, and Mary Johnson, who later married Jess Sayers.”
The story behind the shooting of Farley Sayers is this: In 1912 when he was 63 years old, Burke Burnett was confronted by Farley Sayers in a bathroom at the Goodland Hotel in Paducah, Texas. Witnesses say Sayers reached for his gun but was outdrawn by Burnett and killed by a single shot to the chest. Burnett turned himself in to local law enforcement and stood murder trial next was acquitted on grounds of self-defense. A feud between the two men over the ownership of cattle precipitated the event.
Thank you, Mary! I just did quite a bit of research on all of this, including reading the New York Times account in 1912. I guess any time a man as wealthy as Mr. Burnett owner of the 6666 ranches kills a man, it’s newsworthy.