Shot Outside the Cosmopolitan Hotel Just as the Bozeman Coach Arrived

Main St. - Helena, Montana 1872

A BLOODY ENCOUNTER.

John Hugle Shot Down in Front of the Cosmopolitan by Theo. Shed.

Particulars of the Tragedy.

Last evening about half past nine o’clock the sharp crack of a pistol in front of the Cosmopolitan Hotel was distinctly heard along Main street and was followed by the rush of the crowd to the place from which it came. Two hundred people gathered in front of the hotel a moment after the shooting, when Mr. John Hugle, traveling salesman of Greenhood, Bohn & Co., was found lying upon the sidewalk, weltering in blood, while his assailant, Mr. Theo. Shed, book-keeper of the same house, was also seen slowly rising, pistol in hand, from the sidewalk, on which he had fallen — knocked down, it is said, by Hugle, the moment the pistol was fired. By the side of the fallen men were seen the rearing and plunging horses attached to the Bozeman coach, which had just been driven up at the time of the shooting and were frightened to madness by the affray, while the driver — Charley Brown — with his foot upon the brake, was shouting to the running and excited crowd to keep away from the horses.

The wounded man was at once removed to the office of Dr. W.L. Steele, above Webster’s store, and Mr. Shed at the same moment was arrested by the night policeman Mr. Witten and taken to the county jail. A reporter of the INDEPENDENT on entering the office of Dr. Steele found the wounded man lying upon a reclining chair and bleeding profusely. He complained of strangulation from the blood accumulating in his throat. The bullet had struck him in the face about an inch below the left eye and passing through the nasal cavity to the right, came out just at the external orifice of the ear. Doctors Leiser and Steele were in attendance upon him, and considered the wound dangerous and serious, with chances in favor of recovery. The greatest danger is that inflammation will set in, which will reach the brain.

The pistol was so close at the time of the shooting that powder stains could be seen upon the face of the wounded man, and the smell of powder was upon his breath. After remaining about an hour upon the chair, he was assisted by his friends to a carriage and taken to the hospital, where, at lastest accounts, he was resting easily.

THE ENCOUNTER

From the many conflicting accounts of the fight we regard the following as the most reliable: Mr. Shed was standing upon the street in front of the Cosmopolitan Hotel, when suddenly Mr. Hugle was seen to advance towards him and seemed to have come from the hotel. Shed stepped back as his assailant advanced and was in front of Webster’s store when he raised his pistol. At the same instant Hugle dealt him a powerful blow. The report of the pistol and the blow were simultaneous and both men fell together.

Hugle evidently regarded his wound as mortal, and murmured as he was lifted from the sidewalk:

“My name is Hugle, and Theo Shed shot me.”

Shed was perfectly calm when arrested. When questioned by the bystanders as to what was the matter, he simply answered “Oh nothing; that man — pointing to Hugle — struck me and I shot him.” He declined to make any explanation as to the cause of the difficulty to the officer who arrested him, and maintained the same reserve at the jail when our reporter and others sought to interview him upon the subject.

ANOTHER ACCOUNT.

After the above was in type, another account of the difficulty, given by two or more parties who claim to have been spectators, was to the effect that Hugle walked up to Shed while standing on the street and tapping him on the shoulder, asked, “Are you hunting for me?” “Yes, damn you,” answered the latter, and fired at the same instant.

THE BULLET

Was a 38-calibre ball, and the pistol used is said to have been of the kind known as the “English bull-dog.” The ball, after passing through the head of Hugle, ranged across the street and struck the granite corner of the Dunphy Block, seventy-five yards distant, by the entrance of Levine’s tailor shop, knocking out a large piece of granite, and falling upon the sidewalk. It passed between J.F. Blattner and John Barless, who were standing in front of the shop at the time, narrowly missing them.

THE ORIGIN OF THE DIFFICULTY

dates back to some two years ago. Both of the gentlemen were employed then as now by Messrs. Greenhood, Bohm & Co., and we understand that the first trouble arose from Mr. Hugle inadvertently putting on a buffalo overcoat owned by Mr. Shed. The coat in wet or cold weather had been frequently used by employees of the store, and Hugle, who had but recently entered the employ of the house, having observed this, started to use the coat on a certain occasion, when Shed objected. Hugle at once pulled off the coat and apologized for putting it on. shed then stated that he could use it, but said he liked to be asked when such privileges were taken of his property. Hugle declined the proffer of the coat, and ever afterwards the two young men were enemies — never speaking, although employed in the same house. Both were what is known as “high strung;” but Hugle, who is a young man of fine physique and courteous and agreeable manners, never carried a pistol and was evidently not expecting a mortal difficulty at the time of the affray.

We were unable to learn the immediate cause of the tragedy last evening. Both Mr. Greenhood and the employees of his house, are ignorant of any recent trouble between the parties.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Jun 24, 1882

The Cosmopolitan Hotel

Cosmopolitan Hotel image can be found at the Helena As She Was website, along with tons of other great photos.

CORONER’S INQUEST.

Substance of the Testimony of Witnesses Before the Coroner’s Jury in the Matter of the Death of John Hugle.

An inquest was held last evening over the body of John Hugle, the unfortunate victim of last Friday’s shooting, he having died during the afternoon. Nine witnesses were examined. At the request of the coroner, to whom we are indebted for the testimony, the names of the witnesses are not given.

The evidence was substantially as follows:

The first witness testified that at the time of the shooting he was standing in Webster’s store and saw the flash of the pistol. On running out he saw three men helping Shed onto his feet. Shed kept crying “He struck me first!” Someone standing by said: “Here is a man in the gutter!” Hugle was lying on his face. He was helped up and asked his name and replied, “I am John Hugle and that man shot me!” pointing to the spot where Shed was when he fell. He kept saying “The Shed shot me!” Witness, with the assistance of others, helped Hugle up to Dr. Steele’s office. When questioned Hugle said he was standing looking at the coach with his back turned toward Shed, and heard a voice say: “There is the S– — – b—-!” He turned and asked Shed if he meant him, when Shed fired.

Two physicians were examined, who both testified that, to the best of their belief, Hugle’s death was caused by the wound inflicted.

A Chinaman testified to having seen Shed with a pistol in his hand, after the shot was fired. He saw Hugle strike Shed, and then heard the report of the pistol.

Another witness testified that he was standing in the Cosmopolitan hotel when the coach drove up, and heard a pistol shot. Running out, he saw a man lying in the gutter, and with others helped him up. Hugle kept saying “The Shed shot me!” or “The Shed did it!” With others he assisted Hugle up into the doctor’s office.

The next witness said he was standing in the door of Webster’s store. He heard quick steps and supposed them to be those of passengers from the coach. Saw a flash and heard the report of a pistol. Saw one man fall on the walk and another in the gutter. After wards recognized the one who fell on the walk as Theodore Shed and the other as John Hugle.

The seventh witness testified to the facts stated by the preceding witness, and in addition said he saw the pistol in the hand of Theodore Shed while still smoking. He arrested Shed and lodged him in jail.

Another witness said he was in front of Webster’s, when the coach drove up. He continued: “I was walking down immediately behind Theodore Shed, a little to the right. John Hugle was standing looking into the coach, and when Shed was within about four feet of Hugle, the latter saw him and jumped toward him and struck him. Shed fired almost immediately after Hugle struck him. Hugle then staggered and fell into the gutter, bleeding badly from the head.” He did not see Shed fall, but heard him complain that his breast hurt him.

The last witness examined said he was in front of the Cosmopolitan when the coach stopped. Saw Hugle and Shed together. Hugle seemed to be going toward Shed, and Shed was backing. Was nearly behind Hugle. Saw pistol in Shed’s hand, heard the report, and was Hugle fall in the gutter and Shed fall on the walk. At first he thought Shed had shot himself, but on helping Hugle up saw he was bleeding from a wound near his nose.

The evidence being all taken, the jury, after deliberation, handed in the following verdict:

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Jun 28, 1882

Theo. Shed is said to be quite ill at the county jail. He has had an attack of hemorrhage, bleeding at the nose profusely, a complaint to which he has been subject for several years, it is understood.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Jul 1, 1882

Theo. Shed’s Preliminary Hearing.

The preliminary hearing in the case of Theo. Shed for the killing of John Hugle began before the Probate Judge at the court house yesterday morning. Messrs. E.W. Toole and W.E. Cullen appeared for the defense, while District Attorney Lowry appeared for the prosecution, assisted by Hon. I.D. McCutcheon. Three witnesses were examined, but no new facts were elicited. Two or three important witnesses for the prosecution were yet to be brought into the court. One of these is a traveling man named Oberfelder, who was expected to be in Dillon last evening. Deputy sheriff Witten was sent after him early yesterday morning, and it will be two or three days before he will return. In view of this examination was adjourned over until Monday, the 10th inst., at 11 o’clock a.m. No evidence was introduced by the defense. Mr. Shed’s attorneys made an effort to have him admitted to bail pending examination, urging in that behalf the defendant’s poor health and the crowded condition of the jail, but Judge Davis held that under the circumstances such action would not be proper and so Shed was returned to jail to await the conclusion of the examination.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Jul 8, 1882

SHED’S EXAMINATION.

It Was Concluded Yesterday Afternoon in the Probate Court.

The examination of Theodore Shed for shooting John Hugl was concluded in the Probate Court yesterday afternoon at 4:30. The evidence for the prosecution was concluded on Tuesday, and as it was the same in substance as that brought out at the inquest over Hugl’s body, we do not deem it worth while to publish it.

At convening of court yesterday morning evidence for the defense was introduced and was in substance as follows:

R.O. Hickman testified that he was a partner in the firm of Greenhood, Bohm & Co., and that he made his home in Virginia City. He said he generally came to Helena about four times each year, sometimes remaining here two months at a time. Witness said he had known the accused — Theodore Shed — as book-keeper in the employ of his firm for about three years. Said Shed’s character for sobriety, integrity and quietness was good. Did not know anything derogatory to the accused’s character as a peaceable man. Said Hugl had been in the firm’s employ for about five years. Had never heard anything against him except that he went on a spree occasionally. Mr. Greenhood had been requested last fall to discharge Hugl but did not do so.

C.P. Van Wart testified that on the evening of the 23d of June he walked up Main street about 9 o’clock in company with Shed. Their conversation was in regard to witness borrowing Shed’s horse to ride out to Tarleton & Breck’s ranch the next day. They stopped at Kessler’s and had some beer. Shed said he had an engagement to meet a friend at the Cosmopolitan and they walked down that way. Shed went into the hotel and witness stood looking at the Bozeman coach which had just arrived. While looking at the coach he heard a blow and then a shot. Turning around he saw Shed lying on the sidewalk and breathing hard. Witness asked Shed if he was shot and Shed answered, “My breast hurts me; I have been struck.” At first he thought it was Shed who was shot. He had known Shed several years and had always found him a peaceable, quiet gentleman.

William Simms testified that he had lived in Helena 13 years and had known Shed that long. He never knew anything derogatory to Shed’s character, but knew him as a peaceable, law-abiding citizen.

P.M. Atwood testified that on the night of the shooting he was standing in front of the Cosmopolitan hotel shortly after 9 o’clock, at the time the Bozeman coach came in. Hugl stood about four feet to the right of witness and Shed about three feet to his left. As soon as Hugl saw Shed he ran at him and struck him a hard blow on the breast. Shed staggered and immediately shot Hugl. Saw Hugl fall and witness first turned his attention to him. Then looked and saw Shed brushing the dust from his pants. Shed complained that his breast hurt him. Witness believed Hugl was the aggressor.

Samuel Schwab testified that on the evening in question he was in the office of the Cosmopolitan, sitting at the desk writing. Shed walked in and inquired for Max Oberfelder, a guest of the house. Told Shed that Oberfelder had gone away. Did not know whether Shed saw Oberfelder or not. When Oberfelder came in he told him Shed had called to see him, and Mr. O. then went to look for Shed. Pretty soon the Bozeman coach drew up in front and witness went to the door, when he heard some one remark: “Theo. Shed had shot somebody.”

J.W. Thompson testified that he had been book-keeper in the employ of Greenhood, Bohm & Co. for 18 months. Had known defendant as head book keeper for that firm. A revolver was kept in the cash drawer at Shed’s desk and Shed always put it in his pocket when he started home at night and would return it to the cash drawer in the morning.

Shed usually left the store at about half past nine o’clock, sometimes going straight home and sometimes taking a walk first. On the evening of the 23d of June Shed left the store shortly after nine o’clock. Said he was going to the Cosmopolitan to see Mr. Oberfelder. Shed then turned around to the cash drawer, took the pistol and put it into his pocket, and then left the store. The pistol belonged to Shed. It was a Colt’s six-shooter, 3-inch barrel, and was longer than a “bull-dog” pistol. Shed had carried the pistol about a year.

Tong Ling (Chinaman) testified that on the evening of the 23d of June he saw Hugl strike Shed after the coach came in. Hugl and Shed met again when Hugl hit Shed again.

Shed shot Hugl and Shed was taken off by a policeman. Saw Shed carry a pistol in his hand after the shot. Saw Hugl fall in the gutter and Shed fall on the sidewalk.

This closed the testimony for the defense.

There being no question as to Shed shooting Hugl, counsel then submitted argument on the question of admitting Shed to bail. Judge Davis decided that as no conclusive evidence had been produced as to Shed’s act being premeditated and with malice, he would therefore admit him to bail in the sum of $6,000 to appear at the next term of the district court for this county. Court then adjourned.

Shed had no difficulty in securing the required bond.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Jul 13, 1882

Territory vs. Theodore Shed; defendant arraigned upon indictment for murder in the first degree; defendant to plead on November 18.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Nov 17, 1882

Court Proceedings.

In the case of the Territory vs. Theodore Shed, it was ordered that the defendant be admitted to bail in the sum of $8,000.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Nov 18, 1882

THE SHED TRIAL.

The Evidence All In — Nine O’Clock Monday Set for Hearing the Argument of Counsel.

The evidence in the Shed case (the accused being on trial for the killing of John Hugl) was all taken yesterday. The jury, as selected, is constituted as follows, to wit: Benjamin Benson, J.J. Ferrell, T.L. Hodge, O.C. Bundy, M.L. Geary, R.E. Sherry, A.F. Burns, David Blacker, N.A. Mattice, Robert Barnes, S.P. Kinna, and John Morris.

The evidence introduced by the prosecution contained no new features, although ten witnesses were examined, namely: Wm. Schollar, P.W. Atwood, N.H. Webster, W.L. Steele, Milt Witten, Geo. Jones, C.P. Van Wart, Romeo Reneuer, Herman Gans, and Mr. Blatner. The whole testimony of these witnesses may be summed up in a few words:

That Theodore Shed shot John Hugl, and that the affray took place on Main street almost in front of the Cosmopolitan Hotel. One of them testified that at the time the shot was fired Shed had his left arm raised as if to ward off a blow; another, that he heard a blow, and then the report of a pistol; and all, that after firing, Shed fell back upon the walk, while Hugl also fell.

Fourteen witnesses were called for the defense. T.J. Lowry testified that he had known the defendant for about seventeen years — in fact, ever since he (Shed) was quite a boy. He had always had the reputation of being a quiet and peaceable man, and also a very courteous one.

W.A. Chessman, W.K. Roberts, C.K. Wells, A.G. Clark, Major Davenport, Mr. Hartwell, L.F. Evans, R.C. Wallace, and Mr. Stanly testified substantially the same as Mr. Lowry, having known Shed from twelve to seventeen years, and always as a quiet and peaceable man.

Mrs. James McEvily had been acquainted with Mr. Shed for six years, having lived near him. He was not a strong man, and his health was not very good. While living neighbor to her he had had several attacks of hemorrhage of the lungs. Did  not know how violent these attacks were, but remembered having sent her boy for a doctor when Shed was taken with hemorrhage.

Michael Kelly testified to having been on Main street at the time of the difficulty between Shed and Hugl. Was within twenty or thirty feet of them, standing upon the sidewalk, He heard a shot and saw Shed fall. He ran to pick him up, but another gentleman got there first. Judged, from Shed’s appearance, that he was stunned. Asked Shed if he was hurt, and he replied, “He hit me.” A policeman then came up and took charge of Shed. Witness knew Mr. Hugl in his life time. He was about twenty-five years old, and probably five feet ten and a half inches high. He weighed probably 155 or 156 pounds. He was a strong man, there was no question about that. On cross examination Kelly stated that Shed fell at the instant the pistol flashed, and perhaps slightly before.

Dr. Steele testified to having known Shed for ten years, and that his reputation was good, he having never heard anything against him. Was acquainted with Shed’s physical condition. It was not very good. His chest was weak, and he had been addicted to hemorrhage of the lungs. After the difficulty with Hugl, Shed was coughing and spitting up blood. A stout muscular man, by striking him, would do him great bodily injury.

Mrs. Shed, (wife of the accused) testified that her husband’s physical condition had not been good for the past four or five years. In reference to the pistol spoken of, her husband always brought that home from the store with him. When he got home he would place it in the drawer, and in the morning would return it to his pocket. At night he always came home from the store after nine o’clock, and sometimes it was past ten o’clock.

This closed the testimony, and, as it was almost 4 o’clock in the afternoon the judge decided to postpone further proceeding in the case until Monday (to-morrow) at 9 o’clock, a.m., and court adjourned till that hour.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana)Nov 18, 1883

NOT GUILTY.

The Jury in the Shed Case Acquit the Defendant of the Charge of Murder.

All of yesterday’s session of the district court was occupied in hearing the argument of counsel in the Shed case. The proceedings were opened at half past nine o’clock by I.D. McCutcheon, for the prosecution. Mr. McCutcheon spoke for half an hour, and was followed by E.W. Toole, for the defense, who spoke for an hour and twenty minutes, and he, in turn, was followed by Col. Sanders for the defense in an address of over an hour. An adjournment was then taken until two o’clock p.m., at which time Col. Johnston closed for the prosecution, and the case went to the jury at about half-past four o’clock.

The plea of the defense was that in shooting Hugl the accused acted entirely in self-defense. Ordinarily an assault without some deadly weapon is not held to be sufficient cause for killing an assailant, as in order to establish the plea of self-defense it is necessary to show that the accused was in danger of great bodily harm; but in this case, although Hugl displayed no weapon, it was asserted by the defense (and the testimony introduced by them established it as a fact) that Shed’s physical condition was such that a blow from a strong man (as Hugh proved to be) might prove fatal, and would at any rate probably result in great bodily harm. The testimony of the defense went to prove that Shed was weak about the chest, and was afflicted at times with hemorrhage of the lungs; also that Hugl was large, active, and powerful. It was proven also that Hugl was in the act of striking Shed (had probably already struck him) and that he and Shed both fell when the fatal {SHOT} was fired. After the affray Shed was troubled with his chest and with spitting blood, which went to prove that Hugl, although unarmed, actually was able to do Shed great bodily injury, and in fact had already done so — and at the time the shot was fired he was following Shed up in an aggressive manner. These facts once proven, any measure for defense became justifiable.

Judge Wade, in his charge to the jury, made this point clear, and instructed that if the jury found that the deceased was the aggressor and that the defendant had good reason for believing himself to be in danger of great bodily harm, and if the jury believed that he did think so, then they should acquit. This same point was covered by several separate charges in the Court’s instructions.

The jury retired at about half-past four o’clock, and court took a recess until a verdict should be arrived at — which was within about three hours, when the jury brought in a verdict of not guilty.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Nov 20, 1883

Main St. Looking South - Helena Montana

Theodore Shed before the shooting:

Kiyus Saloon.

Those who delight in pure liquors and fine wines at reasonable prices should give the old established “Kiyus”, on Main street a call. Col. Shed, the proprietor, is known throughout the West for the superiority of his brands, and the remarkable fact that none but pure liquors are dispensed at this bar. It will also be seen by reference to his advertisement in another column that he has reduced his price to the hard times standard, of twelve and a half cents a drink. The “Kiyus” is therefore the place to obtain elegant beverages at reasonable rates.

The Helena Independent — 16 May 1876

Col. Shed, of the famous “Kiyus,” returned yesterday from a visit to Brewer’s Springs, visibly improved in health and appearance.

The Helena Independent — 30 Jul 1876

Theo. Shed has sold his interest in the trader’s store at the Missoula post to D.J. Welch of Williams & Co.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Nov 4, 1877

Theo. Shed sold out his interest in the sutler’s store yesterday to Williams & Co. It is Theo.’s intention to return to Helena.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Nov 6, 1877

Mr. Theodore Shed arrived here yesterday and has again taken charge of the Kiyus. There will be opened next Saturday an oyster department in connection with this establishment.

The Helena Independent — 22 Nov 1877

The head of the monster bear recently slaughtered by Theo. Shed while out hunting on Beaver Creek was on exhibition in Greenhood, Bohm & Co.’s counting room last evening. It was a formidable looking affair.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Oct 20, 1881

A handsome nugget pin was won in a raffle at White Sulphur Springs last Monday by Theo. Shed.

Helena Independent, The (Helena, Montana) Feb 12, 1882

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One Response to “Shot Outside the Cosmopolitan Hotel Just as the Bozeman Coach Arrived”

  1. KIYUS Saloon: “Only One Price – One Bit!” « YesterYear Once More Says:

    […] KIYUS advertisement, is the same man who shot John Hugle and was subsequently tried for murder. See prior post. Kiyus […]

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