|Birth: ||Sep. 23, 1889|
|Death: ||Sep. 14, 1919|
In the hills just north of the city, in which John Buxton, the game warden, was fatally wounded, his death occurring at the hospital in Rock Springs about two hours afterward.
The fatal shot was fired by Joe Omeyc, a seventeen year old Austrian, who, with a companion, John Kolman, was hunting north of No. 8 mine, when discovered by Mr. Buxton.
Mr. Buxton and his wife and little son were coming in a car to Rock Springs from E Plane, when he discovered the hunters. He stopped his car and went to investigate. The hunters were located in a little draw out of sight of Mrs. Buxton, who remained in the car. Mrs. Buxton heard three shots and in a very few moments saw her husband appear at the top of the hill, he shouted and fell to the ground. She left the car and hurried to his side, but found that he was unable to speak. She then gave the alarm and Walter Ferguson, of E Plane, came to her assistance and the injured man was hurried to the hospital, but he never rallied and his death occurred before medical aid could be given him.
According to the statements of Omeyc and Kolman, the two boys left their homes on No. 1 Hill about two o'clock Sunday afternoon for a short hunting trip over the hills north of the city. They crossed the railroad near the bridge at the east end of town and then went, up what is known as "Dead Mule Canyon", to the top of the hill. They then proceeded to an air shaft, known as No. 101.
From the shaft they started west towards the road from E Plane to Rock Springs, and were hunting in some bushes in a little draw when a man., who was unknown to them, appeared over the hill. Both boys claim they did not know the game warden. The unknown man was Mr. Buxton, who approached the boys and took Omeyc's gun, a 30-30 Savage rifle and said be would have to take Omeyc in to town. The three started toward the car, Mr. Buxton walking several steps in front. After walking several steps Omeyc pulled a 38 calibre Eastern Arms Co. revolver from his hip pocket and pointing at Buxton, said he would not go to town.
Buxton turned and started back to his prisoners and Omeyc fired. Mr. Buxton stopped and Omeyc fired again. Mr. Buxton then dropped the rifle and started rapidly up the hill toward the car, until Omoyc fired a third shot at him.
Immediately after the firing of the third shot, Omeyc secured his rifle and started for town as fast as he could run. The Kolman boy also started for town, but as be was handicapped by the fact that he has but one leg. He was soon distanced by Omoyc. Omoyc reached the railroad spur just east of No. 8 mine, where he concealed himself in one of the "battleship" dump cars, where he was discovered by Sheriff Stoddard about eight o'clock in the evening.
Both Omeyc and Kolman state that the latter tried to prevent Omeyc from firing after the first shot, and Kolman states that he managed to divert the aim of Omeyc when the second and third shots were fired. Kolman states that he was unable to prevent the first shot as he did not think that Omeyc was going to shoot until he had fired.
Only one of the shots fired by Omeyc took effect and this shot struck Mr. Buxton just at the right of the lower part of the breast, and it passed through his body and lodged under the skin at the back. It is thought that this shot was the first one fired, although there is no definite way to prove this. Omeyc states he is sure the first shot struck Mr. Buxton, but is uncertain about the other two.
After his surrender, Omeyc was immediately taken to the City Hall where he made a statement, after which he was taken to the county jail at Green River, to await further action of the law.
From reports, Omeyc has been in the habit of carrying the revolver with which he fired the fatal shot, and on several occasions he has threatened to shoot persons. Most of his acquaintances were aware of this fact and a number of them considered him dangerous, but they did not consider him enough so, to notify the proper officers of the fact that he was carrying concealed weapons.
John J. Buxton was born in Cincinnati, Iowa, on the 23rd day of September, 1888, and next week would have celebrated his 31st birthday. He came to Rock Springs when but nine years of age and after finishing school was employed by the Union Pacific Coal Co. About two years ago he was united in marriage with Miss Jennie Roberts, of this city. He was one of the many Rock Springs boys to serve his country in the war, taking his training at Logan, Utah, and afterward going to Camp Taylor, Ky., where he was a member of Battery D, 3rd Reg., Field Artillery. He was just ready to go overseas when the armistice was signed, when he was discharged and returned home to his wife and little son the latter having been born while he was in the service.
A short time ago he was appointed a deputy state game warden and since his appointment he has been most faithful in carrying out the duties of his office, so much so, that he lost his life while in their performance. He was a genial, courteous young man and was liked by all who knew him.
Beside his wife and little son, he leaves a father, three brothers and two sisters. His father lives in Dewar, Oklahoma. One sister, Mrs. Jennie Scott is just now moving to a new home in Washington, the other Miss Avis Snyder, lives at Lion. The brothers are Ralph, of this city; Lot, of Lion, and Charles of Buffalo, Wyoming. Another brother met with a tragic death by accident eight years ago.
The sympathy of the community goes out to these relatives, especially to his wife who has gone through such a terrible ordeal in witnessing his death, and to his little son, who was too small to realize his loss.
The funeral was held on Thursday afternoon at five o'clock,, from the house of his brother Ralph Buxton.
The services were conducted by Bishop J.B. Young and were under the auspices of the Red Men, of which order the deceased was a member. There was an escort of more than fifty soldiers in uniform and he was buried with full military honors.
The funeral cortege was one of the longest ever seen in Rock Springs, the line of automobiles reaching from the hospital to the railroad on C street.
© Rock Springs Miner no. 38 September 19, 1919, page 1
Jennie Roberts Buxton (1900 - 1920)
Rock Springs Cemetery
Created by: Angela Cable
Record added: Jun 06, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 70952278