James Henry Masterson

Kentucky, USA
Death 16 Sep 1916 (aged 46)
Lower Miami, Gila County, Arizona, USA
Burial Central Heights, Gila County, Arizona, USA
Plot unknown
Memorial ID 167470401 View Source
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Arizona Silver Belt, Sept. 16, 1916, page 1; courtesy Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum, Miami, Az.)

An exciting pistol duel between James Masterson of Lower Miami on the one side and Deputy Sheriff Bill Wilson of Globe and Constable Henry Nichols of Miami on the other, resulted in the killing of Masterson at noon today on the railway track by the Globe-Miami Mercantile Co.'s warehouse in Miami, the fatal shot was fired by Wilson.
The affair started in a row this morning at Charley Fisher's Smoke Shop on Sullivan street. Masterson entered the place evidently drunk, and created a disturbance which ended in his expulsion. Masterson then went to his home in Lower Miami near the Texas Oil Tanks and procured a .45 Colt's revolver. With this weapon in his shirt front he entred the pool hall and started quarreling with one of the men there. During the course of the quarrel the gun fell out of his shirt, which resulted in many of those present getting out of the lace as rapidly as possible. One man kicked the window out, thus making is escape, falling fifteen feet into the wash below. Masterson picked up the gun and held the door to the room for about five minutes, permitting none to leave who had not already succeeded in doing so. Then he put the revolver back in his shirt and went out, holding his hand on the butt of the gun. Reaching the sidewalk Masterson let out a yell, and threw his hat into the street.
Just as he came out of the door Masterson passed one of the men who had been in the place. He sized up the situation as dangerous and telephoned for an officer. In the meantime Masterson started westward on Sullivan street, stopping on his way to clean out a store near the International pool hall. Constable Nichols accompanied by the man who had sent in the telephone alarm sighted Masterson as he passed the Lyric Theater, and chased him trough Van's garden across the creek into Mexican quarters of Love Oak street. At about that time, Deputy Sheriff Wilson, attracted by the noise, rounded the corner of Sullivan street and Cordova avenue near the Silver Belt office, and got in the road of the fugitive. Masterson leveled his gun at Wilson, and threatened to shoot, but Wilson stepped nimbly behind a wagon and told the man to go on, which he did. The chase then continued. The man ran up the railway embankment west of the bridge and opened fire on Henry Nichols, who stepped between the houses in front of the Globe-Miami Mercantile Company's warehouse. Masterson fired two shots at Nichols from the tracks twice. Then running across the bridge, evidently wtih the idea of getting away, he encountered the fire of both officers Nichols and Wilson from their stations behind the houses. Dropping down the embankment again, he ran along under this cover for about 100 yards. Nichols ran around the warehouse and Wilson ran up behind the box car which was on the siding by the warehouse platform. Resting his automatic on the bumper of the car, Wilson fired once at Masterson who was about seventy five yards away. The man clapped his hand to his side, and broke into a slow run. Twenty feet farther up the track he laid down as if to rest, with his gun under his body. A man named Runche then ran across the track and took the weapon from the lifeless fingers.
The bullet had entered his right side, and came out at the lower part of the left breast, evidently piercing the lower part of the heart. The remains were moved to the morgue of the Miami Undertaking parlors.
Masterson resided near the Texas Oil Tanks in Lower Miami where he has a wife and three children. He formerly worked fore the Inspiration Copper company as boilermakers' helper, but quit work about a month ago. He is said to have been a good workman when sober. During the past month it is claimed he has been drinking and running amuck in different parts of the town.
One story related by a chauffeur who took him to the offices of the Inspiration company a few weeks ago was to the effect that he threatened to kill the timekeeper at the Inspiration mine because that official forced him to wait his turn from 2 p.m. tpo 4 p.m. Another story is that he got into a row at a game of cards a couple of weeks ago and threatened to annihilate all of the other members of the card party. Still another story is to the effect that only last night without provocation he attacked an old man on the street and was prevented from injuring the old man only because of a fear of the by-standers.
The coroner's inquest was held this afternoon at the office of Justice of the Peace McEachern. the jury viewed the remains and adjourned to meet next Monday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock.


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  • Created by: LA Powers
  • Added: 27 Jul 2016
  • Find a Grave Memorial 167470401
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for James Henry Masterson (28 Jan 1870–16 Sep 1916), Find a Grave Memorial ID 167470401, citing Pinal Cemetery, Central Heights, Gila County, Arizona, USA ; Maintained by LA Powers (contributor 47900440) .