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 Joseph Byron McMahon

Joseph Byron McMahon

Birth
Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Michigan, USA
Death 2 Apr 1897 (aged 34–35)
Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas, USA
Burial Delavan, Walworth County, Wisconsin, USA
Memorial ID 34051409 · View Source
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At the time of his death, Joseph McMahon was the owner of the Sands & Astley Circus. On April 2nd, 1897 he was accidentally shot and killed in Witchita, by a deputy sheriff from Taylor County Texas. While speaking with the deputy, McMahon dropped his arms to his sides in a quick movement. The deputy thought McMahon was reaching for a gun, and in a panic, shot and killed him.

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From The book, ""Olympians of the Sawdust Circle: A Biographical Dictionary of the Nineteenth ...",

pages 131-132, by William L. Slout.

MC MAHON, JOSEPH BRYAN. (1862-1897) Brother of John S. and Charles H. McMahon. A graduate of the University of Michigan. Holland-McMahon, 1886-1888; after brother John died, 1892, took out a circus in the McMahon name. [Orin Copple King: He had much in common with grifters the likes of Willie Sells and Ben Wallace, who "stayed close to the straight and narrow when at home, but once they passed the city limits nothing was too scurilous for them to attempt."] While in Wichita, KS, with the McMahon Bros.'s Circus, 1897, was shot in the stomach 3 times and killed by Deputy Sheriff J. V. Cunningham, a Texas law enforcement officer, in the Manhattan Hotel, Witchita, KS. The officer had come to question McMahon about one of his roustabouts who was charged with setting fire to the Windsor Hotel in Abiline, TX. One version states that an altercation ensued, which caused both to pull out their weapons; McMahon's shot went wild; before he died, a notary was called and McMahon dictated a statement of the shooting and made out his will. Another version has Cunningham shooting McMahon as he reached for a handkerchief, thinking he was going for a weapon. Cunningham was nearly lynched following the shooting because McMahon was an extremely popular figure in Witchita. Funeral at the Witchita Scottish Rite Cathedral was so immense that the crowd overflowed into the street. [Gordon Yadon: "He hired uncouth men with bad reputations, brought in all sorts of gamblers, and tolerated other unethical practises."].

[link] http://www.circushistory.org/Olympians/OlympiansH2.htm



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  • Created by: RavenHawk
  • Added: 21 Feb 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 34051409
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Joseph Byron McMahon (1862–2 Apr 1897), Find A Grave Memorial no. 34051409, citing Spring Grove Cemetery, Delavan, Walworth County, Wisconsin, USA ; Maintained by RavenHawk (contributor 47099650) .