Frederick Mervin “Buff” McNaughton

Frederick Mervin “Buff” McNaughton

Minnesota, USA
Death 17 Dec 1940 (aged 69)
Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
Burial Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
Plot Block 4, Lot 66, NWC N 1/2
Memorial ID 75423513 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Arrived in Brainerd in 1872.

Note: This is the only marker in Lot 66.

      Fred McNaughton, a sixteen year old son of Jack McNaughton of this city, met with a serious mishap at St. Paul on Saturday last. He was getting on a train with the intention of going to Minneapolis, at the depot and he slipped and fell under the cars, the wheels passing over one of his feet below the ankle.—Dr. Murphy amputated it and he was taken to the St. Joseph's hospital, where he now is. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 June 1885, p. 3, c. 4)


       Fred McNaughton, a Brainerd Youth,
             Shoots and Seriously Wounds
                        Policeman Lewis.

      On Monday evening last about nine o'clock Murray & McCabe's saloon on Laurel street, was the scene of a disturbance, in which a revolver was used rather freely by one of the participants, and as a result, Policeman Lewis has been seriously if not fatally wounded. The particulars of the affair, as near as we can learn, are about as follows: On New Year's day John McNaughton, a brother of the young man who is under arrest for doing the shooting, and a man by the name of St. Claire had a fight in which St. Claire was badly worsted on account of his intoxicated condition. Since then St. Claire has repeatedly declared his intention of chastising McNaughton when ever he had the opportunity, to get even. On Monday night the parties met in the bar room of the above mentioned saloon, and St. Claire, so it is reported, stepped up to John McNaughton, who with his brother stood at the bar, and dealt him a blow in the face that knocked him down. Fred McNaughton then took a hand in the matter and assisted his brother, and together they were giving St. Claire a sound thrashing, when bystanders attempted to interfere. At this Fred McNaughton drew a revolver out of his brother's hip pocket and ordered the crowd to stand back. Finally St. Claire was gotten away from them and taken up stairs to his room, where the McNaughton's followed him and breaking open the door began again to beat St. Claire, Fred McNaughton keeping the crowd back with the revolver. Policeman Lewis hearing the disturbance went up stairs and drawing his club, forced an entrance into the room, when young McNaughton fired four shots, one of them hitting Lewis just below and to the front of the right ear, the bullet passing through his head, knocking out three teeth and badly cutting his tongue, and coming out of the left cheek near the nose. The ball passed within a sixteenth of an inch of the jugular vein. Had this been struck by the bullet, death would have resulted almost instantly. The McNaughtons then left and went to Gray's saloon, where they were arrested shortly afterward by Chief Caffery and lodged in jail. In the meantime Lewis was taken to Dr. Hemstead's office, where his wounds was dressed by Drs. Hemstead and Groves. He was then taken to his home where he now lies in a critical condition. In the morning the McNaughtons were brought into the municipal court for examination. As John McNaughton had taken no part in the assault upon Lewis he was allowed to go free, while Fred was arraigned before the court charged with assault with intent to kill. Lawyer G. S. Fernald was retained as counsel for the defense, while County Attorney Lum appeared for the state. On motion of county attorney Lum the case was continued to Jan. 15, to await the result of Officer Lewis' wound, while the prisoner was committed to jail until then. The prisoner is a son of Jack McNaughton, the popular Laurel street blacksmith, on whose account the affair is greatly to be regretted. While the young man has had the reputation of being a trifle wild and unmanageable, he has not been considered vicious, consequently his action in shooting is somewhat of a surprise, and we think that judgment on the case should be reserved until the story of the defense is given. The above are the facts in the case as near as we can learn.
      We are pleased to announce that Officer Lewis is somewhat better today, he having slept considerably during the last two days, and has also been able to take a little nourishment for the first time since he was wounded. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 January 1889, p. 4, c. 6)

                Waived Examination.

      Fred McNaughton was again before the municipal court on Wednesday for preliminary examination, Mr. Lewis having recovered sufficiently from the effect of his wounds to appear in court. When the case was called Mr. G. S. Fernald, attorney for the defendant, waived examination, and the prisoner was again committed to jail until the March term of the district court. The defense evidently intend [not] to show its hand until the case is on trial in the district court. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 February 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

                   DISTRICT COURT.


                        GRAND JURY.

      The grand jury for this term of court has been deluged with business, being now in session four days during which time 15 indictments have been found against as many different persons. Policeman Lewis, the prosecuting witness against Fred McNaughton, did not appear when that case was called, and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest, but the officer to whom the warrant was given could not find him. Immediately all sorts of rumors were spread concerning the matter, some intimating that Lewis had fled, and that he had been paid for so doing. However this may be, Lewis came forth from his hiding place and presented himself in court Wednesday morning and was fined $10 for contempt of court. The grand jury, it seems, however, has taken notice of these rumors concerning Lewis, and has summoned witnesses, and the result is an indictment against Lewis for compounding a felony, an offense which is punished by imprisonment. Whether he is guilty or not his trial will determine. The following is a list of those indicted by the grand jury:


      Fred McNaughton, assault with intent to kill.

      ...the above parties have been arraigned in court and have plead not guilty.... (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 March 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

            District Court Proceedings.


      Yesterday Fred McNaughton was on trial for shooting Policeman Lewis, the indictment against him for assault in the first degree. Considerable difficulty was experienced in getting a jury, the regular list and two special venues being exhausted before one could be secured. The trial occupied all of yesterday forenoon and part of the afternoon, when it was suddenly announced that, with the consent of the county attorney, the defendant had withdrawn his plea of not guilty and plead guilty of assault in the second degree. This is punishable by from two to five years imprisonment. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 March 1889, p. 4, c. 5)


        Proceedings of Meeting of Board of
               County Commissioners Held
                          April 2nd, 1889.


      On motion properly carried, the sum of $30, paid by John McNaughton, for court costs in case of Fred McNaughton, was ordered refunded. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 April 1889, p. 1, c. 4)

                They Were Sentenced.

...Fred McNaughton, convicted of assault in the second degree, was sentenced to two years imprisonment. ... The judge [Holland] in almost every case imposed the least punishment possible, and before passing sentence on ... McNaughton, he spoke a few kindly words ... and expressed his regret at being compelled by his position to pass sentence on [him] as he had been personally acquainted with [him] for years. The prisoners were all taken that night by Sheriff Spalding and his deputies to Stillwater, and handed safely over to the prison authorities. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 April 1889, p. 4, c. 6)

16 January 1913. Tuesday evening the Eagles lodge held their annual installation of officers. The occasion was made memorable by the splendid repast served by chef "Buff" McNaughton. His culinary triumph was rabbit bouillon. Over 200 Eagles ate it and cried out for more. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 16 January 2013.

Family Members

Sponsored by Ancestry


Plan a visit to Evergreen Cemetery?



  • Created by: A. Nelson
  • Added: 24 Aug 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 75423513
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Frederick Mervin “Buff” McNaughton (1 Mar 1871–17 Dec 1940), Find A Grave Memorial no. 75423513, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by A. Nelson (contributor 47143984) .