McDowell County Shooting - Elmer Dunn - 1903

DUNN IN DETAIL: Further Facts Relating to the Tragedy Furnished by the McDowell Recorder

Additional details of the killing of Elmer Dunn, son of John W. Dunn, who lives near Princeton in this (Mercer) County, are furnished (to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph) by this following from the McDowell Recorder:

Elmer Dunn, a popular young man who has been employed by the Ritter Lumber Company on Bradshaw, about twelve miles from Iaeger, was fatally shot by Corbin Riffe, a native of that section of the county, Thursday evening at 7 o'clock, living only an hour afterward. The shot was fired from a shotgun and tore a large hole in the abdomen of young Dunn. Moonshine "licker" which it is said is manufactured in large quantities in that section of the county, seems to have been the cause of the killing. It is reported that Riffe had had a disagreement with another man named Sparks as well as an abundance of the house-made liquor and had gotten a shot gun and wa presumably going after the man when he passed Dunn, who spoke to him very pleasantly, and in reply Riffe cursed Dunn using the most offensive language. Later in the evening Riffe and Dunn were at a house engaged in a stag dance when Riffe commenced pointing his loaded gun at the feet of Dunn, who asked him what he meant. Riffe continued keeping the gun towards Dunn's feet when the latter called the former out to one side, shortly after which the report of the gun was heard and Dunn was seen to fall to the ground. Riffe was taken before Squire Auville at Iaeger who sent him to jail here to await the grand jury. Both men were young, neither having a family.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph,
July 9, 1903

Submitted by June White



McDowell County