Copyright Chris Frost 2019 | All Rights Reserved

Revenge shooting

My paternal grandmother’s uncle, Joe Meenan, was shot and killed in a revenge shooting near his home in Curtis, Ashland, Otis, Hyde, Rock Creek, Washington, Colorado, on 3 April 1903.

He had killed John Irwin in a gunfight on Christmas Day 1902. Friends and relatives of the dead man took their revenge and ambushed him when he was going home after visiting his brother’s ranch. The delay in killing Joseph Meenan was because he had been in a Denver hospital recovering from gunshots received during the Christmas Day gunfight with John Irwin.

John Irwin was connected to one of the richest cattle ranchers in the region. Despite this, Meenan’s killers were brought to justice, even though they used every ruse they could to stop the trial for revenge shooting. The mysterious death of one of the killers from an injury to his left temple while he was pushing for a retrial brought this sorry tale to an end.

Press cuttings shown are from local papers, including The Lamar Register, The Grit Advocate, and the Salt Lake Herald (all printed between December 1902 and June 1903)


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