Wirt Officer Believed Fatally Shot in 1915


Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 4/1/1915.

Officer Fatally Wounded in Wirt County

A shooting scrape that will probably become a murder was enacted on Groundhog, near Creston, Sunday night when W. H. Griffith shot Special Officer Jeff Goff with a .44 revolver, the bullet entering the left side just over the heart and passing downward through both lungs and lodging in the right side near the hip.  Griffith had been arrested in Athens, Ohio, by Cairo parties to whom he had given a worthless check in an automobile purchase, and the parties were on their way to the Harrisville jail and stopped to stay over night in Cairo.  Griffith, during the night, broke from the Cairo lock-up and made his way across the country to his home on Groundhog.  Griffith is the same man with whom K.M. Hunt, of this place, had some trouble over a gasolene engine several weeks ago. Griffith purchased the engine of Mr. Hunt and gave the latter a mortgage on it for the purchase money.  Griffith then sold the engine to O.J. Cooper, of Creston, and when Mr. Hunt heard of the latter deal he immediately went down and took possession of the property, leaving Mr. Cooper out what he had paid Griffith for the engine.

Sunday when Mr. Cooper heard that Griffith was in the neighborhood he went before Justice T.J. Boice and swore out a warrant for Griffith.  This was placed in the hands of Jeff Goff, a special constable, who started out to arrest Griffith. He arrived at the Griffith home about 10:30 o'clock Sunday night and when he entered the house Griffith drew a .44 calibre and fired one shot with the results above stated.  Griffith then made his escape and medical attention was summoned for Goff.

As we go to press Goff is still living, but little hopes are entertained for his recovery.  Griffith is still at large and the Sheriff of Wirt county with blood-hounds and a posse of deputies is trying to capture him.