IMBIBING LAWMAN HOMER LYNCH SHOT-UP ARNOLDSBURG - Citizens Ran To Their Homes, Locking Their Doors


By Harley Downs 2015

This story takes place in Arnoldsburg where Homer Lynch was once the Justice of the Peace. Homer had always been a JP or constable or had some job with the law, or he could not gotten away with the things he did.

Homer had a old Maxwell car and he would treat the town by driving up and down the street shooting his pistols in the air when he was drunk.

Homer would come into town drunk after dark and try to shoot out the street lights.

My grandfather Haymaker owned the store at the lower end of town, and Homer would come in his Maxwell with the top down, drunk and shooting in every direction.

He putted in front of the store and started blowing his car horn, while all the people in town were behind closed doors except grandmother Haymaker and aunt Frankie Haymaker who were running the store.

Aunt Frankie wasn't afraid of Homer, and went out to see what he wanted. He said to her, "Missy go in there and bring me some tobaccy," to which she replied, "You old s.o.b., if you want tobaccy get out of that car get it yourself." He would.

One night, my mother to be Amy Hamaker-Downs was staying all night with Vera Lynch, Homer's daughter, and they went to the outhouse just as Homer came home shooting at street lights and everything else.

They were scared to death that he would empty his guns into the outhouse, but he didn't. We kids were playing cowboys and indians behind the church and here came Homer.

He said to me, "Boy, let me show you a real gun." He always had a pistol in a shoulder holster and shot it into the town dump.

He then let me shoot it. It that was first time I shot a pistol. I must say, Homer was always good to us kids.

One day when he was having a trial in the old school house, state policemen Haynes and Meads let us kids slip in back and watch a trial and it probably did us some good.

Grandfather Haymaker and Homer were great drinking buddies and it sure saved grandfather from a big fines and maybe jail time.

Uncle Francis Haymaker had a big pond across the creek and below the house. It was stocked with bass and bluegill and grandfather loved to fish and ducks loved the pond too.

This happened just after Dick Marshall died and a new game warden was sent to the county. Grandfather decided to go to the pond fishing and he took his 97 Winchester shotgun along just in case he might get a duck, which at the time was a federal offense.

He arrived at the pond to see ducks on the pond and got his gun out to be ready for the ducks to rise from the pond. He killed two just as the game warden came around the sharp turn on Altizer Road and saw the ducks fall.

He went up to Lee Halls store, where the community park is now, and charged grandfather. A date for a trial was set before Homer. There were wardens from Charleston and some feds. The family was worried.

I can't remember who was on the jury, but they had to find him guilty. Homer thought a little while, and in end fined Grandfather fifty dollars.

The out of county game warden left in disbelief as they wanted him to be fined five hundred dollars.

Homer didn't get to hold many trials after that.

Homer had a bullet in the back of his neck where he got shot while on a moonshine raid.

He let me feel it.

They had to leave it there until the late fifties when it got to moving around and was getting close to his spine. They took it out.

Homer was among many colorful characters In Arnoldsburg.