Serious Affray at Rayville.
The following was printed in the 1868 Ouachita Telegraph, prior to Richland Parish being formed. It is one of the first mentions of the Town of Rayville, which it notes was in “Morehouse” parish at the time.Serious Affray In Rayville Wed, Aug 19, 1868 – 3 · The Ouachita Telegraph (Monroe, Louisiana) · Newspapers.com
On last Saturday, the 15th inst., there was an affray at Rayville, Morehouse parish, which resulted in the killing of Mr. Henry Kelley, a well-known citizen of the vicinity.
As the circumstances have been related to us they are as follows: For 2 or 3 years there has existed a feud between a Mr. Haddox and Kelley, the deceased, in reference to the price of some cotton purchased, about the time of the. surrender, “by the latter of the former.
On last Saturday, Haddox went to Rayville, accompanied by some friends, all of whom were armed. Kelley who had a little store at Rayville was in town. Anticipating an attack, he had loaded his shot gun and placed it convenient in the store.’ During the day, some time Haddox had some angry words with Kelley, which ended, however, without any blows.
Subsequently Haddox, with his friends, went to Kelleys, shop and accosted him again. During the conversation, Haddox, it is said began to draw his pistol. Kelley, seeing the movement, raised his gun and fired both barrels at the party, doing no damage.
Several shots were then fired at Kelly, two of which took effect, one in the shoulder and the other in the thigh, causing Kelley to fall. Kelley thereupon expressed himself satisfied, and it was thought that the matter hid ended, when a young man named Thomas Johnson, who appears to have been of Haddox’ party, fired his pistol at Kelley, as he lay wounded, killing him almost instantly. Haddox’ brother, during the melee, was shot in the neck by someone in the crowd gathered in town that day, but was not seriously hurt. Haddox and Johnson, we learn, have gone to parts unknown. These are the circumstances, as we have heard them from a reliable source, of this bloody affray.
There are probably other facts connected with it we have heard nothing of. It will no doubt be fully investigated by the courts. Politics had nothing to do with the difficulty as all the parties were of the same way of thinking politically.