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2017-10-05

Archer's delayed demise

By Raymond V Carter Research Historian ©2017

This is from a taped interview of Irvin Stevens, a bystander during this shooting. From the interview he states:
I was in the Best Yet Cafe, owned by Mrs. Ruby Wright with my wife, Estella, my daughter, Gail, and son Rocky and we had just ordered our food. The Best Yet Cafe was next to the Silver Dollar Saloon at that time. I saw a scuffle or fight along Main Street. Granville Smith Wright, Ruby 's husband, was on the other side of Main Street at the time and since everybody always runs to a fight and since Smith, as he was commonly called, did not move, I paid no more attention to it.
Within seconds though, Smith Wright was leaning on my shoulder and said, ‘You need to call the sheriff.’
Smith could hardly talk, and I asked him, ‘For what?’
Smith said there was a shooting outside or something to that effect. I said, ‘No.’
Smith said, ‘No, you need to do it.’ Smith continued saying, ‘I called the sheriff, but the line was busy.’
My son, Rocky, got up and walked out there and came back in a few minutes and said, ‘It sure is gruesome out there.’ Rocky sat down, and our food came out. Rocky always ordered two hamburgers. We proceeded to eat our food, and in a little bit, the coach from the funeral home came and picked up the two people. No ambulance was used. Just the hurst.”
Stevens continued: “The fight started in the Silver Dollar between two people, a small man and a big man -- whose name was Archer. The little man ran up the stairs out of the saloon with Archer chasing him. The little guy ran for his pickup truck, got a .22 pistol, jerked it out and shot Archer in the upper region of the stomach. Archer took the pistol away from the little guy and hit him over the head with it, knocking him down.
During the beating, the handle grip broke off exposing the two screws that held it on. Archer jumped on top of the little man and continued beating him in the face with the gun. The exposed screws cut the man's face up pretty bad and just before Archer killed the little man, Archer fell dead on top of the little guy. There was blood everywhere out there. I understand the little guy got well and I never heard anymore about it.
Stevens commented about the shooting this way. "This story tells you not to use a .22 or small caliber gun for self protection unless you can't help it or it's all you got. It beats nothing, but it can get you killed too!"
I spoke to Rocky Stevens about the story his father told. Rocky said, "I remember the incident and the details vaguely. … After all it has only been about 58 years.”