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Willis Alexander Bittick, Newspaper Articles

Waelder News, Gonzales County Texas Archives

Friday April 5, 1901


        Monday evening last in a difficulty at the livery stable, W. A. Bittick the proprietor, was shot by W. W. Cook.  The ball entered near the Adam's apple and losing itself near the shoulder.  Particulars of the unfortunate affair as best obtainable from street talk and one of the witnesses to the affray are about as follows:  Bittick was stooping over washing his face when Cook came over and gave him a kick in a playful mood it is said.  This made Bittick angry beyond pacification and after some little time spent in unprintable back talk, Bittick went into the ante-room to get his gun from under a pillow.  Cook followed him in and got between him and the bed.  Bittick then went out into the stable and picked up a hatchet and was going back when Bud Holloway stepped in front of him and tried to disarm him of it.  At this juncture, Cook, who was standing (sic) the door of the ante-room, pulled his gun when Junius Fisher, the other witness, encircled him and kept him in the room.  While Holloway was scuffling with Bittick and Fisher with Cook in an effort to keep them apart, a shot was fired.  Bittick was taken home and has been in a bad way ever since.  Cook was taken in hand later by Constable Tomlinson, but early the same night he inadvertently let the gap down and his prisoner went to the woods and has been at large since.  Up to the time Cook kicked Bittick they had been good friends and then this happened.  How little acts unintentionally continue sometimes lead to grave endings.

        As we go to press Mr. Bittick is reported very low and the hope of recovery has been abandoned.

Friday April 12, 1901


        I wish to express my sincere thank (sic) for the kindness our friends have shown us in our late trouble and for all the earnest attention they gave my father.  Respectfully, Sallie Bittick, Waelder Texas, April 8, 1901

Friday April 12, 1901


        W. A. Bittick succumbed to the gun shot wound and died Friday night of traumatic pneumonia.  As mentioned in last week's issue he was shot in the neck by W. W. Cook in a difficulty at the stable the Sunday evening before, lingering till Friday night when his spirit winged its flight to the world beyond.  Saturday morning his remains were conveyed to Cistern for burial, many from here attending and especially Woodmen of the World, of which order he was an honored member; the two lodges officiating at the grave, Rev. J. W. Sims held a church service over the body.  As the procession reached Cistern every business house was closed as a mark of respect and the funeral was one of the largest ever attended in that burying ground.  Mr. Bittick was born at Housser (sic) Springs, Mo., January 24, 1853: his wife was also born in that same place and they were married there in 1873.  She died and was buried at Cistern June 6, 1897.  Six children survive -- five girls and a boy.  Three of the girls are grown; the other two and the boy are small.

        Deceased carried $1000 insurance in W. O. W., but not having been a member long and according to a late ruling of the order his children will only get half that sum.  Mr. Bittick had resided in this community several years and the news has heard naught but universal regret at this sudden and untimely taking off; and everyone sympathizes deeply with his children in their loss of a kind father and protector.

April 19, 1901




        Before Squire Walker Monday morning, W. W. Cook, who is charged with the killing of W. A. Bittick, had an examining trial and was allowed bond in the sum of $1250; P. D. and R. D. Davis and W. A. Wansley becoming sureties.

        Lawyer S. H. Hopkins appeared in behalf of Cook, County Attorney Nixon representing the state.

        The following witnesses testified:  Miss Bittick, Mayburger Bittick, aged ten, Junius Fisher, Bud Holloway, and Wright Roberson, the latter colored.

        The testimony of Fisher and Holloway was substantially as given in these columns at the time of the homicide, with few minor variations, viz:  That Bittick was stooping over washing his face when Cook came along and kicked him.  This made Bittick very angry and he made known his displeasure in emphatic terms, going into the office room, Holloway testified, corroborated by Fisher, that Cook followed right in behind him all the time offering to make due apologies, but that Bittick was beyond pacification and made straight for the bed where he kept his pistol; that Cook headed him off and then Bittick turned and came out of the room, picking up a hatchet at the door as he did so.  When in the gangway he faced about and raised the weapon as if to strike or throw it at Cook if he came out the door.  Holloway further testified that he asked Bittick to give him the hatchet or put it up, but that he wouldn't do either, remarking that it was the only thing he had to defend himself with; that Holloway was standing close to Bittick who had the hatchet drawn back at the time the shot was fired.

        The little boy testified that he was standing just outside the stable door and that Holloway had disarmed his father of the hatchet when the shot was fired.

        Miss Bittick's testimony was to the effect that her father kept his pistol under the pillow of the bed at the stable; that it was there when she made up the bed that morning and was still there after the shooting.

        Wright Roberson testified that he was passing along at the time, heard the shot and saw Cook standing out on the ground before the door to the office room; heard Bittick remark, "Will, you have killed me," and Cook made the reply, "That's just what I aimed to do," or words to that effect.

        Lawyer Nixon made the point that he could prove by a negro, absent from court, that Cook was heard to remark just prior to the difficulty that he was going down to the stable and raise hell.  As this was merely an examining trial for bond, Lawyer Hopkins, to save time, admitted the state could make good it's contention.

        Examining of witnesses, all of whom were put under the rule, and the arguments of the lawyers consumed the best part of the day and the court room was well filled by spectators who seemed to be keen to know the facts as drawn out at the trial.

August 23, 1901


        Rev. J. W. Sims, Miss Sallie Bittick and the three of the Bittick children went to Waco Monday night where the children, two girls and a boy, entered the Methodist orphanage.  The death of their father having deprived them of support and protection.  This noble institution comes to their rescue and will care for and educate them.  They are bright and promising youths.


Gonzales County Texas Archives

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