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New-York Times / August 3, 1897

Two “Crooks” Fight With Pistols in a Small Room – Both Killed.

DENVER, Aug. 2. – A duel between two “crooks,” F. H. Edgar of Salt Lake City, and Harry Duff, supposed to be “Billy” O’Brien of San Francisco, in a small room in a hotel on the corner of Curtis and Fifteenth Streets this afternoon, at 3 o’clock, resulted in the death of both men.

The duelists and a fellow called George Sheldon, who is believed to be James Cullen, recently released from the Utah Penitentiary, came here a week ago from Salt Lake City, where they had been “working” the visitors to the Pioneers’ Jubilee.

Edgar had considerable money, but Duff swindled him out of nearly all of it. This led to a quarrel, and both men drew their revolvers and began firing. Duff fell with a bullet through his heart, and Edgar was so badly wounded in the abdomen that he died a few hours later.

Several compromising letters from notorious characters throughout the country were found in Edgar's clothing. The police are of the opinion that they were members of a very bold gang of swindlers and robbers who have been busy in the West for several months.

Fresno Weekly Republican / August 6, 1897



Both Men Supposed to Be Crooks Who Quarreled Over a Division of the Swag.

DENVER, August 2.—One man was instantly killed and another fatally wounded as the result of a duel in a small room in a lodging house at Fifteenth and Curtis streets this afternoon. The dead man was known as Harry Duff and the other as F. H. Edgar, but the police believe that both names are assumed and that the men are noted crooks. They were rooming together and the cause of their quarrel is not known, but is thought to have been a dispute over a division of the swag. A third man who is known to have come to Denver with Edgar and Duff, and who is known as George Sheldon, is held at the city jail as a witness.

From letters found on the persons of the three men, it is believed that Duff was really Billy O’Brien of San Francisco and that Sheldon is James Cullen, who was released from the Utah penitentiary on July 24th. The men came here three weeks ago and are thought to have operated at Salt Lake during the jubilee celebration. Both Edgar and Sheldon refuse to talk, though the latter says if Edgar dies he will make a statement.

SAN DIEGO, August 2. — It is thought that the man Edgar who figured in the Denver tragedy, lived in this city for about a year and left home a few months ago. He was well known at a saloon at 450 Fifth street, and inquiry there elicited the information that he did no work while here, his people being well to do.



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