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Deadwood  Stage Coach: 1889


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Dispatch published in The New York Times / January 22, 1891

The funeral services over the body of Dr. George C. Willis, who was murdered by a drunken desperado in Arizona Dec. 30, were held yesterday morning at the undertaking rooms of William Coffman at 78 Greenwich Avenue, this city. Dr. Willis, who was well known in professional and social circles in New-York, went West about eight years ago to take charge of the mining interests in Arizona of Willis Sons, the organ manufacturers of London, to whom he was related. He entered upon a successful mining career of his own as well.

He was a large-hearted man, and some few months after his arrival he picked up a dissolute wretch, Dan Shackleford by name, whom he gave a place in one of the mines. The fellow drifted into his old ways again, and three days after Christmas Dr. Willis was forced to discharge him and warn him away from his properties.

As the doctor was driving to a neighboring camp the afternoon of De. 30 Shackleford sprang out on the road, stopped the horses, and demanded Dr. Willis's valuables. The doctor refused, and rose to lash him away from the horses' heads, when the ruffian drew a revolver and fired five shots into his benefactor's body. The horses turned and ran for home, and Dr. Willis was just able to tell his murderer's name before he died in his wife's arms. A search was immediately instituted for Shackleford, but he has not yet been caught.

Mrs. Tuffs of this city, a friend of the family, went out to Arizona as soon as the news was telegraphed here and aided Mrs. Willis in bringing on her husband's body. The Rev. Dr. DaCosta, an old friend of the dead man, delivered a eulogy at the services yesterday afternoon and the interment was made Calvary Cemetery. Dr. Willis leaves a considerable fortune to his wife and three young children.



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