The Caddo Herald
February 18, 1916
McDarment Kills Boy at Wagoner
The news that reached Caddo last Friday that Corley P. McDarment had killed one boy and seriously wounded another Thursday afternoon has created quite an amount of interest in Caddo, where in 1912 Prof. McDarment was an instructor in the high school.
At Wagoner last Thursday it is charged that McDarment killed Edgar Watts, aged 18, son of J. G. Watts, a prominent attorney; and severely wounded Clark Moss, aged 17, son of Judge W. B. Moss, in a fight occurring in the basement of the high school building at noon.
McDarment was taken to jail at Muskogee, there being some fear at first of mob violence. He made a statement as follows:
“It was an accident and not of my making. I had been having trouble with the boys and yesterday, just before noon, I ordered them both to go to the basement. I followed. As I entered the room Edgar said, ‘Look at Clark!’ I turned and saw the boy with a pistol leveled at my head; I sprang upon him and in the scuffle the shot was fired that killed Edgar. If my hand touched the gun I do not know it. We continued the scuffle for the gun and two other shots were fired. Then someone separated us.”
Lying on a bed at home young Moss told his story:
“The teacher sent me to the basement for punishment. I went down into a room; later he told Edgar to come with him and both of them came into the room. Just as Mr. McDarment entered the door he shot Edgar and he fell. The he tripped me, and while I begged him not to shoot, he fired three shots at me. Two of them hit me. I was scuffling with him all the time. I don’t know what made him do it. We hadn’t said a word to him when he began to shoot.”
Later the teacher admitted the revolver was his, but that it had been stolen from his overcoat pocket Wednesday night, but he did not know who had taken it.
John Shanahan, janitor of the building, heard the shots and ran into the room. He said Watts was lying on the floor, that Moss was half leaning against a wall, and that the teacher was standing in the middle of the room in a dazed condition. He did not answer until spoken to three or four times. No one held the gun. It had fallen to the floor under a laboratory table.
People in Caddo who knew C. P. McDarment are at a loss to account for the terrible tragedy, for while here McDarment was a mild mannered agreeable young man, making many friends. He was raised in Durant and about two years ago married Miss Ella Gyr, and they have a boy. His friends at Durant were shocked at the news because he bore a good reputation here.
The boys belong to prominent families at Wagoner, and their fathers, while deeply grieved at the tragedy, have advised their friends to let the law take its course- if innocent let him be free; if guilty let the law punish- a worthy example that others might learn a lesson from.
At its best the tragedy is one that is deeply regretted.