This story was quite sensational at the time. It was picked up by the Associated Press and newspapers all over the country featured it. I posted part of it once before, but thought it might be helpful to post these together.
The Durant Democrat
June 29, 1926
Accomplice of Bales Held for Kidnapping Also
COALGATE: June 29- A charge of kidnapping was filed Monday against Barney Hamlin, alleged accomplice of Emmet Bales, who was killed Saturday night after he had abducted John Simpson, wholesale grocer here, and attempted to extort $15,000 from him. B. L. Gassoway, County Attorney of Coal County, filed the charge.
Hamlin, a worker at a local junk yard, was arrested and placed in the county jail several hours before members of a sheriff’s posse laid siege to the home of George Trice, local attorney, where Bales had retreated with Simpson.
Saturday morning Bales, accompanied by Hamlin, intercepted the automobile in which Simpson, his wife, and 9 year old son were driving to Henryetta for a weekend visit. The family was forced to go to an abandoned house on Bales’ farm about fifteen miles from Coalgate.
Bales, formerly manager of a co-operative store at Tupelo which burned several months ago, was attempting to force a settlement of $15,000 which he claimed that Simpson, as trustee for the store, owed him.
Henry, Simpson’s small son, escaped from the farm house and informed the outside world of his parents’ predicament. The Sheriff of Coal County went to the farm house and persuaded Bales to take the Simpsons back to Coalgate, but after arriving there and releasing Mrs. Simpson, Bales became suspicious and took Simpson to the Trice home. The attorney was absent.
After watching the house for several hours and withholding fire in regard for Simpson’s safety, several members of the posse entered the house and one of them, thinking Bales was reaching for a gun, shot him.
Bales was a former convict, having served a short term in the state penitentiary for the slaying of John Hall at Tupelo several years ago.
The Caddo Herald
July 2, 1926
Bad Man is Killed at Coalgate Saturday
Last Saturday night at Coalgate, in the home of Geo. Trice, Emmett Bales was killed by a member of the sheriff’s posse with a load of buckshot (other articles say pistol).
Bales had previously in the day kidnapped Mr. and Mrs. John T. Simpson, demanding some $15,000 in money. This was done by holding up the pair as they were on their way to Holdenville in a car. A small son of Simpson escaped and telephoned to Coalgate for help. The sheriff (Fred Sherman) and posse (reported as forty men) arrived, but Bales would never release his prisoner until he had been given the money, which was never given. The posse was afraid to fire for fear of killing Simpson.
About one o’clock Bales arrived in Coalgate and went to the home of George Trice, still with Simpson a prisoner at the point of a gun. Parleys with officers failed to produce release of Simpson and as the afternoon wore on there was much apprehension lest Bales kill Simpson. Supper was brought about nine o’clock and as Bales started to eat, having laid his gun on the table before him, he was shot by one of the posse, dying instantly.
Bales had terrorized the Tupelo community for some months and had been sought by the sheriff the past two months.
Hamlin, the man with him at the hold-up, was jailed and given 35 years in the pen by Judge Linebaugh. Three other men, named Bridges, are held in connection with this affair. (Another article names them as Bass, Noah, and Charlie Bridges, Bales’ brother-in-laws.)
Simpson is a wholesale grocer, and stands high in the community.
March 29, 1929
Simpson is Killed at Coalgate in Office
John T. Simpson was killed Monday afternoon at Coalgate in his office in Cochran Grocery Co. Two shots were fired; one went wild, the other through his head. No one was seen to enter or leave the office. Officers are working on the case. Three years ago Simpson figured as principal in the case where he was kidnapped by Emmet Bales, threatened with death. At night in an unguarded moment Bales was killed by a shot from outside the house. Simpson was a most excellent man, and liked by all who knew him.