The Durant Weekly News
August 22, 1913
Jess Durant was Killed
Notorious Character Met His Death in Bennington
D. E. Burnside Under Bond
Jess Durant, a familiar character here and at other points in Bryan County for many years, and who has been regarded with fear by many people, met his death at the hands of D. E. Burnside at the latter’s livery barn in Bennington Saturday night.
The story as told to a reporter of this paper is substantially as follows: Jess had been hanging around Bennington for several days and had been drinking pretty hard and made Burnside’s livery stable his loafing place. He came to Durant Saturday evening on the West bound train, but returned on the next East bound and returned to the livery stable where he got into a wrangle with some of the men and was ordered off the premises by Burnsides. He left in a bad humor but returned in a short time, it is said with an automatic pistol in his hand. Burnside was sitting in his office when he returned and Durant is reported to have leveled the gun at him with the remark “Now I’ve got you” and pulled the trigger.
In some manner the gun failed to work and Durant dropped that weapon and grabbed a heavy chair with which he made for Burnside, who pulled a revolver from his desk and fired four shots at the would-be bad man, one of which took effect, entering his right side above the hip, passing thru his body and wounding his left arm on the inside. The first shot is evidently the one that took effect for immediately after it was fired Durant dropped the chair and ran out of the office of the barn, falling just outside where he was found by Officer W. H. Bruce who came along about that time.
Durant was taken to the home of a relative, Morgan Durant, where he died within an hour. The remains were interred in the old Bennington Cemetery the first part of this week. Deceased was unmarried.
Burnside appeared before Justice Ellis and immediately gave bond and was released. Mr. Burnside is the son-in-law of Wm. Risner of Bennington and both are well and favorably known over the county. He is a young man about 27 years old and is a law abiding citizen who attends to his own business and this is, it is said, the first time he has been under arrest.
The automatic used by Durant, when examined, was found to have been snapped once, as shown by the dent in the end of the cartridge which failed to explode and the magazine was full of cartridges.