November 8, 2020

Preacher’s Son Shoots Bully

It was all over some disparaging remarks made about a young Mayer woman “whose name none of the witnesses were able to pronounce or spell,” the paper reported. She confronted Louis Price, age 20, about the “sliding remarks” purportedly made by him at the Mayer mercantile. Price became embarrassed, and later, angry. When Price asked her where she heard the rumor, she evidently replied that the it was Ned Cagle, age 18, and son of Prescott Methodist Pastor CM Cagle.

Now it was Price’s turn to confront Cagle.

He would have his opportunity a few days later at a Spring dance in Mayer in 1909. “Price called Cagle outside and informed him of what the young woman told him, requesting an explanation,” the paper stated. “Cagle denied the statement attributed to him and accused some other boy.” However, Price would not let the situation fade and continued to berate Cagle.

It was around 3pm, March 10, when Cagle was riding his bike from his job at the Mayer depot to the post office, passing by a baseball game in which Price was involved. Price stopped Cagle and pulled him from the bike. “Price asked Cagle if one of the boys present was the author of the disputed remark,” the paper reported. “Jasper Nellis, one of the group, then said that anyone who accused any of the boys present with making the remark was a liar.” Cagle fired back that Nellis was the liar. “Nellis then discarded his ball glove in advance towards Cagle, who was standing on the opposite side of his bicycle. Cagle reached for his pistol, but did not draw it.” This was enough to cause Nellis to pause. 

“Price then walked to the side of the bicycle on which Cagle stood and told him not to pull a gun on ‘the bunch,’ at the same time raising his hand… Cagle drew his pistol and fired three shots in rapid succession at Price, two taking affect, one entering on the right side of the neck, [piercing his lung,] and lodging under the right shoulder and the other passing through the fleshy part of the right forearm.” 

It was initially reported that Price was “in a precarious condition,” But fortunately Dr. Looney was already in Mayer and was able to extract the bullet “and the patient [now had] a fair chance of recovery.”

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“The shooting occurred on the street between the post office and the general merchandise establishment of Mayer and Mayer,” the paper stated.

Cagle was charged with assault with intent to commit murder. He was placed in jail awaiting bond; much to the “indignation” of his father. He asked that his son be released while bail was being raised, but was refused by both Sheriff Smith and Justice of the Peace Moore. He was let out only after the $1000 bond was met. At his preliminary hearing, Cagle claimed that he fired in self-defense. Ultimately, in June, Cagle plead guilty to simple assault and was fined $100 because it was felt that Price's behavior was provocative.

Price became a cattleman in the Mayer area and was called for the draft in 1917. Notably, he was declared exempt—not because of any physical difficulty, but because he had a dependent wife and two young daughters.

Unfortunately, in March 1919, his wife became ill and an unsuccessful surgery led to her early passing. Later that Spring, Price became founder and proprietor of the Mayer Auto Company. He had bought a Ford from Sam Hill Hardware five years previous and became fascinated with the technology.

Cagle got married in May 1910, but his mother-in-law stole the "14 year-old" bride from him immediately after the service. The opposition “was of the flimsiest character,” Cagle said. “She had had no objection to the marriage until it was over.” Cagle told the newspaper that the girl was 16 and he had “presented her mother’s written consent when he applied for the license.”

Before the end of the month, however, cooler heads prevailed. The bride, Miss Gladys Ford, complained to her parents that she loved Cagle, and her father finally asked him to “take a position in the mine at which Mr. Ford…worked, with the promise that he should have his wife and that they would be set up to housekeeping,” the paper reported.

Both young men seemed to have learned from the experience and had no other problems with the law.



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Weekly Journal-Miner; 3/17/1909; Pg. 2, Col. 4.

Arizona Republican; 3/11/1909, Sec. 2; Pg. 2, Cols. 1-2.

Weekly Journal-Miner; 3/17/1909; Pg. 3, Col. 1.

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Weekly Journal-Miner; 9/5/1917; Pg. 4, Col. 3.

Weekly Journal-Miner; 3/5/1919; Pg. 2, Col. 7.

Weekly Journal-Miner; 6/18/1919; Pg. 6, Col. 2.

Weekly Journal-Miner; 1/26/1921; Pg. 6, Col. 4.

Arizona Republican; 5/16/1910; Pg. 1, Col. 3.

Arizona Republican; 5/29/1910; Sec. 2, Pg. 5, Col. 4.

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