By Don McAlavy: CNJ Columnist
The affray was reported to be the termination of a factional neighborhood quarrel resulting from ill feeling over different affairs of several years standing.
The shooting occurred just at the close of the evening’s church service at the Moye-Sunrise schoolhouse about 7 miles southwest of Clovis.
The evening service of a revival meeting was being conducted by Rev. J.W. Slade, Methodist Circuit Minister of Clovis. As Rev. Lewis, visiting Baptist minister, was pronouncing the benediction, loud quarreling was heard just outside the building.
This was followed by six or seven shots fired, some of the bullets passing through the crowded schoolhouse. Some of these shots stuck young Marvin Perkins and Slade, who were inside the building.
When the combatants outside were separated, Dave Dodson, deputy sheriff, was considerably bruised and beaten up, apparently from being beaten with a gun.
Perkins was found to be bruised and beaten up and shot through the leg halfway between his knee and body, and Slade was grazed by a bullet.
J. Houston was shot through the hand, while another shot grazed his temple.
Sept. 11, 1924:
District court in Clovis disposed of a number of liquor cases the latter part of last week. Monday and Tuesday was taken up in the trial of the State vs. J. Houston, John Houston and Pete Houston.
It was alleged the Houstons attacked D. D. Dodson, all of whom lived in Moye-Sunrise neighborhood. Several shots were fired in the fracas. Dodson was struck in the head, and several bystanders narrowly escaped serious injury.
The jury in the trial that week brought in a verdict of not guilty in the case of Pete Houston, and guilty as to J. Houston and John Houston.
The law says that “affray” means “the fighting in public of two or more persons to the terror of others.”
Many people, such as Tom Snell, Alma Hagler and Mrs. R. L. Estes knew what caused the affray. Tom Snell died in 1996, I don’t know if Alma Hagler and Mrs. R. L. Estes are still alive. If not, God rest their souls.
Don McAlavy is Curry County’s historian. He can be contacted at: