He Pulled A Gun

Downtown Joplin is fairly quiet compared to what it was like on a Saturday night one hundred years ago.   At that time the Worth Block sat at the corner of Fourth and Main where a small park, once famous more for its vagrant population than the namesake statue of a miner, now sits. The Worth Block was owned by the eccentric James “Jimmy” H. Worth, a native of Indiana who married well, and lived life fast.   In the future we’ll write about “Colonel” Worth, but for now will focus on yet another scrap on the streets of Joplin.

Busy corner of Fourth and Main

A daylight view of the busy intersection of Fourth and Main

“Last night about 11 o’clock a little excitement was created at the corner of Fourth and Main streets by a hair brained individual with a gun who made a public exhibition of himself and then gun in hand fled before the righteous wrath of an unarmed man.  This spectacle also created much amusement.  Chas. Allen is a driver of carriage No. 5, of Finch Bros. line.  At the hour named last night his carriage stood at the southwest corner of Fourth and Main streets.  He was about to drive to the Gulf depot when Richard Risdon, formerly a driver of Watson’s line, but now of Webb City, came along and asked Allen if he was going to the depot.  Allen answered in the affirmative and Risdon swung himself up to a seat on the box.  With an oath Allen jumped to the pavement pulling from his pocket a revolver as he jumped.

He presented his gun at Risdon as though he intended to fire, but Risdon had nerve and alighting from the box advanced upon the warlike Allen, asking him why he didn’t shoot.  Allen weakened, and turning in the face of his unarmed adversary fled across the street, pocketing his revolver as he flew, ran through Kinsella’s saloon and disappeared.  Risdon is well known in Joplin as a gentlemanly young man and a man of nerve and by his action last night bore out his reputation.

It seems that the driver, Allen, had a private grudge against Risdon and that they had had some trouble before. Risdon returned to his home in Webb City last night, but up to the present writing Allen has not been apprehended.”

Source: Joplin Morning Herald, 1892