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The Old Stagedriver’s Yosemite Yarns (1962) by Laurence Degnan and Douglass Hubbard


THE SHOOTING OF DICK WHORTON

Shooting of Dick Whorton
[click to enlarge]

LEONIDAS G. WHORTON was a pretty important person in Yosemite Valley in the early days. He was Justice of the Peace and often was Grand Marshal in the local parades. His. friends all called him “Dick”. On April 4, 1887 Abel Mann shot and killed him at Dick’s house at Cascades, a few miles below the Valley.

“Bad blood between the men began with the Civil War, then flared up when Mann married Mattie Atkins, a cousin or some sort of kin of Whorton’s, with whom he had been living. Charley Leidig, ridin’ down with the mail saw Dick lyin’ dead in the dirt in front of his house. After the shootin’ Mann took off up the hill but ran into Jim McCauley, who talked him into turnin’ himself in to the sheriff. They tried him for murder down in Marposa. The jury called it self defense though some folks said that Whorton was shot from behind. Doc Gallison took Dick’s skull down so the jury could see the bullet holes so we don’t know whether all of him is there in the cemetery in Yosemite or not.

“After he was acquitted Abel and Mattie moved to Raymond. One day they had a fight and he cut her throat from ear to ear. She didn’t die but this time he did. The posse chasin’ him said he shot himself as they were closin’ in on him. Funny thing, though — all the broken glass from the windows of the cabin was on the inside of the cabin!”



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