Thomas Buford
Dismissed

Not Guilty of attempting to kill Frank Rabetaille

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White Haired Ranchman

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Trouble occurred while running the lines of Placer Claim. The sudden appearance of a shotgun in defense of property

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Taken from The Anaconda Standard
October 11, 1900

In dismissing the case of the state against Thomas Buford, charged with assault with intent to kill one Frank Rabetaille, Justice Smith remarked anent the dismissal that even in this hustling, unvenerating age an old-timer has some rights which are bound to be respected.

The trouble came up, according to the testimony, over the attempt of Rabetaille to drive Buford, an old white haired ranchman, off a little ranch near Feeley's station, which Buford had homesteaded.

Rabetaille, his brother and nephew testified that on the day the alleged offense was committed they were engaged in running the lines of some placer claims which they had located inside the boundaries of Buford's ranch, and that Buford had suddenly appeared on the scene with a shot gun and had played havoc with their nerves by cocking the gun and drawing beads on the various members of the party; that Buford had ordered them off the place and they lost no time complying with the request.  One of the witnesses testified that he was a block and a half away, but he saw Buford cock the gun.

Mr. Buford told of locating the ranch and the work he had done on it and of Rabetaille's attempts to secure the place by allocating all the ground as placer.  He stated that he had told Babetaille that he would respect the latter' mineral rights and that Rabetaille should not interfere with his (Buford's) agricultural right.  But that the latter had constantly harassed him by leaving gates open and pasturing horses on his hay ground.  Buford said he had been out hunting and merely drove the men off his ranch.

Justice Smith discharged Mr. Buford, as stated, and added the advice to Rabetaille to not interfere any further with Buford and his property.

Thomas Buford was born in Illinois March 10, 1837 to Henry P. and Emily Buford

He died July 19, 1916 of a gunshot wound administered by a neighbor Joe Redfern.
http://www.bufordfamilies.com/ThomasBufordMurder.htm

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