Saturday, August 7, 1880



A Fatal Combat Between Them at Malta.

Ed Eagan Passes the Pearly Gates,---The Murderer Arrested.-A Sad Sequel To a Whiskey Brawl.

The suburb of Malta, which has become almost proverbial for its compound of quiet and monotony, was awakened at an early hour yesterday morning in a convulsion of excitement from which she has not recovered yet. It was in a drunken spree that James Brady fired the bullet that snapped the thread of Edward Eagan’s existence, and sent him without warning into the realm of death and eternity. The reporter interviewed a gentleman by the name of Ellis, who witnessed the lamentable affair from its origin, and gave the following recitation: Shortly after the first day of another week had been ushered in he went into George T. Clark’s saloon in Malta and took his seat near the stove. On the bar was lying Edward Eagan, the bar tender, his head supported by his arms. Shortly Charles Grabert, the marshal of that place, walked into the saloon, attended by a friend by the name of Irwin, whom he was accompanying to the depot. Approaching the bar tender, who was apparently


the marshal attempted to arouse him, and asked for a drink. Eagan told the marshal to help himself. He went behind the bar accordingly, and himself and friend took a drink and sat the bottle back in its place. At this moment a third person entered the saloon and was greeted by Grabert as James Brady, shaking hands with him. Brady had evidently been partaking too freely of liquors, having been to the circus that afternoon. He was endowed with more than natural spirits of hillarity, and when the marshal and his friends had taken their drink he walked forward and emulated them. The marshal nudged Eagan and told him that Brady was a member of their party and was taking a drink to which the bar tender nodded an assent. Brady was in conversation with the marshal when the whistle of the approaching train warned them, and they started for the depot. Grabert said to Brady, “Jim remain here till I come back.” Brady’s misconception of this remark was the author of this fatal and ghastly result, and was what put poor Eagan asleep in another world. Brady took his seat, and presently Ellis was awakened by footsteps on the floor. He saw Brady pass


and criticized the liberty that he was assuming, when Brady said that he was in charge, and supplemented the announcement with an invitation to Ellis to take a drink. Ellis declined, saying it was wrong to take advantage of Eagan in that way. Here two patrons entered the door, and walking forward to the bar asked for a drink. Brady started to accommodate them, when Ellis woke Eagan. Discovering that his territory was being invaded, he turned to Brady who said that he was in charge now. Eagan disputed this, and said that he was tending the bar. Here a few words followed, when Eagan pronounced him a s-- of a b--, and at the same time seized a bottle and brought it down with deadening effect on Brady’s head. Brady threw his hand to his hip, and, drawing his revolver, the piercing report of a forty-four calibre revolver rent the crisp morning air. Eagan seized a glass, and hurling it at Brady struck him upon the nose, inflicting a slight wound. Throwing his hands to his side he rushed towards the door, when


and he fell upon his back an inanimate piece of mortality. Brady then proceeded to provide for his safety, and sought the rear of the bar as a bulwark. In the meantime Ellis had met Marshal Grabert and notified him of the fatal shooting of the bar tender, when they repaired to the saloon and found the young man lifeless. The murderer was installed behind the bar, and, upon the appearance of the marshal, leveled his revolver, and, in a paroxysm of rage, shouted that he would not submit to arrest. The marshal tried to get near enough to disarm the enraged man, but Brady kept his weapon on him and threatened to shoot at his approach. He walked from his battlement behind the bar and passed through the door, where he mounted his horse which was hitched in front. Another moment and the sharp report from the horse’s hoofs were heard as the murderer rode away. The dead man’s body was taken into the saloon, when the marshal went to the telephone and attempted to communicate a warning to the officers at this place without success. He mounted a horse as a remedy, and


notified the coroner of the affair and then found Deputy Sheriff Jeffreys, who accompanied him to Malta. Here a search was made but Brady could not be found. They returned to this place and went up and down the streets, but Brady was to be found nowhere. They then proceeded to Oro where they found the murderer asleep in the Oro house despite the visions of the morning’s horrible consummation. Brady said that it was not his intention to make any attempt to escape, but that he feared violence in Malta and hence went to Oro for safety. He was conducted to this city and consigned to a cell in the county jail. In the afternoon he was taken to Malta by Deputy Sheriff Jake Miller where he was arraigned before Justice T. H. Dickinson on a charge of murder. The county attorney, L. T. Cowie, was present, and on motion the examination was set for Wednesday morning next at ten o’clock. The prisoner was returned to the county jail and now languishes there under the care of the jailer.

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