The two couples left the dance around midnight and were walking down a dark path. As Henry Blevins stopped to open a gate for his date, Etta Creekmore, and his friends, Eb Badley and Julia Scott, shots suddenly rang out. Badley pushed Scott aside, and she ran into the woods. Badley draw a gun and started to return fire.
Life around Enon, Arkansas, was hard. The landscape in western Boone County and eastern Carroll County was rough and wild, and several families lived and farmed in the area.
A major form of recreation – a way to let off steam and relax – was to attend one of the many dances held on Saturday nights at the home of a local resident.
On September 16, 1922, Calvin Robertson hosted a dance at his home, just inside the Boone County line.
These dances were usually the scene of some kind of trouble. Although Prohibition was in effect, the moonshine flowed freely, and there were often fights. Many of the men carried guns on their hips.
Blevins and Creekmore and Badley and Scott double-dated at the Robertson dance.
Badley, in his late twenties, was a World War I veteran. His wife and two young children had died, and he was seeing Scott, who was 18.
In a true Romeo and Juliet scenario, the Badleys and the Scotts did not get along. Boss Scott did not like the attention that Badley had been giving his daughter.
According to an account in the Green Forest Tribune, “At the dance there were several drinking and a number of ‘rough-stuff’ acts pulled, among which the lights were shot out twice and the windows broken. Off and on during the dance, it is said, Scott and Badley quarreled over Badley’s attention to the Scott girl. But the girl declares they became reconciled and made friends before leaving the dance.”
Other people at the dance heard the gun shots and hurried outside. There they saw Badley dead from multiple wounds. Blevins was found down the trail, also dead. Creekmore received a critical wound to the head. Scott, who was unhurt, heard moaning and found her brother, Dave, shot through the gut.
The Boone County sheriff later went to the Scott home to question Dave Scott and his younger brother, Jim. Jim and another brother, Sam, were taken to jail in Harrison and charged with murder.
A week later, Dave Scott and Etta Creekmore both died from their wounds.
The trials of the Scott boys continued for some time. On September 17, 1925, Sam, Jim and Coker Scott were indicted for the murder of Creekmore. On July 27, 1927, bench warrants were issued for the three Scott men for first degree murder.
There continued hard feelings between the Scotts and Badleys.
A few years later, Julia Scott and one of her brothers were returning from church when they were ambushed. The brother was not seriously wounded, but Julia’s horse was shot from under her, and she received wounds to the elbow and leg. The next day, her leg had to be amputated. Fred Badley and two Creekmore men were charged with the shooting.
In 1933, William Badley’s barn was burned. Charged with arson were Boss Scott, Jim Scott, Coker Scott, Lois Scott and three men from Omaha, Arkansas. Boss and Jim Scott were convicted and sentenced to two years in prison.
The Green Forest Tribune described the capture of Jim Scott.
“James Scott was captured after crossing Long Creek six times. He dashed away from home without his shoes and ran all day bare-footed and bare-headed, with the dogs after him. Late Wednesday, Scott was sighted coming down from a treetop on Long Creek and was arrested by the Sheriff of Boone County.”
The arson convictions seemed to put an end to the Badley-Scott feud. Boss Scott eventually left Arkansas and went to California. Julia Scott stayed in the area, married and died in 1997.
Eb Badley, Etta Creekmore and Dave Scott are buried in Enon Cemetery.
This is article is part of a series about Boone County history and provided by the Boone County Heritage Museum. The museum is located at 124 South Cherry in Harrison. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday. Closed on Sunday and Wednesday. For more information on the museum, call 741-3312 or email email@example.com.