Home Life History A sad report

A sad report

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On the front page of its July 15, 1926 issue The Bossier Banner reported the following: “The burial Sunday of Paul Heifner, youngest son of Mrs. Alice Heifner, who now resides in Shreveport, was perhaps the saddest funeral cortege that ever wounded its way to Chalybeate Cemetery. The body reached Plain Dealing on the motor car from Smackover, Ark., on Saturday afternoon and was removed to the home of his sister, Mrs. Archie S. Brown.”

“Sunday afternoon Rev. Howard Frame preached the funeral sermon in the Brown home that was closely listened to by as many as could gain entrance into the residence, and a large number who stood in the street.”

“After the funeral service the saddened relatives and friends left for the cemetery some nine miles away where the body was tenderly laid away by loving hands.”

“Surviving is the mother, Mrs. Alice Heifner, of Shreveport; five sisters: Mrs. A. S. Brown, Mrs. Tommie Demoss, Mrs. Chance and Misses Alma and Inez, and one brother, Mr. Abney Heifner, of Pine Bluff, Ark. To all the tenderest sympathy is offered.”

“According to accounts of the sad affair from Smackover the details are about as follows:

Paul Heifner was shot to death last Friday morning by N. A. Dixon, former merchant of near Smackover, Ark., after a quarrel concerning a debt. Heifner died at five o’clock Saturday morning. The shooting took place in a barber shop, where the two men had met and renewed a quarrel in which they had been engaged a few minutes before. According to witnesses Heifner was with a friend who had come to town with him and the three got into a fight. In the scramble Dixon got hold of a gun and fired two or three times, two shots taking effect in Heifner’s body.”

“Before his death Heifner made a statement to the prosecuting attorney as follows:

A few days ago I drove to the Thomas filling station, and while having my car filled with gas was called by Mr. Dixon. He talked with me in a friendly manner and asked me when I would pay the $62 I owed him. I told him I would pay it as soon as I could get the money. He swore and told me that he would have the money right now or kill me. He sent a man into the store for some blank checks, and with a gun drawn on me through his clothing, forced me to sign two checks, one for $25 dated July 9th, and one for $37 dated October 9th. Today I came to Smackover and consulted an attorney. I then went to the bank and stopped payment on the check.”

“I had gone to my car, which was parked in the street here, and was preparing to return home when Dixon approached and told me that I would have to pay the check or he would kill me. I tried to reason with him, but he only grew harder. He told me I would stay with him until I paid the money. He went across the street to the Sanitary restaurant to get some checks and I drove to Rose Drug Company, where I met my partner Mr. Derks. We returned to the Sanitary Baber Shop. Dixon came in and hit me on the head with a pistol, then shot me while I was down. I think he fired four or five shots. I did not know I was hit, for I did not feel any pain. I got up and wrestled with him for the gun until I was too weak, and again fell to the floor. I did not have even a pocket knife and I have never made any threats of any sort against Mr. Dixon.

“The charge of murder has been preferred against Dixon.”

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at amiddlet@state.lib.la.us