This article was found by William "Bill" Patton on
microfilm at Prestonsburg Community College.

Article from the Paintsville Herald, July 6, 1933


One of the bloodiest battles ever to occur in Kentucky took place during a school trustee election on the head of Prater Creek in Floyd county late last Saturday afternoon and as a result five persons are dead and six others have bullet holes in their body.

Seated on the opposite sides of the table, the two factions, one supporting Arnold Robinette and the other Arville Sammons, "shot it out." When the smoke of battle cleared, Wilburn Conn and Wayne Click were dead, and nine others wounded, Green Conn, Mimms Conn and his son Millard Conn died Sunday from their wounds. Lawrence Conn, another son of Mimms Conn is shot through the bowels and is a dying condition.

Ike Conn who was wounded in right thigh is at liberty under a $10,000 bond on each of two charges in the killing of Mimms and Millard Conn. He was arrested after treatment at the Beaver Valley Hospital at Martin, by Sheriff B. F. Sturgill of Floyd County. All other participants
in the bloody battle are dead or in the hospital at Martin.

Witnesses said there were no signs of drinking at the school election but the night was bitter between the two factions. It is said that more than $500 was spent in the school district by the two sides.

Sol Sammons, the candidate for school trustee supported by the Green Conn faction, it is said, was leading by two votes when the shooting took place. Two votes were ready to be cast for Arnold Robinette, the candidate backed by Mimms Conn and sons and Hayden Howell. As the two voters arrived according to the report, Green Conn stepped inside the three into the room where the election was being held and announced that time for closing the polls was at hand. The opposition and Hayden Howell were seated at the table to tabulate the two more votes for his candidate. Mrs. Martha Conn, wife of Green Conn, snatched at the poll sheet, it was reported and Lawrence Conn did likeness whereupon Green Conn knocked the latter down with fists. Guns then began to blaze across the little table.

"When this happened," Hayden Howell is reported to have said at the hospital, "Millard Conn shot Green in the back as Green started to pull a pistol. Then the shooting was almost continuous. There were from thirty to forty men and women in the room and I saw the men fall on every side of me. I was unarmed and the fight was between Mimms and his son, Millard and Lawrence on one side against Green, Ike and Wilburn Conn and Wayne Click on the other. As I ran from the midst, stooped over, a bullet me in the back."

Lawrence Conn was quoted as saying at the hospital at Martin that Ike Conn shot him while he stood begging for his life, his revolver in his holster.

Mimms Conn is quoted at the hospital at Martin that when the shooting began, he crouched behind a door and took no part in the fight, but that Ike Conn after shooting several others, turned and saw him and fired upon him.

It is said that Millard and Ike Conn did most of the shooting.

Three teachers are necessary for the school at which the shooting took place. Sol Sammons was a candidate with an announced intention of recommending Woodrow Conn, Richard Hall, and Green Conn, Jr., as teachers. Jerry Howell was named as one of the teachers to be appointed by Arnold Robinette, the other candidate.

Other disturbances wee reported from other sections of the state in the school trustee elections held last Saturday. One is reported killed in Breathitt County and two were wounded in Lawrence County. The election passed off quietly in Johnson County.