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Library Home » Colter-Gunn Incident Bibliography

Colter-Gunn Incident Bibliography
(December 1930 - January 1931)


About the incident: Velma Colter, a 20 year old school teacher was killed on Tuesday, December 16, 1930. She taught at the Garrett School, which was about three miles from Maryville, Missouri. Raymond Gunn, a 27 year old black man was accused of the murder. On January 12, 1931, while he was being detained in Maryville, a lynch mob took him to the schoolhouse where the teacher had been killed and burned him alive on the roof of the schoolhouse. This bibliography contains references to selected local newspaper articles and books about the incident that are available in Owens Library.

(The newspapers listed are available on microfilm on 2nd floor)

Barnard Bulletin
December 18, 1930 "Velma Colter, 20 Year Old School Teacher was Brutally Slain Tuesday," Barnard Bulletin, 18 December 1930, p. 1.
December 25, 1930 [Exterior View of School,] Barnard Bulletin, 25 December 1930, p. 4.

"Interior View of School," Barnard Bulletin, 25 December 1930, p. 3.

"Mob Failed to Get Negro," Barnard Bulletin, 25 December 1930, p. 1.

"Raymond Gunn, Negro, Confessed Murder," Barnard Bulletin, 25 December 1930, p. 1.
January 8, 1931 "Gunn to be Arraigned Monday," Barnard Bulletin, 8 January 1931, p. 1.
January 15, 1931 "Raymond Gunn, Confessed Slayer of Velma Colter, Mobbed by 10,000 People," Barnard Bulletin, 15 January 1931, p. 1.
January 22, 1931 "Maryville had Scare Saturday," Barnard Bulletin, 22 January 1931, p. 1."Why Mob Violence," Barnard Bulletin, 22 January 1031, p. 4.

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Burlington Junction Post
December 18, 1930 "School Teacher Killed Tuesday after Assault," Burlington Junction Post, 18 December 1930, p. 1.
December 25, 1930 "Confessed Murderer of School Teacher Arrested," Burlington Junction Post, 25 December 1930, p. 1.

"Scene of School Teacher's Murder Near Maryville," Burlington Junction Post, 25 December 1930, p. 3.
January 1, 1931 "Negro Formally Charged with Murder of Teacher," Burlington Junction Post, 1 January 1931, p. 1.
January 15, 1931 "Negro Murderer Meets Death at Hands of Mob" Burlington Junction Post, 1 January 1931, p. 1.

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Elmo Register
December 25, 1930 "Negro Murderer Caught---Confesses," Elmo Register, 25 December 1930, p. 1.
January 1, 1931 "Negro Murderer Pleads Not Guilty," Elmo Register, 1 January 1931, p. 1.
January 15, 1931 "Negro Murderer Burned at Stake," Elmo Register, 15 January 1931, p. 1.
January 22, 1931 "People Are Aroused By Wild Rumors," Elmo Register, 22, January 1931, p. 1.

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Hopkins Journal
December 18, 1930 "Young Lady is Murdered," Hopkins Journal, 18 December 1930, p. 1.
December 25, 1930 "Maryville Negro Admits Murder," Hopkins Journal, 25 December 1930, p. 1.
January 1, 1931 "Sheriff Fools Would Be Mob," Hopkins Journal, 1 January 1931, p. 1.
January 15, 1931 "Matching Savagery with Savagery," Hopkins Journal, 15 January 1931, p. 4. (Editorial)

"Mob Law," Hopkins Journal, 15 January 1931, p. 4. (Editorial)

"Negro Burned Makes No Plea," Hopkins Journal, 15 January 1931, p. 1.
January 22, 1931 "Ku Klux Klan Denies Charge," Hopkins Journal, 22 January 1931, p. 1.
January 29, 1931 "Called Town of Murderers," Hopkins Journal, 29 January 1931, p. 1.

"That Maryville Incident," Hopkins Journal, 29 January 1931, p. 4.
February 12, 1931 "Views of Rev. Harmon on Maryville Lynching," Hopkins Journal, 12 February 1931, p. 1.

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Kansas City Call
January 23, 1931 "It's 'Mobville' Now," Kansas City Call, 23 January 1931, p. 1.

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Kansas City Star
December 17, 1930 "Finds no Trace of Fiend," Kansas City Star, 17 December 1930, p. 14.
January 12, 1931 "Admits Part in Crime," Kansas City Star, 12 January 1931, p. 1.

"Attack by Mob a 'Surprise' to Officers," Kansas City Star, 12 January 1931, p. 1.

"Heavy Guard for Smith," Kansas City Star, 12 January 1931, p. 2.

"Lynch with Fire," Kansas City Star, 12 January 1931, pp. 1-2.

"The Mob is Persistent," Kansas City Star, 12 January 1931 p. 2.

"Old Death Echo in Mob," Kansas City Star, 12 January 1931, p. 2."Orders a Mob Inquiry," Kansas City Star, 12 January 1931, p. 2.

"School Used as Negro's Pyre Insured for $1,200," Kansas City Star, 12 January 1931, p. 1.

"Still Fear Mob," Kansas City Star, 12 January 1931, pp. 1-2.

"Task Not Finished Yet," Kansas City Star, 12 January 1931, p. 2.
January 14, 1931 "Lynch with Fire," Kansas City Star, 14 January 1931, p. 2.
January 15, 1931 "A Probe of Lynching," Kansas City Star, 15 January 1931, p. 1.

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Kansas City Times
December 18, 1930 "Stalked by Her Slayer," Kansas City Times, 18 December 1930, p. 3.
December 19, 1930 "Slayer of Teacher," Kansas City Times, 19 December 1930, pp. 1-2.
December 22, 1930 "The Negro Killer Here," Kansas City Times, 22 December 1930, p. 1.
December 23, 1930 "Gunn to Fight for Life, "Kansas City Times, 23 December 1930, p. 1.
January 13, 1931 "After the Lynching - What?," Kansas City Times, 13 January 1931, p. 1.

"Crowds on the Street of Maryville," Kansas City Times, 13 January 1931, p. 5."Guard Chief to Explain," Kansas City Times, 13 January 1931, p. 2.

"Maryville Lynching is the Sixth in Missouri in Ten Years," Kansas City Times, 13 January 1931, p. 2.

"Maryville Police Chief Was Invited to the Lynching," Kansas City Times, 13 January 1931, p. 1.

"Missouri In Shame," Kansas City Times, 13 January 1931, p. D.

"No Move on Mob," Kansas City Times, 13 January 1931, pp. 1-2.

"Once a Model School," Kansas City Times, 13 January 1931, p. 2.

"Photographic Record of the Burning of Raymond Gunn, Negro, on the Roof of a School House near Maryville," Kansas City Times, 13 January 1931, p. 3.

"Rake Coals of the Pyre," Kansas City Times, 13 January 1931, pp. 1-2.

"Smith is Held in Omaha," Kansas City Times, 13 January 1931, p. 2.
January 14, 1931 "State Police Need Seen," Kansas City Times, 14 January 1931, p. 1.
January 15, 1931 "Refused Aid for Negro," Kansas City Times, 15 January 1931, p. 3

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Maryville Daily Forum
December 17, 1930 "City Papers Send Men to Cover the Murder Story," Maryville Daily Forum, 17 December 1930, p. 1.

"Garrett Teacher is Murdered in School by an Unknown Fiend: Velma Colter, 20 is Assaulted and Slain by Moron," Maryville Daily Forum, 17 December 1930, pp. 1-2.

"Hundreds Rush to School Where Girl was Slain," Maryville Daily Forum, 17 December 1930, pp. 1-2.

"Miss Colter Made Fine Record in College Here," Maryville Daily Forum, 17 December 1930, p. 1.

"Murdered Girl has a Desperate Fight with Moron," Maryville Daily Forum, 17 December 1930, p. 1.

"National Guardsmen Volunteer Services to Police Officers," Maryville Daily Forum, 17 December 1930, p. 1.

"Reward is Being Raised for Capture of Girl's Murderer," Maryville Daily Forum, 17 December 1930, p. 1.
December 18, 1930 "Church Packed for the Final Colter Service," Maryville Daily Forum, 18 December 1930, p. 1.

"Fear that Fiend May Return Grips Most of County," Maryville Daily Forum, 18 December 1930, p. 1.

"No Definite Clues in Murder Case are Discovered - Scores of Persons are Subjected to Close Questioning," Maryville Daily Forum, 18 December 1930, pp. 1-2.

"Tragedy Occurred Thirty Years Ago at Garrett School," Maryville Daily Forum, 18 December 1930, p. 1.
December 19, 1930 "Club Negro Used to Kill Teacher is Found Nearby," Maryville Daily Forum, 19 December 1930, p. 2.

"Confessed Slayer of School Teacher," Maryville Daily Forum, 19 December 1930, p. 1.
December 19, 1930 "Coroner's Jury Finds Negro Did Horrible Crime," Maryville Daily Forum, 19 December 1930, p. 1.

"First Steps are Taken to Exact Murder Penalty," Maryville Daily Forum, 19 December 1930, p. 1.

"Movement to Add to Reward Fund Gains Momentum," Maryville Daily Forum, 19 December 1930, p. 1.

"Murderer Confesses," Maryville Daily Forum, 19 December 1930, p. 1.

"Slayer's Earlier Conviction Cast Suspicion on Him," Maryville Daily Forum, 19 December 1930, p. 1.

"Witnesses Tell Gruesome Tale Before Jurors," Maryville Daily Forum, 19 December 1930, pp. 1-2.
December 20, 1930 "Effort to Link Gunn with Omaha Murders is Made," Maryville Daily Forum, 20 December 1930, p. 1."Iron-Clad Case is Being Built Against Slayer," Maryville Daily Forum, 20 December 1930, pp. 1 & 4.

"Religion Would Have Prevented Negro's Crime," Maryville Daily Forum, 20 December 1930, p. 4."Several Ask for Job as Teacher of Garrett School," Maryville Daily Forum, 20 December 1930, p. 1.
December 22, 1930 "No Special Grand Jury," Maryville Daily Forum, 22 December 1930, p. 5."Slayer is Taken to Jefferson City Jail after Mob Threat," Maryville Daily Forum, 22 December 1930, pp. 1 & 5.
December 23, 1930 "Murder Case is Being Prepared with Great Care," Maryville Daily Forum, 23 December 1930, p. 1.
December 24, 1930 "C. of C. Thanks St. Joseph Police for Their Help," Maryville Daily Forum, 24 December 1930, p. 1."Preparations are Being Made to Arraign Gunn," Maryville Daily Forum, 24 December 1930, p. 1.
December 26, 1930 "Gunn is Brought here and Charged with Murder - to Plead Not Guilty," Maryville Daily Forum, 26 December 1930, p. 1.
December 27, 1930 "Sheriff Denies he Advocated a Change of Venue," Maryville Daily Forum, 27 December 1930, pp. 1-2.
December 30, 1930 "Play Leading Roles in Gunn Case," Maryville Daily Forum, 30 December 1930, p. 1. (Photograph)
December 31, 1930 "Gunn Case on Docket," Maryville Daily Forum, 31 December 1930, p. 1.
January 8, 1931 "Gunn Case Again Dominates Talk on Streets Here," Maryville Daily Forum, 8 January 1931, p. 1.
January 9, 1931 "Sheriff England does not Expect a Mob Outbreak," Maryville Daily Forum, 9 January 1931, p. 1.
January 12, 1931 "Colored People Remain in Hiding; Many Leave," Maryville Daily Forum, 12 January 1931, p. 2.

"Doubt that Smith had any Part in Teacher's Murder," Maryville Daily Forum, 12 January 1931, p. 1.

"Girl was Found Dead in School on December 16," Maryville Daily Forum, 12 January 1931, p. 1.

"Governor won't Issue Statement on Mob Outbreak," Maryville Daily Forum, 12 January 1931, p. 1.
January 12, 1931 "Gunn Goes to Death with Little Sign of Fear - Mob Made Plans Carefully," Maryville Daily Forum, 12 January 1931, p. 1.

"Leadership in Mob Evidenced by Orderliness," Maryville Daily Forum, 12 January 1931, p. 1.

"Lynching of Gunn was Sixth in State in Last 10 Years," Maryville Daily Forum, 12 January 1931, p. 1.

"Many College Students Miss Class this Morning," Maryville Daily Forum, 12 January 1931, p. 2.

"National Guard was Prepared to Protect Negro," Maryville Daily Forum, 12 January 1931, p. 1.

"Negro Murderer is Chained to Roof of Garrett School and Burned to Death by Mob," Maryville Daily Forum, 12 January 1931, p. 1.

"Raymond Gunn," Maryville Daily Forum, 12 January 1931, p. 2. (Photograph)"Regrettable Incident, The Officers Say," Maryville Daily Forum, 12 January 1931, p. 1.

"Gunn Burned," Maryville Daily Forum Extra, 12 January 1931, p. 1.
January 13, 1931 "Clears 'Shike' Smith: Prosecutor Says Negro had no Part in Murder," Maryville Daily Forum, 13 January 1931, p. 1.

"Judge Reeves has not Decided to Call Grand Jury," Maryville Daily Forum, 13 January 1931, p. 1.

"Mob Dismantles School Interior Preparatory to Burning Negro," Maryville Daily Forum, 13 January 1931, p. 2.

"No Caulfield Comment: Governor has no Statement on Lynching Here," Maryville Daily Forum, 13 January 1931, p. 1.

"Normal Routine is Resumed Here After Lynching," Maryville Daily Forum, 13 January 1931, p. 1.
January 13, 1931 "Resolution for Investigation of Lynching Fails," Maryville Daily Forum, 13 January 1931, pp. 1-2.

"Sheriff Gives Reason for Not Calling Militia," Maryville Daily Forum, 13 January 1931, pp. 1-2.

"Where Killer Met Death on Pyre," Maryville Daily Forum, 13 January 1931, p. 4. (Photograph)
January 14, 1931 "Mound City Men Resent Rumors They Led Mob," Maryville Daily Forum, 14 January 1931, p. 1.

"Sheriff Refused Offer of Militia Lawyer Declares," Maryville Daily Forum, 14 January 1931, p. 1.
January 15, 1931 "Legislators Condemn Lynching and Shartel Orders an Investigation," Maryville Daily Forum, 15 January 1931, p.1.
January 16, 1931 "Reward Sent to St. Joseph Police is not Accepted," Maryville Daily Forum, 16 January 1931, p. 1.

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Ravenwood Gazette
December 25, 1930 "Miss Velma Colter Brutally Wounded," Ravenwood Gazette, 25 December 1930, p. 1.
January 15, 1931 "Negro Murderer is Burned by Mob," Ravenwood Gazette, 15 January 1931, p. 1.

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St. Joseph Gazette
December 18, 1930 "Expect Arrest Soon in School Murder," St. Joseph Gazette, 18 December 1930, pp. 1-2.
December 19, 1930 "Negro Confesses Murder of Girl Teacher," St. Joseph Gazette, 19 December 1930, pp. 1-2.

"Negro Exhibits Little Emotion," St. Joseph Gazette, 19 December 1930, pp. 1-2.

"Where Fiend Trapped Girl," St. Joseph Gazette, 19 December 1930, p. 2. (Diagram)
December 20, 1930 "Colter Murder Solved Through Aid of Science," St. Joseph Gazette, 20 December 1930, pp. 1-2."Jail Assault Plan Fizzles Today," St. Joseph Gazette, 20 December 1930, pp. 1-2.
December 21, 1930 "Officers Disperse Mob at County Jail," St. Joseph Gazette, 21 December 1930, p. 1.
December 22, 1930 "Negro Slayer Spirited to Kansas City," St. Joseph Gazette, 22 December 1930, pp. 1-2.
December 23, 1930 "Negro Slayer to Fight Case," St. Joseph Gazette, 23 December 1930, p. 3.
December 26, 1930 "Find Seen as New Evidence Against Gunn," St. Joseph Gazette, 26 December 1930, pp. 1-2.
December 27, 1930 "Venue Change Seems Likely in Gunn Trial," St. Joseph Gazette, 27 December 1930, pp. 1-2.
January 12, 1931 "Will Arraign Negro Slayer This Morning," St. Joseph Gazette, 12 January 1931, pp. 1-2.
January 13, 1931 "Ghastly Pyre Ends on Orgy of Lawless Mob," St. Joseph Gazette, 13 January 1931, pp. 1-2."Lynching of Slayer Not His Concern," St. Joseph Gazette, 13 January 1931, pp. 1-2.
January 14, 1931 "Nodaway County Officials Hold Back," St. Joseph Gazette, 14 January 1931, p. 2."State Inquiry into Lynching is Underway," St. Joseph Gazette, 14 January 1931, pp. 1-2.
January 15, 1931 "Plan Probe of Lynching Today," St. Joseph Gazette, 15 January 1931, pp. 1-2."Still No Move to Investigate," St. Joseph Gazette, 15 January 1931, p. 2.
January 16, 1931 "State Probe of Lynching is Starting," St. Joseph Gazette, 16 January 1931, pp. 1-2.
January 18, 1931 "Maryville Alarmed over Riot Rumors," St. Joseph Gazette, 18 January 1931, sec. A, pp. 1-2.
January 19, 1931 "Fear Subsides at Maryville," St. Joseph Gazette, 19 January 1931, p. 1.

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St. Louis Post Dispatch
January 12, 1931 "60 Militiamen Within Call When Mob Seized Negro," St. Louis Post Dispatch, 12 January 1931, pp. 1-2A.

"Maryville Lynching Sixth in Missouri in Last Ten Years," St. Louis Post Dispatch, 12 January 1931, p. 2A.

"Negro Slayer of Teacher Lynched at Maryville, Missouri Burned with Schoolhouse, St. Louis Post Dispatch, 12 January 1931, pp. 1-2A.

"Witness' Story of Mob Seizure of Negro Slayer," St. Louis Post Dispatch, 12 January 1931, pp. 1-2A.
January 13, 1931 "Didn't Call Out Guards for Fear They'd get Hurt," St. Louis Post Dispatch, 13 January 1931, p. 1A.

"Missouri House Blocks Lynching Inquiry Proposal," St. Louis Post Dispatch, 13 January 1931, p. 1A.
January 14, 1931 "Charges Sheriff Refused Offer of Militia Aid," St. Louis Post Dispatch, 14 January 1931, p. 2A.
January 15, 1931 "Maryville Lynching," St. Louis Post Dispatch, p. 2B. (Editorial)

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Weekly Democrat Forum And Maryville Tribune
December 18, 1930 "Church Packed for the Final Colter Service," Weekly Democrat Forum and Maryville Tribune, 18 December 1930, p. 1.

"Fear that Fiend May Return Grips Most of County," Weekly Democrat Forum and Maryville Tribune, 18 December 1930, p. 1.

"No Definite Clues in Murder Case are Discovered-Scores of Persons are Subjected to Close Questioning," Weekly Democrat Forum and Maryville Tribune, 18 December 1930, p. 1 & 2. (Photograph)

"Rewards Received" Weekly Democrat Forum and Maryville Tribune, 18 December 1930, p. 1.

"Tragedy Occurred Thirty Years Ago at Garrett School," Weekly Democrat Forum and Maryville Tribune, 18 December 1930, p. 1.
December 25, 1930 "C. of C. Thanks St. Joseph Police for their Help," Weekly Democrat Forum and Maryville Tribune, 25 December, 1930 p. 1.

"Let's Help, Not Hinder Justice," Weekly Democrat Forum and Maryville Tribune, 25 December 1930, p. 2. (Editorial)

"Preparations are Being Made to Arraign Gunn," Weekly Democrat Forum and Maryville Tribune, 25 December 1930, p. 1.
January 1, 1931 "Turbulent Year Leaves Unusual Record of News," Weekly Democrat Forum and Maryville Tribune, 1 January 1931, p. 1.
January 8, 1931 "Gunn Case Again Dominates Talk on Streets Here," Weekly Democrat Forum and Maryville Tribune, 8 January 1931, p. 1.
January 15, 1931 "Attorney General Acts After Adam Talks with Caulfield," Weekly Democrat Forum and Maryville Tribune, 15 January 1931, p. 1.

"Legislators Condemn Lynching and Shartel Orders an Investigation," Weekly Democrat Forum and Maryville Tribune, 15 January 1931, p. 1.

"Mob Outbreak is Called Barbarous in House Resolution," Weekly Democrat Forum and Maryville Tribune, 15 January 1931, p. 1.

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Books in Owens Library containing information about the incident:

Title Location Call Number
Maryville to Mobville: the Lynching of Raymond Gunn Missouriana M 378.778 M67th, v.123
Missouri Bittersweet Special Collections 917.78 K16m
Missouri General Assembly, 1912 - 1976 3rd Floor 353.977 M67m
Tales of Nodaway County: A Book Representative of Stories and Unusual Tales Missouriana 977.812 N76t
Special Collections 977.812 N76t
Tragedy of Lynching 3rd Floor 364.134 R21t

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