October 18, 1908
Two Democratic editors met on the streets of Independence yesterday and made "copy" for the Kansas City newspapers. W. N. Southern, Sr., is the editor of the Independence Sentinel, and W. F. Brightman is the editor of his "loathed contemporary," the Daily Democrat. Both men are well along in years. There has been bad blood between them for some time. Trouble between the two has been barely averted on several occasions.
A few days ago the Sentinel, which is an independent Democratic paper, ran up to its mast head nearly all of the Republican county candidates, on the score that the men had served the people well and should be re-elected, while others were men who ought to be tried. A few days after this issue the Daily Democrat came out in an article stating in broad terms that the Sentinel had "sold out to the Republicans" and its action "was of little consequence, as it had no influence in the politics of Jackson county."
Those who knew the fighting editor of the Sentinel looked for trouble to occur at any time. Days slipped by but the men did not meet. Yesterday, about noon, Editor Brightman got off a car near the square on Lexington street and going to the sidewalk began reading a paper. Editor Southern clutched his cane and started for the other Democratic editor. Getting close to him he brought the stick down with the force of resentment on the head of his brother Democratic light-bearer.. His "esteemed contemporary," after the first jolt fell back but quickly recovered his equilibrium and started after Editor Southern, who had passed on up the street. Brightman caught Southern and being the heavier of the two soon brought him to earth. Grabbing the Sentinel's editor by the head he proceeded to bump it on the stone sidewalk near the Chrisman-Sawyer bank building. There is a hollow cut in the stone, to allow the water to pass from the sidewalk, and into this receptacle the editor of the Democrat proceeded to push the head of the editor of the Sentinel.
Editor Southern was getting much of the worst of the fight when some one exclaimed: "He's getting his knife." The steel blade of Editor Southern's knife came out and Mr. Brightman laid heavy on the arm that wielded the blade. Notwithstanding this the smaller man with the knife commenced to get in his work on his antagonist.
J. M. Jarvis, manager of the Lyric, who is also a special officer, separated the men, but not until the knife had cut slits in the clothing of Editor Brightman. Both men were hurried away bleeding. The editor of the Democrat was taken to the office of Dr. Sheley, where it was found the knife wounds were of no consequence, but dangerously near an artery, which , if clipped by the knife, would probably have been fatal.
Brightman, who is afflicted with heart disease, succumbed into drowsiness and remained in a semi-comatose condition until late in the night. Dr. Sheley does not anticipate any trouble from the knife wound, but is doubtful about other physical conditions. Late last evening the wounded editor was resting easy.
Editor Southern was around on the streets again shortly after the altercation. He was a little bit under the weather on account of the gash in his head, which came in contact with the sidewalk, but was not troubled otherwise.
As both men run Democratic publications it has stirred up the Democracy to considerable extent, some taking sides with one publication and some the other. Editor Southern denies the charge that a single line of his paper has been sold and in any event as he owns the publication he claims the right to support any candidate he cares to without criticisms in public print.