Story of William Edward McWaters son of Hugh McWaters and Mary Salmon
McWaters, William. Born in Platte County, Missouri in 1844, his parents having come from Kentucky. At age 12, he joined pro-slavery raiders at Osawatomie, Kansas. At the beginning of the Civil War, he joined a company of guerillas who burned the Platte River Bridge and caused the wreck of a Hannibal and St. Joseph train whick killed many. He then enlisted with Jim Gladdin's band and fought under Price for six months. On returning to Bee Creek in Platte County, he found his parents home burned, his father and brother killed by militia, and the rest of his family banished. He killed Captain Cheesman and 30 or 40 of his men who were quartered in the neighborhood.
He was Lawrence, August 21, 1863. He was with Anderson and was assisted by a woman named Jennie Mayfield.
Athe the end of the war, he kept a saloon in Platte City where he shot a man. McWaters' friend John Taylor was shot by the police. McWaters then fled to St. Joseph where his other friend, Fletch Taylor, was shot by the police. McWaters in return shot the policeman.
He went to Wyoming with the help of Missouri friends and here he married Miss Susie Davis. In 1873, he shot and killed Dr. Wolfe in Wyoming. In 1874, John Cook and McWaters shot an innocent man in Dodd's saloon in Nebraska City, Nebraska. They were caught and locked up in an iron cage. But one evening, when the guards were shifting them, they managed to steal arms and drove the guards into the cage and locked them in and escaped by horseback which had been placed outside by friends.
In the Indian nation, they split up and McWaters, who had a large reward out for him, was again caught in Hays City, Kansas. While the sheriff was preparing the prison to make it safe for him, McWaters managed to lock up the six men inside
On his way north, he shot and killed a Blackfoot Indian over a bottle of whiskey, In 1875 he still had the Indian's blanket wht the bullet holes in it.
Next in Sparta, Baker County, Oregon, while visiting some relatives, he had a famous needle gun and kill a George Weed, with whom he had a quarrel in a gambling house. The man had gone of in the distance and was wearing a blue soldier's coat. McWaters could not resist the temptation to shoot him in the back where he had aimed at his brass buttons. He escaped to Sacramento with a new reward on him of $1000.
Sheriff Furber of Nebraska City trailed McWaters and Tom Tippet, who once lived in the Seymour House with McWaters. Furber spotted McWaters and arrested him and brought him back to Nebraska City. He was sentenced to 20 years hard labor in the Lincoln, Nebraska Penitentiary.
He had a wife and two children. He also had a dozen scars on his person and bullet holes in his body. Ref: Lee's Summit Ledger, January 9, 1875.