Illinois · Newspaper clippings

Man shoots another during school recital (1907)

March 23, 1907
Carmi, Illinois
Two men quarrel at a school recital, ending in a fatal shooting

The two men, George Nicholson and John Kerd, had been longtime friends and neighbors. During a school recital, both men criticized the children on stage as they sang. When it was Nicholson’s own daughter’s turn, Kerd remarked on how nervous she seemed which sparked an argument between the two. Children were moved away from the fight to avoid possible flying punches, but Nicholson instead drew a pistol and shot Kerd in the side, killing him instantly.

Despite the story appearing verbatim in several newspapers across the country, I cannot find a grave or death certificate for John Kerd, though Illinois death records are spotty before 1916. I also couldn’t find any punishment Nicholson faced.

Clipping: The Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, IN) Mar 23 1907

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