By Harold Fuller
Last Friday night, January 8, 1886, shortly before ten o’clock, a stabbing fray took place at John Seller’s Saloon in Candelaria up in Pickhande Gulch, which will prove to be the death of Sellers. He has been down town drinking until train time and then heading home, taking Pamposa Padilla, a Mexican lady friend, with him.
George Hewitt drove them up and later stated that when they got there the saloon was closed and locked up. Mr. Sellers crawled through a window with my lantern and found GRA (Grab) Brown, his bartender, asleep in his bed. He pulled Brown out of his bed onto the floor. Brown got back in bed and was pulled out again. Then Grab got out his pocket knife and began cutting Sellers. George Hewitt observed the incident from the window with the light from his lantern, Sellers was found later, in bed, in another part of the saloon. Upon examination of Sellers by Dr. GM Summers, he was found to have had severe cuts around his right nipple, one being a deep cavity wound, and three deep cuts in his stomach.
The Dr. further stated “I consider his case very critical. There is a chance he may recover but his physical condition and age will operate against it”. Sellers stated that he didn’t know how this could have occurred. I guess I pulled Brown off the bed, but I don’t know why Brown and I should have had any trouble, we have always been friends.
Grab Brown was later found in his cabin and stated that “I was in bed asleep, after having a little too much to drink, when the affair began and I hardly knew how it happened. The first thing I knew, I found myself being mauled around and beaten with a lantern. I took out my pocket knife to protect myself. I don’t know how or why the row started.”
Brown then came to town and turned himself over to the Sheriff’s Deputy. He was later released on $1,000 bail. Sellers lived another week in severe agony and before dying stated that he didn’t hold Brown responsible and turned over all of his property to him.
After the death of John H. Sellers, GRA (Grab) Brown had a hearing before Justice Hollard of Candelaria and after examination, was discharged. It appeared from all the testimony and from the statements by Sellers that there was no blame to be attached to him. Sellers had many friends, and it is greatly regretted, but everyone was glad that Brown will have no further trouble on account of this unfortunate affair.