One Nation, Under God

Phillips County Museum News for Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023

In the fall of 1902, Lear Humphrey, a Malta High School teacher was running for Valley County Superintendent of Schools (Malta was still part of Valley County at that time). Not everyone supported her run for office. In fact, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction came to Malta earlier in the fall to straighten out trouble between Miss Humphrey and the Valley County Superintendent of Schools. Miss Humphrey’s brother was a popular Glasgow businessman. J. R. Stephens, a Glasgow area stockman and deputy collector of customs, was not supporting the candidacy. The two gentlemen got into an argument in the Greenman Brothers saloon in Glasgow.

Shots were fired and Humphrey was killed. Three other men were injured, two seriously. A coroner’s jury returned a verdict of justifiable homicide. Miss Humphrey eventually became the County Superintendent of Schools.

Visit the Phillips County Museum to discover historical facts. Museum hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


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