From the Big Stone Gap Post, November 5, 1903
Killed at Fairview in Scott County
A horrible affair occurred at Fairview, in Scott County, on Tuesday morning, as a result of dissatisfaction over judges of the election. It seems that John Catron and John Barnett, two Republican politicians objected to the Republican judge, Callaoway Roler, the electoral board had appointed for the voting precinct at Fairview, and wanted Ira Robinette to take his place. the Democratic judges, one of whom was Eck Njckels, objected to Robinette and would not let him serve. After wrangling for some times over the matter Catron and Barnett went away, but returned in a short time to a back door of the house in which the election was being held, rushed in upon the officers and commenced to firing at them. Catron shot Nickels and Barnett shot Osborne. Nickels being shot in the back of the head and Osborne in the back near the heart. When the firing began, and after being shot Nickels drew his gun and shot Catron through the neck. The firing continued for some time and when the smoke cleared away Nickels and Osborn were dead and Catron seriously wounded and two other men, whose names we failed to learn, hit with stray bullets.
Immediately after the shooting Barnett fled and has not yet been captured.
Catron is seriously wounded and his recovery is doubtful.
The affair is a most deplorable one and from the reports of the occurence there seems to be but little doubt that the attack on the election judges was planned. The community is greatly excited over the affair and there is likely to be further trouble.
Another report of the affair is that Nickels fired the first shot.
Osbourne, one of the men killed, was a deputy sheriff and had gone to the polls to help preserve order.
Transcribed (misspellings intentional) from an article in the Big Stone Gap Post, by Patty Jones, December 29, 2018