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William Brann, publisher of Iconoclast, is killed in Waco

April
01
1898

On this day in 1898, controversial journalist William Cowper Brann was fatally shot in the back by Tom E. Davis on a Waco street. Brann managed to pull his own gun and kill Davis. Earlier in the decade Brann's newspaper, the Iconoclast, had launched a series of vitriolic attacks, especially on Baptists, Episcopalians, blacks, women, and anything British. He also went after nearby Baylor University, which he called "that great storm-center of misinformation." Brann was subsequently kidnapped on one occasion and beaten on another, and his supporters had a deadly gunfight with Baylor partisans. Davis, who killed Brann, was an irate supporter of Baylor.

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