“These stories,” said Mrs. Krippen, “were told to my father during thetwenties by Mr. Pettit of Black Fork and Mr. T. A. Castleberry of Fort Smith. I feel thatPeter K. must have been a just man, full of courage, loyal to his friends, but not the kindof man you would want to anger. I am sure”, says Mrs. Krippen, “he must have made agreat many enemies in trying to uphold the law.”The murder of Peter K. Beam was not the only killing that occurred in ScottCounty in those times; more than 30 murders took place in the time san known as theWALDRON WAR. Part of the unrest stemmed from the appointment of Nat A. Floyd assheriff under the Hadley Administration. Floyd’s unpopularity, as a Northerner, becamea point of contention and the violence which ensued resulted in his leaving the county. A plot to kill Floyd was revealed by Peter K., who before a grand jury refused to divulge hissource of information, an action which may have led to his death. A man by the name of Jeff Jones(wanted poster says Jack Jones), brother of John Jackson was pin-pointed as themurderer of Peter K., but was never convicted, and could not be found locally. Wheninvolvement of Jones with many of the murders became accepted fact, and Jones finallywas located near Ft. Smith, he refused to testify because protection from the governor was not forthcoming.Some Scott County officials and even physicians were among the suspects in themurder. Peter K. blamed the death of his daughter Mattie A. Beam in 1868 on faultymedical practice of a physician who was active politically. The instrument of her deathmay well have been the hypodermic needle which was first made its appearance on alarge scale during the Civil War. The invention of the hollow needle in 1844 wasfollowed by the invention of the syringe with which to operate it in 1855. These medicalinnovations placed the needle in the hands of physicians ill-trained to use it. The work of Louis Pasteur and his germ theory were not accepted fact until 1874. Unwise use of theneedle in inexperienced hands can cause death today – air bubble forced into the bloodstream, unrefrigerated serum, dirty needles.Malpractice suits in those years were unheard of, medical service so valued, sothat public murmuring, if any, were hushed up and forgotten. Whatever the case, Peter K. blamed the physician publicly for his daughter’s death in 1868.The aforesaid physician’s political zeal led him to ally himself with the bushwhacker and in later life commented on deeds committed in their escapades. On oneoccasion, he related, he and his fellow-patriots cornered a victim, tied a rope around hisneck and another around his feet; then having secured the ropes to the saddle horns, theyrode off in different directions and pulled the man apart. Such were the atrocities of thetimes.Peter K. Beam, his first wife Martha J. Beam (1840), and daughter Martha A.Beam (1861) are buried in Sanders Cemetery Cedar Creek. As was the case in many of the 30 murders of that era, this one was never solved. More than a century later there isno headstone for Peter K. Beam.