Name: Galba Edward BRANSON
Birth: 18 MAY 1841 in Gasconade County, Missouri
Death: 4 JUL 1889 in Kirbyville, Taney County, Missouri
Burial: High Gate Cemetery, Taney County, Missouri
Galba Edward Branson was a Corporal in the 34th Regiment Co. F. He enlisted in August of 1862 at Canaan, Gasconade County, Missouri and was called to active duty on April 28th of 1864 at Jakes Prairie and discharged November 10th of 1864. He was the son of Valentine and Alpha Branson and was born on May 18, 1841 at New Woollam in Gasconade County, Missouri.
Galba's youngest daughter, Nancy F. had a twin brother that died at birth and their mother passed away about two weeks later on December 4, 1880. Galba brought his children to his mother Alpha, who was living at Brookline Station, which is near Springfield, the only child he did take to his mother was the baby Nancy Francis. Nancy was raised by her aunt, a sister to her mother, a Mrs. Cox.
Galba came to Taney County in 1881 and homesteaded 160 acres six miles north of the town of Branson, in the Oak Grove community. Galba was a sheriff of Taney County when he was killed by the Miles boys (Bill, Jim and Manuel). Also was killed at this same time was Ed Funk, a United States Marshall.
The following is the account of the shooting of Galba E. Branson and Ed Funk.
Willful Murder: from Forsyth, Taney County News: July 11, 1889
Last Thursday evening, July 4th, Taney County was again shocked and the law abiding people were thrown into a frenzy of rage and excitement by the report that Sherriff Galba Branson and detective Ed Funk had been murdered by the Miles boys at a picnic at Kirbyville. At about four o'clock in the afternoon. The writer of this story went at once to the scene of the terrible tradegy and succeeded in learning the following fasts as given by eye witnesses. The picnic had been a most quiet and enjoyable affair until just before the killings. Sheriff Branson was informed that the Miles boys were displaying their pistols a short distance away from the crowd, near a spring and that they had been drinking some during the day, it was thought best to disarmed them. Which Sheriff Branson proceeded to do taking with him Detective Funk, who proceeded Branson by about 20 or 30 feet. On arriving where the boys were standing, Funk stopped within 10 or 12 feet of Bill Miles and asked if he was armed, at the same time saying, "I will have to arrest you Miles." Miles answered by saying yes and making a padd to draw his weapon. At this time Funk drew his pistol and held it on Miles. As he did this, Jim Miles, who was standing about 20 feet from Funk's right, fired at Funk hitting him near the right breast bone, the ball passing out under the left arm. Funk reeled and as he was falling Jim shot him again, the ball entering the back under his left shoulder blade.
Several indiscriminate shots were fired by Bill Miles or someone near him, at Sheriff Branson. One of the balls striking Sheriff Branson in the left cheek and lodging near the brain, another entering his left thigh just above the knee. It was estimated there were about thirteen shots fired by all parties.
As soon as Sheriff Branson and Funk had fallen to the ground, the three Miles boys, Bill, James and Emanuel ran into the dense brush about twenty feet away where it was said someone was holding their horses in readiness for a rapid flight from the grounds. The plan was undoubtedly planned before any disturbances occurred, and which was witnessed by seventy-five or a hundred people.
It was sometime before those present could realize what had occurred, but as soon as the excitement had partially abated, over one hundred men mounted their horses and started in pursuit of the murderous trio. But, owing to the densely timbered section of the county and rapid approach of night, no trace of the criminals could be found. Saturday morning, was when Jim Miles was captured in an old cabin about two and one half miles southeast of Forsyth where he was compelled to come to a halt owing to the seriousness of his wounds and the loss of blood. He was brought to Forsyth that evening and was lodged in jail and received the medical services of Dr. Johnson and Burdich.
Bill MIles continued his flight and on Tuesday evening a dispatch was received from Judge Hubbard that Bill had been captured near Springfield, and was there in jail. Nothing as of yet was heard of Emanuel. As soon as possible after the shooting at Kirbyville, Justice George Miranda impaneled a jury and an inquest was held over the bodies of the two dead men, resulting in the verdict of a willful murder against the Miles boys. Sheriff Branson and his Deputy were buried near the formers home the following day, being followed to their graves by one of the largest and most sympathic processions ever witnessed in this County. It has been estimated that there had been over six hundred men in their saddles in search of the murderers since their escape. It seemed to be almost a universal determination to see these men brought to justice. It was apparent for awhile that there might be more violence should the men be captured. But better council has prevailed, and now that they are safe in custody nothing of the kind need be anticipated, unless the friends of the murderers attempt a rescue or make an effort to evade a just administration of the civil laws. The fear of the springing of the original Bald Knobbers sentiment and the killers who were strong anti's. But little has been said on this occassion by either faction, the prevailing idea, seemingly to be to harmonize all citizens who, by their acts and deeds, have shown a dispostion to see that the law is enforced and it is hoped that the lawless element will take warning and hunt a more congenial climate, or mend their ways and prevent occurrences of the past few days. There are a large number of men who deserve special praise for their untiring efforts in aid of the late officers to capture Bill and Jim Miles. The bereaved family of the late Sheriff Branson have the sympathy of the entire county.
Special Dispatch to the Globe Democrat ---- Ozark County, September 6, 1890
Bill and Jim Miles are once more free men. The jury sworn to try the two brothers for the murder of Sheriff Galba E. Branson of Taney county, Missouri, having returned a verdict of not guilty at seven o'clock this morning. The jury, after being out for fourteen hours stood eleven to one in favor of an acquittal. The jury argued the case all night. A little before seven o'clock this morning the foreman, who had favored a verdict of murder in the second degree announced to prosecuting attorney Delong of Taney County who entered a Natle Proseque in the other case for the murder of Detective Ed Funk, in which Judge Hubbard formally discharged the defendants. The Miles boys were warmly congratulated by their Taney County friends, who had watched the trial with so much partesia interest. The friends of the deceased Sheriff had expected an acquittal but many of them expressed some gloomy fears of the effect that the verdict would have.
Father: Valentine BRANSON b: 21 JAN 1810 in Patrick County, Virginia
Mother: Alpha M. SHERRILL b: 15 FEB 1819 in Bledsoe County, Tennessee
Eliza Ann COOPER b: ABT. 1845
9 OCT 1863
in Woollam, Gasconade County Missouri
- Nancy Frances BRANSON b: 23 OCT 1880 in New Woollam, Gasconade County, Missouri
- Charles BRANSON b: 23 OCT 1880 in New Woollam, Gasconade County, Missouri
in Gasconade County, Missouri