The Shooting Death of  Enos B. Hylton July 24, 1891.





Enos Byrd Hylton was born Nov 1853, one of the eleven children born to Manuel H Hilton and his wife Nancy Jesse. He married October 7, 1875 in Scott County, Virginia to Helen C. Salyers.  Their known children were: 

      1.  Suther Hylton, born January 1882 in Virginia

      2.  Elijah Hylton, born 1884 in Kentucky

      3.  Clarence Hylton, born 1884 in Kentucky

      4.  Henry Millard Hylton, born in Kentucky


Helen was the daughter of Logan H. N. Salyer and his first wife Clarinda J. Godsey.  Samuel was married 4 times: 

      Clarinda J. Godsey

      Clary Day Nottingham

      Nannie Calhoun

      Sarah Combs


After the death of Enos B. Hylton, Helen C. (Salyers) Hylton married second to Judge Solomon E. Baker son of William and Elmira Baker, on  September 13, 1893 in Wise County, Virginia. 

On the 25th of July, 1891, Enos B. Hylton, who a short time before had been appointed a policeman in the town of Norton, Wise County, Virginia, had taken Miles Bates into custody.  On the day of the shooting Hylton  had a warrant for the arrest of one Miles Bates, a desperate character of the region, then wanted for larceny, the theft of a watch and pistol.  Hylton had accomplished his arrest when Talton Hall saw him taking his prisoner down the railroad tracks where he would across a field, diagonally from the town. Talton knew a precarious attempt to free Bates would be risky because Hylton had impulsively made known that he had vowed his determination to arrest the outlaw Talton Hall if he ever got the opportunity; but Talton made his way to the tracks and overtook them.   

When Talt came up to Enos Hylton with Miles Bates in his custody, he demanded the release of the prisoner, which Hylton, of course, refused. Of course, Talton knew Hylton would not give up his prisoner easily and began to draw his gun to enforce his request. Later on it was Talton's contention that he acted in self -defense, but upon this refusal and before Hylton had time to draw a weapon or say anything further, Hall immediately pulled out a 38 caliber pistol and shot him, the ball passing clear through him, inflicting a mortal wound from which death resulted in a few hours.  At his trial Talt pled that the killing was done in a mutual combat, and without deliberation; but the attempt failed. The crime appeared to have been willfully and deliberately committed, and but possibly with extenuating circumstances.

John J. Wolfe and Elbert Kilgore were in Norton, Wise County, Virginia that day and were going from West Norton to the depot yard when they heard the pistol shot about half way up the yard, probably just 150 to 200 yards away. They turned to their right at the sound and saw the three men in a scuffle and the man they afterwards leaned was Enos Hylton was in the middle. It didn't look as if Hall had hold of Hylton and the first shot could not have hit him in the breast, as it ranged down and went into the ground.  

Just as they turned around, a second shot was fired and Kilgore not only heard but saw the tall man that shot this time, but he did not see any smoke from the pistol. It was the tall man that was wearing a straw hat pulled down. Tthe pistol was close to Hylton's breast and there was little doubt it had missed him.  Wolfe said he knew  this shot could not  have gone in the ground.  The two men were standing to each side of Hylton, one holding his the left arm and other man holding the right. The man on the left pushed Hylton back and fired the shot that struck Hyltons chest. The two men had walked off  25 or 30 steps when Hylton fell the to ground and got up, then fell again.  The two men continued to walk down the road and turned into Stone Mountain where they met a man and stopped a second or two, then walked slowly down the track another 100 to 150 yards. One of the men wore a straw hat. There were two law men and one tall man and two of the men walked off. 

Wolfe and Kilgore walked over to where Hylton was and could see where the ball had come out of his back between his shoulder blades. Bill Renfro, Bill Addington, Charles Neel and Bill Bates were already there when Wolfe and Kilgore  got there.  Hylton was lying on his back when we got there and we did not examine him.  He saw Charles Neal leaving and he got a pistol out of Hylton's pocket. Hylton asked for some water.  

Hall claimed that he had never seen Hylton before that day, which was possibly true; but it is not believed that the murderer's only motive was the refusal of Hylton to turn his prisoner loose. Facts have been elicited since the trial, which throw some light on the matter. First, Hall had taken Franklin Salyers wife, Lucinda Salyer. He had fallen in love with her and it seemed the passion was mutual, so Talt was there when Franklin left Lucinda. They had  eloped.  But Lucinda was a sister in-law of Enos Hylton and it hadn't set well with the Hylton family.  Talton alleged that he acted in self-defense, 

Helen Hylton, wife of Enos, had seen her husband about an hour before he was shot and came to where he lay wounded at a railroad shack about  2 o'clock, an hour after the incident.   Blood was oozing out of his breast and he was suffering the agonies of death which last until 2 o'clock a.m. the next morning.  

She said, "When I first went to him after he was shot he said Helen it is a death shot this time. He said that he wanted to go home when he died and then said he wanted to go to Heaven when he died. I never heard him say that he thought he was going to die or thought he would die. After he was taken home he revived up and I thought we might be able to save him and wouldn't let any one talk to him. He was in as good health as he had been since he was shot in the face. Every body knows he had not been very well since he was wounded in the face."  

The last murder that Talton Hall confessed to was the murder of Enoch Byrd Hylton, a policeman at Wise Court House.

   Information compiled and submitted by: Nancy Vance Glover 


The material on this webpage holds a copyright  2010 by  Nancy Wright Bays &  Patty May Brashear                    

                         Back To  Main Page 

                           Wright Roots-Bates Branches