Honor Roll

William E. Tibbett

Bakersfield City Marshal Thomas Jefferson Packard and Deputy Marshal William E. Tibbet were shot and killed in a shoot out with outlaw Jim McKinney. McKinney was also killed in the shoot out.

“McKinney’s head shattered with a load of buckshot. But not before city Marshal Jeff Packard and Deputy Marshal Will Tibbet had been done to death by the murderer.” (headline in the Daily Californian evening paper April 20, 1903)

Jim McKinney is in the morgue with his head shattered by a charge of buckshot fired by Bert Tibbet. City Marshal Packard lies cold in death from wounds received from the outlaw McKinney. Will Tibbet is dead from a rifle ball supposed to have been fired by Al Hulse. Hulse is in the county jail.

Bert Tibbet, brother of the dead officer, (William Tibbet) and who shot McKinney to death tells graphically the story of the battle in the back yard of the Hop Joint on L Street. He said “We left the jail at about ten o’clock, there were in the party Sheriff Kelly and Deputy Baker, Tower, my brother Will and myself, Sheriff Collins and Lovin, and City Marshal Packard, and Deputy Etter. Kelly and Lovin rode together, and Jeff and Bill were in Jeff’s buggy, Quinn was in the hack with the rest of us.

It was agreed that Jeff and Bill should search the house while the rest of us guarded the corners. Kelly and I took up our station in front of the house. It seemed to me that it was 15 minutes after the boys entered the house, before the shots were fired. I ran across towards the rear entrance, Etter was ahead of me. He had broken down the gate and was firing at McKinney, who stood in the doorway, I saw Jeff standing at the turn of the closet. He was bleeding with his arms shattered. I thought McKinney was in the closet and called to Jeff asking, “No he isn’t in here, look out Bert look out for God’s sake he’ll get you. He’s in the door.” Just then I saw Mc Kinney standing in the door and I fired hitting him in the neck. He staggered back and went over to the window where Tower shot him.

Packard fired through the open door and McKinney shot him in the neck, knocking him out through the rear door. Tibbet was shot from the side, the ball passing through the kidneys. When Bert Tibbet and Etter broke into the back yard, Will Tibbet was lying on the ground and McKinney was shooting at Packard who was at the corner of the closet. It was here that the Marshal was so grievously wounded in the arms.