Tag Archives: William West

The Murder of Pony Cash

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

The murder of Oliver Springs Marshal, Henry J. “Pony” Cash, by William West in 1904 created an interesting legal question. Do you try the murderer in the county from which he fired the fatal shot? Or do you try him in the county in which the victim drops dead? This is what happened in this unusual case. Oliver Springs sits where three counties (Roane, Anderson, and Morgan) come together. William West fired the fatal shot from the Anderson County side while Pony Cash was killed on the Roane County side. Finally, it was decided that the trial would be heard in Roane County since Pony was murdered there. However, many depositions in the case file always asked the question of where William West and Pony Cash were located when the fatal event occurred. Pony Cash and his six-year-old son were on their way to hear Ralph Bingham, who was a well-known speaker at the time when he was shot four times by West. He was probably killed almost instantly as he died without speaking. The trial of William West went forward in Roane County, and he was convicted and sentenced to ten years in the penitentiary. Pony Cash is buried in the Oliver Springs Cemetery (which is located in Roane County!).

Originally Written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, July 2013.