Created By: North Dakota State University
When Moorhead was just a small tent town and before then had any law and order, there was a lot of chaos. In 1872, There was a big shootout between Slim Jim Shumway and Shang Stanton in what is now known as the home goods section in Herbergers in Moorhead. According to the Saint Cloud Journal, a “couple of desperadoes” on Thursday night had a gun fight with revolvers in Moorhead. The shooting happened due to an argument that started the night before by a gambling affair.
The next day, Shumway headed off with two revolvers in hand, to look for Stanton, demanding a retraction of something he had said the evening before. Stanton refused, and both men fired their revolvers. Slim Jim Shumway was shot thought the stomach, but unfortunately lived. He was not every well liked. Stanton did not receive any damage, however, a bystander by the name of Daniel Thompson, was also struck by a stray bullet in the groin and was killed. Stanton escaped, and the public opinion ran in his favor since he was the one that was attacked. Eventually Stanton was arrested. The people of Moorhead were disappointed that Shumway did not die of his gunshot wounds right away, he was a very disliked man.
This shooting did bring law to Moorhead, people were disgruntled by the fact that there was no one to lay down any rulings. A mob formed to find people to make laws. Eventually Stanton was arrested, Jim Blanchard became the first sheriff of Moorhead, and Solomon Comstock became the County Attorney.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Moorhead Historic Preservation Driving Tour