A Barber Has a Close Shave: The Sisks of Wynne.

A family drama played out  Saturday, July 8, 1922 across two communities in Cross County, Arkansas that left a local barber with a close shave which was not of his choosing. This harrowing and wild event involved Edward Pierce Sisk and his wife Minnie. Edward was a barber living in Wynne along East Union Street.  His wife was named Minnie and they had two children.  Although being in love, their married life was anything but peaceful and serene.

It all started Friday night when Edward came home riding in a car driven by Gus Rose of Parkin.  Gus’s wife Lucy was with them, along with a large stash of whiskey.  All three had apparently been partaking of these spirits before pulling up into the Sisk driveway.  When Edward attempted to enter his home with the liquor, he was confronted by Minnie who opened fire on the Rose car.  Gus and his wife quickly cleared out leaving the guilty Edward behind. After a long conversation, he agreed to break off his relations with the couple in the morning and peace returned to East Union street for the remainder of the night.  It wouldn’t last long though.

On Saturday morning, the compliant barber and husband got into his car in order to travel to Parkin where the Roses lived. Apparently Minnie didn’t trust him because she pulled her pistol and got into the back seat ordering her husband to drive.  When they got to the Rose home in Parkin, the couple entered the house.  After explaining why she was there, Edward grabbed his wife. While he was holding her, Lucy Rose began to beat her with clinched fists. Somehow Minnie drew her pistol and began to fire..  One shot struck her husband in the throat and another passed through Lucy’s ear.  A third was fired at Gus Rose who was in the process of escaping through a screen door. When the police arrived, Edward was carried to a hospital in Memphis and Minnie went to jail.

According to newspapers, this was second time Minnie had given Edward a close shave with her revolver. Several years before, Minnie had shot at her husband when she came home to a poker game.  When he told her she couldn’t come in, Minnie pulled her pistol and started firing. Although she missed Edward, another man involved in the game was hit.  Poker night at the Sisk home ended.

Apparently no charges were filed after this second incident of marital confrontation. The Rose family stayed in Parkin and the unlucky barber recovered. It’s not known whether Edward and Minnie stayed together, but this author’s belief is they probably did. Edward Pierce Sisk passed away on February 16, 1926 and is buried at Cogbill Cemetery in Wynne.  Not sure on the whereabouts of Minnie.

The moral to this family drama is that sometimes an angry wife can give a closer shave with a pistol than a barber with a razor.


Born and Raised in the South: Wynne, Arkansas (picture is of Wilson Street in the early 1900s)

“Arkansas Democrat” Little Rock, Arkansas. July 10, 1922, Monday. Page 10.

Ancestry.com: Edward Pierce Sisk 1920 U.S. census.

Ancestry.com: Gus Rose 1920 U.S. Census







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