The Williamson County Museum recently received a donated artifact that once likely belonged to either the Shelton or Birger gang. The artifact is a 12 Ga. Model 1897 Winchester riot gun manufactured between 1904 and 1920. It has a short 20” barrel resembling a sawed off shotgun and was a specialty item usually sold to police for riot control.
The weapon was donated by Woody Ashby, son of Ethel Ashby. Ethel Ashby at one time owned an antique business in Marion called the Old Sleigh Bell and was the principal organizer of the museum when the county offered the old jail building to the historical society back in 1972. She also donated many of the items found in the museum today. Woody stated that he had owned the gun for the last 35 years and it was passed on to him through his mother and before that through an aunt that had a connection to the Shelton’s but that it was thought to have come from the Birger gang.
The gun will be placed on display after it has had research done on it and a display worked out for it.