Choctaw County, Alabama Genealogy Trails

CRIME NEWS

1879

A correspondent of the Choctaw News, writing from Blandon Springs, Oct. 4, 1879, says:  Our little village was startled on the 2d inst. by news of the mysterious disappearance of MR. JOHN GEORGE,  a young man living six miles southwest of this place  MR. GEORGE started from his home about daylight on the morning of the first, in company with a negro man, or boy, aged 19 years.  His failure to come home at the usual time caused his wife uneasiness, and she sent for some neighbors.  Search was made, but the body was not discovered until eight o'clock of the 3d, when it was found about two hundred yards from his house, with his head chopped off with an axe.  The negro boy CRAWFORD HOLCOMBE, who left with Mr. George had been arrested, and when the body was found, he confessed having killed the man without cause.
    The citizens turned out in large numbers, and it was thought for some time that they would burn him at the stake.  It was finally determined to send him to jail in charge of the Washington County "boys".  I had a talk with the negro and he told me he made up his mind the night before to kill Mr. George; they were on their way to work, Mr. George was walking in front; Mr. G. had not spoken to him; when about two hundred yards from the house he struck him from behind with an axe, and when he fell, cut off his head and dragged the body into the woods.
     The negro in that section were in favor of putting him to death at once, and a large majority were in favor of the stake.
      Mr. George leaves a wife and two little children.  (Source: Vernon Clipper, Lamar County AL, Ocotober 17, 1879 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


1886

TOM MILLER, on trial in Choctaw County for murder was convicted and sentenced to be hung December 17. (Source: Lamar News, Lamar County AL, November 11, 1886 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)
    
On the 13th Governor Seay granted a respite to Jim Miller, a negro sentenced to hang in Choctaw County on the 17th for murder. Friday January 14th is the extent of the respite.    (Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, December 24, 1886 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)  


1887

COUNTERFEITERS JUGGED
A Secret Service Official Runs In Some Shovers Of The Q--r. – [Mont. Advertiser] Calera, May 3 – On the train tonight your correspondent met the famous Mike O’Brien of the United States Secret service on his way from Mobile northward. From him was had an account of the running down and arrest of a band of counterfeiters in Choctaw County. O’Brien spent three weeks there disguished as an Irish peddler working up the case. The band consisted of Sheriff Hudson, County Clerk McClurg, an Englishman, and engraver named McLeon, one Randall and two others all of whom were arrested and cried to Mobile and on a preliminary hearing before commissioner today were committed to jail without bond. O’Brien had the case thoroughly worked up before a man was arrested and had over a score of United States Deputy Marshals on the ground to assist in the arrest. The counterfeit was a two dollar silver certificate and was a fine piece of work. Its engraver McLeon had been in jail once before for shoving the q--r. He went to Choctaw County over a year ago, but got the plate finished and has been issuing bills only about two months. Little of it was passed in Choctaw County. Most of it was sent to Louisiana and used in buying cattle. Only eight dollars was passed in Choctaw. Sheriff Hudson was arrested in his office and the examination of his safe showed three thousand dollars of the counterfeit bills in it. There was some talk by the citizens of Butler of rescuing the sheriff, but sober counsel prevail and the plan was abandoned. Editor O’Brien says he gave a complete copy of this diary to the Register today. I think there is no doubt of O’Brien being the man he represents himself to be. (Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, May 13, 1887 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


1891
    
NEW RELIGION
Work for the Fool Killer and Revenue Officers
Mobile, May 25 - On the border land of Choctaw and Clarke counties, in Alabama, there has sprung up a religious sect, without a name as yet, whose basis is a certain reading of the Bible, by virtue of which they effect to despise all human authority.
    Their organ is a small folder printed Womack hill, Choctaw county and is called "The Veil is Rent"
    One of this sect was called to serve on the jury in the United States court here today. He refused to take an oath, because of the biblical prohibition and was permitted to affirm. Then he announced that he would never convict any one, because the Bible says "judge not"
    Inquiry shows that the brother of this juror, a man named Robert Simms, runs an illicit distillery in Choctaw county, and when the deputy marshal served a warrant on him last week. Simms tore the document to pieces, saying that he was under no man's authority.
     His brother says there is no concealment in the case. Simms claims that he has the right to do as he pleases and that any attempt to stop his distillery will be religious persecution.  (Source: Hamilton Times, Marion County AL, May 28, 1891 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


1892

Choctaw County, Ala. - Bob Sims and six members of his bloodthirsty gang were lynched in Choctaw county, Ala., by a mob. (Source: Lorain County Reporter (Lorain, OH), January 2, 1892, Transcribed by Linda Dietz)
    
THE SIMSITE WAR
The Sims War in Choctaw County is not yet over.  Although six or seven of the gang were lynched, enough religious fanaticism is left to cause trouble.  The Simsites are extremely bitter against all preachers whom they call agents of the devil.  Fearful of his life, Rev. C. R. Lamar, the Methodist preacher at Bladen Springs, recently left his charge, and Rev. T. Cooper took his place, saying the would face the music.  The result was that a few nights since some unknown party fired at him from the bushes near his home, and narrowly missed sending the bullet home. A night or two afterwards he was shot at again.  A note has been found, written by one Simsite to another, mentioning a number of preachers who are to be killed, including Mr. Cooper. (Source: Vernon Courier, Lamar County, AL, April 7, 1892 - transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


1895

A most deplorable scandal is reported from Choctaw Co., Ala.  A Methodist preacher named Dennis, who had been pastor of the Church at Butler, has seduced his sister-in-law, an accomplished young lady, 18 years of age.  When the crime was found out, a committee, composed of the best citizens called on him, and upon his acknowledging his guilt, they gave him just one hour to leave the country, under penalty.  He left.
(Source: Hamilton News Press, Marion County AL, July 25, 1895 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)

 

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