Pickens County, Alabama Genealogy Trails
CRIME NEWS

1874

We learn that Samuel Pearson and three of his sons have been arrested by a U. S. Deputy Marshal, under the charge of illicit distilling.  Mr. Pearson resides in the northeastern part of Pickens. [West Alabamian, 2d, inst.] (Birmingham Iron Age, Birmingham, Ala., Dec. 10, 1874 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)
 

 
1875
 
The West Alabamian says W. E. Cherry, of Pickens, was shot by a drunken negro, near Bridgeville, recently.  His wound is not dangerous.  The negro is in jail. (Birmingham Iron Age, Birmingham, Ala., March 18, 1875 – Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)
 

1891
 
On last Saturday night D. D. ODOM and W. W. WALLCE left town in search of SHAFE ELMORE, the party suspected of breaking into J. B. DENNIS store.  They found him at his residence in Pickens County, arrested him and brought him back to Kennedy.  He was left in charge of Mr. JAS. MORTON until he could have a hearing.  ELMORE watched his opportunity and making some excuse to step outside the door, immediately took leg bail and disappeared over the hill.  Mr. MORTON attempted to overtake him, but in his haste, fell in the branch.  After crawling out of the stream and shaking the  water out of his eyes, the prisoner was no where to be seen, and JIM then realized the true meaning of the term, "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."  ELMORE has not been recaptured. - (Kennedy News, January 8, 1891)
 

 
1892
 
RESCUED A PRISONER
Eutaw, May 16 – At daylight yesterday morning the sheriff, who is jailer of Greene county, was approached by three men who had a man tied, saying that he was the man who committed rape in Lamar county on a white woman, and that they wanted to incarcerate him in this jail.  As soon as they secured their entrance into the jail yard they released the pretended prisoner, began firing over the sheriff’s head, and demanded that he admit them to the jail for the purpose of allowing them to secure JIM JONES, a colored -----(torn)-----
                A mob of Pickens county men, numbering at least fifty, then assembled in the jail yard, overpowered the sheriff, secured the keys, took the prisoner, JONES, placed him in a buggy and started on their return to Pickens county, where they said they intended to hang him.  The deputy sheriff, E. C. MEREDITH, present candidate for sheriff, was soon informed of what had occurred.  He assembled a posse, consisting of JOHN CULLEN, the sheriff, and a few others and started on hot pursuit, determined upon the recapture of the prisoner if possible.  The posse rode like Jehu drove (furiously), and at Clinto, eight miles from this place, spied the mob at a well about 100 yards up the road.  They determining upon a charge, and put their horses in a full run and run into the midst of a mob.  Before they alighted from their horses they were covered by the guns of the mob who outnumbered them many times. Each of the posse sprang from his steaming horse while yet in motion, alighting in the midst of the mob.
                They drew a bead upon the leader, the sheriff commanding the release of the prisoner in the name of the law and saying his posse would sell their lives to a man or have him.  For a full minute, the silence of death prevailed.  MEREDITH then asserted that he would fire unless the prisoner was given up, let the consequences be what they might.  The leader of the mob then said “Don’t shoot”.  The sheriff ordered that they cease to present their arms.  The posse continued their aim and not a muscle moved.  MEREDITH stepped up to the prisoner and told him to run for his life towards Eutaw which he did, the posse continuing their aim until the prisoner was some distance from the mob. The posse then mounted their horses without comment and returned to Eutaw with the prisoner, who is now safely lodged in jail. The sheriff and his posse were composed of the very best and most law-abiding citizens of our count, and deserve great credit for their boldness and determination in upholding the majesty of the law.(Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, May 19, 1892)
 

 
1893
 
Whitecapping is becoming very common in Alabama. The latest is a case reported form Pickens county.  Rome Linberger was assassinate, first being riddled with bullets and then his throat cut from ear to ear. the deceased's only crime was that of being a witness in an illicit distilling case before Commissioner Hunter last week, and being summoned to appear before the Federal Grand jury next fall. Hamilton Times, Marion County AL, June 15, 1893 - Trasncribed by Veneta Mckinney
 

 
1893
 
Columbus, Miss., July 12 – The negro Henry Fleming, who stabbed to death Mr. Mincher a citizen of Pickens county, Alabama last Monday night was taken from the officers and lynched.
                The preliminary trial was held yesterday and the negro was committed to jail without bail.
Six deputy sheriffs started to Carrollton with the prisoner, and when about two miles from the place of trial they were met by a crowd of 200 men, armed with Winchester rifles who demanded the prisoner be turned over to them.  The mob took the negro a few yards away from the road and hung him. Afterward they riddled his body with balls from Winchesters.
                Fleming had been regarded as a very tough citizen for a number of years.  
The murder of J. M. Mincher, thus summarily avenged, was a cold-blooded and dastardly deed.  Mincher lived just across the line in Pickens county, Ala.  About 10 o’clock at night he heard a noise in his corn crib.  Going out to investigate he was met by a big negro who was walking off with a sack of stolen corn.  He caught the negro and was holding him when he was stabbed in the breast.  He died next morning.  He recognized his slayer as one of his tenants, Fleming the negro who was lynched.  Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, July 20, 1893)
 

 
1893
 
A HORRIBLE BUTCHERY – Columbus, Miss – Sept. 15 – Pickens county comes to the front again with an awful butchering of prisoners confined in the jail at Carrollton.  Paul Archer, Will Archer, Polk Hill, Ed Guyton, and Ellen Fant, all negroes, and the later a woman, were shot to death on Thursday night by a mob of masked men.
                Some time last week the mill and gin house of J. E. Woods was burned. About a week ago the negroes were arrested and were confined in the Carrollton jail.  The preliminary investigation was in progress, but had not been concluded on Thursday night. The sheriff was called from his room in the jail building and was told that parties had a prisoner, whom they had arrested and whom they wanted to turn over to him.
The sheriff came down from his room and unlocking the jail door found himself in the hands of a disguised mob, who demanded of him the keys to the cell where the prisoners were confined.  This request was urged upon the sheriff by the barrels of a hundred glistening guns.
                After the officer was overpowered the mob made their way quickly to the grated cells of the prisoners and through the iron bars the barrels of the Winchesters were placed and from every muzzle came a dozen balls.  In a second’s time four human beings had been cruelly butchered and their quivering bodies lay in pools of blood, which ran in streams across the floor and dyed the walls and ceiling of the cell. The mob then quietly dispersed after having committed the cowardly and brutal deed.
                Carrollton is an inland town without railroad or telegraph and it is impossible to get any information as to the testimony against the negroes charges with arson, but it is said that one negro confined in the jail had turned state’s evidence against the others. The mob made him leave the jail and also told him it would be best for him to leave the state. The negro left and has not been seen since.
This is the second lynching that Pickens county ahs furnished in the last few weeks.  Joe Floyd, a negro, was hung by a mob and body riddled with bullets a few weeks ago for the murder of a white farmer.  The county which has furnished the five victims to lynch law is one f the strongest populist strongholds in Alabama and Kolb carried it over Governor Jones by an immense majority.  Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, September 21, 1893  
 

 
1896

WITH THE FUNDS - Assistant Postmaster at Carrollton Said to Have Fled
A Columbus Miss special to the New Orleans Picayune says: "News has been received here from Carrollton, Ala to the effect that FRANK WIMBERLEY, who was acting postmaster at Carrollton, had absconded with $1,300 belonging to the post office.  Mrs. Wimberley is the postmistress, but her husband attended to the office as her deputy Wimberley passed through this city last Sunday and spent the night here, but it is to known which way he went from here.  Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, March 12, 1896 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney  

BROUGHT FROM TEXAS - Ex-Assistant Postmaster Wimberly Held to Rail by Commissioner Mosely
Birmingham, Nov. 23 - Frank W. Wimberly, ex-assistant postmaster at Carrollton Ala was brought to Birmingham Saturday evening from Paris, Texas where he was recently arrested, and carried before Commissioner R. A. Mosley on charge of being short on his accounts with the government. Mr. Wimberly waived examination, and was held to answer the action of the grand jury.  He gave bond for his appearance and was released. - Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, November 26, 1896 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney


1897

A VALENTINE TRAGEDY - Latest Reports Show the Killing was Justifiable
Columbus, March 23 - A full account of the killing of LUTHER BALL by LEE DOSS, which occurred at Pickensville, Ala, Saturday night, was received here today., the story being about like this:
 On the 14th day of February last a young lady cousin of Ball, sent him a comic valentine which excited him to wrath and caused him to denounce the sender in very harsh language.  MACK DOSS, who is also a cousin of BALL and who is related to the young lady who sent the valentine, took the matter up and told BALL that he ought to be careful about what he said about the sender of the valentine until he found out who the party was that sent it, whereupon Ball accused DOSS of having sent the valentine.  Doss denied the accusation, but stated that he knew who did send it.  Hot words ensued, ending in a challenge from Ball to Doss to fight a duel  Matters were in this shape when Ball met LEE DOSS, a brother of MACK, in a  saloon Saturday night. Ball proposed that they settle the matter there and then and, pulling his pistol, began firing at Doss, who returned the fire, killing Ball almost instantly.  Dos shad a preliminary trial at Pickensville today and was released under a $2,000 bond to appear before the next term of the county court.  Public sentiment in Pickensville and surrounding country seems to justify the killing. 
Vernon Courier, Lamar County AL, March 25, 1897 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney


 
1907
 
Alabama Negro Lynched.
Carrollton, Ala.-After being taken before Mrs. Ed Windham, whom he had attacked last Monday, and identified, John Lipsep, a negro, was swung up to a tree near the courthouse at Carrollton, and his body riddled with bullets. (Source:  The Catahoula News (Harrisonbury, LA) September 7, 1907, page 1 - Submitted by Robin Line)
 

 
1911

THE MARTIN-STEWART TRAGEDY
The session of circuit court, which convened at Carrollton, Ala., on last Monday, is to be an important one for the court will try Holmes Martin on the charge of murder, the killing of Joe Stewart at his home, near Pickensville, Ala., being recalled by all our readers.  There was no preliminary trial of the case, so we are informed, and the grand jury, indicted Mr. Martin at their last session, the trial being set for the term which has just met.
 Mr. Martin is represented by Messrs. Harden H. Brooks, district attorney of this judicial district, Messrs. Curry and Robertson, while MR. W. b. Oliver, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., has been retained by the prosecution.
 It is said that there were only two eye-witnesses to the killing, Mr. Martin, who is charged with the murder, and his wife, and it is said that both of them swear that Mr. Stewart killed himself.  Under the circumstances, it will be a difficult matter to secure a conviction unless their testimony is broken down completely.
 The case is an important one, and will be watched with interest. [Columbus Dispatch] - (Macon Beacon, Macon, Miss., Nov. 10, 1911)

 

  

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