Coroner's Inquistions
 1919 - 1931
NEWBERRY COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
Transcribed and contributed by Edith Greisser

INQUISITION over the dead body of KEISTER HAIR

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Prosperity in the County and State aforesaid, the 7th & 10th days of July A. D., one thousand nine hundred and nineteen before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of KEISTER HAIR, then and there being dead by the oaths of B. B. Schumpert, W. W. Wheeler, O. S. Miller, G. D. Bedenbaugh, Lois Dominick and J. A. Price being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the state of South Carolina, where and by what means the said KEISTER HAIR came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that the said KEISTER HAIR came to his death in Prosperity SC on July 6, 1919 from a gun shot wound at the hands of one G. Wm. Kinard, the same being the result of and by mischance. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, F. M. LINDSAY Coroner aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

/s/ F. M. Lindsay, Coroner (L.S.)

/s/ B. B. Schumpert, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ W. W. Wheeler (L.S.)

/s/ O. S. Miller (L.S.)                                                           /s/ Lois Dominick (L.S.)

/s/ J. A. Price (L.S.)                                                   /s/ G. D. Bedenbaugh (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

F. E. SCHUMPERT sworn says:

I live in Prosperity SC. Was well acquainted with Keister Hair. On Sunday night July 6th 1919 I woke up G. W. Kinard and told him someone was in his store. He got up and put on his clothes and called Mr. Talbert. We then left there and went up the path leading out to the street. As we got about midway between the Negro house and the street we heard noise in Mr. Kinard’s store house and G. Will Kinard told Talbert to move up [towards] the railroad. Will ran towards the store. I followed him but walked. Kinard got some distance ahead. [I] saw a man running from behind the store house. Will Kinard hollered something. I didn’t understand what it was. Then he shot. This occurred in Prosperity SC. Pretty quick F. J. Black came running back and said something like, “My God, he’s shot Keister Hair.” I heard Kinard say something like, “Oh God, I wouldn’t done it for nothing in the world. Get a doctor, quick.” I went into my house and got a bottle of camphor and [-?-] it to Keister Hair. He was lying down on [the] ground. I saw blood on his shirt. I started for Judge Hair, Keister’s father, and met him coming. Mr. Hair and Mr. Kinard were the best of friends, so far as I heard. I heard no statement by Keister Hair after he was shot.

                                                                                                    F. E. SCHUMPERT

F. J. BLACK sworn says:

I was standing in front of Mr. Schumpert’s house. Mr. Will Kinard came running by me with a gun in his hand. About that time Keister Hair came running from behind the store house and passed near me. Mr. Kinard raised his gun. I tried to tell him not to shoot but before I could do so he fired the gun. I think Hair and Kinard were about 20 yards apart at the time of the shot. At the shot Mr. Hair fell. Mr. Hair said, “Oh my God, you shot the wrong man.” Don’t remember hearing Mr. Kinard say anything right then. I went around the back yard of Mr. Schumpert’s. I didn’t hear Mr. Hair make any other statement and heard none by Mr. Kinard. Only one shot was fired. Mr. Kinard may have called to Mr. Hair before the shot but I don’t remember that he did.                 F. J. BLACK sworn

S. R. MERCHANT sworn says:

Keister Hair, F. J. Black and I went up the street together. We had heard that someone was in Mr. Kinard’s store – some burglars. As we got to Mr. M. P. Singley’s gate, Mrs. Singley handed Mr. Hair and myself each a shot gun. Keister went on one side of the store and I went on the other side. We met at the back door. We found the back door had been broken open. Then Mr. Hair started to the front door, telling me to stay at the back door. I stayed there. As Mr. Hair went away from the back door of the store and about ten steps from it I heard a gun fire. I don’t know whether he was walking or running at the time of the shot. I was looking in the other direction. As I hear the gun fire I started out and went to where Keister was. Keister was lying on the ground with bloody [?] on his shirt. I heard him say, “Oh my Lord, you shot the wrong man. You shot Keister Hair”. Mr. Kinard was on the street. I didn’t hear him say anything either before or after the shot. Mr. Talbert and Mr. Quattlebaum and I went back to the store and found a Negro burglar in there.                                                                                                           S. R. MERCHANT


INQUISITION over the dead body of COLIE CROMER

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at near Pomaria in the County and State aforesaid, the 19th day of July A. D., one thousand nine hundred and nineteen before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of COLIE CROMER, then and there being dead by the oaths of T. P. Richardson, D. B. Ruff, S. R. Metts, Levi Troutman, J. O. Koon, Fred W. Martin being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the state of South Carolina, where and by what means the said COLEY CROMER came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that the said COLEY CROMER came to his death by [?] pistol shot wound in the hands of his brother Jim Cromer. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, F. M. LINDSAY Coroner aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

/s/ F. M. Lindsay, Coroner (L.S.)

/s/ T. P. Richardson, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ L. C. Troutman (L.S.)

/s/ J. O. Koon (L.S.)                                                  /s/ S. A. Metts (L.S.)

/s/ J. A. Price (L.S.)                                         /s/ D. B. Ruff (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

HORACE CROMER sworn says:

[I] was in the house when [the] boy got shot. I am his brother. [I] wasn’t in when [it] started. I came in and found Jim and Coley were playing with [the] gun. Then Jim pushes at Coley off [the] bed and pointed at Coley and shot him. [I] saw him fall. [They were] not mad with one another. I saw him when he shot him. Saw Jim with [the] pistol in his hand. Saw him point the gun at him. Coley fell. Then I told Ma what had happened.

                                                                                                    HORACE (X) CROMER

JULIA CROMER sworn says:

[I am the] mother of the boy killed. Coley came out to where I was washing with [the] pistol. I sent him back with it and he and Jim began playing and I heard it shoot. Horace and Jim told me that Coley came in [?] and Jim fired it. [There was] only one ball in the gun. I took that cartridge out after it was fired.                       JULIA (X) CROMER

BERLEY BROWN sworn says:

He was out at the road when [he] heard the pistol fire. He came to the house and saw Coley on the front porch. Said Jim was prostrated over the shooting. Jim left the house several hundred yards but he (Berley Brown) sent his boy after him and he came back to the house. Jim said to Coley that he didn’t go to shoot him but didn’t understand what Coley said.                                                                                                   BERLEY BROWN

DR. WEDAMAN sworn says:

I examined the body of Coley Cromer and found a bullet wound in (?) entering ½ inch to a point of the right orbit of the eye, ranging backwards, downward and towards into the brain. This wound of which caused his death.

                                                                                                    Dr. T. H. Wedaman

INQUISITION over the dead body of DOCK PAYNE

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Prosperity in the County and State aforesaid, the 1st day of November A. D., one thousand nine hundred and nineteen before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of DOCK PAYNE, then and there being dead by the oaths of H. L. Fellers, Lois Dominick, J. M. Bedenbaugh, J. C. Duffie, Joe Hartman and D. F. Taylor being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the state of South Carolina, where and by what means the said DOCK PAYNE came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that DOCK PAYNE came to his death by A pistol shot wound inflicted by the hands of Sampson Gallman. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid Dock Payne came to his death in the manner and means aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, F. M. LINDSAY Coroner aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

/s/ F. M. Lindsay, Coroner (L.S.)

/s/ H. L. Fellers, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ M. B. Bedenbaugh (L.S.)

/s/ Joe B. Hartman (L.S.)                                                     /s/ Lois Dominick (L.S.)

/s/ J. C. Duffie (L.S.)                                                           /s/ D. F. Taylor (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

ISABELLA SHELTON sworn says:

I was going home from work. I met Dock Payne Oct. 30thy and I passed by Dock Payne. Sampson was coming along behind him and he asked Dock if he got a gun to shoot him with. Dock told him, “That was alright – that I know you got a gun.”  And [at] that time I passed by and heard a pistol snap and I ran behind the house and then I heard three shots. Alvin Burton was the first one that got to Dock Payne’s body after he was shot and he, Alvin Burton, went for the doctor and no one touched the body till the Dr. got there.                           ISABELLA SHELTON

LUCINDA GALLMAN sworn says:

I live in Prosperity. I was over at Mrs. Baker’s pumping water when I heard a pistol shot and looked that way and saw Sampson Gallman put a pistol back in his breast and saw someone fall and went on down there and saw Dock Payne laying there.                                                                                LUCINDA GALLMAN

MINNIE LEE BURTON sworn says:

I was hanging up clothes and Dock had come up to where I was hanging clothes and Sampson caught him there. Sampson asked Dock did he get a gun to shoot him with and he told him how come he keeps on picking at him and he told him that he was tired of him running over him. And [at] that time he, Sampson, was pulling out his pistol. Dock had one hand on the palings and the other hanging down his side. When I turned around the first thing I saw was Dock.

AUTOPSY held over the dead body of WILLIAM VALENTINE, colored, young adult, male.

Cause of death:

Hemorrhage and shock caused by perforating gunshot wound of the chest and abdomen.

Examination:

No recent evidence of external violence as follows:

One point of entrance of the bullet three inches below the shoulder joint on the external surface of the left arm; another on the anterior surface of the same arm four inches below the upper level of the shoulder joint; another flesh wound two inches below the axilla on the inner anterior surface of the left arm caused either by the exit of the ball or removal of the same; another exit wound on the inner medium surface of the same arm 1½ inches below the axilla. There are two points of entrance on the left chest wall; one in the mid axilla line on level with the nipple; the other three inches below and 1 ½ inches anterior to the wound last described. A Q ball removed from a point about over the spinous process of the first lumbar vertebrae; the ball is estimated to be of 32 calibre. There is a slight crepitation to feel just below the chest wounds. On opening the abdomen adhesions are noted and a large amount of free blood escapes. By the aid of a probe the direction of both bullets is determined to be downward and backward both after passing through the lower left chest perforating the stomach and pass through the posterior wall of the abdominal cavity; the lower entering the spinal column; the upper was cut out posteriorly as above described.

                                                                                          MARION H. WYMAN MD

INQUISITION over the dead body of MACK WORKMAN

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Mary Bedenbaugh’s farm in the County and State aforesaid, the 15th day of November A. D., one thousand nine hundred and nineteen before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of MACK WORKMAN, of D. M. Bedenbaugh’s, then and there being dead by the oaths of D. J. Taylor, C. B. Bedenbaugh, T. B. Bedenbaugh, J. E. Monts being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the state of South Carolina, where and by what means the said MACK WORKMAN came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that the said MACK WORKMAN came to his death by gun shot wounds in the hands of George Abney. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, F. M. LINDSAY Coroner aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

/s/ F. M. Lindsay, Coroner (L.S.)

/s/ C. B. Bedenbaugh (L.S.)                                                 /s/ J. E. Monts (L.S.)

/s/ T. B. Bedenbaugh (L.S.)         /s/ D. A. Bedenbaugh (L.S.)         /s/ D. J. Taylor (L.S.)


PROCEEDINGS

Dissecting the body of Mack Workman:

Find gun shot wounds extending from umbilical region down towards to about six inches on front of the thighs.

Inside finding perforation of the lower bowels too numerous to count; perforation of the bladder; shots into the penis and testicles; also in the inguinal region.

In the lower abdominal cavity is a large amount of clotted blood due to wounds shown externally and caused by shots perforating parts named.

Said Mack Workman died from internal hemorrhage.                                O. B. SIMPSON MD

MAGGIE WORKMAN sworn says:

I live on Miss Mary Bedenbaugh’s place. I asked Papa for my baby. Papa cussed and called me and Mack Workman out to the public road. He had a shot gun in his hand. Maggie Workman went back to the house about forty yards from the public road and was standing in the door and saw George Abney shoot Mack Workman with a shot gun. This happened about five o’clock Nov. 14th 1919.                                  MAGGIE (X) WORKMAN

Recalled:

MAGGIE WORKMAN says:

Mack Workman was about fifteen feet from George Abney when George Abney shot him.

                                                                                          MAGGIE (X) WORKMAN

INQUISITION over the dead body of JOHN HERBERT

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Scott Waites’ house in the County and State aforesaid, the 5th day of December A. D., one thousand nine hundred and eighteen (?) before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of JOHN HERBERT, then and there being dead by the oaths of ---- being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the state of South Carolina, where and by what means the said JOHN HERBERT came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that the said JOHN HERBERT came to his death by accidentally discharging a shot gun by his own hands. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid ----.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, F. M. LINDSAY Coroner aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

/s/ F. M. Lindsay, Coroner (L.S.)

TESTIMONY

WILLIE HERBERT sworn says:

I am a brother of John Herbert. John and I went to our rabbit box this morning Dec. 5th 1918. About 7 o’clock us heard the dog after a rabbit. We went to a log. We smoked the log. The rabbit didn’t come out. John said he was going home then. I think he picked up the gun. Before I could look around I hear the gun shoot. Then he had fell back. When I first seen the gun after John got shot it was lying on the side of the log. I ran home and called grandma. I told her John was shot. I told her he picked up the gun and it shot him. The gun wouldn’t stand cocked good. The gun in evidence will not stand cocked. I ran back to my brother John. When I got back his clothes were burning and I put them out. Then my grandpa came. This is all I knew about it.                                                 WILLIE HERBERT

SCOTT WAITES sworn says:

When I got to where John was shot he was not dead. He was groaning near the old dead log lying down. I picked him up and brought him part of the way to the house. He was very heavy and I got Sam Shelton to help me with him to the house. He got shot nearly ½ mile from my house. He was still breathing. He died in about fifteen minutes. I believe he got shot by his own hand.          SCOTT (X) WAITES                              Witness:       H. D. Havird


INQUISITION over the dead body of PALMER HENLY

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Welch Wilbur’s Place in the County and State aforesaid, the 4th day of February A. D., one thousand nine hundred and 20 before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of PALMER HENLY, then and there being dead by the oaths of ---- to inquire, for the state of South Carolina, where and by what means the said PALMER HENLY came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that the said PALMER HENLY came to his death from exposure some days ago.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, F. M. LINDSAY Coroner aforesaid, set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

/s/ F. M. Lindsay, Coroner (L.S.)

TESTIMONY

Newberry, SC

Feb. 4th, 1920

This certifies that in my opinion Palmer Henly came to his death from exposure and exanotion and that his death occurred some days ago.                                                                     P.G. ELLESOR

INQUISITION over the dead body of JOSEPH FULLMON

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at D. C. Fullmon’s in the County and State aforesaid, the 26 day of February A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of JOSEPH FULLMON, then and there being dead by the oaths of L. M. Long, J. C. Shealy, George A. Epting, Maxy Epting, J. R. Epting, Walter Reeder being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the state of South Carolina, where and by what means the said JOSEPH FULLMON came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that the said JOSEPH FULLMON came to his death by a gun shot wound accidentally discharged in the hands of Claud Matthews. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid Joseph Fullmon came to his death in the manner aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, F. M. LINDSAY Coroner aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

/s/ F. M. Lindsay, Coroner (L.S.)

/s/ L. M. Long, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ J. C. Shealy (L.S.)

/s/ George A. Epting (L.S.)                                                            /s/ Walter Reeder (L.S.)

/s/ J. R. Epting (L.S.)                                                                     /s/ M. W. Epting (L.S.)

TESTIMONY

CHARLIE LEE FULLMON sworn says:

I am 13 years old. My brother Joseph was 10 years old. Joseph went to school yesterday. We were coming home yesterday afternoon. Joseph and myself were together. James Perry Mathews caught up with us. They came out from the weeds. We were walking in a path that leads from the school. These boys and us, we stopped in the road. Joseph Perry, Joseph and myself and Claud was up in the bank about 15 feet from when the gun went off. Claud says, “I didn’t go to shoot. I did not know there was a shell in the gun.” My brother said, “You ought not to shot.” Joseph and myself and the Mathew boy were good friends. We never had a fuss. We played together. There was no hard feelings at all between us. I didn’t remember what we were talking about when the gun shot.

                                                                                          CHARLIE LEE FULLMON

JAMES PERRY MATHEWS:

We were standing in the road playing. Joseph and Charlie Fullmon and myself. Claud was on the other side of the road when the gun went off. The boys asked me to let them see my gun and I took the shells out of mine and let them see it.                                                                                        JAMES PERRY MATHEWS


INQUISITION over the dead body of ISELIA CLARK

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Mrs. Nora Werts’ Place in the County and State aforesaid, the 5th day of March A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of ISELIA CLARK, then and there being dead by the oaths of ---- being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the state of South Carolina, where and by what means the said ISELIA CLARK came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that the said ISELIA CLARK came to her death burning on the 4 day of March 1920.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, F. M. LINDSAY Coroner aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

/s/ F. M. Lindsay, Coroner (L.S.)

TESTIMONY

HENSEN CLARK sworn says:

While I was shucking corn Ervin Gallman told me he smelled something burning in my house. I called for Iselia Clark (?) and she refused to answer. I then went in the house and she Iselia Clark, my wife, was burned to death. She was subject to spells for eleven years. She was 39 years old.                     HENSEN (X) CLARK

INQUISITION over the dead body of SIMON ROBINSON

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry Court House in the County and State aforesaid, the 7th day of April A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of SIMON ROBINSON, then and there being dead by the oaths of G. B. Summer, H. P. Baker, W. J. Swittenberg, C. H. Williams, W. E. Wallace, Lee Hamilton being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the state of South Carolina, where and by what means the said SIMON ROBINSON came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that the said SIMON ROBINSON came to his death by a pistol shot wound at the hands of Archie Werts. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid Simon Robinson came to his death by the means aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, F. M. LINDSAY Coroner aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

/s/ F. M. Lindsay, Coroner (L.S.)

/s/ G. B. Summer, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ W. J. Swittenberg (L.S.)

/s/ J. H. Pat Baker (L.S.)                                                               /s/ W. E. Wallace (L.S.)

/s/ Lee Hamilton (L.S.)                                                                   /s/ C. W. Williams (L.S.)

TESTIMONY

Newberry SC

April 7, 1920

This certifies that Simon Robinson died on the night of April 6, 1920 from a pistol shot in his right side.                   

                                                                                          P. G. ELLESOR MD

LILA WERTS sworn says:

I am Archie Werts’ wife. I live in front of Tom Johnson’s on Harrington Street. I live in a house by myself except my 3 children.

Archie Werts and myself have been separated – the last time about a month. I went back to him last of January – been separated before that 3 years.

I was at home Monday night. Mary Robertson, Bessie Minyard, and Simon Roberson and my children were there. We were sitting there talking about 10:30. Archie came to the door and knocked and said, “Hey there”. I say, “What you want?” He say, “What I been wanting”. Then I got up and opened the door and he came in and commenced shooting. Shot one time and he hit Simon Roberson. Simon was sitting down by the fireplace. I was looking at Archie Werts when he fired the shot. He wasn’t shooting at me. Simon jumped up and went out of the door. Archie and myself scuffled in there 5 minutes and he jerked loose and went on out of the door.

Archie would come and get at me about different men and Simon. Simon’s wife was with him last night. I don’t know what he shot about.                                                               LILA (X) WERTS


MARY ROBERTSON sworn says:

I was living with Simon but not his legal wife. I been living with him four years. I went up to Lillie Werts house Monday. Bessie Minyard and Simon Robertson went with me. I just went up there to see her. Archie Werts came to the door and knocked and Lila asked who it was and he said, “Me.” She said, “Me who?” and he said, “You know.” She asked, “What you want?” and he said, “What do I want all of the time?” She opened the door and he walked in the door and shot Simon. Simon was sitting down facing the fireplace. No words passed between Simon and Archie. Simon jumped up and asked me what he shot him for and I said I didn’t know. Simon went out of the door and I went with him. We went to a white lady’s house and came back to our house and left him there. If Simon had a pistol I did not know it.                                                                                       MARY (X) ROBERTSON

BESSIE MINYARD sworn says:

I was at Lila Werts house Monday night. Lila and Mary was there and so was Simon. Archie came and knocked on the door and came in and shot Simon. No words passed between them.                 BESSIE (X) MINYARD
 

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