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

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at the Patton Place, No. 6 Township in the County and State aforesaid, the 14th day of September A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty one before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of GLORIA HARRIS of Newberry Co. #6 Township then and there being dead by the oaths of John Livingstone (Foreman), S. W. Milton, Pope Sanford, H. E. Brehmer, Hugh Chappell, H.L. Stone 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 GLORIA HARRIS came to her death, upon their oaths, do say the said GLORIA HARRIS came to her death by natural causes from heart trouble. 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/ John Livingstone, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ Hugh Chappell (L.S.)              /s/ H. E. Brehmer (L.S.)               /s/ S. W. Melton (L.S.) 

/s/ H. L. Stone (L.S.)                                                           /s/ Pope Sanford (L.S.)


GEO. A. JOHNSTONE sworn says:

This evening about 4 o’clock, myself, Charles Jackson and Gloria Harris were out in the field picking cotton. I was across the ditch from Charles Jackson and Gloria Harris. Charles Jackson called me saying Gloria was sick. When I got to her she was lying on her back. We moved her to a shade brush near here. I left Charles with her and went to get a wagon to send her to the house. I told Harrison Brehmer about it and he said he didn’t think it would be worth while to get the wagon. That’s all I know about it. This was Sept. 14th 1921 about 4 o’clock. This place is the Patton Place. Belongs to Brehmer Bros.                                                                        GEORGE A. JOHNSTONE

CHARLES JACKSON sworn says:

Gloria Harris and myself had been picking cotton together and she seemed to be all right. She emptied her cotton sack and said she had to go out in the bushes awhile and she went and pulled off some of her clothes. I went to picking cotton in front of her. I heard her say, “Lord have mercy.” When I looked around I heard her strangling. She was lying on her back. I picked her up and patted her on the breast and she was dead. She breathed her last in the open cotton field. Mr. and H. W. Johnson moved her where she is now. The clothes she pulled off are now under her. This woman died Sept.14, 1921.                                                                                     CHARLES JACKSON

I have examined the body of Gloria Harris and found no wound on any part of the body; no signs of violence and am of the opinion that she came to her death probably of heart disease.  Sept.14, 1921         W. D. SENN MD

A true record September 15,1921                    C. C. C. P.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at the Renwick Bros.’ Place in the County and State aforesaid, the 23rd day of October A. D., one thousand nine hundred and 21 before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of ESSIE WILLIAMS of Newberry Co. then and there being dead by the oaths of L. D. Wicker, foreman, Cecil Thomas, J. D. Wicker, Irvin Renwick, James Renwick, H. D. Havird 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 ESSIE WILLIAMS came to her death, upon their oaths, do say the said ESSIE WILLIAMS came to her death by a pistol shot wound inflicted by Luke Henderson on October 22, 1921. 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/ L. D. Wicker, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ J. D. Wicker (L.S.)

/s/ C. V. Thomas (L.S.)                                                        /s/ H. S. Renwick (L.S.)

/s/ J. E. Renwick (L.S.)                                                        /s/ H. D. Havird (L.S.)

TESTIMONY

HATTIE MAY HENDERSON sworn says:

I live on Mr. Renwick’s Place. I was here in this room last night about dusk or ½ past 6 o’clock [when] this meeting was. Luke Henderson was standing near the door in the corner. He had the pistol but didn’t have any balls in [it]. He pointed it at her. He said, “I am going to shoot you.” They were laughing at that time. He snapped the pistol once but did --- fire. He pointed it at her and said, “Come to me.” He put one ball in it and he snapped it and then it went off. The last thing I heard him say was, “If you don’t come to me I am going to shoot you.” He put one ball in the pistol and said, “If you don’t come to me I am going to shoot this time.” George Johnstone was sitting in a chair in front of the door. He saw this shooting. I saw Luke with the pistol in his hand in the other room he had just come. I ran to Uncle Pet’s house about 500 yards from here. This happened in Newberry Co. SC on Oct. 22nd 1921 on Sat. night.

                                                                                          Miss HATTIE MAY HENDERSON

GEORGE JOHNSTON sworn says:

I was in this house last night. This was Saturday night about ½ past 6 o’clock. I looked at my watch. Oct. 22, 1921. Luke Henderson came with me here. I came in the door and sat down. Luke [was] in the other room with the girls. I never was up here before last night. I do not know these girls names. This dead girl asked Luke, “Let me see the pistol.” They came in the room where I was and walked in the corner. Next thing I knew the pistol shot. I looked over in the corner. When I heard the pistol shoot and I saw the dead girl and Luke Henderson. When he came out of the door he said, “I shot Essie.” I knew Essie before this. He ran out of the door with the pistol when he shot her. We went across that field until we got to Luke’s house. Didn’t stop at Mr. Renwick’s house and tell anybody. I am Luke’s uncle. Luke came to take Essie to the party. I seen the girl fall. I didn’t hear her say anything. [She was] about 5 steps from where I sat.                          Witness H. D. HAVIRD                                    GEORGE (X) JOHNSTON

MARY ANN HENDERSON sworn says:

When Luke and boy came in the door Luke went in the other room [and] asked where Essie was. Lisa said, “She is going out of the door.” He said, “She better not be in this closet.” Essie came in and Luke said, “Hey Essie.” Essie came around in the room and he said, “Come here Essie.” And she never came to him. He said, “I will shoot you.” He came on and pointed the pistol up in the left. He snapped it one time. Then he put a ball in . He said, “You don’t believe none in it.” He snapped it again. He said, “Next time it is going off.” I went around the other room and pulled the door shut. About that time Hattie said, “Luke done shot Essie and she done fell dead.” I heard the shot. Luke went out doors and threw the shell out and went out across the field. George Johnston went with him.

                                                                                          MARY ANN HENDERSON

LISA HENDERSON  sworn says:

Luke came in and he said hey to me. He started around the other room. [I was] fixing to get dressed. I said, “Don’t come in here.” I told Luke Essie was not here. She was out of doors. Luke asked me was she in the closet. She was out of doors. He said she better not be in that closet. When I got to the middle Luke came to me. She (Essie) said, “Go away.” Essie said to Luke, “Put that pistol down.” And then I heard it snap. It snapped two times and the third time it went off. Luke called to Essie, “If you don’t come to me after snapping it two times that the next time it was going off.” This happened in this room in Richard Henderson’s house on Renwick Bros. Place. In Newberry Co. SC on Sat. night about dark, about 6:30o’clock, Oct. 22, 1921.                                                        ELISA HENDERSON

Newberry South Carolina

Oct. 24, 1921

I examined the body of Essie Williams on the above date. I find that Essie Williams came to her death by a gunshot wound of the head. The bullet wound of entrance is one inch from the right ear. Wound of exit is in the upper left side of the forehead.                                                                                          J. K. WICKER MD

A true record October 24, 1921    C. C. C. P.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at the Whitmire in the County and State aforesaid, the 8 day of November A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty one before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of NATHANIEL JOINER of WHITMIRE S.C. then and there being dead by the oaths of R. M. Aughtry, G. C. McCall, L. D. Abrams, Clyde Gregory, Tom Wilkerson, Coleman Aughtry 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 NATHANIEL JOINER came to his death, upon their oaths, do say by an accident with a shot gun in the hands of Joe Joiner. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid is a true verdict to the best of our knowledge.

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/ R. M. Aughtry, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ Coleman Aughtry (L.S.)                                                  /s/ Tom (X) Wilkerson (L.S.)

/s/ L. D. Abrams (L.S.)                /s/ G. C. McCall (L.S.)                 /s/ Clyde Gregory (L.S.)

MR. C. H. CLARK sworn and said:

He was lying on the floor when I came in and dead about 10 minutes after I heard the gun fire. Came in and found him in the above condition. Joe Joiner, Mary Lou and Henderson Joiner was in the house when I got there.

                                                                                                    C. H. (X) CLARK

D. J. TAYLOR sworn says:

I was called from Whitmire to the Hill. When I got there I found a killing had taken place. I found Nathaniel Joiner dead and upon investigation that he was shot with a shot gun by Joe Joiner. The information I read from Joe Joiner. I put Joe Joiner under arrest. The information I read was Joe joiner’s statement. He said that he had a single barrel shot gun in his hand and was fooling with the hammer, cocking it and letting it down and it went off and killed Nathaniel Joiner.

                                                                                                    D. J. TAYLOR


This is to certify that I have examined Joiner Boy (son of Nathaniel Joiner) who was shot today and found the following:

The discharge entering the body through the mastoid bone of the right side, puncturing the carotid artery and jugular vein in the right side, emerging on the left side through the left half of the mandible tearing it away. The discharge or lead went straight through the neck and jaw. The boy who did the shooting from the direction of the wound must have been standing behind and to the right of the dead boy. This would be sufficient to have caused the death of the boy. He bled enough to cause death.                                                             W. E. BRACKETT  MD

A true record Nov. 9, 1921

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at J. A. Burton’s Place in the County and State aforesaid, the 19th of January A. D., one thousand nine hundred and 22 before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of ____ of ___ 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 MARY BISHOP came to her death, upon their oaths, do say that the said Mary Bishop came to her death by being burned accidentally. 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

LOUVENIA BURTON sworn says:

When I went out Mary Bishop was by the fire. I went to the well. I saw smoke in the house and went in the house and found Mary Bishop lying on the floor [with her] clothing on fire. No one was in the house but Mary Bishop. I threw a bucket of water on her.                                                                      LOUVENIA (X) BURTON

This is to certify that I have examined the body of Mary Bishop and find that she came to her death from being burned.    Newberry SC, Jan 19, 1922                                                 W. D. SENN MD

Recorded January 20, 1922                   J. D. Wheeler C. C. C. P.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Prosperity in the County and State aforesaid, the 30th day of January A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty two before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of GEORGE WISE of ____. then and there being dead by the oaths of B. B. Hair, J. D. Lominick, W. C. Brown, J. F. Enlow, W. C. Blake, and Forrest Shealy 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 GEORGE WISE came to his death, upon their oaths, do say the said GEORGE WISE came to his death by a gun shot (pistol) inflicted by William Johnson on January 1st 1922 from which wound the said George Wise died on January 23, 1922 and that the shooting was the careless handling of a deadly weapon. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid George Wise 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/ B. B. Hair, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ W. C. Blake (L.S.)                  /s/ W. C. Brown (L.S.)                 /s/ Forrest Shealy (L.S.)

/s/ J. D. Lominick (L.S.)                                                       /s/ J. T. Enlow (L.S.)

TESTIMONY

FED BOYD sworn:

I was down at Jessie Williams the day Geo. Wise was shot. Geo. Wise, Duke (Wm.) Johnson, Dave Pugh and myself walked out doors. Wm. Johnson says, “Do you know who wouldn’t take a damn step behind the plow stock in the field.” I answered, “Me neither.” George Wise said, “I am a long ways from home and I ought to be there and hadn’t it been for you fuckers I wouldn’t been here.” Wm. Johnson said, “Don’t call me no fucker.” And George said, “You know who I came with.” By that time they walked off to a corner of the house next to the road and Wm. Johnson said, “Pearl promised to come up here today and damn it, she never came.” And George Wise said, “Yes, she promised to come up here to see us today.” And Wm. Johnson asked, “Do you mean that?” Geo. Wise says, “Yes, and she promised to come to see us today.” By that time I saw Wm. Johnson run his hand in his pocket and bring out a gun and held it in front of him and it went off.

(Q.) Did he look like he was mad with George?

(A.) I didn’t notice.

(Q.) How did he like it when called a fucker?

(A.) Didn’t like it. Made him mad.

(Q.) Wasn’t Wm. Johnson a bad man?

(A.) No sir, never spoke a cross word.

Witness:                 G. L. Robinson                                                                    FED (X) BOYD

COLIE JOHNSON sworn:

I am a 2nd cousin to Wm. Johnson. I live in Newberry Co. I was at Jas. Williams on New Years day. I was there in the house when Geo. Wise, Fed Boyd and Dave Pugh walked out of the house. Never heard any loud talking or conversation between [them]. About ten minutes after they went out I heard gun fire. After the shot fired Geo. Wise came around the kitchen door and said, “I am shot. Wm Johnson shot me.” Do not know if there was a fuss between them. I did not go in the yard when the gun was fired. Jes Williams and Wm. Johnson went for a doctor.

Witness:       G. L. Robinson                                                                              COLIE (X) JOHNSON

DAVID PUGH sworn says:

I was at Jos. Williams the day Geo. Wise was shot. Geo. Wise, Fred Boyd, Duke Johnson and myself were in the yard just before the shooting occurred. Never heard a cross word passed between them. Neither did I hear any conversation about women coming. Did not see a gun or anyone in the crowd. No kin to Wm. Johnson. [I] was going in the house from the rear when the gun fired in the front yard. Heard George Wise ask, “Did you shoot me on purpose?” and Wm. Johnson said, “No I didn’t.”

(Q.)  How long have you been in the neighborhood?

(A.)  Just moved there before X-mas.

Witness:       G. L. Robinson                                                                              DAVID (X) PUGH

A true record January 31, 1922

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Prosperity in the County and State aforesaid, the 22nd day of February A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty two before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of ELLIAH KINARD of Newberry Co. 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 ELLIAH KINARD came to his death, upon their oaths, do say the said ELLIAH KINARD came to his death by Engine Belt striking accidentally. The said saw mill operated by N. C. Minnick. 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.)

C. H. MINICK sworn says:

On the 21st day of Feb. 1922 I was sawing for Mr. Sam Cook. The belt slipped off the pulley, worked up and the front of the engine (Can’t read). Then I saw Elliah Kinard lying behind the fire box. I asked him was he hurt. [He said] “My leg is broke.” I then told Mr. Sam Cook to go after the doctor quick and he went and he (Elliah Kinard) lived about an hour after the doctor went to him. His foot was cut off and his leg was broken in two more places. We moved him up to the house.                                                                                        C. H. MINICK

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

LEO KINARD sworn says:

I was working at Mr. Minick’s saw mill on the day of Feb. 1922. The saw got started in the log. I was going on the slab pile with a slab and the belt had come off and Mr. Minick hollered for Elliah Kinard to shut off the engine. I then looked around and saw him falling over. I think the belt struck him. It was a pure accident. It could not be helped.

Witness:                 A true record February 22, 1922 B. B. Hair                LEO (X) KINARD


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Mount Olive Church in the County and State aforesaid, the 2nd day of April A. D., one thousand nine hundred and 22 before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of LUMAS PITTS of Newberry Co. 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 LUMAS PITTS came to his death, upon their oaths, do say the said LUMAS PITTS came to his death by accidental overturning of an automobile. 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.)

April 2, 1922

This is to certify that Lumas Pitts came to his death in an automobile accident – death due to internal injuries. Witness by said Coroner.                                                                               THOMAS H.POPE MD, Newberry SC

A true record April 3, 1922 J. D. Wheeler C. C. C.P.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Prosperity in the County and State aforesaid, the 15 day of May A. D., one thousand nine hundred and 22 before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of HENRY FLOYD of ____ 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 HENRY FLOYD came to his death, upon their oaths, do say the said HENRY FLOYD came to his death by accident of a mule dragging him caught in the traces. 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.)

Prosperity SC

April (? May?) 15, 1922

This is to certify that I have examined Henry Floyd who came to his death from fractures of the skull at the base of the brain.                                                                                   O. B. Simpson MD

SCOTT FLOYD sworn says:

I saw Henry Floyd when the mule began to jump and the mule threw him off and his foot hung in the traces and the mule ran with him through the field on towards the house.                              SCOTT (X) FLOYD

A true record May 15, 1922         J. D. Wheeler C. C. C.P.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken on the Spence place near Colony Church in the County and State aforesaid, the 25th day of November A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty two before C. W. Douglas, Acting Coroner, upon view of the body of COLLIE DUNCAN of Newberry County. then and there being dead by the oaths of L. M. Fellers, F. Wicker, Frank Schumpert, Will Neel, A. M. Dominick, Allen Vaughn 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 COLLIE DUNCAN came to his death, upon their oaths, do say the said COLLIE DUNCAN came to his death from a gun shot at the hands of A. Y. Spearman on Nov. 24, 1922. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid in the manner and means aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, C. W. Douglas, Acting Coroner aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.               /s/ Charles W. Douglass, Acting Coroner (L.S.)

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

/s/ W. E. Neel (L.S.)                                                            /s/ Frank Schumpert (L.S.) 

/s/ F. P. Wicker (L.S.)                  /s/ Allen (X) Vaughn (L.S.) /s/ A. M. Dorroh (L.S.)


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken on the Spence place near Colony Church in the County and State aforesaid, the 26th day of December A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty two before Charles W. Douglas, Acting Coroner, upon view of the body of WILLIE GRUBER of Newberry County, Mollohon Village. then and there being dead by the oaths of J. M. Guin, E. L. Crump, M. T. Hancock, J. E. Stroud, C. E. Perkins, B. O. Willis 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 WILLIE GRUBER came to his death, upon their oaths, do say the said WILLIE GRUBER came to his death at Newberry SC on December 25, 1922 by _ and means unknown.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, C. W. Douglas, Acting Coroner aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

/s/ Charles W. Douglass, Acting Coroner (L.S.)

/s/ J. M. Guin, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ C. E. Perkins (L.S.)

/s/ E. L. Crump (L.S.)                                                          /s/ J. E. Stroud (L.S.)

/s/ M. T. Hancock (L.S.)                                                      /s/ B. O. Willis (L.S.)

TESTIMONY

Newberry SC

Dec. 26, 1922

INQUEST OVER THE DEAD BODY OF WILLIE GRUBER (White)

MR. LUTHER COUSIN sworn says:

I live in Newberry County SC. I was home on Sunday. I was home on Sunday Dec. 25, 1922. I witnessed an auto wreck near my home in Newberry County Sunday evening. I was out in the yard. I saw an auto coming. When it passed the house where I was standing George Thomas threw up his hand and said, “Ain’t we riding!” Before he could get his hand [back] to the steering wheel, the car went towards Hawkin’s cotton field. Then he turned it across the bank. George Thomas, Will Gruber and another boy were in the car. When the car hit the bank it was going a good speed. Will Gruber was sitting on the box behind. It threw Gruber across but he didn’t fall off. Then George Thomas got off (out of the car) and cranked it up again. He cranked it again and he went down the road. George Thomas was driving the car. Mr. Thomas said Gruber caught his arm. I said, “Gruber didn’t grab your arm.” After taking off the steering rod Mr. Gruber got under the car and unfastened a part, took out bolts. Mr. George and I took it to the shop and straightened it; put it back on. Mr. Gruber helped put it back on. He put the bolts in. Mr. George told Gruber to hurry up. I told them they ought to be ashamed of such behavior. George cursed Gruber for a son of a bitch. Gruber said, “Don’t curse me that way.” Gruber told Thomas that he wanted to drive the car home but he (George) wouldn’t let him. Gruber wasn’t drunk but had had some liquor. They went off down the road after fixing the car. I watched them until they crossed the creek. Haven’t seen them since. My son and D. M. Morgan also witnessed this wreck. Never noticed any bruises and made no appearance of anything hurting. Didn’t hear any shots fired. Gruber didn’t fall off when the car struck the bank. I didn’t see any liquor.                                                              M. L. COUSIN

F. P. COUSIN being duly sworn says:

I seen this auto wreck Sunday afternoon. Mr. Thomas, Mr. Gruber and Lavern were coming up the road in a Ford strip-down. Just as they passed my father’s Mr. Thomas threw up his hand and said, “Ain’t we riding!” Before he got his hand down to the steering rod the car made a dash towards Mr. Bloomer Hawkins cotton field. Then it dashed back across the road and ran into the bank. Mr. Thomas got out to crank the car and ran 6 or 8 feet and [the car] choked down. While fixing the car Mr. Thomas cursed Gruber for a son of a bitch. They did not seem angry about it. Gruber was not drunk. He got under the car and fixed it. Didn’t see them anymore. Accident occurred about 1½ miles from Isaac Derrick’s. This is all I know.                                                              F. P. COUSIN

JESSE FRANK HAWKINS being duly sworn says:

I live in Newberry County. Don’t know Thomas, Gruber or Lavern. I was at home Sunday Dec. 25, part of the day. I didn’t see the wreck near Mr. Cousin’s. I saw three men in a Ford strip-down by the road. [I] passed them on this side of Mr. Merchant’s between three and four o’clock in the afternoon. One of them was standing just behind the car. Didn’t hear any conversation between them. There was a bad place in the road and I didn’t notice them particularly. It was near a spring and I just supposed they had stopped to get water. This was about three or four hundred yards from Isaac Derrick’s or about 1 to 1¼ miles from Mr. Cousin’s. I didn’t see them anymore that day.         J. F. HAWKINS


F. C. MERCHANT being duly sworn says:

My full name is Frank C. Merchant. I live in Newberry County. Do not know Mr. Thomas, Gruber and Lavern. I was at home last Sunday. Sometime about eight o’clock I was sitting in the room with my wife and daughter who were sick when someone knocked at the door. Went to the door and asked who it was. He said his name was Wicker and that he wanted to see me. I said, “Here I am. What do you want?” He said he had a friend down the road bad sick and wanted to get my automobile to carry him home. I told him I had no automobile. That my son had one but he wasn’t at home and anyway I couldn’t leave as my wife and daughter were sick. He went back down the road. I suspicioned something when he insisted that I come out there several times. He seemed to be excited. Didn’t get a car as far as I know. I didn’t see him anymore that night.                                                                    F. C. MERCHANT

D. M. MORGAN being duly sworn says:

My name is Dennis Morgan and I live in this county. I witnessed the auto wreck Sunday afternoon. I knew George Thomas and Will Gruber but did not know Mr. Lavern. The accident occurred near Mr. Luther Cousin’s. Thomas was cursing this Gruber boy about it. Gruber didn’t seem to be drunk. Got under the car and did work on the car. I stayed there until they went away. Didn’t see any bruises and didn’t hear any complaints. Staggered about a little, but was able to do the work on the car. I watched them until they had crossed the bridge about 100 yards from us coming towards Newberry. The accident occurred in Newberry County.                                   DENNIS MORGAN

LUTHER MORGAN being duly sworn says:

I witnessed the auto wreck Sunday afternoon. They were coming up the road making about 35 to 40 miles an hour. Mr. Thomas threw up his hand to Mr. Cousin and said, “Ain’t we riding!” Before he got his hand back on the car it [drove] into the bank. [The impact] didn’t throw the fellow off the car. He held on. Saw no bruises nor heard any complaints. Mr. Thomas told Gruber to hurry up and fix the car and cursed him for a son of a bitch. Stayed there about three quarters of an hour fixing the car and left. Didn’t see them anymore. They went towards Newberry. The boy in the back seemed to be drinking but held on and helped fix the car.                                LUTHER MORGAN

ISAAC DERRICK being duly sworn says:

I live on Mr. Neely Buzhardt’s place and have lived there about 13 years. It is south of Newberry. I was at home last Sunday night. Somebody shot above my house. I never seen anybody. I just said, “Somebody is shooting. Can’t wait until 12 o’clock.” I heard shots two or three hundred yards towards Mr. Merchant’s. I heard an automobile about 15 minutes or half an hour after the shooting. The car came up there about where the shot [was fired] and stopped. I [know] what became of the car. I didn’t see the car. It was between 8 or about 8 o’clock. Cars are always passing my place of business. Some stop and start and some don’t start. I can give ideas. The shooting was about two or three hundred yards from my house. Mr. and Mr. .Kilgore went there this evening. Didn’t see anything except tracks there. Path is along the road from my house to the place where the fellow was found. There is a bank along the road three or four feet high more or less. There is a path up the side bank.                                                    ISAAC (X) DERRICK

Witness:       Mrs. Anna D. Hawkins

HANNAH DERRICK being duly sworn says:

I was at home last Sunday night. I heard a shot about 7 or 8 o’clock. Have not been up there to see. Have no idea how far from the house. Was on the east side of the road.                                          HANNAH DERRICK

BACHMAN McINTIRE being duly sworn says:

I live at Mollohon and know Mr. Thomas, Lavern and Gruber. Will is dead. Died last night at his home. Have not seen him since he died. Gruber lived with his father at home. On Dec. 25th was down at Drigger’s store. Saw Mr. Gruber and Thomas Sunday night. I saw them where I got them. This fellow Wicker came to the store where I was and asked me if I would go out in the country apiece and get Gruber who was drunk, couldn’t get his breath. I got in the car with Henry Gauntt, Ben Summer and Wicker and we went out by Mr. Buzhardt’s and stopped just below a Negro House. Wicker told me to stop here. Didn’t see Thomas until I got there. Wicker and Summer went after Willie Gruber. I told them I would turn around until they got back and when I got turned around they were back with Willie Gruber. Didn’t see them until they were coming down the bank with Willie Gruber. They were carrying Gruber who was as limp as a dish rag. The bank was between three and four feet high. It was on the east side of the road about 50 yards from the Negro House. I guess it was dark and couldn’t tell exactly. Didn’t see any bruises. It was dark and I couldn’t see. Took the body to John Gruber’s house Thomas was the only man who came back who didn’t go out there with us. Didn’t speak at no time as I know of. I went in a Chalmer’s car. Willie’s car is a Ford strip-down. It was in front of Willie’s house when we got back.                                                                                        BACHMAN McINTIRE

BEN SUMMER being duly sworn says:

I saw Willie Gruber and Mr. Thomas last night Sunday night. Was at Drigger’s store about 8:30 when Bartow Wicker came up and asked Bachman McIntire to go with him to get Willie Gruber who was out in the country drunk and couldn’t walk. We got in the car and went about 150 yards from the Negro House on Mr. Neely Buzhardt’s place. When I got there Mr. Thomas was there. Bartow Wicker and I went for Gruber after Thomas hollered, “Here he is.” It was in a hay field. Looked like peas had been planted there. Bartow Wicker and me carried him to the car, as Thomas said he had just been operated on and didn’t want to strain at him. He (Will Gruber) didn’t speak. I stayed about 20 minutes at the house after we got him back. Didn’t examine him. I went there about 20 minutes after he died. There was an embankment about three or four feet high where we brought him down. Saw Willie Gruber’s car in front of his house with one tire off. I didn’t notice any blood. Saw something that looked like somebody had vomited on it. This was about 15 or 20 minutes after 8. I didn’t know anything about Lavern. Mr. Thomas said that he had brought Lavern home in the car. It was about 50 yards from the Negro house.                                             BEN (X) SUMMER

Witness:       Mrs. Anna D. Hawkins

BARTOW WICKER being duly sworn says:

I live in Newberry County and know Gruber, Thomas and Lavern. I saw Mr. Thomas on Sunday night. I was in the kitchen fixin to eat supper when Thomas came in and told me that he wanted to get Willie Gruber home. Lavern was brought back and Gruber said that he would stay until I came back. Mr. Gruber was past speaking when we got back. We found him on Mr. Neely Buzhardt’s place about 50 or 60 yards from a Negro House. Mr. Thomas went out there with me and said he would stay there until I came back. Gruber was snoring like asleep. Gruber didn’t have any coat. I pulled off mine and put it around him. I got Bachman McIntire to go for him. Didn’t examine his head. Gruber owns a ford strip-down. There was a bank. We brought Gruber down to the car from a field like a hay field. He was not able to speak and couldn’t walk. Could not have walked from the road to the car.

Cross Examined:

All these young men Lavern, Thomas and Gruber live at Mollohon and were friendly.          BARTOW (X) WICKER

Witness Mrs. Anna D. Hawkins

DR. J. K. WICKER being duly sworn says:

I knew Willie Gruber first Monday afternoon at 3:30 when called in consultation with Dr. W. H. Lake. I am a physician, having practiced since 1914; graduated at Tulane University. [I] have been one year in hospital [practice]; one year in the army and 8 years in general practice. I made an examination of the body of this young man. [I] found him lying in bed in an unconscious condition – legs and arms paralyzed. [His pupils were almost fixed. [His] breathing was about 60 per minute; pulse was 140 which is faster than normal and [he was] in critical condition. [I] made an examination of the entire body and found four red spots; one on the right side on the 7th rib; one on the right hip and one on each knee. There was no injury to the skin; no bruises about the body and the red spots were probably caused by mild pressure. His flesh was in good condition. Dr. Pope and I performed an autopsy about 10:30 this morning (Tuesday) and this is our certificate:

We hereby certify that we examined the body of Willie Gruber. We found no signs of external injury. After minute examination of the skull and brain we found no evidence of injury. At the request of Willie’s father we removed the stomach and prepared to ship the same to Columbia for further examination. The cause of death is unknown to us.

                                                                                                    THOMAS H. POPE MD

Dec. 26, 1922                                                                                         JNO K. WICKER MD

Willie did not speak while we were attending, only an occasional groan; no other noise whatever. There was black discoloration on the back, which would be found ordinarily on any dead person’s body. This examination was made at 3:30 in the afternoon

Cross Examination: It was a case of alcoholic poison.                               JNO K. WICKER MD

DR. T. H. POPE being duly sworn says:

I am a practicing physician in Newberry County and made an examination of the body of the deceased Willie Gruber. We found no bruises, but to be positive we removed the brain. We examined the body and found little red spots the size of a dollar, four of them on the right side, right hip and one on each knee. This autopsy was made about 10 o’clock that day. (Today)

Cross Examination:

There were no bruises sufficient to produce death. The stomach was removed at the father’s request. [I] could not say [death] was caused by alcoholic poison seeing him as I did. There was a peculiar odor, similar to liquor but could not say it was the cause of his death.                                                              THOMAS H. POPE MD

L. M. PLAYER being duly sworn says:

I am deputy sheriff for Newberry County and have been for more than two years. I knew Willie Gruber. Do not recall when I saw him last but have not seen him in a week or ten days. I have not seen him since his death. Saw the Ford strip-down of Mr.; Gruber’s and examined it. Found one tire off. On the running board was something like mucous and something like blood on the right hand side. There were three or four spots of blood. The place from which he was carried was about 75 yards from Isaac Derrick’s and about one mile and a quarter from Mr. Luther Cousin’s on the left hand side of the road going south. The bank is 3½ to 4 feet high. The doctor’s removed the stomach and we prepared to ship it to the State Laboratory for analysis but was informed that it could not be done except at a private institution and would be very expensive costing $100 or more and it is still in the hands of Mr. Douglass.

                                                                                                    L. M. PLAYER

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken on the Whitmire in the County and State aforesaid, the 4th day of June A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty three before F. M. Lindsay, Coroner, upon view of the body of AIKEN McCARLEY of Whitmire SC. then and there being dead by the oaths of W. R. Watson, G. C. McCall, S. P. Orr, H. M. Robinson, J. T. Gregory and W. G. Puckett 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 AIKEN McCARLEY came to his death, upon their oaths, do say the said AIKEN McCARLEY came to his death by being struck and run over by the Seaboard Airline train going south, leaving Whitmire SC at 9 o’clock Saturday am June 2, 1923. And so the jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid do say that the aforesaid Aiken McCarley 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/ W. R. Watson, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ H. M. Robinson (L.S.)                                                     /s/ G. C. McCall (L.S.)

/s/ J. T. Gregory (L.S.)                /s/ S. P. Orr (L.S.)             /s/ W. G. Puckett (L.S.)                     

Dr. Hilton B. Thomas being duly sworn says that:

He examined the body of Aiken McClarey of Whitmire SC June 2, 1923. Examination revealed the following findings:

(Transcriber noted – ‘Can’t read’)

 

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