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 Sheriff’s Office in the County and State aforesaid, the 12th day of December A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty six before I. H. Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of EDWARD CLARK of Newberry County then and there being dead by the oaths of Hub Workman, John Swittenberg, J. F. Thompson, Wilbur Long, D. A. Livingston Jr., Thomas Cromer 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 EDWARD CLARK came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that the said EDWARD CLARK came to his death by a pistol shot wound in the hands of George Davis And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid EDWARD CLARK came to his death by means and manner aforesaid.

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

/s/ I. H. Wilson, Coroner (L.S.)

/s/ Hub Workman, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ John Swittenburg (L.S.)                                        /s/ Thomas Cromer (L.S.)

/s/ J. F. Thompson (L.S.)             /s/ Wilbur Long (L.S.)                  /s/ D. A. Livingston Jr. (L.S.)

TESTIMONY

DR. T. H. POPE duly sworn says:

Edward Clark said he was shot by George Davis on Sunday night December 12. 1926 about 10 o’clock at the home of Wallace Butler, a house on Mr. Frank Johnson’s place. That he walked up on the piazza of Wallace Butler’s house and George Davis shot him. [He] has the gun in his left hand. December 17, 1926     THOMAS H. POPE MD

WALLACE BUTLER duly sworn says:

George Davis shot Edward Clark at my house on Mr. Frank Johnson’s Place. My wife, myself, George Davis and his wife were in the house. I was asleep and the shots woke me up. I heard George Davis say Edward Clark was running after his (Davis) wife. He, Edward Clark, was at my house Sunday night before the shooting, following Friday night. Davis’ wife was there. I talked with George Davis Monday morning after the shooting following Sunday night. He said he shot at Edward Clark about running after his wife. He also said, “Papa, I am sorry I shot at your house, but I had told Clark to stop running after my wife. Davis said, “Someone hollered ‘Hello’ and no one answered. I went to the door and Edward Clark was at the door and had his hand on his hip pocket and I shot at him.”                                                                              WALLACE (X) BUTLER

                                                                                                    H. A. WORKMAN, foreman

This is to certify that Edward Clark came to his death by gun shot wounds of the lower right abdomen.              December 17, 1926                                                        THOMAS H. POPE MD

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at the P. E. Kunkle’s in the County and State aforesaid, the 30th day of January A. D., one thousand nine hundred and 27 before I. H. Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of SAM LINDSEY of Newberry County then and there being dead by the oaths of P. E. Kunkle, J. P. Nichols, J. H. Bowers, Jacob M. Bowers, H. J. Leaphart, W. E. Nichols 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 SAM LINDSEY came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that the said SAM LINDSEY came to his death from a wound inflicted upon himself with a razor and that the same was self inflicted. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid SAM LINDSEY came to his death by means and manner aforesaid.

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

/s/ I. H. Wilson, Coroner (L.S.)

/s/ P. E. Kunkle, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ J. P. Nichols (L.S.)                                                          /s/ W. E. Nichols (L.S.)

/s/ J. H. Bowers (L.S.)                 /s/ Jacob M. Bowers (L.S.)          /s/ H. J. Leaphart. (L.S.)

TESTIMONY

SALLIE LINDSEY sworn says:

Sam Lindsey was my husband. He is the one dead. I have seven children. We have been living here two years. Sam came home this morning between two and three o’clock. I was the only one awake when he came. He stood up before the fire – had a bottle of whiskey and drank that and started cursing. Said he was already worried and was going to kill himself. I heard him go to the other room to get the gun out of the rack and he said he was going to kill himself. I grabbed the baby and went out of the front door and went up to Vita Harmon’s. Sam was fussing when he drank the liquor. Esco Harmon and myself came back home this morning after sun-up. We found Sam dead, his throat cut. We never had no fuss last night. We have been getting along alright.          SALLIE LINDSEY

JAMES LINDSEY sworn says:

I am Sam Lindsey’s boy. I was here last night. I never heard Papa when he came in. Didn’t know he was dead until this morning.                                                                                  JAMES LINDSEY

Prosperity SC          Jan 30, 1927

This is to certify that I have examined the dead body of Sam Lindsey and found that he died from the effects of a cut with a razor on the neck.                                                                 J. I. BEDENBAUGH MD

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at the Sheriff’s Office in the County and State aforesaid, the 19th day of April A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty seven before I. H. Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of VINNIE BELL YOUNG of Newberry County then and there being dead by the oaths of L.G. Eskridge, John Swittenburg, I. N. Merchant, Wilbur Long, Claude Bouknight, L. S. Lovelace 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 VINNIE BELL YOUNG came to her death, upon their oaths, do say that the said VINNIE BELL YOUNG came to her death by a gun shot wound inflicted by Reeney Young. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid VINNIE BELL YOUNG came to her death by means and manner aforesaid.

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

/s/ I. H. Wilson, Coroner (L.S.)

/s/ L. G. Eskridge, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ W. E. Long (L.S.)                                                           /s/ L. S. Lovelace (L.S.)

/s/ Claude Bouknight (L.S.)          /s/ I. N. Merchant (L.S.)               /s/ John Swittenburg (L.S.)

Inquest over the dead body of Vinnie Bell Lovelace, April 19, 1927

ELLA HUNTER sworn says:

Vinnie Bell Young and husband had a dispute and Vinnie Bell came to my house last Saturday gone (April 9). On Friday night we heard someone under the house and ran down the road. Saturday Reenie Young came back and tried to get Vinnie Bell to go with him Sunday night (April 17). He came back again on Monday night. We were sitting there, Mathew Reuben, Sarah Thacker, George Jackson, sitting in my house playing ‘smut’ around my trunk. Someone knocked on the window. Vinnie Bell said, “Who is that?” No one answered and her brother said, “Play on, there is no one.” About that time a gun shot through the window glass.  That is all I know. Did not see him run off but on Saturday night someone else saw him and I saw him Sunday night, April 17 – came in and sat down about 2 minutes – asked me where was Vinnie Bell. I told him she was gone to her cousin’s. He never said a word when the shot was fired, never did see Reenie Young after the shooting.                ELLA HUNTER

MATHEW REUBEN sworn says:

Sunday night me and Reenie Young came there together. Reenie Young told me to talk to Vinnie Bell for him and I did not find her over there. He went on home then. So last night we were all sitting there playing ‘smut’. Sarah Thacker, Ella Hunter, George Jackson, Mathew Reuben. Someone was knocking at the window. Vinnie Bell said, “Who is that at the window?” Mathew said, “Play on – I don’t reckon anyone is there.” About that time a gun fired. All I know – she fell when the gun fired (Vinnie Bell) – nothing said after the shot. I saw his car as I was going over there to Ella Hunter’s. I ran and I did not see who shot and [I] ran into the other room. I know Young has a shotgun because I hunted with it.

Q. How far was the car from the house?
A.  The car was behind me while I was going to the oil mill.
Q. Where did this happen?
A.  In Newberry County.                                                                           MATHEW REUBEN


GEORGE JACKSON sworn says:

I met up with Mathew Reuben last night and I asked him to go on over on the knitting-mill hill and he said alright. We went over and went up to Ella Hunter’s house. I went up to Geneva Longshore’s house and then came back. I whistled for Mathew Reuben and he did not hear me and I went up there after him. When I went up a car was standing in front of Gus Bouknight’s store. The person in it was dressed in women’s clothing. I went on up there and they were playing ‘smut’. I told Mathew to let’s go. At that time someone knocked on the window. Vinnie Bell asked, “Who is that?” and Mathew said, “Play on.” At that time a gun fired through the window – all I know. This happened on the knitting-mill hill in Newberry County. I did not know the car but described it to Mathew Reuben and he said it was Reenie Young’s car. The car I saw was an old Ford painted over and the top recovered. Had a 1925 shaped top on this old car.                                                GEORGE JACKSON

SARA THACKER sworn says:

Last night at my sister Ella Hunter’s we were playing ‘smut’ and someone knocked at the window. Vinnie Bell asked, “Who is that?” Mathew said, “Play on”. And at that time the gun fired. [That is[ all I know that happened. Shot gun fired. We all ran in the kitchen and Vinnie Bell fell over. She lived about ten minutes but did not speak.

                                                                                                    SARA THACKER

DEPUTY TAYLOR sworn says:

Last night I went down to STARVATION HILL. Several of us went up to John Spearman and got Eugene Spearman to go down to the house with us. When we were in sight of the house we saw two persons walking off from the house. Mr. Spearman called to Young and they stopped. Young’s mother was with him and she came back. Reenie stopped in the road until Mr. Quattlebaum and Fellers went down and got him. We asked him where the gun was he did the shooting with and he said he did not own a gun. When he got to jail he admitted he had a gun but Mr. Spearman had it. We went back out to Mr. Spearman’s about the gun and he said he did not have it and we have not been able to find it. He did the killing (shooting). We arrested him and brought him, placed him in jail. He said Mr. Spearman had the gun because he knew he was all torn up. He took the gun from him yesterday morning.

                                                                      D. J. TAYLOR, Deputy Sheriff of Newberry County

April 20, 1927

H. J. QUATTLEBAUM duly sworn says:

I talked with Reenie Young in jail yesterday afternoon and he made a confession that he killed Vinnie Bell Young, his wife. He told me what happened Monday night. [He] said he worked all day Monday. He worried over his trouble all day. Came in from the field Monday night after he finished putting up his mule and doing up his work. Before going home said he got in his car and put his gun in his car. Came to Newberry SC. Went to where his wife was staying at Ella Hunter’s. Said he made up his mind that when he found her that if there wasn’t any man in the house where she was at that time, he would talk to her and try and get her to go back home but when he got to the house and went to the window and he could see her sitting there on the cot - said he could hear a man talking in the room – said he just shot through the window glass where she was sitting. After he shot he went back where he had left his car and went home. Drove the car up into Mr. John Spearman’s yard- threw his gun away and went home and went to bed.                                         H. J. QUATTLEBAUM, Deputy Sheriff of Newberry County

I examined the body of Vinnie Bell Young. I find that the cause of death was a shotgun wound of the upper left third of the back.                                April 19, 1927                                      JOHN K. WICKER MD

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY                     TO BE TRIED DEC. TERM 1927

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at the Newberry County jail in the County and State aforesaid, the 5th day of July A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty seven before I. H. Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of LUCINDA SPRAGEN of No. 6 Township then and there being dead by the oaths of J. M. Johnstone, M. C. Moore, W. E. Schumpert, J. T. Kinard, C. B. Halfacre 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 LUCINDA SPRAGEN came to her death, upon their oaths, do say that the said LUCINDA SPRAGEN came to her death by a gun shot wound inflicted by Harry Kemp. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid LUCINDA SPRAGEN came to her death by means and manner aforesaid.

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

/s/ I. H. Wilson, Coroner (L.S.)

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

/s/ M. C. Moore (L.S.)                                                         /s/ J. T. Kinard (L.S.)

/s/ C. B. Halfacre (L.S.)                                                       /s/ W. E. Schumpert (L.S.)

TESTIMONY

ANGELINA BOOZER sworn says:

I live on the Scott Place. I was cooking dinner and Harry Kemp came to my house and said he had something to tell me- to come on out the porch. He said Tarrant grabbed him and Lucinda. He said, “I scrambled and got loose”, and said, “Sister got the shot gun and came on down here and Tarrant was coming across the field with a pan in his hand and never seen before nor today Kemp with a pistol.” I saw Tarrant with a good sized pistol about three weeks ago. He came to my house with it. It was on a Sunday. He came at Jack (My sister heard) with the pistol that day. I had a scuffle to keep him from coming in the house. Zekie Wilson was there that day and other people.

                                                                                                    ANGELINE (X) BOOZER

ZEKIE WILSON sworn says:

I live on the Scott Place. I am Tarrant Wilson’s cousin. I was at Angeline’s house today when Kemp came there. He said he had shot Lucinda. Said he was shooting at Tarrant and shot her. Said he did not intend to shoot her. I was at Angeline’s house about three weeks ago when Tarrant came there with a pistol. He had it in his hand and Angeline told him to go back – not to come in the house with the pistol and he gave the pistol to Buck Carwile and then he told Lucinda to come out and talk with him. She came out in the road and talked. Tarrant has been staying with Lucinda more than 2 years.                                                                               ZEKIE (X) WILSON

JACK WILSON sworn says:

I am a cousin to Tarrant Wilson. I live on the Scott Place 5 or 6 hundred yards from him and heard a shot fire between one and two o’clock. It was in this direction that I heard it and I never heard but one shot. It was, in my opinion, a pistol shot. Tarrant Wilson said Kemp shot at him and the woman got shot. Tarrant said Kemp and Lucinda were down in the bushes when he came up. He said he walked up and caught hold of both of them and said Kemp shot at him and hit Lucinda in the neck. He said he did not believe she was shot until she fell to her knees. Lucinda had been Tarrant’s woman for over two years but they were not living together at the time of the shooting. Tarrant was shacking at the saw mill and they been on a bus for about three weeks.                                               JACK (X) WILSON

REASON WILSON sworn says:

I am the brother to Tarrant Wilson. Tarrant has been keeping this woman about 12 or 14 years and they busted up when the snow was on the ground in March. He said when he came to Lucinda’s home Harry Kemp was in the house and both of them ran and he spent the night there and he left next morning and took his clothes to mother’s house. Tarrant owned a pistol 3 or 4 years ago. It was a little old 25. It has been torn up a long time. I haven’t seen him with one since Tarrant’s left arm was cut off.                                                               REASON (X) WILSON

WILLIAM WILSON sworn says:

I live close to here. Lucinda who is dead is my mother, she got killed between 12 and 1 o’clock. I was at the house. I heard the pistol shot. It only shot once. I came down here and found her and Pa turned and went on off – never spoke at all.                                                                                                WILLIAM (X) WILSON

JACK CARWILE sworn says:

I was at Angeline Boozer’s house about 3 weeks ago on Sunday. Tarrant came in and jumped up on the porch and pulled a pistol out and said, “Where is Lucinda?” and I said don’t do that. Tarrant said, “I’ll kill Lucinda if she doesn’t let me get to her and talk to her.” He gave the gun to someone. Angeline pushed Tarrant away from the door. The pistol was a shiny pistol and had a revolver.                            JACK (X) CARWILE

ANGELINE BOOZER recalled:

Tarrant has had his clothes away from Lucinda’s since the snow. He has been coming there since same time every week and sometimes every two weeks. Lucinda has had nine children and all are Tarrant’s except one. This woman was not married.                           July 5, 1927                                     ANGELINE (X) BOOZER

SHERIFF BLEASE sworn says:

Tarrant Wilson told me in the jail that he ran up on this Negro Kemp and woman Lucinda in the bushes and this Negro Kemp jumped up and shot at him and hit the woman. I explained to him the way this wound was on the woman and asked him if they were not scuffling. He said not. He showed me in the presence of Mr. Workman about how far he was. This Negro shot at him which was about 2 feet. I asked him if he had a pistol. [He] said he did not. I asked him if he meant to tell me he went and caught this Negro on his wife or woman and he didn’t bother him and he said he did not. He said he had a small stick in his hands. I also had a conversation with Kemp. ?Neither? Kemp said he, “Was up there with this woman in the bushes and this Negro Wilson came up. Wilson threw his arms around me and the woman and Wilson hit him with a stick. Wilson ran, his hands in his blouse where the pistol was. He had a pistol in his over-alls in the front. He still had the other hand around the man and woman’s neck” [Kemp] said Kemp shot his pistol and he said Wilson shot but Kemp shot first. “We were close together. The woman fell but he didn’t know who shot her.” I asked him what became of his stick. He said he threw it down. I asked him if he shot the woman and he said if he did he didn’t intend to do it. He said he would not have been bothering this woman but they had been on a bust. Harry Kemp and Tarrant Wilson made these statements in regards to the shooting of Lucinda Stragen last night July 4, 1927.            CANNON G. BLEASE, Sheriff of Newberry County

D. J. TAYLOR sworn says:

I arrested Harry Kemp and Tarrant Wilson yesterday on or near Mr. Burton’s ‘Scott Place’ in Newberry County. I searched both of them and found this pistol, a Remington in my opinion, it is about a 38 calibre. I found no pistol on Wilson. The pistol didn’t have any cartridges in it when I got it.                        

                                                            D. J. TAYLOR, Deputy Sheriff of Newberry County

H. L. QUATTLEBAUM sworn says:

I have the ball that Dr. Mayes cut out of this dead woman. It is the same calibre ball that this pistol shoots. This is an automatic pistol and an automatic ball.               H. J. QUATTLEBAUM, Deputy Sheriff of Newberry County

DR. MAYES sworn says:

This certifies that I have examined Lucinda Spragen’s body and find her death came from a gun shot wound of the left side of the neck.                              R. L. MAYES MD                 July 4, 1927

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at the County Court House in the County and State aforesaid, the 7th of July A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty seven before I. H. Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of JAMES ANDERSON of Newberry County then and there being dead by the oaths of John Danielson, Tom Cromer, W. E. Long, J. F. Thompson, D. A. Livingston, A. C. Wheeler 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 JAMES ANDERSON came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that the said JAMES ANDERSON came to his death by gun shot wounds in the hands of George Rutherford, inflicted July 3, 1927 and died July 6, 1927. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid JAMES ANDERSON came to his death by means and manner aforesaid.

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

/s/ I. H. Wilson, Coroner (L.S.)

/s/ Wilbur E. Long, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ John T. Danielson (L.S.)                                                 /s/ D. A. Livingston (L.S.)

/s/ Thomas L. Cromer (L.S.)        /s/ J. F. Thompson (L.S.)             /s/ A. C. Wheeler (L.S.)

TESTIMONY

LIZZIE DOUGLASS being sworn says:

I stay on the old John Neel Place. On last Sunday night I was back of Mr. Tom Harmon’s store. I was at Andrew Wicker’s house. Minnie Lee Wicker, Elizabeth Graham, George Rutherford and others were there. I was fixing to go home. On my way Andrew said, “Wait, we will go a piece-way with you” and Elizabeth said, “Uncle George, you can go down that far with us.” We were coming on down the road home. And when they got up as far as Cleveland Wicker’s house, they stopped there and I went on. George Rutherford and myself and my boy went on. James Anderson passed by us and when he got to the third house he stopped and when James stopped and said something to George Rutherford which I did not hear. When I got down the road I heard George say, “Cousin James, have I ever done you anything wrong?” James said, “No”. George said, “Cousin James, you treated me wrong.” I had done passed by them. I heard a lick pass and then I heard the shooting. I don’t know who hit the lick, George Rutherford or James Anderson. Ain’t never had nothing to do with me. I have never had nothing to do with George or James. This happened Sunday night about ten o’clock. I never heard them say a word to each other – only George asked Cousin James, “Have I ever done you anything wrong?” I did not know they were mad. James Anderson never said a word to me.                                                     LIZZIE DOUGLASS

HENRY BROOKS being sworn says:

I was going down the road on the right side. Mamma was on the left side. I heard three gun shpts and me and mama went on down the road. We didn’t go back.                                             HENRY BROOKS


DEPUTY SHERIFF T. M. FELLERS sworn says:

George Rutherford said, “Me and Lizzie Douglas and her boy were coming up the road and he was carrying a sack belonging to the woman. James Anderson said, “George, I wouldn’t have treated you that way. What have I ever done to you?” He (George) says, “Nothing.” James told George to give the sack back to the woman and he did. James Anderson drew a gun and George grabbed his hand. Then they clinched and James caught hold to his lips with his teeth and bit him. He said when Jim had bit he shot him. George Rutherford’s lips were bit into the gum and he was out and had Dr. Wicker to sew it up.                T. M. FELLERS, Deputy Sheriff for Newberry County

DR. FRANK D. MOWER MD

This is to certify that James Anderson of Newberry SC died July 6th 1927 of a gun shot wound of the chest.

July 7, 1927                                                    FRANK D. MOWER MD

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at J. F. Bedenbaugh’s Place in Laurens in Laurens County and State aforesaid, the 17th of July A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty seven before I. H. Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of BOYCE RENWICK of Newberry County then and there being dead by the oaths of W. M. Buford, W. J. Swittenburg, I. M. Smith, J. E. Smith, T. W. Dixon, E. B. Moss 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 BOYCE RENWICK came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that the said BOYCE RENWICK came to his death by being struck above the left ear or back of the ear with a rock thrown by P. C. Leake. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid BOYCE RENWICK came to his death by means and manner aforesaid.

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

/s/ I. H. Wilson, Coroner (L.S.)

/s/ W. J. Swittenburg, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ T. W. Dickson (L.S.)                                                       /s/ I. M. Smith (L.S.)

/s/ W. M. Buford (L.S.)                /s/ J. E. Smith (L.S.)                    /s/ E. B. Moss (L.S.)

TESTIMONY

GEORGE THRIFT who being duly sworn says:

I saw P. C. Leake grab a rock. When he came back Cooney Renwick, when he hit him with a rock, he fell and P. C. Leake said, “I’ll kill you, god damn you. I have been wanting to kill you.” P. C. Leake threw the rock. He was about 10 feet from Cooney when he threw the rock. This happened in Newberry County July 17, 1927 at M. W. Swittenburg’s place.                                                          GEORGE (X) THRIFT

EPHE WILLIAMS who being duly sworn says:

I saw P. C. Leake pick up the rock and hit Cooney Renwick. He threw the rock and hit him back of the left ear. I saw Cooney fall and P. C. Leake ran on off. This happened on M. W. Swittenburg’s place in Newberry County and they brought Cooney up here and he died her on Mr. J. F. Bedenbaugh’s place in Laurens County. July 17, 1927

                                                                                          EPHE (X) WILLIAMS

BUSS BROWN who being duly sworn says:

We were all sitting at the wood pile in the yard and P. C. Leake ran through the house making a whole lot of fuss. And we asked what was the matter? They said P. C. was in the house with a gun. When we got to the front door all was going out the back door and a few coming out the front door. Jim Leake took the gun from P. C. Leake. We were all standing in the yard. While Jim had the gun, Toss Leake and Spearman Leake had poles and Spearman got at Cooney Renwick and asked him what he had to do with P. C. Leake. While they were talking to Cooney P. C. Leake ran out and got two rocks and came back and said, “You have been picking at me for some time’. And P. C. Leake hit Coonie Renwick with a rock and Cooney Renwick fell and P. C. Leake said, “I have been telling you I was going to kill you”, and P. C. Leake went on out across the field. I saw the rock when it hit Coonie Renwick behind the left ear.                                                           BUSS (X) BROWN

This is to certify that Boyce Renwick came to his death by a blow above the left ear with a blunt instrument.

                    July 17, 1927                                                            THOMAS H. POPE MD 

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Prosperity in the County and State aforesaid, the 16th of August A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty seven before I. H. Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of J. C. GRAY of Newberry County then and there being dead by the oaths of D. H. Ham, John Dawkins, E. W. Werts, L. A. Black, A. K. Epting, W. B. Wise 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 J. C. GRAY came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that the said J. C. GRAY came to his death by an automobile collision which was unavoidable by all parties concerned. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid J. C. GRAY came to his death by means and manner aforesaid.

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

/s/ I. H. Wilson, Coroner (L.S.)

/s/ D. H. Ham, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ John H. Dawkins (L.S.)                                                   /s/ E. W. Werts (L.S.)

/s/ W. B. Wise (L.S.)                   /s/ L. A. Black (L.S.)                    /s/ A. K. Epting (L.S.)

TESTIMONY

MR. NOAH OXNER sworn says:

I was helping in the construction of the new Methodist building just opposite the scene of the accident and I noticed that the Ford proceeding into the highway was making all that was possible for a Ford to do. I also saw the Cadillac coming down the highway at probably 30 or 35 miles per hour. The Cadillac made a curve in order to dodge the Ford which never stopped and the Ford thus ran in front of the larger car and the impact took place. I know none of the occupants of the cars and the time of the accident was about 1 o’clock pm.

MR. D. M.LANGFORD sworn says:

When I first viewed the place of the accident I saw the Ford car about 30 feet past the cross roads and the car was turned over on its right side with two men, Negroes, lying on the ground. I saw or heard nothing but ran out immediately after the accident had happened. The Cadillac had also advanced 30 feet past the place of the impact and the wheels were straddled the ditch to the right of the Ford. The hedge which grows just alongside the crossroad had recently been trimmed and it was possible for the occupants of the Ford to have seen an advancing car. The speed limits within the corporate limits of the town of Prosperity is 15 miles per hour.

MR. NATHAN VAUGHN sworn says:

I was working on a machine just opposite the scene of the accident and the first thing I noticed was the brakes to the Cadillac had been applied and the Ford did not stop but came on into the highway. The Ford was in front of the Cadillac when hit. The gentleman in the Cadillac then got from the car. The driver of the Ford was James or ‘Tamsey’ Gray and the other occupant was his brother J. C. Gray. The Cadillac was running about 35 or 40 miles per hour. The boys in the Ford had heard the whistle at their place of work and were attempting to arrive on time.

W. G. WILSON sworn says:

MR. J. R. KEETER, Mr. R. G. Wilson and I were in the Cadillac. Mr. Keeter was driving and I was in the front seat with him. I got a glimpse of a car almost at the road, but could not see very plainly. The brakes having been applied, first attracted my attention and I braced myself. I could not say which hit first. When the impact happened it was just opposite the driveway. The Cadillac was running not over 25 or 30 miles per hour and the Ford appeared to be just something black. I did not know who were in the Ford. The Cadillac began to slide about 40 or 50 feet from the driveway and the tire casings on the Cadillac were so large that quite a large imprint was left on the pavement. The Cadillac needed a new wheel after the accident.

R. G. WILSON sworn says:

I was in the back seat of the Cadillac and I noted the approaching Ford just as the brakes were applied. I know nothing else by that the cars hit.

DR. J. I. BEDENBAUGH sworn says:

I am a practicing physician in Prosperity and I arrived at the scene soon after the wreck. I saw that J. C. had wounds sufficient to cause death. I noticed that the Cadillac was astride the ditch and the Ford had turned upon its right side. The Negro who was hurt was immediately sent to the hospital at the request of the gentlemen in the Cadillac. The wounded man was gotten to the hospital in 50 minutes and died soon after an operation. James, the Negro who was not killed, was driving.


J. R. KEETER sworn says:

I was driving the Cadillac when I saw the Ford. I pulled as far to the right as possible and put on all the brakes. Then the two cars hit. My brakes were in good order and I slid about 35 feet. I don’t know if I slid after the impact or not as my foot may have slipped from the brake. I have been driving since 1916. I was running about 35 and I cannot say just how fast a car will slide going that fast. I have never been in a wreck before.

JAMES GRAY sworn says:

I was in the Ford driving and my brother and I were going to our work at the planner near there. I looked up and down the road but I saw nothing. When I was half way across the highway I was hit and after that I knew nothing. I have been driving for three years. I did not see a thing before the Ford was hit and I had almost stopped before proceeding into the highway. The hedge alongside the road did not obstruct my view as I could see through it very well. I go to work at 1 o’clock and it was about 15 minutes until 1 o’clock when the accident happened. I heard no whistle blow. I know Mr. Vaughn. We have never had any difficulties and do not think he would tell a lie about the matter.

ROSS BEDENBAUGH sworn says:

I was in the back yard of my house and saw the Negroes in the Ford before the accident. The Ford was traveling at a moderate rate of speed. About that time I heard a freight train blow and when later the crash occurred I thought that possible the Ford had been hit by the train. I went to the place of the accident and aided in laying one of the Negroes under a nearby tree and then took the other home. I asked him, “Did you see the car on the highway?” and the Negro answered, “No.” I do not know the speed of either car and I do not think the whistle at the Planner had blown.

This is to certify that J. C. Gray came to his death from the effects of injuries received in an automobile wreck August 15, 1927.                                                        J. I. BEDENBAUGH MD  Aug. 16, 1927

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at the County Court House in the County and State aforesaid, the 4th of November A. D., one thousand nine hundred and twenty seven before I. H. Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of THEODORE MILLER of Newberry County then and there being dead by the oaths of Frank R. Hunter, Wilson C. Brown, M. O. Summer, B. M. Scurry, Claude W. Bouknight, W. R. Schumpert 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 THEODORE MILLER came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that the said THEODORE MILLER came to his death from a gun shot wound inflicted by Tom Teague. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid THEODORE MILLER came to his death by means and manner aforesaid.

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

/s/ I. H. Wilson, Coroner (L.S.)

/s/ Frank R. Hunter, foreman (L.S.)

/s/ Wilson C. Brown (L.S.)                                          /s/ C. W. Bouknight (L.S.)

/s/ M. O. Summer (L.S.)              /s/ B. M. Scurry (L.S.)                 /s/ W. R. Schumpert (L.S.)

TESTIMONY

SHERIFF CANON G. BLEASE sworn says:

About 1 o’clock Wednesday morning I sent for Theodore Miller to come to the jail. He came then and I told him that his boy had been shot and that Dr. Thomas H. Pope said that his son ought to be carried to the hospital. I advised him to go up to see Mr. H. L. Parr and see whether or not he could arrange about sending him to the hospital. I sent him to H. L. Parr’s in an automobile accompanied by H. J. Quattlebaum, deputy sheriff. At 20 minutes after two o’clock I heard what I thought was a pistol shot and I sent Mr. Quattlebaum up the street to see what it was. Mr. Steve Griffith at the time of the shooting was on the porch with me. Tom Berley had come to my house to spend the night and I called him and he came down and asked what all the shooting was about. I told him I did not know. About 30 minutes later my brother Judge Eugene S. Blease came to my house and in a few minutes Mr. Quattlebaum came back and said that somebody had shot the old man Theodore Miller and that he was shot by boys in an automobile. He went back up the street a few minutes later and came back with a Buick car. In it were Hub Lattimore, Julian B. Eison and Bernard Taylor. I took Mr. Eison in my house and I told him I wanted to know who killed the Negro and he told me he did not know. I said, “Did you kill him?” He said, “No”. I asked him again, Who killed him. I want to find out who killed him.” He told me he did not know who did it. I went back out on the piazza. My brother and Mr. Griffith had come back from up town and said that the Negro was not dead. I asked who it was. They said that he had been taken home and I told Mr. Quattlebaum to go and see Mr. George Koon who is a policeman and on duty at the time of the shooting. Mr. Koon came back with him and said that they had taken Miller to his home. I told them to go down to Miller’s and bring him and his whole family to jail. They went down to Miller’s and brought the whole family to jail. I conversed with Bernard Taylor but I have no right to tell what they told me. They are here and will tell for themselves. I want to say that I am responsible for his going up to see Mr. Parr and if I had not sent him perhaps he would have been living.

MR. H. L. PARR sworn says:

(Q)Mr. Parr, tell what you know about this.

(A) Wednesday morning about one o’clock I heard someone at my door knocking. I got up and went to the door and
     found it was Miller. He said that the sheriff sent him up there to see me about making arrangements to send his boy
     to the hospital. That he had been shot and he was in bad condition. After I talked to him I told him to go back to the
     jail and go to bed and would see him the next morning. So I went back to bed and did not know anything more
     about it until 6 o’clock the next morning when Sheriff Blease phoned me that Miller had been shot. So I went down
     to the jail to see him and I found Dr. Tom Pope was there. Also he told me that he was in a bad condition. So we
     decided to carry him on to the hospital. Mr. Ralph Baker got him in his car and we carried him to the hospital in
     Columbia. I stayed in the operating room where Dr. Bunch was operating on him. He allowed me to stay in the
     room where I saw the operation. He rallied. I asked him who shot him? And [he] said he did not know. And I asked

him again and he said he did not know, as he had his back to them. But that they were in a Buick car and two tires up behind and the car passed him and demanded him to get in and he would not get in and they said again, “You get into this car”, and he did not and then the argument began and somebody shot him. And I asked him again who shot him? And he said it was a tall slim man that looked like Mr. Teague. Miller had lived with me seventeen years.

MRS. SALLIE BOOOZER sworn says:

Q. Mrs. Boozer, where do you live?
A.  Above one of Mr. Copeland’s stores on Main Street.
Q. Mrs. Boozer, tell what you know about this?
A.  I got up to get a drink of water and I heard a car out there. I looked out of the window and saw two men
     standing. One on each side of the car. I drank my water, the darkie was hollering. I heard a pistol shot and he
     was hollering. I saw the men get in the car and go off.
Q. What kind of a car?
A.  I do not know.
Q. Was it a closed car?
A.  Yes sir.

CLARENCE JOHNSON sworn says:

I am rooming up over the store, Johnson McCracken’s store. Wednesday morning about two thirty o’clock I heard somebody walking on the street. About the time they had to get to Mr. Counts’ store I heard a pistol fire. I looked out and I saw two men and they went toward the post office. I saw some men and Mr. Koon coming from down the street from Gilder & Weeks drug store and I hollered and told them that the car went toward the post office. It was a coupe but I do not know what kind of car it was.

GEORGE S. KOON sworn says:

Wednesday morning, right about two o’clock as far as I can recollect I was standing about the Opera House. Mr. Whitaker, and Mr. Shealy and Mr. Wheeler, we heard a shot fire and we ran up the street to see what it was. I got to the Negro first, Mr. Wheeler next. The Negro was sitting up on the curbing. He seemed to be very weak and I asked him who shot him? And he said, “A tall man.” And I asked him if he knew the man and he said it looked like Mr. Teague and he repeatedly said, “Mr. Taylor” three times and fell over on the side walk of the street. I thought he was dead but he soon looked up and I got Mr. Whitaker and we took him to Dr. Pope. He dressed the wound and we put him to bed. Dr. Pope dressed the wound – then I came back and told the sheriff what I had done and he said it would be best for us to go and put him in jail. And that it about all I know about it. He kept calling Mr. Drayton Taylor’s name and I insisted it was not Mr. Taylor that shot him. But he repeated Taylor’s name three times.

WHITE BULLOCK sworn says:

Q. Bullock, tell these folks what you know about this.

A.  I live at the Newberry Hotel and my room is one of the back rooms that runs to the back of the Chamber of Commerce and my window is on the street. I heard some shots and I looked out my window. This was about two thirty o’clock.

Q. Did you see who did the shooting?

A.  No sir.

Q. What kind of a car were they in?

A.  It sounded like a Buick.

Q. What makes you say it sounded like a Buick?

A.  Because I have worked with the Buick for three years and I know by the noise it made when it cranked  up and when the brakes are put on that it must be a Buick. I heard some boys out in the street and heard the Negro call Mr. Teague’s name three times.

H. D. WHITAKER sworn says:

Wednesday morning something about 2 o’clock Mr. Koon and I were standing in front of the Opera House and heard some gun shots. We both ran across the street to the Rivers Drug Store and we ran on up the street and when we got up there we saw this Negro Miller lying on the curb of the street. Mr. Koon asked him who shot him? He said he did not know. He said it was a tall slim man. About that time Mr. Johnson called out of his window and said the car went around towards the post office. Mr. Koon asked him again who shot him? And he said a tall slim man and called Mr. Teague’s name. About that time he was getting so weak until he fell over on the street. I felt his pulse and he did not seem to have any. Mr. Koon tried to call up to the telephone office to some of the telephone girls to call the doctor but he could not make them hear so he told me to go and get my car and take him to the doctor. We carried him to the doctor (Dr. Pope’s) and he dressed the wound over the eye and asked him who shot him and he said he did not know that he was shot through the stomach and intestines – just thought that the weakness was caused by morphine or something that Dr. Pope gave him to ease him. After he dressed the wound and put him in my car and carried him to his home and then I came back down town and went home.

H. J. QUATTLEBAUM sworn says:

Wednesday morning about two o’clock Sheriff Blease told me to go down to Theodore Miller’s house and tell him his son had been shot, that he ought to go to the hospital and for him to come up and make some arrangements about sending him. A little later the sheriff told me to take him up to Mr. Henry Parr’s and see if he could not make some arrangements about taking him to the hospital. I came back and left him up there. A little later I heard some shots on the street and the sheriff told me to go back to town and see what the shooting was. When I got up the street I saw Mr. Koon and he told me that this old darkey, Theodore Miller, had been shot and the car that did the shooting had gone around the corner towards the post office. Mr. Wheeler, Mr. Shealy and I were in my car and we went around that way following the car and we ran them around towards the post office into Caldwell Street, then down the street towards the Southern Depot and we lost the car over there. I came back and told the sheriff that somebody had shot the old darkey Miller. Berley came downstairs and asked what the trouble was and I told him somebody had shot the old Negro. Later I was standing on the porch and saw a car of the same description pass up Main Street and I followed the car out to Boundary Street and up Boundary Street and stopped them and told them to come back to the jail and that Sheriff Blease wanted to see them. In the car was Bernard Taylor, Hub Lattimore and Ros Eison.

ROS EISON sworn says:

Well, we were riding around that night and I was in a car with Tom Teague, Hub Lattimore, and Bernard Taylor. We came down Main Street. Mr. Teague said, “There is my boy. I want to see when he is going home.” We went on down the street and saw this old Negro man coming down the street. The car stopped and one of the boys told this old Negro to get in. Then he told him again to get in this car and Mr. Teague pulled his pistol out. I do not know what Mr. Teague and the Negro were talking about but they were having an argument.

SHERIFF:     Q.      Did you see the pistol in Teague’s hand?
               A.       Yes sir.
               Q.      You saw Teague with the pistol in his hand after the shot?
               A.       Yes sir.
               Q.      Did you hear the shot?
               A.       Yes sir.

We carried Teague on home, then we came back – Hub Lattimore, Bernard Taylor and me and we met Hub Quattlebaum and he told us that the sheriff wanted to see us. So we went on down to the jail to see the sheriff.

SHERIFF:     Q.      Was Prince Chappell and Frazier Lominick in the car at the time of the shooting?
                    A.       No. Bernard Taylor, Hub Lattimore, Teague and myself and that is all I know.
SHERIFF:     Q.      Did you take Teague home?
                    A.       I did.

JURYMAN:   Q.      Who all was in the car?
                    A.       Mr. Teague, Hub Lattimore, Bernard Taylor and myself.


DR. POPE sworn says:

SHERIFF:     Q.      Dr. Pope, you are a practicing physician?
                    A.       Yes sir.
                    Q.      You dressed Theodore Miller’s wound?
                    A.       Yes sir. Wednesday morning I hear someone at my door. I got up and put on my bedroom shoes and bathrobe and went to the car and the old darkey told me he was shot and put his hand up to his eye. So I carried him in the house and looked at it and dressed his wound. I asked him if he was shot anywhere else? He said no. I told him to go home and get to bed but if he needed me to let me know and I would go to see him. If not, I would see him the next morning. About six o’clock the next morning I had a call to come to the jail and I found that a ball had entered two inches from the spinal column and one inch above the hip bone and lodged in the left rib near the center line.

SHERIFF:     Q.      Do you think the wound was sufficient to cause death?
                    A.       I think so.

BERNARD TAYLOR being sworn says:

I had just come back from a party and carried my girl home. And came on down the street and when I got down the street some of the boys asked me if I knew that my uncle was shot? And that he had been carried to the hospital. I went on to the hospital to see how he was and I asked the nurse who came to the door how he was. And she was so excited over what had happened that she told me that I could not see him. But I told her that I just wanted to know how he was and she told me that he was resting very well. So I came on down the street and went back up the street to tell that the Negro had been caught. So we came on down the street, Hub Lattimore, Ros Eison and Teague and we stopped the car just near the Exchange Bank building and another car was behind us and they stopped just about the space of another car. When the car stopped Hub Lattimore had one hand on the steering wheel and one foot on the running board while Teague got out of the car and went around behind. And I heard a little argument and I turned my head and heard the pistol fire.

SHERIFF:     Q.      Did you see the pistol?
                    A.       No, I heard the shot.
SHERIFF:     Q.      Who was arguing?
                    A.       Mr. Teague.
 

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