CORONER'S INQUISITION, 1931-1936
NEWBERRY COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
Transcribed and contributed by Edith Greisser

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 February A. D., one thousand nine hundred and thirty four before I. H. Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of MORGAN DUCKETT of Newberry SC, then and there being dead by the oaths of J. J. Hitt, C. L. Dowd, W. S. Cameron, J. M. Bouknight, Ralph Bedenbaugh, Cyril Werts 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 MORGAN DUCKETT came to his death, upon their oaths do say that the said MORGAN DUCKETT came to his death by unavoidable accident being hit by Herbert Moonís car on February 5th, 1934. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid MORGAN DUCKETT 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/   J. J. Hitt, foreman (L.S.)

/s/   Cyril Werts (L.S.)                                                                                                 /s/   C. L. Dowd (L.S.)

/s/   R. T. Bedenbaugh (L.S.)                          /s/  W. S. Cameron (L.S.)                 /s/   J. M. Bouknight (L.S.)

Inquisition held over the dead body of MORGAN DUCKETT colored of Newberry SC, on February 7th 1934

Examination by G. C. BLEASE, Sheriff of Newberry County

HERBERT MOON being duly sworn says:

MR.BLEASE:

Q.    What is your name?

A.    Herbert Moon.

Q.    How old are you?

A.    Seventeen years old.

Q.    Where do you live?

A.    On the Reagin Place.

Q.    About 4 miles from Newberry?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did you strike this old man, Morgan Duckett, with your car last night?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Where did you hit him?

A.    On the other side of Mr. Tom Lewisí filling station.

Q.    How far from Newberry?

A.    I donít know exactly. About 2 miles I guess.

Q.    About a mile and a quarter from Newberry?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    On the road to Saluda?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    You were going from Newberry towards Saluda?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    What time was it?

A.    About 7:30.

Q.    Just tell to these gentlemen what you did.

A.    I was going back home from town. I was looking over toward the filling station and I was running in about the middle of the road. I was running a little to the left hand side of the road because I was afraid I would hit some wagon without lights. I put on brakes. He made one step right in front of the car.

Q.    How far were you from him when you first saw him?

A.    About as far as from here to that wall (Indicates a distance of a few feet). He was standing right up in the road.

Q.    Was it dark?

A.    Not good dark. You could not see without the lights.

Q.    Did you have lights on?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    How fast were you running?

A.    About 20 miles an hour.

Q.    Why were you astraddle the black line or in the middle of the road?

A.    On account of so many wagons on the road at night.

Q.    Had you passed anything on the road?

A.    At Mr. Lewisí filling station.

Q.    Parked on the side of the road?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    You did not see the old man until you were right on him?

A.    Near about right on him.

Q.    What did you do then?

A.    I got out and pulled him out of the road and phoned for the doctor.

Q.    You phoned for the doctor?

A.    I went back up there and had it done. Had them phone for the doctor and the officers.

Q.    Had them phone for me and the doctor?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Phoned for the undertaker at the same time?

A.    No sir. Not right then. Phoned for the undertaker later.

JURY:

Q.    Was that automobile standing on the cement or off?

A.    It was on the side.

Q.    Then you had the whole right of way?

A.    Yes sir.

JOE HERBERT being duly sworn says:

Q.    You were in the car with Moon last night?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Go ahead and tell what you know about it.

A.    I was sitting on the front seat with him and was looking back talking with the boy on the back seat. When I looked up he was just about the distance he said from the old man. He put on his brakes. He hit him with the brakes on.

Q.    How fast was he running?

A.    Around 20 miles per hour.

Q.    Did you see a car on the right hand side of the road standing out there by the filling station off the cement?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Is that all you know about it?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    What time was it?

A.    Something like 7:30, just about dark. We had on our lights. The clock struck 7:00 before we left out of town.

JOHNNY WILLIAMS being duly sworn says:

Q.    Do you know anything about this accident?

A.    No sir.

Q.    Did you see him when he hit him?

A.    No sir. I was lying on the back seat.

Q.    Lying on the back seat?

A.    Yes sir. I was lying on the back seat on one corner.

Q.    Did you hear it?

A.    I did not know anything.

Q.    You heard the car hit the Negro?

A.    Yes sir. He put on his brakes and then hit him.

Q.    What did he do then?

A.    Before he hit him he put on his brakes.

Q.    What did he do then?

A.    He got out and ran back to where he was.

Q.    What did he do then?

A.    Got him out of the road and phoned for you all and the doctor and the undertaker.

Q.    Phoned for the sheriff?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    That is all you know about it?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Where had you been?

A.    We had come to Newberry to get some groceries.

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

I examined the body of Morgan Duckett and find that the cause of death was internal injuries of the head and chest with fracture of right ribs and left thigh bone and both bones of the right leg. I also found some broken ribs.

MR. D. W. BUZHARDT being duly sworn says:

MR.BLEASE:

Q.    You operate a filling station about a mile from town?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did you see this old man Duckett last night?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    How long before he got killed?

A.    Something like three minutes.

Q.    He was in your filling station?

A.    Yes sir. He had come for some kerosene. I told him he had better quit running about at night Ė that a car was going to run over him sometime if he didnít. I had warned him a number of times about being out in the road at night and that he was going to get run over if he didnít stop it.

Q.    What was his physical condition?

A.    He was almost blind.

Q.    How old was he?

A.    I would say around 85 years old.

Q.    Did you hear the impact of the car when it hit him?

A.    Yes.

Q.    How fast was the car running when it passed your filling station?

A.    I could not say but I would judge something like 25 to 35 miles per hour.

Q.    Within the law?

A.    I would think so.

JURY:

Q.    Any automobiles meeting him or passing him when he hit the man?

A.    I donít think so. I was not outside. I had been outside to give him his kerosene and had gone back in the filling station and had just sat down. I am satisfied that is the one that hit him.

Q.    Was the lamp burning?

A.    No.

DOCTORíS CERTIFICATE

I examined the body of Morgan Duckett and find that the causes of death were internal injuries of the head and chest with fractures of the right ribs and left thigh bone and both bones of the right leg.                         J. K. Wicker

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry Court House in the County and State aforesaid, the 17th day of February A. D., one thousand nine hundred and thirty four before I. H. Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of MACY JAMES of Newberry SC, then and there being dead by the oaths of H. L. Speers, H. D. Whitaker, George F. Scruggs, J. F. Lominick, J. W. Marlow, J. H. Long 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 MACY JAMES came to his death, upon their oaths do say that the said MACY JAMES came to his death by being struck by an automobile on February 16th 1934, said accident having been unavoidable. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid MACY JAMES 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/   H. L. Speers, foreman (L.S.)

/s/   G. F. Scruggs (L.S.)                                                                                               /s/   H. D. Whitaker (L.S.)

/s/   John Marlow (L.S.)                                  /s/  J. H. Long (L.S.)                         /s/   J. F. Lominick(L.S.)

Inquisition held over the dead body of MACY JAMES colored of Newberry SC, on February 17th 1934

Examination by Cannon G. BLEASE, Sheriff

W. D. WICKER colored being duly sworn says:

MR. BLEASE:

Q.    What is your name?

A.    W. D. Wicker

Q.    Come on and sit down here and donít be afraid. We are not going to hurt you. We just want you to tell us what happened out there yesterday afternoon. We are not going to hurt you because you were out there with the little boy. Were you playing with this little boy when the accident happened?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    You were playing there where those old automobiles are?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Just go ahead and tell those gentlemen what happened.

A.    I was with him and I was running after him and the car hit him.

Q.    Suppose this is the road and that line is the middle of the road Ė show those gentlemen just what part of the road it happened on.

A.    He was on the right hand side of the road. It threw him in the ditch.

Q.    The little boy was running across the road and you were running after him?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    What did the lady do?

A.    Stopped the car.

Q.    She was on this side of the road when she struck him? (Indicating)

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    It happened near Mr. Paysingerís?

A.    Yes sir.

JOHN W. PIUS being duly sworn says:

MR. BLEASE:

Q.    Where were you at yesterday when the little boy got run over?

A.    I was standing on the door steps.

Q.    Was he your brother?

A.    No sir.

Q.    Are you kin to him?

A.    No sir.

Q.    You lived in the same house with him?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    You were standing on the door steps when it happened?

A.    Yes sir. He was coming across the road. He was over there playing with the old cars and he went to run across the road. He was coming across the road.

Q.    On which side of the road?

A.    On the right hand side.

Q.    The lady was coming down on the right hand side?

A.    Yes sir.

H. C. LONG being duly sworn says:

Q.    Mr. Long, just go ahead and tell about what time of day it was and what happened?

A.    I judge it was about 5:30 oíclock. I was on my way home. We saw this car coming down the road and an object in front of her. I thought at first that it was a dog. Whatever it was the car made an effort to miss it. The car was swerving across the road getting on my side of the road. I then lost sight of the object in the road. I put on my brakes and ran up on the side walk and the car passed me and the little boy dropped off the bumper.

Q.    Did you stop?

A.    We stopped and saw that he was dead. I did not know whether it was a lady or a man in the car until it stopped. They picked him up and I saw that he was dead so I went on home as there wasnít anything that I could do.

Q.    How fast was the car driving?

A.    15 or 20 miles an hour.

MAXY BOOZER being duly sworn says:

Q.    Did you see this accident yesterday?

A.    No sir, I did not see the accident. I was in the wagon and Mr. Long there blowed for me to let him pass. I pulled to the right. I did not see the child at all. The girl was driving the car. The lady was calm and the girl was crying. They were trying to stop the car when they went by me. I stopped the wagon and then I saw the child. I think the girl was driving.

Q.    You would not swear to it?

A.    No sir, I took it to be her. She was crying. The lady was calm.

MRS. WIKE, driver of the car, made the following statement:

I was coming into town yesterday afternoon through the Negro settlement out there. I saw the children playing Ė running across the road Ė I blew the horn and then they scattered. I came on up and just about 4 or 5 steps from them this little boy ran out. I hit him fair.

Q.    What did you do?

A.    I put on my brakes as quick as I could.

Q.    Did you go back?

A.    I stopped and got out and then I thought I had better get my car out of the road. I got back in my car and drove it back into the yard and went in to see about the child and gave all the aide I could.

Q.    You started to get a doctor?

A.    Yes sir. I started to town to get a doctor and I met the doctor going out. I turned around and then back out there.

Q.    After you found out the boy was dead what did you do?

A.    I went on home.

Q.    You came by my office first, didnít you?

A.    Yes sir. I came by your office and told you about it. Then I went on home.

DOCTORíS CERTIFICATE

February 16th 1934

This is to certify that Macy James colored, male, age 6, came to his death this 16th day of February 1934 about 5:30 pm as a result of injuries inflicted by an automobile in motion. Injuries according to my professional knowledge are as follows:

Concussion of the brain, abrasions of the skin of the skull, abrasions of the right knee and leg; Internal injuries.

The same being sufficient to cause death.                                                                             J. E. Grant, MD

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry Court House in the County and State aforesaid, the 2nd day of March A. D., one thousand nine hundred and thirty four before I. H. Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of WILLIE BYRD of Newberry SC, then and there being dead by the oaths of Ernest Oxner, J. C. Foy, J. C. Longshore, V. V. Purcell, R. R. Dominick, Ernest Gibson 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 BYRD came to his death, upon their oaths do say that the said WILLIE BYRD came to his death from gun shot wounds at the hands of Heyward Suber on March 2nd, 1934. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid WILLIE BYRD 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/   Ernest Oxner, foreman (L.S.)

/s/   J. C. Foy (L.S.)                                                                                                      /s/   Ernest Gibson (L.S.)

/s/   V. V. Purcell (L.S.)                                   /s/  J. C. Longshore (L.S.)                /s/   R. R. Dominick (L.S.)

Inquisition held over the dead body of WILLIE BYRD colored of Newberry SC, on March 2nd 1934

Examination by C. G. BLEASE, Sheriff

J. H. WILLIAMS being duly sworn says:

MR.BLEASE:

Q.    Mr. Williams, you live in Newberry?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did you see this shooting this morning?

A.    I saw two shots.

Q.    Where did it happen?

A.    In front of the Herald & News office.

Q.    On the side street?

A.    No sir. Right in front of the office. Just about in front of the office.

Q.    Up on the side walk?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Just go ahead and tell all you know about it.

A.    My nephew and I were coming down on the other street to get my car. We heard the first shot and ran around the corner. It did not sound like a car. The Negro that got shot was just turning and the other Negro shot him twice more.

Q.    Did you see the first shot?

A.    No sir.

Q.    Did you hear any fussing?

A.    No sir.

Q.    Do you know the Negroesí names?

A.    No sir. They said that one of them worked at Reaginís shoe shop and the other one for Mr. Mike Counts. I did not know either of them. The boy who did the shooting started running and we ran across the street after him. He ran in the alley back there and I called him and told him if he didnít stop I would shoot him. He still had the pistol in his hand.

Q.    He was running back in the alley?

A.    Yes sir. We caught him and took the pistol out of his hands and carried him on down the street and turned him over to Forrest Krell. That is all I know about it.

OTTO WILLIAMS being duly sworn says:

Q.    Go ahead and tell what you know about it.

A.    My Uncle and I were coming down the street on the opposite side of College Street. These two boys were standing at the corner of the Herald & News Office on College Street. The one that got shot was about 6 feet from the other one according to my estimation and the boy that was using the gun was closest to the alley. The first shot that was fired attracted our attention and when we ran around the corner the other two shots were fired. The boy that was shot staggered on up the street and the other one ran back in the alley. We ran after him and told him to stop. We caught him and took him down the street and turned him over to Forrest Krell. I asked him what did he shoot him for. He said he had beat him out of some money in a crap game last night.

Q,.   Did he tell you that he had tore his clothes off of him last night in the game?

A.    He did not tell me. We asked him what he shot him about and he said that he had got some money from him last night in a crap game. There were four bullets in the gun and three of them had been discharged. That is about all I know about it.

MR. C. A. MAY being duly sworn says:

Q.    Mr. May, you talked with this boy, Heyward Suber, this morning?

A.    Yes sir. I asked him what he shot him for. He said that in a game last night he had won some of this boyís money and that he jumped on him and took part of it away and then slapped him and chocked him. He said that he then went on home and this morning got up and got his pistol and went out to look him up. I asked him where he got the gun and said that a traveling man had poned it with him for 15Ę. There was no cartridge in the pistol. There were three empties in it when they gave it to me. I took it down to the jail and turned it over to Captain Sanders.

Q.    He told you he shot him?

A.    Yes sir.

MR. O. F. ARMFIELD being duly sworn says:

Q.    Mr. Armfield, just tell in your own way what you saw, etc.

A.    I was sitting at the window looking over at Buddy Bedenbaughís place. I saw this little boy come by that was killed. When I looked up he had turned. I saw all three flashes of the gun. The boy that did the shooting was evidently around the corner. This little boy staggered and went up the street.

Q.    Did you see the boy when he was being shot?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Was he facing the Negro doing the firing?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did he have anything in his hand?

A.    No sir.

DOCTORíS CERTIFICATE                           3/2/1934

This is to certify that I have this day examined the dead body of Willie Byrd of Newberry SC and find that his death was caused by gun shot wounds of the chest; one wound just above the right scapula running downward and one on the left side of the neck that also ranged downward. One bullet grazed the left shoulder.                       Frank D. Mower, MD

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Whitmire, SC in the County and State aforesaid, the 13th day of March A. D., one thousand nine hundred and thirty four before I. H. Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of GRADY MOORE of Whitmire SC, Newberry County, then and there being dead by the oaths of Roy Yarborough, W. M. Yarborough, J. W. Harold, P. G. Boling, C. E. Hall, C. C. Yarborough 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 GRADY MOORE came to his death, upon their oaths do say that the said GRADY MOORE came to his death as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident on March 10, 1934 and died March 13, 1934. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid GRADY MOORE 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/   Roy Yarborough, foreman (L.S.)

/s/   P. G. Boling (L.S.)                                                                                                 /s/   William Yarborough (L.S.)

/s/   G. C. Yarborough (L.S.)                          /s/  C. C. Hall (L.S.)                          /s/   J. W. Harold (L.S.)

Inquisition held over the dead body of GRADY MOORE

Taken by IRENE DONNAN                           Whitmire, SC                     March 13, 1934

ROSABELLE CROW being duly sworn says she lives in Whitmire, SC

Sheriff Blease:    Did you see Mr. Moore?

Miss R. Crow:     Yes.

Sheriff Blease:    Where?

Miss R. Crow:     Lying in the road.

Sheriff Blease:    In what position?

Miss R. Crow:     Lying on his back, crossways of the road, on the left hand side going from here.

Sheriff Blease:    Did you look at him?

Miss R. Crow:     Yes. His eye was covered with blood.

Sheriff Blease:    Was a truck or car nearby?

Miss R. Crow:     The car was close.

Sheriff Blease:    Did you recognize it as his car?

Miss R. Crow:     No.

Sheriff Blease:    Did you see anyone else or from the information you received, was anyone else in the car with him?

Miss R. Crow:     No.

Sheriff Blease:    What position was the car in?

Miss R. Crow:     Turned bottom side up.

Sheriff Blease:    When was this?

Miss R. Crow:     Saturday night March 10.

WINIFRED WHITE being duly sworn:

Sheriff Blease:    Did you see Mr. Moore?

Miss W. White:   Yes, I came along soon after the accident and talked with Mr. Moore. I asked him if he was with anyone and he said, ďNo, I was by myself.Ē                                                                                                Irene Donnan, stenographer

This is to certify that Grady Moore died March 13, 1934 as a result of a fractured skull occurring 3/10/1934. Secondary cause being meningitis, having its onset 3/11/1934.                                                                 E. G. Able, MD

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Magistrateís Office, Prosperity SC in the County and State aforesaid, the 6th day of April A. D., one thousand nine hundred and thirty four before George O. Koon, Magistrate, upon view of the body of IRVIN SHEPARD JR. of Newberry County SC, then and there being dead by the oaths of John N. Hawkins, H. L. Dominick, C. L. Cook, V. L. Huffstetler, J. W. Vaughan, V. A. Bowers 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 IRVIN SHEPARD JR. came to his death, upon their oaths do say that the said IRVIN SHEPARD JR came to his death by burning, which was unavoidable on April 6, 1934. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid IRVIN SHEPARD JR came to his death by means and manner aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, George O. Koon Magistrate, 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/   John N. Hawkins, foreman (L.S.)

/s/   C. L. Cook (L.S.)                                                                                                   /s/   V. A. Bowers (L.S.)

/s/   V. L. Huffstetler (L.S.)                            /s/  H. G. Dominick (L.S.)                /s/   J. W. Varnes (L.S.)

Inquisition held over the dead body of IRVIN SHEPARD JR colored, of Newberry County SC

Held at Prosperity, SC on April 6, 1934

Inquisition held by George O. Koon, Magistrate, in absence of the Coroner

HELEN PEA colored being duly sworn says:

Q.    You are the mother of the child that got burned to death yesterday evening?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Go ahead and tell those men over there what you know about the fire.

A.    I left him in the house when I went in the field. After dinner I got ready to go back to the field and I latched the house and left him in the house.

Q.    Was there a fire in the house?

A.    We had a little heater, not quite as big as that one there and my husband took up the ashes and carried them out in the yard and poured water in the heater so that we would be sure that it was out.

Q.    Did you leave any matches in the house?

A.    We had borrowed some matches from our boss man but we didnít leave them in the house.

Q.    Did you see your husband take the ashes out of the stove?

A.    Yes sir and pour water in the stove.

Q.    Could the child walk?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did you ever shut him up in the house before and leave him?

A.    Yes sir. When I was for the white lady I shut him up and leave him in the house.

Q.    What time did this happen?

A.    I donít know. I reckon something like 4 oíclock. The chain gang had already gone by. It must have been around 4 oíclock.

Q.    How long have you been left the house?

A.    I donít know what time when my husband left out to go to work. I left before he did.

Q.    You usually leave about 1 oíclock after dinner donít you?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    You think the house caught around 4 oíclock?

A.    Yes sir. It must have been around that time because the chain gang had already gone by.

Q.    How far were you from the house?

A.    I donít know exactly. I could not see the house but I could see the fire. The lady there at Mr. Dominickís was calling me.

Q.    How far were you from Mr. Dominickís?

A.    Not far, just behind it.

Q.    This happened yesterday afternoon, April 5th?

A.    Yes sir.

JURY:

Q.    You say you fastened the door when you left?

A.    Yes sir. It had a chain on the door and I latched it to a nail.

Q.    Where did the house catch fire first?

A.    I donít know unless it was where the heater was.

Q.    How far was the baby from the stove?

A.    When the house burned up he was on the other end of the house from the stove. He had run up to the last room in the house.

Q.    Where did he put the ashes when he carried them out?

A.    On the back side of the house and poured water in the heater.

Q.    He did not pour water on the ashes that he took out in the yard?

A.    I donít know.

Q.    He carried ashes out doors and poured water in the stove?

A.    Yes sir.

ALLEN PEA colored being duly sworn says:

Q.    Where do you live?

A.    Down at Mr. Gus Dominickís.

Q.    You are not the father of this child that got burned to death yesterday evening?

A.    No sir. Its father is dead.

Q.    Did you take the ashes from the heater yesterday before you left?

A.    Yes sir. I put the ashes out and poured water on them and then went back in the house and poured water in the heater.

Q.    How much did you pour in it?

A.    A half bucket full.

Q.    Do you take the ashes out every day?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    How long had you been shutting up the child in the house and leaving him?

A.    About three weeks.

Q.    Left him there by himself?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    How long had it been since you started taking ashes out of the stove?

A.    All of the time.

Q.    Did you and your wife leave the house together?

A.    She left the house and went to the field.

Q.    What time was the fire?

A.    I donít know what time it was. Pretty late in the evening.

Q.    Pretty late in the evening?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    How far were you from the house?

A.    About a mile and a half.

Q.    Was the house burned down there when you got there?

A.    Yes sir. Just about burned down.

Q.    Where was the babyís body found when the house burned?

A.    At the back side, at a window.

JURY:

Q.    Did the house burn completely down?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    How long had you been taking the ashes out of the stove?

A.    All the time. I was afraid the house would catch fire if I didnít outen the fire. I was afraid that sometime my wife would be asleep and the house would catch fire.

Q.    Wasnít it pretty cold to leave the child there in the winter time without a fire?

A.    I did not want them to catch fire.

Q.    You poured water in the stove and on the ashes in the yard?

A.    Yes sir. I got a stick and stirred them up.

Q.    Was Mr. Gus Dominick at home?

A.    No sir. He was not on the place.

J. W. JENNINGS being duly sworn says:

Q.    You live in Newberry County?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    What time on the 5th of April did you first see the fire? You were the first one to get there?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Had the house fallen in when you got there?

A.    The back side of it had not fallen in.

Q.    Could you tell where the fire started from?

A.    Looked like from where I was that it started where the stove was.

Q.    The heater?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did you hear any cries?

A.    No sir.

Q.    Did you look in to see if anyone was in the house?

A.    No sir. When I got there I pulled the back window open but could not go in on account of the flames.

Q.    You were there when the house burned completely down?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Where was the body of the child found?

A.    In the farther most side of the house from where the stove was.

Q.    Were the doors latched?

A.    I could not tell. The doors were shut. I could not get close to the doors at all.

Q.    The window was not latched?

A.    It was not latched but it was closed.

Q.    Was it a shutter window?

A.    Yes sir. Just a plain shutter window.

Q.    How far was the childís body from the window?

A.    He was right at the window. That was where I found it after the fire. I could not see anything when I looked in.

Q.    How far were you from the house when you first saw the fire?

A.    I expect about a quarter of a mile.

Q.    How far was this house from Mr. Gus Dominickís house?

A.    Not over 100 yards.

Q.    You were the first one to get there?

A.    Yes sir.

DOCTORíS CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that the infant child of Allen and Helen Pea was burned to death on April 6, 1934.

                                                                                                                                                                     George Y. Hunter


 

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Whitmire SC in the County and State aforesaid, the 15th day of May A. D., one thousand nine hundred and thirty four before I. H. Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of COLIE JOYNER JR. and JAMES FANT of Whitmire SC, County and State aforesaid then and there being dead by the oaths of Joe Simpson, Z. H. Suber, G. A. Douglas, T. W. Abrams, J. R. Suber, W. W. Lewis 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 COLIE JOYNER JR. and JAMES FANT came to their death, upon their oaths do say that the said COLIE JOYNER JR. and JAMES FANT came to their death in an unavoidable automobile accident  the said Colie Joyner Jr. having died on May 1, 1934 and James Fant on May 2, 1934. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid COLIE JOYNER JR. and JAMES FANT came to their 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/   Joe H. Simpson, foreman (L.S.)

/s/   Z. H. Suber (L.S.)                                                                                                  /s/   G. A. Douglas (L.S.)

/s/   W. W. Lewis (L.S.)                                   /s/  T. W. Abrams (L.S.)                   /s/   J. R. Suber (L.S.)

Inquisition held over the dead body of COLIE JOYNER JR. and JAMES FANT colored, of Whitmire SC, May 15th 1934

Examination by C. G. BLEASE Sheriff

ARMINITA SINCLAIRE being duly sworn says:

MR. BLEASE:

Q.    Miss Sinclaire, did you see this collision that happened between Mr. Johnnie Werts and the car driven by James Fant?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Just where did it happen?

A.    About half way between Mr. Sam Abramsí and Mr. _ house.

Q.    Where were you?

A.    In front of Sam Abramsí

Q.    What time of day was it?

A.    About 7:30 oíclock.

Q.    Was it dark?

A.    No sir.

Q.    Light enough for you to see?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Enough for you to recognize what kind of cars?

A.    No sir. I did not notice until after the wreck.

Q.    What kind of cars were they?

A.    One was a Buick and the other a Ford-V8

Q.    Who was driving the Buick?

A.    Mr. Johnnie Werts.

Q.    Which one was driving the Ford?

A.    I donít know which one.

Q.    Just go ahead and tell what you saw?

A.    Both of the cars were driving in the middle of the road.

Q.    Both cars were in the middle of the road?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did you see both cars when they hit?

A.    Yes sir. Both of them were in the middle of the road.

JURY:

Q.    What side of the road were you walking on?

A.    On the right side going out.

Q.    Did you notice the car before it passed you?

A.    We saw it coming and got on the dirt part of the road.

Q.    Did it swerve around you?

A.    No sir. We were out on the dirt.

MR. BLEASE:

Q.    Could you estimate the amount of speed they were running?

A.    No sir. They were both running fast.

Q.    One was running about as fast as the other?

A.    I did not notice the Ford but the other one was running fast.

Q.    They were both running fast?

A.    Yes sir.

JURY:

Q.    Was it dark enough to have the lights on?

A.    I donít think they had their lights on.

MATTIE LIPFORD being duly sworn says:

Q.    Miss Lipford, did you see this accident that happened on May 1st?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Just tell the Jury what you saw.

A.    We were walking down the highway. My sister said for us to get on the shoulder of the road. The car that passed us was running fast. I did not notice the other car. It happened in about 20 yards in front of us.

Q.    You were on the side of the road?

A.    On the shoulder of the road.

Q.    Just off the pavement?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    You were not in the ditch but on the shoulder?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Could you tell whether the car cut across the road or not?

A.    No sir, I could not tell.

Q.    Did Mr. Werts swerve around you at all?

A.    No sir, we were on the shoulder of the road.

JURY:

Q.    You donít think that Mr. Werts cut around you?

A.    No sir.

Q.    You were going in the direction of Newberry?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Miss Sinclaire says that she did not know whether they had on their lights or not. Do you remember?

A.    No sir.

CLAIRE BELLE SINCLAIRE being duly sworn says:

Q.    Miss Sinclaire, were you walking along the highway with these other young ladies when the accident occurred?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Where were you walking in the road?

A.    We were just off the cement in the dirt.

Q.    You saw this car pass you?

A.    I did.

Q.    In your opinion how fast were the cars driving?

A.    I donít know about the Ford. The Buick was running at least 60.

NANNIE LIPFORD being duly sworn says:

Q.    Were you walking down the highway with the other young ladies when the accident happened?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    What part of the road?

A.    On the right hand side going out.

Q.    Were you on the cement or not?

A.    The others were. I was just on the pavement.

Q.    If this car that was passing you had stayed on its right side of the road, in all probability it would have struck you? Donít you think so?

A.    No sir.

Q.    You were right on the pavement. You think the car could have met another car right at you and would not have struck you?

A.    I donít believe he would have hit me.

Q.    Had enough room on the right hand side?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    What rate of speed would you say they were going?

A.    Not less than 50 miles per hour.

Q.    Both of them?

A.    I would not say about the Ford.

DR. F. L. WEBB being duly sworn says:

Q.    Dr. Webb, you are a practicing physician in the town of Newberry?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did you examine Colie Joyner the night he was hurt?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    What in your opinion was the cause of his death?

A.    Broken neck.

Q.    Did you examine James Fant?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Upon your examination of him and from your knowledge as a physician and from information you have received what was the cause of his death?

A.    Shock and internal injuries. Both legs were broken and one arm broken. Internal injuries also.

Q.    On what date did Colie Joyner die?

A.    May 1st.

Q.    On what date did James Fant die?

A.    On May 2nd.

Q.    This wreck happened in Newberry County?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Colie Joyner died in Newberry County?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Where did James Fant die?

A.    In Chester.

MR. L. D. ABRAMS being duly sworn says:

Q.    Mr. Abrams, you live in Whitmire?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did you see this wreck on May 1st?

A.    I did not see it when it happened.

Q.    Did you see it immediately afterwards?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Just go ahead and tell what you found.

A.    I was in the house when I heard the wreck. I got up and ran out as quick as I could. When I got out there both cars were perfectly still. They were 16 steps apart. I first went to Mr. Wertsí car. I saw that he was not hurt very badly or that he was not hung in any way so I went from there to the next car. When I got to the other car it was lying on its right side. They were all in the car. I could not get in the car so I had to get up on it and open the door on the top. I sent a Negro down in the car to pull them out. The first Negro he pulled out was James Fant. He was still living. The next he pulled out was Colie Joyner. He was dead. The next one we got out was Joe Stevens and about that time some help came and we turned the car up on its wheels. Then we got Jack Jeter out. That is about all I know about it.

Q.    What position was the car in when you got there?

A.    Mr. Wertsí car was on the left hand side of the road. The Ford was laying 16 steps in front of the Buick car on the right hand side of the road going to Newberry. The rear part of the Ford was in the ditch and the radiator was on the cement. Zit was lying on its right side. The Buick car was just 16 steps from there. Its radiator was pointing opposite my house. It was sitting at an angle of about 45 degrees.

JURY:

Q.    The Buick had not been moved when we got there?

A.    Yes sir. It had been pushed back out of the way so that traffic could pass.

MR. BLEASE:

Q.    In your opinion, where was the Ford hit?

A.    In my opinion I would judge that the Ford car was hit on its right side at the front door.

Q.    Where was the Buick hit in your opinion?

A.    It looked like on the right side of the radiator.

Q.    Were you the first one to get there?

A.    Yes sir. And those four girls.

MR.BLEASE:

Mr. Werts, the testimony of those four girls was that they were walking down the highway on the right hand side of the road. That both cars were in the middle of the road. One said that you were driving 50 miles an hour and the other said 60. If you desire to make a statement you can do so. Of course you donít have to unless you want to.

MR.WERTS:

I would like to make a statement.

MR. JOHNNIE WERTS being duly sworn says:

I had been to Chester with the Whitmire boys to play a game of ball. I left Whitmire, coming to Newberry. I saw the car coming on the right hand side of the road. About 15 feet, no 15 yards, in front of me it just pulled in front of me and there was nothing I could do. He pulled right in front of me. When I first saw it Ė it was on the right side of the road and I was on my right side. It just turned in front of me.

Q.    Did you see these young ladies side of the road?

A.    No sir.

JURY:

Q.    Did you stop in Whitmire on your way back to Chester?

A.    I had gone to Chester with the boys from Whitmire and had left my car down in front of the mill. When I got back I got in my car and started to Newberry.

Q.    You came into the highway on the dirt road?

A.    Yes sir. In front of Mr. Colemanís.

Q.    Do you have any idea that you were running 60 miles an hour?

A.    I would not say 60. I might have been going around 45 or 50.

Q.    Did either one of you have on your lights?

A.    No sir.

MR.BLEASE:

Q.    Was it dark?

A.    No sir.

JURY:

Q.    What speed did it appear the other car was running?

A.    Around 50 or something like that.

MR. BLEASE:

Q.    The reason you hit him he turned right in front of you?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    You are positive of that?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    If he had stayed on his right side of the road it would not have happened?

A.    No sir. It would not.

MR. GRIFFITH:

How many occupants of the Ford car are here?

MR. BLEASE:

None of them are here. Two of them are dead. One is still in Chester and one down here in the bed. The one that is here in bed says that he doesnít know anything about it. He was on the back seat and says that he knows nothing about it.

JURY:

Q.    Mr. Werts, do you think it would be possible for a car to come around that curve and be making 60 miles an hour where the accident happened?

A.    I donít know.

Q.    Do you think you could have come out that dirt road and have been making 60 miles an hour?

A.           You would have to have a good car to make it.

 

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