CORONER'S INQUISITION, 1936-1939
NEWBERRY COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
Transcribed and contributed by Edith Greisser

Inquisition over the Dead body of CHARLIE HYLER white

Inquisition taken at the Newberry Court House, Newberry South Carolina, this the 18th day of August 1938.

Present: MR. J. C. SQUIRE, Claim Agent for the Southern Railway System.

Examination by I. H. WILSON, Coroner for Newberry County

CHARLIE THOMAS (Colored) being duly sworn says:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Charlie, where do you live?

A. Right over here in Brooklyn, near the hospital.

Q. Do you remember seeing Mr. Charles Hyler on last Monday evening?

A. I saw this man. I didn’t know his name. I was coming down the railroad – had been up to Mt. Zion Church doing some painting and was coming down to the Newberry Lumber Company to get some paint. This man was sitting beside the railroad, about as far from the track as from here to that gentleman over there (Indicating one of the jurors).

Q. A couple of steps?

A. About five or six feet from the tracks when I saw him. Just the thought came to me – I usually see fellows waiting there for the train – and I said, " Waiting for the train?" and he answered me, "No, I started to town and taken sick on my stomach and I’m just sitting down here until I feel a little better. Then I’m going back to the house." I said, "Mighty hot this morning." And he said, "Yes, pretty hot." I just passed on, didn’t say anymore to him and he didn’t say anymore to me. There was nothing attractive to make me watch him. I went about 200 or 300 yards further on and I met the train right at the road crossing going down to the saw mill. I stepped off the track and he blowed twice and I thought he was blowing at me but I was in the clear.

Q. After he got across the crossing, he blowed twice?

A. He blowed just as he got to the crossing. I didn’t see anything else to attract my attention and got to the lumber yard before I knew that the man was dead. People down there said the train had killed a man and I didn’t know who it was until I got my paint and got back there. I said, "This is the man I left sitting there."

Q. Where was he sitting at? Near the crossing that turned into Helena?

A. About half way between those crossings, right near where he got killed. He was on the right hand side of the railroad going up when I came down he was on the left hand side of the railroad.

Q. When you saw him, he was on the right coming down?

A. Yes.

Q. What time of the morning?

A. It was around 8:30, something like that. I judge from the time No. 15 goes up it was around 8:30, but I didn’t know exactly the time.

Q. You heard the whistle blow as you crossed the crossing. Did it blow anymore after that?

A. No, he blowed at the crossing.

Q. As he was crossing the crossing?

A. Yes.

Q. Down on the saw mill road?

A. Yes.

Q. How far from where the man got killed?

A. I would call it about 200 or 300 yards, maybe further.

Q. If anybody had been on the track that far ahead from where the whistle blew, could they have time to get off the track?

A. Looks like they could have – I could have.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes.

MR. SQUIRE:

Q. You say the train passed you right down by the crossing at the saw mill?

A. Yes.

Q. And it was blowing as it came across the crossing?

A. Yes. It blowed twice and I thought he was blowing at me.

Q. Did you pay any more attention after it got by you?

A. No.

Q. You don’t remember whether it blowed anymore?

A. No sir.

MR. WILSON:

Q. When you came along there and saw Mr. Hyler, was anybody else around there?

A. Not that I saw. I was in a hurry and didn’t notice. I just saw him and he said he was sick and I didn’t notice anybody else.

Q. He was sitting down on the side?

A. Yes.

BURTON ABLE JR. being duly sworn says:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Where do you live?

A. Up here on Hunt Street.

Q. What sort of work do you follow?

A. I deliver State Papers.

Q. Monday morning, were you up around Helena?

A. Yes, I was just out riding on the wheel. As I got to the crossing I heard the train whistle blowing and the brakes squeaking when they turned on the brakes and the train began to slow up.

Q. The first thing that attracted your attention was the squeaking of the brakes?

A. Yes. The train slowed down and the next thing I knew I saw the man going in the sir. When I got there he was on the other side of the track dead. I came on back to town and told Mr. Krell and he and I came back up there and I stayed until they took his body to the undertaker’s.

Q. Did you see him before he got hurt?

A. No. I think I could have seen him if it hadn’t been for those weeds, banks and things.

Q. You don’t know which side of the track he was on?

A. I was in the road and he was on the other side of the track. He was laying in the grass.

Q. Did you hear this train blow?

A. Yes, as it was slowing up.

Q. How far were you from this?

A. I was right on the road fixing to leave the pavement, where the pavement leaves the dirt road.

MR. SQUIRE:

Q. Which way were you coming, towards Newberry or going towards Helena?

A. Towards Helena.

Q. Going in the same direction the train was going?

A. Yes.

Q. You heard the train blow?

A. Yes, the sign was there for the train to blow.

Q. Unusual blowing?

A. Just blowing, I think twice.

Q. The next thing attracted your attention was when you heard the brakes squeaking and it slowed up?

A. Yes. It was almost stopped. Then I saw the man going in the sir.

Q. Was he in the air or down on the ground when you saw him?

A. I cut across the field and when I got there he was on the ground.

Q. Which side of the track was he on when you saw him?

A. I was on the side the road was on. Everybody walks on the other side in the path. He was laying on the other side.

Q. He was on the right hand side the way the train was going?

A. Yes. (Mr. Squire here stated that would be on the north side).

Q. You didn’t see him though, before the train hit him?

A. No.

MR. R. R. COBB being duly sworn says:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Mr. Cobb, what sort of work do you follow?

A. I am engineer and fireman for the Southern railroad.

Q. Were you on train No. 15 on Monday morning?

A. Yes, I am firing this run at the present.

Q. Tell the jury what happened.

A. We were about on time, about three minutes late and they pulled up ahead and I always put in a good heavy fire between there and the first crossing.

MR. SQUIRE:

Q. Between where and the first crossing?

A. The Newberry Passenger Station and the Boarding House on the left. We have several bad crossings and I always like to look out before getting down again. Mr. Parrish had blowed one long crossing blow, that is two longs and two shorts. Then he blowed the station blow, which is one long.

MR. SQUIRE:

Q. The station blow for Helena?

A. Yes. Then he pulled his ‘For Passengers" and three blasts of the whistle after that, which is eight blows right in that vicinity. I was leaning out the window looking ahead and noticed this gentleman walking along in the clear of the train and just about eight or ten feet he turned around and looked at me.

Q. Eight or ten feet from where?

A. About eight or ten feet from the engine, the pilot. He looked at me for a second or more and then put his right foot up like that (Indicating) and threw his hand up and jumped. The engine bell had been ringing since we left the station. Mr. Parrish had turned the automatic bell ringer on at the station. When this man jumped in front of the engine, just as he jumped I jumped across the cab and grabbed the automatic brake, putting the brake into emergency. At the same time I hollered to Mr. Parrish to shut the throttle off. At that time this gentleman came out on the other side and Mr. Parrish could see what had happened.

Q. You were firing on the run?

A. Yes.

Q. Where is your seat?

A. On the left.

Q. The man that got killed was on the same side?

A. Yes, on the left hand side of the engine, walking in the clear, facing Helena.

Q. He was going towards Helena?

A. Yes, the same way we were going.

Q. About what distance was he when he jumped on the track ahead of you?

A. About eight or ten feet.

MR. SQUIRE:

Q. Mr. Cobb, what is the condition of that track with reference to being straight or curved?

A. On a curve.

Q. Which way does it curve?

A. To the left, to my side.

Q. Approximately how far from the engine was this man when you came around the curve to where you could see him and did see him?

A. Fifty or seventy five yards.

Q. At that time, was he back in the clear?

A. Yes, he never made any move, just walked right along in the clear until we were right on him.

Q. Did you continue to look at him?

A. Yes, I always watch them.

Q. I believe you said when the front of your engine got within eight or ten feet from him he turned and looked at you?

A. Yes. He was awfully white. That was one reason I kept watching him.

Q. When he leaped on the track, you applied the brake?

A. Yes, at the same instant.

Q. Why did you apply the brake?

A. It was quicker than hollering to Mr. Parrish – I know Mr. Parrish could not have seen him.

Q. You say you had blown the crossing blow for that crossing near the saw mill?

A. Yes.

Q. After that, the station blow for Helena?

A. Yes.

Q. After you blowed the station blow for Helena, what happened?

A. He answered with three blasts, to a stop signal.

Q. You got a signal from back in the train?

A. Yes.

Q. What does that indicate?

A. Passengers for the next stop.

Q. Mr. Parrish answered with three blasts of the whistle?

A. Yes.

Q. That blowing was done in the vicinity of the crossing and where this man was struck?

A. Yes, eight blows of the whistle right along in there.

Q. What distance would you call it between that crossing from where Mr. Parrish started blowing?

A. About three quarters of a mile.

Q. I believe you stated the bell was ringing?

A. Yes, it was turned on at the station when we pulled ahead at Newberry.

Statement by GEORGE W. PARRISH, engineer:

I turned the bell on when we left the station at Newberry. When we got to the crossing board for the lumber mill, blowed the road crossing, two long and two shorts. Just after I crossed over the road crossing, blowed one long station blow for Helena. The conductor had passengers or mail or something to get off and wanted me to stop at Helena. He blowed three blasts of the air whistle in the cab of the engine. This indicates for me to stop at Helena. I answered his signal by three blows from the engine whistle. The next thing I knew Mr. Cobb hollered, "Shut him off! Shut him off! Shut him off!" I asked him what was the matter. He was standing right up by me, as close to the brake as I was and he applied the brake on and I shut the engine off. Just at that time I saw the man come out on the right hand side. I never did see him at all, never saw him walking on the track.

MR. WILSON:

Q. How far did you go before you came to a standstill?

A. I had two coaches to the engine and I guess it was about a coach and a half length that I ran by the man after he was struck before I stopped. It was upgrade and I was not running very fast, about twenty miles an hour. We were pretty well on time too. I never stepped it off, but from where the end of my train was standing, guess it was about 40 or 50 yards from where the man was hit.

(Mr. Cobb here stated it was 42 cross ties or 37 steps)

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that Charlie Hyler died as a result of injuries received on August 15, 1938 when he was run over by Southern Train No. 15. Thomas H. Pope MD


Inquisition over the dead body of BRADFORD RUFF, Newberry County Court House

Newberry SC August 26, 1938

Examination by I. H. WILSON, Coroner

JAMES HUNTER being duly sworn says:

MR. WILSON:

Q. James, where do you work?

A. At the Soil Erosion.

Q. Where were you working Wednesday, the day before yesterday?

A. Down at Mr. Cousins’ place.

Q. Which Mr. Cousins?

A. I don’t know.

Q. In this county?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know Bradford Ruff?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you there with him when he died?

A. He had left me.

Q. Didn’t you say you were right there with him when he died?

A. I didn’t say that – he left me.

Q. Where did he go?

A. Down in the ditch about 100 yards from me.

Q. Did he say anything to you before that?

A. Yes. He stopped picking, didn’t finish, was standing up with his hand on the pick, looked like he was sick. I said, "Are you sick? Too hot?" and he said, "I am too hot." I said, "Why don’t you go to the shade?" He said, "I don’t see no shade but I will go," and he went away.

Q. Where did you see him next?

A. After that, about 20 minutes to a half hour, Johnnie Fuller called Josh Reid and Josh commenced to calling and Mr. Williams came up and they called me.

Q. Why did they call him?

A. Bradford was laying down and after Johnnie Fuller called him two or three times he didn’t say anything and he said, "He must be dead, come see what is the matter."

Q. What time of day was that?

A. A little after three. He had been down there from about 20 minutes to a half hour.

Q. You had done had dinner?

A. Yes, we ate at twelve.

Q. He told you he was feeling bad?

A. Yes, and that it was too hot. He stood there a minute or two and then went to a shade tree. Just before he went, Johnnie Fuller came and got the pick and about the time he got back to his outlet, Bradford was there too.

Q. How long have you been knowing Bradford Ruff?

A. About five or six years.

Q. Was he a pretty good fellow?

A. Yes.

Q. Not fussy or anything?

A. No, he was a good fellow.

Q. Never had any words with any of the boys on the job?

A. No.

JOHNNIE FULLER being duly sworn says:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Johnnie, where do you work?

A. I work on the soil erosion.

Q. Under who?

A. Mr. Williams.

Q. Mr. Otto Williams?

A. Yes.

Q. Where were you working day before yesterday, Wednesday?

A. Down at Mr. Cousins’ place.

Q. That was in Newberry County?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you know this Bradford Ruff?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you working near him?

A. Yes. I was about 25 yards from him.

Q. Were you talking or having any conversation?

A. No.

Q. Did he say anything to you about how he felt?

A. I came up to the ditch after his pick, took the pick, and he told me if Mr. Newman was here I would go in and I told him, "Why don’t you sit down?" Then I went on back down in the ditch and he came on back down in the ditch behind me. When he got where I was working he said, "You got a pretty good size outlet," and I told him I didn’t think it was any larger than theirs.

Q. That was after you got the pick away from him?

A. Yes.

Q. You didn’t hear him complain about feeling bad?

A. No.

Q. Had you been with him much after dinner?

A. No, we worked together all that morning.

Q. How far were you from where he fell over?

A. About 25 yards.

Q. You saw him?

A. No. He went down there and lay down on the side of the ditch and in about 20 minutes I went to see about him.

Q. What did you see then?

A. He was sitting up on the side of the ditch with one hand holding his leg.

Q. What did you say to him?

A. Nothing, I didn’t get close to him, just saw him sitting there.

Q. You mean you worked with him and he dropped over there and hadn’t said a word to you about how he felt?

A. No.

Q. And you were right there close to him?

A. Yes.

Q. How long you been knowing him?

A. About 12 years.

Q. Is Bradford a good, quiet, easy kind of fellow?

A. Yes, he was a good boy.

Q. Hard working?

A. Yes.

Q. When did you first know he was feeling bad?

A. At noon time.

Q. What did he tell you at noon?

A. That he was getting pretty hot.

Q. Getting pretty hot?

A. Yes.

Q. What did he tell you after that?

A. Nothing.

Q. He went on to work?

A. Yes.

Q. What sort of work was he doing?

A. Covering up grass in a ditch.

Q. With a shovel?

A. Yes.

Q. Bradford was covering up grass in a ditch with a shovel?

A. Yes.

Q. Didn’t you say you got his pick out of his hand?

A. That was before dinner.

Q. What time was it whenever he fell over?

A. Around three o’clock.

Q. He didn’t say anything to anybody about how he felt?

A. No.

Q. He just fell over and lay there?

A. Yes.

MR. MASON:

Q. You say Bradford Ruff went back with you on down the water way. What did he do?

A. He told me, "You got a pretty good size outlet." I told him I didn’t think so. He just went on down the ditch and laid down on the side of the ditch.

Q. Then you went back?

A. In about 20 minutes time I went down there to see how he was getting along.

Q. What position did you find him in?

A. Sitting up this way on the side of the ditch (Indicating).

Q. Then what did you do?

A. I went back to the outlet and then I went back to see how he was getting along.

Q. Then what did you find?

A. Found him laying over on his stomach.

Q. Then what?

A. Then I told Josh Reid that I believed this boy was dead. After we found he was dead, went to hollering for Mr. Williams.

Q. Then what happened?

A. Mr. Williams came on down there and we picked him up and toted him on up to the truck.

JOSH REID being duly sworn says:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Where do you work?

A. With Mr. Mason.

Q. Were you working Wednesday?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you out there working on the same job with Bradford Ruff?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you with him around the noon hour?

A. Yes. We got off the truck and I was standing back behind him and he said, "I wish Mr. Newman would come out here, I would go to town. I feel mighty bad."

Q. He said if Mr. Newman was there he would go back to town?

A. Yes.

Q. Then what happened?

A. Mr. Williams carried us on down to a branch and placed us in ditches. Three of us were down below there. I was with Johnnie Fuller and another fellow and this boy and Bradford Ruff was up ahead and Johnnie Fuller went up there to get a pick. When he came back Bradford came on down the ditch.

Q. When who came back?

A. Johnnie Fuller, with the pick. Bradford came on back down the ditch and I noticed he was looking mighty bad. He looked at me, smiling, and just kept walking. Me and Johnnie got to working there in the place, and after awhile Johnnie said, "I believe I’ll go to see about this boy." I reckon he went about as far as that door and I said, "Johnnie, do you see him?" He said, "Yes, I see him." I said, "What is he doing?" he said, "He is sitting down beside the ditch." Johnnie came on back and I reckon in about twenty minutes, I had a couple more shovels to turn out, Johnnie said, "I’ll go down and see about this boy." He went down there and he said, "Oh, Babe." I said, "What?" He said, "Come here, I believe this boy is dead."

Q. What time of day was that?

A. I don’t know exactly, after dinner. I said, "Call him." He called him again. He walked out on the ditch and said, "Come here, Babe, I believe this man is dead."

Q. Johnnie Fuller said that?

A. Yes. I said, "Oh man, go away, call him loud." About that time he called Mr. Williams and the other boys and Mr. Williams went down there and I went down there.

Q. Why did Johnnie Fuller keep running to him and coming back?

A. I reckon he saw he was hot and just because he knowed him.

Q. You say Johnnie Fuller went up there and got his pick?

A. Yes, he went up there and got a pick. I was not up there but he brought back a pick with him.

Q. How long you been knowing Bradford Ruff?

A. For years. We worked together for Mrs. Summer.

Q. Ever know about him being in any trouble?

A. No sir.

Q. Always peaceable?

A. Yes. We worked together like brothers for about two years. He was a good boy.

MR. J. O. WILLIAMS being duly sworn says:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Mr. Williams, Bradford Ruff was working for you on this job?

A. Yes.

Q. Go ahead and tell the jury just what happened.

A. We arrived on this farm about 2:15 on Wednesday afternoon. This waterway was about 750 feet long and down at the end had a long curve, running around to your right.

Q. What farm was it?

A. Mary M. Burgess’ farm, adjoining Mr. Cousins’ place.

Q. That is in Newberry County?

A. Yes. Well, as I said, this water way is about 750 feet long and standing at the beginning of the waterway you couldn’t see the end of it on account of the right hand curve. We just pulled in three new terraces on the right hand side that was leading into the waterway. One of these terraces had to have what we call a sod outlet. It takes quite a little while to dig one. A foundation has to be dug out to hold this sod grass. After arriving on this farm, I placed two of my men on the first terrace just as you leave the road, and then Bradford Ruff, James Hunter placed on the second terrace and Johnnie Fuller, Clarence Livingston and Josh Reid placed on the third terrace which was on the curve. When these men go on a job I equip them with picks, shovels and whatever is needed and each one has a pick and shovel. Bradford Ruff carried my orders out as I told him and the other man if they got to feeling weak to just sit down. Bradford left from where he was working and told his partner, from what I can learn, that he was tired and hot and wanted to go rest a little. He goes on down there below Fuller and Josh Reid. I imagine he was down there something like 10 or 15 minutes while I was up on the road right at the end of the waterway. Josh Reid hollered for me to come down there. I went down and found Bradford dead. I told the boys to pick him up and put him in the truck and brought him to town.

Q. You didn’t hear him complain?

A. Not at all since he had been on the job. He was a good worker and as far as I know a good Negro. Some of the boys stated that he said that if Mr. Newman would come out, that is the labor supervisor, he would come back to town with him. If he had told me at any time during the day that he was sick, I would have sent him to town. There was a truck driver there doing nothing else and I could have sent him to town in 15 minutes.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

August 26, 1938

On the night of August 25th I performed an autopsy on the body of Bradford Ruff. I believe he died of sunstroke. R. W. Houseal

I have examined the dead body of Bradford Ruff. I find no broken bones or bruises and no evidence of violence. His death in my opinion was due to sunstroke. H. B. Senn MD

August 24, 1938 Newberry SC


Inquisition over the dead body of NATHANIEL WATSON (Colored)

Newberry County Court House September 7,1938

Examination by I. H. WILSON, Coroner.

BESSIE BARNES being duly sworn says:

MR.WILSON:

Q. Bessie, where do you live at?

A. Mr. Wise’s.

Q. Where is that at?

A. Near Jalapa.

Q. What happened around you house yesterday evening?

A. Nathaniel Watson got shot.

Q. You say Nathaniel Watson got shot yesterday?

A. Yes, with a shot gun.

Q. Who shot him?

A. My daughter.

Q. What is her name?

A. Sarah Barnes.

Q. Where were you at when the shooting took place?

A. In the bed.

Q. Where were they at, your daughter and Nathaniel Watson?

A. I couldn’t say just where they were at.

Q. They were in the house?

A. Yes.

Q. They were not outdoors?

A. No sir.

Q. What drew your attention to him getting killed? Gun shot?

A. No, she called me and told me he was shot.

Q. Your daughter called you?

A. Yes.

Q. And said Nathaniel Watson was shot?

A. Yes.

Q. Did she tell you that she had shot him?

A. No sir.

Q. Later on, did she tell you that she had shot him?

A. Last night, down at the jail.

Q. You didn’t know how he got shot until she told you in the jail?

A. No sir.

Q. What time of the day was this?

A. I don’t remember exactly, sometime after five, I think.

Q. Is Nathaniel Watson subject to coming to your house?

A. Yes, he came there a lot.

Q. Who did he come to see?

A. My daughter.

Q. Your daughter Sarah?

A. Yes.

Q. In other words, they were sweethearts, courting?

A. Yes.

Q. How long had they been going together?

A. About two months or a little over.

Q. Do you know of any falling out or fussing they been doing about any other gal or something?

A. No sir.

Q. When did he come to your house yesterday?

A. Something after one o’clock, he came and helped us pick cotton until the rain came.

Q. You did pick cotton until the rain came?

A. Yes, they did, I was sick.

Q. Nathaniel and Sarah were picking cotton?

A. Yes, and my husband and my son.

Q. Why did they come to the house at five?

A. It rained and they knocked off.

Q. When they came in from the cotton field where were you at?

A. On the porch. But I went and laid down after they got there.

Q. Did they say anything to you?

A. No sir, they didn’t say anything to me when they came on the porch.

Q. Did they say anything to you later?

A. Yes, he told me if the rain hadn’t come he would have picked me 300 pounds of cotton, that he would pick me 300 pounds some other day.

Q. After that, where did they go?

A. They went on the back.

Q. Back of the house?

A. Yes.

Q. You were on the front porch when they came in?

A. Yes.

Q. When they went on to the back how long after they got there before you heard the shot fired?

A. I didn’t know how long. I went and laid down after they went on the back and never did notice just how long it was.

Q. What did she shoot him with?

A. Shot gun.

Q. When she told you that Nathaniel was shot what did you do?

A. I ran in there to see and he was laying on the floor.

Q. Did he say anything to you?

A. Yes, I called him and he looked up and said, "I done shot myself." That is what he said to me, nothing else.

Q. That was in the room adjoining where you were?

A. No, that was in the dining room.

Q. In the room between where your bed was at and the dining room?

A. Yes.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes.

Q. Which room were you in the bed in?

A. I was in this room (Pointing).

Q. Where did he get shot at?

A. I don’t know.

Q. Where was he when you first got to him?

A. In this room (Indicating).

Q. He was lying in here?

A. Yes.

Q. This is that kitchen cabinet? (Indicating)

A. Yes.

Q. He was in there next to that?

A. Yes, laying straight out kind of bias from that kitchen door.

Q. You understand which room is which on this drawing don’t you?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you hear Sarah make a statement to any officer or anybody down at the jail?

A. Yes.

Q. Did they make any threat on her to get her to make it, or did she make it voluntarily?

A. No sir, they didn’t threaten her. She voluntarily told it.

BUDDY BARNES being duly sworn says:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Where do you stay?

A. At Mr. Lem Wise’s.

Q. You are the son of this woman that just testified?

A. Yes.

Q. You stay there in the same house with her and your sister and daddy?

A. Yes.

Q. What happened up there yesterday evening?

A. Nathaniel Watson got shot.

Q. Who shot him?

A. My sister.

Q. What is her name?

A. Sarah Barnes.

Q. Did she tell you she had shot him?

A. No.

Q. You didn’t hear her say that she shot him?

A. No sir.

Q. Where were you when the shooting took place?

A. Around at the back of the house.

Q. Where did the shooting take place?

A. On the inside of the house, in the dining room.

Q. Kind of on the back?

A. Yes.

Q. How far were you from the dining room?

A. I was on the back of the house where you were sitting at this morning.

Q. Did you hear the gun shoot?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you do?

A. I never did anything, but when he hollered I ran in the house and when I got there he was falling on the floor.

Q. How does that look to you? (Showing drawing)

A. This is the front of the house.

Q. This is the front porch?

A. Yes.

Q. This is the living room?

A. Yes.

Q. What is this?

A. The back room.

Q. A bed back there?

A. Yes.

Q. What is this?

A. The dining room.

Q. What is this?

A. A bed room.

Q. What is this?

A. The kitchen.

Q. Which door did you come in?

A. This one.

Q. Is this the chimney?

A. Yes.

Q. Where were you at?

A. On this side, the back of the house.

Q. Whenever you went in you went in this door?

A. Yes.

Q. Where did you see Nathaniel at?

A. He was stumbling through the kitchen door into the dining room and when I saw him fall I ran to him.

Q. Where was your papa?

A. In the cotton house.

Q. Where is it.

A. On this side of the road.

Q. How far from the house, 100 or 200 yards?

A. I don’t know. Right up there at Mr. Wise’s.

Q. Your sister, was she in there with him when you went in?

A. No sir, she was in the house in the living room.

Q. By herself?

A. Mother had done got to her. They were coming in there when I was.

Q. Did you hear Nathaniel say anything after he was shot?

A. Nothing but, "Oh Lord, I’m shot."

Q. Didn’t say who shot him?

A. No sir.

Q. When he said he was shot was he on the floor or standing up?

A. I reckon he was on the floor.

Q. He didn’t say anymore after you got in there?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you see the shot gun in that room?

A. I didn’t see it when I was passing through. I saw it in there when papa got back.

Q. What sort of gun?

A. Single barrel.

Q. Did Nathaniel Watson have a shot gun in his hand when you saw him falling?

A. His rifle had done fell on the floor.

Q. Did he have the shot gun in his hand?

A. No sir.

Q. Who had it?

A. No one, I didn’t see it.

JURY:

Q. Was a rifle and shotgun both in the room?

A. Yes.

Q. Was it customary to keep both guns in the room?

A. The rifle was Nathaniel’s.

Q. And the shot gun belonged to your father?

A. Yes.

Q. Hear anything like a fuss, or disturbance or anything?

A. No sir.

Q. Did the boy that got shot bring his gun to the house?

A. He brought his rifle to the field and sent it on to the house by me.

Q. Where did you keep the shotgun, in this room where they were?

A. Papa set it in there by the wall cabinet to try to keep the hawks off the chickens.

T. M. FELLERS being duly sworn says:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Mr. Fellers, you are the sheriff of Newberry County?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you have a call yesterday evening to investigate a killing on Mr. Wise’s place?

A. Yes. Yesterday afternoon about 6:15 or 6:30 I received information that a Negro had been shot on Mr. Wise’s place. Mr. Neel and myself, accompanied by you went up there to make an investigation. We got to this house and found Nathaniel Watson laying on his back in what was called the dining room. We could see blood stains in the kitchen and it was in our minds that that was the first place he was shot. There was wadding all over the floor. I talked with the family of Barnes’ and the tale they told me didn’t sound so good. Finally I talked with Otis Barnes in regard to the empty shell and he told me that he throwed it out the window. We searched for the shell out in the field but were unable to find it. Later on it dawned upon him that he put it in the fireplace and gave us an empty shell out of the fireplace. He showed us the shot gun. It was perfectly clean – that he picked up off the floor near his body and had stood it up in a corner. His wife, Bessie Barnes, said that Nathaniel had the gun to shoot a hawk that they were being bothered with, that he would kill the hawk better with a shot gun than the rifle he brought to the house. The tale was so confusing I loaded the whole family up and brought them to jail for further investigation. Nathaniel Watson, the boy that was shot, had a good bit of blood on him. I was unable to find just where the wound was, but we could see it was not in his head. After we brought the four Negroes to the county jail, Mr. Neel, the Coroner and myself all went to Joe Williams Undertaking establishment and found that he had a wound just about the size of a half dollar right straight in over his heart and we were satisfied it would have been impossible for him to shoot himself with a shot gun and the wound there. I came on around to the office and told Mr. Quattlebaum about the circumstances and that it was in my mind it was not a suicide and for him to take up the case and investigate it further, which he did. He has the confession of this girl, also the drawing of the house which we made this morning.

H. J. QUATTLEBAUM being duly sworn says:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Mr. Quattlebaum, what position do you hold?

A. Deputy Sheriff for Newberry County.

Q. Did you make an investigation of this killing on Mr. Wise’s place?

A. Yes. On September 6, 1938, about seven o’clock in the afternoon, Sheriff Fellers told me that a Negro named Nathaniel Watson had been killed by a shot gun at Otis Barnes’ house on Mr. Lem Wise’s place and that he and Mr. Neel had already been to the scene of the crime and had made some little investigation. He said that the information that he got was that Watson had shot himself, but the surrounding circumstances didn’t appear to him that Watson could have killed himself. He told me that he had brought Otis Barnes, his wife, his son and his daughter to the jail and he asked me to make a further investigation. The first thing I did was to go to Joe Williams Undertaking establishment, where I saw the body of Nathaniel Watson and observed the wound in his breast. It was a small wound about the size of a half dollar right over the heart. I examined pretty closely with a flashlight for powder burns and could not detect any. Then Mr. Neel and myself went to the jail and obtained Otis Barnes’ house keys and we went back to the house and started an investigation. I observed in the kitchen part of the house a small clot of blood on the floor and some gun wadding from a twelve gauge shot gun. Just inside the back door of the dining room, leading in from the kitchen was a pool of blood on the floor. After making a close inspection, it was my opinion that Watson was in the kitchen when he received the load of shot. I came back to the jail and examined the shot gun that Mr. Neel showed me and identified to me as being the one that he and Mr. Fellers had recovered at Otis Barnes’ home, which was supposed to have been the gun used in the shooting. I noticed that there was not any blood on the gun. I first questioned Sarah Barnes in the detention room of the jail and her first statement was that Nathaniel got her daddy’s gun from the dining room to shoot a hawk and that he shot himself. Then later I questioned her brother, Buddy Barnes, who was also in the jail and he first said that Nathaniel Watson had shot himself when he went to get his father’s gun to shoot a hawk, but later admitted he didn’t see the shooting in as much as he was on the outside of the house when the gun was fired. I questioned him for possibly an hour and was convinced in my mind that he did not shoot Nathaniel Watson, but from my questioning him I felt that he knew more than he had told me so I had him locked back up in jail. Then I questioned Sarah again and she said she had accidentally shot Nathaniel Watson with her daddy’s shot gun when she went to aim out the back kitchen door and he stepped in front of the gun and received the load of shot. She said that when she shot him, he made about two steps forward and fell in the dining room floor and that she threw the gun down next to the wall almost just ahead of where he was lying on the dining room floor and went in the house to tell her mother that Nathaniel had been shot. She also said that she knew there would be some way for us to find out that Nathaniel did not shoot himself. So Mr. Neel and myself released Otis Barnes and his wife and son and detained Sarah for further investigation.

MR. WILSON:

Q. Did you have a talk with Sarah Barnes?

A. Yes. I have her statement here and will read it to you. (Mr. Quattlebaum here read the statement he said he secured from Sarah Barnes that morning, which statement will be found on the following page.)

Statement of SARAH BARNES, given to H. J. Quattlebaum, Deputy Sheriff for Newberry County, on the morning of September 7, 1938:

Q. What is your name?

A. Sarah Barnes.

Q. Where do you live?

A. I live at Mr. Lem Wise’s place.

Q. Where is that?

A. On this side of Mr. Callie Parr’s place.

Q. You live on the road going from Mr. Callie Parr’s on over to the Bush River Road?

A. Yes.

Q. Go ahead and tell me what you were doing yesterday afternoon and what happened at your home and tell it just as near like you know as you can.

A. We were in the field picking cotton and this boy –

Q. Which boy?

A. Nathaniel Watkins [sic – Watson]. He came down to the field and had a rifle in his hand when he came to the field. He promised my daddy, Otis Barnes, that he could keep the rifle at his house so that he could kill the chicken hawk if he could. It came up a cloud and it started to rain and we left the field and went to the cotton house.

Q. Who?

A. Me and Nathaniel and Dad and Thomas, my brother. We tied up the sheets and we waited awhile in the cotton house to see if it would rain. It started to raining hard and we went to the house.

Q. Who?

A. Nathaniel and I.

Q. Nathaniel and you?

A. Yes. Mother was sitting on the porch when we came to the house. I kept straight on in the house and Nathaniel stood on the porch and talked with mother for a few minutes. After he came in the house he sat down in a rocking chair and put his hat on the machine. Then he looked and saw my brother coming and spoke about marking with Nathaniel’s rifle.

Q. When you say marking, you mean what?

A. Shooting at a target. My daddy’s gun was sitting beside our organ.

Q. In what part of the house?

A. In the dining room. It is an old organ that wouldn’t play, so we took it out of the house. We were marking in the back door.

Q. What were you shooting at?

A. At a tin can – a salmon can with a match stem.

Q. Where was the can?

A. At the end of the ‘lespedeza’ field in the back yard. Nathaniel shot his rifle three times and hit the can once. Then it was my brother’s time. Then they tried to get me to shoot but I wouldn’t shoot the gun. I went and got my daddy’s gun from the organ. I didn’t know it was loaded and I didn’t know it was cocked. It went off in my hand and shot Nathaniel.

Q. Nathaniel who?

A. Nathaniel Watkins [sic Watson].

Q. Where were you standing?

A. I was standing before the wall cupboard in the dining room.

Q. Which way did you shoot?

A. Both the kitchen door and the dining room door faces one another, you can go straight through. I was standing back of the wall cupboard with the gun up like this (Indicating) and didn’t even put my hand to the trigger, didn’t know it was loaded and it went off.

Q. When it shot, did you realize that you had hit Nathaniel?

A. No, not when the gun shot, not until he called me and told me I had shot him.

Q. Did you see him?

A. Yes, I saw him. He bent over and made two steps to the dining room from the kitchen and fell in the dining room.

Q. He was standing in the kitchen when you shot?

A. He was standing in the kitchen door.

Q. Did he fall before he got into the dining room?

A. No.

Q. Did he stagger before he got to the dining room?

A. Yes, he was bent over and took two steps and he staggered the second step and fell in the dining room door.

Q. Where did he die?

A. In the dining room.

Q. On the floor?

A. Yes.

Q. After you shot, what did you do?

A. I ran in the front room to tell mama.

Q. Did you take the gun in there?

A. No sir. I threw the gun down.

Q. In the dining room?

A. Yes, it frightened me, I didn’t know there was a shell in it.

Q. Did Nathaniel say anything after he fell?

A. Mama said he was mumbling after she got to him – I was all excited because I had never shot a gun before in my life.

Q. Did you tell your brother that you had shot him?

A. No. I told mama I had shot him accidentally. I told Dad and he sent brother to try to get Mr. Lem Wise to phone for the doctor.

Q. How long was it before the officers came to your house?

A. It was about two hours, I reckon.

Q. Before they came?

A. Yes.

Q. You don’t know when they were notified?

A. No.

Q. What did you tell the officers?

A. I didn’t tell them anything, they didn’t ask me nothing.

Q. Did they ask how he got shot?

A. Yes.

Q. What did your people tell them?

A. Buddy said he didn’t know.

Q. Where was Buddy?

A. He was out in the back yard, he just stepped out the kitchen door on a rock that is there for a step.

Q. Did you see him when the shot was made?

A. Yes.

Q. You could see him at the time you made the shot?

A. Yes, he was going out the door.

Q. Look at this and see if you can tell me what that is? (Introducing sketch of floor plan of the house marked ‘Exhibit A’)

A. That is part of our house.

Q. A drawing of your house?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you recognize where the kitchen is?

A. Yes.

Q. Where is the kitchen?

A. There.

Q. Can you point out to me where Buddy was standing?

A. Yes, out this way.

Q. Can you point out to me where Nathaniel Watkins [sic Watson] was standing?

A. Yes.

Q. Where?

A. Back this way (Pointing), right inside the kitchen door, leaning against the back kitchen door before the gun fired.

Q. Point out to me the door leading into the kitchen?

A. There it is (Pointing)

Q. You say that is the door leading from the dining room to the kitchen?

A. Yes.

Q. You say that you were inside the dining room?

A. Yes.

Q. Where were you standing?

A. Kinda back in front of the cabinet

Q. What is in that cabinet?

A. Fruit.

Q. Can you point out the organ?

A. Yes, there (Pointing).

Q. Can you show me where the gun was standing?

A. Yes.

Q. Where was it?

A. On the other side of the organ (Indicating).

Q. Had you and Nathaniel had any trouble?

A. Not a bit.

Q. Any argument that afternoon?

A. No sir. We were playing when we came from the cotton house.

Q. Had he been going with you?

A. Yes.

Q. How long?

A. About two months.

Q. Had he been coming to your house pretty often?

A. Yes.

Q. Anything else you know about?

A. No sir.

Q. Did your brother have anything to do with this shooting?

A. No, him and Nathaniel were marking, shooting at a target. That is all he had to do with it.

Q. What did you do with the gun?

A. Threw it down before the wall cabinet. He made two steps from the side of the door and turned back this way and staggered and fell in this way, his head sorta falling towards me. I throwed the gun down on some sacks laying before the cabinet.

Q. Then what did you do?

A. I ran in the house to tell mama.

Q. Do you know what became of the gun?

A. Daddy said he moved it and took the shell out of it and threw it in the fire.

Q. What officers came to your house?

A. Mr. J. C. Neel was one. Another stout man.

Q. Do you know Mr. Fellers?

A. No sir, but I guess it was him.

Q. Who else?

A. Another little small man with a crooked back.

Q. You didn’t know who he was?

A. No sir.

Q. Did he tell you who he was?

A. No sir, he didn’t say anything to me.

Q. What did the officers do?

A. They came there and got the flashlight and looked at Nathaniel.

Q. What else did they do?

A. They took his pistol off of him.

Q. Nathaniel had a pistol on him?

A. Yes.

Q. Who did that?

A. The officer, I don’t know which one.

Q. That was after he was on the floor dead?

A. Yes.

Q. Where was Nathaniel’s rifle at that time?

A. Laying in the kitchen door.

Q. You don’t know anything else about this case except what you have already told me?

A. No sir, nothing else, only I know he spoke of a hawk.

Q. What was said about a hawk?

A. He said if he didn’t kill the hawk with our gun he knowed he could reach him with the rifle.

Q. But he never did get your gun?

A. No.

Q. When I talked with you in the jail last night - you remember that?

A. Yes.

Q. You remember you first told me that Nathaniel had shot himself?

A. Yes.

Q. And then later on you told me this other statement?

A. Yes.

Q. Did I threaten you in any way to make this statement?

A. No sir.

Q. You were not scared of me?

A. No sir.

Q. I didn’t promise you any reward?

A. No sir.

Q. What you told me was free and voluntary?

A. Yes.

Q. No one else promised you anything, or threatened you in any way, to tell what happened?

A. No sir.

JURY: (To Mr. Quattlebaum)

Q. You mentioned this boy had a pistol and a rifle too?

A. According to this evidence he did.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that Nathaniel Watkins [sic Watson] came to his death by a gun shot wound of the chest.

Sept. 6, 1938 Thomas H. Pope MD Newberry SC

ED NOTE: Last half of the inquisition, including death certificate gave the sur-name of WATKINS

The Inquisition itself was for a sur-name of WATSON


Inquisition held over the dead body of JOSEPH SAMUELS (Colored) of Newberry SC

Held at Newberry Court House on September 29th, 1938

WILLIE BELLE SAMUELS, colored, being duly sworn testified as follows:

The CORONER:

Q. Where do you live?

A. 613 Caldwell Street.

Q. How long have you been living there?

A. This is my native home.

Q. Are you married?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Tell the jury what happened at your house last night.

A. Yesterday afternoon I was sitting on my front porch and I saw my husband coming and I went into the house.

Q. Who is your husband?

A. Joseph Samuels. I went into my room. He did not say anything to me. He came on in the house and spoke to my aunt. He asked her how she was doing and she said, "Fine." She asked him how was all the people up home and he said, "Everybody is all right except some body dead." Then he walked back to the front porch and asked Otto was he looking for trouble. After he asked him that they started to fighting.

Q. Who is Otto?

A. Otto Miller. He was at my house when my husband came home.

Q. Otto Miller came to see you?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did he come to see you pretty often?

A. Not so often.

Q. Otto Miller was at your house when your husband came home?

A. Yes. Sir.

Q. When Otto spoke to Joe what did Joe say?

A. Joe spoke to Otto. Asked him if he was looking for trouble.

Q. Joe spoke to Otto first?

A. Yes sir. I did not hear what Otto said.

Q. Did Joe stay at home with you?

A. No sir.

Q. When was the last time he had been at home?

A. About a month.

Q. Were you looking for him back yesterday afternoon?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you see Otto when he cut Joe?

A. No sir. I was in my aunt’s room.

Q. You did not go out there?

A. No sir.

Q. Was that in a room or on the porch?

A. I do not know. I did not see him.

Q. Did you go out after it happened. Did you go out of your room after this happened?

A. I was in the other room. I did not go in the room where they were. I ran out of the house and across the garden near my aunt’s house.

Q. Where was Joe when you saw him last?

A. Sitting in the door where you saw him last night.

Q. Where was Otto when you saw him last?

A. When I was running up the street to the Southern Cotton Mill to call the police I saw Otto going to his cousin’s house.

Q. Did you hear Joe say anything to Otto?

A. Yes sir. Joe asked Otto, "Are you here after my wife?"

Q. What happened after that?

A. I did not hear anything after that.

Q. What happened after that?

A. I do not know.

Q. Did you hear them say anything else?

A. No sir.

Q. Where is your room?

A. It is across the hall from where they were fighting.

Q. Did you hear Otto say anything to Joe?

A. If he said a word I did not hear it.

Q. Did you hear them scuffling?

A. Yes sir. But I didn’t hear a word.

Q. It happened in the City of Newberry?

A. Yes sir.

MATILDA HARMON, colored, being duly sworn testified as follows:

The CORONER:

Q. Where do you stay?

A. 614 Caldwell Street.

Q. That is where Joe Samuels wife lived?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Stayed in the house with you?

A. She stayed in the house with me.

Q. Aunt Matilda, what happened at your house yesterday evening?

A. Just Otto killed Joe Samuels.

Q. Otto was at your house when Joe Samuels came in?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How long had he been there?

A. Not long.

Q. He came to your house pretty often?

A. He came there sometimes. Not so much. He happened to be there then.

Q. He came to see Joe Samuels’ wife?

A. You will have to ask her about that.

Q. As far as you know he came there to see Joe Samuels’ wife?

A. I reckon that is it.

Q. He didn’t come to see you did he?

A. No sir.

Q. Tell what you saw.

A. I am going to tell what I saw. I was in the stove room canning. I had canned one can and had one more to can. Joe came in and spoke to me and asked me how I was doing. I said, "I am doing very well. How are you?" He stood there a minute or two and I asked him about the people up home. Joe turned around and started up the hall. Otto was up the hall and when Joe got up there he said to Otto, "Otto, are you coming here to see my wife?" I was in the kitchen. They started scuffling. They were scuffling but was not saying anything. I went in there to order them out of the house. Otto had Joe across the bed. They were not saying a word. Otto jumped up and ran out the door. Joe came out of the room and leaned up against the house and slid down.

Q. How long did he live after he came out of the room?

A, He died in about twenty minutes.

Q. Did he say anything?

A. No sir.

Q. What did Otto say?

A. Otto did not say anything. I went in to tell them to get out- to get out – and when I did that Otto got up and ran and Joe started out of the room and leaned up against the wall and slid down and just sat there.

Q. In the hall?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did he speak?

A. Not a word.

Q. You did not hear Joe say anything before he died?

A. He did not speak. He did not open his mouth. He ain’t spoke a word.

Q. Does Joe stay with this woman?

A. That is his wife.

Q. Did he stay there?

A. He stayed at Chappells.

Q. When was the last time he was home?

A. About a month ago.

Q. Had he had any trouble with his wife before?

A. No sir.

Q. Otto was not there that time?

A. I was picking cotton. I do not know.

Q. Auntie, did you see either one of them with a knife?

A. No sir. I did not see any knife.

Q. Either one of them with a knife?

A. No sir.

Q. Razor?

A. No sir. When I got there blood was coming out of Joe. I did not know that Otto was cut.

MR. H. J. QUATTLEBAUM being duly sworn testified as follows:

The CORONER:

Q. What position do you hold Mr. Quattlebaum?

A. Deputy Sheriff.

Q. Did you investigate this killing on Caldwell Street?

A. I received a call about 6:30 o’clock last night from one who said that the Negro had been cut in an alley below the Southern Oil Mill. I immediately went to this house and I found the Negro in the hall of the house in which Matilda Harmon and Willie Belle Samuels lived in. Apparently he was cut and was dead when I got there. I made some investigation as to who had cut him. I ascertained that Otto Miller had done the cutting. I went to look for him and found out that Mr. Krell had carried him to Dr. Able’s office. I went up there and talked to him a little after Dr. Able sewed him up. I had a conversation with Otto Miller this morning and Otto said he had been going to see this woman, Willie Belle Samuels, and said that he was there yesterday afternoon and he and this woman were sitting on the porch when Joe came up. He said that the woman ran into the house when she saw him and he went on in the kitchen and Joe Samuels came on in the house. He was in there a few minutes and he started out and Joe followed him. Then Joe said to him, "You down here after my wife?" and started to put his hand in his pocket and he thought he was after his pistol. Then they started scuffling and Joe started cutting him and stabbed him in the back. Finally he got his knife out of his pocket and cut Joe in the throat. That they first started in the hall and then into the bedroom across the bed and back out into the hall. He also said that he took the knife away from Joe and that the blade was broken and he dropped it in the house. He also told me that he carried his knife over to A. C. Miller’s and that it was over there in his shirt pocket. This happened in Newberry County in the Town of Newberry on the 28th day of September, 1938.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

Newberry, SC September 29th, 1938

To whom it may concern:

This is to certify that I personally examined the body of Joseph Samuels, Negro, on the night of Sept. 28th, 1938. I found that the said Joseph Samuels died of exsanguinations caused by a laceration on the left side of his neck extending from just below the ear downward for a distance of 4 to 5 inches. Both the jugular vein and carotid artery on the left were completely severed. From the appearance of the wound I would say that it was inflicted by a very sharp instrument such as a knife.

Arthur W. Welling MD


Inquisition held over the dead body of T. M. PONSELL of Waycross GA

Death occurred on November 5th 1938

Inquisition held on November 9th and 12th 1938 at Little Mountain, South Carolina

In the absence of CORONER I.H. WILSON, the Inquisition was held by Magistrate B. F. DAWKINS:

EMANUEL GROSS being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. DAWKINS:

Q. What is your name?

A. Emanuel Gross.

Q. Where do you live?

A. I have been working for Mr. __ for awhile. I am now stationed at Parr, North Carolina.

Q. On November 5th 1938, tell us what you know about the wreck that happened just below town?

A. We had just topped the hill and got in high gear and I noticed this car coming. It looked to me like it was making around seventy or seventy five. I would estimate it to be that. It came across over to the left and then back to the right and then back to the left again and skidded. It turned over three times before it hit us. We were putting on brakes and just before it hit us we cut to the left of the road.

Q. You were coming up the road toward town and the car was going down the road?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You were in the truck?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You think the car was running pretty fast?

A. Yes sir. I would think seventy or seventy five.

Q. You say the car was going side to side of the road and then turned over?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Turned over three times?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Where did it strike the truck?

A. It struck at the driver’s side and landed on the cab. We carried him about ten feet up the road with him on the cab before it fell off.

MR. MARION HOLMAN of Batesburg:

Q. When this coupe car struck the truck did it knock the truck out of control?

A. Yes sir.

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Mr. Gross, were you the driver of this truck?

A. No sir. Mr. Dunbar.

Q. Mr. Dunbar is working for whom?

A. Mr. Bradshaw.

Q. Mr. Bradshaw of Batesburg?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What was the truck loaded with on which you were a passenger?

A. Concrete pipe.

Q. It was headed in the direction of Newberry?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Coming toward Little Mountain?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Can you recall about the first thing that you noticed about the car?

A. Yes sir. The car came around the curve and I said, "Look there." It looked like the front wheel was about a foot and a half off the ground and it got away from him.

Q. Did the coupe turn over before it hit you?

A. Yes sir, three times.

Q. On which turn was it making at the time it hit your truck?

A. Right.

Q. On the third turn?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Would you be able to say who was driving the coupe car?

A. I could not say.

Q. About what speed was your truck traveling?

A. Well I would say somewhere between twelve and fourteen miles per.

Q. Was it well on its side of the road?

A. Yes sir.

Q. After the impact what happened?

A. The driver lost control of it and it went to the left into the field.

Q. Did you see the passengers in the coupe car after the accident?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you see the man who was killed?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you learn his name?

A. I do not know whether I could call his name or not.

Q. You do not know where they were from?

A. I do not know, but they said he was from Waycross GA and one of them was from Montgomery.

Q. Did you talk with any of the passengers who were in the coupe car?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did these passengers that you talked to tell you who was driving the car?

A. They said that the fellow that was killed was driving.

Q. You would not be able to say which one was driving?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you see either of them thrown from the car?

A. I did not see them but afterwards I saw him where he had been thrown.

Q. That was the dead man?

A. Yes sir.

Q. He was the one thrown clear of the car?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How far down the road was he thrown?

A. Approximately thirty feet.

Q. Would you say that he was thrown over your truck?

A. I think he was thrown over the truck.

Q. Did you get back from your truck to the coupe automobile before the two passengers got out?

A. One of them was in the car and one of them was out. He was raising sand around there and cursing about someone helping him get the other fellow out.

Q. Did you help get him out?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What position was he in?

A. He was lying under the steering wheel and his head was in the door.

Q. He was the man who was injured?

A. Yes sir.

Q. This accident happened where?

A. Three or four miles down the road.

Q. Do you know what county it happened in?

A. No sir.

Q. You do not know whether it was in Newberry County or not?

A. I do not know. I think it was near Mr. Koon’s place, but I do not know whether it was in Newberry or not.

Q. Did you notice any whiskey around this coupe?

A. Yes sir. I did not see him throw it out but I heard it when it hit and when he turned around I went and looked. I did not look while he was standing there because I did not know whether it was a gun or whiskey. When he turned around I looked and got the whiskey and I gave it to the law.

Q. What size bottle of whiskey was it?

A. A pint of Four Roses.

Q. You say this car, when it came around the curve was going fast?

A. Yes sir.

MR. J. L. JERVEY being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. DAWKINS:

Q. Mr. Jervey, what is your occupation?

A. I am a State Highway Patrolman.

Q. How long have you been with the State Highway Department?

A. Since May 1932.

Q. Have you had a good deal of experience in investigating wrecks?

A. I have.

Q. Were you called to investigate this wreck that happened on November 5th near Little Mountain?

A. I was.

Q. Go ahead and tell just about what you found when you arrived.

A. When I reached the scene of the accident, which was four tenths of a mile on Highway No. 76 from the town of Little Mountain I found a Plymouth Coupe wrecked and was in the center of the highway. Also a Chevrolet truck off of the highway in the field to the left hand side of the road. There was one white man lying about fifty feet from the scene of the accident. I was informed he was T. M. Ponsell of Route No. 3, Waycross GA. I was informed that one Archie Bennett was taken to the hospital in Newberry, who was a passenger of the Plymouth Coupe. Jesse Gilcrest, also a passenger in the Plymouth Coupe, was at the scene of the accident. The truck owned by Mr. Bradshaw of Batesburg was operated by Wallace B. Dunbar Jr. Passengers on the truck were Emanuel Gross also of Batesburg and J. B. Butler, colored, of Batesburg. Mr. Gross handed me a pint bottle of whiskey marked Four Roses. Approximately three drinks had been taken out of the bottle. This pint bottle showed signs of having hit something. A piece was chipped off the bottom. Emanuel Gross, Wallace B. Dunbar Jr. and Jesse Gilcrest were later taken to the Sheriff’s office in Newberry and I hold statements of these three parties.

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Mr. Jervey, before you go into the statements - you mentioned about finding one man lying on the highway?

A. Yes. He was the dead man.

Q. Do you remember his name?

A. I was informed his name was T. M. Ponsell of Waycross GA.

Q. This wreck happened in Newberry County?

A. Happened in Newberry County.

Q. Mr. Jervey, from your experience and investigation of wrecks would you be able to give your opinion as to the speed that this car was making at the time it topped the hill?

A. From my investigation the Plymouth Coupe was running at a rapid rate of speed. I would not swear as to just how fast he was running but from the signs on the highway where the tires or something made – he was running at a rapid rate of speed.

Q. In observing the marks in the road you would say that the car was making a good rate of speed?

A. I would.

Q. Would you say that it was your opinion that the car turned over before it hit the truck?

A. I would. The car itself showed that it had turned over. I would say that it turned over three or four times.

MR. A. L. LONG being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Mr. Long, where do you live?

A. On the other side of Pomaria.

Q. What is your business?

A. Farming.

Q. Last Saturday afternoon, do you remember where you were?

A. Yes, I went to Columbia and was on my way back.

Q. Just before you got back to Little Mountain did you get in behind a truck?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Just go ahead and tell the jury what happened while you were behind the truck.

A. We were coming up the road and got behind the truck. Going up the grade he was going very slow and I passed him down there. I do not drive over thirty or thirty five miles an hour and going down the grade he passed us again.

Q. Who passed you?

A. The truck. I drove along behind him and when we got down here to this house I saw the car come over the hill and it swerved to the right. I parked my car when I saw it start swerving. It swerved back to the left and then back to the right and he was in front of the truck by that time. He hit the cab of the truck and turned over three times. The man was thrown from the car and he went across the truck about middle ways and was thrown down the road apiece.

Q. Did you notice this car when it first came over the hill?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Would you consider it running fast?

A. I thought it was running pretty fast.

Q. How fast would you consider the truck running?

A. Slow.

Q. Was the truck on its right side of the road?

A. Yes sir.

Q. From what you saw, and of course, you noticed the car when he first came over the hill, was there any chance for this truck driver to have gotten out of the way of that car?

A. I do not know. I would have had a poor chance myself.

Q. You say the car turned over before it hit the truck?

A. I did not think so. I thought it hit the truck and turned over three times.

Q. Did you find out how many people were in the Plymouth Coupe?

A. They said three. That was what the fellow said that did not get hurt.

Q. Did you see the dead man?

A. I was there when he died.

Q. Do you know whether he was the one thrown clear of the car?

A. Yes sir. Over the top of the truck and over the trailer of the truck.

Q. Did you go to the wrecked coupe car after you got out of your car?

A. I thought I was the first one there.

Q. Who else was there?

A. This fellow who was not hurt. He was around there cursing and calling for someone to help get the man out, that there was three of them in the car and he pulled out the one that was hurt.

Q. What position was he in the car?

A. I could not say. He had him stretched out and I could not say.

Q. The truck was on the right side of the road?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Would you say how fast he was going?

A. Not over twenty five or thirty. I am satisfied he was going slow.

Q. What County did this happen in?

A. Newberry County.

INQUISITION RESUMED NOVEMBER 12TH 1938

JESSE GILCREST being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. DAWKINS:

Q. What is your name?

A. Jesse Gilcrest.

Q. Where are you from?

A. Alabama.

Q. You were a passenger in this car that was wrecked?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Go ahead and tell the jury just what happened during the time of this wreck.

A. All I know is that when we came around this curve we noticed a truck one hundred or one hundred fifty yards away from us. We went across from our side to the left side of the road. He started turning back to the right side and the car got out of control. The car got cross ways the road and started turning over.

Q. The car turned over?

A. The car turned over a couple of times and hit this truck and bounced off and turned over a time or two.

Q. You turned over before you hit the truck?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Who was driving the automobile?

A. Ponsell.

Q. The man that got killed?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Who did the automobile belong to?

A. Ponsell.

Q. The wreck happened in this county, Newberry County?

A. I imagine that it was.

Q. About how fast were you running?

A. I would not know exactly. Between sixty and seventy miles. It could have been over. It could have been less.

Q. When you went over the hill and first noticed the truck what position was it in?

A. He was on his side of the road. On his right side of the road. He started turning over to the left just before we hit him. He started turning to his left just before we hit him.

ARCHIE BENNETT being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. DAWKINS:

Q. What is your name?

A. Archie Bennett.

Q. Where are you from?

A. Waycross GA.

Q. Were you in the automobile that had the wreck just below town here last Saturday?

A. Yes.

Q. Go ahead and tell the jury what happened.

A. Well the thing is very vague to my mind. We were traveling along this road. I did not pay any attention to this town. When we came over this hill in my mind I could see a truck. I could not say where the truck was. It is very vague in my mind. I remember the car turning the curve in the road and that is the last I remember until I came to in the hospital.

Q. Up until the time you noticed the truck did the car turn over?

A. I could not say. All I remember the car swerved to the left across the road and that is the last I remember. I must have hit my head when we first swerved.

Q. How fast were you traveling?

A. I would not say. I was on the right hand side. We were driving at a pretty good rate of speed. I would not say we were going over sixty.

Q. Who was driving the car?

A. Mr. Ponsell.

Q. Who did the car belong to?

A. Mr. Ponsell.

Q. The wreck happened in this county?

A. Newberry County I suppose.

Q. You are the man who was carried to the hospital?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What position was the truck in?

A. I do not remember seeing anything about the truck. It seems vaguely in my mind that I saw a truck, but where it was I could not say.

MR. BRADSHAW:

Q. How long had Mr. Ponsell owned the car?

A. I do not know to be exact. Must have been two months or something like that. He traded his other car in for this one.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that I examined the body of Thomas Ponsell and find that he came to his death by injuries to the head. (Fractured skull)

November 5, 1938 Thomas H. Pope Newberry, SC


Inquisition over the dead body of C. C. CASH (White) of Whitmire, South Carolina

November 2, 1938

Inquisition held by J. G. WATTS, Magistrate of Whitmire, SC

Dr. H. B. THOMAS being duly sworn says:

Q. You were called on October 30th to see Mr. C. C. Chase, were you not?

A. Yes I was.

Q. State briefly as to what caused the death of C. C. Cash.

A. Death was caused from hemorrhage due to lacerations to the neck and scalp.

Q. Would you say that these lacerations were caused by a knife?

A. Yes, they could have been made with as knife.

Q. What portion of Mr. Cash was hurt?

A. His neck was cut both the left side and the right side of the throat.

Q. Which side was the worse?

A. The left side had a larger wound.

Q. In which direction did the wounds extend?

A. They extended downward.

Q. You said that there were scalp wounds?

A. Yes, there was a deep laceration on the right side of the head.

Q. Did you find any other wounds on Mr. Cash?

A. There was a slight laceration on the face.

Q. Could this have been caused by a sharp instrument?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Were there any other wounds on any other part of his body?

A. No sir.

Q. About what would you say Mr. Cash’s weight was?

A. About 160 pounds.

Q. What was his height?

A. About 5 feet 8 inches.

Q. Do you know what age Mr. Cash was?

A. About 40 or 45 years old.

MR. RION R. GILLIAM being duly sworn says:

Q. You are the Chief of Police of Whitmire, aren’t you?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you receive a report of a fight on the night of October 30th?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Tell briefly what you did and what you found when you got to the house?

A. We received a report that two men were fighting so Mr. Wilson and I went just as soon as we could. We drove down there and when we stopped the car and went to get out Mr. Tenesiar came running and fell in front of our car and he said, "I killed a God damn man in my house." So we went on in the house and when we got in the house Mr. Cash was lying at the foot of the bed so we turned him over and we saw that he was not dead so we sent for the doctor.

Q. Did Mr. Cash die before the doctor got there?

A. No sir, he died after the doctor got there. He died while he was there.

Q. Did Mr. Cash say anything?

A. He just said that he was dying.

Q. Did you ask Mr. Tenesiar any questions?

A. No sir, but he told me that he had suspicioned something. He said that he told Mr. Cash that he was going up town for some beer and he hid and watched Mr. Cash go into the house.

Q. Had you seen them together that day?

A. I had seen them uptown together that night.

Q. How long before this happened?

A. About 30 or 40 minutes. They were drinking beer.

Q. Did they appear to be intoxicated?

A. No, but I could smell beer on their breath.

Q. When you went in was there anyone else in the room?

A. No, there was nobody else in the room.

Q. Was there anything on the floor?

A. There were two bills on the floor.

Q. Who did the bills belong to?

A. Mr. Tenesiar said that they were his but he found that he had his own.

Q. Did this happen in the front room?

A. Yes sir, in the front room.

Q. Did you see anything else on the floor?

A. There was some blood on the floor.

Q. Was there any blood anywhere else in the room?

A. There was blood on the edge of the sheets too.

Q. Did you search Mr. Cash’s clothing?

A. No sir, the Sheriff searched it.

Q. You say that Mr. Tenesiar watched Mr. Cash go to the house?

A. Yes sir, he said he watched him go in.

Q. Did he tell you what he suspicioned Mr. Cash?

A. He said that he suspicioned Mr. Cash and that he watched Mr. Cash go in his house.

Q. Did Mr. Tenesiar claim the 5 dollar bills?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you see Mr. Cash’s clothes searched?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What did you see in his clothing?

A. We found a pipe, pencil, pocket knife and 14 cents.

Q. Was the knife closed?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did he have a pocket book?

A. No sir.

Q. Did Mr. Tenesiar tell you that he heard anything before he went into the room?

A. He said that he heard his wife screaming and hollering and then he heard Mr. Cash offer her five dollars.

Q. What did he offer her this for?

A. I do not know.

Questions by MR. POPE:

Q. Did Mr. Tenesiar tell you how and what he saw?

A. He said that Mr. Cash was sitting on the side of the bed.

Q. Did Mr. Tenesiar tell you that Mr. Cash dived at him?

A. No.

Q. Did Mr. Cash say anything except that he was dying?

A. No sir.

Q. Did he say anything about Mr. Tenesiar?

A. No sir.

MR. JACK WILSON being duly sworn says:

Q. You are a member of the police force of Whitmire?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Were you with Mr. Gilliam on October 30th?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you go to Mr. Tenesiar’s home with him?

A. Yes sir.

Q. State briefly what happened on this night.

A. We got a report that two men were fighting so we went to the house and just as we stopped Mr. Tenesiar fell in front of our car. I knew that he had been in a fight because his clothes were bloody. He said, "I have killed a God damn man. I have cut his damn head off."

Q. Was Mr. Tenesiar running very fast?

A. No, he was just trotting.

Q. Did you help him up?

A. No sir he was up by the time we got out of the car.

Q. Did you go on in the house?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Tell what you saw in the house.

A. When we got in the house we saw Mr. Cash lying there on the floor and Mr. Gilliam told Mr. Evans to go and get Dr. Thomas. The room looked as if there had been a lot of scuffling done because the room was all bloody. We stayed there until the doctor came. We saw two five dollar bills lying on the floor wadded up together. When I picked up the bills Mr. Tenesiar said they were his, that he had a dollar bill but he found his bill in his pocket. Then he said, "Yeah, that’s the five dollar bill."

Q. Did Mr. Tenesiar say how long he and Mr. Cash had been together?

A. No sir.

Q. When you found those 2 five dollar bills were they wadded as if they had been held by a man in his hands?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did they look as if someone had been offering them to someone?

A. Yes, as if you were offering them to me. They were folded together and bloody.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

MRS. RUTH TENESIAR being duly sworn says:

Q. Who were you before you were married?

A. (Blank space)

Q. How long have you been married?

A. Two years.

Q. Your husband is Mr. Paul Tenesiar?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Do you have any children?

A. Yes sir, I have a fourteen month old boy.

Q. How long have you known Mr. Cash.

A. About one year.

Q. Has he ever been in your home before this?

A. No sir.

Q. Did he visit at your house Sunday?

A. He came in right after I had eaten dinner.

Q. Did he come there with anyone?

A. He came with my husband.

Q. Did he have dinner there?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Was this the first time he had eaten dinner in your home?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did they stay around the house after dinner?

A. No sir, they left right after they ate dinner.

Q. About what time was this?

A. About 2 o’clock.

Q. Did they come to the house together?

A. Yes sir.

Q. When did you see Mr. Cash again?

A. A little after eight. I had went to bed early.

Q. On which side of the bed did you sleep?

A. On the right hand side as you go in.

Q. Where was your baby?

A. Right next to me.

Q. Did you have your door locked?

A. I had my screen latched.

Q. How did he come into the house?

A. He came in through Mr. Puckett’s room.

Q. Who is Mr. Puckett?

A. He is the man that owns the house that we stay in. It is his home. We just stay there with him. He just has one room and we have the rest of the house.

Q. Which side of the house is Mr. Puckett’s room on?

A. On the left side.

Q. Is that the room that Mr. Cash came in?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Was Mr. Puckett in his room?

A. No sir.

Q. Was the door open or closed between your room and Mr. Puckett’s?

A. The door was closed.

Q. Was there a light on in your room?

A. The bed light was on.

Q. Did he knock on your door?

A. He just said, "Ruth," and came on in. He told me that he wanted to talk to me and I turned my face over to the wall.

Q. Which way did you turn?

A. Over on my right side toward the wall.

Q. Which side of the room was the bed in?

A. It was on the right side of the room.

Q. Which side of the bed did Mr. Cash come to?

A. He came to the left side of the bed.

Q. Did you know that it was him coming in?

A. I recognized his voice when he called me but he came right on in.

Q. Which side of the bed was your baby on?

A. I was on the right side of the bed and my baby was on the left side.

Q. Was there a light on in the room?

A. He turned the light on when he came in.

Q. Where does the light turn on?

A. In the center of the room at the light.

Q. What did he do after he turned the light on?

A. He said for me to turn over, that he wanted to talk to me. He asked me did I recall a certain girl that Curley had gone with. Then he told me that he knew things and asked me would I believe what he was going to tell me. Then he tried to kiss me and he tried to pull me up out of the bed. He told me that he would give me five dollars or even ten dollars and I told him to go on that I didn’t want his money. I heard Curley come in through the door and when he came in I hollered and told him to get him. Then when I saw the blood I got my baby and left the house.

Q. Did Mr. Cash do anything when your husband came in?

A. They met each other.

Q. Did they say anything to each other?

A. Mr. Cash said that he could explain.

Q. When did he say that?

A. He said that just as he started towards Curley.

Q. Did you get out of the bed?

A. I stayed in the bed until Curley cut him. Then I got up and ran out.

Q. How were you dressed?

A. I was in my gown.

Q. Did you take the baby with you?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Was your gown torn?

A. Yes sir, he tore my gown trying to get me out of the bed.

Q. Which side of the bed was the body on?

A. On the right side.

Q. Which side were you on?

A. On the right side.

Q. Your husband would be on your left side?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Which side was your baby on?

A. On my right side.

Q. After the scuffling did you get up and leave?

A. I left right after Curley had cut him and ran for help.

Q. Did you see your husband do anything else?

A. I saw him get out and run.

Q. Did you see Mr. Cash do anything else?

A. No sir.

Q. Prior to this Sunday had Mr. Cash ever been in your house?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you just set the table for them to eat or stay with them while they ate?

A. I just put the dinner on the table for them. Then I went into the kitchen and bathed my baby while they ate.

Q. When was the next time that you saw Mr. Cash?

A. About eight o’clock that night.

Q. About how long had you been in bed when he came?

A. About half an hour.

Q. Did you say that he knelt on the opposite side of the bed from you?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Was Mr. Puckett there?

A. No sir.

Q. When he came in did he knock?

A. He knocked and called, "Ruth", and came in.

Q. Were you under the cover, your arms covered up?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you have time to get up before he got over to the bed?

A. No sir.

Q. Did he put his hands on your shoulders?

A. Yes sir.

Q. He had you trapped in there didn’t he?

A. Yes sir.

Q. When he started you did not know that anything embarrassing would happen did you?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you ask him to get out of your house?

A. Yes sir. I told him to go.

Q. You were there by yourself?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did he tear your gown trying to kiss you?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did he ask you to be sweet to him?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did he stick some money right up in your face so you could see it?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Were you crying?

A. Yes sir.

Q. When Mr. Tenesiar came in did he come in through Mr. Puckett’s room?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did Mr. Cash walk or jump toward your husband when he came in?

A. Yes sir, he went towards him.

Q. When he started toward him did he grab him around the neck?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What did you do when you saw them starting for each other?

A. I screamed for them to stop.

Q. When you saw the blood, you say that you left?

A. Yes, I took my baby and ran for help.

Q. Did Mr. Cash fight with your husband?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did your husband strike Mr. Cash first?

A. I do not know.

Q. Have you seen your husband since this happened?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Is he hurt in any way?

A. His hand is cut and his neck is sore.

Q. Which hand is cut?

A. His right hand.

Q. Did you yell for Mr. Tenesiar to get him out of there?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did Mr. Cash say anything to your husband?

A. He just told him that he could explain.


Inquisition held over the dead body of MARCELLUS NANCE (Colored) of
Newberry, South Carolina, December 2, 1938

Inquisition held by BEN F. DAWKINS, Magistrate:

J. C. NANCE being duly sworn says:

Q. Is your name J. C. Nance?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Where do you live?

A. I live on Mr. Seltzer’s place.

Q. You live in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

Q. On November 20th of this year where were you?

A. I was on the Pool road.

Q. Were you down at Mr. Schumpert’s when Marcellus Nance got shot?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Tell us what you saw and what you heard there.

A. He started in the store and Mac said, "Don’t you come in here no more." He said something about they had been on the chain gang, that’s what started it. Then Mr. Schumpert started throwing bottles. I took him across the road and then he got shot.

Q. Did you take him across the road before any shooting started?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did he get shot in the back?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Was he in the building when he got shot?

A. He was across in the field when he got shot.

Q. What happened inside the store?

A. Mr. Schumpert asked him if he had said a bad word. Then Mr. Schumpert started throwing bottles and my brother started out and I took him across the road.

Q. When did Marcellus get shot?

A. When he got out into the field.

Q. About how far out in the field was he?

A. About as far as the back side of this building.

Q. Did your brother do any throwing?

A. He just told Mr. Schumpert to excuse him if he had said a bad word.

Questions by MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. How many of you went into Mr. Schumpert’s?

A. Just me and my brother Marcellus.

Q. What was the first thing that happened when you went in there?

A. We started out and Mac said go on out to the chain gang. Then Mr. Schumpert said, "Did I hear you say a bad word?" and then Mr. Schumpert started throwing bottles.

Q. Did your brother have a pistol?

A. Yes sir, some kind.

Q. When you took him out where did he go?

A. On across the field.

Q. Which way did he go?

A. Over toward Mr. Pat Stockman’s.

Questions by Lawyer HARLEY:

Q. Did you see anybody throw the ink bottles?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How many bottles did you see on the counter?

A. Two.

Q. Did one bottle hit the peanut machine?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did this ink bottle break?

A. No sir, but the peanut machine did.

Q. Did he stay at Mr. Stockman’s?

A. No sir.

Q. Why did he walk up the road?

A. I do not know.

Q. You said that he had a pistol?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What kind was it?

A. I do not know. It was a sort of shiny pistol but sort of rusty?

Q. Were you in the store when he was talking to Mr. Schumpert?

A. I went on across the road.

Q. When you brought him across the road did he go back again?

A. No sir.

Q. About how far from the store was your brother?

A. About as far as the back of the building.

Q. Did you see Marcellus pull the gun out?

A. No sir.

Q. You saw the gun and you would know it if you saw it?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Was Mr. Schumpert standing or sitting when you all went in?

A. He was standing up.

Q. Where were the ink bottles sitting?

A. One on one side of the counter and one on the other.

Q. Did you see the ink bottles hit?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Assuming that this is the counter where were the ink bottles?

A. Right up against the other stuff.

Q. What color ink was in the bottles?

A. I do not know.

Q. You say that Mr. Schumpert threw both bottles?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You say that Mr. Schumpert was standing in the back of the counter about the middle of the counter and the ink was about in the middle of the counter?

A. Yes sir, next to the candy.

Q. Which side was the peanut machine hit on?

A. On the side next to me.

Q. You were getting out of there pretty fast weren’t you?

A. Yes sir, I was ascared.

Q. Where did you go?

A. I went across the road with my father.

Q. Did you hear Marcellus cursing?

A. No sir. My father was hollering for him to run out of the way that the man was trying to kill him.

LOMAS SLIGH being duly sworn says:

Q. Where do you live?

A. Out on the Pool Road.

Q. Is that in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

Q. On Sunday, November 20th where were you at?

A. I was down at my Auntie’s house.

Q. When this shooting took place were you there?

A. I was pretty close to him.

Q. Tell us just what you saw and did?

A. We left my Auntie’s house and bought some apples. Then someone said to stop at Mr. Schumpert’s and get some cigars, so I told them to pull up in the road going toward the cemetery and we stayed there a little while.

Q. Who was driving?

A. Willie Caldwell was driving.

Q. Who went into the store?

A. J. C. Nance and his brother.

Q. Did you all stay there in the car?

A. Yes sir, until we heard some glass rattling.

Q. Did you hear the shooting?

A. Yes sir, I heard the shooting but I did not see it. This boy said that he was going to drive on because he did not want to be in it so we drove off.

Questions by Lawyer HARLEY:

Q. When the shooting started you went on?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How many shots were fired?

A. I do not know.

Q. Was there more than one shot?

A. That’s all that I heard. Then J. C. hollered and said for us to come and take him to the hospital so we turned around and went back.

Questions by MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Did you go up across the field?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What did you all do with the pistol?

A. I did not see it.

Q. Did you see anyone with a pistol?

A. No sir.

Questions by MR. NEEL:

Q. Who was the first one that got to Marcellus in the field?

A. I do not know. His brother, J. C., said for us to come and get him.

Q. How many were in the car?

A. Me and Willie Caldwell, Clarence Sanders and Jay Metts.

Q. Who else got out of the car besides J.C. and Marcellus Nance?

A. Their father got out.

Q. How far had you all gone when you heard the shot?

A. About down to Mr. Gary Hawkins’ house.

Q. You did not see Mr. Schumpert shoot Marcellus?

A. No sir.

Q. You say that you all went on back up the road when you heard the shot?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Who all was in the car?

A. Me and the driver and Jay Metts and Clarence Sanders.

Q. You went along with them?

A. Yes sir.

Q. That left just J. C. and Marcellus Nance and who else?

A. Their father.

JAY METTS being duly sworn says:

Q. Where do you live?

A. At Calvary Church back of Mr. Eugene Folk’s.

Q. On November 20th when this shooting took place were you down there?

A. I was down there in the car on the dirt road.

Q. Tell us what you know about it.

A. All I know is that I heard the shot and we drove on down the road.

Q. Who all was in the car?

A. Me and Willie Caldwell, Lomas Sligh and Clarence Sanders.

Q. Who all got out of the car?

A. J. C. and Marcellus Nance and Gene Nance.

Q. Where did they go?

A. Marcellus and J. C. went in Mr. Schumpert’s.

Q. How long were they in there before you all drove off?

A. We drove off as soon as we heard the shot.

Q. Was the shot made in the station?

A. I do not know.

Q. Were you drunk?

A. No sir.

Q. When the shot was fired and you heard the noise did you see anyone?

A. I did not look back.

Q. About how far down the road did you all go before you came back?

A. About as far as from here to the street.

Q. How far down the road were you at first?

A. About down to the bridge in the road.

Questions by MR. FELLERS:

Q. Where were you when the shot was fired?

A. I was in the car.

Q. Who all was in the car?

A. Me and Lomas Sligh, Willie Caldwell and Clarence Sanders.

Q. How many shots did you hear?

A. I just heard one shot.

Q. Do you know who shot?

A. I did not look around.

Q. Did you see anything before you heard the shot?

A. No sir.

Q. You did not hear but one shot?

A. No sir.

Questions by Lawyer HARLEY:

Q. You do not know anything except that you heard one shot and drove on down the road?

A. Yes sir, that’s all.

Q. Did you go back up to the field where Marcellus was?

A. Yes sir, all of us went.

Q. Who do you call all of you?

A. Me and Willie Caldwell, Lomas Sligh and Clarence Sanders.

Q. Did you see this boy with a pistol?

A. No sir.

Q. Where was Marcellus when you got to him?

A. He was lying down in the field.

WILLIE CALDWELL being duly sworn says:

Q. Where do you live?

A. On Mr. Smith’s place.

Q. This is in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

Q. On November 20th, when this shooting took place, were you there?

A. I was close around there.

Q. Tell us what happened?

A. When I heard the bottle rattling I started off up the road. Then I heard the pistol shot.

Q. Did you get out of the car?

A. Not until I took him to the hospital.

Q. Did you look around and see the shooting?

A. No sir, I started down the road.

Q. Where did you all come from?

A. We came from Mr. Pete’s.

Q. How far down the road from the cemetery did you all stop?

A. About as far as from here to the street.

Q. Who got out of the car?

A. J. C. and Marcellus Nance.

Q. Did you see them go in Mr. Schumpert’s?

A. I saw them going that way.

Q. Did you see the fight and fuss?

A. No sir, I just heard the bottles rattling and started off.

Q. Did you hear the shot?

A. Yes sir and then I heard J. C. holler that he was shooting him.

Q. Who went back up there with you?

A. Me and Lumas Sligh and Jay Metts and Clarence Sanders.

Q. Where was Marcellus’ daddy?

A. He had gotten out of the car.

Q. What did he do then?

A. I do not know because I left.

Q. Did he go down in the field where the boy was?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Which one of the Negroes got the pistol?

A. I do not know.

Questions by Lawyer HARLEY:

Q. How far down the road did you all go?

A. About down to the second bridge.

Q. You do not know anything except that you heard one shot and the bottles rattling?

A. Yes sir, and I heard the shot as I was driving along.

Q. You heard the bottles rattling and then you heard the shot about down to the bridge?

A. Yes sir, down to the second bridge.

Q. You say that J. C. Nance hollered for you all to come back that Marcellus was hot?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you hear anyone say who got the pistol?

A. I heard Gene say that the boy had the pistol.

Q. Who did you understand got the pistol?

A. I do not know.

Q. You have told everything you know about this?

A. Yes sir.

Q. This happened on the cut off in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

CLARENCE SANDERS being duly sworn says:

Q. Where do you live?

A. At Mr. Claude Suber’s.

Q. On Sunday November 20th when this shooting took place were you down there?

A. No sir, I was up there in the road.

Q. Tell us what you saw and heard out there that afternoon?

A. I don’t know anything except that I heard the glass rattling.

Q. Where were you?

A. I was in the car.

Q. You heard the glass rattling in the filling station?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you look over there?

A. No sir, the car started off about that time.

Q. Did you hear the shot?

A. I heard one shot.

Q. You did not know who did the shooting?

A. No sir.

Q. You did not see anyone do the shooting?

A. No sir.

Q. Is there anything else that you know?

A. No sir.

Questions by MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Did you go back up there?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Who got the pistol?

A. I do not know.

Q. Did Marcellus have a pistol that afternoon?

A. No sir.

GENE NANCE being duly sworn says:

Q. Where do you live?

A. On the Setzler place.

Q. You are the father of the boy who got killed?

A. Yes sir.

Q. On November 20th were you there when this shooting took place?

A. I had gotten out down there in the flat. I got out from these boys but after I heard the shots I started back up there.

Q. You got out before they got to Mr. Schumpert’s place?

A. Yes sir, and when I heard the shooting I did not know what was the matter so I went on up the road and I told my other boy to go and get him and not to let the man kill him.

Q. Was your son shot in the back?

A. I do not know where he was shot.

Q. How many shots did you hear?

A. I heard three shots.

Q. Where were your boys when you heard the shots?

A. They were out in the yard.

Q. Was that before or after the shooting?

A. He shot after this boy had turned Marcellus loose. Mr. Schumpert shot the first time and Marcellus ran on out of the way and then Mr. Schumpert shot through the window. I told Marcellus not to go in there and I sent my other boy in after him. When I saw them in the yard, J. C. had Marcellus by the hand.

Q. Had you heard any shots before they came out?

A. I do not know, I was so scared.

Q. How many times did you see Mr. Schumpert shoot?

A. I saw him shoot two times.

Q. Did you see Mr. Schumpert shoot him?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you ask him if Mr. Schumpert shot him?

A. No sir.

Q. What did he (Marcellus) have in his hands?

A. I do not know, I was so scared.

Q. What did you say that he had?

A. I said that he had had a pistol.

Q. Did you go up in the field where he was?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did he say anything to you?

A. He said that he was shot.

Q. What did you do with him?

A. I left him there.

Q. Where did you go when you left him up there?

A. I went on back down the road.

Q. Then where did you go?

A. I do not know.

Q. What did you do with Marcellus?

A. We took him to the hospital.

Q. Who all went to the hospital?

A. Willie Caldwell, my boy and Lomas.

Q. Which one of you took the pistol?

A. I do not know anything about that.

Q. You heard J. C. testify?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You heard him testify that Marcellus had a pistol?

A. Yes sir.

Q. He had a pistol?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You saw the pistol?

A. Yes sir, he had a pistol.

Q. Is that all that you know?

A. Yes sir, that’s all I know.

HARRY GILLIAM being duly sworn says:

Q. Where do you live?

A. On Mr. Henry Holloway’s place, 2202 Benedict St.

Q. On November the 20th, when this shooting took place, were you there?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Tell us just what you saw and heard.

A. As usually on Sunday evening we were on the outside, Mack and I. Marcellus came up and asked me to give him the cigar that I was smoking and he said for Mac to give him a cigar and we didn’t give him a cigar. Then he asked us if we knew him. When Mac would not give him a cigar he got mad and started cussing. Mr. Schumpert called him in then and told him he did not allow any cussing and this time of the evening there might be a lady out there in his car maybe his wife. Then he asked Mr. Schumpert what he had said. There were two ink bottles on the counter and Marcellus eased over toward this bottle next to the counter and hit the peanut machine. The Mr. Schumpert threw the blue ink bottle and then Marcellus started fumbling in his shirt for his pistol and he dared and told Mr. Schumpert to come on out of the station. Then Mr. Schumpert told him that he was coming. Mr. Schumpert did not go out in the yard but he just cracked out of the door and shot him.

Q. Did Marcellus go on out of the door or did he stop right outside of the door?

A. He stopped outside of the door and started cussing and daring Mr. Schumpert to come out and he was just turning around like a turkey. He was still cussing and Mr. Schumpert looked out and shot him.

Q. Did Marcellus have a gun?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How many shots did you hear?

A. Three or four, not over four.

MACK SIMS being duly sworn says:

Q. Do you live here?

A. Yes sir, I live with Mr. Schumpert.

Q. On November 20th, were you out there when this shooting took place?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Tell us what you know about it and what you saw.

A. J. C. came up and asked for a cigar. He asked me to give him a cigar. Then ‘Snooks’ (Marcellus) came up and asked for a cigar. I told him I wouldn’t give him a cigar because that was the only one I had. Then he started raising sand and he said that I was only a chain gang Negro. Mr. Schumpert asked him who ran the place and he said that Mr. Schumpert ran the place. Snooks said, "You run the place," and picked up the blue ink bottle and missed Mr. Schumpert and broke the peanut machine. Then Mr. Puss picked up the red ink bottle and threw it. Then Harry said for Mr. Schumpert not to come out of the station that Marcellus had a gun in his hand. Mr. Schumpert did say that he was coming out and he leaned up against the door and shot him.

Q. Did you see Marcellus with a pistol?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Wasn’t Marcellus leaning across the counter and cussing Mr. Schumpert and daring him to come outside and then started reaching in his shirt for his pistol and went on outside and dared Mr. Schumpert to come outside?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How many shots did you hear?

A. Four.

Q. Did you see anyone get the pistol?

A. J. C. went on there up to him.

Q. Did you see Marcellus raise his hand from the ditch?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What kind of pistol was it?

A. It was a short barreled shiny gun.

Q. Was it a short nickel plated?

A. Yes sir.

MR. SCHUMPERT made the following statement:

I’d like to say that this thing happened about four or four thirty in the afternoon. These Negroes in an old model automobile drove into the intersection of the dirt road and stopped. Two Negroes got out of the car one right in the lead of the other. One was J. C. Nance and the other was Marcellus Nance. About the time they reached the place an older man got out of the car and came up to the edge of the pavement. It was about 10 or 15 feet from the car. These two Negroes that work for me, one on one side of the door and one on the other side. J. C. asked Mac for a cigar that he was smoking and Mac refused to give him a cigar saying it was the only one that he had. Marcellus said, "You don’t want it," and he cussed Mac Sims for being a chain gang Negro and he told him he would be back on the chain gang in about 2 weeks. I called Marcellus in and tried to correct him. I told him I did not have any cussing around my place because very often there are white ladies parked out there. Then I asked him if he knew who ran the place. He told me in a very boisterous way that I ran the place. Then I told him I did not let my own color take charge of my place in any way. He asked me for what he had said and I told him what he had said. I noticed on the counter he was grasping the blue ink bottle which was near him and I picked up the red bottle just as he was about to throw the bottle and I struck him with it as he threw the red ink bottle. This bottle broke the peanut machine. He backed out of the door immediately and got behind the corner of the building and dared me to come out. I told him not to worry that I was coming out. Then my boy asked me not to come out there because he had a pistol. I leaned against the door and propped on my crutch and I could tell from his conversation about where he was so I leaned out of the door and shot him. At the time that I shot him He was in a stopped position. I started to shoot again but I noticed a car coming down the highway and I knew it would put them in danger and I noticed that his hand was paralyzed. His father yelled for him to run. He faced me as he started across the road, he turned again and I shot him and as I went back by the window I saw that he had his hand back aiming the pistol at me and I shot him again. I did not see him anymore until I came out and sent for the law. Then I went about 75 yards from him and he was down on his knees and hands. I know that his father was one of them who went up to get him.

Q. You say that you sent for the officers?

A. Yes sir. I sent Mr. George Nichols and his brother-in-law.

Q. Is that all you wish to say?

A. I should like to make this statement as to the peanut stand, that the counter had not been cleaned up. I think that it would describe for itself whether or not I threw at him.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that I have examined the body of Marcellus Nance and that the cause of death was due to a gunshot wound of the chest. The immediate cause of death being a collapse of the left lung and hemorrhage. E. J. Able MD


Inquisition held over the dead body of WILLIAM M. MILLER of Greer SC at

Newberry County Court House, December 28, 1938

Inquisition held by Magistrate BEN F. DAWKINS in the absence of the Coroner:

Present: THOMAS H. POPE, Attorney of Newberry SC; R. A. HARMON

MR. WILLIAM M. MILLER JR. being duly sworn says:

Direct examination by MR. H. J. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. What is you your name?

A. William Monroe Miller.

Q. Where is your home?

A. Greer, SC

Q. Is that in Greenville County?

A. Yes sir.

Q. On Monday afternoon December 26th I believe that is right, were you on your way back to Greer?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Driving an automobile?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Just go ahead in your own way and explain to this jury what happened on Highway No. 2 on the Greenville Highway.

A. The best of my knowledge I was driving along and the left hand tire on my car went flat and I pulled off of the road and when I pulled on the side of the road it was real muddy. I got the right front wheel too close to the ditch and when I tried to get the car out under its own power that caused the back of the car to slide further into the ditch until it was right straight in the ditch. My father pulled in front of me and said that he would go up to that house and get someone to pull me out. He was following me and drove up and stopped. He drove up to Mr. Parr’s house and asked Mr. Parr for a rope. Mr. Parr told him to go over to Mr. Boozer’s, that he thought he could get a chain from over there. When he came back he parked his car on that little side road, before he got into the highway. In the meantime Mr. Parr had driven his car down there and drove it in front of my car where it would give a light. His car was one foot off of the pavement. He got out and he and I discussed the condition of my car and then my father and Mr. Boozer came on around to where my car was and I had a flashlight in my hand and the last I saw of my father, they were standing next to my car at the left hand door. I walked around to the front of my car and was down on my knees looking under the car and when I heard this sound I looked up and I saw Mr. Parr while he was in the air, turning over, and he fell to the ground. I ran and picked him up and asked him if he was hurt and he said not so much. About that time my mother, who was in my father’s car parked on the side road, came and ran down to where my father was lying and she said, "Your father has been killed." I had Mr. Parr in my arms and I saw him lying in the glare from Mr. Parr’s headlights. I ran to him and picked him up and he never said a word. I put him back down and went up to Mr. Parr’s house and called an ambulance and made a phone call to White Rock, [SC].

Q. What was your father’s name?

A. The same as mine. William Monroe Miller.

Q. Was there a car that struck him?

A. That I could not tell you.

Q. Did you notice one pass?

A. Yes, I saw it.

Q. When you spoke of seeing Mr. Parr in the air, do you know what caused him to be up in the air?

A. No. I do not.

Q. You did not see a car pass your car?

A. Not until after it had passed. It went up the road sideways, sliding sideways.

Q. Do you know how far from the city of Newberry this accident happened?

A. Judging, I should say five miles.

Q. Do you know what county your father was killed in?

A. Newberry County.

MR. HARMON:

Q. Was your father and Mr. Parr in the road on the highway?

A. The last time that I remember before it happened they were standing completely off of the road, completely off the road.

Q. This car that you observed, just before you noticed it did you hear a noise?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How did the noise sound?

A. Like a car hitting a body.

Q. When you heard that sound what did you see?

A. I saw Mr. Parr in the air.

Q. Did you see a car then?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did it swerve to the right or the left?

A. It swerved to the right and slid sideways up the road.

Q. Did it stop?

A. It stopped long enough to get out of the ditch. The back wheel was in the ditch and he pulled out and continued up the highway.

Q. You could not tell who was in the car?

A. No. But it seemed to me several people jumped out of the car and ran.

Q. Was your father killed instantly?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How old a man was he?

A. Sixty eight years old.

Q. What size family did he have?

A. A family of four.

Q. He had a wife and two children. That is right, isn’t it?

A. Yes sir, that is right.

Q. Are you the oldest child?

A. My sister is the oldest.

Examination by MR.THOMAS H. POPE:

Q. You spoke of several cars being there. How many cars passed between the time you went into the ditch and the time the car was seen going up the road?

A. I know that there was one car that came along and asked me if I needed any help and I told them no.

Q. That car had passed on?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How many other cars were there beside this car?

A. Really, I did not pay any attention.

Q. Your car was headed towards Greenville?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Whose car was that in front of your car, facing toward Newberry?

A. Mr. Parr’s car.

Q. Those two cars were standing radiator to radiator?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How far apart were they?

A. About six feet apart.

Q. They were both off of the pavement?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Your father’s car was off on a side road?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Then there were only three cars at the spot when your father was killed?

A. No, I would not say no and I would not say yes.

Q. I just wondered if there was any other car that stopped to ask to help you?

A. There was only one car that stopped to ask if I needed any help and I told them, "No." That is the only car to my knowledge that stopped before they were hit.

Q. All I want to know is that there were three cars in the immediate vicinity at the time.

A. Yes sir.

Q. Your car was headed towards Greenville?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Mr. Parr’s car was parked in front of yours and your father’s car was parked on the side road.

A. Yes sir.

Q. I believe you said you observed the car swerve and go on in the direction of Greenville after you saw Mr. Parr in the air?

A. Yes sir.

Q. This car did not stop at all?

A. It seemed to me that the car slid into the ditch on the left hand side of the road and these Negroes jumped out and I do not know how many it was, but I did see the door open and some jump out.

Q. This happened just below the drive way to Mr. Parr’s house?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did the car that you observed going on toward Greenville pull in there, into Mr. Parr’s driveway?

A. It seemed that it stopped for a minute or two.

Q. Your car and Mr. Parr’s car was on the right hand side going toward Greenville?

A. Yes sir.

Q. When that car stopped in the mud did you hear anybody say, "Get a gun and shoot those damn Negroes."

A. No sir, I did not hear that.

Q. You were excited were you not?

A. Yes sir. But I did not hear that.

ARTHUR MITCHELL, colored, being duly sworn says:

Q. Your name is Arthur Mitchell?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Where do you live?

A. Raleigh NC

Q. How long have you been in Newberry?

A. Since Monday night.

Q. How did you come to Newberry?

A. I came to Newberry with Will Thomas.

Q. Will Thomas?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How did you come?

A. In an automobile.

Q. Whose automobile was it?

A. It belonged to his wife, I think.

Q. Will Thomas was driving?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Now Arthur, were you in Newberry Monday night December 26th?

A. Yes sir. We went through here once. That was when we came in here. We got here Sunday night. No, it was Monday night. We left Raleigh on Monday and got here Monday night.

Q. Now get yourself straightened out. Do you know whether it was Sunday or Monday?

A. Sunday night.

Q. You got in Newberry Sunday night?

A. Just a minute. I was at home Saturday. Yes, Sunday night, that is right.

Q. You arrived here on Sunday night, are you certain of that?

A. Yes sir, that is right.

Q. Where did you go?

A. We went to Will Thomas’ people’s house.

Q. Where did you go Monday morning?

A. We went to his father’s house.

Q. Where did you go Monday afternoon?

A. We stayed down to his father’s house and then we came back to Newberry.

Q. After you got back to Newberry, where did you go?

A. We came back. We went to some of his friends’ houses. We came back down town to the café down there.

Q. Did you go to the Silver Moon Café?

A. I think that is right. I think that is the name of the place.

Q. After you left the Silver Moon where did you go?

A. After we left the Silver Moon some girls asked him to take them to a place – I do not know anybody in South Carolina – they wanted him to take them out to –

Q. Who wanted him to take them out?

A. I do not know their names. They wanted Will to take them out.

Q. Did he take them?

A. Yes sir, he started.

Q. Who was driving when you left the Silver Moon?

A. I was when we left.

Q. Who was on the front seat?

A. Will and one of his friends, I think it was.

Q. Did you continue to drive?

A. No sir. We got out here on the highway somebody said, "Let this boy back here drive," and Will Thomas said, "I will drive my own damn car," and he got under the wheel and started out in a nice way.

Q. Did you stay on the front seat?

A. I think I got on the back seat. I am not certain. I believe I was sitting on the back seat.

Q. What kind of car was he driving?

A. Chrysler Sedan, no, a Chrysler Coach. I know it was a Chrysler.

Q. After you changed drivers where did you go?

A. We went on up the hill. We passed two cars up on the hill. It was cloudy. I was trying to see. About that time somebody said, "Look out, Look out", like that. By that time I heard the noise. Then Will cut to the left and that is when the car came open. I jumped out and started walking toward this car where he struck this fellow. Everybody was excited and somebody said, "Get my shot gun," and I turned around and came on back down the road.

Q. You passed where this fellow was hit?

A. There was a lady there and I heard her say, "Oh Lord," that was the only thing I heard.

Q. Where did you go then?

A. I came on back down the road and met up with two white boys and came back to Newberry. They brought me back to Newberry.

Q. How long have you been knowing Will Thomas?

A. I judge five or six years.

Q. You have been knowing him five or six years?

A. I think so.

Q. When was the last time you saw him?

A. Just a few minutes ago.

Q. Where?

A. Just back there.

Q. Can you point him out?

A. Yes sir. That is him.

Q. Is that the man who was driving the car?

A. Yes sir.

Q. The car belonged to him or his wife?

A. I do not know which one it belongs to.

Q. You realized that he had struck somebody?

A. Yes sir.

MR. POPE:

Q. You say you were at the Silver Moon Café before you started out on the Greenville Highway?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Why did you go out that road?

A. I was with him.

Q. Was Will asleep when you went to the car?

A. No sir.

Q. You were in the car with the crowd?

A. I was along in the car.

Q. Will was on the out side of the Café and you were on the inside?

A. I saw Will drinking a bottle of beer before he came out of the café. We came out to the car. These people wanted me to take them somewhere.

Q. Did Will ask you to come with him or did you tell Will to move over?

A. No sir.

Q. He was under the wheel?

A. No sir.

Q. He was already in the car?

A. I do not think he was in the car.

Q. He was in the car wasn’t he?

A. I do not think he was.

Q. You are sure he was not in the car when you went out there?

A. I remember Will came out of the café and they told him to let me drive. Will got in the car and started vomiting after that beer.

Q. Hadn’t he been in the car before? Wasn’t he sitting in the car?

A. He got in the car. They told him to "Let your brother-in-law drive."

Q. Are you sure you got here Sunday or Monday night?

A. We got here Sunday night.

Q. When you left the café was Will on the front seat?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Were you drunk?

A. No sir.

Q. Had you had a drink?

A. About one.

Q. A drink of what?

A. I had a drink of whiskey.

Q. Where did you change drivers?

A. I do not know. I told him that I did not understand these brakes and one of the girls on the back seat said, "Let the other boy drive." I told them I did not understand the brakes.

Q. Was Will sick?

A. No sir.

Q. He had vomited after you left?

A. Yes sir. But he straightened up and said he was alright.

Q. You did not persuade Will to carry then out?

A. No sir.

Q. You went out there and asked him to move over and you started to drive?

A. I did not tell him to move over. They told me to drive the car. He moved over from under the wheel and let me drive.

Q. He moved over?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You were driving so reckless that they wanted you to let someone else drive?

A. They said let me drive when we left.

Q. But after you got in the car they all said let someone else drive?

A. That was what they said.

Q. Was the car a sedan or a coach?

A. I don’t know. It was a four door.

Q. A four door sedan?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Which woman said, "Look out."?

A. I could not say.

Q. Were you in the front seat or the back seat?

A. I think I was in the back. I do not know.

Q. What time did you all get together?

A. About six o’clock, I think.

Q. How many were there in the car?

A. I think there were about six.

Q. Tell me where that boy (Pointing) was sitting. The one with the dotted tie.

A. I just don’t remember.

Q. That girl, where was she sitting, the one with the rust coat on. On the front seat or the back seat?

A. I do not know that I could say.

Q. You were in the car were you not?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Were you in the back seat?

A. I think so.

Q. Will Thomas driving?

A. Yes sir.

Q. There were three others in the back seat with you after Will started driving?

A. I do not know, three or four. I don’t know.

Q. Well, was one of the girls in the front seat?

A. I think so.

Q. Which one?

A. I don’t know.

Q. Well, were you drunk?

A. No sir, but I didn’t know any of these people. I do not know the faces.

Q. You were talking to those in the back seat and Will was driving?

A. I was not saying anything. I was trying to see the road.

Q. Who was sitting next to you?

A. I do not remember.

Q. When the car stopped you jumped out?

A. I got out.

Q. You stopped after you hit that car? You were in the car?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did the car hit the other car?

A. I do not think so.

Q. You did not hit anything?

A. We hit something.

Q. The car stopped?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You got out as soon as it stopped?

A. Yes sir.

Q. And everybody else go out with the exception of Will?

A. That is right.

MR. HARMON:

Q. You live in North Carolina?

A. Yes sir, Raleigh.

Q. You are a brother-in-law to Will Thomas?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You and he came to Newberry from Raleigh by yourselves?

A. A boy came with us. But he got out before we came to Newberry.

Q. Then you two came to Newberry alone?

A. Yes sir. Us two.

Q. You both live in Raleigh North Carolina?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You had been drinking that day?

A. Yes sir. I had had a drink.

Q. And you had been drinking some beer too?

A. A little beer.

Q. You saw Will Thomas drink a bottle of beer before you left?

A. Yes sir.

Q. He was vomiting on the car and on the side of the car, was he not?

A. After he got in the car.

Q. They all seemed uneasy about Will driving the car and wanted you to drive?

A. That was what they said.

Q. And after you said you did not know how to work the brakes they spoke up and said, "Let this other boy drive?"

A. Yes sir.

Q. Then Will Thomas said what?

A. That he would take care of his own damn car.

Q. That is what he said?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You know that the car did strike something?

A. Yes sir. I heard the noise.

Q. You felt the jolt?

A. A little.

Q. Then when he swerved to the left he stopped? And several of you jumped out?

A. Yes sir.

Q. All of you jumped out with the exception of Will Thomas?

A. As far as I know.

Q. You did not go on with anybody?

A. No sir.

Q. You took the road back to Newberry?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Will Thomas was driving this car at the time it struck somebody?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You know that?

A. Yes sir.

OTIS RUFF, colored, being duly sworn, testified as follows:

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Otis, where do you live?

A. 922 Cornelia Street, Newberry.

Q. Where do you work?

A. Davis Motor Company.

Q. Otis, last Monday afternoon, where were you at?

A. I ran up on Will Thomas and this other boy at the café.

Q. At the Silver Moon Café?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Go ahead and tell what happened.

A. Someone said something about going to Laurens to the log cabin and I said I would go. Then we came out to the car.

Q. Whose car?

A. Will Thomas.

Q. What did you do then?

A. Raymond Coleman said that he wanted to go and get his wife so we went out there and got his wife. He seemed to be driving bad and one of the girls said let Otis drive and Will Thomas said, "I will take care of my own car." We came up on the road and got near Mr. Parr’s house. Will Thomas was driving. There were four of us in the back, seven of us in all. I heard a noise and he slowed up long enough for us to get out. I heard somebody say, "You killed somebody," and Will looked like he was going on and we got out. I heard someone say, "Go get my gun. I am going to kill those damn Negroes," and we left and came back to Newberry and told you.

Q. Do you remember seeing these cars before you got to them?

A. No sir. I could not see.

Q. Where did this accident happen?

A. Near Mr. Parr’s.

Q. In Newberry County?

A. I guess so. It was near Mr. Parr’s place.

Q. After you left the café where did you say you went to?

A. Out on the Greenwood Highway to get Raymond Coleman’s wife.

Q. Did you get any further than Mr. Parr’s house?

A. No sir.

Q. Will Thomas was driving the car?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Where did Will Thomas take the wheel?

A. Between the forks and the Pure Oil Station. He seemed to be driving very nice and going pretty steady.

Q. Did you know Will Thomas?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How long have you been knowing him?

A. Twenty or twenty two years.

Q. Can you point him out now?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Where is he at?

A. That one over there (Pointing).

Q. That is Will Thomas?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you see him drinking?

A. No sir.

Q. Did he appear to be sick?

A. He vomited, I think.
Q. Was he driving when he vomited?

A. I think the other man was driving.

Q. Where did they change drivers?

A. On the cut-off road on this side of the Pure Oil Station.

Q. Going toward Jalapa?

A. Yes sir.

Q. When you got out of the car did you come pass the two cars?

A. Not close. When I heard someone say something about ‘get my gun’ we come on back toward town.

Q. How long was it after you got out of the car until you left?

A. I did not tarry.

Q. When did the car leave?

A. The car went on up the road. I did not look back. I came on back to town.

Q. Was the car gone before you left?

A. We were all leaving together.

MR. HARMON:

Q. Who was driving the car when the accident occurred?

A. Will Thomas.

Q. You are sure of that?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How long have you been knowing Will Thomas?

A. About twenty two or twenty three years or longer.

Q. He and the other Negro from North Carolina were in the front seat and four of you in the back seat?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you see any pistol?

A. No sir.

Q. You heard about it didn’t you?

A. I heard about it later.

MR. POPE:

Q. Was Will Thomas asleep?

A. No sir. We got in the car about the same time. He went in the café and got some beer.

Q. Wasn’t he already in the car when you all came out?

A. No, all came out together.

Q. You say that they changed drivers on the cut-off road?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You all were dissatisfied with Arthur’s driving?

A. I suppose so.

Q. Then Will took the wheel?

A. Yes sir.

Q. After you were dissatisfied?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Will did not get up that party to go?

A. No sir.

Q. You all did not persuade him to take you?

A. Everybody just agreed to go.

Q. You did not persuade them?

A. No sir.

Q. How fast were you driving when Will took the wheel?

A. About thirty five. Between thirty five and forty.

Q. After Will took the wheel did Arthur get in the back seat or did he stay in the front?

A. Put the girl in the middle and he stayed in the front.

Q. Arthur stayed in the front seat – you are sure?

A. Yes sir. If that is his name.

Q. At the time this accident occurred, at Mr. Parr’s place - Will Thomas was driving?

A. Yes sir.

Q. There was a girl in the middle on the front seat?

A. Yes sir.

Q. And there were four of you in the back seat?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You are sure there were three on the front seat?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Which one of the girls called out, "Look out"?

A. Must have been the one in the front seat.

Q. Had you had a drink?

A. I had had one that morning.

Q. I mean just before this accident happened?

A. No sir.

Q. Had the other people in the car, besides Will and Arthur, been drinking?

A. I could not tell. The ones back there did not act like it.

Q. What about the girl on the front seat, had she been drinking?

A. I do not know.

Q. Would you know her if she stood up?

A. I would know her.

Q. All of you back there stand up. Now which one is the one who was on the front seat?

A. That one in the middle, (Pointing).

Q. That is Leila Wise?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You know she was sitting on the front seat?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Which one was your girl on the back seat?

A. Annie Mae Rutherford.

Q. What was the other girl’s name?

A. I do not know.

Q. Do you know whether Annie Mae said, "Look out."?

A. It did not sound like her.

Q. What about the other girl on the back seat, did she say it?

A. I don’t think so.

Q. You heard somebody say, "Look out."

A. Yes sir.

Q. Was it in a woman’s voice?

A. I imagine so.

Q. You think it was the woman on the front seat?

A. Yes sir.

Q. When the car struck something it stopped?

A. I reckon for a minute, it stopped long enough for us to get out.

Q. Did you hear anybody say, "Get my gun. I am going to shoot those damn Negroes."?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Do you suppose you left about the same time?

A. I suppose so.

Q. After you heard somebody say, "Shoot those damn Negroes."?

A. Yes sir.

Q. The car had not left until you heard those words?

A. I do not know.

Q. As soon as you heard those words you left?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You did not leave until you heard them?

A. No sir.

MR. HARMON:

Q. Did you jump out of the car before you heard the voice say something about ‘get my gun’?

A. No sir. He acted like he was going on and we got out. Somebody said something about, "You have killed somebody" and we started getting out.

Q. Somebody said that in your car or was it from the outside?

A. From the outside.

Q. You heard a voice said, "you killed somebody"?

A. Yes sir.

Q. And when you got out of the car you heard a voice say, "Go get my gun. I am going to kill those damn Negroes."?

A. Yes sir.

Q. When you left the scene of the accident what did you intend to do?

A. I intended to do as I did do – I came on and told the law.

Q. But the other fellow who was driving, he went on?

A. As far as he could.

MR. POPE:

Q. You heard two voices in the dark? One said something about, "You have killed somebody", and the other something about, "Get my gun. I am going to kill those Negroes"?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You were driving about thirty five or forty?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you notice that the brakes were being put on?

A. Didn’t seem like it.

Q. The car swerved and stopped and when you heard the two voices you all jumped out?

A. The car did not stop except for just a little and we started getting out. He was trying to get out of the ditch. I want to tell the truth about it.

Q. Do you think it was the second voice that made you all leave?

A. Yes sir.

LEILA WISE being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q. Your name is Leila Wise?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Where do you live?

A. Live on Vincent Street.

Q. Vincent Street in the town of Newberry?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Were you in the car with Will Thomas last Monday afternoon?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Who was in the car?

A. Myself, Annie May Rutherford, two other men, Otis and Raymond and his wife.

Q. Where did you go?

A. We left the Silver Moon Café and went and got Raymond’s wife and came back to the filling station at the red light.

Q. Whose car were you in?

A. I do not know his name. I do not know who the car belonged to.

Q. You two stand up back there. Now, which one of those two did the car belong to?

A. I do not know which one the car belonged to.

Q. Which one was driving the car?

A. The tall man was driving first and we did not like his driving. When we first left the Silver Moon and went to the overhead bridge, the little low one could not find his keys and let the tall one drive. When we got on the highway they did not like his driving and someone said let Otis Ruff drive and he said he would drive his own car.

Q. Where did you go after you got on the highway?

A. On up the road.

Q. Which road?

A. We had started on the Laurens highway.

Q. Did something happen?

A. Yes sir. On up the road, was not driving so fast, and I looked up and called for him to look out. I saw something and about that time he hit this man and the car swerved from the right over to the left and then got in the ditch and while he was trying to get it out we got out of the automobile. I was on the front seat in the middle and I opened the door and got out.

Q. Which door did you open?

A. The right front door. And I got out over this man. I tore my dress trying to get out. And when I heard this man say about his gun I struck out.

Q. Why did you get out of the car?

A. He acted like he was going on and I opened the door and jumped out over this other man.

Q. Which side of the automobile, what part of your automobile do you think struck the object?

A. I do not know but I guess the front.

Q. Was the man who was driving under the influence of whiskey?

A. I could not tell. But it seems to me that he vomited.

Q. Where did he vomit?

A. I am not sure, but he vomited. I think it was on the way to get Raymond’s wife, but I know he vomited.

MR. POPE:

Q. You were sitting in the front seat?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Between these two men?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How fast were you going?

A. I do not know. I could not tell you. I could not say.

Q. He was not driving at an excessive rate of speed?

A. I do not remember.

Q. He was not driving fast?

A. I do not know.

Q. What made you call, "Look out."?

A. I saw the car before we got to it.

Q. Was it a fair night or cloudy?

A. It had been raining.

Q. Was it foggy and misty?

A. I do not know. It was misty after we got on the ground.

Q. When you called, "Look out," how far were you from the car?

A. About as far as from here over to that wall (Pointing)

Q. What did you do then?

A. By that time he had hit him.

Q. Did you sit still?

A. I do not know.

Q. Did you throw your arms out? You did not grab the steering wheel did you?

A. No sir.

Q. You are positive you did not grab the steering wheel?

A. I know I didn’t.

Q. Did Arthur grab it?

A. I did not see him do it.

Q. You are sure you did not grab it?

A. No sir, I didn’t. I grabbed my umbrella and was trying to get out.

Q. You got your umbrella and reached for the door?

A. I was the first one to get out.

Q. You did not start running until you heard some one say, "Get my gun."?

A. I heard him say, "Get my gun."

Q. Where were you standing when you heard that?

A. Right by the car.

Q. The car was not moving?

A. He was in a ditch, but he was asking a lot of fuss with his motor, trying to get out.

Q. You started running after Raymond said, "Let’s go."?

A. Yes sir.

Q. In the same direction?

A. I came down the road.

Q. You are sure that you and the car left at the same time after you heard someone say ‘Get my gun."?

A. When this lady was running around the car and the man said, "Get my gun" I guess we all left at the same time.

ANNIE MAY RUTHERFORD being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q. Where do you live?

A. 812 Hunter Street.

Q. On Monday afternoon, December 26th did you get in Will Thomas’ car?

A. No sir, not that afternoon – about six – I do not know exactly what time it was.

Q. You did get in his car that night?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you know Will Thomas?

A. No sir. I never saw him before.

Q. You would not know him now?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Which one is Will Thomas?

A. That last one over there.

Q. The short one?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you go out on the Greenville road – and what happened?

A. I do not know what road it was. This girl called, "Look out", and I jumped out and got lost and walked all night.

Q. Who was the girl in the front seat.

A. I do not know.

Q. Was this other man in the front seat?

A. Yes sir.

Q. The man from North Carolina?

A. Yes sir.

Q. He was on the front seat?

A. Yes sir, on the outside.

Q. On the right hand side?

A. I do not know.

Q. After you heard her say, "Look out," what did you do?

A. I jumped out and ran and got lost.

Q. Which side did you get out on?

A. I do not know. I got out and started running and got lost and stayed lost all night.

RAYMOND COLEMAN being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Your name is Raymond Coleman?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Where do you live?

A. Out on the Greenwood Highway.

Q. Did you get in a car with Will Thomas and some other Negroes on Monday afternoon?

A. Yes sir.

Q. December 26th?

A. Yes sir, it was Monday afternoon.

Q. Where did you go?

A. We went up the Greenwood road to get my wife.

Q. Did you go up the Greenville road?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How far up the road did you go – I mean the Greenville road?

A. Until we hit the man.

Q. What happened up the Greenville road?

A. This other fellow, Mitchell, he was driving at first and he said he did not know about the brakes on the car and someone said, "Let Otis Ruff drive," because he worked at a garage and he knew how to drive and the other man said he would take care of his own car.

Q. Who said that? Will Thomas?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Which one sitting back there?

A. The one on the left.

Q. One is Arthur Mitchell and the other one Will Thomas?

A. Arthur Mitchell was driving at first and the other people said to let Otis drive because he worked at a garage. Then Will Thomas said he could take care of his own car and Arthur Mitchell got out and Will Thomas got under the steering wheel. We went on up the road. I was on the back seat and Leila said, "Look out."

Q. Leila Wise was the one on the front seat?

A. Yes sir, between them. She said, "Look out", and the car swerved to the left side. Will Thomas kept trying to get it out of the ditch and I jumped out of the car and grabbed my wife out of the car and Thomas was driving to get the car out of the ditch. We walked back to the wreck and I saw a man lying there and someone said, "You have killed him – go get my gun." I told Leila and them to come on and we went out across the field and finally got to the country club and got _____ to bring us to town.

Q. Which side of the car did you get out on?

A. On the right hand side.

Q. Did the car hit another car?

A. I do not know.

Q. Will Thomas, did he come back to the car?

A. No sir. He did not get out of the car. He was trying to get his car out of the ditch.

Q. Did Will Thomas hear the person say anything about getting the gun?

A. I do not know. He was getting his car out of the ditch.

Q. He did not start out until about the time you started?

A. I was going back down the road. He was trying to get it out. We were walking toward the wreck and I told them to, "Let’s go".

Q. The car left the same time you left?

A. Yes sir.

MR. SAM BURNS being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Sam, where do you live?

A. 1518 Harrington Street.

Q. In the town of Newberry?

A. Yes sir.

Q. On Monday, December 26th were you traveling on the Greenville highway?

A. Yes sir, on my way from Clinton.

Q. Go ahead and tell what you know about this wreck?

A. The first thing I know about it this car was coming this curve and his doors were open.

Q. Where were you?

A. I was beyond Mr. Callie Boyd’s place. Between Mr. Callie Boyd’s place and the white house.

Q. Tell what happened.

A. His car was on my side of the road. I could not get out of his way. His door struck my front fender. I turned around and started chasing him and about the time I got to the overhead bridge he was going on the other side of the bridge. I saw the car turn off the road and turn his lights out and we went on and turned in the road with our lights on him and this Negro was out trying to get his doors shut. I asked him what did he mean driving with his doors open. I do not know what he said. I told him to come there and look what he had done to my car. I asked him what his name was and he said Will. He said another Negro by the name of Arthur was driving the car. I told him that I was going to get Mr. Martin. I told him to drive in front and I would follow him. My uncle then told him to go ahead of us after he had said he would follow us. He started out at a good speed. Then he slowed down very slow and I had to put my car in second gear. When we got up there where the wreck was Mr. Martin took charge.

Q. You found a wreck after you came back down the road?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How far was the wreck from the place that you stopped him?

A. I imagine about a mile.

Q. There was only one Negro in the car?

A. One Negro and a dog.

Q. Was the Negro under the influence of whiskey?

A. I would not say that he was drunk.

Q. What did he say his name was?

A. Will.

Q. Do you see the Negro in the Court room?

A. That one back there. The one on the left.

Q. He was the one driving?

A. That was the one driving. He said something about Arthur driving.

Q. You did not see Arthur?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you see any other Negroes?

A. After we passed the wreck I saw one walking, about a half mile from the wreck.

Q. Do you know whether he was in the car?

A. No sir.

MR. HARMON:

Q. Did you see where this Negro had vomited?

A. Yes sir.

MR. J. C. NEEL being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Your name is J. C. Neel?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What position do you hold?

A. Deputy Sheriff.

Q. Do you remember making an investigation of a wreck on Monday, December 26th?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you examine the car?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you learn who the car belonged to?

A. Yes sir. Will Thomas told me that it was his wife’s.

Q. Do you see Will Thomas in the Court Room?

A. Yes sir. The one back there on the left.

Q. Did you examine the car?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What did you find?

A. Right hand rear door bent in and the glass broken and some human skin on the door. The left hand rear door had hit something.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

MR. POPE:

Q. Where did the object appear on the door?

A. The right hand rear door, the glass was broken in and there was some skin.

Q. That dent on the door, did it appear to have been made by being struck with an object from the front or the side?

A. It looked like it had been struck on the side.

Q. On the side?

A. Yes sir.

MR. HARMON:

Q. Did you have a conversation with the Negro that night?

A. I saw him at the wreck two or three minutes after I got there.

Q. What was his condition?

A. He was under the influence of something.

Q. Did he talk with any intelligence?

A. No sir. I carried him on to jail and tried to talk to him but could not get any sense out of him at all.

Q. He was more intelligent the next morning?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did he admit that he was driving the car?

A. He did not at first. He denied being in the car. Then he told me that he was drunk and he did not know whether he was driving the car or not, but that if the others said he was driving he supposed he was – that he must have been. He said he was drunk. Somebody had vomited on both sides of the car.

MR. POPE:

Q. Did he tell you that night that he was not drinking?

A. He said that he was not drinking.

Q. Did you talk with these other Negroes?

A. Yes sir, that night.

Q. Did any of these Negroes say that the car swerved to the left?

A. I did not ask them.

Q. Did any of the Negroes tell you that the car swerved to the left before it hit the object?

A. No sir. I talked to Mr. Parr about it and he said the car put on brakes and slid into him sideways and knocked him under the car.

Q. Did he say that he and Mr. Miller were standing on the right hand side of Mr. Miller’s car?

A. He said that they were on the left hand side of the car between the pavement and the car.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that William Miller came to his death by fractured skull, crushed chest and broken leg above the ankle. December 26th 1938 T. H. Pope


Inquisition over the dead body of Ben Kinard (Colored), Newberry County Court House

Newberry, SC January 3, 1939

Examination by H. J. QUATTLEBAUM, Deputy Sheriff

ROY CONNER being duly sworn says:

Q. Roy, where do you live?

A. At Miss Minnie Sease’s.

Q. In what County?

A. Newberry County.

Q. Where were you at Sunday night, January 1, 1939?

A. I was at that lady’s house.

Q. Whose house?

A. Addie Kinard’s.

Q. Where does Addie Kinard live?

A. At Mr. Enlow’s.

Q. He lives in Newberry County?

A. Yes.

Q. What happened there that night?

A. Dan Sturkie, Clause Cleland and Willis King came there and when they left out they told her that her husband was out there.

Q. Told who?

A. Addie Kinard.

Q. That her husband was out there?

A. Yes. When they left, my father got up, put on his clothes and went on home.

Q. Who is your father?

A. Pink Conner. After he left, I left. After I got over there in the field, I heard a shot, stopped and her daughter called me. He was dead when I got there.

Q. What did you see when you got there?

A. The man.

Q. Who?

A. Ben Kinard.

Q. Where was he?

A. Laying, facing the window, with his head this way and his feet that way (Indicating). The window was open.

Q. Did you go in the house?

A. No. When I got middle way of the field they came out of the house.

Q. Who came out?

A. The women.

Q. What women?

A. Addie Kinard, Eula B. Kinard and Adell Cromer.

Q. What else did you see?

A. Nothing else, but when the shot was fired I heard a car crank up above Mr. Enlow’s.

Q. Did you see who made the shot?

A. No sir, not until I got there and saw him.

Q. Did you see Addie?

A. No sir, she was in the house.

Q. When did you find that this Ben had been shot?

A. Not till she told.

Q. Who told you?

A. She told Mr. Enlow when she came up to the house.

Q. Who told You?

A. She told me.

Q. Who?

A. Addie Kinard.

Q. Addie Kinard told you that Ben was shot?

A. Yes.

Q. Who did she say shot him?

A. That she shot him.

Q. Where did this happen?

A. Below Mr. Enlow’s.

Q. In Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir.

ADELLE CROMER being duly sworn says:

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. What is your name?

A. Adelle Cromer.

Q. Where do you live?

A. At Miss Minnie Sease’s.

Q. Were you at Addie Kinard’s on the night of January 1 of this year?

A. Yes.

Q. What happened?

A. I don’t know. I was asleep.

Q. Did anybody come to this house that night?

A. Yes.

Q. Who?

A. They said Dan Sturkie, Claude Cleland and Willie King.

Q. Did you see them?

A. No sir. I was asleep.

Q. Then you don’t know whether they came or not?

A. No sir.

Q. What did you see after you woke up?

A. Nothing.

Q. Did you hear a pistol shot?

A. I was asleep – it woke me up and I jumped up. Eula B. called me and then Mr. Enlow told me to come there and bring his rifle.

Q. What else did you see?

A. Nothing else.

Q. Did you see Ben Kinard?

A. Yes, there at the window.

Q. Did you see Addie Kinard?

A. Yes.

Q. Where was Ben Kinard at?

A. There at the window.

Q. On the ground?

A. Yes.

Q. Where was Addie?

A. In the house.

Q. Did you see a pistol?

A. Yes.

Q. How many?

A. Two, hers and his.

Q. Whose?

A. Addie’s.

Q. Where was it at?

A. In her hand.

Q. Where did you see the other one?

A. Laying on the floor when the police came there.

Q. Laying on the floor?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know anything else about it?

A. No sir.

EULA KINARD being duly sworn says:

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Where do you live?

A. At Mr. Enlow’s.

Q. Were you at Addie Kinards on the night of January I, 1939?

A. Yes.

Q. Go ahead and tell what happened.

A. Three men came there –

Q. Who?

A. Claude Cleland, Willie King and Dan Sturkie.

Q. How long did they stay?

A. I can’t tell you exactly. We didn’t have a clock.

Q. Were they there a half hour?

A. I don’t know – they woke me up talking.

Q. How long did they stay after they woke you up?

A. About ten minutes.

Q. Who else was there in the house?

A. Pink Conner, Roy Conner, and Adell. They said they came to tell Addie –

Q. Who said?

A. Claude Cleland – said they came to tell her about her daughter being in jail – told us Mr. Gus would be after us next day – something about some bloomers.

Q. And what else?

A. They left and told mother, "Your old man’s out here. He’s just about drunk. Us got to go." They left.

Q. Who?

A. Willie King, Claude Cleland and Dan Sturkie.

Q. What about Pink?

A. Then Pink left and Roy Left. Mr. Pink left before Roy. He came there –

Q. Who?

A. Ben Rikard. We heard something scratching around the window. Then one of the men came back and knocked on the door. He said, "Let me in." She said, "What do you want?" He said, "I want to get in." She said, "No. I ain’t going to open the door any more tonight." He said, "Mr. Ben in there?", and she said, "No." He said, "We are going to leave him." Called and told the other man to go around and see if he was around the house. They said, "No" and they left the house.

Q. Who?

A. Dan Sturkie, Claude Cleland and Willie King. A long time after that, he kept scratching around the window. The window had a sack and a dress in it and he pulled and worked around until he pulled the dress and sack out and he could get his hand up on the bottom of the window. Then he pulled it open and jumped up in it and said, "G—d---- you. I’m going to kill you tonight."

Q. To whom?

A. My mother.

Q. Did he get inside the window?

A. No, she shot him.

Q. Did you see her shoot him?

A. No.

Q. Who all was in the house when the pistol fired?

A. Me and my son Adell Conner and two little children.

Q. Was Pink in there?

A. No.

Q. How did you know that your mother shot him?

A. I saw him when he opened the window. I could see by the moon light.

Q. What else did you see?

A. Nothing else.

Q. Did you see your mother shoot him?

A. Yes, she shot him from the bed.

Q. Was she in the bed?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you see the pistol in her hand?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you see the pistol in Ben Kinard’s hand?

A. No.

Q. How many did you see?

A. Two.

Q. Where were they?

A. Mother had hers in her hand. The other was laying on the floor.

Q. Did you see Ben Kinard?

A. Yes, laying at the window on the outside.

Q. Your mother was on the inside?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you know your mother had a pistol?

A. Yes.

Q. You had seen it before?

A. Yes.

Q. Where does she usually keep her pistol?

A. In the trunk.

Q. Where did she get it from that night?

A. Out of the trunk, and put it under her pillow.

Q. Did you see her put it under her pillow?

A. Yes.

Q. You know that Addie Kinard is the one who shot Ben Kinard?

A. Yes.

Q. You were looking at her?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know what County this happened in?

A. Newberry County.

Q. You say that he went to several other doors and windows before he came to this one?

A. To every one and came around to the front door where my bed was and pulled the sack out of the cat hole.

Q. Did he say who he was?

A. No sir.

Q. You didn’t know who he was?

A. Yes, we knew the boys had left him in the car up the road.

WILLIE KING being duly sworn says:

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Where do you live?

A. I live in Laurens County.

Q. Who with?

A. Mr. Boyd Chandler.

Q. Go ahead in your own way and tell that jury over there where you were at Sunday night, January 1, 1939.

A. Ben Kinard came to my house Sunday night and rapped on my door two or three times. I asked him, "Who is that?" He said, "Ben." I said, "Who?" He said, "Ben Kinard." I got up and opened the door and when he came in I was cooking. I said, "Have a seat." He said, "I want you to take me off a piece." I said, "You don’t want to go anywhere this late."

Q. How late was it?

A. About 9:30. He said, "Yes, I want to go to Mr. Darby’s. I want to go over there to get my daughter out of jail." I said, "It is so late now – I have let all the water out of my car and ain’t nobody out to the house but white ladies."

Q. That was Mr. Chandler’s house?

A. Yes. He said, "I ain’t after no foolishness. You have to do a heap of things you don’t want to." I said, "Looks like Mr. Tom Davenport might go," and I took him on over there.

Q. Where?

A. Mr. Davenport’s. He was not at home. His car was not in the driveway.

Q. Who went with you?

A. Claude Cleland and Dan Sturkie. He said, "I want to go down to Addie’s (Addie Kinard). I want to let her know about Lillie.

Q. Lillie was the one in jail?

A. Yes.

Q. Is Lillie his daughter?

A. Yes.

Q. Whose daughter?

A. Ben Kinard’s. So after we got to Goldville, I said, "I ain’t going to carry you down yonder." He said, "I ain’t going to start nothing." I said, "I will carry you if you won’t get out of the car." He said, "I ain’t studying about Addie or Pink – either one." So I took him on down to Claude’s uncle and left the car in the yard.

Q. That was Claude Cleland’s uncle?

A. Yes. Left him in the car.

Q. Who?

A. Ben Kinard. Me and Dan Sturkie and Claude Cleland goes down to Miss Addie’s. When we got down there, Claude said to Miss Addie, "The old man came with us down here."

Q. Who was he talking about?

A. Ben Kinard. Said, "He is in the car." So the next thing, Claude said, "Let’s go." So we left.

Q. How long did you stay at Addie’s house?

A. Five or ten minutes.

Q. Who was there when you first got there?

A. Addie Kinard, Pink Conner, Eula Bee’s baby, Adell Conner, Roy Conner and Eula Bee and Miss Addie’s little girl.

Q. Who was there when you left?

A. I left them there.

Q. Did you leave Pink there?

A. Yes.

Q. Was Addie gone to bed?

A. Yes.

Q. Was anybody else in bed?

A. Yes, all of them.

Q. Was Pink in the bed?

A. He was in the bed with her.

Q. What else did you do?

A. Nothing else. Went back to Claude’s uncle where the car was.

Q. Who did you find up there?

A. I didn’t find Ben. He had gone got out. When me and Claude and Dan Sturkie went back to the car, I said, "Ben ain’t in here, wonder where he is."

Q. You were talking about Ben Kinard?

A. Yes. Claude said, "I expect he is out in the field somewhere, he ain’t hardly gone down yonder." I said, "I don’t want him to start any foolishness and he said he wouldn’t"

Q. Why did you tell him that?

A. I figured him and his wife was on the bust and I figured he might want to start something with her.

Q. Did he ever come back to the car?

A. No. Me and Dan Sturkie looked for him.

Q. When you got back to Miss Addie’s, what did you find?

A. We didn’t find him. Didn’t see him nowhere.

Q. Did you go in the house?

A. No sir.

Q. Who did you talk with?

A. Dan talked with her, asked her about him and she said, "No, I ain’t seen him, but somebody been scratching around the windows."

Q. What else happened?

A. Me and Dan go back to the house.

Q. What house?

A. Pink Conner’s, to Claude’s uncle. We stayed up there about an hour waiting on him. I said to Claude, "Let’s we go see can we find him. I hate to leave him down here. We got back down the road and the pistol fired. I turned around then, got in the car and came on home.

Q. Who went with you home?

A. Claude and Dan.

Q. All three of you left from Claude’s uncle?

A. Yes.

Q. How long has it been since you pawned Addie’s pistol?

A. I ain’t pawned no pistol. I don’t know what you mean.

Q. You let her have one didn’t you?

A. I sold it to her way before Christmas.

Q. What kind?

A. 32 Owl head. She gave me $3.50 for it.

Q. So you know that Addie did have a pistol?

A. Yes.

Q. Had Ben Kinard been drinking that afternoon?

A. No sir, if he did, I didn’t know it. It was late when he came to my house. If he drunk any he did it before he got there.

Q. Do you think you would know that pistol that you sold her if you saw it?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you ever see that pistol? (Indicating a pistol)

A. No sir. That ain’t it. This is the first time I ever saw that one.

Q. What about that one? (Indicating another pistol)

A. That’s it.

Q. That is the pistol that you sold to Addie Kinard?

A. Yes.

Q. When?

A. Long back last August.

Q. When you first went back to Ben Kinard’s house, did you stop there?

WILLIE KING:

Q. After he came down after us?

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Yes, did you stop?

A. Yes.

Q. Did Ben get out of the car?

A. Yes, he went around the house.

Q. Did you stay in the house? Car?

A. I went in the house.

Q. Why?

A. I went in the room and when he came in I went back out to the car.

Q. Why?

A. My boss man told me to be particular and I didn’t know what he stayed out there for and I went back and searched the car.

Q. What were you looking for?

A. Nothing.

Q. What did you think he might put in it?

A. I didn’t know – a gun or liquor or what.

Q. On you way down to Addie’s did you see Ben with a pistol?

A. No.

Q. Did he say anything about killing her?

A. No.

DAN STURKIE being duly sworn says:

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Where do you live?

A. Between Goldville and Newberry.

Q, In what County?

A. Laurens.

Q. Where did you go Sunday night, January 1, 1939?

A. Willis King, Ben Kinard, and Claude Cleland came by home to go over to Goldville to get Mr. Darby to get his daughter out of jail. His car was not in the driveway and I told them, "Let’s don’t hang around here, let’s head back towards home." Ben Kinard told Willis, "I want to get you to carry me down there to let Addie Kinard know about Lillie being in jail. I want you to go down to the house and tell them about it." He swore to Willis that he wouldn’t get out of the car. That was while we were sitting out in front of Mr. Darby’s house. Then Willis agreed to bring him when he said he wouldn’t get out of the car. I said, "If I knew you were going any further, I would have stayed at home." They said, "We are going right back out," and so I said I would go on with them. We went on down there

Q. Where?

A. Addie Kinard’s. All three of us got out of the car, me, Willis and Claude and left Ben sitting in the car. We went down there and Claude told them about it and we came on back to the car. He was not in the car.

Q. Who?

A. Ben. Me and Willis turned and went back to the house and I asked her was he there and she said no.

Q. Who?

A. Addie. She said somebody had been scratching around her window and I said, "Well, I am going to look around your house and then I am going on back to the car." Willis went around one side of the house and I went around the other and when we got back around the house Willis and I went back to the car. We waited there awhile and Willis said, "I am going to look for him one more time." We started back down there to look for him and heard the shot. Willis said, "I ain’t going now." We got in the car and came on back home.

Q. When did you learn that Ben Kinard had been shot?

A. When the sheriff came up there and told us.

Q. When was that?

A. That was Monday about 12 o’clock.

Q. What time did you get to Addie Kinard’s house that night?

A. I don’t remember.

Q. Was it before twelve?

A. I don’t remember. I had been laying down when Willis came to my house.

MR. A. W. ENLOW being duly sworn says:

Q. Mr. Enlow, you live in Newberry County?

A. Yes.

Q. You live on the Bush River Road?

A. Yes.

Q. About how far?

A. Five miles from the city clock.

Q. Do you know a woman by the name of Addie Kinard?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You know where she had been staying?

A. She’s been living on my place about a week today.

Q. Was she there on your place the night of January 1, 1939?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you remember any trouble of any kind happening there at her home that night?

A. My wife called me and she says, "Arthur, Addie’s calling you and said for you to come out there." So I went to the door before I dressed and said, "What do you want?" Then I went back, put on my overalls and shoes and went to the back door. The saw mill is between my house and hers and I stopped and said, "What do you want?" She said, "Come here, I think I have killed my husband." I went on down there and saw him laying on the ground and I said, "I am going to phone the sheriff or go get him. Something will have to be done."

Q. Did you see a pistol?

A. No sir.

Q. You didn’t see one?

A. When Mr. Neel came up there and me and him went down there and he was laying back there back behind the house at the window and he said, "This man is not dead," and I said, "He’s not?" He said, "We will have to do something about him. Get a doctor or take him to the hospital." So I asked them would they attend to that and they said they would.

Q. At that time, did you see a pistol?

A. Yes, Addie called me and said, "Here is a pistol laying on the floor right at the window." It was on the inside, laying over there about two or three feet from the window on the floor.

Q. Does this look like the pistol?

A. No sir.

Q. What about this one?

A. That is the one that was on the inside of the house on the floor.

Q. Do you remember seeing this one?

A. Yes. Whenever she handed it to Mr. Fellers or Mr. Neel.

Q. Who?

A. Addie Kinard.

Q. What did she say when she handed them the pistol?

A. If she said anything, I don’t remember.

J. C. NEEL being duly sworn says:

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Mr. Neel, what position do you hold?

A. Deputy sheriff.

Q. You were called in to investigate a shooting on Mr. Arthur Enlow’s place Sunday night?

A. Yes. We got up there and we found Addie Kinard in Mr. Enlow’s house and just as we walked in there she told us she had shot her husband and she thought she had killed him. We asked he where the pistol was. She got it and handed it to us- that small nickel plated pistol there. We walked down to her house and found Ben Kinard laying on the ground right near the window and I stooped over to examine him and found that he was still bleeding. I came back to town and got an ambulance, went back there and brought him to Newberry to the hospital. Also, when I first got there, I picked up this other pistol, 32 Smith & Wesson, laying inside the house on the floor and it had six cartridges in it. None of them had been fired. This window had apparently been pulled open and a sack and an old dress were laying on the ground that had the appearance of being stuffed around the window where Ben was laying. He was about 18 or 20 inches from the window, laying on his back facing the window. The bullet wound was in his forehead, just a little to one side of his nose.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

To whom it may concern:

This is to certify that I have examined Ben Kinard before and after death and found that death came as the result of a gunshot wound of the head causing fracture of the skull and penetration by bullet of the brain substance. Hemorrhage, together with the above mentioned insult to cranium and brain were sufficient to cause death. J. E. Grant MD


Inquisition over the dead body of RAY HAMPTON (Colored), Newberry County Court House

Newberry SC January 10, 1939

In the absence of Coroner I. H. Wilson, Inquisition was held by BEN F. DAWKINS, Magistrate

JAMES GALLMAN being duly sworn testified as follows:

Examination by H. J. QUATTLEBAUM, deputy Sheriff for Newberry County:

Q. Where do you live?

A. Down at Mr. Mazie Hawkins.

Q. You live at Mr. Mazie’s place?

A. Yes.

Q. What part of the county is that in?

A. Its in Newberry County?

Q. Near St. Luke’s Church?

A. Down below St. Luke’s Church.

Q. Did you give a party at your house Saturday night, January 7, 1939?

A. Yes.

Q. What time did you start with your party, or hot supper?

A. About 8 o’clock.

Q. Did you see T. J. Williams at your home from the first part of the night?

A. Yes, he was there the first part of the night.

Q. Did you see Ray Hampton?

A. Yes, glimpsed him going around the house. He said he was going home.

Q. Do you know whether he went home or not? You didn’t see him anymore?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you see T.J. Williams after that?

A. No sir, he said he was going home too.

Q. Did he and Hampton leave together?

A. No, he left behind.

Q. How did Hampton leave?

A. Walking.

Q. How did Williams leave?

A. In his car.

Q. Did you see them anymore that night?

A. No sir.

Q. Was that the first part of the night?

A. Yes.

Q. Anything else you know about it?

A. No sir.

ETHEL WILLIAMS being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Ethel, where do you live?

A. Just on this side of Bush River, right up the hill, the first house.

Q. Is that down near Kempson’s Ferry bridge?

A. I don’t know the name of the bridge.

Q. Was it on the road going from St. Luke’s towards Jim Williams?

A. Jim Williams lives just above me.

Q. You are the wife of T. J. Williams?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you at home Saturday night January 7, 1939?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Who was there with you?

A. Me and my kids.

Q. Did anybody come to your home later on?

A. Yes.

Q. Who was it?

A. Ray Hampton.

Q. Ray Hampton?

A. Yes.

Q. Was Ray Hampton the boy that got killed last night?

A. Yes.

Q. Go ahead and tell what happened after Ray came to your house?

A. When he came, he knocked on the door about three or four times. It sounded as if he had a knife or a rock – not like his natural hand – louder. I didn’t say anything until he hollered, "Hello." I said, "Who is that?" He said, "Ray Hampton, give me a match please." I gave him a match and while I was handing him this match by that time he had the door opened and was shutting it behind him and he was standing there by the rocking chair right inside the door. After I gave him the match I went back and stood behind a table. He stood there talking, asking me to do some things for him as he usually did when he would come. It was not his first time being there and it was not his first time asking me to do these things for him. He was not there no more than three minutes before my husband came. When he came he walked up on the lower side of the porch, the way it sounded to me. He didn’t come straight to the door, and he asked me to open the door.

Q. That was your husband?

A. Yes.

Q. That was T. J. Williams?

A. Yes. I made a lurch for the door and Ray Hampton left the door where he was standing and made a way to get to the back door. My husband heard him running on the inside, whirled and went around to the back.

Q. Who whirled and went to the back?

A. My husband. he whirled off the porch and went to the back door and that is where he came in.

Q. Who came in?

A. My husband.

Q. What happened when he came in the house?

A. He began shooting. First he shot before he came in and busted the back door open.

Q. How many times did he shoot?

A. Three times.

Q. He shot three times?

A. Yes.

Q. Who was he shooting at?

A. He was shooting at Ray Hampton.

Q. After the shooting was over, what happened?

A. He asked me, "Ethel, you are not satisfied at the way I am by you?" I told him, "Sure," and he said, "Why come this happen tonight?" I said, T. J., this fellow had been at me about doing some things for him and every time he came I denied him." He said, "Why come you haven’t told me this?" I said, "All the time you tell me – if any man say anything to you that he has no business, don’t tell me because if it was nobody you wanted you would not tell and if it was anybody that you would want, you will tell it - and for that reason I didn’t tell you."

Q. Where was Ray Hampton at this time?

A. He was on the outside.

Q. Did you see him on the outside?

A. Yes, from my front door.

Q. What else happened?

A. He left away.

Q. Who?

A. T. J. Williams.

Q. Left away from the house?

A. Yes, and was gone, from what I can imagine, about 20 or 25 minutes. Then he came back.

Q. T. J. came back?

A. Yes.

Q. How did he leave the house?

A. Left walking.

Q. Left the house walking?

A. Yes.

Q. How did he come back?

A. He came back in a car.

Q. Whose car?

A. I do not know because I didn’t get up out of my seat to see.

Q. When he came back to the house did he come on in?

A. Yes.

Q. What did he say?

A. He asked me who had been there since he left and I told him no one.

Q. Did he leave again?

A. Yes.

Q. How did he leave?

A. The same way he came, in a car.

Q. Who went with him?

A. I don’t know.

Q. Do you know whether Ray went with him or not?

A. Yes he did.

Q. Did you see him?

A. I didn’t see him.

Q. After T. J. left the house the second time that he came there, how long was he gone before he came back?

A. I imagine it must have been an hour and twenty minutes or so.

Q. Do you know what became of the pistol that T. J. was using that night?

A. No sir, not until that morning.

Q. Then did you see it?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you do with it?

A. I put it in the bed.

Q. Then what else did you do with it?

A. Nothing else.

Q. Did you give it to anyone?

A. No.

Q. Did you give it to anyone Monday?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you turn it over to an officer?

A. Yes.

Q. Who?

A. Mr. Quattlebaum.

Q. Would you know the pistol if you were to see it?

A. I think so.

Q. You say he shot three times in the house?

A. Yes.

Q. Is that it? (Introducing pistol)

A. That’s it.

Q. This shooting took place in Newberry County?

A. Yes.

J. C. NEEL being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. Mr. Neel, what position do you hold in this county?

A. Deputy Sheriff.

Q. Did you help investigate a murder Saturday night, January 7, 1939?

A. Yes.

Q. Go ahead in your own way and tell what happened from the time that message was received at the sheriff’s office that night around 10:30?

A. Around 11 o’clock Mr. Fellers, Mr. Quattlebaum and other officers and I went out beyond Bush River near the Werber Place and we found a body laying on the side of the road. We examined this body, found the man was dead and later learned that his name was Ray Hampton. We had the undertaker to take charge of the body and we went on down near Mr. Lester’s where we understood a hot supper was in progress. We questioned a number of people there at this supper and found that Ray Hampton left there between seven and eight o’clock. Then sometime about four o’clock Saturday night we went to T. J. Williams’ house and had a conversation with him. At that time we saw some blood on the ground and some places where apparently a man’s feet had been drug away from this blood. Sunday morning about 1 o’clock we went back to T. J.’s house and talked to him awhile, placed him under arrest, and brought him to jail about 1:30. Later Sunday night about 1 o’clock we went back to T. J.’s house and talked to him awhile, placed him under arrest and brought him to jail about 1:30. Later Sunday night about nine o’clock he confessed to Mr. Quattlebaum and myself that he shot Ray Hampton in his house and walked back over to where this hot supper was, got his automobile and came back, loaded the body in it and hauled it to where we found it near Bush River. He said he shot three shots. He didn’t know how many hit him.

Q. The next morning after you went back to Williams’ house, did you help make some examination there?

A. Yes. In the house in the bed room in the back we found blood splattered over the door and on the trunk and some places on the floor where it had been washed up and some kerosene had been poured on the blood spots on the floor.

Q. You say you were present Sunday night, January 8 and questioned T. J. Williams about this murder in the Newberry County jail?

A. Yes.

Q. And he confessed that he did do the shooting?

A. Yes.

Q. Did I threaten him in any way?

A. No.

Q. Or promise him any reward?

A. No sir. He told it freely and voluntarily.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that Ray Hampton came to his death by a gunshot wound of the chest.
January 8, 1939 T. H. Pope MD


Inquisition over the dead body of HENRY DANDY (Colored), Newberry County Court House

Newberry SC January 31, 1939

In the absence of Coroner I. H. WILSON due to illness, the Inquisition was held by BEN F. DAWKINS, Magistrate.

Examination by J. C. NEEL, Deputy Sheriff for Newberry County.

MR. LAMBETH being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q. What are you initials Mr. Lambeth?

A. C. C.

Q. Do you own this rock quarry?

A. No.

Q. You were there Thursday?

A. Yes.

Q. Tell the jury what you know about this accident.

A. I don’t know much about it. I was out at the far end of the quarry when it happened. I didn’t even see it happen. Someone ran out where I was at and told me about it. I didn’t even see it happen.

Q. What is the name of this company?

A. Lambeth Bros.

Q. Where from?

A. Knoxville.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes.

JURY:

Q. After the accident happened, what did you do in the way of assisting the Negro?

A. We took him to a doctor.

MR. DAWKINS:

Q. Did you also carry him to a hospital in Greenwood?

A. Yes.

Q. What was the name of this darky?

A. I have forgotten his name.

Q. Was it Henry Dandy?

A. Yes.

ELLIOTT BROWN being duly sworn says:

MR. NEEL:

What is your name?

A. Elliott Brown.

Q. Where do you work?

A. At the rock quarry.

Q. What rock quarry – is it in Newberry County?

A. Yes.

Q. Tell the jury what you know about it.

A. He was working off a distance from me and I heard them holler "Look out". When I looked, the rock had caught him.

Q. Who hollered, "Look out"?

A. That fellow sitting over there.

Q. Where did the rock come from?

A. It rolled from the top.

Q. What caused this rock to roll down?

A. I don’t know. I was working.

Q. Anybody up there working where the rock came down?

A. Some man up there.

Q. Who?

A. One of those sitting over yonder. (It was learned the name of the man indicated was M. C. Wilson)

Q. You didn’t see the rock when it came down?

A. I saw it when it struck him. I didn’t know what caused it to start rolling.

M. C. WILSON being duly sworn says:

MR. NEEL:

Q. Where do you work?

A. I was on top.

Q. On top?

A. Yes.

Q. Where is that rock quarry?

A. In Newberry County.

Q. When did this accident happen?

A. Thursday of last week, about twelve o’clock.

Q. Tell the jury what you saw.

A. When I heard them holler I looked around and the rock just hadn’t quite got to him.

Q. What caused this rock to start to roll?

A. I don’t know.

Q. Were you close to him?

A. I was up above.

Q. Anybody else around to where the rock was?

A. I don’t know.

Q. Was any work going on around where this work was?

A. Not right then.

Q. Not that day?

A. There was some shooting that morning.

Q. Did you notice this rock before it rolled away?

A. No sir, I never seen it.

Q. Do you know where it came from.

A. From the wall.

Q. This rock wall had been cracked and the rock just fell out?

A. Yes sir.

WALT ABNEY being duly sworn says:

MR. NEEL:

Q. What is your name?

A. Walt Abney.

Q. Where do you live?

A. Chappells.

Q. Did you see this accident?

A. Yes.

Q. When did it happen?

A. About twelve o’clock.

Q. Twelve o’clock when?

A. I forget what day.

Q. Go ahead and tell the jury just what you saw.

A. When I saw it – it was going down on him. I hollered "Look out".

Q. Did he have any chance of getting out of the way? Did he make a move to get out of the way?

A. He moved but he was not fast enough.

Q. Any place for him to run?

A. Yes, but he just couldn’t get out of the way.

Q. Was he working down in a pit?

A. No sir, it is a level place.

Q. Down where he was working is level?

A. Yes.

Q. Any men working up on the hill?

A. I didn’t see anybody working up there.

Q. What kind of work do you do?

A. The same kind of work he was doing.

Q. You and he down there working together?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you run?

A. I couldn’t.

Q. Where did that rock come from?

A. Down the wall.

Q. Anybody up there working around?

A. I didn’t see anybody.

Q. Did the men you were working for caution you all to be careful about the rock above you?

A. Yes.

Q. That the first rock ever fell down?

A. Some small ones.

Q. How long you been working there?

A. About a month.

SHERIFF:

Q. The company up there uses all precautions for your safety?

A. Yes.

Q. It was no fault of theirs that the rock fell?

A. No sir.

Q. Just one of those things that just happen?

A. Yes sir.

 

DOCTOR’S CETIFICATE

January 29, 1939

This is to certify that Henry Dandy died in Bewer Hospital January 28, 1939 from a fractured skull, a brain injury and other contusions. C. J. Scurry MD Greenwood, SC


Inquisition held over the dead body of ROSCOE NEAL, Whitmire South Carolina

March 8, 1939

Inquisition held by I. H. WILSON, Coroner for Newberry County

Present: S. C. GRIFFITH, Attorney

Mr. RANCE NEAL being duly sworn says:

Q. What is your full name?

A. Rance Neal.

Q. Where do you stay?

A. I am boarding here but I stay in Newberry, that’s where I live.

Q. Are you related to the Mr. Neal that was killed?

A. He was my brother.

Q. Were you on that gas truck?

A. Yes.

Q. Mr. Neal, tell the jury just what happened.

A. We crossed the creek and stopped and we got out of the truck. We walked around behind the truck and I saw a car coming from toward Newberry. I looked around and saw that my brother was not looking and I tried to grab him and the car hit him.

Q. What car hit him?

A. The car coming from toward Newberry.

Q. What happened then Mr. Neal, when the car hit him?

A. The man stopped and offered his service to carry him to the hospital or any other place that he wanted him to take him. He was aiming to carry him to the hospital.

Q. Who carried him to the hospital?

A. Mr. Wright, highway patrolman, took him to the hospital.

Q. What time of day was it when the accident happened?

A. After or about dinner.

Q. Was it about one o’clock when they took your brother to the hospital?

A. Yes.

Q. At what time did he die?

A. About two o’clock Friday morning.

Q. About what rate of speed was he driving?

A. About fifty or fifty five.

Q. Was he driving on a straight road?

A. Yes.

Q. How far out of Whitmire did it happen?

A. About three miles.

Q. Was that in Newberry County?

A. Yes.

Q. On what road did this happen?

A. It happened on the Newberry Road.

Q. Was this the main road?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you know the men that hit your brother?

A. No, I found out.

Q. Did he stop?

A. Yes.

Q. You did not smell any whiskey, did you?

A. No.

Q. This truck that you were riding on, did you jump off or did the truck stop and let you off?

A. The truck stopped.

Q. Stopped, standing still?

A. Yes.

Q. Would there have been any chance for this man to have hit your brother if he had pulled over to the right of the shoulder?

A. Yes.

MR. WRIGHT having duly been sworn says:

Q. Are you a highway patrolman?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know anything about this accident that happened March 2?

A. Yes.

Q. Mr. Wright, tell the jury all you know about what happened.

A. I was coming to Whitmire from Newberry when I saw a car in the ditch and I pulled up to see what happened. This Mr. Neal came up and asked me to carry his brother to the hospital and I asked what happened and he said that a car had hit him. I offered to help and he said he would rather I carry him to the hospital and I didn’t wait to see who hit him. We put him in the car and carried him on to the hospital and I asked the gentleman to wait until I got back. When I got back Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Graves were at the scene. I asked who was driving the car when it hit the boy and asked him to go over the details with me and show me what happened.

Q. Do you have any idea what speed he was driving?

A. No.

Q. From the place where he hit and where he stopped, how far was it?

A. About fifty feet.

Q. Could a man stop driving fifty miles an hour within fifty feet?

A. I don’t know. It depends on the brakes and the condition of the road.

Q. Where was the car that hit the boy?

A. It was off in the ditch, all four wheels.

Q. When did this happen?

A. Last Thursday around one o’clock.

Q. Was that a damp rainy day and was the road wet?

A. No, the road was dry.

Q. What is the condition of the road?

A. Good.

Q. Is it a straight road?

A. Yes.

Q. I believe the young Mr. Neal said it happened about three miles out?

A. Yes.

MR. STEVE C GRIFFITH, Attorney:

Q. Did you examine the vehicle that hit Mr. Neal?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you find?

A. There was a dent on the fender, the left front fender.

Q. And did that indicate that the man who died had come into the side of the car?

A. No.

Q. Did you say not?

A. I don’t know.

Q. The dent that you did see was on the left fender?

A. Yes.

Q. If a car going in that direction would hit a man coming out from behind a truck, wouldn’t it be natural to hit the car on the left side?

A. Yes.

Q. Now the scar on the left fender is a noticeable scar?

A. Yes.

Q. And is it just about over the top of the left front wheel?

A. Yes. It is directly over the hub cap.

Q. Now, did you observe on the pavement any tire marks of the Ferguson car?

A. When I got there the pavement was wet and I could not see the skid marks but when he finally stopped he was on the right.

Q. Did you talk with Mr. Ferguson?

A. Yes.

Q. Was he under the influence of whiskey?

A. No.

MR. GRAVES being duly sworn says:

Q. What is your name?

A. Lawrence Graves.

Q. Where do you stay?

A. I live in Spartanburg but I attend Newberry College.

Q. You go to Newberry College?

A. Yes.

Q. On what day did this accident happen?

A. On last Thursday afternoon around one o’clock.

Q. Did you catch a ride or why were you in this car?

A. I caught a ride with Mr. Ferguson.

Q. Mr. Graves, tell the jury just what happened.

A. We were approaching Whitmire on the Newberry-Whitmire Road about two miles out when we saw a truck on the side of the road and I didn’t notice but I don’t think it was off the road. We slowed down about forty miles an hour when the two boys came from back of the truck. One boy was not looking and the other boy tried to catch him. I don’t know but I think it was possible that he was hit with the left fender or front wheel. We drove off the pavement and stopped and found the boy unconscious and offered to carry him home or to a hospital but the patrolman carried him to the hospital. We walked back to the car and waited until Mr. Wright came back from the hospital and then we talked with him and I went on home.

Q. Where were you going?

A. I was going to Spartanburg.

Q. What were you riding in?

A. ’36 Plymouth.

Q. Coupe or sedan?

A. Sedan.

CERTIFICATE OF DOCTOR WILLIAM L. NORVILLE

To whom it may concern:

This is to certify that I examined the body of Roscoe Neal. I found he had a fracture on the back of the skull and that the blow on the head was sufficient to cause his death.

March 4, 1939 W. L. Norville MD


Inquisition held over the body of JENKINS SMITH, Newberry South Carolina, April 18, 1939

Inquisition held by BEN F. DAWKINS, Magistrate

ARGIE REESE being duly sworn says:

Q. Just go ahead and tell in your own words what happened on the night of April 12th.

Q. This was on Wednesday night, wasn’t it?

A. Yes. On Wednesday night, April 12th I had been sick in the bed since Monday night. My brother closed the store about ten o’clock and he left the light on because we had a truck out delivering fertilizer and we had failed to tell the driver what to do when he came in. We left the light on at the store until the truck came in. After we heard the truck come in we told the driver to take the truck on to his house because we were going to haul some seed the next morning. Then after the truck had come in he turned out the lights at the store. We can turn them out from the house. When the lights had been off for a few minutes I told my brother to get me some iodine. He looked in the closet and he couldn’t find any so he said that he would go out to the store and get some iodine. I told him I did not think it necessary but after talking a few minutes longer my leg was very uncomfortable, so he went to get the iodine. He went out on the back porch and cut the lights on. He lit the lights on front and back of the store, in the inside and also on the gas pump. About the time he would have had time to go to the store I heard a pistol shot and I jumped up out of the bed and called and asked him what was the matter. In the meantime he had gotten about half way between the store and the house coming to the house. The house is about 75 yards from the store. He told me that there was someone in the store and that he had shot them and for me to call the officers at once. I understood him to say that he was shot. He said we would watch the store to keep him from getting away. I was in my night clothes. When he got around the house to the back door I asked him if he was shot and he said no. I went and called the officers. We stood outside the house until the officers came and we went in the store and found that it was Jenkins Smith. I asked my brother did he recognize who it was? He said that he did not know whether they were white or black and he said that he saw the object and he shot and ran.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

Question by MR. GRIFFITH:

Q. Did you notify one of your neighbors?

A. Yes sir. Mr. Fred Pope and he came and stayed with us until the officers came.

Question by MR. FELLERS:

Q. What door did he make his entrance in?

A. The side door next to the house. This door has two locks and a night latch about 12 inches above the floor.

Question by MR. GILLIAM:

Q. Did your brother ask any questions?

A. No sir, he just shot.

Question by MR. GRIFFITH:

Q. You speak of a latch. You mean a lock?

A. Yes, it automatically locks and you cannot open it from the back.

Question by MR. FELLERS:

Q. Did you notice how it was opened?

A. Keys were in the lock.

Question by MR. GRIFFITH:

Q. Do you recognize these keys?

A. These are the keys that we used. They unlock both locks.

MR. FRED POPE being duly sworn says:

Q. Just tell in your own way what happened on the night of April 12, 1939.

A. I had gone to bed and Dr. Roland Reese called me about 20 minutes until 12 o’clock and told me that there was someone in the store – that he had gone out to the store to get some iodine and he said that as he went in someone was coming toward him with something in his hand and he said that he shot him. He asked me to come out there because they might need some more help. He said that he did not know how many there were in there. We went up to the store and waited until the officers came to see that no one got out. When the officers came we found out who it was.

Q. This happened in Newberry County, didn’t it?

A. Yes sir.

J. C. NEEL being duly sworn says:

Q. You are Deputy Sheriff of Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

Q. On the night of April 12th did you get a call to Reese’s store?

A. Yes sir. About fifteen minutes until twelve o’clock on the night of April 12th 1939 I received a call to go to Mr. Reese’s store. Upon arriving there Mr. Reese said that someone was in the store and that he did not know how many were in there. He said that he had shot in the store. Mr. Quattlebaum and I went into the store. The door was open about one foot. As we went in Mr. Jenkins Smith was laying there with his feet almost at the door. He said, "Mr. Neel, you know me." Mr. Quattlebaum took six dollars and some change off of him and Mr. Quattlebaum found a pair of pliers and a flash light. The pliers were in his pocket. I found 2 one dollar bills ands some change close to an ash can. He said that he was out of gas. He had a gunshot wound in his right side. He said that these two keys were his. (Mr. Neel shows the jury the keys).

Q. Did this happen in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What steps were taken as to his relief?

A. I called an ambulance and told them to rush to Reese’s store and within an hour after it happened Mr. Smith was in the Newberry County Hospital. Just before we got to Reese’s store there was a green automobile parked in the middle of the road. The distance of the automobile from the store was about 2/10 of a mile.

Question by MR. PURCELL:

Q. Was the car really out of gas?

A. I do not know.

Question by H. D. WHITAKER:

Q. Was the car parked in the road, Mr. Smith’s car?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You say that Mr. Smith only had two dollars in greenbacks?

A. There were two $1 bills, some halves, quarters, and I believe 35 pennies, just about 4 feet from him. When we left the store we locked it and I talked with Mr. Reese. He told me that there was 6 or 7 dollars and when we looked in the drawer there was only 4 dollars there.

Q. You say Mr. Smith only had two dollars?

A. He only had two dollars.

MR. H. J. QUATTLEBAUM being duly sworn says:

Q. You are Deputy Sheriff of Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

Q. On the night of April 12, 1939 tell just what happened.

A On the night of April 12, 1939 I had a call from Mr. Neel a few minutes before twelve o’clock that we had a call from Reese’s store. I told Mr. Neel that I would pick him up at Mr. Suber’s filling station. We went on down there and just 3/10 of a mile on this side of the store I saw a car sitting in the middle of the road. I slowed down and got the number off of the car. Arriving at Mr. Reese’s store he said that there was someone in the store. Mr. Neel went in the side door and I started to the front door but I saw that it was not opened so I went in the front door and we found Mr. Smith lying on the floor. I stooped down over him and as I did I noticed a wound on the right chest. When I asked him what he was doing in there he said that he was out of gas. He said that he was almost done for. I searched his pockets and took about $6.30 or $6.40 and 2 packages of cigarettes and a pair of pliers off of him. Mr. Neel called an ambulance and it wasn’t long before the ambulance came and took him to the Newberry Hospital. There was a skeleton key in the door and also keys for other locks. After the ambulance left I locked the door to the store and put Mr. Reese’s keys in my pocket and I asked Mr. Fred Pope to go back with me to the car that was in the middle of the road. I examined the car after I had gotten in and driven it down to Mr. Eddie Graham’s and I found that the car had 5 or 6 gallons of gas in it.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

Questions by MR. GRIFFITH:

Q. Do you have the keys that you found?

A. Yes. I tested these keys to see if they would unlock the door. The home made skeleton key unlocks the door. These other keys unlock the latch. (Mr. Quattlebaum shows the keys)

MR. ARGIE REESE being recalled says:

Q. Was Mr. Smith employed by you or your brother in any way?

A. No sir.

Q. Did he have any right to the keys to your store?

A. No sir.

Q. You did not know anything about another set of keys except the ones that you had?

A. No sir.

Q. Had you given him your consent at any time to go into your store?

A. No sir.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that Jenkins Smith died on April 13th 1939 from a secondary hemorrhage into the right pleural cavity. Primary cause was due to a gunshot wound of the right chest, the bullet penetrating the right upper lobe of the lungs and damaging the superior vena cava.

Arthur W. Welling MD


Inquisition held over the dead body of HAROLD HAWKINS of Prosperity, SC

August 1, 1939 (Newberry County Genealogy Trails notes this was actually on August 21, 1939 as death occured on August 19th, 1939.  See Tragedies.  Wilbur Harold Hawkins died on August 19th, 1939 therefore inquest had to be later than Aug 1st.  This Wilbur Harold Hawkins is the same as Harold Hawkins, buried at St. Luke's Lutheran Church Cemetery -records shows same parent)

W. P. BEDENBAUGH being duly sworn testified as follows:

Examination by Coroner I. H. WILSON:

Q. You know Harold Hawkins who got killed Friday night?

A. Yes sir. He was a very good friend.

Q. Were you with the group of boys Friday night?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What were you doing?

A. We were out trying to train some puppies to possum hunt.

Q. Who was with you?

A. Harold Hawkins, Lindsay Bedenbaugh, J. R. Bedenbaugh, Woodrow Bedenbaugh, McFall Bedenbaugh, Everett Kibler and Carroll Ham.

Q. Tell the jury how the shooting happened.

A. It was about 2:30 –

Q. That was Saturday morning?

A. Yes sir. Harold thought he heard someone after the dogs had treed a possum. He was not right at the tree where the dogs were and someone carried the light back where he was and looked, but didn’t see anything. Then we left the possum alone and came on out of the swamp up by a little road. One of the boys thought they heard something. We all started running and Lindsay thought he was shooting in the air which it was not. J. R. was closer than I. I had the spot light up the road. I did not know anything had happened until I saw the lantern turn over. J. R. got there first and said one of the boys had been shot. Lindsay and I came up about the same time. I put my hand under his head and saw that he was shot. Three of the boys, McFall, Everett and one of the others went to get Mr. Wilbur. I stayed there and when they came I helped put him in the car.

Q. Whose pistol was this?

A. It was Marvin’s. Marvin Bedenbaugh. Harold and Lindsay had borrowed it. They had been going out at night training the dogs and they thought someone was throwing rocks at them so they borrowed the gun to scare the people who were throwing rocks at them. I did not know that they had a gun until they shot at a possum in the tree.

Q. It was just a bunch of you boys out together training some puppies?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you hear any of them having a falling out?

A. No sir.

J. R. BEDENBAUGH being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Mr. Bedenbaugh, where do you live?

A. Right here in Prosperity across the railroad.

Q. In Prosperity?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What were you doing Friday night?

A. I was out there with these other boys possum hunting.

Q. Out where?

A. Right back of Mr. Wilbur Hawkins’ home.

Q. A bunch of you boys were down there training some dogs?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Tell the jury just what happened, just before the shooting.

A. We had treed a little possum out there in the swamp and we were trying to find it. We had tried some ten or fifteen minutes to find the possum. Harold was sitting back from the tree and he told us to bring the light, that he heard something. They carried the light back there and looked and didn’t find anything. They told him that it was just one of the dogs. He said, "No", that he had seen all the dogs up there at the tree. We left the possum and came on out of the swamp up to a little road. Someone said they heard something and we all started running and Lindsay, who had the pistol said he shot three times. I did not know Harold had been shot until I saw the lantern turn over. I was not over eight or ten feet from him. I ran up to him and shook him and he did not move. I saw the blood running out. I did not know that he had been shot until I got to him.

Q. You did not know he was shot?

A. I knew something was the matter. At first I thought that he was scared and had fallen down but when I saw the blood I knew something was wrong. He did not answer me when I called him.

Q. How many shots did you hear?

A. He said he shot three times.

Q. Who was closest to the boy who did the shooting?

A. I do not know. I could not have been far.

Q. What distance was the boy who got shot from the boy who shot him?

A. I could not say.

Q. About five steps or ten steps?

A. I could not say.

Q. Did you hear Mr. Hawkins say anything after you got to him?

A. No sir, not a word.

Q. That was in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

WOODROW BEDENBAUGH being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q. You were in the crowd with Mr. Hawkins when he got killed?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Were you near Mr. Bedenbaugh who did the shooting or near Mr. Hawkins when he got shot?

A. I do not know. None of us were far apart.

Q. You all were out training the puppies?

A. Yes sir. We were out trying to train the puppies.

Q. Why did Mr. Bedenbaugh have this pistol?

A. I do not know except that was the first time that I had been with them – that they said that he and Harold borrowed it from Marvin – that they had been going out at night some and that somebody had been throwing rocks at them and they got the gun to scare them.

Q. Harold is the boy that got killed?

A. Yes sir.

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

A. It was just like the other boys said. We treed a possum and while we were trying to find it Harold said he heard something like someone walking near the creek and to bring the light. I was not scared because I felt that it wasn’t anything. I was a little older than the rest of them and told him to come on – that it was nothing. They carried the light down there and looked, but didn’t find anything. They told him that it was just one of the dogs but he said that it wasn’t the dogs because he saw all the dogs at the tree. We came on out of the swamp up the hill to a little road through the woods and about that time one of the boys called out that they heard something. All of us started running. I saw a little ahead of the boys.

Q. You were ahead of the boy that got shot?

A. We got kinda divided, four in one group and four in the other group. J. R., McFall, Lindsay and Harold went kinda out across the field and the other four of us went down the road.

Q. Had the boys been fussing?

A. Not a cross word.

Q. You were all friendly?

A. Yes sir. Absolutely. Harold, Lindsay and McFall were specially close buddies.

Q. What time did it happen?

A. I imagine it was 2:30. We had looked at the watch and it was 2:00 o’clock. They said it was 2:45 when we got to Mr. Wilbur’s house.

Q. The father of the boy who got killed?

A. Yes sir.

JURY:

Q. Do you think he meant to shoot him?

A. I know it was absolutely unintentionally done. He thought he was shooting in the air and he had it in the level.

MR. WILSON:

Q. How many shots were fired?

A. I think I recall three shots being fired.

Q. Which one do you think hit him?

A. Which one hit him I could not say. I did not know anyone had been shot until J. R. hollered someone was shot.

McFALL BEDENBAUGH being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Were you with this group of boys Friday night?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Where do you live?

A. I live about a fourth of a mile from Mr. Wilbur’s.

Q. The father of the boy that got killed?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Tell the jury in your own way just what happened.

A. It was like the other boys said. We were all down there and had treed a possum. Harold was sitting out there under a tree and he thought he heard someone walking.

Q. The boy who got shot?

A. Yes sir. We looked but did not see anything. Then we came up on this hill and somebody said that they heard something and we all stated running.

Q. Did you hear the pistol fired?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Were you close to the boy who fired it?

A. I was one of the four a little bit ahead of the others.

Q. As far as you know they were both friendly?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did any of you have a falling out that night?

A. No sir.

Q. What did Mr. Bedenbaugh do when he found out that he had shot Mr. Hawkins?

A. He came back and grabbed him and held him until they got him to the house. He died in Lindsay’s arms.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

EVERETT KIBLER being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q. Where do you live?

A. Right here in Prosperity.

Q. Go ahead and tell us what you know about this accident? What time was it?

A. I think it was about 2:30.We had treed a little possum and was trying to find it. Harold was sitting down by a tree a little distance away and he said he heard somebody walking and to bring the light down there. We did not see anybody so we left and came on up the hill to a little road. We all got scared and started running. I did not turn around until someone hollered that one of them had been shot. I went with them to get his father.

Q. How far from Mr. Hawkins were you?

A. I was with the four ahead of him.

Q. Were you closer to the one that got shot or to the one who did the shooting?

A. I do not know.

Q. Did you know that they had a pistol?

A. Friday night was the first time I knew about the pistol.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

CARROLL HAM being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q. Where do you live?

A. Right here in Prosperity.

Q. Were you with this group of boys Friday night?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Do you know anything about the shooting?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Tell the jury what you know about it.

A. We were down in the woods in the swamp and had treed a little possum. Harold was back out there by himself and he said he heard somebody walking. We carried the light back down there but we did not see anything. We came on up the road and came out up there in a little road. Somebody hollered and we all started running. After it happened we sent two of the boys to the house to get his father.

Q. What time of night was this?

A. Somewhere about 2:30.

Q. Did you hear the boys have any words?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you know that Mr. Bedenbaugh had a pistol?

A. I did not know it until we got in the woods and they shot at a possum in the tree.

Q. Were you close to Mr. Bedenbaugh who did the shooting?

A. I think I was nearer the one that was shot.

Q. What distance were you from him?

A. I was down the road a little ways from both of them.

MR. WILSON:

Mr. Bedenbaugh, you can make a statement to the jury if you want to. We are not asking you to do this and you can make a statement if you care to.

MR. LINDSAY BEDENBAUGH:

I would like to make a statement:

It was just about like what these other boys said. Harold thought he heard someone while we were down there at the tree. After we came up on the hill someone hollered that they heard somebody. All of us ran and I shot in the air three times. I thought I was shooting in the sir. He said that Harold was shot – when he said Harold was shot I went to him and sat down by him until they went after Mr. Wilbur

MR. WILSON:

Tell the jury anything that you want to.

MR. BEDENBAUGH:

That is all.

MR. H. J. QUATTLEBAUM being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q. Mr. Quattlebaum, you are Deputy Sheriff of Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Were you called out Friday night or Saturday morning early to this shooting?

A. Yes sir.

Q. It was near Mr. Wilbur Hawkins house?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Tell the jury what you found.

A. I got the call around three. I think a little after three. I went to Mr. Hawkins’ home – Mr. Wilbur Hawkins – and found they had gotten Mr. Hawkins on the bed. He was dead at the time. I examined his head and found that a bullet had [hit] him on the right side of his temple and lodged in the back of his head. I talked with those boys who testified here and they told me that [the] time [it] happened [was] just about the same as they told it here on the stand. We went to the place where it happened and of course there was very little I could tell about it. There was some blood on the ground. It was a weedy bushy place near a little road. One of the boys in the crowd turned the pistol over to us. I think it was Mr. W. P. Bedenbaugh. That is about all that I know except that the place where it happened was almost on the level.

Q. You took Mr. Bedenbaugh into custody and brought him to jail?

A. Yes sir. I brought him to Newberry and he put up bond.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

August 19, 1939

I, V. A. Long MD examined Harold Hawkins and found that he came to his death from a bullet wound entering his head 2 inches in front of the right ear and lodging under the scalp in a position 4 inches from the left ear. Same was sufficient to cause death. V. A. Long


Inquisition held over the dead body of FORREST KRELL at Newberry Court House (See 'Office Down')

August 29, 1939

Present: HUGH S. BEASLEY, Esq. Solicitor of the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

Examination by MR. BEASLEY:

MR. J. J. HITT being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. BEASLEY:

Q. Mr. Hitt, you are a member of the Police Force of the City of Newberry SC?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you receive a call on the 20th of August 1939 to come to the home of James Moon?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Tell in your own words who went with you and what happened when you arrived there.

A. I suppose you want me to tell it to the jury. We received the call I think about 8:00 o’clock and Mr. Krell and myself answered the call and on arriving at the house where this woman was supposed to be shot we went in and the woman was shot in the foot. I asked her who shot her and she told me that her husband shot her. I asked her who he was and she said James Moon and just at that time Anderson Moon spoke up and said, "Mr. Hitt, you know my boy, that is his wife." We started to look through the house, Mr. Krell down one side of the hall. We looked on both sides of the hall and as we got to the back of the house a Negro told us that he was at the house where he shot his wife at, just about three hundred yards away.

Q. Three hundred Yards from the house where you were?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What Negro told you where he was?

A. A small Negro girl. I do not know her name.

Q. Then what did you do?

A. We went down to James Moon’s house and when we got there I got out on the right hand side of the car and we went into the house and the boy was sitting there on the porch who had shot his wife and I asked him something about his trouble and he said he had none. Mr. Krell asked him about the pistol and he said that it was nothing to it. This boy James Moon was drunk and I told Mr. Krell to take him to the car and he carried him to the car and I searched the room for the pistol, but I did not find any pistol and I went back to the car. Mr. Krell said, "Did you get it?" and I said, "No." Then Mr. Krell said, "You hold this Negro and I will go and see if I can get the pistol," and he entered the house. The hall had a curtain across it half way but he did not go behind the curtain. He turned to the left into the room that I had just come out of and about the time he entered, it was almost instantly, the pistol fired.

Q. The pistol fired immediately?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How long had it been since you came out of the room?

A. It was all within a few minutes.

Q. Who was in that room when you left out of it?

A. I did not see anybody.

Q. As soon as you heard the pistol fired what did you do?

A. Two Negroes ran off of the front porch and I made them stop.

Q. Did you arrest those two Negroes?

A. I stopped them.

Q. Who were they?

A. One of them is a Halman Negro and the other Jess Moon’s brother. I do not know his given name.

Q. What did you do then?

A. I made those two boys come up to me and stand there because I did not know who fired the shot. I could not see in the room and they stood there. This Negro I had in the car started to get out of the car and I told him not to get out. These two Negroes I was holding told him he better stay in the car because I would shoot him and he did not get out of the car. I held these three Negroes until a white man came up and I called him and asked him to take charge of the three Negroes so that I could see what was the trouble. These were the only two Negroes I saw come out of the house. Mr. Krell staggered out of the door side ways and he had his black jack in his right hand hip pocket and his pistol in his holster. He staggered out this way and I grabbed him.

Q. How was he wearing his gun?

A. Like mine.

Q. Do you know where he had his black jack?

A. Loose in his hip pocket.

Q. What statement did he make, if any?

A. He said, "Mr. Hitt [he] got me."

Q. Who did he say had shot him?

A. He said, "Old Anderson Moon." The reason he used Old Anderson Moon was due to the fact that we called the young boy Anderson Moon and he wanted to distinguish between the young boy and old Anderson Moon. At that time he was in the act of falling. I felt the blood coming from him and I laid him on his back and he turned over and got his black jack and gave it to me and he reached for his pistol, but could not get it. I would say he fainted away at that time. I caught his head and then got his pistol and his pocketbook and then he said, "He got me. He killed me."

Q. "He killed me"?

A. Yes sir. And I told him to put on a fight. Some boys came by and I sent them for an ambulance.

SOLICITOR: We have no further evidence to present.

8/29/1939

I examined the body of Forrest Krell. There was a bullet wound with points of entrance and exit in the upper left quadrant of the abdomen and right spine at the level of the first lumbar vertebra. The bullet passed through one of the great veins, the inferior vena cava and caused his death. Robert W. Houseal


Inquisition held over the dead body of LOUIS O’QUINN FOGLE at Newberry Court House on

September 11, 1939

MR. W. J. MARTIN being duly sworn testified as follows:

Examination by Coroner I. H. WILSON:

Q. Mr. Martin, you are a State Highway Patrolman?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you have a call on or about July 20th to come up above Silverstreet on Little River?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you go up there?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What did you find?

A. When I got there, on the other side of the bridge from here a car had gone over the fill at the end of the bridge and landed at the bottom of the fill. It is a twenty five or thirty foot fill and the car had missed the bridge three or four inches. The car was on its side and there was a dead man in it when I got there. When I received the call I called Sheriff Fellers and he went with me.

Q. What time in the morning was it?

A. I got the call around 6:00 o’clock.

Q. In the morning?

A. Yes sir. We got there about 6:30.

Q. You say the car had just missed the bridge?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Which side of the bridge did the car go over?

A. On the left hand side.

Q. On the left hand side coming this way?

A. Yes sir, and of course you could see the imprints on the grass where he was gradually coming over.

Q. To the left?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Do you remember what kind of car these boys were driving?

A. A Chevrolet Coach, I think it was a coach.

Q. Did you know either one of the boys in the car?

A. No sir.

Q. When you answered the call you found one dead in the car?

A. Yes sir. Mrs. Wallace called me and talked to me. She said that they had answered the call and that there was a dead fellow in the car and they did not want to move it until the sheriff was notified. She sent the ambulance on back up there.

Q. Was there anybody else in the car besides the dead man?

A. We found out that there had been two more boys in the car. One of them was in the hospital and the other one had left. I can say further that when we got back we got in touch with Mr. Quattlebaum and he took some pictures.

Q. Do you have the pictures?

A. Mr. Quattlebaum has them.

Q. Mr. Martin, can you identify these pictures?

A. Yes sir. They are the same ones of the wreck. Mr. Quattlebaum can explain them better than I can.

MR. H. A. QUATTLEBAUM being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q. Mr. Quattlebaum, you are a Deputy Sheriff of this county?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You have had considerable experience in making pictures of wrecks and getting calls to wrecks?

A. A few, yes sir.

Q. Explain to the jury about these pictures.

A. I was asked the next morning to go to Little River and make some pictures of a wreck that had happened up there. This picture is a view looking toward Newberry from Chappells about seventy five yards this side of the bridge. These marks here were made by some other car. But the car that went over the bridge the right hand front wheel just missed the pier here and it went down the embankment here. (Three pictures of the wreck exhibited to the jury).

Q. Anything else you know about this wreck?

A. That is all I know about it. The pictures show everything that I saw.

MR. JAMES W. JENNINGS being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q. Mr. Jennings, where do you live?

A. My home is at Plum Branch.

Q. On or about July 20th 1939 where were you working?

A. Newberry County.

Q. You and Mr. Fogle and Mr. Burns, did you all go anyplace on the night of the 19th?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Explain to the jury where you went.

A. We went to Greenwood the night of the 19th, Fogle, Willie and myself with the intention of seeing some girls. Fogle knew three girls and he went to get the girls for us. We waited for him and he came back and said the other two girls had dates and so he took the car and went on to see his girl and Willie and I went to the show. When Fogle came back for us it was about 11:30 I would say when he met us. We left there and started back to Newberry. I asked Willie to drive because I had been out the night before hauling and I was sleepy. I asked Willie Burns to drive. The last thing I know is when we left Greenwood. That is all I know. Fogle went to sleep too. When I came to myself it was early Thursday morning. Willie was calling me that he was hurt. I got out of the car. I do not know what position I was in. I tried to raise up the car so he could get out but he was in so much pain he could not move. I went up on the highway and one car passed and I tried to stop it but it wouldn’t stop. I walked to a Negro house about a fourth of a mile which was not very far and I got them. They came back to the bridge and helped to get Willie out and I told them to call the ambulance for me. They called the ambulance and I got in the ambulance with Willie and came on to Newberry and took him to the hospital. I did not move Fogle until the Patrolman came.

Q. You said you asked Willie to drive the car. Was it your car?

A. Yes sir.

Q. It was your car?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What time did you all leave Greenwood. What time of night did you leave Greenwood?

A. I would say around 11:30 or 12:00 o’clock.

Q. Did you make any other stops from there to Newberry?

A. No sir. I think that Willie said that he stopped at Chappells but I did not wake up. He said he woke Fogle up and asked him to drive.

Q. That is all you know about it?

A. Yes sir.

Q. There was no one else with you except Mr. Burns and Mr. Fogle?

A. That is all.

Q. Is that Mr. Burns over there?

A. Yes sir.

MR. WILSON:

Mr. Burns. You can make a statement if you want to. No one is forcing you to make it. You were driving the car and if you care to make a statement you can get up there and tell the jury how it happened.

MR. BURNS:

It is like Mr. Jennings told you about going to Greenwood and he asked me to drive back. I drove as far as Chappells and then I stopped and asked Fogle to drive. He was too sleepy so I kept on driving down the road. I must have gone to sleep. I did not know anything until they got me out and the ambulance came and carried me to the hospital. That is all I know about the wreck so far as the wreck part.

MR. WILSON:

Q. That is all you know about it?

A. Yes sir.

To the jury:

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

This certifies that I have examined the body of Louis O’Quinn Fogle and find several minor wounds on the right face, on the lip and on the forehead, several abrasions on other parts of the body, none of which were concerned in the cause of death.

Further investigation reveals that he came to his death as a result of a fracture of the skull at the base of the brain as a result of having been hit in the head by some blunt instrument.

July 20th 1939 E. H. Moore


Inquisition over the dead body of EVANS MILLER at Newberry Court House

September 13th 1939

GEORGE SCOTT, Colored, being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q. George, where do you stay?

A. At Mrs. Harry Mayers.

Q. George, where were you on or about August 18th 1939?

A. I do not know about the 18th. I was at the Church on the second Sunday.

Q. The second Sunday in August?

A. Yes sir.

Q. In other words, on the second Sunday in August you were at Church?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What Church?

A. Trinity Church.

Q. Where is that Church at?

A. It is up the country here near the white people’s Smyrna Church.

Q. That is in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What happened at Trinity Church when you were there?

A. Nothing happened that Sunday.

Q. What I want to know is what happened at Trinity Church on Friday night, the 18th of August? You were there that night?

A. Yes sir.

Q. The 18th of August?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What happened that night?

A. This shooting took place that night.

Q. The shooting took place?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Who shot who?

A. Willie Mangum shot Evans Miller.

Q. Evans Miller was the boy who got shot?

A. Yes sir.

Q. And who shot Evans Miller?

A. Willie Mangum.

Q. Did you see the shooting?

A. No sir.

Q. Then you don’t actually know that Willie Mangum shot Evans Miller?

A. I could not swear to it.

Q. I thought you saw it all?

A. I did not see it all. Me and his father were sitting there talking and I heard the fuss begin. Someone of them cursing there on the Church yard. I walked out there and some of them said there is Mr. Scott and they told Evans Miller he ought to stop his cursing. I went back and got his father and told him he ought to stop his son because he was being disorderly.

Q. Evans Miller was cursing?

A. Yes sir.

Q. The man that got shot?

A. Yes sir.

Q. He was cursing Willie Mangum?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What did the ruckus start about?

A. I do not know but I do not think it was anything much.

Q. Was it about any girls?

A. No sir.

Q. What time in the evening did it happen?

A. About seven o’clock I would say.

Q. Was it dark?

A. It may have been seven thirty. Prayer meeting had just started.

Q. How far was it from the Church?

A. Right there in the Church yard.

Q. And where were you?

A. In the Church yard. I was standing there to the right. I told his father that he ought to make his boy stop being disorderly and after I told him I walked on to the Church.

Q. That is all you know about it?

A. Yes sir.

ELBERT BURTON being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q. Elbert, where do you stay?

A. I stay at Mr. John Clary’s.

Q. Were you at this Church – Trinity Church – on Friday night the 18th of August?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You were there when this shooting took place?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Tell the jury what you know about it how it started and what it started about.

A. A crowd was standing out there talking and Evans used bad language and Evans told him what he would do to him. He was cursing and told him he would kick him.

Q. Evans Miller told Mangum that he would kick him?

A. Yes sir. Evans was cursing and he told Willie if he laughed at him he would kick him. Mangum walked off and Evans followed him. They kinda got together and some of the boys caught him and after a while his father came out there.

Q. Whose father came out there?

A. Evans Miller’s father. He came out there and said, "What is this about?" He told them to turn his boy aloose, that he would handle him. Willie Mangum had gone kinda around the Church and when they turned him aloose he made a dive for him and about that time I heard the shot.

Q. Evans’ father told them to let him go?

A. Yes sir. That he could handle him.

Q. That he could manage his son?

A. Yes sir.

Q. And where was Willie Mangum?

A. He had gone on across the Church yard.

Q. How many shots were fired?

A. I heard two.

Q. You saw the pistol?

A. No sir.

Q. Could you swear that Willie Mangum shot Evans Miller?

A. I know he shot him.

Q. You saw him?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What was Evans Miller doing?

A. He was trying to get away from them. He said, "Turn me aloose", and about that time his father came up.

Q. Did Miller have a pistol?

A. Not that I know of.

Q. Did he have anything?

A. He had a knife.

Q. Was he making at Mangum with the knife?

A. Yes sir.

JURY:

Q. Was he holding him when he got shot?

A. Yes sir. Evans was holding Willie when he shot him.

LUTHER WILSON being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Luther, where do you stay?

A. On Miss Carrie Senn’s place.

Q. Did you see this shooting at Trinity Church on Friday night, August 18?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Tell the jury what it started about?

A. This boy was sitting up there. Evans Miller was sitting up there cursing and he told Willie Mangum if he laughed at him he would kick him on the leg. Willie walked off from him and Evans Miller followed him. In a minute Evans caught him and about that time his father walked up. His father walked up and told them he could manage his boy. Willie had walked on kinda around the Church and when they turned him loose he started after Willie and soon grabbed him. Willie told him to let him alone. He told him several times to let him go and then Willie shot him.

Q. How many shots did you hear?

A. Two.

Q. This happened at Trinity Church?

A. Yes sir.

Q. In Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

Q. On Friday night, August 18?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you see Evans Miller with any weapon?

A. He had a knife.

Q. He had a knife?

A. Yes sir.

Q. He was after Willie Mangum with a knife?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did he curse Willie Mangum?

A. Yes sir.

Q. He had a hold of Willie when he shot him?

A. Yes sir.

CLAUDE WORTHY, colored, being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Who do you live with Claude?

A. At Miss Carrie Senn’s.

Q. Were you at this Church when this shooting took place?

A. yes sir.

Q. It happened on Friday night, August 18?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Do you know anything about it?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Tell the jury what you know about it.

A. This here boy Evans Miller was cursing on the Church yard and Willie Mangum laughed at him and Evans told Willie that he would kick him if he laughed at him. Willie walked off and he followed Willie Mangum around the Church. This boy’s father came out there and told them to turn him loose and Bill shot him. Bill told him to turn him loose and Evans shot him.

Q. Willie Mangum told Evans Miller to turn him loose?

A. Yes sir.

Q. And Evans Miller’s father told those boys to turn Miller loose?

A. Yes sir. Evans grabbed Mangum and Mangum told him to turn him loose and then he shot him.

JURY:

Q. Do you know whether the knife that Evans Miller had was opened?

A. Yes sir. I saw him when he opened it and put it in his pocket. He cut at him.

MR. WILSON:

Q. That is all you know about it?

A. Yes sir.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

September 13, 1939

This is to certify that I have attended Evans Miller from August 18th 1929 to September 12, 1939. His death was due to a gunshot wound of the abdomen. Stomach and spleen were shot through and he died September 12, 1939. H. B. Senn MD
Newberry SC September 13, 1939


Inquisition held over the dead body of JESSE PITTS JR. on September 15, 1939

Examination by CORONER I. H. WILSON:

ERNEST PRICE, being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q. Ernest, where do you live?

A. At Chappells.

Q. Do you know James Pitts?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Are you and Jack Prince any kin?

A. Yes sir, brothers.

Q. Where were you last Saturday night, September 8, 1939?

A. At Chappells.

Q. Where was Jack?

A. He was there too.

Q. Was he walking or riding?

A. Riding.

Q. Did anything take place between Jack and James as you know of?

A. No sir.

Q. Ernest tell the jury just what happened.

A. I went back to Chappells with him to his automobile. He told me to run out to Arthur Stevens to see him and we went out there and when his wife came to the door she told him, Jack, that Arthur was not home. Jack turned on his way back to Chappells and coming up the hill he hit James Pitts.

Q. Was that in Chappells?

A. No sir.

Q. Were you in the car with Jack?

A. I hadn’t been with Jack that evening. About dark he told me he had to carry Arthur home and wanted me to go with him.

Q. Was Arthur at home?

A. No sir.

Q. How far is it to Arthur’s house?

A. About 2 ¾ miles.

Q. Was James Pitts by himself?

A. No sir.

Q. Who was he with?

A. Polly.

Q. Who is Polly?

A. Polly Mitchell.

Q. Was James in the middle of the road?

A. I didn’t see him until the minute he was hit.

Deputy Sheriff QUATTLEBAUM:

Q. On what road did this happen?

A. On the Newberry/Chappells highway.

Q. Is it a hard surfaced road?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How far back on this road towards Chappells did this happen?

A. No piece.

Q. Nearest whose house?

A. Mr. Bob Riley’s.

MR. WILSON:

Q. Which way was Jack going?

A. Towards Chappells and James coming towards Newberry meeting him.

Q. Did this happen in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What happened to James Pitts? Did it kill him?

A. No sir, not then. He was carried to the hospital.

MR. WHITAKER, one of the jurors:

Q. What did you do?

A. Stopped and when we saw that it hit him drove back to Mr. Holloway’s and brought him back there.

MR. WILSON:

Q. What time of night was it?

A. About eight o’clock PM.

Q. Was it dark?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you have two lights on the car?

A. Yes sir.

MR. J. C. NEEL being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Mr. Neel, you are Deputy Sheriff of Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Were you called out on the night of September 9th 1939 near Chappells?

A. Yes sir, we received a call to come to Chappells.

Q. Tell the jury what happened?

A. The Prince Negro was driving the car that hit James Pitts. He told that he dimmed the lights to his car and they went out and when they came back on he, Prince, felt the car hit something. He stopped and saw James Pitts and went back to Holloway’s store and brought Mr. Holloway back up there.

Q. Was he drinking that night?

A. No. Probably he drank a bottle of beer.

Q. Who called?

A. I don’t know. Somebody answered at the Sheriff’s office.

JURY:

Q. Was he under the effects of beer?

A. No. He said at first thought it was a car and he dimmed his lights. Prince said the side glass struck James Pitts.

PATROLMAN MARTIN being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Mr. Martin, you are a State Highway Patrolman?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Were you called to Chappells, Saturday night September 9th 1939?

A. No. I went around to the jail that night and Mr. Long said that Mr. Neel had been called and when I got there it was all cleared up.

Q. Did you examine the car tracks and marks on the highway?

A. There were no marks except blood.

Q. How far ahead could you judge seeing anyone walking?

A. Around 100 feet.

Q. Is this a hard surface road?

A. It is.

Q. Which side of the road do you walk on?

A. Left side, facing traffic.

Q. They were walking on this side, James and Polly?

A. Yes sir.

POLLY MITCHELL being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Where were you on Saturday night, September 9, 1939?

A. At Chappells. Left Chappells to come home.

Q. Where do you stay?

A. This side of Chappells.

Q. Were you with James Pitts?

A. Yes sir. We left Chappells and came down the road together.

Q. Polly, tell the jury what happened.

A. We came on down the road and saw Jack Prince swerving in his car and I got in the ditch. James was on the edge of the pavement and the car hit him.

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

A. Left hand side.

Q. How far off the pavement was he?

A. About twelve inches.

Q. Was Jack Prince driving fast?

A. Plenty fast.

Q. Was his lights blinking?

A. No sir, shining.

Q. Did this happen this side of Chappells?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Is the road straight or crooked?

A. It’s straight.

Q. Is it a hard surfaced road?

A. Yes sir.

Q. About what time did this happen?

A. About eight o’clock PM.

Q. Did this happen in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

JURY:

Q. Was anybody along except you and James?

A. No sir.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

To whom it may concern September 13, 1939

This certifies that I have on this date personally examined the body of the deceased James Pitts, colored, and find about the face and head some several minor cuts and abrasions, none of which appears to be concerned in the death. Over the right side of the head more anteriorly, than posteriorly, I find a dent in the skull which on further investigation reveals a fracture of the right parietal bone. With this and other evidence my conclusions are that he came to his death as results of a fracture at the base of the skull due to some violent blow on the head. Respectfully, E. H. Moore MD


Inquisition held over the dead body of MORRIS ALEXANDER WHITLEY at Newberry Court House October 2nd 1939

MR. C. C. BELL being duly sworn testified as follows:

Examination by Coroner WILSON:

Q. Mr. Bell, where is your home?

A. I am staying in Greenwood.

Q. Where do you work at?

A. Buzzard Roost.

Q. In Newberry County?

A. I do not know what county it is.

Q. Do you work on this side of the river?

A. Yes sir.

Q. On or about the 21st of September, I believe it was, were you working that day? That was last Thursday a week ago?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What were you doing?

A. Building forms.

Q. Who else was working there?

A. I had a crew there of about fifteen men.

Q. You are a foreman?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Over what kind of crew?

A. Carpenters.

Q. Was Mr. M. A. Whitley working under you?

A. No sir.

Q. He was working close to you?

A. I do not know. I did not know the man had been killed. I did not know his name.

Q. You know that the man had been killed?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What caused his death?

A. I could not swear what did it. I did not see it. They said a bar fell.

Q. Where was the man who got killed?

A. He was in a hole in the tunnel shaft.

Q. Was there anybody working above him?

A. Yes sir. My whole crew.

Q. Your crew was working above him?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did any of your crew have any kind of blunt instrument?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did more than one have any kind of blunt instrument?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Mr. Bell, explain to that jury what you know and what you saw. Explain to them what happened.

A. I did not see it. The hole which he was in is about fifty feet deep and this man was about twenty five feet from the bottom is what they told me. They said the bar struck him on the head.

Q. You say it struck him on the head?

A. That is what they said. One of the electricians was sitting over the hole at the time.

Q. All of your crew was above this man?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How high was your crew over this man?

A. Around thirty three feet over the man.

Q. You say the bar fell thirty three feet before it hit the man?

A. From where he was sitting.

Q. You did not hear any of your crew make mention of the bar?

A. I heard someone say "Look out." I was standing not more than ten feet from the hole, but I was not looking in that direction.

Q. Were you there with your crew?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Who had hold of the bar when it fell?

A. I do not know.

Q. Have you heard anyone mentioned who had it?

A. I had sent Mr. Lominick after a bar.

Q. Mr. Otis Lominick?

A. That is right. Whether that was the bar or not I do not know.

Q. Where did he get it?

A. In the tool house.

Q. Where is the tool house?

A. About two or three hundred yards.

Q. You had sent him for a bar?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you see the bar?

A. I saw it when they brought it up.

Q. Who was the first one to notice about the bar falling/

A. The gentleman sitting by the hole, one of the electricians.

Q. He was on the same floor with your men?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What kind of shape is it that he had to carry the bar.

A. He had to climb up to where the bar was needed.

Q. What size bar did you send Mr. Lominick for?

A. A thirty three inch bar.

Q. How much would you say it weighs?

A. Eight or nine or ten pounds, maybe more, maybe less.

Q. Mr. Bell, is that all you know about this case?

A. Yes sir. I would not swear that Mr. Lominick or anyone dropped the bar.

Q. Was it the bar that you sent him for?

A. They brought a bar out. We have several kinds of bars. I do not know whether it was the bar that Mr. Lominick had or not.

Q. Was any report made about the death of this man?

A. We got him out and rushed him to the hospital.

Q. What hospital?

A. The hospital in Greenwood.

Q. You do not know what kind of work this fellow who got killed was doing?

A. I do not know. My understanding is that he was working with the electricians. I did not know the man personally.

MR. W. A. COLLINS being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Mr. Collins, where is your home?

A. Greenwood.

Q. You are working at the Buzzard Roost?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Who do your work with?

A. With the electrical contractors.

Q. What do you know about this man getting killed?

A. I was down in the tunnel. When I got down to the bottom he started out. I had walked about fifteen feet and was talking with this fellow and about that time I saw the boy fall.

Q. Did you know the boy that got killed?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Was he just a laborer or a foreman?

A. He was classed as an electrical helper.

Q. You do not know where the bar came from?

A. I understood that the fellow was going up on the pier and he had to climb up and he went to lay the bar up there and dropped it.

Q. How far would you judge this bar fell before it hit?

A. It fell I imagine about thirty five feet.

Q. All of you working there together?

A. I had been working all that day and the day before.

Q. This man was there during the time you were there?

A. He had worked all day up until the time he was killed.

Q. You did not hear any words between any one of the boys working there?

A. No sir.

Q. That was in Newberry County was it not?

A. Yes sir.

MR. D. R. GETTIS being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Mr. Gettis, you are working at the Buzzard Roost?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What is your job?

A. Electrician.

Q. Are you a foreman?

A. Just electrician.

Q. Tell the jury what you know about this happening up there week before last.

A. Well, the boy was climbing out of the hole. The shaft was at the top. I heard the ring of the bar as it slipped off of the side of the shaft and I called out. As well as I could tell, this boy tried to hold on as close as he could, but it hit him in the head and knocked him off and he hit the platform.

Q. How far did the bar fall?

A. The shaft is eighty two feet to the bottom where he fell. I imagine the bar fell about thirty feet.

Q. Did you know the man that got killed?

A. Morris Whitley.

Q. When he was hit in the head what steps were taken if any?

A. I went for an ambulance, Collins went to find the engineer and I sent two people for a line to pull him out.

Q. Do you know the man?

A. I had talked with him several times and he talked to me about it afterwards.

Q. Was it Mr. Otis Lominick?

A. I believe that was his name.

Q. Did you hear any of the boys disagreeing?

A. No sir.

MR. F. B. SLONE being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q. You are working at the Buzzard Roost?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What kind of work do you do?

A. Engineer. Electrical engineer.

Q. Do you know anything about this accident that happened?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Tell the jury what you know.

A. The first thing I know of the accident that happened was told to me by Mr. Collins after the accident happened and I, of course, went over and did what I could to get the man to the hospital. I was not there when the accident happened.

Q. You were not there?

A. No sir.

Q. These here men who were working there were working under you?

A. Yes, Mr. Gettis, Mr. Collins and the boy that was killed, he was working under me.

MR. B. R. RATCHFORD being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Mr. Ratchford, you are working at the Buzzard Roost?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What kind of work do you do?

A. Foreman of the electricians.

Q. Do you know any of these boys who were working above this boy that got killed?

A. No sir.

Q. You knew the boy that got killed?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What was his name?

A. Morris Whitley.

Q. Do you know anything about the man who was carrying the bar?

A. I went into the tunnel at lunch and had not been out at all.

Q. Where were you working?

A. In the tunnel.

Q. At the bottom?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you see this young man when he fell?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you see the bar?

A. Yes sir. The bar was the first thing I heard and as I looked he fell.

Q. Did you notice the size of the bar?

A. Well, I did not pay any attention. We were trying to get the boy out. I did not go back to the job until later.

Q. What kind of place was it that they had to climb up with the bar?

A. It was a very poor place he had to climb up.

Q. He could not do much climbing and carry a bar at the same time?

A. Yes. He could do it.

Q. What company was the people up above you working for?

A. The Lee Construction Company.

Q. That is a corporation?

A. Yes sir. General Contractor.

Q. Who was the foreman over the crew up there?

A. I do not know.

Q. Who was the superintendent?

A. Stewman.

Q. Do you know the man who had the bar in his hands?

A. No sir.

ALVIN BLEDSOE being duly sworn testified as follows:

MR. WILSON:

Q. Where do you work?

A. At the Buzzard Roost.

Q. What kind of work do you do?

A. Form buildings.

Q. That is in whose crew?

A. Mr. Bell.

Q. Do you know anything about the bar?

A. The only thing I know about it is that I was six or eight feet from it and I helped to get the man out.

Q. You did not see the bar or hear it?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you hear Mr. Bell send for the bar?

A. He told me to tell Mr. Lominick to get him the bar and he made a mistake at first and had to go back for the bar. I did not see anything at all.

Q. You know that Mr. Lominick had this bar?

A. I told him to get it.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

September 25, 1939

To whom it may concern:

This is to certify that I attended Mr. M. A. Whitley on September 22, 1939 and that his death was caused by the following injuries:

  1. Fractured skull
  2. Brain injury
  3. Fractured ribs

Pulmonary edema L. A. Schneider


Inquisition held over the dead body of C. D. MOATES at Newberry Court House

November 7th 1939

Examination by Coroner I. H. WILSON:

MR. W. B. LAWSON being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q. Mr. Lawson, where do you stay?

A. Near Cannon’s Creek Church.

Q. Do you stay near where this accident happened?

A. I suppose about a half mile.

Q. Were you at the accident after it happened?

A. I was there afterwards.

Q. How did you find it?

A. I had been to town and went back home. I had not been there very long. I suppose it was between 2:30 and 3:00 o’clock when Mr. Shealy drove up in the yard and asked for Mr. Harmon.

Q. What Shealy was that?

A. Mr. Ray Shealy. He came up there and said that C. D. had fallen off the truck and got killed.

Q. C. D. who?

A. C. D. Moates.

Q. He said that C. D. Moates had fallen off the truck and got killed?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You went to the scene of the accident?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You found that Mr. Moates was dead when you got there?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What did Mr. Shealy do then?

A. He and Mr. Harmon came on to town. He did not know what to do. I told him the only thing to do was to go to Mr. Stone’s and call the sheriff and the coroner. They came on to town and we stayed there until they got back.

Q. Where did this accident happen Mr. Lawson?

A. Right down between St. John’s Church and the forks of the road.

Q. What position did you find Mr. Moates in?

A. He was just like he was when you got there. He was there in the ditch. I saw blood under his head but we did not touch him. We stayed five or six feet away from him.

Q. Is the road level there or is it an incline?

A. It is up a little grade.

Q. Which way were they going?

A. Towards Cannon’s Creek Church.

Q. Up an incline?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Which way was he lying when you got there?

A. His feet was in the direction the truck was going.

Q. Do you know of any trouble between these two men?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you have any conversation with Mr. Shealy before or after this accident?

A. Way down there he said he did not know what to do. I told him the only thing to do was to notify the sheriff and the coroner and he and Mr. Harmon came on to town.

Q. Did Mr. Shealy tell you how it happened?

A. No, except that he fell off.

Q. Mr. Moates fell off?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did he tell you he was trying to hold him on?

A. No. he said he fell off.

Q. Did Mr. Shealy say anything about he and Mr. Moates having any trouble?

A. No sir.

Q. They were good friends?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Did you think that Mr. Shealy was under the influence of whiskey?

A. I could not tell that he was. He did not act like a drunk man.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

JURY:

Q. What was the condition of the road?

A. Fairly smooth.

MR. WILSON:

Q. Was there a curve in the road?

A. Yes sir. He was on the outside of the curve.

MR. CHARLIE HARMON being duly sworn says:

Q. Where do you live Mr. Harmon?

A. At Cannon’s Creek Church.

Q. Near where this accident happened?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Do you know anything about this accident?

A. Nothing more than I went to where it happened.

Q. You heard Mr. Lawson’s testimony?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Is that about what you know?

A. Yes sir. That is just about all I know except I drove Mr. Shealy to town.

Q. How long had you been knowing Mr. Shealy and Mr. Moates?

A. I have been knowing Mr. Moates about ten or eleven years and Mr. Shealy – I just don’t know how long – maybe five or six years.

Q. Did you ever know Mr. Moates and Mr. Shealy to have any trouble?

A. No sir.

Q. Was Mr. Shealy drunk going up the road?

A. If he was I did not know it.

Q. You drove Mr. Shealy’s truck to town?

A. Yes sir.

MR. C. LEWIS BANK being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q. Where do you live Mr. Bank?

A. Near Cannon’s Creek Church.

Q. Do you know anything about this accident?

A. Nothing more than I went there and saw it.

Q. What did you find?

A. I found Mr. Moates lying in the gully on the side of the road.

Q. What made you go down there?

A. Mr. Shealy came up there.

Q. Did you hear Mr. Lawson testify?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Is that about like what you know about it?

A. Yes sir. About the same thing.

Q. Do you know anything else about that?

A. I know I rode on the same seat with Mr. Shealy going down there.

Q. Did he act like a drunk man?

A. No sir.

Q. Did he act like he was under the influence of whiskey?

A. No sir. I sat on the seat by him and I believe I could have smelled it. As far as I know Mr. Shealy is a fine man.

Q. When did this happen?

A. Saturday. About 2:30 or maybe three o’clock.

Q. In Newberry County?

A. Yes sir.

Q. The road where Mr. Moates got killed, was it level?

A. It was up a little incline and a slight curve to the left below where he was in the gully.

MR. H. J. QUATTLEBAUM being duly sworn testified as follows:

Q. Mr. Quattlebaum, you’re a deputy sheriff of this county?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Were you called on last Saturday afternoon to an accident?

A. Yes, Saturday afternoon I was on Main Street here at Newberry and someone told me that there was a man at the office to see me. I immediately came on down here and I asked what the trouble was and Mr. Shealy told me that C. D. Moates had fallen off of the truck and got killed and he also told me on what road it was on and I immediately left and went to the scene of the accident. I will identify the road as being the road leading off of what is known the ‘Jolly Street Road’ to the left and goes over to Mr. Perry Halfacre’s home place. When I got there I found Mr. Moates lying in the ditch on the left side going in the direction of Mr. Halfacre’s home about 500 yards this side of St. John’s colored Church. His head was down the hill and his feet up the hill. From my investigation it seems the truck was going in the direction of the Jolly Street Road. I went then and called for an ambulance to pick up the body and later I came back to the office and talked with Mr. Shealy and he told me that Mr. Moates had fallen off the truck and that he had grabbed for him, but that he could not hold him. In talking with him I did not notice any whiskey. He said that he was driving at a moderate rate of speed. He also told me that after the accident he went back to Mr. Moates and found that he was dead and that he got on the truck and went up to Mr. Lawson’s house and from there they came on to the sheriff’s office.

Q. Mr. Shealy came in and notified you?

A. Yes. Came in and made the report.

Q. He came to the sheriff’s office?

A. Yes. I investigated it as well as I knew how and I have not been able to find that there was any foul play. It is my opinion that it was an accident. I will state this that Mr. Moates’ people asked that Mr. Shealy not be held for the accident because they believed it was an accident and that they did not want Mr. Shealy held for something he could not help.

MR. RAY SHEALY made the following statement:

There isn’t much that I can say. We were riding along and he had his arm on the back of the truck and the other hand on the windshield. He just fell off and I grabbed him by his pants leg but it was pulling me off and I could not hold him.

MR. QUATTLEBAUM recalled testified as follows:

Q. State whether or not in your opinion the truck hit Mr. Moates?

A. From my examination of the truck and from the way Mr. Shealy said he fell off of the truck it is possible that the rear wheel struck him. It is my opinion that the back wheel struck him.

Q. That covers your investigation of the accident?

A. I questioned Mr. Shealy about any difficulties that they had but he said they had had none. That is all I know about it.

DOCTOR’S CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that I examined the body of C. D. Moates deceased, and find that he came to his death as a result of a fracture of the skull, the entire left side of the head was completely crushed, the result of having been mashed apparently by some heavy weight of some kind, such as being run over by some heavily loaded truck. Respectfully, E. H. Moore 11/4/1939


This certifies that I examined the body of Malcolm J. Hendrix and find that the cause to his death as a result of gunshot wound in back of head re... almost the entire occiput.
4-29-'38
E.H. Moore
At the request of the family of Malcolm J. Hendrix, no inquest was held.
J.H. Wilson, Coroner
 

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