CORONER'S INQUISITION, 1939-1948
NEWBERRY COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
Transcribed and contributed by Edith Greisser

INQUISITION INTO THE DEATH OF SQUIRE GARY (Colored)

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry County Court House in the County and State aforesaid, the 9th day of August A. D., one thousand nine hundred and forty-five, before Leroy Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of Squire Gary of Newberry, S. C., then and there being dead by the oaths of Walter Joye, John Marlow, D. L. Laird, Hugh Shannon, Thomas L. Cramer and H. L. Dukes, being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the State of South Carolina where and by what means the said Squire Gary came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that Squire Gary came to his death by being struck by Columbia, Newberry and Laurens Train #15 on the morning of May 24th, 1945, due to his own carelessness.

AND so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid came to his death as aforesaid.

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

Leroy Wilson, Coroner

H. L. Dukes, Foreman

Walter Joye

John Marlow

D. L. Laird

Hugh Shannon

Thomas L. Cromer

TESTIMONY

Mr. F. J. REDDICK, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Solicitor B. V. CHAPMAN

Q. Mr. Reddick, where do you live?

A. On Brown and Pope Streets.

Q. Were you at home on the morning of May 24th?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you see any collision at the railroad crossing - CN&L?

A. I saw the train coming and the man coming, but when the collision occurred the train had cut off my view.

Q. Did you have occasion to go down to the railroad and see what happened?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Just tell us what you saw.

A. First, I heard the train blow, coming - and like most of us we will have to look at the train pass. I went to the window, the car and the engine both running look to be about the same speed. But the car seemed to slow down and then it picked up speed. But the engineer began to jerk his whistle and the car seemed to try to beat him acrossand I was so in hopes it would until I just stood breathless until the car got out of my sight and I saw the dust, and I said to my wife, "I believe he hit him".

Q. You did not go down there?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Tell what you found.

A. I went immediately. The train was between me and the car and the people, and the trainman saw me and told me to phone for an ambulance. I turned back then and phoned for an ambulance and went back again and before I could investigate how it happened I went back and phoned for a doctor to meet the ambulance at the hospital. And my next trip I saw the woman lying on the grass. She was not dead. She was bleeding and I went on down to where the man was lying and he was dead.

Q. Do you know who it was?

A. I learned who it was.

Q. Who was it?

A. They called him Square, but I always called him Squire. I have been knowing him for the past years.

Q. You saw him? He was dead when you first saw him?

A. He was dead when I first saw him.

Q. Could you estimate, Mr. Reddick, the speed or about the speed the train was making?

A. Well, my estimation would have been 18 or 20 miles per hour.

Q. That was at the railroad crossing?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where?

A. At Pope Street.

Q. In the town of Newberry?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Newberry County, this State?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you know what became of the woman?

A. The ambulance taken her to the hospital.

Q. Do you know whether or not she was alive or dead?

A. She was alive.

Q. I believe you stated that the train blew for the crossing?

A. It blew, back probably for Nance or further up the road. It was close, that is why I went to the window. It seems that when the engineer saw this car approaching he grabbed the whistle and blew just before it hit.

Q. That was what they call the emergency whistle?

A. Emergency alarm or something like that.

Q. How many blasts did he blow?

A. The rule is four - I wasn't paying any attention. I imagine he blew all that was required.

Q. What train was that?

A. Number 15.

Q. What railroad?

A. CN&L.

Q. Do you know what crew was operating it?

A. Yes, sir. The Engineer, Mr. Hoover; Fred Hunter was Fireman. Mr. Tompkins well as I remember was Conductor.  They were on the rear end of the train and not in contact with it.

Q. That about all you know about it?

A. Yes, sir.

Examination by Attorney FRED H. DOMINICK

Q. Mr. Reddick did you make any measurements of distance?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How far from the crossing did the engine stop?

A. 550 feet from the crossing. I measured from where the car was to where it stopped. It was 550 feet.

Examination by Solicitor B. V. CHAPMAN

Q. Was this down grade or up grade?

A. Down grade.

Q. The train was traveling in what direction?

A. Toward Columbia.

Examination by Foreman H. L. DUKES

Q. Are they supposed to flag that crossing?

A. No, sir.

Mr. PAT HOOVER, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Solicitor B. V. CHAPMAN

Q. Where is your home Mr. Hoover?

A. In Columbia, SC.

Q. Are you an employee of the Columbia, Newberry and Laurens Railroad?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What position do you hold?

A. Engineer.

Q. Now will you state in brief what happened on the morning of May 24th?

A. I was coming in on Number 15 and approaching these two crossings up there. At the one just above where the accident occurred I brought my train down to approximately 15 miles an hour. I reduced my speed and released my brakes and just let the train roll. And when I got in 100 yards or 75 yards of the crossing I saw this automobile coming down the street. And my bell was ringing, I will state that. As we both approached it he slowed up.

Q. You slowed up?

A. He did. He left the impression that he was coming to a stop, like he was looking right at me. Then all of a sudden he tried to speed up like he tried to beat the train over, tried to gain speed again. So I grabbed my whistle with one hand and brakes with the other. I went to blowing the whistle and applied the brakes with all the pressure I had.

Q. How was your air pressure that morning?

A. I had made a reduction coming down from Nance and brought my train down to 15 miles an hour and released them. I had a good service approach but I wouldn't say I had an emergency. It takes a little time for them to recharge.

Q. Did you give your signals at approaching that crossing?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What signal?

A. At this particular crossing we don't blow, but I had blown at this time because I saw he was going to try to beat me over. I blowed at the one further up. But I did blow it when I saw he wasn't going to slow up and wasn't going to make it. His car didn't have much pickup about it. He almost got over.

Q. About what time of the morning was this?

A. Around seven something I think. It was daylight, the sun was shining. It was clear.

Q. Did you hit anything - did you hit the car?

A. I didn't see it hit. I asked the fireman and brakeman. I didn't know. I saw the dust. I thought he got over. He just caught the rear emergency step and the wheel and it turned him around. I didn't feel it at all.

Q. You didn't fell it?

A. Must just barely caught the car. I wasn't certain whether he got over or not.

Q. What did you find when you brought your train to a stop?

A. I came back and found the man lying down there, looked like he was dead. Went on up a little further and found the woman.

Q. What was her condition -was she living?

A. She was living and she talked. Told us her name, but I don't remember what she called it.

Q. This was in the town and county of Newberry?

A. Yes, sir. I guess it was.

Q. In the town of Newberry?

A. Yes, sir. I know it was the town of Newberry, but I don't know what county it is.

Examination by Foreman H. L. DUKES

Q. You blew for this particular crossing?

A. Yes, when I saw he was going to try to make it over. Heard then but he was just looking and kept coming right on.

FRED HUNTER, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Solicitor B. V. CHAPMAN

Q. Fred, by whom are you employed?

A. On the CN&L railroad.

Q. Where were you on or about 7:00 o'clock on the morning of May 24th?

A. That was the morning of the accident. I was on the engine. I was sitting on the seat box.

Q. You are the fireman?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What happened as you were coming into Newberry?

A. All I know is when he was grabbing for the whistle. I was wondering what was happening. I didn't know.

Q. About how far from the crossing did he begin to blow his whistle?

A. I estimate about 300 feet, I would say.

Q. Did you see the automobile?

A. Not until after he had done hit it.

Q. Did you see him hit it?

A. No, sir.

Q. When did you first see it?

A. When I first saw it? I couldn't see it. I saw the dust. I couldn't see the car for the dust. Well after I saw the car dragging I set on my seat box until after he stopped. Then I got down to look at the car but the man wasn't in the car. Then I looked back up the track. Then I saw the man laying on the ground. That's all I know.

Q. Was he dead?

A. Seemed like he was breathing a little bit when I was standing looking at him.

Q. That is the only time you saw him?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where was the automobile?

A. The automobile was still hanging to the front of the engine.

Q. You had to pull the car off?

A. No, sir. The car was still hanging on the front of the engine.

Q. You had to pull it off before you moved the engine?

A. Yes, sir. We had to pull it off before we moved.

LILLIE WRIGHT, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Solicitor B. V. CHAPMAN

Q. Where do you live Lillie?

A. Helena.

Q. Did you know Squire Gary?

A. Yes, sir. I knew him.

Q. Were you with him about 7: 00 oíclock on the morning of May 24th?

A. Yes, sir. I was.

Q. Where were you?

A. I was in Helena but I was going to the bus station to go down to visit my daughter-in-law who was in the hospital.

Q. Are you any kin to Squire?

A. No, sir. I am not.

Q. Go ahead and tell the Jury what happened.

A. Well, just before we got to the crossing I looked up and saw the engine.

Q. How fast were you and Squire traveling?

A. We were going across and just before we got to the crossing I looked up and saw the train and after that I don't know anything else because it knocked me out. That's all I know.

Q. About how far were you from the train when you saw it?

A. Looked to me like just as close as this bench here. Looked like right at it - I was so excited.

Q. Did you hear the train blowing?

A. No, sir. I didn't hear it.

Q. What sort of car was Squire driving?

A. A V-8 Ford.

Q. Was it a new car or an old one?

A. I don't know.

Q. You don't know what model it was?

A. It was a V-8 Ford.

Q. You don't know what year it was?

A. No, sir.

Q. What happened to Squire?

A. I don't know because I was knocked out. They put him in the ambulance.

Q. Where did you go?

A. To the hospital.

Examination by Foreman H. L. DUKES

Q. You don't know whether the car was knocked up or down?

A. No, sir.

Examination by Solicitor B. V. CHAPMAN

Q. You don t know whether Squire applied his brakes?

A. I don't know because I was on the ground when I knowed anything.

Q. That all you know?

A. Yes, sir, because I was carried to the hospital.

Mr. TOM HARRELL, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Solicitor B. V. CHAPMAN

Q. Where do you live, Tom?

A. At the old Wells place.

Q. Mr. Harrell, where were you on the morning of May 24th?

A. I was standing at my back door.

Q. State to the court and jury what you saw.

A. Well, I heard the train blow up there coming on down out of the woods. I don't know how far. I went to the door and was watching it come down and he blowed up there about Nance crossing. I figure it somewhere about a long and two blasts, I think. That is the general rule, I think. Didn't see that he was running so very fast to me. I was standing in the door looking at it. I see them about every morning, coming down - I'm out there.

Q. About what time?

A. About 7:00 or 7:30. Somewheres about there.

Q. Did you see anybody approaching the crossing?

A. No, sir. I couldn't for them houses up there. But I heard the train when it hit. I was standing in the door and I went immediately up there and found it was old Squire.

Q. What crossing was this Mr. Harrell?

A. Coming from Helena. Pope Street. But he was just beyond Nance Street when he blew.

Q. He blew at Nance.

A. Nance. I live on Nance. Right close to Mr. Reddick there.

Q. After you heard the impact did you go down there?

A. Yes, sir. I went down there.

Q. What did you find?

A. I found the car was hung on to the engine, side of the engine and he was laying out about 8 or 10 feet beyond it.  The switch is against Wilson's. It was right against the Pure Oil Station there, close to it.

Q. What would you estimate the distance to be from the crossing to where he was lying?

A. Couldn't have been over two or three hundred feet, maybe four hundred. I didn't measure it. But it couldn't have been over that. But I can state that a heavy train behind it will slide with a load behind it before they can stop it.

Q. From your observation what killed Squire?

A. Looked like the results was the train hit him.

Q. Did you observe the car?

A. Yes, sir. I seen it hanging on to the engine.

Q. What was its condition?

A. Look like he struck him right in the door, right about middle ways from what I could see.

Q. What train was it that struck him?

A. Fifteen I think.

Q. CN&L?

A. CN&L.

Examination by Foreman H. L. DUKES

Q. You say you heard the train blowing at Nance crossing?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How far was that?

A. One hundred yards or more.

Q. Would you consider the train running at a normal rate of speed?

A. Yes, at a normal rate of speed. It he hadn't he couldn't have stopped when he did.

Examination by Solicitor B. V. CHAPMAN

Q. What is the nature of the grade there?

A. It is down grade.

Q. What direction?

A. Coming to Newberry from up Oakland Mill, from Laurens.

Sheriff BEN DAWKINS, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Solicitor B. V. CHAPMAN

Q. What position do you hold Mr. Dawkins?

A. Sheriff'.

Q. Were you called to the scene of the wreck on Pope Street about the 24th of May this year?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What was the investigation about?

A. About 7: 30 in the morning Mr. Wilson, the Coroner, came to the house and asked me to go along with him up to Pope Street crossing and said it had been a wreck there, an automobile and that down train. So in a few minutes I got ready and we went up there, and parked there at Mr. Wilson's lumberyard. I noticed the train had stopped and was waiting there on the track, headed towards Newberry. We got out and walked down the railroad track to where the engine was stopped and noticed the body of a colored man laying beside the track and an automobile also. The man I noticed, the dean man, was Squire Gary, a colored fellow. The automobile was badly torn up. So in a few minutes the train pulled off and I went and told the undertaker to come get the dead man's body.

Q. Did you have occasion to step or measure the distance from the street where you found the man?

A. Yes, sir. I stepped it from the engine of the train back up to the Pope Street crossing and it was 190 steps.

Q. Would you say that your steps were approximately one yard?

A. Yes, sir. That is what I tried to make them.

Q. Upon your investigation what would you say caused the death of Squire Gary?

A. The car running into the train or the train running into the car. It seems that the train hit the side of the car and that is what I think caused it.

Q. This was in the town and county of Newberry?

A. Yes, sir.

DOCTOR'S CERTIFICATE

May 24,1945 8:45 A.M.

Squire Gary

The above died from busted skull and direct brain injury - brain being mashed out of back and right side of head.

Left leg broken just below knee. Bones sticking out through skin.

(Signed) R. E. Livingston, MD


INQUISITION INTO THE DEATH OF WILLIAM FARROW (Colored)

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry County Court House in the County and State aforesaid, the 25th day of January A. D., one thousand nine hundred and forty-six, before Leroy Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of William Farrow of Newberry County, S. C., then and there being dead by the oaths of R. L. Hunter, H. D. Whitaker, D. L. Laird, E. T. Graham, John Schumpert and H. L. Dukes, being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the State of South Carolina where and by what means the said William Farrow came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that William Farrow came to his death as the result of gunshot wounds at the hands of Ludell Farrow.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid came to his death as aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, Leroy Wilson, Coroner aforesaid, and the Jurors aforesaid to this Inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

Leroy Wilson, Coroner

Harry L. Dukes, Foreman

R. L. Hunter

H. D. Whitaker

E. T. Graham

D. L. Laird

John Schumpert

TESTIMONY

COOTER WHEELER, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Cooter, where do you live?

A. I live out here just the other side of Bush River, Abraham Shelton's place.

Q. About how far the other side of Bush River?

A. It ain't but about one-half or one-quarter of a mile. The first house the other side.

Q. Were you home on the night of January 16th?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did Ludell Farrow come up to your house that night?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Why did she come up there?

A. My folks was gone to bed. I went out of doors and heard a gun shoot, boom - just like that. And when I went to bed I said I heard a gun shoot. I went on back in the house and I told my folks I heard the gun shoot, down by the river.

Q. You didn't know where it was?

A. No, sir. And about two hours after that she came up to my house.

Q. Who came up to your house'?

A. Ludell. And she knocked on my door. My wife say, "Who that"? And she say, "Ludell". And she say, "What the matter"'? And she say, "I done shot Shuat". I want you to go over there and see about him". And I still in the bed Ė I said, "Go on back home, you ain't shot nobody". I said, "Go on back home" - just that way. She say, "I ain't gwine unless you come go with me". And so that time my wife got up and went to the door and she still had the shotgun. And she slammed the door and she said, "Cooter you got to come here, she got a gun". I got up then. I say, "You give me the gun" - and I took the gun and put it up. And I went on back over there with her and I said, "I see a light burning in your house". She said, "I left that light burning that way". I said, "Let's get in there and see". So she pushed the door open and she went in there and he was laying on his side. I say, "Shuat"- and he say, "Huh". And I say, "Turn over". And he just turn over like - flat on his back. And I seed where they had a heap of money close to the fire place and I said, you pick up this money and stay here till I get back cause I got to get him to the hospital quick as I possibly can. And I left out then and went on back up there and got Mr. Toland's son up out of the bed and ask him if he would help me get an ambulance. So he brought me here to police headquarters and when I got there Mr. Long said to me, "Cooter, what you doing out this time of night"? And I say, "A fellow got shot out there, and I come here to get an ambulance for him". He said, "What do you want"? And I said, "Call Paul". Paul know about where it is. So after he got there he said he reckon he better get Mr. Neel. I said, "Yes, call him". I thought he was dead cause look like he was dying. So I went on back out there with Mr. Neel and them and when we got into the house he was dead. That's all I know about it.

Q. Did Ludell tell you why she shot him? .

A. Yes, sir. When she was going on back to the house she said, "I done shot him". She said, "Counting out my money - this one mine and that one mine". I said, "You ain't got no money". "He was counting out money and then you shot him for that". And she said, "That was my daddy's gun". She said, "Damn old thing quick on the trigger". I said, "Well, you oughtn't to done it". That was when we was gwine.

Examination by Foreman H. L. DUKES

Q. Ludell Farrow told you that she shot him?

A. Yes, sir. She brought the gun to my house and I asked her what she shot him for and she said she shot him and I asked her what for - "Dis one yonder and dat one yonder". "Counting out the money".

Examination by Deputy Sheriff J. C. NEEL

Q. Cooter, this happened out at Bush River?

A. Yes, sir. I live on this side and they live on the other side.

Deputy Sheriff J. C. NEEL being duly sworn says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Mr. Neel, what is your occupation?

A. Deputy Sheriff of Newberry County.

Q. Did you have a call to go out to William Farrow's on the 16th day of January?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Tell the Jury what you found when you went there.

A. When we arrived at William Farrow's the front door was shut. We pushed it open and just inside of the door to the left was the body of William Farrow. There was a turned over chair and a lot of blood on the floor and there was a gunshot wound in his left leg and this wound was approximately the size of a silver dollar, possibly not quite that big. From information I received there we started looking for Ludell Farrow. About twelve o'clock that day I received some information and I went to a house on Mr. John Clary's farm and just before I got to this house Ludell came walking out to the road to me. She got in the car and told me that she shot her husband. She also said that her and her husband had had a few drinks the night of the shooting. I believe that is about all I know about it.

Examination by Col. THOS. H. POPE, Attorney

Q. Mr. Neel, didn't she also tell you that when she came into this room from the kitchen the deceased William Farrow had the gun in his hand and that a scuffle started over the possession of the gun?

A. She said that they had been home from town a good while and that she went into the kitchen to get some ice and when she came back he had the gun in his hand and they had a scrap over the gun and it went off in the scramble and shot him. I believe that is all she said.

DOCTOR'S CERTIFICATE

January 16,1946

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of William Farrow and found that death was caused by hemorrhage resulting from gunshot wound. (Signed) J. E. Grant.


INQUISITION INTO THE DEATH OF MAUDIE B. MOON MCNARY (Colored)

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry County Court House in the County and State aforesaid, the 15th day of March, A. D., one thousand nine hundred and forty-six, before Leroy Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of Maudie B. Moon McNary of Newberry, S. C., then and there being dead by the. oaths of D. L. Laird, R. L. Hunter, L. E. Franklin, John Marlow, S. L. Marlow and J. F. Lominick, being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South. Carolina where and by what means the said Maudie B. Moon McNary came to her death, upon their oaths, do say that Maudie B. Moon McNary came to her death as a result of dagger wound at the hands of Wallace Jackson.

AND so. the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid came to her death as aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, Leroy Wilson, Coroner aforesaid, and the Jurors aforesaid to this Inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

Leroy Wilson, Coroner

J. F. Lominick, Foreman

D. L. Laird

R. L. Hunter

L. E. Franklin

John Marlow

S. L. Marlow

TESTIMONY

NATHANIEL DAVENPORT, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Nathaniel, where were you on the 13th of this month about 10:30 P. M.?

A. Out there to Maudie B.'s and them's home.

Q. Maudie B. - that is the girl that got killed?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you see her when she was stabbed?

A. No, sir.

Q. Go ahead and tell the Jury just what happened out there.

A. Well, this soldier and Tollie Belton they had just drove up there in Tollie Bell's automobile. And they asked Maudie B. to come go up to his mother's home with them. And while she was getting ready Wallace come in.  So she came around in the room, putting on her cloak ready to go. He asked her where she was fixing to go, and she told him she was going up to the soldier's mother's home. And he said she wasn't going. So she said she was.

And she walked on out the door. He stood in the door and when she walked out by him he turned around to go back into the other room and all of us was out on the ground when he come back. She was behind all of them and I heard her say, "Oh, Lordy. I am cut". And when I looked around he was gone back into the house. Thatís all I know about it.

Q. Who hollered, "Oh, Lordy. I am cut"?

A. Maudie B.

Q. Who went back into the house?

A. Wallace.

Q. Wallace who?

A. Jackson.

Q. He cut her?

A. Yes, sir. He cut her.

Q. What did Wallace cut Maudie B. with?

A. Well, from the looks to me, it wasn't no knife.

Q. Did he cut her or stab her?

A. He stabbed her.

Q. Was it a dagger or a knife that would open and shut?

A. It wouldn't shut up I know. I don't know what you call it.

Q. Did you see this dagger before he cut Maudie B. with it?

A. Yes, sir. I had saw it there in the house.

Q. Was Maudie B. Wallace Jackson's wife?

A. No, sir.

Q. About what time this happen?

A. I don't know sir, exactly what time it was.

Q. Did it happen at night or daytime?

A. Night.

Q. What did you all do after she was stabbed?

A. Run and picked her up and put her in the automobile.

Q. You just put her in the car and left her there?

A. No, sir. Tollie Bell put her in the car and carried her to the hospital.

Q. Did Wallace Jackson come out of the house?

A. I don't know sir. I left after we got her in the car and come to town to get the law.

Q. Where did this happen?

A. Where did it happen? Out to Maudie B. and them's house.

Q. They call that Cannon Town don't they?

A. Yes, sir.

Examination by Foreman J. F. LOMINICK

Q. Had you heard them fussing before this took place?

A. No, sir.

Q. You say she wasn't his wife?

A. No, sir.

RAMONA MOON, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Ramona, where do you live?

A. Out there in Cannon Town.

Q. Was Maudie B. your sister?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you live together?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What happened out there at your house Wednesday night?

A. Wallace 1ackson stabbed her.

Q. Tell the 1ury just how it happened and what you know about it.

A. Well, Tollie Belton and Ferman Gray came down there and asked her to go home with them. And this time she was getting ready Wallace came in. He asked her where she was going and she told him up to Ferman's motherís.  He told her she wasn't. And she said she was. And he was standing in the door and he turned around and went back into the house. We left out. We all was out in the yard. We heard her holler, "Oh, Lordy. I'm cut". We ran back where she was and they got her and put her in the car and Tollie Belton and Ferman Grey took her to the Hospital.

And they called the police.

Q. About what time did this happen?

A. I wouldn't know exactly what time it was.

Q. Was she stabbed with a dagger or a knife?

A. I don't know which it was. It wouldn't shut up. I don't know whether you call it a dagger or what.

Q. Who did that knife belong to?

A. It belongs to my brother. If it was the one I think it was did with. I don't know.

Q. About how long was that knife?

A. I don't know. I didn't see it.

Q. How long was his knife?

A. I didn't see his knife. It was dark.

Q. When you went back in the house was the knife your brother owned still there?

A. No it wasn't.

Q. Was Wallace Jackson drinking?

A. I couldn't tell you for sure whether he was drinking or not.

Q. Where was Wallace Jackson when Maudie B. came out the house?

A. He was in the door there.

Q. She walked by him going out?

A. Yes, sir. She stopped in the door when he was talking. And when she came on he turned around and went back in the house.

Examination by Sheriff B. F. DAWKINS

Q. Where did he stab her - on the ground or on the porch?

A. We donít know. We picked her up off the ground.

Q. The dagger was about a foot long wasnít it?

A. I don't know. He went back in the house.

Q. That is when she said she was cut?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. He was the only one who went back in the house?

A. Yes, sir.

Policeman O. H. WILLINGHAM, being duly sworn, says:

Q. Mr. Willingham, what is your occupation?

A. City Policeman.

Q. Did you receive word Wednesday night to go to Cannon Town?

A. Around 11:15 they called from the Peoples' Hospital. The nurse called me.

Q. Tell the Jury about it.

A. The nurse from the Peoples' Hospital called and told me this girl had been stabbed and was dead when they got her there. By a Negro named Jackson. I called Mr. Neel and I come on out on the outside and was two Negroes sitting in a Chevrolet car outside there. They told me it was a Negro had a ticket to go to Detroit and had done checked his baggage. I walked across the street to see if I could locate the city car. It was gone. 1 come back to the same car these two colored boys was sitting in. Nobody had showed up yet, none of the officers. One of the boys told me and I said reckon he is still out there. He said he went back in Anderson Moon's house. I told these colored boys to crank up the car and I would go back there and try to catch him before he got away. I drove down in front of Anderson Moon's house laying in this car and sent one of the boys in to see if he was in there and he was gone.

There was a house back this way and I seen a crowd of Negroes down there in one room. I was laying in the back of the car and he didn't know I was in there. I told the Negroes to check the house above there. He come back to the car and told me he was in this front room where the light was burning. I walked to the door and the Negro was holding the front door. I t old the Negro to get out of the door and called the Negro by name of Jackson and told him to come outside the house. He came to the front door and I arrested him, put him in the same car I went out there in, with the two Negro boys. I asked him what did he do with the knife. He said he lost it. I said I am going to make you tell me where the knife is before you leave here. He said get in the car and I will take you down the highway and show you where I threw the knife. It was a dagger, something like that (indicating). We backed out of this lane where I arrested him and drove down the Greenwood Highway about as far as from here to headquarters. I asked him where he threw the knife at and I had the boys to stop the car and that time Mr. Nee1 run up behind me. I taken the Negro out of the Negroes' car and turned him over to Mr. Neel and found the knife laying about twenty steps from where you turn to go down to that Negro church, over in the ditch.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir. That's right. I think they called in about 11:15. The car had gone out on a wreck. I didn't know where it was at. I asked this boy why did he stab her. He said she run her hand down in her bosom and come out with a dagger. He snatched it out of her hand and stabbed her in the back. I asked him where did he go after he stabbed her and he said back into the house. Ramona Moon recalled to the witness stand, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Were you in the room with Maudie B. when she was dressing?

A. She already had her clothes on. She had to get her coat and things and put them on.

Q. Were you in there when she put on her coat?

A. She had her coat in her hand when she was going out the door. When she was standing there talking to him.

Q. Did she go out first or did she go out last?

A. I went out before she did.

Q. Did she have this knife or do you know when she came out of the house?

A. I don't know whether she had it or not when she came out of the house and furthermore hadn't been no fuss in the

house for her to be toting it with her.

Examination by Sheriff B. F. DAWKINS

Q. After she told him she was going up to the other house and he told her she wasn't, then he turned around and goes back in the house?

A. He turned and went back in the house. She was going through the door when she hollered she was out and we went back there to see about her.

DOCTOR'S CERTIFICATE

March 13,1946

To Whom It May Concern:

This 1s to certify that I examined the dead body of Maudie B. Moon McNary and found that her death was caused by bleeding resulting from a stab wound of the back. (Signed) J. E. Grant


INQUISITION INTO THE DEATH OF HERBERT FREE (Colored)

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry County Court House in the County and State aforesaid the 5th day of June, A. D., one thousand nine hundred and forty-six, before Leroy Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of Herbert Free of Pomaria, S. C., then and there being dead by the oaths of G. W. Neel, T. L. Cromer, R. L. Hawkins, J. C. Baxter, Claude Slaton and H. L. Dukes, being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina where and by what means the said Herbert Free came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that Herbert "Buddy" Free came to his death as the result of knife wounds at the hands of Clarence Garmany and Frank Oxner.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid came to his death as aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, Leroy Wilson, Coroner aforesaid, and the Jurors aforesaid to this Inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

Leroy Wilson, Coroner

H. L. Dukes, Foreman

G. W. Neel

T. T. Cromer

R. L. Hawkins

J. C. Baxter

Clause Slaton

TESTIMONY

COLIE RIKARD, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Colie, where do you live?

A. Down at Pomaria, near Pomaria.

Q. What is your occupation?

A. Farmer. And I run a little restaurant. Farming, I would say is the biggest thing.

Q. Do you run a restaurant in Pomaria?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did anything unusual happen there Saturday night?

A. Now I saw Malverse Houseal and Herbert Free get in an argument there in my place and I went to them and told them, "Boys, I ain't going to have that in here". And I said, "Malverse, go on out". And he went out. I said, "Herbert, go out". And he said, "I don't want to go out". And Frank Oxner was standing there looking like he was interested in the argument. I said, "Frank, you get on out". And he went out. And so I told Herbert, "You need not mind going out".

And I stepped out the door and Malverse Houseal was standing out there with an empty fruit jar in his hand. And Frank Oxner was standing behind the wall. He had something in his hand, I don't know what. I went back in the house and said, "Herbert, don't you go out there". I said, "Them mens is out there". And he set down for a while and after that someone called him on the outside and said come on out. And he set there a while and patted me on the shoulder and said, "Cousin Colie, I am going out there". That is the last I saw of him. It was dark and I didn't go out. Then after the fuss was over with and Clarence Garmany come back in the house and went over to the stove and laid his knife on the stove and I kept it till Monday morning and give it to Mr. Hatton. That's all I know.

Q. Do you know who called Herbert Free and told him to come out?

A. Yes, sir. I am sure it was Bay Koon.

Q. Did any of them appear to be drinking or drunk?

A. All of them acted like they had some in them. I don't know it to be a fact.

Q. Did you hear Clarence Garmany say anything when he came back in?

A. He come back in and stood up there and throwed his knife on the stove and went to talking to a girl he had been going with. I saw him give her some money and tell her to go on home.

Examination by Deputy Sheriff J. C. NEEL

Q. Did you hear Clarence Garmany or Free have any words in your place?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you know that Clarence Garmany was out there?

A. No, sir.

Q. After this did Frank Oxner come back in your place?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did Malverse Houseal come back in?

A. I don't think. I didn't see him.

Q. Did you see anyone else outside when you went out besides the ones you named?

A. No, sir.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. About what time of night did this happen?

A. It must have been around 9:30, 'cause the train had dome come up.

Examination by Attorney E. C. SAINT-AMAND

Q. Was it a dark night or a moonlight night?

A. It wasn't so dark - it was raining.

Q. When you stepped to the door did you see Oxner?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How did you know the fruit jar was empty?

A. 1 could see it.

Q. How far was he standing from the door?

A. He was far as from me to that door (indicating) - nearly that far.

Q. In front of the door?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where was Oxner standing?

A. On a box near the wall.

Q. How far from Malverse?

A. How far from Malverse? About ten feet apart.

Q. Which way were they looking?

A. Towards the door.

Q. Both of them?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. When they first started arguing - Malverse and Free - who started the argument, do you know?

A. No, sir. I don't know. I just broke to them to stop them.

Q. Who all was in the store at the time the argument took place? Name everybody. Garmany was in there?

A. Garmany - he might have been there. I don't know. Ruff Gallman and Pete Gallman and Verjun Hollins and a boy we call Brother Ream was in there. I reckon them was all it was in there at the time. I can't think right now.

Q. When Garmany threw his knife down you picked it up?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you notice anything on his knife?

A. Yes, sir. It was blood on it.

Q. That is the knife you brought to Mr. Neel?

A. Yes, sir. I put it up and brought it to Mr. Billy.

Examination by Attorney THOS. H. POPE

Q. Was Buddy Free your cousin, Colie?

A. My wife's cousin.

Q. You are not kin to Malverse Houseal?

A. No, sir.

Q. Are you kin to Frank Oxner?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you are kin to Buddy Free. This has sort of got you in the family?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was Bay Koon in your cafe at the time of this argument?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Bay Koon was in there?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What part, if any, did Bay Koon play in that argument?

A. None in there.

Q. He didn't play any?

A. No, sir.

Q. When did he leave the cafe?

A. After Malverse and Free both had done gone out.

Q. If I understand you right, after Malverse and Herbert had the fuss you told them both to go out?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Then you told Buddy Free to go out and he didn't go out?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you tell Bay Koon to go out?

A. No, sir. Bay wasn't in there.

Q. Did you order Bay Koon out?

A. No, sir.

Q. He just went out of his own free will?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did he come back in after the killing?

A. No, sir.

Q. But you recognized his voice when he told Buddy Free to come out?

A. He told him to come out.

Q. How long time elapsed when Malverse Houseal left your cafe and Buddy Free started out?

A. About 15 or 20 minutes.

Q. In other words, Colie, it was about 15 or 20 minutes between the time you went outside and saw Malverse Houseal and Frank Oxner standing in the light and Buddy Free got cut?

A. Frank wasn't outside. He was standing in the leak of the house.

Q. Did you hear any mumbling or disturbance outside your cafe during those 15 or 20 minutes?

A. No, sir.

Q. Any loud talking?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you hear anything until he called him out?

A. No, sir. I didn't hear anything until he went out.

Examination by Deputy Sheriff J. C. NEEL.

Q. Where was Clarence Garmany, at that time?

A. No, sir. I didn't see him. I never went out doors.

Examination by Attorney THOS. H. POPE.

Q. Colie, did you ever see Frank Oxner or Malverse Houseal after the trip you spoke of when you went outside?

A. No, sir.

Q. You didn't see them again that night?

A. No, sir.

CLARENCE GREELY, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON.

Q. Greely, where do you live?

A. Near Pomaria.

Q. Were you in Pomaria Saturday night?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were you in or near Colie Rikard's place?

A. Yes, sir. I was in there.

Q. Did anything unusual happen while you were in there or while you were there?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What happened?

A. Malverse Houseal and this Free boy got to fussing but I couldn't tell you what it was about. And Colie told them to go out and Malverse he went to the door and 1 went on behind him and I kind of pushed and he went to the scales and 1 went over there. I said, "Malverse, you will get in trouble". And he had a fruit jar in his hand and he throwed it out. Bay Koon walked up and said, "You all ain't going to jump on that boy," and he said, "1 am done with him".

And we Just standing there and after while we heard a little rumble and looked around and this Free boy was coming out the door and just as he come out the door and he run around the wall and Frank grabbed him.

Q. Did anybody get cut?

A. Yes, sir. This boy got cut.

Q. What boy got cut?

A. Free boy. 1 don't know his name.

Q. Do you know who cut him?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who cut him?

A. Clarence Garmany and Frank Oxner.

Q. You saw both of them cut him?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did Free say anything?

A. No, sir. 1 didn't hear him say anything.

Q. Did Garmany or Oxner say anything before they cut him?

A. I don't know, sir.

Examination by Attorney THOS. H. POPE.

Q. Clarence, Malverse told you that he wasn't going to jump on him, he was done?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And he didn't jump on him when he was cut?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. He was talking to you when he was cut?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you saw Frank jump on him?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What did he cut him with?

A. I don't know.

Q. Did you see anything in his hand?

A. No, sir. He just using his hand.

Q. Did you see Garmany's knife?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was it light or dark?

A. Kindly in the light.

Q. And you could see the knife in Garmany's hand?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You could see Frank's hand moving but couldn't see anything in his hand?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You could hear something?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Could that have been the noise of Garmany's knife?

A. No, sir. Not at that time. Clarence grabbed him and carried him around the wall.

Q. Did you see Garmany come back in the cafe?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And where did Oxner go?

A. Kindly walked around and went back up towards the well.

Q. Where did Malverse go?

A. Didn't go anywhere.

Q. Did you know the Free boy?

A. No, sir. I had seen him.

Q. Did you hear Koon call him outside?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You heard Koon call Free outside?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And where was Koon at that time?

A. There where we was.

Q. And Koon stayed where you were?

A. Yes, sir.

Examination by Attorney E. C. SAINT-AMAND

Q. Clarence, did Garmany attack him from the front?

A. Yes, sir. Just as he walked out the door.

Q. And he was fighting him?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where did Oxner come from?

A. He attacked him on the lower side.

Q. Just show me - (witness demonstrated)

Q. Frank Oxner then grabbed Free's right side?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How was Frank Oxner doing?

A. Just like this (demonstrating)

Q. Was he making the same mot ions he would have made if he had a knife?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. But you didn't see any knife?

A. No, sir.

Q. How long did they both hold on to him?

A. It wasn't very long. Just a few minutes.

Q. And then what did they do? Just turn him loose?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And what did Free do?

A. He walked right on up to us and told us he was stabbed. Bay told him, "You ain't hurt". And Free said, "Oh, yes I am". And we carried him to the doctor. We put him in Bay's car and carried him to the doctor.

Examination by Attorney THOS. H. POPE

Q. Clarence you said that Frank came up from he right side and was making motions as though he was stabbing him.

Was he hitting in the front or back?

A. I don't know.

Q. Was he hitting with the left or right?

A. I don't know.

Q. Was he left-handed or right?

A. I don't know.

Q. Which hand was Clarence Garmany using?

A. His left hand.

Q. And you don't know which hand Oxner was using?

A. No, sir.

Q. You don't know whether he was stabbed in the back or front?

A. No, sir.

BAY KOON, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Bay, do you live at Pomaria?

A. Yes, I live at Pomaria.

Q. Were you at Colie Rikard's place Saturday night?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What happened down there?

A. The boys got to arguing down there, Malverse Houseal and Frank Oxner, and Mr. Colie told them they would have to get out and he sent them out. And when they left out Mr. Colie come back in and told the Free boy don't go out yet. The Free boy didn't go out and he asked me was I going up the road with the Free boy. I told him yes. And I went on out there. I said, "Malverse, don't jump on the Free boy 'cause he ain't bothering nobody". I said, "Frank, don't jump on the boy, he ain't bother nobody - leave him alone". So Clarence told Malverse, "You going to get in trouble". And Malverse throwed the fruit jar down on the ground and said, "Well. I ain't going to bother him".

I said, "1 am ready to go Free". And when Free come out the door Clarence was grabbing around and must have been cutting him then. I didn't pay them so much attention. Malverse had done let the boy alone and I though the thing was over with. I ain't seen Clarence till then. And the Free boy run back then and told me he was cut and to get him a doctor. Shorty Huffman brought him on my car wouldn't run.

Q. Had Oxner or Garmany had any words with Free before they cut him?

A. I hadn't heard none. I never heard them say anything to him. I was just begging them to let the boy alone. He wasn't doing anything that I know of.

Q. Oxner and Garmany was waiting outside for Free to come out?

A. They was standing there. Clarence was the one what grabbed him. Malverse didn't grab him when he come out thedoor.

Examination by Deputy Sheriff J. C. NEEL

Q. Just as you come out the door there is a bench. Where that bench is, is it dark?

A. It was kind of dark. I know it was Frank cause I saw him.

Q. When he come out the door didn't they go over towards that bench in the scramble?

A. Yes, and I couldn't tell then, it was dark out there. Mr. Colie was trying to stop them too.

Q. Have you been back there and looked since then?

A. No, sir. I haven't been back.

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Mr. Colie was trying to stop them on the outside?

A. No, sir. He was inside.

Q. He wasn't outside when he was cut?

A. No, sir. I didn't see him on the outside.

Examination by Attorney THOS. H. POPE

Q. You were standing by Malverse Houseal when this cutting took place?

A. Clarence was standing between us.

Q. Clarence Greely was standing and talking with you and Malverse?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And Malverse had no part in the cutting - is that right?

A. No, sir. He had a fruit jar and Malverse throwed the fruit jar down.

Q. And he took no part in the cutting?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you see any knife or instrument in Frank Oxner's hand?

A. No, sir. It was dark and I couldn't see him.

Q. Did you see a knife or instrument in Garmany's hand?

A. No, sir. I seen him when he grabbed him but I didn't see any knife.

Examination by Foreman H. L. DUKES

Q. Did you ever see Frank Oxner grab him?

A. No, .sir. It was dark.

Examination by Attorney E. C. SAINT-.AMAND

Q. They swung over where Frank was in the dark?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You saw him over there when he came out?

A. Yes, sir. It was dark there and I couldn't see what was going on over in that direction. And Malverse had quit and I thought everything was over.

Examination by Attorney THOS. H. POPE

Q. And Clarence Greely was standing by you and Malverse the whole time this was going on and yet you couldn't see Frank Oxner and what was going on over there?

A. Clarence Greely was standing on my right-hand side.

Deputy Sheriff J. C. NEEL, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Mr. Neel, you are Deputy Sheriff of Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you have a call Saturday night to go to Pomaria?

A. Yes,

Q. Tell what you found when you got to Pomaria?

A. About 12:20 Saturday night I received some information and went to the People's Hospital in Newberry. When I arrived there I found Herbert Free dead and I received some information there and went near Pomaria and picked up Malverse Houseal. He got in my car and told me earlier in the night that he and Frank Oxner had an argument in Rikard's Cafe and that he went on the outside of the cafe and waited with a fruit jar in his hand for Free to come out. That he intended to hit him when he came out, but while he was standing there Clarence Greely offered him a drink and he turned around to take the drink and about that time he heard a scrambling at the door and he had his back toward the door and did not see it. He said someone asked him to throw the jar down and he did throw it down without using it. Immediately after having this conversation with Houseal I went to Clarence Garmany's home. I found him asleep in the bed. I placed him under arrest and brought him to Newberry County Jail. Monday morning I went down and had a conversation with him. He told me he and Malverse Houseal and Frank Oxner was at this cafe together and Free had an argument in the building. That he was over in the corner talking to a girl at that time. And after Rikard told the rest to leave he went out and states that Free came out the door. He threw a bottle at Oxner and that Free had a knife in his hand and he then ran his hand in his pocket and got his knife out and cut Free. He said he had lost the knife and didn't know where it was. He said it was a cheap short knife. And he says he and Free had not had any argument nor any trouble before. Frank Oxner denies knowing anything at all about any of it. The knife wounds were one on Free's left chest about 3 or 4 inches long. Very deep. There was a stab on his right side. Just a round deep stab place and under his right arm was a long cut.

Examination by Foreman H. L. DUKES

Q. Did the knife that Frank Oxner had have blood on it?

A. Monday Mr. Bill Hatton gave me a green short knife that he said Colie Rikard gave him. I have the knife down in my office and it still has blood on it.

Q. Garmany didn't claim the knife?

A. I haven't talked to Garmany since I had it. He said it was short cheap knife and described it and I have it.

Q. You don't know whether the knife was in Frank Oxner's or Garmany's hands?

A. No. Coming out of Rikard's door in his place there is a bench or bar or something just outside the door and there is

blood scattered all up beside the wall on the side of the building. And there is also a puddle of blood on the scales, about 10 feet from the door that looks like the man lay there.

Q. Clarence Garmany did admit to you that he done some cutting?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. He said he done some cutting?

A. Yes, sir.

Examination by Attorney THOS. H. POPE

Q. Garmany admitted to you that he cut him and admitted that he had a short knife similar to the one Hatton turned over to you and which Colie Rikard testified Clarence Garmany laid on the stove? Is that the only knife or instrument you have been able to connect with the cutting?

A. Yes, that is the only one.

Examination by Attorney E. C. SAINT-AMAND

Q. When you talked to Frank Oxner he told you he knew nothing about any of it?

A. That is right.

Q. He knew nothing about any of it?

A. That is right.

Q. He didn't tell you anything about it?

A. That is right.

DOCTOR'S CERTIFICATE

Herbert Free, Rt. #1, Box 37, Pomaria, S. C.

I examined the body at 11:30 P. M. on June 1,1946.

Died 12:30 A. M.

There was a deep stab wound of right chest. Cut the axillary artery and vein under right arm. There was a large wound about four inches long in the left chest, extending on down through the lung tissue and a stab wound in the back over the area of the lung tissue. (Signed) V. W. Rinehart, MD


INQUISITION INTO THE DEATH OF MOSES GRAHAM (Colored)

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at the home of Moses Graham, Silverstreet, S. C., in the County and State aforesaid, the 2nd day of August, A. D., one thousand nine hundred and forty-six, before Leroy Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of Moses Graham of Silverstreet, S. C., then and there being dead by the oaths of Claud Glenn, D. L. Laird, R. L. Hunter, Sam Marlow, L. E. Franklin and Charlie Force, being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the State of South Carolina where and by what means the said Moses Graham came to his death, upon their oaths do say that Moses Graham came to his death by a blow on the head by Jessie Lee Graham.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid came to his death as aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, Leroy Wilson, coroner aforesaid, and the Jurors aforesaid to this Inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

Leroy Wilson, Coroner

Charlie Force, Foreman

Claud Glenn

D. L. Laird

R. L. Hunter

Sam Marlow

L. E. Franklin

TESTIMONY

TRANNIE GRAHAM, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Trannie, did you know Moses Graham?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. He was your husband?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. On Saturday night of last month, July 27th, did you and him have a falling out?

A. No, sir.

Q. Well, did he jump on you?

A. Yes, sir. I came in the room to fix the bed. He said he was going to bed. He came on in there. He came on in where my sister was and I told him my sister was fixing to go to bed. I told him to go out and he came out, and he asked me where was his knife. I told him I didn't know. Then he begin to cuss me and I didn't open my mouth. I was hanging up clothes off the bed and he was following me around the room cussing. And when he came right along where I was he kicked me and I fell when he kicked me. He got on me then and begun to beat me. That is all I know.

I didn't even know when I fell. And Willie, he hollered he said and when I knowed anything they was picking me up.

I didn't see her when she hit him but she was the one hit him.

Q. Who hit him?

A. Jessie Lee hit him - her daddy.

Q. Moses Graham was her daddy?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Why did he kick you and jump on you?

A. That was the way he would do when he would get to drinking. Sometime he would come in here and get his gun.  And he would run all of us out of doors sometime. You could count if you take time the Saturday nights he didn't come in here drunk and cutting up. He did that about 36 years. I ain't lying. But I'd just take things and go on to keep from fussing but he would fuss anyway. That's all I have to say about it.

Q. Would you say he was drunk or drinking Saturday night?

A. He was drinking like he always do when he come in on Saturday night.

Q. Did he attempt to harm Jessie Lee?

A. I think Jessie Lee hit him the time he was on me.

EUGENE GRAHAM, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Moses Graham your father, Eugene?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you live in the house with him?

A. I live right down there.

Q. Down there?

A. Right down there - (indicating).

Q. Were you up here Saturday night gone?

A. That's right, for a while.

Q. Were you up here when the fight was going on?

A. I had just left, fixing to go to the house.

Q. Tell the Jury just exactly about it.

A. I don't know anything at all about it. I had got out by the chinaberry trees, me and my chaps and wife, going home.  And I guess that must have been the first I heard, when she fell. I heard this boy holler. I sot my chaps down. I had two in my arms and I coming running back in the house. And when I got in the house she hit his head with one lick and fixing to give him another and this arm caught the lick.

Q. Who hit him?

A. She did.

Q. Who?

A. Jessie Lee.

Q. Jessie Lee hit who?

A. My daddy.

Q. What did you do after he was hit?

A. Nothing to do but sit there and feel sorry for him.

Q. You didn't attempt to carry him to the hospital or doctor?

A. We didn't think it was that bad. Just a little place like that (indicating).

Q. What did Moses say after he was hit? A. He sat down on that bed and cussed. He went on back in the room and told the little girl, "You hit me". Said that four or five times. Said that, "You hit me".

Q. What happened to Moses?

A. What you mean what happened?

Q. Did he die or is he still living?

A. He didn't die right then.

Q. He died in the hospital?

A. That's right.

Q. Did he go to the hospital or did somebody carry him?

A. I carried him early Sunday morning.

Q. About what time Saturday night did this happen?

A. About ten or eleven o'clock, between ten and eleven.

Examination by Foreman CHARLIE FORCE

Q. Did you see him drinking?

A. I didn't see him drinking Saturday. He asked me to stay here and bale hay.

Examination by Juror CLAUD GLENN

Q. Did she knock him unconscious?

A. I am going to tell you the truth. He lay there two minutes. This arm caught the lick. I asked her what she mean and she run to the bed and told my brother she didn't mean to hit him. She just had to hit him.

Q. Did she say why she hit him?

A. I never asked her nothing about why she hit him - I didn't.

Examination by Juror L. E. FRANKLIN

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir. This is Newberry County.

WILLIE GRAHAM, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Willie, were you home Saturday night?

A. Yes, sir. I sure was.

Q. I believe you stay in the bed most of the time, don't you?

A. Yes, sir. I sure do.

Q. You are sick?

A. Yes, sir. I sure am.

Q. Tell the Jury just what happened here Saturday night.

A. Well, Saturday night I was in the other room and I was sitting there and I decided I would hobble in here and go to bed. It was cool and we had a little fire around there. I was sitting up on the side of the bed with my crutches under my arms and my feet on the rounds of the chair. Pretty soon my father come in and I said, "Papa, you want this chair". And pretty soon I gets on the bed and just drops off to sleep. I said I was going to get in the bed so I came in and sat right where you see me sitting right now. About five minutes after I was in here my mother and aunt came through the door and going in that room back there and so she turned the light on and just about a minute she turned around started out from the way she stood. And I could hear my father coming through the room just walking and my mother met him at the door and I heard my mother say, "Go back, Sally fixing to go to bed". So he said, "Let her go to bed" and then he asked her, "Where is my pocket knife"? Mother said, "I haven't seen your pocket knife". He said out, "You got my knife". Cussing and said she was no good and asked her again where his knife was. She said, "I haven't seen your knife". Then he told her "You ought to be dead and in hell", 'cause she wasn't no good. And brother had left a suit on that bed and a suit on this bed and a coat on a hanger up on the quilt stand. She picked the one up over here when she came out of the room and hung it up there and walked over here and picked up this one and hung it up. She started over to get this one and he was chasing so close behind her like he was going to tear up something so she just went on walking on fast and that time one of the kids standing right there. She said, "You ought to be ashamed of yourself, using that kind of language among the young children". He hauled off and kicked her. She kind of staggered up again that door and it was a glass same as this one sitting right where is sitting over there on that dresser. She drawed back to hit him with it and he run into that corner of that door and somehow he rammed her down some way and he was on her. Well, 1 hollered and when 1 hollered Annie Mae was the first one that showed up and she was hollering, she went, "Oh! Oh!" And when she got in here she reached for him to pull him off. And about that time Eugene was coming and he give her a hand. When he gave her a hand that pulled her off her over here and Jessie Lee went back to pull up mother. Jessie Lee come through the door with this iron. She didn't say anything, just drawed back and hit him. She drawed back again and my brother threw up his hand and caught that lick and he lay there just about a minute or two. And what Jessie Lee was saying was, "1 didn't mean to hit him - 1 didn't mean to hit him".

And so 1 said, "Well, its too late now, you done hit him". And so he got up and seemed like he had sort of lost his voice a little bit but he just kept on back to the kitchen and back in the room just using all kind of bad language. So last time I seed him he was standing right up there by the door there. So 1 didn't see him no more till Sunday morning. That's all.

Q. Had he been coming home drunk on Saturday nights?

A. I been here I think the Monday after the 4th of July and he hasn't missed a Saturday since the 4th coming home drunk.

Q. Had there been any trouble before, such as fighting?

A. Wasn't no fighting, but he had raised a big fuss with one of my brothers out there in the lot last Thursday.

Q. How old was Moses?

A. He told me the day before he got killed - I mean before he got hit, he said he was 66.

Examination by Juror CLAUD GLENN

Q. Was he drinking Saturday night?

A. Well, I wouldn't say he was drinking, but he had been drinking, acting all sleepy-eyed.

Examination by Foreman CHARLIE FORCE

Q. Was he standing up when she hit him or on your mother?

A. He was lying down and the little girl had pulled him off and the little girl had went for my mother. And that just when Jessie Lee come with the iron and hit him.

Examination by Juror L. E. FRANKLIN

Q. How did he act Sunday morning before this other boy come and carried him to the hospital?

A. Still drunk.

Q. He wasn't talking out of his head?

A. He was sleepy. When he got up he went towards the crib. He had whisky in the crib, he had told my mother he was going to stop drinking and my mother had hid whisky from the Saturday before and when he came back that is when he seemed he was drunker than ever and we all said he had drunk some more.

Sheriff B. F. DAWKINS, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Mr. Dawkins, you are Sheriff of Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you investigate this hitting or fighting?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Tell the Jury just what the investigation brought out.

A. On the afternoon that I believe you told me Moses Graham was dead and was down at the undertaking place I goes down with you and the others or a minute or two before you did I believe. I spoke to Pratt and asked him did he have the body of Moses Graham and he said that he did. So I went back there and looked at the body and was a scar on his head where he had been hit and then I walked back into the other room and spoke to his wife and asked her what had happened up here. And she told me her little girl had struck him with a fire poker on Saturday night and that he had been brought to the hospital and died. So I asked her where the little girl was and whether she was down there or home and she said the girl was here at home. So I came on up here and talked with this boy over here, Willie. I asked him about what had happened and he told me about the same story he has told here tonight. And then I asked for the little girl, Jessie Lee, I believe her name was and called her and she came into this room here. I asked her was her name Jessie Lee and if she was the one that had done this and she told me that she was the one - that she had hit him with the fire poker while he had her mother down, beating her. So I carried the little girl on back to town with me to the jail.

DOCTOR'S CERTIFICATE

August 2,1946

WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of Moses Graham on 7-30-46 and found that he died from a blow on the head causing broken skull and hemorrhage and shock.

(Signed) J. E. Grant. MD


INQUISITION INTO THE DEATHS OF LOLA MAE WILLIAMS and LUCILLE LANE (Colored)

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry County Court House in the County and State aforesaid, the 9th day of August A. D., one thousand nine hundred and forty-six, before Leroy Wilson, Coroner upon view of the bodies of Lola Mae Williams and Lucille Lane of Chappells, S. C., then and there being dead by the oaths of Charlie Force, Geo. W. Neel, Claud Glenn, H. M. Halfacre, T. B. Dukes and H. L. Dukes, being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the State of South Carolina where and by what means the said Lola Mae Williams and Lucille Lane came to their deaths, upon their oaths, do say that Lola Mae Williams and Lucille Lane came to their death as the result of an automobile accident, same car being driven in a careless and reckless manner by Willie McBride.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid came to their death as aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, Leroy Wilson, Coroner aforesaid, and the Jurors aforesaid to this Inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

Leroy Wilson, Coroner

H. L. Dukes, Foreman

Charlie Force

Geo. W. Neel

Claud Glenn

H. M. Halfacre

T. B. Dukes

TESTIMONY

Patrolman W. J. MARTIN, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Mr. Martin, you are State Highway Patrolman?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you have a call on the night of July 16th?

A. Yes, sir. I had a call that night somewhere around 12:30. Was a wreck happened between Chappells and Bush River. Mr. Neel, the Deputy Sheriff, called me. I come by the police station and picked him up. We went on up to the wreck. It happened about half way between Bush River and Chappells right on a curve. When we got there the ambulance had two of them loaded and was trying to get the other two loaded. We found one dead and at the scene of the accident three injured. Later found one died at the hospital, about an hour or two later. It was a '41 Buick wrecked, left the road and it first left the road on the right, crossed over the highway and down a fill and up a hill-side. I got a diagram here. I went up the next day and taken the measurements in the road if the Jury wants to see it.

(Exhibit diagram to Jury). When Mr. Neel and myself left the wreck that night we went to the People's Hospital.

I talked to Willie McBride who said he was the driver of the car. I asked him had he been drinking and he said he had not. I got a faint odor of alcohol on his breath. I asked him what speed he was traveling when he had the wreck and he said 35 miles an hour. That's about all I said to him.

Q. Have you got any idea about how fast he was traveling?

A. I don't know but I just have an idea he was doing 70 or about, that is just my idea.

Q. Were there any signs where he had applied his brakes?

A. I couldn't tell whether there were black marks or where he lost control or what caused the marks in the road. But there was tire marks in the road, leading where he left the road on the right, come back on the pavement and went off the road to where the car stopped.

Q. Could he have stopped this car before he had the wreck at 35 miles an hour?

A. My judgment he could have if he had brakes. He could have stopped at 35.

Examination by Deputy Sheriff J. C. NEEL

Q. Do you think the automobile would go up the bank at the place it went at 35 miles an hour?

A. I sure don't. And I will say also that when he left the road on the left and went down this embankment he tore up a barbed wire fence, I would say half the distance of 34 feet. It was a pasture fence. He tore up all the post and knocked them down.

Examination by Foreman HARRY DUKES

Q. Did you smell whisky or alcohol on him?

A. I got a faint odor.

Examination by Juror H. M. HALFACRE

Q. This curve - if he came up traveling 35 miles an hour could he take it?

A. Ordinarily.

Q. No reason a man couldn't come around that curve at 35 miles an hour?

A. No reason. One more thing I would like to add. Willie McBride did say that - I don't remember the name of the woman - one of the women in the car grabbed the steering wheel, tried to pull it off the road. He made that statement - that it caused him to wreck it.

JULES SMITH being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Mr. Smith, where do you live?

A. I live at Chappells.

Q. Do you work for the Buzzard Roost Dam, the Power House?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were you working on the night of July 16th?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What time do you get off?

A. Twelve o'clock.

Q. Tell the Jury what happened on that road after you got off at 12:00 oíclock.

A. Well, we came out at 12:00 or about and were coming out the road about 200 yards from the highway. We got nearly out the road and this car passed and I said to Mr. Long, "That car is making pretty good speed". We drove out in the highway about one-half mile and the tail light was going around the hill. Just as we pulled out Mr. Brandon passed us and I said Mr. Brandon would catch him. But as it happened Mr. Brandon didn't see the car.

So it left the road before Mr. Brandon got in sight. I was certain he would catch it but he never did see it. That is all I know but I would say they were traveling plenty fast, 60 miles an hour or more when they passed. When we got down there Mr. Long says, "Here is where that car went off the road". We pulled about 100 feet further and stopped. Mr. Long says, "Somebody is wrecked". I see a taillight off the road there". I said, "Let's get out there and see how many people there is". And we got out of the car. And you know the rest. Negroes all there mangled, one dead and the other dying.

Q. Any in the car or out?

A. Two Negro men in the car. We pulled them out. One above the car dead and one down in the flat still living.

Q. Did either one of the men say anything when you pulled them out?

A. Not very much, asked where the women was but nothing special.

Examination by Foreman H. L. DUKES

Q. In taking the driver out did you smell any liquor?

A. I had his fee. I didn't smell anything.

Q. Who is Mr. Brandon?

A. He will be here. He is a witness. Mr. Brandon says he never did see him.

Examination by Juror T. B. DUKES

Q. Both men in the back or one in the front?

A. One in back and one in front.

Mr. WYLIE LONG, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Mr. Long, do you live at Chappells too?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you work at Buzzard Roost Dam?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were you working the night this wreck happened?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you get off at the same time Mr. Smith did?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Tell the Jury what happened after you got off that night.

A. Approximately five minutes past midnight we drove out to the highway. We saw this car coming at a pretty fast speed. We waited until it passed and we drove into the road and Mr. Brandon was behind us. He passed after we drove out into the road and by that time the other car was going over the hill. We drove on down the road and Mr. Smith and I was talking about wrecks. When we got around the curve I noticed where this car had left the road and I told Mr. Smith that that's where the car had left the road and wrecked it looked like.

We stopped then and got out and we heard them groaning and taking on. I got a flashlight, goes up to the car, flashes it inside, saw one man in the front seat down under the steering wheel and one in the back. I flashes my light over to the right and saw one dead or looked to be. Also there was a woman down below the car a hollering. Mr. Smith and I taken the men out of the car, laid them down on the bank, goes back and gets the woman and laid her out there, goes back and feels the other one's pulse to see if she was dead, which she was. I asked the man what happened, they said the brakes had been jamming for the last two or three days. The men kept calling the women by names, I don't know who they were. One of the men said, "I told you not to drive so fast". I then gets into my truck, leaves Mr. Smith there and calls the Sheriff and that's about all I know.

Q. This happened in Newberry County didn't it?

A. Yes, sir.

Examination by Deputy Sheriff J. C. NEEL

Q. Mr. Long, would you say this car was operating at a dangerous rate of speed?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What position was that car sitting in when you found it?

A. The front was facing the highway. The bottom of the car was facing east.

Q. You smell any whisky on this boy when you took him out from under the steering wheel Mr. Long?

A. I couldn't say that I did.

Mr. R. V. BRANDON, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Mr. Brandon, where do you live - at Chappells?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You work at the Buzzard Roost Dam?

A. Yes, sir. That is right.

Q. Were you working the night this wreck happened?

A. The night this wreck occurred I was coming from the plant out to the highway. When I was about fifty yards from the highway I saw a motor vehicle coming from Greenwood towards Chappells. And I estimate that car was running at least 80 miles an hour. Time I got out to the highway this car was topping the hill about 300 yards away.  I didn't see anything else until next morning. I didn't see the wreck. I went out and saw where the tracks were, where it skidded.

Examination by Deputy Sheriff J. C. NEEL

Q. Mr. Brandon, when you went up the road how did you judge that speed? Did you go pretty fast yourself?

A. No, I was coming from the Power Plant. I just saw the car pass. From what I have seen of other cars 40 or 50 miles an hour that car was really moving.

Q. In other words the car would have to be running fast to go out of sight over that hill?

A. Yes. I was running about 15 or 20 miles an hour myself. I was catching up with Mr. Long. He was just ahead of me.

Examination by JUROR HALFACRE

Q. The fact that you would judge he was going about 80 miles an hour would say he was going fast.

A. Very fast.

Q. A wild rate of speed?

A. That's right.

Examination by Juror GEO. W. NEEL

Q. Have you got any idea how long it took that guy to get to the hill from that bridge?

A. What I was judging it was, going away from you, you can't judge the speed very well.

Q. Would you say he made that run in about 15 or 20 seconds?

A. I don't know about that.

WESLEY ANDREWS, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Wesley, where do you live?

A. I live at Greenwood, S. C.

Q. Were you coming towards Chappells on the night of July 16th?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did anything happen on the way down?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were you in the car by yourself?

A. I was in the car with Willie McBride, Lola Mae Williams and Lucille Lovett.

Q. Tell what you know about this.

A. Well, didn't seem like to me he was driving so fast. This girl leaned over, Lucille leaned over between Willie McBride and Lola Mae Williams and I thought she was just talking to them. And all of a sudden I heard him say, "Let go of the steering wheel". And I went to raise up off the back seat to catch her and that is the last thing I remember. The car was turning. When I come to myself again Mr. Long was pulling us out of the car.

Q. Who was driving that car?

A. Willie McBride.

Q. How fast was he driving?

A. I will be fair to you. Didn't seem to me over 40 miles an hour. Didn't seem like to me the car was going fast.

Examination by Deputy Sheriff J. C. NEEL

Q. Had these women in the car been drinking?

A. No, sir. Not as I knows of.

Q. Why did that woman raise up and grab the steering wheel?

A. I don't know unless she got excited.

Q. Did she get excited about him driving so fast?

A. I don't know sir. She just leaned up between them and all of a sudden I just heard him say, "Let go of the steering wheel".

Q. When you passed over the bridge was someone blowing the horn?

A. I didn't hear no horn.

Q. In the car you was in?

A. In the car we was in - no, sir.

Q. Did you see these car lights coming out from the Buzzard Roost when you all passed?

A. Yes, sir.

Voluntary statement by WILLIE MCBRIDE

Q. Willie, where do you live?

A. I live in Greenwood, S. C. And I was coming to Chappells to get these girls' mother. Lola Mae Williams' mother.  And us come on down the road and I was come across the bridge and up the hill. Lucille Lane, she come between me and Lola Mae Williams, grabbed the steering wheel and I told her, "Let go the steering wheel". It went off on the right-hand side and I pulled it back up in the highway and on toward the left.

Q. What happened when you pulled it to the left?

A. She still had it with her right hand and I had my hand on her hand trying to get her hand off the wheel.

DOCTOR'S CERTIFICATES

August 8,1946

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of Lola M. Williams July 16,1946 and found that she died of a puncture wound of the lung and hemorrhage. (Signed) J. E. Grant, MD

August 8,1946

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of Lucille Lane and found that she died July 16 as a result of a broken neck and bleeding. (Signed) J. E. Grant, MD


INQUISITION INTO THE DEATH OF THEODORE R. BODIE

(As prepared by Mr. I. V. McKinnie, Official Reporter Eighth Judicial Circuit)

Before the Coroner of Newberry County, South Carolina

In the matter of inquest as to cause of death of Theodore R. Bodie

The inquest was held pursuant to notice, in the Court House of Newberry County, South Carolina, at 8 P. M. August 26, 1946 before Hon. Leroy Wilson, Coroner, and a jury.

Appearing for the State: Hon. Hugh Beasley, Solicitor.

Appearing for the defendant: Hon. B. V. Chapman

(A jury was empanelled and sworn)

CORONER WILSON: All right, Mr. Beasley, if you are ready you may proceed.

SOLICITOR BEASLEY: Mr. Neal.

J. C. NEEL was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (MR. BEASLEY) Mr. Neel, you are a deputy sheriff?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were you on duty when this accident happened on August 1st?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you get a call with reference to it?

A. I received information that a wreck had happened on the Count~ Club road out near the edge of the City Limits.

Q. About what time of day was that?

A. Between 2 and 3 o'clock.

Q. In the afternoon?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What did you do?

A. I went out to the scene of the accident.

Q. Where was the scene of the accident; describe where it was so the jury will know.

A. It was just outside of the City Limits, just after you go down a little hill about half way up the hill where you turn to go to Oakland Mill.

Q. Was there a golf course close by?

A. No, the golf course was about a mile and halt beyond.

Q. What was the condition of the highway at that place?

A. The highway was straight at that particular place.

Q. Was it up grade or level?

A. It was up grade.

Q. What kind of grade was it?

A. Well, just an ordinary grade, it wasn't so steep.

Q. It was just an ordinary grade?

A. Just an ordinary grade, yes sir.

Q. What was the width of the paved portion of the highway at that place?

A. Eighteen feet.

Q. What kind of pavement was it?

A. Asphalt, black top.

Q. About how wide were the shoulders?

A. Five or six feet.

Q. They were dirt shoulders?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. The highway was straight at that place?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you notice any blood spots or anything that might indicate where someone might have been struck there on the highway?

A. Yes, sir; on the right hand side of the road about a foot on the shoulder there was a bloody spot.

Q. A foot from the edge of the pavement there was a bloody spot?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What was the size of the bloody spot, approximately?

A. It was a small place.

Q. You don't know who made that or where it came from, do you?

A. No, sir; I can't say.

Q. Tell us what else you saw.

A. What do you mean?

Q. With regard to tire tracks or tire marks, or any evidence of a vehicle having been driven along there.

A. Well, at the place opposite where the blood was, there was tire marks, which started six steps back towards town from where the bloody spot was, and the tire mark opposite the bloody spot was three inches from the edge of the pavement.

Q. What was the information you had as to the direction the truck was traveling at the time it struck the boy?

A. That it was going towards the Country Club from town.

Q. From town towards the Country Club?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You say the tire track marks started about six steps back towards town from where the bloody spot was.

A. From the bloody place; yes, sir.

Q. What did you notice there that led you to believe those were tire track marks?

A. The dirt had fallen off the tire like a tire had ran through dirt and there was dirt along where the tire had run on the pavement.

Q. How did the dirt run, did it go in a fairly straight line or did it swerve out?

A. Just opposite the blood stain it was practically straight up hill and then in a short ways it went to the right over, I'd say, ten or twelve inches to the right and it turned back gradually to the left.

Q. Did you have occasion to arrest one W. P. Mathis?

A. I did, sir.

Q. Did you have a conversation with him?

A. Very little.

Q. Did you ask him if he was driving the truck?

A. Yes sir, and he told me he was driving the truck.

Q. He said he was driving the truck when it struck the boy?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What was the boy's name who was struck?

A. Theodore Bodie.

Q. And W. P. Mathis was the one driving the truck?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did he say anything else to you that you recall at the time?

A. He said very little. He was kind of nervous and talked very badly, I talked to his father a good bit, but not so much to him.

Q. How old was the driver of this truck, this boy, would you say?

A. That would just be a guess, but I would say around sixteen to eighteen years old. I never have asked him his age.

Q. Did he have a driver's license?

A. He did not.

Q. What kind of a truck was it?

A. It was a V-8 Ford Truck.

Q. What was its capacity?

A. One ton, I believe.

Q. Did it have dual wheels on the rear or single wheels?

A. Single wheels.

Q. Was the truck loaded, or do you know?

A. It was empty when I saw it.

Q. Did you notice any marks or dents on the truck, which may have indicated to you that it may have struck a body?

A. There was a place on the right hand front fender.

Q. On the right hand front fender?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What did that place appear to be; what did it look like?

A. There was one place apparently where something had bumped the fender, and the fender was tore right over the center of the wheel and where it was tore, the tin was kind of bent back.

Q. Was it kind of bent up?

A. It was bent up and back, I believe.

Q. It was bent up and back?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did the driver of this truck, W. P. Mathis, tell you what he was going to do, where he was driving, where he had started to?

A. He said he was going to put up fence posts.

Q. He worked for Mr. Dickert?

A. He was in Mr. Dickert's truck and he had been working for him, and had been working for him that morning.

Q. That happened in Newberry County, South Carolina?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Possibly you can give us this information, you may know it, when did Theodore Bodie die?

A. They carried him to the hospital and I believe he died the next day.

Q. He died the next day?

A. I believe that is right.

Q. Do you know his age?

A. No, sir; I do not. He was a young boy, I'd say around fifteen or sixteen years old.

Q. Were any other boys out there in that group that were struck also at the same time?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you know how many?

A. Four. Two was hurt bad enough to be sent to the hospital, and two here were struck but not hurt bad enough to go to the hospital. I did not see the other that was knocked down and hurt, I saw the Darby boy at the hospital.

Q. Did you get any information anywhere else that another vehicle may have been approaching at the same time and caused the driver to have to go out that far to the edge of the highway to avoid having a collision?

A. There didn't anybody say anything about another car.

Q. Did Mr. Mathis say anything about another car?

A. Not that I recall.

Q. Did he give you any excuse or any explanation as to how the accident may have happened?

A. I don't believe he did.

Q. He did not explain it at all?

MR. BEASLEY: Mr. Coroner, do you have any questions to ask the witness?

CORONER: No, sir.

MR. BEASLEY: Do any of you gentlemen of the jury care to ask him any questions?

The Foreman: Was the boy driving the car by himself?

The Witness: No, his father was in the truck with him.

The Foreman: His father was in the truck with him?

The Witness: That's right.

Q. (MR. BEASLEY) Did the boy tell you how fast he was driving?

A. He said he was driving about 25 miles an hour. That is what Mr. Mathis told me.

Q. What was the condition of the brakes on the truck after the accident?

A. Shortly after the accident I went to Mr. Dickert's house and cranked the truck up and tried the brakes, and the brakes were in good shape.

Q. They were in good shape?

A. Yes, sir.

MR. BEASLEY: That is all; come down. (Witness excused)

MR. BEASLEY: Mr. Ulyses Mathis, come around, please.

ULYSES MATHIS was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (MR. BEASLEY) Mr. Mathis, I believe you are the father of the driver of this truck, W. P. Mathis?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You were in the truck the day the accident occurred, I believe?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What business were you all engaged in at that time?

A. We were going to do some fence work, building fences down at the farm

Q. On whose farm?

A. Mr. Dickert's.

Q. You were working for him at that time?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you have any posts or other material in the truck?

A. No, sir; we did not have any.

Q. Were you riding in the cab with your son?

A. Yes, sir; I was in there with him.

Q. Now, Mr. Mathis, I do not want to try to mix you up, just begin at the time you left the Dickert yard and tell us just what happened until after this boy was carried to the hospital.

A. You mean -

Q. From the time you and your son left Mr. Dickertís yard.

A. Yes, sir; we left there.

Q. Tell us what you saw happen, and what you said and done.

A. Well, we come on out on the highway, I'd call it, and we was going down that highway pretty close to where the accident occurred and was coming down a hill and I seen these boys all standing out lined up in the road out in the edge of the highway, and it looked like they was about three or three and one-half inches out in the highway, feet I mean.

Q. You mean out on the highway, out on the pavement?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. They seemed to be about three or three and one half feet in the highway?

A. That is the way it looked to me. I could see them standing out there.

Q. Were they wadded together?

A. No, sir; they was just lined up in the road, standing in the road. So we was going up hill, I told the boy for him to cut over and blow his horn and he done that but they did not pay any attention.

Q. How is that?

A. He blowed his horn, but they did not pay any attention, they just stood there, and I didn't know whether they heard it or not, and I told him to cut over, so he cut over and was going on past those boys and I was watching the top of the hill and the boys too, and I don't know what time the car might come across the hill meeting us, and I was watching out for that, you know how a car can come darting over a hill, and we had passed six or seven of the boys, something like that and I had just looked to the top of the hill when the truck hit this boy, and I come to the conclusion that he had been pushed into it or had stepped into it because he was done in the clear, we had done passed him and I don't see any other way that it could have occurred, unless the boys pushed him or either he staggered into the fender. Anyhow it hit him, and I told my boy, I said, "Hold on son, you hit one of those boys", and he stopped, and everyone left out down there but one boy, and he stayed there. To tell you the truth I d6n't know but one way it could have happened, and I did not know but one had been hit, the others all left, but this one boy and he helped lay this boy up on the truck.

Q. Helped lay the one who was hit?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you know the boy that was hit?

A. No, sir; I did not know who he was.

Q. Where was he lying when you went back there?

A. His feet were on the pavement and he had scooted and he had kind of slid over to the edge, you know, he was partly on the dirt and partly on the pavement, his feet was laying over on the paved highway.

Q. His feet were on the pavement; where was his head?

A. His head was lying up on the dirt to the edge of the pavement.

Q. What was the condition of the weather?

A. Sir?

Q. What was the condition of the weather?

A. The weather was all right.

Q. Was it fair?

A. Yes, sir; it was fair as best I remember.

Q. You could see good?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. There was no rain?

A. No, sir.

Q. And no tog?

A. No, sir.

Q. What time of day was it?

A. It was, I think, between two and three oíclock, something like that.

Q. Was the sun shining, or do you remember?

A. Well, I would not hardly say about that, I wouldn't say for sure.

Q. What did you say when you came back to pick the boy up; did you say anything to your son about the way he was driving?

A. No, sir; what I was worried about was getting that boy to the hospital, I seen his condition, and I thought he was dead at first, and I got down and checked him, you know, felt of his pulse, and I couldn't feel any pulse and then I felt of his heart, and his heart was beating, then I got him to the truck and taken him to the hospital. I got this other boy and my boy to help me lift him up on the truck to take him to the hospital and I asked the boy that helped if he would get up on the truck and go with him and help hold the boy's head and he refused.

Q. Did you notice any blood on the shoulder of the road, or highway when you picked him up?

A. No, sir; I don't believe I did, because I was not paying any attention to anything only the boy, I wanted to take care of him.

Q. Was he bleeding when you laid him on the truck?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was your truck stained with blood later on after you had taken the boy off at the hospital?

A. Yes, sir; it was stained.

Q. What speed were you all driving when the accident occurred?

A. Around between 20 and 25 miles an hour, something like that.

Q. About 25 miles an hour?

A. I wouldn't hardly know for sure but we were going to make a turn just a little ways down the highway, turn to the left a little piece down the road.

Q. You heard the deputy explain the situation, about the road being straight and being about 18 feet wide?

A. That is correct, it was straight.

Q. Is there anything else you know about this, Mr. Mathis, that would further enlighten the jury on this case?

A. Well, I don't know of anything more. There was that hill there you know that you can't see very far ahead on account of the hill.

Q. How old is your son?

A. He is 16.

Q. When was he 16?

A. The 22nd of last December.

Q. The 22nd of last December?

A. Yes, sir; he was 16 then.

MR. BEASLEY: Do you have any questions, Mr. Coroner?

CORONER WILSON: No, sir.

MR. BEASLEY: All right, gentlemen, do you have any?

The Foreman: No, sir.

MR. BEASLEY: Come down, Mr. Mathis. (Witness excused)

MR. BEASLEY: Bobby Crouch, come around.

BOBBY CROUCH was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (By MR. BEASLEY) Are you scared, Bobby?

A. No sir.

Q. How old are you?

A. Fourteen - no, fifteen.

Q. Fifteen?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you go to school?

A. No, sir.

Q. What grade were you in when you quit?

A. The fifth.

Q. On the day this accident happened, what were you boys doing out there on this road?

A. Working as caddies.

Q. Caddying on the golf links?

A. We was waiting for the golfers to come by and pick us up.

Q. The ones who were going out to play would come out and pick out the caddy he wanted and carry him on out to the links with them, is that right?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Therefore, you were waiting there on the edge of the road?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How many of you boys were out there?

A. Fourteen.

Q. Well, I won't ask you to give all the names at this time, but do you know Theodore Bodie?

A. Yes, sir; I knew him.

Q. He was there?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. He is the one who was killed?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Who else was struck by this truck?

A. Dewey Dodd, Jerome Miller, Billy Linehart, and Ward Schumpert.

Q. They were all struck by the truck?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. They were side-swiped?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where were you fellows standing at the time you saw the truck coming up there?

A. Right in the edge of the road, our feet was on the dirt in part and part of them was on the pavement.

Q. Were you standing sort of lined up or were you knotted up?

A. We were in a straight line.

Q. Why did you happen to be in a straight line instead of being sort of knotted up.

A. We were in a line there, sort of playing, we had a stick and we would give it to each other and the one who would get it would stop and give it to the other and let him come along and hit him with it. It was all in fun.

Q. You were playing a game?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. In playing that game was it necessary to step out into the highway?

A. No, sir; we would come around behind them.

Q. Who had the stick when the truck came along?

A. W. L. Coach.

Q. He didn't get hit?

A. No, sir.

Q. When you would hit the boy, he would step out on the highway?

A. No, sir.

Q. Where would you hit him at?

A. We were standing in line and he swerved into us.

Q. No, I am talking about this game. You said the boy who had the stick was hitting everybody in line.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was he hitting them where it would do the most good?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What sized stick was he using?

A. Just a board about this wide. (Indicating)

Q. And was he hitting pretty hard with it?

A. No, sir; he wasn't hitting so hard.

Q. You would take time about hitting each other?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How far down the line had he got when the truck came along?

A. He was passing me going up the other way.

Q. Were you standing about the end of in the middle of the line?

A. I was standing the first one.

Q. Back toward town or away from town?

A. Towards town.

Q. And he had passed you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How far down the line was young Bodie standing?

A. He was about the middle of the line.

Q. Do you know whether he got to Theodore or not?

A. Yes, sir; I know he didn't get to the Bodie boy.

Q. He did not get to Theodore?

A. No, sir.

Q. All right, did you boys know this truck was coming?

A. Yes, sir; I saw it coming.

Q. All right, Bobby, tell us, in your own words, what you saw from then on and what you heard.

A., He was coming down the little hill, I saw him coming but I didnít know he was going to swerve over at us, and when he started coming up the hill closest to us he started picking up speed. I hollered at the boys to get out of the way and I jumped back and most of the other boys jumped back out of the way.

Q. When you saw him coming down the hill toward where you boys were, was he on the side of the road nearest you or in the middle or on the far side from you?

A. He was on the other side of the road.

Q. He was on the other side of the road?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How far from you -or rather I'll ask you this question. When you saw he was going to swerve into you was he some distance back or about even with you?

A. He was just a little back from us.

Q. Was he going pretty fast, or about 25 or 30 miles an hour?

A. He was going between 30 and 35 miles an hour.

Q. Did he seem to be going unusually fast for a truck to be going?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. It seemed a little fast to you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you say he swerved over into you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Tell us how.

A. Well, I saw he was coming down the road on the other side of the road from us, and then he swerved right into the middle of us and took everything from where he hit on out.

Q. Where did he hit you boys?

A. He hit just about in the middle of the line and he took us from there on out, then he turned back in the road and went on up the road until he stopped.

Q. He knocked all of the boys out of the way from where he hit to the end of the line?

A. All but two.

Q. Did you run away?

A. No, sir; I stayed there.

Q. How far did the truck go before it stopped?

A. Just about to the corner where you cut over to the Turkey Farm.

Q. What happened when he came back?

A. He stopped and backed back down there and got out and his Daddy told that boy he was driving over too far on our side of the road.

Q. What? I

A. His Daddy told him he was too far over, he said, "Son, I told you - you was driving too far over there.

Q. The father said, "Son, I told you - you were driving too far over there"?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did he say anything else?

A. No, not about that.

Q. What happened next, Bobby?

A. I stooped down where Bodie was lying and told him he had done killed that boy, and he said, "We shore have, we have done killed him".

Q. Then what did you all do?

A. I told him to feel of his heart and see if it was still beating, and he did and said it was and I told him to let's get him on the truck and take him to the hospital.

Q. And did you all load him on the truck?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Where was Theodore lying; on the pavement or off?

A. He was lying off the pavement.

Q. Was any part of his body on the pavement?

A. No, sir.

Q. How far off the pavement was he lying?

A. About that far. (Indicating)

Q. And you say you boys were standing about in what position in relation to the pavement and the shoulder, when you were playing?

A. Part of our feet was on the pavement and part was on the dirt.

Q. You kind of used the edge of the pavement to line up by?

A. Yes sir.

Q. That's right?

A. Yes, sir:

Q. You had room for the boy with the board to pass along on the shoulder behind you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you went with the truck that carried Theodore to the hospital?

A. No, he told me to get up on the truck and hold Theodore but I wouldn't do it, I was too scared.

Q. What did you do?

A. After they put him on the truck, his daddy got on, and the boy got back and held Theodore, and I started walking up the road toward home to tell mw mother I hadn't been hurt.

Q. Do you know anything else about what happened after then?

A. Well, somehow he went up and turned around and cutting out across the Turkey Farm instead of going down the road.

Q. He cut out across the Turkey Field?

A. Out across the field, out the other way.

Q. Was that in the direction of the hospital?

A. He cut across and come out down there close to the corner, instead of going right on down the road.

Q. Everybody was pretty excited including Mr. Mathis, and all of you boys?

A. Four of us boys stayed there.

Q. You were a little bit excited?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Now Bobby, can you tell us whether or not just before this truck hit you boys, did any boys step forward into the truck?

A. They tried to jump back out of the way, no sir, didn't nobody step forward and there wasn't nobody pushed forward either.

Q. You all tried to jump back?

A. Yes sir, but it happened so quick, some couldn't make it.

Q. But you hollered out and gave warning to them that the truck was swerving into your line?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What did you say?

A. I hollered, "Look out, he is going to hit us".

MR. BEASLEY: Any questions from anyone?

The Foreman: This truck had been coming by on days before this while you boys were all standing there, or had you ever noticed it before that day?

A. I hadn't noticed it, but some of the other boys said it had been swerving out at them, like it was trying to hit them.

Q. But you had never seen that?

A. I seen him pass, but he never tried to hit me before.

MR. BEASLEY: Come down, Bobby. (Witness excused)

MR. BEASLEY: We have a statement from the Doctor, Doctor Welling, which I will readto the jury.

(Reads)

"Arthur B. Welling, M. D., 407-10 Exchange Building, Newberry, S. C. 26 August 1946.

This is to certify that I examined Theodore R. Bodie after his accident and treated him until he died. He had the following injuries:

(a) basal fracture of the skull;  (b) cerebral contusions and compression. The compression being due to inter cranial hemorrhage, multiple (c) contusions of scalp, left portion; (d) contusions of left side of face and ear; (e) contusions of chest, left side;  (f) compound fracture of left femur; (g) compound fracture right radius and ulner;  (h) possible internal injuries in chest.

The immediate cause of death was cerebral compression. Arthur W. Welling, MD"

MR. BEASLEY: That is all the testimony we wish to put on at this time.

(Whereupon the jury retired to consider its verdict)


BEFORE THE CORONER OF NEWBERRY COUNTY INQUEST

State of South Carolina

Vs

Dead Bodies of DONALD BRANNAN, LIBBY LONG, CHARLES GARNER, ROBERT LANCASTER, JACK LANCASTER, JERALD PADGETT, PEGGY JOYCE RISER, JOHNNY WYMAN RISER, BOBBY LONG, HAROLD LANCASTER, RICHARD SANDERS and FANNY MAE MURRAY.

In the Court Room of Newberry County, Newberry, South Carolina, Wednesday, January 8, 1947

The Inquest was held by Coroner LeRoy Wilson and a jury.

The CORONER: Let the Foreman stand and be sworn.

(Whereupon the oath as foreman of the Coroner's jury was administered.

The CORONER: Let all the jurors rise and be sworn.

(Whereupon the oath was administered to the entire panel)

APPEARANCES: HUGH BEASLEY, Solicitor, 8th Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Beasley: Come around, Mr. Moore.

H. E. MOORE was sworn, and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (MR. BEASLEY) Mr. Moore, where do you live?

A. Columbia, South Carolina, 413 South Edisto Avenue.

Q. For what company are you working, Mr. Moore?

A. The Southern Railroad.

Q. How long have you been working for the Southern Railway?

A. Thirty-eight years.

Q. In what capacity are you working?

A. As locomotive engineer.

Q. Mr. Moore, what was the date of this accident at a crossing close to the town of Silverstreet where a Southern Railway train had a collision with a school bus?

A. What was the date?

Q. Yes.

A. December 18th.

Q. December 18th, 1946?

A. That's right.

Q. Were you the engineer on that train?

A. I was. Yes, sir.

Q. And you being the engineer, you had control of the speed and of the manner in which the train was being handled between the stops?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Mr. Moore, before going any further I would like to advise you that before we go into any of the details of how the collision occurred, that we can't force you to take the stand at this Coroner's Inquest, we can only ask you to take it, because of the fact that you being the engineer on the train there is a possibility that the Coroner's Jury might hold you for further investigation by the Grand Jury.

I want to further advise you that if you decide to continue on the stand, that anything you might state from that stand would be used against you in a case of criminal prosecution. Do you understand that clearly?

A. Yes, sir. But whatever statement I make, I will stick with it.

Q. You understand if you do testify that anything you may say can and probably will be used against you in the event of further consideration of this Case?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. That train involved in this collision was a passenger train running between which points?

A. It was a passenger train running between Greenville and Columbia, S. C.

Q. When does the regular schedule call for you to leave Greenville?

A. At 3:15 A. M.

Q. At what time does that schedule call for you to reach Columbia?

A. At 8:15 A. M., it is a 5-hour schedule.

Q. Do you remember the time you were due in Newberry?

A. We are not supposed to remember those things, we are supposed to go strictly by our orders and not to go by memory.

Q. I did not know whether you could tell off-hand or not.

A. We are not supposed to memorize those schedules. We carry current tables showing the schedule we are running on.

Q. You are telling us that you don't remember?

A. It is our duty to get the schedules regularly from the current timetable.

Q. What are you telling us here is that you do not remember the time you were due in Newberry on your train running on its regular schedule?

A. The schedule changed sometime ago, and while I am not absolutely certain what it is, I believe it was at thirty.

Q. What time?

A. It -- I believe it was at thirty.

Q. What do you mean?

A. At 6:30 A. M., I believe that is what it was, it has been changed sometime ago.

Q. You think that is about what time it was due at Newberry at the date of the accident?

A. It is the same thing it is now. The schedule was changed before that; before it was changed we were due to get out of Greenville at 2:50 A. M., but they set us back twenty-five minutes, that was out thirty-five minutes later to Columbia, and that would make it due here at 6:55 A.M

Q. To the best of your memory that is correct on this particular date for your regular schedule if you had been running on time you would have been in Columbia at the time of the collision?

A. It was due in Columbia five minutes from the time the accident happened.

Q. Do you usually stop in Newberry?

A. Newberry is a regular stop, both ways.

Q. Are there any regular stops between Newberry and Greenwood?

A. Ninety-Six, Tyson's is a flag stop, Chappells and Silverstreet, which is a flag stop.

Q. On the morning the accident happened, had you stopped for Silverstreet?

A. I hadn't got there, but I did stop there after 'the accident.

Q. What was the last stop you made before the accident?

A. Chappells.

Q. How long have you been making that run on this particular train?

A. About fourteen months when this happened. I went on this particular train in October 1945, but I have run it off and on for twenty-five or thirty years extra, but I have been on it regular since October 1945.

Q. You mean you have been running this job every day since October 1945?

A. Every other night I make a round trip, I come up on the 17th and was coming back the next morning on the 18th, and I would layover and come out the next night.

Q. How much were you running behind your schedule that morning?

A. One hour and forty minutes late.

Q. Can you tell us the time the accident happened?

A. I did not look at my watch when the accident happened at first but the rest of the crew said they looked at theirs and said it was 8:10.

Q. At 8:10 A. M.?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. From the time that elapsed do you think that was about right, just about?

A. I beg your pardon.

Q. From the time this accident happened, from the last stop and the known time of that stop, do you think that was correct?

A. I looked at my watch at the water tank and it was :55. I stayed there fifteen minutes, the fireman was shaking down the fire and washing out the pan and I stayed there until :55. I have to keep those records. I have to keep account of any delay charged to the engine, and the conductor said we left there at 7:55 or about; it was 7:55 when I looked at my watch but we had not started moving, and I did not look at my watch until after the accident, but the conductor said that we had left there at exactly 7:55, now our way of speaking of the schedule at Chappells means anywhere between the two switches at Chappells, and he could have looked at his watch at the east switch, which would have been two minutes later than I looked at my watch at the water tank.

I am not sure. I had a passenger stop to make as well as some time to work the mail and express for that one stop.

At other times we pull down after we get the water and work the passenger business at the depot. I know that was the last stop. I did not make another stop until the accident.

A. From the 56 and one-half mile board to the 65th mile board.

Q. That count starts at Greenville?

A. It is posted out of Columbia.

Q., What distance was that, again?

A. Well, from the time I looked at my watch at the fifty-six and one-half and the sixty-fifth post is eight miles and a half to my figuring. So from the time I looked at my watch, which as I say might be a minute or so later, but I looked at my watch at :55, and it happened at ten after, so that made fifteen minutes time that had elapsed.

Q. It is a distance of eight and one-half miles from the water tank to the place the accident happened?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How many cars did you have on that train?

A. Seven cars.

Q. Sir?

A. Seven.

Q. Did you have any Pullmans on that train?

A. We had one Pullman, two day coaches, that is one first class and combination car, that is for colored and baggage mixed, and an express car and two boxcars converted into express cars, making in all seven cars.

Q. What was the condition of the weather that morning?

A. It was cloudy, and it had been raining. I am not sure whether it was raining at the time of the accident or not but it had been sprinkling rain, and if it was sprinkling rain at the time of the collision it was very light. It had been raining all night.

Q. Can you tell us between the time you left the water tank and where the wreck happened how far down the road bed could you see?

A. The vision was good. It was not foggy. Vision was all right.

Q. That roadbed between Chappells and the scene of the accident is somewhat crooked is it not?

A. Yes, sir; however at the point of the accident it is not.

Q. At all times you could see the extreme length of the track unless it was shut off by some obstruction?

A. There at that point you can see a distance of half a mile; as you cross Little River you come to a slight curve to your left, then you hit a straight line for more than half a mile long, and in this straight line is where the road crossing comes across the railroad. It is perfectly straight, the railroad is at that point and for some distance on either side of it.

Q. Mr. Moore, tell us in your own words what happened from the time you left Chappells to the time of the accident, what you did and what you noticed.

A. Well, we come on over there just in the usual way. Of course there is not another stop in there, you see, and when approaching this crossing I blew the road crossing, and when I approached very near to the crossing the fireman - I don't recall the exact words he used, but he made some alarm and I knew that there was some emergency or something approaching from his side, so I turned the whistle cord a-loose and caught the brake valve and at that time we were in rail and a half or two rail lengths of the crossing, and as I said I turned the whistle cord a-loose and caught the brake valve and put the brakes in emergency and about that time the crash came.

Q. You had your hand on the whistle cord when the fireman called to you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Had you finished blowing the crossing signal?

A. I was blowing the last crossing signal. A railroad crossing signal is two longs, one short and a long blast. The rule requires that the last long blast be sounded up to and on the crossing and I will say that I was still blowing the long blast when the fireman called attention that something was approaching on the left side. It never got to where I could see it until after the crash. I could only see a fraction of the hood or radiator of the car, that was all I ever saw until I stopped, except seeing the fragments flying by.

Q. Had you gone into the straight-away at the time you blew the first blast for the crossing?

A. I beg your pardon?

Q. Had you gone into the straight-away of the track at the time you blew the first crossing signal?

A. Of the track?

Q. Yes.

A. Oh, yes.

Q. How far were you from that crossing when you blew the first blast?

A. I started blowing the first crossing signal just as I passed the signal board for that crossing, and that is supposed to be five or six hundred feet - - I don't know just what was the distance right off, but it is some little distance. It is far enough so you have time to blow two long blasts, a short and then another long blast that takes you on to the crossing, well I started blowing the whistle just as I passed the signal board, that is when I started blowing the signal for that crossing, started blowing the whistle just as I passed the whistle board, I couldn't say I was ten feet from the board when I started blowing, but I know I was blowing the last blast when the alarm was turned in, or called to me, and I immediately turned the-whistle cord aloose to catch the brake valve, that is both done with the left hand, blowing the whistle and catching the brake valve.

Q. Did you notice anything as to the speed you were making at that time?

A. I beg your pardon?

Q. Did you notice anything about the speed you were making at the time you went into the straight-away?

A. Around forty to fifty miles an hour, we don't have speedometers on locomotives.

Q. You don't have speedometers on trains?

A. No, not on locomotives.

Q. What would you say about your speed as a guess?

A. Forty to fifty miles an hour.

Q. So your statement as to speed is merely a guess?

A. Oh yes. It is generally known that we are pretty good guessers, or are supposed to be, for we have to be, as you see we have to restrict our speed over inferior stretches of track and things like that, and so you get accustomed to it and you get to where you can guess your speed mighty accurately.

Q. You say you saw the hood of the car approaching when you turned the whistle cord aloose?

A. No, I never saw it at all until after I hit the truck.

Q. How far did you say you started applying the brakes before you got to the crossing?

A. About a rail and a half or two rail lengths before the front of the engine approached the edge of the crossing when the fireman hollered.

Q. What kind of emergency did you anticipate from the fireman's call?

A. That is something was approaching from his side.

Q. What kind of brakes did you use?

A. The emergency brake.

Q. Are those emergency brakes applied with sufficient force to practically lock all the wheels on your train?

A. Sometimes the application does lock them, but it is not to your best interest when it does.

Q. But sometimes it does happen?

A. Yes sometimes they do, especially in bad rail bed or on a wet morning when the rails are wet with rain or dew.

Q. How did they act this particular morning, did they pick up or slide?

A. I am not in position to say the engine did not pick up its wheels, I put the sand blast on its wheels. I do that from the engine.

Q. That means you put sand on the rails?

A. Under the driving wheels.

Q. Did it seem like you were cutting down speed rapidly?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. I believe after the accident you rendered what assistance you were capable of doing at that time?

A. I did not understand your question.

Q. After the accident happened you rendered what assistance you could, didn't you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where did you lose time that morning on your schedule, Mr. Moore?

A. All along.

Q. What caused you to be behind?

A. Well, the mail and express was heavy, it was the heavy-business for Christmas time all along the line. I lost around fifteen minutes when we had a bad dirty, clinkered fire at Chappells and the fireman worked on that fire for fifteen minutes, and I looked at my watch and it was :40 and when we finished it was :55.

Q. Do you remember whether you lost any time at Ninety-six?

A. I don't keep a record of that. But you know mail and express was extremely heavy at that time of the year.

Q. Did you leave Greenville on time?

A. No, sir; we left there fifty minutes late.

Q. What caused that?

A. Because we had orders to run forty minutes late but we actually left fifty-five minutes late and we just got later and later as we come on down the road on account of the heavy [load?]

Q. Is your schedule tied in with any other roads anywhere before you get here?

A. Do you mean if we make connections with any other roads?

Q. Yes.

A. It goes on and makes connection with No. 12 out of Columbia to Charleston, they do not hold the connection for it, but it does make connection.

Q. If it is running on time?

A. They don't hold No. 12 for us.

Q. That is another Southern schedule?

A. It is the Charleston Division of the Southern Railway, and unless a passenger is reported and they have occasion to do it, they don't hold No. 12 for No. 18.
Q What kind of crossing did this accident happen on?

A. I don't exactly understand.

Q Was it an open or a blind crossing?

A. Well, the railroad and the dirt road are both in the woods, there is nothing but woods on either side of both, and there is no open fields at all and not a house in sight.

Q. There was no way you could have seen this bur or your fireman could have seen it before it actually got on the railroad roadbed?

A. Yes, sir; you have got some twelve, sixteen or eighteen feet out there to the embankment, it does come through an embankment before it comes on the track, but there is some fifteen or eighteen feet from the left hand rail to the edge of this little embankment.

Q. How high is this embankment?

A. Well, I pass that little embankment a thousand times but I never had occasion to make a close inspection of it, but there is a little embankment there where the road comes through to get out on the railroad track, but the part I see is level, where I can see the crossing it is level.

Q. Mr. Moore, how long did it take you to pick up speed from a dead stop ordinarily using the same locomotive for example that you were using this morning with the same number of cars, how long would, it take you from a dead stop to pick up speed to about forty miles an hour, can you give us any idea as to the distance it would take?

A. I could not tell you to save my life. It would be absolutely a guess. In fact sometimes it is easier than at others, according to the lay of the road.

Q. Were you using a regular passenger locomotive?

A. The regular engine used on that run was being used.

Q. Was the number of cars being pulled just about the same as the average load?

A. Yes, sir; the regular train had been six cars and we had seven cars for the holidays. We had one extra car on for the holidays, that was the season of a heavy rush of both mail and express.

Q. You have been making this run for about fourteen months?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And of course you tell us that that was what we call a blind crossing, that is a crossing where your vision is obscured as to any traffic until you get pretty close to the railroad crossing - it is practically a blind crossing.

A. I don't say you would call that a blind crossing. Some distance back there is some obstruction but for a reasonable distance you can see perfectly clear in both directions, for a reasonable distance back from the rails.

Q. That is in the same direction, which the school bus came, where there were some obstructions some distance back,
you say?

Q. Yes, sir; the other side is perfectly clear, there is no embankment at all. There was nothing to keep them from seeing there for a reasonable distance.

Q. What do you mean by a "reasonable distance", how far is that, would you say?

A. I'd say around fifteen to eighteen feet from the edge of the embankment to the rail, practically the length of the bus, I would imagine from where you came out of the cut from there to the rail. You understand this is just a guess of mine, as I never measured it, I never got down there to step it off, but I would guess it was around fifteen to eighteen feet to the edge of the embankment to the left hand rail, coming this way, I mean.

MR. BEASLEY: Are there any questions, Mr. Coroner?

The CORONER: No, sir.

MR. BEASLEY: Do any of you gentlemen on the jury have any questions?

(There was none)

MR. BEASLEY: That is all, Mr. Moore. (Witness excused)

MR. BEASLEY: Hart Dixon, come around, please.

HART DIXON was sworn, and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (By MR. BEASLEY) You are the fireman on the Southern passenger train that had a collision with a school bus on this morning in December we are talking about?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. I believe you have not been able to work since the accident happened have you?

A. Well, I am not working yet, I might be able, but I have not been working.

Q. Why not?

A. Well, I was already sick with a cold and the crash of the bus kinder upset my nerves.

Q. The crash of the bus upset your nerves?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How long have you been working with the Southern Railroad?

A. Thirty-four years and eight months.

Q. How long have you been making this run on this particular train?

A. Five years and around four months.

Q. And you were the fireman on this morning?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Your station is on the left side of the locomotive?

A. On the left side; yes, sir.

Q. And that is the direction this school bus approached from?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. From your side?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you remember the time you left Greenville on this particular morning?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What time was it?

A. It was 4:05, I think.

Q. 4:05?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You heard them say the accident happened about ten minutes after eight, is that about right?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And there has been some testimony that you were sort of delayed in Chappells by having trouble with clinkers.  We don't quite understand all that, will you explain it to us?

A. When he stopped in Chappells, I asked the engineer, Mr. Moore, to wait, I told him I would have to work on the fire, and he taken water while I was working on the fire.

Q. Well what would cause your fire to get in such condition to where you have to work on it like that?

A. Well, bad coal sometimes does it. That is mostly what causes it.

Q. What else causes that condition?

A. Well, I don t know, sir.

Q. What?

A. I don't know, sir.

Q. What was your trouble with your fire?

A. It clinkered.

Q. Getting clinkered kind of cut off the draft, didn't it?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. That is what your trouble was?

A. I don't understand?

Q. How did getting clinkered effect your fire?

A. The fire didn't get the draft it should, and if you can't get the right draft, the fire won't burn.

Q. How were feeding the coal on this locomotive - by stoker or by hand?

A. Sir?

Q. Were you feeding the coal to the fire by stoker or by hand?

A. By stoker.

Q. And of course your duty was just supervising, seeing that it was being fed properly?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What did you do to get those clinkers out?

A. I had to pull them out.

Q. With a pair of tongs you have for that purpose?

A. Yes, sir; or shake them out, sometimes you can do that.

Q. You can shake those clinkers out?

A. Sometimes you can, but I couldnít do it that morning.

Q. What did you have to do to get those clinkers out?

A. I had to pull them out.

Q. With the tongs you have for that purpose?

A. Yes sir. Whenever you can't shake them out that is all you can do then.

Q. And do you have a fan that runs on that stoker to kind of give you your draft - or how do you get your draft?

A. It is a steam draft.

Q. You run that draft all the time to keep that fire going while you were cleaning the firebox?

A. No sir. When the engine is standing still you shut it off.

Q. When did you begin to have trouble with your fire that morning?

A. Well, at Ninety-Six it begin to lag.

Q. It began at Ninety-Six?

A. Yes, sir. And all along I had trouble.

Q. On this particularly where did you notice that your fire was not burning normally to where you had to work on it?

A. At Greenwood.

Q. That was the first time you noticed it was not exactly running right?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What effect did that have on your train when your fire didn't go right?

A. Sir?

Q. What effect does it have on your train when the fire doesn't do right - does not burn as it should?

A. Well, if you don't have enough steam that will be the effect - you haven't got enough steam to keep running.

Q. How much steam pressure do you usually have to keep up on your run?

A. It carries two hundred pounds.

Q. That is what you are supposed to keep it at - two hundred pounds?

A. No.

Q. Do you remember how much steam you had up - did you notice the steam pressure fall at Greenwood?

A. It hadn't fell none to speak of, only about ten or fifteen pounds.

Q. It was down to maybe 185 or 190 pounds?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You have a steam gauge above you that you watch all the time?

A. Yes sir.

Q. That is one of your main jobs, to watch that steam gauge?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How about Ninety-Six? Was that where you really knew something had to be done about your fire?

A. Well, I shook it some more there.

Q. At Ninety-Six?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did that help much?

A. Not much.

Q. Your steam pressure did not go up?

A. Not much.

Q. You didn't do anything at Ninety-Six except shake the fire down.

A. Thatís all.

Q. Did you delay the train there trying to get your fire cleaned out?

A. No sir. Not at Ninety-Six.

Q. When you got down to Chappells you found out you had to really clean out your fire of clinkers if you were to keep your train moving?

A. That's right, sir.

Q. How much steam pressure did you have when you got down to Chappells?

A. About 125 or 150 pounds or something like that.

Q. That is pretty low is it not?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. I guess the engineer had been calling on you for more steam, hadn't he?

A. No, sir, he wasn't calling on me for more. I knowed my duty was to get up more steam if I could.

Q. He said something about the steam pressure falling did he not?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where did he say something about the steam pressure falling?

A. It was between Chappells and Old Town.

Q. Where?

A. Between Chappells and Dyson.

Q. You say that was when you decided you had to clean the fires good?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And did you take the necessary time to pullout the clinkers, to pull them all out?

A. Not to pull them all out, no, sir, I didn't take time to do that I had to shake the fire down good and get more steam.

Q. You did not pullout the clinkers at Chappells?

A. No, sir.

Q. What did you do down at Chappells?

A. We did wash it out, yes, sir, shook it down and washed it out.

Q. How much did the steam pressure get back pp at Chappells?

A. It was up to 150 or something like that, we got to going and it picked up a little more.

Q. You picked up steam as you would run, is that correct?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you remember how much it picked up?

A. From Chappells to the place of the accident?

Q. Yes.

A. Well, around - when we stopped at the accident I had a pressure of about 175.

Q. Now just tell us in your own words about this accident. Do you know where the railroad tracks cross Little River?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Tell us in your own words what you noticed happen from the time you crossed Little River on up to the time of the accident happened.

A. You mean after we crossed the bridge?

Q. Yes.

A. Engineer Moore began blowing a road-crossing signal when he approached the crossing, and when we were in about two rail lengths of the crossing I saw a bus coming up the bank on my side, there is a little rise there on the left side, Mr. Moore's side is level.

Q. Where was that bus when you first saw him - he started up the rise or was he back on the road?

A. He was done up the rise.

Q. What?

A. He was done up the rise when I saw the bus.

Q. Up on the rise?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where was the bus with reference to the track?

A. It was in about fifteen foot of the rail.

Q. Was that bus going fast or slow when you saw it?

A. It was moving pretty fast.

Q. How fast would you say it was traveling?

A. I would say at least twenty miles an hour.

Q. How fast?

A. Twenty miles an hour. It could have been going faster than that.

Q. But it was traveling at least twenty miles an hour?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And could have been going faster?

A. It might have been going faster.

Q. And of course you hit the bus.

A. Sir?

Q. The train hit the bus?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. When you first saw the bus what did you do?

A. I hollered to Mr. Moore, "Look out", and that is the time he turned the whistle cord loose and grabbed the brake valve.

Q. He was blowing the whistle at the time you told him to look out?

A. Yes sir. But we had done hit it then.

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

A. The engine?

Q. Yes.

A. Around sixty foot, something like that.

Q. About how many rail lengths is that?

A. That is near two rail lengths.

Q. What part of the bus did you see first - the back end, the front end or the whole bus?

A. I saw the whole bus.

Q. You saw the whole bus at one time.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. So when you saw the bus first you saw the whole bus?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. It had done got up on the rails?

A. No sir. Not on the rails.

Q. I mean on the rise.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Well, it was almost on the track when you first saw it?

A. Yes, sir; it was close to the track.

Q. And how fast were you going at that time?

A. At that time my estimate would be somewhere around forty-five miles an hour.

Q. That is a level stretch of road there?

A. The roadbed is level. Yes sir.

Q. Was it up or down grade there or level?

A. It was just about level.

Q. You all were trying to make up time weren't you?

A. No sir.

Q. What?

A. I said, "No, sir". We were not trying to make up time; no, sir; we was just running ordinary there at the regular schedule speed.

Q. You say at the time you hollered, Mr. Moore the engineer, had his hand on the whistle cord?

A. Yes, sir; he had hold of the whistle cord with his left hand.

Q. How many signals do you give from that crossing; how many whistle signals do you give?

A. Four.

Q. What were they?

A. Two long blasts, a short, and a long.

Q. Do you usually notice the signals he gives for each crossing or not?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. I thought from the number of years you have been working you usually did not pay much attention, but you always watch for them?

A. Sir?

Q. You usually always watch the signals given for each crossing?

A. Yes, sir.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you say you did not get your fire burning good at Chappells?

A. Well, not really burning good, but it was better.

Q. You hadn't got your steam back up to 200 pounds and that kind of worried you, didn't it?

A. No, sir; it was up to 200.

Q. What was it? 175?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You and your fellow fireman kind of like to keep the steam pressure up and you talk about it off duty, of the trouble you have with this and that engine?

A. Well not all the time.

Q. Some engines are a little harder to keep the steam up than others, aren't they?

A. Well we do all we can to keep steam up.

Q. And some engineers are harder to keep steam up for than others, aren't they?

A. I don't know, sir, about that.

Q. You would say that?

A. No, sir.

Q. It is just as easy to keep steam up for one as it is for another'?

A. All I know, is good ones.

Q. Well, some engineers are a little bit harder to satisfy than others, aren't they; now isn't that right?

A. Well some may be a little harder to please.

Q. You say at Chappells you just shook the clinkers out but didn't take the tongs and try to pull them out?

A. No, sir; I didn't pull none out there.

Q. Did you shake those out while you were running?

A. I shook them and they goes out through the ask-pan.

Q. Can you shake them loose when you are running?

A. You don't usually do that when you are running.

Q. Were you doing this on this particular morning?

A. Shaking them while we was running? No, sir.

Q. Is there anything you can do while you are running to bring your steam pressure up?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What is that?

A. Well you can fire light.

Q. What?

A. You can fire light, or get it banked and then take a rake and tear it down and the fire up.

Q. What did you do after you left Chappells to get your steam pressure up'?

A. I did not do anything from then on.

Q. What?

A. That's right, all I done was to fire it level and light.

Q. Did you have to do that by hand?

A. No sir - by stoker.

Q. Well, what attention did you have to give to your stoker to make it do that to your fire, to fire it level and light, I believe you called it?

A. Well, you run the stoker slow, and if you want more coal you run it faster.

Q. Which was the best way to get your steam pressure up after you left Chappells, running the stoker slow or fast?

A. Running it slow.

Q. And that is what you were doing?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you have some way you can watch your fire from the outside through little holes to see how your fire is going?

A. On some stokers you can.

Q. How about on the stoker on this particular locomotive?

A. Yes, sir; it does have little holes where you can see your fire.

Q And Mr. Moore is the type of engineer that always likes to have you keep up a pretty good head of steam on a crack passenger  train?

A. Yes, sir; that is right.

Q. He wants plenty of steam.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And if you don't get up a pretty good head of steam - pretty soon he is going to start asking questions?

A. Not all the time.

Q. You were a little bit worried about your fire that day?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. After you left Chappells?

A. Well, I was not exactly happy.

Q. You were there with your steam pressure twenty-five pounds under normal you said, and you had only got it up to 150 pounds at the time of the wreck, I mean from 150 pounds up to 175 pounds?

A. A train like that, well, that pressure would not take much to effect 'the movement of the train, not on that stretch.

Q. But at Little River you had a little grade to make coming towards Newberry?

A. From the river toward the accident?

A. Yes.

A. It is kinder up.

Q. And that is where you need your steam?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you were watching your fire pretty close from the time you left Chappells?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You have been a fireman how long?

A. Thirty-four years.

Q. And you were watching that stoker feed the coal just right, trying to bring the steam pressure up?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And for a fireman to do his job right, it takes most all of his time watching that stoker, you have to give it almost your whole attention?

A. You have plenty of time on the stoker to look out ahead.

Q. But you have to give it a good deal of your attention?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you were giving that stoker the most of your attention after you left Chappells?

A. Yes, sir; I was giving it attention.

Q. You didn't want him calling on you about steam did you?

A. No, sir.

Q. I believe at the time you saw this school bus it was up on the tracks?

A. Right close to the tracks.

Q. And when you first saw this bus, you just looked up from that stoker?

A. No, sir.

Q. You had not?

A. No, sir.

Q. When did you last look at your stoker?

A. I don't know when I looked at it last.

Q. You had this grade before you, and you knew you were going to need a good head of steam to get up that grade?

A. It was moving along pretty nicely.

Q. You were on the level there and you had come do\~ to Little River and crossed it and were getting ready to hit the grade ahead?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You mean you were coming along nicely?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And that is the way you were moving at the time of the accident?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you were going on at a pretty good speed?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. MR. BEASLEY: That is all. Any questions, Mr. Coroner?

The CORONER: No, sir.

MR. BEASLEY: Do any members of the jury have any questions to ask?
(There were none) (Witness excused)

MR. BEASLEY: Come around, Mr. Neel.

J. C. NEEL, was sworn, and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (MR. BEASLEY) Mr. Neel, you are a deputy sheriff of Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you have a call on this particular occasion to go to the scene of this accident on this morning?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who went there with you?

A. Mr. John Wilson and myself were in the car together, and Mr. Martin and Mr. Livingston were in another car right behind us.

Q. Before I offer anything further, I would like for you to read the names of the children on the bus who were killed or died from injuries received, basing your information on the record.

A. Fanny May Murray, Donald Brannon, Charlene Garner, Robert Lancaster, Jack Lancaster, Jerold Padgett, Peggy Joyce Riser, Johnny Wyman Riser, Richard Sanders, Bobby Long, Libby Long, Harold Lancaster.

Q. Mr. Neel, is that crossing in Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who was driving the school bus?

A. Mr. Richard Sanders.

Q. He was killed, was he not?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Just tell the jury, of course, I think most them are familiar with that crossing, but for the benefit of the record just tell them, describe that crossing to the jury?

A. The railway at this crossing is straight, and practically level. The highway comes around a curve and up a little steep incline to the track.

Q. That is going toward Silverstreet in the same direction as the bus was traveling?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How far is this curve from the railroad itself?

A. The curve is several hundred feet down in the flat, and you come around the curve up a sharp little grade to the track, the grade was caused by the railroad being elevated there. The railroad at that point comes out of a cut, and after you cross the railroad it is kind of level for a short little distance.

Q. Where is that sharp incline? Just where the highway crosses the railroad itself?

A. Yes, sir; where the bus was traveling, the way it was going, it was right where it comes up to the railroad.

Q. About how many feet, would you say, is the height of the incline right on the railroad tracks is above the level of the road before you go' up on that sharp incline?

A. Well, that is according to how far back you start figuring.

Q. Where does the incline start?

A. The incline comes up and breaks right near the railroad bed right on the railroad tracks itself. It is not a flat place after you come over the railroad you go right down a steep little hill.

Q. That is on the other side?

A. Yes, sir; now the railroad tracks are level or mighty near so after you get on the other side of the crossing, but the road is not.

Q. How about the degree of visibility out there. Tell the jury something about any obstructions you have at this crossing.

A. You can't see the train from any distance coming from towards Greenwood; the driver of the bus can't see the train for any distance coming from the way he was.

Q. Would the bus driver have looked down that track at any time before the bus actually was up on the rails ahead of this locomotive?

A. You have to be very near the track before you could see a distance of, I'd say ten feet before he could see the track.

Q. What type of road is this?

A. It is a dirt road, a regular county dirt road.

Q. It is a county highway?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is there a good bit of traffic on that road?

A. Yes, sir; quite a bit. There a good many houses along this road, it is just a regular ordinary country road.

Q. What is that road called, or how is it designated?

A. I call it the Little River Road.

Q. The Little River Road?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What is this crossing known as?

A. Little River crossing, that is what they call it.

Q. From your investigation what time was the school bus due at Silverstreet School?

A. I don't know about what time it is due at the school.

Q. How far is the scene of the accident from the Silverstreet School, the way he would have to travel?

A. Approximately three miles, I would say.

Q. What was the condition of that dirt road that morning?

A. It was slick that morning, very slick.

Q. What was the condition of the road leading up to this incline on to the railroad track?

A. It was slick too.

Q. Do you remember whether the topsoil of the road was red or not?

A. It wasn't red mud, but it was kinder slick grayish mud at that point.

Q. It was slick on that particular morning?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. About what time did you arrive out there, just give us an estimate, Mr. Neel.

A. I can't say. I didn't look at my watch, but it was sometime before nine o'clock. I couldn't say exactly.

Q. Had they removed the engine?

A. No, sir.

Q. Had any of the children been removed when you got out there?

A. Yes, sir; some had been put in the ambulance and the ambulance was pulling out as I arrived at the scene.

Q. The train crew and everybody there was giving first aid to the victims when you got there?

A. Yes, sir; that's right.

Q. Well, I don't know that it was necessary -- I don't think it is necessary to go into the condition of the bodies in detail, or who was there or not for this record, Mr. Neel, but what was the condition of this school bus?

A. It was demolished.

Q. Was it still in one piece?

A. No, it was torn up in several pieces and the wheels were across the front of the engine and the motor was thrown out on the right hand side of the track coming from Greenwood, pieces of the body was near the crossing, and there was a small piece of the bus across the track, and pieces of it were scattered all along the track.

Q. What kind of bus was that?

A. It was a Chevrolet bus.

Q. Had it been built especially at the factory for a school bus, or had it been converted locally down here?

A. It had this body on it every since I have been knowing the bus, but where it was put on, I don't know, sir.

Q. Did you and Mr. Martin make any measurements that morning as to the distance it took this train to stop from the point of the collision at the crossing to where the locomotive had stopped there?

A. We did.

Q. What was that distance?

A. 1090 feet.

Q. 1090 feet?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you notice any marks on the track between the crossing and the place where this train stopped which indicated that the brakes had been applied with some violence?

A. I did not; that is, I didn't right at that time.

Q. You looked later?

A. No, sir; I didn't see any marks on the track, but I did not look specially for that, there were so many people hurt I

was trying to do what I could for them.

Q. There was a good bit of excitement naturally?

A. Yes, sir; that's right.

Q. Is there any other distance or measurement that you made that would throw any light on this inquest?

A. No, sir; that was the only measurement we made.

Q. Did you ask the engineer or fireman whether or not the train had been moved at the time you made your measurements, or the time you saw the locomotive sitting there?

A. It hadn't been when I got there, because the locomotive was jammed with the school bus and the section crew was jacking up the front of the bus to get it out, and also there was a body up under there and they could not try to move the train until they jacked up the train and got the body out.

Q. Had the wreckage of the school bus more or less jammed the wheels of the locomotive to where they could not move without becoming more entangled in the wreckage?

A. Well, it was not safe to try it, and then this body was up under there. They probably could have moved the train if it hadn't been for the body.

Q. That was in Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir.

MR. BEASLEY: Mr. Coroner, do you have any questions?

THE CORONER: No, sir.

MR. BEASLEY: Do any of you gentlemen on the jury have any Questions?

(There were none) (Witness excused)

MR. BEASLEY: Miss Lancaster, come around, please.

CHORINE LANCASTER was sworn, and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (MR. BEASLEY) Chlorine, how old are you?

A. Fifteen.

Q. What grade in school are you?

A. Ninth.

Q. Were you riding as a passenger on the bus the morning of this collision?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Mr. Richard Sanders was driving the bus?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How long have you been riding this bus that went this route along this road?

A. How long had we been going along this road?

Q. Yes.

A. It hadn't been going along this road but about four weeks.

Q. You have been riding it every morning during these school days?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And this morning of this accident what side of the bus were you sitting on?

A. I don't exactly know, somebody said I was sitting on the right side.

Q. But you don't remember, yourself?

A. I don't remember anything that happened.

Q. You don't remember which side you were on before the accident happened?

A. I don't remember.

Q. You don't remember whether. you were on the right side or the left side?

A. No, sir.

Q. There were a good many children in the bus; laughing and talking.

A. I think so, I don't exactly know.

Q. Did you ever hear the whistle blow or anything before the accident happened?

A. I got a lick on the head.

Q. You don't remember anything at all about it before the collision happened?

A. No, sir.

Q. Do you remember whether or not the bus stopped before it got to the crossing?

A. No sir.

Q. In other words from the time you got on the bus until you lost consciousness at the railroad crossing, you don't remember anything for some time before it happened, for some little time before that?

A. No, sir.

MR. BEASLEY: Do you have any questions, Mr. Coroner?

THE CORONER: No, sir.

MR. BEASLEY: Any questions by any members of the jury? (There were none)

MR. BEASLEY: Come down, Miss Lancaster. Thank you. (Witness excused)

MR. BEASLEY: Betty Jean Murray, please come around.

BETTY JEAN MURRAY was sworn, and, testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (By MR. BEASLEY) Betty Jean, how old are you?

A. Fourteen.

Q. You are a student at Silverstreet School?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You were riding as a passenger on the bus at the time the accident happened?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you remember where you were sitting in the bus - in what position before the accident happened?

A. I was sitting about middle ways of the bus on the right side.

Q. About the middle way on the right side?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you have anything to call your attention to the fact that you were approaching the railroad, such as the shrieking of the whistle or the blowing of the whistle or ringing of the bell, or any noise or anybody hollering out before the crash actually happened?

A. No, sir.

Q. You were knocked unconscious?

A. No, sir.

Q. You don't remember?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you ever hear the whistle blow before you lost consciousness?

A. No, sir.

Q. You didn't hear anything?

A. I don't remember hearing anything.

Q. Well, can you tell in your own words just about what happened?

A. Well, when I cam back to, I was in the middle of the railroad track, and the first thing I saw was my sister with a piece of the bus on her.

Q. Now just before the accident when you were there in the bus can you tell us about what happened up to the time of the collision?

A. All I remember was I thought I fell on the middle seat.

Q. What was that?

A. I thought I feel on the middle seat, but I don't know.

Q. You mean when the crash come?

A. Yes, sir, I thought I fell out.

Q. That is what you thought after you came to?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Now to get back to the time before the accident. Can you remember from the time you left home that morning up to the time of the collision?

A. No, sir, I remember talking, but I can't remember what was said or anything.

Q. Do you remember seeing anything just before you got to the crossing - were you where you could look out of the window?

A. Yes sir. But I don't remember seeing anything.

Q. I believe the road was slick?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How was Mr. Sanders driving the bus - was he driving pretty fast or not?

A. I don't remember.

Q. How?

A. I don't remember.

Q. Do you remember whether Mr. Sanders stopped the school bus before he went up on this crossing?

A. No, sir; I don't.

Q. You don't remember that?

A. No, sir; I do not.

MR. BEASLEY: Any questions, Mr. Coroner?

MR. CORONER: No, sir.

MR. BEASLEY: Any questions from the jury? (There were none)

MR. BEASLEY: Thank you, young lady, you may come down. (Witness excused)

MR. BEASLEY: Mr. Coroner, do you have the doctor's certificate?

THE CORONER: Yes, sir; here it is.

MR. BEASLEY:

Gentlemen, this is the certificate of the doctors who treated the injured persons in this wreck that died.

I will read it (Reads)

"This is to certify that we, the undersigned, examined the bodies of the victims of the Silverstreet school bus- Southern Train wreck which occurred on the so-called Little River Crossing at 8:10 A. M. on December 18,1946."

Gentlemen, I shall not read the details, that is the nature of the injuries set out here, but the certificate is signed by Doctor R. E. Livingston, M. D., and A. W. Welling, M. D.

Mr. Coroner, that is all the testimony we have at this time. There are several other witnesses present, possibly two or three of the younger children, but due to their nervous condition I will not call them to the stand.

So that is all the testimony I believe the State has to offer at this time to the jury.

Is that correct, Mr. Sheriff?

SHERIFF DAWKINS: Yes, sir.

THE CORONER: Gentlemen, you may retire to the jury room and agree upon the verdict.

(Whereupon the jury retired and after deliberation returned the following verdict)

(The names of the victims are omitted)

"We the jury find that (Victims names) came to their death as a result of a collision between a Silverstreet School Bus and a Southern Railway Passenger train."

THE CORONER: That is your verdict, gentlemen, so say you all?

The Jury: Yes, sir.

THE CORONER: That concludes the inquest.

Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 10:15 P. M., December 8, 1946


INQUISITION INTO THE DEATH OF GEORGE WHITENER (colored)

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

An INQUISITION INDENTED TAKEN AT Newberry County Court House in the County and state aforesaid, the 17th day of July AD, one thousand nine hundred and forty seven before Leroy Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of George Whitener of Newberry County then and there being dead by the oaths of J. B. Connelly, Dave Laird, W. P. Phillips Jr., N. C. Fulmer, George W. Neel and H. L. Dukes being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina where and by what means the said George Whitener came to his death, upon their oaths do say that George Whitener came to his death as the result of knife and gunshot wounds at the hands of Leander Whitener.

And so the said Jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid do say that the aforesaid came to his death as aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, Leroy Wilson, Coroner aforesaid, and the Jurors aforesaid, to this Inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

Leroy Wilson, Coroner

H. L. Dukes, Foreman

J. B. Connelly

Dave Laird

W. P. Phillips, Jr.

N. C. Fulmer

George W. Neel

TESTIMONY

CHRISTINE WHITENER, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Christine was George Whitener your father?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. He was?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were you home the night he was cut, by Leander Whitener?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you see it when it happened?

A. No, sir.

Q. Were you in the house when it happened?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Tell the Jury what you know about it - how it happened and all about it?

A. I was in the bed and I was going to sleep .men it happened and they was up there arguing and I was going to sleep and I went to sleep and I heard the shot. When I heard the shot I woke up and he was telling him that he cut him.

EXAMINATION by Deputy J. C. NEEL

Q. Who said that?

A. Leander. Time the first start of it he got after my little brother with the pistol.

Q. When you first woke up was Leander and George in the bed fighting?

A. No, they wasn't in the bed.

Q. Where were they?

A. Him and Leander was scuttling and Leander he was sitting up then.

Q. You said they wasn't in the bed when you first saw them.

A. No, they wasn't in the bed.

Q. Where were they?

A. Dad was standing up.

Q. Did you find any blood when you woke up?

A. I saw it on the pillow.

Q. You saw it on the pillow?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you hear your daddy say anything?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you hear Leander say anything?

A. Not until I woke up and I heard him say he cut him. Then I got up and went over to Mr. Jeterís room. He told us to come on and go with him. He woke up Mr. Jeter. Then he told Mr. Jeter carry him over to Uncle Wootsies and Uncle Jeter carried him over to Uncle Wootsies'.

Q. Did you see anybody with the pistol?

A. No, I saw daddy when he first got it from between the mattress and bed ticking.

Q. When did he get it from there?

A. He got it when he went to bed.

Q. When he went to bed?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you see him with the pistol when the pistol was shot?

A. No, sir.

Q. And you didn't ever see Leander with the pistol in his hand at all?

A. No, sir.

Q. Who pulled your daddy around on the bed - did somebody pull him around?

A. No, sir.

Q. How was he laying when you first saw him?

A. He was laying like he was laying when you first got there.

Q. When we got there?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You say he got that pistol before you went to sleep?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Why did he get it then?

A. He was talking to my brother then.

Q. Talking to your brother then?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was they both cussing and talking ugly?

A. My daddy was but my brother wasn't.

Q. Where was your brother then?

A. Sitting up beside the fireplace.

Q. Did you see either one of your younger brothers back there when you woke up?

A. No. One was at the door.

Q. Back in the room where they sleep?

A. Yes.

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Which one was at the door - Eugene?

A. He wasn't standing in our room. He was standing in their room, just inside the door.

Examination by Deputy J. C. NEEL

Q. But you never did, up to the time your daddy was killed, you never did see either of these boys in the room?

A. No, sir. They left out.

Q. That was a good while before the killing happened wasn't it?

A. Yes, sir.

EUGENE WHITENER, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Eugene just tell what you know about this.

A. You know daddy was laying there in the bed talking about Jim McK1eckley. Said he was going to kill him before day that morning.

Examination by Deputy J. C. NEEL

Q. He was talking to your brother wasn't he?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. He told my brother, "You want to be the boss, don't you"? And my brother said no he didn't want to be the boss.   He said, "When you shot me you wanted to be the boss man". Then my brother said, "You was the cause of that".

And then he said he wasn't no cause of that. Then he said, "I shot you on account of you beating up mamma. Then he said, "I beat you"'. And my brother said, "'You reckon you will". Then he reached up under the bed and got the old pistol.

Q. This happened before you all went to bed didn't it?

A. Yes, sir.

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Who got .the pistol from under the bed?

A. My daddy. Then he snapped it at him three times.

Examination by Deputy J. C. NEEL

Q. Did he snap it before you went to bed or after you went to bed? I want to get the time.

A. I was Just getting in the bed.

Q. Did you see your brother take the pistol earlier in the day and turn the cylinder around in it?

A. No, sir.

Q. You didn't see it?

A. No, sir.

Q. Had you gone to sleep when they was fighting in bed there?

A. No, sir.

Q. After you was back in that room did you hear them say anything?

A. No. They didn't ever say anything. By that time I was in the door. When my brother first grabbed him.

Q. You was in the door?

A. Yes.

Examination by Deputy J. C. NEEL

Q. When your brother first grabbed him where were they? On the bed?

A. No, sir.

Q. Right side or the bed?

A. Yes.

Q. Between the two beds?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you see your brother walk from over the fireplace back to the bed?

A. No. They was standing right side or the bed scurrl1ng and that time I had done run to the door.

Q. Did you see your brother cut your daddy?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you see the shot tired?

A. No, sir. I didn't 'see the shot fired, but I heard it.

Q. Where was you at the time?

A. I was in the door.

Q. Was they standing up or laying down on the bed when the shot was fired?

A. They was sort of laying back on the bed.

Q. Laying back on the bed?

A. Yes.

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Who had the pistol when you saw it?

A. I think both of them had it. You know - they was scuffling over it.

Q. Could you tell from where you was standing whether your daddy was cut before he was shot?

A. No, I couldn't tell. He was about as far as from that door.

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. After your daddy was shot was he laying crosswise or straight up and down like when we found him?

A. He was laying cross.

Q. After the shot was fired was the pistol laying where it was when we found it or had anybody moved it?

A. I didn't get to see the pistol.

Q. You didn't see the pistol at all?

A. No, sir.

Examination by Deputy J. C. NEEL

Q. Did you hear your daddy ask your brother not to kill him when they was scuttling?

A. No. I ain't heard him ask him not to kill him, but I heard him say not to cut him.

Q. You heard him say not to cut him?

A. Yes.

Q. After it was all over what did your brother tell you all to do?

A. He said go over and tell Mr. Jesse to call for the law.

Q. Then he said not to go - he would go with them. Is that right?

A. Yes, sir.

Examination by Foreman HARRY DUKES

Q. Was your daddy cut before he was shot?

A. Yes.

Q. He was cut first?

A. Yes.

Examination by Deputy J. C. NEEL

Q. When he was shot was he standing up or laying down when the shot was fired?

A. They was laying back on the bed.

Q. And he had done been cut then?

A. Yes.

THEODORE WHITENER, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Tell the jury what you know about this cutting or your daddy.

A. When they first started he was talking about he was going to kill him.

Q. Who said he was going to kill him?

A. My daddy said he was going to kill Uncle Jim McK1eckley. Talking about he was going to kill him before day in the morning but he had to wait. He kept on talking. He told Leander, "You trying to be the boss." And he said, "No, sirí. Said, "When you shot me you tried to be the boss." Then my brother said, "You was the cause of it." Then he said, "I wasn't going to stand there and see you beat Mamma." And he said, "Iíll beat you up". My brother said, "You reckon you will?" Then he reached up under the pillow or mattress and it snapped at him three times and he reached up on the shelf and got the knife and reached up there and cut him. Then we all heard the scuffling and then I heard the pistol shot.

Examination by Deputy J. C. NEEL

Q. Did you see any scuffling after the pistol shot?

A. No, sir.

Q. I believe you had gone in the back room and gone to bed?

A. No. I had already gone to bed and when we heard the pistol snap I got up first and I was getting up.

Q. You heard the pistol snap before you got to the door? Is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. When you got to the door where was George and this boy? Standing by the door?

A. The pistol had done shot when us was getting up and then us got to the door.

Q. In other words the pistol had done shot when you got where you could see them?

A. When I got up - about time I was getting up the pistol shot and I was getting up after that.

Q. When the pistol shot you couldn't tell who had it could you?

A. No, but I think my daddy had it.

Q. If you couldn't see it just tell what you saw. If you couldn't see it don't tell it.

A. I couldn't see but I think he had it.

Q. In other words when you got to the door they were both on the bed?

A. Yes.

Q. Who was laying on the bottom your daddy or your brother?

A. Daddy.

Q. Was he laying crosswise or straight up and down?

A. Cross ways the bed.

Q. Crosswise the bed?

A. Yes.

Q. You didn't see your brother cut your daddy did you?

A. No. I couldn't see when he cut him.

Q. Did you see your brother move that pistol during the day before your daddy come home?

A. No. I hadn't seen it.

Q. But all the time you and Eugene wasn't in the room until after the killing?

A. No. They was scuffling when I got in there.

Q. They was scuffling and fighting already?

A. No.

Q. The fighting was already over when you got to where you could see it?

A. No. They was scuffling and they was on the bed.

Q. Your daddy was on the bed?

A. No. My brother.

Q. In other words you never did see them scuffling after you saw them?

A. No, sir.

Q. Your daddy was on the bed?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you or anybody else move your daddy after the fighting was over?

A. No, sir. I ain't seen him moved.

Q. You saw how he was laying when they taken him out?

A. I don't know - r didn't take any notice of him.

Q. Was he laying across the bed?

A. I didn't take no notice.

Q. Did you notice the blood on the bed?

A. No. I didn't notice the bed.

Q. Did you notice the pistol after the fight was over?

A. No. I haven't saw the pistol.

Examination by Sheriff BEN DAWKINS

Q. Boy, when you and your brother went to bed where was Lee Boy?

A. He was feeding the mule. He come in and sat down there.

Q. When you and your brother come in was he sitting or standing?

A. He was walking through the kitchen and I was going on to bed.

Q. He wasn't standing over near the fireplace?

A. Us didn't go in the house where they was. My brother went on in there.

Examination by Deputy J. C. NEEL

Q. In other words you didn't know where Lee Boy was when you went in the house?

A. No. I didn't go in the house. I went onto the bed.

Q. Then your daddy couldn't have been after you with the pistol could he? You wasn't in the room at all where he was?

A. No. He was in the house fussing at me and he was talking about what all he would do to me and when he got up I reckon that is when Leroy grabbed him.

Q. But you didn't see him get up?

A. No, sir. I didn't see.

Examination by Foreman HARRY DUKES

Q. Was your father cut before he was shot?

A. He was cut first.

Q. Who said he was going to kill Jim McKleckley?

A. My daddy.

Q. Why?

A. I don't know.

Examination by Juror N. C. FULMER

Q. If you wasn't in the room how did you know he was cut before he was shot?

A. Lee Boy told me.

Q. You didn't see it? You didn't know whether he was cut before he was shot?

A. My brother said he was cut and my brother and sister they got at the door before I did.

EUGENE DAWKINS recalled to the stand

Examination by Sheriff BEN DAWKINS

Q. Eugene did you go in the house before you went to bed when they was fussing?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Where was Lee Boy?

A. He was sitting over by the fireplace.

Q. When you went to bed was he still sitting there?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Had your daddy done taken off his clothes and gone to bed?

A. Yes, he had gone to bed.

Q. When you came back to the door, where was Lee Boy then?

A. They was standing up by the bed scuffling.

Q. Lee Boy had gone cross the room to the bed where your daddy was?

A. Yes.

Examination by Deputy J. C. NEEL

Q. How long had Lee Boy been living back there with you all?

A. Not long.

Q. After he got off the gang?

A. Yes. It may have been three weeks.

Q. You didn't see him have the pistol snapping it at your little brother that night did you?

A. No, sir.

Q. After George went to bed did he ever get up?

A. Yes, sir. After it started.

Q. Did you see your brother when he went back to the bed?

A. No. He snapped the pistol and he went back there and grabbed him and I went to the door.

Q. You was in the bedroom when you heard the pistol snap?

A. I was in my bedroom.

Q. But you didn't see your daddy nor your brother when you heard the pistol snap?

A. No.

Q. How long after the pistol snapped before it shot?

A. Not long.

Q. Had you got to the door?

A. Yes.

Q. At that time your daddy and Lee Boy - was they standing up or laying down when you got to the door?

A. No, sir. He hadn't been shot when I got to the door.

Q. Had your daddy been cut when you first got to the door or could you tell?

A. He wasn't cut exactly when I got there to the door.

Q. Did you see Lee Boy cut him?

A. No, sir.

Q. When the pistol fired, who had the pistol in their hand, do you know?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did Lee Boy tell you that he shot him?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did he tell you he cut him?

A. Yes sir. He said he cut him.

Q. But you did not see the cutting or the shooting?

A. No, sir.

Deputy J. C. NEEL. being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Mr. Neel tell what you know about this case, please sir.

A. I received a telephone message that they had been somebody cut and shot in Maybinton. Accompanied by other officers I went to George Whitener's house. Just as I got where you leave the main highway to go into George's house I caught up with an automobile. Leander Whitener got out of the car and came over to our car and told me that he had cut his daddy and he accompanied us to George Whitener's house. When we got inside we found George's body in the bed. There was a pistol laying up under his hand, with one empty cartridge in the chamber. Leander Whitener told me that he and his daddy was scrambling over the pistol and he shot his daddy in the stomach.

He also told me that he cut him with a pocketknife. He said the reason that he cut him his daddy was chasing one of these younger boys with the pistol. We examined George's body and found gunshot wound in his right shoulder and about 4 inches split - knife wound near the right shoulder.

Running just below his ear across the back of his neck was a gash that cut all the liters [?] in the back of his neck loose. There was an awful lot of blood in the bed just where a man's head would normally lay in the bed if he had gone to bed.

George's body was over from this bloody place with the right side resting up on the bed. His right foot on the floor.

Leander Whitener told me early in the day that he turned the cylinder of this pistol around so this loaded cartridge would be away from the firing pin. This happened in Newberry County

Q. Did Leander Whitener say which boy George Whitener was chasing with the pistol?

A. He said one of these young boys - Theodore, that is the one he said he was chasing.

Q. Any of the jurors want to ask any questions?

Examination by Foreman HARRY DUKES

Q. Either George Whitener or this other boy drinking?

A. I couldn't say about George, but I didn't notice any on the boy. George had been dead several hours when I got there. I understand this fight happened right after dark and it was about 11:30 when I arrived there.

DOCTOR'S CERTIFICATE

16 July Ď47

This is to certify that I examined the body of George Whitener at Williams' Funeral Home on the morning of 9 July '47.

The following findings were noted:

1. Gunshot wound (pistol?) of right upper chest was with tract descending straight downward through lung.
2. Laceration (knife wound?) of right shoulder region.
3. Laceration (knife wound) starting at angle of left jaw extending across entire posterior surface of neck, this severed
the left carotid arteries and all of the posterior neck muscles.

The cause of death was massive hemorrhage from the severed left carotid arteries.

(Signed) A. W. Welling, MD


April 2, 1946

At the request of the Coroner of Newberry County an autopsy was performed on the body of a NEW-BORN INFANT April 1, 1946 at the McSwain Funeral Home.

The findings are as follows:

Full term newborn girl with placenta and cord attached and intact.

Weight about eight and one-half pounds.

There was a towel tied around the neck and drawn tight to apparently produce suffocation.

Evidence was seen where it actually cut into the tissue. The body was approximately over twenty-four hours old and it is presumed that death occurred soon after birth.

Maggots were seen in nostrils, ears, and mouth.

A midline incision was made and the right lung was removed intact and placed in water. It floated which showed that the child was born alive and breathed.

It is my opinion that this child died as a result of suffocation, which was caused by the towel around the neck being forcibly drawn until death occurred. (Signed) Reyburn W. Lominack, MD


February 21,1946

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of CHARLIE DAVIS and found that he died of wound or lick over left eye causing a crushing break of bone and internal bleeding.

He was dead before burned. (Signed) J. E. Grant, MD


June 19,1947

JACOB BUNDRICK

NEWBERRY, S. C.

This young man met his death from drowning. (Signed) R. E. Livingston, MD


September 18,1947

Mr. Leroy Wilson, Coroner

Newberry, S. C.

Dear Sir:

At your request the body of JAMOUS COUNTS was examined and the following found.

Fracture of the left tibia and fibula just below the knee joint

Fracture of the humerus below the right shoulder

Fracture of neck and back.

There were also multiple contusions and abrasions over the body.

It is my opinion that this Negro man came to his death as result of being struck by a falling tree as the history suggests.

(Signed) Reyburn W. Lominack, MD


INQUISITION INTO THE DEATH OF FRED KINARD (Colored)

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry County Court House in the County and State aforesaid, the 22nd day of January A. D., one thousand nine hundred and forty-eight before Leroy Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of Fred Kinard of Newberry County then and there being dead by the oaths of George W. Neel, J. C. Baxter, Charlie A. Force, Grady F. Graham, R. L. Hunter and G. P. Berry, being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the State of South Carolina where and by what means the said Fred Kinard came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that Fred Kinard came to his death due to collision between a truck driven by James Higgins and a car driven by Sidney Hunter.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid came to his death as aforesaid.

Leroy Wilson, Coroner

G. P. Berry, Foreman

George W. Neel

J. C. Baxter

Charlie A. Force

Grady F. Graham

R. L. Hunter

TESTIMONY

Patrolman H. F. SWILLEY being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Mr. Swilley you are a State Highway Patrolman?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you have a call on January 10th to go and investigate a wreck at Gary's Lane?

A. Yes.

Q. Tell the Jury what your investigation proved out.

A. We received this call shortly after 9:00 o'clock and on arriving found that the accident occurred on Highway 76 approximately ten miles north of Newberry just on the other side of Trucker's Inn. On arriving on the scene we found that a '42 Ford Sedan driven by Sidney Rufus Hunter was involved with a '46 Ford truck driven by James Higgins, colored. We also found a dead colored male, Fred Kinard. The accident showed that the Ford automobile had run into the rear of the truck. Both vehicles were on the right of the center of the highway. The automobile was in the ditch, damage being done to the right side of the front. The truck was approximately 500 feet on up the road partially on the shoulder of the highway. All evidence was that the accident occurred around 8: 30 P. M.

Q. Mr. Swilley, was there any marks on the road indicating where tires had slid?

A. No marks to show where brakes were applied before striking the vehicle.

Q. How far did the truck travel after the impact?

A. Approximately 500 feet from where we was told the impact occurred.

Q. Was the truck stopped or moving when it was hit?

A. The driver and other witnesses on the truck stated that the truck was moving approximately 25 miles per hour.

Q. Was anyone else injured in this accident?

A. Yes, the driver James Higgins. We was advised on our investigation that when the automobile struck the rear of the truck it knocked James Higgins out of the truck on the pavement. The reason for the truck being as far away as it was - was their statements that after he was knocked out of the truck that his mother and another lady were in the truck that neither of them not knowing how to operate a vehicle knew hot to get it stopped any sooner.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Any questions from the Jury?

G. P. BERRY, Foreman

Q. Was both on the right side of the road when it happened?

A. Yes, sir. Both on the right side when it happened. Both traveling north on 76 toward Greenville. I might add Mr. Coroner, we arrived at the scene of the accident approximately 45 minutes after it occurred and the taillights was showing and we could see it from the point of the accident to where it was parked.

JAMES HIGGINS, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. James, were you driving the truck?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who all was on the truck?

A. Virgil Glasgow, Earl Martin, Ella Bell Jackson, Fred Kinard, James Swittenberg, Pauline Glasgow.

Q. James, how fast you driving this truck?

A. Twenty-five miles an hour.

Q. Where were you going? Home?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Had you been drinking?

A. No, sir.

Q. Tell the Jury how this wreck happened?

A. We was just going along and the car just run into the back.

Q. Anybody get hurt when they run into you?

A. Yes, sir. Killed Fred and knocked me out and knocked the truck on up the road.

Q. What did you do after the wreck?

A. Ma and them took and got me loose and carried me down to another fellow's house. Tore all my clothes off.

Q. Did you have any brakes on that truck?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you apply the brakes after the lick?

A. No, sir.

Q. When did you fallout of the truck? When it first hit?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who stopped the truck?

A. My mother and my cousin was in there and they got it stopped.

Q. Any questions from the Jury? (None)

EMILE SAINT AMAND, Attorney

Q. James do you remember just before you was knocked from the truck, do you remember seeing a car with bright lights approaching you?

A. No, sir.

Q. You don't remember seeing any automobile approaching you?

A. No, sir.

EARL MARTIN, colored, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Earl were you riding on the back of the truck?

A. On the back.

Q. Who else was riding on the back?

A. Glasgow and Fred.

Q. You was riding right against the cab or back at the end?

A. Back just between the cab and the wheels.

A. What did you have on the truck?

A. Pulpwood.

Q. How was that frame made on the back?

A. Just got two runners in the back and a flat to stand on to throw the wood off.

Q. You standing between the runners.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Go ahead and tell the Jury how this happened.

A. We had come down to get paid off and after we got paid off on our way back on there on the other side of Trucker's Inn a '42 Ford run up behind us. He knocked Fred off the truck and as I could see he run over him.  Knocked Glasgow off too.

Q. Knocked Glasgow off too?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did the truck run over Fred?

A. No, sir. Knocked him over a little too far for the truck to hit him. He was right behind the truck when the car stopped.

Q. You all were right behind the car that stopped?

A. No, sir. We was on our way down the road.

Q. Did this Ford attempt to pass you?

A. No, sir.

Q. How fast were you going?

A. Between 20 and 25 miles.

Q. Any questions from the Jury?

G. P. BERRY, Foreman

Q. I would love to know whether he was meeting a car. Did it hit him in the back?

A. Yes, sir.

SIDNEY RUFUS HUNTER makes the following statement after being sworn:

Examination by EMILE SAINT AMAND, Attorney

Q. Sidney how old are you?

A. Seventeen.

Q. Do you work Sidney?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where do you work?

A. Goldville Cotton Mills.

Q. Who is your mother?

A. Mrs. Nancy Hunter.

Q. Who was her father?

A. Mr. Sid Stockman.

Q. How long you been living in Newberry County?

A. All my life.

Q. Is this your mother back of you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Sidney, were you going toward Clinton on the night of the accident?

A. That is right.

Q. Driving what kind of automobile?

A. Ď42 Ford.

Q. Was it in good mechanical condition?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How long had you had it?

A. I had had it just about two weeks.

Q. From whom did you buy it?

A. Mr. Hopkins. I traded.

Q. Mr. Hopkins, the Kaiser-Fraser man?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Sidney, in your own words and go slowly, tell us just how that accident happened.

A. Well, just as I went around the curve and I pulled out to go around the truck and just as I pulled over I noticed I was meeting a car and I pulled back in and the next thing I knew I woke up under the steering wheel in the ditch.  Just as I come to I walked over where these fellows were behind the car. I noticed him right back in the road and badly injured.

Q. How fast were you going at the time?

A. Approximately 35 miles.

Q. When you started around the truck what kept you from going around that truck.

A. Just as I pulled out I noticed this car and I pulled it back in.

Q. Were you drinking anything in the way of intoxicating beverages, wine, beer?

A. No, sir.

Q. How soon after the collision did you talk to Sheriff Dawkins?

A. About 30 minutes or a little better.

Q. He came in about 30 minutes?

A. Yes, sir. I was sitting back in behind where these two fellows were sitting in the car waiting for him.

Q. Do you want to do all you can to help him?

A. I have tried to do all I can in paying him. Already tried.

Q. Anything else you want to say?

A. No, sir.

Q. You know any reason why you ran into the truck?

A. Just that I was meeting this automobile and when I pulled back in I hadn't noticed I was that close on the truck and I didn't have time to make it back.

Q. What was your greatest speed from the time you left Newberry until the collision?

A. About forty.

Q. Anything else you want to add to it Sidney?

A. No, sir.

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q, Any questions from the Jury? (None)

Q. Sidney this collision happened on a curve or on a straight road?

A. Around the curve.

Q. That is all. You may go.

PATROLMAN SWILLEY recalled to the stand.

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Did you smell any alcohol on any of these in this accident?

A. I didn't smell any alcohol on any of the drivers.

DOCTOR'S CERTIFICATE

January 22,1948

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of Fred Kinard and found that his right arm was broken and crushed, his right chest was crushed, and the right side of his head was injured.

Death resulted from the crushed chest, internal bleeding and shock. (Signed) J. E. Grant, MD


August 27,1947

It is my opinion that Miss ADA I. LONG died from an electrical shock, probably lightening.

(Signed) A. J. Katzberg, MD


Veterans Administration Hospital Columbia, South Carolina April 30, 1947

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

Mr. ROSCOE B. PADGETT, naval veteran of World War II, was admitted to this Hospital on April 26,1947, at approximately 2:00 P. M.

He was immediately seen by a member of the Surgical Staff who noted that the patient was semi-comatose, groaning and suffering from definite intracranial injury.

The patient was given immediate emergency therapy for his brain injury and multiple fractures, however, in spite of all measures introduced, he became progressively worse, developed a generalized, spastic paralysis and eventually entered a spastic, convulsive state which was then followed by cyanosis, respiratory failure and death at 9:55 P. M,

April 26,1947.

A lumbar puncture revealed almost pure blood in the spinal fluid.

DIAGNOSIS:

1. Fracture, skull, severe, linear, beginning at the fronto-parietal region, running parallel to the saggital suture through
the right parietal and occipital bone and entering the base of the skull. No depression; tr; died.
2. Fractures, multiple, small, hairline, left frontal and temporal region. No. depression; tr; died.
3. Contusion, cerebral, severe, secondary to 1 and 2 tr; died.
4. Fracture, lamina vertebra, 6th cervical tr; died.
5. Fracture. transverse process. left vertebra D-12 tr; died.
6. Fracture, rib head, left 12th tr; died.
7. Fracture, complete, transverse styloid process, left ulna tr; died.
8. Fracture, triquertrum, left with dislocation of the pisiform tr; died.
9. Fracture, incomplete, left capitate and hamate tr; died.
10. Fracture, acetabulum, right tr; died.
11. Laceration, scalp, occipital tr; died.
12. Contusion and hematoma, fronto-parietal area, left tr; died.
13. Hematoma, bilateral, ocular tr; died.

(Signed) Sam Simpson, MD

Ward Surgeon.


October 28,1947

ED WALTON

Newberry, S. C.

The above came to his death from a bullet wound to the right temple area ranging directly across head towards left ear.

Powder burns present. (Signed) R. E. Livingston, MD

November 4, 1947


EUGENE EPTING

Newberry, S. C.

The above came to his death because of a blunt object entering his body from the back at level of 11th rib on right side and coming out just at rib border on front. (Signed) R. E. Livingston, MD


INQUISITION INTO THE DEATH OF
LOMAS SLIGH (Colored)

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry County Court House in the County and State aforesaid the 14th day of October A. D., one thousand nine hundred and forty-seven before Leroy Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of Lomas Sligh of Newberry, S. C. then and there being dead by the oaths of Sam Marlow, D. L. Laird, Sam Sinclair, Charlie Force, George W. Neel and Harry Dukes, being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the State of South Carolina where and by what means the said Lomas Sligh came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that Lomas Sligh came to his death by gunshot wounds at the hands of Will Glenn.

AND so the said Jurors upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid came to his death as aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, Leroy Wilson, Coroner aforesaid and the Jurors aforesaid, to this Inquisition have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

Leroy Wilson, Coroner

Harry Dukes, Foreman

Charlie Force

George W. Neel

D. L. Laird

S. L. Marlow

Virgil Sinclair

TESTIMONY

INEZ WILLIAMS, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Inez, where do you live?

A. Helena.

Examination by Deputy J. C. NEEL

Q. Where were you at Saturday night about 11:00 O'clock?

A. I was over in Helena.

Q. Where abouts in Helena?

A. I was over to Mrs. Caldwell's.

Q. Who did you go over there with?

A. Mr. Will.

Q. Mr. Will who?

A. Glenn.

Q. Who else was in the car with you?

A. J. Owens and Elbert Mayes.

Q. Did you all leave from Will Glenn's store together?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How long did you all stay over to this house when you got there?

A. About one hour.

Q. Did you all take a drink while you was over there?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. When you all came back from over there to the store tell what happened. Just tell the Jury.

A. When we came back from the store, well when we leave Mrs. Caldwell's we did not have no kerosene. Mr. Will told he would let her have some oil do her till Monday. And the childrens came back with us.

Q. Call the children by name.

A. Odessa and Dorothy.

Q. Caldwell?

A. Yes.

Q. When you were at the store what happened?

A. When we got to the store we got out to get the oil. The children got the oil. I was going back home. Then Lomas come up. Told me to come on, let's go home. Whenever we got to the store he jumped on me. After he jumped on me I said I was going back down there to apologize to Mr. Will. That is, if I said anything wrong to him. That was all I said.

Q. How far away from the store was you when he turned to go back?

A. Between Mr. Will's and Miss Bell Greenwood's.

Q. Did you and Lomas have a fight in the store?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did Lomas go to the store before you and him went back up the road?

A. He come in there calling me. That was all.

Q. As a matter of fact didn't he pull you out of the automobile and knock you in the glass of Will's automobile?

A. No, sir.

Q. What happened when Lomas got back in the store?

A. I couldn't tell - I didn't go back in there.

Q. Did you hear any noise?

A. Onliest thing I heard was the shot and I wasn't down there.

Q. All four of you was pretty drunk in the automobile?

A. I couldn't say they was drunk but we all had a drink.

Q. How much liquor did you get?

A. Just a pint is all we got.

Q. Who all drank the pint?

A. Just us four.

Q. Call them by name.

A. Elbert Mayes, J. Owens, Will Glenn and myself.

Q. You and Lomas Sligh had been living together for some time hadn't you?

A. No, we had been going together for some time but had not been living together.

Q. Had you and him been together earlier in the night?

A. No, sir.

Q. You hadn't seen Lomas anywhere that Saturday night at all?

A. No, sir.

Q. Any of the Jury want to ask any questions?

Examination by Foreman HARRY DUKES

Q. Isn't Lomas Sligh the father of your little girl?

A. Yes. Had been taking care of her.

Examination by Attorney FELIX GREENE.

Q. When did you first see him that night? Earlier in the evening?

A. He come from my house down to Mr. Will's.

Examination by Deputy J. C. NEEL

Q. When did you find out Lomas had been shot?

A. Sunday morning.

Q. What time Sunday morning?

A. Around about 7:00 or 7:30.

Q. You don't remember having a conversation with me about two o'clock Saturday night?

A. No, sir. I remember you all coming in there.

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Any of the Jury want to ask any questions? (None)

ODESSA CALDWELL, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Deputy J. C. NEEL

Q. Odessa, where do you live?

A. Helena.

Q. Where was you at Saturday night?

A. I was in town first Saturday night.

Q. I mean when you first saw Will Glenn.

A. I was at home.

Q. Did someone come to your house in a car?

A. Will was there when I come.

Q. Who was there?

A. Him and Nez and Elbert Mayes and J. Owens.

Q. Did you leave in the car with them?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where did you all go?

A. Up to Will's.

Q. What happened when you all got up there?

A. When we got there we come out the store. Lomas he come up and call Nez. He walked around the car and hit her and he knocked her out for about five minutes. When he hit her Will grabbed him.

Q. Will Glenn grabbed him.

A. Yes.

A. Yes. J. he come there, tried to get Will to hold him. Lomas he got Will from him and he got back off him and told him not to come back up on him. He said if he did he would shoot him. And he started around the car at Nez. They broke and run in the store. He went in there and got her. He hit her in there and drug her out doors, and hit her out there. Will told him not to hit her any more. And that was all. When he told him not to hit her any more I walked away.

Q. How did the glass get broke out of Will's car.

A. When Lomas hit Nez the first time he broke it out.

Q. Did you hear the shot?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you go back to the store after the shot was tired?

A. We didn't get out. Will told us to turn and go back.

Q. Will told you all to turn around and go back home?

A. Yes.

Q. Did he say if you didn't go back home he would do anything?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you hear him tell anybody to get Inez Williams and carry her home?

A. No, sir.

Q. Was anybody else in the store when the shot was fired?

A. I didn't see anybody come out but Will.

Q. Didn't anybody else come out?

A. No, 'cause all who was out there was on the ground when the shot was fired.

Q. Where was Elbert Mayes at this time?

A. Elbert was in the yard.

Q. In the yard?

A. Yes.

Q. Did he seem to be pretty drunk?

A. He was on the ground.

Q. You didn't see anybody knock him down?

A. He fell over Nez.

Q. Was J. Owens drinking too?

A. I couldn't hardly tell about J. He didn't seem to be drunk.

Q. What part did he take?

A. Nothing but he and Will was on Lomas trying to keep him off Nez.

Q. Who went in the store first?

A. Will was already in there.

Q. You said he was outside trying to get them apart.

A. Yes.

Q. Will Just turned and went back in the store?

A. When Lomas told him not to go he didn't go then. When Nez went in there he went then. But when he went in the store he was in there. I don't know who was the first one went in there.

Q. Did they have any fight or scuffle in the store?

A. Will was already in there.

Q. You said he was outside trying to get them apart.

A. Yes.

Q. Will Just turned and went back in the store?

A. When Lomas told him not to go he didn't go then. When Nez went in there he went then. But when he went in the store he was in there. I don't know who was the first one went in there.

Q. Did they have any fight or scuffle in the store?

A. Yes, Lomas did.

Q. Was that after he hit her and knocked the car out that they went on in the store?

A. Yes.

Q. Did they come back out the store? All three of them?

A. Yes, Lomas brought Nez out.

Q. Then Will went back in?

A. I can't remember whether he come out or not.

Q. Did you say Lomas told him not to go back in there?

A. That was the first time. When the shooting was I don't know how he got in there. I had started away.

Q. Did you see anybody move Lomas' body on the floor?

A. No sir.

Q. Where was it laying when you were where you could see?

A. I didn't get very far. I could see his foots, right with the door.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. J. Owens and Elbert, where were they, outside or in?

A. Out side.

Q. Elbert was on the ground?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where was J.?

A. On the outside of the door.

Q. Did Will tell you he shot Lomas?

A. No, he didn't tell me. He didn't tell me anything but go home.

J. OWENS, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by J. C. NEEL, Deputy Sheriff

Q. Just tell us what happened from the time you and Will left in the car until it happened.

A. We went over to Helena - Inez, Elbert Mayes and Will Glenn and myself~

Q. Where did you all go?

A. Will went to Miss Maybelle's.

Q. Did all of you take a drink?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. About how much liquor did you all drink?

A. Not more than a pint.

Q. Tell us what happened.

A. Then we decides we would come on back and Miss Maybelle didn't have no oil and Will told her he would bring the kids out to the store. And when we drove up to the store Will got out and went in the store. And Lomas come up on the side and told Inez to get out, she ought to been at home. And I got out one - one side - and I don't know whether he pulled her out or if she got out but he hit her and Will run out the store and he grabbed him and some of them throwed me down and when I got up I tried to get to the house. That is all I know about it. That is the truth.

When they throwed me down I decided to get to the house. And it wasn't long then before I heard a shot. I don't know who it was but somebody was coming up the road hollering.

Q. Who went back in the store?

A. I couldn't tell you. I was headed back to the house.

Q. You was pretty drunk?

A. I wasn't drunk, but had a drink or two in me. I wasn't down and where I couldn't go, but I had a drink or two in me.

Q. Did you go back to the store after the shooting?

A. I started back and 1 met Will where you stopped me Sunday. And I asked him had he shot Lomas and he said he didn't know. Said he was laying on the floor.

Q. Did you see Lomas run his hand in his pocket and tell Will not to come on him?

A. No, sir. I shore didn't.

Q. Did you hear him make any threats about Will?

A. No, sir. When they throwed me down I was in the yard. I don't know. I heard somebody talking but what they was talking about I don't know.

Q. Any of the Jury want to ask any questions? (None)

ELBERT MAYES, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by J. C. NEEL, Deputy Sheriff

Q. Elbert, tell us exactly everything that happened after J. Owens, Inez, Will Glenn and yourself got together.

A. Well, we went up there and got a drink and went by Mrs. Caldwell's and got her good daughters and got in the car to go back up to the store. Before we got to the store we was drinking. I don't even know what happened before I got there. And when I knowed anything this boy was shot and someone was waking me up to go home. Said they had called the law.

Q. Somebody waked you up and told you they had called the law? Go on?

A. Somebody woke me up.

Q. You don't remember anything that happened at the store. About the argument?

A. No, sir.

Q. What was the first thing you do remember?

A. I seed him laying in the floor and I was going home and I met you somewhere on the road. You picked me up and come back by the store and got Mr. Will.

Q. What happened to you then?

A. You brought me to town and locked me up.

Q. All four of you all in the car drunk some liquor together didn't you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Any of the Jury want to ask any questions? (None)

Deputy Sheriff J. C. NEEL, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Mr. Neel, did you have a call to Helena Saturday night?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Tell what you found?

A. I received some information about twelve o'clock Saturday night that someone was shot at Will Glenn's store.

Upon arriving at the store Will Glenn was coming down the road about 200 feet beyond the store back to the store.

Mr. Martin got out and met Will and had a conversation with him. Mr. Martin came back and told me that Will said he shot Lomas Sligh. I got out and went in the store and found Lomas laying on his face just inside of the store with his feet towards the door. There was blood spattered where somebody had dragged Lomas' body about five feet towards the door. Will told me that Lomas was coming on him with his hand in his bosom. And telling him that he had a pistol. I picked up a knife laying on the floor near where Lomas' body was and Will told me after 1 found the knife that Lomas was coming towards him with the knife in his hand. He said he ran behind the counter and got his shotgun and told Lomas not to come any further and shot him. On Lomas' left hand was powder burns and he had a gunshot wound in his neck. I could smell liquor on Will's breath. I also went to Inez Williams' house. She was asleep in the bed.

I awakened her and had a conversation with her. She was so drunk I could not get any sense out of what she said.

I also, just before arriving at Will Glenn's store, picked up Elbert Mayes out of the ditch. He was very drunk.

I placed him and Will Glenn in the Newberry County Jail. I did not see J. Owens that night. I believe that is all.

Q. Mr. Neel, did you ever see this gun Lomas was supposed to have?

A. I did not. I had the undertaker to search his body when he arrived. He got a half pint of bootleg liquor out of his bosom. About one drink had been taken out of the bottle. He has 75Ę in money in his pocket. Nothing else except a few papers and cigarettes and matches.

Q. Any further questions? (None)

MR. NEEL: The shotgun had two discharged shells in it. Will Glenn told me that he had fired the gun earlier in the night to see if it would work.

Said he had had Mr. Tommie Lake to work on it that day.

Q. Any further questions? (None)

Doctor's Certificate

October 11,1947

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of Lomas Sligh and my conclusion is that he died of shock and hemorrhage resulting from shotgun wound of left side of neck above collar bone.

(Signed) J. E. Grant, MD


INQUISITION INTO DEATH OF TOMMIE MILLER (Colored)

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry County Court House in the County and State aforesaid, the 19th day of February A. D., one thousand nine hundred and forty-eight before Leroy Wilson, Coroner, upon view of the body of Tommie Miller of Newberry County then and there being dead by the oaths of John E. McCullough, George W. Neel, R. L. Hunter, Clarence B. DeHart, P. D. Holloway and Howard Clark, being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the State of South Carolina where and by what means the said Tommie Slim Miller came to his death upon their oaths, do say that Tommie Slim Miller came to his death from gunshot wounds inflicted by Morris Gary.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid came to his death as aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, Leroy Wilson, Coroner aforesaid, and the Jurors aforesaid, to this Inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

Leroy Wilson, Coroner

Howard Clark, Foreman

John E. McCullough

R. L. Hunter

P. D. Holloway

George W. Neel

Clarence B. DeHart

TESTIMONY

MARIE GARY, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Marie do you know Tommie Miller?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did he live in the house with you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Are you all any kin?

A. Brother and sister.

Q. Were you home on Saturday night the 14th of this month?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What happened?

A. The shooting took place. Morris Gary had been to town. He had been to town. He walks in the house and gets his supper. He come back there, sits there at the fireplace and they was talking of one thing another. He gets up and brings his dog out and cat and feeds them. Walks between the door and the wardrobe, picks up his watch and looks at it and that time Slim he was cussing and he run back and squatted.

Q. Who run back and squatted?

A. Slim.

Q. Slim run back and squatted?

A. Yes, and up went both hands. Each one had hold to the gun and the gun fired. Slim fell.

Q. Then what happened?

A. Then Morris Gary says, "I'll go for the ambulance and the doctor". He went and got the white preacher to come.  He came to see him. And he said, "I don't want to go sitting up, I want to go laying down". They went to town for the ambulance and come and carried him to the hospital. He says, "Don't arrest him, for I was going to kill him".

Q. Who reached up and got the gun?

A. When they reached up I was getting in the bed. When I seed them both had the gun. One had one end and one had the other.

Q. Could you tell which one had the barrel?

A. Morris had the barrel. (Undecided)

Q. Which one had the barrel?

A. Tommie had the barrel and Morris had the stock part.

Q. Did either one say anything?

A. Tommie was cussing. And Morris was not cussing.

Q. Was he cussing Morris?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What was he cussing him about?

A. 1 don't know sir. He just was high tempered.

Q. You don't know what they were arguing about?

A. No, sir. They wasn't arguing. They was just sitting down talking and lit out to cussing.

Q. What were they talking about?

A. I don't know, sir. I don't know, 'cause I didn't pay any attention that much.

Q. Were they in the same room with you?

A. Yes, sir. In the same room.

Q. And you donít know what they were saying?

A. Morris was sitting up there and I was fixing to get in bed and Morris walked to the wardrobe and they wasn't saying anything, just going the cussing.

Q. About what time did it happen?

A. Near as I can come it was between six and seven. We didn't have no time piece. His watch was laying there but I didn't pay it no attention to see what time it was.

Q. Did Slim and Morris live in the house with you?

A. Yes, sir.

Examination by Sheriff BEN DAWKINS

Q. Back about six months ago were you living there when Slim shot at Morris?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you see that?

A. Yes. I was sitting sort of in the facing of the door and I seed that then.

Q. In other words they didn't get along so well together?

A. No, sir.

Q. Had either one made any threats before this took place?

A. No, They hadn't made any threats.

Q. What were they arguing about and what Slim was cussing about you don't know?

A. No sir.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir.

ELIZA MILLER, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Eliza, do you live with Morris Gary?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. All of you live in the house together?

A. Yes. All in the house together.

Q. You are the mother of Slim Miller?

A. Yes, I am the mother of him.

Q. Were you home when this shooting took place?

A. Right there, sir.

Q. Tell those men over there what happened.

A. What they started about I couldn't tell you that. My boy wasn't a strong minded child.

Q. What was his name?

A. Tommie Miller. He was a child, just was a cussing child. He had spells. Been that way from his birth. Now what they started to fussing about I don't know. Sometimes you couldn't speak to him, just make him mad. Again he was just as agreeable as anybody want to meet a child. I was gone to bed. What him and Morris fussing about I couldn't tell for I don't know.

Examination by Sheriff BEN DAWKINS

Q. What happened next?

A. I was in bed with my back turned to the wall. I turned and asked what the matter and got up. And Tommie fell. And Morris was standing inside of the door with the gun in his hand. And Tommie laying right close the door where I showed you all the other day. He was just laying there.

Q. Before you lay down were they arguing?

A. Hadn't argued. He was sitting one place and Morris another.

Q. Did you hear Tommie cussing Morris?

A. I didn't hear. I had gone to bed to sleep.

Q. Did you hear anything before the shooting?

A. No, I ain't heard nothing before the shooting.

Q. And did Tommie say anything to Morris after you woke up and got up?

A. Yes. Morris had the gun in his hand. He spoke and told Morris, "Don't shoot me no more". Then me and my daughter went to him to put him in the bed. And I asked what was the matter with him.

Q. What did they say?

A. Tommie didn't say anything. Morris he stepped on out the door. Said he was going to get the ambulance and carry him to the hospital.

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. About what time did this ambulance arrive?

A. I can't exactly say. Kind of had me frightened. I don't know exactly.

Q. This seemed like a long time before it got there?

A. It was a good little while 'cause he come back home before he went to get someone to carry him. Seems like they won't about to go and he went back for the ambulance.

Q. That is all you know about it?

A. That is all I know.

LEONA GARY, being duly sworn, says

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Leona, are you Morris Gary's wife?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you know Slim Miller?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were you home the night he was shot?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Tell the Jury just what happened.

A. Well, Morris had been to town. Tommie he hadn't been to town. So first part of that night Morris came home and he went and had supper and then he came back and he sat down by the fire. We all were talking just calmly. So Morris he goes back to the wardrobe to look for his watch. Tommie was cussing Morris. He ducked under him some way or other. Some way both of them had hold of the gun and the gun was fired. Tommie had the barrel and Morris had the stock. Tommie fell and Morris said he would go and get the doctor and ambulance. He stepped out and we put Tommie in the bed. And they sent me over to the neighbor's house to get someone So I came back home and that's all I know.

Q. What was Tommie cussing Morris about?

A. I don't know.

Q. Were you in the same room with them?

A. Yes. At the same time I was in the room with them.

Q. You heard Townie cussing him?

A. Yes.

Q. But you don't know what it was about?

A. I don't know what it was about.

Q. Who reached for the gun first?

A. I don't know. When I saw them both had hold of the gun. Even after Tommie fell he still had hold.

Q. Where was this gun?

A. Up over the door.

Q. You don't know which one got it first?

A. When I saw them both of them had it.

Q. Was this gun in a rack over the door?

A. Yes, in a rack over the door.

Q. Were they fighting before they got the gun?

A. No, sir.

Q. Who all was in the room?

A. Just three of us. Tommie and Morris.

Q. Who all?

A. Eliza Miller, Marie Gary, Tommie Miller, Morris Gary, Naomi Gary and the baby.

Q. About what time did this happen?

A. I don't know the exact time but I know it was the first part of the night.

Q. Morris didn't say what time it was when he looked at his watch?

A. He didn't say. He just looked.

Q. You know anything else about it?

A. No, sir.

Examination by Sheriff BEN DAWKINS

Q. They were fussing before either one went over to the gun?

A. No, they was not fussing.

Q. Was Tommie Miller cussing then?

A. After Morris walked back to look at the watch - that was when he was doing the cussing.

Q. Where was the watch?

A. Up on the wardrobe.

Q. On the dresser beside the rack?

A. Over there is the wardrobe and over there is the door. The gun was up over the door. (Indicating)

Deputy Sheriff JOHN WILSON, being duly sworn, says:

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Mr. Wilson you are Deputy Sheriff of Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you have a call to go to Eliza Miller's house on February 14th - that night?

A. Approximately 10:30 on the night of the 14th of February we received a telephone call. Information from that telephone call we proceeds to the People's Hospital of Newberry. Upon arriving there in company with Deputy Sheriff J. C. Neel we find Tommie Miller with a gunshot wound in his left hip. I asked over there who shot him and Morris Gary said he did. And about two o'clock that night I received another telephone call that Tommie had died and Morris Gary had come in to the Jail and give himself up. Later I went to the Jail to talk with Morris and told him that any statement he may make might be used for him or against him. I asked him what the trouble was between he and Slim. Said a family fuss. I also asked him what caused the family fuss. Said Slim had been talking about him and also his wife and he told him to layoff of them and the he wouldn't have anything to do with him and him not to have anything to do with him - which would be Morris Gary. And at that time he walked back to look at his watch but did not get to the watch. Slim jumped up, says, "God Damn you, I will kill you". He reached up in the rack and gets the gun and Slim come at him and he shot him. I guess that is about all I know about it.

Examination by Sheriff BEN DAWKINS

Q. Mr. Wilson tell us about going up to the house and the arrangements in the house, clothes, etc., what you saw of those.

A. Upon entering the house there is a bed sits on the left hand side of the door as you enter and just on the far side about center ways of the wall there was the blood that we saw on the floor which had been cleaned up before we got there. Upon the right near the door that leads into another room was where the gun rack was. Asked about his clothes.

Said that they had been washed but was out on the line at that time drying. The overalls that they showed us showed a hole through the left hip pocket approximately the size of a 25Ę piece. His underwear or drawers had a hole about the same size on the left side.

Examination by Coroner LEROY WILSON

Q. Any questions from the Jury?

Examination by Juror P. D. HOLLOWAY

Q. What kind of gun was he shot with?

A. Single barrel breech-load was what we found.

Examination by Attorney FELIX GREEN

Q. Did you find the gun there at the house?

A. Yes, sir.

CORONER WILSON

Q. Any further questions? (None)

DOCTOR'S CERTIFICATE

I saw Tommie Miller February 14, 1948 at 10:30 P. M., in the People's Hospital.

He was in a state of shock and collapse.

There was a gunshot wound on side of the left hip that entered the pelvis.

He died at 12:10 February 15,1948.

Death was caused by hemorrhage and shock from gunshot wound in the hip. (Signed) H. B. Senn, MD

 

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