Tragic Deaths Caused by Crime and Accident
Tipton County, Tennessee

(For Tipton County Obituaries go to Obituaries)



A melancholy occurrence happened near Wesley, Tipton county, Tennessee, day before yesterday.  Two brothers by the name of Collier, of respectable and wealthy parents, aged respectively twenty and twenty-one years, disputed about a pony, when the younger brother stabbed the other and killed him.  The particulars are as follows: The younger brother owned a pony which the elder wished to ride to town.  The other brother objected, and as the older brother rode off, hearing the other grumbling and uttering angry sounds, turned in his saddle, and in a mild and joking mood said, "I'll get me a cowhide, and when I come back I'll whip you."  He went to town and returned home in a short time.  The younger brother, on meeting the older one after his return, asked him, "Did you get the cowhide?"  To which the other replied, "No, I did not;" whereupon the younger kicked at him, and , as the elder turned to depart, he having taken no notice of the conduct of his brother, the younger stabbed him in the neck, cutting the large artery therein, and causing death in a few moments. --Memphis Inq., Aug 29 (Daily National Intelligencer, (Washington, DC) Wednesday, September 10, 1856)


From the Tipton (Tennessee) Record we learn the particulars of the following story of vengeance and murder:

In the year 1852 Dr. Walton, a citizen of Tipton County, living about four and a half miles from the county town, was killed by a man named Yarbro.  Shortly afterward Captain Smith, who was one of the Sheriff's posse, killed Yarbro in attempting to arrest him.  In 1865 Smith was killed at Randolph by Dr. Martin who had not long since returned from the Confederate army, having lost an arm in Atlanta, we believe.  In the fall of 1866 Dr. Martin was killed by a Captain Irwin, and last year Irwin was killed by a man named Burnett, who acted in self-defense and was acquitted before a magistrate, and no attempt was ever made to bring the matter before the grand jury.  Irwin's father and brother, who reside in Middle Tennessee, near Pulaski, we understand swore vengeance against Burnett, and although it was known to all that he acted purely in self-defense determined upon his death.  Burnett, too, seemed to have a superstitious dread of being killed, as he was familiar with the strange fatality which seemed to direct the several homicides, and soon after the killing of Irwin left the State, telling every one that he was going to his wife, who was at Marietta, Georgia; but instead went first to Mississippi, where he was followed by the father and brother of Captain Irwin.  He left Mississippi and went to or near Osceola, Arkansas, to live: but here, too, the avengers of Irwin came, and a few days ago the father and brother killed Burnett.  (Newark Advocate, (Newark, OH) Friday, February 5, 1869)

Suicide of James Kimbel

Jas. Kimbel, an old citizen of Memphis, for a number of years a citizen of this county, committed suicide in Memphis one day last week by taking morphine.  The cause of his committing this terrible deed seems to have been a combination of family and pecuniary troubles.  During the life of his first wife, a most agreeable and accomplished lady, he resided for a long time on his farm in the western portion of this county.  At her death he removed to Memphis and in 1866 married a Miss Thompson of Kentucky.  They disagreed and a separation ensued shortly after their marriage, she obtaining a divorce.  In the year 1867, he lost over $18,000 in the banking firm of Cameron & Cary.  This, together with losses during the war, rendered the old gentleman penniless.  Old, broken in health and bankrupt in purse, with nothing in life to look for one moment's happiness or enjoyment, all was utter loneliness to him.  The world was to him a desert waste, and with his own hand he extinguished the spark of life and quit it forever.  Poor, kind-hearted old man!  We trust God will deal gently with him.

(The Weekly Record, Covington, Tenn., Friday, January 27, 1871)



Memphis, June 22--The Ledger has information concerning the killing of Brad Yarborough, near Covington, Tennessee, last Saturday, by his brother-in-law, William Kinley.  It appears that one had sued the other, and they had been to Covington to attend the trial.  On the road home, Yarborough, who was on horseback, passed Kinley in a wagon, when the latter drew a revolver and fired at Yarborough, the shot taking effect in his right arm.  Yarborough rode some forty yards and fell from his horse dead.  When found he had his handkerchief wrapped around his hand as if to stop the hemorrhage.  A negro who saw the shooting says Yarborough first struck Kinley, but a lady who witnessed it says he did not.  Yarborough was a prominent granger, and his funeral was largely attended.   (Daily Rocky Mountain News, (Denver, CO) Wednesday, June 23, 1875)


A sad story of poisoning is told by a correspondent of the Memphis Appeal at Covington, Tennessee.  Mrs. Bailey Sanford sent to an apothecary for quinine for chills and fever, and by mistake received a bottle of morphine.  Without noticing the label, which was "morphine", she administered doses to her two boys, aged five and ten years, sufficient to cause death in a few hours.  As soon as the mistake was discovered medical aid was summoned, but the little sufferers died.   A like dose would have been given to a little girl, but she happened to be asleep.  (The Galveston Daily News, (Houston, TX) Tuesday, September 19, 1876)

Memphis, Tenn., August 16 -- Henry Foster, a colored farmer, five mile north of Covington, Tennessee, was called out of his house last night and shot to death.  The assassin escaped.  (Daily Arkansas Gazette, (Little Rock, AR) Wednesday, August 17, 1881)

Andrew Sanders, (colored) convicted of the murder of Michael Miller, was hung yesterday at Covington, Tenn.

(Daily Evening Bulletin, (San Francisco, CA) Saturday, August 27, 1881)


Mr. Walter Boyd, of No. 7 was assassinated yesterday morning, Aug. 5th, at about 6 o'clock.  His brains were shot out while he was in the lot feeding chickens.  Mr. Boyd was a cousin of Dr. J. C. McQuiston, and recently purchased the Baird farm.  His residence was burned last Friday while he, with his family, were visiting in Marshall County, Miss., from which state Mr. Boyd had recently moved.  Mr. Boyd was a peaceable citizen and had no enemies as far as known, and yet a personal enemy must have done both deeds.  The people of the neighborhood are greatly excited.  Mr. Boyd had moved to Mr. Carson Miller's after his own house was burnt and it was in Miller's yard that the murder was committed.  He was about 25 years old and leaves a wife and two children.  There is no present clue to the murderer, as no one was seen with a gun near the place by any of the neighbors.  Bloodhounds from Ripley are on the way, and will be put on the track when they arrive.  Mr. Miller walked up to the store at Idaville and gave the alarm, and Messrs. John McCain, Reid Wallace and others were soon on the scene but Boyd was dead when they got there.  He was lying on the ground with a pan of dough near by and his hand full of the dough the he had been feeding his chickens.  It was after sunrise when the deed was committed, and it is highly probable that the murderer will be discovered, although he has probably skipped the country.

(The Tipton Weekly Record, Friday, August 6, 1897)


The Murderer of Walter Boyd Confesses the Deed

Confesses Also to Robbery and Arson

We published last week an account of the murder of Walter Boyd, near Idaville, which occurred Thursday morning, August 5th, about 6 o'clock, while he was feeding chickens.  Will Johnson, a young negro man of the neighborhood, has confessed to the murder.  He also confessed to the burning and robbery  of Boyd's house Friday night, July 30th, and says he shot Boyd to death with Boyd's own gun that was stolen from the burned dwelling.

Sheriff Lauderdale and deputy sheriff N. P. Garret worked up the case and got the first clue from a negro woman, Jane Hall, who was Johnson's sweetheart, and to whom Johnson had given a ring.  The ring proved to be one that belonged to Walter Boyd's wife, and the negro girl said that Will Johnson gave it to her.  When confronted with this evidence, the man broke down and made a clean breast of it.  He said he robbed the house while the family was away on Friday night, July 30, and that hearing some voices around while he was in the house, he poured coal oil on the floor and fired it, then ran out another way and mixed with crowd that came to the fire and helped to save the furniture.  He shot his victim on Thursday morning, August 5th, robbed him of ten dollars, hid the gun in the weeds nearby and then went on about his business.  He told the officers where to find the gun, and also his own purse with the ten dollar note in it.  The officers have since found the articles where he said they were.  The negro girl and her brother, Claud Hall, who were also arrested as suspects, have both been released, as Johnson says he alone was concerned in either of the desperate crimes and there was no evidence against them.

Excitement was raging at Idaville even before the news of the confession reached the people there, and for fear of possible violence, the officers wisely concluded to place their prisoner in the Shelby County jail for safe keeping.  This was done Sunday evening very quietly and the prisoner will remain there until brought back here for trial in October.

The circumstantial evidence taken in connection with the confession seems conclusive of the negro's guilt, and as there can be no possible palliation nor hope of pardon, we think the people can well afford to quietly await the action of the court and jury.  Both the crimes for which he must stand his trial are of the most heinous nature and if the jury that tries him is satisfied of his guilt, he will probably suffer the extreme penalty.  (The Tipton Weekly Record, Friday, August 13, 1897)


William Johnson Hanged for the Murder of Farmer Boyd Covington, Tenn., December 17-William Johnson died on the scaffold at 12:10 o'clock this afternoon, Sheriff Lauderdale officiating. The condemned man walked quietly from his cell to the scene of the hanging, made a full confession and died with a smile on his lips. Company R. National Guard state of Tennessee, was present to protect the prisoner had there been signs of lynching, but the soldier boys were not needed. The crime for which William Johnson was hanged was the cold blooded murder of Farmer Walter Boyd, of Idaville, Tipton county, Tennessee, August 5th, last. The only justification the negro offered was that he heard Boyd had threatened him. The prisoner has been confined in the Memphis jail, because lynching was feared had he been permitted to remain in Tipton county's prison.

(The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, GA, December 18, 1897) Contributed by, Shauna Williams

News reached here yesterday that Miss Julia Densford, daughter of Mr. James Densford, of the 5th district, was thrown from a horse while on a visit to the family of Mr. Wm. Clements at Hydrick, Ark., Monday and one leg was so badly mangled that amputation was found necessary Tuesday.  She was unable to survive the shock and died on the operating table.  The accident and sad death is deeply deplored in her community.

(The Covington Leader, September, 13, 1901)

Enraged at Being Jilted by Prospective Ninth Wife

York Begins Shooting

Nashville, Jan. 28 -- K. P. York, a Tipton County farmer, arrived at Covington today with his six children for the purpose of marrying Mrs. Pimm.  The woman told him when they met that she had changed her mind.  York began shooting indiscriminately.  He shot Mrs. Pimm in the face, and shot and wounded her two nephews severely.  He was arrested.  He had been married eight times, six of his wives were divorced.

(The Fort Worth Register, Wednesday Morning, January 29, 1902)

Effects of Jug Of Christmas Whiskey

Memphis, Tenn., Dec. 27 -- James Glover, a white farmer of the Ninth district of Tipton County, shot and instantly killed his son-in-law, Andrew Smith, at Glover's home.  Both were under the influence of mean whiskey ordered for a Christmas celebration.  Ben Matthews, a farmer, constable, and deputy sheriff of the Thirteenth district tried to interfere and stop the fight and received a fatal shot in the abdomen from Glover.  Glover is in jail, Smith is a corpse at his home and Matthews is dying all from the effects of one jug of Christmas Whiskey.

(Columbus Daily Enquirer Sun, Thursday, December 27, 1911)


Walter Taylor, colored, son of Caldwell Taylor, was shot and killed by Allen Terry at the home of Dave Albritton, colored, near Canaan church, in the 9th district, Wednesday afternoon.  The weapon used was a 38 caliber pistol, the ball striking Taylor in the abdomen, and he died as a result of the wound 24 hours after the shooting.

Both parties are youths between 16 and 17 years old and both live on what is known as the Brodnax "quarter" place, in the 9th district, now owned by Mr. J. Drew McClanahan.  The cause of the trouble between the two boys is said to have started when Taylor knocked Terry's lighted pipe out of his mouth, and bootleg whiskey very likely played a very prominent role in the trouble.

Terry was arrested after the shooting by Deputy Sheriff J. W. Stevens, waived examination before Esq. J. N. Mosely, and was released on a bond of $1,000.  Officer Steven re-arrested him after Taylor's death and brought him to Covington Friday and placed him in the county jail.  He trial is set for Friday before Esq. Lauderdale Richardson.

(The Covington Leader, Thursday, February 22, 1917)


Will Miller, colored, aged about 40 years, who lived on the Frank McGregor place, near Rialto, boarded the "blind" of northbound fast train No. 104 at that place Thursday night about 9:20 o'clock in an intoxicated condition.  He told some parties that he was going to Henning, which is not a stop for the fast train, and others that he was going to Cairo, that haven for so many of his color.  When the train was going into Henning he either attempted to get off or fell off the train and was killed, his skull being fractured, his limbs badly mutilated, and he also sustained internal injuries.  Some of the trucks of the heavy passenger train passed over him.  He only lived for about one hour afterward.

(The Covington Leader, Thursday, February 22, 1917)

Former Covingtonian Killed

The Memphis Commercial Appeal of April 23 gives the following account of the killing by a switch engine in the Nonconnah yards of the Illinois Central railroad, of Burch Brown, son of Mr. W. L. Brown, formerly of this place, and who was born and reared here:

"Burch Brown, 27 years old, switchman in the Nonconnah yards of the Illinois Central railroad, was killed at 11 o'clock last night when a switch engine crushed his abdomen in a yard wreck.

"Ollie Castleberry, assistant cook on a telegraphing outfit car of the company, sustained a slight scalp wound. 

"Details as to how the wreck occurred were meager and could not be ascertained at an early hour this morning.  The yard master at the McLemore station said he had not received a complete report.  Officials at the Nonconnah yards were unable to give any of the particulars.

"Brown's body was taken in charge by Thompson Bros., and Castleberry was rushed in an ambulance to St. Joseph's hospital, where his injuries were pronounced not serious.

"Both men were brought to the McLemore station by the ambulance car of the Illinois Central railroad company.

"Brown's abdomen was crushed and he was killed instantly.  He lived at 456 Walker avenue and had been with the railroad company about two years, so officials said.  E. A. Brown, his brother, who resided at the same address, said his brother, mother and sister would arrive over the Frisco this morning, when arrangements will be completed for the funeral.

"Capt. Kehoe made a hurried run to the McLemore station to investigate Brown's death."

(The Covington Leader, Thursday, April 26, 1917)

Killed by Lightening

Richard Butler, a young colored man about 24 years old, who lived on the John Douglas place, near Gift, was found on the side of the public road Friday morning dead.

Butler, it is thought, had started through the wire fence which encloses the road at that point when he was struck by lightening.  It is said that every bone in his body was crushed and that his trousers were torn by being caught in the wire as he fell.  One foot was hanging in the wire and the other was pressed up against the wire.

(The Covington Leader, Thursday, June 14, 1917)

Two Children Meet Horrible Death

Mr. and Mrs. Joe Brasfield, who occupied a tenant house on the W. T. McCormick place, one and a half miles east of Solo, had their house burned Thursday evening about 6 o'clock.  Two children, a boy three years old and a little girl 18 months old, were burned up in the house.  Mrs. Brasfield was assisting her husband in the field and they had taken the children with them to their work.  Late in the evening, Mr. Brasfield took the two children to the house and gave them something to eat, leaving them to return to the field, as his wife was to return immediately to prepare the evening meal.  He had only plowed about one round when he looked in the direction of the house and found it to be in flames and he and his wife ran with all possible speed to the scene of the fire.  A neighbor, Mr. Sam Chapman, who was nearer to the house, reached the scene first and attempted to rescue the children when he heard their cries, but when he threw open the door a sheet of flame burst out in his face and he was unable to accomplish their rescue.  When the horrified parents reached the scene the roof was ready to fall in and they were obliged to stand and see their little children burned into charred and unrecognizable masses.  The legs and arms were burned off the elder child, but very little of the younger was left.  Mr. Brasfield states that there was a can of coal oil in the room with the children and the only theory he has as to the origin of the fire is that they must have poured out the oil on the floor and set it on fire with a match.  The burial of the children occurred at the Townsend graveyard Friday, the funeral services being conducted by Rev. A. H. Bezzo.  Mr. Brasfield is a former citizen of this county, having moved from here to Oklahoma about 15 years ago, but afterwards returned to McNairy county, this state, moving back from there to Tipton county in the early spring of this year.  He is a brother of W. A. Brasfield, a former well known jeweler of this city.  The greatest sympathy is felt in this community for the grief-stricken parents over their great misfortune and horrible and heart-rending experience.

(The Covington Leader, Thursday, July 19, 1917)


From the Memphis Commercial Appeal of Friday we learn that Miss Eva Wright, aged 33, a niece of Mr. C. T. McCraw, of Braden, with whom she made her home for a number of years, died Wednesday evening shortly after 10 o'clock as the result of a bullet wound which she had inflicted into her left breast, slightly above the heart, while in a despondent condition over her ill health.  Miss Wright had been ill for some time and had only been out of the Gartly-Ramsay hospital about 10 days.  None of the family were at home when the deed was committed, the father and brother working at night and the mother being out on a visit.  On returning home the mother missed Miss Wright in the house and began at once to look for her.  Her search finally led her to the attic, where the body of her daughter was found lying on the floor behind a dresser in a pool of blood, with a bullet hole through the left breast.  The father and brother were notified, and in the meantime Dr. Otis Warr, was summoned.  On arriving, the doctor found that the young lady was dead and waited for the undertaker before going to inspect the wounds.  The bullet had passed through the entire body and had been lost.

(The Covington Leader, Thursday, July 4, 1918)

Note: Miss Wright was the daughter of Iverson T. Wright and Mary B. McCraw Wright.  She was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Shelby County, TN)


Eighty-nine persons were killed and 79 or more injured in a passenger wreck on the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis railway a few miles from Nashville at 7:15 o'clock Tuesday morning.  Ambulances carried the dead and injured to the hospitals and undertaking establishments in Nashville.  Several coaches were telescoped, and the passengers were cut out of the cars with great difficulty.  Many died after reaching the hospital. 

The wreck was caused by a head-on collision of passenger train No. 1, from Memphis and St. Louis, and passenger train No. 4, bound from Nashville to Memphis.

Both of the engines and three baggage cars were completely wrecked, and the first baggage car on No. 1 was telescoped.  The first combination coach on No. 4, from Memphis, heavily loaded with whites and negroes, was ripped from end to end, and few, if any, of its passengers escaped uninjured.  Many were killed almost instantly.

Total number of colored dead, 55; total number of white and colored dead, 89.

The train crew of No. 4, the passenger train leaving Nashville, is blamed for the accident in a statement by W. P. Bruce, general manager of the road.  "When numbers 4 and 1 are on time they meet on the double track between the union station and the shop tower, which is two and a half miles from the union station," Mr. Bruce stated.  "No. 1 was running 30 minutes late, but not late enough to justify the dispatcher in moving the outbound train to Harding station, and it was his intention to let No. 4 remain at the new shop junction for No. 1.  Furthermore, in order that the engineer of No. 4 might identify train No. 1, he was advised by the dispatcher of the number of its engine.

Wilson B. Harris, son of T. M. Harris, and Frank Troy Paine, son of W. H. Pain, both of Covington, were killed in the wreck.  Both of the young men had enlisted in the navy.  They were just 21 years of age, and were estimable and popular young men, and their tragic death shocked the entire community.

Floyd Richards, formerly of this county, son of Thomas Richards, late of Newbern, was also among the list of killed.  His remains are expected to arrive in Covington today, and the burial will take place at Mt. Lebanon.

A telegram received here Wednesday afternoon from a naval recruiting officer at Nashville, addressed to Mrs. Ellen Best Combs, of the Brighton vicinity, stated that her son was killed in the wreck.  His remains are expected to arrive here today.

The remains of young Harris reached here this morning, and the body of young Paine is looked for this evening at 6:28 o'clock.  The plan now is to have a double funeral for the two boys at the First Methodist Church at 10 o'clock Friday morning.

An investigation to determine definitely who is responsible for the unfortunate collision will be held Saturday.

(The Covington Leader, Thursday, July 11, 1918)

Related Article - Ebenezer Paine, of Camp Gordon, arrived here Friday morning to attend the funeral of his brother, Frank Troy Paine, and Wilson Harris, who were killed in the collision on the N. C. and St. L. railroad, near Nashville, Tuesday morning of last week.  Rev. Troy Beatty, rector, of Grace Episcopal Church, Memphis, for whom young Paine was named, came up Friday morning and assisted in conducting his funeral services.  Mrs. John O. Walker and little son, John, of Memphis, were also in attendance.

(The Covington Leader, Thursday, July 18, 1918)

Related Article - It was stated in our issue of last that Mrs. Ellen Best Combs, of this county, had been sent a message from Nashville telling her of the death of her son in the railroad wreck near that city last week.  It now develops that the message was intended for Mrs. Ellen Best Harris, of this city, and was to inform her of the death of her son, Wilson, in the same wreck.  There was a confusion in the names on account of the fact that the name of the undertaker who prepared the body of young Harris for burial was Combs, and the mistake in the names was made by a Nashville telephone operator.

(The Covington Leader, Thursday, July 18, 1918)

See the Obituary section for funeral information for each name.


Killed by Airplane Which Fell on his Car

Unconscious from injuries received when an airplane fell on his automobile Wednesday, about a mile and a half east of Park Field, J. E. Easley, (see last part of article for correction on name) 35, of Simonton, Teen., is in a precarious condition at the field hospital, according to Maj. Mansfield, in charge of the ambulance corps.  Easley suffered a severe fracture of the skull from being thrown against the steering wheel when the airplane struck his car.  Flying Cadet William Hollis occupied the machine, which had got from under his control.  He had ascended to participate in an aerial gunnery lesson.  A Lewis machine gun was mounted on the front of his machine.  At an altitude of 200 feet the machine suddenly went into a spin and struck the ground at an angle after turning over once.  The impact with the ground caused the airplane to bounce about 30 feet, and it struck Easley's auto, which happened to be passing.  Hollis was uninjured.  Easley was rushed to the field hospital, where little hope is held out for his life. - Memphis Scimitar, July 4, 1918

Easley died about 5 o'clock Thursday afternoon, never having regained consciousness after the accident.  His name is Thomas, not J. E. Easley, and he is a carpenter.  He had been employed at Park Field for several weeks and was on his way to that place to go to work when he met with his awful fate.  He had two of his children in his car with him, but by some good fortune, neither of them were injured.  The remains of the unfortunate man were buried at Randolph Campground graveyard Friday at 2 o'clock, Rev. L. R. Wadsworth conducting the funeral services.  He is survived by his wife and six children, who have the sympathy of all who know them in their great grief.  The deceased was a respected citizen and a very active man, having built a number of churches and schoolhouses in the county during the past 12 months.

(The Covington Leader, Thursday, July 11, 1918)

The wife of Mally Clay, who lives on the Kyle place near Clopton, was found dead, with the most of her clothing burned off, Monday.  The other members of the family had gone away from home, leaving the woman and some small children at the house.  The supposition is that she committed suicide by saturating her clothing with gasoline and setting it on fire.  Half the contents of a quart of gasoline had been poured out.  The reason for the woman's committing the act is unknown.

(The Covington Leader, Thursday, July 18, 1918)


At the two-day picnic held just south of here on Friday and Saturday, Bonny Parks, colored, of the Poplar Grove vicinity, and Kye Bill, colored, of the Gift neighborhood, became involved in a difficulty over the matter of change for a quarter on the first day, it is stated.  Parks struck Bell over the head with a two-by-four plank, breaking his skull.  The wounded man was taken to the office of Dr. T. R. Connell for treatment, and died a few minutes after reaching there.  Parks is about 21 years of age, and Bell was about 25 years of age.  Parks made bond in the sum of $750 for his appearance before Esq. Lauderdale Richardson for his preliminary trial Saturday, and was released.

(The Covington Leader, Thursday, July 25, 1918)


Fatal Accident On Hatchie River, Near Indian Bluff

Mr. Ben Waldo, age 40, who lived on the Austin Shoaf place in the vicinity of Phelan, was accidentally shot and killed by his young brother-in-law, Sam Waldo, aged about 20 years, Thursday evening of last week, at about 7 o'clock.  The elder and younger Waldo had gone from their home to Indian Bluff, on Hatchie river, a few miles distant, with a party on a fishing and hunting expedition.  Some of the party started out to hunt some squirrels late in the afternoon, the two Waldos being in the party.  The younger of the two men was in the act of breeching his gun, a hammerless, when the shell, a No. 12, was discharged, the load entering the elder man's back.  He was taken immediately to the home of Albert Sanders, and medical aid was summoned with all possible speed, but when the doctor reached the unfortunate man's bedside, he was unable to do anything for him, and he expired at midnight.  The younger man resides on the Dan Vandergrift place in the vicinity of Gift.  Both he and his brother-in-law came to Tipton county from Pontotoc county, Miss., the latter a little more than two years ago.  The elder man is survived by his wife and six children.  He was a very industrious and highly regarded man, and his unfortunate and untimely death is deeply and sincerely regretted.  The younger man is married and has a family.  The burial occurred at the Charleston graveyard Friday afternoon at 4 o'clock, the services being conducted by Rev. Syl Fisher.

(The Covington Leader, Thursday, July 25, 1918)


Two Killed and Three Others Seriously Injured in Wreck on Jeff Davis Highway 

 The funeral of Mr. T. Alfred Vaughan, aged 27, son of Mr. & Mrs. J.C. Vaughan, of Detroit, this county, and his wife , Mrs. Ruby Kelley Vaughan, aged 29, daughter of Mr. J. C. Kelley, of the same neighborhood, Was conducted Wednesday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the Maley funeral home.  The services were conducted by Rev. E. H. Hutchinson, pastor of the Central Christian Church assisted by Rev. W. A. Freeman. The high esteem in which the young couple was held was attested by the large gathering of friends from all parts of the county, the Chapel being filled to overflowing. Interment followed at Munford Cemetery, the two graves being banked high with beautiful floral offerings. Mr. and Mrs. Vaughan were killed and their infant daughter, Jean, and Mrs. Vaughan's two sisters, Misses Nina and Helen Kelley, were seriously injured when the auto in which they were riding crashed into an Independent bus on the Jeff Davis Highway between Brighton and Crosstown early Sunday Night.

Miss Nina Kelley, aged 27, received a broken leg and fractured skull while her sister, Miss Helen Kelley, aged 19, suffered a fractured skull. They were taken immediately to the Methodist Hospital in Memphis where their conditions are improved. The child, Jean, was bruised and cut about the head and body, though not as seriously as was first thought. She is reported to be recovering from the injuries.

The party was returning to their homes in Memphis after visiting relatives in the Brighton neighborhood. Mr. Vaughan was engaged in the cotton business, having offices in Blytheville, Ark.

Bough Dubose, driver of the bus, was arrested by Sheriff Rice and brought to Covington and placed in jail on the charge of second-degree murder and on Monday was indicted for second-degree murder on two counts by the grand jury then in session. His bond was fixed at $2,500. which he made Monday about noon and was released.  According to witnesses of the accident, the Independent  bus was attempting to pass a Blue Bird bus on the hill just north of Crosstown. The car containing Mr. and Mrs. Vaughan  and driven by Miss Nina Kelley, was going south,  climbing the hill on the other side. At the crest of the hill, in a cut where it was impossible to turn off the road, the busses were running abreast. The coupe crashed head-on with the heavy bus and was pushed back down the road nearly 100 feet before coming to a stop. The coupe was completely demolished. Mr. and Mrs. Vaughan were riding in the rumble seat and were killed almost instantly by the crash.

In a statement to Sheriff  Rice, the driver of the bus stated that his brakes failed to work and that he was unable to stop even after he saw the approaching car.

The Misses Kelley and little Jean Vaughan were Rushed to Memphis immediately after the collision And Mr. and Mrs. Vaughan were brought to Covington.

Mr. Vaughan is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Vaughan, of Detroit, and four sisters and three brothers:  E. L. Vaughan, of Henning: J. C. Vaughan, Jr., of Dresden: Milton Vaughan, of Detroit: Mrs. A. C. Anderson, of Memphis: Mrs. Turner Huffman, of Detroit: Mrs. Jesse Wilson, of Covington, and Miss Lucille Vaughan, of Memphis. Mrs. Vaughan is survived by her father Mr. J. C. Kelley, of Memphis: six sisters, Misses Nina  and Helen and Mrs. P. D. Wilson  of Memphis: Mrs. W. F. Wilson, of Brighton: Mrs. V. L. Murphy of Plant City, Fla., and Mrs. Ernest Allen of Amarillo, Texas, and four brothers, J.C. Kelley, Jr., of Memphis: A. A. Kelley of Detroit neighborhood: Paul Kelley, of Louisville, Ky. And Grady Kelley of Amarillo, Texas.

(Accident was Nov. 27, 1927 - Newspaper Unknown) (Submitted by Susan Krall and Leslie Roane)

Tornado Kills Man, Injures 1

Ripley, Tenn. (AP) - A man working on a cotton gin was killed Friday when a tornado struck about three miles south of Covington, a Tipton County sheriff's spokesman said.  The victim was identified as Chester Deverall, in his 60's.  One other person was injured at the Mount Carmel Gin, the spokesman said.  The gin was demolished but no other damage was reported to buildings in the sparsely populated area, the spokesman said. 

(The Dallas Morning News, Sunday, June 9, 1974)

Also Wounds Mack Parham-Hartsfield shot in Legs and Chest,
and Parham in Mouth-Motive for action of Black Unknown
A short account of the shooting and killing of Mr. Lucien H. Hartsfield, a former citizen of this 3rd district of this county, which occurred near Ft. Pillow, Lauderdale county, on Wednesday of last week, was published in our issue of last week. We were unable at that time to get the particulars of the killing, or who it was that did the shooting. It has since developed that Ben Cross, colored, a former resident of this city, is the guilty party.
The particulars as given to a representative of the Leader are that Hartsfield left the home of his father, Mr. J. T. Hartsfield, on Wednesday afternoon a short time before sunset, to go to Ft. Pillow, in company with J. T. Pursell and Mack Parham. They met Cross in the road near that place, and he opened fire on Hartsfield at close range with a shotgun without warning. Both loads entered his breast and legs, and young Parham received some of the shots in the jaw and shoulder, but was not seriously wounded.
The negro succeeded in making his escape, but the father of young Hartsfield has posted a reward of $250 for his capture.
Hartsfield’s body was brought back to his former home in this county, and his burial took place at Shiloh burial ground at 4:30 o’clock Friday afternoon. He was about 30 years of age, and was not married.
It was stated that Hartsfield and the negro had had no previous difficulty or misunderstanding, and the reason for his murdering the young man in cold blood, as it is stated he did, is a mystery that has so far been unsolved. (Published in The Covington Leader on March 20, 1919) Submitted by Susan Krall

“Follow up Story”
Ben Cross, colored, who shot and killed Lucien Hartsfield, white, near Ft. Pillow, Lauderdale county, on March 12, an account of which was given in this paper at the time, was captured at the home of George Easley, in this city, Sunday evening about 8 o’clock by Sheriff J. M. Beaver and Deputies Dan Archer and J. I. Coleman.
The negro was delivered to Sheriff J. T. Coughlin of Lauderdale county, who took him to Memphis on the 10:30 train Sunday night and placed him in jail there for safe keeping.
Mr. J. T. Hartsfield, father of the young man who was slain, had offered a reward of $250 for the capture of the slayer of his son.
(Published in The Covington Leader on April 10, 1919) Submitted by Susan Krall



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