Bradley County Arkansas, African Americans in the News

African American
Bradley County Arkansas in the News

August 16, 1925

Horace Harding, negro, age 50, shot and killed George Calbert, negro, about midnight last night. Calbert had been accused of paying attention to Hardings wife.After the shooting, Harding surrendered and at the preliminary hearing today, he was bound over to the Grand Jury on the charge of murder in the second degree. His bond was fixed at $2500.00. (First black to change name from Calvert to Calbert)

May 18, 1932


Paul Martin, negro aged about 40, was shot and killed Sunday afternoon by Frank Gilliam, constable of Pennington township. Martin was at a negro ball game near Copeland's store in south Warren and is said to have been drunk. Mr. Gilliam ordered him to go home.

Martin refused to leave the game and a tussle ensued in which the negro knocked Mr. Gilliam's pistol from his had. On recovering the gun, Mr. Gilliam shot Martin through the heart. Mr. Gilliam was exhornerated at a hearing held Monday afternoon.

August 15, 1937

*Negro Near Death With Five Shots From Automatic*

Five bullets from an automatic held in the left hand of Leroy Calvert, negro, found lodging in negro Alex Johnson Sunday night and may cause the latter's death. Calvert is free under bond, pending results of the shooting that took place at eleven o'clock Sunday night in front of Blankinship's Store on the northern edge of Warren.

According to Calvert, Johnson was fired upon in self defense. It is claimed by Calvert that Johnson fired first, striking his right hand and removing a finger. Calvert switched his automatic to his left hand and emptied it at the fleeing Johnson. Two bullets lodged in Johnson's back, one in his ankle and two in his thigh. Johnson is given a slim chance to recover.

Therer were no eye witnesses to Sunday night's gun fight. Officers from the sheriff's office and the night marshall investigated as soon as the trouble was reported. Sheriff Hickman, Deputies Belin and Sanders and Night Marshall Ernie Baker arrested Calvert before midnight Sunday, allowed him to make bond. Charges will not be filed until it determines whether or not Johnson recovers.
(Note: Name was changed from Calvert to Calbert)

August 19, 1937

*Negro Honytonk Closed Following Fatal Shooting*

The 'Silver Slipper,' notorious negro 'honkytonk' in Warren's West End, is closed and a negro, Earl Brooks, is free under a $500 bond following a shooting fray near midnight Saturday in which another negro, Authur Calvert was killed. Brooks was bound over to the Grand Jury Monday when his lawyer waived a preliminary hearing before Justice of the Peace R.N. Goodwin.

Arthur Calvert, 32, was shot fatally at 11:30 Saturday night at the rear of the Silver Slipper by Earl Brooks, and employee of a local cleaning establishment, following an altercation involving a third negro, Lee Thomas. Thomas left the arguement before the shooting. It is said that early arguement became heated by liquor and claims of Brooks that he was from Texas and 'really tough.' Brooks has been in Warren about six months. The negro 'honkytonk' is on the Banks highway on the western edge of Warren.

Sheriff C.W. Hickman and other officers reached the scene of the killing within a few minutes after being called, but Brooks had hidden in weeds near his home and was not arrested for several hours. The negro admitted the shooting and was jailed at 4:30 o'clock Sunday morning.

Brooks was brought before Justice of the Peace R. N. Goodwin Monday afternoon, waived examination and was bound over to the Grand Jury which meets September 6. His bond was set at $500. Jimbo Green, Irving Green, Sam Jones and Susie Calvert have been called as witnesses and were sworn to appear before the Grand Jury.

The slain man was an employee of B. F. Garner and is said to have had a 'pretty good reputation.'

The Silver Slipper, a negro night clup owned by Henry Gill, was closed on order of Sheriff Hickman.
(Note: John Calvert was my Grandfather, and Susie was his wife. Henry Gill, owner of the Silver Slipper was first cousin to John. Last name Calvert has been changed to Calbert. Irving and Jimbo Green are first cousins to Susie who was formally a Green.)

April 3, 1941

*Stomach Slashed, Local Negro Dies*

Lester Dupree, Negro aged 22, died within two minutes after his stomach was slashed by another Negro on 'Catfish Row' Saturday night, about 8 o'clock. Charged with the killing is George Childs, who voluntarily came in and gave himself up after disappearing from the scene of the cutting. He waived preliminary hearing Tuesday, was bound over to await action of the Grand Jury. He made $500 bond, set by Circuit Judge DuVal L. Purkins.

According to officers, the two men were in an arguement at the time of the knifing.

October 2, 1941

*Negro Woman Kills Husband Here Sunday*

Hoyt Ederington, negro, age about 30, was killed almost instantly here early Sunday morning when shot by his wife, Annie B. Ederington, at his home in the colored quarters in West Warren.

The woman reported to Sheriff C.W. Hickman that her husband came home late Saturday night, starting a fuss. She said he went to the dresser and got two gun shells and then told her he was going after a gun. The woman reported she shot Ederington when he came back into the house, the bullet striking the left arm and through into the left side. Sheriff Hickman said he found an open knife under the negro's hand. He was shot with a 22 rifle. Ederington's wife is being held in jail awaiting a preliminary hearing to determine whether the offense is bailable.

October 16, 1941

*Negro Killed Here Saturday Night*

Victor Hayes, negro, age about 34 was killed almost instantly when the car in which he was a passenger was wrecked in East Warren Saturday night about 8 o'clock.

Hayes and three other negroes were headed toward Monticello when the car ran off the highway just after they left the pavement and ran in the ditch for about 100 yards, tearing down the front yard fence of the Murphy home.

It is believed Hayes, evidently frightened, tried to escape from the car, his head striking a utility pole.

George Rhodes, driver of the car, escaped that night, but was arrested later by local officers, and has been fined for wreckless driving and charged with involuntary manslaughter, awaiting action of the Grand Jury.

Hayes was a breakman on the W. & S. R.

October 16, 1941


Ollie Marks, negro woman, age 30, died in a local hospital here about one o'clock Sunday morning, as the result of injuries sustained when she was hit by a car, driven by Bernie Hargis, Jr., late Saturday afternoon.

An eye witness said the woman had just gotten off a log truck and walked out into the street in front of the Hargis car. Dust from the log truck obscured the view of both the woman and Hargis. The eye witness reported the accident was unavoidable.

June 18, 1942

*Negro Killed in Fight with Wife*

James Hill, 42 year old negro of Warren and employed at the Dr. Pepper Bottling Works, was shot and fatally wonded about 10:30 Sunday evening.

His wife, Martha Hill, 23 years old, when leaving the church, was approached by Hill. He struck her on the head and said he was going to kill her. She plead with him but immediately he drew his knife and attempted to stab her, whereupon she started running toward her father's house, which was just across the street, with Hill in pursuit.

Upon entering the house she ran to the back porch, picked up a single barrel shotgun and returned to the front of the house where she discovered her husband entering. Seeing the open knife in his hand she fired one shot through the screen door. The shot entered Hill's stomach. He died in a short time.

July 6, 1942

*Negro Killed, Five Others Hurt in Wreck*

Charlie Craig, 28, Negro, was killed; three write (my note: did they mean 'white'?) persons were injured seriously and another Negro escaped with minor hurts in an automobile-truck collision near here about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Mrs. Deedie Adair, 60, and Lecil Hayes, 18, were reported in critical condition at a hospital here last night. Mrs John Woolridge, 36, also riding in the automobile, suffered head injuries but her injuries are believed not serious. They live about five miles from Warren.

Horace Rogers, 26, Negro, riding in the truck cab with Craig, escaped with bruises.

Craig, said by officers to have been driving lumber truck owned by C.D. Culpepper of Rison, and young Hayes, driving the automobile, met at a bridge on the Pine Bluff highway. The automobile practically was telescoped.

March 25, 1943

*Negro Shot When Resisting Arrest Here*

Frank Brandon, 40, Negro, was shot and killed here early Monday morning when he resisted arrest by Officer Thomas Lowman. The officer was exonerated at a hearing Monday afternoon. Officer Lowman said Brandon had robbed several Negro mill workers, one of whom called the officers. Brandon was said to have been drinking and officers believed he was carrying a revolver. However, the gun which Brandon used in the robberies was found to be a toy pistol. He died instantly after the officers fired on him when he started to draw the pistol.

March 25, 1943

*Negro Boy Dies From Knife Wounds*

Ursell Gilbert, 12, Negro, was stabbed to death by Acree Roberts, 15, in an arguement near the Negro school on the Pine Bluff Highway last Thursday, March 18. The boy was playing with a wet mop and when the girl passed he attempted to touch her with the mop, saying, "I'm going to get me some head." The Roberts girl attempted to wrestle the mop from him but when unable to do so, she whipped out a knife and stabbed the boy just above the heart. He lived only a short time. The Roberts girl was bound over to the next term court in a hearing held on Monday afternoo, March 22. Her bond was set at $500.

June 3, 1943

*Negro Killed, Four Injured In Car Wreck*

One Negro was killed outright, another hurt so critically that he may die and three others were injured when an automobile in which the five were riding ran into a Rock Island box car at Banks, 10 miles west of Warren, Monday night. The impact was so terrific that the motor car was driven back nearly to the rear seat and the box car was derailed.

C. P. Jones, 24 was killed and Curtis Green, 27 was injured critically. Melvin Lovett, Bobbie Lee Smith and Velena Russell, the latter two women, were removed to a hospital at El Dorado.

April 20, 1944

*Negro Shoots Another In West End Sunday*

About 5 o'clock last Sunday afternoon, Joe Wilson, negro, shot and killed Lon Moore, negro, in Wilson's home in West Warren. Both negros had been drinking and got into the difficulty which resulted in Moore's death, it is said.

City Marshal T.B. Beard and his deputy, Bob Hoyle, made the investigation and arrest. At the preliminary examination, Wilson was bound over to await the action of the grand jury, and he is now held in jail.

This is the first local killing since the recent elected police officers took over in municipal affairs. T. B. Beard, Marshall, and R.L. Hoyle, his deputy, were both veteran peace officers. They have had many years of police experience and are competent criminal investigators.

Transcribed and submitted by Dena Calbert-Jordan and provided for transcription by Jann Woodard

Return to the Bradley County Home page.