Homicides in the news, Jones County, Georgia
update:Monday, 31-Oct-2016 14:44:10 MDT
GAGenWeb Jones County
Homicides, Jones County
November 4, 1823
~excerpt~IMPORTANT TRAIL. THE STATE VS JOHN
M. WILLIAMS. This was an Indictment in Jones Superior Court, at the October
Term, 1823, against the prisoner, John
M. Williams, for the murder of his wife; and such was the extraordinary
excitement produced on the public mind by the unparalleled cruelty and
depravity which marked the features of this transaction, that is was not
until three full panels of 43 Jurors each, had been successively summoned
and tendered to the prisoner that a Jury, Omni exceptione juries, were
To detail this horrid and bloody
transaction in terms suitable to covey a perfect idea of its atrocity,
as developed by the testimony of the witnesses, is to me wholly impossible;
I will therefor only give a brief outline of its most prominent facts.
It appeared that on the 14th day
of May last, the brother-in-law of the prisoner, and his wife, (who was
the sister of the prisoner's wife) were on a visit at the prisoner's house,
six or seven miles from Clinton. A fishing excursion was proposed and agreed
to, upon which the prisoner and his brother-in-law were absent from the
house until about six o'clock in the evening, at which time they returned.
Dinner being immediately prepared for them, they sat down apparently in
fine humor. While sitting at the table, an infant child of the prisoner,
then only nine days old, cried, and Mrs. Williams, its mother, rose and
took it up; when the prisoner inquired of her "Mary
whose child is that?" She made him no answer - he repeated the inquiry,
and she answered, smiling, "Mr. Williams you know whose it is." The prisoner
immediately became enraged, and burst forth into a stream of bitter and
indelicate abuse, which modesty forbids me to repeat suffice it to say,
they were clearly the emanations of a jealous spirit. Upon this the brother-in-law
interposed, and threatened to chastise him for his conduct, but in consequence
of the entreaties of the prisoners wife, he desisted. Shortly after
this scene the brother-in-law and his wife departed for their residence
in Clinton, the prisoner having apparently become calm, and acknowledged
his error: But upon his sister-in-law taking leave of him, offered him
her hand, he observed, she need not shake hands with him, but "bid her
sister farewell." These words though ominous, wee not at that time particularly
regarded by them, and they departed. About the distance of a mile from
the prisoner's house they met a Mr. Gibson, and being apprehensive
that the prisoner's anger might return after they left the house, and that
he might in the unprotected state of his wife, whip her or do her some
other injury, they requested him (Mr. Gibson) to ride on as fast as possible
to the prisoner's house, and to quiet any angry feeling that might remain,
commence a conversation with him on the subject of his election - the prisoner
having shortly before announced himself, as a candidate for a Justice of
the peace. When Gibson arrived within one fourth of a mile of the prisoner's
house he heard the shrieks of a female apparently in great distress. He
hastened to the spot, and then a spectacle was presented to his view, that
for misery and horror, beggars all description. About twenty or thirty
yards from the house he found the prisoners wife stretched upon the ground,
her head almost severed from her body, there remaining not more that one
and a half inches of skin on the back part of her neck, her hair thrown
back and clotted with gore, and in other respects most dreadfully mangled,
and the prisoner standing within five or six feet of her with a razor in
his hand, attempting to cut his own throat. Mr. Gibson on his arrival found
that a Mr. Bazemore and a Mrs. Roquemore had reached there before
him. Mrs. Roquemore stated in her testimony that she was returning
home from Mr. Bazemore's who lived within less than one fourth of
a mile of the prisoner, with an intention of calling on Mrs. Williams,
(the prisoner's wife) when she was informed that the prisoner was killing
his wife. She hurried on as quick as possible and went immediately into
the prisoners house, where she found no person but the infant child, screaming
most piteously on the bed. He took it up, and found laying on the floor,
a lady's cap with the stings cut, and a cape torn into, and many marks
of blood in the room. She heard a noise in the field and went to the spot
from whence it proceeded, and found the prisoner and his wife in the situation
described by Gibson. Mr. Bazemore testified that he had on that day been
in company with the prisoner and his brother-in-law at the river in their
fishing excursion. They left him, and in the evening he passed by the house
of the prisoner on his way home. When passed by he supposed that both the
prisoner and his brother-in-law were at the house. He went home, a distance
of something less than one fourth of a mile from the prisoner's house,
and there found Mrs. Roquemore in the act of setting out home. He immediately
sat down to dinner, and before the had finished eating, he was informed
that the prisoner was killing his wife. He sprang from the table and ran
over the the house of the prisoner, and when he reached the yard gate he
saw Mrs. running out greatly distressed, with the prisoners infant in her
arms. At some distance off he saw the prisoner standing with a razor in
his right hand, attempting to cut his own throat, and with his left hand
beckoning to him (the witness) as if he wished him to approach. He went
immediately to him, and found Mrs. Williams as described by Gibson, with
the blood yet flowing from the wound. He exclaimed, "look Williams!
see what you have done!" upon which the prisoner pointed to the corpse
of his wife, and groaned hideously. Bazemore then wrested the razor from
him, and Gibson, who arrived at the same moment, assisted him in carrying
the prisoner to the house. In the room of the house, behind a trunk in
which the prisoner kept his razor, was found a two bladed pocket knife,
open and bloody, and upon the lid of the trunk the prints of a mans bloody
hand. The knife was proved to be the prisoners.
From the testimony of other witnesses,
and particularly the ladies who shrouded the deceased, it appeared that
many other severe wound had been inflicted; one on the back of the head
which reduced the part to a jelly, as if with a stick, a large perforation
in the temple, and one or two in her breasts, apparently produced with
a pocket knife.
It appeared from the testimony
that the prisoner and his wife had been married between five and six years;
that she was the mother of four children; that she was young, lovely, amiable,
and affectionate, and at the time of her marriage possessed a fortune sufficient
to insure under discreet management, a handsome competence; that he was
gay, likely, and possessed a good understanding; but that under all these
circumstance their matrimonial felicity was very incomplete. From a strange
perversity of disposition on his part, he had frequently treated her most
cruelly. She had several times exhibited marks of the most inhuman violence,
but such was the kindness of her disposition, and the meek forbearance
of her nature, upon the smallest expression of his regret for his
cruel and commonly conduct, he was always sure of her forgiveness nd a
quick return of her warmest affection. When his injurious conduct was continued
to ungenerous and abusive upbraidings, she never murmured or resisted;
and when his fiend like disposition led him to extend it to blows, she
only implored his mercy.
It was attempted, on the part
of the counsel for the prisoner, to prove insanity, but they totally failed;
all their witnesses proving that he was a man of strong and vigorous mischief.
They then rested the defense, and in their arguments contended for an acquittal
upon two grounds: First, the danger of convicting upon circumstantial evidence.
Under this head they inqenousely tried to convince the jury that a possibility
existed of the deceased having committed self murder. Secondly, they contended
and urged with a zeal deserving a better cause, that if the prisoner did
commit the murder, the circumstance attending it were so horrible to themselves
as to prove conclusively, that he must have been in a state of mental derangement-that
no human being possessing the fullness of his reason, could conceive, much
less execute an act of such dreadful atrocity. At eleven o'clock at night,
the trial, having occurred the whole of the two preceding days, the argument
closed, and the judge having in an impartial and impressive manner instructed
the jury in all the points of law which could possibly be involved in the
case, they retired to their room, and in five minutes returned into court,
and amidst the apparent stillness of death pronounced a verdict of GUILTY.
The prosecution was ably conducted
by Yelveton P. King, Esq. Solicitor General, and Messrs. Rockwell,
Cuthbert, and Sparks, assistant counsel. Their arguments to
the jury were clear, impressive, and pathetic; and if the prisoner had
a heart susceptible of feeling, that heart must have been lacerated. ,,,,
The defence was conducted ingeniously
and ably by Messrs Strong & Holt, and Adam G. Satfold,
October 17, 1826
WHEREAS I have received official information of a murder having been committed
in the county of Jones in the State, on the body of two negroes,
and Moses, the property of Ebenezer Z. Duffey, by said
Z. DUFFEY and BENJAMIN DOWNING, of the county aforesaid and
it appearing by the report of the Coroner, that the said Benjamin Downing
has been arrested, but that Ebenezer Z. Duffey has absconded. Now therefore
in order that the said Ebenezer Z. Duffey may be brought to trial for the
crime wherewith he is charged, I have brought proper to issue this my Proclamation,
hereby offering a reward of TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS to any person
or persons who shall apprehend and deliver him to the Sheriff of the county
G. M. TROUP. By the Governor: DANIEL NEWNAN,
Sec'y of State. Note. Ebenezer Z. Duffey is supposed to be about 30 years
of age, is 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, dark complexion, black hair, small
black eyes, and with a considerable stoop in the shoulders. Sept. 26
July 4, 1832
We learn by a gentleman from Clinton,
that a person named Z. Williamson was killed there on Monday night
last in a whiskey shop, by John Hunt, both residents of that neighborhood.
The were drinking, the lie passed, threats made, Hunt drew a knife, and
stabbed Williamson in five places, who died of his wounds in half an hour,
leaving a widow and six orphans. Hunt escaped, but it is thought will yet
August 8, 1832
~excerpts~ Whereas I have received official
information, that on the 28th day of June last, in the county of Jones,
in said State a murder, was committed on the body of Zachariah
Williamson, by JOHN HUNT of said county.....the said John Hunt
and George H. Sims have fled from justice..reward of TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS
for each....WILSON LUMPKIN, by the Governor E. Hamilton, Secretary of State..
John Hunt is about 28 years of age, red complexion, red hair, grey eyes
and about 5 feet 8 or 10 inches tall...
October 30, 1838
$300 REWARD. BROKE JAIL, from Clinton, Jones
county, on the night of the 25th ult. a man by the name of DAVID PALMER,
who was confined for the willful murder of James
Gunn. Palmer is a large, well proportioned, good looking man, rather
broad and round shouldered, full chest, inclining to be fleshy weighing
about 190 lbs, 6 feet 1 or 2 inches high, fair complexion, light hair,
blue eyes, bends forward when he walks - by profession a Gambler.
Said Palmer is between 25 and 30
years old and has a good set of fore teeth. Is well known about Vicksburg,
Miss. His former residence is supposed to be in Arkansas or Mississippi.
This Palmer is the accomplice of
the Jesse L. Bunkeley, alias Elijah Barber, who is confined
in the Georgia Penitentiary, as an impostor.
I will give the above reward for
his apprehension; and $100 on the conviction of any person concerned in
aiding his escape. DANIEL GUNN. Macon, Oct. 2, 1838.
November 27, 1838
SUPPOSED MURDER. On the 12th inst. the body
of a man was discovered in a hollow log, near Johnson's Mills, in Jones
county, apparently having been in that situation eight or ten days., On
the body were sixteen or seventeen cuts and stabs; showing conclusively
that he must have come to his death by foul means. Some papers were found
on him, by which it appeared that his name was Elias M. Isaacs,
-some of them were bills for the purchase of Jewelry in Albany, Utica,
and Syracuse, N. Y. A note was found, addressed to him by a Mr. Whitney
of New York, who appeared to have been his counsel in some difficulty he
had been involved in respect to the purchase, or possession of Jewelry.
The only light that has been elicited
respecting him, is, that a person who was supposed to be a French Jew answering
to his name and description, was in this city a few days, and left here
on the 5th ins., in a Jersey wagon, with a man by the name of Williams,
a Ventriloquist and slight of hand performer; and another individual, who
appeared to be an Italian. While here the murdered man was engaged in peddling
Jewelry, and claimed to have the value of three to four thousand dollars
in waters, Jewelry and money; which probably was the immediate cause of
his murder. No money, or jewelry was found with him, except a ring, which
he wore, which has been recognized as belonging to him, by persons who
had notice it. A wagon, and individuals answering the description of those
who left here with him, were seen at the place where the body was found,
the morning after they left here.
Of course strong suspicious are fixed
on the persons who accompanied the murdered man from this place, and the
public would do well to be on a lookout for the perpetrators of such a
foul deed. - Messenger.
February 12, 1839
~~excerpts~..that in the month of November
last, a murder was committed in the county of Jones, in this State, upon
the body of a man supposed to have been named Elias
or Ichabod M. Isaacs, by J. W. COWLES and JOHN DICKERSON,
and that the said COWLES and DICKERSON have fled from justice: ..reward
of Three Hundred Dollars...and double that amount for both...GEORGE R.
GILMER. By the Governor: WM. A. TENNILLE, Secretary of State
DESCRIPTION.- COWLES is represented
as being about five feet seven or eight inches high, a very trim built
well made ma, very active and upright in his walk. He is travelling through
the country as a Juggler and Ventriloquist, and is a native of Connecticut.
His real name JULIUS WILLIAM COWLES, but has frequently changed
his name, going sometimes by the name of WILLIAMS, sometimes by that of
COWLES or COLE, and then by spelling his name backwards and taking the
name of SELWOC.
DICKERSON is a tall bowlegged
and very stout man, has a very fair complexion, light hair, blue or light
eyes, broad shoulders, with two double teeth on the upper jaw in front;
chews a great deal of tobacco. February 5, 1839
March 30, 1841
~xcerpt~Georgia, A PROCLAMATION...that a
murder was committed in the county of Jones, on Friday the 19th day of
February last, upon the body of a negro woman named BINA,
property of Marion Bazemore, of said county, by Marion Bazemore
and Paulina Bazemore-And it being represented to me that Marion Bazemore
and Paulina Bazemore have fled from justice ....reward of TWO HUNDRED
DOLLARS, for the apprehension and delivery of both of them to the Sheriff
or Jailer of Jones county, or one hundred dollars for either one of them...this
the 27th of March 1841. ...Charles J. McDonald.
DESCRIPTION. Marion M. Bazemore is about
twenty-two years of age, dark hair and weights about two hundred pounds,
well formed though fleshy, and of good appearance.
January 17, 1843
~xcerpt~Georgia, A PROCLAMATION...that a
murder was committed in the county of Jones, on the 31st of December last,
on the body of Dr. WILLIAM
TAYLOR, by a man unknown, and that said individual hs fled from justice...reward
of TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS.. DESCRIPTION. Height about 5 feet 10 inches, stoops
a little in walking, rather slender frame, long thin visage, long neck,
sandy beard, and florid complexion. Supposed to be the same man who not
long since stopped a few days at Mr. Hall's, near Milledgeville,
and who called himself Berry. It is said that he stayed awhile
at Columbus and Augusta, and while at the latter place, he was employed
to work on the Georgia R. Road. Jan. 15, 1843.
January 20, 1852
Dreadful Accident. On Saturday the 10th
inst. Marion Stewart and
his brother Henry, sons of Thomas W. Stewart of Jones county,
were out hunting rabbits. They chased one into a pile of brush; the younger
of the brothers got down upon his knees trying to find the rabbit; the
rabbit ran out in the direction of Marion, when Henry who stood on the
opposite side, raised his gun to fire; just at that time Marion raised
his head and received the whole charge in the back of his head.
The deceased was a highly respected
boy, much beloved by all who knew him - he was about 17 years of
age. The brother who committed the act is nearly distracted.
March 27, 1855
Clinton, Ga., March 24th, 1855
J. CHOATE, son of Lydia and Thomas W. Choate of Jones county,
was born on the 4th day of July, A. M. 1830, and died of a wound from a
pistol shot on the 21st inst.
The circumstances attending the death
of this estimable young man are of the most painful character. A Peddler
called at the house of his Father on the 21st, and after selling a few
articles, he and Richard walked out into the Piazza. In a moment or two
the reports of a pistol was heard - his mother ran out immediately, and
asked, "What in the world is the matter, Richard?" He replied, "He shot
me." He soon fainted, and reviving again, was asked how it occurred. His
only reply was, "He shot me."
The whole matter is enveloped in
mystery. On the morning the peddler had asked for powder and lead to load
his pistol, and had given expression to a hostile disposition towards the
deceased. The whole train of circumstances, which would be too long for
a communication of this kind, induce many to believe that it was the premeditated
desire of a most fiendish and malignant heart while others, more charitably
inclined, believe it was the result of carelessness amounting almost to
criminality. The peddler ran off and concealed himself from 9 o'clock,
A. M., until about 9 o'clock P.M., before he could be arrested. The evidence
was of such a character that he was committed to Jail to await his trial.
Thus was this young man, pride and
hope of his parents, cut off in the morning of his days, ere the
bud which promised so much had bloomed into usefulness. His parents have
to mourn the untimely loss of an only son, whom they expected to be the
stay and support of their declining years. As a son, he was ever dutiful
and obedient-as a brother, kind and affectionate-as a friend, generous
and true-and as a citizen, honorable and trustworthy. The whole community
in which he lived mourn his loss. He lived respected and died lamented
by all who knew him. A FRIEND.
HOMICIDE - On Wednesday last, a young man
of the name of Choate, was killed in Jones county from a pistol
shot discharged from the hand of an itinerant peddler of the name of Morris.
There are various accounts as to whether the pistol was discharged
by accident or design. Morris has, however, been arrested and committed
to jail. Geo. Citizen.
October 30, 1855
Morris Abraham, indicted for
the murder of Richard J. Choate of Jones co., was tried at the October
term of the late Superior Court of that county, Judge Hardeman presiding,
and sentenced to four years imprisonment in the State Penitentiary - the
Jury having returned a verdict of voluntary manslaughter.
July 24, 1855
~Excerpt~ ...a Murder has been committed
in the County of Jones, on the 17th inst. upon the body of SYLVESTER
S. LOYD, by JOHN TOWLS, and that said Towls has fled from justice.
...reward of ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS...
DESCRIPTION. Said Towls is about 23 years
old. About 5 feet 6 inches high-dark complexion, with rather dark eyes
and dark hair-has a large mole on his neck, rather genteel in appearance
when dress, but loose jointed in his movements.
January 25, 1858
~Excerpt~ ...a Murder has been committed
in the County of Jones, on the 26th of December last upon the body
of John M. Woodall by one
G. Whitby, and that said Whitby has fled from justice.
...reward of ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS...
Whitby is about 31 years of age, five feet
high, dark complection, small black or dark eyes, dark hair, red or sandy
beard, Roman nose, speaks slowly, and stoops in the shoulders.
September 6, 1859
The Fratricide in Jones
On Tuesday morning last a bloody rencontre
took place in Jones county between two brothers, Augustus
and Jackson Roberts, which resulted in the death of the former.
Roberts, the slayer, is severely but not mortally wounded in the breast.
On Wednesday last a warrant for his arrest, charging him with the murder,
was issued by Justice Burdin. Two brothers-in-law, by the name of
and Thomas Crib, were also arrested, charged as accessories.
On Thursday last the
committing Court, consisting of Thomas S. and John S. Humphries, Esqs.,
and Justice Burdin, assembled at Roberts' Court Ground, for the
purpose of investigating the charge, but on account of the critical condition
of Jackson Roberts, the examination was postponed until Friday next. William
T. Massey, Esq., and Wm. K. DeGraffenried, Esq., for the prosecution;
Isaac Hardeman for the defence. We understand that A. H. Stephens
and Washington Poe have been engaged for the defence.
September 13, 1859
Jackson Roberts Committed
The examination into the case of
Roberts, charged with the murder of his brother in Jones county, on
the 30th of August, took place on Friday last. After hearing the evidence,
the prisoner was committed to Jail to answer the charge of murder. Justices
S. Humphreys, John S. Humphreys, and Thos. Burdin, presiding.
April 28, 1860
Clinton, April 22, 1860. Mr. Clisby. Jones
Superior Court adjourned this morning after a most arduous week of labor,
and although it was Sabbath Judge Harris passed sentence upon Jackson
Roberts, who had been found guilty of involuntary man slaughter, after
a fifty five hours test of muscle and endurance by the Jury that tried
the case. His sentence was three years in the Penitentiary.
August 24, 1860
We learn that on Tuesday evening
last a difficulty occurred at Gray's Grocery in Jones county, which resulted
in the death of one person and the severe and perhaps dangerous wounding
of two others. The actors in this affair, together with a number of others
had assembled for the purpose of having a shooting match. A man by the
name of Mattox and the grocery keeper, Gray, had a quarrel,
when a man named Loyd made some remark about Mattox, whereupon Mattox
raised his gun, charged with buckshot, and shot Loyd dead. He then
ran into the grocer for the purpose of shooting Gray, and Gray took refuge
under the counter, the bottom board of which was off, making a large orifice
through which Mattox procured his gun and fired at Gray, but missed him.
Gray then arose and shot Mattox with a pistol, it is thought fatally wounding
him. A brother of Gray was also shot by some one, and it is thought fatally
wounded. Liquor was the cause of this difficulty.
August 27, 1860
Clinton, Aug. 24th, 1860
Mr. Clisby: On Saturday, John J. Maddox
was brought before Justices Hascall, Childs, Butler and Middlebrooks, charged
with killing Levi A. Loyd on
the 21st inst., and after hearing evidence in the case was committed to
our county jail to await his trial for murder at our next Superior Court.
George W. Maddox, was also
arraigned before the same Justices, charged with an assault with intent
to murder Eli S. Gray; upon an investigation in default of bail,
he was also committed to jail. These men are brothers, and had met at the
grocery mentioned in my last, together with others, to attend a shooting
match for beef, but unfortunately it resulted in a shooting match
of quite a different character. Cause for the whole affair, bad blood and
strychnine whiskey. The weapons used besides the black bottles were double
barrel guns. Yours, B
October 24, 1860
John J. Maddox, convicted
last week in the Superior Court of Jones County for the murder of Levi
A. LLoyd, was yesterday brought to Macon by Sheriff Balkcom of Jones
county and committed to Bibb county jail to await his execution on the
7th December next, the Jones county jail being considered insecure.
September 29, 1863
During the term, John Maddox,
who was indicted for the murder of ___Loyd, in Jones county, and
whose case had been transferred to Baldwin, pleaded guilty of voluntary
manslaughter, and was sentenced by Judge Harris to ten years imprisonment
in the Penitentiary. He had been convicted at a previous term, and
a new trial was ordered by the Supreme Court which ruled the offense to
be manslaughter, from testimony adduced. He had been three years in Jail.
August 26, 1863
A friend has kindly furnished
us with the following particulars of a murder which occurred on Saturday
afternoon, in Jones county, about four miles below this city.
"A young man, of the name of Solomon
Roberts, killed an old man about seventy years of age, of the name
of Barker, about two miles from
Walnut Creek Bridge, on Saturday, the 22d inst., about 2 o'clock. Roberts
was a young man, and his victim was old.
"Coming up from Wilkinson, I reached
the scene of the murder a few minutes after it transpired. The killing,
according to the statements of the only persons present, (three ladies,)
was without provocation. Roberts got out of his buggy, in which he had
a shot gun and a rifle, enter the house of Barker, and threatened the life
of one of the females, at the same time drawing a pistol. The woman retreated,
when he turned upon Mr. Barker, then lying sick, and after cursing him
once or twice, fired and instantly killed him. Roberts then got in his
buggy and drove off to his residence, about two hundred yards distant.
I was the first person that reached the place after the murder, and elicited
the facts as above stated from the females that witnessed it. Roberts is
a member of Captain T. W. Brantly's company, and was at home on
furlough. Roberts, it is said, was not intoxicated, but might have been
drinking." Daily Confederate.
April 22, 1866
Through A. O. Bacon, Esq., we learn
that the girl Amy Gordon, about whom the colored population of this
city was so excited a few days ago, was convicted of the crime of murder
at the Jones County Court, though ably defended by Charles Harris and
Hardeman, Esqs., who were assigned by the Court for her defense. The
crime was that of poisoning the whole family of Mr.Perry
Tinney, one of whose children died from the effects. The girl plead
guilty to the charge, and she had a fair and impartial trial with the result
April 19, 1867
Clinton, Jones Co., April 9, 1867
Editor Telegraph - Sir: The unfortunate
difficulty that occurred last Thursday in our village, between Dr. James
F. Barron and Mr. Jesse Glawson,
was to-day fully investigated on a commitment trial had before his Honor.
R. H. Hutchings, (one of the Judges of the Inferior Court), acting
as County Judge-the accused having surrendered himself to the Sheriff without
effort to escape. After a full examination into the case, upon the testimony
of some eight or nine witnesses and argument had by counsel, the accused
was discharged, the Court deciding it to be a case of justifiable homicide.
Messrs. Hardeman & Blount for the defence - Col. W. Poe, of your city,
for the prosecution. Yours, T.
December 28, 1871
ANOTHER MURDER - On Monday night, 25th instant,
at about 12 o'clock, a negro man named John
Sparrow, living at Maxwells Mills, in Jones county, a few miles below
Griswoldville, was murdered. He was asleep in his house when some one hallooed
at the gate and asked him to come to the door. Having no thought of danger
he threw open the door and immediately two shots were fired, apparently
from a double-barreled shot gun, the second taking effect in his breast,
producing instant death. There is nothing upon which to ground any suspicion
as to who the murderer was. John is said to have been a harmless, inoffensive
negro, and so far as any person was without an enemy, either white or black.
December 31, 1872
HOMICIDE IN GRISWOLDVILLE. A negro man, named
Rivers, was killed in Griswoldville, Thursday evening, by another of
the same color. Rivers was drunk, and drew a knife on the party of the
second part, whereupon the latter took down his gun and shot Rivers so
that he died in a few minutes. The body lay near the railway track up to
eleven o'clock Thursday night, waiting for a coroner's inquest.
March 13, 1877
Union and Recorder
A turbulent negro named Wade
Webb was killed in Jones county recently, by some unknown party.
December 4, 1877
Shocking Murder of a Young Girl in Jones
Hodge, a daughter of Mr. Samuel Hodge, an old and highly respected
citizen of the upper part of Jones county, was shot and killed, while on
a visit to her brother-in-law, Mr. Robert Gordon, by some unknown
party, about dark Saturday evening, the 24th inst. WHile the family of
Mr. Gordon were at tea in the kitchen, a house adjacent and directly behind
the dwelling from the road, the discharge of a gun was heard in the direction
of the road. Miss Hodge at the time happened to be passing from the back
part of the dwelling toward the fire place and received the ball, it
taking effect on the side of her head, just above the ear and ranging upward.
She survived about an hour. It is supposed that the shot was aimed at some
one in the kitchen.
Miss Hodge was about fifteen years
of age, greatly esteemed for her many estimable traits of character, and
her untimely death has cast a gloom over the entire community. The funeral
service took place yesterday at Cany Creek church where the remains were
interred. The Rev. Mr. Bazemore officiated.
December 30, 1881
Macon Weekly Telegraph
THE ROUND OAK MURDER In Which Four Men Lose
The report which we gave in yesterday's
issue of the bloody affray in Jones county, on Monday night, was verified
yesterday by parties who live near the scene. The news was so terrible
that but few thought it true, and we found it necessary to make a thorough
investigation. Mr. Roland T. Ross, who left Clinton early yesterday
morning, was interviewed, but he had no authentic information, though satisfied
that there was something to report. Later in the day a gentleman arrived
from Round Oak, about ten miles above Clinton, who gave the details of
the tragedy, which are as follows: On Monday night there was a colored
dance at Dick Richard's place, near Round Oak. Two or three young
white men were there, one of whom was Jack
William Gray, and one a Mr. Green. Mr. Gray became in some way
involved in a quarrel with one of three colored brothers, Bob, Alex
and Henry Jackson. The quarrel ended in a fight in which Gray was fatally
stabbed. He sank to the floor, and while his life-blood was ebbing away,
opened fire on his assailants, one falling dead at his feet, and one dropping
at the door. The third brother managed to get out of doors, and died a
few hours later. In the meantime Gray had crawled to the door and managed
to get on the steps, where he died., He was buried Tuesday afternoon.
As far as we can learn whisky was,
as usual, the cause of the trouble.
January 4, 1882
THE ROUND OAK TRAGEDY. A Further Account
of the Affray as Brought Out at the Inquest.
A few days since we published an
account of the late tragedy in Jones county near Round Oak was incorrect
in several particulars. At the time of the writing it was impossible to
get an altogether accurate one of the affair, for the reason that no one
was able to give it. From the evidence given in at the coroner's inquest,
the following account is made up. On the evening named a dance was gotten
up at a short distance from a grocery kept by Joe Griggs, a white
man. There were present a large number of negroes, and three young white
men who are described as shiftless characters: their names were Jack
Gray, Warren Green and Abe Billingslea.
The dance progressed and considerable
liquor was drunk. Jack Gray (white)
was dancing with a negro girl, when a young negro man stepped on her dress
and drew from her a remark that caused him to curse her. This began the
fuss, which was between two factions of negroes. High words ruled for some
time, when a negro threatened to shoot Joe Jackson (colored). The
white man, Jack Gray, told him to go in, he would stand by him,
and the fellow began firing. Almost instantly a general fight ensued, about
twenty shots being fired. Bob Jackson
(colored) fell dead, and Henry
Jackson (colored) fell, mortally wounded. Fuller Moreland (colored)
was badly cut, Aleck Jackson slightly shot, Abram Jackson slightly
wounded in the head, and Abe Billingslea cut. Jack Gray,
the white man, had fired three times when hew was stabbed. He crawled out
of the house, walked around it, came back, and sitting down died in a chair.
The evidence before the coroner was
conflicting but points strongly to King Bland, colored, as the man who
killed Bob and Henry Jackson, and to Aleck Jackson as the
man who killed Gray. It was impossible. however, in the confusion, to tell
what shot took effect. One negro came to the door of the room and fired
into the crowd five times.
The affair is greatly deplored by
the good people of our sister county, and they are using every means to
bring the rioters to justice. Every person present has been arrested but
Bland who has escaped.
July 15, 1884
Union and Recorder
~excerpt~The State vs. Aaron
Washingon, (negro) charged with the murder of
Bob Lee, a negro, near Griswoldville, on the 24th of June 1882. He
was found guilty, and sentenced, by recommendation of the jury, to confinement
in the Penitentiary for life.
July 29, 1884
Union and Recorder
Jones County, Clinton, July
Bob Jackson, one of
the negroes supposed to have been implicated in the murder of an old and
aged negro man, Abner Clewer,
who was found naked and dead early in January 1883, died to-day near the
scene of this dastardly crime.
November 18, 1884
Union and Recorder
Terrible Tragedy in Jones.
News has reached this city, by a
gentleman who visited Jones county, last Sunday, that a terrible tragedy
was enacted on the old Bivins homestead on that day. Col.
Benj. Beck, well known in this city, who married the widow of James
W. Stubbs, was murdered by his step-sons, Stephen and James
Stubbs, and Col.
Beck's son Benjamin, was fatally shot. A coroner's inquest was held
and a verdict of murder was rendered. The jury arrested the men and held
them until the Sheriff arrived when they were taken to Clinton and confined
in jail. We do not know the cause of the trouble. The parties all lived
on the same plantation. The young Stubbses armed themselves with shotguns
and pistols and killed Co. Beck and mortally wounded his son, as above
stated. It is said, neither Col. Beck nor his son was armed. To what deplorable
results do the nursing of bad passions lead! The parties to this heart-rending
tragedy are connected to the best families of the State, Col. Beck was
a gallant Confederate officer.
November 25, 1884
Union and Recorder
Further Incidents of the Jones County Murder
we copy the following from the Macon
Telegraph & Messenger of the 18th:
"The news reached Macon last
Sunday evening of a terrible tragedy in Jones county. An order was brought
into Clay's establishment for two coffins and an inquiry revealed the fact
that Colonel Benjamin Beck, a well-to-do farmer of Jones county,
and his young son, of the same name, had been killed by two brothers, Jim
and Stephen Stubbs, also farmers.
The details of the killing were difficult
to obtain, owing to the fact that it occurred in the country far removed
from the railroad. From Dr. W. A. Thomas, of Baldwin county, who,
with Dr. Pursely, was sent for to attend young Beck, and who heard
his dying statement, the following facts were learned:
The parties to the tragedy were Col.
Benjamin Beck, Benjamin Beck, Jr., and Jim and Stephen Stubbs. Col. Beck
married a Mrs. Stubbs, the mother of Jim and Stephen. Ben Beck, Jr. and
Tom Beck were half-brothers to the Stubbs, who were Col. Beck's step-sons.
All of them farmed on the same land.
There is no definite information
as to the origin of the trouble. The most probable story is that the Becks
had a patch of corn between two patches of corn belonging to the Stubbs'.
It is claimed that the Stubbs' fed their stock from the Becks' corn instead
of their own, and this led to a quarrel or an assault on last Friday. On
Sunday morning Tom Beck was sent by his father to Clinton, 9 miles distance,
for a warrant for the Stubbs'. While he was gone the quarrel; was renewed
in the yard, and resulted in the instant killing of Col. Beck. He received
a load of small shot in his left side and a load of buckshot in his right
side. After Col. Beck fell he was shot twice in the back of the head with
a pistol, both balls lodging in his brain.
Young Beck was not killed outright.
He received seven gun shot wounds, one of which would have been fatal.
There were five balls in the right side, one through the spine and stomach,
and two through the left arm near the wrist. He did not fall at first shot
and ran, asking the Stubbs brothers not to kill him, but they continued
to shoot at him until the wounds mentioned above were inflicted. He died
in great pain Sunday afternoon at half-past 4 o'clock. Stephen Stubbs had
a double-barreled gun, one barrel loaded with small shot and the other
with buckshot. Both men had American bulldog pistols.
The Stubbses went into the
house after the shooting. The wife of Stephen went out into the year and
assisted young Beck to the porch of the house, where he was laid
down on some cotton. The body of Col. Beck remained where it fell in the
yard until the coroner's jury removed it in the afternoon.
The heavy and rapid firing caused
the neighbors to investigate the cause of it and soon the news was flying
over the country. One man went to Clinton after a warrant, one for physicians,
and soon the neighborhood was aroused. The warrant was sworn out before
justice James Andrews, who gave it to Sheriff Phillips to serve. The sheriff
summoned a posse and proceeded at once to the Beck place, but the Stubbs
were arrested without difficulty. The remained at the house until about
noon, when they started off, and were prevented from escaping by the sheriff.
They were taken at once to the jail at Clinton, where they are now lodged.
In the afternoon the coroner's
inquest was held. Young Beck was able to make a statement, which embodied
the facts given above. He also repeated this statement to Dr. Thomas. In
the evidence before the jury it transpired that young Beck's gun had been
taken from the shelf in the house and broken on a rock a short distance
away. It had not been discharged.
The jury rendered a verdict that
the deceased (Colonel Beck) came to his death by gunshot wounds inflicted
at the hands of James and Stephen Stubbs, and in their opinion it was murder.
Colonel Beck went into the Confederate
arm as captain of the Baldwin Volunteers, (not Jordon Guards, as stated
by the Telegraph & Messenger.) He was afterwards made Colonel of the
Ninth Georgia Regiment. He bore a reputation, as did his two sons, of being
a peaceable, law-abiding man, never molesting anyone, and for the past
few years living almost in retirement from the world.
Colonel Isaac Hardeman has
been engaged for the defense."
April 28, 1885
Union and Recorder
Jones Superior Court, Was held
last week, Judge Lawson presiding. The most important matter before the
court was the trial of Jas. W. Stubbs and Stephen Stubbs,
charged with the murder of Col. Benjamin Beck and his son Benjamin
Beck, Jr. Col. Beck was the step-father of the Stubbses, and they all
resided together, under one roof, and were engaged in farming on the same
plantation in Jones county. A disagreement occurred in which the Stubbses
were charged with stealing corn, and Col. Beck had a warrant issued for
their arrest. On Sunday morning, the 16th of November last, the trouble
culminated in the horrible tragedy in which Col. Beck and his son lost
their lives. On this fateful morning the Stubbses were about starting to
church, when Col. Beck told them they must remain until the corn trouble
was settled, that he was expecting an officer to serve a warrant for their
arrest. Col. Beck then directed his son James Beck to go to Clinton for
the officer. Angry words passed and J. W. Stubbs told his brother Stephen
to go into the house and bring his gun and they would kill the whole party.
The gun was brought and J. W. Stubbs proceeded to carry his threat into
execution, by shooting Col. Beck and his son Benjamin, both of whom stated
they were unarmed and begged for their lives. Both of the Stubbses were
also armed with pistols and after the gun was discharged following the
retreating and entreating men and continued to shoot them in the most horrible
manner until life was extinct. The Stubbses were arrested and lodged in
jail where they remained until their trial last week.
Jas. W. Stubbs was first put on trial.
Forty-eight hours were consumed in taking the evidence and in the speeches
which followed. The jury returned a verdict of guilty of voluntary manslaughter.
Stephen Stubbs then plead guilty of the same offence, and they were sentenced
by Judge Lawson to ten years each in the Penitentiary.
The defence was ably conducted by
Messrs. Ike Hardeman, Robt. Hardeman, Davis, Bartlett and Grieve.
Solicitor General Whitfield was assisted
in the prosecution by Messrs. Edge and Berner.
Col. Miller Grieve of the city made
the opening speech for the defence. The Macon Telegraph says;
"To the defendant's counsel belongs
the victory, but it was gained over no feeble foe. The interests of the
State were zealously advocated and the attorneys on that side, too, can
have the consciousness of having fully performed their duties. Besides,
it is not unjust to presume that the presence of the defendant's wife and
the prattling of his children through the courtroom former a potent factor
in the return of a lenient verdict."
February 8, 1887
MURDER IN JONES COUNTY.
TWO BOYS HORRIBLY MUTILATED WITH AN AXE.
Macon, Ga., Janurary 31. News
reached here this morning of a tragedy in Jones County. On Saturday morning
two boys aged ten and eight, while in the woods gathering brush, were set
upon by Sam Bivins, aged seventeen, and murdered with an axe. Charles
Rivers, the father of the boys, headed the searching party, and at
1 o'clock on Sunday morning found the boys' bodies hid in a gully. Bivins
is in jail and has confessed. He said he had a fight with the boys. All
July 3, 1888
Macon Weekly Telegraph
DIED OF HIS WOUNDS. John
Griffin, who was Shot Monday Night, Dies in Jail.
The information was received
from Clinton yesterday that the negro John Griffin, who was shot Monday
night while resisting arrest, had died from his wounds.
Mr. W. L. Henry, to whom John
sold some stolen cattle, went to Clinton where he was confined for the
purpose of identifying him. Mr. Henry first looked at him through the hole
in the door, but could not recognize him at first owing to the fact that
the negro was lying on the floor and in such a position that his full face
could not be seen from the door. Mr. Henry saw his feet, however, which
were unusually large, and felt satisfied that he was the man. When the
door of the cell was opened and a good look was taken, Mr. Henry was thoroughly
convinced that he was the man.
John was shot in the back,
the ball ranging upward. He had thrown one of the Lester young men,
who went to the house to arrest him, out of the house, and it was while
he was down that he fired the shot which finally proved fatal. It is the
belief that nothing will be done with young Lester as he was acting in
self-defense and the negro was resisting arrest at the time he was shot.
September 22, 1891
A feud between two Jones county
farmers had a fatal ending last Saturday afternoon. Grays Station a few
miles above Macon on the Macon and Northern railroad was the scene of the
tragedy. Clark Smith, shot and killed Ezekiel
Cribb. The bad feeling originated about a cooking stove sold by Smith
to Cribb, several months ago. Smith is about 45 years of age and has a
wife and family. Cribb is over 50 years of age and had also a large family.
Both men were good farmers. It is said Smith acted in self-defense. He
surrendered himself and is in custody.
July 15, 1893
Killing at Round Oak
Round Oak, July 14 (Special) At 12 o'clock
today quite a little skirmish occurred on the streets of Round Oak, in
which there were ten or fifteen shots exchanged and resulted in the killing
of Cicero Johnson by Tom White.
combatants were Tom White against Cicero Johnson, Ans Garland, Alf Goodsby
John Hunt. The parties to the affair are all negroes, and an old grudge
was the cause of all the trouble.
Tom White, after emptying his pistol
of all but one ball, ran into the store of J. W. Turk & Co. and gave
himself up. A warrant has been issued for him, and the sheriff is expected
any minute to take charge of him. Other warrants may be issued.
January 26, 1904
A little negro boy, son
of George Justice, who resides on Mr. Ollie White's place in
Jones county, was accidentally shot with a shot gun, by his brother., The
shot entered the mouth of the boy. He was brought to this city yesterday
for medical attention, but died as he wa being carried up the steps at
Dr. Croley's office.
March 27, 1906
TRAGEDY AT HADDOCKS.
Alonzo Haddocks Shoots to Death Burrell
Macon Telegraph, 23rd inst.
A pistol shot fired, yesterday at
Haddock, took the life of Burrell
Bush, a prominent citizen, and has plunged two families into the blackest
depths of grief.
The shot was fired by Alonzo
Haddock, a young man, who is now in jail at Gray, his nerves all unstrung
by the tragedy in which he played so conspicuous a part.
Meanwhile Haddock's wife is lying
ill at their home, and in Macon a sister of the man who fired the fatal
shot and a son of the dead man are just entering upon the second day of
what was to have been their honeymoon. This couple are Edward Bush and
Mary Haddock Bush, his bride. It is believed that their marriage brought
about the shooting yesterday.
News of this gruesome climax of a
romance-akin, in the emotions that run through it like alternate black
and golden threads, to the story of Romeo and Juliet-reached Macon by word
of mouth yesterday afternoon.
The shooting itself, according to
reports from Haddock, must have been peculiarly dramatic. Burrell Bush,
the man whose life was snuffed out by the revolver bullet, was an elderly
man. He held the position of station agent of the Georgia railroad at Haddock.
The stories of the shooting are somewhat
conflicting, but in any event the dramatic features were intense
The young man and the old man-Haddock
and Bush-met on the station platform. There was ill will between then,
it is said, on account of Edward Bush's attentions to pretty Mary Haddock.
It is believed that the marriage brought the enmity of the two families
to a crisis.
A few words were exchanged briefly.
They were angry words, like sparks from the gloom of anger which lay upon
the face of each man. Then a pistol shot rang out. Bush uttered a cry and
sank to the platform. Men suddenly pale and excited, rushed to the scene.
It was as if the bright sun, that
just a movement before had been flooding the little rural depot with golden
light, had suddenly been submerged in a gray and somber mist.
As Bush lay expiring on the platform
in the midst of the excited people, a passenger train dashed up with a
rumble and a road, and came to stop at the little station. Instinctively
the passengers realized that something unusual had taken place outside
and heads appeared at windows all along the train. Quick questions were
asked and confused, nervous answers given. It was through passengers on
that train that the news of the tragedy first reached Macon.
The town marshal was summoned and
young Haddock, the smoking pistol in his hand, was taken into custody.
A buggy was hurriedly procured and he and the officer departed for Clinton,
the county seat of Jones county, where Haddock was to be lodged in jail.
The conflicting features of the story
have to do with the immediate origin of the fatal difficulty. Reports were
received in Macon that Bush had been shot down only after a few words had
been addressed to him and without any attempt being made on his part to
do injury to his slayer.
Haddock, on the other hand, says
that Bush was about to kill him and that he shot in self-defense. He made
this statement at Gray last night, when he was interviewed by a Telegraph
The trip to Gray was made in Ben
L. Jones auto the use of which was tendered The Telegraph by Mr. Jones.
The roads are very rough between this city and the point where Haddock
is in jail, but the big auto was driven over them and the reporter who
made the trip was enabled to converse with the prisoner early in the evening.
"I shot Bush in self-defense," said
the young man. "I went to the station unarmed, but fearing trouble, procured
a pistol after I got there. When I met him I had to shoot to save my own
life. I Cannot discuss the matter any further than this. The case is in
the hands of my attorneys, Johnson & Johnson and Mr. Barron. The have
instructed me not to give out any detail statement of the affair."
Haddock seemed in a state bordering
on nervous collapse. His face pallid and his eyes bloodshot. He is a married
man and there are two children in his family. His wife, it was reported
last night, is dangerously ill. He was great troubled on that account,
as well as wrought up over the dreadful experience which he had so recently
April 25, 1906
ALONZO HADDOCK'S CASE CONTINUED UNTIL
FALL. Young Man Who Killed Burrell Bush Not Tried Because of Illness
of an Important Witness.
One of the largest crowds ever seen
in the Jones county court house was present at the opening of the Alonzo
Haddock murder case, at Clinton Wednesday. The court house and yard were
filled with a crowd of eager listeners.
The case is one of great local interest,
Bush was shot by Haddock at Haddock station last month. The killing it
will be remembered, grew out of a romance culminating in the marriage of
Bush's son and Haddock's sister. The tragedy created a great sensation.
The trial was begun at 8:30 and several
witnesses were heard, but before progressing very far, the case was continued
until the October term, as one of the material witnesses, Mr. Thomas, who
is alleged to have seen the shooting, was ill and the doctor certified
that she would not be in condition to appear at court for some time. At
this announcement most of the crowd left the court room and remained about
the streets and stores talking.
The people of Jones county are divided
in their opinions about the affair, some sympathize with Haddock. others
regard his action as wholly unwarranted.
October 23, 1906
Judge John T. Allen spent
last week in Jones County, where he was engaged in the defense of Alonzo
Haddock, who was charged with murder. Haddock was found not guilty.
June 21, 1909
IKE RUSHING CAPTURED; HE KILLED BAILIFF
BASS. Negro Is Carried to Atlanta for Safe Keeping-Story of Murder of the
Officer and Shooting of Grover Etheridge.
The Jones county tragedy of the night
of April 5th, in which BailiffFrank Bass
killed instantly, and a young man named Grover Etheridge was shot
in the side and arm, by a negro the bailiff was trying to arrest, was revised
yesterday by the lodging of Ike Rushing in the Bibb county jail, and later
leaving, in charge of Sheriff Henry Brooks, of Jones county, for
Atlanta, there to be placed in the two for safe keeping.
The moon was shining brightly
on the evening of April 5th, Bailiff Bass had a warrant charging the negro
Ike Rushing with cheating and swindling. It having been sworn out by D.
H. Stubbs. The negro lived on the Stubbs place, and the bailiff went
by Stubbs' house and Stubbs said he would go with him as he thought he
and Ike could settle the charge and there would be no need to serve the
Young Etheridge said he would go
along, as did a man named Heath. It never entered the heeds of any
of the party that there would be any trouble, and there was not a weapon
in the crowd save a cheap pistol carried by the bailiff.
Rushing Fires on Officer.
When the house was reached, the bailiff
knocked on the front door and called Ike to come out as he had a warrant
for him. Ike did not go out, but was heard opening the back door. It was
then that the party went around the house to see Ike coming down the
steps with a single barrel gun in his hands. Bailiff Bass called out to
him to put it up, but Ike leveled the gun at him and fired. The bailiff
fell dead. Ike proceeded to load the gun, and Heath and Stubbs, being unarmed,
and seeing that the negro was now desperate, fled the scene. Etheridge
remained and talked to Ike, telling him not to shoot him, but Ike disregarded
the appeal and fired. Etheridge dodged the best he could by turned his
side for the load which shattered his arm and entered his side. He then
ran around the house, but Ike had reloaded his gun and fired at Etheridge,
the load entering the corner of the house.
Taking his gun with him, Ike
pulled out in the direction of Milledgeville. Near that place he sold the
gun to some negroes working at Stevens' pottery, and with the money bought
a pair of shoes, those he had been wearing being so ragged that his toes
protruded. He then left the locality of Milledgeville, and in two days
was in Laurens county. He then dropped the name of Ike Rushing and took
up that of Clark Smith, the name of his brother-in-law, and secured work
at a sawmill.
Searching for the Fugitive.
In the meantime Sheriff Brooks
was busy looking in every direction for him. Every now and then a report
would reach him that Ike was at certain points, and twice it was reported
that he was in Macon where he has a brother-in-law named Preston.
Then on the 7th of May Sheriff Brooks
received a letter from a negro in Laurens county saying that he had located
Ike in that county. Sheriff Peacock, of Laurens, was notified, and then
began a correspondence with both the sheriffs and the negro who wanted
to turn up Ike. It was a problem how to get Ike. He was working about seventeen
miles from Dublin in a saw mill, but for reasons Sheriff Peacock did not
want to go there after him, and it was thought best to toll Ike into Dublin.
This was left to the negro who had written to Sheriff Brooks. This negro,
who was a boarding house keeper in Dublin, left his house and went to work
in the saw mill so that he could keep an eye on Ike, or Clark Smith as
he was know there. Finally he wrote to Sheriff Brooks that Ike was coming
to Dublin on the train on Saturday, and to inform Sheriff Peacock to be
on hand on the arrival of the train.
Arrested by Sheriff Peacock.
The plan was carried out and Saturday
afternoon when the train arrived, Sheriff Peacock, who had a complete description
of Ike, placed him under arrest. He protested that he had done nothing
to be arrested for until the sheriff neared the jail. Then he know the
agony was over. He owned up to being Ike Rushing.
Sheriff Brooks was notified
of the arrest and came to Macon to meet Sheriff Peacock and the man yesterday
morning. Though Sheriff Brooks did not know the man, he went up to him
and said, "Ike, where have you been all this time?" Ike called the sheriff
by name, and he was no longer Clark Smith, but Ike Rushing the long-wanted
Sheriff Brooks conferred with friends
in Macon yesterday, and knowing that a court would not be in session, until
October, and that there was yet some feeling among certain people in Jones
against the man, and especially so because of the wound in Etheridge's
arm not yet healing, decided it would be best to carry Ike to Atlanta for
safe keeping. Therefore the negro was taken to Atlanta, leaving Macon at
5 o'clock on the Southern, and will be kept there until the convening of
Baliff Frank Bass, who was killed,
was 52 years of age, and was well liked throughout the county. His death
was much deplored. Young Etheridge was also thought much of. It is feared
that he may yet lose the army that was badly shot up.
See November 19,
January 27, 1910
GREEN'S INJURIES TERMINATE FATALLY. Cliff
Chambliss in Jones County Jail Charged With Killing.
The shooting at Gray, Ga., Tuesday
afternoon resulted in the death of George
Green at the city hospital early yesterday morning. Cliff Chambliss,
by whom the shots were fired, is now in the Jones county jail, having surrendered
to the sheriff.
Green did not make a statement before
his death. His wounds were so vital that he was conscious but a few minutes
and unable to talk then. Two bullets penetrated his stomach. Although he
possible aid known to surgery and science was rendered, be died, after
It is stated that Green who was a
well known blacksmith at Gray, was shot by Chambliss as he entered a drug
store in which the latter was employed as manager. The trouble between
the two men was engendered by Green sympathizing with Paul Mims, with whom
Chambliss had had a quarrel, and vowing, it is said, that he would shoot
Chambliss on sight. Chambliss claimed that he heard of these threats and
believing that Green had come to attempt his life, fired upon him as he
entered the store.
The remains of Green were taken
to Gray yesterday afternoon for funeral and interment.
August 9, 1910
TRAGEDY IN JONES CO. LAST FRIDAY. The Morton
Brothers Shoot and Killed the Ethredges at Greys Station.
An awful tragedy was enacted
at Grays in Jones county last Friday.
On last Friday a reunion and barbecue
was held at Grays, and the shooting took place in the afternoon. From Saturday's
Macon Evening News we get the following:
While the barbecue was in progress
shortly after four o'clock, Steve and Morris
Ethridge and Clayton Kitchens, a kinsman, drove to the store
of Luther Morton, not far from the depot at the railroad station,
and renewed a quarrel over the negro boy who had gone from the farm of
Morton to that of Steve Ethridge
a week before. Will Morton, it was said, fired at Steve Ethridge on a former
occasion, three times about this negro boy, named Seabrook,
when the barbecue was on at its fullest yesterday the row was renewed.
Word went back and forth tat one side intended to kill the others at sight.
It was kept up till the Ethridges and Kitchens drove to the Morton store
and Kitchens offered a fist fight for a settlement. Will Morton engaged
Kitchens and the two fought several minutes before anything occurred elsewhere
to mar the occasion. Finally, as the Mortons claim, Kitchens was being
cornered and choked by Morton when the Ethridges began and interference.
Quick as a flash all four Morton brothers and the two Ethridges and Kitchens
were in a fight to the death.
Shots rang out so thick and fast
that it was impossible for even eye witnesses to tell exactly how it all
happened. When the firing ceased Steve Ethridge lay with his feet on the
sidewalk and his body extended into the street with half his head and face
shot off. He was dead and his life blood was spread in a horrible manner
all about the ground.
Morris Ethridge lay dead, too, with
three pistol shots penetrating his body, one in the mouth, another through
the heart and one through the abdomen. Both men never breathed to utter
The fist fight was lost in the thick
of the firing. It was said Kitchens called out that he was licked just
as the other interference came and this turned the participants to
the most serious matter of slaying an assailant and protecting self.
The front of the store this
morning show evidence of a terrible battle. The thick show window glass
has been perforated with shots and it is said the clear evidence of the
fire that was being poured in at the Mortons by the Etheridges is best
IKE RUSHING TO HANG DEC. 16 IN JONES CO.
Juliette, Ga, Nov. 18 - Judge Lewis has
sentenced Ike Rushing, the negro charged with the murder of Bailiff
Bass in Jones county in April, 1909, to hang on Dec. 16 in the jail.
No one will be allowed to witness the hanging. Rushing was convicted of
murder last April and sentenced to hang, but his attorneys appealed his
case to the supreme court. The new trial was refused by the court.
October 28, 1911
W. B. NORTON FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER. Gets
Life Imprisonment for Killing R. V. Smith.
JURY OUT SHORT TIME. Norton's Attorneys
Apply to Court for New Trial. ARGUE MOTION DEC. 12. No Case Ever Tried
in Jones County Had Created So Much Interest and Entire Jury Panel Was
Exhausted. First Hearing on the Case Resulted in a Mistrial.
GRAY, Oct. 27 - W.
B. Norton, 35 yeas old, formerly a deputy sheriff of Bibb county, who
shot and killed R. V. Smith, 58
years old, a farmer of Jones county, on November 10, last year, was found
guilty of murder, with a recommendation for mercy, by a jury here at 5:15
o'clock this afternoon. The jury was out two hours.
Judge John T. Parks sentenced
him to imprisonment for life.
Motion was filed by Norton's attorneys
for a new trial and this will be argued at Madison, December 12.
This is the second trial in the case
and the jury list in Jones county has been exhausted. If there is to be
a third trial it seems that a change of venue will be necessary.
Case Warmly Contested.
No case, probably, in the history
of Jones county has been so hotly contested. The array of counsel for both
sides represented the best available. The arguments today were able.
there was a large crowd in court.
The case was given to the jury at 3:15 o'clock this afternoon. Two hours
later the verdict was returned. The court caused no delay, but almost
immediately sentenced Norton to life imprisonment.
The alleged crime was committed just
three miles beyond the Bibb county line, eight miles north of Macon.
Norton is a single man, but has a
mother, brother and sister, who attended each day's proceedings.
Smith, who was killed, left a wife
and four sons and one married daughter, Mrs. T. J. Christian.
Had Able Counsel.
J. L. Smith, son of the slain
man was the prosecutor. Joseph E. Pottle solicitor general of Jones county,
was aided by Johnson and Johnson and Judge A. L. Dumas, of
Gray. Norton's attorneys were R. L. Berner, and W. A. McClellan, of Macon;
R. L. Knight, of Nashville, and J. B. Jackson and Judge A. L. Barron, of
The case has attracted unusual attention,
the slain man and the slayer both being prominently known.
History of Shooting.
On the afternoon that Mr. Smith was
shot the information was received by telephone at the office of the sheriff
of Bibb county, from Lamar Clay, that a party of negroes in a wagon had
fired at three of his sons, near the Clay home, on the Clinton road, about
seven miles from Macon. Deputies W. B. Norton, J. M. Lavender and
L. M. Simpson were instructed by Sheriff Robertson to hasten to the scene
in an automobile and if possible arrest the negroes.
When the Clay home was reached the
deputies were informed by Lamar Clay that the wagon conveying the negroes
had gone on out the road toward Jones county, and the automobile with the
three deputies and Lamar Clay and his son, Lamar Clay, Jr., followed in
close pursuit. Several wagons were passed and finally the wagon with the
negroes, who had done the shooting, was discovered and stopped by
the deputies. WHile the negroes placed under arrest were being searched
Lamar Clay called the attention of the deputies to another wagon which
was on the top of a small hill a few yards away and shouted to them to
stop the wagon. Norton and the young son of Mr. Clay got into the automobile,
driven by R. S. Mitchell, of Macon, and the machine was rushed up the road
after the other wagon, which by this time, it is said, was going at a fast
gait down another hill. The wagon turned the road to the left and ran into
a side road and down an embankment, where it was overtaken by the auto.
Norton jumped from the machine and shouted to the driver to throw up his
hands. The driver, who was later discovered to be Mr. Smith, refused to
accede to the demand and the deputy fired a .38-caliber bullet into the
front part of his right leg.
Though He Was Negro.
The injured man was brought
back to where the other deputies held the negroes under arrest and here,
it is said, the discovery was made for the firs time that he was a white
man. It developed during the trial here that this was not found out until
after Norton and one of the other deputies had gone in a wagon some distance
down the road toward Macon. He was then taken to the jail, where the wound
was dressed by Dr. F. L. Webb, and afterwards was taken to the home of
his sister, Mrs. King, in East Macon. The bullet was taken from his leg
the following day by Dr. G. T. Miller and a few days later a hemorrhage
developed and he was taken to the Macon hospital, where he died December
The day after Mr. Smith was shot
Norton left Macon, going to some point in California, where he remained
until February. He returned to Macon in the custody of a deputy sheriff
of Nashville, to whom he had surrendered. From Nashville he wrote a letter
to The Macon Telegraph declaring he was not guilty of the offense
of murder with which he had been charged at a commitment hearing at Gray,
and was returning to Macon to stand trial. After reaching Macon he was
allowed to remain overnight at the home of Mrs. G. L. Parrish, on First
street, under the guard of the deputy from Nashville, and a deputy sheriff
from Macon. The next morning he was taken to the Jones county jail at Gray,
and was indicted on the charge of murder by the Jones county grand jury
in April. His first trial, which was declared a mistrial after the jury
considered the case for about twenty-four hours.
Norton's attorneys made an effort
to secure his release under bail on the grounds that tuberculosis had developed
since his confinement in the Jones county jail. The argument for bail was
made in Macon before Judge John B. Parks and denied.
(Note: Georgia Supreme Court denied new
trial March 1912)
August 4, 1912
Kills Negro during Fight over Melon
Then Otis Bowden Fleets to Macon, Where He Finds His Way Into Jail.
A fight over a watermelon Friday
night in Jones county, a few miles out from Gray, led to the death of John
Williams, a negro, at the hands of Otis
Bowden, another negro, and Bowden was arrested yesterday morning by
the police in Smalls warehouse in East Macon. He was turned over to the
jail for safe keeping and yesterday afternoon was taken back to Jones county
by Robert Ethridge, formerly sheriff of Jones.
Williams and Bowden had some words
over the possession of a watermelon, according to Bowden's story, and when
Williams came toward him drawing razor, Bowden struck the man over
the head with a hammer. Williams died at his home some hours later. Bowden
stated yesterday that he had no intention the of killing the other negro
and was merely trying to protect himself.
June 13, 1914
CALM, COMPOSED, WORDLESS, WILBURN GOES TO
Walks Out on Scaffold With Firm Step. OFFERS
UP NO PRAYER. Has Nothing to Say as Cap is Put On. PARTINGS ARE PATHETIC.
Condemned Man's Father and Mother Staying
in His Cell With Him Until the End - Body is Taken to Eastman to Be Buried
The murder of James
King, the Jones county planter who was shot down "in cold blood" eighteen
months ago in the woods near his home at Round Oak, was avenged yesterday
morning at 11:55 o'clock in the Jones county jail at Gray, when Nick
Wilburn's neck was broken on the scaffold. Wilburn is the only white
man who has been hung in that county since 1886.
Contrary to expectations,
Wilburn walked to the gallows with a firm step, attended by Rev. Mr.
Sammons, a Baptist minister, and for seven minutes, bound hand and
foot, with the black hood over his head, he stood on the tap door waiting
for Sheriff Roberts to send him to his death. The sheriff had timed
himself so that he would arrive in the death room at exactly 11:55, but
preparations for the execution had been completed sooner than that, time
allotted for Wilburn to make a statement and to offer a prayer not being
utilized by the young man, who declared he had nothing to say.
Sheriff Doesn't Favor Job.
When Sheriff Roberts did appear
he rushed into the room quickly, jerked the trigger which sent Wilburn
to his doom and almost before the crack of Wilburn's neck was heard, vanished
again. It was a task Sheriff Roberts did not relish. He took no part in
the preparations for the hanging, having delegated, all of that to R.
N. Etheridge, sheriff-elect, who had been sworn in as special bailiff.
The latter was assisted in arranging the hanging by Sam Westcott,
former sheriff of Bibb county.
Wilburn was officially pronounced
dead within twenty-one minutes from the time the trap was sprung, but the
body remained suspended by the rope for twenty-five minutes. Three physicians,
Anderson, Chambliss and Zachary, officiated. They announced that Wilburn's
neck had been broken instantly.
Wanted "Enemies" Barred.
The hanging attracted a crowd
of people to the vicinity of the Jones county jail, but only a few were
permitted to witness the execution. Wilburn had made the request that none
of his "enemies" be admitted, but he did not specify anyone in particular.
Several of those on the outside of the jail sought positions in surrounding
trees in the hope of being able to witness the hanging, but they were disappointed
for the shades of the death chamber were drawn and the view of the curious
It had been expected
that Wilburn would receive the last rites from a Catholic priest from Macon,
but when the priest appeared yesterday morning Wilburn requested Deputy
Ethridge not to admit him. However, Mr. Etheridge told Wilburn that
he would rather he would take the responsibility of turning the priest
away. The priest was escorted to the cell door, where he was told by Wilburn
that he had no desire to embrace the Catholic faith, and did not desire
the presence of a priest at his execution.
"I desire to die in the faith of
my mother," Wilburn declared. Mrs. Wilburn is a Baptist.
The parting between Wilburn
and his relatives was pathetic. All during the morning the doomed man's
father, mother, sister and other relatives sat in front of his cell alternately
talking and weeping, but not until it came time to say good-bye did Wilburn
evidence the least emotion. It was 11:15 a.m. when Mr. Etheridge announced
that farewells must be said. Wilburn's father, who has been sympathized
with deeply in his affliction, and who did everything in his power to save
his son, broke down completely when he bid his son good-bye. Walking to
the bars in front of the cell, he put his arms through the bars and clutched
his son to him, while the tears rolled down his face. The youth kissed
his father fervently and whispered a word of cheer into his ear.
"Oh, Nick! Oh, Nick!"
The parting between mother and son
was even more pathetic. Bowed down with her grief, Mrs. Wilburn embraced
her son through the bars, while her body shook with sobs. For fully two
minutes, they stood without moving, Mrs. Wilburn sobbing two or three times,
" Oh, Nick, Oh, Nick!" Wilburn wept while his mother held him in her arms.
Other relatives bade the young man good-bye with a hand clasp.
Until the time for the execution
the Jones county officials were fearful lest Wilburn should commit suicide
and cheat the gallows. He had told his jailor when informed that Governor
Slaton had declined to commute his sentence that, "You will never hang
me." For that reason a close watch was kept over his cell to see that he
got hold of no poison or weapon of any kind.
Preparations had also been made to
overpower Wilburn in case he resisted when the time came to hang him. Sheriff
Roberts had engaged four powerful men for that purpose. However, Wilburn
was completely composed, and no man every walked to his death with a firmer
tread than did he.
Accompanied by his mother and
father, the body of Wilburn arrived in Macon at 9 o'clock last night and
at midnight left for Eastman, where the funeral and interment will
take place today.
Wilburn's father branded as
absolutely false last night the report that hs son had made a statement
that the confession, he made the night of his arrest while in fear of being
lynched by a mob, was free and voluntarily given.
"My son made no statement whatever
about the case either to Mr. Ethridge or anyone else." said the elder Wilburn.
"most certainly he did not say that his confession out in the woods that
night was freely and voluntarily given. I asked him before he went to the
gallows if he had anything whatever to say about his case and he told me
"absolutely nothing," He did tell me that he had told the truth and nothing
bu the truth in his statement which he wrote out in his own handwriting
and which was read before the prison commission. Nobody has ever accused
Mr. Ethridge of forcing a confession from Nick. It was done by Detective
Moore and Deputy Tom Roberts and Mr. Etheridge was simply
call in to hear the confession after it had been forced from Nick by frightening
him almost to death."
A fact not generally know and which
goes to show the sentiment in Wilburn's behalf, was the fact that yesterday,
after the hanging, a purse was raised at Gray with which to have Wilburn's
body embalmed and to purchase a suitable casket. There was a ready response
when subscriptions to the fund were called for.
The hanging of Wilburn brings
to a close one of the most sordid stories of crime middle Georgia has ever
known. Wilburn shot and killed his friend and kinsman in order that he
might marry his widow and enjoy the benefit of insurance money carried
by King. For months previous to the murder Wilburn and Mrs. King had been
intimate and they had together plotted the death of the husband.
Both Confess Crime.
King was murdered while
hunting in the woods near his home, Wilburn killing him with his own gun
and then arranged the body to make it appear like a case of suicide. However,
suspicion soon directed itself against Wilburn and his arrest followed,
C. P. Moore, of Macon, shortly afterward securing a confession from
him in which he implicated Mrs. King. Her arrest followed
and she also confessed.
At the trial Wilburn was convicted
and sentenced to hang, while Mrs. King was acquitted, her statement on
the stand being entirely different from her alleged confession. Wilburn's
case was carried to the supreme court and affirmed, and efforts to get
it before the supreme court of the United States failed. The prison commission
declined to recommend commutation and the governor declined to interfere.
More that 3,000 in Bibb, Jones and neighboring counties petitioned the
governor to commute the sentence to life imprisonment, declaring it unjust
to hang the boy and permit the woman to go free.
August 17, 1914
JONES COUNTY NEGRO MURDERED YESTERDAY
Negro, Who Shot Him, Makes Escape-Killing Occurs on J. W. Humphries
J. W. Humphries, a well known
planter residing in the northwest portion of Jones county, just beyond
the Bibb county line and seven miles from Macon, notified Sheriff J. R.
Hicks yesterday, that James Ward, a negro, who has been working near Holton,
shot and killed another negro man residing on Mr. Humphries' place, yesterday
morning about i o'clock. The name of the dead negro could not be learned
The case is outside the jurisdiction
of the Bibb county sheriff since the murder occurred in Jones county, but
Mr. Humphries came here to report it, owing to the greater distance to
Gray. He requested Sheriff Hicks to notify Sheriff Ethridge, at Gray, and
several attempts were made to do so yesterday but because of the telephone
and telegraph offices being closed the Jones county sheriff could not be
reached. He will probably not know of the murder until today.
The killing is said to have ben the
result of a dispute over a child. The dead negro was shot three times through
the face and mouth, his assailant using a pistol.
After the shooting Ward made his
escape and it was thought he might come to Macon. Mr. Humphries for that
reason hastened here to notify Sheriff Hicks to be on the lookout for him.
Deputy Sheriff Lon Williams said
yesterday hat the murdered Negro was a prisoner in the Bibb county jail
about a year ago but he could not remember his name.
February 7, 1915
FUGITIVES FIVE YEARS, ARRESTED FOR MURDER.
Detective Foster Runs Down Two Jones Co. Negroes.
After having been fugitives
from justice for five years for an alleged murder committed in Jones county,
Singleton and his son, Dave Singleton, negroes, were arrested
Friday afternoon in Dodge county, five miles from Godwinville, where they
were engaged in farming, the arrest being made by Detective E. L. Foster,
of the South Coast Detective agency, of Macon. The negroes are under indictment
in Jones county for the murder of Dave
Barron, a negro, who was shot down at his home between Gray and Haddocks
one night during March, 1910.
Are Brought to Macon.
The two negroes were
brought to Macon yesterday by Detective Foster and after their arrival
were turned over to Sheriff R. N. Etheridge, of Jones county, who
took them to Gray yesterday afternoon and placed them in jail there.
The crime with which the two
negroes are charged was a most brutal one, and followed the searching of
the home of the Singletons by a party of masked white men, who are alleged
to have gone there in search of money, which it had been currently reported
the negroes had found. The Singletons found out in some manner that Dave
Barron had told the white men where they lived and going to Barron's home
one night they are alleged to have called him out and shot him, after which
they made their escape.
Enlists Aid of Detectives.
Since the murder Jones county
has had three different sheriffs and many people had forgotten about the
crime. When Sheriff Etheridge came into office the first of January, he
enlisted the aid of the South Coast Detective agency and Detective Foster
was put to work on the case. Since that time he had been tracing the two
negroes from one place to another throughout the stated, finally locating
them in Dodge county, where he placed them under arrest.
May 29, 1915
MURDERER OF WAYSIDE MAN STILL FUGITIVE
Sheriff Etheridge Will Pay Reward For Sam
Sam Strong, the negro boy who
last Saturday night shot and killed Thomas
Green White, a merchant at Wayside, Jones county, is still at large
and Sheriff R. N. Etheridge, of Jones county, is doing everything
in his power to apprehend the fugitive.
Sheriff Etheridge states
that the negro is of ginger cake color, about 20 years old, 5 feet, 8 or
9 inches in height and weighs about 140 or 150 pounds. He received two
pistol wounds in the duel with Mr. White, one through the point of the
chin and another in the left shoulder.
Sheriff Etheridge will pay a reward
of $24 for his arrest and detention until he can come for him.
July 6, 1915
JONES MOBS ARE SCOURING COUNTY. In Search
of Negroes Who Murdered Silas Turner
a Young White Man.
Silas Turner, a young
white man, was shot in the back of the head Saturday and instantly killed
by a negro named Brooks.
The murder was one of the most cold-blooded,
premeditated murders in the history of Jones county.
Turner went to the home of Brooks,
a negro, to collect a bill and Walter Brooks, John Richey and Will
Gordon, according to confession by Gordon, made to Deputy Sheriff C.
E. Roberts, of Jones county after being brought to the Bibb county jail
early Monday morning, plotted to kill Turner.
Shortly afterward Turner again
appeared and started to make a search of the house. When he turned his
back, Brooks, according to Gordon, shot him in the back of the head with
a charge from a shot gun killing him instantly. The negroes then rolled
the body over, took a pistol from the dead man's pocket and fired on cartridge,
and then placed the pistol beside the body to make it appear a case of
suicide. They then escaped. Gordon was later captured and with two others
negroes, Square Thomas and Scott Farrar, brought to the Bibb jail for safe
keeping. Brooks and Richey are still at large.
A mob organized to search for the
negroes killed and negro by the name of Greene
and his son Sunday night. These negroes were not connected with the
Rumors of other negroes being
killed have come to the sheriff but have not been verified.
(see October 23, 1915)
July 7, 1915
Jones County Quiet, But Another Negro Is
Gray, July 6 - The county commissioners
of Jones county today ordered a coffin sent to Round Oak for the burial
of a body of a negro that was found in the roadside there earlier
in the day. The negro had been shot to death. He is the third victim of
the series of killings to avenge the murder of Silas Turner, the
young planter, who was killed on Sunday morning.
Jones county is quite tonight.
In the jail here is Peter Thurman, who is alleged to have had a
hand in the murder of Turner. Thurman is held on a charge of murder. The
three negroes locked up in the Bibb county jail and this one are all that
have been taken into custody, and the authorities of Jones and Jasper counties
are search for others.
The latest victim of violence was
known as Earl Palmer, at whose
home on the John King plantation Mr. Turner was slain. The negro's
body was found at the roadside at Round Oak early this morning.
Sheriff Etheridge stated tonight
before leaving for Macon that he looked for no more trouble in connection
with the case. He felt sure that all of the negroes suspected of being
in the plot to kill Turner would be under arrest soon.
Witness Brought Here.
Sheriff Etheridge, of Jones
county, arrived at the Bibb county jail last night with Peter Thurman,
a negro, who admits he was present when Silas Turner, the Jones county
farmer, was murdered last Sunday. He denies having any part in the shooting.
Thurman told Sheriff Etheridge last
night that the negro, Earl Palmer, found dead beside the road near Round
Oak yesterday, was the one who took Mr. Turner's pistol from his pocket
after he had been shot dead and after firing one shot from its replaced
it beside the body to make his death look like a case of suicide.
Four negroes are now in jail here
in connection with the murder, but Walter Brooks, who is alleged to have
done the shooting, is still at large.
July 10, 1915
NEGRO KILLS HIS WIFE ON JONES COUNTY FARM.
Hobbles Across Country on Crutches to "get" Wife.
Gray, July 3 - Dooly
Farrar, a crippled negro hobbled to the home of John Tom Williams,
ten miles from here, during last night and laid in wait for his wife, a
cook in the Williams home, to appear. When she arrived this morning Farrar
drew a 38-calibre revolver and shot the woman dead. The body fell inside
the kitchen door.
Sheriff Etheridge was notified of
the shooting and hastened to the scene, finding Farrar had already been
taken in charge by people on the Williams place. The sheriff brought the
negro to the county jail, where he is held on a charge of murder.
Negro Uses Crutches.
Farrar is practically helpless. He
uses crutches and it is said spent most of the night in going across country
roads to the Williams home in search of his wife, with whom he had quarreled.
Two more negroes implicated in the
murder of Silas Turner, a Jones county farmer, were jailed here tonight.
WHITE MEN INDICTED FOR MURDERING NEGROES
Gray, Ga., Oct 20. The Jones county grand
jury in investigating the wholesale lynching of four Negroes here several
weeks ago, following the murder of Silas Turner, a white farmer,
to-day indicted two white men.
On the day following the murder of
Turner and aged Negro named Lonzo Green and his son were
trying to reach their home at Wayside when they were shot to death.
Jim Green and Woodall
Green, white, and cousins, were indicted today, charged with the murder
of these two Negroes. Woodall Green was arrested by the sheriff and is
in jail. The other man has not been located.
August 27, 1918
DIES FROM BULLET WOUND. Negro Shot in Back
at Griswoldville Church Expires in Hospital.
Bonner, negro who was hot in the back at a church in Griswoldville
Sunday night and brought to the Macon Hospital, died yesterday morning.
P. W. Stubbs said yesterday that while the case was in the hands of
the coroner at Griswoldville, he understood that Bonner was struck by a
bullet fired at another negro during a general fight.
September 4, 1918
NEGRO CONFESSES SERIES OF CRIMES. John
Gilham, Alias Thomas, Broke Jail in Jones -
Then Attacked Women - Caught by Negroes
John Gilham, alias John Thomas,
negro, who broke away from the Jones county chain gang on August 18, and
who since that time has attempted assault on two white women, one negro
woman and two negro girls was caught yesterday morning by Charlie Pitts,
and Charlie Jackson, two negro workmen, near Lakeside Park. The negro was
brought to the city barracks, where he was later taken charge of by Sheriff
T. C. Middlebrooks and Deputy Sheriff T. A. Roberts of Jones
Gilham confessed to his crimes and
also to the murder of a negro in Warren county six years ago. The sheriff
of Warren county has been looking for him for some time.
A year ago Gilham was arrested and
charged with a felony, being sentenced to the chain gang in Jones county
for one year, his identity not being known ny the authorities at Gray where
he was tried.
Located in Swamps
On August 18 Gilham broke from
the gang and in the eight hours following attempted assaults on five women
in Jones county. He was followed by a large number of farmers of Jones
county and traced into the swamps in the vicinity of Lakeside where he
has been for several days, coming out yesterday morning, when he was seen
by the two negroes who caught him, and who notified the police authorities
immediately. The feeling in Jones county is pretty high, both among whites
and blacks, and trouble is expected.
The reward which was on the
negro will be given to the to negroes Charlie Jackson and
Pitts, who were thanked and made to see the greatness of their deed
by the police last night. Both negroes are from Macon and are employed
by the public health department.
September 5, 1918
Negroes Join With Whites in Lynching Negro
John Gilman, Caught Near Macon, Is Taken
From Officers Near Jones County Jail and Shot. Attacks Made on White and
Colored Women Last Month - Coroner's Jury Investigates.
Gray, Sept. 4 - Taken from Jones County
and Macon officers near the Jones County jail here last night, John
Gilham, alias John Thomas, a negro charged with several criminal assaults
upon white and colored women in this county, was lynched by a part of unknown
men. Sheriff T. C. Middlebrooks today said he is positive there
were several negroes in the party. Gilham's body was found in a ditch this
morning. Half a dozen or more bullets had pierce it. There were indications
the negro had been killed in woods nearby and dragged to the ditch.
Chief Bowden Along.
Accompanied by Chief of Police
Bowden and Detective Newberry, of the Macon department, Sheriff Middlebrooks
and Deputy Sheriff T. A. Roberts left Macon last night in an automobile
with the prisoner, caught near Macon yesterday morning by two negro
men and turned over to Macon officers. When the outskirts of Gray were
reached the sheriff sent a man ahead to see if the way was clear and upon
receiving a favorable report the officers continued the trip. The jail
was being approached when without warning from all sides a crowd closed
in on the automobile, covering the officers with guns.
The negro was taken from the car
and, still handcuffed, lynch near Gray.
"Death at the hands of
persons unknown" was the verdict of the coroner's jury, returned after
an investigation conducted today.
Gilham escaped from the Jones County
gang last month and shortly after gaining freedom is alleged to have attempted
assault on two white women, one negro woman and two negro girls, all in
the same vicinity. Searching parties were organized and had hunted through
a wide section of country when the authorities were notified from Macon
yesterday of Gilham's arrest.
October 30, 1919
FOUR CONVICTED OF MURDER. Brown Druery
to Pay Death Penalty in Jones County.
Gray, Oct. 29. Three negroes, Frank Smith,
John Henry Manual and Will Norwood have been convicted here
this week in Superior Court on charges of murder - a negro
at Bradley's Station last June.
Druery, another negro, was convicted of the murder of a negro at Haddock
last month. Judge J. R. Park sentenced Druery to he hanged.
February 12, 1920
HUNT FOR MAN WHO SLEW BROTHER ENDS. Negress
Trails Him on Street Until She Finds Policeman. SEARCH LAST SEVEN YEARS.
Macon Negro Denies He Killed Ellis
Brown in Jones County.
For seven years Eva
Green, a Jones county negress, has been hunting for her brother's
slayer. Last night she claims to have found him on Cherry street, this
city. She followed a negro for two blocks until she came to Patrolman Henry
Knight and then asked the officer to arrest him.
At police headquarters the
negro gave the name of James Clark. He also is known here under
another name, but Eva insists that his name is Sam Emery. She says
that her brother, Ellis Brown, was shot and killed by Emery at Haddock
just seven years ago.
"We all worked on the same
plantation and he used to go with me," she said. "I'se sure he's the ni__."
He's got the same color and he's tall and looks just like him, except that
he's got a mustache now.
Saw Him Once Before
"Last Christmas time I saw
him on a sandwagon, and I tried to stop him, but when he looked toward
me he whipped up his mules and got away. I've been watching sandwagons
ever since, trying to find him. I knew that I'd find him some day."
Clark denied that he knew the
negro woman and said that he is employed at the Central of Georgia back-shop.
Sheriff J. C. Middlebrooks, of Jones
county, who came here last night to investigate the case was so well satisfied
with the identification that the carried the negro back to Jones county
and will seek further identification.
Eva says that her husband is employed
at the Cotton States Seed and Fertilizer Company and that she resides on
Virgil's Lane in Vineville. Her sister also identified the negro here last
night, the police stated, as their brother's slayer.
October 2, 1920
JAILED HERE ON MURDER CHARGE. Former Inmate
of Asylum Is Held As Slayer of Kitchens.
FAMILY FEUD CAUSES TROUBLE.
Watson Parker, white man who
is said to have been in the asylum for the insane at Milledgeville on three
different occasions, was brought to the Bibb County Jail yesterday by Sheriff
J. C. Middlebrooks of Jones county, and is held charged with murder
in connection with the killing of
L. C. Kitchens, which occurred Thursday afternoon three miles east
Witnesses to the killing say that
Kitchens and Parker had just engaged in a fist difficulty previous to the
shooting, Kitchens getting the better of the affair. Carson Parker,
brother of the man who did the shooting, is said to have approached and
inquired as to the trouble.
Kitchens replied that he had just
whipped one man and would whip another and lifted a heavy rock to strike
Walker, when his brother, Watson, is said to have fired a double-barrel
shot gun which caused the death of Kitchens. Ill feeling is said to have
existed between the two families for some time.
When seen at the jail by a reported,
Parker declined to make a statement about the killing.
October 19, 1920
"NO-BILL" AGAINST PARKER
Will Be Taken Back to Jones County Today
The Jones county grand jury, investigating
the death of J. C. Kitchens, who was shot last month by T. W.
Parker, returned a no-bill against Parker and he will be carried to
Jones county this morning and released. Parker was brought to the
Bibb County Jail after the killing and has been confined here since.
The killing of Kitchens occurred
after Kitchens and a brother of Parker's had engaged in a fist difficulty.
Parker contended he shot in self-defense, claiming Kitchens was advance
on him with a heavy rock when he fired a shotgun at the advancing
October 23, 1920
HUDSON IS GUILTY; RELEASED ON BOND. Jones
County Farmer Involuntary Manslaughter Verdict.
FILES MOTION FOR NEW TRial. Jury Recommends
Person Term of One Year and One Day.
Gray, Oct. 22. The trial
of Charles N. Hudson, charged with murder, came to an end in the
Jones county Superior Court this morning when the jury returned a verdict
of guilty of involuntary manslaughter with recommendation. The defendant
was sentenced to a year and a day in prison.
Hudson was charged with
slaying Miss Drusilla Devlin
on October 3, the indictment alleging that he crushed an automobile, which
he was driving, into another machine in the death of Miss Devlin; that
he was in an intoxicated condition at the time, and that he wad driving
his automobile at a reckless rate of speed.
The defendant, who is a prosperous
Jones county farmer, received hi sentence from Judge J. B. Park without
any signs of emotion. His wife and his little daughter broke down while
the sentence was being imposed and sobbed for several minutes.
Motion For New Trial.
His attorneys lost but little
time in filing a motion for a new trial and their client was given his
freedom on a bond of $2,000. No date for hearing of the motion was set
by the court.
The accident, which result in the
conviction of the young farmer, occurred on the Milledgeville road at a
point known as the geographical censer of this State. Miss Devlin was a
member alongside of an automobile, the property of Louis Long, when
the automobile driven by Hudson and traveling at an alleged reckless speed
crashed into Long's car. The young woman was caught between the two machines
and crushed badly. She died in Macon the following day.
This affair, spurred on by several
fatal accidents in Macon and throughout this section of the State a short
time prior to October 3, caused a wave of indignation against excessive
automobile speeding in Bibb County.
January 14, 1921
SLAYER OF A. S. JONES IS NOW IN JAIL. Password
Lets Negroes Into Home of Farmer of Jones County Who Was Brutally Murdered
The Jones county authorities now
have the murderers of A. S. Jones,
murdered in his home where he lived alone in December. The confession of
the negroes state that Jones handled whiskey and that to gain admittance
to his home passwords were used, that Jones might know who wanted him and
if they wanted whiskey. It is claimed that Dave Wiggins was the man who
used the axe on Jones. Sam Myrick, a negro who says that he is a
licensed preacher without a church was arrested. Buster Bonner, one of
the five negroes arrested states that he bought from Myrick later was found
to have been the property of the dead man.
Those under arrest now in connection
with the killing and who will remain in jail until the action of the next
term of the Jones county Superior Court are Jim Sims,
SamMyrick, Buster Bonner, Dave Wiggins
and Willie Gray.
The murder which happened the Thursday
night before Christmas was one of the most brutal, Jones, the white man,
having been knocked in the head with an axe. His body was not found until
(Note: Joe "Buster: Bonner went on trial
for murder in 1921. He was sentenced to hang December 30, 1921. A federal
judge superseded the hanging and he was sent to the Bibb Co. jail. While
being transported he was shot in the foot by Sheriff Middlebrooks. He was
hanged in Jones Co. August 3, 1923.)
May 9, 1921
GOSSIP IS FATAL. Leads to Killing of One
Negro and Wounding of Another.
Tom Davis, middle aged
negro man, is at the Macon Hospital with a bullet wound through his left
thigh, and Chris Morris, negro,
is dead with six bullet holes through his body as the result of a pistol
battle yesterday afternoon at about 2:30 o'clock between the two on the
farm of H. M. McKay, in Jones County.
According to Davis, the
affray resulted from gossip which one negro woman told concerning himself
and the wife of the dead negro. He said that he had turned and was going
away from Morris when the latter shot him through the thigh. He turned
and sent six bullets through Morris then, he declared, in self defense.
October 2, 1921
Year After Accident Damage
Suit Is Set Mrs. Devlin's Civil Action Comes Up in City Court Monday.
The civil damage suits growing out
of the automobile accident on the Clinton road on October 3, 1920, in which
Drusilla Devlin was killed, will be tried in City Court on Monday,
just one year to a day from the time of the accident.
Mrs. L. G. Devlin, mother
of Miss Drusilla Devlin, through her attorneys, Defore and Estes,
sued C. M. Hudson, who is represented by Judge John P. Ross, for
$15,000. Louis F. Long, whose car was damaged in the accident, also asks
for $559. 35.
The accident occurred on a
Sunday afternoon when Louis F. Long and his wife, Mrs. Devlin, and
her daughter were out for an automobile ride. They stopped at a stake on
the Clinton road which indicates the geographical center of the State,
and Miss Devlin was taking pictures with a kodak, when a car driven by
Hudson and said to have been running a high speed, rounded a curve at the
top of a hill and crashed into the party. Miss Devlin was crushed between
the Hudson and the Long machines, one of her limbs being cut completely
off. She died later at a local hospital.
Hudson was arrested on a charge
of manslaughter and was convicted by a jury and given one year. The case
was appealed and the conviction was affirmed. Hudson served several months
on a chaingang when the Supreme Court held in another case that the "speed
law" under which Hudson was convicted was unconstitutional. The Governor
then pardoned Hudson.
December 27, 1921
GRAY NEGRO LOSES HIS LIFE OVER TEN
Gray, Ga., Dec. 26 - Pete
Brooks, a negro, lost his life here yesterday afternoon over a 10-cent
best. Pulaski Hogan, a negro, is in the Jones county jail here held
on the charge of murder. The two men quarreled, it is said, and Brooks
shot at Hogan with a pistol, Hogan then wielded his knife. Hogan surrendered
at the jail and claimed self-defense.
August 28, 1922
MAN IS SHOT AT GLOVERS. John Westbrook Wounded
by Joe Jackson, Reports Say. Meager information was received here last
night of a shooting affray that occurred at a little settlement known as
Glovers, across the river from Juliette, yesterday afternoon.
According to the reports
received here, John Westbrook was shot in the stomach by Joe
Jackson. Jackson then is said to have surrendered to the sheriff of
Jones County at Gray.
August 29, 1922
J. W. WESTBOOK SLAIN. Macon Man, Killed
at Juliette, is Buried There. Juliette, Ga., Aug. 28. John
William Westbrook, of Macon, 28 years of age, died Sunday afternoon
at 5 o'clock as a result of being shot Sunday morning with a revolver by
Jackson, carpenter employed by the Juliette Miller Company. The bullet
penetrated the bowels. The shooting occurred in front of the milling company's
store at Glover's across the river from here and is said to have resulted
from previous bad feeling between the two men, who, it is said, engaged
in a fight several weeks ago at Glovers when Westbrook was working at the
cotton factory there. Westbrook is the son of the lat John Westbrook who
formerly lived here. Immediately after the shooting Jackson went to Gray
and surrendered to the Jones County authorites. Westbrook was buried .......day
afternoon in the cemetery of the Juliette Methodist Church
October 21, 1922
JOE JACKSON IS GIVEN ACQUITTAL. Found
Not Guilty of Murder of J. W. Westbrooks. TRIAL IS HELD A GRAY.
Glovers Scene of Killing, Which Took Place August 27.
Gray, Ga. Oct. 20. A verdict of acquittal
was returned here this afternoon in the case of the State against Joe
Jackson, charged with the murder of J. W. Westbrooks. The case
had been on trial for two days, but it took the jury only about a half
hour to make up its verdict.
The killing of Westbrooks took
place at Glovers on August 27, 1922, and followed a feud of long standing
between the two men. Both were employes of the Juliette Milling Company.
Jackson's plea at his trial
wwas that he shot in self defense, fearing tht Westbrooks was about to
attack hime with a knife and alleging numerous threats against him by Westbrooks.
The two men had a fight some
time previous to the killing, in which Westybrooks is alleged to have beaten
Jackson up pretty bady. Westbrooks was discharged by the mill management.
He is alledged to have returned later and made threats against Jackson.
On August 27 Jackson and Westbrooks met in front of the C. A. Lawrence
store. Westbrooks is alledged to have had a knife and when Jackson saw
the weapon, he said he thought Westbrooks, in view of alledged threats,
was going to attack him and he shot him. There were no eye witnesses to
the actual killing.
The taking of testimony was
completed Thursday and arguments in this case were made yesterday, the
case going to the jury about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. J. N. Birch, of
Macon, and official of the mmill where the two men were employed attended
the trial and assisted in the defense of Jackson.
The State was represented by Solicitor
Doyle Campbell and Williamgham and Willingham of Forsyth,, while
F. Holmes Johnson and Joe Ben Jackson appeared for the defense.
March 13, 1923
FOUR KILLED IN JONES SHOOTINGS. Tom
Jackson, Frank Lester, Ed Young, Ellis Jackson, Dead.
1 WHITE, 3 NEGROES, DIE. Two Men Held in
Jones County Jail Charged With Murder
Gray, Ga, March 12. A white man and three
negroes are dead as the result of week-end disorders in Jones County. Two
men are held in the county jail charged with murder.
a Jones County farmer living near Five Points in the western part of the
county, was shot and killed by Ferd Gresham, farmer. The killing,
officers said, resulted from an old grudge between the families. Gresham
is held in the Jones county jail charged with murder.
Two years ago the men had trouble
and Jackson is said to have shot Gresham and his wife. This trouble was
finally settled in the courts. Sunday afternoon Gresham was out near his
home trying to kill a hawk, according to a statement he made to officers,
and Jackson came by. An argument arose, it is stated, and Gresham shot
Jackson, he said, in self defense.
Following an argument
over a dice game near Bradley Sunday afternoon Frank
Lester and Ed Young, negroes
shot one another to death. Both negroes pulled pistols about
the same time, witnesses said, and began shooting. When the smoke cleared
away both were mortally wounded.
Saturday afternoon at Round Oak Dan
Waldrop, negro, shot and killed Ellis
Jackson, negro. Ellis Jackson and his brother Carlton were riding
in a buggy when the killing took place. Waldrop shot to kill Carlton
Jackson, the police said, and shot Ellis. Carlton was wounded in the
Waldrop is held in the Jones County
May 14, 1923
HELD AS KILLER. Negro Is Charged With Having
Slain Wife at Gray, Ga.
Gray, Ga, May 123 - Following the discovery
of his wife's body (Leah Hill Miller) , with her head crushed in, Andrew
Miller, 30-year-old negro, was taken into custody today by Sheriff
Middlebrooks on the charge of murder.
Miller claimed his wife committed
suicide. the sheriff declared that it would be impossible for any person
to inflict such injuries upon one's self.
The body was found in bed Friday
morning and the coroner's jury found a verdict of murder.
Her chin and lower jar were severely
bruised and there were finger prints on her shoulder. She had been placed
in a partly sitting posture and her hand cupped with a pistol in it but
the hammer was not on the empty shell. The pistol was placed in her left
hand. Witnesses who were questioned said she was not left handed. When
the body was examined, there could not be found a bullet wound.
One of the children said he heard
a shot fired about 2 o'clock Friday morning.
July 9, 1923
NEGRO PLANTATION HAND SLAIN IN JONES
COUNTY. Sam Childs Killed at
James Station by Another Black Who Has No Been Caught.
Gray, Ga., July 8 - Sam
Childs, 40, negro farm laborer, was shot and killed this morning about
10 o'clock at James Station, near here, by Willie Gray, another
negro about the same age. The negroes are said to have been drinking and
gambling. Gray had not been caught early tonight.
According to witnesses, Childs
was also armed, and Gray got the drop on the dead negro, the bullet killing
him almost instantly.
Gray is employed at a sawmill
at James Station. He is also accused of having shot another negro shortly
November 20, 1923
ONE MAN KILLED IN KNIFE BATTLE. Another
Wounded. Expected to Die, in Jones County. PERRY
MOORE IS DEAD. Tom Smallwood Is Held at Gray Accused of Murder.
Gray, Ga., Nov. 19 - Tom Smallwood, white lumberman, is held in
the Jones County jail charged with murder following a cutting afray today
near Griswoldville, in Jones County, in which one man was fatally injured,
and another possibly so. Sheriff Middlebrooks announced tonight.
Perry Moore, white,
is dead of his wounds, the sheriff says he has learn, and Sam
Young in seriously injured, and may die before tomorrow morning.
The three men, who are all
lumber men, engaged in an argument over lumber, said Sheriff Middlebrooks,
who explained that Moore attacked Young with a kife, wounding him,
and that Smallwood then rushed upon Moore, cutting him fatally. The sheriff
went to Griswoldville and arrested Smallwood.
(Note: Sam Young, age 67, died Nov.
October 19, 1924
~excerpt~ Gray, Ga., Oct. 18 - ...Alex
Williams, negro, who is charged with killing his wife a few weeks ago
and burning the house in which the body lay, faces trial....
October 23, 1924
NEGRO IS FOUND GUILTY OF TAKING
WIFE'S LIFE. No Recommendation in Verdict of Jury in Jones County
Against Alex Williams
Gray, Ga, Oct. 22 - Alex Williams,
a young negro, was found guilty of murder yesterday by the Jones County
Superior Court. The jury returned the verdict without recommendation. Sentence
has not yet been passed. Williams was charged with killing his wife, her
burned body having been found in the ruins of their cabin home and the
two small children of the couple were asleep on their father's overcoat
in a nearby crib.
The negro was arrested in Pittsbugh,
Pa., when he stepped off of a train. An officer of Jones County brought
him back to Georgia without requisition papers required.
April 29, 1925
ATLANTA MAN HELD FOR KILLING HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW.
John Batchelor, Said to Be Resident of Captial City Held at Gray, Ga.,
on Murder Charge. WIFE DISARMS MAN DURING STRUGGLE. Prisoner Declares That
He Knows Nothing of Tragedy Occurring at Griswoldville Yesterday.
Macon, Ga., April 28 - While
their three small children looked on, Mrs. John Bachelor waged a
desperate battle with her drink-crazed husband today to save the life of
her mother, Mrs. Will Anderson,
at the latter's home near Griswoldville, but she lost.
While the hands of both clutched
a .38-calibre pistol-the hands of Mrs. Bachelor and her husband - the latter
succeeded in pulling the trigger three times. Two shots struck Mrs. Anderson,
the first entering her cheek and passed through the brain.
"Better go to your mother,":
Mrs. Bachelor says her husband shouted as she fought desperately. But she
clung to the weapon until she had gained its possession.
Then after going to aid her mother
she looked up and found Bachelor standing over her with her father's shotgun,
she said. Again the deathly struggle began, but this time she got the weapon
with greater ease.
Bachelor staggered toward a
Sheriff J. C. Middlebrooks
of Jones County and others of posse in pusuit found Bachelor asleep in
a field of weeds and grass at 2 o'clock this afternoon.
"Wish I had killed Anderson,"
Sheriff Middlebrooks says the prisoner remarked when he was being placed
in jail at Gray, Georgia. The prisoner made no comment on his crime.
He formerly lived in
Atlanta, where he was employed as a section foreman on a railroad. Two
months ago he lost his position and his wife and three children, went to
Griswoldville to live with her parents until Bachelor got work.
He spent Monday night
in Macon and went to Griswoldville on an early train today. He found his
wife on the ground in front of the Anderson home and Mrs. Anderson on the
porch several feet higher. He asked his wife to leave, the latter says,
and she refused. Then he drew a pistol and tried to shoot his mother-in-law,
but Mrs. Bachelor grasped the gun and remained between them. Bachelor shot
over her shoulder three times.
April 30, 1925
MAN TRANSFERRED TO MACON PRISON. John
Bachelor, Held For Murder of Mother-in-Law at Griswoldville Removed
For Safe Keeping.
Macon, Ga, April 29 - John Bachelor
held for the murder of his mother-in-law, Mrs. Will T. Anderson,
in Griswoldville, Ga., yesterday, was brought to Bibb county jail in Macon
for safekeeping from Gray at 11 o'clock tonight.
Sheriff J. C. Middlebrook, of Jones
county, who attended the prisoner, said feeling ran so high in and around
Griswoldville and Jones county that he thought it advisable to remove Bachelor
to Bibb county.
Funeral of Mrs. Anderson was
held at 4 o'clock this afternoon from the Mountain Springs church, near
her home, and was largely attended.
On the road to Macon
Bachelor remained silent and did not mention the shooting. He has consistently
refused to discuss it with officers.
Having been separated from his wife
seeking employment for some time, Bachelor went to the Anderson home Tuesday
morning, where Mrs. Bachelor and their two children were staying, armed
with a revolver. He was said to have been intoxicated at the time. An altercation
and the shooting followed. Bachelor fired the shots, Mrs. Bachelor stated
while she grappled with him with the revolver in his hand.
November 24, 1925
Georgia Man Denied New Trial by Judge J.
B. Parks at Gray.
Gray, Ga., Nov. 23 - John D. Bachelor,
43, under sentence of death following his conviction on the charge of killing
his mother-in-law, was tonight denied a new trial by Judge James B. Parks,
after hearing arguments on the appeal.
Batchelor, a resident of Atlanta,
but a native of Haddock, was convicted of the crime last month and sentenced
to die in the electric chair on November 27.,
Attorneys for the defense filed,
notice of an appeal to the supreme court, which automatically delays
Mrs. Fannie Anderson, aged
mother-in-law of the condemned man, was slain on April 28, last, on the
front porch of her farm home at Haddock. The testimony of Batchelor's nine-year-old
daughter, never shaken in the slightest detail, was that her father came
to the Anderson home in a very angry frame of mind, shot down the aged
woman at close range, and then, with his wife struggling to take away the
gun, fired another shot into the prostrate body of the aged woman, over
the daughter's shoulder.
August 29, 1925
2 COUNTY OFFICERS SHOT AND KILLED NEAR ILLICIT
STILL. Haddock, Ga., Aug. 28. The bodies of Floyd
Malone, county policeman, and of
Frank Tucker, his deputy, were found near the old Choates mill, five
miles from here this afternoon. They had been shot this afternoon supposedly
There was nothing at the scene to
indicate that there had been a scuffle. On the contrary the evidence uncovered
by Sheriff J. Clark Middlebrooks tonight indicates that both men
were shot and killed at a distillery site in the lower part of Jones county,
both bodies being placed in the county policeman's automobile and carried
to the old mill site.
Malone's body had been carefully
laid out on the ground, on top of his Winchester rifle while his pistol
laid a few inches ahead of him.
Tucker's body lay across his pump
shotgun, with an automatic pistol also carefully placed a few inches above
There was not blood on the ground
and little blood in Malone's automobile, in which the bodies had been transported
to the mill site.
The officers left here
at 4 o'clock this morning on a hunt for moonshiners in the southeastern
part of the county. Searching parties went out to try to located them,
but a boy who had been fishing in Choate's mill pond observed the
abandoned car some distance from the Macon-Garrison road, investigated
and came upon the bodies. He immediately gave the alarm and the sheriff
and a large posse of men hastened here from Gray, the county seat.
Malone is married and hails
from Jasper county. He had been here in Jones county only two weeks, succeeding
S. Grubb, the county policeman who was killed about a month ago and
who also came from Monticello, Ga.
Sheriff Middlebrooks said tonight,
after an examination of the bodies that both had been shot at close range
by a shotgun in which "rung" or cut shells had been used. One of the cut
shells was found at the scene.
Great holes were torn in the bodies
of both men, not only the charge but nearly half of the shell passing into
the bodies in each instance, producing almost instant death.
Malone was shot below the right
shoulder, the charged entering his chest and side.
Tucker was shot in the head.
expressed the opinion that he found the motive for the killing in the tenneau
of the automobile, a distillery cap. He said that the raiding officers
undoubtedly had come upon a still in the late afternoon, taken the cap
and then returned later to the scene of the distillery in the hope of capturing
the operators when they showed up for the night's run.
Coroner J. R. Bullington is
in the Middle Georgia sanitorium in Macon, suffering from illness. However,
arrangements are being made to hold an inquest.
Persons attempted to track
the automobile back to the scene of the killing tonight, but because of
darkness they had to give up the job until daylight.
The sheriff stated that Malone's
weapon had not been discharged. Two shot had been fired from Tucker's pistol.
Gray, Ga., Aug. 28. E. T. Dumas was
sworn in as coroner to investigate the killing of Floyd Malone, county
policeman, and his deputy, Frank Tucker, tonight. The jury returned a verdict
that the men came to their deaths from unknown parties and that it was
Feeling is running high here
tonight. Citizens are planning a mass meeting for the purpose, it was announced,
of running all moonshiners out of the county.
The governor has been
appealed to offer rewards in addition to Jones county rewards, for the
capture of the slayers of the two officers.
September 1, 1925
~excerpt~ Those under arrest in the Bibb
county jail at Macon are:
R. E. Etheridge, 38, married. Grover
Cleveland Etheridge, 48, married. Atkinson Etheridge, 29, married.
A. Stubbs, 45, married. Otis Stubbs, 16, son of T. A. Stubbs.
Mitchell Moore, 31 married. All of these are white men. Two negroes
previously arrested are being held as material witnesses. One of the negroes
is said to have been employed by Atkinson Etheridge......
People here in Gray do not like to
be linked up with the case at all. They declared today that there was only
a little section of the county, more that ten miles away from this city,
which could be called "bad lands."
New information that came to the
surface today strengthens the theory of some people that the slain officers
were lured into the death trap and that they did not ever reach the still
where they were supposed to have been going..
Homer Green, one of the negroes who
had been held in the Jones county jail since Sunday in connection with
the slaying of two Jones county policemen, was transferred to the Bibb
county jail tonight by Sheriff Middlebrooks of Jones, county, and formally
charged with murder.
September 5, 1925
Macon, Ga., Sept. 4. Federal prohibition
enforcement officers combing the territory around Commissioner creek, in
Jones county, this afternoon, found a still near the rear of the home of
E. Etheridge, one of the men under arrest in connection with
the killing of Floyd Malone, county policeman and Deputy Frank
The still had not been
operated for several days, the officers stated. The water was being supplied
from a pool in the creek, below which a dam had been built.
This is the sixth still destroyed
in this neighborhood since the double murder......
September 7, 1925
~excerpt~ The sheriff's office announced
tonight that W. A. (Frog Eye) Johnson, wanted in Jones county on
a warrant charging murder in connection with the slaying of County Policeman
Floyd Malone and Deputy Frank Tucker, nine days ago, is under arrest in
December 30, 1925
FARMER IS FREED IN KILLING CASE. Murder
of J. L. Gordon By C. L. Callahan Held Justifiable. IS RESULT OF AN ARGUMENT
Gray, Ga., Dec. 29 - Following
a coroner's inquest today investigating the shooting last night of J.
L. Gordon, 45, sawmill man, living in the western part of Jones County,
L. Callahan, 34, slayer of Gordon was exonerated of all blame. The
jury considered his act justifiable homicide.
According to evidence brought out
at the inquest held at Gray, Gordon and his wife had gone to visit the
Callahan home and take supper with them. During the meal Gordon and Callahan
engaged in an argument, the result of which was that Gordon tried to strike
Callahan with a chair. Callahan struck Gordon knocking him to the floor.
Gordon and his wife returned
to their home and Gordon put on his hunting coat, with a number of gun
shells in the pockets, and took his gun to the home of Callahan, which
was about a mile distant.
Mrs. Callahan saw Gordon approaching
and before her husband could act, rushed to the back door to prevent his
coming into the house.
Andrew Jackson, a neighbor,
visiting with the Callahans, went to the assistance of Mrs. Callahan. She
pushed Gordon into the yard and struggle with him for the possession of
Gordon shoved Mrs. Callahan away
from him, eluded Jackson and rushed for the back door of the Callahan
residence. It was then that Callahan fired on him with a shot gun, killing
him almost instantly. All this was according to testimony at the inquest.
Mrs. Gordon testified at the
inquest that she tried to keep her husband from going back to the Callahan
home, but that he kept repeating that he would tolerate no such treatment
as he had received from Callahan.
January 8, 1926
~excerpt~ Gray, Ga, Jan 7..Grover Cleveland
Etheridge..guilty, with recommendations....
May 5, 1926
~excerpt~The Etheridge brothers are
under sentence of life imprisonment for the murder..Atkinson Etheridge
been tried only a few weeks ago.
October 18, 1926
NEGRO KILLED. Will Andrews Dies After Shooting
in Jones County. Will Andrews,
negro, died at a local hospital yesterday afternoon of bullet wounds suffered
in a shooting affray in Jones County early Sunday morning. Authorities
are seeking Gilbert Burgess, negro, who is supposed to have fired
the fatal shot.
February 25, 1927
CHILDREN PERISH BY MOTHER'S ACT. Negress
Burns Self and Three Offspring; Two Escape. WAS SAID TO BE INSANE.
Feb. 24. Rather that leave her five young children alone, when a lunacy
warrant was sworn out for her yesterday Leola
Coxton negress, burned three of her children to death, and later died
herself of burns sustained in the fire that took the live of her three
children and the other two children escaped from the mother at the scene
of the fire and were found wandering on a road near the scene of the tragedy.
When the negress learned that a lunacy
warrant had been sworn out for her by S. B. Hungerford, she gathered
her children together, too all her clothing and tied it to a peach tree,
and left her home and walked through the rain to an old hay house on the
farm of George Jackson.
She bundled the hay about
herself, the three children, and ignited it. The building was soon a mass
of flames and the children were found dead. The woman was rescued from
the building, but was so badly burned that she lived only a few hours.
The three children burned were seven months, five and seven years respectively.
The warrant was sworn out for
the woman yesterday when it became known that her actions made it dangerous
for her to be at large.
October 27, 1929
Robert Bray, who was tried
for the murder of Jake Middlebrooks
12, was found not guilty.
January 17, 1930
NEGRO HELD FOR SLAYING. Gray, Ga., Jan.
16. Charlie Soloman, Negro, is held in the Jones county jail here
charged with murder of his brother, Lewis
Soloman. The shooting occurred at the home of the accused Negro early
Sunday morning. The wounded Negro was shot just above the knee with a shotgun,
and was rushed to a hospital in Macon where his leg was amputated in an
effort to save his life. However, blood poison set in Tuesday and he died
early Wednesday morning. According to repots Lewis had been drinking and
appeared at his brother's house and started to slap his wife. The Negro
told officers that he went to the aid of his wife and when his brother
made an attempt to strike her with a stick he shot him in the leg.
See September 16,
August 5, 1930
NEGRO IS SLAIN FOR HIS MONEY. Seaborn Robinson
Found Beaten to Death; Three Arrests.
Gray. Ga., Aug. 4. Seaborn
Robinson, Negro, 70 years of age was murdered last night at Haddock
just below here by being hit in the back of the head with some kind of
blunt instrument. He was found early this morning lying near the door steps
of the church he attended and was evidently killed between 11 and 12 o'clock
last night after church services had been concluded. From the condition
of the old Negro's head he had ben clubbed to death. Robbery appeared to
be the motive but the robbers failed to get $3.50 concealed on his person.
At the inquest this morning
held by G. W. Bonner, coroner, several witnesses who live near the
church were examined and three Negro witnesses were arrested immediately
afterward, charged with the crime.
These Negroes were Booker
Griswold, Henry Lester, and Pierce Lester. Two of them have been lodged
in the Macon jail while the other was place in jail at Gray. This was done
in order to keep them separated. Their case will come up at the October
term Jones Superior court.
See October 24, 1930
SHERIFF THWARTS ATTEMPTED BREAK. Plan to
Escape Jail Is Overheard by Jones Sheriff. Bars Are Sawed in Two.
Gray, Ga., Sept.
15 - What was to have been an escape from the Jones county jail here tonight
was thwarted by Sheriff J. A. Bowen this morning when he discovered
a saw blade four inches long which had been used to saw three bars in two.
Charlie Solomon, Negro charged with murder of his
brother several weeks ago, was named by other prisonrs as leader in
Sheriff Bowen stated
that he heard the men sawing last night and heard them plan to escape tonight.
He made no inspection of their cells until this morning.
Mattie Mae Solomon,
wife of the accused Negro, was arrested and charged with having smuggled
the saw blade to her husband in the pocket of an overall jumper.
THREE NEGROES GET LIFE TERMS. They Are Convicted
of Slaying Seaborn Robinson.
Gray, Ga., Oct.
23. Three Negroes, Booker T. Griswold and Henry and Pierce Lester
were tried and convicted today of the murder of Seaborn Robinson, an
old Negro who was slain on the night of Aug. 4. the following morning after
the crime had been
committed. He had been struck over the head
by some blunt instrument which produced death instantly.
All three of the Negroes
pleaded not guilty, and after all the evidence had been submitted the lawyers
on both sides agreed to omit the and let the jury have the case after a
charge by Judge Park.
Officers Hide in Cell. Although there was
a good deal of circumstantial evidence, ,the most convincing testimony
presented by the state was that of County Officer M. E. Malone, who testified
that he concealed himself in a padded cell next to these prisoners soon
after they were locked up and overheard their conversation, admitting to
themselves their guilt and their regret for killing such and old man without
any cause. One of them stated at that time that if had that piece of iron,
referring to the one used in killing the Negro, that "they would not stay
in there long," This was just after a local physician had been in the jail
and had left the keys close by. It was interpreted to mean that they could
have gotten him out of the way with the iron and then escape.
All three Negroes were
given a life sentence, the jury having recommended them to the mercy of
July 26, 1932
NEGRO SLAIN. Gray, Ga., July 25. Willie
Jordan, Negro, was fatally shot here Sunday afternoon allegedly by
his wife, Beatrice, who surrendered to officers and was placed in
the Jones county jail. The woman said that the man was advancing upon her
with a knife. There were eye witnesses to the shooting,
September 16, 1935
Negro Ambushed in Jones County. Gray, Ga.,
Sept 15. Henry Whidby, Negro,
who for the past several weeks had been firing the boiler at the Georgia
Canning Company at Wayside, was shot with buckshot from ambush las night
while on duty.
He was found dead about 10:30
last night by two Negroes, who at first thought he was asleep.
Sheriff J. P. Hawkins
of Jones county made an investigation immediately. No clues were found
to the assailant.
An inquest was held by W.
H. Etheridge, coroner, and the conclusion was that he came to his death
at the hands of an unknown party or parties.
May 12, 1939
BONES OF WOMAN
FOUND NEAR HERE. Jones Officers Search for Clue Which Will Lead to Identifying
Jones county officers
searched yesterday for a clue that would identify the skeleton of a middle-aged
woman found on the banks of Big Sandy creek about two miles north of Griswoldville
Two Jones county farmers,
R. C. Stripling and Joe Ethridge, made the grim discovery as
they crossed the swamp through which Big Sandy creek flows.
The skeleton lay across
a dim path that wound about in dense undergrowth beneath great swamp oaks
and cypress trees. Most of the bones had been disconnected but still lay
approximately in their proper positions.
A coroner's jury empaneled
by Coroner W. H. Ethridge of Jones county Wednesday returned a verdict
that the woman had died from a fracture of the skull but later altered
the decision when Dr. J. D. Zachary of Gray said markings in the
skull believed by the jurymen to be fractures were normal seams.
May Have Been Negro. Dr. Zachary said the
skeleton was that of a woman about five feet two inches tall. He said he
was inclined to believe she might have been a Negro because of the conformation
of the skull.
The bleached bones were gathered
together and carried to Dr. Zachary's office in Gray to await final action
by the coroner.
Meanwhile, the coroner continued
a search of the woods near the spot where the skeleton was found in an
effort to uncover soma clue that might lead to the identity of the dead
woman. Investigators were inclined to the theory that the woman was killed
at some other spot and the body brought to swamp for concealment. It was
found about 200 yards from the end of an abandoned sawmill road in a small
cleared space surrounded by matted undergrowth.
Residents of the vicinity
said they knew of no persons missing from their homes and Macon police
said that had no record of a missing woman who might tally with the description.
Dr. Zachary said the body apparently
had been on the spot more than a year. Remnants of a blue, green and yellow
plaid wool dress covered the lower part of the body bones. The doctor said
discovery of the lower jaw, which had not been found yesterday, probably
would facilitate identification.
May 17, 1939
Jones Coroner Believes Woman Lived in Macon.
Body Is That of White Person About 30 Years Old, Etheridge Says.
New clues uncovered yesterday
in the Jones county lovers-lane skeleton murder mystery have convinced
W. H. Etheridge that the victim was a blonde white woman in her early
thirties, the coroner reported to The Telegraph last night.
Mr. Etheridge reported his
further belief that the dead woman was a resident of Macon.
The new evidence consisted
of a few wisps of blonde hair, discovered in the much of the Griswoldville
swamp near where the skull of the lay, the bones of a left hand; hitherto
missing, and a scrap of human flesh, decomposing in the mud where the gruesome
discovery was made.
Coroner Etheridge turned up
the new evidence yesterday afternoon, ash he combed the area in the company
of Joel Etheridge and Bob Stripling, Jones county farmers
who first discovered the skeleton last Wednesday afternoon. He reported
that the jaw and both feet are still missing.
To Continue Search. The unreported members
were either washed away by spring freshets or carried away by animals,
the coroner believes, but the intends to continue his search until all
possibility of further disclosures is exhausted.
"I have checked every missing
person in Jones county," Mr. Etheridge report last nighr, "and I have come
to the conclusion that the victim was a resident of Macon."
He and Mrs. W. E. McCord,
criminal investigator of the Macon police department, previously had agreed
that the slayer, if one is involved, was a native of the region in which
the body was found. They based that conclusion on the difficulty of reaching
the hidden spot where the body lay.
Mrs. McCord, who had planned
to return to the area yesterday, was not able to make the trip, she said
last night. She plans, however, to continue the investigation today.
Mrs. McCord became interested
in the case when reports were circulated that the victim was Mrs. Pauline
Morgan Bullington, former Macon woman. This rumor was exploded when
Mrs. Bullington was found to be alive and working in Atlanta.
The coroner last night described
the secluded territory where the body was found as a rendezvous for lovers.
A little-used road leads to an abandoned sawmill about 100 yards from the
body's location, and Mr. Etheridge reported that the road is well-known
as a place to park.
August 19, 1941
Sheriff Probes Jones Slaying. Gray, Aug
18. Sheriff J. P. Hawkins of Jones county continued a search today
for the slayer of Charlie Dover,
33-year-old Jones county Negro, killed by a shotgun blast at a tourist
camp near here on the Macon highway Saturday night.
Sheriff Hawkins said he was holding
as a material witness a Negro listed as Sammy Ford, 21, who lives
The officer said the Negro
prisoner was reluctant to talk but that information he had obtained indiciated
a a group of white men were involved in the slaying.
Sheriff Hawkins said Dover's
face was blown away by a blast fired at close range. The incident occurred
about 11 o'clock at Dixie Cabins, where the Negro was employed, he related.
" I have been working on the
case since Saturday night and believe I will be able to make an arrest
Tuesday." the officer said tonight.
August 22, 1941
Gray, Aug 21. Sheriff J. P. Hawkins
said Thursday night a man docketed as Tom Gip Alexander, 35, of
Jasper county, was being held in Jones county jail here on a warrant charging
murder in the shotgun, tourist camp slaying of Charlie Dover, 33-year old
Negro last Saturday night.
The officer said that he and Sheriff
Frank Ezell of Jasper county, arrested Alexander while the latter was
operating a tractor on a post road project, about 10 miles north of Monticello
Sheriff Hawkins said he could not
discuss the naure of the evidence upon which the warrant, signed by a deputy,
had been issued, but commented:
"We've got a good case."
Dover was slain with a shotgun blast
in the face at Dixie Cabins, where he worked, on the Macon highway near
here. Statements gained from Sammy Ford, 21-year-old Negro who had
been held as a material witness, had indicated a white man was involved,
Sheriff Hawkins said.
B. McAdams 2009
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