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Colonial Cases

1887

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 11 January 1887

An inquisition indented and taken at Newberry in Newberry County on the 11th day of January AD 1887 before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of an infant child of Mrs. Mary Moore then and there being dead by the oaths of M. Foot Jr., E. Cabiness, R. C. Williams, James Kennedy, J. W. Coppock, J. P. Fant, Gary Coleman, S. A. Evins, T. G. Williams, Thomas Cook, R. M. Scruggs, George Long, B. H. Cline, and G. W. Garmany, being a lawful jury of inquest being sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, when and by what means the said infant came to his death - upon their oath do say that the said infant came to its death by accidental smothering  on the 11th day of January 1887.            John N. Bass, Coroner

M. Foot Jr., E. Cabiness, R. C. Williams, James Kennedy, J. W. Coppock, J. P. Fant, Gary Coleman, S. A. Evins, T. G. Williams, Thomas Cook, R. M. Scruggs, George Long, B. H. Cline, and G. W. Garmany

EVIDENCE                                              

   Mrs. Emeline Medlin being sworn says - live in their house; being called into the room of Mrs. Mary Moore this morning at 4 o'clock by Mrs. Moore; went to the bed of the mother; then discovered the child in bed; it was dead. My daughter, Della, went into the room about 3 this morning am. The child was lying against the mother's breast; child had been sick some time; about one week could scarcely take nourishment. Sent for the doctor Sunday morning last. Child was very fretful; could scarcely take liquid nourishment; thought it had measles; at 10 last night seemed to be no worse.   Emaline Medlin

   Miss Della Corley sworn says: Live in this house; was out until 3 am; went to Mrs. Moore's room; child was in mother's arms; child not making any noise; it was nursing; gave the mother a glass of water; child was about the same as when I left it yesterday at 5 o'clock. At 3 am (it) was making noise as if struggling for breath. Mother moved child and she then rested easier. Child was broken out with measles. Mother had been in bed since yesterday morning. Mrs. Moore seemed to be very sick this morning.              Della (X) Corley                                  

Dr. G. W. Garmany being sworn says: I live here in Newberry; am a practicing physician; treated mother at the house of Mrs. LaFayette for 5 or 6 days; have been treating the mother for measles. The child had been quite sick. I told the mother to be careful as she had such high fever, not to smother the child. The child had shown measles since Sunday; it was improving; had given the mother camphorated ?doreus? powders; she was not in condition to care for the child. There were no marks on the body of the child to indicate violence and am satisfied that it was an accidental case of smothering.  G. W. Garmany M. D.

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County,  31 January 1887

An inquisition indented and taken at Jesse Senn's in Newberry County on the 31st day of January AD 1887 before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of George Diner of Newberry County, then and there being dead by the oaths of Jesse Senn, L. F. Longshore, Seth Williams, Karl Wagner, D. M. S. Boozer, G. F. Clamp, T. N. Boozer, J. G. Senn, Eff Boozer, Jake Stewart, Alford Abernathy, William Hammond, J. D. Boozer and Sam Dogin, being a lawful jury of inquest being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, when and by what means the said George Diner came to his death - upon their oath do say that. So these jurors upon their oaths aforesaid do say the aforesaid Bob Nance in manner and form aforesaid, then and there did feloniously did kill against the peace and dignity of the State aforesaid, George Diner.  John N. Bass, Coroner

Jesse Senn, L. F. Longshore, Seth Williams, K. A. Wagner, D. M. S. Boozer, G. F. Clamp, T. N. Boozer, J. G. Senn, Eff (X) Boozer, Jake  (X) Stewart, Alford  (X) Abernathy, William  (X) Hammond, J. D. Boozer, Sam  (X) Dogin             

EVIDENCE                                              

   Tilla Diner being duly sworn says: I live in Newberry County at Jesse Senn's. George Diner and myself were coming home yesterday about dark. When we got to the gate George Diner went to open the gate and Bob Nance shot him with a pistol. Bob Nance shot three times but hit George Diner twice. Bob Nance then ran. George Diner and Bob Nance had a difficulty last Sunday, a week ago. The difficulty was about playing cards. George talked some after he was shot. I am certain it was Bob Nance who shot him. They were about six feet apart.         

Tilla  (X) Diner      

   Jesse Senn being sworn says: I live on this place. I saw Bob Nance yesterday. He was standing by the gate. I talked with him. He did not say anything about George Diner. That was about fifteen minutes before the shooting.             Jesse Senn                                            

   Tom Kinard being duly sworn says: I was with Bob Nance yesterday about 1½ hours. George Diner was present. They had no difficulty then. Bob is considered a bad man. George Diner said after he was shot that he had been shot with John Brown's pistol.           Tom  (X) Kinard                   

   John Brown being duly sworn says: I know Bob Nance. I saw Bob Nance yesterday at Bill Pinson's just before sundown. Bill Pinson, Bob Waldrop, and myself came by Mr. Senn's. Bob Nance came to us and went home with me. Bob left my house about sundown. Bill Pinson left my house with Bob Nance.                 John (X) Brown

   J. R. Senn being duly sworn says: I saw Bob Nance yesterday. He was by himself when I saw him. It was late in the evening. I saw no one with him.  J. R. Senn                            

   Bob Waldrop being duly sworn says: I saw Bob Nance yesterday evening. He was at Bill Pinson's. I saw him again talking with Mr. Senn. I went with him from Mr. Senn's near to John Brown's house. I did not see him with a pistol.  Robert Waldrop                                                               

   Bill Pinson being duly sworn says: I know Bob Nance. I saw him last about sundown. He came with me from John Brown's about sundown. We parted at Mr. Senn's well. I went home and Bob went up the road.  I have seen Bob Nance's pistol. It is not a self-cocker. My pistol is a self-cocker.   Bill (X) Pinson

Dr. W. D. Senn being duly sworn says: That George Diner came to his death from the effects of a pistol shot; the ball entering near the navel - a little to the left of the medium line ranging towards the right and upwards. It was a death shot.       W. D. Senn MD

   J. S. Boozer being duly sworn says: I came over to see George Diner this morning. George said he thought the pistol he was shot with was the pistol offered to loan him when his wife was sick. I had heard the shots. I do not think a man could have had time to cock a pistol and shoot as fast as the last two shots were fired.    I think it was a self-cocker. J. S. Boozer                       

A copy of this case was furnished the Governor making double the number of words.
 J. N. Bass, Cor.

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 24 February 1887                                  

An inquisition indented and taken at Saluda Old Town in Newberry County on the 24th day of February AD 1887 before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of Press Suber of Newberry County, then and there being dead by the oaths of J. H. Stalnaker foreman, W. U. Levesler, Hosea Burns, Ivey Cureton, H. N. Duff, James Harrison, Austin Nance, Ivey Abbs, John A. Rouse, Al Carter, William Satterwhite, Willis Bowie, Willis Spearman, John Johnson, being a lawful jury of inquest, who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, when and by what means the said Press Suber came to his death - upon their oath do say that Press Suber came to his death by a pistol shot wound in the back of the head in a cab car at Saluda Old Town in the county of Newberry on the 23rd day of February 1887 by a pistol in the hands of Tom Fair. And so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid do say that the said aforesaid Tom Fair, in the manner and form aforesaid did kill against the peace and dignity of the State aforesaid. In witness whereof I, John N. Bass, coroner, aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid to this inquisition have interchangeably put our hands and seals the 24th day of February 1887.   John N. Bass, Coroner

J. H. Stalnaker foreman, W. U. Levesler, Hosea Burns, Ivey Cureton, H. N. Duff, James Harrison, Austin (X) Nance, Ivey (X) Abbs, John A. (X) Rouse, Al  (X) Carter, William  (X) Satterwhite, Willis (X) Bowie, Willis  (X) Spearman, John (X) Johnson

EVIDENCE                                              

   Julius Green being sworn says: I live in Newberry County SC; was in a cab-car at Saluda Old Town last night the 24th February 1887. Tom Fair asked me what I was doing with my hands in my pocket; then I pulled them out and he cursed me for a s__ of b____; then he put his pistol upon my neck and dared me to repeat what he had said; he then came to me with his pistol up in his hands. I then shoved it to the left and then to the right and it fixed. I then heard one shot. Johnson Gilliam said don't stand there - he might shoot you; then I came back and saw the man that is now dead. I came over here to see if I could get some work. I have been in Newberry for two years. I worked with Col. Leavell 2 or 3 weeks; worked 2 or 3 weeks for Y. J. Pope. Worked at Sheriff Riser's 2 weeks. 24th February 1887 I left Newberry. Worked with Mr. Henry Blease for two weeks.               Julius (X) Green

   Hosea Burns being sworn says: I was sitting on a bunk and Tom Fair was dancing and Tom says 'Don't you shove me - I will get out of your way'. Then Julius Green called Tom Fair as__ of a  b____. Julius then walked away and came back. Tom said don't call me as__ of a  b____. Tom had his pistol up to his face. I hailed Thomas and said stop your foolishness. Just then the pistol fired. Julius turned and came running towards him with a knife. He had a knife. He (Tom) was shooting at Julius and not the man that was killed, Press Suber. Julius Green came towards Thomas Fair with his hands in his pockets - that was before the shooting.               Hosea (X) Burns   

   W. U. Levisler being sworn says: I was sitting in my car. Heard that Press Suber was shot and shot by Tom Fair. Press Suber and Tom Fair are both my hands. Thomas Fair told me he did not intend to shoot Press Suber. I tried to prevent him going.                                              

G. W. Garmany MD being duly sworn says: that the death of Press Suber was caused by a pistol shot through the head.                G. W. Garmany MD

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 5 March 1887

An inquisition indented and taken at Griffin's Quarters in Newberry County on the 5th day of March AD 1887 before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of Mary Finney of Newberry County, then and there being dead by the oaths of John A. Wallace, Anthony Griffin, Sam Stevens, James Wyatt, Fed Wyatt, Rabe Magnum, Aleck Pitts, Lewis Caldwell, A. L. Anderson, Coleman Wyatt, G. W. Garmany, Alex Pitts, John Hall, and W. Hall, being a lawful jury of inquest, who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, when and by what means the said Mary Finney came to his death - upon their oath do say that she was burned to death the 2nd day of March 1887 by fire at Henry Finney's in Newberry County. And so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid do say that the said aforesaid Mary Finney, in the manner and form aforesaid came to her death by misfortune and accident by burning.        John N. Bass, Coroner

John A. Wallace, Anthony (X) Griffin, Sam (X) Stevens, James (X) Wyatt, Fred (X) Wyatt, Rube (X) Magnum, Aleck (X) Pitts, Lewis (X) Caldwell, A. L. (X) Anderson, Coleman (X) Wyatt, G. W. Garmany, Alex (X) Pitts, John (X) Hall, and W. (X) Hall

EVIDENCE                                              

Katie Finney being sworn says: I live in Newberry County. This is my child Mary Finney. The child (was) burned Wednesday morning. No one was in the house when burnt. I do not know how she caught (fire). She was on fire when I first saw her. Took her in my arms and caught fire myself. She died about 12 o'clock; only lived about two hours; done all I could. Put a flour plaster on with lamp oil. It was the 2nd March 1887.      Katie (X) Finney                                                  

   Hillary Finney being sworn says: I live in Newberry County. I was not at home when my child was burned. Has been burned 3 days. I got home before it died. She died on the 2nd of March 1887.           Hillary (X) Finney

   Andrew Finney being duly sworn says: I live in Newberry County. I went for Mr. W. Peterson (sheriff) before the child was buried. I came back home and buried the child without an inquest. Mr. Peterson told me he thought it lawful to have an inquest. She died March 2, 1887.               

 Andrew (X) Finney                      

Dr. G. W. Garmany being sworn says: The opinion from examining the body of the dead child - that said child came to its death by fire.  G. W. Garmany MD

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 12 March 1887

An inquisition indented and taken at D. N. Coate's in Newberry County on the 12th day of March AD 1887 before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of D. N. Coate of Newberry County, then and there being dead by the oaths of C. W. Bishop, J. C. Perry, I. Z. Abrams, W. H. Pratt, John Sheppard, Arthur Kibler, Charlie Zobel, Jacob Kibler, William Langford, R. C. Williams, D. T. Dominick, J. W. Davenport, Sol Harp, and J. D. Shockley being a lawful jury of inquest, who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, when and by what means the said D. N. Coate came to his death - upon their oath do say that D. N. Coate did kill himself with a pistol at home on the 11th day of March 1887. And so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid do say that the said aforesaid D. N. Coate, in the manner and form aforesaid voluntarily and feloniously himself did kill against the peace and dignity of the State aforesaid. In witness whereof I, John N. Bass, coroner, aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid to this inquisition have interchangeably put our hands and seals this day and year afore mentioned.        John N. Bass, Coroner

C. W. Bishop, J. C. Perry, I. Z. Abrams, W. H. Pratt, John Sheppard, Arthur Kibler, Charlie Zobel, Jacob Kibler, William Langford, R. C. Williams, D. T. Dominick, J. W. Davenport, Sol (X) Harp, J. D. Shockley                                      

EVIDENCE                                              

   Martha Finney being sworn says: I live at Mr. Coate's in Newberry County. I saw Mr. Coate the 11th of March, the day on which he was shot. He was shot by himself. He had the pistol in his hand. I saw no other one around him and he was lying down. I spoke to him and he made no answer. He had the pistol in his right hand. He said to me, 'Martha'. I said, 'Sir. 'What is the matter with _?' he said. I answered him that he was shot. He asked when. 'While ago', He answered, where abouts?' I told him in the head. I know no reason why he shot himself. He seemed to be in his right mind before he shot himself.  Martha (X) Finney                                      

   W. D. Divver being sworn says: I was not at home on the 11th of March before Mr. Coate shot himself but I heard the hollering at the house and started home. When I got there I asked him how did he come to shoot himself. He said he didn't know that he had shot himself. He asked me when. I told him a while ago. He asked me what did he shoot himself with. I told him with a pistol. That is all I said to him. I know of no reason why he shot himself. He seemed to be in his right mind when I saw him before the shooting. He had nothing to trouble himself that I know of. He got along nice with his family. I never heard him say that he would kill or shoot himself. I never heard anything said about a dog biting him. He was never bit by a dog that I knew of. Willie D. Divver                                        

This is to certify that Mr. D. N. Coate died from the effects of a gunshot wound of the head, the ball entering the skull through the right parietal bone, penetrating the substance of the brain.

March 12, 1887  James K. Gilder MD

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 2 April 1887                                            

An inquisition indented and taken at Newberry Court House, SC on the 2nd day of April AD 1887 before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of John B. Jones of Newberry County, then and there being dead by the oaths of Robert H. Wright, Alex Singleton, Burr F. Goggans, R. L. McCaughrin, S. P. Boozer, John O. Peoples, I. N. Gary, J. A. Burton, J. N. Martin, James F. Todd, Thomas Cook, C. J. Purcell and J. E. Brown being a lawful jury of inquest, who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, when and by what means the said John B. Jones came to his death.  The jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid do say that the aforesaid John B. Jones died 2nd of April 1887 by the effects of a pistol shot wound inflicted by the hand of George Johnstone on March 26, 1887 in the Town of Newberry, State of South Carolina against the peace and dignity of the said State. In witness whereof I, John N. Bass, coroner, aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid to this inquisition have interchangeably put our hands and seals the year and day above written.  John N. Bass, Coroner

Robert H. Wright Foreman, Alex Singleton, Burr F. Goggans, R. L. McCaughrin, S. P. Boozer, John O. Peoples, I. N. Gary, J. A. Burton, J. N. Martin, James F. Todd, Thomas Cook, C. J. Purcell and J. E. Brown                                             

EVIDENCE                                              

   Pinckney Bradley being sworn says: I live in Newberry and am a policeman. Col. John B. Jones was shot last Saturday 26th March in the office of Trial Justice Blease by Col. George Johnstone. I saw him point the pistol towards Jones head, heard the 'report', and haven't seen Jones since. Saw blood on his clothes. Jones shot at Johnstone before Johnstone shot. Heard words between parties. Johnstone had been speaking to Judge Blease. These gents were attorneys. Jones rose and said Counsel claimed this a Court of Record. Johnstone said he did not. Jones said, 'I am speaking to the Court and wish to know if Court would hear.' Judge said yes and told Johnstone not to interrupt Jones. Jones said, 'No interruption, that he considered the source'.  Johnstone said if the insolent poppy will go out of Court and repeat that - and Jones immediately fired. Jones shot Johnstone in the ear - several shots - don't know how many. Johnstone shot three times that I saw. Some one prevented - I did and Mr. George B. Cromer, Mayor of our Town. A ball hit Cromer in two different places - looked as if done by bullets. Cromer was there. Not positive that I saw anyone else as close. Alfred Crotwell, Dave Wadford and others were in the room when the shooting began.  E. P. Bradley                    

   James A. Cofield being duly sworn says: Live in Newberry County. In the office of Trial Justice Blease last Saturday when a difficulty occurred. Saw Jones shoot at Johnstone. I left - did not see Johnstone shoot - two shots fired. Don't know who shot second. Jones went to address the Court and said the other side admitted this is a Court of Record. Johnstone said he did not. Jones said, 'I was addressing the Court.' Johnstone said, 'So am I.' Jones looked out of the window and asked the Court if he would hear him and the Court asked Johnstone not to interrupt Jones. Jones made some remarks and wound up by saying, 'I consider the source'. Johnstone, excited, rose and called Jones insolent poppy and said if he would repeat that out of Court and Jones fired. Johnstone did not have his hand in his pocket when he rose.       James A. Cofield  

   James S. Reid sworn says: I live in Newberry. Was in Town last Saturday, the 26th of March. Saw difficulty between Jones and Johnstone in the office of Mr. Blease. Johnstone was making some remarks. Jones got up to reply and remarked that he was addressing the Court. I could not repeat what Jones said. Johnstone said if the insolent poppy will repeat that outside I will slap Jones on the face. I don't remember the word Poppy. I didn't see Jones draw a weapon. It was pointed towards Johnstone. Johnstone arose and Jones fired first. I could not say who fired afterwards. I did not see Johnstone with a pistol in the office. I left the office after Jones and Johnstone were carried out. I heard Jones was dead. Do not know. Haven't seen Jones since. I heard him say he was shot through. I saw no one else with a pistol. I saw no wounds. I suppose Jones was shot by the one who was opposing.  J. S. Reid                                          

   E. P. Bradley recalled says: Jones fired first. Not positive who fired second or third. Saw Johnstone fire at Jones. Don't know that the shot hit Jones. No one else fired but Jones and Johnstone.  E. P. Bradley

                                               

This is to certify that Mr. J. B. Jones came to his death from the effects of a gunshot wound, the ball entering the left side of the chest between the sixth and seventh ribs and passing through the body, came out the right side between the tenth and eleventh ribs.                James K. Gilder MD

Newberry SC April 2nd 1887

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 27 April 1887                                          

An inquisition indented and taken at Prosperity on the 27th day of April AD 1887 in Newberry County before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of Celia Kibler of Newberry County, then and there being dead by the oaths of B. B. Hair, A. L. Aull, J. L. Wise, F. L. Schumpert, F. E. Schumpert, J. W. Bowers, G. A. Maffett, W. H. Kibler, J. Jordan, F. Bobb, S. L. Fellers, S. H. Cannon, and G. G. Lane bind a lawful jury, who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, when and by what means the said Celia Kibler came to her death - upon their oath do say that she dropped dead on the street from heart disease. And so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid do say that the said aforesaid Celia Kibler, in the manner and form aforesaid did die from heart disease on the 27th April 1887. John N. Bass, Coroner

B. B. Hair Foreman, A. L. Aull. J. L. Wise, F. L. Schumpert, F. E. Schumpert, J. W. Bowers, G. A. Maffett, W. H. Kibler, J. Jordan, Francis Bobb, S. L. Fellers, S. H. Cannon, and G. G. Lane           

EVIDENCE                                              

   Mary Brown being sworn says: I live at G. DeWalt's place - was by aunt Lovi's house that morning and saw aunt Celia Kibler standing by the door and had a conversation with her. Saw aunt Celia look up towards the sun and roll her eyes and commenced to fall and said 'Lord have mercy.' I called uncle Henry Burton and told him to come. He caught her. She never spoke after. Do not know whether she ever fell before or not.  Mary (X) Brown                                                        

   Henry J. Beachum being duly sworn says: On the morning of the 27th I saw Fed. I went over to Celia's house. Saw her dead on the street. Have no idea what caused her death. Did not see anyone hit her; never saw any marks on her. Heard of no difficulties. Do not know positively of her falling before but heard her brother say so. I helped to carry her in the house. She was just in front of where I helped to pick her up.  H. J. Beacham

   Callie F. Boyd being duly sworn says: I was coming to Town about eight or half past eight. I noticed two or three persons on the street. Saw Celia lying on the street. She was dead when I got there. Heard she was subject to spells.  C. F. Boyd

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 10 May 1887

An inquisition indented and taken at P. B. Workman's in Newberry County on the 10th day of May AD 1887 before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of Helder Nelson of Newberry County, then and there being dead by the oaths of P. B. Workman, L. Britt, T. R. Workman, J. M. Workman, R. Workman, Van Smith, J. A. Davenport, A. P. Davis, J. W. McKitrick, Jonas Gary, Edd Reeder, W. P. Davis, T. D. Gentry, and J. B. O. Waldrop, being a lawful jury of inquest, who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, when and by what means the said Helder Nelson came to his death - upon their oath do say that Helder Nelson came to his death by a pistol shot in the head 9th  day of May 1887 in Newberry County at P. B. Workman's place and that it was in the hands of Jeff Williams. And so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid do say that the said aforesaid Jeff Williams, in the manner and form aforesaid Helder Nelson then and there feloniously did kill against the peace and dignity of the State aforesaid. In witness whereof I, John N. Bass, coroner, aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid to this inquisition have interchangeably put our hands and seals the day and year above mentioned.     John N. Bass, Coroner

P. B. Workman Foreman, Lewis Britt, T. R. Workman, J. M. Workman, R. C. Workman, Van Smith, John A. Davenport, A. P. Davis, J. W. McKitrick, Jonas Gary, Edd Reeder, W. P. Davis, T. D. Gentry, and J. B. O. Waldrop

EVIDENCE                                              

   William Workman being sworn says: Jeff Williams wife came in and said Helder Nelson tried to ravage her and Helder Nelson said, "Damn it! I did not try to ravage you or hurt you." Jeff Williams said go ahead and when Mr. Workman comes home I will settle with you. Helder said to Jeff Williams that I will cut your guts out and I will whip you - and advanced Jeff Williams with an open knife. Jeff Williams got a gun and went to shoot Helder Nelson and attempted with the gun in hand to shoot Helder Nelson but was prevented by me. Jeff Williams put the gun down after I asked him to put the gun down and Jeff Williams left after he put the gun down and each man left - at different times. Helder Nelson left the house first. I knew of no personal difficulties between the men. This difficulty and shooting was on May 9th AD 1887 about sundown. William (X) Workman

   Winnie Nelson sworn says: I live at Mr. Workman's place. Saw the difficulty. Helder Nelson and I came to my house and about fifteen minutes Jeff Williams came and called Helder Nelson and asked for an interview. Helder Nelson asked what he wanted and I asked what was the matter - of any difficulty. Jeff Williams said do not ask me what is the matter - ask Minnie - and she said, "Helder Nelson tried to ravage me." I asked her was it so. Yes she said. I then asked Helder if it was true but he did not say. I tried to get them not to have any fuss in the yard. I heard a pistol shot. Helder ran in the house and ticked (sic) up something and Jeff Williams fired and Helder Nelson hollered OH! As if shot. Helder ran in the room. Jeff Williams said, 'I am coming in the house.' And I said not to come in. He did not come in and then he fired again. Helder Nelson ran up the road. Jeff Williams ran after him, and ran across the field as if trying to catch him. I asked Anthony Pitts if he had loaned Jeff Williams a pistol. He said no. I heard two fires in the field and three at the house. Jeff Williams passed my house on his way back from the field and said if any man wants to hurt me here I am and you will find Helder Nelson in the gully in the field. I shot him and if he comes to life I will kill him again by God. Jeff Williams went to the lot to help feed. I do not know whether I saw him. Jeff Williams went and showed Helder to me dead in a gully leaning over a limb. I saw the pistol in Jeff Williams's hands at the second shot. I helped to bring Helder Nelson to the house - did not find any pistol about him. Don't think he had a pistol. Jeff Williams and Helder Nelson had a fuss about gambling about February 1887. They had been gambling. Helder Nelson drew a pistol on Jeff Williams. Jeff told me about this difficulty himself. The shooting was on the 9th of May 1887.               Winnie (X) Nelson                               

   Anthony Pitts being duly sworn says: I live on P. B. Workman's place. Was living there May 9th 1887. Jeff Williams said he killed Helder Nelson and if he comes to life he would do it again. Saw the pistol in Jeff Williams's hands. Heard Jeff Williams say before the killing he had business to attend to and would attend to it before night. Jeff helped feed after the killing.   Anthony (X) Pitts                                             

May 10, 1887

I do certify that I have this day examined the body of Helder Nelson and in my opinion the said Helder Nelson came to his death from a pistol ball entering his forehead and passing through the entire brain lodging against the posterior bone of the head.                G. W. Garmany MD

COPY OF THE ABOVE EVIDENCE SENT TO THE GOVERNOR

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 23 May 1887

An inquisition indented and taken at the Boyd Place in Newberry County on the 23rd day of May AD 1887 before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of John Williams of Newberry County, then and there being dead by the oaths of John Johnson, J. P. Cook, J. W. Perkins, John Neel, Cal Gosham, Samuel Kennedy, William Agnes (sic), John Coleman, B. Heller, John Sheppard, Sherman Williams, George Coleman, Ben Caldwell and J. Jackson being a lawful jury of inquest, who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, when and by what means the said John Williams came to his death - according to what we know with our knowledge and from the evidence he died with dropsy of the heart or from some means to the jury unknown. In witness whereof I, John N. Bass, coroner, aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid to this inquisition have interchangeably put our hands and seals the day and year above mentioned.     John N. Bass, Coroner

J. M. Johnson Foreman, J. Perry Cook, J. W. Perkins, J. M. Canady, J. C. Neel, Cal (X) Gosham, William Eighnes (sic), John (X) Coleman, Ben (X) Heller, John (X) Sheppard, Sherman Williams, George Calbin, Ben (X) Caldwell and John (X) Jackson

EVIDENCE                                              

Sarah Williams being duly sworn says: I live in Newberry County. His name is John Williams. He is my husband. He died 22nd day of May. Yesterday he was sitting down talking with Mr. Cook. He had not been well during the day but had been up all day. He sat in the door about a quarter of an hour. Seems to as Mr. Cook left he got up and came and laid down on a pallet and I asked him what was the matter. He said, 'Oh my heart.' And just then he tried to get his breath and about ten minutes after he complained of his heart he died. He had been subject to smothering spells. He went to Town on Saturday. He told me he ate a box of sardines. He had been subject to spells for about a year. He had a doctor to examine him about two weeks ago. The doctor has not been coming to see him. He did not have a difficulty with anyone. He was not killed by anyone. He was with me all day. I was with him until he died. This is all I know. He said he had the dropsy. He lived in Newberry when he died.        Sarah (X) Williams                                            

   J. P. Cook duly sworn says: I live in Newberry. I passed coming from the pasture and I talked to him a few minutes. I passed on and walked to the house and locked my door and she sent (Sarah) the little girl up there for me. I came back and was not more than five minutes, I think, before he was dead. I have known him a good while. About eight years he had been working for me and has got some land rented from me when he was taken. He would say he felt like something had got his feet. Wanted ?osma up? He did not have any difficulty with anyone that I know of. John Williams lived in Newberry before he died. He died in the house.            J. P. Cook

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 5 June 1887

An inquisition indented and taken at The Floyd Place in Newberry County on the 5th of June AD 1887 before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of Hettie Floyd then and there being dead by the oaths of J. W. Sanders, Ned Wright, C. B. Benson, Press Senn, William Black, William Paysinger, Edmond Renwick, Silas Renwick, George Partlow, James Cleland, Calvin Williams, Willis Williams, Thomas Young and Cal Stevens, being a lawful jury of inquest who being sworn and charged to inquire for the State of South Carolina, where and by what means the said Hettie Floyd came to her death - upon their oath do say that the aforesaid Hettie Floyd was found dead in the house, partly on the bed by one Susanna Gary and so the jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid do say that Hettie Floyd in manner and form aforesaid did die either of old age or from the want of proper food and from not having proper attention. (This is in accordance with our knowledge of the family) on June 4, AD 1887, in witness whereof I, John N. Bass, Coroner aforesaid and jurors aforesaid to this inquisition have interchangeably have put our hands and seals this day and year above mentioned.                 

John N. Bass, Coroner

J. W. Sanders (Foreman), Ned (X) Wright, C. B. (X) Benson, Press (X) Senn, William (X) Black, William (X) Paysinger, Edmond (X) Renwick, Silas (X) Renwick, George (X) Partlow, James (X) Cleland, Calvin (X) Williams, Willis (X) Williams, Thomas (X) Young and Calvin (X) Stevens                                       

EVIDENCE                                              

Newberry SC June 5, 1887, Andrew Gary being sworn says: I live here at this place. Was at home yesterday. It was Saturday June 4, 1887. I went to one of my neighbor's houses about 6 o'clock. I came home. Stopped down at an old tree to get some wood and when I got to the house my wife called me and said that Grandma was dead and I said, 'I reckon not." I went in and found her lying with the feet off the bed, just as she is now - dead. She had been living here about five months. She was as well as usual for a long time. She had been up all day and did not seem to be any worse than common. She was about ninety years old. Her name was Hettie Floyd. This is in Newberry County. I think she got enough to eat for I had asked her if she had enough and she told me that she did. She was my father's wife but not my mother. I have a lien at Mr. Mower's (store) and I get twelve pounds of meat and a bushel of meal and a gallon of molasses. This amount is given to me every two weeks. It is for the three of us. She has not got any clothes but what she has on.  I have not got a cent of money in the world and I do not know what I am to do about getting her buried. She has not got any relations about here. This is all I know about her death.                 Anderson (X) Gary                                              

   Susanna Gary being sworn says: I, John N. Bass, Coroner, found after questioning the witness that she was idiotic and therefore could not tell anything about the case. Did not even know how long she had been living at the place. Most of the jurors knew her to be unable to tell anything understandable. I do not think she got enough to eat. I do not think it was done for any bad motive. The neighbors say that Anderson Gary would give to her when he had it to give. I think it best to make this statement. I did not have a doctor to make a post mortem examination. Did not think it necessary, nor did the jurors, they being satisfied as to the cause of her death. Then too, it would be a considerable expense to the county. John N. Bass, Coroner

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 21 July 1887                                            

An inquisition indented and taken at George S. Cannon's Place in Newberry County on the 21st of July AD 1887 before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of Jim Gilliam then and there being dead by the oaths of Thompson Conner, S. M. Duncan, W. L. Waters, H. S. Ruff, Syrus Ruff, Richard Myers, Syrus Cannon, Henry Cannon, John Cannon, Jim Cannon, John G. Johnson and Wade Swittenberg, being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, where and by what means the said Jim Gilliam came to his death - upon their oath do say that the aforesaid Jim Gilliam came to his death from heart disease or from a cause to the jurors unknown at George S. Cannon's Place on 21st day of July 1887, in witness whereof I, John N. Bass, Coroner aforesaid and jurors aforesaid to this inquisition have interchangeably put our hands and seals this day and year above mentioned. John N. Bass, Coroner

Thompson Conner (Foreman), S. M. Duncan, W. L. Waters, H. S. Ruff, Syrus (X) Ruff, Richard (X)  Myers, Syrus (X) Cannon, Henry (X) Cannon, John (X) Cannon, Jim (X) Cannon, John G. Johnson and Wade (X) Swittenberg.

EVIDENCE                                              

Bruce Cannon being duly sworn says: I was with Jim Gilliam when he died at 8 o'clock 21st day of July. Died where he was. Got up on the wagon to drive and fell off. Had been having a smothering of the heart. Been complaining all the year at times. Had usual health. Had no difficulty with anyone. Believe he had apoplexy.  W. B. Cannon                                                               

   Robert Sligh being duly sworn says: Saw Jim Gilliam today before he died July 21, 1887 in Newberry Co. He died where he now is - got on the wagon to drive. I went to the rear to fork on and when I saw him next he was on the ground. Had no difficulty with anyone. He was subject to smothering spells. I heard him this morning that he wanted to get to the house to get some medicine. Was complaining of his heart.  Robert (X) Sligh                                                       

   Col. George S. Cannon being duly sworn says: Jim Gilliam had been complaining of a smothering of his breast, especially this year. He has lost time at work. Did not hear him complain of anything this am. Was to all appearances as well as usual. Spoke to him this 21st July.      G. S. Cannon 

This is a case that I did not have a doctor make a post mortem examination as I did not think it was any use as all of the jurors knew all about the dead man's health and it is an expense to the county. I think it proper to make this statement.  John N. Bass, Coroner

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 24 July 1887

An inquisition indented and taken in Newberry County on the 24th day of July AD 1887 before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of Johnson Brown then and there being dead by the oaths of F. L. Paysinger, C. A. Teague, S. H. Paysinger, G. M. B. Epting, H. W. Cameron, Moses Moon, Nathan Russell, Robert Golding, Sam Johnson, Phil Ford, Mack Tucker and Simon Williams being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, where and by what means the said Johnson Brown came to his death - upon their oath do say that the aforesaid Johnson Brown came to his death by drowning in what is known as Kinard's Creek on the night of July 23, 1887 and that the aforesaid Johnson Brown in manner and form aforesaid came to his death by misfortune and accidental drowning. In witness whereof I, John N. Bass, Coroner aforesaid and jurors aforesaid to this inquisition have interchangeably have put our hands and seals this day and year above mentioned.  John N. Bass, Coroner

F. L. Paysinger (Foreman), C. A. Teague, S. H. Paysinger, G. M. B. Epting, H. W. Cameron, Moses Moon, Nathan (X) Russell, Robert (X) Golding, Sam (X) Johnson, Phil (X) Ford, Mack (X) Tucker, Simon (X) Williams

EVIDENCE                                              

Coleman Brown being duly sworn says: I live in this county. Last night me and my son Johnson were coming home and met Mr. Johnson and I told him I did not think there was any danger in crossing as I lived just on the other side of the creek and he turned back as he lived in Newberry and he said he wanted to get home. And when we got to the Ford he told me to drive as I knew the Ford and my son and he was in the back end of the wagon. My son was on the top of a barrel and I drove into the creek and the horse turned down stream and I saw him and Mr. Johnson jump out. That was the last I saw of him until this morning. I got a 'bib' and looked for him last night but the water was too high. I could not find him. He could not swim. He was 18 years old. I told my wife about it just before day. I knew he was drowned and killed. It is ¾ of a mile to where the Ford was. That is all I know.  Coleman (X) Brown                                            

   Robert Golding being duly sworn says: I live in Newberry county. We were looking for Johnson Brown this morning as we had heard that he was drowned and when I found him his head was in the water and his feet were on the bank.      Robert (X) Golding                                            

    Coleman Brown recalled says: I live in Newberry County. On July 23, 1887 my son and I were coming home. When we got to Kinard's Creek I was driving and I saw my son jump out of the wagon and this is the last time I saw him until this morning. He was a mute - could not talk.  Coleman (X) Brown

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 8 September 1887

An inquisition indented and taken at Jolly Street in Newberry County on the 8th of September AD 1887 before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of James Sadler then and there being dead by the oaths of B. B. Hair, P. B. Ellesor, Mark Mills, A. J. Livingstone, Renée Vann, T. P. Richardson, R. B. Livingston, J. A. C. Kibler, T. J. Willson, G. A. Singley, T. D. Kinard and George A. Long being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, where and by what means the said James Sadler came to his death - upon their oath do say that the aforesaid James Sadler came to his death by a gun shot wound to the left side by the hands of J. W. Werts on 8th day of September 1887 in Newberry County and that the said J. W. Werts did kill the said James Sadler in self defense in witness whereof I, John N. Bass, Coroner aforesaid and jurors aforesaid to this inquisition have interchangeably have put our hands and seals this day and year above mentioned.            John N. Bass, Coroner

B. B. Hair (Foreman), P. B. Ellesor, Mark M. Mills, A. J. Livingston, Renée Vann, T. P. Richardson, R. B. Livingston, J. A. C. Kibler, T. J. Willson, G. A. Singley, T. D. Kinard and George A. Long                                   

EVIDENCE                                              

Dr. D. H. Werts being duly sworn says: I live in this county and I have examined the dead body of James Sadler. I find a gun shot wound in the left side and left arm. I think that it was inflicted with a gun filled with buckshot. I have probed the wound about one foot in the direction of the heart. I think it was the cause of his death. Also his arm was broken. Think it was all from the same shot. I do not know who inflicted the wounds, only by hearsay. Have known Sadler for several years. I do not recognize the knife. Can't swear to the stick seen. He had one like it. He has threatened my own and my son's life also and had received a message from Sadler. He intended to waylay my son and cut him all to pieces. His wife said she did not notice his knife when he started. Told him not to go out there. Sadler had a bad reputation and he had threatened people before. My son's name is J. W. Werts. Sadler was killed today. Sept. 8, 1887,            

Dr. D. H. Werts

   Mrs. Harriet Sadler being duly sworn says: I live in Newberry County. This is my house. This is my husband that is lying out at the gate killed. Dr. Werts son, Joe, killed him with a shotgun this morning.             Harriet (X) Sadler                                

This witness was unwilling to tell any more about the killing of Sadler and under the circumstances I did not press her.  John N. Bass, Coroner                                

   G. M. Singley being duly sworn says: I live in Newberry County. I was here yesterday morning. Dave Cannon was at Sadler's house when I came to Sadler. Sadler asked Dave for some tobacco. Sadler told me that if myself and son, Dr. Werts and son Joe Werts did not hush and let him alone he would have revenge out for us. Said it was of no use for any body or party of men to come and try to take him. His reputation was bad and he was a dangerous bad man.    G. M. (X) Singley                                              

   Dave Cannon being duly sworn says: I live in Newberry County at Dr. Werts, Joe Werts' father. Mr. Sadler told me to tell Mr. Joe Werts he had been talking about him and G__d___ his heart he intended to lay around his house and some one of these nights would cut him all to pieces. I delivered the message to Mr. Joe Werts. This he told me on the 7th day of September 1887 and he was killed on the 8th.Dave (X) Cannon

I think it proper to make this statement. When I got to Sadler's he was lying on his face in the gate. He had not been moved. He was killed at the place he was laying. When I got to his house and saw his knife it was lying about two inches from his hand open and his stick was lying at one side and the knife at the other.  John N. Bass Coroner                                                        

   J. W. Werts being sworn says: I live in Newberry County. Know James Sadler. I had no difficulty with him before today. Yesterday morning I sent a boy for a load of wood and on his return the boy said that Sadler told him to tell me G___d--- my heart. I had been talking about him and for him to tell me I could not see very far before me and some one of these nights he would cut me to pieces. I had business up this way today by his house to haul wood to Eugene. I was coming from the woods to Gin. Jim Sadler attached me. I was coming from the field to the road; saw Sadler coming from his house towards his gate. When I got there he was at his gate. When I got there he spoke to me and said to stop. I stopped about ten feet past his gate. He asked me what I had been talking about him. "About a monkey wrench". Said I sent a warning to you and I am going to do it and now is the time. He had a stick and a knife in his hands. Thinking my life was in danger and knowing his general reputation to be bad and dangerous I have no objection to telling who shot him. I shot him in self-defense in fear of my own life. There was no one nearer than his house.     J. W. Werts

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 10 September 1887                                               

An inquisition indented and taken at Newberry County on the 10th of September AD 1887 before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of Steven Kinard then and there being dead by the oaths of J. G. Abrams, D. W. Barre, E. L. Leavell, Peter Ruff, Hampton Robertson, Mack Johnson, Morgan Davis, Frank Glenn, Sim Neel, John Adams, Melvin Butler, Murphey Adams and Sam Gillam who being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, where and by what means the said Steven Kinard came to his death - upon their oath do say that the aforesaid Steven Kinard in manner and form aforesaid came to his death by misfortune and accident by being struck on the head with a circular saw by his own clumsiness. In witness whereof I, John N. Bass, Coroner aforesaid and jurors aforesaid to this inquisition have interchangeably have put our hands and seals this day and year above mentioned.           John N. Bass, Coroner

J. G. Abrams (Foreman), D. W. Barre, E. L. Leavell, Peter Ruff, Hampton Robertson, Mack Johnson, Morgan Davis, Frank Glenn, Sim Neel, Jack Adams, Melvin Butler, Murphey Adams and Sam Gillam                                                                                             

EVIDENCE                                              

E. P. Matthews being duly sworn: I live in Newberry County and this place. I knew Steven Kinard. He has been to my place all this year. On the 6th of September he was hauling saw dust out that day from under the mill. I had sawed two logs. The hole under the saw was four feet deep. He was down the mill when he got hurt. He was by the saw. He was hit over the left eye. I did not see him when it hit him. No one went under the mill but him. It was against my orders for anybody to go under the mill while it was running. He died on the 10th of Sept. AD 1887. He lived on my farm.  E.P. Matthews

Dr. W. D. Senn who being duly sworn says: I live in the county and I certify that Steven Kinard died of inflammation of the brain caused by a wound of the head, the instrument being a circular saw. W. D. Senn MD                                               

In this case Mr. Matthews had sent for the doctor. I got there and did not find that I could hold an inquest without a doctor and this is who I had. The jurors were ordered not to hold an inquest without a doctor's exam.  John N. Bass, Coroner                                                                                                                                                            

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 8 October 1887                                      

An inquisition indented and taken at Newberry County on the 8th of October AD 1887 before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of J. F. Oxner then and there being dead by the oaths of W. D. Hardy, W. B. Whitney, J. H. Kitchens, W. E. Rutherford, W. M. Nance, W. E. Pressley, B. S. Lyles, R. E. Lyles, P. F. Baxter, Thomas M. Roebuck, Thomas J. Eison, and R. L. Irby, who being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, where and by what means the said J. F. Oxner came to his death - upon their oath do say that the aforesaid J. F. Oxner came to his death by a gunshot wound from the hands of Will Murphey and that Judge Glenn was an accessory to the murder and so the jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid said Will Murphy in manner and form aforesaid did kill the aforesaid J. F. Oxner, then and there feloniously did kill against the peace and dignity of the same State aforesaid. In witness whereof I, John N. Bass, Coroner aforesaid and jurors aforesaid to this inquisition have interchangeably have put our hands and seals this day and year above mentioned.    John N. Bass, Coroner

W. D. Hardy (Foreman), W. B. Whitney, J. H. Kitchens, W. E. Rutherford, W. M. Nance, W. E. Pressley, B. S. Lyles, R. E. Lyles, P. F. Baxter, Thomas M. Roebuck, Thomas J. Eison, and R. S. Irby                                                     

EVIDENCE                                              

Judge Glenn being sworn says: I live in Newberry County. Saw J. F. Oxner killed today between here and Maybinton. William Murphy killed him with a double-barreled shotgun belonging to Glenn. People told him Will Murphy got Jack's gun to go hunting with and went with him to Mr. Oxner's. Said he hoped Mr. Oxner would not bother him. Mr. Oxner came up and said who shot his pistol. Will replied, "Me".Mr. Oxner asked Will if he did not tell him he would shoot him. Will said, 'No you did not tell me".So Oxner said, "You lie. You heard someone say so and I mean to get you and old Reighley today. I said to Oxner, "Go back home and let him alone. He is nothing but a boy." Mr. Oxner stopped then afterwards came up in a gallop and pointed his gun at Will and shot him. Will shot Oxner. Will said nothing after he shot Oxner. Will ran off. I stopped the wagon when Will shot Oxner. Oxner fell from his mule. I went up to him with my gun loaded with shot. I loaded it a few days ago. Will was sitting on the left side of the wagon where shot from Mr. Oxner's gun struck the wagon body and the hind wheel. Don't know how far Mr. Oxner was when he shot. Both shots close together. Oxner had one gun and one gun barrel. Will had a pistol. Oxner was sitting on his mule with the gun in the right hand. Oxner was on the right side of the wagon. When he shot at Will, Will's gun was covered up with a quilt. When Oxner shot at him Will had to uncover his gun before he could shoot. Did not see Will reload pistol after Will shot Oxner. He ran down the road and I called him and told him to go to Newberry and give himself up. Will Murphy is a yellow boy about 20 years old, has no beard, straight legs, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds. He has rather large eyes. Heard Will and others say that Mr. Oxner and Will had a difficulty before. Said he hoped Oxner would not bother him. Said if Mr. Oxner came up on him he would shoot him. Will did not shoot first. Both shots were about together. Told Dr. Ruff this morning that I thought Will was going to hunt him. Mr. Oxner's shot hit the left corner of the wagon body behind where Will was sitting. Not very far from the corner sitting there when Oxner shot. The shot turned Mr. Oxner over on his back when he was shot and his hands did not then touch his gun. The wagon did not stop when Oxner shot. Did not say Will had gone to Dr. Ruff to get shot out of him. Thought he was shot. Never told anybody Will was shot. Oxner was not dead when I turned him over. He said nothing. Saw him move his hand. Told Mrs. Oxner not to go where he was shot. Don't know who brought him to the house. Told her not to go because I hated to see her there. The wagon was about stopped when Will Murphey fired. This is the gun Will Murphey fired. This is the gun Will Murphey killed Mr. Oxner with. He was killed today, the 8th day of Sept. 1887          

Judge (X) Glenn                                   

   Amos Ruff being sworn says: I live in Newberry County. Heard gunfire after Mr. Oxner went down the road. The reports were very close together. Never heard Will threaten Mr. Oxner.

Amos (X) Ruff

   Robert Gillam being duly sworn says: I live in Newberry County. Caught a mule for Mr. Oxner when Judge came up and told me Mr. Oxner was shot and was nearly dead. Judge told Dr. Ruff he thought Will Murphey was gone to see him to get him to pick the shot out of him. This was today the 8th of Sept. 1887.        Robert (X) Gilliam                                

   Dr. J. M. H. Ruff being sworn says: I live in Newberry County. The body was moved by my directions. He was killed on the public highway about 600 yards from here. Judge Glenn told me that Will Murphey was shot and he was gone to hunt me and then go to Newberry to give himself up.   J. M. H. Ruff                                   

This is to certify I have examined the body of J. F. Oxner and find that he died from the effects of a gunshot wound penetrating the left side of the chest near the valve.      J. M. H. Ruff MD            

   W. E. Pressley being sworn says: I live in Newberry County. Sold Will Murphey a pistol on Friday. He said he wanted something to kill rabbits with. Sold him a 38-caliber pistol and sixteen cartridges. W. E. Pressley                                    

   J. M. Henderson being sworn says: I live in Newberry County. Heard Mr. Pressley tell Will Murphey that he was just now able to get into trouble as he had just now bought a pistol. Will Murphey said Mr. Oxner had chased him from his wife's house and he had nothing to defend himself with and had bought the pistol for that purpose.              J. M. Henderson  

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 19 October 1887                                    

An inquisition indented and taken at Helena in Newberry County before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of Tom Gallman then and there being dead by the oaths of N. Chiles, Alford Bell, Darrell Coleman, C. P. Pitts, A. M. Miller, Bill Harris, Paul Swittenberg, James Coates, Alf Wilson, J. T. Larkin, Frank Hair and Wesley Williams who being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, where and by what means the said Thomas Gallman came to his death - upon their oath do say that the aforesaid Thomas Gallman came to his death by heart disease on the morning of the 19th day of Oct. 1887 and so the jurors aforesaid in manner and form aforesaid do say that the aforesaid Tom Gallman in manner and form aforesaid did die of heart disease in his bed. In witness whereof I, John N. Bass, Coroner aforesaid and jurors aforesaid to this inquisition have interchangeably have put our hands and seals this day and year above mentioned.   John N. Bass, Coroner

N. Chiles (Foreman), Alford Bell, Darrell Coleman, C. P. Pitts, A. M. Miller, Bill (X) Harris, Alford (X) Milam, Paul (X) Swittenberg, James (X) Coates, Alf Wilson, J. T. (X) Larkin, Frank (X) Hair and Wesley (X) Williams

EVIDENCE                              

Oley Coates being duly sworn says: I live in Newberry County. Was at home this morning. Heard some one calling my mother who is a mid wife and was called off last night. One of my daughters lives with my mother who answered the man who called my mother. I asked her if Tom Gallman, who is my father, if he was not at home and she said he was not. Then I went into the house and made a light and found my father lying in the bed dead. I live about 25 yards from Tom Gallman's. Saw him about dark last night. He had been at work all day yesterday and was not sick any more than he is as a common thing only. He had sprained one of his wrists some time back. He said it was paining him at times, all the way to his shoulder. He has had something like asthma for some time. All the year would hear something like smothering at his heart. Would have to prop himself up in bed or he could not sleep for smothering. He would get to take one good nap of sleep when he first went to bed then he would have to get up and sit in a chair the rest of the night. He had a spell of sickness about a month ago. My daughter that lives with Tom Gallman is about 11 years old. I am ?sixteen? No one had been in the house but him and my daughter since my mother left the house last night, which was about 10 o'clock. I know when she left. It was George Matthews who was calling for mother. When we found out that my father was dead it was about 5 o'clock this morning on the 19th day of October AD 1887.

 Oley (X) Coates                                   

   Viney Gallman who being sworn says: I live in Newberry County SC. I live here in Helena. That is my husband that is dead, Tom Gallman. He died sometime after 10 o'clock last night. I am a midwife and was called off last night. He was in as good health as he has been all this year. When I left him he told me his arm pained him very bad at times and that was why he was going back to bed. Sometimes he has had something like smothering at his heart all the year and could not sleep at night. He sat up most of the time and told me he got Dr. Mayer to give him something, which did him good. He was taking of it when I left home. He did not complain any more than common. He asked me when I was going. I told him. Then he told me good night when I started. I know that he had heart disease. I was not surprised when I heard he was dead for he sometimes could not hardly get his breath. It was the 19th day of October 1887. He was going to do some work for someone today. He had a spell of sickness about a month ago but he had got well and had been at work. I think he died with one of his smothering spells.               

Viney (X) Gallman

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 24 October 1887                                    

An inquisition indented and taken at John A. Kinard's in Newberry County the 24th day of October AD 1887, before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of Dembo Higgins then and there being dead by the oaths of O. P. Sexton, A. L. Knighton, T. G. Williams, Paul Johnston, P. A. Clarke, J. P. Fant, E. B. Blease, A. J. Sproles, E. G. Morriss, R. B. Reeder, W. F. Chappel, E. Cabiness, G. A. Langford and J. F. Wheeler who being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, where and by what means the said Dembo Higgins came to his death - upon their oath do say that the aforesaid Dembo Higgins came to his death by a gunshot wound probably from the hands of W. G. Miller who was in the discharge of his duty as a peace officer and in defense of his life and that of J. H. Chappel, a peace officer who also was assisting the said Miller in  enforcing the peace while the said Miller and Chappel was being set upon by a mob and we recommend that the Miller be discharged upon his own recognizance in witness whereof, I, John N. Bass, Coroner aforesaid and jurors aforesaid to this inquisition have interchangeably have put our hands and seals this day and year above mentioned.    John N. Bass, Coroner

G. A. Langford (Foreman) O. P. Sexton, A. L. Knighton, T. G. Williams, Paul Johnston, P. A. Clarke, John P. Fant, E. B. Blease, A. J. Sproles, E. G. Morris, R. B. Reeder, W. F. Chappel, E. Cabiness, and John F. Wheeler

EVIDENCE

State Vs The dead body of Denbo Higgins

J. H. Chappel sworn says: I live in Newberry, the Town and am the Chief of Police. I was asked by Gilbert Gray and Jessie Jones to come out. That there was a fuss out there and for me to come on the place of John A. Kinard, just inside of the Town corporate limits. Miller and myself could hear cursing and pistol shots from P. Gilder's house. When we got in sight we heard very loud and boisterous cursing and we stopped about 30 yards this side of the property in order that we might identify the parties. When we got in order that we might know who that was, I said to Miller, "Do you recognize that black man there by the fire?"He said, "Yes, it is Sam Higgins". Sam was cursing very loudly. I said to Miller that I was going to arrest him. I got him arrested by putting nippers on him before he saw me. I started off with him and he asked to be let to go down to see Mr. Kinard. I saw a large crowd of black men and concluded it was best to bring him to Town. I started to Town and got about 30 yards. Miller was running just behind me. Sam Higgins called to John Dembo, his brother, that he had been arrested. That was on the hill. John and Dembo Higgins came running down with sticks. I tried to push my man onto Town. Miller was between me and John and Dembo calling out where is the s__of a b__. They ran a little past Miller and he said, "Stop Boy".Then they turned and made for Miller. They did not seem to see me. Miller drew his pistols and he began to walk backwards. They advanced upon him threatening to kill him (Miller). Dembo was saying that he would cut out his d__ heart. Miller had his pistol drawn and was saying, "Stand back", and was walking backwards. One black man caught me around the back and another took my pistol and then the crowd had me down. I called to Miller after I was struck and asked him to shoot the men off of me. Several times he fired and all the men promptly got off me and I ran and I was about half way between the road and the house, (Miller was nearer the road than the men). The men ran back to the house, except Dewitt Jackson. Miller and I got together. Miller said that he had to shoot. We then came on to Town. Since then we have arrested John Higgins and Sam Higgins. John and Sam told us John A. Kinard claimed the house was his and that the people had no business there. The shooting was in the incorporated limits of the city. Dembo was found about 30 yards from where the shooting occurred. Miller was in the discharge of his duty as a policeman of this Town. It was necessary for Miller to fire to save his own and my life. There were at least 10 or 12 black men after Miller. I heard two pistol shots. That night the moon was hid behind the pines. The arising was enough to disturb the people and to keep them from sleeping as far up as Bob Leavell's. John A. Kinard lives just about where the shooting occurred. Some of the black men live on the place known as 'Generalport'. Kinard lives with a Negro. J. H. Chappel.

   Tom Alexander sworn: I live in Newberry. I was at J. A. Kinard's, about a mile from Town. The place where the difficulty took place. I went up to where they were. Miller had a pistol pointed at me. I told him who I was and then he let me alone. Two men were after Miller. He fired two shots on the hill. Miller was fussing? The parties. Someone threw a brick at him. Then he shot in the opposite direction. Saw no one fall. Saw several men after he shot. Miller was in danger. Several had J. H. Chappel down. Sam Higgins was on him. Sam's father pulled Sam off. After they were all gone I looked for Chappell's hat. Didn't go back in the house. Didn't hear any threats but there was cursing. Chappel and Miller were doing their duty. Didn't see any rocks but heard them passing me. Cursing was loud, they all talked like they were under the influence of whiskey. Dembo was next to the road. I helped to take the Sam Higgins off of Chappel.            

Tom (X) Alexander

   John A. Kinard being sworn says: I live in Newberry nearly a mile from this place. I saw nothing of a difficulty nor heard of one. Don't know much about it. Was sick in bed and didn't go about. A woman that cooks for me had supper there. She lives on the road 30 or 40 yards from where they had the supper. Higgins doesn't live on my place. I told them the night before. Told them they must keep order. I told several that the police had no right to interfere while they behaved themselves. I don't remember telling anyone that the police had no right there unless I sent for them. Up to the time the police got here it was quiet. I live about 60 yards from where Dembo was found this morning. Didn't see him yesterday. Could not see him from my house but could from the road. Was not out to the road yesterday. I heard of Sam Higgins living about 2 years. I found Dembo this morning with an open knife in his hand. Dembo was lying on his face. When I found him his mother said she hadn't seen him since Saturday. I think he died where he was found. Saw tracks there. I think that if there had been a disturbance the police would have been doing their duty. I only heard two shots fired. It was a little before 10 o'clock pm.   

John A. Kinard

   Tom Williams sworn says: I was coming to Town this morning. A man and a boy said there was a man out in the field. I went and found a man dead lying on his arm. It looked like a Barlow knife in his hand. I did not know the man. Only saw his tracks coming from the road. He came from the road just about the bridge. He wasn't carried there. I reported it to the coroner. His hand was closed on the open knife.     T. A. Williams

Dr. James McIntosh being sworn says: I hereby swear that I have this day on the 24th day of October 1887 examined the dead body of Dembo Higgins and find that from a gun shot wound the ball entered his left breast one inch to the left of the nipple between the fourth and fifth ribs, entering the left ventricle of the heart. There was sufficient cause for said wound to have caused death.             James McIntosh MD

 

State of South Carolina, Newberry County, 26 October 1887                                    

An inquisition indented and taken at Newberry Town in Newberry County the 26th day of October AD 1887, before John N. Bass Coroner for said County upon viewing the body of Baylus Taylor then and there being dead by the oaths of W. F. Ewart, G. M. Long, Pruet Todd, M.J. Scott, H. H. Kinard, Gary Coleman, J. W. Chappel, R. G. Perry, William Johnson, F. E. Huitt, R. W. Davis, H. Mittle, J. P. Aldridge and B. E. Dawkins who being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire for the State of South Carolina, where and by what means the said Baylus Taylor came to his death - upon their oath do say that the aforesaid Baylus Taylor came to his death from heart disease and so the jurors aforesaid do say that Baylus Taylor did die in the manner and form aforesaid in witness whereof, I, John N. Bass, Coroner aforesaid and jurors aforesaid to this inquisition have interchangeably have put our hands and seals this day and year above mentioned.  John N. Bass, Coroner

W. F. Ewart (Foreman), G. M. Long, Pruet Todd, M.J. Scott, H. H. Kinard, Gary Coleman, J. W. Chappel, R. G. Perry, William Johnson, F. E. Huitt, R. W. Davis, H. Mittle, J. P. Aldridge and B. E. Dawkins                                 

EVIDENCE              

P. H. Duckett being duly sworn says: I live in Newberry County. Mr. Taylor ate a hearty meal for supper and asked them to make a 'paley' before the fire and he would rest and he went to sleep and commenced snoring and made a little strangling sound. I called him and he did not wake. I put my hand on him and shook him. He threw his head back with his mouth open. I commenced to rubbing him and felt his pulse and he had none and then prepared to heat water and bathe him. But I thought then it was no use as he was gone. Went after Mr. Bass the coroner. Mr. Taylor had not complained any during the day. He had worked in the forenoon picking cotton. To my knowledge he was not subject to heart disease. I live in Newberry.    P. H. Duckett

This is a case where the jury demanded a doctor and I got Dr. Pope.  John N. Bass, Coroner              

State of South Carolina, Newberry County

I have examined the body of Baylus Taylor deceased and find from all of the circumstances concerning his death, I certify that he died on Oct. 25th 1887 of heart disease. Given under my hand and seal this Oct. 26th 1887.  Samson Pope MD

Subscribed and sworn to before me this Oct. 26, 1887  John N. Bass, Coroner

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School