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THE SHERIFF'S -REPORT.
Newberry Officer Makes Official Be
port to Governor Ansel of the
Newberry, S. C., Nov..23, 1910.
To His Excellency, M. F. Ansel, Gov
ernor of South Carolina, Columb-Ia,
Dear Sir: A short time after 4
o'clock on the afternoon of the 25th
instar.t, I was notified over the tele
phone from Little Mountain, in this
(Newberry) county, that a school girl
(the name being given) had been mur
dered. I immediately got my deputy,!
and Messrs. William Swittenberg and
Forrest Summer, and with all possible
speed went to the scene of the mur
der. which, after arri-ing at Little
Mountain, I found to be in Lexington
county. I might say just here that
had I known before leaving Newberry
that the crime had been committed in
Lexington county, I would have gone
anyway. I arrived at the scene of the
murder at 6.45 p. m. the same after
noon, and found the' dead body of
the young lady who had been murder
ed, who appeared to me to be about
14 years of age, her neck being almost
severed from her body. In fact one
could hardly imagine a more ghastly;
scene or more horrible murder. I
then made inquiry of Dr. Sease, a phy
sician of Little Mountain, S. C., who
was examining and washing the
wound, as to whether the murdered
girl had been (suffered other wrong,)
and was informed by him that she had
not been. I talked with the father of
the young lady, who told me that while
he was on his plantation some dis
tance from the house where he had
some laborers at work, among them
a negro caaled Flute Clark, he had
sent the negro Flute Clark to the
house for a pick and a shovel and a
bucket of water; that the negro had
stayed away an unusually long time,
and upon his return did not bring
water from the well, but brought wat
er from the branch, and upon being
asked why he' brought branch water
instead of well water stated that he
had fallen down and spilled the weal
water and had then gotten branch wat
er. The father of .the girl stated that
when the negro returned with the
water his sleeves were rolled up.
Within a short time after this the
father of the girl heard his farm bell
ringing and upon going to his homne
to ascertain the cause, found the dead
body of: his daughter. In order that'
the real perpetrator of this dastardly
crime might be caught and brought to
justice I suggested that squads of men
be sent to a&l ferries on streams and
railway stations and that any and all
suspicious characters be arrested at
such places and minutely examined,
and that the houses around in the
neighborhood be searched for suspi
cious characters. In the course of
my investigation I was informed that
an old negro woman and .two children
were picking cotton near the home of
the murdered girl. I got Mr. Derrick
and drove to see these negroes who
had been .picking cotton and found
them at their home about a mile and
a half from the scene of the crime.
Upon making inquiry of this old negro
woman I was -told by her that she
could not see in the yard where the
crime was committed, from where she
had been picking cotton, and had not
seen anyone passing to or from the
Tlace where the crime was committed.
I of course made other and further in
vestigation and was hard at work on
the matter all the while. When I went
to search Flute Clark's house I found
it unlocked, the door simply being tied
with a cloth string, and Flute Clark's
wife being over at the home of her
father-in-law. After making this last
search I returned to the scene of the*
crime and about this time Mr. Miller,
the deputy sheriff of Lexington coun
ty, arrived, and a little later Sheriff
Corley, of Lexington, appeared on the
I might state that I never did get to
see the negro Flute Clark, but was
told that he had been accused of the
crime, caught and 'spirited away by
the infuriated crowd to whom it was
rumored he had made a confession.
There was still left at the scene of
the crime a tremendous crowd, whom
I begged to have the negro turned;
over to Sheriff Corley, as he certainly
woum1I~ be hurt as he had made a con
fession; at the same time I knew I
was wasting breath in urging this
course, for I have never seen a more
determined, yet orderly, body of men
of from 500 to perhaps a thousand.
At 10.15 o'clock that night we heard
volleys of rapid firing at a distance,
and knew then that it was all over.
From my investigation T believe th'e
negro Flute Clark kililed this young!
In conclusion I might say that I do
not bellieve all the sheriffs in the State
and their deputies could have prevent
ed this ending.1
Yours very truly,
M. M. Buford,
Sherif of Newherry County, S. C.
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