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The herald and news. (Newberry S.C.) 1903-1937, October 20, 1903, Image 1

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86063758/1903-10-20/ed-1/seq-1/

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Negro Odd Fellows Hall Was Burned--As
sistance From Newberry Was
Asked and Rendered.
Serious race trouble was threat
ened at Vaughanville, in the upper
portion of the county,near the Lan
rens line, on Friday night. The
trouble, however, seems to have
passed over without other serious
result than the burning of the ne
gro Odd Fellow's hall, the mem
bers of which organization were
supposed to be at the bottom of the
trouble which was expected.
On Friday afternoon the report
became circulated at Vaughanville
that the negroes had sent to Chap
pells for arms, and that they would
hold a meeting at the Odd Fellows'
hall Friday night, after which they
would wait on young Clarence M.
Brooks, who on Saturday night a
week ago shot and killed a negro,
Raymond Sizer, as the coroner's
jury said, in self-defense, and that
they would also call upon the gen
tlemen who helped to bury Sizer.
The account of this shooting, to
gether with the evidence taken at
the coroner's inquest, was pub
lished in The Herald and News at
the time. Sizer was a prominent
member of the negro lodge of Odd
Fellows, which has long been a dis
turbing element in the community.
It will be remembered that after the
inquest Sizer's relatives or any
other negroes refused to touch the
body, and that a coffin was made
and the body buried by the white
people, the members of the coro
ner's j ury and young Brooks' attor
ney, Mr. Cole. L. Blease, assisting
in the interment. The relatives of
the dead negro had ordered a coffin
from Cross Hill, but turned it back
when it reached Vaughanville.
Next day after the body was buried
by the white pt. ple the negroes
opened the grave, placed the body
in another coffin, and reburied it at
a pcint about a mile distant from
the first grave. The reason for
this action and why the negroes
should wish to call upon the white
men who buried the body, is unex
Since Sizer's death the negro Odd
Fellows, of which lie was a mem
ber, have held very frequent meet.
ings, a representative of The Herald
and News was informed by the peo
ple of Vaughanville, and have miade
numerous threats. These threats,
taken in connection with the re
ports which became circulated Fri
day afternoon, caused great excite
ment in the community, and seri
ouis trouble was feared.
A 'phone message was sent to
Newberry- for assistance at about
four o'clock Friday afternoon, and
a party of twelve inmnediately left
for Vaughanville, twenty-one miles
distant. Whleni the Newberry pairty,
alccomplaniied by a representative of
Th'le H erald anid News, arrived ont
the scene, there was no inid icationi
of trouble, e xcep)t there were abt)l
thirty five white men ini the little
store of Mr. Whit Goodwyn, artmed
to the teeth with dlouble- barrelled
shot guins anmd small arms, and p)re
pared to meet any trouble which
umight occur. The addition of the
Newberry party made about fifty.
No negroes were seen, and their cab
ins looked deserted.
A meeting was called to order by
Mr. Cole L. Blease and the situa
tion was discussed. A detachment
of twelve men was sent to the Odd
Fellows' hall at about 9 o'clock to
see if the expected meeting of ne
groes would be held. There was
no light in the building and no one
was found.
Shortly after the prrty returned
to the store, the building, a loosely
constructed, two-story frame:struc
ture, was seen to be ablaze, and it
soon burned to the ground. The
conflagration lighted up the coun
try for miles around. The build
ing was the property of the negro
Odd Fellows and was not of any
great value. The first floor was
used for a negro school. It was sit
uated about a quarter of a mile
from Mr. Goodwyn's store and was
near an old negro- church. The
fire occurred some time before ii
o'clock. How it started is not
The situation was again discussed.
It was proposed to visit the negroes
who are supposed to be the ring
leaders and to give them correction,
but this motion was immediately
opposed by Mr. Fred H. Dominick,
who was seconded by Mr. Blease
and the officers of the law, Deputy
Sheriff Duncan Johnson and Con
stable C. G. Blease, and the propo
sal was almost unanimously voted
down, the gentlemen present say
ing emphatically they had come to
protect the white people of the com
munity and young Brooks, and not
to create a disturbance.
It was feared that trouble might
result later in the night, and it was
decided that the men should sleep
under arms, and sentinels were
posted. A number slept in the
store and the others in the sur
rounding homes.
The representative of The Herald
and News called upon young Brooks'
father. Mr. Brooks said he was
convinced that, had not prompt ac
tion been taken and assistance re
ceived, the negroes would have at
tempted hurt to his family, and es
pecially his son, during the night.
Nothing unusual developed dur
ing the night and next morning
most of the party returned to their
homes, several remaining in case
any further trouble occurred.
The negro Odd Fellows, whose
hall was burned, The Herald and
News man was informed by the
people of Vaughan cille, has exer
cised a baneful influence over the
negroes of the community since
their organization several years ago.
The names of Isaac Fortune, Jones
Pitts, WVest Bates, Jimi Wade and
Ben 'Watts were given as the ring-.
leaders. It is said tihe hall has
been used as a general assembly
hall for tihe negroes, where they
met uinder the mantle of secrecy
and hatched their schemes without
fear of interrup)tion. . Whlen a rep
resenItative of The Herald and
News passed by tihe site of the haill
on his return hiome Saturday morn
inig, the embei)rs wvere still smnould
enring. Posted arountd on the trees
were notices;, signed by officers of
the lodge, war-ninmg all against smiok
ing on thme premiises.
T'his is the third race troule
thtreatened at Vaughauiville in re
cent years. Several years ago it
was said a negro doctor in the com
miunity, a negro named J. A. Leit
ner, was seeking to incite a negr
uprising and there was a great deal
of excitement for a time, with the
result that the doctor was run out
of the community. A year later
the same experience was repeated
with another negro doctor, J. W. T.
Patterson, with the same result.
Clarence Brooks, the young ian
who killed the negro Sizer, and
whose act was the cause of the
threatened negro uprising, is the
seventeen-year-old son of Mr. C. A.
Brooks. He is under $200 bond
and it is said will be prosecuted.
It is a matter of congratulation
to the people of the community and
the whole county, that the affair on
Friday night ended with so little
serious results. Had there been
any demonstration by the negroes
there is no doubt that blood would
have been freely spilt.. All is quiet
for the present, but it is not know
at what time the trouble will break
out again.
It has been reported on the streets
ofNewberry and elsewhere through
out the county that early Friday
night a negro, carrying a lighted
lantern, was seen near the Odd Fel
lows' hall, and that when he was
questioned and replied that he was
a black man, lie was fired upon and
killed. A representative of The
Herald and News reached the scene
shortly after 8 o'clock Friday night
and remained until 7 o'clock Satur
day morning, and no such act came
within his notice. It may be that
some one was fired upon, but it
appears that the report that any
one was killed is unfounded.
The party that went up to
Vaughanville from Newberry went
to protect the people of Vaughan
ville if it should be necessary and
not to create a disturbance, and the
Newberry party kept strictly with
in the purpose for which it went.
Items of More or Less Interest Condensed
In the State.
F. A. Walker, a young mill oper
ative of Columbia, accideutally shot
and killed himself on Saturday
afternoon while out hunting.
A mass meeting of the citizens of
Dillon was held on Saturday at
which a resolution was unanimously
adopted strongly condemning the
acquittal of James H. Tillman.
Sam McIlwain, an old negro
about 70 years of age, was instant
ly killed in Lancaster- on Saturday
afternoon, by being struck and
thrown off a trestle in the suburbs
of the town by an outgoing passeni
For the first time in her athletic
history, South Carolina College on
Saturday at Athens, Ga., de
feated the University of Georgia on
the gridliron. the score resulting 17
to o. On the samie., day Clemson
defeated the Georgia Tlechis, at
Atlanta, by a score of 73 to o.
A bout two weeks ago a mian from
the Northw~est , well dlressedl and(
ap)paren tly wvell-to-do, w~andered
inlto Rock II ill. I s mem'tiory
seemued to have failed him t-ntireiv
an f11 or two weeks he could give no
account of huimself, not even his
name. IHe was placed in a hospital
and gradually his memory has re
turned and he has established his
[tems of More or Less Interest Condensed
Outside the State.
Secretary Moody has approved
the estimates for the support of the
navy for the next fiscal year,
amounting to $102,866,449, as
against $79,816,791, appropriated
for the last fiscal year.
As the result of a fire in the
Grady hospital, at Atlanta, on
Saturday, a number of lives were
threatened, and two negro women
died from the effects of the excite
ment. The property loss was very
The Alaskan Boundary commis
sion, which has been in session in
London, to fix the boundary lines
between Alaska, the property of
the United States, and Canada,
have reached an agreement which
is a distinct victory for the United
Charles H. Weifenbach, of Day
ton, Ohio, choked his wife to death
in bed at 5 o'clock on Saturday
morning. He offered no excuse
save that they had spent the night
quarrelling. He gave himself up
to the authorities.
The International Bank and
Trust Co., of Mexico City, Mexico,
which had a branch institution in
New York, has failed. Within the
past week depositors took out more
than $6oo,ooo, and the bank could
not stand the strain.
Fifteen persons were killed and
forty injured on Saturday in a col
lission on the Pennsylvania railroad
near Trenton, N. J. The persons
killed and injured were laborers on
a work train, which while standing
still waiting for orders, was run
into from the rear by a gravel train.
United States Consul General
Skinner, of Marseilles, is preparing
to make an expedition into the
wilds of Abyssinia, to propose to
King Menelick the opening of dip
lomatic relations with this country.
Mr. Skinner will start in about a
week and will be accomoanied by
The employes of the Pacific Ex
press Company, in St. Louis, have
gone out on a strike. The officers
of the company say their. business
is not being interfered with to any
considerable extent, but it seems
that, the business on several of tihe
lines has been considerably tied up.
The strikers say they are satisfied
with the conditions.
About fifty girls, employed in a
rag factory in New York, went out
on a strike and tile firm refused to
raise their wvages and employed
Italians to carry onl the work.
When then Italians came out of the
factory in the afternoon they were
attacked by the girls and a free
fight ensued,. in which several of
the girls were stabbed, one of t hemt
Ini ordler to vind~hicate h:is negro
policy in the S~outh, P'resident
Roosevelt is thirow intg thle infl uenuce
of his adin iistratijon to elect the
Republican ticket in Marylanud, and
thuns discredit his p)olitical enemies
and greatly feared rival for p)resi
dential honors, Senator Gormnan.
This interference has aroused the
outspoken ind(ignationl of Senator
Gorman and other leaders of the
Physician, Near Asheville, Crazed by
Drink Beats His Three Children to
Death with a Hammer.
A special Irom Asheville, N. C.,
to Raleigh, N. C., dated Satur
day says : One of the most terri
ble crimes ever committed in North
Carolina occurred today, when Dr.
J. V. Jay, a well-known physiciau
of Buncombe County, living at
Barnardsville, twenty miles north
of Asheville, killed with a claw
hammer his three children, aged 2,
4 and 9 years. It is said that Jay
had been drinking heavily for near
ly two weeks, and last night forced
his wife to leave home. Mrs. Jay
returned this morning, and was
preparing breakfast, when her hus
band attacked her again and ran
her out of the house. She started
for a neighbor's to get help and
left the children crying on the
porch. When the mother was
gone Jay killed all three of the
children, whose lifeless bodies were
found lying on the porch. After
committing the deed Jay went into
the house ai% attempted to set it
on fire, but the men who returned
with Mrs. Jay rushed in and over
powered him, and extinguished the
flames. Jay was then bound hand
and foot, and Sheriff Reed notified.
The sheriff brought Jay to Ashe
ville tonight.
Dr. Jay, when asked tonight if he
did not know that he was killing'
his children said that he knew he
was, but that hejust could not stop;
that he loved his children and he
knew he was going to kill them.
He says he is sorry he committed
the crime, but that it can't be
helped and there is no use to gri-ve
over it.
After the tragedy Dr. Jay wrote
to his wife saying: "I have com
nitted an awful crime. Will you
To this Mrs. Jay replied: "I
forgive you and hope to meet you
in Heaven."
The Resignation of Dr. Cromer.
Dr. Ceo. B. Cromer, who has suc
cessfully served as president of
Newberry College for a number of
years, has resigned this position and
will return to the practice of law, in
which profession lie had won an
enviabl-) reputation when he left it
to take the presidency of the college.
Dr. Cromer's retirement from the
head of the institution where lhe has
made so splendid a record is a gre'at
loss, not only to Newberry College;
but to the cause of education gener
ally. With voice and pen he has
done much to advance both second
ary and higher education in the
State, and his has beeni one of the
voices ''cryinmg in the wilderness,"
preparing the way and making the
p)athls straight for the comning of
b)etter and grander things edluca
tionally than we have ever seen.
D)r. Cromner is highly pop)ular whecr
evecr he is kn mown and his friends
all over the State look for fresh
laurels to be won byv him in the
work to whlich lie will soon1 (levoteL
1his energie. ---Srnit er II er.ald.
D ck( W\ilsoni, coloredl, hias b een
conlvictedl of rapc inl M\arioni County,
the crimei having been cornmmit ted
upon an 8-year-old negro girl. Sen:
tence has not yet been passed, but
the negro wvill probably suffer the
death nenalty

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