Saturday, June 14, 2014

June 14, 1915: Utes (Jules) Smith

The Greenwood Daily Journal (Greenwood S.C.)  dated June 14, 1915, had the following article starting on the front page and continuing on the 6th.


Mob Fires When Officer Refuses to Surrender Negro


While On Way to Court House With Negro Sheriff  is Mortally Wounded by Crowd—Adjt. Gen. Moore on the Scene.



(Special to The Journal. [SIC]
Columbia, June 14.—Gov. Manning was reached at the University of Virginia where he went to deliver an address.He immediately ordered out the militia.  Heavily-guarded automobiles carrying ammuniiton [SIC] left Columbia for Winnsboro at 11 o'clcok [SIC].  A general race war was feared.


(Special to The Journal.)

Winnsboro, June 14.—Sheriff Hood, four deputies and a private citizen named Isenhower were wounded and Utes Smith, a negro who was to have been tried today on the charge of criminal assault, was killed by an infuriated mob this morning while the officers were taking the negro to the court house.  

The wounded men were taken to Columbia on a special train and are now in a Columbia hospital. Sheriff Hood was shot four or five times and is not expected to recover, one bullet entering the abdomen. The other men do not seem to have been mortally wounded.


The negro who was kiled [SIC] today was brought to Winnsboro yesterday from the state penitentiary in Columbia where he was taken after his crime for safe-keeping. It had been whispered for several days that he would be lynched if he was brought back to trial, but Sheriff Hood placed little credence in the reports, although he took every precaution against mob violence. When the sheriff and his four deputies left the jail this morning with the negro prisoner a mob was formed immediately and the officers were commanded to give up their man. When Sheriff Hood showed that he would resist any attempt to turn the prisoner over to the mob shots from a number of pistols rang out, the officers fell wounded and the negro was then shot to death. The private citizen who was injured happened to be standing near when the firing began.


Soon after killing the negro, the mob dispersed and this afternoon the town is calm. Adjutant General Moore came to Winnsboro and took charge of the local military company after the killing.

A special train was rushed from Columbia and the wounded were taken to a hospital in that city.

Utes Smith is said to have confessed to Sheriff Hood that he criminally assaulted the wife of a prominent farmer of Fairfield county the latter part of April. He was captured at a small station near Columbia several days afterward by the sheriff and taken to the state penitentiary. At the time of the crime there was considerable excitement, but it was believed to have died down. 

The Manning Times (Manning, S.C.) June 16,1915.

Sheriff of Fairfield Dead Riot at Court House Door

Negro on Way to Trial Slain — Though Mortally Wounded, Sheriff Hood Takes Man Accused of Attempted Criminal Assault into Court Room Where He Falls Dead in Dock.

Judge John S. Wilson Presiding.

Winnsboro, June 15—Special: Sheriff A.D. Hood killed in performance of his duty, Jules Smith, a negro charged with criminal assault, and Clyde Isenhower, a relative of Smith's alleged intended victim, dead, Deputy Sheriff Earle Stevenson desperately wounded, his left arm being practicnlly [SIC] shot off, Rural Policeman J.R. Boulwar shot in the pit of his stomach and barely living, and Jesse Morrison, brother-in-law of Isenhower and a member of the attacking party, shot in the head, and several other deputy sheriffs wounded, tell the horrible results of an attack by a small mob on the sheriff here this morning while he was ascending the Court House steps with the negro who was to be placed on trial for his life. 

Sheriff Hood went to Columbia this morning and brought Jules Smith, the negro who was to be tried for the awful crime, back to Winnsboro to put him on trial for his life. The negro had been in the State Penitentiary for safe-keeping and the sheriff was accompanied by several deputies. This precaution was taken in view of certain threats said to have been uttered. The sheriff and his prisoner reached here in safety. With the negro walking between him and Policeman Haynes, the sheriff had started up the steps to the court house, when a fusillade of shots broke out. The first bullet struck the negro prisoner in the stomach with fatal results. The second bullet from the mob hit sheriff Hood.

Promiscuous Firing.

By this time the fusillade had become general, the mob firing promiscuously into the crowd which was following the sheriff and his party up the steps to the Court room,[SIC] As soon as he could draw his pistol Sheriff Hood returned the fire and several of his deputies joined in the affray. Sheriff Hood wos [SIC] shot five times three times in the stomach, in his right side, in left arm, and between shoulder and elbow. Deputy Sheriff Earle Stevenson who was right behind him, was shot twice in the left arm, practically severing it from hi body. One bullet struck Rural Policeman J. R. Boulware in his stomach probably fatally wounding him. Deputy Sheriff B. R. Beckman was shot in the left leg. Constable R. L. Kelley was shot in the thumb and right arm. Deputy Sheriff J. W. Broom received several bullets through his pants and one grazed his left foot. 

From all the information obtainable the consensus of opinion is that Clyde Isenhower began the shooting and it is said that his first bullet killed the negro prisoner. He himself was fatally wounded, being shot several times, and received thirteen openings in his body as a result of bullets lodging there. It is thought that Sheriff Hood directed his fire at Clyde Isenhower, for the sheriff emptied his pistol, Isenhower, after being shot to p8ieces, staggered into the sheriff's office and had nnbreached [SIC] his pistol and reloaded it before he fell faint from the loss of blood.


Jesse Morrison, a brother-in-law of Isenhower, and said to have been a member of the mob, received a scalp wound in his head and had a thumb shot away. D. F. Smith, a bystander, took refuge behind a tree and a bullet just grazed his stomach. Probate Judge W. L. Holley was standing in the door of the Court House at the time of the shooting and a bullet buried itself in the door facing at his side. Although mortally wounded, Sheriff Hood took the negro prisoner, who was sinking from the effects of the fatal bullet in his stomach, up the steps of the court house and into the room and pushed him into the dock before he succumbed. As he fell to the floor, he said to Solicitor Henry: "They have got me at last." The negro prisoner lived only about ten minutes.

Sheriff Hood, Deputy Sheriffs J. R. Boulware and B. R. Beckham were taken to Columbia on a special train, reaching there about 1:30 o'clock. Surgeons had Sheriff Hood on the operating table several hours and eighteen perforations were found in his intestines. He was given every attention, but his condition from the first was hopeless, and he died to night at 7:50 o'clock. Deputy Boulware has only a fighting chance for recovery, the bullet having lodged in  the pit of his abdomen. 


Clyde Isenhower, said to be the principal in the fatal tragedy and Deputy Sheriff Earle Stevenson were taken to Chester on the afternoon train, Dr. S. W. Pryor, their physician, said that Isenhower had been shot six or seven times, and had thirteen openings in his body. Deputy Stevenson will probably lose his left arm.

The other deputies received only slight wounds. Ernest Isenhower a brother of Clyde Isenhower, and Jesse Morrison a brother-in-law, were arrested this afternoon and lodged in jail, charged with the shooting. Other arrests are expected to follow. The grand jury has taken charge of the situation and is making a sweeping and rigid investigation. Foreman J. H. Coleman and his associates listened with serious attention this afternoon during the charge by Judge Wilson and the general opinion is that those responsible for the affair are going to have to answer for it. 

Clyde Isenhower, said to be the principal in the shooting, was a farmer, and resided in the Wateree section, about seven miles from here. He has a large number of brothers, one of them Ernest, who is in jail charged with taking part in the attack, has been teaching school in Clarendon county for two years. Another brother is rural policeman, another a town policeman here and still another pastor of string of Baptist churches in this county. Clyde Isenhower was put in the baggage car of the north-bound train this afternoon and taken to the hospital in Chester. He was accompanied by his wife. His aged mother was in tears when the train pulled out. By his side on another cot was Earle Stevenson, one of the deputies who had helped defend the prisoner, bleeding from the bullet wounds in his left arm. Jesse Morrison, the brother-in-law, is said to be from Great Falls, in Chester County. 


The people of Winnsboro are strong in their condemnation of the affair, and demand a vigorous prosecution of the guilty parties. They say that it has put a stain on their town, long known as a place where law and order prevailed and proud of their untarnished record in the past. They declare that the mob was composed of less than half a dozen, none of whom were Winnsboro people. They do not hesitate to say that the whole thing as planned, a conspiracy which they can find has only been paralleled by the Hillsville Va., tragedy.

The shooting took place at 10 o'clock this morning and by noon the town people were possessed of their accustomed calm, a seemingly deadly calm which foretold a determination to wipe out the stain which had unwittingly fallen upon them by bringing to speedy justice to those responsible. The people here did not understand the necessity for calling out the military company, but that brave body of men under Capt. J. B. Doty responded promptly when orders came from Columbia. 

They escorted Sheriff Hood and the two wounded deputies to the special train, which took them to Columbia, for there had been some idle talk that more shooting was imminent. The company dispersed, for there was nothing for them to do. The townspeople were amazed when two automobiles, carrying 4,800 rounds of rifle ammunition and 700 rounds of pistol ammunition raced in from Columbia. The detail, which brought the ammunition, was commanded by Adjt Gen J. Shapter Caldwell, for the report had been sent to Columbia that the company was without ammunition. The cars were guarded by a detail of men hastily enlisted in Columbia and the run from the Capital City here was made in record time. The detail returned to Columbia when they found the situation here was quiet. Several automobiles came from Columbia, but the excitement here lasted less than an hour; in fact, as one citizen said, it was all over before anyone knew what was going on. They best described it as "sounding like the popping of firecrackers." Court was to have convened here this morning, but after the tragedy it did not assemble until 3 o'clock this afternoon. There was an air of unusual solemnity pervading the court room, and Judge Wilsen [SIC] and the jurors all reflected by their actions and demeanor. The atmosphere impressed one with the feeling that those responsible for the tragedy were going to be held to "strict accountability." 


The blood-stained portals of this temple of justice cry aloud for the vindication of the majesty of the law, said Judge John S. Wilson in his vigorous charge to the Fairfield grand jury this afternoon, in which he denounced the shooting of Sheriff Hood and his deputies as "assassination" and called on the jury to make a thorough and sweeping investigation and to bring every one connected with the horrible affair to justice.

It is your duty, said Judge Wilson, to act and act in such a manner as to vindicate the law which has been so greatly outraged this day. 

Calling attention to the fact that he first presided as Judge in Winnsboro in September 1907.  Judge Wilson recalled the glorious history of Fairfield county "a county known for the manhood of its men and the purity of its women, a county where law and order reigned, but which this day has been outraged.  Did this happen on the borders of Arizona?  Did this happen in Mexico?  No, it happened in old historic Winnsboro, continued the judge.

"What man is there whose blood does not boil when he hears of the crime of which this poor wretch stood accused?"  Judge Wilson asked, adding that he had been informed that the negro had confessed and that everything was in readiness to give him a fair and impartial trial, and that the law would have been vindicated and justice done.  He said that men should control themselves in such circumstances, "but this morning men gave vent to their passions and took the law into their own hands, and with what result?  Your sheriff lies hovering between life and death.  The negro is dead.  Several deputies are badly wounded.  Talk about Mexico?  Here at the door of this court house lawlessness reigns.  It ought to shake the State of South Carolina from centre to circumference," emphatically declared Judge Wilson.


The Judge paid a glowing tribute to the brave sheriff who risked  his life in the performance of his duty.  "A man without a drop of coward's blood in his veins and I man whom I delight to honor:  I wish every sheriff in South Carolina was like him, and that we had thousands of such citizens," stated Judge Wilson, who praised the bravery, the devotion to duty and the action of Sheriff Hood, and called on the grand jury to bring the ones "guilty of this horrible crime" to justice.

Solicitor J. K. Henry was equally emphatic in his denunciation of the occurrence and took immediate steps to begin a vigorous prosecution of the guilty parties.  The matter was taken in hand by the grand jury and an immediate investigation was begun.

Coroner Smith empanelled a jury and, after viewing the remains of the dead negro, adjourned the inquest until a later date.  It is hardly probable that the coroner's jury will make much of an investigation, because the grand jury, being in session, will handle the whole matter.

Late this afternoon Ernest Isenhower and Jessie Morrison were arrested, charged with participating in the shooting, and both were lodged in jail.  It is understood that warrants have been issued for others and more arrests are expected to follow.

I have to again thank one of my helpers for helping me type these long articles.  

The Manning Times (Manning, S.C.) on July 21, 1915 covered the court case and the sensational evidence provided.  It also gave the verdict reached:

"We the coroner's jury, find that Adam D. Hood came to his death by gunshot wounds by Clyde Isenhower, Ernest Isenhower, Jesse Morrison and Jim Rawls, and others possibly unknown to the jury."

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