Contributed by klstacy_home
Description: Carolinians TerrorizedDate: January 9 1897
Newspaper published in: Huntsville, AL
Page/Column: Page 1, Column 3
A Negro Desperado Kills Six Persons and Is Still at Large
COLUMBIA, S. C., Jan. 8.—Five men and one woman killed, one or two women assaulted and five men wounded is the record of Simon Cooper, a negro, since Jan. 1, in Sumter County.
After this, with hundreds of men hunting him, with a special train and a sheriff’s posse going from town to town this desperado, armed with pistol, Winchester rifle, bowie knife, razor and plenty of ammunition, is still at large.
He will not be taken alive. Cooper is the grandson of a white man, John Ashmore, who was a famous bad character in this state before the war.
On Emancipation day the negroes had a celebration at Magnolia, in Sumter County. Henry Davis and other negroes got into a row, and Davis shot at Cooper, whereupon Cooper killed him.
A warrant for his arrest was put in the hands of a posse of negroes. They went for the murderer and were met half way.
Cooper opened fire on the crowd, shooting six, one of whom has since died. He disappeared until Wednesday night, when he turned up at Lynchburg, Sumter County, and Thursday morning the bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Wilson and their son and a negro named Smith, shot with rifle and pistol and hacked with an ax, showed his terrible work.
Jake Dragan, a negro, living 5 miles from Sumter, went to Mr. W. S. Burkett, a white neighbor, Friday morning about 2 o’clock and said that Simon Cooper had come to his house and was there asleep. Burkett rode to Sumter with the news and a deputy sheriff with a posse of nine men immediately left.
Cooper is in the house alone and is well armed with Winchesters. The house is small and on a hill in the open, so that the posse cannot come within range with any degree of safety. A small 6-pound cannon used for firing salutes has been secured, and the only way to capture Cooper without the further loss of life, is to demolish the house in which he is barricaded. There is no ammunition for cannon in Sumpter, so it will be loaded with bolts and nuts.