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People's Banner (MS)
People's Banner (MS)
Contributed by klstacy_home

Description: Local Laconics; Teachers Meeting;
The Tiger and Death - McKinney Kills Screws

Date: December 3 1897

Newspaper published in: Pontotoc, MS

Source: MSU Library

Page/Column: Page 3

================ Page 3, Column 1 =================
R. L. Ray has reduced prices on jeans pants.
Collars, cuffs, neckwear, etc., at wholesale prices. R. L. RAY.
Mr. Erastus Ray, of Blue Mountain, is selling goods for R. L. Ray.
I have purchased a line of drummers’ samples, consisting of ladies’ capes, shawls, hosiery, etc., and mens’ shirts and underwear which will be sold at wholesale prices.
R. L. RAY.
Messrs. W. H., J. H. and S. M. Barr are here, having been called to the bedside of their mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Barr, who is seriously ill.
Mr. T. B. Leland is here, making arrangements to remove his family to Water Valley, where we regret to say they intend taking up their residence soon.
Dr. Stookey’s jubilee singers who arrived Thursday evening of last week, entertained the doctor’s crowds Friday and Saturday. The doctor’s crowds Friday and Saturday. The doctor, with his singers have been in New Albany this week.

================ Page 3, Column 2 =================
Col. James Gordon, of the Okolona Sun, paid us a visit Saturday, and although we regret our absence from the office at the time, the colonel left us a copy of his paper, which courtesy is appreciated.
Teachers Meeting.
As previously announced in these columns, a teachers’ meeting was held at Toccopola, Saturday, Nov. 20th. Owing to inclement weather and the fact that the meeting had not been extensively advertised, only a few teachers were present. But nothing discouraged by the small attendance, the zealous few decided to arrange for another meeting to be held at Spring Hill, Saturday, Dec. 18th. The following program was agreed upon:
Devotional Exercises—Rev. W. A. Mayo.
Welcome Address—H. C. Wingo.
Response—J. W. Furr.
Permanent Organization—Importance of Teachers’ meeting—R. L. Crosthwaite.
Declamation—L. R. Powell.
Essay—Miss Mattie Lou Seale.
Grading County schools—J. A. Donaldson.
Essay—Miss Nora Furr.
(Noon Intermission.)
Debate—“Resolved that Attendance upon schools should be compulsory.” Affirmative, Frank Lantrip and D. F. Spradling. Negative, J. T. Carter and J. M. Pritchard.
Address—“Education”—Prof. J. G. Deupree.
Every teacher interested, trustee, patron or citizen is cordially invited to be present. We hope to make this occasion one of unusual interest and profitableness. Good music will enliven the proceedings, and the hospitable people of Spring Hill will give you a hearty welcome.

================ Page 3, Column 3 =================
Fruits of the Blind Tiger’s Unrestrained Condition.
There is hardly a man, woman or child within the corporate limits of Pontotoc who does not know that whiskey is illegally sold her. Everybody knows where it is sold and who sells it. Not merely the patrons of the places, but all classes, from preachers to politicians, are possessed of the same sad and inglorious truth. The violation of law and order in this particular is so open and notorious that on last Monday night a meeting of citizens was called to assemble in the court house to put a stop to it. The meeting was neither largely attended nor enthusiastic. A large proportion of those present seemed inspired merely with curiosity to see what would be done, and the “prominentest” citizens and “cracker-jack” moralists were conspicuous by their absence. The meeting was a miserable failure, and was adjourned without any practical results.
Tuesday morning, Sebe Screw, living about 12 miles west of here, kissed his young wife good-bye, and accompanied by his father-in-law and mother-in-law, came to town to purchase household goods, furniture, etc., with which to begin housekeeping, he having been married but about two months, Ben McKinney and John McKinney, father and son, and neighbors of Screws, also came to town on the same day to transact some business, and incidentally to diminish the supply of blind tiger liquor, which our own people on the previous night had failed to do. When the shades of evening were falling, all started for home, the two McKinneys with their skins full of liquid damnation and looking for trouble. Sebe Screws and Mr. and Mrs. Tom White (Screws’ father-in-law and mother-in-law) left a while before the McKinneys. Mr. White was ahead of all, in a wagon with a neighbor, and Mrs. White came on behind him in a wagon with her two little boys and accompanied by Screws on a mule. Just this side of the two mile post, on the Pittsboro road the McKinneys, who had been swearing and boiling over with their tiger medicine since leaving town, overtook Mrs. White’s wagon and Screws. Ben McKinney, who was horseback, rode up to the wagon and remarked to Mrs. White that “That was a d----d drunken crowd she had with her!” referring to Screws, who had been drinking some and to her husband on ahead, who was pretty full. Screws resented the remark, and after some words, McKinney rode on back to meet his son, who was driving an ox team. Mrs. White had in the meantime stopped her wagon and Screws dismounted from his mule to more securely arrange some of its contents, and it seems did not anticipate further trouble. The McKinneys shortly came up together. John stopped his wagon opposite that of Mrs. White, and began bantering Screws, which led to the two young men coming together, knocking and clinching. Mrs. White, who was an eye-witness to the whole affair, and who is our authority for this version of it, states that at that time she did not anticipate serious trouble, as her son-in-law was not really angry and McKinney was in that maudlin state of intoxication which is uncertain. The first intimation of danger was from old man McKinney, who suddenly became a participant by drawing a 44-calibre Colt’s revolver, placing the weapon against Screws’ right breast and firing. Screws cried: “I’m shot. I have enough,” but the plea for mercy was not heeded and another bullet crashed through his heart. Young McKinney then pulled his pistol, and clubbing the weapon, with the fury of a young demon jumped upon the prostrate and lifeless corpse and horribly mutilated it about the face with repeated blows.
================ Page 3, Column 4 =================
Having done with Screws, young McKinney then turned to Mrs. White, who had all the time been a frightened and helpless onlooker, and asked if she thought he had committed murder. She tremulously replied that she did not and begged McKinney to go on. Old man McKinney then took charge of his son and lifted him into his wagon, he being either too drunk to get in without assistance or more probably stubborn and intractable. They both started on up the road, and a few hundred yards further overtook the wagon in which was Tom White. Tom was drunk and helpless, but this did not deter young McKinney, whose thirst for blood was not yet satiated, and on seeing White he yelled that his son-in-law was dead back yonder apiece, “and now, G-d d—m you, I’m going to kill you.” With this he made for White and viciously assaulted him with the stock of his ox-whip, leaving him for dead. The McKinneys then continued their journey homeward, but were over-taken on the road by Sheriff Simmons and posse, who captured them without trouble and lodged them in jail here. We have not heard the McKinneys’ version of the killing and assault, but the above account from the statements of eye witnesses we think is in the main correct.
So far as we are able to learn, the sole cause of the tragedy was blind tiger whisky—nothing else. It is fruitful of a lesson which should produce good results, but as to whether or not it will, we are of course unable to say. At the present writing Pontotoc is pursuing the even tenor of her way—blind tigers and all. The dominant idea at the mass meeting the other night appeared to be for each fellow to shield himself and the county and municipal authorities from blame that might attach to all for the existing state of affairs, and every fellow seemed full of the desire not to be overzealous in giving battle to the tiger. This unpleasant duty was therefore shifted to the shoulders of the circuit court officials, and there it rests, we suppose with easy consciences by those who place it there. Had the citizens of Pontotoc done their full duty Monday night, it is hardly probable that the unfortunate tragedy of Tuesday evening would have happened, and now before God and man, who is responsible?


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