The Huntsville Daily Times
The Huntsville Daily Times
Contributed by klstacy_home

Description: Trailing His Wife To Get Back Children

Date: April 30 1911

Newspaper published in: Huntsville, AL

Source: Library

Page/Column: Page 1, Column 3

TRAILING HIS WIFE TO GET BACK CHILDREN
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Special to The Daily Times
CLAYTON, Ala., April 29 – Late this afternoon while a slow rain steadily fell, there drove through the streets of this place, a man, haggard and worn. Upon his face grew the stubble of a beard months old, while he wore a sad, wistful countenance. His horse was but a poor nag who showed signs of fatigue from constant going.
The vehicle in which he rode bore evidence of many a weary mile of travel.
He drove up to a corner, halted and looked about. He spoke to someone standing near and very soon there was an interested group standing about his dilapidated team. He had a story to tell and a sad story it was in truth.
He gave his name as W. E. Boatright, and said that the was trailing a man named Arthur McGowan, who had taken from him his wife and two little children and fled. He said as for his wife and McGowan, he cared not, but he loved his children and wanted them. For them he was searching day and night.
On December 13, last, he left his home in Escambia county, to take up this search in which were his heart and his life. They had a start of a day over him before he knew they were gone.
Then on learning it, he immediately followed.
Everywhere he inquired, he was told that a man and a woman with two children, driving a poor, black horse, had been seen to go by the day before.
With those encouragements, he plodded on his weary way. Then again he would inquire. Again would he be told the same tale?
Often-times he would go twenty or thirty miles before he found any one who had seen them. During those periods, he suffered the suspense of not knowing whether or not he was on the right trail. Many times was he compelled to turn about and retrace his journey to take another lead.
In this delay, he lost much precious time, and again, when he inquired, he would be told that a man and a woman with two children, driving a poor, black horse, were seen to pass that way three days before. Discouragement would come with this intelligence, but with it happiness too, in the knowledge that once more he was surely following, and his two little ones were on ahead.
Last Tuesday afternoon, there was seen to drive through the streets of this place, a man and a woman, with two children, driving a poor, black horse. They did not stop but plodded on, and no thought was given to them.
Today the lone stranger, with the haggard face and the dilapidated team, inquiring after a man and a woman with two children, driving a poor, black horse.
With courage and determination, he has with precision followed them thus far and is now two days behind. He is hopeful—ever hopeful—that he will sooner or later overtake the fugitives; they, in the knowledge that he follows, keep on with equal determination to maintain a distance between he and them.
Mr. Boatright tells a pathetic tale of his privations and sufferings in his County on December 13, he has been over a large portion of the State of Florida, five times over the State of Georgia, and now he has come into Alabama, the sixth time. He says that the fleeing ones have never been more than three days ahead of him, and on one occasion, he was within a quarter of a mile of them and did not know it. At the time he had stopped at a hotel in Dothan, Ala., for a brief rest. They passed through the town and were more than a half day’s journey before he knew anything about it.
When he asked how many miles he had travelled in the four and one-half months, he smiled a careworn smile, and as a tear glistened in his eye, he answered:
“Mister, I sure couldn’t never tell you.” His story touched the hearts of the throng about him. A purse was made up and given to him, oats were brought and fed to his horse, and he was prevailed to stop here and rest for the night.

Submitted: 08/13/11

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