A Newspaper Article about Kinchen D. Lewter

This article appeared in a historical edition of the Corinth Herald dated December 15, 1903. It recounts the events leading to the death of Kinchen D. Lewter at the hands of members of the Ku Klux Klan. Kinchen D. Lewter was the first husband of Margaret (Maggie) Mae Cave, daughter of James Cave and Rebecca Garrett Gardner.

Two Killed at Burnsville

In the fall of 1868 Jack Hardwick hauled to Burnsville and sold a bale of cotton. Later in the day he was held up in the streets and the money taken from him by Jack Davenport, who was credited with being the leader of a gang of hard characters infesting that neighborhood. Hardwick subcribed to an affidavit setting forth the above facts and a warrant was issued by a justice of the peace and placed in the hands of Sheriff Beall.

On the 15th of December the sheriff was informed that the Davenport gang intended to hold up the Memphis and Charleston pay car, due to pass through Burnsville that night. Sheriff Beall deputized Jim Patrick, Tom Wade, W. D. Davis, W. R. Smith and Jack Hardwick, and hastening to Burnsville surrounding the town shortly after dark. Slowly closing in, the officers encountered the Davenport crowd, and in the pitched battle which followed, Jack Davenport was killed by W. R. Smith, and Tobe Charlton and a man named Luter, were captured, the remainder of the gang escaping. Sheriff Beall also found in the town Port Lawson and Jess Weathers, for whom he had warrants charging misdemeanors, and they were arrested, but were in no manner connected with the Davenport gang.

The sheriff had more prisoners than he could safely escort to Jacinto with the small force at his command, as it was to be expected that the members of the gang who had made their escape would attempt to rescue their comrades. Leaving Charlton and Luter at the Burnsville depot under guard of the posse, and taking Lawson and Weathers, the sheriff hurried to Jacinto and safely landed his prisoners in the county jail. Returning to Burnsville as soon as possible Sheriff Beall found that the Ku Klux had been there during his absence and had taken Charlton and Luter from the guard and shot them, the bodies being laid out on the depot platform. A few nights later Lawson and Weathers were taken from the county jail by the Ku Klux, of which organization it was supposed they were members, and liberated.

[ back to resources page ] [ back to miscellany menu ]