Death for Blacks Who Invaded Home

Source Type: Newspaper
Publisher: The Montgomery Advertiser
Place of publication: Montgomery, Alabama
Date of publication: 1909-09-16

Demopolis, Sept. 13 – (Special) – News of the killing of two negroes, following the slaying of a white woman was received today from Bellamy, a lumber camp in Sumter County, about twenty miles west of here on the Southern Railway.

Two negroes, Robert Gully and Simon Holly, early this morning, entered the home of R. T. Gray. The noise awakened Mrs. Gray and when she failed to heed the order to stop screaming she was shot and killed by Gully.

Gray, who occupied an adjoining room, rushed to his wife’s rescue and engaged in a death struggle with Gully. In the fight he brained the negro with an axe, but not until he was shot in the leg.

Holly made his escape from the house during the fight but was captured this morning and killed by a posse of Gray’s neighbors.

About 12 o’clock Mr. and Mrs. Gray were quietly sleeping. When she awoke she saw a negro in the room. She called her husband, who was sleeping soundly. The negro, Robert Gully, told her to keep quiet or he would kill her. She again celled her husband and the negro shot her brains out, killing her instantly. By this time her husband awakened and the negro opened fire upon him, striking him twice, once in the hand and leg. Gray grabbed the negro, who in the scuffle succeeded in getting out of the house, gray struggling all the time with the brute.

Gray’s hand stuck an axe in the yard and with it he fought the brute until he killed him. By this time the people of the village were aroused and reached the scene. The negro, Simon Holly, had been seen by someone running from the scene and a chase was made for him. This morning his body was found in the woods filled with shot.

The dead negroes had in their pockets money and purses of different people they had stolen. They had been robbing people, but had succeeded in evading detection. They were employed by the Allison Lumber Company.

Mr. and Mrs. Gray were young people and had been married only a few months. He is a trusted employee of Allison Lumber Company, he and his wife came from Chilton County and were esteemed by the people of Bellamy.