Revolting Crime in Sumter: Negro Burglars Murder White Woman

Source Type: Newspaper
Publisher: The Choctaw Advocate
Place of publication: Butler, Alabama
Date of publication: 1909-09-22

Under date of September 13th, the following special was sent to Demopolis: “A most horrible and revolting crime was committed by two negroes at Bellamy, Sumter County, last night. Robert Gully and Simon Holly were the two fiends.

About 12 o’clock Mr. and Mrs. R. T. Gray were quietly sleeping when Mrs. Gray was awakened and 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 called 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 in the hand and leg. Gray jumped and grabbed the negro, who, in scuffling, succeeded in getting out of the house, Gray struggling all of the time with the brute. Fortunately Gray’s hand struck 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 on the spot. The negro Simon Holly, had been seen by someone running from the scene and a chase was made for him. This morning he was found in the woods filled with lead.

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

Mr. and Mrs. Gray were young people and had been married only a few months. He was a trusted employee of the Allison Lumber Company. He and his wife came from Chilton County and were from good families and “were well esteemed by the people of Bellamy.”


(1909, September 22). Revolting Crime in Sumter: Negro Burglars Murder White Woman. The Choctaw Advocate, pp.1.