Sunday, May 17, 2015

Adventurous Ancestor: Archibald Colombat Yow Jr.

While researching one of my cousin lines today, I found a very interesting newspaper story.

Arch Yow is my 1st cousin twice removed. His full name is Archibald Colombat Yow Jr. and he is the grandson of my great-great-grandfather, John Henry Yow.

Archie Yow was born in 1916 in Henderson, North Carolina and he lived in North Carolina until at least 1953. He traveled to Niagara Falls (Canadian side) when he was 18.

Yearbook photo of Archie C. Yow at East Carolina Teachers College

He attended East Carolina Teachers College and University of North Carolina, with a stint in the army in between. In 1943 he was listed in a city directory as an engraver, and in 1944 he was listed as a student.

The sailboat incident happened in 1949. It must have been quite famous because besides this article that appeared in the Danville Bee on November 15, 1949, versions of this story also appeared in newspapers in Wisconsin, Indiana, and more.

The next record found of him is a document that has him traveling 1959 from Havana, Cuba, to England. The document said he planned to be in England for about 2 months to study and write.

After that, not much is known, except that in 1995 he was in Seguin, Texas, and in 2000, he was in Corpus Christie, Texas. I could find no evidence that he ever married or had children.

I could not find a death date for him, but I did find an obituary for his brother-in-law, Boyd Mack Stokes, that mentioned that Boyd's wife Ada had one remaining brother living, Alexander Jensen Yow. Boyd passed away in 2012, so Arch must have passed away between 2000 and 2012.

What an adventurous life he led!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Black Sheep Sunday: Charles Frederick Hisey

Today I was looking at a newspaper site for information on a distant Hisey cousin, when I ran into a newspaper account from a newspaper in Moberly, Missouri, of a "Fred Hisey" being arrested in Washington, DC, for murdering Virginia Lyttle, described as a "roomer in his house."

This of course piqued my interest. I love a good scandal.

(As far as I can see, there is no connection between Fred Hisey and Moberley Missouri--so basically this story got distributed by something like AP and picked up by newspapers all over the country.)

Further searching led me to two articles in the Shenandoah Free Press. The first one, from August 22, 1935, read as follows:

"Charles Fred Hisey, 52 year old linotype operator, of Washington, who was arrested charged with the murder of his sister-in-law, Miss Vergie Lyttle and wounding officer Robert T. Talbert of the Washington Police force, was employed as a linotypist in Woodstock in 1925. It was further pointed out that he was born in Edinburg and was the son of the late Homer Hisey. He has a brother, Russell Hisey, employed as a barber in the city of Harrisonburg. According to a Washington newspaper story, Hisey killed his kin following a dispute over a personal loan of $200."

The 2nd article was from April 2, 1936:

"On last Friday Charles F. Hisey, native of Edinburg and former employee of the Herald printing office at Woodstock, was sentenced to life imprisonment in District of Columbia Court following a charge of killing Miss Vergie R. Lyttle last August. The prosecution charged that Hisey had killed the young department store clerk on account of jealousy because of attentions paid by other men. The defense contended that Hisey, age 52, married and with a family, had threatened to commit suicide in the presence of the ultimate victim and that in her effort to prevent the rash act, Miss Lyttle was mortally wounded by the bullet fired in the struggle from the pistol held by Hisey."

Charles Frederick Hisey's Early Life

Charles Frederick Hisey was born to Joseph Homer Hisey and Phoebe Scothern Hisey on December 5, 1882.

When he was 18, he enlisted in the army, and remained in the army for a total of 10 years, until August 1911. He lived on army bases in Virginia and New York.

The next record I could find of Charles or Frederick was his marriage to Grace Christian, in Richmond Virginia, in March of 1916. This record is confirmed because it lists his parents, Joseph and Phoebe, although it lists his middle initial as T. rather than F. Sadly, Grace passed away on September 29, 1916 and is buried in Union Forge Cemetery in Edinburg, Virginia.

His next location was in St. Louis, Missouri. He registered for the draft for WWI in Sept. of 1917 or 1918. He lists his father in Edinburg, Virginia, as his contact person.

I could not find a listing for Charles or Fred Hisey in the 1920 census. The article quotes above say that he worked for a printer in Woodstock in 1925.

In 1930 he appears in a Washington, D.C. census, married to Eunice Reynolds, no children.

After the Murder

Charles Frederick Hisey was incarcerated at the D.C. Reformatory Prison, where he appears on the 1940 census. That prison was actually located in Fairfax County, Virginia.

It is unknown whether he died in prison, or was paroled before his death, but he died in 1952, only 16 years after his sentencing.

His wife Eunice died in 1981 and they are buried under a united headstone in the Old Edinburg Cemetery, Edinburg, Virginia.