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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thriller Thursday - Domestic Violence Turns Into Murder

Thriller Thursday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites. Are there murders, bizarre accidents or other thrilling stories among your family history? This is my submission this week!

Thomas Sloan Massengale and Susan Brown were the parent's of my husband's direct ancestor, Lora Massengale. Lora married John Langdon Wilder, my husband's great grandparents. Thomas and Susan also had a son named Oscar William Massengale. Lora and Oscar were siblings in a large family with a total of 10 children. This story is about Oscar's daughter, Ola.

Oscar William Massengill was born on 11/28/1885 in South Carolina to Thomas Sloan Massengale and Susan Brown.

1900 U.S. Census of Woodruff, Spartanburg County, SC, ED 111, Roll T623-1542, Sheet 14B, Lines 92-100, Taken 6/19/1900, "Thomas S. Massingill" or "Thomas S. Massingell", Dwelling 135, Family 136
Massingill, Thomas S., Head, W(hite), M(ale), Born in April, 1861, 39 years old, Married 17 years, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC, Farmer, Rents his farm, Can Speak English, Can read & write
Susan, Wife, W, F, Born in Nov, 1865, 34, Married 17 years, had 7 children of which 7 are still alive, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC,
Eller, Daughter, W, F, Born in Dec/1883, 16, Single, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC
Oscar, Son, W, M, Born in Nov, 1885, Single, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC,
John, Son, W, M, Born in March, 1888, 12, Single, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC,
Lora, Daughter, W, F, Born in June, 1890, 9, Single, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC, At school
Birdie, Daughter, W, F, Born in Aug, 1891, 8, Single, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC, At school
Lizzie, Daughter, W, F, Born in Dec, 1893, 6, Single, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC, At school
Ada, Daughter, W, F, Born in Feb, 1897, 3, Single, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC

He married Jamie Barnett about 1907 in Spartanburg County, SC. Jamie Barnett Massengill was born 12/7/1888 in South Carolina to James C. Barnett and Josephine Steen.

1910 U.S. Census of Reidville, Spartanburg County, South Carolina; Roll: T624_1473; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 84; Image: 41, Lines 93-96, "Jared Massingill" (sic, it's obviously Oscar Massengill but Ancestry.com has him indexed as Jared Massingill)
Jared Massingill, Head, M(ale), W(hite), 24 yrs old (DOB 1886), Married 3 yrs (DOM 1907), Born in SC, Both parents born in SC, Farmer of general farm
Larnie Massingill (sic, obviously Jamie Massengill but Ancestry.com has her indexed as Larnie Massingill), Wife, F, W, 21 yrs old (DOB 1891), Married 3 yrs, 2 children with 2 still alive, Born in SC, Both parents born in SC
Morie Massingill (sic, obviously Marie Massengill but Ancestry.com has her indexed as Morie Massingill), Daughter, F, W, 2 yrs old (DOB 1908), Born in SC, Both parents born in SC
??la Massingill (sic, obviously Ola Massengill but Ancestry.com has her indexed as ??la Massingill), Daughter, F, W, 1 yrs old (DOB 1909), Born in SC, Both parents born in SC

1920 U.S. Census of Woodruff,  Spartanburg County, South Carolina; Roll: T625_1711; Page: 17A; Enumeration District: 125; Image: 743, Lines 37-45, "Oscar ? Massengille" (sic, should be Oscar W. Massengill)
Oscar Massengille, Head, Rents farm, M(ale), W(hite), 35 yrs old (DOB 1885), Married, Can read and write, Born in SC, Both parents born in SC, Farmer of General farm
Jamie Massengille, Wife, F, W, 29 yrs old (DOB 1891), Married, Cannot read or write, Born in SC, Both parents born in SC
Marie M. Massengille, Daughter, F, W, 12 yrs old (DOB 1908), Born in SC, Both parents born in SC, Farm labor
Ola G. Massengille, Daughter, F, W, 11 yrs old (DOB 1909), Born in SC, Both parents born in SC, Farm labor
Andrew T. Massengille, Son, M, W, 8 yrs old (DOB 1912), Born in SC, Both parents born in SC
Horace W. Massengille, Son, M, W, 6 yrs old (DOB 1914), Born in SC, Both parents born in SC
George P. Massengille, Son, M, W, 4 yrs old (DOB 1916), Born in SC, Both parents born in SC
Edgar Massengille, Son, M, W, 10/12 mos old (DOB 1919), Born in SC, Both parents born in SC
Edwin Massengille, Son, M, W, 10/12 mos old (DOB 1919, Born in SC, Both parents born in SC

1930 U.S. Census of Woodruff, Spartanburg County, SC, Roll 2213, Pg 17A, ED 72, Image 374.0, Lines 21-29, Family 304, Dwelling 310, "Oscar W. Massingill"
Oscar Massingill, Head, Rents farm, Farm, M(ale), W(hite), 45 yrs old, Married at 24 yrs of age, Can read and write, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC, Farmer on General Farm
Janie Massingill, Wife, F, W, 42 yrs old, Married at age 19, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC
Andrew Massingill, Son, M, W, 19 yrs old, single, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC, Farm Laborer
Hasell Massingill, Son, M, W, 16 yrs old, Single, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC, Farm Laborer
George Massingill, Son, M, W, 14 yrs old, Single, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC, Farm Helper
Edgar Massingill, Son, M, W, 11 yrs old, Single, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC, Farm Helper
Edwin Massingill, Son, M, W, 11 yrs old, Single, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC, Farm Helper
Mary Lou Massingill, Daughter, F, W, 5 yrs old, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC
Leroy Massingill, Son, M, W, 4 4/12 yrs old, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC

Oscar William and Jamie Massengill had 9 children:
1) Mamie Marie Massengill (10/25/1907-7/22/2003)
2) Thomas Andrew Massengale (2/11/1910-11/22/1961)
3) Iola Gertrude Massengill (10/6/1908-7/15/1945)
4) William Horace Massengale (6/14/1913-3/19/2003)
5) George Posey Massengale (1/26/1916-9/24/1975)
6) Edgar Massengale (2/19/1919-
7) Edwin Massengale (2/19/1919-9/20/2001)
8) Mary Lou Massengale (2/23/1923-10/19/2010)
9) Leroy Massengale (11/20/1925-12/31/2006)

Oscar and Jamie had a daughter named Iola "Ola" Gertrude Massengale on 10/6/1908 in Spartanburg County, SC. Ola Gertrude married Thomas B. Leonard (aka Tom Leonard) about 1925 in Spartanburg County, SC. Thomas Leonard was born 9/5/1903 in Spartanburg County, SC to Thomas Newport Leonard and Alisa Ann Brannon.

Ola and Tom Leonard had 3 children:
1) Annie Lou Leonard (10/26/1933-
2) Thomas J. Leonard, Jr. (3/2/1926-12/17/2005)
3) William John Leonard (4/15/1928- )

1930 U.S. Census of Woodruff, Spartanburg County, SC, Roll 2213, Pg 17A, ED 72, Image 374.0, Lines 12-16, Family 301, Dwelling 307, "Leonard, Tom"
Leonard, Tom, Head, Rents farm, M(ale), W(hite), 27 yrs old, Married at age 22, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC, Farmer of a cotton farm
Leonard, Ola, Wife, F, W, 21 yrs old, Married at age 15, born in SC, Father born in SC,Mother born in SC, Farm Helper
Leonard, Tom Jr., Son, M, W, 4 0/12 yrs old, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC
Leonard, William, Son, M, W, 1 11/12 yrs old, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC
Leonard, Roy, Brother, M, W, 19 yrs old, Single, Born in SC, Father born in SC, Mother born in SC, Farm Laborer

Now comes the tragedy. Here is the newspaper article about the event (parenthesis mine):

Spartanburg Herald, 7/16/1945, Front page
Tom Leonard Dies After He Kills Two
Shoots Wife, Her Mother, Killed By Brother-In-Law
Pelham, July 15. In a family tragedy, 3 persons were shot to death at their home here about 11 tonight. Officer R.B. Colvin of Greer, one of the investigating officers, listed the trio as: Mrs. O.W. Massingale (Jamie Barnett, Mrs. Oscar William Massengill, mother of Ola Massengale Leonard), about 60; Her daughter, Mrs. Ola Leonard; Her son-in-law, Tom Leonard, 48. The officer said his investigation disclosed that Leonard shot his wife and mother-in-law through a door of the house with a .32 Smith and Wesson pistol. In turn, Leonard was shot to death by his brother-in-law, Leroy Massingale, 19, who used a double-barreled shotgun. "Family trouble" was the cause of the shootings, the officer said he was told. He quoted young Massingale as saying that Leonard threatened to kill every member of the family just prior to the triple-slaying. In slaying the 2 women, Leonard exhausted all of the ammunition in his pistol, Officer Colvin said, and he was engaged in reloading when he was shot. The slayings were reported by young Massingale, who gave himself up at the Greer City Jail. He still was being held at the jail at midnight. Sheriff B.B. Brockman and Coroner A.M. Cash were notified by County Officer Roy Lister, who accompanied Officer Colvin to Pelham. The bodies were carried to the Wood Mortuary in Greer, SC.

Spartanburg Herald, 7/18/1945, Pg 2
"Triple Rites To Be Held"
"Funeral services for Mrs. Jamie B. Massingale, Mrs. Ola M. Leonard and Thomas B. Leonard will be conducted at the gravesides in the Liberty Hill cemetery Wednesday afternoon at 4 by the Rev. N. H. Phillips and the Rev. Jennings Johnson."
"The following men are asked to meet at the cemetery at 3:45 and serve as active pallbearers: For Mrs. Massingale, Clyde Waters, Bryant Cooper, Denny Vaughn, Claude Brannon, Floyd Brannon and Wyatt Vaughn; for Mrs. Leonard, Wilton Perry, Harold Perry, Douglas Massingale, Blanche Gwynn, William Turner, and Fred Roddy; for Mr. Leonard, Baker McClimmon, Donald Wood, Nick Smith, Herman Smith, Eddie Waddell and Bub Brannon."
"The bodies will remain at the Wood Mortuary until the hour of the service."

If you have any comments, corrections or additonal information, please email me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com .

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