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Thursday, January 05, 2017

Officer Down - The Story Of The Murder Of Thomas Hunter Rollins In The Line Of Duty

I am not related to Thomas Hunter Rollins. I was working on my ancestors, Nathan Marmaduke Lamb and Orpha Rollins when I came across his tragic story. Marmaduke Lamb and Orpha Rollins had a son that was my direct ancestor, John Rollins Lamb. They also had a daughter named Margaret "Polly" Ann Lamb (John Rollins Lamb's sister) who married William Riley Rollins. William Riley Rollins' family has been difficult to suss out.

William Riley Rollins (DOB 9/30/1821 in TN; DOD 1/14/1907 in Greene County, TN) had 2 or 3 families. He  married Margaret "Polly" Ann Lamb on 4/23/1850 in Greene County, TN. Margaret Ann Lamb was born 8/7/1826 in Greene County, TN to Nathan Marmaduke Lamb and Orpha Rollins. I have proof of their marriage.

Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002
Name: William Rollins
Gender: Male
Marriage Date: 23 Apr 1850
Marriage Place: Greene
Spouse: Margaret Lamb

William Riley Rollins and Lou Hensley had 1 known son:

1) Seth Rollins (DOB Abt 1837 in TN; DOD Abt 1864 in ? ) married Catherine Louisa "Lou" Hulda Hensley (DOB Abt 1840 in TN; DOD After 1870 in ? ). They had Mary "Polly" Ann Rollins, Emaline Rollins (aka Emma Rollins, Emily Rollins, Emiline Rollins) married John Calvin Arwood, Nancy Elizabeth "Bettie" Rollins married John Carter.

William Riley Rollins and Polly Lamb had 1 known child:

1) William G.C. Rollins (DOB About 1849 in Greene County, TN; DOD ? in ? ) married Catharine Smith. They had John Rollins, Pugh Rollines, Walker Rollins and Joseph Rollins. I was unable to follow this family. I found him in the 1850 U.S. Census before his marriage. He is married with his young family in the 1880 U.S. Census. After that I couldn't find anything else on him, his wife or sons.

Margaret Ann Lamb died 1/13/1903 in Greene County, TN. She is buried at Rehobeth United Methodist Church cemetery, Greene County, TN. (36.01580, -82.85190)

William Riley also had 2 known children with Vianna Shelton (DOB 3/9/1853 in Shelton Laruel, Madison County, NC; DOD 1/31/1914 in Greene County, TN).

1) William Emanuel "Manly" David Rollins (DOB 3/31/1874 in Shelton Laurel, Madison County, NC; DOD 5/18/1948 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN) married Florence Ann Collins. They had Fannie Jane Rollins, Thomas Hunter Rollins, Katie Rollins, Arthur Cooper Rollins, John Noel Rollins.

2) Dora Magnolia "Nola" Shelton Rollins (DOB 5/14/1881 in Madison County, NC; DOD 11/29/1959 in Marshall, Madison Coujnty, NC) married William Thomas Gosnell. They had Bessie Anna May Gosnell, Drifty Hobson Gosnell Sr., Andrew "Andy" Leroy Gosnell, Napoleon Bonaparte Gosnell, Laura Francis Gosnell (aka Lura Gosnell, Lora Gosness), Woolsey Birchard Gosnell, Dollie Gosnell, Ruby Juanita Gosnell, Russell Thomas Gosnell, Belva Magnolia Gosnell.

He married Vianna Shelton after Margaret Lamb Rollins died in 1903. They were married 5/29/1904 in Greene County, TN.

Tennessee, State Marriages, 1780-2002
Name: William Rollins
Gender: Male
Marriage Date: 29 May 1904
Marriage Place: Greene, Tennessee, USA
Spouse: Alvine Shelton

Thomas Hunter Rollins was the grandson of William Riley Rollins and Vianna Shelton, so he was NOT related to my Lamb line but I found Hunter Rollins tragic story.

David Manly Rollins married Florence Ann Collins on 12/20/1900 in Greene County, TN.

Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002
Name D M Rollins
Gender Male
Marriage Date 20 Dec 1900
Marriage Place Greene
Spouse Annie Collins

Emanuel David Rollins and Florence Ann Collins had 5 children:
1) Fannie Jane Rollins (DOB 9/6/1901 in Greene County, TN; DOD 9/20/1993 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN) married Clarence L. Waddell (DOB 8/20/1897 in TN; DOD 1988 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN). They had Elsie Waddell, Irma Waddell, Earline Waddell, Earl Waddell, Carolyn Waddell.

2) Thomas Hunter Rollins (DOB 10/5/1903 in TN; DOD 6/24/1925 in Greene County, TN) married Opal Gertrude Shipley (DOB 11/2/1903 in TN; DOD 3/15/2001 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN). They had Roy McDonald Rollins. Opal married 2nd Roy Ree Hensley.

3) Katie Rollins (DOB 1/22/1908 in TN; DOD 8/1982 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN) married Hubert Shipley (DOB 5/1/1900 in TN; DOD 12/29/1969 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN). They had Annie J. Shipley, Ralph J. Shipley, Montie B. Shipley, Walter S. Shipley, Mary Alice Shipley, Buford N. Shipley.

4) Arthur Cooper Rollins (DOB 10/18/1911 in TN; DOD 5/17/1991 in Thomasville, Davidson County, NC) married Clara E. Miser (DOB Abt 1907 in TN; DOD ? in ? ). They had Kenneth Rollins, Bailey Rollins, Joanne Rollins, David Rollins.

5) John Noel Rollins (DOB 6/2/1913 in TN; DOD 6/23/1958 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN) married Nina A. Ricker (DOB 3/14/1914 in TN; DOD 2/19/1997 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN). They had Dorothy Rollins Cutshaw, Wayland Rollins, Velda Rollins Holt, Paul Rollins.


1910 U.S. Census of Civil District 18, Greene County, Tennessee; Ancestry.com, Roll: T624_1501; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0091; FHL microfilm: 1375514, Taken 4/25/1910, Family #96, Lines 97-100, "Manly Rollins"
Manly Rollins, Head, M(ale), W(hite), 34 yrs old (DOB 1876), 1st Marriage, Married 9 yrs (DOM 1891), Born in NC, Both parents born in NC, Farmer, Can read and write, Owns farm free of mortgage
Annie Rollins, Wife, F, W, 29 yrs old (DOB 1882), 1st Marriage, Married 9 yrs, 3 children with 3 still living, Born in TN, Father born in SC, Mother born in NC, Can read and write
Fannie Rollins, Daughter, F, W, 8 yrs old (DOB 1902), Born in TN, Both parents born in TN
Hunter Rollins, Son, M, W, 6 yrs old (DOB 1904), Born in TN, Father born in NC, Mother born in TN
Katy Rollins, Daughter, F, W, 2 yrs old (DOB 1908), Born in TN, Father born in NC, Mother born in TN

1920 U.S. Census of Civil District 18, Greene County, Tennessee; Ancestry.com, Roll: T625_1741; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 87; Image: 1094, Taken 1/26/1920, Family #185, Lines 9-15, "Emanuel Rollins" (sic)
Emanuel Rollins, Head, Owns Farm free of mortgage, M(ale), W(hite), 45 yrs old (DOB 1875), Married, Can read and write, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN, Farmer
Annie Rollins, Wife, F, W, 38 yrs old (DOB 1882), Married, Can read and write, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN
Fannie Rollins, Daughter, F, W, 18 yrs old (DOB 1902),Single, Can read and write, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN
Thomas Rollins, Son, M, W, 17 yrs old (DOB 1903), Single, Can read and write, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN, Farm laborer
Katie Rollins, Daughter, F, W, 12 yrs old (DOB 1908), Single, Attends school, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN
Arthur Rollins, Son, M, W, 8 yrs old (DOB 1912), Single, Attends school, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN Noel Rollins, Son, M, W, 6 yrs old (DOB 1914), Born in TN, Both parents born in TN

1930 U.S. Census of District 2, Greene County, Tennessee; Ancestry.com, Roll: 2249; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0004; Image: 92.0; FHL microfilm: 2341983, Taken 4/18/1930, Family #87, Lines 5-7, "Emanuel D. Rollins" (sic)
Emanuel D. Rollins, Head, Owns farm, Owns radio set, M(ale), W(hite), 54 yrs old (DOB 1876), Married at age 24 yrs old, Can read and write, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN, Farmer
Annie Rollins, Wife, F, W, 49 yrs old (DOB 1881), Married at age 20 yrs old, Can read and write, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN
Noel Rollins, Son, M, W, 16 yrs old (DOB 1914), Single, Does not attend school, Can read and write, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN

1940 U.S. Census of Greene County, Tennessee; Ancestry.com, Roll: T627_3896; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 30-27, Taken 4/24/1940, Family #99, Lines 16-17, "Manuel Rollins" (sic)
Manuel Rollins, Head, Owns farm valued at $500, M(ale), W(hite), 67 yrs old (DOB 1873), Married, Attended school thru 6th grade, Born in NC, Lived in the same place in 1935, Farmer
Annie Rollins, Wife, F, W, 59 yrs old (DOB 1881), Married, Attended school thru 8th grade, Born in TN, Lived in the same place in 1935

Thomas Hunter Rollins married Opal Gertrude Shipley on 12/11/1922 in Greene County, TN.

Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002
Name: Hunter Rollins
Gender: Male
Marriage Date: 11 Dec 1922
Marriage Place: Greene
Spouse: Opal Shipley

They had one son, Roy McDonald Rollins who was born 3/31/1925 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN. He was born just a few months before his father was killed. He would eventually go on to serve in the U.S. Army and was in the last year of World War II. He married Betty Lee Easterly and Roy Rollins died 5/14/2000 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN.



TN Death Certificate #215, Registration District #43002, Primary Registration District #2, Registered #20, Thomas Hunter Rawlins (sic, Rollins), DOD 6/24/1925 in Greene County, TN
Male, White, Married, DOB 1904 in TN, 21 yrs old
Occupation: Deputy Sheriff
Father: David Rawlins (scratched out and Manuel Rollins written over it), born in NC
Mother: Annie Collins born in TN
Informant: David Rawlins (scratched out and Manuel Rollins written over it), R.F.D. #12
DOD 6/24/1925 at 8am
Cause of death: "Killed from ambush 20 miles from Greeneville on Paint Creek"
Burial: 6/25/1925 at Rehobeth Church

Tennessee, Deaths and Burials Index, 1874-1955
Name Thomas Hunter Rollins
Birth Date 1904
Birth Place Tennessee
Age 21
Death Date 24 Jun 1925
Death Place Greene, Tennessee
Burial Date 25 Jun 1925
Cemetery Name ReHobath Church
Gender Male
Race White
Marital Status Married
Occupation Deputy Sheriff
Father's Name Manuel Rollins
Father's Birth Place North Carolina
Mother's Name Annie Collin
Mother's Birth Place Tennessee
FHL Film Number 1299784

FindaGrave.com
Thomas Hunter Collins
Birth: Oct. 5, 1903
Death: Jun. 24, 1925
S/O/ D.M. & Anna ROLLINS
Family links:
Parents:
David Manlie Rollins (1874 - 1948)
Florence Ann Collins Rollins (1880 - 1966)
Spouse: Opal Gertrude Shipley Hensley (1903 - 2001)
Children: Roy McDonald Rollins (1925 - 2000)
Siblings:
Thomas Hunter Rollins (1903 - 1925)
Katie Rollins Shipley (1908 - 1982)
Arthur cooper rollins (1911 - 1991)
Noel Rollins (1913 - 1958)
Inscription: HE WAS FAITHFUL TO HIS DUTY
Burial: Rehoboth United Methodist Church Cemetery, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
Created by: Tnbreeze
Record added: Jan 05, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 46372469

United States, Officer Down Memorials, 1791-2014
Name: Deputy Sheriff Thomas Hunter Rollins
Birth Year: abt 1904
Age: 21
Date of Incident: 24 Jun 1925
Death Location: Tennessee
Department: Greene County Sheriff's Department
Department State: Tennessee
End of Watch Date: 24 Jun 1925
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect: Arrested
Notes: Deputy Sheriff Hunter Rollins was shot and killed from ambush after raiding two stills in the Paint Creek section of Greene County. The six-man raiding party he was with was hiking down the mountain when they were ambushed. Four of the officers, including Deputy Rollins and his father, were shot. The subjects who opened fire fled into the mountains. A week later eight men were arrested and charged in connection with Deputy Rollins' murder. Three escaped from the Greeneville Jail on July 12, 1925. Deputy Rollins was survived by his wife.





Kingsport Times, 6/24/1925, Pg 1
Deputy Sheriff Hunter Rollins Is Killed and His Father Wounded
Federal Prohibition Officer Is Wounded
Party of Six Fired Upon From Ambush While Bringing Stills From Mountain Near Clint Creek
In a battle between moonshiners and officers this morning about 10 o'clock in the mountains near Clint Creek, about 16 miles from Greeneville, Tenn., Hunter Rollins, deputy sheriff, was killed and Emanuel Rollins, his father, C.P. Carter and Prohibition Officer Shelton seriously wounded. Officer Shelton was shot three times and slim chances are held for his recovery.
The party of six officers had gone into the mountain, raided two stills and were returning when they were fired upon from ambush, it was reported by Johnson City officers today. Four out of the six officers received bullet wounds, while their assailants escaped and had not been apprehended late this afternoon.
Bloodhounds were secured immediately from Johnson City and put on the trail, and it is expected that the fugitives will be caught before night.
The Greene county officers taking part in the raid know the persons shooting from ambush, it was reported this afternoon.





The Tennessean, 6/25/1925, Pg 1
Officer Slain In Gunfight With Mountaineers
Four Wounded; Dry Men Rush Reinforcements to Scene
Greeneville, Tenn, June 24-Posses scouring the Paint Rock section of Greene county where Hunter Rollins, deputy sheriff, was shot to death and four other officers, including the dead man's father were injured this morning by moonshiners, had made no arrests late tonight.
The raiders, headed by Sheriff D.P. Shepherd, the only member of the party who was not wounded, raided an illicit distillery near the head of Paint Rock creek, 16 miles south of this city this morning, and were ambushed on their return from the still site.
The first fusilade of bullets struck Rollins, a rifle bEmanuel Rollinsall piercing his heart.  was shot through the left forearm; C.P. Carter has a wound in the lower right leg; J.A. Hartsell was shot through the right thigh and S.W. Shelton has two slight wounds on the head and one arm.
Posses sent into the mountainous section with bloodhouds from Johnson City, continued the search until 9 o'clock tonight, but the band had not been located.



The Tennessean, 7/2/1925, Pg 14
Seven Arrested After Killing At Greeneville
Greeneville, Tenn., July 1-Seven arrests were made today by Sheriff Shepherd and his deputies in connection with the shooting of officers last week when a deputy was killed. Those under arrest include Francis, Jesse and Barnett Dixon, Herman Dixon and his son, Milburn Cutshaw and Ed Cutshaw. All lived near the scene of the shooting. Officers say that high powered rifles were found boxed in the Dixon home. All the accused men deny any knowledge of the shooting.




Kingsport Times, 7/3/1925, Pg 1
Arrests Made In Connection With Killing Officer
Greene County Officers Effective In Raids Tuesday and Wednesday - Have Good Clues
Greeneville, Tenn., July 3 (Special)
A number of arrests have been made in Greene county in connection with the murder of Deputy Sheriff Hunter Rollins and the wounding of four other officers in a raid in the mountains near Paint Creek June 22. Andy Gosnell was arrested early Sunday morning just before boarding a train at Greeneville. He failed to make his bond, placed at $1,500 and is lodged in jail to await trial at the next term of criminal court.
On Tuesday and Wednesday six other men were arrested in a raid made in the Paint Creek section by a number of officers, and were brought to jail here to await a preliminary hearing Saturday. Officers in the raiding party were: Sherik Rollins, J.F. Collins, J.C. Russell, W.G. Harrison and about three other officers from North Carolina. Several gallons of beer and liquor were destroyed in the raid.
It is possible that other arrests may follow, but officials think that a big step has been taken toward doing away with the lawless elements in the Paint Creek community, which has heretofore given so much trouble. It is believed that officers have sufficient evidence for conviction and that they can name the man who fired the fatal shot into Rollins' body.
Warrants were issued for Barney and Jesse Dickson, and Mib Cutshaw, charging them with first degree murder. They are in jail. Francis and Herman Dickson and Ed Cutshaw were held on liquor charges in default of $1,000 bond.




Kingsport Times, 7/14/1925, Pg 1
17 Prisoners Who Broke Greeneville Jail Yet At Large
Frank Bales, Federal Prisoner, Was Recaptured Yesterday Morning
Notorious Criminals Included In The Gang
Three Men Held On Charge Of Murder In Connection With Killing Of Rollins At Liberty
(Special To The Times)
Greeneville, Tenn., July 14 - Seventeen of the 18 prisoners who effected their delivery from the county jail at Greeneville early Sunday morning are still at large, and no clues whatever have been found to bear on their whereabouts.
Among the number who broke jail are the three men who were held on charge of murder in connection with the killing of Deputy Sheriff Hunter Rollins on Paint Creek several weeks ago. Other nototrious criminals are included in the gang.
Officers are yet searching for the fugitives, but become more discouraged as every little clue is sifted down to nothing of value. It was thought yesterday that Milburn Cutshaw, Jesse Dixon and Barnet Dixon, implicated in the Paint Creek killing, headed toward the Paint Creek mountain and posses were at once organized to search that section, but to no avail.
Frank Bales, federal prisoner who escaped with the party Sunday morning, held on a charge of violating the pension laws and awaited his return to the state of Kansas. He had succeeded in escaping from the jail once before and had not been confined there very long before his second escape.
At the time of his arrest, he was making preparations to leave the state. When found by officers, he submitted without resistance and told the officers that he did not intend to break jail, but on seeing the opening and the other prisoners going out, he could not resist the temptation to make an attempt at freedom. He is yet being held in the jail here.

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