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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Thriller Thursday - Boyce Lee Harris Murder

Boyce Lee Harris was born 1/16/1916 in South Carolina to James Samuel Harris, Jr. (DOB 10/17/1886 in NC; DOD 10/1971 in Towns County, GA) and Iona "Onnie" Lee Linder (DOB 11/8/1891 in Clifton, Spartanburg County, SC; DOD 9/6/1941 in Spartanburg County, SC). He was the third of 6 children.

Boyce was the son of Iona Lee Linder
Iona Lee Linder was the daughter of Mary "Mollie" Quinn Linder
Mary "Mollie" Quinn Linder was the daughter of James Wofford Quinn, Sr.
James Wofford Quinn, Sr. also had a daughter named Susan Ann Quinn (or Susannah Quinn) who married  Zadoc Coan. They were Stan's 2nd Great Grandparents.  Therefore my husband, Stan, is Boyce Lee Harris' 2nd cousin two times removed.

I don't know of any relationship between Boyce Lee Harris' father, James Samuel Harris, Jr. and Stan's Harris line.

1920 US. Census of Morgan, Cherokee County, South Carolina; Roll: T625_1690; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 15, "James S. Harris"
James S. Harris, Head, Rent farm, M(ale), W(hite), 35 yrs old (DOB 1885), Married, Can read and write, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC, Farmer
Onnie Harris, Wife, F, W, 28 yrs old (DOB 1892), Married, Can read and write, Born in SC, Both parents born in SC
Thomas C. Harris, Son, M, W, 5 yrs old (DOB 1915), Single, Born in SC, Father born in NC, Mother born in SC
Boyce Lee Harris, Son, M, W, 3 yrs old (DOB 1917), Single, Born in SC, Father born in NC, Mother born in SC
Carrie Louise Harris, Daughter, F, W, 4/12 mos old, Born in SC, Father born in NC, Mother born in SC

1930 U.S. Census of Spartanburg, Spartanburg, South Carolina; Page: 25A; Enumeration District: 0063; FHL microfilm: 2341946, "James S. Harris"
James S. Harris, Head, Owns farm, Owns radio set, M(ale), W(hite), 36 yrs old (DOB 1894, sic), Married at age 29 yrs old (DOM 1923), Can read and write, Born in NC, Both parents born in NC, Farmer
Onie Harris, Wife, F, W, 30 yrs old (DOB 1900, sic), Married at age 18 (DOM 1918), Can read and write, Born in SC, Both parents born in SC
Boyce L. Harris, Son, M, W, 14 yrs old (DOB 1916), Attends school, Single, Born in SC, Father born in NC, Mother born in SC
Carry L. Harris, Daughter, F, W, 10 yrs old (DOB 1920), Attends school, Born in SC, Father born in NC, Mother born in SC
Sarah Harris, Daughter, F, W, 6 yrs old (DOB 1924), Attends school, Born in SC, Father bron in NC, Mother born in SC

A photo of a small town fair in 1935

SC Death Certificate #9548, Registration District #40-A, Registered #321, Boyce Lee Harris, DOD 6/14/1935, Spartanburg General Hospital, Spartanburg, Spartanburg County, SC
Male, White, Single, 19 yrs old, DOB 4/1915 in SC
Occupation: Farmer
Father: James Harris, born in SC
Mother: Onie Linder, born in SC
Informant: James Harris, Converse, SC
DOD 6/15/1935 at 11:50pm
Cause of death: "Stab wound in left ventricle of the left ventricle of the heart"
Buried: 6/16/1935 in Linder Cemetery

Boyce Lee Harris
BIRTH 16 Jan 1916
DEATH 14 Jun 1935 (aged 19)
BURIAL Linder Cemetery, Cowpens, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, USA
MEMORIAL ID 29310809

The Greenville News, Greenville, SC, 6/15/1935, Pg 6
Youth, 19, Fatally Stabbed At Clifton
Spartanburg, June 15 - Boyce Lee Harris, 19, died here at 12:30 o'clock this morning shortly after having been stabbed in the heart at a carnival at Clifton.
James Hicks was given emergency treatment at a hospital here for wounds on the neck. Both men resided in the Clifton section.
Sheriff Sam M. Henry began an investigation of the stabbing early this morning.
Harris was a son of J.S. Harris.

The Greenville News, Greenville, SC, 6/16/1935, Pg 7
Hicks Held In Fatal Stabbing
Witness Says Saw Him Cut Boyce Lee Harris At Clifton Carnival
Spartanburg, June 15 - A coroner's jury today held James Hicks of Converse for further investigation in connection with the fatal stabbing last night of Boyce Lee Harris, 19, Clifton, at a carnival at Clifton mill No. 1.
Luther Gossett, Pacolet youth, told the jury he saw Hicks stab Harris after Hicks had walked up to him and asked, "Do you want to settle it now?", and after Harris had replied, "I'd just as soon settle it here as anywhere."
Both men were taken to the General hospital here where Harris died 45 minutes later, Hicks was transferred to the county jail.

The Greenville News, Greenville, SC, 6/21/1935, Pg 14
Boyce Lee Harris
Clifton, June 20 - Funeral services for Boyce Lee Harris, 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Harris who died at a local hospital early Saturday morning, were conducted from the graveside in Linder cemetery at 4 o'clock Sunday afternoon. The Rev. Thomas B. Wilkes, pastor of the Methodist church, conducted the services, assisted by the Rev. W.H. Long, and the Rev. Jess Tomlinson.
Mr. Harris is survived by his parents, one brother, Thomas C. Harris; three sisters, Louise, Sara and Bettie Harris.

The Greenville News, Greenville, SC, 7/25/1935, Pg 2
Jury Considers Fate Of Emory At Spartanburg
Tucapau Operative Charged With Slaying Of Bivings, Negro Fireman
Spartanburg, July 24 - Twelve jurors early tonight deliberated on the fate of Fred Emory, Tucapau mill operative, on trial for the murder of Gus Bivings, a negro fireman, in the mill village at Tucapau on June 7. No verdict had been reached after 10 hours of deliberation...
James Hicks, charged with murder, growing out of the fatal stabbing of Boyce Lee Harris at a carnival near Clifton mill, No. 1, June 15, went on trial today after the Emory case had been given to the jury. The evidence was completed this afternoon.
Witnesses for the state in the Hicks trial testified the defendant provoked the assault, cutting Harris while his arms were folded. Defense testimony indicated Harris advanced on Hicks with a knife when Hicks drew a weapon and fatally stabbed Harris while his back was against a tent at the carnival.

The Greenville News, Greenville, SC, 7/26/1935, Pg 2
Emory Gets Life In Slaying Case
Tucapau Man Convicted Of Slaying Negro - Jury Out For 12 Hours
Spartanburg, July 25 - Fred Emory, found guilty of murder by a jury in the court of general sessions last night, this afternoon was sentenced to life imprisonment by Judge G. Dewey Oxner. Sentence was passed after Judge Oxner overruled a motion of defense counsel for a new trial. The jury hearing the case brought in the guilty verdict with a recommendation of mercy after it had deliberated 12 hours. Emory was charged in an indictment with shooting and killing Gus Bivings, a negro boiler-room worker at Tucapau mills June 7, during the progress of a strike of textile workers...
James Hicks was sentenced to a term of three years this morning after a plea of manslaughter was agreed upon Wednesday between opposing counsel and after most of the evidence in the case had been heard. Hicks was charged with murder growing out of the fatal stabbing of Boyce Lee Harris near Clifton June 14.
In ruling out the motion for a new trial for Emory, Judge Oxner told attorneys had he been sitting on the jury he "could not have accepted" Emory's self defense testimony. He said he rarely had seen a petit jury more intelligent than the one that tried the case.
Judge Oxner passed sentence on Hicks with the remark he was convinced both he and Boyce Lee Harris cut each other. Testimony of prosecution witnesses and defense evidence conflicted on this point.

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