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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Thriller Thursday - Coincidental Tragedies

Holden Bogan was born between 1816-1819 in SC to Isaac C. Bogan, Jr. (DOB Abt. 1795 in VA; DOD Aft. 1860 in Spartanburg, Spartanburg County, SC) and Keziah Gulledge (DOB Abt. 1795 in VA; DOD Abt. 1865 in Spartanburg, Spartanburg County, SC). He was the 2nd of their 7 children, 5 girls and 2 boys. His younger brother was Alsa "Alsey" Bogan.

Holden married Lucinda "Cindy" "Cynthia" Unknown. She was born Abt. 1828 in SC and died Aft. 1880 in Spartanburg County, SC. They had around 7 or 8 children (I haven't finished my work on this family yet). One of their daughters was Elizabeth Jane "Bettie" Bogan (aka June Bogan, Bettie Jane Bogan, Bettie June Bogan) who was born 3/1861 in Spartanburg County, SC. She married 1st Albert H. Wallace (DOB Abt. 1863 in NC; DOD 2/1/1928 in Spartanburg County, SC). They had Sarah Etta Wallace (DOB 8/14/1885 in Spartanburg County, SC: DOD 11/20/1909 in Spartanburg County, SC) and she married Jerry Landrum Blackwood (DOB 11/11/1881 in Spartanburg County, SC; DOD 11/11/1930 in Spartanburg County, SC). She married 2nd John M. Spencer (DOB Abt. 1853 in Spartanburg County, SC; DOD ? in ? ).

They had two children:

I) Maggie Ellen Spencer (DOB 10/24/1879 in Spartanburg County, SC; DOD 3/6/1948 in Cherokee County, SC) married Robert Austin Phillips (DOB 8/31/1878 in SC; DOD ? in SC).

....1) John Curtis Phillips (DOB 8/1899 in SC; DOD Aft. 1930 in ? ) Married 1st to Kate Mae Reynolds (DOB  5/1901 in White Plains, Cherokee County, SC; DOD 2/15/1929 in Cherokee County, SC) and 2nd Hester ? (DOB Abt. 1911 in ? ; DOD ? in ? ).
........A) Robert Lee Phillips (DOB 7/15/1921 in SC; DOD 12/24/1945 in Cherokee County, SC) married Mary Elizabeth Rubert (DOB 3/22/1926 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC; DOD 6/15/1991 in ? ). She married 2nd Howard A. Darby. Robert Lee Phillips and Mary Elizabeth Rubert had Roger Lee Phillips.
........B) Henry William Phillips (DOB 11/14/1923 in SC; DOD 12/24/1945 in Cherokee County, SC) never married.
........C) Eula M. Phillips (DOB Abt. 1924 in SC; DOD ? in ? ) married ?
........D) Leona Phillips (DOB 6/7/1926 in SC; DOD ? in ? ) married Billy Lowell Wood (DOB 1/9/1935 in Scott County, VA; DOD 12/25/2009 in Bristol, Sullivan County, TN).

....2) Cline Gillard Phillips (DOB 6/7/1902 in SC; DOD 7/9/1982 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC) married Annie Mae Fowler (DOB 12/13/1901 in SC; DOD 1/10/1982 in ? ).
........A) Curtis Patrick Phillips (DOB 8/23/1919 in Cherokee County, SC; DOD 8/21/1944 in Italy)
........B) Mary Ellen Phillips (DOB 8/11/1920 in Pacolet, Spartanburg County, SC; DOD 6/1/2009 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC) married Harvey Patterson Wallace (DOB 10/12/1915 in SC; DOD 4/24/1989 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC).
........C) Baby Phillips (DOB 1923 in Spartanburg County, SC; DOD 5/26/1923 in Spartanburg County, SC)
........D) Louis Hunter Phillips (DOB 9/14/1924 in Pacolet, Spartanburg County, SC; DOD 9/19/1976 in ? )
........E) Wallace M. Phillips (DOB 10/2/1926 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC; DOD 11/10/2004 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC)
........F) Dorothy F. Phillips (DOB Abt. 1929 in Cherokee County, SC; DOD ? in ? )
........G) Elizabeth Phillips (DOB Abt. 1931 in Cherokee County, SC; DOD ? in ? )
........H) Patricia Phillips (DOB Abt. 1934 in Cherokee County, SC; DOD ? in ? ) married ? Ligon
........I) Olin Ray Phillips (DOB 12/25/1934 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC; DOD 12/27/2008 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC).

....3) Willie James Phillips (DOB Abt. 1905 in SC; DOD 9/2/1978 in ? ) married Florence Phillips (DOB 2/5/1907 in Cherokee County, SC; DOD 2/9/1933 in Cherokee County, SC).
........A) Wofford Patrick Phillips (8/24/1924 in Cherokee County, SC; 5/10/1997 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC)
........B) Charles Wesley Phillips (DOB 12/12/1926 in Spartanburg County, SC: DOD 12/25/2003 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC)
........C) James Herman Phillips (DOB 2/5/1929 in SC; DOD 11/11/2007 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC)

....4) Lillie Freeman Phillips (DOB 4/1/1908 in SC: DOD 11/1986 in Spartanburg County, SC) married Carl Wilson Trantham (DOB 2/19/1908 in Haywood County, NC; DOD 6/24/1993 in Spartanburg, Spartanburg County, SC). She married 2nd Roy Allen.
........A) Lemuel Oscar Trantham (DOB 12/5/1928 in SC; DOD 11/12/1929 in Cherokee County, SC)
........B) Bobbie Elaine Trantham (DOB 4/13/1931 in SC; DOD 1/22/2008 in Glendale, Spartanburg County, SC) married ? Fisher.
........C) Floyd Dillinger Trantham (DOB 3/28/1935 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC; DOD 6/15/1991 in Moore, Spartanburg County, SC) married Virginia Mary Joyce (DOB 5/18/1943 in NY; DOD 7/19/1991 in Spartanburg County, SC).

II) James Holden Spencer, Sr. (DOB 12/29/1880 in SC; DOD 9/24/1943 in Cherokee County, SC) married Dora Wyatt (DOB 8/31/1880 in SC; DOD 10/31/1969 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC).
....1) Mary Bessie Spencer (DOB 9/22/1903 in SC; DOD 12/4/1958 in Union County, SC) married William Toy Spencer (DOB 9/7/1891 in Cherokee County, SC; DOD 10/23/1981 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC).
....2) Lola M. Spencer (DOB 3/24/1906 in SC; DOD 2/26/1975 in Rock Hill, York County, SC) married Claude S. Cook (DOB 8/19/1906 in Cherokee County, SC; DOD 4/30/1962 in SC)
....3) James Holden Spencer, Jr. (DOB 7/27/1908 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC; DOD 3/1988 in Brentwood, Prince Georges County, MD)
....4) Winford Spencer (DOB 11/17/1910 in SC; DOD 9/16/1982 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC) married Viola Millwood (DOB 5/14/1915 in SC; DOD 6/5/1994 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC).
....5) Dora Pauline Spencer (DOB 7/22/1916 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC; DOD 3/2/2001 in York, York County, SC) married Zan Davis Montgomery (DOB 2/4/1914 in SC; DOD 9/20/1972 in Clover, York County, SC).
....6) John L. Spencer (DOB 7/25/1919 in SC; DOD 1/20/1987 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC) married Minnie Lee Dellinger (DOB 1/19/1920 in Cherokee County, SC; DOD 1/5/1988 in Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC).

For our story, look back over the list of names and find the ones underlined. We will start with the first tragic accident involving Robert Lee Phillips and Henry William Phillips.

These were two ordinary brothers living in the 1930's and 1940's. I found a couple of poignant articles in the local newspaper about the elder brother, Robert Lee Phillips. Here is his letter to Santa Claus when he was about 8 years old.
The Gaffney Ledger, Gaffney, SC, 12/21/1929, Pg 2

He is listed in the softball league for Hamrick Mills in 1940 at the age of about 19 years old.
The Gaffney Ledger, Gaffney, SC, 4/27/1940, Pg 1

Here he enjoyed a teenage Halloween Party when he was about 15 yrs old.
The Gaffney Ledger, Gaffney, SC, 11/5/1936, Pg 3 

They were living in the small town of Gaffney, Cherokee County, SC. I found these old photos of Gaffney about that time period.


World War II started at the end of 1941. I couldn't find any record of Robert Lee Phillips concerning military service. No draft card or enlistment. But then, I didn't find any on his younger brother Henry William Phillips either and I know he served 41 months according to newspaper reports.
The Gaffney Ledger, Gaffney, SC, 9/7/1944, Pg 1


The Gaffney Ledger, Gaffney, SC, 9/9/1944, Pg 1


The Gaffney Ledger, Gaffney, SC, 12/14/1945, Pg 5


Robert Lee Phillips had married Mary Elizabeth Rubert and in November, 1944, they had a son. His little brother is released from the U.S. Navy in December, 1945. According to newspaper reports, one of the others involved in the tragedy had also just come home. Maybe a group of old friends were getting together and having a good time. Nowhere in the newspaper articles does it mention any alcohol involved but having 6 young men and 1 woman crammed into a car indicates a fun time of some type. Maybe his wife had stayed behind to take care of their 13 month old son? Fortunately, she wasn't in the car. It was a cold night in December and the windshield of the car was iced up and hard to see through. The newspaper says the driver's window was rolled down as if the driver might have been trying to stick his head out of the window to see due to ice buildup on the windshield.


The Gaffney Ledger, Gaffney, SC, 12/27/1945, Pg 1



The Gaffney Ledger, Gaffney, SC, 12/29/1945, Pg 1

 The Gaffney Ledger, Gaffney, SC, 1/2/1946, Pg 8


About 2 years and 4 months later, tragedy hits this family again and in much the same way. Maggie Ellen Spencer Phillips was killed and her two grandchildren were injured when their car was hit by a train just a few blocks down from where the two young men were killed. According to the 17 year old girl, Bobbie Elaine Trantham, who was driving, the windshield was iced up and she had her window rolled down to see. When they got to the railroad crossing, it seems that they did stop and look, even opened the door to check, but didn't see the train. The trainmen said they did blow the whistle.


The Gaffney Ledger, Gaffney, SC, 3/9/1948, Pg 1

The Gaffney Ledger, Gaffney, SC, 3/25/1948, Pg 1

The Gaffney Ledger, Gaffney, SC, 11/12/1949, Pg 1




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