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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Charles Walter Crum and Jessie Lou Brown

I came across another tragic story. I just had document it. Charles Walter Crum is very distantly related to me as my 3rd cousin 2 times removed. Our common ancestor is Nathan Marmaduke Lamb and Orpha Rollins.

Nathan Marmaduke Lamb (DOB 1/1/1791 in Randolph County, NC; DOD Abt 1856 in Greene County, TN) married Orpha Rollins (DOB Abt 1793 in Randolph County, NC; DOD After 1860 in Greene County, TN). They had my direct ancestor, John Rollins Lamb and, his sister, Charlotte Elizabeth Lamb. Charles Walter Crum is descended from Charlotte Elizabeth Lamb.

Charlotte Elizabeth Lamb (DOB 4/18/1824 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN; DOD 4/19/1881 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN) married Elijah John Ricker (DOB 11/18/1829 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN; DOD 11/20/1876 in Limestone Springs, Greene County, TN). They had Frederick Knighton Ricker, Charlotte Caroline Ricker, John L. Ricker, Uriah M. Ricker, Salina Malinda Jane Ricker, Eliza Elvira Emaline Ricker, Sarah Frances Ricker, Hamilton Ricker.

Frederick Knighton Ricker (DOB 5/11/1854 in Greene County, TN; DOD 10/16/1911 in Greene County, TN) married Mary S. Mickels (DOB 11/26/1848 in Greene County, TN; DOD 2/5/1922 in Greene County, TN). They had Jonathon B.M. Ricker, Elijah Milton Ricker, Maggie Ricker, Robert Taylor Ricker, Frederick N. Ricker, John Henry Ricker, Jennie Ricker, James Mort Ricker.

Jennie Ricker (DOB 3/27/1888 in TN; DOD 11/26/1970 in Orange County, NC) married William Walter Crum (DOB 10/28/1891 in TN; DOD 2/1/1953 in Knoxville, Knox County, TN). They had one son, Charles Walter Crum, the subject of this story.

Charles Walter Crum was born 7/26/1920 in Greene County, TN.

1930 U.S. Census of Newport Road, District 10, Greene, Tennessee; Ancestry.com, Roll: 2249; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0025; Image: 624.0; FHL microfilm: 2341983, Taken 4/2/1930, Lines 32-34, "Walter W. Crum"
Walter W. Crum, Head, Owns farm, M(ale), W(hite), 38 yrs old (DOB 1892), Married at age 19 yrs old (DOM 1911), Can read and write, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN, Dealer in livestock
Jennie S. Crum, Wife, F, W, 42 yrs old (DOB 1888), Married at age 24 yrs old, Can read and write, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN
Charles W. Crum, Adopted son, M, W, 8 yrs old (DOB 1922), Attends school, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN

Charles Walter Crum married Jessie Lou Brown. Jessie L. Brown was born 12/31/1921 in NC to Cyrus Leland Brown (DOB 2/18/1898 in Madison County, NC; DOD 4/11/1964 in Asheville, Buncombe County, NC) and Louella Ballard (DOB 7/22/1901 in NC; DOD 5/19/1970 in Asheville, Buncombe County, NC). They also had a 2nd daughter, Mary Nell Brown who married Gordon Bates Hux.

Asheville Citizen Times, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC, 7/31/1938, Pg 19 Jessie Brown Becomes Bride of C.W. Crum
Mr. and Mrs. Leland Brown, of 295 Shelburne road, West Asheville, have announced the marriage of their daughter Miss Jessie Lou Brown, to Charles Walter Crum, son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Crum, formerly of Greeneville, Tenn. The marriage was solemnized Saturday, July 16, at 5:30 o'clock at Greenville, S.C. and the couple is now residing at 279 Shelburne road.
The bride received her education at Lee H. Edwards high school. Mr. Crum is affiliated with his father in business here.
The bride's mother, Mrs. Brown, entertained with a shower at her home last evening in honor of her daughter. Approximately 50 guests called during the evening. Games and contests were enjoyed and prizes were awarded. The house was effectively decorated for the occasion with cut flowers. The bride cut a wedding cake at the close of the festivities.

Charles W. Crum and Jessie Lou Brown had 2 sons:

1) Charles Dale Crum (DOB 5/15/1939 in Buncombe County, NC; DOD 10/16/2013 in Raleigh, Wake County, NC).

2) William Leland Crum (DOB 2/14/1941 in Buncombe County, NC; DOD 3/15/2011 in Buncombe County, NC).

They lived near her parents on Shelburne Road. It seems they lived near or side by side all their married lives.

1940 U.S. Census of David Drive, Asheville, Buncombe, North Carolina; Ancestry.com, Roll: T627_2878; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 11-41, Taken 4/9/1940, Lines 75-77, "Charles W. Crum"
Charles W. Crum, Head, Rents home for $12, M(ale), W(hite), 19 yrs old (DOB 1921), Married, Attended 1 yr high school, Born in TN, Lived in the same place in 1935, Truck driver for livestock market, Income $1,000
Jessie Lou Crum, Wife, F, W, 19 yrs old (DOB 1921), Married, Attended high school 3 yrs, Born in NC, Lived in the same place in 1935
Charles D. Crum, Son, M, W, 11/12 mos old (DOB 1939), Born in NC

WWII Draft Registration Card, Serial #469, Order #T10,798, Charles Walter Crum, DOB 7/26/1920
Serial #469, Charles Walter Crum, Order #T10,798
Residence: 295 Shelburne Rd, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC
21 yrs old, DOB 7/26/1920 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN
Name and Address o Person Who Will Always Know Your Address: Mrs. C.W. Crum
Employer: Mr. J.T. Moons, Southern Railway
White, 5'11", 145 lbs, Blue Eyes, Brown Hair, Ruddy Complexion
Signed by him on 2/16/1942 in Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

Charles Crum served in World War II in the U.S. Navy.

He had worked for Southern Railway. But he had a tragic accident on the job and he lost an arm and a leg!

Asheville Citizen Times, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC, 7/29/1947, Pg 23, "Chas. W. Crum Is Injured In Rail Accident"
Charles W. Crum, 26, of 295 Shelburne Road, West Asheville, a brakeman on a Southern Railway system switch engine at the American Enka corporation plant, lost an arm and a leg shortly after 10 a.m. yesterday when run over by the engine near the Enka plant, it was reported.
He was taken to Norburn hospital where his condition was said to be serious last night.
John Hastings, a conductor on the engine, said that none of the crew members saw the accident occur but apparently Mr. Crum got his foot caught in the "frog" of a switch and was run over while performing his duties. The arm was lost above the elbow and the let at the thigh, it was reported.

C.W. Crum then had a harrowing experience being kidnapped!

Gastonia Gazette, 11/6/1947, "Hunted Convict Captured Here"
James A. Stephenson, 22, One Of Trio Which Escaped From Sanatorium Nabbed Here; Was Object off Widespread Manhunt
By Blonnie Pittman
James A. Stephenson, 22, on of the trio of convicts who escaped from the tubercular ward at Sanatorium N.C. when they overpowered a guard on October 30, was captured at a cafe on Airline avenue by two officers of the police department.
A state-wide search was underway for Stephenson, whose home is said to be in Belmont, and Ballard Martin, 23, of Newton, who is still at large. Their other companion in the escape, Odell Holder, surrendered himself to authorities in Greensboro earlier in the week.
Since Their escape from the sanatorium the three have committed four crimes-kidnaped and robbed a white cab driver, a Negro cab driver, a crippled service station attendant, and a boy and girl, according to Stephenson's admission to officers. Each of the four offenses took place on different highways while the men were on a round of vandalism. In each instance they relieved the owners of their automobiles and abandoned the victims on the side of the roads. They tied each o the cab drivers to trees before they left them.
Stephenson, who is now at the State Prison Camp at Dallas awaiting federal officers, admitted his identity to City Policemen Jack Sarver and W.R. Harkness, who arrested him. Stephenson was recognized by Prison Guard Frank Holloway of the Newton Prison Camp, who told the local officers that the man who was drinking beer in the Gastonia cafe was Stephenson.
Another man, who was believed to be a companion in crime with Stephenson, possibly Ballard Martin, escaped from the scene at the appearance of the officers. Officers gave chase, and continued the search throughout the night without success. A third man who was arrested by the officers in the cafe for investigation Wednesday night proved his identity Thursday morning and was released as an innocent man.
Questioned by Oscar Adkins, fugitive officer from the prison department at Raleigh, and by Superintendent Fred Friday of the Dallas Prison Camp, Stephenson made the following confession about the kidnapping and robbing activities of the trio since they left the prison camp.
After they overpowered a guard at the sanatorium and took his keys, the trio operated an elevator and took other prisoners up and down for awhile. They left the sanatorium near Aberdeen in a truck and drove in the direction of Southern Pines. Between Aberdeen and Southern Pines they held up a boy and girl who were parked in a car on the road, and ordered them out o the car.
Friday night the trio went to High Point where they kidnapped a taxi driver, Paul Saunders, who was driving a Bluebird taxi. They took him and the taxi within three miles of Moxville. There they tied the taxi driver to a tree and confiscated $21 in money from the driver.
Proceeding to Morganton, the trio went to the home of Martin Ballard, 17 miles north of Morganton, and abandoned the cab in the woods there. Sunday night they resumed their criminal activities when they kidnaped a Negro taxi driver, Booker T. Ruff, in Asheville. They tied this driver to a tree on the side o the highway and left him. They drove the car for some distance from Asheville until they ran out of gas and abandoned the cab. They took $19 from the Negro driver. They also robbed the white driver of $21. However the escapees were tenderhearted to their victims in one respect, according to Stephenson's story. Because the cab drivers had no coats, they let their own coats around them. and returned $5 to one o the drivers.
Continuing their trip, the three went to the home of Charles W. Crum in West Asheville. They told Crum the gears on their car were faulty and asked him to drive them to Asheville. After Crum consented and was driving them to town, they informed him that he was being held up and Holder took the wheel. He drove past the Georgia line about 500 yards, discovered he was in another state and returned to the North Carolina line where they put Crum out of the car.
Crum is a one-legged, one-armed service station man who was crippled in a railroad accident several years ago. Officer Akins said the convict took $135 and a 32 revolver from Crum and drove his 1947 Oldsmobile close to Atlanta. There they turned around and came back to Charlotte. After they abandoned the Crum car, the trio separated. Holder went to Greensboro where he surrendered to officers. Ballard Martin is still free and Stephenson was apprehended here.
Crum's machine was recovered and returned to him Tuesday, officers said. The trio overlooked several hundred dollars that Crum had in another pocket.
Stephenson was sentenced to from six to ten years in prison in Cleveland county in 1942 for robbery with firearms. He is the son of J.W. Stephenson of Belmont, officers said.

Asheville Citizen Times, 11/9/1947, "Two Alleged Kidnapers Are Identified By Crum"
C.W. Crum kidnap victim who was enticed from his home on a plea that he help three men whose car had broken down, and then forced to drive to the Georgia-North Carolina state line where he was put out of the car, identified two of his alleged abductors at the county jail yesterday, officers said.
The men identified were listed as Odell Holder, 34, of Greensboro, and James Stephenson, 22, of Belmont and Asheville. Lodged in the jail as Federal prisoners they are held on charges of kidnapping under the Federal statute known as the "Lindbergh Law" and violation of the Dyer motor vehicle theft act.
Both waived preliminary hearing before U.S. Commissioner Lamar Gudger and were held for the criminal term of U.S. District court which convenes Monday.
Ballard Martin, 23, of Newton, the third member of the trio sought in connection with the kidnaping of Mr. Crum, a crippled filling station operator, was still at large last night, with Federal, State and local law enforcement officers on the alert to apprehend him. He is charged with kidnaping and violation of the Dyer act as are the other two.
Holder surrendered voluntarily to Greensboro authorities and Stephenson was apprehended in a Gastonia restaurant. Officers who are working on the case said that although the three escaped from the prison ward at Sanatorium, where they were under observation, only Holder is known to have tuberculosis.
In addition to the kidnaping of Mr. Crum, the three are also alleged to have held up Booker Ruff, Negro taxicab driver, finally putting him out of his car and tying him to a tree in the Bingham heights section.
Mr. Crum is said to have told officers that he was robbed of $135 by the three and that they overlooked an additional $400 which he had in a bank book in his pocket.

Charles Walter Crum made it home safely and his money and car were returned to him.

In 1953, Charles' father William Walter Crum died of a massive brain tumor at the age of 61 years old. His wife, Jennie Crum lived at 279 Sherbourne Avenue, Asheville, NC.

C.W. and Jessie Lou Crum were very active in their church. Jessie Crum was a charter member of Grace Baptist Church, 718 Haywood Road, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC. Charles was a deacon and involved in serving in sunday school and training union. When he died he was a deacon and superintendent of the Junior Sunday School and a member of the Men's Brotherhood of Grace Baptist Church.

In 1963, Charles W. Crum committed suicide in a local motel.

Asheville Citizen Times, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC, 11/5/1963, Pg 3, "Walter Crum Found Dead"
A West Asheville man's body was found Monday in a Hendersonville road motel with a bullet wound in the head, according to Dr. John C. Young, Buncombe County coroner.
Dr. Young identified the dead man as Charles Walter Crum, 43, of 295 Shelburne Rd., who was found in a motel at the junction of U.S. 25 and 25-A about 1:30 p.m. (Sun Valley Motel, 2507 Hendersonville Rd, Arden, Buncombe County, NC)
Dr. Young ruled that death came from a self-inflicted wound, and said that no inquest would be held. The body was taken to Groce Funeral Home, where arrangements will be announced later.

Asheville Citizen Times, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC, 11/6/1963, Pg 17
Services for Charles Walter Crum, 43, of 295 Shelburne Rd., who died Monday, will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Grace Baptist Church of which he had been an active member for a number of years. The Rev. C.R. Pierce Jr., pastor, will officiate. Burial will be in Green Hills Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be R.M. Randolph, Ed Roberts, Milfred Parker, Maynard and Gurney Crum, Porter Joyner, R.C. Kinser and Bert Starnes. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the board of deacons and Men's Brotherhood of the church. The body will remain in Groce Funeral Home until taken to the church to lie in state 30 minutes prior to services.
Mr. Crum was an employee of Southern Railway for many years. serving as a brakeman in the Asheville yards until he lost an arm and a leg in an accident there. He had since been employed by Home Insulation Co. of Asheville. A native of Greene County, Tenn., he was a son of Mrs. Jennie Ricker Crum of Greeneville, Tenn., and the late Walter Crum. He was a veteran of World War II serving in the Navy. Mr. Crum was a member of the board of deacons and the Men's Brotherhood of Grace Church where he also served as superintendent of the Junior Sunday School Dept. and was a leader in the Training Union.
Surviving in addition to the mother are the widow, the former Miss Jessie Lou Brown, and two sons, William L. and Charles Dale Crum, both of Asheville.

I can only imagine the pain that caused him to commit suicide. He was only 43 and yet he had lived a lot in his 43 years. It seems he had some tragedies to overcome in his life that might have seemed insurmountable to a lot of people and yet he also had some good things that I'm sure brought him joy. He lived during the Great Depression. He had to serve during the world's greatest war, WWII, and yet he survived to come home. He married a beautiful woman and had two sons and had a home. He was involved in a horrible accident that cost him his arm and leg while on the job. Yet he survived and seems to have been employed as a filling station attendant and then at the insulation company. Just a few months after this terrible accident, the poor man is kidnapped and robbed and left on the side of the road. But he survived and got his car and money back. He lived next door to his in-laws and was very active in his local church where he was obviously respected. So what was the tipping point? What caused him to do it? It's just so sad.

He killed himself at the Sun Valley Motel in Arden, NC, south of Asheville. The Sun Valley Motel was operated until 2007 when it was demolished and replaced with a new Walgreens.

Advertisement in Asheville Citizen Times in 1964

Charles W. Crum's sons married and had children. Charles Dale Crum and William Leland Crum also served in the U.S. Navy.

Jessie L. Brown's father, Cyrus Leland Brown, died about 5 months after her husband died, He was being treated for bladder cancer when he died of acute coronary heart disease.

Jessie Lou Brown Crum died at just 47 years old on 3/6/1969. She died of cardiac stand still due to renal failure, congestive heart failure (duration 2 years) due to hypertension, chronic nephritis (duration 10 years).

Asheville Citizen Times, 3/7/1969Asheville, Buncombe County, NC, Pg 25
Mrs. Jessie Lou Brown Crum, 47, of 295 Shelburne Rd., died Thursday afternoon at her home after a long illness. A lifelong resident of Buncombe County, she was the widow of Charles Walter Crum, who died in 1963, and a daughter of Louella Ballard Brown and the late C. Leland Brown. Mrs. Crum was a charter member of Grace Baptist Church, where she was active in the junior and intermediate Training Union and the Sunday School.
Surviving in addition to the mother are two sons, William L. of Asheville and Charles Dale Crum of Durham; a sister, Mrs. Mary Nell Hux of Asheville; and three grandchildren. Services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday in Grace Baptist Church. The Rev. C.R. Pierce Jr. and Dr. Cecil E. Sherman will officiate. Burial will be in Green Hills Cemetery...

Her mother, Louella Ballard Brown died the following year on 5/19/1970 in Asheville, NC of a heart attack at 68 years old. And Charles' mother, Jennie Ricker Crum, died a few months later on 11/26/1970 in Chapel Hill Nursing Home, Chapel Hill, Orange County, NC of cardiac arrhythmia at 82 years of age.

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