Abilene Reporter News (Newspaper) - February 7, 1938, Abilene, Texas
Wje Abilene Reporter
"WITHOUT, OR WITH OFFENSE TO FRIENDS OR FOES, VV E SKETCH YOUR WORLD EXACTLY AS IT COES "-Byron
VOL. LVII, NO. 262
AiwrliM Pre** (API
ABILENE, TEXAS, MONDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 7, 1938-TEN PAGES.
Cnlled Press (rn PRICE 5 CENTS
SIGNAL FOR SWEEPING MURDER INVESTIGATION--
Body Of Missing Tennesseean Found Near Swelter
Firestone Dies In At Florida Winter
Allred Renews Attack On Oil Lease Policies
Requests M'Craw To File Suit On Nueces Tract
AUSTIN, Feb. 7.—</P>—Governor James V. Allred renewed his attacks on the land leasing policies of Land Commissioner W. H. McDonald today with an official request to Attorney General William McCraw that suit to cancel a tract of public land in Nueces county leased by McDonald be instituted immediately. Tile tract was No. 14 In the Laguna Madre survey*
Tile governor said the tract comprises 62 acres, was leased Jan. 18. 1937, to Herbert Mallinson of Dallas fen $310 cash and three- , sixteenths royalty lf oil should be produced.
There also were provisions for an additional three-sixteenths royalty when each well drilled paid the lessee $55,000 cash, but if ' artificial means hould have to be 1 used to lift the oil then the royal- 1 t«r should drop back to five-sixteenth s.
The governor said the land commissioner made no requirement for drilling the tract although at Hie time ii was located adjacent to the Flour Bluff Oil field and is now offset by actual production 990 feet distant. No well has been drilled on the land, he added.
HSJ! ’ TS fftP V'O HID
When the land commissioned let this bid to Herbert Mallinson it was evidently worth more than
See LEASING, Pg. 9. Col. 8
HARVEY S. FIRESTONE
C Of C Studies Proposed Aims
Suggestions Vary From Railway To Fish Hatchery
Suggestions varying from building a railroad and getting a fish hatchery located in Abilene to supporting a beer election were being examined by an Abilene chamber of
Rites For Rubber Magnate To Be Meld In Akron
Details Of Last Hours Withheld By Spokesman
MIAMI BEACH, Fla., Feb. 7. — (AP) — Harvey S. Firestone, the rubber magnate of Akron, Ohio, died at his winter home here early today.
Announcement of his death was made by his son, Russell A. Firestone, in the following statement:
“Harvey S. Firestone passed away in his sleep early thia morning at his home here. The funeral will be held in Akron later this week.”
69 LAST DECEMBER
Firestone was 69 years old last j Dec. 20. He had suffered from illness intermittently In recent years but his health was good when he arrived on his birthdav for his annual winter sojourn at his ocean front estate.
Die rubber manufacturer held an optimistic outlook on life and his last interview, on his arrival here, reflected that trait.
He said business conditions were “not as good as they were a year ago” but attributed that condition
POSSE IN PENDERGRASS SEARCH AND KIN OF VICTIM
Airport Radio Project Begun
Survey Plot For Five Towers And I Facilities Building
Construction of another unit In the all-year, all-weather coast to coast air highway which passes over West Texas began today. The unit is the radio range station being located about a mile east of Abilene.
Joe So becher of Ellenwood, Kansas. contractor for the project. R. A. Hall, also of Ellenwood. electrical foreman, and Robert AJpher, department of commerce engineer, i Amrrr.. I wert on the location this morning. I
commerce committee today. The sug- J „«ovemmen* | The construction shack has already
gestlons were the results of a poll being conducted by the chamber to
regulation of industry.
“If we want to regain prosperity
been built and Aipher and his two assistants were surveying an 800 foot
Michigan Floods Menace Hundreds
Temperature Rise Breaks Ice Jams
adermine tic prt'L^ watch lenians feel should be included in the organization's program for 1938.
Duty of the committee is to go over the suggestions, select those which seem most worthwhile and practical, and present these at the i
we must do a rlght-about-face on , a,,H
reputation." hr Mid. "In nth., I W“»P P1.01 f0f *?».*n<1
words, prosperity still depends on two fundamentals—work and production, and these in turn are dependent on the release of capital.
"The first incentive toward its release would be the repeal of the undistributed profits tax and the
banquet to be held tomorrow night repeal of the capital gains tax.” at the Hilton hotel. After a short Hts principal diversion in later
discussion of the suggestions pre- years had been putting a golf ball sented, some of them will be adopted I
and included in the chamber of FIRESTONE, Pf. 9. Col. 4
DETROIT. Feb. 7.—'UP)—More than 500 families were driven from their home today as floods broke ice jams in rivers throughout .southern Michigan and sent torrents raging over lowlands,
A temperature jump to 58 grees Sunday brought thunderstorms, rain and hail after two near record cold waves.
Wa^h^U-out bridges, flooded lowlands and homeless families
were reported from Holland on the west, north to the thumb district and souLii to Detroit.
A huge ice jam blocked the mouth of the Clinton river near Mt. Clemens. Sheriffs deputies
fought to evacuate more families after a night in which hundreds were threatened.
commerce work program for 1938.
“Tile committee already has a large number of suggestions," said Malcolm Meek, president of the chamber ."but we would welcome many more both from members and non-members. There is still time to complete and return the blanks which have been received, or obtain one from the chamber of commerce de- office- We are especially Interested
What Is Your
NEWS I. a?
in these results because they are our one reliable index of w’hat the pub-
Ser C. OF C. Pg. 9. Col. 7
Six Killed as Fast M-P Train Wrecks
BENTON. Ark . Feb. 7—JP)—An old model car stalled on the Missouri Pacific’s main line tracks at a country-road crossing yesterday and WTecked "Tile Texan,” fast passenger train eastbound from Dallas to St. Louis, bringing death to six persons.
The victims, crushed and scalded as the front part of the train piled up. were three members of the train crew and three negro passengers. A half dozen others aboard the train, carrying 77 passengers, suffered minor injuries.
Railroad officials estimated “The Texan” was tra\cling at 70 miles an hour when the locomotive struck the car and jumped the tracks.
The big engine bogged down in soft mud and overturned. Cars immediately behind were hurled past it, ripping open their sides. Steam from the engine shot into the first day coach, accounting for the passenger deaths there.
Admiral Assails Alliance Reports
Pacts Not Navy Goal, Leahy Says
WASHINGTON, Feb. 7—^—Admiral William D. Leahy, chief of naval operations, told the house naval committee today that the navy expects to solve its defense problems "without alliances” and has no “foreign commitments.”
Asserting he wished to clear up any mi runderstandir® that may have arisen from his previous assertions, the navy’s highest ranking officer said:
"Tile navy has no thought of obtaining assistance from any other nation. It has no thought of giving assistance in the solution of the problems of any other nation.
"It has no foreign commitments.
"There are no understandings regarding assistance to be given, or received,
"There has been no talk of giving. or receiving, assistance.”
Leahy’s refusal last week to disclose publicly the nature of discussions Captain Robert Ingersoll, head of the navy war plans divisions, had recently with the British admiralty had brought speculation in congressional circles as to a possible understanding with Britain.
Leahy's categorical denial of any commitment to any foreign nation was given in testimony on legislation to authorize a $800,000,000 naval expansion program.
the facilities building.
About ten local men will be used In the construction work, said Se-bacher. He estimates that his part of the job w’ill be completed in about two months. Tile contract was awarded to Sebacher by the department of commerce January 26. on a bid of $11,378 68.
Equipment of the radio beam station will consist of five steel towers 131 feet high set on concrete foundations seven feet deep and about the same width. Construction of the foundations was expected to start Tuesday morning.
Four of the towers will form a square with the fifth being located, along with the facilities building, in the center of the tract. The four will be used for sending the beam signals and the fifth will be for broadcasting messages to plane pilots.
The facilities building will be a small stone structure to house the electrical equipment of the station and provide office space for Ute range operator.
The Abilene station, with its call letters A P, will overlap the beams of Fort Worth and Big Spring. It will replace the small station near Santo.
"The range stations,” said William Gottlieb, of the Abilene airport
See AIRPORT, Pf. 9, Col. 5
AFL Voids Mine Workers' Charter
MIAMI. Fia., Feb. 7.—(ZP)—The American Federation of Labor executive council announced today t had revoked the charter of the United Mine Workers of America.
At the same time the council I* -yoked charters of the Intern Pinnal Union of Mine, Mill and Smelt-r workers and the Federation of Fist Glass Workers of America.
A resolution adopted last Friday but not ann Danced until toda,, .sa..i the AFL regarded the union’.-, activities in the committee for Industrial organiza'ion as "an actual and complete withdrawal'’ from tnt federation.
Picture No. I—The posse which conducted the successful search for the body of Jesse H. Pendergrass, elderly Tennessean, on the Withers ranch southeast of Sweetwater Sunday morning. Standing together in the center of the picture are Fire Chief A. C. Forgay, w-ho helped lead the search, and Fireman Andy Means, one of two men who found the body. With Means at the find was Fireman Weldon Patterson, who is shown second from the left.
Picture No. 2—C. T. Pendergrass, 73, of Meadow, Texas, brother of the dead man. who was exactly four years his Junior. They would have celebrated JoinUy their birthday on December 8 had Jesse Pendergrass, completed his journey from Ten-
—Photos bv Roy Prime, Jr., Nolan County News Staff Cameraman.
nessee to Meadow. There was a striking resemblance between C. T. and Jesse, said relatives.
Picture No. 3—1. V. Pendergrass. 58, another brother, a farmer, also living near Meadow. He and C. T. came to Sweetwater Saturday after three Boy Scouts on a hike had come across the handbag belonging to Jesse Pendergrass.
LOCALE OF SENSATIONAL CRIMES—
S'WATER ASTIR AS CHAPTER IN NEW TRAGEDY IS WRITTEN
Throat Wounds Believed Cause Of Man’s Death
Casa To Be Submitted To Nolan Grand Jury At Special Session Tomorrow;
Robbery Seen As Possible Motive
SWEETWATER, Feb. 7.—Body of Jesse Pendergrass will be returned to Cookville, Tenn., his home, for burial. Officers were advised this morning two nephews, H. V. and B. M. Carr, would arrive this afternoon to accompany the remains there.
Meanwhile, Jusire of the Peace Shook withheld his Inquest verdict and said the case would be submitted to the Nolan county grand jury, called into special session tomorrow morning. Charles Paxton Is Jury foreman.
By FINIS MOTHERSHEAD
SWEETWATER, Feb. 7.—His brothers learned Sunday why Jesse H. Pendergrass, aging Tennessee farmer, failed to arrive for a winter-long visit in Terry county.
Possemen organized at daylight found his decaying remains in a lonely pasture near Lake Sweetwater.
The discovery ended a two month search, instituted when relatives began to fear Pendergrass, 68, had met with foul play. It also was signal for a sweeping murder investigation.
Justice of the Peace S. H. Shook expressed belief the dead man had been slain.
I’m convinced he was murdered,” 8hook said Sunday night. He withheld a formal inquest verdict until after a hearing which was to be held sometime today.
Marks on the blackened and wasting remains led 0. 0. McCarty, of Ada, Okla.. special investigator for the Santa Fe railway, to decide that Pendergrass’ throat had been slashed.
Working with Dr. George A. Gray, Nolan county health officer, and other peace officers, McCarty made minute examination of the remains and clothing snipped from around th# body.
They also found evidence of knife wounds on both arms, as if the elderly Tennesseean had fended off an assailant, and what was believed to be a bullet hole in the right ankle.
Large Sum Of Money Believed On Victim
What happened to a large sum cf money Pendergrass was supposed
to ha\e carried secreted over his person was another question. Relatives said the dead man withdrew a bank account of more than $2 000 before leaving his home at Cookeville. Tenn. There was another and unverified report that sale of farm property had netted Pendergrass approximately $4,000 shortly before his departure for Texas.
Although close-mouthed concerning the investigation, officers Indicated that robbery was considered the motive for the slaying—lf Pendergrass was murdered.
They had no explanation, however, for more than $100 which was in his pockets when the body was discovered. Secreted beneath a buttoned flap in the Tennesseean’s underwear was $95. in notes of $5. $io and $20 denominations. In his trousers were nine $1 bills and $1.85 In change
Seven persons were being held for questioning Sunday night, but Chief of Police N. B. Hall said none was a suspect. Three of those bein? grilled were negroes, one a woman. Of the remaining four, at least one was a woman, possibly two.
"Nobody is being accused of murder-vet* announced Hall. He returned here late Sunday from Fort Worth to find the investigation in progress.
The probe apnarently centered on a hotel near the Texas dr Pacific railway deoot. where Pendergrass reportedly spent a night after his arrival in Sweetwater.
Chief Hall said all those from whom statements were sought had been taken to view the grisly remains. One, a middle-aged negro, was visibly shaken.
“No suh. I never seen him.” he declared Tile black's face was ashen and a hat In his clenched hands shook violently.
Searchers Discover Handbag In Pasture
By PREXY ANDERSON
SWEETWATER. Feb. 7.—Fate has I chosen Sweetwater as the locale of several sensational crimes in recent years. And Sunday the town is denied its usual Sabbath quiet. It is astir from early morning until nightfall. Another grim chapter of tragedy is being written swiftly, capped by the finding of the body of Jesse H. Pendergrass.
Pendergrass is a 68-year-old Tennesseean who starts from his middle Tennessee mountain farm home in | November to visit brothers in Meadow, Tex. He lingers on a stopover at Sweetwater for at least four
. . articles of clothing, and other per-
da\s too long for his own good. SOnal effect*. The boys are mainlv
for the consensus that his death interested in two old fashioned
is a murder is held by officers in- straight edge razors. Their hike is
Special Agent McCarty, who said he had been working on the disappearance mystery a week, arrived here four days ago.
Three Boy Scouts, two of them 13 and the other only 12. were re-sDonsible, however, for Sunday's “break” In the case. They were Jack Forgay. son of Fire Chief and Mrs. A. C. (Ace) Forgay; Fred Wilson, son of Mr. and Mrs. John M Wilson; and Jesse Ray Penton, son of Mr. and Mrs F. 8 Penton. All are seventh grade students in the Sweetwater junior high school.
The trio was on a 14-mile hike Saturday to Lake Sweetwater, a jaunt Tile fears are strengthened Sat- by which its members were to pass a Boy Scout test.
The boys stopped to eat their noon lunch in a pasture of the Henry Withers ranch, southeast of Sweetwater. One stumbled across a handbag and the three Scouts opened it.
Inside they found a quantity of clothing and other personal effects, packed neatly and obviously undisturbed. They debated whether to carry the bag back into Sweetwater, vetoed the idea. Instead, the boys appropriated two straight razors and a pair of spectacles.
With boyish lack of regard for significance of the find, they carved two lengths of leather from sides of the bag. These they showed to Forgay and his wife when the couple met the hikers two miles from town on their return journey. The boys had abandoned their trip to Lake Sweetwater, deciding they had walked far enough.
The fire chief, after delivering a lecture, reported the discovery to police. Two brothers of the missing man were summoned from their homes near Meadow, in Terry county. They are I. V. Pendergrass, 58, and C. T. Pendergrass, 73.
Contents of the handbag were identified by the brothers without difficulty as property of the disappeared man.
lonely wandering—are confirmed.
urtiay when Boy Scouts Fred Allen Wilson, 12, and Jack Forgay and Jesse Ray Penton, 13, Boy Scouts on a projected 14-mile hike, make a find. It is an old handbag, later identified as belonging to Jesse H. Pendergrass. They stumble across it on the four-section division of the Withers ranch, a mile and three-quarters northeast of the spot where Pandergrass body has lain more than two months.
Jesse Ray, Fred Allen and Jack are unimpressed by the importance of their discovery. Tile bag contains
IN FIRST ELECTION OF 1938—
By AP Feature Service
Each question counts 20; each part of a two-part question. IO. Score of 60 is fair; 80, good. Answer on page IO.
1. Who is this explorer? What docs he want to do with 2,000 balloons?
2. Is ‘‘green mice” the nickname of (a) animals used in influenza experimg bl a type of Italian bombing plane, or ic) a new branch of the Russian secret service?
3. The resignation of Republican Senator Steiwer gave the Democrats one more member in the Senate, True or false?
4. How' cid is the Hitler regime?
5. Whj did a Cleveland man lcatse the residence of the late JtXin D. Rockefeller?
Taylor Voters To Write Verdict On Proposed Local Option Dog Measur e At Polls Tomorrow
Taylor county citizens will begin 1 mass meetings, radio broadcasts their march to the polls early and through the public forum col-
Tuesday morning for the first time 1938. Many more will fol-iuring *u Tomorrow the duly constituted voters will adopt or reject a state local option law for registration and tax of all dogs in the county. Merit* and provisions of the law have been debated pro and con during recent weeks. Like all controversial questions, both sides of the dog daw issue have found ardent supporters.
Public opinion, as evidenced at
limns of the Reporter-News, has been sharply divided. No additional meetings are planned but the columns of the Reporter-News remain open to friends and foes of the’ proposed law.
But after today arguments end. The verdict will be written tomorrow at the polls.
There has been much uncertainty about where to vote, County Judge Lee R. York stated today. As a result, Judge York has prepared the fellowing list of election boxes and j
Precinct I—county court house. Z. D. Hailey.
Precinct 2—Fire station, Fifth and Butternut, C. C. Sellers.
Precinct 3—Fair park auditorium. Mrs. Dallas Scarborough.
Precinct 4—Shelton-Webb Motor company building, J. G. Dodge.
. Precinct 5—F'ire station. Fourth and Cedar. H. J. Hanks.
Precinct 6—Fire station, sixth and Orange. E E. Hollingshead.
Precinct 7—North Park school. J.
See DOG LAW, Pf. 6, Col. 7
vestigating the case. Tile officers range from city police to a federal agent.
The spot where Firemen Andy Means and Weldon Patterson come upon his remains at 10:30 a rn. is on the Henry Withers ranch five and a half miles southeast of Sweetwater. It Is not far from the west shore of Lake Sweetwater, where on August 15, 1936. the body of G. H Jones, 52, Trent storekeeper, is found. Jones is the victim of a ’’triangle’’ reienge slaying, for which Clarence Duncan now* is serving a pen term.
| Firemen, members of the sheriffs and police departments and a few others early in the morning begin the hunt for Pendergrass, last seen trudging tile road in that vicinity on a bitter cold November 21
By 9 a. rn. Sunday Regional Executive A. J. sales and Scoutmaster Garland Vinson are well under way with organization of a Boy Scout party to aid in the search. Before they are ready to join in, however, word comes there is no need for them. Worst fears—that the eccentric out-of-stater has met foul
I Play or perished of exposure on a
See SIDELIGHTS, Pf. IO, Col. J
— ’ rs 51
7 p.m. 7 a m. Dry thermometer St* SO
Wit thermomet-r . 41*
Relative humidity , 18 61
(J: ^ *
4* 50 :
.. .. et
. ...TCB 6 IS 12 39 1> ni
• 42 *
Texas Relatives Join In Search For Body
In Sweetwater the Terry county men joined Roy Pendergrass, wholesale grocery salesman, who lives here. He is the son of C. T. Pendergrass. Accompanying them here were Jay and Carl P. Pendregrass, sons of I. V. Pendergrass. Others who came along were Sheriff C. D. Gober and Deputy J. H. Hamilton, both of Brownfield. Hamilton is related to the Pendergrass family by marriage.
Sweetwater police disclosed that the bag had been found but kept secret the site. They wore guarding against a horde of curious Who might destroy valuable clues.
Sunday morning a searching party was organized. It consisted principally of city and county peace officers and members of the fire department, headed by Chief Forgay. Hunting independently were the youthful discoverers of the evidence. They rose early, thumbed a.
See BODY Page IO, Col. 6___
Woman Arrested Here For Questioning
A young and attractive blonde woman—she told police she was 19 years old—spent Sunday night in the Abilene city jail.
She was arrested yesterday afternoon at the request of Sweetwater officers, who had telephoned the Abilene police department a short time earlier,
"We have a warrant for her,” the Sweetwater department advised, giving the girl’s name and description. * Hoid her and we ll come after her.” No further notice had been received early
The prisoner, apparently ome of the seven persons whom t hief of Police N. B. Hall said were being held for questioning in a Sweetwater murder investigation, was taken into custody at a small hotel on South First street. •
ABILENE and vicinity: Partly e!< dv and warmer tonight and Tuesday W**t Texas: Partly clouds tonight a I Tuesday warmer in north and east cen-teal portions tonight
Eaat Texan: Partly cloudy, warmer in I northwest and north centra! portions to- .
n:«ht; Tuesday partiy clouds warmer m fire department, headed by Chief Forgay. I the Interior. - -
I Wigheat temperature veeterdav . .. 62 L)*e«t temperature this morning 38
_ Sun. Moi"
p.m. a rn