Abilene Reporter News (Newspaper) - February 11, 1954, Abilene, Texas
COOLERImporter''iBttVitó MORNING'WITHOUT OR WITH OFFENSE TO FRIENDS OR FOES WE SKEFCH YOUR WORLD EXACTLY AS IT GOES" — Byron
VOL. LXXIII, No. 240
Auociated Pre»$ ÍAP)
ABILENE, TEXAS, THURSDAY MORNING, FEBRUARY 11, 1954-TWENTY-TWO PAGES IN TWO SECTIONS
PRICE DAILY 5c, SUNDAY lOc
2 Hamlin Children Die
As Farm House Burns
GONE, GONE!!!—Jack Eppler, owner of Sunbeam Supermarket, 1672 Pine St., looks at the cash register emptied of $500-$l,000 by two armed robbers Wednesday night. (Staff Photo by David Barros)
Witness Says He Issued Fake Vouchers for Parr
SAN DIEGO. Feb. 10 A state witness testified today he had issued school fund vouchers to fictitious persons at the express order of George Parr.
He said he either gave the vouchers to Parr or cashed them and gave the money to Parr, Parr—cenUfr of the state’s attack on Duval County — stoofi in' the sun and grinned about it all.
He said it was like a hockey game — with Atty. Gen. Ben Shep-perd and Gov. Shivers “passing the buck back and forth.” j
“Fir.st,” he said, “there’s a blast from Shivers, then there’s a blast! from Shepperd. Now it’s Shivers’ time again.” i^arr is the political boss of Duval County in South Texas, has been for years.
‘Boss Rule’ Attacked Shepperd flew here thi* week personally to lead an attack on what he said was “boss rule” In the county.
The use of funds of the Benavides Independent School District in the county is under investigation.
A state witness testified today he had issued school fund vouchers to lictitious persons at the express order of Parr. He said he either gave the vouchers to Parr or cashed them and gave the money to Parr. Parr laughed at that. He said all
that already has been published in newspapers.
The political boss, a red-faced millionaire at 52, stood outside the door to his San Diego office and talked to a reporter.
Some Turn on Parr
Some of his former friends were reported to have turned again.st Parr.
J. L. .MacDonald, a Benavides oilman and rancher, a bitter foe of Parr, said a group of long-time Parr supporters are revolting against I’arr. MacDonald said he talked last night with three representatives of prominent Duval County families who formerly backed Parr.
He said the three told him they had given Parr an ultimatum to clean up the Benavides school district “or we’ll do it without your help.”
MacDonald described the three as “good respected people—they’re disgusted with the school district and tired of living in fear,” Records Ordered In
At the courthouse Judge Arthur Klein ordered Texas Rangers to round up all records of Duval County and the Benavides and San Diego school districts of the county.
State Auditor C. H, Cavness and seven assi.stants stood by in San Diego, ready to start checking. !
The testimony and roundup of
WINDS REACH 57-MPH
Dust Blows Awoy; Cooler Air Due
Abilene area residents. who breathed dust-filled air Wednesday, likely will have more pure and cooler air to inhale Thursday, according to the U. S. Weather Bureau at Municipal Airport.
A heat wave which began Monday with a 73-degree maximum temperature likely will taper off Thursday and Friday with maximums of 60-6.') both day.s, the weatherman said.
On Tuesday the mercury touched 81. It hit 77 Wednesday, despite fast-blowing winds.
The dust, which blew in from the Big Spring area and .New Mexico, was settling after dark. Wednesday, the weatherman said.
The duster lost its strength after dropoing visibility here to a mile shorfly after noon Wednesday and keeping it that low for four hours, he said. By 10 p.m., visibility had Increased to about eight miles.
Winds blew until nightfall. The maximum speed was 45 miles an hour, with gust.s up to 57 m p h. shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday.
The duster came after a low pressure area developed over the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles Tuesday night, the weatherman ■aid.
r. s. ntPARlMFST OF ( OMMFRCE WKATIIFR Bl'KKAr ABILENE AND VICINITY Clear *nd
•lightly cooler Tl)ur(Hl*y, Thursday night
• nd rnd«y; high Tliurkd«y and Friday §()•«: low Thursday night 35-40.
NORTH central TEXAS Pair «nd
colder Thurtdav. F'rlday. fair and cool WEST TEXAS - - Fair and coUle» Thursday: Friday, fair, warmer In the Panhandle and .South Plains.
EAST TEXAS - Partly cloudy to clear •nd colder Thursday: Friday, fair and
cool: fresh to occasionally atrong aouth-west winds on the coast, shifting to north*
• rly early Thursday
Wed a m.
5M . .....
M . .....
High and low temperatures for 34 hours
• nded at 1 30 pm.. 77 and 50
High and lov. temperature! tame date last year. 6» and 35.
■uneet last night 6 31 p m. Sunrise today 1 3i a m iunset tonight • >1 p m Barometer reMlng at # 30 p m. 37 91, llelative humidity at *30 pm. 37%.
The high pressure area to the Southwest pushed against the low pressure area, causing winds to blow from the Southwest as the low pressure area moved northeast, he said.
The high pressure front moved through this area about 8 p.m., the weatherman said.
records was the latest maneuver by the state, led by Ben Shepperd, against Duval County.
It happened while the presiding judge of the district, C. Woodrow Laughlin, was in Austin, where oral arguments in an ouster suit against him were being held in the Supreme Court.
Klein, of Brownsville, was named to preside in the 79th District, which includes Duval County, during Laughlin’s absence.
While all the maneuvers were going on in San Diego, the entire Duval County Commissioners Court resigned and four new men vrere appointed by County Judge Dan Tobin Jr.
Others May Resign
Unconfirmed rumors were that every member of the Benavides school district board would resign.
Today’s state witness was Diego Heras, former deputy tax collector of the Benavides school district.
Klein accepted his affidavit, signed last March 18.
Attached were four single-.spaced typewritten pages listing the date, number, name and amount of each voucher Heras said he had issued. He .said they w^ere against the school district for the amount of teacliers’ contributions to the teachers’ retirement system.
He said many vouchers were issued to persons “actually fictitious, never existed and of course never performed the services for which the vouchers were drawn. Many vouchers were issued at the .;x-press direction of George Parr and others were issued at the express direction of W. M. Benson.”
‘Keeps Parr’s Books’
The affidavit identified Benson as a man who “keeps Mr. Parr’s books” and who served as “auditor” of the Benavides .school district.
Heras said Parr had dominated the trustees of the district had “taken it upon himself to countersign all vouchers” but never had, to Heras’ knowledge, been an employe of the school district.
Heras said in his affidavit that
See WITNESS, Pg. 3-A, Col. 3
Laughlin Attorneys Soy Judge 'Victim'
.3 30 ,
3 30 .
• 30 .
....... .. 74
• • ...
13 30 .
AUSTIN. Feb. 10 Attorneys in the South Tcxa.s fight to remove District Judge Woodrow Laughlin of Alice ai gued before the Supreme Court today that political boss George Parr is at the root of the trouble.
The arguments differed, of course, over whether Laughlin was the “innocent victim” or a willing aide in the turbulent area’s political intrigue.
Laughlin listened calmly as the scven-nionth-old case went through it.s last stage before the court acts. No action was expected for at least several weeks. *
Eleven attorneys who practice in Laughlin’s 79th District Court —which sits for Duval, Jim Wells, Brooks and Starr counties—brought the unprecedented action last July. It went through four weeks of hearing before special master D. B.
) Wood who upheld five of eight charges aimed at removing the judge.
Supported by Parr
C.C. Small Sr., a Laughlin attorney, told the court today his opposition Intends to infer “because this man received Parr’s support he must be corrupt.”
"A lot of people have got those votes down there,” he argued. “You can’t throw a man out of office for that.”
Sen. William Shireman of Corpus Chrlsil, attorney for l..aughlln'» opposition, contended more was involved than Parr’s support.
When Laughlin released court-impounded Duval County ballots, he argued, Laughlin “was not concerned about destroying those ballots but with putting them In reach of George Parr so he could carry out his thi-eat to find out how people voted.
Small and Clint Small Jr.. told the court three complaints do not meet constitutional requirements for removal proceedings.
LOOK SHARP, PODNERS!
BChRK -4 Alfnocc
•THI HALF-PINT OUTLaW IS COMING TO THE EVENING EDITION OF THE AIILENE REPORTIR-NEWS
Pair Hold Up Supermarket, Gel Over $500
Two 35 or 40 year-old men armed w'ith a .32 calibre pistol robbed the Sunbeam Supermarket, 1672 Pine St., of between $500 and $1.-000 about 9:30 p. m. Wednesday police reported.
The pair was believed by police to have fled after the robbery in a 1952 Buick. Search for the pair by city, county, and state law enforcement officers was concentrated on U. S. Highway 277 to Albany and U. S. 80 east of Abilene.
Store Owner Jack Eppler said the robbers came into the store and made a purchase of a pack of cigarets and other items.
After receiving the purchases, one of the bandits asked for a little paper bag.
When Clerk Dick Beber gave it to him, the robber pulled out his pistol and said:
“Now put all the money in it.” The store owner said, “I didn’t know the holdup was going on. One of them had me in the corner while the other was getting the money.”
Eppler said he was talking to one of the pair while the other was taking the money at gunpoint.
Bulbar Polio Kills Snyder Rail Worker
ROBY, Feb. 10. (RNS)—Braxton Columbus Perry, 25, of Snyder, son of Mr. and Mrs. K. B. Perry of Lubbock and son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. Buck Hughs of Roby, died in Clinic Hospital at San Angelo at 5:55 a.m. Wednesday of bulbar polio, He had been ill a week and entered the hospital two days before his death.
Mr. Perry’s wife i.s the former Frances Hughs of Roby. They have a daughter, Kathryn lieta, 2, and a son, Braxton Lee, 6 months. The Perry home is at 3805 Muriel Dr., Snyder.
Mr. Perry was employed as a yard clerk for the Santa Fe Railway in Snyder at the time of his death. He was born in Navarro County on Sept. 8. 1928.
Surviving besides his parents, his wife and their children are one brother, Capt. Brady Alfred Perr>’ of the Air Force, stationed in Germany; and two sisters. Mrs. Howard W. Browm of Whiteface and Mrs. Stayton E. Muschalek of Lubbock.
Funeral time will be announced by Weathersbee Funeral Home of Rotan. Services will be held In the First Methodist Church here. Officiating will be the Rev. E. L. Y’eats, retired Methodist minister of Roby; the Rev. George Wilson, pastor of the First Baptist Church at Sweetwater; and the Rev. Tll-den B. Armstrong, pastor of the Methodist Church at Floydada.
The Rev. Yeats and the Rev. Armstrong are former pastors of the Roby Methodist Church.
Largent Bull Is Show Champ
HOUSTON, Feb. 10 (,4H—Almost three dozen cattle and sheep were named champions and reserve champions today at the Houston Fat Stock Show.
The champion Hereford bull was M.W. Larry Mixer 66. owned by W.T. Largent of Merkel. The reserve champion was H.R. Publican Anxiety, owned by the Her-schede Heretord Ranch of Hereford, Aiiz.
Herschede won the champion female Hereford banner with M. Zato Heiress 30th. The reserve champion was M. Zato Heiress 5th, ow'ned by the Jones Hereford Ranch at Rhome.
Prince 39th of Shadow Isle, owned by M and L Ranch at Burnet, was named grand champion Aber-deen-Angus bull.
J.D, and J.F. Cook Qf Goldth-w'aitc made a grand slam in the Corriedale breed.
Raymond W’alston of Mena id exhibited both champions in the Delaine-Merino breed. The reserve champion ram anti ewe were .shown by Hobson Miller and Joe Benning-field of Goldthwaite.
Parents Confused, Leave Infant Inside
By MRS. HOLLY TOLER Reporter-News Correspondent
HAMLIN, Feb. 10.—A 10-month-old baby boy was burned to death and his 12-year-old sister died several hours later from burns received when flames swept a four-room farmhouse six miles east of Hamlin early Wednesday morning.
The dead are Bobby Don Blevins whose body w as recovered from the blackened ruins after daylight Wednesday morning and Helen Ruth Blevins, who died at 8:55 p. m. Wednesday in Hamlin Hospital.
Four Children Escape
The children’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. R. F. Blevins, formerly of Chickasha, Okla., who had been in the Hamlin area for about three months pick
'The couple’s four other children, Charles Arthur, 2, Jimmy Lee. 4, Frank Stanley. 6, and Ruben Goddard, 9, escaped when the farmhouse belonging to Charlie L. Adams of Hamlin was enveloi>ed in flames about 4 a.m. Wednesday. The family was living in the house while they were picking cotton for Adams, Sheriff Dave Reves of Anson said Wednesday night.
The baby had been left in the house by mistake after the fire broke out when both the father and mother thought the other had taken the child out of the blazing home in their flight, the father said.
Kerosene on Fire
The fire was believed to have started when Helen RuUi threw kerosene on a fire in an open oil drum used for a bedroom heater. Helen Ruth was up tending to the baby l)oy at the time of the fire, the father said.
Blevins said Wednesday night that Mrs. Blevins had gotten up with Charles Arthur. 2, and the daughter was tending the baby when the fire broke out
He said he thought his daughter had put wood and then poured kerosene on the fire. Blevins said when he awoke Helen Ruth’s clothing was afire and .Mrs. Blevins, holding the 2-yea r-o!d, w’as trying to beat out the flames. Helen Ruth had been holding the baby while tending the fire but had laid the boy down after she caught fire, her father said. The girl later ran outside.
Lad Runs Back
Blevins said three of the door.s in the house were jammed thwarting his attempts at escape. He finally got him.self and other members of the family out by kicking out a window, he said.
Blevins said he had Jimmy I^e, 4, with him as he left the burning house. Once outside Jimmy Lee
See HAMLIN, Pg. 3-A, Col. 3
SECTION A Woman'i Nawi . . . Pages 4, 5
Oil Ntwi ...... 6
SECTION B Sports News . . Pogtt 2, 3
Radio A TV Logs.........2
Editorials ......... .4
Classified Ads......6, 7, 8
Form & Ronch News ... 9
Markets ....... 9
Hamlin Folks Aid Deslilule Fire Victims
HAMLIN. Feb. 10 (RNS' — Individuals and organizations here have rallied to the aid of a family W'hose 10-month-old .son and 12-year-old daughter were burned to death Wednesday morning in a fire that also destroyed all their personal possessions.
Everything owned by the R. F. Blevins family and their four surviving children. Ruben Goddard, 9, Frank Stanley, 6, Jimmy l.«e, 4, and Charles Arthur, 2. were lost in the fire early Wednesday morning except a truck laden with cotton.
Food Collected Hamlinltes had collected food, clothing, and had furnished the family a house by nightfall to case their hardship .somewhat.
The Benson Payne family east of Hamlin is taking care of the children.
Blevins said Wednesday night that he “didn't get a thing out of the fire,” the second experienced by the family in the past three years. The father said ail their possessions w'cre also lost in the first fire.
The family has been living In the Hamlin area for about three months, coming here from Chickasha, Okla.
Hamlinites had learned of their hardship even before the fire and had taken them food and bedding. The Church of Christ here had given the family food the day before the fire. The food was burned Wednesday morning.
Blevins said Wednesday night that he and his family had faced adversity for the "past three years.” He is a ranch and farm laborer, he said.
Rejects Adoption Blevins said he has turned down offers of persons who have said they would adopt his children since the fire early Wednesday morning.
“I am proud of my family and love them and I am going to keep them together,” he said.
Since coming to Hamlin Blevins said he and his family “had picked seven bales of cotton.”
He had planned to start the school-age children back to school next week, he said.
SNOOTY POOCH — With the Westminster Kennel Club championship already cinched, Ch. Carmor’s Rise and Shine can afford to be nonchalant about lesser honors at the New York show. The handsome cocker spaniel, winner over more than 2,500 entries in dogdom’s top event, poses nonchalantly with one of his trophies, the James Mortimer Memorial Silver Trophy tor the best American-bred in the show. The Westminster champ is owned by Mrs. Carl E. Morgan of High Point, N. C. (AP Wirephoto).
Eisenhower Ui^es Nonpartisan Talk
WASHINGTON. Feb. 10 iifl-Pros-Ident El.?enhower said today the time.s are too seiiou.s for extreme partisanship and he will coun.sel administration officials to avoid it in talking about the Democrats.
Elsenhower told a news conference he would expect Leonard W. Hall, chairman of the Republican National Committee, to follow such advice, too.
This was against a background of angry outbursts from leading Democrats in Congress, protesting they are getting fed up with GOP speeches they said have attempted to label all their party as Communists or political sadists. They had called on the President either to hack up or repudiate the attacks.
Saying he quite cheerfully admits the need of D<*mocratic support to get parts of his legislative program enacted, the President re-marked that he isn’t much of a partisan himself and knows of no way he can stop this sort of thing except among members of his own executive family.
Frowns on Oratory
day and time. And he said he would consider It completely untrue, as well as very unwise even from a partisan political point of view, to .suggest that all Democrats are tinged with treason.
.A number of Senate Democrata promptly applauded the Elsenhower stand. Democratic Leader Lyndon B. Johnson, who protested yesterday against “Irresponsibl# statements by high administration officials,” commented:
“The President’s attitude is one of a gentleman and an American. Unfortunately some of his advisers’ remarks put him in a position where he had to publicly rebuke them.”
This apparently was a reference to Presidential .Assistant Sherman Adams and to Elsenhower’s presi secretary, James C. Hagcrty.
Adam.s told the Republican National Committee Saturday tliat “political sadists” were spreading a “Fvar Deal ” and trying to talk the country into a depression. Hag-erty said yesterday he didn’t regard Republican criticism of the Democrats as attacks but as “just
By adopting a more mmJerate, ! giving the people the facts."
Dallas Seeks Water
DALLAS, Feb. 10 <i?^-This city’s water-advisory committee ordered engineers today to explore all water - supply sources north to Oklahoma and east to lAuislana.
MOTHER TRIES TO S.WE CHILDREN—Sobbing and prostrate with grief after her child slipped froiii her grasp, Mrs. Betty Mitchell, of Woodlyn, Pa., lies on the bank oi a quarry that claimed the lives of her four-year-old son, Michael, and another four-year-old, Michael Collins. Mrs. Mitchell, who is expecting another child in two weeks, plunged fully clothed into the icy water in the futile rescue try. (AP Wirephoto)
conciliatory approach than some ot hi.s fellow Republicans have been taking, the President appc'ared to frown on recent political oratory by GOP spokesmen on the national committee, in Congress, and on the White House staff itself.
Eisenhower said he has doubts that any great partisanship by memljers of the executive department is really appropriate in this
Highway Construction Coming
The presidential news conference centered largely around this one topic. Questions kept coming back to it. mixed in with discussions ol other subjects.
Along the way, Eisenhower announced the administration plans a 225 million dollar increase in- the highway construction fund, with the states matching the money.
'SHE' WAS MARRIED TO WOMAN
'Vernon' Becomes 'Violet' In Dramatic Court Scene
COLUMBUS, Ohio. Feb. 10 f-Vernon Bradshaw, 35, became Violet Marie Bradshaw today and threw' Franklin County Criminal Court into confusion.
Sentenced to Ohio Penitentiary for embezzlement, “' ernoii” became "Violet” in a dramatic courtroom scene.
Rapidly came these dUclosuivs-Violet has ma.squeraded for many years as a man: she was married to a woman who has two children by a former marriage, and she has always “considered myself a man; I have dressed, acted and worked like a man ever since 1 can remember.”
“This is the most amazing case I’ve ever heard of in my years on the bench.” said Criminal Court Judge Dana F. Reynold.^.
Now Rtientencad The confused jurist, after sentencing “Vernon” to an indeterminate term in Ohio Penitentiary, recalled ”Violet” and resentenceti her to Marysville reformitorj' for W'omen.
It became a court case las* summer when Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Stormont arrested Vernon Bradshaw in Keuova, W. Va.^ on
I a charge of embezzling more than j S2,(K)0 from the Hi-Grade Ic« i Cream Co. here.
Bradshaw was luld three days Í in county jail and released under 1 $1,500 bond. Indictment by the 1 grand jury followed and then th# j case came up for trial today. .After the hearing Judge Reynoldi passed the penitentiary sentence.
Vtrnon It Violet • .A spectator spoke up.
”.Aiy name Is Patrick Bradshaw j and I’m the defendant's brother,”
, He said. "You’ve made a terrible i mistake. Vernon is really Violet, and she is a woman.”
The court and the spectators were stunned.
Judge Reynolds directed a matron and a physician to examine the defei^ant.
; They informed the court the prisoner was a woman.
Judge Reynolds, at the resentencing. asked Sheriff Ralph Paul ; why the prisoner was not searched ! and her sex determined at the time I she was taken to jail.
"It’s a matter of not htvlni enough room In the jail; we caik> not look alter everjtfelng,” the sheriff told the courL