Greenville Daily News-October 12, 1911

Coroner’s Jury Implicates No One

Investigation Over Body OK

Willis Jackson Was Held Yesterday

Honea Path Quiet After Lynching

Investigation by Coroner Into the Death of Willis Jackson the Negro Who Assaulted Young White Girl, Results In Verdict That He Came to His Death at Hands of Unknown Mob. It is Said That Josh Ashley and His Son Joe Took No part in Lynching itself.

Anderson, Oct. 11. (Special.) “Willis Jackson came to his death from gun shot wounds at the hands of an unknown mob,”  was the verdict reached by the coroner’s jury at Honea Path today. The horribly mutilated body was viewed by the jury and was cut down from the telephone pole by Coroner Keasley. The mother of the negro refused to take the body, saying she would not have anything to do with a son of hers that would commit such a crime. The negroes refused to allow the body to be interred in their burial grounds, so it was buried at the expense of the county, on the home place of Melvin Ashley. Several fingers of the negro were severed for souvenirs during the night, and the rope as it fell to the ground was cut in pieces and distributed among a large crowd that had gathered to see him cut from the pole. Coroner Heasley and Sheriff King arrived on the scene at this morning, and after experiencing a little trouble in getting a jury willing to serve, the inquest was begun. The body was viewed, and the jury then repaired to the office of Magistrate Wilson to hear the testimony. Five or six witnesses were examined, but It was impossible to locate any person who admitted seeing the lynching. Everybody in the community was reticent, and the examination of the witnesses required only a short time. Sheriff King forwarded a short report from Honea Path to the Governor. In the report he referred the governor to the newspaper accounts which the sheriff stated were correct in every particular as far as he could determine. It is said that Citizen Josh Ashley was not a witness of the lynching, and neither was his son, Joe Ashley. These men left the mob with the negro before the crowd reached Honea Path. At Honea Path Mayor Sullivan pleaded that the law be allowed to dispose of the negro. He read a telegram he had received from the Governor asking that the mob allow the law to take Its course, stating that he would order a special term of court to try the negro within two weeks. All of the pleading was of no avail, however, for after taking the negro before the little girl for a second identification, the crowd proceeded to the scene of attack and there he was strung up by his left foot. The negro’s body was literally riddled with bullets, not a spot as large as a dollar remaining where bullets did not pierce. Everything is quiet at Honea Path and no further demonstrations will occur. One negro man was dealt with for making an Insulting remark to a gentleman looking on the body this morning. The remark was about blocking the road. The negro was not injured only being subjected to a light whipping.