The Strange Death Of William Jennings Wells & its Aftermath.
As Reported In The Owensboro Messenger JULY 9, 1937 Thru JULY 11, 1937 and In The Owensboro Inquirer On 7/13/37.
1. OWENSBORO MESSENGER 7/9/37—FRONT PAGE HEADLINE
Pedestrian Is Killed By Hit-Run Truck Here.
2. FRONT PAGE PHOTO HEADLINE
Hit-Run Truck Kills Pedestrian.
3. PARAGRAPH ACCOMPANYING PHOTO:
Coroner Delbert J. Glenn, at the extreme right, and others attracted to the scene of the accident in which William Wells, 35, farmer, was killed last night while walking along Highway 60, a mile west of Owensboro, are shown looking at the sheet covered form of the dead man. In the center, backround, with his hat on his knee, is H. T. Krahwinkle, a witness to the mishap. George Medley is between Coroner Glenn and Krahwinkel.
4. ARTICLE HEADLINE
William Wells, Farm Worker, Is Mishap Victim.
Deputy Sheriffs Simon Smith and L. I. Dishman Arrest Orville Faught In Case; Fatality Occurs Mile West Of Owensboro On Highway 60.
William Wells, 35, who lived on the George Rudy farm west of Owensboro was struck and killed by a hit-run truck while walking along Highway 60 one mile west of Owensboro about 8:45 pm Thursday.
Deputy Sheriffs Simon Smith and L. I. Dishman, who were summoned after the truck driver failed to stop to render assistance to the victim, arrested Orville Faught, 40, at his home on Highway 60, a short while later.
Faught will be arraigned in Quarterly Court this morning on a manslaughter charge, it was said. Following his arrest he was released on his own bond for appearance in court.
Chief Deputy Sheriff Smith said Faught was in bed when apprehended. The officer said Faught told him he didn’t know he had hit anything with the truck, and began weeping when informed a man had been killed.
Faught was quoted as saying the lights on the truck snapped off after he left home, near the death scene, and that he drove to the Kentucky Inn and turned back toward his home by the road that passes to the south of the Inn.
The Officer said there was a dent in the truck fender and one headlight was damaged.
Wells was walking on the south side of the highway when he was fatally injured. H. T. Krahwinkel, 106 E. Seventeenth Street, and Audrey Dunn, 801 West First Street, who were en route to Dunn’s former home at Newman, passed the truck at the time of the fatal mishap. They were driving west in the highway and the truck was going toward the east.
Krahwinkel said he and Dunn thought the truck was going into the ditch at the side of the highway as the 2 vehicles passed. The truck’s lights were bad they said.
“I looked back and saw the truck almost stop and then go ahead, “ Krahwinkel said. “We thought the truck had hit a man on a bicycle and turned around to see. When we got back we saw the man on the ground. He was still moving. We thought we would take after the truck and drove to the Kentucky Inn (about 200 yards from the scene of the fatality) and asked them to call an ambulance. We asked if they knew whose truck it was and they told us they did. We then went back where the man was and found he was dead. We went back to the Inn and called for Delbert Glenn.”
Coroner Glenn went to the scene and after conducting a preliminary investigation removed the body to the Glenn Funeral Home.
Wells was married and the father of 2 children.
6. ARTICLE ON 7/10/37
FRONT PAGE HEADLINE:
Inquest Held In Highway Death
Funeral of William Wells To be Conducted Today; Driver Is Under Bond.
A verdict that William Wells, 39, died from a crushed skull when he was accidentally struck by a truck on Highway 60 Thursday night, was returned by a Coroner’s Jury at an Inquest conducted Friday by Coroner Delbert J. Glenn. The Jury was composed of George Cooper, Charles Wood Kiethley, Elmer Head, Willie Russellberg, George Rhoads, and C. W. Tackett.
Orville Faught, county, alleged driver of the truck that struck Wells, was arraigned before Judge James R. Wilson yesterday by Chief Deputy Sheriff Simon Smith on a warrant he signed charging manslaughter. An Examining Trial in the case was set for 10am Tuesday and Faught was released on bond.
Funeral services for Wells will be conducted from the home of his step-daughter Mrs. Harley Belcher in Hanning Lane at 2pm today by the Rev. Howard S. Stephenson, Pastor of the First Christian Church. Burial will be in Elmwood Cemetery.
Wells is survived by his Widow, Mrs. Iva Wells, 3 children, a step-daughter, Mrs. Harley Belcher, his Mother Mrs. Mary Fields, a Sister, Mrs. Goebel Jewell.
7. ARTICLE—OWENSBORO INQUIRER 7/13/37
FRONT PAGE HEADLINE:
Death Truck Driver Waives
Orville Faught Held To Grand Jury In Fatal Highway Accident.
Orville Faught, 40, who lives on Highway 60 west of Owensboro, pleaded not guilty and waived examining trial in Quarterly Court today on a charge of manslaughter that grew out of the hit-run highway death of William Wells, 35, a farmer, last Thursday night. He was held to the September Grand Jury under $1000 bond.
Faught was taken into custody at his home a short time after the fatal accident which occurred near the Kentucky Inn west of the city. Two men, H. T. Krahwinkle , 106 E. Seventeenth St., and Audrey Dunn, 801 W. First St., saw the accident and by trailing the truck that struck Wells learned the identity of the owner at the Kentucky Inn Faught denied knowledge of striking the man.
L. N. Cecil signed the bond as surety for Faught.
NOTE: When I made the copies from the microfilm, then saved them in the form I did, I clipped the front page article as you see above.
20 years later I no longer know exactly why, other than to keep the story on one side of the finished lamination.
Silly reason, in hindsight, I know.... ;-D