r- i iii
VOLUME NUMBER SIXTEEN
inpZa Oi vicsrs And F.C.I. Apprehend
Duplin Aj; Slayer In New York City
By Sheriff Ralph J. Jones
James (Pete) West, wanted for
one of Duplin County's boldest
daylight robbery and murder char
ges, waB apprehended In New York
City by F. B. I. men of Wilming
ton, N. C. and New York on Feb
Sheriff Ralph J. Jones compli
ments and pays high tribute to our
F. B. I. Agents in their fine co
operation in the apprehension of
this robber and axe slayer out of
a city of eight million people. They
worked almost as super men for
the reason that there were no fing
er prints nor pictures that could be
secured of James (Pete) West. The
only description out F. B. I, had
was: Negro, age 20, height 5 ft. 10
inches, weight 1S3 pounds, gray
bluish eyes, dark sandy hair, scar
in top of head, bites .finger ntils
J On January 12. 1948, Mr. Walter
J. Johnson, 62 years of age, a coun
try merchant of Rockflsh Towr.ship,
on the Harrell Store Road, was
slain by James (Pete) West, by i
striking several blows on Ms head
with an axe, crushing his skull.
The officers of Duplin County
were summoned to the scene ac
companied by State Highway Pa
. trol and a man hunt was staged for
. several days, both day and night
and covering Duplin, Sampson, and
Sheriff Jones' bloodhounds track
ed West from the scene of the mur
der through woods for a distance
of eleven miles. -
West states that he gained the
knowledge that officers and Word
hounds were on his trail and he
tried to evade them by wading in
water waist deep In the head of
Boone's Lake. Hethen backtracked
himself to . offset the dogs and
Changed bis couweV from easterly
to a northern direction. h . .. ,
In his confession he gave his ao-
; tivities during his 28 days of e:
' cape. '
He states that he traveled all
together in woods and fields in a
northerly' direction, not knowing
the territory he was In. On the night
of the murder, Jan. 22, at about
8 o'clock he contacted David Drau
ghan, a colored man living about
four miles south of Baltic and of
fered to pay hhn $5.00 to take
him by car to Magnolia.
Draughan, seeing that he was
wet up to his waist, was suspicious
and refused to take htm whereupon
West again took the woods and
ipent the night there.
The next morning, Jan. 23, hs
till kept in his northerly direction
and earn out near Baltic it arou
10 o'clock at a colored man's house.
Fred Brunson. He saw hiidren
playing in the yard and gave a
small boy $5.00 to go to Leslie
Torrans Service Station for him
and buy for him one loaf bread, 1
pound cheese, 1 jar peanut butter
and 1 can of pork and beans. On
returning with the food he gave
the boy a $1.00 tip:
' He immediately walked o'f, still
In his northerly course through
fields and woods and arrived in
Faison about 7 p. m. At that time
he secured a room from an- un
known colored family and spent
the night, a distance of 25 miles
from the scene of the murder. .
' On the morning of Jan. 24,Vhe
caught a north-bound train in Fai
, fon for Norfolk, Va. Oh arrival in
. Norfolk,' be went to see his sister,
Janie Mae West, who lives at 408
Washington Ave. His ist.T had
heard of officers in pursuit of him
and she hurried bint away to East
ern Shore, Va.
. A T--i. '---' . 1
jMssiern ; snore ne eei'ureu
four days work from a cole red man
on a farm. It was while there he
met a colored man who married
a girl from Wallace. His name was
Vernon Bly and he lived In Harlem
District, 28. W. 135th St New York
City. Bly asked West to go to New
York with him and they left to
gether arriving there on Feb. X
West immediately secured a job
wiling ice from house to house
. from a push cart ' ' - .
The pressure from Mr. Walter J.
Johnson's friends and the citizens
of his ' section brought on the
Sheriffs Office for everything pos
sible to be done in apprehending
West; put a heavy burden on Sher
iff Jones and he promised that rot
a stone would be left unturned that
might lead to his arrest.
Sheriff Jones made a three-day
canvass, securing the past activJ
ttes of James iPete) .West and he
t - t' r-mes and addresser of
'1 1 'i r," "'ps, . friends and his
JAMES (PETE) WEST
B. I. of Wilmington, who also kept
In daily contact with Mr. Shine
F. B. I. manager in New if oik and
who had previously managed our
F. B. I. Agency In Charlotte N. C.
Of all the leads furnished to F.
B. I., the one of his sister's address
at Norfolk, Va. was the one that
put them on his track. From there
they learned of his whereabouts
and learned of his leaving for New
York with Vernon Bly .id they
secured Bly's address.
F. B. I. agents, Mr. Joseph5, J.
Phelan and Mr. Tennith S. Bash
ford, of New York City, located
Vernon Bly's home and they kept,
watch. James (Pete) West was seen
(here, He was followed for several
hours under general observation
and them feeling definitely sur.
that he Was the right man, thev
effected an arrest. He was carried
to Federal Detention House for
analysis and questioning.
At that time West denied ever
having lived in Duplin County or
ever having known any merchant
by the name of Walter J. Johnson.
He told them they had the wrong
man. He claimed he was horned
in Bladen County and lived at
Butters, N. C. He gave, his mother's
name as Hattie Boney Mi A chin of
Butters, N. C. .
At this point questioning was
discontinued temporarily for the
reason that Butters, N. C, and
Bladen County and his mother'
name were all included in Sheriff
Jones' lead notes to F. B. I.
- The New York F. B. I. called Mr.
Calson, our F. B. I. at Wilmington,
to notify Sheriff Jones to bring
someone to New York to identify
Sheriff Jones arrived in New
York Monday, Feb. 23, accompanied
by Deputy Sheriff C W. Wagstaff
and on sight they recognized the
suspect as James (Pete) West.
Sheriff Jones asked permission
to question him privately which
James 'Pete) West confessed that i
he struck Mr. Walter J. Johnson
on the head once or twice with an
axe and robbed him of his pocket
book which he stated contained
$146.00 in currency and several
checks. He related that he took
the money out of the pocketbook
in the nearby woods and hid the
pocketbook containing the checks
by a pine tree under some pine
James (Pete) West corroborated
the above mentioned activities 1
thu, investigation and said, "Sher
iff Jones, you were good to nie
when I spent two months in jail
before, and I am telling you the
truth. I- am the man you are look
in." After much persuasion that West
waive extradition and come back
with them without further delay,
he decide to do so and he was
returned to Duplin County on Feb.
24. He is now waiting trial without
privilege of bond; ' ' '
.; Sheriff Jjnes wlsnes to extena
his thanks and appreciation to all
who rendered aid and information
and especially ; the fine cooper-
itlonof the County Commissioners
for offering the reward,
Beginning March 6, 1048. the
AAA Office will be closed all day
on Saturdays. Office hours: Monday
through Friday, 8:30 to 5:38.
Luther Rice Carroll was a very
welcome visitor to the Times office
a few days ago. Luther brought s
about three dozen nice fresh eggs.
Any more Luthers in the County ;
21 YEARS AGO
21 years ago, 1327, while editing
our college paper, I set out to sell
some advertising to H. Weil and
Brothers in Goldsbonx The project
was unsuccessful. I hava c-ntinued
trying each year since. This week
we carry our first Weils Dept.
Store ad. Please read it.
A'few days ago I ron into Wright
Smith of Outlaw's Bridge, shoj.
ping in Kenansville. Wright is a
prominent citizen of the section
and a successful farmer.
Talking with him brought some
reminiscences. Wright stutters
slightly. One day back in high
school Prof. L. R. McC.sll, former
Principal at Warsaw, asked Wright
to repeat the passage from the Bi
ble which begins with "The Heav
ens declare the glory of God."
It was in chapel, session. Wright
arose with all the dignity he could
pursue and started the quotation
His tongue twisted and before he
finishoi chapel session had broken
up. teachers included, but he knew
MR. AND MRS. JOHN WATERS
Mr. and Mrs. John W. Waters
celebrated their golden w -deling
tnniversary. Monday, Feb. 23. Ye
Editor was invited to attend but
circumstances prevented t very
much to his regret. They are a
fine old couple in Glisson. We need
more John W. Waters in Duplin.
OUR TEACHER MOLD
President Truman writes: "Am
erican business and businessmen
can arouse public opinion thru
the power of advertising to the
need for improving conditions in
our schools and our teaching pro
fession. "Only by so doing can we avoid
paying heavy costs, both ecenomic
I saw in your last week's pape
where you helped Kenansville re
ceive a shipment of coal and 1 won
dered if you would help us people
who live north of Kenansville and
south side of Goshen Swamp to get
In 1939 we paid our deposit on
a light line with the Goldsboro
R. E. A. During the war we were
promised that our line would be
the first line constructed, but since
the war we have been given the
same old-run-a-round, the "short
age of material" but yet they have
built lines around Goldsboro and
Mt. Olive and Seven Spring.
I thing we people here who have
waited nearly 10 years after pav
ing our money should have some
If it takes a petition to have thr
Goldsboro Office investigated I will
see that we get one.
I I am sure if you will help us in
; this matter every person in the seC-
tion will thank you very much. V;
' .. Vmina fnilv. '
Otha L. Holland
Editors note: Otho Lee I will do
anything I can that may help. Get
your petition going and well go
to work. Bob. ; , . " a ' -
PTA Meets Mon..
The Kenansville PTA will meet
Monday night, March 1, In the High
School Auditorium at 7:15. At mis
meeting annual reuorts will be giv
en and the program will he directed
by Mrs. Emory Sadler. This is the
annual Founder's Day birthday
party and a silver offering will be
taken. The public Is cordially, in
Tuesday with her sister, Mrs. W. B.
Yi " - y tpt Jar'"""":'.'?.
Ralph Sheldon Is
In a benefit concert for its piano
fund, the Wallace Music Club will
present Ralph Sheldon, well-known
pianist, in the High School Audi
torium on Thursday evening, March
4th at 8 p. m. He will give a spring
concert of favorite classics featur
ing Mozart's Sonata in F, .Chopin's
Barcarolle, Strauss' Blue Danube
Waltz; shorter forks by Beethoven,
Chopin, Liszt and Gershwin.
Ralph Sheldon, young American
pianist, was born in Minneapolis.
He attended Wesleyan Ui.'iversity
and studied with Josef ana Rosina
Lh;vinne. In 1932, Mr. Sheldon
went to Europe with the Lhevlnncs
for further study. He was awarded
a Fellowship in Piano at the Juil
liare Graduate Schoal in 1940.
"From 1941 to 1943 Mr. Sheldon
served in the Armed Forces in the
109th InfantryVafter which he re
turned to his studies. He is , now
living in Stamford, Conn.
He made his debut at Town Hall,
New York an, January 13, 1946 at
which time ne won the acclaim of
the press and public for his fine
musicianship, singing tone- and
sense of style;
Ralph Sheldon will play in North
Carolina again this spring. Mr
Sheldon, as a young man, with his
pupils, the Aley sisters, won such
high praise' throughout North
Carolina towns where they gave
concerts while he was in the Army
stationed at Ft. Bragg. After his
discharge he gave a tour for the
North Carolina fund for music In
the hospitals for veterans.
Last spring he gave a series of
concerts in North Carolina. One of
his- concerts was given in Wilming
ton. and he nlso gave a private con
cert in the home of Mr. and Mrs.
Harry Kramer in Wallace. He so
delighted his audience that he was
urged to return at an early date.
The Kenansville OES met Mon
day evening Feb. 24, at the Lodge
Hall for their regular meeting. Dis
trict Deputy Grand Matron, Mrs.
Mae E. Thomas of Chadbourn and
District Deputy-Crand Patron, Mr.
Norwood B. Parker of CliiitLn made
their official visit to the Chapter.
Other visitors -present were from
Coin jock, Chadbourn, Clinton and
Pleasant Hill and also Worthy Ma
tron of the Clinton Chapter, Mrs.
Theonah H. Carr. Ihere were 37
Grand representatives present
from the local chapter were Mrs.
Pear C. McGowen, Grand Repre
sentative for the State of British
Columbia and Miss Bessie Korne
gay, Grand Representative for the
State of California. After the meet
ing a social hour was enjoyed.
; Sunday, February, 29th is the
fifth Sunday. It is the first time in
40 years we've had five Sundays In
Rev. G. Van Stephens, pastor of
the Warsaw and Johnson Chapel
Baptist churches will be preaching
at the 11 o clock hour at Jonnson s.
He is anxious for a large turn out
of the membership.. Each member
will be asked to register on that
day. ' - ' "
OES Met Tuesday
Sunday School Officers' and Teachers'
Banquet At Warsaw
The officers and teachers from
the 38 Sunday schools of tiie East
ern Baptist Association will have
a banquet at the Warsaw Legion
Hall on Friday night, March 5th
at 7 o'clock. This should be one of
the most important Sunday school
meetings which the Baptis.s of the
Eastern Association have held ir.
Rev. Thomas L. Rich, Jr., tne
Associational Sunday School Sup
erintendent wtfKpreSlde, and Mr
L. L. Mi5amof Raleigh, tne State
Baptfsjt.inday School Superinten
By H. A. STALLINGS
IN THE WILMINGTON MORNING STAR
Kenansville We had ajyery
pleasant chat this week with J. R.
Grady, publisher of the Duplin
Times and Mrs. J. R. Grady. Socie
ty Editor. Talking with them it is
easy to understand why the Duplin
Times has such a solid hold in its
people. They are loyal to their pa
per and i)3ve confidence in its fu
ture. That is because the success
of the Duplin Times is based on
services rendered the people that
t.re valuable and continuous. It ii
a day-in, day-out service that the
Grady's expect to continue on and
on. Let's hope so.
After this chat we had an enjoy
able conversation with Ellis V.
Vestal, of Kenansville, who is a
business-agriculturist He is treat-,
ing the farm an a business plant and
is making a fine profit off his con
nection. He looks upon the reduc
tion in- tobacco acreage as one of
the biggest blessings that has been
bestowed on Southeastern North
That may seem a bit unusual
coming at a time when so vnanv are
regarding the tobacco reduction a;
a disaster and are making strenu
tus efforts to have the percentage
of reduction lowered. Wstal goes
back to the Biblical principle of
"As a man thinketh in his own
heart, so is he". Vestal says there
is too much thinking abou.; tobacco
too many discussions about tobac
to. Too many worrying about tobac
co. Therefore, the thinking of the
man who is operating a farm ought
to leave tobacco out of consider
ation, an the ground that tobacco
will take . are of Itself and cortir.ue
to yield a profit per acre. Instead
let the farmer think about how to
make a greater profit off something
el st than tobacco.
Vestal is convinced he has done
this. He says his books prove thai
he makes a far greater profit off a
sow than an acre of tobacco. As a
result Vestal is not thinking about
reduced tobacco acreage. He is
thinking about hog production.
He in bringing that about. He now
has five sows, purebred Durocs.
That means 75 to 80 pigs a year.
The top half, or the fine: anim.ils.
will be sold for breeding purposes.
The animals not quite so good wil.
be sold for meat to the livestock
markets. Already he has sold breei
ing stock in Hyde, Duplin, Onslow,
Sampson, Lenoir, Edgecombe, Pen
der, Stanley and other counties.
Within the coming , week he will
have animals at Rich Square and
Elizabeth City. He does not for-
see any dlmunltion in the purebred
breeding market but he is careful
to protect his own outstanding
reputation as a breeder by market
ing only his finest animals f.ir
In the marketing of the meat ani
mals it is only. eight miles to the
livestock', market at Waisaw and
not very far to the livestock market
in Wallace. Transportatu n there
fore is not a major factor.
Vestal figures the finest feeding
program is to give" his hogs co. i
and peanuts and sweet potatoes
raised on the, farm and seventy -f:v
per cent of the ration and to use
oats, and the protein supplements
for twenty-five per cent He sells
no corn -off his farm; finding it
more profitable to market the corn
as meat. Vestal has around a hun
dred acres in cultivation and
50 per cent of the farm Ir come is
derived from hogs. .
.There Is a fair amount of timber
on the Vestal farm but he is .saving
this for his own use as he is plan-
and Mrs. C. E. Quinn of Kenans
ville, received his honorable dis
charge from the Army on February
18, 1948. He was servlnp at Ft. Div,
N. J. Sgt Quinn had served in the
Army for 18 months and had been
stationed at Ft Dix the entire time.
J'r. C '-,n rbns to reenter sc?"wl
FEBRUARY 27th., 1948
Legion Hall: Mar 5th.
dent, will be the principal speaker.
There should be at least 150 pres
ent for this important meeting. .
The Rev. Mr. Rich of Tngold has
sent out notices with cards enclose.l
to be returned to him not later
than March 1st. stating ne number
to attend from each Sunday School
of the Eastern Association. The
pastors and Sunday School Super
intendents tre urged to see that
this information is sent to Mr. Rich
in due time. The price will be .75
ning to bulid a home on the farm.
He now lives in Kenansville. At
present tne Vestal program for the
future shapes up as hogs first, tim
ber second, tobacco third. If pick-up
routes develop he will include dairy
cattle in the program, but does not
plan to operate a dairy himself.
Vestal is living in accordance
with his convictions. He is not woi -rying
about tobacco and he is mik
ing his farm primarily a business
He is president of the North Caro
lina Swine Growers Association
and Secretary of the Nor'h Carolina
DR. JOHN D. MESSICK
Greenville, Feb. 24. (Special) Dr.
John D. Messick will be inaugura
ted on Saturday, March 6 as presi
dent of East Carolina Teachers Col
lege in Greenville.
Born and reared in Beaufort
county, Dr. Messick came to East
Carolina last September to begin
his duties as president. After his
graduation from the University of
North Carolina, he began his career
as educator in the public school'
and for nine years served as dean
of instruction at Elon College. In
1944 he joined the staff of the
Slate Teachers College, Montclair,
N. ont. of the outstanding insti
tutions for training teachers in this
country. There he was dean and ad
ministrative assistant to the presi
dent for three years. He succeeded
Dr. Dennis H. Cooke, now nead of
the department of education at Wc
man's College, Greensboro, at pres
ident of the college in G-eenville.
Miss Ina Young, social worker
with the medical division of the
Veterans Administration of Dur
ham is working for several days in
Duplin following up on previously
hospitalized veterans and making
reports to the hospitals.
Mrs. Marion Everett, field repre
sentative with the American Red
Cross, was in Duplin Ccunty cn
. Norwood West Jr. of War
saw has a 1912 Model Oldsmo
. bile Automobile. Norwood, Jr
being like his father, rarchf n-
; ically Inclined, got bis car in f
. Rood condition and brought
; it to Kenansville for a test
. The 1912 Model went thrn
without a flaw. He got bis bine
: sticker. tv'V':'-- ;"
John M. Middleton - Operating
auto intoxicated guilty, 6 mos.
Meet March 2
COL. ROY LE CRAW
The men of the Wllzninpton Pres- ,;
bytery will hold their annual fet- '
lowship dinner in the St Andrews ;
Cevenant church, Wilmington on
Tuesday, March 2, at 6:30 p. n.
Col. Roy LeCraw, of Atlanta, Ga., .
an outstanding layman of the Pres
byterian denomination, will be the
Places will be laid in the dining
hall of the .host church for 250
guests. The dinner will be served
by the women of the church.
Following the dinner, the men
will adjourn to the church sanc
tuary, where Col. LeCraw will
speak. The men who cannot be ic
comodated at the dinner will thus
be able to hear the address at 8
Mr. E. W. Fades, of Wallace, -Chairman
oi The Men of the Wil-
mington Presbytery, will preside.
Dr. Sandy C. Marks of Wilmington, v
Chairman ot the Program of Prog
ress Committee in the Presbytery, -
will introduce the speaker. Mr. Al
len Marshall, a member of the ,
Evans Memorial Bible 3ass of the l
host church will deliver the ad
dress of welcome. Rev. J. G. Mor- .
rison of Kenansville, will offer tl
prayer of Invocation. .:
Col. LeCraw, a lawyer and busi- "
ness man of Atlanta, Is an elder
In the North Avenue Presbyterian i
church. He has long been very ac-
tive in civic affairs, having served
his city as mayor, as president of
both the Junior and Senior Cham- ;
bers of Commerce, and as Chair
man of the Community Clvsst. He
resigned as mayor of Atlanta after
serving fourteen months in order
to enter active military service. He "v
was assigned to the European thea
tre and served as a member of the
General Staff. After the close of
hostilities, he returned to Europe '
as a member of the military govern
ment 'n the occupied countries.
Answering the call of his church
to beccme the Director of the Pro
gram of Progress, Col. LeCraw
declined to accept a salary, and is
serving the church as" a "uollar-a-year"
man. His interest in his
church and his conviction that the
Program of Progress is vital to its
weifare were given as his reasons
for this action.
EDITORIAL FROM THE
Working For Us
Graham A. Ban'.en is a candidate
for renomination to Comrress.
He has been a hard worker, cop
scientious, and effective. The num
ber of terms he has been in Con
gress makes him more effective, n
That effectiveness is of value to
the people of the Third District
It is important not only in matters
which come up in Congress. For tne
ordinary constituent who has re--lations
with some administrative
department of the fedearl govern- ' .
ment effectiveness with the ad
ministration is even more Import-V
An editor of the News-Argus has -
not in the past agreed with Han :
Barden on everything. No public
mau can be expected to vote every '
time as every constituent would .
like. In fact. It's impossible. ;
It the voters of the Third District
should pick another man equally
nara-worKing, equally' honest t
would be years and a number o.
terms in office before that man
could do as good a job as Judge
Barden can do if he Is ent back
to Congress. We believe he has
served his people well and that
they should send him back, f v r;
If he Is spared competition In
campaign no diversion oi his time
from the people's service will be
necessary. It looks like good snse
to us to send Tap Ear " i !
f.-"on!foi rot orwrate auto Yi ne