Miss May Harden

The Courant American
Cartersville, Georgia
September 7, 1899, Page 1
Transcribed by 2006

Young Woman Killed
While Seeking to Protect Two Elders –Slayer Suicides.

Chattanooga, Tenn., Sept. 2. – Wednesday night six Mormon elders were conducting a meeting in a school house at Pine Bluff, Stewart county, Tenn., when the building was stormed by a mob of over 100 men.  Eggs and rocks were thrown through the windows and the building almost entirely demolished.  Those present fled to save their lives, as bullets commenced to strike the building thick and fast.  Miss May Harden, a popular young woman of this place, walked between the elders, Olson & Petty, with a view to checking the work of the mob.  While the trio passed down the road shots were fired from ambush, and the woman was hit by a ball and almost instantly killed.  Her brothers vowed they would avenge the crime and after the excitement died out secured bloodhounds and placed them on the trail of the assassins.  Burton Vinson, a prominent young farmer and superintendent of a Sunday school, wrote a confession stating he had killed the girl, but that it was an accident and that he wished to rid himself of remorse of conscience.  Shortly after the confession the bloodhounds trailed him to his home.  Vinson turned, picked up a knife, and cut his throat almost at the same instant sending a bullet through his brain.  His family and the officers’ posse witnessed the suicide.


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