Woolfolk Family Murdered

The Courant American
Cartersville, Georgia
November 6, 1890, page 2
Transcribed by:  

The Hanging of Woolfolk.
The Last great Chapter In the Great Tragedy.
A Brief Resume of the Scene of Bloody Carnival—The Murderer At Last Pays the Penalty.

A long article. Here is an excerpt from the section called “Brief History of the Crime:”

“Four years ago one of the happiest, pleasantest homes in Georgia was the home of the Woolfolk family in Hazard district, Bibb County. There for years and years Captain Richard H. Woolfolk had lived, and there Tom Woolfolk was born; and there his father, his father’s wife, and sisters and brothers were massacred one night by him alone. The horrible crime was committed on the night of August 7, 1887. The next morning the nine dead bodies were found in the house, and that day the murderer was placed in jail.”

The article goes to give a rather lurid description of the murders, naming the following victims: Captain Woolfolk, wife Mattie Woolfolk, Pearl Woolfolk (aged 17), Mattie Woolfolk aged 18 months, Richard Woolfolk, Jr., Charlie Woolfolk (aged 5), Annie (aged 10), Rosebud (aged 7), Mrs. Tempe West (aged 84).


The Courant American
August 11, 1887, page 2

Nine Slain Near Macon.
The Killing Done By A Kinsman of the Victims.
Every Room in the House Bespattered With Blood and Brains –An Ax the implement of Destruction.

[A very long article  which included the following statement from the accused murderer:

“My name is Thomas G. Woolfolk.  I am 27 years old.  I was married about three months ago.  My wife has not been with me for a month or more.  I have been at my father’s house for a week working in the field for wages.  Last night about two hours before day I heard a blow in my father’s room, which was back of mine.  My brothers Richard and Charlie were sleeping in the room with me.  Richard is the next oldest brother, and is 20 years old.  Charlie is 8 years old.  Soon I heard another blow and a groan proceeding from my father’s room.  I also heard him fall.  My brother Richard ran into the room.  Not having a weapon of any kind I jumped out of the window at the head of my bed and ran down to Green Locket’s (colored) house, 400 yards from the house, to give the alarm to the neighbors.  At the gate of our yard I heard my sister scream.  I sent Lockett to tell the neighbors, Messrs. Smith and Yates, and waited about half an hour for them to come.  Meanwhile I went back to the house and went in through the hall to see if they were really murdered. I found that they were.  Father and mother were on the bed with their heads crushed in.  Mother’s head was lying on the floor.  I picked her up and felt of her.  All had been killed with father’s ax and were dead.  Father was lying on the bed as usual.  On the floor were my brothers Charlie and Richard, and my sister Pearl, 17 years old, who had ran into the room, and were killed there.  I went in bare-footed to the room where my aunt, Mrs. West, 80 years old, and the children were sleeping.  I found that all of them had been knocked in the head.  The floors were covered with blood, hence my footprints.  Annie, my sister, aged ten years, was lying on the floor, and Rosebud, aged six years, was in the bed.”]


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