Thank you so much Joy. Hopefully there will be something.
I have heard the theory regarding the black man. My father and his brother, grandchildren of Mary Ann SMITH Johnson, never said that the killer was a black man. That doesn't mean it isn't possible. However, they knew the name of the person that did it. I hesitate to mention his name on this forum. From the time I was a small child, I have heard the story told over and over. My father died in 1965 and his brother in 1982. In 1971 I visited my Uncle Autis McCoy and I recorded him telling the story once again. It has always been told the same way.
When Mrs. Smith didn't return with the buttermilk, Mr. Smith went looking for her. He couldn't find her at that time, but something made him suspicious enough to gather a possey together. They went from house to house until finally they came to a certain house. The wife was crying during the time her husband was talking to the men. The men never believed that the man was guilty, but they believed he knew more than he was telling, because of the way the wife was acting. The men pretended that they were going to hang the man, and they put a noose around his neck. When they did that, the wife started screaming and the man told them to wait a minute. He then whistled and his son came walking to the front of the house, from some trees. The son was said to be "not quite right".
I ask my uncle what they did with the son. He said he wasn't sure, but he thought he was sent to an "insane asylum" in Little Rock, where he stayed for a few years and then came back home.
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