Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fatal Shooting of Tillman Branch Reported in Holmes County Herald

Early this morning, I began some research to find a newspaper article that reported the death of Edward Tillman Branch, the subject of my blog post here yesterday. First I visited the Footnote.com site. I have used this site before, with success, to conduct research about various ancestors. But I had not used the portion of the site that includes the Small Town Newspaper archive until today. Actually, I first found the article I needed, detailed later in this post, by searching on the News portion of Google's website. What I found was that some of the articles included in the Small Town Newspaper archive can be read there for free. The Small Town Newspaper archive contains copies of three Mississippi small town newspapers, including the Holmes County Herald, published in Lexington, Mississippi. Scanned copies of the Herald, beginning in the 1960's, are available for viewing, and I was quite surprised, and very pleased, with what I found.

Although I have not yet found the original news article that reports Tillman's death when it occurred in the spring of 1963, I did locate a copy of the Herald's publication on January 2, 1964. The front-page article is similar to many newspaper articles still published early each new year that provide a timeline of significant events, serious and light, that happened during the previous year. Included in the article was a report dated April 18, 1963 that read "Kosciusko negro charged with fatal shooting of Tillman Branch in Goodman night club." The name of the nightclub nor the gunman's name was not stated.

Edward Tillman Branch was buried in Seneasha Cemetery in Attala County, and a photo of his grave stone can be seen here.

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