The Tragedy of Newell B. Pearson
Forest City Courier, Sept. 24, 1942
Cliffside Man Is Killed In Fight
Cliffside, Sept. 23 – Newell B. Pearson, aged 38, of Cliffside, is dead as a result of a blow on the head and the severance of his jugular vein in a fight at the Riverside Filling Station near Cliffside Sunday morning about 2:30 o’clock.
Kyle Davis and his brother, Swofford Davis and their first cousin, Almarine Jones, all of the same community, have been arrested, charged with the death. They will be given a preliminary hearing in recorder’s court Friday.
Deputy Sheriff H. V. Davis, who investigated the circumstances leading up to the tragedy and made arrests, said the four men were matching coins in the Riverside filling station, at the Broad river bridge, two miles south of Cliffside, in the early morning hours of Sunday morning. A quarrel ensued and Pearson was struck over the head with a heavy piece of timber and his jugular vein was severed with a sharp instrument. Kyle Davis, one of the men involved, helped carry the injured man to the Rutherford Hospital, but he was dead before arrival. The Davis boys voluntarily submitted to arrest. Jones, their first cousin, is alleged to have used the knife, but he stoutly denies his guilt. A blood-stained knife was found at the scene of the crime which is alleged to be the property of Jones. Jones was placed under arrest about four o’clock Sunday morning, several hours after the fatality.
Funeral services for Pearson, an employee of the Cliffside Mill, were held Monday afternoon at the Cliffside Baptist Church. Surviving him are the widow, six children, his father, D. J. Pearson, of Cliffside; three sisters, seven half-sisters and four half-brothers.
No inquest will be held.
Research by Joyce Hunter
Rutherford County News, Sept. 24, 1942
Davis brothers-Jones hearing friday
Newell Pearson Buried Monday
According to Sheriff Moore and Coroner Robt. Hovis, Newell B. Pearson, 37, and Swofford Davis got into a fight early Sunday morning at the Riverside filling station beside Broad River, about two miles South of Cliffside. Kile Davis, brother of Swofford struck Pearson with a piece of timber 2×10, 2 ½ feet long. Almarine Jones cut Pearson’s jugular vein and artery with a knife. He likely bled to death. Pearson was rushed to the Rutherford Hospital but was dead when arrived here.
The Davis brothers and Jones, all of Cliffside, were arrested and lodged in jail here and will be given a hearing in Recorder’s Court Friday morning.
Funeral services for Pearson were held at the Cliffside Baptist church Monday at 5 p.m. with the pastor Rev. W. V. Tarlton in charge, assisted by Rev. W. R. Grigg of Caroleen. Blackwell–Nichols Funeral Home was in charge of the body.
Pearson is survived by his widow, Ola Womack Pearson; three sons, three daughters, all at home; father and step-mother, Mr. and Mrs. D. J. Pearson of Cliffside; three full sisters, Mrs. G. M. Splawn, Chesnee, Mrs. Geneva Scott, Spartanburg and Mrs. David Garrett, Converse, S. C.; seven half-sisters and four brothers.
See Pearson’s death certificate.
Editor’s note: Prior to trial, all charges against Kyle and Swofford Davis were dropped. Almarine Jones was tried and found not guilty.
Research by Don Bailey