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The Meeting Street Murders
posted February 29, 2008
EDGEFIELD – There
has been a rather lively
discussion in the Wandering Minds Section regarding Sue Logue (Left)
Meeting Street murders. To help sort out some of the details that
seem to be disputed, EdgefieldDaily.com spoke to those who provided a
fairly accurate account ofwhat took place. According to them the story
began in September of 1940 when Davis Timmerman's mule got into Wallace
Logue's field and the mule kicked and killed Logue's calf. Logue
demanded that Timmerman pay him $20 for the calf and Timmerman agreed.
Logue later went to Timmerman’s rural store and decided he wanted $40
in restitution instead of $20 and Timmerman refused to pay.
Logue became infuriated, grabbed an ax handle, and began beating
Timmerman. Timmerman pulled a gun he kept hidden in a drawer, shot
twice, and killed Logue. Timmerman was said to have locked the body in
store and, despite being seriously injured, drove to Edgefield to
report the shooting to then Sheriff L.H. Harling.
Sheriff Harling, Coroner John Hollingsworth, and Solicitor Jeff
Griffith drove back to the store. Based on their interpretation of the
evidence, Timmerman was held over for trial. After the trial the jury
ruled Timmerman acted in self-defense and he was acquitted.
Logue's widow, Sue, and his brother, George, didn't agree with the
jury's verdict. They hired Joe Frank Logue, George and Wallace's
nephew, giving him $500 to find somebody to kill Timmerman. Joe Frank
was an officer with the Spartanburg Police Department and he hired
Clarence Bagwell to do the job.
A year after Wallace died; Joe Frank and Bagwell went to Timmerman's
store. Joe Frank waited in the car while Bagwell went in and asked for
a pack of cigarettes (some say it was a pack of gum). When
Timmerman turned to get the item Bagwell fired five shots at
point-blank range with a .38 caliber revolver, killing him instantly.
Joe Frank and Bagwell returned back to Spartanburg and carried on as if
nothing happened. Unfortunately for the pair, Bagwell was a heavy
drinker and during one of his binges bragged to a young woman that he
had made $500 for killing a man.
The woman went to police. When Bagwell was questioned, he learned that
he had been seen at Timmerman's store on the day of the murder. Other
reports say he was spotted casing the store prior to the murder as
well. Either way, feeling trapped, Bagwell confessed and fingered Joe
Frank as well.
It turned out Joe Frank wasn't a dutiful nephew after all. He admitted
hiring Bagwell, and also told the authorities that the money had come
his aunt and uncle, Sue and George Logue.
On Sunday, Nov. 16, 1941, newly elected Sheriff Wad Allen and Deputy
Clark picked up the warrants from magistrate A.L. Kemp and headed for
Sue Logue's home.
But someone had warned George Logue that the law was on the way. Logue
and a sharecropper, Fred Dorn, ambushed the two officers. Sheriff Allen
died after being shot in the head and Deputy Clark was shot in the
and arm. Clark was able to wound both men before staggering from the
house and making his way to Highway 378 where he was picked up by a
Gov. R.M Jeffries later ordered state patrolmen and deputies from
County to arrest Logue and Dorn.
With dozens of officers surrounding the house, and officials wanting to
avert further bloodshed, they appealed to then local Circuit Court
Judge Strom Thurmond, a Logue family friend, to try to reason with the
Logues. Thurmond walked alone across the yard and into the house. The
Logues followed his advice and surrendered a short time later.
Two days later, Deputy Clark died. Logue's friend, Fred Dorn, died the
Four months later, George, Sue and Bagwell were tried for Timmerman's
murder. The three-day trial was held in Lexington County with Solicitor
Griffith serving as prosecutor.
The jury took only two hours to convict the trio.
On Jan. 15, 1943,
Sue Logue was electrocuted. One book reports that
Strom Thurmond accompanied Sue on the trip to the “death house” and had
relations with her during the trip, according to Thurmond’s driver
interviewed for the book. Sue
Logue was the first and only woman to die in the electric chair in
Less than an hour after Sue was executed, George and Bagwell took their
place in the electric chair.
Joe Frank Logue received the death penalty for his participation in the
killing and his execution date was set for Jan. 23, 1944. He ate
his last meal and was prepped for the electric chair. Shortly before
midnight, Gov. Olin D. Johnston visited Joe Frank and as a result of
that visit, Johnston commuted Joe Frank Logue's sentence to life.
Within 10 years, Joe Frank Logue was given a job with SLED as a
bloodhound handler and trainer. In 1960, 37 of the state's 40 sheriffs
supported Joe Frank's bid for parole.
When it was all over, nine lives were destroyed.
The story attracted attention across the US and was written up in
numerous detective magazines.
The blood-stained arrest warrant was kept on file at the Edgefield
County Courthouse until someone walked off with it, an action that
angered current Solicitor Donnie Meyers, who has long collected
documents, newspaper accounts and anecdotes on the Logue-Timmerman feud.
There are two books currently available at the Tompkins Library in
Edgefield that are well researched and have the complete story. The
Guns of Meeting Street, by T. Felder Dorn, a descendant of Fred Dorn,
is $25. A more recent book, Wanton Woman, by Anna Flowers, is available
for $29. The store and the Logue home are still standing.
Edgefield County Archivist Tricia Glenn and another author that
preferred to remain anonymous contributed to this story.
original material is property of
EdgefieldDaily.com and cannot be reproduced, rewritten or redistributed
without the expressed written permission of Edgefield Daily.com
JAM Straight Customs
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