Renfrow struck by ax, bleeds to death.

Wilson Daily Times, 30 March 1917.

I can think of a few people who surely regretted “the occurrence” more than Dempsey Haynes.


In the 19o0 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer John Rentfrow, 40; wife Marguaratt, 37; and children Franklin, 19, John T., 15, Mattie H., 12, Fannie, 10, Clinton, 7, and Orie, 1.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: John Rentfrow, 50; wife Margarett, 48; children Clinton, 17, Ora, 11, and Ella, 8; and granddaughter Nancy Earp, 2.

Clinton Renfrow died 29 March 1917 in Old Fields township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was b0rn 14 October 1895 to John and Margrette Rentfrow; was single; worked as a farmer; and was buried in Wilson County. Cause of death: “Accidently cut with ax while cutting with father [partner?] and bled to death.” (This is curious phrasing. Dempsey Haynes was neither Renfrow’s father nor his partner.) The death certificate further indicates that no physician saw Renfrow (before or after he bled out); there was no inquest into the circumstances. In other words, there was only Haynes’ version of events.

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