May 22, 1905 – Homer Reckless and Little Eulala Dies of Pneumonia

Pearl Reed

No envelope

2730 Kenwood Ave
Indianapolis
May 22, 1905

Dear Homer;

I received your letter. Was very glad to hear from you though so soon. How are you now? Hope you are well. I feel fine except that I can scarcely hold this pen, my finger is so very painful. I don’t know what ails it nor what to do for it. Do you “Dr. Jarrett”?

Homer I think you are rather reckless, do you know it? To think of running in the direction of shooting! Why you might have been shot yourself. You touched the girl that was shot you said, I think, as if it were nothing, and don’t you know I have a positive horror of dead people that I can’t overcome really, I try to but I can’t, I wonder why? I am actually afraid of them. I think that I am more afraid of dead people than I am to die. Do you remember little Eulala Henderson of Vermont St.? The one who played for us on the piano? Well she died Saturday (7:00 A.M.) She was ill (6) six weeks. Will be buried Tuesday at 2 P.M. from Blackford St. Church. Hugh and I sat up Sat., night with them.

The boys send best regards to you. I think of nothing else now Homer – good-bye

Yours Sincerely
Pearl D. Reed
P.S. Just a second, Homer, mother, Myrtle, Lewvator and Mrs. Henderson send best regards to you.
Pearl

_______________

This is the tragic triple murder that Homer witnessed, at least the aftermath.

Daily Arkansas Gazette, Thusday, May 18, 1905.  Click to enlarge

Killed His Wife And His Daughter

Jealousy Causes Terrible Tragedy in Hot Springs.

Henry Smith The Murderer

Third Person Seriously Wounded – Shocking Stirs Negro Populace to Indignaion-Arkansas News

Special to the Gazette.

Hot Springs, May 17. – Henry Smith shot and almost instantly killed his wife, Mollie, and his 12 year old daughter, Mamie, and seriously wounded Will Lou late last night in front of the Roanoke Baptist Church, on Whittington avenue. The shooting occurred while services were in progress at the church, and caused a stampede among the negro (sic) congregation.

Smith’s wife, daughter and Will Lou had just returned from a fishing expedition with a party of friends, and the wagonette stopped to permit the woman and her daughter to alight. Will Lou was in the act of assisting Mrs. Smith out of the vehicle when Smith stepped from behind a telephone pole and began shooting at her escort, who fell, pierced through the body, the ball entering the victim’s back. He then turned the weapon against his wife, who fell at the first fire. His daughter had climbed out of the wagon and was on the doorstep of a small meat shop when the infuriated man saw her. She fell at the first fire and expired instantly.

After accomplishing his bloody work Smith ran down Whittington avenue and out Park avenue. At Sigman’s saloon he traded the revolver for a quart of whiskey and after drinking half the contents, got in a carriage and direted the driver to go to the home of Sheriff Williams, to whom he surrendered.

All the persons involved are negroes (sic), the murdered woman being a sister of Jack Page, the well-known negro lawyer, and the tragedy caused a great deal of excitement among the negro population. Threats of lynching were indulged in, but calmer judgment prevailed.

Smith was so intoxicated when he gave himself up that he could make no intelligent answer when questioned.

The killing was the result of jealousy, there having been previous trouble.

Smith prefaced his bloody deed with the remark, “You made me do it, you ___”

 

4 thoughts on “May 22, 1905 – Homer Reckless and Little Eulala Dies of Pneumonia”

  1. I read somewhere that African-Americans in the past used to lynch their own for committing crimes. This newspaper article kinda confirms it.

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