1884 - Murdered for Money - Wright R. Reaves

The Atlanta Constitution

Published 01 Dec 1884
pg 76

Murdered for Money
Two Negros shoot down and rob Mr. W R. Reaves on the public road.

From the Valdosta Ga Times

Mr Wright R Reeves, living on the Grand Bay about twelve miles from town, was in Valdosta on Thursday last with one bale of sea island cotton, which he sold to Messrs. B.P. Jones and Company for the money. He traded some with Messrs. J. N. Griffin and Company, and others. During the day, two negros, one mullato and one black man, approached him and desired to get passage in his horse cart as his house, stating that they were going down to work on a turpentine farm in Echols County. They offered to give him an auger for pay which one of them had. Mr. Reaves was going back empty and he agreed to carry them. Several parties saw them going out of town together. When they reached the ten mile post, not far from the residence of Mr. Joe Hutchenson, Mr Reaves being out of the cart walking, one of the negroes suddenly presented a pistol and fired, striking Mr. Reaves on the cheek. He did not fall but the shock but turned to run, and a second shot was fired and a third. The last one hitting him in the small of the back from which he fell. The negroes then robbed him of $75 in money, which he had on his person, and left him for dead, probably. The firing of the pistols made the mule, hitched to the cart, run away and it dashed up to Mr. Hutchinson's house. Mrs Hutchinson and her daughters heard the pistol shots, and seeing the mule, ran down the road, several hundred yards, and found the wounded man. Mr. T.J. Denmark, a young man who was teaching a country school near by, was also alarmed by the firing of the pistols and the running of the mule, and he came up soon after the ladies. Mr Reaves was found to be shot as above described. He was not shot dead, but though suffering and bleeding very much, he was entirely conscious, and related the circumstances substantially as recited above. He did know the negroes name but would know them if he saw them again. They had fled with their blood money.

It is pretty generally believed that the two negroes who committed this crime are peregrinating robbers. They were seen about Valdosta on Thursday following Mr Reaves up, and they were not known to anyone who saw them. Several of our trustworthy colored citizens concur in this opinion. We can hardly believe that any of our negroes who are anything like fixtures in Lowndes would have committed such a desperate crime. Mr. Reaves is in a desperate condition. He was shot in three or four places.

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