An Early Morning Tragedy in Union County
J. W. Hill Shoot and Instantly Kills A. M. Burgess. Hill Claims that Burgess Had Assaulted His Wife-Both Men Live Just Over the Line in Union County-Hill Gave Himself Up and Now is in Jail in Monroe
Monday morning about 9 o’clock Mr. J. W. Hill, who lives just across the line in Union county, shot and instantly killed A.M. Burgess. Immediately after the killing Hill took his wife and two children in a buggy and went to Monroe and gave himself up. The Monroe correspondent of the Charlotte Observer gives Hill’s version of the tragedy as follows:
“A. M. Burgess was shot and instantly killed this morning in New Salem township, this county, by J. W. Hill, following the accusation by Mrs. Hill that Burgess had criminally assaulted her.
“Hill drove immediately to Monroe with his wife and two small children and in the absence of the sheriff surrendered to Policeman T. B. Laney, who swore out a Warrant before Squire M. L. Flow, the latter committing him to jail without bail for trial.
“The tragedy occurred about nine o’clock in New Salem, where both men have resided for sometime. According to Hill’s story Burgess and his wife drove by his (Hill’s) house in a buggy. Not a word was passed. Burgess reached for his pistol, but Hill was quicker with his shotgun and fired first, killing Burgess instantly. Hill brought the gun with which the deed was done to Monroe with him when he came to surrender, and also a number of loaded shells.
“Mrs. Hill told her husband this morning that Burgess had assaulted her and threatened to kill both her and Hill if she told Hill of it. She states further that it is not the first time Burgess had attempted the crime, but she was afraid to tell her husband for fear Burgess would carry out his threat. When Burgess attacked her again she resolved to defy the threat and inform her husband and did so. Hill had started in quest of Burgess when he drove by the house. Hill is 30 years old and the couple have two small children. Burgess is 40 and leaves a wife and six children. Both are farmers. Hill talks freely of the tragedy and does not seem uneasy as to the outcome. He will be given a preliminary hearing July 9th.”
Our Home, of Tuesday, gives the story of the affair as related by the wife of the dead man as follows:
“Hill and Burgess had not been on friendly terms for some time. Early yesterday morning Burgess and his wife were in a buggy on their way to Stanly county and were passing Hill’s house. Hill saw them coming and ran to the house for his shotgun. As he approached the buggy from the rear Burgess begged him not to shoot. Seeing that he intended to shoot he asked his wife to get out. Just as she had left the buggy Hill fired at close range, the load entering Burgess’ head from the rear and passing out at his forehead, crushing his head to pieces. We understand that this is the story as related by the wife of Burgess who, it is said, was the only witness.”
"Hill, who is the son of Mr. J.P. Hill, one of the best citizens of Burnsville township, has always stood well in his community. He moved from this county to Union several years ago.
Burgess came from Stanly county and had the reputation of a bad man."
Source: The Messenger and Intelligencer, Wadesboro, N. C., Thursday, July 5, 1906.