Tough Times in Lincoln County – Part IV

Robert Compton was a name that filled the men in the barn with second thoughts of what they intended to do. Robert Compton was a good man, an honorable man that disappeared on his way to work. Everyone knew who was responsible for Robert Compton’s disappearance. However, few ever wanted to talk about it. They all knew James McDowell was responsible (along with his witless son, Isiah) for Robert Compton’s disappearing off the face of the earth. Of course, there was no way to prove that. “It’s the only way. If we were to shoot McDowell outright, the rest of the clan would be after us and practically everyone in town. It has to be sudden and when James is by himself,” said Jacob. “You know, this may not be common knowledge amongst you boys, but James McDowell has him a honey in Bogue Chitto. I know for a fact he goes to see her every Wednesday night, after church mind you, when he drops off Carla at home. I don’t know what his excuse is to her when he does this. Maybe she don’t care. I don’t know. But, if we ever going to take him, that would be the only time we could do it. Only thing about it, we can’t have more than three men do it. More than that and it would arouse suspicion. We likewise would have to do it after Wednesday services,” said Ethan Green. The men all looked at each other with the sudden realization this deed was going to come about. “Okay. I volunteer myself. Who else?” asked Jacob. Only Ethan and Luther Green raised their hands out of the eight men gathered. Of course, those two had reason enough to kill James McDowell. Their families have little in the way of meat since the McDowells stole all their pigs.

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Tough Times in Lincoln County – Part III

James McDowell was a despicable, ornery, mean, tough as nails man as you’ll ever meet.  Those are most likely his good traits.  He was also a thief and had been most of his 65 years of life in Lincoln County.  Jacob Dinkins knew taking out James McDowell was not going to be an easy feat.  Most of the town wanted to go to his homestead and take out his entire family.  That would have most likely brought in federal agents.  As much as they hated that whole McDowell family, their hatred for the feds was infinitely more.  Most of those farmers supplemented their income with illegal stills for making moonshine whiskey. Those feds would have found those stills and destroyed them.  Those stills were the only thing that put food on the table for most.

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Tough Times in Lincoln County – Part II

As the Great Depressions continued to tighten it’s grip on the nation and especially in Lincoln County, Mississippi, the pressure on men to provide for their families increased.  In 1931, residents of Lincoln County were begging, pleading to their state government for help.  There was nothing forthcoming as state treasuries nationwide were depleted to the point of red ink. This was because of a lack of a tax base.  There was little in the way to tax due to so many that were unemployed and people not having money to pay for things.  In Lincoln County, people were at their breaking point.  This was due, in no small part, because of the McDowell family.  Having such a large family, the McDowell’s were in the business of constantly stealing, intimidating and robbing their way to ensure they did not go without three meals a day. Even the county sheriff was intimidated by this family.  So, the law abiding folks of Lincoln County were left on their own.  People were grumbling about the McDowells, to be sure.  But, they didn’t grumble too much.  No one wanted to meet the same fate as Robert Compton.  But, something had to be done or else the only people that would survive the Great Depression would be the McDowell clan.  No one knew if the depression would ever end in 1931.  Many considered this the “new norm.”  Whether it was the new norm or not, the seething anger and unrest among the good people of Lincoln County continued on unabated.  Something had to be done.  There was only one man who would take the lead.  That man was Jacob Dinkins.  Jacob Dinkins was a farmer who barely kept his head above water during this time.  But, that was more, far more than most farmers enjoyed during this time.

Tough Times in Lincoln County – Part I

In 1931, it was the heart of the Great Depression in Lincoln County, Mississippi.  Unemployment was at an all-time high of 16% in the USA and Congress had shown no inclination to pass legislation to help the nation recover. This economic downturn had no equal in the history of our nation.  In Lincoln County, Mississippi unemployment was double the national average, there were long soup lines and people were basically starving to death.  Families were leaving in droves looking for a better standard of living.  But, there was nowhere else in the country that could take new families.  Most were encouraged to keep moving on.  Most had given up hope that prosperous times would ever come again as was witnessed during the Roaring 20s when the economy was booming.  What made times even worse, than they already were, was having to deal with a family of thieves, bullies, and psychopaths.  This family was avoided in Lincoln County at all costs.  If you crossed one, you crossed the entire family.  Just threaten one, and soon you would see the entire family, both men and women, coming to pay you a visit.  You either gave something of value to the offended family member or you would find your house on fire, valuables stolen, your ass stomped in the ground…or worse.  There were rumors of people who crossed this family and they then disappeared virtually overnight.  This family was not above murder and mayhem.  This was the McDowell family.  It was a family of 40-45 adults, men and women.  There were numerous children who were well on their way to achieving notoriety.

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The Redemption of Thomas Gordon – Part V

Thomas had reached the very pinnacle of the West City Bridge .  His tears seemed to freeze before they had barely rolled out of his tear ducts.  It must be a wind chill factor of less than zero, Thomas thought.  He had climbed to the top of a rail about six feet from the outer walkway for pedestrians.  There was no one on this bridge but him tonight.  Thomas looked down into the frozen ice floes below.  Jumping from this distance into that frozen water would be instant death.  Thomas had been a failure at everything that life has to offer.  From romance, to marriage to education and to family, all his endeavors had ended in complete, utter failure.  Maybe leaving this earth will be the one good act he could bestow upon all those who loved and cared about him, Thomas pondered as he continued to look at the ice below. All my life, I’ve only cared about my wants, my needs and whatever suited my fancy, Thomas berated himself.  “I never thought of others!,” he cried out into the ice covered bridge. So to mask his failures, Thomas dived into the drug culture of Las Vegas, his hometown.  That provided him with a ticket to prison in Nevada.  But, even drugs got to the point it didn’t help his mood, his outlook on life in general.  Thomas stepped closer to letting go and just ending this miserable, sorry ass life he had been brought into without his consent.  Enough of this punishing myself, Thomas decided.  It’s time to meet my destiny and to see what the next world, if any, has to offer.  As he leaned forward to let go in the darkness of the West City Bridge, the white Pigeon, with the blood spatter on it’s wing appeared miraculously before him…and sat on a steel girder watching him.

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