August 27, 2011 CURTIS FENTRESS


April 9, 2011.Zachariah T. FENTRESS

This is from the Independent in Elizabeth City, NC. A weekly publication.

Friday - November 14, 1924; pg. 4 MYSTERY IN MURDER OF CURRITUCK FARMER - The murder of Herman FENTRESS, young Knotts Island farmer whose dead body was found late Sunday night at the door of his father's barn, has aroused much speculation in Currituck and much mystery attaches to the crime. Death was inflicted by a blow on the head from some blunt instrument, it was found by a coroner's jury, who recommended the arrest of four young men, residents of Princess Anne County. The men arrested in connection with the murder are Lester DAVIS, Early BALLANCE, Claude TINDER and Tom PALLETTE. Bond was place at $500 each for two of the men and $1000 each for the other two. Two were able to furnish bond, the other two were placed in jail. The hearing will be conducted Monday at Currituck Courthouse. The four youths who are held were visiting at the home of FENTRESS Sunday night, leaving there in an automobile at about eight o'clock. FENTRESS left the house about the same time, telling his wife that he was going to his father's home some 400 yards away, and set out by way of a path across the field. When he had not returned at 11o'clock, Mrs. FENTRESS sent one of the children to look for him. Z.T. FENTRESS, his father, said he had not been there at all, and went out to make search. He found his body by the barn door. Young FENTRESS was employed part of the time on the hunting preserve of J.P. KNAPP. He had a wife and three children.

MYSTERY DEEPENS IN KNOTTS ISLAND TRAGEDY - The mystery surrounding the death of Herman FENTRESS, young Knotts Island farmer who was found dead shortly after an altercation with a drinking party at his home the night of Sunday, Nov. 9, was not cleared up by a preliminary hearing at Currituck C.H. Monday of this week. The mystery deepens.

Following the hearing Monday, Earl BALLANCE and Claude TYNDALL [listed as TINDER in above article] were bound over to the spring term of Currituck Superior Court with bonds of $2000 each and Lester DAVIS and Tom PALLETTE were bound over to the same court under bond of $1000 each, the County judge finding probable cause to hold them for the murder of FENTRESS. The young men are residents of Princess Anne County, Va.

The evidence connecting them with the murder of FENTRESS is of a purely circumstantial nature. The evidence is that they went to the home of FENTRESS on Sunday night, Nov. 9, all under the influence of liquor. They were in a Ford automobile. BALLANCE and TYNDELL entered the FENTRESS home and were being obnoxious. FENTRESS ordered them to leave. They refused to leave and FENTRESS threatened to put them out.

Riddy CAPPS, a visitor at the FENTRESS home then took a hand and got the two boys out of the home but they did not immediately leave the premises. FENTRESS thereupon left his home by a back door, saying he was going over to his father's for help. His father, Zachariah FENTRESS, lived about 400 yards away in his own home.

FENTRESS did not return to his home and when a search was made about 11 o'clock that night his body was found cold in death at the door of his barn, about 300 yards from his own home and directly on the way to his father's home.

FENTRESS was a man of thirty odd years and there is a theory that he might have succumbed to a heart attack on the way to his father's home. But the four young men with whom he quarreled were under the influence of corn liquor and liquor always puts a black face on any situation.

Comment - Virginia Fentress: My husband Jack and I have been married a little over 60 years and it is the first time that we have heard what happened to Herman Fentress. He was Jack's father's (Archie Fentress) brother.

Comment - I am Archie Littleton Fentress and Roxie’s granddaughter, Terry Lee Fentress Connelly. My father is Jack White Fentress. Granddad worked for Norfolk Western Railroad for 40 some odd years. Had a stroke in his 60’s. Very quiet man but never said anything unless it was necessary but very intelligent. Very hard worker and talented man.

Comment - Terry Fentress Connelly: While I'm thinking of it there is Mardell Williams Bonney who married Roy Bonnie. Both from Knotts Island. Mardell is a dear friend and there is some connection to my Great Grandmother Julia Etta Williams White (Roxie Etta White Fentress's mother). I would love to try to figure out the connection. I will ask Mardell again what her mother's mom and dad's name was and maybe you all can help us piece this thing together.

Comment - Gary Nelson Fentress: I have had an ongoing interest in our family’s roots on KI since I was a child. As a young adult I would take my Grandma, Roxie Fentress, there to visit all the Fentress’s and Whites that she knew. I remember visiting with Sidney White several times. We also visited with Curtis Fentress, a very colorful gent as I recall. We visited Roy White’s Duck Shack several times. Roy White tried to get me to spend some time with him so that he could teach me the art of carving. He said that “I had the talent born in me. All we had to do was to cultivate it and work it.” At that time in my life time seemed so short and so valuable that I never did that. I now regret not spending more time with him.

I am the youngest son of Elbert Holloway Fentress & Mary Elizabeth Hughes Fentress. My Dad was the eldest son of Archie Littleton Fentress and Roxie Etta White Fentress. (My Dad’s brothers are Clyde – deceased, Jack White Fentress – living in Great Bridge, VA with my wonderful Aunt Virginia, and Ray L. Fentress – living in GA.) It is my understanding that my Father was born on KI in the home of his Grandfather, Zachariah T. Fentress. When he was a young boy his parents, Archie and Roxie moved to the Portlock section of South Norfolk, now a part of the city of Chesapeake, VA. My Dad married and moved to the Richmond area as a young adult where he and my Mother raised me and my older Brother, I. Wayne Fentress. My Brother Wayne was born at Medical College of VA on June 18, 1944. I was born there on July 2, 1949. A point of interest, my Nephew, Wayne’s Son, Matthew Wayne Fentress is a Dr. of Chiropractic Medicine. He has recently purchased an existing practice in Currituck County, Moyock, NC. He is in the process of revamping that office and getting himself established in the area. Wayne is a registered pharmacist, lives in Mathews County, VA and owns an independent pharmacy in Richmond, VA. I am married to the former Nadina Lewis Scoggins (now Fentress). She goes by Dina. Dina and I live and work in Newport News, VA. In a “past life” I lived in Moyock for about 10 years in the 1980’s. I bought what had been Hayloft Antiques, a half mile south of the VA state line on Rt. 168 in Currituck County. That building and property are now a veterinarian clinic. My step-son, Tony Thomas still lives in Moyock and loves it there.

Comment April 9, 2010 - Virginia Fentress: Archie and Roxie Fentress. Archie's stroke occured at age 64. The year before he would have retired from the Norfolk and Western Railroad where he worked for 43 years. He lived 12 more years and passed away at age 76, July 1968. He loved to make things from wood and metal and he loved to read. He had a set of Lincoln Library books that he spent a lot of time reading. If there was a question from anyone about most anything he wouldn't rest until he looked up the subject and found the answer. When he and Roxie left Knotts Island they first moved to South Norfolk and lived in an apartment house where his brother Cyril and his wife Nellie lived. Later they moved to Portlock to their new house. Elbert was born at Knotts Island but Clyde, Jack, and Ray were all born at their house in Portlock on Virginia Avenue where Archie and Roxie lived until they passed away, Archie, 1968, Roxie 1987.

Comment April 11,2010 - Melinda Lukei: a little more on the Fentress Family Zachariah Thomas Fentress was the the son of Littleton W. Fentress b ca 1836 and married 5 May 1859 Fanny A. Murden b ca 1836 in AL. (Fanny was the daughter of Zachariah Murden and Elizabeth {I don't know Elizabeth's maiden name} Zachariah Murden, Fanny's father went to Alabama and Mississippi for a while but came back to this area. This being the reason that Fanny was born in Alabama.) (Fanny married 2nd 22 Nov 1879 Caleb M. Capps b 1813 son of Joel and Elizabeth Capps. {He was 23 years older than her} Zachariah Thomas Fentress (same as above) was born Feb 1865 (I didn't find a death date) he married 5 July 1890 Lydia Frances Williams b Jan 1872 Knotts Island, Currituck Co., NC daughter of Robert Williams and Rhoda Dudley. Zachariah Thomas Fentress and Lydia Frances Williams had the following children 1. Cyrel Robert Fentress b Mar 1891 married Nellie Harris, 2. Archie Littleton Fentress b 17 Sept 1892 d 12 July 1968 in Chesapeake, VA buried at Rosewood Memorial Gardens, Virginia Beach, VA married Roxey Etta White b 17 May 1896 and died 8 Nov 1987 buried beside Archie in Rosewood Memorial Gardens. Roxie was the daughter of Edmond Lee White and Julia Etta Williams (Elbert, Jack,Clyde and Ray Fentress' parents), 3. Herman W. Fentress born June 1894 and died 9 Nov 1924 married Madora Waterfield, Madora married 2nd Fletcher Wise Litchfield (Fletcher died in a fishing net accident) (Madora had 2 children by Litchfield Viola K. and Vera Liddell Litchfield.), 4. Sally Fentress b 28 May 1897 married Thomas Stone Ferrell, 5. Zachariah Fentress born 2 Mar 1900 died 2 July 1918, 6. Blanche Fentress b 1906 died 30 Nov 1952 md Frank Collins, and 7. Marvin James Fentress b 1909 died 30 Nov 1952 married Ruby Jordon born 28 Dec 1918, (Ruby married 2nd Robert Moore). Archie and Roxie always told me that Zachariah Thomas Fentress told them that he washed up on the shore of Knotts Island but the records at the court house tell a different story. I am not sure why this story was past down to the family. Littleton Fentress was the son of Lancaster F. Fentress and Diana Murden. Lancaster F Fentress born 1806 died 1867 his will was dated 7 Oct 1867 and probated 4 Nov 1867 in Princess Anne Co., VA will book 4 page 472.

Comment April 20,2010 - Virginia Fentress: Zacharia Thomas Fentress died in 1943 at his son Marvin's house at Portlock which is now Chesapeake, Va.

Comment April 26,2010. (This comment is repeated to help clarify the pictures.) I am Gary Nelson Fentress the youngest son of Elbert Holloway Fentress & Mary Elizabeth Hughes Fentress. My Dad was the eldest son of Archie Littleton Fentress and Roxie Etta White Fentress. My Dad’s brothers are Clyde – deceased, Jack White Fentress – living in Great Bridge, VA with my wonderful Aunt Virginia, and Ray L. Fentress – living in GA.)

Jack White Fentress
Elbert and Mary Fentress
Clyde and Mary Jo Tavener Fentress
Roxie and Archie Fentress September 1968

Family Cemetery Parker Lane

April 27,2010. Comment - Virginia Fentress: He is not sure of the year but Jack says that he along with his Dad, Uncle Cyril, and Uncle Marvin went to Knotts Island and poured cement at the Fentress cemetery lot . Jack was quite young but said that they went in a Texas Oil Co. (Texaco) stake body truck. Cyril and Marvin worked at Texaco and truck was available.

Comment April 26,2010. Virginia Fentress: About the Bowden name: I only know that Mildred White Married Linney Bowden. Mildred was one of Roxie's sisters. Don't have info. on Mr. Bowden.

Aurilla Bowden Boyce and Victor Boyce

Mary Frances Fentress Jackson

Mary Frances “Molly” Fentress (/daughter of John Robert Fentress/son of Joshua/son of Jeremiah/son of John/son of John T./ son of John/son of Michael s/o Michael) b 1869 d 23 Dec 1892 md 9 Feb 1891 Princess Anne Co., VA Grady Lasalle Jackson b 1856 s/o Lassell Jackson and Mary C. Mary Frances was d/o John Robert Fentress and Louisianna ‘Louise” Hargrove.

Children of Mary Frances “Molly” Fentress and Grady Lasalle Jackson
1.Ina Jackson b 1890 md Unknown Kiff
2.Glenna Louise Jackson b 1892 d 19 Nov 1987 md 18 Dec 1912 Bernard Clark Murden
3.Ida Villa Jackson b 1894 md 16 Dec 1914 Princess Anne Co., VA Marshall Harrison Whitehurst
4.Minnie Jackson md Unknow James
5.Ethel J. Jackson b 1898 md Unknown Marsh
6.Anderson L. Jackson b 1902
7.L. Paul Jackson b ca 1905
8.Gaiter Bean Jackson b 1907 d 30 July 1987 md Mariam Petree

Her brother John Goode Fentress, Sr. b 1872 d 17 Mar 1965 Chesapeake, VA md Ida Lee Walker their children
1.Ruth Fentress md unknown Williamson
2.Elsie Fentress b 1916 d 17 Sept 1989 Norfolk, VA md Ernest Linwood Chapman, Jr, md 2nd Harry W. Tuttle, Sr
3.Lawrence Linwood “Jack” Fentress b 1923 Norfolk, VA d 18 Oct 1984 Norfolk, VA md Rosa Lee
4.John Goode Fentress, Jr.