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View From the Past: Alligator hunts; a 14-year-old charged with murder; and a liberation

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The 20th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry was depicted in "Glory."

GEORGETOWN — History surrounds Georgetown County, creating connections between generations, with some learning from history, while others proudly repeated it.

Here is a look at what was happening in the county as far back as 1895, all via the oldest weekly newspaper in the state of South Carolina — the Georgetown Times.

125 years ago: 1895

Judge Lachicotte committed Eddie Patterson, a very small boy, about 14 years old, to jail this week, charged with murder. The little guy acknowledges that he got into a dispute with another boy younger than himself, and cut his throat with a razor, afterwards hiding the remains in the creek. The murderer seems callous about the matter.

News From South Island to the Editor of The Times – Colonel Rutledge, of South River, spent a few days in our midst . . . The rice is now ready for the sickle; planters are watching the storm reports with an eagle’s eye. Rice mills are humming; I tell you all our planters are hustlers. . . I was pained to see the unfavorable comment to ladies riding bicycles. I assert it is no more injurious than horseback riding. . . Capt. Herman Bryan, inspector of the jetties, now has his office on South Island . . . Deputy Sheriff Durant carried a lunatic to Columbia on Wednesday.

100 years ago: 1920

On last Tuesday the barber shop of Henry Baldon was raided by Chief of Police Ambrose and several quarts of liquor were seized. Mr. Baldon was placed in jail on evidence of sale of whiskey to three different parties. He was tried by the city recorder on Wednesday morning and convicted on five charges and fined the sum of $500, or five months on the chain gang. He paid the fine.

Federal investigation of the shipments of ducks shot upon the Georgetown estate of Bernard M. Baruch, former chair of the War Industries Board, in alleged violation of Federal game laws is being conducted by United States officials here. The investigation, according to Mr. Baruch, involves the number of ducks shipped. The law, he said, limits the number of ducks to fifty a person. “I had a number of guests at the place and apparently shipments were made by various men, friends of mine, as well as by myself,” said Mr. Baruch. Ducks shipped by his friends, he said, may have been sent by the same man, leading the game wardens to conclude that all were his.

75 years ago: 1945

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Colonel Richard T. King, of Georgetown, one of the greatest athletes ever to attend the Citadel, has been liberated from the dreaded Omori prison camp in Japan. His wife was overcome with joy when informed by the Charleston Evening Post that her husband’s name was among the reported liberated in a dispatch sent by the United Press correspondent. Colonel King, 35 years old, has been listed as missing in action since Dec. 7, 1944, when his B-29 Superfortress was reported shot down over Tokyo.

On Thursday, two Washington D.C. college boys, Lawrence Randall and Uriel Jones, were canoeing into Georgetown when they saw a 90-pound buck. Randall plunged in and held the deer by the tail until Jones came in the canoe and secured it with a rope. The deer was placed on the Hobcaw boat, where the young men stopped for the night and the deer was killed. They brought a leg of venison to the Times-Index this morning and told their story of their trip from Washington via the inland route. Eye witnesses to the capture of the 90 pound buck are Capt. Homer Jacobs, P. Mau, and Henry Tucker.

In an effort to kill malaria mosquitoes, 300 acres of rice fields to the northeast of the city were dusted with Paris green by a low-flying airplane. This was the first time in the history of the state that an airplane had been used for this purpose.

50 years ago: 1970

A 30-foot cabin cruiser sports fishing craft which exploded and sank in the Sampit River several weeks ago was raised and brought ashore Friday. The source of the blast has not been pinpointed. The boat, which belonged to D.E. Lewis of Dillon, had been docked at the foot of Meeting Street and no one was aboard when the accident occurred. The explosion was heard by Sgt. F.G. Shelley and Patrolman B.B. Lambert at the Georgetown Police Department.

Three Sumter men were uninjured on Labor Day when their fishing craft capsized near the north jetty. One of the men reached shore and walked a mile and a half to the Coast Guard Light Station on North Island to seek help.

25 years ago: 1995

The first legal South Carolina alligator hunt is now underway and will run through Oct. 14. The once endangered species now numbers an estimated 100,000 and 200 will be harvested. State Wildlife Biologist Phil Wilkerson and Mark Spinks of DNR were on hand at Annandale Plantation on the hunt’s first day to offer useful tips.

Visitors to Downtown Georgetown can step back into the past Sept. 30 as reenactors don uniforms, fire muskets, carry accoutrements and face the cannon’s roar during the Blue/Gray Encampment, a Civil War Living History Program hosted by the Kaminski House Museum. Featured will be the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, the African-American Federal troops depicted in the movie “Glory,” and the 20th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry, whose resumé includes roles in “Gettysburg,” “Glory” and “North and South.”

Reach Nick Masuda at 843-607-0912. Follow him on Twitter at @nickmasudaphoto. 

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