This week’s Time Capsule looks at two murder trials, a train wreck, nuisance birds and an errand of mercy.

100 years ago …

The Tuesday, July 26, 1921, edition of The Cobb County Times reported on the front page that the Peek murder case, where Jewett S. Peek was charged with having shot and killed his wife at their home near Roswell several months earlier, was to be heard in Cobb Superior Court the following day.

The prosecution had hired Herbert Clay to assist the solicitor in the case. The defense was claiming that Peek was not of a rational mind and was mentally unbalanced when the tragedy occurred.

The article also reminded residents that before the killing, Peek had in March 1921 become crazed, secured firearms and set himself on a hill where he took pot shots at everyone who came within range.

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The above article also reported that a second murder case was to be heard that afternoon.

This case involved Douglas Jennings, a 14-year-old caddie, who was charged with murdering Slide Gober, another caddie, at the Marietta Golf Club on Thursday, July 14, 1921. During an altercation over “a trivial matter” Jennings allegedly threatened to knock Gober’s brains out. Gober was said to have “laid his head on the green” in response and invited Jennings to “knock ‘em out.”

Eye witnesses said that Jennings then grabbed a piece of cord wood and “lost no time in complying with the request.”

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A third front page story reported that a man was killed, a second seriously injured and a third was believed to still be buried in the wreckage of a freight train on the Southern Railroad near Nickajack the Friday morning before. The men were “hoboing” in a coal car when the train derailed into a ditch.

The dead man was identified as George Albino of Galveston, Texas, according to a union card found on his body. The wounded man, Artoro Rodrequaz of San Antonio, Texas, was taken to the Atlanta Hospital for a broken shoulder and arm along with other injuries to his body.

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The Friday, July 29, 1921, edition of The Cobb County Times reported a movement had been launched by the Marietta Women’s Club to rid the city of the numerous flocks of nuisance birds continuously roosting in the trees of Glover Park this time of year.

State game laws prevented any action from being taken before now. State authorities would not allow extermination, but approved using measures to drive off the troublesome birds. Various methods had been suggested, but “the most practical of them so far” was the firing of roman candles, which was hoped to frighten them away.

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An ad on Page 3 by the Kincaid & Griggs grocery store on Church Street in Marietta announced the following weekend specials: $1 for 14 lbs. of best grade, granulated sugar; $2.25 for 48 lbs. of Best Patent Self Rising Flour; $1.86 for 10 lbs. of Net X-Ray Pure Lard; 95 cents for 6 lbs. of good ground coffee; and 15 cents for two bars of Palm Olive Soap.

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On Page 9, the editors ran a story titled “Smyrna, a Little City of Big Achievements,” that described the city as “one of the healthiest and best agricultural spots in Georgia.”

The article said that in the last 10 years the population had doubled and was now 1,000 residents. It also announced that two new business houses were opening alongside the existing seven, four new residences were under construction, a $30,000 school had been completed and that it had been free of Typhoid Fever for six years.

One of the new businesses was the Smyrna Mercantile Co., which took out a full page ad on Page 8 about its opening in a few days. The article said that the business had “a stock of goods of a size and variety seldom found in a city of similar size, and the cash grocer store will begin existence with the very latest line of fancy groceries.”

It also mentioned that the Smyrna National Farm Loan Association was one of the first to be established in Cobb County and had a long record of helping farmers in this section.

75 years ago ...

The Friday, July 26, 1946, edition of The Marietta Daily Journal reported on an errand of mercy.

A C-47, one of the planes that carried supplies and equipment to the men overseas during World War II, left Marietta Army Air Field that day carrying Nancy Ruth Griner, 3, and her parents to Washington, D.C., where she was to undergo a delicate life or death brain operation.

Nancy Ruth, the only child of Staff Sgt. and Mrs. Abb W. Griner of Marietta, had suffered from a blood clot on her brain since the age of three weeks. The condition, which had grown worse, was threatening the child’s life.

The crew of the mercy ship were Mariettans First Lt. Edward O. Stillie of Marietta as pilot and Capt. Norman F. Ficke as co-pilot.

Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator and Historian for the Marietta Daily Journal.

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