Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Ashbys in:
 • Waid-Ashby Cemetery
 • Mimosa
 • Lincoln County
 • Tennessee
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Sponsor This Memorial!
Marvin C. Ashby
Learn about removing the ads from this memorial...
Birth: Feb. 2, 1914
Lincoln County
Tennessee, USA
Death: Apr. 27, 1930
Lincoln County
Tennessee, USA

Marvin was the son of Earnest Jackson Ashby and Lavinia "Vina" A. [Faulkner] Ashby-Brown.

As in the case of his sister, I contend his burial should be at this particular Ashby Graveyard, as his grandfather is buried here and Marvin lived in Mulberry at the time.

Marvin's premature death was part of a major accident in the Fayetteville area at the site of a flying circus performance sponsored by the American Legion. The news of the crash ran in papers all over the country.

Marvin and several others had climbed up a railroad embankment to watch an aerial show, presented by the "Dixie Flyers," an "organization of flyers and thrill producers" under Captain Albertus "Al" Gombert.

Milton Phelps Covert, an 20-year-old stunt flyer** from Columbia, TN, was sweeping near the embankment when his plain dove about 80 feet, immediately killing six people (among them, Marvin) and injuring sixteen or so...some of whom were not expected to live.

Two black children lost their legs...some estimates listed 20 injured, while some indicated two of the youngest had burnt to death.

"...Four of the victims were decapitated by the propeller of the plane and the others were crushed by its weight..." said Lincoln, NE's "The Lincoln Star" of 28 April 1930. In total, nine died as a result of the incident.

Officials stated spectators were warned off the embankment, since the pilots had to sweep close to it when landing (some 100 were in that area when the accident occurred). However, one witness claimed Gombert had asked Covert to blow the spectators, who were seeing the show for free, off the embankment, to which Covert was said to have replied, "I'll scatter them." So feelings ran high and violence was anticipated in the wake of the disaster.

Perhaps luckily, no specifics were given on Marvin's death certificate; merely, "killed by airplane." Some others' information was comparatively graphic. He was survived by his mother, Vina (Faulkner) Brown, and two brothers, Auldon Jackson and Garland Asberry Ashby.

The eight others listed among the dead, or who soon proved to be fatally injured, were:

Boone Beard [a.k.a. Biard] - #87760939

Harlan Kelley Towry - #74380232

James Lawrence Smith - #88792067 (listed on Death Certificate as Sandlin Cemetery, but appears incorrect.)

Jack Monroe Marbery, usually listed as Monroe - #88792502

Hurley Horton Spray - #13064393

Rufus Wade White [a.k.a. Rufus Wade Bonner] - #94570519

Jasper George Hearlston [a.k.a. Herlston] - #50644911

James Monroe Douthit, listed as J.M. - #94569076

I created memorials for those whose pages did not yet exist. They are all linked through my "Virtual Cemetery."

- by James E. Zielinski; July 2012

**The media reported Covert's age as 18, but he would turn 21 that year.


Fayetteville, Tenn., Thursday, May 1, 1930

NINE Dead Result of Airplane Dropping Into Crowd of Spectators on Railroad Track Sunday Afternoon; Many Injured


Pilot Colvert Loses Control Of Ship In Making
Landing And Plane Crashes To Earth
Before Reaching Field.

Nine dead and three more whose lives hang in the balance, is the toll of the airship that crashed into a crowd of spectators at the air circus at the fair grounds in Fayetteville last Sunday afternoon. Six were killed instantly and three have died since. The dead are:

Airplane Victims

Boone Beard, 14, Camargo, survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. B. Beard, and one brother.

Kelly Towry, 28, Frogville, survived by his mother, Mrs. Jennie Towry, three brothers and two sisters.

Lawrence Smith, 28, Frogville, survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Isom Smith, three sisters and two brothers.

Hurley Spray, 26, of Frogville, survived by wife and one child.

Monroe Marbury, 37, Yukon, survived by wife and six children.

Marvin Ashby, 30, survived by his mother, Mrs. Ned Brown, and two brothers.

J. C. Herlston, Lincoln 32, suruved by wife and five children, and two sisters.

Rufus Wade Bonner, (col), 10, Fayetteville, survived by his mother, Mrs. Mary Ellen White, (col).

J. M. Douthat, 75, Clardyville, survived by one son and one daughter.

Seriously injured are: Claude Copeland, Nanie Mai Ortner and Bob Johnson, colored.

Those injured by not seriously are: Mrs. John C. Ortner, Rose Cowan, Mrs. Lela Campbell and Estelle Campbell, and possibly some twelve or fifteen more with only slight injuries.

The first six men listed above were killed instantly. Bonner died Sunday night. Herlston died Monday morning and Douthat died Tuesday morning.

Claude Copeland's condition is said to be favorable.

The above are victims of the most horrible disaster that ever occurred in the history of this section.

An aerial circus by the Dixie Flyers had been advertised to take place at the fairgrounds with planes doing stunts and a parachute jump had drawn hundreds of men, women and children to the field. Between one and two o'clock a plane piloted by Milton Colvert made two short flights and landed in the field in what is termed perfect three point landings. On the third flight, carrying two passengers, Clyde Reynolds and Carl Stiles, two young men of Flintville, the pilot approached the field from the north. As the plane neared the place of landing it seemed to be out of control of the pilot and at a slow rate of speed was dropping and side slipping. When the plane reached the old railroad bed of the M., T. & A., upon which several hundred people were standing and sitting, one wing of the plane dipped, struck either the ground or people standing there, crashed into the telegraph wire made a half turn and collapsed on the edge of the landing field.

It is thought that the steel propeller of the plane was the part that wrought the carnage. Men were decapitated, legs and arms were severed and the mangled forms of bodies were in heaps at the foot of the railroad bed when the plane came to a stop. The pilot and the passengers escaped with only minor scratches and bruises.

As practically all of the casualties were from outlying districts of the county and the bodies were so badly mutilated, identification was slow and the wildest confusion resulted. Distracted people searching for their children and relatives, people sickened with the terrible slaughter, wild rumors of various people killed, estimates of the killed and wounded greatly exaggerated.

The Lincoln County Hospital, the colored hospital, the doctors offices and the undertaking establishments were quickly filled with the dead, dying and wounded. Wild parents in search of children. Wild rumors continuing to bob up and general confusion characterized by the Sunday afternoon of horror in Fayetteville.

One wild rumor that was nailed on the spot was to the effect that the pilot was drunk or under the influence of liquor. When this reached the aviators the young pilot went at once to the sheriff, got a doctor and had the contents of his stomach examined. There no trace of anything intoxicating.

The pilot was arrested pending a preliminary hearing before Esquire John Pool set for Monday morning. He was bound over for trial by circuit court under bond of $3,500, and the trial set for May 9.

The pilot was represented at the hearing by Lawson H. Myers. It was brought out at this hearing that no threat was made by the pilot to the passengers that he would scare the people off the railroad, the two passengers testifying that nothing of this kind was said.

Rumors printed in the daily press to the effect that mob violence was threatened and the pilot was taken out of town were exaggerations of the facts. Mr. Colvert, whose spirit was crushed by the calamity, stated to the News reporter that he could not have been treated with any more consideration by the people here and that that treatment was accorded him under circumstances which were trying to men's souls. He was allowed to spend the night out of town merely as a precaution against the excited state of the public mind but no threat of any kind so far as was known was made against him.

Family links: 
  Earnest Jackson Ashby (1888 - 1919)
  Lavinia A. Faulkner Brown (1886 - 1946)
  Auldon Jackson Ashby (1913 - 1973)*
  Marvin C. Ashby (1914 - 1930)
  Rachel Ashby (1915 - 1919)*
  Garland Asbury Ashby (1920 - 1973)*
*Calculated relationship
Waid-Ashby Cemetery
Lincoln County
Tennessee, USA
Created by: The Mikado, et al.
Record added: May 12, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 69730468
Marvin C. Ashby
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Jimbo
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

My 4th cousin 1x removed.
- Betty Evans
 Added: Mar. 24, 2014

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service