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John R "Long John" Strother
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Birth: May 18, 1834
Sparta
Hancock County
Georgia, USA
Death: Nov. 20, 1888
Claiborne Parish
Louisiana, USA

Son of Richard Strother (1768-1838) and Mary Black (1801-1874) of Hancock Co. Sarah's father, Richard, is descended from William Strother. When Richard moved to Hancock County from North Carolina in 1831-1832, he married Mary Black, a woman much younger than his 61 years and started a new family.

John's sisters:
Elizabeth Jane Strother Arnold
Iwanona Strother Pearson
Sarah Ann Strother Berry


(from "The Strother Family, 300 years, From Virginia to Louisiana" by Edward L Strother, pub. 2002)

The Murder of Long John Strother

On a fall morning, 20 November 1888, John R "Long John" Strother left his home in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, on horseback. He had not gone far when three men attacked him. Long John was shot from his horse, and, after he fell, was shot in the top of the head with buckshot. Neighbors said it was a most brutal murder. But what led these men to bring such a violent end to Long John Strother?

John R. Strother was born May 18, 1834, near Sparta, Hancock County, Georgia, into a wealthy family. When John was only four years old, his father died on 10 July 1838. His mother raised John and his four siblings on the family plantation in Hancock County. After the sale of the plantation in the 1850's, family members moved to Baldwin County. With the outbreak of the Civil War, John joined the Confederate forces, serving as a private in Company F, 9th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry.

After the war, John returned to Baldwin County and married Mary Price on 14 March 1865. In January 1866 he was elected sheriff of Baldwin County. On 24 March 1866, following an unknown misunderstanding, John shot Mr. W. A. Robertson in the right thigh, who died a few days later. John resigned as sheriff and fled. On 2 June 1866, Georgia Governor Charles J. Jenkins issued a proclamation offering a $200 reward for John's capture. While no details are available, John later was exonerated.

He returned to Baldwin County, and in 1871 next married Sarah Kenan. However, on 3 July 1871 John shot and killed Lewis Holmes Kenan, member of a prominent Baldwin County family and former state senator, on a main street in Milledgeville, Georgia. Again, John had to flee. Friends put him in a crate and loaded him on a train bound for Louisiana, where his first cousin, Berry Strother, could provide refuge.

John lived alone in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, near Kimmelton. He taught penmanship and dancing. Being a fugitive from the law, he carried a rifle everywhere that he went. He had been raised as a southern gentleman, so felt superior to most people in the community. He was a ladies man, hated and feared by many. With Naluse Americe "Nettie" Johnson, he had a son, John William Strother, born 5 February 1887 at Hico, Lincoln Parish.

In November 1888, John taunted Turner Bentley, saying Turner's wife Mary was carrying a child fathered by John. A few days later Turner Bentley, Anders Lloyd and Will King killed John. Frances Jane Strother Robinett, sister of John Melton Strother, wrote John's people in Georgia at the time. When Turner Bentley later died, he confessed the killing. Turner was son of Sophronia Robinett Bentley Strother, wife of John Melton Strother, by her first marriage. Long John Strother is buried in Buckner Cemetery in Claiborne Parish. (end of book quotation)

May 23, 1871 Georgia Weekly Telegraph
"We clip the following items from the Milledgeville Recorder, of Tuesday.
ON TUESDAY EVENING about two o'clock a difficulty occurred between two well known gentlemen of this place, that almost resulted fatally. Mr. John Strother, in a buggy, accompanied by Mr. P. Fair, jr., had stopped in front of Moore & Co's store on Wayne street. Col. Lewis H. Kenan, a member of the bar, stepped out of Moore & Co.'s store with a double barreled shot gun in his hands. Raising the weapon, he fired. Mr. Stevens knocked the gun upward, and the load lodged in Mr. Staley's house on the opposite side of the street. The horse sprang forward, throwing both Mr. Strother and Fair out backwards. Col. Kenan again fired, but as they were falling, the load passed over them, taking effect in the leg of a negro on the sidewalk. A crowd immediately assembled, and any further demonstration of hostilities was prevented. Mr. Strother was considerably bruised by the fall, and has been confined to his bed ever since. Not the slightest clue to the motives which prompted Col. Kenan to this act is given. Even Mr. Stother is in doubt as to the cause. Col. Kenan was arrested, but gave bond in the sum of $2,500 for his appearance at court.

May 30, 1871 Georgia Weekly Telegraph
We clip the following items from the Southern Recorder of Tuesday.
On Tuesday night last an attempt was made to burn the house of Col. L. H. Kenan, in the suburbs of this place. No one was in the house at the time, but fortunately the fire did not take hold upon the building, though a quantity of fodder and fat lightwood had been placed under the floor

July 6, 1871 Daily Columbus Enquirer
HOMICIDE AT MILLEDGEVILLE -
A dispatch was received here by Mr. McCombs, of the H. I. Kimball House, announcing the fact that Louis (sic) Kenan, of Milledgeville, was shot and killed yesterday by John Strother. We know nothing of the particulars concerning this homicide further than that there was a quarrel between the two men dating back some months, and that a few weeks ago an encounter took place between them in which some shots were fired, injuring neither gentlemen. After that the quarrel was amicably adjusted, and the friends of both thought the affair had passed over entirely. The altercation yesterday which led to the homicide, grew out of the original quarrel.
Atlanta Sun, 4th.

July 13, 1871 Daily Columbus Enquirer
The Southern Recorder of the 11th says that "all attempts to discover the whereabouts of Mr. Strother (who killed Capt. Kenan in Milledgeville) have so far failed," but that it is reported that Mr. Strother's friends will be "ready to give bond for his appearance at court" whenever Judge Robinson arrives.
 
 
Family links: 
 Children:
  John William Strother (1886 - 1958)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Note: No marker was found when all cemetery markers were photographed 1 Feb 2012.
 
Burial:
Buckner Cemetery
Sharon
Claiborne Parish
Louisiana, USA
 
Maintained by: pdeneen
Originally Created by: D. W. Short
Record added: Jun 30, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 72263035
 


- pdeneen
 Added: Apr. 16, 2015
Thanks For Your Service
- Dorothy Gray
 Added: Jan. 3, 2015

- Georgia Girl
 Added: Jan. 17, 2013
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