|Birth: ||Jul. 2, 1887|
|Death: ||Aug. 24, 1922|
Veteran of World War I (LA Sgt. A, 334th BN. Tank Corps) but doesn't seems to have been shipped overseas. I can't find much on the internet about this BN.
Enlisted: June 13, 1918
Registration processed by B. N. McKoin
Honorable Discharge: May 24, 1919
Veteran headstone ordered by Turpin Davidson in Sept of 1936.
Ordered through Scott Hood Post #51 American Legion in Bastrop, LA.
Having trouble downloading a "picture" of the military headstone application. It is attached to Watt's bio in the Albert Berton "Son" Sisson family tree on Ancestry.com.
Watt, along with Thomas Fletcher Richard, were dragged out of the car they were in by hooded members of the KKK. Their mutilated bodies were found wrapped in barbed wire in La Fourche Lake that December. The subsequent trial and not guilty verdict of their accused murderers made national headlines as "The Mer Rouge Klan Murders". The public outrage in the state lead to the eventual fall of the Klan in Louisiana.
The murders were most recently depicted in the History Channel's 1998 documentary, "The Ku Klux Klan: A Secret History".
John T. Rogers , Reporter, St. Louis Dispatch, "The Murders of Mer Rouge" 1922
Alton Earl Ingram 's - 20th Century Ku Klux Klan in Morehouse Parish, Louisiana - A Thesis, 1961 Note: Ingram lost a job at NLU because of a presentation of the thesis. Ingram also received death threats.
Prof. James M. Ruiz' "Black Hood of the Ku Klux Klan", 1998, Austin & Winfield, Publishers. ISBN 1-57292-043-2
Filmore Watt Daniel was born in 1887 in Mer Rouge, Louisiana, and died 24 August 1922. Watt was the son of James Leon Daniel and the grandson of Enoch Little Daniel, who with two other brothers, Berton Green Daniel and William Albert Daniel, migrated to Union Parish with their father Josiah Daniel then to Mer Rouge from North Carolina prior to 1860. (All buried in the Bonne Idee Cemetery)
Testimony of W.A. McDonald of Mer Rouge, quoting Jap Jones of Bonita referring to we (the Klan): [McDonald was the brother-in-law of James Leon Daniel] "He said, 'we are going to clean out the whole Daniel family before this thing is settled.'"
Watt remained single and resided with his father, James Leon Daniel, on 22nd street in Mer Rouge. Watt was a graduate of LSU and served in WWI as a Sgt. In the 334 BN. Tank Corps. Watt was described on his WWI registration card as being single, a self-employed farmer, medium height, stout build, brown eyes, light hair and being slightly bald. Local testimonials portrayed Watt as an impeccable dresser who special ordered his clothing from a merchantile firm in Cincinnati. He was also portrayed to be "quite a ladies' man, with both single and married women - white & black."
Testament to the fearless character of Watt Daniel was portrayed in the text, "The Black Hood of the Ku Klux Klan" by Jim Ruiz: Reportedly, Daniel spied on a Klan meeting near Mer Rouge. He made a noise and was immediately surrounded by armed Klansmen. Boldly he got up into Captain John Killian Skipwith 's face and said:
"I came here to see for myself exactly who you are. You can shoot me if you wish, but I want to tell you that I have a couple of guns myself, and if you start shooting I will get some of you before the fight is ended.
You fellows claim you are after bootleggers. I tell you the son of your leader [That would be Oliver Gayle Skipwith , the son of Captain Skipwith.] here is the principle bootlegger in this parish. I know because I let him whiskey. I know further that your leader here owes $80 for whiskey obtained from his bootlegging son.
I propose to expose your whole damned crowd and tell the people your names and what kind of hypocrites you are. I am not afraid of your whole damned bunch."
On unnamed Mer Rouge citizen put it this way: "Daniel could not be silenced. Fearing exposure, Klansmen put him to death. I think this explains the motive for killing him. He was absolutely fearless, and could not be silenced by threats."
Watt and his cousin, Thomas Fletcher Richards, were kidnapped and brutally murdered by the Klan in August 1922. [there is NO kinship link between Watt and TFR- bonnie] The autopsies for the two indicated they were subjected to identical methods of torture. In addition to common methods of torture inflicted upon them, the autopsy for Watt revealed that his sexual appendages had been amputated. According to the pathologist, this sadistic torture was performed by someone "skilled in the use of a surgical knife". The possible motive for the sexual mutilation was not explored during the pubic hearings of 1923 nor in any subsequent publications.
The local gossip mill also indicated that Watt may have been involved with one of the Olive girls, who were reported via local legend to be ladies of ill repute and who had as patrons, many prominent white men of the area. Local legend contends that the two Olive girls were "two of the most beautiful women in Morehouse Parish and passed for white."
According to legend, Dr. Bunnie McEwin McKoin and Daniel had two prior confrontations of a serious nature: one confrontation involved a Klan threat to Daniel's Black farm labor supply and the second, according to legend, was due to a confrontation over a beautiful woman.
In August of 1916, Dr. Bunnie McKoin shot and killed Dr. Kenner P. Thom. Local legeng contends that the shooting was a result of their confrontation involving a dispute over a beautiful woman. Other accounts indicate the confrontation was the result of territorial disputes involving their respective medical practices or perhaps as a result of both. New accounts and local testimony indicate that the shooting incident took place in Gallion, near a grocery store. A coroner's inquest ruled that Dr. McKoin acted in self defense. Reportedly, several years after the incident, an investigation conducted by Dr. Kenner Thom's brother, H. H. Thom of Georgia, who interviewed witnesses to the shooting, revealed that Dr. Thom had been shot twice in the back and died one hour later in the arms of his wife.
Local legend appears to have little documentary corroboration but provides a conjectural theory to explain a possible motive for the sexual mutilation of Watt Daniel. If such was the case, it would infer that Dr. McKoin had personal motives and brilliantly schemed to employ the Klan as an instrument to murder Watt Daniel, whereby he faked his own attempted assassination and turned the ire of the Klan upon Daniel and Richards. Both, Daniel and Richards, were accused by the Klan of attempted assassination of Dr. McKoin.
It is ironic that Watt Daniel was a groomsman in Dr. Bunnie McKoin's wedding in 1912, the inference being that the two were at least casual friends at the time, only to become bitter enemies by 1922. Testimony by Watt's father, James Leon Daniel, during the public hearings of 1923 revealed that Watt Daniel and Dr. McKoin had indeed been best of friends at the time.
The gruesome torture and murder of Daniel and Richards has been credited by historians as the precipitating factor which led to the downfall of the Klan in Louisiana.
The legal proceedings related to the murders were labeled as a blatant mockery of justice whereby the guilty went free. The entire sequence of events became an entangled web of sensationalized reporting, propaganda, threats & counter threats, politics, false testimony, fear, panic and rigged juries. To this day, fact cannot be fully separated from fiction. Truth, it seems has joined the ranks of the departed.
In 2010, a Google search for Filmore Watt Daniel turned up an obituary from an Albuquerque newspaper. Watt's hidden son was found:
DANIELS -- Sgt. Fillmore Watt Daniels , age 85, was born in Gallion, LA, on October 16, 1922. He passed away at home surrounded by his loved ones on July 17, 2008. A long-time resident of Albuquerque, he spent 27 years in the Army, serving in the Pacific in WWII and during Korea and Vietnam. A gifted singer and performer, he entertained the troops for many years. Fillmore graduated from the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and recorded radio commercials for the Armed Forces in the 1940's. When singing, he was often accompanied by Andre Previn. After retiring from the Army, he went on to a second career with the US Postal Service. He was an avid Lady Lobo Fan. He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Elizabeth Ann Daniels; son, Michael and wife Gloria; daughter, Mary Beth and husband J.R. Duncan, daughter Nancy, daughter, Jean and partner Kathy Moore, daughter, Laurie and husband Michael Finnegan; son, James and wife Susan, and daughter Barbara Vittitoe. He is survived by five grandchildren: Elora Daniels, Matthew Daniels, Patrick Daniels-Duncan, Mia Daniels, and Colin Finnegan. He is also survived by his sister, Gloria Carstens and husband Allan; brother, Ross Jameson and wife Pat; sister-in-law Gerry Cimino; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his mother and father, daughter Kathleen and son Patrick. Fillmore will be Buried with Patrick at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe with full military honors. A private, family Memorial Service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the American Cancer Society. Arrangements are entrusted to: Daniels Family Funeral Services 7601 Wyoming Blvd. NE Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109 (505) 821-0010
Filmore Watt Daniels, Jr. is buried in the Santa Fe National Cemetery. I have requested a relationship link be made between his father and mother.
A whole NEW story has been added. The story is of Lollie Bell Olive Jameson Cole whose son, Fillmore Watt Daniels, Jr., was born only 2 months after Watt's death. She hid the birth of her son and eventually raised him in Las Vegas, Neveda. Watt's grandchildren have been to Morehouse Parish and are continuing the story.
James Leon Daniel (1856 - 1924)
Lou Renwick Daniel (1859 - 1891)
Lollie Bell Olive Jameson (1904 - 1998)*
Fillmore Watt Daniels (1922 - 2008)*
Bertie J. Daniel (1880 - 1892)*
Robert Leon Daniel (1882 - 1933)*
Richie F. Daniel (1883 - 1890)*
Susie Batavia Daniel Dade (1885 - 1911)*
Filmore Watt Daniel (1887 - 1922)
James Sisson Daniel (1894 - 1918)**
Bonne Idee Cemetery
Maintained by: Bonnie Sisson Manning
Originally Created by: Lora Peppers
Record added: Nov 12, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 44235131