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 • Laurel Hill Presbyterian Cemetery
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Melvin Black
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Birth: 1916
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Jun. 18, 1936
Fayette County
Pennsylvania, USA

Daily Courier june 18,1936 connellsville pa
Added by gaylord_black on 21 Dec 2007
Daily Courier June 18, 1936 Connellsville, PA

Melvin Black, 20, the lone support of his mother, Cora Beatty Black,
lies in a casket at his home 903 Franklin Ave. near the spot were he was
fatally wounded shortly after noon Wed. as he attempted to shield a
married sister from a murder attempt. His brother-in-law, Jesse
Orndorff, 34 yrs old, who with his wife and 3 children had been living at
the Black home for 2 months is lodged at the Fayette co. jail in
Uniontown as the slayer. County detective John Wall told the Daily
Courier today that he will probably prefer a first degree murder charge
against Orndorff Monday after he questions in more detail members of the
Black family and neighbors who reportedly witnessed the shooting on the
driveway near the back porch of the Black home. Orndorff continues to
insist that he has no recollection of a shooting and repeatedly declared
that he had no intention of harming anyone when he went to the Black

The county detectives who questioned members of the Black family told
the Courier the following developments preceded the shooting. Orndorff,
a janitor at the Capstan Glass Company, his wife and 3 children moved
from South Prospect St. to the Black home. Orndorff became dissatisfied
with conditions and became involved in family quarrels with the family.
Tuesday morning he went to work as usual. That night at 8:30 he came to the
house and demanded his clothing. His wife went to get it. While she did
he asked to talk with Mrs. Black his wife's mother and asked her to
intercede for him so that he and his wife could return to
housekeeping. His wife told him she was willing as long as he would
maintain a livable home and provide her with ordinary comforts and she
would do her part by paying up all of his currant bills. It appeared that
all had been settled and the family was reconciled but as Orndorff was
leaving he told his mother-in-law that he was going to report sick at
his job and he didn't know what would happen, but if I die, my wife and
children are going with me. As this wasn't the first time he'd made such
a threat the family paid no heed to him.

He started to leave and ask for the key to the ceder chest they
kept in the basement of the Black home. It seems he told them he wanted
to get a base ball glove but instead took a pick and destroyed the chest
and all the water pipes then left in a bad frame of mind. The next
morning Russel Orndorff came to the Black home to take the 2 boys with
him, the daughter was to stay with her mother. But the mother refused
him permission to enter the house. Mrs. Orndorff said the only way her
children would be taken from her was over her dead body. Mrs. Orndorff
picked up a dish and threw it at him but missed, however. He left
declaring he would get the whole family. An hour after that Jesse was
seen walking Franklin Ave., Winchester in hand he encountered Jimmy Black
& grabbed him by the arm and led him to the Black home. It is our belief
he took the boy with him to prevent him from running to the house to warn
of Jesse's approach. He forced the boy to walk in front of him up the
driveway. The Black family's attention was attracted by Orndorff's
commands to the boy. Melvin walked out of the kitchen to see Jesse
pointing the weapon at his wife who was also in the kitchen. As he
dashed out to wrest the gun from him there was a shot and Melvin dropped
crying "My God, Harry, take me to the doctor, he hit me in the
stomach." Harry, Melvin's brother and Jesse's wife ran out and took
the gun from Jesse. A neighbor, Joseph Lick, and several others stood
guard over Orndorff as police were called. We have confronted Orndorff
with these depositions but he claims he was beaten into unconsciousness
and doesn't know anything about a shooting, saying he had planned to go
out and shoot targets and only stopped at the Black house to ask his
wife to reconsider her refusal to live with him. WE are convinced he is
not telling the truth.

It was 12:30 when word was flashed to police about a shooting on
Franklin Ave. and 8 min. later the wounded man was in the hospital and
the killer behind bars.

Melvin Black, the son of Cora Black and the late J.L. Black who died 6
yrs ago, was born 20 yrs ago at Wheeler and 5 yrs later the family moved
to C'ville. He was an employee of the Capstan Glass Co. and the sole
support of his mother. He attended the First Methodist Church.

Surviving are the following brothers and sisters; Jesse Edward, James, and
Harry at home, Albert of Cherry Lane, and Donald of South C'ville, Olive, wife
of Wilber Camlin of Run Ave., Cora Fay Black at home and Leola, wife of
Jesse Orndorff. Coroner Milton Munk said that the bullet had taken an
upwards course after it penetrated the abdomen bringing quick death.
The weapon had been fired at close range a .22 calibre striking him in
the stomach
Laurel Hill Presbyterian Cemetery
Laurel Hill (Fayette County)
Fayette County
Pennsylvania, USA
Created by: Barry L. Black sr.
Record added: Feb 04, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24393868
Melvin Black
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Marie & Dale V.
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Shelly L. Black
 Added: Nov. 14, 2011

- Shannon Black
 Added: Nov. 13, 2011

- Barry L. Black sr.
 Added: Feb. 9, 2008
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