|Birth: ||Jan. 20, 1900|
|Death: ||May 14, 1958|
BRONZA PARKS IS SHOT, SUSPECT HELD
Bronza M. Parks, 57 year-old Wingate boat builder and Democratic Candidate for County Commissioner, was shot to death early last night in his boat house at Wingate. The shooting appeared to be the climax of an argument over a boat Parks was building.
State's Attorney C. Burnam Mace has charged Willis Case Rowe, 30, of 2310 Blue Ridge, Silver Spring, with the fatal shooting. Mace identified Rowe as law school graduate, a World War II Captain, and a researcher for the U.S. News and World report. Dr. John Mace, deputy Medical Examiner said that Parks was shot once through the chest and twice in the head, and apparently died instantly at around 6:10 p.m.
Sheriff David F. Bradshaw, who was notified of the shooting, arrested Rowe in front of the Lakes-Straits fire house, standing near a telephgone booth. A 32-calibre pistol was recovered. Rowe offered no resistance.
Sheriff Bradshaw said he got Rowe away from the scene as quickly as he could, when an angry crowd of almost 150 Wingate residents gathered. He left Chief Deputy Joseph Klopp to continue the investigation.
Deputy Charles King who arrived at the scene shortly afterwards, returned to Cambridge with Sheriff Bradshaw and the prisoner.
Another Dorchester boat-builder, James B. Richardson, Jr., of Lloyds, notified the sheriff of the shooting. He told the sheriff he had ridden to Wingate with Rowe at his request. While Rowe and Parks were in the boat house together, Richardson said he heard shots and ran inside to investigate. He found Parks lying on the floor and Rowe standing over him with a gun in his hand.
Was Building Skipjack
The State's attorney said this morning that Parks had been building an 18-foot skipjack for the Silver Spring man. Because of the delicate work involved, Mace said there was no contract between the two men, but Parks was working on a time and material basis. He added that Rowe was in the habit of coming to Wingate on weekends and paying bills as the work proceeded.
Because of a disagreement between Rowe and Parks, the state's attorney went on, Rowe stopped paying and Parks stopped building.
Mace explained that he had talked with Rowe and his attorney, Charles E. Edmondson for about an hour in Cambridge yesterday afternoon. "There was no indication of violence" at that time according to the state's attorney.
Saw State's Attorney At around 4 p.m.
Parks came in town to see the state's attorney and to pick up a copy of a lien on the boat he was building for Rowe. Mace said Parks told him then that he had met Rowe earlier in the afternoon and had had a very pleasant chat with him. Following that, Richardson, in the role of a mediator, drove to Wingate with Rowe to discuss a settlement with Parks. Richardson told investigating officers that he and Rowe met Parks in the boat house and discussed the matter calmly, although each of the men had different ideas about payment for the work. Rowe walked outside to leave Richardson and Parks to discuss the problem further. Richardson said he then joined Rowe outdoors and told him that Parks wanted money now for the work completed.
Went Back Inside
Rowe went back to talk to Parks alone and several minutes later Richardson said he heard the shots. He went back to find Parks on the ground and Rowe with a pistol. When Sheriff Bradshaw arrived on the scene, he said someone in the crowd pointed out Rowe and said, "There's the man and he's got a gun." The sheriff identified himself and asked for the gun. When Rowe reached for it, the sheriff said, "I'll take it," and recovered it.
Built 400 Boats
Parks, past president of the Lakes-Straits Volunteer Fire Company at Wingate, had built more than 400 boats, from 14-foot craft to 60-foot cabin cruisers. Two years ago he built three large dredge boats, and recently completed a large pleasure craft for a member of the duPont family.
A life-long Democrat, Parks for the first time had entered the active political arena this year as a candidate for County Commissioner. He had waged a vigorous pre-primary fight, billing himself as an independent Democrat.
Only yesterday he had campaigned throughout the entire county, advertising a meeting scheduled for tonight at Wingate at Wingate firehouse, which adjoins his boat house.
Funeral services for Bronza M. Parks, slain boat builder, will be held Friday afternoon at three o'clock from Grace Methodist Church in this City. The officiating ministers will be Rev. Richard C. Hubbard and Rev. Lloyd Townsend. Interment will be in the Dorchester Memorial Park. Friends may call at the LeCompte Funeral Home.
Mr. Parks was born at Wingate, Md., January 20, 1900, the son of the late Robert and Rosa Todd Parks.
He was a boat builder, and one of the organizers of the Lakes-Straits Fire Department. He served as president of the organization for five years.
He is survived by his wife, the former Katie T. Lewis, daughter of the late Mr. And Mrs. James Lewis, 5 daughters, Mrs. Lucille Sterling, Charleston, S.C., Mrs. Irene Anderson, Aiken, S.C., Mrs. Martha Ruark, Cambridge, Mrs. Mary Harding, Cambridge, and Mrs. Joyce Ruark, of Bishop's Head, his step-mother Mrs. Robert Parks, of Cambridge, three brothers, Orville Parks, of Cambridge, Robert Parks, of Crapo, and Rosen Parks, of Milton, Del., 5 half-sisters, Mrs. Alma Wheatley, Mrs. Mildred Hubard, Mrs. Marie Jones, Mrs. Janie Riggins, all of Cambridge, and Mrs. Pauline Lloyd, of Miami, Fla., 9 grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
Dorchester Memorial Park
Created by: Robbie
Record added: Apr 02, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35458444
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