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 Thomas Stokes Campbell

Thomas Stokes Campbell

Birth
Floyd County, Texas, USA
Death 6 Apr 1933 (aged 18)
Floydada, Floyd County, Texas, USA
Burial Floydada, Floyd County, Texas, USA
Plot North, Section 4, Row 1, Space 15
Memorial ID 100372230 · View Source
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By: CarrieCox1963
Wasilla, Alaska
Ancestry Contributions = 1 Public Family Tree

1933 - 1934 , Floydada Texas
From Newspapers Clippings obtained from the Floydada Museum in Texas:
Stokes, a high school senior, died of gunshot wounds. He was shot three times, and did not survive. James Reidheimer and his son Vert went to speak with Stokes to demand that he marry Grace, because the two had been lovers and Grace was expecting a baby.
Grace testifed (in the James Reidheimer trial) that Stokes had earlier promised to marry her. But when she became pregnant, he told her he had two other ladies and did not have to get married. Grace testified while sobbing and shaking, that Stokes told her that she should kill herself to not dishonor her family.

There were two court trials. James and his son Vert were both involved, but the person who had possession of the gun (and fired the shots) was James. Vert's trial was first and the Jury aquitted him. James Reidheimer was relieved and shook the hands of each person on the jury, for aquitting his son.

The murder trial of James Reidheimer was big news in the state of Texas. Ultimately, James Reidheimer was convicted of murder, although not "premeditated" murder. He was sentenced to two years in the Penitentiary because of the aggravated circumstances of the crime.
However, the Governor of Texas was the infamous MA Ferguson, the first female Governor in the state. James was granted a pardon. While Miriam A Ferguson wrote the pardon stating that as long as young men were "ruining" young women, the Texas prisons would remain full, she also granted some 4,000 pardons while she was Governor. (Though never proven, it was said that pardons were granted in exchange for payments to her husband, but in 1936 voters passed an amendment stripping the Governor of the power to grant pardons).

The story is a sad testament to the times, to youth, young love and mistakes that people make. It was a time when having a child out of wedlock was simply not done, and brought shame on a young unwed mother. The tragedy was that this young man (boy) lost his life. James Reidheimer had been a very affluent man in the community of Floydada, however, spent his wealth at this time in his life. There were no winners in this very sad story.


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  • Created by: CJ Payne
  • Added: 8 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100372230
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Stokes Campbell (19 Apr 1914–6 Apr 1933), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100372230, citing Floydada Cemetery, Floydada, Floyd County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by CJ Payne (contributor 47175448) .