Myrtle Sutton Henry and Mack Henry in 1965
William Rufus Griffin, May Sutton Griffin and child is Delleney Griffin
Group photo in front of Philadelphia Methodist Church in Fort Mill, S.C..
James H. Sutton is pictured 8th man standing from the left (wearing white vest with black tie and jacket and no hat). Can you identify anyone in this photo?
James Harvey Sutton
James (“Jimmy”) Harvey Sutton (b. April 15, 1852, d. August 18, 1940) m. Alice Eliza Dinkins (b. July 9, 1954, d. December 28, 1935) from Lenior, N.C. (by Rev. Milton Garrison) on May 15, 1873. Both are buried in Flint Hill Baptist Church Cemetery in Fort Mill.
Jimmy and his wife made their home on Sutton Road about 500 yards north of his father's home. He sold land on the north side of the river to Duke Power for their first power plant (the Lake Wylie Dam).
I have some unique information on this Sutton as written by his grandson, Albert. I will quote him here
"James Harvey Sutton, my grandfather, was my ideal of a man. In the twenty years that I knew him, he never complained about anything. But he was a poor farmer and business man. He lost a fortune in his lifetime. His home was always full of relatives, some who always spent the summer there from Florida, some who were down on their luck, and many who were there because it was such a fun place to be. I have eaten meals at his home when it took three servings to feed the fifty or sixty present. He was a nice looking man, about 5'10" tall and almost that broad. He had more muscles on his arms than any man I ever saqw. I am told that when he was younger, he was an amateur wrestler, who would wrestle any person and never lost a match.
He was a compassionate man; his home was always a haven to the poor and desolate. When he ran out of people he would go to the "Poor House" to bring others there..
I never saw my grandmother, Alice Dinkins Sutton, do any work. She always had servants and she was an executor if I ever saw one. She would sit by the fire or on the porch and talk to the many relatives who were always there. She told everybody what to do, and most people did.
Every morning, rain or shine, my grandfather would go to town. He would get orders from my grandmother to buy up to twenty items in town. He never made a list, but always came back with every item."
And here are some stories told to me by my Uncle Doug Sutton about his grandfather:
"One time he caught an escaped convict in the woods, and had to keep him in his home until he could take him to town. So he chained him to the foot of the bed over night so he would not escape. His wife was scared to death but Jimmy slept like a log.
One other time there was a professional wrestler came to town and would pay anyone $20 who could beat him. So Jimmy went over and wrestled him and beat him; pinned him to the floor."
The Charlotte Observer ran an interesting article on this Sutton and his brother. Although, some of the facts and details of this story are in question based on the teller, the story goes like this:
“On Nov. 9, 1881, James Sutton, his brother Stephen Sutton, and his brother -in-law William Hayworth left their country homes in northern Fort Mill Township and set out for town.
James Sutton carried a concealed pistol, which was illegal as established by S.C. law a few years earlier.
Sutton would later say he carried the gun because he was afraid of Lute and Zeb Bradford.
It seems the Bradfords and Sutton had recently had a scuffle over the contents of a trunk that belonged to Sutton’s sister. Hayworth had with him a Barlow knife - which, as a whittler, he normally had on his person.
Stephen Sutton and Hayworth went into Russell’s store on Fort Mill’s main street to shop. James Sutton went to the post office to buy and mail a postal card.
Pistol shots rang out.
When the exchange was over, Nathaniel Gibson, a constable, lay dead, and James Sutton was charged with the murder.
Thirty-two witnesses were called to testify in the case, five for the state and 27 for the defense led by attorneys Wilson and Wilson and C.E. Spencer, Esq., three of the best-known lawyers in the county.
More than half of the witnesses testified that they saw what happened. The remainder heard the shots and testified, variously, that a total of either six or seven shots were exchanged between James Sutton and Nathaniel Gibson.
The basic difference in the March 30, 1882, testimony was as to whether Sutton or Gibson fired first.
It becomes evident from the transcript that as the testimony moved on, the jury would finally decide between the two men on the basis of character. Professor A.R. Banks, who had taught Sutton at the
Fort Mill Academy, testified that Sutton was a “peaceable, quiet, good citizen.”
Benjamin H. Massey stated that he had known Sutton since he was a boy and that he was “industrious, quiet, orderly...,” a view that was seconded by many witnesses.
On the other hand, Nat Gibson, although he had several endorsements of good character, did not come off as well as Sutton. Dr. S.A. Kell testified that Gibson had the reputation of being a “dangerous man.” J. Ormand said Gibson was a “violent man” and added that he was not a relative of Sutton; three or four witnesses admitted that they were relatives.
The most damning statement about Gibson was made by Parks Moore of Indian Land. Moore said that he had seen Nat Gibson with Lute Bradford at the old wagon camp near Fort Mill and that he heard Gibson say that if he was ever with Sutton again he would kill him.
Lute Bradford was not present to testify. He and his family moved to Florida. Other witnesses testified that the Bradfords were friends of Gibson and that Gibson and Sutton had had a previous confrontation when Gibson served a levy on Sutton for Roddey Mercantile Co., a Rock Hill firm.
In the end the jury declared James H. Sutton was not guilty.” (A)
Family tradition has the story a little different. Apparently Jimmy was carrying that pistol under the buggy seat because he had been warned by friends that a man which he had had a disagreement with was out to kill him. Then one day when he went to town and tied his buggy up, a man started shooting at him from across the street in the barber shop. So Jimmy got his pistol and fired one shot, without really aiming, and hit and killed the man. He got into his buggy and went home because there were no police or or sheriff n Fort Mill. He got up the next morning and went to York to the Sheriff and told him what he had done. They locked him up for 4 or 5 days while they investigated. After the investigation they decided it was self defense. (B)
Jimmy and Eliza had the following children:
1. Bennie B. Sutton
(b. June 1, 1874, d. ) m. J. Lee Armstrong of Spencer, N.C..
a. Alice Armstrong
b. Eugene Armstrong
c. Ray Armstrong
d. James Armstrong
e. Sarah Armstrong
f. Thelma Armstrong
2. Walter Sutton
(b. June 12, 1877, d. Nov. 4, 1889) unmarried.
3. Janie Sutton
(b. May 24, 1879, d. Jun 30, 1979) m. Andrew Hill of York Co
a. James Wade Hill (b.1900, d. 1934)
b. Elizabeth Hill (b. Nov 6, 1901, d. Oct 10, 1984)
c. Arthur A. Hill (b. April 11, 1906, d. Dec 25, 1995)
d. Andrew Jay Hill (b. 1911)
e. Sidney R. Hill (b. July 29, 1915, d. Jan 28, 1988)
4. Alexander C. Sutton m. Lena Rivers Whitesell
(of whom more).
5. Bessie Sutton
m. George Ainslie of York Co.
a. William Ainslie
b. George Ainslie
c. Robert Allen Ainslie (“Bob Al”)
6. Alice Kemp Sutton
(b. Dec. 3, 1886, d. Nov. 25, 1918) m. Samuel Kimbrell
a. Sadie Kimbrell m. ___ Blankenship
b. Mary Kimbrell m. Gaines Delleney
7. Myrtle Lee Sutton
(b. Sept. 16, 1892, d. ?) m. Mack Henry
a. Evelyn Henry
b. Caldwell Henry
8. May Lizzie Sutton
(b. Aug. 9, 1881, d. ?) m. William R. Griffin
a. Everett Griffin
b. Glenn Griffin
c. Alfred Griffin
d. William R. Griffin (“Tub”) m. Lucy Delleney
1. Delleney Griffin m. Ronnie McMahan
a. Delleney Griffin, Jr. (“Dee”)
b. John Griffin
e. Woodrow Griffin
f. Robert Griffin
g. Otis Griffin
h. Alex Griffin
9. Shelley Humbut Sutton (of whom more)
(b. July 24, 1894, d. Jan. 23, 1991) married:
First Sadie Smith
A. Col. Albert D. Sutton m. Betty Morris
B. Laura May m. Jim Dunning
C. Dorothy m. Dr. Hoyt Bodie
D. Anne m. John Compton
Second - Rachel Moyle
A. Shelley H. Sutton, Jr. m. Rita Oswald
1. Shelley H. Sutton, III
2. Sherri Lynn m. Robert Cureton
(A) The Charlotte Observer, Saturday, April 20, 1996 by Louise Pettus.
(B) As told by Douglas F. Sutton.
Janie Sutton Hill on her 99 birthday with her children Sidney, Arthur, Betty and Jay around 1978