Adams County History & Genealogy

Adams County, Ohio Articles


Mrs. Harriett Davis, an Aged Lady, Shot and Killed by Her Fifteen-year Old Grandson, Ola Davis, Last Tuesday Night.

A distressing affair occured near Dunkinsville Tuesday night, resulting in the death of Mrs. Harriett Davis, aged 74 years, at hands of her grandson, Ola Davis, aged 15 years.

Young Davis mistook his grandmother for a burglar, and under the excitement of the occasion, fired a bullet into her body that proved fatal.

Mrs. Davis was the widow of the late James Davis, a civil war veteran, and resided on a small farm about 1½ mile south-west of Dunkinsville, where she has lived for the past fifteen years. For the past four years Ola Davis, who is an orphan, has been making his home with his grandmother. On Tuesday night his brother, Willie, aged 17 years, was staying with him, and the two boys were sleeping in a room adjoining the one occupied by the old lady.

About 9 o'clock, as we gather the facts, Mrs. Davis got up and was trying to open an outside door in her room. The door in her room was fastened with a wooden button that was hard to turn, and the noise made in the effort to get the door open awakened the boys.

Ola, on being suddenly aroused, and thinking it some prowler in the house, reached for a .32 caliber revolver he kept under the mattress, and stepped to the doorway leading from his room to his grandmother's. Seeing the object at the door but a few feet from him, young Davis cried out excitedly, "Get out of here, or I'll shoot," and instantly fired. Mrs. Davis exclaimed "You have shot me," and walked to her bed on the opposite side of the room.

Mrs. Davis, who was hard of hearing did not know the boy was up until she heard the shot that struck her. The door in which the boy stood when he fired the shot was only about six feet from the door where his grandmother was.

When Dr. Crawford, of Dunkinsville, who was hastily summoned, reached the home, he soon discovered that the old lady was fatally wounded. The bullet had entered the left side just below the ribs, and had passed almost through the body.

Mrs. Davis lived until 2:30 o'clock Wednesday morning, and was conscious up to within an hour of her death. Her last words were that the shooting was done accidentally, that she held her grandson blameless, and did not want anything done with the boy, who is distracted over the sad occurrence.

The funeral was held this morning at ten o'clock, the services being conducted by Rev. W.C. Mitchell. The remains were interred in the West Union Odd Fellows cemetery.

SOURCE: The People's Defender - West Union OH; July 28, 1904