Children of Mrs. Hugh Rodgers Left With Estate of $20,000 As She Dies of Wound Inflicted by Lover Who Committed Suicide.
MOTHER SHOT TO DEATH THREE LITTLE GIRLS FACE LIFE ALONE | Three little girls, with an estate of $20,000, who were rendered motherless by the murderous rage of Clifton King, 48, manager of their mother’s farm and claimant of their mother’s affection, sat in their Rosemark farmhouse last night and wondered what was to become of them.
The mother, Mrs. Hugh T. Rodgers, 38, widow of a wealthy Rosemark planter, will be buried today at her family home at Halls, Tenn., where her first husband and the father of her children, W. B. Moore, went mad from a nervous disorder and died four years ago in the Bolivar Asylum.
Mrs. Rodgers died at 3 a.m. yesterday at Baptist Hospital of a bullet would in the abdomen. Doctors worked frantically to save her, as her little girls sat silently in the sun parlor below wondering wen they would “see mama again, and why mama was so long in coming out of the operating room.”
King, who committed suicide after firing the fatal shot at Mrs. Rodgers following an inconsequential quarrel, will be buried at 3 p.m. today in Forest Hill Cemetery following services at the J. T. Hinton & Son funeral home.
King leaves a widow and two grown children. They do not want their names mentioned in connection with his obituary. he had deserted them, it seems, for the charms of the woman whom he shot and killed.
It is probable that the Tennessee Home Finding Society will take temporary charge of the three little girls. Their father was a Mason and the oldest girl, Frances, spent three years in the Masonic Home at Nashville following her father’s death, and pending her mother’s remarriage to the elderly Mr. Rodgers. The other two children, Dorothy, 10 and Norma, seven.
Their 20-year-old cousin, Miss Mary Ella Davidson, of Pine Bluff, who witnessed the tragedy enacted on the front porch of the Rodgers home, is temporarily watching over the children. It may be that her father, who is a brother of Mrs. Rodgers, will take the little girls.
After the death of their father tragedy again entered the lives of the children when Mr. Rodgers, their stepfather, died under mysterious circumstances last March 14. Nieces of Mr. Rodgers became suspicious and had an autopsy performed, but no traces of poison were found.
At the time of Mr. Rodgers’ death, King was living at the home as farm manager and he continued his connection even after the death of his employer. His presence there gave rise to much gossip at Rosemark and Brunswick.
Mr. Rodgers’ death left Mrs. Rodgers in possession of a $15,000 farm and personal property in excess of $5,000. This property in turn, will go to the little girls. So, if they are orphans, they are not impoverished orphans.
[ Mother Shot to Death, Three Little Girls Face Life Alone ; The Commercial Appeal; Memphis, Tenn; 20 Dec 1931; Pg 13]