The Police Chief is Killed

Redouble Effort To Apprehend Fred Erwin Beal — Reported To Have Been Seen Going Toward Elizabethton.

600-Odd Are Jailed. Many Held In Jail As Suspects In Shooting Of Adderholt.

With the death of the chief of police O. F. Adderholt Saturday morning at 10:20 o'clock as a result of a gun shot wound in the back and lungs Friday night, at the hands of unknown assailants at the tent colony of the Loray strikers and strike leaders, county and city officers turned with redoubled zeal to the task of apprehending Fred Erwin Beal, organizer and alleged inciter of the mob that did Chief Adderholt to his death.

Late Saturday afternoon no trace of his whereabouts had been found and officers were at a loss as to where to proceed. Rumors had it that he had been seen riding toward Elizabethton, Tenn. He had just returned Wednesday from the Tennessee strike area.

In the meantime, none of the 50 or 60 people arrested Friday night had been released from jail. All are under arrest on charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. Among the more prominent of the strike colony under arrest are Amy Schechter, Vera Bush, and three other women connected with the strike colony as organizers, Workers International relief committee, etc. Others arrested are George Carter, Chester Pa., suspected of being a regular gunman, judging from his conversation and experiences, Joseph Harrison, of Passaic, N.J., who knew Beal in Passaic and New Bedford, and Louis McLaughlin, a Loray worker, who has been identified by Charlie Ferguson as the man who shot him.

Carter has but lately arrived in Gastonia. He said he came to get a taste of strike life, and was put to guarding the headquarters building. He told of how the officers approached the building and of his challenging them. He seems to have it in for Gilbert, judging from the allusions made to this officer. He and Gilbert, at any rate, engaged in a scuffle, he said, and in the melee a gun was discharged and Adderholt fell. When discovered by officers and deputies a few minutes later, Carter was under the edge of the tent with a loaded shot gun. He was brought out at the point of a gun.

Harrison, who was shot in the right arm and side, did not give a very connected account of the affair. Judging from the guarded answers which he gave to questions by onlookers and police officers, he is a very reticent youth and knows the ins and outs of the game. He refused to say anything except that he was near the officers and got some of the shot intended for them. He claims not to know many of the other strikers and gave as his reason for not telling more, that his head hurt, and that he was not right clear in his mind as to what had happened. He has the dialect and brogue of a "JoisyJersey, i.e. New Jersey." tough.

Louis McLaughlin, alleged striker, who has been identified by Charlie Ferguson as the man who shot at him is said to have been a guard. He was captured with a shotgun in his possession and several shells. Many others were found with shells and pistol cartridges in their pockets.

The trouble at the tent colony began early in the evening Friday among the strikers, or alleged strikers—many of them have never been inside the Loray mill and have come to this colony to hang on for what they can get out of it, reputable mills not giving them employment on account of their reputation. It seems that one of the speakers made some disparaging remarks about some of the workers in the mills, and that some of the colony resented this. Rotten eggs and other missiles were hurled and in a few moments there was a sort of free-for-all fight. Some say that the strikers themselves called the police department to help allay this quarrel.

At any rate, when the police officers arrived on the scene, Adam Hord heard a voice behind the house yell, "Shoot the — — officers." He said he ran around the house in chase of this man, and while he was chasing him the shooting began on the other side of the house. This fact saved him from possible injury.

C. L. Johnson, taxi driver, offered to bring Adderholt home. After he had been lifted into the car someone fired on it again, shattering the windshield.

Carter and Harrison who was only slightly wounded and Mclaughlin are said to have been taken to jail in other counties of the state and are being held as defendants in the murder of O. F. Adderholt. All the above who were arrested are being held under the charge of assault with deadly weapon, which has been changed to murder with the death of the chief of police.

Solicitor Carpenter, Mayor Denny, City Manager Rutter and County Commissioners Beal and Stowe had a conference this morning relative to the matter of offering a reward for the apprehension of the murderer, but no action was taken.

Beal was the first so-called strike organizers to reach Gastonia. He came here the last of March and immediately opened his campaign of vituperation and abuse. George Pershing quickly followed him and and the two together quickly enrolled many union members. Then came Ellen Dawson, Vera Bush and Amy Schechter. The Dawson girl has gone back to Boston and there are several others whose names are not known, who have lately come into Gastonia. They spend much of their time visiting cotton mill centers and inciting to strike and in teaching the children of strikers communistic lessons.

Died at 10:20 A.M.

Chief Orville F. Adderholt, head of the Gastonia police force for the past seven years and victim last night of a murderous attack made upon several officers by strikers at the Loray mill, died at 10:20 o'clock this morning at the Gaston Sanatorium. At three o'clock this morning, six hours after the shooting occurred, doctors attending Chief Adderholt, stated that he appeared to be resting well and to have a chance of recovery. However, at about seven o'clock this morning convulsions set in, as a result of the puncturing of his lungs by shot from the gun of one of the striker-guards who participated in last night's one-sided battle. A short while later the Chief suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, accompanied by other convulsions, and the end came shortly after 10 o'clock.

A Sketch

...Hardly ever in the history of Gastonia has the death of any public figure so shocked and obviously affected the entire population. All through the night and morning crowds of people swarmed about the city hall which along with the hospital and other points was bombarded with incessant telephone calls inquiring into the Chief's condition. For a time the promise that the Chief had a chance to recover seemed to lessen the tensity of the feeling that hovered over the city, and the news of his death this morning brought with it a sorrow that was as great as it was universal.

Among his assistants and associates, Chief Adderholt was held in the highest regard in his authority; among his innumerable friends here, who hailed him daily as "Chief," he was looked upon as "the best chief of police Gastonia has ever had." To "Chief" his duty as an officer of the law was supreme, and in the execution of his trust he never failed. He was as courageous as he was generous, as true as he was good, and in his death the city has a loss from which it will be difficult to recover. The entire city mourns with his family, the death of "Chief."


Credit text

"Redouble Effort To Apprehend Fred Erwin Beal." The Gastonia Daily Gazette, Gastonia, N.C., June 8, 1929.