Obituaries - Individual

William H. Darby

The Florence Times, Friday, Dec. 28 1900, page 1

Between North Lauderdale Citizens
William Darby Killed by William Knard

On Christmas day a bloody fight took place near Cypress Inn, just over the county line, in Tennessee, between two Lauderdale citizens, William Knard and William Darby during which the latter was seriously wounded, having had his jaw and tongue shot away with a double=barrel shot gun in the hands of Knard. At this writing we have been unable to learn the particulars that led up to the affair. The principals to the fight live a few miles beyond Cloverdale, Mr. Darby is a son of Mr. Jack Darby, and is about 25 years old. Knard is about 32 years old. They are all well known citizens in that neighborhood.
          On Wednesday morning Dr. Kernachan was called to see the wounded man, who, it is thought, can hardly recover.
          It appears that there had been a fight between the two men, in which Darby came out the victor. Later on Knard returned with his gun, and putting it close to Darby’s face, shot off the lower portion of his face, including his tongue. Knard was not arrested at the time, and his wereabouts are now unknown.

          Later.-Further particulars of this desperate encounter was received yesterday from Dr. Kernachan, who had been called to attend the wounded man.
Darby died Wednesday night at about 10 O’clock. When the doctor arrived he was beyond the aid of medicine or surgery. His face presented a horrible appearance. He was entirely conscious, but altogether incapable of speech. The shooting had its origin in a drinking and gambling row. Whiskey, in other words, has won another victim - sent one man to an untimely grave, made another a fugitive and left three small children orphans, the mother having preceded the father to the grave.

The Florence Times, Friday, Dec. 28 1900, page 5


Threet and Coverdale News

…A fatal shooting scrape occurred near the Tennessee line at Hyde’s store Christmas day, in which Will Knard and Will Darby were the participants. I have been unable to learn of the details, but it seems that the men were engaged in a fight when Knard grabbed his gun and shot Darby, tearing away his entire chin, teeth, etc., and breaking both under jaw bones. The affair is certain to be regretted….

The Florence Times, Friday, Jan. 4, 1901, p. 1


For the Arrest of William Nard

          The brothers of the late William Darby (David, Ben and John) offer a reward of $100 for the arrest of William Nard (or Will Norred) who on Christmas day killed William H. Darby. This money has been placed in the hand of Sheriff O. B. Hill.
          Nard is described as follows:-- “age about 28; dark skin, black hair and mustache, small, keen black eyes, thick lips, thin face, high cheek bones, sharp chin; weight about 160 or 165 pounds, height about 5 feet 7 inches; rather stoop, and walks with long strides. He probably has a sore thumb.”

[NOTE: Copies of a postcard and the  actual wanted poster can be seen at:  and 

The Florence Herald, Thursday, Dec. 27, 1900, p. 5

Shot Away the Lower Jaw.

John Darby and Jim Knard became engaged in a fist and skull fight on Tuesday, just over the line in Tennessee, near cypress Inn. Knard was worsted in the bout and grabbed up a double barreled shot gun and fired at Darby at short range, tearing away the lower half of his jar. Darby’s brother came to town for medical assistance on Wednesday, Knard escaped.
[NOTE: The Florence Herald is in error. It was William H. Darby that was killed, not John]

Return to: Obituaries - Individual