Monday, August 15, 2016

Death and Kidnapping

Zollie Monroe Britt had some terrible luck with wives. He married Mamie Lee Hale, daughter John Henry Hale and his second wife Sarah Jane Williams, on 21 October 1923 in Bibb County, Georgia. Mamie was my sister-in-law's great great aunt. Zollie and Mamie had their only child, John Madison Britt the following year.

Two short months after their 10th wedding anniversary Zollie's wife, Mamie, died, leaving him with his 9-year-old son. Six months after his wife's death, he married Emily B. (Wilson) Moore on 19 June 1934. She was a young divorcee with a daughter the same age as Zollie's son. The couple planned to make their home in Macon, Georgia, where Zollie was involved with government work.

28 June 1934 edition of The Macon Telegraph;
courtesy of the Macon Historical Society

About a week after their marriage Emily came down with pneumonia and was hospitalized on 25 June 1934. Her prognosis was grim. On the evening of 27 June 1934 her former husband came to Emily's hospital room where he saw his daughter, Mary Elizabeth. He asked Emily if he could take the child home and she consented. Zollie and one of Emily's sisters objected and a shouting match ensued with John Moore threatening to "break every bone in his body." Zollie and his sister-in-law went to the police and filed a complaint. Later that night the police arrested John on a kidnapping warrant. He was later released. Mary Elizabeth, it was reported, was content with her father, telling the deputies her aunt was not giving her enough to eat.

29 Jun 1934 edition of The Macon Telegraph; courtesy of the Macon
Historical Society

The next day The Macon Telegraph reported that not only had John H. Moore been released from police custody, the kidnapping charges had been dropped. The police held out the possibility that they may press contempt of court charges in the future. The same article went on to relate Emily B. (Wilson) Moore Britt had died in the hospital at 8:00 a.m. on 28 June -- the morning after the confrontation between her current and former husbands.

1 July 1934 edition of The Macon Telegraph; courtesy of
the Macon Historical Society

The funeral for Emily was held on 30 June, which her daughter attended. Police and juvenile court officials decided to take custody of Mary Elizabeth Moore until an investigation could be completed and the court could decide where she should live.

That was the last article I could find about the event. So in less than six months time Zollie had been widowed twice. He married Mary Elizabeth (Folds) Elliott some time before the 1940 census was enumerated. She was a native of Putnam County, Georgia, and had lost her first husband in 1929. She had at least three children from her first marriage. Zollie and Mary lived in Macon for the remainder of their lives. He died in 1962 and she died in 1970. They were both interred at Riverside Cemetery in Macon.


  1. What happened to little Mary Moore?

    1. Other than her Social Security application, which listed her parents, I have been unable to find her in any other record -- not the 1930 or 1940 census or city directories or in the newspapers. I do know she filed three name changes with SSA. I am starting to believe she became a foster child and was enumerated as a child of her foster parents, but have no proof of this.