The Bossier Banner edition of January 6, 1938 carried the following tragic story.
“Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon, at three o’clock, at the Red River Baptist Church, for Snyder Keith, aged 26 years, who was slain by Claude Faircloth, last Friday. The young man was wounded fatally at about eleven o’clock, out near Durden’s Ferry, on Bodcau Bayou, Friday morning. He was taken to a Shreveport hospital, where he expired at 7:45 o’clock that night.”
“The shooting is said to have taken place in an argument over a hog, the property of C. B. Keith, elder brother of Snyder, who was the only eye witness to the shooting.”
“The slaying was investigated by officers immediately after it was reported. Faircloth was taken into custody and later released on $500 bond, pending the outcome of Keith’s wounds. A coroner’s jury held sessions Saturday afternoon and Monday afternoon to hear all evidence and witnesses. The jury was composed of the following men: W. W. Carter, A. H. Moore, L. H. Demoss, Hollis Grisham and H. G. Neeson. The jury, in its report, recommended that Faircloth be bound over to the Grand Jury on a charge of manslaughter.”
“Faircloth was released on $2000 bond, by Judge McInnis, shortly after the Coroner’s investigation had ended. Relatives of the slain man filed charges of murder against Faircloth shortly after the Coroner’s Jury had made its report. Judge McInnis allowed the man to make bond on the grounds that the investigation served in lieu of a preliminary hearing, usually held after murder charges are preferred.”
“Lawton Snyder Keith was born December 20, 1911, in the Linton community, where he had resided all his life, except for times when he was employed outside the parish. He is survived by the following: W. T. Keith, his father; W. L., C. B., J. T., C. E. and H. C. Keith, his brothers, and Mrs. L. A. Burton and Mrs. C. C. Dupuy, sisters, of California, and Mrs. Collins, another sister, of Shreveport. He had been a member of Red River Baptist Church for ten years.”
“Rev. James Horton conducted the last rites. Interment was in the Linton Cemetery, where a large crowd of relatives and friends gathered to pay their last respects.”
“Young Keith had many friends throughout this entire section. He formerly attended school and later worked in Benton, where he was well liked by the general public.”
“This paper joins his many friends in extending condolence to the bereaved family.”
To learn the outcome of Claude Faircloth’s trial, be sure to read next week’s column, or come by the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center and read it for yourself.
Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at email@example.com