Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Knowing your locations is important

 Spires, Charles death certificate 1919

When you first look at this death certificate you wouldn’t know anything was wrong unless you happen to know the geography of the Augusta, Georgia area.  Charles died at University Hospital which is near the downtown area of Augusta.  The problem is, Augusta is in Richmond County not Columbia.  He LIVED in Martinez which is in Columbia County.  The death certificate is properly stamped as non-resident but the place of death in the upper left corner is incorrect.

You might ask, “Could he have died at home and then they just transported his body to University Hospital?”  That is actually a great question so you would need to do a little more sleuthing.  The answer is contained in the newspaper article detailing the shooting. 

Two men, Dave Gulledge and Charles Spires, are now at the University Hospital in a critical condition as the result of each shooting and wounding the other with the same pistol yesterday afternoon following a quarrel over a few cents in a dice game….  The shooting occurred at a soft drink stand at 1288 Broad Street…[1]

Charles was shot on 01 June 1919 but didn’t die until 04 Jun 1919 at University Hospital so he didn’t die at home.  The address of the shooting, 1288 Broad Street, is in downtown Augusta.  Whether he died where he was shot or in the hospital, it makes no difference.  There is no doubt that Charles died in Richmond County.

This might seem like a trivial matter but any conflicts in the evidence must be addressed.

[1]  "Two men shoot each other over gambling game," The Augusta Chronicle, 02 June 1919 p. 7, col. 3. 

Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. Well ... after looking at the date of birth given, every other piece of information would immediately become suspect, in my opinion.

  2. What? You are having a hard time believing that a newborn was involved in a dice game?