[Chattanooga Times, 1/25/1906]
Whole County Stirred by Assault at St. Elmo.
Black Brute Managed to Cover Up Tracks Well and No Trace of Him Has Yet Been Found.

Feeling continues to run high, not only in St. Elmo and vicinity, but all over Hamilton county because of the terrible outrage committed Tuesday night near the cemetery gate, and of which Miss Nevada Taylor was the victim.  All day yesterday there was conducted a systematic search for the criminal or any person who could furnish even a hint as to his identity.  So carefully, however, did the negro time the commission of his horrible deed and with so much cunning did he carry out his designs that he left no opportunity for any person to even see him.

 It was acknowledge by everybody, including officers of the law, that no power could save the criminal from summary vengeance in case he should  be caught.  The  humor of the citizens of St. Elmo was one of quiet determination to deal punishment  to the  negro which would be a warning to others of his stamp to abandon the present tendency toward outlawry in this community.  Neither is there any likelihood of any dying out of public sentiment along these lines.  The crime was so horrible in every particular and the victim so popular in her neighborhood that any mention of the affair, it is state, will stir up the wrath of the citizens for weeks and months to come.

 Many citizens who were never before heard to use any intemperate expressions on account of crime were open yesterday in their avowal of desire to aid in meting out punishment to this negro whenever caught.  It was a frequently expressed desire to help in pulling the rope of wielding the weapon that would send such a brute into eternity at the earliest possible moment.


 There is no doubt as to this being the worst crime ever committed in the vicinity of Chattanooga.  The methodical manner of the negro by which he gave evidence of such cool design furnished the worst feature of the affair.  The criminal had no doubt often noticed the arrival of the young lady at her destination at that hour.  He chose one of the darkest of nights and one on which she was the only passenger to alight from the car and with lecherous eye watched her as she walked away from possible succor.

 The strap prepared for the purpose of strangulation and used with such dire effect in crime, will no doubt at some day not far distant prove a fatal suggestion to an outraged community when its people see the perpetrator of the crime within reach.
 Such as the above were some of the observations heard on all sides yesterday when citizens would gather in public places.  The crime of the previous night was a leading topic of conversation on all sides and there was no lacking of proof that the manhood of the entire community was stirred to its utmost depths.

 If rewards are of any value this criminal will no long be at large.  An aggregate of $300 has been offered by various parties.  Word was received yesterday by Sheriff Shipp from Gov. Cox that the state would pay $200 as a reward to any person who would furnish information that would lead to the detection, arrest and conviction of the black rapist.  Notices to this effect have already been sent broadcast over the state.

 Sheriff Shipp has offered $50 on the part of the county.  His reward is for information and identification of the criminal.  What the sheriff hopes to attain by this offer is that some person who may learn, by any means whatever, the name and description of the negro will give such information to the authorities.  Any person naming the criminal of describing him with any accuracy or telling of his whereabouts will receive the sum of $50 from Sheriff Shipp.


 Last night the Forest Hills Cemetery association took action in the matter and H. J. Gulden, secretary and treasurer was authorized to offer an additional $50 for information that would lead to the capture of the negro.  William Taylor, father of the young lady victimized in the crime, is landscape gardener and florist for the cemetery.  He and his daughters are extremely popular with the cemetery authorities and this action was taken as one evidence of interest and sympathy.

 Many sympathies with the young lady who was so cruelly victimized and with her father, brother and sister and there would be no hesitation in doing any act that would be regarded by that family as retribution for the deed.  Miss Taylor is well and favorably known in her own neighborhood and was a valued employee in the office of W. W. Brooks, grocer.

Shipp Trial Homepage