John Henry Wise was a saw miller and logger. On this particular day in February 1877 he had hired several relatives and neighbors for log piling. After finishing with the logs many if not all started drinking.

William Miles started arguing with Jesse Gates after William made a comment about Jesse’s wife who was William’s sister. After exchanging a few words William struck Jesse with his fist. Jesse stepped back and drew a pocket knife and stabbed William. John Henry Miles, also known as John Henry Futrell and William’s brother, saw his brother collapsing and grabbed him, lowering him to the ground. William looked up at John and said, “brother, Gates has drained the life from me” and died. Gates threatened the other men that he would cut them also if they bothered him.

Murder charges were brought against Gates and a coroner’s jury was named to view the body at John Wise’s place to determine how Miles died. The results were that Miles died from being stabbed by Jesse Gates.

Later in the court records Jesse Gates was mentioned as the late Jesse Gates. This indicates that he was dead. After a thorough hearing the court issued a no bill, meaning the charges were thrown out. This was probably done because Jesse was dead. One can only speculate what Jesse died from. He was in his late 20s. Did he die from natural causes or was he killed because of his act? Hopefully this answer can be found at a latter date. You just never know when you get up in the morning how your day will unfold. This is only one of many happenings on the land known today as Ft. Jackson.




Sam B. King was a bootlegger in the 1920s along with his rival Rufus Medlin. On this Sunday Rufus and Sam had accidentally met in Fairfield County at Mrs. Mobley’s place. Rumors say both men were after the affection of young Miss Mobley. After apparently an exchange of words Sam pulls a pistol and shoots at Rufus who is sitting in his car. The bullet missed Rufus and went out the other front window of the car striking and killing Mrs. Mobley.

Sam was charged with murder and sentenced to prison. He was released early for being a “model Prisoner”. He supposedly helped prison officials in preventing a prison break out. He was released after serving only six or seven years. After his arrest his wife divorced him. He married again after his release. His new wife operated a store on Old Leesburg Rd. near their home.

A few years of freedom would be all Sam would know. His wife drove her car into the car Sam was driving killing him instantly. A few years later Sam’s wife died from alcohol poisoning.

Sam’s wife’s family also had other tragedies. Her father and step father were both shot to death.


JJH 10/15/2010

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