Sunday, March 26, 2017

Forget Me Not: Edward Tate Fortenberry

This is not a true obituary but it does reveal details on the death of a leaf on my family tree.

Edward Tate Fortenberry

 14 January 1885 MS - 9 Feb 1941 MS
Son of Webster & Nannie Fortenberry
Husband of Lucy Viola Brown, my great aunt
Father of 3 sons, Shirley, Cecil & Kenneth Fortenberry

Verdict Issued in Disinterment
Coroner’s Jury Says Tate Fortenberry Victim of Pneumonia

A verdict of ‘met death by reason of pneumonia was issued Tuesday by a jury called by Coroner Ray Cain in the disinterment of the body of E. T. ‘Tate’ Fortenberry, 53-year-old prominent farmer of Progress community who died in a Magnolia hospital February 9, 1941. The jury issuing the verdict included J. O. Dulaney, D. C. Brumfield, Fred Wilson, D. D. Varado, J. W. Goings and one other man. In connection with this case, Coroner Cain issued the following statement: “E. T. ‘Tate’ Fortenberry, Progress farmer, happened into Kelly’s beer parlor on South Boulevard in McComb on or about February 8. While talking to friends there, he was hit by a man he could not identify. I have witnesses who have testified to me that Wayne Knight allegedly dealt the blow. Mr. Fortenberry was carried home to Progress suffering a severe laceration of the head. He was then taken to a Magnolia clinic where he lingered some time and then died. Two of his sons, of New Orleans and New York City, came later and demanded the body be disinterred and a post mortem conducted for which a court order was issued February 14 by Judge J. F. Guynes to the coroner of Pike county. This order was ececuted immediately, with assistance of Sheriff Alton Davis and Deputy Sheriff George Guy. The jury could not reach a verdict that day because specimens had to be sent to New Orleans for analyzing. And the jury adjourned to February 25 at 1 p. m.” The coroner then revealed the verdict given by the jury he summoned in the case.


Verdict Issued in Disinterment. (1941, February 26). McComb Daily Journal, p. 1. Retrieved March 5, 2017;; E. T. Fortenberry

Also: same issue of same newspaper, page 3

“An autopsy requested by Cecil Fortenberry, New York, and Shirley Fortenberry, New Orleans, sons of the deceased.”

Note: In various records this man is shown to be 
Tate Edward Fortenberry OR Edward Tate Fortenberry.

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  1. This seems like an unusual situation...wondering whether the pneumonia set in because this guy's medical condition was compromised by the impact of being hit. Sad, either way.

  2. Did he have pneumonia before the fight or did he develop pneumonia as a result? Interesting case.

  3. It's tragic that this incident led to the loss of life. I can almost feel the pain of the family to loose Edward Tate at such an early age through no fault on his part.


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