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Mr. & Mrs. Benjamin F. Cowley on their Wedding Day

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A MURDER IN ABINGDON VILLAGE

The Murder of Lula B. McKelvey by her husband Benjamin F. Cowley

Lula B. McKelvey was the daughter of Robert Allison McKelvey and Lucendy Hulsey McKelvey. She was born November 1891 in Marshall County, Alabama. In 1900, she,her brothers James Albert, Thomas, Ross and Carl, her parents and one sister, Emma, were living in Marshall County, Alabama. Shortly thereafter, she and her family moved to Madison County, Alabama. By 1910 her family is living in Owens Cross Roads and she has been married two years to her husband, Benjamin F. Cowley and they are living with his parents, Frank and Mollie L. Cowley in Precinct 4, Colliers Dist. Madison County, Alabama.

On September 11, 1916, according to her death certificate, she was murdered by her husband Benjamin F. Cowley. The death certificate states she was killed by gunshot wound in Abingdon Village and that death was due to a homicidal shot by husband. She was only 24 years of age.

On the 1920 census-Elmore County-Elmore State Prison-is listed as one of the inmates, Ben F. Cowley, age 36, male, white, born Tennessee.

The above are items I have tracked down for myself. Lula was the sister of my grandfather, Ross Barton McKelvey. He carried that picture of her from Alabama to Texas. He would take out the picture and tell me the story. He and my Grandmother told me how sweet and beautiful she was. Everybody loved her. He also told me how jealous her husband, Ben, was of her and that finally she had to run away from him because he was so violent. She went to work as a clerk in a store, possibly a dimestore. He followed her there and shot her while she was at work. My grandfather said that he was told that Ben was killed in a hurricane. I have no idea where or when this hurricane was but would like to find out.

Benjamin had a sister, Margaret Cowley. Margaret married Lula's brother, James Albert. I understand that my Uncle Albert begged the jailers to give him 5 minutes alone in the cell with Ben after he was arrested. How horrible that must have been for those two people. His sister murdered by her brother.

I will continue to put documents up as I find them. Also any information that I can locate. Perhaps my beautiful Aunt Lula can rest peacefully now that the truth is out.

DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE MURDER:

Lula B. McKelvey Cowley's Death Certificate

1910 census-Prec. 4 Colliers-Madison County, Alabama-Benjamin F. Cowley & his wife Lula living with Ben's parents Frank and Mollie Cowley

1920 Census-Elmore State Prison-Elmore County, Alabama Benjamin F. Cowley inmate

Newspaper articles relating to the murder

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