Rev. Ebenezer Hunter and the Unsolved Murder

My grandfather, in his autobiography, tells a story about his uncle Reverend Ebenezer Hunter, who he visited in 1935.

We made several visits to Sharon, some twenty-five miles away, where my Aunt Ola Hunter lived. Her husband, the Reverend Ebenezer Hunter, was pastor of the little rural A.R.P. [Associate Reformed Presbyterian] church there all his life. The church could not give him full support, so he farmed on the side. Aunt Ola kept chickens, raised a garden, did lots of canning, and sumptuously fed us country style. Uncle Eb was chairman of the board of Erskine College for many years, and from all reports ruled that institution with an iron hand. He also headed a committee to edit a new Psalm book for the A.R.P. denomination and used to practice some of these musical versions of the Psalms on us in the evenings. Although loyal to his church, he also liked to sing hymns with us ordinary Presbyterians. He chewed tobacco and we sat for hours in the rockers on the front porch, feet on the rail, watching him accurately hit any target he wanted in the yard. Thereby hangs another tale, too.

In the village of Sharon was a wealthy man who was the politician type and very well known by everyone in the vicinity. One day his wife was shot to death. The man was not a member of Uncle Eb’s church, but since they knew each other, naturally Uncle Eb went to call on him. It was a hot August day, and while there offering his condolences, Uncle Eb happened to aim a spit of tobacco juice into the fireplace, where it sizzled on the grate although there was no fire. Later, when he returned home, Uncle Eb begin to wonder why on such a hot day there had been a fire in the fireplace. This seemed suspicious to him, so he reported it to the sheriff who investigated and found remnants of the man’s bloody charred clothing which led to the arrest and conviction of the bereaved husband who had killed his wife!

Sharon ARP still stands, and, according to Roots Web, Uncle Eb was buried in the graveyard in 1944.