1833 – Report of William Pryor Murdered in Nashville

Nashville, TN Pryor

Finding an old news article may fill in blanks when wondering what happened to all the people counted on a census…

It was reported in the Nashville Banner that a William Pryor and a Michael Hoover were attacked and beaten in a room they shared. They were found on Sunday, March 31st, and by April 17th the news article had made it’s way into the New York press (published in The Evening Post). The men had been gambling the night before and in the morning a servant went to the room to build a fire and found they had been attacked. It looks like the report made it into the northern paper because there had been several deaths in Nashville within a short period.

The same story was printed in The North Carolina Star (Raleigh) on 19 April 1833. I love having a second source because the NC paper states Hoover was from Nashville and William Pryor was from Clarksville (Montgomery County). Yes, there’s a Pryor on the 1830 Census Montgomery County! — It’s Samuel Pryor who I believe is a son of Joseph Pryor and Mary Fleming of Bourbon County, KY. Samuel has only one known son, E. L. Pryor of Arkansas, but there were other males younger than the head of household on 1830 Census. We may have found another son!

There’s  another option… This may be Samuel’s brother William. William was named in his father’s 1812 will and in the 1828 petition concerning the estate of his brother Edward. I haven’t found him on the 1830 Census.

The NC paper reported the suspect was Thomas Hill who was about 20 years old.  Hey, John Hughes Pryor had a daughter who married a Thomas Hill who was about the same age. Hmmmm.

Anyone want to try to solve a 180 year old mystery?