Friday, July 16, 2021

Ernest W. Allen

Ernest W. Allen, son of William P. Allen and Mollie Mae Burnett, was born in Georgia, probably Walton County, about July 1909. He was the oldest child of four—Ernest W. Allen, Millie Frances Allen, William Wardell Allen, and Jimmie Allen. Ernest is my 1st cousin 2x removed with our nearest common relatives being my 2nd great-grandparents, Samuel Pride Burnett and Millicent Virginia Overton.

On May 5, 1910, the Allen family lived in the Buncombe District of Walton County, Georgia. Even though he was 10 months old at the time, the census enumerator listed Ernest as “Infant Allen.” His parents had been married for one year. Ernest was the Allen’s only child. Ernest’s father worked as a farmer on a general farm, his mother a farm laborer on a home farm. Both of his parents were able to read and write.

On January 31, 1920, the Allen family lived on a rented farm on Covington Road in the Buncombe District of Walton County. At 10 years old, Ernest was attending school and able to read and write. Since the last census was taken, Ernest had gained two siblings, sister Millie (age 4 ½) and brother William (age 8 months). Ernest’s father continued to work as a farmer on a general farm. His mother, now with three children, was no longer employed.

On April 2, 1930, the Allen family lived at Covington and Walnut Grove Road in Walnut Grove, Walton County, Georgia. At age 21, Ernest worked as a farm laborer, his father a farmer on a general farm. The Allen family had gained one more member—a boy named Jimmie who was 7 years old. Everyone in the home except Jimmie was able to read and write.

Sometime after the 1930 census was taken, Ernest married Miss Harcrow. Something tragic happened on July 19, 1936 when Ernest and his father-in-law got into an argument at the Harcrow home, ending with his father-in-law shooting Ernest in the abdomen. In critical condition, Ernest’s friends drove him to Grady Hospital in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia. Mr. Harcrow turned himself in and confessed to the shooting. The Atlanta Constitution published a story on July 20 stating “No charge was placed against him, but he is being held pending the outcome of Allen’s injury.” 

Headline of news article the The Atlanta Constitution reporting the shooting

Ernest died at 10:14 a.m. on July 20, apparently after the newspaper was published. His death certificate recorded his death was caused by a hemorrhage with surgical shock following a gunshot wound to the abdomen on July 19. Ernest was buried on July 22 at Corinth Christian Church cemetery in Loganville, Walton County, Georgia. At the time of his death, Ernest, who worked as a farmer, lived in the Snapping Shoals community of Newton County, Georgia, about 14 miles from Covington. I have been unable to find an article in The Atlanta Constitution reporting Ernest’s death or any follow-up to the shooting.


  • Mr. Ernest Allen, Certificate of Death no. 19701, Georgia Department of Public Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics.
  • United States Federal Census, Buncombe, Walton County, Georgia, 1910, 1920.
  • United States Federal Census, Walnut Grove, Walton County, Georgia, 1930.
  • Victim of Gunshot in Critical State, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia, July 20, 1936.

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