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Transcribed by Margie Travis


BRADFORD COUNTY TELEGRAPH - 9 SEPTEMBER 1949

LONG BRANCH

Snake Bite Fatal To Ben PADGETT- On Thursday, September 1, Ben PADGETT went to work sawing and hauling logs, near what is known as the old Byrd Field, we understand. His brother, Willie PADGETT, and two cousins, Edwin PADGETT and Sidney MANNING, were helping him. They had a full truck, excepting one log, when Ben saw Edwin was standing on a huge rattlesnake and told him to jump or the snake would bite him. Edwin thought Ben was teasing, and didn't move. Ben told him again to jump, that the snake had already bitten him- Ben. Edwin used his and Ben's belts to bind the bitten leg and they rushed Ben to the Starke hospital where three doctors worked faighfully with him until 9:30 that night when he passed from this life.

Ben is well known in this section of the country, having lived here all his life. He was 26 years old and is survived by a son, Charles, his wife having died just 13 months ago.

Also surviving are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Vernie PADGETT of Clay Hill; three sisters, Mrs. Lavina LANG, and Misses Rosalie and Lizzie PADGETT; and seven brothers, Oscar, Harry, Willie, J. T., Tracy, Martin, and Luther PADGETT, all of this section.

Funeral services were held at 1 o'clock Saturday afternoon at the graveside in Padgett Cemetery with Rev. J. L. Strickland officiating. Active pall bearers were Louie FRIGO, Luther GRIFFIS, Frank CARTER, Louie CARTER, Horace WHITEHEAD, and Eldred MOSLEY.


BRADFORD COUNTY TELEGRAPH - 16 SEPTEMBER 1949

LONG BRANCH

It seems we have more snakes than we can manage around Clay Hill recently, Eugan (Vernie) and Harry PADGETT went last week to pick up the load of logs that Ben and the boys had cut when Ben was fatally bitten, and they found six hogs dead- all snake bitten. The boys cut a tree on a large rattler and were too scared to try to kill it and ran for Eugan and Dave TANNER. Dave killed the snake.

Last Saturday Lunnie and Hardy PADGETT ran into another rattler while cow hunting, and they killed it, too. We wonder how many know that the first person buried in Long Branch Cemetery was bitten by a rattlesnake and died within 40 feet of where she was buried. She was also a PADGETT and lived north of the cemetery.

While she and her two daughters were picking huckleberries one day, she left the dog with the children and took her gun and crossed the branch to where the cemetery is now. She was gone so long that the girls became uneasy and went home and told their father. The men of the neighborhood started a search and after they crossed the branch they found her gun and pail where she had dropped them. A few feet further on they found her. The snake had bitten her on the upper lip, evidently as she stooped over to pick berries.

Her husband put a wild cherry tree at the foot of her grave and requested that he be buried by her. This was about 1820, and from then on the ground around their graves was used as a burying ground. The first log church was built about 1870.



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