Scott County Historical Society
Scott County, Virginia

Scrapbook Memories

Mildred McConnell's Scrapbook Articles

Home ] Up ] One Room Schools ] Saratoga School ] Addington Frame ] Clinchport ] Hale Spring ] Patrick Hagan ] Figures of Speech ] Haunted House ] Trek West ] Carter Sisters ] High Knob Mystery ] Kinfolks ] [ Molly White ]

Molly White -- Missing

wpeA.jpg (820202 bytes)
(Click on thumbnail for a larger image.
Use your browser's back button to return to this page)

(T-N Photo by Creasy) MISS MOLLY WHITE'S HOUSE at Snowflake, Va.., is seen in front of the Clinch Mountain where searchers have sought the disappeared ex-school teacher.

By VIRGINIA DAVIS: Times-News Writer

SNOWFLAKE, Va., Sept. 16-Not a trace had been found today of 76-year-old Miss Molly White. many of whose first grade pupils and parents of former pupils to the Scott County school teacher, turned out in the search for the woman who disappeared here Tuesday.

The elderly woman eluded her sister at the White home and disappeared in the Clinch Mountain area, as did the family pet, a black cocker spaniel named Sambo.

Not a single clue to the movements of the woman had been determined definitely Thursday, but a break-in at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Claude Gillenwater late Wednesday led many to believe Miss While had tried to make contact with friends who formerly lived on her place.

"She trusted me," Mrs. Lizzie Gillenwater said. "I have taken thousands of dollars to the bank for her. If she were near, I believe she would come to me, if I called to her."

The Gillenwater's moved, into their own home in the Williams Mill community a few miles from the White home on Nickelsville road four years a go. after living 15 years on the White farm. They had kept a close personal touch, having visited Miss Molly and her sister, Miss Etta last Sunday. They were at the White home late Wednesday afternoon during the search, when their home was entered.

Sheriff W. C. Salyer expressed an opinion the woman's aged condition limited the probability of her gaining entrance to the house.

But other saw a definite relation between her disappearance and the break-in. A blackened tub . was near the rear kitchen Window, and the window screen was ajar. Blackened finger smudge marks were found on a basement door. on the locked front door and on the papered ceiling, where a scuttlehole 18 by' 24 inches had been ,cut out. A blunt pair of scissors, kept in a sewing' machine lay on the dresser below the attic opening.

Miss White last spring had commented upon the attic opening after the room had been papered, and she had told Mrs. Gillenwater last Sunday that she hoped to see her in a' few days to "tell" some things.

A mirror on the wall had been removed and carefully placed against the wall, clamps of it left on the kitchen sink. but nothing was missing from the house and nothing else was disturbed, the Gillenwaters said.

Reports of seeing a black dog in the vicinity late today proved Sambo may have been seen and heard, but the dog had provided no clue to Miss Molly's whereabouts.

Members of the Virginia National Guard unit in Scott County with ,deputized citizens, friends of the White family and students from Gate City High School joined in the rugged climb up Clinch Mountain to the fire tower and back to Big Moccasin Creek. The Scott County Red Cross chapter provided dinner today for the weary search party at Antioch Church.

wpeD.jpg (122530 bytes)
(
Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.
Use your browser's back button to return to this page.)

Pat Williams, farmer on the White place, said Miss White had unusual strength and might withstand much more than many who believed the elderly woman incapable of leaving the immediate vicinity of her home afoot. She was wearing a blue and white figured print dress with red dots and was believed wearing a scarf.

Her sister was quoted as saying Miss Molly had cleaned up Tuesday afternoon and put on some of her better clothes. She had been left lying down while Miss Etta watered flowers on the front porch about 5:30 p. m. Her brother, John White, Richlands, Va., had arrived today with other relatives, ruling out the possibility she might have caught a ride to visit them.

Some of the spectators viewing the Gillenwater home Thursday had these comments: Charles Broadwater: "I. think definitely Miss Molly was here." Charlie Collins: "Who else would have had reason to do that kind of work. If those aren't fingerprints, I haven't seen any. I think the proper thing to do is get bloodhounds on the job." L. E. Culbertson: "It looks an awful lot like she's been here to me, and she may come back. She considered Mrs. Gillenwater her friend."

 

 

Molly White -- Found

Dog Remains By Mistress

wpe11.jpg (929181 bytes)
By PHIL CALHOUN, Times-News Writer
(Click the thumbnail for a larger image.
Use your browser's back button to return to this page)

T-N Photo By Kesterson) SEARCH ENDS FOR MISS MOLLY WHITE-WALTER TAYLOR, a Nickelsville farmer who was squirrel hunting on Clinch Mountain, holds SAMBO, Miss White's pet and companion. Taylor heard Sambo .whining near where the body was later " found.

SNOWFLAKE, Va., Sept. 22 - The body of Miss Molly White, missing from her home near here for eight days, was found Wednesday night entangled in a fence near the top of rugged Clinch Mountain, her black cocker spaniel, Samba, standing guard.

A searching party of four discovered the body after a squirrel hunter, Walter Taylor, reported hearing the barking of a dog in the vicinity.

Scott County Coroner W. L. Griggs Jr. said Miss White had been dead 20 to 24 hours. Starvation and exposure could have caused the death, he stated.

The discovery of the body about one and one-half miles from Miss White's home ended a search that had gone on since Tuesday, Sept. 14, for the 76-year-old former school teacher.

Thousands of neighbors, National Guardsmen, law officers and curious citizens participated in the search.

Miss White's dog, Sambo, finally gave the alarm that ended the gigantic probe for the woman who had taught many of the searchers in Scott County schools.

Taylor, a farmer who lives near Nickelsville, went straight to the office of Sheriff W. C. Salyer after he heard the dog barking and whining about a quarter of a mile from the top of the mountain at approximately 4:30 p. m. Sgt. Ed Neely, National Guardsman, and two other men, H. P. Lane, .Scott County treasurer, and W. O. Gordon, retired farmer, joined Taylor and returned to the mountain.

Gordon gave this account of the discovery:

"We went through thick brush and undergrowth to the place where Taylor heard the dog and we heard him again. This time, though, Sambo came running up barking and seemed glad to see us. "The dog kept running around as we hunted through the brush that was so thick we had to fight our way through. Then we found Miss White's body, at about 4:30 p. m., her legs caught in the fence that crosses a narrow path through the brush.

"There was some blood on her, legs, possibly from brush cuts and the wire fence. She wasn't in such a position that she couldn't have freed herself if she had her full strength.

"She was lying on her coat which was in good shape as were the rest of her clothes except for her hose, practically torn off. Her shoes were missing."

Sgt. Neely said it appeared Sambo had been chewing vines and brush around the body attempting to free his mistress.

And Sambo didn't want to leave the scene, Neely said. "Gordon had to carry the dog a considerable distance and then Sambo was somewhat reluctant in departing the wild country,"

The National Guardsman left the s c e n e to summons Sheriff Salyer, who with Deputy A. M. Ashworth and two McConnell Funeral Home attendants, were next to view the body.

Ashworth said the sheriff's investigation did not uncover any signs of violence.

A funeral home attendant said it appeared to him as if Miss White had been walking down the steep slippery path and fell at the fence where she became entangled.

Observers theorized Miss White and the dog lived on apples and, water, both of which are plentiful in the area, until weakness and exposure took their toll.

Sambo appeared to be in excellent condition.

Miss White lived with her sister, Miss Etta, in their home near here. Miss Etta reported her sister missing from their home eight days ago.

Other survivors include another sister, Mrs. Andy Meade, Snowflake; a brother, John White, Richlands, Va,: a niece, Miss Mary Meade" instructor at Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, and a nephew, John Meade, principal of Grundy High School.

The body is at McConnell Funeral Home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home ] Up ] One Room Schools ] Saratoga School ] Addington Frame ] Clinchport ] Hale Spring ] Patrick Hagan ] Figures of Speech ] Haunted House ] Trek West ] Carter Sisters ] High Knob Mystery ] Kinfolks ] [ Molly White ]