Prompted by an ongoing story series by Carter County Post, area resident Sylvia Morrison shared a few facts and memories about the unsolved murder of her grandfather during the 1930s, in hopes the story might spur someone else’s memory of the event.
Morrison shared: “His name was Albert Anthony Shelton. He had recently been promoted to mine foreman in Coalton over a guy with the initials H.C., if I remember right. He could play any instrument by ear and had been playing at a party somewhere near the train tunnel at Princess because he had walked under the tunnel to get home. Not too far from the entrance he had sat down on the tracks. He had set his rifle down beside him to smoke a cigarette, the police presumed, when he was shot in the back.
From my understanding, everyone in the community including a seer which gave the initials H.C. thought it was him because his whole family moved out of town in the middle of the night. He left a sickly widow and four kids with nothing. Mom was 16 and the other girls were 14 and 12. The one boy was like 6 yrs. old.
There was one guy that kept being called back to the court every year for 10 years without ever going to jail. But, when I wrote Frankfort I was told I had the wrong case. That was the only murder case in 1936 and the next year there wasn’t any. It completely messed up my mom, who adored her dad and was stuck with the job of supporting her whole family at 16 years old. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered how much it had shaped every one of their lives.”
Morrison said the local newspaper had a couple of stories about the murder, but ultimately no one was ever convicted.