Bon Jellico Families

The Roscoe West Family
By Velma Pemberton Decker


    On Halloween my brother Red and his friends had been to Williamsburg to celebrate. There was a real bad storm and they were seeking shelter under the Stanaford store. My brother Mart’s friend, Roscoe West, was with them, but he decided to go on home anyway because he had to get up early the next morning. They said they begged him to wait for a while but he went on. The other boys waited and went on home when the storm let up.

    The next morning, Jack Fritts’ grandparents were going home after spending the night with Jack’s family. They lived almost to Briar Creek about two miles from Bon. It was easier for them to walk the railroad. When they were crossing the trestle, Mrs. Fritts said it looked like a body lying in the creek underneath the trestle. They just thought it was a dummy used for Halloween.

    They walked on thinking and talking about what they saw. They decided they had better go back and take another look. It was Roscoe. How devastating it was for everyone because he was such a nice boy and was very well respected by everyone! They assumed that he was probably blinded by the lightening and just walked off the trestle. The news traveled fast. Most of the men were working and didn’t know about it right away. But Mom and I went down there just as the coroner was there. It was terrible.

    I used to spend the night with Irene West once in a while and she would spend the night with me. Mrs. West was so nice and after that tragedy, she was always so sad. Our family missed Roscoe very, very much.

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