Mt. Airy News
November 16, 1911

Two Tilley
Brothers Now in Jail
Most Brutal Affair in History of the County

If one is to believe the reports that are current about the murder of Mr. T W. Jolly2 in Eldora township last week then it is one of the most horrible affairs in the history of crime in this county.  The News told last week of the crime and the commitment to jail of L.Tilley charged with the crime.  After L. Tilley was put in jail he said that his brother, Thomas Tilley, held a lantern when he shot Mr. Jolly.

Last Friday Thomas Tilley was arrested charged with being implicated in the murder and he had a hearing here Saturday afternoon and was committed to jail.  A number of the most prominent citizens of the section in which the men lived were here as witnesses.  Most of the members of the coroners jury were here.  The men who compose the jury are W. E. Key, W. R. Reid, R. W. Wall, A. A. Taylor, S. J. Jones, Ellis Bryant.  Dr. J. L. Woltz, the physician who was present at the post mortem examination, was also here.  Messrs. G. T. Jones, Ernest Sprinkle, J. M. Jones and E. W. Mosley were among the number here from that section.

Men who saw the body at the inquest say that it is the opinion of all who viewed the horrible sight that Jolly was killed while sitting in his chair by the fireplace.  They say that it is very evident that three shots were fired and that the gun was only a few feet from his body judging from the way the shot scattered.  One load went into his neck just above the collar bone and two loads were fired into his face about the nose and cheeks.  The man's face was mutilated beyond description.

The story goes that the two, L. Tilley and the dead man, went to the mountains, a days journey from their home, and got liquor on Sunday before the crime on Tuesday.  They went in Mr.  Jolly's buggy and a few miles above this town Tilley drove off and left Mr.  Jolly when he got out of the buggy for a minute.  Jolly had to walk the remainder of the way, several miles, and got home Tuesday afternoon.  It is supposed that he upbraided Tilley for leaving him and after night, while he was sitting in his chair, he was cruelly murdered.

Tilley says that Jolly was advancing on him with a drawn razor when he fired one fatal shot in defense.  But members of the coroners jury tell us that in their opinion it would be impossible for a man to take a seat in a chair after he was shot in the manner Jolly was.  Tilleys say that after the shot Jolly sat down in the chair, but no one who saw the body as it sat upright in the chair, leaning against the wall several hours after the crime, believe that he was standing at the time he was shot.

A son-in-law3 of Mr. Jolly who lives in South Carolina, came to the funeral and employed Attorney W.  F. Carter to assist in the prosecution of the Tilleys.


1. Article provided by Steve Davis via Fletcher Edwards.
2. In records his last name is spelled both Jolly and Jolley.
3. A. F. Davis of Rock Hill, SC.