HARRISON DAILY TIMES.
Oct. 5 1941
TWO DIE IN CABIN AT ALPENA
What officers think indicated A suicide pact at Alpena last night at
about 9 P.M. when Ross E. Payne, 48 shot and killed Grace Rorie
age 30, set fire to the cabin and then shot and killed himself.
Coroner A.C. Christeson was summoned from Harrison at about
10:30 P.M. Grace Rorie had been operating a small cafe in Alpena
and living in a small cabin at the rear.
The evidence indicated that she and Payne had gone to the cabin,
barred the doors and windows and that the tragedy was then enacted.
There was both a pistol and a Winchester Rifle found, both with empty
shells . The coroner did not think an inquest was necessary.
The belief is that Payne shot the woman with the Rifle and then turned
the Pistol on himself. She was shot four times. It was not certain if the
bedding had been set by the fire from the Rifle or whether Payne had
set the fire after shooting the woman. When found both bodys were
fully clothed. One report said that there was the odor of gasoline on the
The first alarm was given when a CCC boy in passing saw the flames
inside the cabin and gave the alarm, then the cabin was broken into,
the bodys were rescued and the fire was extingulshed. No note was
left explaining the rash act.
Payne had formerly lived near Capps, but had been living at Alpena
for about 6 months as a WPA laborer, it is reported that he had been
living apart from his wife for about 2 years.
The bodies were brought to the Holt Funeral Home in Harrison. The
funeral for Grace Rorie will be held at the Holt funeral Home at 3 P.M.
today in charge of Rev. E.E. Griever, with burial in the Maplewood Cemetery. The funeral for Payne will be at Capps Tuesday at 2:30
P.M. at the Capps Church, with Burial in the Capps Cemetery.
Payne is survived by his wife, Nancy Payne and seven children who
live north of Harrison, his mother Mrs Dovie S. Payne of Batavia, two
brothers, Burl Payne of Capps and Tom Payne of Batavia, two sisters
Artie Ladd of Batavia and Eva Marshall of Everton.
Grace Rorie is survived by her parents, Mr and Mrs Anderson Rorie
of Capps, and one brother, Junius Homer Rorie of Capps.
Thoughts On The M&NA
By RICHARD ALLIN
The reminiscing about the Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad the other day has brought a gratifying amount of comment from people who were acquainted with it. The railroad, remember, ran from Helena, through Kensett, Searcy, Heber Springs, Harrison and Eureka Springs, to Joplin, Mo. After enjoying a wobbly running out of the Delta up through the Ozarks, it finally died of financial difficulties.
A Pine Bluff reader advances his theory as to why the railroad had to collapse: “The M and NA was doomed at the start,” he writes. “When it was organized, Jay Gould, the big railroad tycoon, was not included or consulted. The M and NA was originally projected to terminate at the Gulf Coast, but ended at Helena. Gould proceeded to parallel the M and NA with his building of the White River Division of the Missouri Pacific system, thereby diverting much business from the M and NA.”
A Little Rock man who was once a traveling salesman in the northwest Arkansas area has some interesting thoughts on the M and NA. “Your column re: the ‘rural railroad’ brings back memories of when I first started traveling Arkansas. “You mention that the road was known as the ‘M and NA’ for Missouri and North Arkansas. One name applied by the traveling men of those early days was ‘May Never Arrive,’ and in the days before even fair gravel roads, to say nothing of freeways or paved roads, about the only way you could go from Helena to Harrison was to ride the ‘May Never Arrive,’ and it was usually late.
I recall one winter night when the train was scheduled to come into Harrison from Missouri, and the ‘chair car’ with a woodburning stove for heat was well filled with traveling men. I was among them. The engine of the train broke down at Alpena, and we sat in the car for several hours. The weather necessitated chucking more wood in the stove and we burned up all there was in the wood box in our car. When the fire died down it began to get cold. Some brave souls went outside and tore boards off the side of the station and broke them up to rebuild the fire in the train.
“As you explained, the train stopped along the road for lunch and one story told by traveling men about one of the eating places was that travelers went across the dirt road to a boarding house and the old lady who operated the house stood guard at one end of the table with a freshly cut sassafras limb with green leaves on it which she swayed back and forth over the table to keep the flies away...”
That’s a very welcome and informative letter. It adds several valuable sidelights to the history of the rural railroad. The only question I have about the traveling salesmen who were delayed on the winter evening at Alpena is this: Why did they bother to tear the boards off the station? It looks like it would have been much more reasonable, and easier on the railroad, if they had just gone up and borrowed a few lumps of coal from the engine. On the M and NA the engine couldn’t have been too far away. !!!
"Histories and Herstories" Stories from people about the buildings, cemeteries etc, with pictures coming soon.
THE STORM THAT HIT THE ALPENA AREA IN 1939
A CHRISTMAS GATHERING IN CARROLLTON.
THIS WAS THE ORPHAN TRAIN, IT BROUGHT ORPHANS FROM THE NORTH TO TRY TO PLACE IN HOMES.
THE HANGING OF ODUS DAVIDSON IN HARRISON FOR THE MURDER OF ELLA BARHAM
THE OLD SCHOOL HOUSE AT CAPPS, ARKANSAS