Body of Aged Cookeville Man Found in Sweetwater, Tex.


The body of Jesse H. Pendergrass, 68, of Cookeville, missing since November 17, found in a field five miles from Sweetwater, Texas, Sunday, after an intensive hunt, is expected to be returned here this after for burial tomorrow.

Funeral arrangements have not been completed but it is thought that if the body arrives this afternoon or tonight, services will be held at the West graveyard, near Cookeville, tomorrow afternoon with burial there.

Benton and Virgil Carr, nephews of the dead man, left Sunday afternoon for Sweetwater, to bring the body here after being notified by Roy Pendergrass, another nephew who lives there. He had notified them Saturday that the aged man's suitcase had been found and that a search would be made.

Pendergrass left Cookeville November 17, to visit two brothers at Meadow, Texas, near Lubbock. Ten days later relatives here learned that he had not arrived and a search was made. Later a $500 reward was offered.

Relatives here said the aged man had been deeply grieved since the death of his wife last June and his mind was believed affected. He was also subject to heart attacks.

According to word from his nephew in Texas, the aged man had been seen twice in Sweetwater, some time ago and had asked the way to Cookeville, and was directed to Cookeville Texas. He apparently did not know his nephew lived in Sweetwater.

Pendergrass had been dead several weeks, according to reports from Texas in face of an inquest verdict that the man was murdered by a person or persons unknown. Sheriff Tom Able, of Lubbock and Tom Wade, of Sweetwater said in a joint statement Tuesday that they believe the aged man wandered into a pasture, became lost and died of exposure. District Attorney George Outlaw said the Nolan County grand jury would review the case but no report was expected soon. Chief of police N. B. Hall of Sweetwater said Tuesday, "I still believe Pendergrass met without play."

Surviving are his sisters, Mrs. Maranda Howard, Altus, Okla, Mrs. Levi Maynard, Algood, and Mrs. George Judd, Mrs. Zeb Carr, Mrs. Vina Carr and Mrs. Pete Rippetoe all of Cookeville, and three brothers, Virdie and Travis Pendergrass, Meadow, Tex. and Homer Pendergrass, Altus, Okla.

Source: Putnam County Herald, 10 February 1938, Page 1

See Jesse H. Pendergrass Certificate of Death

See Jesse H. Pendergrass Tombstone