My 2nd Great Grandmother killed in murder-suicide

Today I received some photos from a cousin I recently found. Her name is Rachel and she is granddaughter to my grandmother’s sister – Trudie Hanes Land. She sent me 4 photos and they had so much information!  She had a written account from Trudie’s sister, Viola “Billie” Hanes Moore .  I couldn’t read the top portion very well but the rest says:

Daddy is Alvin Hanes in this following. His father came from Texas, Ranch 101 (?). John Hanes Daddy’s father first came to La when they drove a herd of wild mustangs to Sicley Island and homesteaded. He married Sofronia Valentine. She was born and reared in Catahoula Parish. John Hanes was killed by gangsters when daddy (Alvin Hanes) was 3 yrs old. Viena was older than Daddy. She died before Daddy and Moma (Emmie Cloud) were married. She died in childbirth. She was married to William Bohannan. The child, name was Vinnie. Grandmother kept her. Daddy’s mother and children moved to Galveston Texas 1896. Went to grandmother’s brother. They worked in Cathm (?) Mill and came back to Grant Parish. Daddy (Alvin Hanes) lived in Grant Parish and married Moma. Trudie was 3yrs old when they moved to Goldonna in 1915.

Written history from Billie Hanes

One of the other pictures was of The Colfax Chronicle from Saturday Dec 5, 1914. There is an article in the 5th column about a murder/suicide in Dry Prong, LA.  The Mrs. James Milstead in the article is aka Sofronia Valentine Hanes Milstead, my 2nd great grandmother.  James Milstead was her 2nd husband.  The text of the article is:

Murder and Suicide at Dry Prong. The details of a domestic tragedy at Dry Prong, in Grant parish, relate the fatal wounding of Mrs. James Milstead by her husband who afterward committed suicide by shooting himself in the heart. Both Milstead and his wife had been married previous to their own marriage. It appears that the couple had separated and Mrs. Milstead went to Jena to live. On Sunday, Nov. 2, she came to Dry Prong on the afternoon train, to the home of her daughter, where her grandchild lay dead. Soon after she arrived Milstead appeared and demanded that she return home with him. This she refused to do, saying that she had had all the trouble with him that she would submit to, and Milstead immediately began shooting. After shooting his wife twice and believing he had killed her, Milstead then shot and killed himself. Mrs. Milstead was taken to the Alexandria sanitarium Monday morning. She suffered greatly from her wounds, and died late Tuesday afternoon. Her remains were taken to Jena by her son, Mr. W. T. Hyynes, for burial at her old home.

Sophronia Valentine Hanes Milstead Colfax Chronicle murder suicide dec 5 1914 - Copy

Her grave along with her parents are in a cemetery before you get to Jena off of Hwy 8. Find-a-grave indicates it is called Belah Cemetery in Trout, LaSalle Parish, Louisiana.

Sofronia Hanes Valentine headstone

This is James Milstead’s death certificate.  His father is listed as SE Milstead which is different than what came up through family trees on  I may research this some more in the future but he isn’t a blood relative so I may not.

James Milstead Death Certificate

I am so thankful to Rachel for sending me all of this information!!


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