Who Was Arthur Glover?

Many people in Augusta asked themselves in 1906.

Some knew him as a part-time political journalist and election worker.

Some knew him as a constable and a private detective who was good at handling a gun.

Some knew him as a family man with his wife and children, who in 1827 Ellis St.

However, a Richmond County jury said he was a murderer.

It had a point.

Arthur Glover did not deny that on October 19, 1906, he came to the Sibley Mill weaving mill to ask Maude Dean Williamson why it was her? reject his company. When he did not get a satisfactory answer, he drew a gun and shot it several times.

He went to a local bar, had a drink, and then went home to his wife.

He admitted this in court and even went so far as to mock Judge Henry Hammond, who responded by setting his date of hanging.

Richmond County Judge Henry Hammond

However, as that day drew near, Arthur Glover said he was mad and crazy. He let his hair grow long. He stopped shaving. According to a newspaper report, he looked like a wild-eyed John the Baptist.

Glover said he had gone insane under the weight of the political pressures that plagued him on behalf of one of the state’s most prominent politicians – the pre-eminent populist Tom Watson from nearby Thomson.

So he went to a local cotton mill and shot a woman, not his wife.

Was he crazy?

That remains a mystery.

His unusual behavior before, during, and after the Maude Williamson assassination could well be questioned.

He also had a strange story.

In the fall of 1892, during a local political battle, Glover shot and killed police officer Henry Head while he was working for Watson and then fled to South Carolina to evade the law.

Apparently the law wasn’t looking for him, which allowed him to return to Augusta, furnish a house on Ellis Street, take a wife, raise a family, and find a girlfriend.

In May 1899, the Augusta correspondent for the Atlanta Constitution reported that a masked man was charged on Lake Olmstead for drew a gun and shot people during an argument. He didn’t meet anyone and quickly fled on a bicycle hidden in a bush. The man has been identified as Arthur Glover.

At a hearing in May 1907, Glover’s attorneys brought in witnesses who testified that the now long-haired, fidgety man in the dock had been “ill all his life”.

Tom Watson of Thomson, a Georgia Congressman and Senator and a populist Democrat.

Glover also sought help from his political boss, Tom Watson, and Watson got through.

A brilliant but sometimes manic populist, Watson had no trouble believing that his loyal foot soldier had made a raw deal. He himself had seen his own political endeavors denied when opposing voters were brought in in truckloads and paid for in dollars and drinks to attend.

Watson also influenced Governor Hoke Smith, who owed his comfy bed in Governor Watson’s previous support to his mansion.

When Watson called (or wired), Hoke heard him and intervened for Arthur Glover.


Georgia Governor Hoke Smith, asked to commute Arthur Glover's death sentence.

Instead of commuting the death sentence of a previously confessed murderer, Smith set up a panel to review the case with his insane problem. Unfortunately for Arthur Glover, the panel advised the execution to continue. Glover called it a “degenerate defect” but said it was healthy.

Watson vowed to return to Smith’s home, while Glover went to the gallows, who was officially executed in January 1908.

Watson kept his word and withdrew his political support, which resulted in Governor Hoke Smith losing his re-election.

Smith, an attorney, took a political hiatus, made some money (specializing in rail passenger lawsuits over injury claims), and successfully ran for the next term for governor. Not only did he win, but he also won a seat in the U.S. Senate, which he served until 1920 when he lost re-election.

The man who hit him?

The new senator named Tom Watson.

Bill Kirby has been reporting, photographing and commenting on life in Augusta and Georgia for 45 years.