Death of Maj. C. P. Elliott

A few days ago, I wrote about the May 30, 1943 diary entry of Frederik Holmes Christensen. He gave an account of the death of Major Charles Elliott. The fuzzy image to the left is from our card file of newspaper obituaries. The Beaufort Gazette carried the article on May 27, 1943, on page 1. Because the image isn't easy to read, here's what the cards state:

Major Elliott Disappeared On His Boat Monday On Fishing Trip Bogged Down in Marsh Trying Reach His Boat Was Drowned

The body of Major Charles Pinckney Elliot, retired, 84 years old, was found Saturday afternoon in the marsh near Seabrook. Death was apparently caused by drowning.

Major Elliott, who lived alone went out on a fishing trip Monday and was not missed until Thursday. After that a widespread search was made on Broad river. His boat was located about noon Saturday. Shortly afterwards his dog returned to the house. The body was found near where the boat was recovered.

It seems that he docked his boat and went out on the bank and in an attempt to get back in his boat he bogged down in the marsh and remained until the tide probably swept in over him.

Major Elliott was born March 15, 1850[? text is difficult to read, a common problem with microfilm of old newspapers], son of General Stephen Elliott who fought at Fort Sumter in the War Between the States. Major Elliott graduated from West Point about sixty years ago. He served in World War No. 1 and volunteered to active duty in the present war, but was rejected because of his age.

Funeral services were held at 5 pm Monday at St. Helena's Episcopal Church and interment was in the churchyard. He was a double first cousin of the late William Elliott of Columbia, other double first cousins Mrs. J. Sumter Moore and Mrs. W. B. Smith Whaley of Columbia, three sons, Charles P., Jr., Stephen and Nathaniel R. Elliott. Major Elliott has many friends in Beaufort who regret to learn of his death. He was a familiar figure on the streets meeting his old friends.

Over the past 15 years, volunteers have worked hard to create an obituary index. Virginia Adams, Jan Johnson, Amber Shorthouse, Merle Hoagland and Laura Lewis have been the primary docents who have compiled and indexed the obituaries.

The Local Obituary Index is substantially drawn from the microfilmed newspaper collection of the Beaufort County Library. However, some local newspapers have started up since 2006 for which there are no microfilm archives. We capture published obituaries via the online version of the Beaufort Today (now defunct), Bluffton Today, Hilton Head Island Today, the occasional obituary in the Beaufort Tribune, and other local newspapers as we can. The collection consists of newspapers published in Beaufort County (SC) but is not complete. There are no holdings prior to 1862, and the holdings of some titles, especially those of the nineteenth century, are incomplete.

The newspaper collection includes papers from 1862 to the present. At this time, the obituary index consists of citations to select Beaufort County newspapers from 1862 - May 15, 1984, October 2007 -- . This is an ongoing project with new citations being added on a regular basis. Our goal is to provide obituary indexing for all our local newspapers but the task is arduous. We are working towards full coverage.

About the Author

Grace Cordial has been responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Beaufort District Collection at the Beaufort County Library since 1999.  The Beaufort District Collection exists to acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history, culture, and environment of our part of the South Carolina lowcountry.  Besides the research room, Cordial manages the “Virtual BDC:” the BDC web pages, the Online Obituary Index, two digital collections, a new BDC.BCL Facebook page, and the Connections blog.  
Among her duties is to coordinate or present programs about local history, Gullah culture, and our coastal environment, including occasional instructional sessions about how to perform historical and/or genealogical research.