Friday, January 13, 2012

Mystery in Milton, Part 3. S.G. Collins Murdered


S. G. Collins drove out to East Milton to talk to J. E. Estes.  They sat on the curb in front of the Estes home and talked for about 40 minutes.  When finished, Collins began to cross the road to his car, when he hesitated, and turned as if to say something else, or maybe to wait on a slow moving car to pass.  When the car drew close, a shot was fired, and Collins fell to the ground.  Estes ran to his side, and Collins said, "He got me, get the tag number, and call the doctor!"  Estes looked to see the car, but it was already half way across the bayou bridge, and all he could tell was that in was an A-Model Ford.
     Collins didn't last very long.  Ten pellets from a 12-guage shotgun had entered at the shoulder, and ranged down through his body.   There was a coroner's inquest, and testimony given, but no arrests for the crime, and no suspects named. 
     Collins was a well-known, and popular man in Santa Rosa County.  His road construction business was busy building roads in Northwest Florida, South Alabama, and in South Carolina.  His home on Berryhill was packed with business men from all over paying their respects.  He was laid to rest in the Milton Cemetery.  The murders of Aubrey Gainer, and S.G. Collins, were never to be solved to anyone's satisfaction.  Through the efforts of Collins' older brother, Long John Collins, there eventually was an arrest, and trial in 1934.  That will be covered next time.

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