Curtis CHAVIS was born 9 October 1925 in Camden, Kershaw County, South Carolina. He was one of two children born to Lonnie R. CHAVIS (1902-1964) and Mary E. LOWRIMORE CHAVIS (1904-2001).
Curtis’ great-grandmother, Angeline GRANT JACOBS, was a sibling of my 2nd great-grandfather, D.B. GRANT. This makes Curtis my 3rd cousin, once removed.
I couldn’t find this family in the 1930 census. The 1940 census reports them living in Murrells Inlet, Georgetown County, South Carolina. They lived there in 1935, also.
Curtis goes to work
In 1940, Lonnie worked as a laborer for the W.P.A. Mary was a homemaker, and the children attended school. Curtis was in 10th grade. In 1941, the family moved to Charleston, South Carolina. Curtis became a welder at the Charleston Navy Yard.
Life was probably exciting for Curtis. He was born just a few years after my mom, and I heard many stories about her life during the war. Swing dance and big bands were the rage, and young people were living life as if they had no tomorrow due to the constant worry of the war hanging over their heads.
It all came to an end for Curtis in October 1943. On Monday, October 25th, shortly before dawn, Curtis and three coworkers from Navy yard were on their way someplace. Considering the time and day, they may have been on their way to work after spending the weekend out of town. Curtis never made it to his destination.
Near Monck’s Corner, South Carolina (about 33 miles north northwest of Charleston), ‘a carnival truck and an automobile collided.’ The driver of the truck and two occupants of the car died at the scene. Curtis and the other car occupant were taken to Berkeley County Hospital.
Curtis died early the next morning, October 26th, from a fractured skill and intracranial hemorrhage. He was just 18 years old. So sad.
I’m not sure where Curtis is buried. His death certificate says Collins Creek Baptist Church in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I didn’t find him listed there. He isn’t listed with his parents and brother at Belin Memorial Cemetery in Murrells Inlet either.
Copyright © 2016 Nancy H. Vest All Rights Reserved
Bob Stevens says
Astoundingly,I vaguely remember that accident due to the memory of the carnival truck involved. I was then eight years old, living in Pinopolis (near Moncks Corner) and recall my parents talking about it because of one of the carnival workers.
Thanks for sharing here. I bet it was the talk of the town when it happened.
Bob Stevens says
I don’t recall any “talk of the town,” because I was too young for that, but I’m sure it was. My father was a businessman in Moncks Corner and my mother was the editor of the newspaper there, so I heard their conversations about it in our home.
Sounds like there were interesting conversations in your house all the time with your parents’ being so involved in Moncks Corner. Have you written down your memories of growing up there?
Katie Chavis says
Lonnie & Mary were my great grandparents, making Curtis my Uncle. I remember stories about the accident. My question though, my great grandparents only had 2 children, Curtis and Marvin (my grandfather), who are you thinking is the third?
Nancy H. Vest says
Thank you for asking, Katie. I cannot locate the paper that I made the outline on for this blog post, but I looked on my tree on Ancestry. I have a unknown third child on the tree, but I can’t figure out why. I have no other info about said child. I believe I will remove this mystery child from my tree, and I will update the blog post, too. I want the story to be right, and I appreciate your help with that. 🙂