One of South Carolina’s Most Tragic and Horrific Family Lynchings

0 Posted by - April 15, 2021 - BLACK WOMEN, Injustices, LATEST POSTS

South Carolina experienced one of its most tragic and unforgettable family lynchings in 1925. Bertha Lowman and her mother, Annie, were home on April 25 when they received a visit from Sheriff H.H. Howard and four other officers from Aiken County.

The sheriff suspected that the women were making and selling illegal whiskey. The officers were dressed in plain clothing and did not present any badges to the women.

Annie, protecting her daughter told her to go back inside the home. But when Bertha Lowman turned to go inside, the officers ran toward the women and a chase ensued. Sheriff Howard hit Bertha Lowman in the mouth with his gun. Annie picked up and ax and was about to hit Sheriff Howard to defend her daughter. However, she was shot and killed by the deputies before she could help her daughter.

Bertha Lowman began screaming, after seeing her mother gunned down and murdered. Demon and Clarence Lowman-Annie’s son and nephew, respectively-wielded guns ready to defend and aid their family members. They exchange gunfire with the officers. The sheriff was killed and Bertha wounded.

Bertha, Demon, and Clarence were all charged with the death of the sheriff. Annie’s husband, Sam, was sent to a chain gang for allegedly possessing illegal alcohol. Both young men, received the death penalty, and Bertha was given a life sentence in jail. Sam, was eventually found not guilty on October 8, 1926 after a retrial. News of the trial spread quickly, and the Lowmans soon found themselves in front of the Supreme Court, represented by attorneys who had read coverage of the racially charged trial.

The Supreme Court overturned the convictions and ordered new trials, primarily based on the improper drawing and execution of a warrant. The Lowmans were taken back to Aiken to await a new trial. On Oct. 8, 1926, a mob of masked vigilantes stormed the jail, overtaking the jailer and leading the three prisoners out. They were taken to a pine forest north of town, and all three were shot and killed. No one was ever indicted in connection with the lynchings.





  • Sonya Brooks September 27, 2017 - 3:17 pm

    How much more grief can one nationality take?? It’s just so sickening that someone can be so heartless and diabolically evil. Every time I read something like this, it’s more heartbreaking then the last one. I just don’t understand how so many people can have so much hate inside themselves and yet claim to be Christians. How can someone be a Christian but commit one of the most serious of commandments: (Thou shalt not kill) it doesn’t say except for certain races. It’s like they followed the Bible only when it suited their agenda. This is so sad and unbelievable that human beings would do this and feel their within their rights to do so. I am so saddened by this. ?

    • Damon Lowman July 4, 2019 - 5:03 pm

      It’s really sad when this is you’re family’s history and justice was never served

  • Mo' September 27, 2017 - 11:20 pm

    Sonya Brooks, I Agree! It both saddens and angers me to read these stories!
    But, #WeAreNotOurAncestors! Someone will be effed up tryna come around here with this crap! ?

  • Mamadou sene September 28, 2017 - 4:51 am

    I am sure the jailers were accomplice in the lynching.Most law enforcement were involved in those lynching around the counyry

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  • Noemi Valla October 10, 2020 - 4:25 pm

    It brings me to tears to know that those that committed such a crime have not yet been found guilty of such barbaric act and to know that those men had families that carry similar tradition now days, that they make sure that their children group hating anybody that does not look like them.