Newspaper (mis)reports the death of James Thompson “Thomps” Hughes
This one-sentence item ran on the front page of The Fayette (Alabama) Banner newspaper on Thursday, July 3, 1919:
Mr. Thomas Hughes
Mr. Thomas Hughes, well known and highly respected citizen of the Ashcraft Corner community, died last Monday, and was buried Tuesday.
The name of the deceased was given as Thomas Hughes, but I believe this was an error. My great-great grandfather, James Thompson Hughes, was called “Thomps,” which is short for his middle name. “Thomps” and “Thomas” sound a lot alike, especially when “Thomps” is pronounced the way many Southerners would say it — as if it were a two-syllable word.
Thomps is buried at the Ashcraft Corner Cemetery in Fayette County, Alabama, and the date of death given on his headstone is June 29, 1919, which was a Sunday. The newspaper gave the day of death as Monday, which would have been June 30, 1919.
So, if I am right about this, and if the date of death on Thomps’ headstone is correct — then the newspaper managed to pack two factual errors into just one, 21-word sentence.