Edward Duckworth

Background

On January 27, 1956, white sawmill owner Grover Luckey shot and killed his employee Edward Duckworth in Mize, Smith County, MS. The 28-year-old Duckworth was shot five times. This researcher found two entirely different accounts of the killing. According to a local news report, Duckworth had borrowed ten dollars from Luckey to care for a sick child. Allegedly, he asked for an additional loan of five dollars from Mrs. Luckey, Grover Luckey’s wife. When Mrs. Luckey refused to extend an additional loan, the local paper reported, Duckworth became angry. Grover Luckey informed Duckworth that he had no business with him, and at this point that Edward Duckworth allegedly reached in his shirt for a pistol, whereupon Grover Luckey shot and killed Duckworth in self-defense.

This researcher obtained a different account of the shooting from one Judge McLauren, who witnessed the events. Edward Duckworth was killed on a Friday evening, which was pay day for the employees of the Luckey Sawmill. After Duckworth was paid, he bought his boss a beer and returned to the mill to give it to him. When Duckworth reached into his shirt to grab the beer, Grover Luckey’s brother, Herman Luckey shouted “Grover he’s got a gun,” and Grover Luckey promptly shot Edward Duckworth in the chest, neck, and shoulder.

After he was shot, Duckworth was place in a car by his brother, Wadell “Tob” Duckworth. While racing to a nearby hospital in Magee, the automobile overturned. Initially, the assumption was that Duckworth died in the car accident. However, an autopsy confirmed that he actually died from a bullet through the heart.

Legal Status

Medgar Evers, Field Secretary for the NAACP in Mississippi, conducted an investigation into the death of Edward Duckworth. A preliminary hearing was scheduled by Smith County District Attorney Bill Little, at which time Grover Luckey was released on a $5,000 bond. His case should have been presented to the next grand jury, but a search of county records revealed no indication that the case proceeded beyond the preliminary hearing