As reported 50 years ago in the pages of The Columbia News, Thursday, Dec. 1, 1955:
Texas youth beaten
A Baylor University student, hitchhiking back to school in Texas after spending the Thanksgiving holidays at his home in Charleston, was blackjacked and robbed on a back-country road near Harlem Saturday night.
Archie Cordray, 19, was treated for a head wound at McDuffie County Hospital late Saturday night following the alleged assault.
Arrested and charged with armed robbery and assault with intent to murder were three youths said to live in the Harlem vicinity.
Cordray told Sheriff H.O. Morris and State Patrolmen R.D. Cannon and Fritz Calton that the three youths had picked him up on U.S. 78 near Augusta and, on the pretext of taking a shortcut to Atlanta, had driven out on Wrightsboro Road to Pumpkin Center. There, Cordray said, the three dragged him out of the car, blackjacked him, and robbed him of his suitcase as well as $15 in cash and a $50 check.
Law enforcement officers later stopped the three youths on the outskirts of Harlem.
The three at first pretended innocence, but confessed their guilt when the student's cash and personal effects were found on them. One was wearing Cordray's shoes.
The three were put into the custody of Sheriff Morris, who said he would put a high bond on each of them.
The response to the polio serum has been disappointing on the whole in Columbia County. Harlem and Grovetown have responded fairly well, which applies to both the White and Negro schools. There has been little response in Appling and Leah, and the best cooperation in the county has come from Martinez and Evans.
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