Silas Filmore Pennington (1852-1895.) S. F. Pennington was elected sheriff of Lamar County in 1884. In May before the election was to be held in August, he ran this ad in The Lamar News: “ To the voters of Lamar County: “Fellow citizens I announce myself as candidate for the office of sheriff of said county, election in August next, and if elected I pledge myself to discharge the duties of the office honestly and faithfully to the best of my ability, and would be very much obliged for your support”.

Election results were reported in The Lamar News, August 14, 1884 : S. F. Pennington 911, W. R. Bradley 221, James Blackwell 423, Watson Brown 109 and J. F. Ferguson 52.

Taken from The Lamar News, August 21, 1884 issue, appearing in the local news column, E. J. McNatt, editor and publisher “We learned that some of the lawless citizens of our county are regretting that they voted for our fearless and energetic sheriff, S. F. Pennington, at the recent election”.

During his term, which was only two years, S. F. Pennington was involved in the searching for Lamar County’s notorious train robber, Rube Burrow. The story has been repeated by older family members that Rube Burrow stopped by Sheriff Pennington’s house one night with the intention of killing him, but when he looked through the window and saw him holding his baby daughter, he would not shoot for fear of hurting the baby.

S. F. Pennington and his wife, Nancy E. Mahan Pennington were charter member of First Baptist Church in Sulligent. Taken from The Courier, October 8, 1892 “ an oyster supper will be held at the Pennington store house on Saturday night October 20th for the benefit of the church. Let’s all attend and thus aid a worthy cause”.


He was serving as Mayor of Sulligent when he died in 1895. Taken from the Eagle Eye, November 21, 1895 “ The saddest occurrence in the history of Sulligent, was the deplorable death of Mayor S. F. Pennington who was struck by a train about two miles below here last Friday at about twelve o’clock killing him instantly. He had started down the railroad to meet the pay train at Gattman, and as he had to see some parties on the section between here and Gattman, he was walking. He met the gravel train at the curve about two miles west of here which was coming in with a lot of empty cars and through carelessness we suppose as some of the train hands had left a heavy plank on one of the cars which projected out, it is not know how far, which striking the deceased on the forehead did the rash deed.”

S. F. Pennington’s father was James Matttison Pennington, whose father Jesse Pennington (born 1798) one of five brothers who came by wagon train from Spartanburg County, SC and settled in Fayette County, which later became Lamar County. The information for this article was taken from the research of Felix and Peggy Hollis Adair.

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