William Andrew Toot1,2,3,4

ID# 16089, (1875 - 1934)
FatherCharles Henry Toot5,6,3 (17 Jun 1835 - 28 Nov 1901)
MotherFrances T. Britton7,6,3 (28 Jan 1847 - 28 Feb 1925)

Key Events:

Birth: 18 Jun 1875, Halifax Co., Virginia8,9,10
Marriage: 20 Jan 1898, 2602 East Franklin St., Richmond, Virginia, Maggie Florence Mitchell (May 1876 - 9 Apr 1943)11,12,13
Death: 3 Oct 1934, Richmond, Henrico Co., Virginia14,15
Burial: 6 Oct 1934, Oakwood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia16,17
ChartsDescendants of David Dutt/Toot
AncestryThe Dutt/Toot Family

Copyright Notice

Narrative:

     William Andrew Toot was born on 18 Jun 1875 in Halifax Co., Virginia.8,9,10
     He appeared with his mother on the 1880 Federal Census of Roanoke District, Halifax Co., Virginia, in the household of Mary W. Toot, his grandmother. His father has not been found in the 1880 census.18
William A. Toot
from Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4 Oct 1934

     He moved to Richmond with his parents after 1880.19
     William married Maggie Florence Mitchell, daughter of George M. Mitchell and Fannie Ellinger, on 20 Jan 1898 in 2602 East Franklin St., Richmond, Virginia, with Rev. James E. Cook officating.11,12,13
     He was "a valued attache of the Clay-street line" at the time of his marriage, according to press reports. Presumably that means he was an operator of the then new electric streetcar line. By 1900 he was a carpenter.20,21
     William and Maggie appeared on the 1900 Federal Census of Richmond, Virginia, at 1819 Venable St., enumerated 1 Jun 1900, reporting that the family rented its home. Their children Alma and Ethel were listed as living with them.22

Becoming a Policeman --- Text Stolen from ReigelRidge.com !! ---


     He was became a policeman about 1906, serving for 28 years on the Richmond Police Department.23,24,25
     William and Maggie appeared on the 1910 Federal Census of Richmond, Virginia, at 1809 Venable St., enumerated 16 Apr 1910. Their children Alma, Ethel, Charles, William and Alice were listed as living with them, as was Susie Brooks, a 24-year old black servant.26
     William registered for the draft for World War I on 6 Sep 1918, while living at 1809 Venable St., Richmond, Virginia, reporting he was employed as a policeman for the Richmond Police Department.2
     William and Maggie appeared on the 1920 Federal Census of Richmond, Virginia, at 1311 28th St., enumerated 8 Jan 1920, reporting that the family rented its home. Their children Charles, William, Alice, Luda, Ralph and George were listed as living with them.27
     William and Maggie appeared on the 1930 Federal Census of Richmond, Virginia, at 1311 28th St., enumerated 11 Apr 1930, reporting that the family rented it home for $30 per month. Their children Ralph and George were listed as living with them, as his their son William and his wife Blanche, their daughter Luda and her husband Charles. There were also two grandsons, Carlton R. Ferrell, age 12 and son of their daughter Alma, and William A. Toot. Jr., age 3½, son of William.28
     Some of William's sons changed the spelling of their surname to Toots, and a few records for William use that spelling. They include newspaper accounts of his shooting, and his death certificate, but no records known to have been created by him. It appears he never used it himself. His tombstone does not use that spelling.22,3,29,30

Shot in a Jail Break --- Text Stolen from ReigelRidge.com !! ---


     William was assigned as a guard outside the door of the Richmond city jail on 29 Sep 1934 when two convicted murderers made their escape. The two, Walter Legenza and Robert Mais, had been sentenced to execution for a murder in March. As they were being escorted to a meeting with their attorney when they produced pistols and began shooting. As they exited the building they shot William twice in the arm and in his left chest, near his heart. He was taken to a hospital in very critical condition, where he was given several blood transfusions. Two other officers were shot less seriously.31,32
     The two convicts ran down the street and commandeered a mail truck. They then abandoned that vehicle and took a Hubmobile sedan from its owner as he was parking it, and escaped. The search for them was described as "the greatest man hunt in Virginia's history" in newspaper accounts. According to one account "the entire forces of the Richmond police department, the Henrico County police and the Virginia State police mobilized in the search, armed to the teeth and ready to shoot to kill." Washington police were searching suspicious cars, and Baltimore, where they had been captured in May, was guarding every road. Elizabeth Mais, mother of one of them, was held on suspicion that she had smuggled the guns to them in a sealed can of chicken she had taken to them the week before.31
     William's wife publicly criticized the Police Chief for assigning men of advanced age to guard such dangerous criminals, especially her husband who she said was in poor health. She said he had been severely injured in an automobile accident five years before and had been in bad health since. He had a piece of his skull removed and had been partly deaf for some time, and had a nervous condition that required that he be shaved by his grandson as he was unable to do it properly himself.33
     William died on 3 Oct 1934 in Richmond, Henrico Co., Virginia, at age 59, of the gunshot wounds he received in the jail break.14,15 He was buried on 6 Oct 1934 in Oakwood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia.16,17

Bringing His Killers to Justice --- Text Stolen from ReigelRidge.com !! ---


     Mrs. Mais was indicted by a grand jury, charged with being an accessory to William's murder. The charges were dismissed 22 Nov 1934, with the prosecutor saying he thought the grand jury was justified in the indictment, but he did not have enough evidence for a conviction.34
     The convicts were captured in New York City 18 Jan 1935. Mais was found asleep in an apartment at 8 Manhattan Ave. Legenza was captured at Presbyterian Hospital, where he was being treated for two leg fractures suffered when he jumped down an embankment to escape police in an earlier encounter. Two other members of their gang were also captured separately, along with Mais' girl friend, Marie McKeever, discribed by the press as a "pretty Irish girl, dark-haired and blue-eyed." The locations of each of the men had been discovered by police by following her as she visited them.35 Mais and Legenza were executed in the electric chair in the state penitentiary in Richmond 2 Feb 1935, for the murders for which they had previously been convicted.36

Children:
     Children with Maggie Florence Mitchell:

  • Alma Woodson Toot22,26,37 (21 Jun 1898 - 12 Jul 1958)
  • Ethel T. Toot22,26,38 (27 Jan 1900 - 9 Aug 1918)
  • Charles Henry Toot26,27,39 (8 Feb 1904 - 22 Feb 1976)
  • William Andrew Toot Jr.26,27,40 (27 Dec 1905 - 12 Jan 1960)
  • Alice Burlel Toot26,27,41 (16 Feb 1909 - 4 Aug 1978)
  • Luda C. Toot27,28,42 (10 Jul 1910 - 24 Dec 1984)
  • Ralph Edwards Toot27,28,43 (24 Apr 1914 - 2 Aug 1941)
  • George Earl Toot27,28,44 (23 Dec 1915 - 21 Mar 1983)

Citations

  1. [S1602] Mary W. Briton household, 1880 U.S. Census, Halifax Co., Virginia, shows name as Willie E. Toot.
  2. [S3212] William A. Toot, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.
  3. [S9532] William Andrew Toots, Certificate of Death.
  4. [S9551] "Toot-Mitchell Nuptials," The Richmond Dispatch, 21 Jan 1898, shows name as William A. Toot.
  5. [S1602] Mary W. Briton household, 1880 U.S. Census, Halifax Co., Virginia, seem to show Willie as the son of Charles' wife - Willie is listed as the grandson of Frances' mother.
  6. [S3519] "Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940," FamilySearch.org, record for Willie A. Toot and Maggie Florence Mitchell.
  7. [S1602] Mary W. Briton household, 1880 U.S. Census, Halifax Co., Virginia, shows her as Mary's daughter, and him as Mary's grandson, both with surname Toot.
  8. [S1602] Mary W. Briton household, 1880 U.S. Census, Halifax Co., Virginia, shows age 4 and state.
  9. [S3212] William A. Toot, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, shows date and age 43.
  10. [S9532] William Andrew Toots, Certificate of Death, shows date, county, and state.
  11. [S9551] "Toot-Mitchell Nuptials," The Richmond Dispatch, 21 Jan 1898, shows "last evening, address, and officant.
  12. [S3519] "Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940," FamilySearch.org, record for Willie A. Toot and Maggie Florence Mitchell, citing FHL 2048499, shows date, and state, film is for Marriage registers, Richmond City, 1897-1911.
  13. [S2139] A. Wm. Toots household, 1900 U.S. Census, Richmond City, Virginia, shows married 3 years.
  14. [S9532] William Andrew Toots, Certificate of Death, shows date, county, county, and state, and cause of death.
  15. [S500] Findagrave.com, online, memorial # 24992260, William Andrew Toot, shows date and includes tombstone photo showing same.
  16. [S9532] William Andrew Toots, Certificate of Death, shows date and cemetery.
  17. [S500] Findagrave.com, online, memorial # 24992260, William Andrew Toot, includes tombstone photo.
  18. [S1602] Mary W. Briton household, 1880 U.S. Census, Halifax Co., Virginia.
  19. [S9530] Charles H. Toot obituary, Richmond Dispatch, shows he had worked for the city 18 or 20 years.
  20. [S9551] "Toot-Mitchell Nuptials," The Richmond Dispatch, 21 Jan 1898, shows him as "a valued attache of the Clay-street line."
  21. [S2139] A. Wm. Toots household, 1900 U.S. Census, Richmond City, Virginia, shows married occupation as carpenter.
  22. [S2139] A. Wm. Toots household, 1900 U.S. Census, Richmond City, Virginia.
  23. [S1595] William A. Toot household, 1910 U.S. Census, City of Richmond, Virginia, shows occupation as policeman.
  24. [S2137] Willie A. Toot household, 1920 U.S. Census, City of Richmond, Virginia, shows occupation as policeman working for the city.
  25. [S2138] William A. Toot household, 1930 U.S. Census, City of Richmond, Virginia, shows occupation as policeman, for the city blue force.
  26. [S1595] William A. Toot household, 1910 U.S. Census, City of Richmond, Virginia.
  27. [S2137] Willie A. Toot household, 1920 U.S. Census, City of Richmond, Virginia.
  28. [S2138] William A. Toot household, 1930 U.S. Census, City of Richmond, Virginia.
  29. [S9546] "Mais and Legenza Are Believed Hiding in the City," Richmond Times-Dispatch, 30 Sep 1934, shows name as William A. Toots.
  30. [S500] Findagrave.com, online, memorial # 24992260, William Andrew Toot, includes tombstone photo showing name as Wiliam A. Toot.
  31. [S9546] "Mais and Legenza Are Believed Hiding in the City," Richmond Times-Dispatch, 30 Sep 1934.
  32. [S9532] William Andrew Toots, Certificate of Death, shows date, shot while on duity as guard.
  33. [S9547] "Mrs. Toots Raps Jordan For Use of Aged Guards," Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3 Oct 1934.
  34. [S9548] "Mrs. Mais Is Released From Jail," The Bee, 23 Nov 1934.
  35. [S9549] "Mais, Legenza Captured in New York," Richmond Times-Dispatch, 19 Jan 1935.
  36. [S9550] "Mais and Legenza Confessions Tell of Jail Break, Exonerate McKeever," Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3 Feb 1935.
  37. [S9539] Alma Woodson Ferrell, Certificate of Death.
  38. [S9540] Ethel T. Toot, Certificate of Death.
  39. [S9534] Charles Henry Toots, Certificate of Death.
  40. [S9535] William Andrew Toots, Certificate of Death.
  41. [S9536] Alice Toot Meredith, Certificate of Death.
  42. [S9537] Ludy K. McCauley, Certificate of Death.
  43. [S9538] Ralph Edwards Toot, Certificate of Death.
  44. [S9542] George Earl Toots, Certificate of Death.