Lum Croxton

Columbus "Lum" Croxton, born abt. Feb. 1885 in Mississippi,1 was a Negro baseball player from 1908-1913. Lum lived in Argenta, AR, for several years before his death.2


Lum was the son of Daniel Croxton and Frances/Mary Croxton.3 He may have pitched with Pine Bluff in 19014 and the Four Hundreds Club of St. Louis in 1904.5 Later, he played for the New York Cuban Giants from 1908-1909,6 the Argenta Grays from 1911-19127 8 , and Little Rock Quapaws in 1913.9 He also owned a billiards hall in Argenta by 191510 and was considered prosperous.11

Croxton was found dead under the Iron Mountain bridge in Argenta on April 22nd, 1916. The cause of death was determined to be a ruptured heart.12


""Lum" Croxton is getting in shape at his home in Argenta, Ark. "Lum" is one of the stars on the pitching staff of the Cuban Giants, and says he will be better than ever this year, as he has just come out of a severe attack of smallpox."13

"Lum Crapton [sic], the star pitcher of the Cuban Giants last season [is playing with the Bluff City Tigers of Memphis.]"14

"Captain Croxton, late of the New York Cuban Giants, with his howling aggregation [Argenta Grays] is capable of meeting any first class club."15

"Argentina [sic], Ark. -Lun [sic] Croxton, the star pitcher of the Cuban Giants, of New York City, will not go out with the big club this season, as he will have a first class club of his own. He would like to hear from first-class players. Address, 208 South Cypress street, Argentina [sic], Ark."16

"ARGENTA (ARK.) HAS A BUNCH OF STAR TOSSERS. Lum Croxton, star pitcher of the Cuban Giants, of New York City, has together a bunch of stars of the south. He will start them on the road the 1st of May. He would like to hear from all first-class clubs. He sends his best wishes to William Gatewood, also all of the boys that are in the national game. Address Lum Croxton, 208 South Cypress street, Argenta, Ark."17

" . . . Little Rock Quapaws, under the leadership of the famous "Pop" Ransom and Lum Croxton, "Old Horse.""18

"CROXTON DIES SUDDENLY. Poolroom Proprietor Found by Negress Under I. M. Bridge. Ten Minutes after being seen in an apparently healthy condition and while a negress was summoning assistance, Lum Croxton, negro poolroom proprietor of Argenta, seated under the Iron Mountain Bridge in Argenta, died shortly after 8 o'clock last night. No marks of violence were found. About 8 o'clock Croxton left the home of a negro on Arkansas avenue, where he had been visiting. He appeared to be in good physical condition. Ten minutes later, he was found sitting under the bridge by "Black Gene," negress. She went to summon aid, but when she returned Croxton was dead. Officers were notified and began an investigation, having the body removed in the meantime to the undertaking of Owens & Ricks, 314 Main street. An inquest will be held there at 2 o'clock this afternoon. Croxton recently was arrested on a charge of bootlegging, after his indictment by Pulaski County Grand Jury. His trial date had not been fixed. He was considered prosperous, owned his home on South Cypress street and the poolroom."19

"SEES NEGRO DIE; SOON FOLLOWS HIM. "Missouri" Faints as Lum Croxton Breathes Last and Dies 7 hours Later. Seven hours after a negress known as "Missouri" fainted at the sight of seeing her negro lover die, she died without regaining consciousness. Lum Croxton, negro, with whom the negress was said to be infatuated, was found in a dying condition under the Iron Mountain bridge on Arkansas avenue about 8 o'clock Saturday night. Croxton had been at the home of "Missouri" on South Poplar street and was on his way to his pool hall on East Washington avenue when he collapsed under the bridge about 25 feet from "Missouri's" home. He was found in a dying condition by "Black Jean," who also was at "Missouri's" home while Croxton was there. She was on her way home when she discovered Croxton breathing heavily, sitting beside a bridge pier, she told officers. When "Missouri" arrived to see Croxton he had fallen to the ground and was dead in less than one minute. The Negress fainted at the sight and died seven hours later at her home without regaining consciousness. Death was due to a hemmorage [sic] of the brain, Dr. M. D. Ogden said who conducted a post mortem examination yesterday afternoon. An inquest will be held over the body today by Coroner M. P. McNeil. Will Analyze Whisky. An inquest was held over the body of Croxton at Owen and Ricks' undertaking establishment, 314 Main street at 11 o'clock yesterday morning, but no verdict rendered. The coroner's jury will meet again at 8 o'clock tonight when physicians, who are making an analysis of whisky of which both the dead negroes are said to have drank, will report. Two full quart bottles of whisky and another bottle from which the negroes had been drinking, were taken by the coroner. Witnesses at the Croxton inquest testified to seeing Croxton and "Missouri" drinking at the home of the negress. Croxton apparently was in good health when he left the negress' home, witnesses said. A post mortem examination of Croxton's body will be made today. "Missouri" had been in Argenta for several years. She had been arrested several times for minor offenses. Officers and others who know her say that she has never divulged her real name, and, when asked, always would reply "Missouri." The body is held by Dubisson and Goodrich, negro undertakers, 408 Louisiana street."20

"HEART RUPTURE FATAL. Coroner's Jury Verdict in Croxton Case Announced. "Death as the result of rupture of the heart" was the verdict returned by a coroner's jury, which held an inquest over the body of Lum Croxton, negro poolhall proprietor, who dropped dead on Arkansas avenue under the Iron Mountain bridge Saturday night. The inquest was conducted Sunday, but the verdict was withheld until last night, when an analysis of whiskey drunk by Croxton and a negress known as "Missouri," who died seven hours after the death of Croxton, showed that the liquor contained no drugs. The coroner's jury which conducted the inquest over the negress' body yesterday, returned a verdict that her death was due to hemorrhage of the brain. Croxton was found dying about 25 feet from the negress' home on South Poplar street, which he had left 10 minutes earlier. "Missouri" was summoned and witness Croxton's collapse. She fainted at the sight and died seven hour afterwards without regaining consciousness."21


Statistics at Seamheads.com.
7 Freeman (Indianapolis), 12/16/1911
8 Freeman (Indianapolis), 4/13/1912
10 1915 Little Rock City Directory
11 Arkansas Gazette, 4/23/1916, p.11
12 Arkansas Gazette, 4/25/1916, p.14
14 Freeman (Indianapolis), 3/5/1910
16 Freeman (Indianapolis), 12/16/1911
17 Freeman (Indianapolis), 4/13/1912
18 Freeman (Indianapolis), 4/12/1913
19 Arkansas Gazette, 4/23/1916, p.11
20 Arkansas Gazette, 4/24/1916, p.10
21 Arkansas Gazette, 4/25/1916, p.14