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The Dunwody Building

  The Dunwody Building, as pictured today.
Source: Jud McCranie, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

The original two-story wooden structure was purchased by Colonel Henry Franklin “Harry” Dunwody in 1902, hence the building’s name. Dunwody was a two-term Mayor of Brunswick, as well as a prominent local lawyer. After purchasing the building, he moved his office to the second floor, while Butt’s Drug Store was featured on the lower level. Dunwody’s purchase also included a smaller one-story structure to the building’s right. 

Another view of the original Dunwody Building while a parade marches on Newcastle
Source: The Coastal Georgia Historical Society
   Top: The Dunwody Building prior to 1928 | Bottom: The current Dunwody Building
Image from private collection, courtesy of Josh Dukes
Gloucester at Newcastle circa 1949 – The brick building on the left edge of the photo is the Dunwody Building.

Source: The Atlanta Journal Magazine, Brunswick-Glynn County Library Special Collections

The Massacre

On March 6, 1915, a man named Monroe Phillips, a man known to have a short temper, walked upstairs into Mr. Dunwody’s office and shot him in the head. The action came as a result of a disagree about a payment that Phillips owed Dunwody. Following the murder of Dunwody, Phillips unloaded on Albert M. Way, a client of the lawyer. Way was shot in the face, but did not die instantly. These gunshots drew a crowd in the street, and without uttering a word, Phillips lashed out on the watchers. He first shot and killed an off-duty policeman named L.C. Padgett. Phillips next target was judge E.C. Butts, in which he shot in the leg. Butts was a former Mayor of Brunswick and State Representative. He would later go on to serve as Captain of Infantry for the United States Military in World War One, and upon his return, became a judge for the City Court.

At this moment, Phillips began firing at anything in sight. He shot at bikers, storeowners, policeman, and passerby. At one point, he even shot into the Brunswick Bank and Trust Building.

Phillips fired on the citizens for over half an hour, but was eventually shot and killed by E.C. Butts, the man who he had previously shot. Butts had hobbled to a local store in which he purchased a shotgun with buckshot. He approached Phillips, who at the time was in the drug store, and shot him in the gut. After being shot, Phillips is quoted to have said, “Well, you’ve just about got me; finish it up.” He lived only a few minutes after.

Every injured individual was sent to the local hospital, and every physician in the county was asked to come in and address the wounds. That day, 5 people were killed by Phillips, and another 32 injured. Several individuals passed in the days following their injuries, as well. 

E.C. Butts

Monroe Phillips

Following his passing, the Dunwody Building’s ownership passed to his wife, Scotia Dunwody. In 1928, the wooden building caught fire burned down. In the process of rebuilding,  it was discovered that that was a violation of the property lines by the adjacent Kress Building, and after a lawsuit, Scotia was rewarded a sum of $200. That same year, the building was rebuilt, this time with brick. This reconstruction is the Dunwody Building that we see today, and currently houses On the Fly Outfitters.


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