David Akeman (aka Stringbean) b 17 Jun 1916 Annville, Jackson Co KY d 10 Nov 1973 Ridgetop, Robertson Co TN; buried Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens, Goodlettsville, Davidson Co TN; murdered by thugs for money they thought was in his home; s/o James Roy Akemon and Alice Johnson. David Akeman m. (1) to Blanche McQueen b 11 Apr 1910; d/o Daniel McQueen and Nellie Belle Lakes. David Akeman m. 1945 (2) to Estelle Stanfill b 1914 d 11 Nov 1973 Ridgetop, Robertson Co TN; buried Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens, Goodlettsville, Davidson Co TN; murdered, shot in the back of the head running away and begging for her life.
David Akeman and Estelle Stanfill, his wife were both down to earth very unassuming folks who lived a very frugal life. They allowed themselves one luxury, a Cadillac car. Other than that, they lived in a small cottage and lived a very low key life style. Just real good folks who weren't driven by vanity as many other movie stars and celebrities in the same business were.
David Akemon and his wife, Estelle Stanfill were both murdered by two cousins, John A Brown and Marvin Douglas Brown, both 23 years of age who had heard rumors there was money in the home. David and his wife, Estelle had been through the Great Depression bank failure years and did not trust banks so they kept their money at home. Gossup around Nashville was that they kept large amounts of cash on hand and in their home. Their bodies were discovered in their homes the following morning by their neighbor and fellow Opry performer, Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones who was also on "Hee Haw" with David "Stringbean" Akemon.
The Brown cousins who killed them were sent to Brushy Mountain Prison, Petros Tennessee. At their trial they blamed each other for the killings. Marvin Douglas Brown died there of natural causes in 2003 while the other one, John Brown, incredibly was released on parol in 2014. Unbelievably, the killer's creepy wife, Debra, who attends the Cornerstone church in Madisonville, Tennessee supported this looser throughout his encarceration and the pastor of that church, Maury Davis, gave him a job when he got out of prison early. Unreal!
Estelle Stanfill Akemon was murdered by these thugs who shot her in the back of the head as she ran away from them and begged for her life. The two murderers were looking for money and had waited for hours in the Akeman home for them to return from a show at the Opry where David "String Bean" Akemon was performing that evening. The killers took a chain saw and some firearms. Ironically, in 1996, 23 years after the murders, the police discovered $20,000.00 in cash hidden behind a chimney brick in the Akeman home. The money had deteriorated so much it was not usable and had to be turned in to a bank. $5700.00 was found on the dead bodies of the Akemans after their murder that the killers missed.
Akeman had played with Bill Monroe's band before going solo in the 1950's. He was best known for his folksy comedy music act he performed on the Grand Ole Opry and the "Hee Haw" television show.
Songs by David Stringbean Akeman
Herding Cattle - Stringbean Akeman With, Earl Scruggs and the boys