Saturday, January 17, 2015

January 17, 1894: John Buchner

Today our article comes from The Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) dated January 18, 1894:



One Victim a Colored Lady and the Other a White Girl.

The Wretch Taken Out of a Missouri Jail—Identified by Mrs. Mungo—Hanged by the Mob on a Railroad Bridge Wednesday Morning.

St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 18.—The handsome little suburban town of Valley Park, fifteen miles west of this city, is in a state of frenzy over two fearful crimes committed by a negro Tuesday afternoon and his swift punishment at the hand of a mob at daylight this morning.

At 4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon John Buchner, a desperate and worthless negro, who had been recently released from the state penitentiary, where he had served three years for a criminal assault on a young colored school teacher, shouldered a double barreled shot-gun and left home. He had not gone far before he met Mrs. Albert Mungo , the middle-aged wife of a respectable colored farmer. The woman was hurrying along the highway, and in response to a salutation from Buchner, replied that she could not stop as she was hurrying home to care for her sick baby. Buchner made an indecent proposal and she started to run away. Buchner struck her with his clubbed gun and after knocking her down, dragged her some fifty yards into a clump of underbrush where he outraged her person. He left the poor woman more dead than alive and started on down the road. He soon came to the farm house of William R. Harrison, where, after an inquiry for some thing to eat, he learned that none of the family was at home except Miss Alice, the beautiful nineteen-year-old daughter of Mr. Harrison. The negro concealed himself on the premises and waited until Miss Alice went on an errand to an outbuilding. He followed her and the frightened girl on hearing him approaching locked the door. This did not bar his entrance, for, with a tremendous kick of his heavy boot, he burst open the door, and grasped his trembling victim. The young woman struggled desperately to resist the negro brute, but her strength was of no avail against his iron muscles, and, although in the struggle her clothing, hair and flesh were torn, she was finally beaten into insensibility. The girl's parents deny that the negro accomplished his purpose, but the appearance of the room shows that a terrible struggle took place. After the assault on his second victim the negro was so exhausted he could barely reach his home, half a mile away. Miss Harrison, bruised and bleeding, managed to crawl to the home of a neighbor, where she related her horrible experience.

The alarm was quickly given and a man mounted a swift horse and rode to Manchester, four miles away, where a warrant for the arrest of Buchner was secured. A posse of twenty-five men was organized, and they surrounded the home of Buchner's parents. The door was opened by his sister, and Constable Shumacher saw his man sitting at the supper table. The rapist made a rush for a rear room where his gun was hanging, but the officer was too quick for him, and putting the muzzle of his revolver at his temple, ordered Buchner to throw up his hands. The negro sullenly complied and was quickly handcuffed. The officer fearing that the posse would lynch Buchner, placed him in a wagon and whipping up his horse, soon landed him in jail at Manchester. He was placed under $1,000 bond by Judge Hofstetter and ordered locked up in Clayton jail. The constable knowing that a mob was outside and would surely lynch Buchner if he attempted to take him to Clayton, decided to remain at Manchester until Wednesday morning. The news of the double crime and the arrest of the negro had spread throughout the surrounding suburban towns and at midnight a mob of 200 people had formed with the intention of lynching Buchner. Some of the conservative citizens urged the mob to desist and apparently succeeded. The mob slowly dispersed, but the word had evidently been passed around a number, for in less than an hour another mob was organized and marched to the jail. Among the mob were many colored people and they were wildly clamoring for Buchner's life. The jail was soon reached and  the solitary guard was overpowered and Buchner was dragged from his cell. A rope was placed about his neck and he was seated in a wagon and taken back to Valley Park, reaching there about five 0'clock Wednesday morning. He was identified by Mrs. Mungo and then taken to the Frisco railroad bridge. He was strung up and after the mab [sic] was satisfied that life was extinct the body was left hanging in the gloom of the thick fog which overspread the valley. When the sun's rays dispelled the fog Wednesday morning the body was yet hanging before the gaze of the villagers and in full view of passengers on the Frisco road.

The coroner, however, cut down the body at 8 o'clock and summoned a jury for the opparently [sic] unnecessary work of holding an inquest.

The article is dated Thursday the 18th making the lynching occur on Wednesday the 17th. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.  

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