Monday, February 9, 2015

February 9, 1886: R. T. Garrett

The Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) dated February 9, 1886:



A Mob Wreak Vengeance on R. T. Garrett, the Slayer of Deputy Sheriff Clay Davis.

Special to The News.

PARIS, February 9.—This morning about 1 o'clock a mounted party of about 75 to 100 men rode up in front of the county jail, on North Main street, and drew up in line opposite the jail and court-house. While the cavalcade remained mounted, a dozen or more of the party dismounted and went to the front door of the jail, where the leader knocked for admittance.


the jailer, went to the door and opened it, when two or three men sprang inside, Jailer Baldwin drew his pistol, but it was thrown up by the leader, who -----hed Mr. Baldwin, the ball passing through the ceiling, and pinioned him to the wall,


until he relinquished his pistol. The rest of the party then forced the door open leading into an inner room where R. T. Garrett, the wounded desperado, was confined, charged with the murder of Deputy Sheriff Clay Davis, some five or six weeks since, Garrett was in bed with his wife who had risen and closed and barred the door, and then assisted her husband out at the south door into the back yard. When the mob broke into the room they found it vacant. Then they went into the back yard and found him, dragged him back through the front room, carried him out and placed him in a wagon.


of mounted horsemen then took up the line of march after the wagon, and when it reached the edge of the timber, about three-quarters of a mile north of the s----re, a halt was ordered. Garrett was taken from the wagon and carried about twenty yards into the woods and


where the body was found early this morning by Sheriff Gunn and posse that had started out in search of the body. It was hanging by a common halter rope, his feet touching the ground. His hands had been tied behind his back, and death had apparently occurred by strangulation. Deputy Coroner J. P. Ryan was notified, who immediately summoned a jury and repairing to the spot had


and removed to the court-house, where an inquest was held this morning with the verdict given below. The mob was evidently well drilled, and every man performed his part to perfection. All the streets leading to the jail were patrolled, and when Policeman Jas. Shankson [?] and the ------ appeared in response to the alarm at the jail yard rang by Mrs. Baldwin, they were covered by several men and ordered to stand still. This act was performed in elegantly good shape by them and also


who rushed to the jail when the alarm was sounded. Deputy Sheriffs Hamp Sanders and John Booth, who occupied a room in the court-house overlooking the jail-yards, were also held, as were several other parties. The mob threw Jailer Baldwin's revolver into the jail yard, where he found it after the mob had left, and fired two shots to arouse the citizens. When THE NEWS reporter reached the jail Mr. Baldwin could only speak in a whisper so tightly had they choked him. One of the party dropped his hat in the hall and this is now in the possession of the authorities. The body, after inquest was


and placed at the disposal of Mrs. Garrett. We learn that she is trying to raise enough money by subscription to send the remains to Magnet Cove, Hot Springs county, Ark., for interment, that being the place from which Garrett came to Lamar county. The crime for which Garrett suffered death at the hands of Judge Lynch is well known. Some six weeks ago he was arrested on Shockey prairie by Deputy Sheriff Clay Davis on a warrant for disturbing a meeting. Davis permitted him to go into his house to make a change of clothes, when Garrett seized a gun and


Sheriff Gunn and a posse started in search of him and surrounded him in a thicket not far from his place of residence. A number of shots were exchanged, during which Deputy Sheriff Anderson received a wound in the hip, while Garrett's body was pierced by fourteen bullets. He was brought to town to die, as was expected, but instead of doing so he insisted on getting well. The mob this morning accomplished the work that 


failed to do, and so he died as he had lived—a desperado—but unflinching to the very last. To-night a meeting of the citizens was held, at which resolutions were passed denouncing the action of the mob, and expressing full confidence in the ability of the criminal courts to deal with all crimes.

I apologize for any mistakes I made in transcribing this article. It was very difficult to read and I thought I would show you an example of it.

I tried to be as true to the article as I possibly could. Also, I never did find what the Coroner's inquest decided. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

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