Monday, May 18, 2015

May 18, 1918: Hayes Turner

Today we learn about a lynching in Georgia. This case has many victims which are spread over several days. By the time Hayes Turner was lynched, three other men had already shared the same fate. I tried to find an article specifically about Hayes Turner, but I couldn't. I assumed it is because of the amount of war coverage, so I am sharing an article from The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated May 20, 1918 about both Hayes and Mary Turner's lynchings. I will share more about Mary Turner's lynching tomorrow.


Mary Turner, Wife of Hayes Turner, Hanged Saturday Night, Met Same Fate Sunday Afternoon, Making Fifth Victim.

Valdosta. Ga., May 19.—Mary Turner, wife of Hayes Turner, was hanged this afternoon at Folsom's bridge over Little river, about sixteen miles north of Valdosta. Hayes Turner was hanged at the Okapilco river in Brooks county last night. His wife, it is claimed made unwise remarks today about the execution of her husband and the people in their indignant mood took exceptions to her remarks, as well as her attitude, and without waiting for nightfall took her to the river where she was hanged and her body riddled with bullets.

It is also claimed that a gold watch belonging to the murdered man, Hampton Smith, was found in her possession and that the plot to kill had been laid at her house.

This makes five persons lynched in this section as a result of the Smith tragedy at Barney. All of Sydney Johnson's relatives, including his mother and father, were landed in jail here last night. Tonight, owing to the increased feeling among the people, the jail is being strongly guarded to prevent trouble. Besides the chase after Sidney Johnson, posses are tonight looking for other negroes in this section and feeling among both white and black seems to be growing more intense.

On Thursday night two negroes stole a shotgun from Hampton Smith at Barney and shot and killed Smith in his home. Mrs. Smith fled from the house and was attacked. She awoke the following morning in a creek and went to a negro cabin for aid. Those who investigated her story found Smith's body and the negroes, farm hands, had disappeared.

Since then the farming section of that part of the state has been greatly aroused.

A double guard was placed around the jail tonight.

It was learned tonight that posses are searching for still another negro besides Johnson known as Julius. This negro, it is said, aided Johnson to escape from the posse last night.

The three men previously lynched were William Head, William Thompson and Eugene Rice. Thank you for joining me and as always, i hope I leave you with something to ponder.

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