Saturday, May 23, 2015

May 23, 1900: Calvin Kimblern

Today we learn about a Colorado lynching. Our first article, found in the Altoona Tribune (Altoona, Pennsylvania) dated May 21, 1900, introduces us to the crime which led to the lynching.


If the Perpetrator is Caught He Certainly Will be Lynched.

PUEBLO, Col., May 20.—Frenzied by a jealous quarrel with his wife, Calvin Kimblern, colored, formerly a corporal in company M, Twenty-fifth United States infantry, this morning shot his wife twice and then deliberately put a revolver to the heads of 13-year-old Ethel Straussen and 11-year-old Jessie M. Skaggs, and fired, killing the latter girl instantly, the other girl living for some hours.

The couple were employed at the Fries Orphans' Home, of which the dead children were inmates. Early this morning they got into a quarrel in their bed room, and from that place the negro fired the first shot that took effect. The woman ran into a room where the two girls and five other children were sleeping. There he followed and beat his wife, awakening the children. Telling the girls he proposed to punish them for telling what he said were lies about him, he fired at them. On shot took effect in the Skaggs girl's left arm and the Straussen girl's left leg, the third burying itself in the head of the latter. The woman had by this time escaped the clutches of her husband.

The fiend, determined to complete his bloody work, put the gun to the Skaggs girl's head and fired, killing her instantly. In the girl's arms lay her baby brother, a year old. He was unhurt.

The Kimberlin woman will recover. Searching parties were organized and the trail of the criminal has been traced almost to Colorado Springs. If he is caught he will certainly be lynched if brought back to this city, so intense is the feeling.

Information about his arrest comes from The Red Cloud Chief (Red Cloud, Nebraska) dated May 25, 1900:


Unsafe to Return Negro Murderer to Pueblo.

Calvin Kimblern, the negro who shot his wife and murdered two children in the Fries orphans' home at Pueblo, Col., was captured in a saloon in Denver. He confessed his crime.

When it was learned at Pueblo that Calvin Kimblern had been arrested and would be taken to Pueblo crowds gathered at different points and it is certain that he will be lynched. The autopsy is said to have shown that the children were criminally assaulted before being murdered. 

Our final article comes from the Fayetteville Weekly Observer (Fayetteville, N. C.) dated May 24, 1900 and gives us details of the lynching.

Women Cheered Lynchers—Mob Held Up Train and Captured Negro.

By telegraph to the Observer.

Pueblo, Col., May 23—A mob of five thousand lynched Calvin Kimblern, the negro who assaulted and murdered two little white girls, inmates of the Pueblo Orphans' Home. The lynching occurred at half-past 1 this morning. Women cheered as the negro was swung to a telegraph pole. An official of the Rio Grand ordered all trains to be rushed past stations for fear the mob would board and seize the negro. The mob placed ties on the track and stopped two trains before they found the one the negro was on. They dragged him with a rope around his neck to a telegraph pole and was thrice strung up before the rope held.

Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

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