Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 31, 1901: Calvin Hall, Frank Hall, James Hall, Martin Hall and B. D. Yantis

Today we learn about five men lynched in California through the pages of The Leavenworth Times (Leavenworth, Kansas) dated June 1, 1901:

FIVE LYNCHED BY A CALIFORNIA MOB

OFFICERS OVERPOWERED AND COMPELLED TO HELP.

CALVIN HALL AND HIS THREE HALF BREED SONS SWUNG TO A BRIDGE—MOB DID WORK QUICKLY AND DISPERSED IN FIVE MINUTES—LARGE AMOUNT OF OTHER STOLEN PROPERTY FOUND IN THEIR HOUSES.

Alturas, Calif., May 31.—Calvin Hall and his three sons, Frank Hall, Jim Hall and Martin Hall and Dan Yantis, who had been stealing horses for years, were arrested yesterday and guarded by three officers. A mob of forty masked men took them at one o'clock this morning and hanged them to a bridge near Lookout.

The officers were overpowered and compelled to help. The mob dispersed within five minutes. The bodies were still hanging at 10 a. m. Sheriff Street and District Attorney Bonner and Reporter Doan have gone to the scene of the hanging.

Lookout, the scene of the lynching, is in the Hot Springs valley on Pitt river, twenty-five miles from Alturas, the county seat of Modoc county. There is no telegraphic communication with the valley and news of the lynching was brought to Alturas by courier. Particulars are of necessity very meagre.

The residents of Hot Springs valley are nearly all cattle raisers in Modoc county.

Bieber, Calif., May 31.—Incomplete details have been received here of the lynching of five men at Lookout, Modoc county, early this morning. The lynched were Calvin Hall, 72 years of age, his three half breed sons, Frank, James and Martin, aged respectively 26, 19 and 16, and B. D. Yantis, aged 27.

As reported here the men lynched had been suspected of petty stealing for some time. Last Saturday they were arrested for stealing barb wire, harness and some hay forks. A search warrant was issued and the forks were found in the house of Hall and Yantis, who were taken into custody and brought to Lookout, where they were being held awaiting the examining trial. Sunday, and for several days following, other searches were instituted and halters, dishes and table linen was found hidden on the premises of the suspected parties.

The charge against the elder Hall was petty larceny for stealing hay forks hence he was allowed to go on his own recognizance. His trial was to have taken place this morning. The charges against the others were burglary and their examinations set for June 3. They were held in custody as they were unable to furnish bail in the sum of $300. Pending their examination they were body guarded in Lookout hotel by Constable Carpenter, assisted by R. Nichols, J. W. Brown and S. Geyette. The two former stood guard till midnight and the two latter took their places after midnight. Calvin Hall was stopping at the hotel so as to be near his sons.

This morning about 2 o'clock a mob, variously estimated from thirty to fifty people, suddenly made their appearance at the hotel and pointing their guns at the two officers commanded them to observe silence while they secured the prisoners, placed ropes around their necks and dragged them toward the bridge which crosses Pitt river. They compelled the two guards to accompany them. Frank Hall, it is reported made such strong resistance that the mob hanged him before it got to the main bridge, under a small bridge crossing a deep slough.

The others were taken to the main bridge and Calvin Hall, the father, was hanged on the north side and Yantis and the other Hall boys were hanged on the south side of the bridge. As soon as the lynching was discovered word was telegraphed to the district attorney and sheriff at Alturas and they, together with the coroner are now on the way to the scene of the tragedy to hold an inquest.




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

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