Monday, November 30, 2015

August 29, 1902: Joseph Labarge

Today we learn about a lynching in Michigan through the pages of the Akron Daily Democrat (Akron, Ohio) dated August 30, 1902:


By an Infuriated Mob

Evidence That the Victim Was Innocent.

Toledo, O., Aug. 30.—Lying on a rudely improvised couch in a livery stable in Monroe, Mich., is the body of Joseph Labarge, aged 23, of Toledo, who yesterday fell a victim to an infuriated mob. Now, shocked by the deed committed, the citizens of Monroe seem inclined to indignation at it.

Joseph Labarge went, when about 13, to live with Walter Lemerand and his wife, who recently moved from Toledo to Monroe. He was, according to Mrs. Lemerand's story, a good boy and did more to provide for the house than her husband. She grew to love him very dearly, but denies that there was any cause to suspect the nature of intimacy. Labarge with his brother and father has been boarding here and this morning after breakfast he went in response to a note from Mrs. Lemerand, to Monroe.

Lemerand, returning from his labor, met Labarge leaving the house and asked Officer Beaudrie, a cousin of the deceased, to arrest the man who had assaulted his wife. The policeman gave chase and Labarge ran, outstripping Beaudrie, wso [sic] is a heavy man. The officer told some men to catch the escaping man, who had assaulted a woman. nI [sic] a minute an angry mob had gathered and believed they were chasing a criminal. When on the outskirts of town he was surrounded by about 40, who opened fire, and at least half a dozen shots were exchanged, one of which proved fatal.

The officers have in their possession a revolver, a 38 Colts, taken from Lynette Bloodgood, a wealthy retired capitalist of Monroe, and it is said the fatal shot came from that revolver. Labarge's starting to run is accounted for by his father from the fact that he was out of Mansfield reformatory on parole, having served 18 months for robbing a clothing store. The term, it is said, made a good man of him.

Two letters are in possession of the authorities, written by Mrs. Lemerand to Labarge, in which she calls him "dear," and signs herself "all your own." But their is nothing further to indicate a wrong between the two. The woman was about 10 years Labarge's senior.

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

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