Monday, November 23, 2015

May 2, 1903: W. J. Mooneyhon and D. M. Malone

Today we learn about a lynching in Missouri through the pages of the Altoona Tribune (Altoona, Pennsylvania) dated May 6, 1903:


So-Called Preacher and Constable Killed in Missouri.

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo., May 5.—D. M. Malone, a preacher of the so-called "sanctified" sect, and Constable W. J. Mooneyhon were killed by a mob at Mooneyhon's home at Wardell, twelve miles west of here, Saturday night.

Malone and Mrs. Mary Frill, a "grass" widow, were under arrest and held by Mooneyhon. Mrs. Mooneyhon witnessed the tragedy, as did several of the neighbors, but none of the mob offered violence to either of the women.

The killing was the result of a determined crusade of proselytizing by a sect who called themselves "sanctified," and profess to live entirely "by the laws of Grace," and without regard to the statutes, which they regard as an unseemly attempt to interfere with personal liberty and the right of the Almighty to direct the paths of his people.

The sect has no real organization, and its members are called "come-outers," because when they become "sanctified" they come out from all such entanglements as church members.

Malone has been busy in missionary work for this sect. recently he met Mrs. Frill and they became attached to each other. For several weeks, it is asserted, Mrs. Frill lived at Malone's house.

But Malone had a wife already, Mrs. Mary Malone. She objected to the new arrangement and threatened prosecution. Malone informed the officials that his wife was insane and at his request she was brought to jail here, to be held pending an inquiry into her sanity.

Neighbors swore out warrants for Malone and Mrs. Frill, and Constable Mooneyhon went to serve it Wednesday. Malone, who was heavily armed, met him and forced him to leave the place.

On Saturday Mooneyhon returned with reinforcements and arrested both the man and the woman.

The hour was late and Mooneyhan decided to keep his prisoners at his home until the following day, when he intended to bring them to Caruthersville. That night, about 11 o'clock, Mooneyhon responded to a knock at his door and was shot dead. The mob rushed into the house, found the preacher and dragged him into the hall, where they shot him dead. They then dragged Malone's body into the woods nearby and riddled it with bullets. They offered no violence to Mrs. Frill or to Mrs. Mooneyhan, who witnessed the tragedy.

Mrs. frill was brought to jail here. She loudly denies charges affecting herself and Malone. They were missionaries in the same cause, she declares, and they did nothing for which they should be punished.

The entire country is thoroughly aroused over the affair. Whether arrests can be made when Sheriff Franklin visits Wardell is doubtful, though he has several definite clues. It is possible that more violence will be shown others of the "sanctified" sect who have offended the ideas of propriety generally held in the Wardell neighborhood.

According to your dictionary a grass widow is a woman whose husband is gone for long periods of time or who is divorced/separated from her husband. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

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