Thursday, April 28, 2016

January 24, 1934: Rex Scott

Today we learn about a lynching in Kentucky through the pages of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Bluefield, W. V.) dated January 25, 1934:


Rex Scott, Accused Of Slugging Miner, Is Removed From Perry County Jail And Hanged To Tree In Graveyard

Hazard, Ky., Jan. 24. (AP) — Rex Scott, 20, Negro, was hanged to a beech tree in the Cornett Hill graveyard in Knott county tonight about an hour after he was forcibly removed from the Perry county jail by 30 or 40 masked leaders of an armed mob of approximately 300 men.

The body was found by members of a posse led by Sheriff Filmore McIntosh, who reached the scene in time to see the members of the mob scatter and run to nearby mining camps. There were approximately 40 bullet wounds in the body.

Scott was accused of slugging Alex Johnson, a miner, on a street here Saturday night. Johnson is in a critical condition in a hospital, never having regained consciousness, and attendants said he had slight chance to survive.

Deputy Jailer W. C. Knuckles, was standing across the street from the jail tonight about 7:45 o'clock, when he said armed and masked men began swarming around the jail. The leaders of the mob forced themselves inside and demanded the key to Scott's cell. They cornered Knuckles in a corridor of the jail unlocked Scott's cell, dragged him and found the keys on him. They outside, and placed him in an automobile. [sic]

The shouting mob entered automobiles and trucks parked around the jail, and with the car bearing the Negro and several leaders of the mob in the van, the motorcade started for the city limits.

As the machines passed the spot where Johnson was slugged Saturday night, members of the mob began firing into the air, approximately 100 shots were heard as the procession left town.

Sheriff McIntosh hastily summoned all city and county authorities and organized a posse of approximately 50 to pursue the mob. Circuit Judge Sam Ward and Commonwealth's Attorney J. A. Smith accompanied the officers.

The motorcade had taken the Whitesburg road, but was reported to have turned off when it passed through Vicco, 13 miles south of here. The officers continued the pursuit, and as they crossed the line into the adjoining county of Knott, noticed a crowd of several hundred men shouting and firing pistols, shotguns and other weapons.

Noticing the machines bearing the officers approaching, the crowd scattered. three stragglers were arrested and ordered brought to Hazard for questioning.

More information is found in the January 25, 1934 edition of the Corsicana Daily Sun (Corsicana, Texas):


HAZARD, Ky., Jan. 25.—(AP)—Three men were arrested on murder warrants and another held for questioning here today as Perry county officials pressed their investigation of the lynching of Rex Scott, a negro.

The men arrested on murder warrants were Petie Carroll, 38; Lee Gibson, 37, and Andy Workman, 30, and the man held on orders of County Judge A. M. Gross was James Collins, 32. All came from the Harlowe Coal company camp at Scuddy near here.

All four denied they participated in the lynching, although Troy P. Combs, jailer, said he recognized some of them as well as some of the others questioned as among the group that came to the jail and inquired the name of the negro charged with beating Johnson.

Circuit Judge Sam Ward called a special grand jury to convene Monday to inquire into the lynching.

HAZARD, Ky., [J]an. 25.—(AP)—An intensive investigation of the lynching of Rex Scott, 20-year-old negro, was launched by Perry county authorities today. Scott was forcibly removed from the county jail here last night by a mob of armed men, and hanged to a beech tree in a graveyard in Knott county adjoining.

Jailer Troy P. Combs, when informed the negro had been lynched an hour after his removal from the jail, telegraphed the details to Gov. Ruby Laffoon at Frankfort. Kentucky law requires that the governor remove any jailer surrendering a prisoner to a mob and grant him a hearing to determine if he shall be reinstated.

Thirty or forty masked leaders of a mob of approximately 300 men who swarmed around the jail forced their way inside and threatened Jailer Combs with death if he did not surrender the key to Scott's cell. The jailer was roughly handled until the men were convinced he was not in possession of the keys.

Deputy Jailer W. C. Knuckles was cornered in a jail corridor, and the keys were found on him. Scott's cell was unlocked, and he was dragged out of the jail, and hustled into an automobile, which led a motorcade which bore other members of the mob out of the city.

Scott was charged with slugging Alex Johnson, a miner, on a side street here Saturday night. As the machines passed the scene of the slugging, approximately 100 shots were fired into the air. Johnson died at a hospital here two hours after the negro was found lynched. He had never regained consciousness.

Sheriff Filmore McIntosh hastily organized a posse of approximately 50 city, county and special officers and pursued the mob. The trail led past Vicco, 13 miles south of here, into Knott county. There the officers found Scott's body hanging in the Cornett Hill cemetery. Approximately 40 shots had been fired into the body.

To Back Governor.

FRANKFORT, Ky., Jan. 25.—(AP)—A resolution pledging support of Governor Ruby Laffoon in "any steps he may take" to prevent lynchings was unanimously adopted today by the Kentucky house of representatives.

The resolution referred to the lynching last night near Hazard of Alex [sic] Scott, 20-year-old negro, held in jail for fatally beating Alex Johnson, a coal miner.

Four men were held this morning in connection with the mob attack and the governor said he contemplated no immediate steps. he said he had not been advised of the lynching except by what he had read in the newspapers.

We continue with The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) dated February 8, 1934:


Alleged Members of Mob In Hazard Raid Have Special Guard.  

Hazard, Ky., Feb. 7 (AP)—A seven-day session of the grand jury, involving the appearance of 200 witnesses, resulted today in the indictment of seven men on charges of participating in the lynching of Rex Scott, Negro, who was dragged from jail by a mob and hanged on the night of January 24.

The seven indicted, and for whose arrest warrants were issued immediately, were Petie Carroll, Lee Gibson, Ed Bentley, Bill "Wooden" Kinser, Ordley Fugate, George Watkins and John Watts.

Lee Gibson was the first man placed under arrest. All were in jail by 4 o'clock this afternoon.

Scott, who had been held in the Perry County jail on a charge of beating Alexander Johnson, a miner, was taken from the jail by about 150 men, carried fifteen miles south of Hazard into Knott County, and hanged, after which a score or more bullets were fired into his body.

Johnson died of his injuries shortly after Scott was lynched.

A special guard was placed on duty at the Perry county Jail tonight where the seven men charged with taking part in the lynching are being held. None of the defendants has made application for bond.

The regular term of Circuit Court convenes Monday.

Called State Function.

Frankfort, Ky., Feb. 7 (AP)—The House of Representatives adopted a resolution today requesting Congress to leave to the States the question of enacting legislation to prevent and punish lynching.

W. B. Belknap, Democrat, Goshen, who offered the resolution, stated there are now before Congress at Washington about six bills "to make punishment of lynching a duty of the Federal Government." The resolution stated "much pressure" is being brought on Congress "to pass a bill putting upon the county where a lynching occurs heavy damages to be paid to the family of anyone lynched."

Belknap introduced two bills to control and punish lynching in Kentucky.

The Pittsburgh Courier (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) dated March 10, 1934:




HAZARD, Ky., Mar. 8—Dr. D. C. Combs qualified Thursday as jailer of Perry County, succeeding his brother, Troy Combs, who was removed by Governor Ruby Laffoon as a result of the lynching of Rex Scott, taken from jail by a mob here January 24. The order naming Dr. Combs was entered by County Judge A. M. Gross.

The former jailer has employed counsel to prepare for a hearing in an effort to show he should be reinstated.


HAZARD, Ky., Mar. 8—Governor Ruby Laffoon, in an executive order, this week declared the office of jailer at Hazard, Perry County, to be vacant. The removal of Troy Combs, white, as jailer was the result of the investigation into the lynching of Rex Scott on the night of January 24th.

The removal of Combs came shortly after Mrs. Lydia Scott, mother of the victim and Talbert Holliday submitted affidavits to the Governor "tending to establish alleged neglect and failure" to perform his duty in using every possible means to prevent the mob from taking the prisoner out of the county jail. investigation revealed that the jailer made no effort to protect the prisoner regardless of the fact the mob descended on the jail around 7 o'clock in the evening, and that earlier in the day several strange men had been to the jail inquiring about Scott.

The trial of the seven men indicted by a Special Grand Jury is due March 12th; the present grand Jury is expected several more will be indicted. The office of the Commonwealth Attorney and counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People investigating the lynching intimated that a continuance might be asked to allow more time for a thorough probe.

Our final article is found in The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio) dated May 24, 1934:


Jury Acquits First of Six To Face Court in Hanging.

Hazard, Ky., May 23—(AP)—Lee Gibson, one of the six men charged with having taken part in the lynching of Rex Scott, and the first to go on trial in the Perry Circuit Court, was acquitted tonight.

The defendant did not testify.

Rex Scott, twenty-year-old Negro, was taken from the Perry County Jail the night of January 24 and hanged near Sassafras, 13 miles south of Hazard. A special grand jury made an investigation and returned indictments against Lee Gibson, Petie Carroll, Will Kinser, E. Bentley, John Watts and George Watkins.

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

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

August 2, 1901: Charley Bentley

Today we learn about a lynching in Alabama through the pages of the Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Michigan) dated August 3, 1901:



Birmingham, Ala., August 2.—With a rope around his neck and death before him, Charley Bentley, a negro, confessed to the murder of Jim Vann, alias Williams, a white man, and was hanged by a mob near Leeds, Ala., in St. Clair county, at noon to-day. The body was riddled with bullets.

At the time of the lynching, the coroner of St. Clair county was at dinner at a house near by, having just finished an investigation of the death of Vann. The jury returned a verdict fixing the responsibility for the murder on Charley Bentley. Members of the mob learned of the verdict and a crowd quickly gathered around the prisoner and unheeding his pleas for mercy hanged him to a tree.

The murder was committed while Vann and his wife and child were asleep in a camp three miles from Leeds. Vann's skull was crushed with a rock.

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

Monday, April 25, 2016

January 8, 1892: Nathan Andrews

Today we learn about a lynching in Louisiana through the pages of The Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) dated January 10, 1892:


Lynched by a Crowd of White Men at Shreveport.

SHREVEPORT, La., Jan. 8.—This morning a negro named Nathan Andrews shot and wounded William Driscoll, a lessee of the Cash plantation in Caddo parish. Andrews had been ordered by Driscoll to leave the place, but paid no attention to the command.

Seeing Driscoll approaching his house he fired at him through a crack in the house, wounding him in the arm. Andrews fled, but was captured at noon. There is strong talk of lynching him.

Later—a negro who has just arrived in town from the Cash Point plantation brings news of the lynching of the negro Andrews by a mob of about fifty men.

He states about 8 o'clock to-night he was passing along the road when he suddenly came upon the lynching party. They compelled him to stop and witness the proceedings.

The negro, who was astride a white horse, was taken beneath the limb of a cottonwood tree and a noose was placed around his neck and over the limb.

At a given signal the horse left his rider dangling in the air.

The negro witness was then allowed to proceed on his journey to town, and he was terrified over his night's experience.

The shooting occurred in the same neighborhood in which three weeks ago the negro Patterson killed two white men, his wife and a negro man, for which he was subsequently lynched.

I feel very bad for the man who was stopped and forced to witness the lynching. I can only imagine how truly terrifying it would be to be stopped by a mob intent on lynching someone and not knowing whether their blood lust would be sated with just the one lynching or if you were to follow. 

I am only going to put down the headlines from another paper because there are no more details in the article, but I found the headlines were an example of the attitudes of the populace at the time. The headlines come to us from the Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona) dated January 15, 1892:


The Colored Population of Louisiana Being Properly Decreased.

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

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Letter to the Editor: The Pittsburgh Press

Today I am featuring a letter to the editor of The Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) found in the January 4, 1928 edition from the Principal of the Tuskegee Institute:


Editor of The Press:

I sent you the following concerning lynchings for the past year as compiled by Tuskegee institute in the department of records and research. I find there were 16 persons lynched in 1927. This is 14 less than the number, 30, for 1926; one less than the number, 17, for 1925; the same number, 16, as for 1924, and 17 less than the number, 33, for 1923. Twelve of the persons lynched were taken from the hands of the law, six from jails and six from officers of the law outside of jails. Four of the persons were burned to death; two were put to death and then their bodies burned.

There were 42 instances in which officers of the law prevented lynchings. Eight of these were in northern states and 34 in southern states. In 24 of the cases the prisoners were removed or the guards augmented, or other precautions taken. In 18 other instances armed force was used to repel the would-be lynchers. Sixty-eight persons, 15 white and 53 Negroes, were thus saved from death at the hands of mobs.

All of the persons lynched were Negroes. The offenses charged were:  Murder, 7; attempted murder, 2; rape, 2; attempted rape, 3; improper conduct, 1; charge not reported, 1.

The states in which lynchings occurred and the number in each state are as follows:  Arkansas, 3; Kentucky, 1; Louisiana, 1; Mississippi, 7; Missouri, 11; Tennessee, 2; Texas, 1.


Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute.

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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

December 14, 1881: Richard Jennings

Today we learn about a lynching in Nevada through the pages of the Staunton Spectator (Staunton, Virginia) dated December 20, 1881:


About half-past one o'clock Wednesday morning a party of masked men forcibly entered the jailer's room in the court-house building at Austin, Nevada, overpowered the jailer and forced him to give up the keys to the jail and the cell door where Richard Jennings was confined, who, without provocation and in cold blood, shot and killed John A. Barrett, an old respected citizen, Monday night of last week. Jennings was then taken out and hanged from a balcony over the front door.

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April 27, 1930: John Hodaz

Today we learn about a lynching in Florida through the pages of the Wilmington News-Journal (Wilmington, Ohio) dated April 28, 1930:


Officials Believe 40 Year Old Man Lynched By Masked Men


TAMPA, Fla., April 28—(AP)—The body of John Hodaz, suspected of bombing a Plant City home, was found hanging from a tree 10 miles northwest of Plant City today by N. M. Davis, a woodcutter, according to Sheriff R. T. Joughin. The body bore numerous bullet wounds.

TAMPA, Fla., April 28—(AP)—John Hodaz, a 40-year-old white man, suspected of bombin[g] a Plant City residence, was taken from a deputy sheriff last night by a mob of masked men, who were believed by authorities, to have lynched him.

Deputy Sheriff Tobe Robinson said he arrested Holdaz, in a rooming house here and was taking him to Bartow, Fla., for safekeeping when accosted and overpowered by the mob south of Plant City.

Sheriff R. T. Joughin sent 12 deputies and bloodhounds to search for members of the mob and to learn what disposition had been made of Hodaz. no word had been received from the party today, but the sheriff said there was every indication that Holdaz had been lynched.

Robinson said Hodaz was handcuffed when he was taken by the mob and that its members fired four shots into the ground near his car after telling him to leave the scene quickly. He said the mob surprised him and pressed guns against his body body before he could resist.

The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania) dated April 29, 1930:

Declares Mob Victim Handled Bomb Material

Fingerprints of John Hodaz, Alleged Dynamiter Who Was Lynched, Show That He Had Placed Unexploded Charge at Plant City Home, Tampa Police Department Says

TAMPA, Fla., April 28 (AP).—A coroner's jury today brought in an open verdict of death from gunshot wounds and strangulation at the hands of persons unknown after an inquest over the body of John Hodaz, 40, which was found near Antioch, northeast of here, today. The man, of Hungarian birth, was taken by a mob last night from Deputy Sheriff Robinson, who had arrested him here in connection with the bombing of one home last week in Plant City and an attempt to bomb another.

Almost simultaneously with the coroner's verdict, fingerprint experts of the Tampa police department announced that Hodaz had handled dynamite which failed to explode at the home of H. D. Wil[l]aford in Plant City.

Mrs. J. I. Waller, neighbor of Willaford, suffered injuries which may prove fatal when dynamite wrecked the back porch of her home and at Willaford's nearby.

Willaford accused Hodaz, saying both he and his neighbors had had trouble with Hodaz over the latter's trespassing on their lands.

Sheriff Joughin said Hodaz had confessed placing the dynamite at the Willaford place, but denied placing the charge which injured Mrs. Waller. He said discovery of the body had not ended the case and indicated he was looking for a possible confederate as well as members of the mob.

The Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) dated April 30, 1930:

White Man Lynched.

Tampa, Fla., April 30—Investigation of the lynching of John Hodaz, 40 year old Hungarian bachelor and bomb suspect, reached an admitted impasse here today, with no arrests made and none in immediate prospect. It was the first white lynching in 20 years.

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

February, 1932: Cap Johnson

Today we learn about a lynching in Florida through the pages of the Reading Times (Reading, Pennsylvania) dated February 13, 1932:


BROOKSVILLE, Fla., Feb. 12—Discovery of an aged man's body in a pond near here today led officers to the belief that he had been lynched. They started an investigation of three other mysterious deaths.

The body was identified as that of Cap Johnson. His widow said he disappeared from home several days ago.

The body was weighted down with window sashweights and was covered with burlap.

Surprisingly the lynching lists label Johnson as an elderly Negro while the only article I found doesn't mention race. 

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

Friday, April 15, 2016

January 9, 1906: Ben Harris

Today we learn about a lynching in Texas through the pages of The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated January 11, 1906:


Said He Killed His Victim Just for Fun.

Houston, January 10.—Ben Harris, the negro charged with the assassination of Ozro Polk, at Berings Mill, Monday night, and who was taken from officers last night at La Salle by a mob, was lynched early this morning at Moscow, Texas. There were about seventy men in the mob. The negro's hands were handcuffed behind him and his legs drawn back and tied to his hands before he was suspended in mid air. The negro, when asked why he killed Young Polk said first it was an accident. Later he said he killed Polk "for fun." Harris victim was a clerk in the commissary of the mill.

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

Thursday, April 14, 2016

March 1, 1892: Amos Miller

Today we learn about a lynching in Missouri through the pages of The Leavenworth Times (Leavenworth, Kansas) dated March 4, 1892:




Swift Vengeance for the Murder of Marshal Sprinkle—Only Four Men Overpowered the Sheriff, but Fifty Did the Hanging—The Body Cut Down by the Coroner—Done Very

DEXTER, Mo., March 3.—Amos Miller is dead. After dangling ten hours at the end of a rope, the body of the man who murdered City Marshal Sprinkle, and who caused the death of four men, including himself, is now in the hands of his relatives ready for burial. The last act in the bloody tragedy which opened with the murder of two men and the suicide of Miller's desperado friend last Saturday, has been brought to a close.

At 10:30 Tuesday night four disguised and heavily armed men went to the jail at Bloomfield, the county seat, and knocked at Sheriff Barham's door. When the sheriff opened the door and asked "Who's there?" he found himself looking into the muzzle of four Winchesters. He was ordered to give up keys to the cell in which Amos Miller was confined. He argued and pleaded with the men, telling them he could not give up the man, but the only reply he received was a threat of instant death if he did not immediately comply with their demand. He told the men where the key could be found. They secured it, and then forced the sheriff to lead the way to Miller's cell and unlock the door. This done, the murderer was taken out, a rope thrown around his neck, and then the quartet with their prisoner hurried out of town. Just outside the city limits a mob awaited them. They proceeded to a tree three-quarters of a mile from Bloomfield. The other end of the rope was thrown over a limb and the soul of Miller sent into the unknown world. The mob did its work so quietly that no one knew anything about it until the sheriff gave the alarm. Only one person besides Barham saw the party and he says that fully fifty men were in the mob. The sheriff was taken completely by surprise, as he was expecting guards to come to the jail to protect the prisoner. Miller's body was left hanging until 9 o'clock yesterday morning, when the coroner cut it down, held an inquest and delivered it to Miller's friends. The officials are investigating, and if members of the mob are apprehended it will go hard with them.

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

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

August 28, 1931: Richard and Charley Smoke

Today we learn about a lynching in Florida through the pages of The Bonham Daily Favorite (Bonham, Texas) dated August 29, 1931:

Two Negroes Shot; Released on Bonds: Mob Killed Them

by Associated Press

BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla., Aug. 29.—Richard Smoke and his son Charley, negroes, were lynched last night, after their release from jail on bond, charged with attacking Frazier Williams, a forest ranger. They were seized by a mob of masked men on their way home, after their employer had posted their bonds, and shot. They were turpentine workers. Williams was shot Tuesday.

The Pittsburgh Courier (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) dated September 12, 1931:



TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Sept. 10—(ANP)—If the members of the mob which lynched Richard Smoke and his son, Charles, near Bluntstown, last Friday, are not brought to justice and punished it will not be due to any negligence on the part of Governor Carlton, according to a statement made by the chief executive Wednesday morning.

Governor Carlton declared that he would see to it that a thorough investigation is made into the lynching and that he would lend every assistance to the officials in running down the cowardly group "that not only lynched the Negroes but also lynched the state of Florida."

Following closely in the wake of the statement made by the governor he received the following telegram from Will W. Alexander, of the Inter-racial Commission:

"Let us commend heartily your vigorous statement relative to the Bluntstown lynching and your expressed determination to do everything possible to apprehend and punish the culprits. This case of mob murder was peculiarly flagrant and indefensible. Florida owes it to herself and to the South to bring the perpetrators to justice as the only possible means of vindicating in some degree our laws and our civilization. If this organization can help, please command us."

Scores of prominent citizens of the state have added their commendation to that of the Inter-racial Commission and --- urging that the investigation be made immediately. The mob shot the two men to death after they had been released from jail on bond following their arrest for an alleged attack upon a white man.

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

Monday, April 11, 2016

October 8, 1933: Bennie Thompson

Today we learn about a lynching in South Carolina through the pages of the Miami Daily News-Record (Miami, Oklahoma) dated October 9, 1933:


NINETY-SIX, S. C., Oct. 9—(AP)—Bennie Thompson, Negro, who had been arrested for threatening a group of whitemen with a knife, was taken from the jail here during last night, beaten to death and his body left on the roadside, where it was found early today.

The Robesonian (Lumberton, N. C.) dated October 12, 1933 gave a bit more detail in the following article:

Negro Lynched in S. C.

Ninety-Six, S. C.—(AP)—A coroner's jury Monday ordered 4 men held on a charge of murdering Bennie Thompson, a young negro who was taken from jail Sunday night and beaten to death. Burley Leppard, a textile worker, read a statement admitting that he and 3 white men—J. F. Morris, "Lesty" Mayes and "Toody" Webb—took the negro from his cell and whipped him with "automobile top tubes". Leppard said that he and the others had trouble with the negro at a cafe, the negro drew a pistol on them and was arrested and put in jail. That night Chief of Police Rush at their request left the jail door open and the lock hanging in the cell door and they took the negro out. Rush denies the charge. The negro's body, terribly scarred, was found beside the highway.

We learn more about the lynching through the pages of The Index-Journal (Greenwood, S. C.) dated October 11, 1933:

Widow Of Bennie Thompson Plans Suit Against County


Hicks & Johnston Of Greenville Say They Have Been Engaged

Ada Thompson, widow of Bennie Thompson, negro, who was beaten to death near Ninety-Six last Sunday night, has employed Hicks and Johnston, Greenville attorneys, to represent her individually and as administratrix against the County of Greenwood.

This information came in a letter to the Index-Journal this morning from the law firm. 

While the attorneys do not say that suit will be entered it is presumed that action will be taken under the state law which makes the county liable for not less than $2,000 to relatives of a person lynched.

When advised of the possible suit, County Attorney Rupert F. Davis said it would revolve around a question of fact as to whether Bennie Thompson's death was caused by "lynching" or by "murder."

The word "lynch" is not defined in the civil code providing for damages in lynching cases, but a definition of the verb is:  "To inflict punishment upon, especially death, without the form of law, as when a mob catches and hangs a suspected person."

"Lynch law" is defined as follows"  "Act or practice by private persons of inflicting punishment for crimes or offenses, without due process of law."

Beaten to Death.

It will be recalled that Burley Leppard, textile worker of Ninety-Six, in a voluntary statement at the coroner's inquest on Monday, said he, Kenneth Morris, "Lefty" Mayes and Howrd "Toody" Webb took Thompson from the Ninety-Six jail, carried him about two miles down the Chappells road and beat him with a tube from an automobile pump. Leppard said the party was not gone over 10 minutes and that Thompson was alive when they left him, about 7:30 Sunday night. the negro's body was found early Monday morning by a young negro walking to Ninety-Six.

Suit against the county in which a lynching occurs is provided for in Section 3947 of the civil code of South Carolina reading as follows:

The Civil Code.

"In all cases of lynching when death ensues the county where such lynching takes place shall, without regard to the conduct of officers, be liable in exemplary damages of not less than $2,000, to be recovered by action instituted in any court of competent jurisdiction by the legal representatives of the person lynched and they are hereby authorized to institute such action for the recovery of such exemplary damages.

"A county against which a judgment has been obtained for damages in any case of lynching shall have to right to recover the amount of said judgment from the parties engaged in said lynching in any court of competent jurisdiction and is hereby authorized to institute such action."

If suit is entered it will be the first of its kind ever brought in Greenwood county, but there have been several "lynching" suits in the state since the law was passed. Probably the last one instituted was in Oconee county in which judgment was obtained against the county, but the damages have never been collected, it is said.

The law firm of Hicks and Johnston is composed of J. Wilbur Hicks and John E. Johnston, the latter being a son of the Rev. J. E. Johnstone who for a number of years was pastor of Mt. Moriah Baptist church in this county.


Judge T. S. Sease Issues Order For Release Upon Proper Surety

Judge Thomas S. Sease, who is presiding over court at Abbeville, this morning issued an order for the release of Burley Leppard, held on a murder charge in connection with the killing of Bennie Thompson, under $2,500 bond signed by not less than two nor more than five sureties approved by the clerk of court. The amount of bond was fixed with the consent of Solicitor Homer S. Blackwell and application for bail was made by Hugh Beasley, attorney for Leppard.

Clerk of Court Milling said the bond had not been signed up to 1 o'clock this afternoon.

The only other development in the case, in addition to possible suit against the county by the widow of Thompson, was the surrender to Sheriff E. M. White about 6 o'clock yesterday afternoon of Kenneth F. Morris and Howard (Toody) Webb, who were lodged in jail.

All four men implicated in the case by Leppard's confession are now in jail. So far as known Morris, Webb and Lafty Mayes have not employed counsel. Mayes has been in jail since Monday afternoon.

Our final article comes to us through the pages of The Gaffney Ledger (Gaffney, S. C.) dated February 20, 1947:

Lynch Record In State Confused In Recent Years

Columbia, Feb. 18.—Considerable difficulty was experienced in establishing the date of the last recorded lynching in South Carolina after a negro was taken early yesterday from the Pickens county jail by an armed band and later found dead.

The last case of a negro being taken from a jail cell and found dead was that of Bennie Thompson at Ninety-Six in October 1933, but four white men were acquitted of murder three months later. the quartet was charged with removing the negro from his cell and beating him to death.

Three months prior to Thompson's death, Norris Dendy, 35-year-old negro, was dragged from the small Clinton jail. his beaten and strangled body was found the morning of July 5 in a churchyard.

The death of Dendy, who was charged with striking a white man and resisting arrest, was described at the time by the late Governor Ibra C. Blackwood as "not a lynching, but a murder." If you are interested in reading more about the Dendy lynching, you can find my post about it here.

The negro janitor at the jail, which had no regular jailer, said four white men drove up to the building in an automobile, knocked the lock off the door and forced Dendy into the car. No charges were ever brought in connection with the case.

Before the Dendy case the last officially recorded lynching in the files of the Associated Press here occurred June 21, 1930, when Dan Jenkins, a Beaufort, N. C., negro, was shot to death by a posse on a roadside near Union. Two young white women were said to have identified Jenkins a having attacked and criminally assaulted one of them.

Two months before Jenkins was killed, Allen Green, 50, a negro, was taken from the Oconee jail at Walhalla and shot to death. He was alleged to have assaulted a young married woman.  

The Association for the Advancement of Colored People listed a lynching as having occurred in Horry county in 1929, but officers say a negro was shot to death while resisting arrest.

Probably the most famous lynching in South Carolina history was when at Aiken October 8, 1926, when two men and their sister, Demon, Clarence and Bertha Lowman, were taken from the county jail by a mob and shot to death on the outskirts of town. My post on the Lowman lynching can be found here.

The Lowmans were charged with the death of Sheriff Henry H. Howard. There never were any developments in the case despite a long, arduous investigation.

Tuskegee Institute listed a lynching in Georgetown county in 1941 but Sheriff Harris Cribb of the place denied this claim today. He said two men were convicted of manslaughter for  the death of a negro and that "no mob" was involved.

Tuskegee's claim was investigated at the time by a Columbia newspaper. The State, which found that no lynching had occurred. The paper said a negro was killed after a dice game in which he was playing with white men.

Negro leaders here claimed that negroes were lynched in Georgetown county in 1944 and at Elko in Barnwell county last year but court records failed to substantiate these contentions. Officers considered the killings simple homicides.

When researching lynchings, it is normal to come across cases that are continually referred to as murders. I think there can be no doubt when a person is removed from jail by citizens and killed. All lynchings are murder while not all murders are lynchings. I think counties discovered that claiming them as murders made them less liable to lawsuits. It also looks much better on record than a lynching. 

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

Saturday, April 9, 2016

January 1, 1881: Excerpt from the Harrisburg Telegraph

Occasionally I like to post articles about lynching to show public sentiment at the time and what was being said by the people at the time of these lynchings. Today I have chosen an article from the Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) dated January 1, 1881:

The lynching lately done near Bethlehem is being discussed in every light in which it can be placed to bring out its motives and get a proper estimate of the strength of the impulse which led to its perpetration. There is a singular unanimity in the conclusion arrived at, without any possible chance of comparing judgements, that the lynching was impelled by disgust as much for the too free use of the pardoning power in cases of fairly convicted murderers, and the delays in the administration of justice by the courts, as of horror and resentment for the atrocious murder committed by the wretch hung. Admitting that there is a too free use of the pardoning power, and that the courts sometimes fail to administer exact and speedy justice, there is still no excuse left for the act as committed near Bethlehem. There is a more humane way of correcting an excess of civil clemency for criminals than by murdering the wretch because he has murdered another.

The lynching of Joseph Snyder was the lynching alluded to in the article. Joseph Snyder was lynched on December 27, 1880. He was lynched within hours of murdering the husband and wife he boarded with in Santee's Mills just 4 miles from Bethlehem. He murdered Jacob Geogle and his wife Annie with an axe while they slept in their bed. Snyder had made advances towards their daughter Alice, some articles list her as fourteen and others as sixteen. Apparently on the night of the murders, Snyder had attempted to rape Alice, but did not succeed. When Alice went to tell her parents of his attempt she found them murdered. Snyder was found and a jury was impaneled by the coroner. The jury's verdict was:

 "That the said Jacob Geogle and Annie Geogle came to their death by blows and cuts inflicted upon their heads and bodies with an axe in the hands of Joesph Snyder, on the night of Dec. 26, 1880>" 

While the jury was deliberating a mob dragged Snyder out of the house where he was being guarded and took him to an "immense chestnut tree, which has stood on the banks of the creek for probably over a century." Three times the detective guarding Snyder, Detective Yohe, dragged Snyder out from under the tree and placed his body between the mob and Snyder. Snyder, however, seeming to wish to die, placed himself under the tree. Quickly, a boy climbed the tree and placed the rope over one of the limbs. It was so quick that Detective Yohe, who had wrapped the rope around his arm, was hoisted three or four feet into the air. Snyder confessed to the attempted rape and murder before being lynched. 

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

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

October 24, 1906: Tom Crompton

Today we learn about a lynching in Mississippi through the pages of the Tyrone Daily Herald (Tyrone, Pennsylvania) dated October 25, 1906:

Negro Lynched.

New Orleans, Oct. 25.—Tom Crompton, a negro, was lynched near Centreville, Miss. It is alleged that he confessed to the murder of Ely Whitaker, a farmer. Whitaker was murdered on Wednesday, and a posse of men, suspecting foul play, searched for him. With this posse was the negro Crompton. He begged leave from the searchers to go home, but after he had gone the posse followed him, finding, it is alleged, that instead of going home he had gone to the spot where Whitaker's body lay and, cutting off the head, arms and legs with an axe, had dropped them into a sink hole near his cabin.

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

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

July 15, 1903: William Thacker

today we learn about a lynching in Kentucky through the pages of The Lima News (Lima, Ohio) dated July 15, 1903:


Of Court Broke Into Jail and Hanged Man Charged With Murder.

Kentucky Again to Front with Lynching in Which White Man Is Victim—Lynchers Came Quietly and Unannounced.

Maysville, Ky., July 15—Enraged at the tardiness of the courts, a mob broke into the Flemingsburg jail this morning, and hanged Wm. Thacker, a white man, who had been given a life sentence for the murder of john Gordon, two years ago. Thacker in a quarrel with Gordon, at Foxport, shot and killed him, and then sat on the body, Winchester in hand, while he smoked his pipe, and dared any one to attempt to arrest him. At the time Thacker escaped, but later was arrested and lodged in jail at Felmingsburg. He was given two trials and finally got a life sentence.

Gordon was a good citizen, and an inoffensive man. After being sentenced, Thacker appealed to the court of appeals, and was waiting for another trial. Thacker had some money, and was able to command the support of some influential men, and it was feared he might escape punishment altogether. The mob collected at Mt. Carmel, where Gordon once lived, and came into Flemingsburg by two and threes, in order not to arouse suspicion. They advanced upon the jail shortly after midnight. The jailer refused to surrender the keys. He was overpowered, and the keys taken from him. Thacker was hurried to a tree, near the jail, and was given time in which to say his prayers, which he refused to do, but begged for his life. to hush his cries, he was hit on the head with a rock, and his unconscious body strung up, until life had become extinct.

We pick up more information two years later through the pages of The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio) dated November 2, 1905: 


Played the Detective

And Secured Names of Men Alleged To Have Lynched Her Husband—Damage Suit in Progress.


Owingsville, Ky., November 1.—The announcement from Covington of the continuance of Mrs. Mary Jane Thacker's $50,000 damage suit against the alleged members of a mob that lynched her husband, Wm. Thacker, two years ago, until the April term of Court, has revived interest in this case, which has no parallel in Kentucky Court annals. The case went to the United States Court from Fleming County, which adjoins Bath County. Mrs. Thacker, unaided and alone, tracked down, one by one, the members of the mob that took her husband from jail and lynched him. She alleges that the mob was led by George Gordon, father of young John Gordon, whom Thacker killed.

When a mob composed of about 50 men dragged William Thacker from the Felmingsburg jail in July, 1903, and, after compelling a party of young people who were returning from a dance to stop and witness the execution, lynched Thacker on a tree. Mrs. Thacker was left a widow with several children to support. She is a plucky woman, however, and while working hard to keep her children in the way they should go, she was also engaged in amateur detective work, which finally resulted in her learning the names of some of the mob's members. Then she found a witness, who, it is alleged, said he would swear that the mob had an agreement with the county jailer to deliver the keys without resistance should a mob come after Thacker. When the evidence was complete she brought the suit. George and Perry Gordon and other prominent Fleming County residents are charged with the crime. It is said that there was not much effort made to discover the identity of the mob by the Fleming County Courts, as the crime with which Thacker was charged was a peculiar aggravating one.

He and sixteen year old John Gordon had quarrelled, and one afternoon Thacker is alleged to have armed himself and gone to where Gordon was building a fence and renewed the quarrel. Gordon was unarmed and Thacker shot and killed him with a Winchester rifle. Waiting until the boy was dead, Thacker took a seat on the corpse, lighted his pipe, laid his Winchester across his knees and refused to allow the remains to be moved for several hours. At last he consented to move, however, and was later arrested. Thacker was taken to Flemingsburg Jail. A night or two later a mob rode quietly into town and went directly to the jail. It secured admittance and took the murderer, screaming and begging, out, dragged him about half a mile to a tree and there lynched him, the body being cut down next morning.

Mrs. Thacker's lawsuit was filed against twenty-six citizens of Fleming county. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

Monday, April 4, 2016

September 21, 1891: Anton Sieboldt

Today we learn about a lynching in Wisconsin through the pages of The Decatur Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) dated September 23, 1891:


The Slayer of Farmer Meighan Hanged to a Tree.


Two Hundred Neighbors of the Murdered Man Overpower the Sheriff. Batter Down the Jail Doors, and Make Short Work of the Trembling Culprit—The Father of the Wretch Thinks the Lynching Is Quite Just and Right.

DARLINGTON, Wis., Sept. 22.—The body of Anton Sieboldt, who brutally murdered James Meighan, a well known farmer, is lying in the undertaking establishment where it was taken from the tree on which Sieboldt was hanged at noon Monday by a mob. The murder which resulted in the lynching was committed on a farm in the town of Willow Springs, two miles north of Darlington, at 5 o'clock Thursday afternoon. Meighan was a farmer, living about six miles north of the city, in the town of Willow Springs, and was building a new house. Sieboldt was a farm laborer, working for J. W. Ray on an adjoining farm. Meighan came to the city to get a load of lumber and Sieboldt came with him. Toward evening they started together for home on a load of lumber. From what was learned later it appears that the men got into a fight on the wagon and continued until Meighan was killed, his face being beaten into a jelly. The weapon supposed to have been used was the wagon hammer.

Claimed Self-Defense.

Some passers-by saw the finishing act of the tragedy, and Sieboldt said:  "He tried to kill me, but I have finished him in good shape." He then unhitched the horses, and riding one and leading the other, started home. He was overtaken by the officers at the Furnace springs, arrested, and brought to this city. A mob gathered at the jail with the avowed intention of lynching Sieboldt, but the sheriff took the murderer to Monroe, Green county, for safe-keeping. There he remained until Monday, the date set for his preliminary hearing, when he arrived in town on the morning train and was placed in the jail. Monday morning people began to arrive in the city by twos and threes and half-dozens, until a crowd of fully 200 excited persons, neighbors of the murdered man, were in the village. At noon, however, it was evident that the mob which had gathered about the jail meant business.

Demanded the Keys.

Cries of "Give us the keys," "Bring out the prisoner," "Open the door," "Batter down the doors," etc., were raised on every hand. The prisoner, who was confined in one of the strongest iron-bound cells in the jail, heard the cries and shouts of the mob, and trembled, and moaned, and shrieked alternately. The demands for the keys were ignored by the sheriff and his deputies. the doors were locked and protected by heavy bars. When the mob saw the doors of the jail would not be thrown open they procured axes and sledges and attacked the panels of oak and maple. Barriers gave way one after another. The sheriff and the jailer attempted to protect the prisoner, but were overpowered in an instant and disarmed. Straight toward the cell where the doomed man was cowering rushed the men who were determined to avenge Meighan's murder. The iron bars gave way like pipestems.

In the Mob's Power.

A rope was in hand and a noose was put around the man's neck. Out of the jail hurried the shouting throng, hustling the prisoner through the corridor and out into the courthouse square. There was a halt, but for an instant; then the rope was over the limb and half a hundred willing hands were jerking the struggling form of the murderer upward. The lynchers quickly dispersed. But in their places came hundreds to see the body of the murderer and inspect the jail and the scene of the hanging. The affair caused tremendous excitement. Sieboldt's aged father and mother, who live in the town of Elk Grove, arrived in the city shortly after the hanging, for the purpose of attending the examination. When told that his son had just been hanged the father said that it was probably just and right. There was a sad scene in the jail, where the body was first carried, and where the parents saw it.

The Weekly Wisconsin (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) dated October 17, 1891:

Left to the Grand Jury.

DARLINGTON, Wis., Oct. 7.—The coroner's jury having in hand the matter of the death of Anton Sieboldt, the murderer lynched here a short time ago, met at 1 o'clock this afternoon. District Attorney Simpson was present and stated that a grand jury had been asked for to meet at the December term of court and advised the jury not to go into an investigation at this time. The jury rendered the following verdict:

An inquisition taken at Darlington, in the county of Lafayette, on the 21st day of September, 1891, before William Hopper, one of the justices of the peace of the said county, upon the view of the body of Anton Sieboldt, then dead, by the jurors whose names are hereto subscribed, who, being duly sworn to inquire on behalf of the state as to what manner and by what means the said Anton Sieboldt came to his death, upon their oaths do say that the said Anton Sieboldt came to his death between the hours of 12 and 1 o'clock in the daytime of the 21st day of September, 1891, by strangulation in having been hanged to a tree in the public square of the city of Darlington, in said county, by a mob, and it appearing from the the [sic] representations of Jeff. B. Simpson, the district attorney of said county, that it would be unwise for this jury to further investigate this matter at this time, for the reason that a grand jury will soon be empanelled for this county to investigate this matter. In testimony whereof the said justice of the peace and the jurors of this inquest have hereunto set their hands this 7th day of October, 1891.

Justice of the Peace.

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

Friday, April 1, 2016

March 9, 1892: Calvin McDowell, William Stuart and Theodore Moss

Today we learn about a triple lynching in Tennessee through the pages of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) dated March 9, 1892:


Ringleaders of the Memphis Rioting Negroes Lynched.

Forcibly Taken From Jail at 4 O'Clock This Morning.


Seventy-Five Men Capture the Keys and Hurry the Prisoners Away to Vengeance—The Vigilantes Work Quietly and Effectively—Crowning Act of Sunday Night's Tragedy—Negroes and Whites Arming.

MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 9.—The dawn of a bright spring morning, as it cast its light across Tennessee's metropolis, disclosed the dead bodies of three negroes riddled with bullets and partially covered with brush, lying in an open lot about one and a half miles from the heart of the city. The bodies as they lay outstretched with faces heavenward, were mute reminders of the terrible work of seventy-five masked men in this city at 3 o'clock this morning. The names of the negroes, whose bodies were literally shot to pieces by this mob, are Calvin McDowell, William Stuart and Theodore Moss.

The crime for which this summary vengeance was wreaked upon them was the ambushing and shooting down on Saturday night last of four deputy sheriffs in a bad negro locality, known as "The Curve," while the officers were fulfilling their duty by looking for a negro for whose arrest they had a warrant.

About 3 o'clock this morning seventy-five men, all wearing masks, appeared suddenly on Front street, near the jail. From whence they came no one will this morning even hazard a guess.No one saw them assemble, no office of the law noticed their passage through any street, nor did any person intercept them in their quick and quiet march to the Shelby County Jail.

At this time Watchman O'Donnell sat in the jail office having a chat with a friend named Seat. Suddenly a ring was heard coming from the outer gate. Hastily arising and leaving the office, Mr. O'Donnell walked to the door of the jail.


"Who's there?" demanded O'Donnell, his voice ringing loud and clear in the frosty air.

"Hugh Williams of White Haven," came the reply. "I have a prisoner."

"All right," said O'Donnell; "this is the place and I am always ready to receive them."

With that Mr. O'Donnell hurried to the gate and unlocked it.Two or three men pushed in immediately. O'Donnell did not notice them closely as they shoved through the gates, but a moment later, when he turned to inquire which was the prisoner, he saw that he had been trapped. The men were masked.

"What does this mean?" queried the watchman as he reached for his pistol.

"No you don't," exclaimed the masked men loudly as they seized the arms of Mr. O'Donnell and forced him against the high and thick wall surrounding the jail.

The three men who seized Mr. O'Donnell had spoken loudly as they grasped him. Their voices had scarcely died away when there was a trampling of many feet and fully seventy-five men, all wearing black masks, rushed through the gate and confronted the astounded watchman.

"What do you want?" asked Mr. O'Donnell.

"We want the keys to the cell in which those negroes are confined," came sternly from the leader of the masked men.

"I have not the keys," replied Mr. O'Donnell.

"We will see if you have or not," said the leader, and in a minute two men were going through the watchman's clothes, bent on securing the keys. But they were not in his possession.


There was a hurried consultation among the leaders, a wait of a minute and soon a rope was produced with which the watchman's hands were tied. Two men were then called forward through the gate and were put over O'Donnell as guards, the other two hurrying into the jail office to secure the keys.

All this was going on while Jailer Williams slept peacefully upstairs, totally unconscious of what was going on below. Soon came the cry:

"All right boys, here they are," and in a moment after, making sure that O'Donnell was safely pinioned, the men filed silently and swiftly past him into the jail, and in a minute were in the cell room of the negro department.

Now began a search. There were twenty-seven negroes there, all under arrest for complicity in Saturday night's affair, and it was no easy task for these men to distinguish their much-wanted negroes from the other blacks therein incarcerated in the dark of the night. On they went from cell to cell, the thoroughly alarmed inmates coming to the cell doors and unwittingly aiding them in the search.


Alice Mitchell heard the noise and from her cell in the upper tier peered down on the strange and silent crowd. Not a word was spoken while the men proceeded quickly and cautiously along the rows of cells.

Suddenly the click of a key going into a lock was heard. The men stopped for an instant. There was a little scuffle, a hand was clapped over a negro's mouth until he was bound, and Moss, the mail carrier, was in the possession of the mob.

B. Clay King, under sentence of death for the murder of David Posten, heard the scuffle and subdued voices. He appeared at his cell on the opposite upper tier for an instant, but quickly retired.

Soon McDowell was found and then Stuart and then the party was ready to start. The captives being ready, they were dragged, pushed and hustled out of the jail in a hurry. Out into the yard and past O'Donnell, still securely bound, they went, and soon were upon the street. No halt was made and quickly they reached the corner. Turning into Auction street they started toward the Mississippi River, stopping, however, as they reached the tracks of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. A few words in an undertone and the men started north along the tracks. The night was pitchy dark, but no lagging was allowed. The prisoners, securely bound, were kept moving at a hot pace.

In a few minutes the suburbs of the city were reached, and in an open field near Wolf River the negroes met their doom. For the first time they were allowed to speak. As the gags were removed Moss said:

"If you are going to kill us, turn our faces to the West."


Scarcely had he uttered the words when the crack of a revolver was heard and a ball crashed through his cheek. This was the signal for the work. A terrible volley was poured in upon the shivering negroes, who instantly fell dead in their tracks.

McDowell fell face downward, by himself, but Moss and Stuart fell over each other, and when the bodies were found this morning they lay close together.

The bodies presented a horrible sight. McDowell's jaw was entirely shot away and back of his right ear there was a hole large enough to admit a man's fist. his right hand, too, had been half blown away, as if in defense he had grabbed a muzzle of a shotgun.

Stuart was shot in the mouth and twice int he back of the head. His body was riddled with buckshot. His ear was shot off and several bullets entered his forehead.

The mob turned about after it had completed its terrible work and came toward town. At the first crossing they scattered, and all disappeared as silently as they had arrived on the scene. Not a trace of them can be found this morning.


The bodies of the dead negroes were brought to Walsh's undertaking establishment about 7:30 o'clock this morning. In less than fifteen minutes the place was surrounded by about 200 negroes. All were afraid to talk, however, on account of the near proximity of the whites, but on the edges of the crowd were heard many mutterings and curses. One negro aptly expressed the feelings of the majority of his race by saying:

"If these niggers stand we's done up, suah."

The inquest was held at 10 a. m. and the bodies were then sent to their home at the Curve.

At 10:15 o'clock word reached the city that the negroes were assembling in large numbers at the Curve. Judge Dubose immediately equipped 150 men with Winchesters and they left for the locality.


Sheriff McClenden was seen this morning in his office. He said:

"Yesterday afternoon and again last night I was out in the 'Curve' neighborhood with some of my deputies seeing what I could find out and looking for some negroes who took part in the trouble. i did not get home until 12:30 o'clock last night."

"Had you heard no rumors of trouble being expected?" asked the reporter.

"Not a word. I was at the jail late last night, and I never gave a thought to anything like this. It never entered my mind. If it had this would not have happened. My oath of office compels me to protect prisoners under my charge, and I have always done it."

"Are you going to take any steps towards arresting the ringleaders of the mob?"

"I suppose so. Yes, of course; my oath of office demands it, and I will take a posse out and do all I can."

The following jury was impanelled to hold an inquest on the bodies of the lynched negroes: C. McCormack, Isaac M. Simkins, H. S. Parish, A. E. Hewitt, G. H. Guthrie, M. Kehoe, J. Banan, George Holbus, J. H. Peterson.

The following verdict was rendered:  "We find that the deceased were taken from the Shelby County Jail by a masked mob of men, the men overpowered and taken to an old field and shot by parties unknown by the jury."


All quiet at the Curve on Hemand road. Sheriff's posse of 150 armed men on the ground preserving order. Negroes are there in numbers, making no demonstration and but a few threats of retaliation heard. No danger or disturbance is apprehended before night. It is impossible to say what shape matters may take after dark, but the general belief is that the trouble is over. Great excitement prevails among all classes and the lynching incident is deplored. The mob tried to find the wounded negro, Johnson, alias Shang, who fired the shot which struck Deputy Sheriff Harold, but Johnson was in a cell away from the others, and was not discovered, which saved his life.

A meeting of merchant's at the Exchange is called for to-night to give expression to views concerning the unexpected lynching of the prisoners.

Sheriff McLenden has just arrived from the Curve. He says all is quiet, and no disturbance is expected. Officers are there in sufficient force to arrest rioters at a moment's notice, and to preserve the peace. The members of the lynching party are unknown, but efforts are being made by the authorities to identify them and make arrests.

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