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November 2, 2013

Lynchings, Hangings and Died In Custody in Warrensburg, Missouri, Johnson County History

Hangings in Warrensburg - Johnson County, MO
Still Compiling. Over 20 known.

G. P. Wright, Williard Hadley, John Reilly
Warrensburg, MO - Johnson County Hangings

The Kansas City Bulletin of July 27, 1872 say: James Sharpe, who murdered John Erskine near Warrensburg (Missouri), was taken from the jail by a mob on Thursday about midnight, and hanged, the mob was about 300 strong and went at the work undisguised. The Sheriff attempted to resist, but the men told him that they respected him and his motives, but Sharpe must die. They accordingly made a breach in the walls, battered down the door of the cell and took Sharpe out to a tree about a mile and a half from old Warrensburg. 

Lynchings were common in and around Warrensburg during this time. 

After the rope had been adjusted Sharpe was asked if he had anything to say and replied by confessing to the murder of Erskine and denying the killing of Gallagher, whose death he was accused o! causing. In answer to a question he answered that he was ready to die. The rope was then hauled up over the limb of the tree, and in a few minutes he was dead. He died game. Many of the most respectable men in Warrensburg were in the affair. The work was done quietly, and the mob dispersed to their homes after it was all over the body was given to his family.
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 43, Number 6662, 9 August 1872 
Another Lynching
The Vigilance Committee in Johnson County hung Stephens and Andrews, two notorious outlaws, at Warrensburg yesterday. Several farmers residing in the vicinity of Warrensburg supposed to be connected with a band of horse thieves, were arrested by the Vigilance Committee and lodged in jail. 
Daily Alta California, Volume 19, Number 6283, 28 May 1867

1878 A MURDER RECALLED. (An Innocent Man Hung)
Away back in the year 1878 a mover who was traveling in a wagon through the country, was found murdered on the Pilkington farm near Sedalia. A man named Daniels was arrested, took a change of venue, was tried at Warrensburg, and hanged there in 1878. A strenuous effort was made to save the condemned man from the gallows and till the last moment he protested his innocence. This afternoon Sheriff Smith showed a Bazoo reporter a letter of inquiry from a sheriff in a distant state, saying he can locate a man whom he thinks committed the mysterious murder. The location from which the letter was written and the name of the sheriff who wrote it withheld for obvious reasons. The Sedalia weekly bazoo., March 17, 1891, Page 6, Image 6
His Views Upon Christianity, Etc
Wm. Daniel arrived on the morning train from Warrensburg, in custody of Sheriff Emmerson and Deputy Rogers, to be incarcerated in the Pettis county jail for safe keeping. Here he will remain until taken to Warrensburg to be hanged, on the first of February, unless the Supreme court decides his trial illegal, or the Governor interferes the latter extremely improbable.
A great many had heard that Daniel would
this morning, and when he was received and marched off to the jail by Sheriffs Murray and Emmerson and the deputies, a large crowd followed them through the streets to get a glimpse of the prisoner. He could be easily distinguished, for although handcuffed, he stood erect and defiant, crowned by a broad-brimmed slouch hat, and walking as firm as if going to a feast instead of the strong iron cell which must be his home until he is summoned to the halter. When he arrived he recognized Sheriff Murray with a smile and appeared to be very glad to see him. Sheriff Emmerson informs us that Daniel is very reticent, but voluntarily told that officer that if he Daniel did kill Miller as accused, he ought to be hung up and never taken down, and that he had always been Miller's best friend, and that Miller had told him things he would tell no one else. So Sunday Rev. Mr. Sharp a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, visited the prisoners in charge of Sheriff Emmerson. There were present, as follows: Daniel, convicted and sentenced for murder. James Devine, sentenced to two years in the penitentiary for assault with the intent to kill. Miles Murphy, sentenced to two years in the penitentiary for grand larceny. The sheriff introduced the reverend gentleman to the prisoners and explained his mission. Mr. Sharp
and entered into conversation with him on religious matters and the serious position in which he stood. Daniel said he believed in the existence of a God and the Savior; that he had been raised to respect religion, etc. When asked about his hopes of heaven, he frankly replied that he had none, for, to be forgiven one must forgive, and he would never forgive two men Lacy and Kitterman. "These men," said he, "have sworn away my life, and I never wish to see them only as dead." When the minister 'offered up prayer, Daniel bowed his head upon a chair, while the other prisoners knelt upon the
floor. Daniel says he has.
against any one else connected with his trial. He believes Mr. Hurt was honest in his convictions, and swore to what he believed to be the truth; but he was mistaken, Mr. Hurt never saw him north of Sedalia. We are informed that Daniel refuses to allow his photograph to be taken, saying he would be dead if he was going to leave any thing behind him. He sticks to it that he is innocent, and said he believed that the whole
but not in time in do him any good. He also seems firm in his conviction that he will never be hung, but whether he hopes to avoid the gallows by executive clemency, escape or suicide, is only known to his self. Sheriff Emmerson says, that while in his charge, he has had Daniel ironed and constantly guarded, day and night. It is his opinion that he will have to hang Daniel, and says although it will be to him a very disagreeable duty, he will take such precautions that Daniel will have no opportunity for escape or suicide, and that he shall carry out to the fullest extent the instructions of the law.
Sheriff, Murray, too, says that he intends to keep Daniel perfectly safe as long as he is in his custody, so the prisoner has little hopes of life save by some Providential interposition in his behalf. While Rev. Mr. Sharp was
he asked Murphy if he did not believe he had been guilty of a crime. 'Oh, yes," said Murphy, "a very heinous crime. ''You ought to pray for forgiveness," said the reverend gentleman. ''How do you expect to be forgiven ?" By God Almighty, through the intercession of Jesus Christ," promptly responded Murphy. The prisoner expressed his opinion of the justice of his punishment,mand was anxious to
as he expressed it. Sheriff Emmerson says he feels rather sorry for Devine, whom he describes as rather a simple fellow, but not at all bad at heart. Devine got on a spree at Holden, and thinking that a man was imposing upon him, he cut him with a knife. This officer is of the opinion that although he believes Daniel to be guilty, the latter will
that guilt unless it is at the last moment, when he feels the fatal noose around his throat. The Sedalia weekly bazoo., December 25, 1877
John William Daniel for the murder of Joseph Miller in February 1877, was hanged at Warrensburg Mo., March 1, 1878 The execution was public, thousands witnessing it, being a very interesting entertainment to the average Missourian. Nebraska advertiser, March 07, 1878
1892  At Warrensburg, Mo, Charles Banks (colored) was hanged for the murder of Isaac Palmer, another negro, on August 29, 1892. 
Charles Banks
Superstition created a minor uproar in Warrensburg back in 1892 when rumors spread about the theft of Charles Banks’ body. Banks, a murderer who was executed right here in Warrensburg, was thought to have his corpse stolen by body snatchers. The sunken condition of the grave only led to further speculation. Investigators were able to dispel town hearsay by digging up the grave of Banks and swearing on record to the discovery of a decomposing, and a horrible smelling body.  
Warren Sheaf., January 04, 1894
Died in Custody
Warrensburg. Mo., Dec 3. W. W. McKibben of Knob Noster, Mo, who was brought here yesterday to have a court pass on his sanity, hanged himself this morning; with a blanket in a cell In the County Jail. He was 79 years of age. He had worried over financial affairs. The St. Louis Republic., December 10, 1901, Page 9
Hangings in Johnson County 1875-1895
(The legal hangings)
Isaacs, Richard, White, Male, Farm Laborer, Murder-Robbery, Hanging, January 25, 1878
Core, Joseph, White, Male, Farmer, Murder, Hanging, March 5, 1880
Bateman, Oliver, White, Male, Farm Laborer, Murder-Rape, Hanging, November 21, 1884
Collins, Samuel, White, Male, unknown occupation, Murder, Hanging, August 28, 1885
Wilson, Samuel, Black, Male, unknown occupation, Murder, Hanging, January 12, 1894
Nalskey, Charles aka (Hamilton, Charley (Charlie)), white, Male, age 27, porter, ex-con, Murder-Robbery, Hanging July 11, 1884
Aultman, Ed. aka, Hamilton, William "Billie", White, Male, ex-con, Murder-Robbery, Hanging, July 11, 1884
VIGILANTE LYNCHINGS AND KILLINGS in Johnson County, Missouri...those we know about....
Little, Thomas "Tom", white, male, bank robber, lynched in Warrensburg, Missouri, by the Ming Hotel and Train depot (most likely), 22 May,1867, just after he was involved in the Hughes and Wesson Bank robbery in Richmond, Missouri. 
Link to a picture and story about Tom Little
Jeff Collins was a notorious character that lived in Warrensburg. It was believed he was associated with the Dick Sanders gang. The committee thought Collins was acting suspiciously so they started a watch. Nearing sunset as he made his way home, word was sent to a group of men that hid around his house. They approached him and he was ordered to surrender and drop his gun, which he did. They took him to livery stable of the Ming Hotel. They held a kangaroo court and accused him of being part of the gang and had been causing trouble and robbing. Collins knowing his time was near refused to give them the satisfaction of saying much. He was found guilty without any real proof of wrongdoing; they took him out Culton Street east to Maguire, not to far south of the railroad bridge and hung him. (About where the school is today)
Two individuals, one Thomas Stephens's son of Bill Stephens and the other Morg. Andrews considered involved with the Sanders gang, were found in jail in Lawrence, Kansas. They were sent for and upon arriving in Warrensburg, a lynch mob got them from the jail and hanged them. One hundred fifty men went out to join Fayetteville men and marched to Dick Sanders home. Dick Sanders was identified as one of the murderers.  At Dick Sanders' house they surrounded it and got Sanders to surrender. They took Dick Sanders, Brackett Sanders (his brother) and another person to a place about a mile north of the house, in the woods, on Honey creek, where the execution took place.