Most Extraordinary Transaction

Most Extraordinary Transaction - Summary Execution


The facts that a drover of Kentucky, named [John] Utterback, had been nearly murdered and robbed, and that two men named Maythe and Couch had been arrested on suspicion of being the perpetrators of the outrage, have already been published.  Both the accused have already fallen victims of popular wrath, by execution, without trial or even indictment, and while their victim was still alive, and the possibility of his recovery still existed.  These extraordinary facts were communicated to the Postmaster, at Cincinnati, by a highly respectable citizen of Kentucky, who had the details of the transaction from several persons who witnessed them, in the following letter. - Boston Courier.

Williamstown, Ky., July 11, 1841.  To postmaster, Cincinnati: - Dear Sir, - the unfortunate men. Liman Crouch and Smith Maythe, were taken out of jail on Saturday, about 12 o'clock and taken to the ground where they committed the deed on Utterback, and at four o'clock were hung on the tree where Utterback lay when his throat was cut.  The jail was opened by force. I suppose there was from four to seven hundred people engaged in it; resistance was all in vain.  They allowed the prisoners the privilege of Clergy for about five hours, and they observed that they had made their peace with their God, and they were deserved to die.  The mob was conducted with coolness and order, more so than I have heard of on such occasions.  But such a day was never witnessed in our little village, and I hope never will be again.  They were buried in the ground; Couch requested his friends take him to Cincinnati and bury him.


This is a single news clipping from an unknown newspaper.  The Boston Courier cited in the article is undoubtedly the paper from which this paper got the story, but the Boston paper is certainly reprinting an article from a third paper - all of which was standard operating procedure for newspapers at the time. 

The incident referred to here is also repeated in the Elliston's Centennial history of Grant County, and in the excerpts from Collins' History of Kentucky that pertain to Grant County.