The Hanging At Sherman

by Barbara Arnold

This story was told to me by Dr. Hubbard Needham, a prominent citizen of Grant County. The time was the early part of the last decade of the nineteenth century. 

At that time there was a little saloon in Dry Ridge across from what is now Point's Serve Station. The saloon was the meeting place for a majority of the townspeople. The owner of the saloon also owned some very fine horses, and one morning he discovered that one of his horses had been stolen; a year later, another horse disappeared.

The Williamstown marshal suspected a former Sherman boy, then living in Indiana, to be the thief. A month after the second horse was stolen, the marshal went to Indiana and arrested the man he suspected. He and the prisoner got on the train in Cincinnati to return to Williamstown. When the train stopped in Sherman, several masked men jumped aboard and took the prisoner right out of the marshal's hands. The led him to a hollow down near Sherman Lake. Here they hanged him to a locust tree and left him there to die-about a hundred yards from the very house where he was born.

Mr. Needham said that he can still remember the day he looked out the school window toward the Williamstown cemetery and saw a few people with umbrellas over their heads standing by the man's grave in a downpour of rain. Only about six people had attended the burial service for the man whose life had been taken for just two horses.


From a collection of essays written in American Literature Eleven.  The class was taught by Ms. Hazel Ogden of Grant County High School in the 1963-1964 school year, and was typed by the typing classes of Mrs. Mattie Cox.  It is copyrighted by the Grant County Schools, and is used here with their kind permission. We found a copy in UK's King Library.