since the murder of Grow there have been continuous threats of,
mobbing the accused, and it was talked on the streets of Monroe
City last Saturday that a mob would visit Paris for the purposed
of avenging the murder of young Grow.
morning Witherup was arraigned before Judge Eby and his trial set
for June 30. It had been rumored that a mob would be ready to take
him from the officers as he was being taken from the jail to the
Courthouse, but the officers eluded it by having him arraigned at
the early hour of 8 a.m., before the arrival of the men in town.
This, together with the postponement of the trial, until such a
late date, so incensed Grow’s friends that they decided to lynch
has so often been delayed or never meted out that the friends and
relatives of the murdered man decided to administer what they
deemed justice. Sheriff Clark and deputies Clark and Masterson
were apprised of the coming of the mob and stationed themselves at
the jail at an early hour Saturday night. By 11 o’clock the
streets were thronged with people from the surrounding country and
it was plain to be seen that they meant to get Witherup, even if
they had to tear down the jail to do so.
Grow, father of the murdered boy, went to the Sheriff and demanded
the keys, saying that the crowd did not desire trouble nor to hurt
anyone, but that they intended to have Witherup at any cost. The
Sheriff refused to deliver the keys and pleaded with them to let
the law take its course. For several hours the Sheriff with his
assistants stood at the door of the jail with drawn revolvers and
succeeded in keeping back the crowd, and it seemed that the mob
would have t give up.
heads tried to reason with Mr. Grow, the murdered man’s father,
who seemed to be the leader, but to no avail. They secured sledge
hammers and iron bars from a blacksmith shop and marched boldly to
the jail. Not one of the number was masked nor tried in any way to
conceal his identity. The officers who stood guard at the jail
were overpowered and divested of their fire arms. The mob failed
to secure the keys as the Sheriff had previously hid them. The
locks and hinges soon yielded to the heavy blows of the sledge
hammers and within a few minutes the mob was within the jail and
at work upon the door of the cell in which was confined the man
who was so soon to meet his fate.
breaking into the cell Witherup coolly told the sheriff to give up
the keys, as they would break in anyhow. It did not take long to
force an entrance to Witherup’s cell. A large rope was
immediately place around the murderer’s neck. Jas. H.
Whitecotton made an earnest plea, imploring the men for the sake
of the fair name of Monroe county, themselves, their families and
justice to let the law be carried out. The mob was deaf to his
appeal, was powerful and determined, and the officers and
Whitecotton were powerless to check it. It swept by Whitecotton
and out into the street with Witherup, a rope dangling around his
angry crowd proceeded down Main street about a quarter of a mile
to the Palmyra Ford, where a large iron bridge spans Salt river.
One end of the rope was tied to a large iron railing and Witherup
was given the privilege of saying anything or making any
confession he desired and of praying. He stated that he had
nothing to say and no further confession to make, and that he had
been trying to pray during his confinement in jail.
reply to questions asked him by Grow, he said that he and Will
Grow were fighting when he killed him; that they had had trouble
the day of the murder and that on the night of the killing he
(Grow) got mad because Witherup would not accompany him to the
home of Wm. Gray. Witherup said that he killed Grow in
self-defense and did not know how many times he struck him, but
was positive that he did not kill him the first time. Witherup
said he did not know what became of Grow’s watch and money, and
denied that he had killed a boy in Kansas.
was the most composed man in the crowd, and talked as quietly and
rationally as though he was speaking in private conversation. He
was not nervous or excited in the least, did not beg or plead for
anything whatever, but met death bravely and without evidence of
fear. After he was done speaking, his hands and arms were tied
behind him and he was ordered to get upon the railing and jump
off. He replied very calmly that he could not do so with his feet
tied. He was lifted up and placed on the top railing, where he sat
for a moment.
exactly 2 a.m. Stephen Grow, the dead boy’s father, gave
Witherup a push which sent him far out into the air and into
eternity. He died a painless death and did not make a struggle as
his neck was broken in the fall. For some time his body swung to
and fro like a pendulum, and he hung in the air between the bridge
and the river until 8 o’clock in the morning, when the Coroner,
Doctor Johnson, of Madison, arrived. He immediately summoned a
jury, and went at once to the scene and then ordered the body cut
down and removed to the Court house, where the corpse was embalmed