In the weeks leading up to the hanging of Clifton Branham in Wise, Va., in 1903, the doomed man spent hours writing about his life.
Clifton was born on Cabin Branch in Letcher County, Ky., in 1861.
“It was the year the Civil War broke out that I was born,” Clifton wrote. “Two of my brothers were in the war. My father was a farmer but when the war came along it got him into it too. He was captured and taken to Camp Chase. He was kept there until the end of the war.” Continue reading Life and times of Clifton Branham, part 2
Branham last man hanged in Wise County, Va.
There wasn’t much suspense leading up to Clifton Branham’s trial for killing his wife. There were eye witnesses to the shooting and even Clifton admitted to the killing.
Clifton was a guitar player and Wise County Sheriff Wilburn Killen allowed him to have his guitar in jail. He played it often in the weeks leading up to his hanging. When he wasn’t picking the guitar he was busy writing. Unlike his incarceration in the Kentucky State Prison in Frankfort where he became a heavy reader, Clifton spent a lot of his time in the Wise County jail with pen in hand. Continue reading The Life and Times of Clifton Branham
In the early morning hours of October 18, 1918, American forces in the French forest of Argonne were in a nearly impossible position.
The American offensive was attempting to push through the German defense to the Decauville Railroad, a major supply artery to the motherland.
As the sun burned away the morning mist, the “All America” 82nd Division was bombarded by artillery and heavy fire from entrenched German machine guns lining the tops of hills in three directions. Continue reading Sgt. Alvin York – East Tennessee Sharpshooter
Alonzo Walling went on trial for the murder of Pearl Bryan on May 20, 1896, following the conviction of his accomplice Scott Jackson. Walling became Jackson’s worst enemy after they were captured, pointing out evidence sufficient to hang Jackson.
“One night a bunch of us dental students were drinking at Wallingford’s Tavern and Scott asked the group what poison would be the quickest in killing someone,” Walling told detectives. “The students mentioned three alternatives, hydrocyanic acid, prussic acid or a large dose of cocaine. He chose cocaine because he could buy it legally without a prescription and it was accessible right around the corner at Koeble’s.” Continue reading Pearl Bryan didn’t deserve it! conclusion
Pearl’s cousin, Will Wood, was arrested not long after the apprehension of Jackson and Walling. He proved to be a wealth of information for the police, providing more incriminating evidence against Scott Jackson and his activities that led to her death.
Wood was a medical student in South Bend, Indiana where he met Jackson prior to his transfer to Cincinnati. Wood’s parents lived in Greencastle as did Jackson’s mother.
After interrogating Jackson, Walling and Wood, the investigative team had a good idea of what happened but still needed to gather evidence for the prosecution. Continue reading Pearl Bryan didn’t deserve it! part seven