November 24, 2014

Serial Rapist Lynched in Burnside, Pulaski, 1883

Previously:

Click here for a list of my other Pulaski/Rockcastle/Laurel County KY articles

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[November 10, 1883] -

A Ravisher Lynched.

SOMERSET, KY., November 10.-- James Truxtall, charged with a brutal outrage on Mrs. Coomes, a married woman, near Clio [Whitley County], was arrested several days ago and privately taken to be identified by his victim. This was done yesterday. This morning Truxtall's body was found hanging from the Cincinnati Southern Railroad bridge over the Cumberland river. He had been taken from the officers and thus disposed of by a mob. [1]





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[November 10, 1883] -

TROXTILL LYNCHED.
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Kentucky Justice on the Cumberland.
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THE BRUTAL RAVISHER OF A SICK WOMAN
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Gets His Deserts at the Hands of a Kentucky Mob.

SPECIAL TO THE EVENING POST.

SOMERSET, KY., Nov. 10 -- One week ago last Wednesday, Jim Troxtill, a vagrant brute, found Mrs. Scoby Coomer, a young woman recently married, at her home near Clio, ten miles southwest of this place, on the Cumberland river, sick and in bed. Her husband was away at his work, and she was alone in the house. At the point of drawn knife he compelled her to submit to his beastly embraces, and then fled, stealing a canoe and dropping down the river six or eight miles to Mill Springs. Here, fearing pursuit, he left the river, and hid in the woods on the northern shore. Mrs. Coomer's father, Samuel Bryant, gathered a band of resolute men, and searching the woods for a day to find and kill Troxtill, but eventually had to give up the search.

On the following Friday night a mule was stolen from the barn of Smith Cain, about 12 miles west of this place. The next morning, one week ago to-day, another posse started in pursuit of the man and the mule. The search was kept up on Sunday, and from day to day, till Troxtill was found last Thursday night a few miles from here. The capture was kept secret for 24 hours, that the husband and father and other male relatives could be sent for and notified of the line of march to the Somerset jail. The officers started with their man yesterday.

Last night, at the bridge over Cumberland river, the relatives took him from his captors. Rope had been brought along. Short shrift was given. On en of the rope was made fast to the bridge ties and the other was noosed about the neck of the guilty, cowering wretch. He was pushed off the bridge, and after waiting half an hour to assure themselves that there was no hitch in the execution, the avengers quietly dispersed. At daylight this morning his body was found dangling beneath the bridge. After being viewed by the coroner it was cut down.

Troxtill last April finished two-year's term in the penitentiary for a like crime, and this fact no doubt influenced his lynchers in their determination to put him beyond the possibility of a third offense.


LATER--2 P. M.


The latest news from the Cumberland bridge, ten miles south of this place, is to the effect that Troxill was allowed, by the parties who took him, to choose whether he would take his chances for life at thirty yards distance, and let them fire on him, or be hanged. He chose the latter. He was placed upon the ground, the rope fastened about his neck, and he was drawn upward, the rope being tied to the ties of the bridge. His neck was not broken, death being produced by strangulation. No action has been taken yet in regard to the parties who did the hanging, nor is there anything of a certain nature leading to their positive identification. It is the general feeling that he got his just deserts. [2]





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[November 12, 1883] -

Hanged by a Mob.

SOMERSET, Ky., Nov. 11.--James Truxtall, charged with a brutal outrage on Mrs. Coomes, a married woman, near Clio, was arrested several days ago and privately taken to be identified by the victim Saturday. Yesterday morning Truxtall's body was found hanging from the Cincinnati Southern Railroad bridge over the Cumberland River. He had been taken from the officers and thus disposed of by a mob. [3]




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[November 13, 1883] -


HUNG.--About ten days ago James Troxtill, an escaped convict went to the house of Mrs. Coomer, in Pulaski, and with threats of instant death, if she made an outcry, succeeded in violating her person. As soon as the crime became known, a number of the relatives of the lady and others started in pursuit of the scoundrel and after many hardships caught him in Metcalfe county. He was brought back to Burnside, when a mob took him in charge on Friday night and swung him to the Cumberland River Bridge, where he remained till 12 o'clock Saturday. The dispatch says he was hung with a three-eights cotton rope, the knot in which caught under his chin in such a way that suffocation could not take place; so there he hung until terror, pain and exhaustion did the work. It was a terrible death, but one richly deserved. Troxtill has been concerned in several similar crimes in the past. He was sent to the Penitentiary for two years in 1877 for an attempt to ravish the person of Mrs. Matthew Ray, of Wayne county. He served out his time, and was scarcely free before he was sent up again for several years for stealing a horse from his father. While his sentence still lacked nine months of being out he escaped from a railroad contractor who had him and a number of other convicts at work. A young girl near his home at one time had a warrant issued for his arrest on a charge of rape, but for some cause it was not served. He was only twenty-two years of age. [4]












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[1] "A Ravisher Lynched." Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH. November 10, 1883. Page 1. Genealogybank.com. 

[2] "Troxtill Lynched." Cincinnati Post, Cincinnati, OH. November 10, 1883. Page 1. Genealogybank.com.

[3] "Hanged by a Mob." Repository, Canton, OH. November 12, 1883. Page 5. Genealogybank.com.

[4] "Hung." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. November 13, 1883. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1883-11-13/ed-1/seq-3/


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