The majority of people in any society are law-abiding citizens.  But every society has a small percentage who commit crimes against other members of that society at least once.  In some instances the types of crimes committed have evolved with social values and technical progress.  The same can be said of the punishment meted out to those who break the law.  In today's "civilized" world the murderer is not stoned to death, nor is the thief's hand cut off.  Some of Ohio's criminals and the crimes they committed will appear in this section of the Ohio ALHN.  You might also learn what punishment they received.  One thing is certain, many of those appearing here were among society's blackest sheep.

This will be an ongoing project.
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  • If you have a Web site that fits this category and you would like to have me provide a link to that site--send a message to the Email address below.
  • If you have a criminal ancestor whose story you would like to tell, or if you know of a person who qualifies to be listed in this section, please, send a message to me at

  • International Black Sheep Society for those who have a black sheep ancestor.

    Ohio Lynchings
    Ohio Murders
    Ohio Executions, 1793 through 1963
    Portaits of The Executed 1897-Present
    Ohio Penetentiary
    Murder of Penitentiary Guard Charles B. Lauderbaugh (November 18, 1898)
    Ohio Penitentiary Fire Victims
    Early History (See also Early Institutions--Ohio Penitentiary)
    Ohio Penitentiary Wardens 1815-1984
    (NOTE: The last four were in charge of the facility after it had ceased to function
    as the primary penal institution in the state.)

    The Ohio Penitentiary
    Death of a Legend
    Inside the Pen
    Ohio Department of Rehabiltation and Corrections


    *The first five were called "Keepers."
    James KOOKEN 1815-22 Nathaniel MERION 1862-64 T. H. B. JONES 1909-13
    Barzilla WRIGHT 1822-23 John A. PRENTICE 1864-66 Preston E. THOMAS 1913-35
    Nathaniel MCLEAN 1823-30 Charles C. WALCUTT 1866-69 J. C. WOODARD 1935-39
    Byram LEONARD 1830-32 Raymond BURR 1869-72 F. D. HENDERSON 1939-48
    William M. GAULT 1832-34 G. S. INNIS 1872-75 R. W. ALVIS 1948-59
    Nathaniel MEDBURY 1834-38 John G. GROVE 1876-78 B. C. SACKS 1959-61
    W. B. VAN HOOK 1838-41 J. B. MCWHORTER 1878-79 E. L. MAXWELL 1961-68
    Richard STADDEN 1843-46 B. F. DYER 1879-80 M. J. KOLOSKI 1968-68
    John PATTERSON 1843-46 Noah THOMAS 1880-84 H. J. CARDWELL 1968-73
    Laurin DEWEY 1846-50 Isaac PEETRY 1884-86 L. G. RIDENOUR 1973-73
    D. W. BROWN 1850-52 E. G. COFFIN 1886-90 As Correctional Medical Center
    A. G. DIMMOCK 1852-54 B. F. DYER 1890-92 S. M. PATTERSON 1973-1976
    Samuel WILSON 1854-55 C. C. JAMES 1892-96 As Correctional Medical & Reception Center
    J. B. BUTTLE 1855-56 E. G. COFFIN 1896-00 N. E. KETTE 1976-1978
    John EWING 1856-58 Wm. N. DARBY 1900-03 As Columbus Correctional Facility
    L. G. VAN SLYKE 1868-60 Edward A. HERSHEY 1903-04 D. R. MCKEEN 1978-80
    John A. PRENTICE 1860-62 O. B. GOULD 1904-09 L. G. RIDENOUR 1980-84

    For excellent background information, both historical and contemporary, about this subject see Rob Gallagher's site, Before the Needles.

    For those who are curious about the term Lynch Law I offer the following found in The Portsmouth Times, Portsmouth, Ohio, June 30, 1860, page 4:
    The origin of this term may be found in Historical Recollections of Virginia, by Henry Howe. This is an extract:

    Colonel Charles Lynch, a brother of the founder of Lynchburg, Va., was an officer of the American Revolution.—His residence was on the Staunton road, in the south-west part of this (Campbell) county, now the seat of his grandson, Charles Henry Lynch, Esq. At that time this country was very thinly settled, and infested by a lawless band of Tories and desperadoes. The necessity of the case involved desperate measures, and Colonel Lynch, then a leading Whig, apprehended and had them punished without any superfluous legal ceremony. Hence the origin of the term, "Lynch Law." This practice of Lynching continued years after the war, and was applied to many cases of mere suspicion of guilt, which could not be regularly proven.—"In 1792," says Wirt's Life of Henry, "there were many suits on the south side of [the] James River for inflicting Lynch's law."
    Listed below are are some of the twenty-six (26) documented lynchings that took place in Ohio.  I have tried to locate and present information about these victims of illegal executions (lynchings) that occurred in Ohio, and I will continue trying to locate additional victims and information.
    William "Old Bill" TERRY, lynched, Manchester Township, Adams County, 22 November 1856

    Absalom KIMBLE & Andrew McCLOUD (possibly a third man) lynched, Celina, Mercer County, 9 July 1872

    Jeff. DAVIS (AKA John MILLER) lynched Ragersville, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, 20 July 1873

    James SCHELL/SHELL lynched Bellefontaine, Logan County, 4 September 1875

    William TAYLOR, lynched in Erie County on 4 September 1878

    Christopher C. DAVIS lynched Athens, Athens County, Ohio, 21 November 1881

    Albert GUEST lynched New Straitsville, Perry County, Ohio, 22 May 1885

    William BALES lynched Kenton, Hardin County, Ohio, 9 April 1892

    Henry CORBIN lynched Oxford, Butler County, Ohio, 14 January 1892

    An unidentified black man lynched Millersburg, Holmes County, Ohio, 1 April 1892

    Roscoe PARKER lynched West Union, Adams County, Ohio, 12 January 1894

    Seymour NEWLIN (AKA Seymour NEVILLE) lynched Rushsylvania, Logan County, Ohio, 15 April 1894

    Noah ANDERSON lynched New Richmond, Clermont County, Ohio, 21 August 1895

    Charles MITCHELL lynched Urbana, Champaign County, Ohio, 4 June 1897

    Richard DICKERSON lynched Springfield, Clark County, Ohio, 7 March 1904

    Luke MARION lynched Ironton, Lawrence County, Ohio, 11 June 1932

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