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Ohio Lynchings: Roscoe Parker

The Columbus Dispatch
Friday, January 12, 1894, page 1
Transcribed by

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Roscoe Parker, a Colored Boy, Hanged in Adams County.

The best People of the Community Composed the Mob—The Dead Youth's Crime.

Winchester, O., Jan. 12,—Roscoe Parker was lynched by a mob this morning. He was a young colored man. Parker's crime was a diabolical and heartless one, it being the murder of an aged couple named Ryan. In confessions that he made Parker implicated Sam Johnson, his half brother. The Ryans were both old people. Mrs. Ryan had been an invalid for some time, being scarcely able to leave her room. Mr. Ryan had been a cripple for years. To have deprived them of the small pittance in their possession at their advanced age, without murder, would have been a comparatively easy task, which was believed to show that the deed was committed by some person or persons, know and recognized by the victims, and the killing was to cover the lesser crime of robbery.

Another Account.

Cincinnati, O.,—Roscoe Parker, the colored boy who, four weeks ago last Sunday night, brutally murdered the aged Mr. Ryan and his wife, was hanged by a mob of the best citizens of Winchester and adjacent points in Adams county, O., at 1 o'clock this morning, about four miles from Winchester.

Their murder was for money and only $10 was obtained. Parker, the murderer, was only sixteen years old, and has worked for the old couple, and had known of Mr. Ryan receiving money for the sale of some stock. The boy confessed his crime, but implicated Same Johnson, Who easily proved his innocence.

Lynching was threatened and Parker was taken to Portsmouth for safekeeping. Meantime, the spirit of vengeance did not sleep. Secret organization was had, and when it was learned yesterday that Sheriff Dunlap on his way from Athens would bring Parker to Adams county for a preliminary hearing and would keep him over night in the West Union Jail, messengers were sent out and a band of 400 men met at the Pan Handle crossing and rode to West Union. At the jail they tried the ruse of pretending they had a prisoner, but Sheriff Dunlap seeing a mask, shut the door and fastened it securely.

The mob used force, and despite the Sheriff's manly defense soon had Parker and were on their way toward Winchester. The colored boy still maintained that Johnston did the murder and finally when the place of execution was reached and the rope was around his neck, he said he was not at the place of murder that night and could tell nothing whatever about it. He refused to pray and was hanged after one or two efforts by the somewhat unskillful executioners, who left him after firing bullets into his body.

The Columbus Dispatch
Saturday, January 1, 1894, page 1


One of Parker's Lynchers Driven to Suicide by Remorse.

Special to THE DISPATCH.

Winchester, O., Jan. 13.—A remarkable suicide was committed near here last night. Jesse Prewell, a well-to-do bachelor farmer, blew his head off with a shot gun after writing a letter which said that remorse for having helped to lynch young Parker, the colored murderer, the night before, had driven him to the deed.

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