FRANK GILBERT & MERRICK ROSENGRANTS
Leadville, 29 – Frank Gilbert and Merrick Rosengrants were hanged this
morning in the presence of about 7,000 people. Rosengrants declared his
innocence, while Gilbert claimed self-defense. Everything went off quietly.
(Salt Lake Herald, Saturday Morning, July 30, 1881, front page)
FRANKLIN FOSTER & HENRY STONE
Execution of Franklin Foster and Henry Stone for the Murder of Isaac H.
Today the 24th of May, Franklin Foster, 20 years of age, born in
Stoddard county, Missouri and Henry Stone, 21 years of age born in Perryville,
Perry County, Missouri, both members of the 19th Missouri Cavalry,
in obedience to the sentence of Judge gale, of the District Court, were
executed in this city, for the murder of Isaac H. Augustus and – Sluman, near
the Junction House in the Platte, about 100 miles east of this place, on
January 5th, 1866. Foster has made a free and full confession of his
guilty, and in it implicates Stone. Stone also made a confession, denying any
connection with the murder for which he is executed, but admits his guilt of
the confession of four other murders of men in the States.
All the forenoon, vehicles of all descriptions have been arriving from the
country, loaded with men, women, and children, doubtless drawn here to witness
The Gallows, with all its horrid paraphernalia, was erected at the foot of
the low bluff overlooking Cherry creek, near the southern boundary of the city,
in plain view of standing room for thousands upon thousands of spectators.
Adjoining the fatal engine of death, a platform was raised for the
accommodation of the officers, clergy, and members of the press.
The Prisoners, Foster has been attended until yesterday by Rev. Mr. Potter,
a Baptist minister, but at the prisoner’s request Rev. Father Macheboeuf,
Catholic, was then called, and since been ministering to his spiritual welfare,
until this forenoon when Rev. Mr. Clark, a Baptist clergyman was called. Rev.
Mr. McClure was ministering to Stone. We are informed by Mr. Haskel, the
Jailer, that they both slept soundly last night. This morning Stone ate a
hearty breakfast, but Foster declined eating until consultation with his
At one o’clock the prisoners were taken from the jail in a closed carriage
to the place of execution, accompanied by Deputy Sheriff Bailey, Deputy U. S.
Marshal Earl and Jailor Haskel. We are told that on the way they showed the
utmost indifference, even joking each other upon their impending fate. They
were neatly dressed in a new suit of clothes, consisting of black pants, white
shirts, brown linen coats and slippers.
At The Gallos, they moved up the steps without a quivering muscle and indeed
preserved the same stoical indifference until the fatal trap dropped from under
them. They were accompanied to the platform by Sheriff Sopris and officers,
Rova, McClure, Potter and Clark. Rev. Mr. McClure read some passage of
scripture, the hymn commencing “Rock of Ages,” and addressed the Throne of grace
behalf of Henry Stone, and Mr. Clark on behalf of Foster.
The following questions were asked of Foster:
Q: Do you trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, and in Him alone? Ans.: I do.
Q. Do you hope for resurrection and eternal life through Jesus Christ, our
Lord? Ans.: I do.
Q. Do you feel that you have accepted Christ as your Savior, and die with a
simple trust in his stoning blood? Ans.: I do.
Q. Do you still adhere to your published confession? Ans.: As far as made it
is all true.
Questions of the same purport were propositioned to Stone, and answered in
the same manner.
In reply to the questions of Rev. McClure, Stone had nothing further to say
in relation to his confession.
In 4 minutes after the drop fell, the pulsations of stone were yet distinct,
while those of Foster were trifle stronger than natural. In 6 minutes the heart
of Stone had nearly ceased beating. In 7 minutes they were both perfectly
unconscious and dying fast. In 0 minutes the straps were removed from their
arms, and at 9 minutes to 2 after they had hung 17 minutes they were both
pronounced death and were cut down.
There was probably not less than 3000 spectators present, who were very
quiet a more orderly and well behaved
crowd was never seen together in any country. Not a loud remark or an action calculated
to mar the solemnity of the occasion from any one. Lieut. Williams was on the
ground with his Company, “B” of the 6th U.M., which surrounded a
small space round the gallows and the space enclosing the gallows. After the
prisoners were cut down the vast crowd dispersed in the same orderly manner
that they had witnessed the solemn validation of the laws, which spoke volumes
for the good sense and lives of law and order of our people.
Rev. Mr. Clark informs us that Foster confessed to him that he had murdered
a man in Dillon, Missouri, about seventeen months since.
We hear that Stone has made another confession to his spiritual adviser, but
we have been unable to see Mr. McClure since the execution to learn the truth
of the matter. (Rocky Mountain News Weekly, May 30, 1866)
HOWARD ROYSTON & GEORGE ABSHIER
Royston and Abshier Are Resigned to Fate
Canon City, July 18 – Howard L. Royston and George Abshier, members of the
Lamar bank robbery gang, were resigned today as they faced execution tonight at
the state penitentiary. Barring a remote possibility that a reprieve might be
granted at the last moment, the execution will be held sometime tonight. Their
only hope for deferring the death sentence lies in willingness to tell
everything they may know of unlawful enterprises in which they or the Fleagle
brothers, Ralph and Jake may have engaged.
Word from the prison indicated they refused to tell officers anything
concerning any crime outside of the hold up of the First National bank of Lamar
in May 1928, in connection with which four men were killed. Ralph Fleagle was
executed last week for his part in the Lamar robbery and Jake Fleagle is the
object of a nation wide search as the fourth member of the gang.
Canon City, Colo., July 17 – Possibility that the execution of Howard L.
Royston and George J. Abshier, Lamar bank bandits, would be postponed for
several days arose late today when Ralph Carr, U.S. district attorney, and a postal
inspector, had been closeted with the condemned pair for several hours.
Carr was understood to be trying to get the pair to “come clean,” on several
holdups and robberies alleged to have been perpetrated by the Fleagle brothers
and of which Carr apparently believed Royston and Abshier had knowledge.
The chance that the execution of the two would be postponed was held,
however, to be only remote. Reports trickling from the conference room
indicated that Royston and Abshier were playing for time in a grim game in
which they held the trump cards.
The executions tentatively have been fixed for tomorrow night. (The Greeley
Daily Tribune and The Greeley Republican, Friday, July 18, 1930)
ALBERT NOBLE, WM. HOLT & ENOCICO ROMERO
The Murderers of Policeman Solomon Pay the Penalty Last Night
City, June 26 – The first triple hanging in the history of Colorado
occurred at 8:30 tonight when Albert Noble, Wm. Holt and Enocicio
Romero, the murderers of Policeman Solomon in Trinidad paid the penalty
of their crime on the gallows. The men had used every effort known to
the law to escape the death penalty and when the last appeal failed
them they took their fate very differently. Holt was an American 22
years old, and when he found he must die he lost never completely, even
losing control of his vocal organs during the past few days.
Noble it was different. He was an Englishman 35 years of age and the
shadow of the gallows did not seem to worry him in the least.
Romero, who was a Mexican 38 years old, feared death, and sought consultation in religion.
the critical moment arrived all three men displayed wonderful nerve and
walked firmly to the death chamber. The nooses were arranged around
their necks and at 8:32 the weight fell and the three men shot up in
the air. There was a momentary struggle and then the bodies swung
quiet. At the end of fifteen minutes the physicians pronounced the men
dead and the bodies were taken down.
An autopsy showed that the neck was broken in each case and death must have been instantaneous.
crime for which the three men suffered the death penalty was committed
in the city of Trinidad one night in November 1895. The three men had
planned to rob the Horse Shoe gambling house when Solomon, a policeman
put in an appearance and intercepted them. The trio was armed to the
teeth and when Solomon called a halt on their operations, one of the
number, presumably Noble, shoved his gun into the officer’s face
without a word of warning and fired, killing him instantly. They then
made their escape but were afterwards run down and captured. (Aspen
Daily Times, June 27, 1896, front page)
THOMAS JORDAN & PETER AUGUSTA
Execution at Canon
Jordan and Augusta Hanged at 8:30 o’clock Last Night
Jordan’s Courage Deserts Him
Slayer of Foreman August Gelsin Has to Be Carried to the Execution Room
– Peter Augusta Demeanor In Marked Contrast to That of His
Fellow-Murderer-Sustained by Considerable Fortitude and Meets Death
Philosophically – Former Executions.
Canon City, May 11 – Thomas
Jordan and Peter Augusta were hanged at 8:30 o’clock tonight, the
execution passing off without a hitch. All day the prison officials
remained silent as to when the execution would occur, and the strictest
secrecy was maintained as to the plans for the fatal moment. Up to the
very last Jordan paid but little attention to anything or anybody and
reiterated the assertion that he wanted either a full pardon or to be
executed. In the place of the murderous and dangerous ruffian who so
brutally murdered the inoffensive August Gelsin, there was a trembling
shaking wretch, who, when the hour for the expiation for his crime was
at hand, had to be carried to the few steps to the execution house.
Augusta presented a marked contrast to his fellow murderer. While not
possessing half the education of Jordan he appeared to be sustained by
considerable fortitude. He talked rationally and awaited his end
philosophically. He abandoned all hope of interference as was ready to
meet his doom to the very last. Augusta stuck to his story of how he
killed Harry Sullivan, claiming self defense, and that he went to the
woman’s house where the tragedy occurred at her request. He claimed
that after getting there he refused to enter, but finally yielded. When
Sullivan came at him he thought he had been enticed there to be robbed,
and seizing a pair of scissors killed the man in self defense.
gallows used had previously executed the following murderers and never
failed to give complete satisfaction: Aoverto Grego, November 8, 1890;
James T. Joyce, January 17, 1891, William C. Davis, September 22, 1891;
Charles William Smith, December 1, 1891, and Thomas Lawton, May 6,
1892. With the exception of the invited guests, the execution was in
private, and all present are sworn to strict secrecy. The law which
governs executions is most stringent. The penalty for divulging any of
the details is a fine of from $50 to $500 and imprisonment of from
thirty days to six months, or both, at the discretion of the court. The
passage of this law is on account of the disgraceful scene which
occurred at the public execution of Andy Greene, the negro murdered, in
Denver. On that occasion the entire population of Denver turned out,
and the disgraceful scenes enacted are a blot on the history of that
city. (The Aspen Daily Times, Sunday Morning, May 12, 1895)
FRED ARNOLD & NEWTON ANDREWS
Arnold and Andrews Curse Each Other – The Double Execution Will Take Place Some Time Tonight
June 15 – Without a suspicion of remorse Fred Arnold and Newton Andrews
are in their cells at the execution house of the state penitentiary
replying carelessly and even blasphemously to questions of guards, and
declaring that they don’t care whether they live or die. Both have
refused to listen to the spiritual advisers and turned from the advice
of Chaplain Lucas to curse one another.
Warden Cleghorn of the state
penitentiary has set the double hanging for tomorrow night, some time
between 6 and 11 o’clock. Neither of the condemned men have been
officially notified of the exact time of the execution and each
believes that another reprieve is coming for him.
Tonight when the
mother and wife of Arnold will reach Canon City from Greeley, the
murderers will realize that all hope is over and then it is believed
that they will make a written confession. They practically agree to
make a confession when all hope is past. (The Aspen Daily Times, Friday
Morning, June 16, 1905, front page)
Last Words Are Spoken
Fred Arnold Said He Was Not Fit to Die – The Last Sad Interview With Parents and Girl Wife
City, June 16 – Goodbyes were ended and Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Arnold
and Frederick Arnold’s girl wife started back to Denver shortly after
noon today. The last words of Arnold to his parents were: “Goodbye,
papa and mamma; I will meet you in heaven, for I have never killed
anybody and I don’t feel guilty.”
Canon City, June 16 – Before the
streaming eyes of two women, one his mother and the other his wife, the
boasted bravado of 19-year-old Frederick Arnold dissolved into a spell
of weakness compared to his cursing man and his maker conduct that has
characterized him since and Newton Andrews, who was placed in the
death. For a moment, while in the warden’s office gazing into the
agonized face of the woman who bore him into the world, this youngest
and most depraved of the trio became as a little child and joined the
women in prayer. It needed this touch to completed his misery. Possibly
for the for the first time the enormity of the crime and the supreme
penalty the court condemned him to pay, dawned upon him. He clasped the
bars of his cage-like cell so tight that the veins in his hands stood
out like cords. His voice, that has resounded in blasphemy throughout
the corridor, became choked and gentle. “God, God,” he exclaimed once,
“I am not fit to die.”
Denver, June 16 – The hanging of Frederick
Arnold and Newton Andrews marks the second instance of capital
punishment since 1896. In that year, Albert Ople, William Holt, and
Dominco Romero were hanged for the murder of John Solomon at Trinidad.
The execution of these three murderers is the only case wherein a
multiple hanging took place since 1899. (The Aspen Daily Times,
Saturday Morning, June 17, 1905, front page)