Lincoln Waggoner was born about 1866 in Claiborne Parish, Minden Louisiana and died there at the hands of some of the citizens of Minden on September 9, 1894. Lincoln was the youngest son of John M and Mary Cook Waggoner, well known family of Minden. Lincoln's was named in honor of Abraham Lincoln, his father John fought in the Civil War. According to census records the Waggoner family had ten children. They were listed as Seth, Matthew, Jesse, Pollock, Alconia ( A.L.), Etha M, Lincoln, Anna ,John D, and Mary A G.; By 1900 only 5 children were still living; a daughter widowed and residing with her parents, and two sons, Seth and Alconia and their families nearby. Matthew, Link, and Spank all had met their fates years before.
The following is a report by the Associated Press a week after the murder of Lincoln Waggoner at the hands of a mob in Minden, Louisiana.
Sketch of a Man Who Might Have Led A Better Life
He Meets Death Defiantly Cursing And Abusing His Slayers -A Daring Man Well Known In Eastern Texas
Sept 16, 1894 -- Associated Press dispatches several days ago gave an account of the shooting to death Link Waggoner, who was killed by a mob in the parish jail at Minden, La. The particulars of the taken off of Waggoner are familiar to most readers of the news. He was charged with various killings, and the country in and around his home got to hot to hold him. He was finally located in Texas where Sheriff Spradley of Nacogdoches, and after a long palaver was induced to surrender peaceably. The Waggoner family are well known throughout East Texas, and the following sketch of Link Waggoner, taken from the Shreveport Caucasian, will prove of interest: About 1'oclock on the morning of the 9th the citizens who reside in the vicinity of the jail were aroused by prisoners who were screaming at the top of their voices. A mob had been organized and had succeeded in killing their man and leaving their town in the short time of thirty minutes. The cries of the prisoners were terrible to hear and added to the confusion matters. Three white men were in the cell with Waggoner , and were compelled to hold him while he was shot to death. Waggoner defied his enemies to the last. In his dying agony he cursed them and told them to shoot. He said that if he had a pistol he could whip the whole crowd. He was shot twelve times and died within a few minutes. The mob is supposed to have contained about forty men. The citizens greatly deplore this evidence against mob law in the parish.
"There lived in Webster Parish before and during the late war a respectable and hard working farmer , by the name of John Waggoner, who was a union man all through those terrible four years of grim-visaged carnage. About the close of the war another rosy cheeked chubby fisted baby was added to the Waggoner family and named Lincoln, in honor the president Abraham Lincoln. Waggoner's sturdy brood of boys were raised up on the farm, and in early years were no better and no worse than any other boys.
Tud Gryder, also a resident of Webster, married a cousin of the Waggoner boys, and as a consequence became very intimate with them. In a difficulty one day several years ago with Matt Waggoner he inflicted injuries on him which Matt died. Gryder was arrested, and on preliminary examination was discharged on grounds of self defense. This fact seemed to rankle in the bosom of the younger Waggoner boys, who were determined to be avenged. Gryder moved to Bossier Parish in 1888, where he followed his occupation of farming. The Waggoner's kept up apparent friendship with him, however, and the five brothers of the victim paid him a visit, and for several days passed the time pleasantly in hunting and fishing. During their visit Gryder was on one occasion plowing in his field. The only person with him being his six year old son. Without a word and never dreaming of danger, Gryder was shot down and killed. His little son said his uncles did the shooting, and they were indicted for the murder and tried at Bellvue. then the parish seat of Bossier. They were all acquitted save Spark, who was convicted and sentenced to the state penitentiary for life. Spark was killed by falling walls, when a tornado struck the penitentiary about two years ago and so badly damaged.
A few months later Link Waggoner and a friend, Mr M S Newsom, both of whom had been drinking, were returning home from a country store. With them was a little boy who had a puppy. Newsom took the puppy and cut its throat, despite the protestations of Link and the boy's tearful entreaties. Link and Newsom quarreled about this act of cruelty, and Link told Newsom he wanted nothing more to do with him. The next time they met was at Wylie's mill in Claiborne Parish. After a few words they both drew their pistols and fired. Newsom missed , but Link Waggoner's bullet found lodgment in Newsom's body, who fell badly hurt. He got a change of venue to Lincoln Parish where he got turned loose on his second trial. Cam Bloomfield , a negro was a witness against Link for the shooting of Newsom, and before Link's trial came off Bloomfield was killed. This murder was laid at Link's door and he was indicted by the grand jury of Webster Parish for the same. Bloomfield out of the way is the reason Link escaped punishment for shooting Newsom. Arguing on the same line, doubtless, Link concluded that if Wortham, another witness was out of the way, he would be cleared of killing Bloomfield. And so Wortham was killed. Who killed him will never be known, positively as Link is dead and he is likely the only man who ever knew.
In the course of time the case of the state of Louisiana against Link Waggoner, for the murder of Cam Bloomfield was duly called at Bellvue. There were no direct witnesses, and J A W Lowry then district attorney, entered a nolle prosequi. Five years ago W W S Holland settled in Webster Parish, a short distance from the Waggoner homestead, He cultivated two or three different pieces of ground and in 1892 rented thirty acres from old Mr Waggoner. Holland was a frugal man and reputed to have saved several hundred dollars. He offered to buy the place where he lived but as Mr Waggoner wanted 800 dollars for it. Holland considered it to much and the negotiations, so far as he was concerned were declared off. Holland then contemplated moving which aroused the ire of his landlord, who it is alleged, uttered threats against Holland. Everything went on peacefully and quietly for a few months, but on the night of November 12, 1892, a deed was done that sent a thrill of horror and indignation through the people of Webster Parish. On the night in question, the industrious, hard working farmer, Holland, was sitting in front of the fireplace holding his little baby in his arms. The fire burned merrily and brightly and lit up the room, with a mellow light. The front door of the house was open, and the night was not so very cold. The good wife was in the back yard feeding the pigs, and a little dog that acted as a faithful guardian was stretched out on the front gallery. The lowing of milk cows was heard now and then a short distance away, and the cooing and the lisping of the little babe as it looked into the cheerful fire and dangled on it's father's knee, formed a domestic pastoral picture of contentment and happiness. Suddenly the watchdog barked and ran into the yard. Holland looked around startled and with his baby in his arms, stepped to the front door to shut it. As he did the loud report of a shotgun rang out in front and a load of buckshot struck him in the right shoulder, arm and back. The baby was not hit.
Holland turned and ran to a back room, his wife hearing the report of the gun, hurried into the house and as she passed he whispered to her to bring his Winchester rifle, At the same time a voice without called to bring the rifle to the front gallery. Going to the front room Mrs Holland secured the weapon and brought the rifle to her husband. Taking the Winchester in his left hand Holland kneeled beside a bed with the rifle resting on it and pointing it toward the front door. His clothes were saturated with blood and his right arm riddled with buckshot, hung limp by his side. He suffered intense pain. In such a position he waited the entrance of his would be murderer. In a few moments the man on the outside left. He then told his wife to go for a doctor, and to take the money which he had in a trunk and their three children. This she did. It was quite awhile before the doctor and his assistants arrived. At first it was thought that the wounded man had no show of life, but after the long siege, he recovered but suffered the amputation of his arm. Link Waggoner had been seen in the old neighborhood of his home a few days before the shooting of Holland. He was promptly indicted In the meantime he returned to his new home in Texas, He evaded arrest till November when Deputy Sheriff of Webster Parish went to Nacogdoches County and laid the matter out to the sheriff Spradley. Sheriff Spradley at once organized a posse and proceeded to the Waggoner homestead. Arriving the posse surrounded the house when Link saw them he appeared at the door with a revolver in his hand, but he saw that the jig was up and surrendered after a deal of parleying on the part of himself and relatives. Deputy Reagan passed through Shreveport with his prisoner and took him to Minden. Afterward the prisoner was brought back to Shreveport and placed in jail for safe keeping. When the Webster parish court met last March Link was tried and acquitted of trying to assassinate Holland, and was immediately rearrested for stealing a mule. He then was conveyed to the Monroe Jail for security, as the prejudice against him in Webster was very great.
Link Waggoner was a dare devil handsome man. He was over six feet in height, rode a horse like a centaur, was one of the best marksman in the country with a Winchester or a pistol, and was as graceful as a woman. He had long black curly hair and looked for all the world as a typical early day scout Some say that he was not as black as he was painted, and that his heart was full of tenderness."Link Waggoner was a dare devil handsome man. He was over six feet in height, rode a horse like a centaur, was one of the best marksman in the country with a Winchester or a pistol, and was as graceful as a woman. He had long black curly hair and looked for all the world as a typical early day scout Some say that he was not as black as he was painted, and that his heart was full of tenderness.
His deeds of daring and half breadth, escapes quite equal those of late Jesse James and furnish a rich and wonderful mine for at least twenty half dime novels. Before long some imaginative novelist may arise that will do his memory justice by preserving in such literature of edification of the youth of the land. Luke Waggoner and the late Tom Kinder hated one another like poison. The reason for this hatred grew out of the fact that Kinder had been connected to the posse that had pursued Link. One one occasion Kinder and a posse were pursing Link and Kinder fired on him wounding him in one arm and also striking a fine stallion that Link was riding, This did not stop the fleeing horseman and his steed however Link soon left his poorly mounted chasers behind, waving them polite adieux as the distance between them increased. Link rode a piece further and dismounted and tied a note addressed to his family, to the saddle and let the horse loose to go home while he sought the sylvan quietude of the Arkansas wilds."
While in Arkansas a posse surrounded him and arrested him in Murfesboro He was taken to the Claiborne Parish jail and one night a mob stormed the jail for the purpose of lynching him. With a six shooter in each hand , which had been furnished him he stood them off, and after several shots had been exchanged the mob dissolved and went home disgusted. Link succeeded in wounding two of his inhospitable visitors,. On another occasion Link had a fine mare shot, that he was riding while out running a posse, He employed the same tactics of escaping as he did in the first instance.While in Arkansas a posse surrounded him and arrested him in Murfesboro He was taken to the Claiborne Parish jail and one night a mob stormed the jail for the purpose of lynching him. With a six shooter in each hand , which had been furnished him he stood them off, and after several shots had been exchanged the mob dissolved and went home disgusted. Link succeeded in wounding two of his inhospitable visitors,. On another occasion Link had a fine mare shot, that he was riding while out running a posse. He employed the same tactics of escaping as he did in the first instance.
Mob Defied By A Prisoner.
Repulsed by a man they wanted to kill... Shreveport, La., Feb, 3, 1891 - Homer, the parish-seat of Clayborne, has been the scene of intense excitement for the past two days. On Saturday night a mob battered a hole in the jail, and six men went through the passage to kill Link Waggoner, the desperado recently captured and placed there for safe-keeping. As soon as Link saw the six men he began firing at them, having in his possession two six-shooters. He shot two of the men in the arms, defied the whole number and held them at bay. The mob was composed of gray haired men and strong young men. It seems that Waggoner had not been placed in a cell, and did his shooting from the corridor, dodging in different departments. In trying to pull open the door of a fellow- prisoners cell, the latter caught the door with one hand to keep him out, when Waggoner threw a knife and cut off his fingers. The sheriff says that when placed in jail he was searched and no weapons were found about him, and it is supposed his friends furnished him with arms. "Spank" Waggoner, the brother of Link, was sent back to the penitentiary last Saturday, being an escaped convict. [unknown newspaper, c. Feb 1891]
A TRULY BAD BAD MAN.
An Escaped Convict Who Has Killed More Than a Dozen
Minden La., Nov 18, 1892 -- Sheriff Ragin is searching "Webster Parish for the desperado "Link" Waggoner and some of his confederates. Last Saturday night Waggoner is supposed to have gone to William Holland's house and killed him. He also stabbed a man in Texas and had to leave the city. The Sheriffs searching party is composed of nearly all the men in the ward who can carry a gun, and it is thought that they will kill several who are thought to have harbored him. Waggoner is an escaped convict. He was serving a life sentence for murder. More than a dozen deaths are charged to his account
Nov 17, 1892 Trenton NJ Article "Ward 1 of Webster parish, La , is in terror of Link Waggoner and his gang The sheriff and 150 men are hunting for the desperado"
A DESPERADO'S DEED.
Lawless Condition In a North Louisiana Parish
Acts of Revenge.
NEW ORLEANS, La., Nov. 10, 1892 -- A morning paper Minden (La.) special says the northern portion of Webster pariah, bordering on south Arkansas, is in a state of terror. Sheriff Reagan and a posse of 150 men are searching for the desperado Link Waggoner and his confederates. Saturday night Waggoner went to Wm. Holland's and shot him fatally while he was holding his-baby In his arms. Holland staggered into the house. After firing several additional shots the desperado left. Waggoner is the man who repulsed the Homer mob. After getting out of that scrape he went to Nacogdoches, Tex., where he stabbed a man and had to leave. He has resumed only a short time, but has commenced to execute his threats of revenge. If he is discovered he will never reach Minden again. It is thought the posse will kill several who are supposed to have harbored Waggoner. Tuggle, who was shot Thursday, is dead. He declared that Tom Kindler of Claiborne parish shot him. This makes two cold blooded murders within a week and no one arrested for them.
Minden, La., Nov. 16, 1892
Bangor Maine Armed Men
A band of 150 armed men, under Sheriff Reagan, are searching about Webster Parish for the outlaw and murderer, Link Waggoner and his confederates. If overtaken a desperate fight will probably occur.
Sept 9. 1894 - Link Waggoner, a noted desperado of North Louisiana, and Eastern Texas, was shot to death in his cell in the parish jail by a mob at 1 o'clock this morning. Waggoner was a perfect type of manly beauty and brave as a lion. For the past five years he had been a terror in that country. Innumerable murders were laid at his door, and his robberies were most daring. He was captured about a year ago at Nacogdoches Texas, brought to Homer, Clayborne County and tried on a charge of murder. The case was not proved against him, and he was sent to jail here for safe keeping to await trial on other charges. While at Homer and attempt was made by a mob to kill him, but single handed having in some unaccountable manner obtained possesion of a pistol -- he kept the whole mob at bay while assistance arrived. Last night the jail here was broken into by a mob of seventy five, which shot him dead and then dispersed, Waggoner has three brothers in Nacogdoches, and it is believed that they will make an attempt to avenge his death. The desperado had a good many friends in this section of the country, and they may also join in a feud which would be a bloody one from the outset. [Unknown newspaper]
LINK WAGGONER LYNCHED.
Shreveport. La., Sept. 10, 1894.
Link Waggoner was shot to death by masked men who broke into the parish Jail at Minden yesterday. Waggoner had been at Monroe, but was brought to Minden Friday evening, his trial being set for Monday. The citizens were aroused at 1 o'clock yesterday by cries of murder from the prisoners In the jail. A citizen succeeded in collecting a crowd that went in the direction of the Jail, but the mob made quick work killing Waggoner and leaving the place in thirty minutes. Three white men in the cell with Waggoner were compelled by the mob to hold him while they shot at him. Waggoner cursed them and defied his enemies as long as he had breath to call, and said if he had one pistol he could whip the whole crowd. He was shot twelve times and died in a few minutes. The mob consisted of about forty masked men. Link Wagoner had been indicted by the grand Jury charged with shooting W. S Holland. He evaded arrest until last November, when Deputy Sheriff Reagan of Webster parish went to Nacogdoches county and laid the matter before Sheriff Spradley. Sheriff Spradley at once organized a posse and proceeded to the Waggoner homestead. Arriving there the posse surrounded the house. When Link saw them he appeared at a door with a revolver in each hand, but he surrendered after a deal of parleying on the part of himself and relatives. Deputy Reagan passed through Shreveport with his prisoner and took him to Minden, and afterward the prisoner was brought back to Shreveport and placed in jail for safe keeping. When the Webster parish court met last March Link was tried. He was acquitted of trying to assassinate Holland, but was rearrested charged with stealing a mule. He was then removed to the Monroe Jail for security.
BACK to Webster County Crime News
BACK to Genealogy Trails Outlaw Page
© Copyright by Genealogy Trails