Lincoln Waggoner

Outlaw of Webster Parish

 

                                                                          

 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 location of the other siblings at this time is unknown, if you would like to add to this please  email me with your additons.

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.
WAGGONER'S CAREER

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.

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