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Horse Thief Hung.
Fort Smith, Ark., Oct. 4.
This afternoon about three o'clock, a man named Martin H. Gilliam, alias Wm. Owen, formerly of Johnstown, Bates county, Mo., was hung at this place, for horse stealing, in the presence of a large concourse of citizens. He was arrested some weeks since, and an effort was made to hang him, during which he broke away from the rope, and was shot down while in the act of escaping. His wounds were serious, and medical treatment was afforded him. As soon as his injuries would admit of his removal, he was taken to the county jail at Greenwood, whence he escaped last night, and stole another horse, but was re-taken this morning at Van Buren, and punishment was again determined on. He was led to a tree with the fatal noose adjusted around his neck. Seeing no hope of escape, he confessed his guilt, manifested contrition for his past deeds, sought forgiveness at the Throne of Mercy in a feeling prayer, and earnestly called upon those present to be admonished by the example before them. He was then swung up and the tragic scene was concluded.
Scarcely had these proceedings ended, when another prisoner was brought into town, charged with the same offence. He was examined on the street, confessed the crime of which he was accused, was hurried to the fatal spot, and soon swung by the side of his brother in crime. The second victim was a Choctaw half-breed named Shoat.
The bodies will not be taken down until tomorrow.
The citizens have become greatly incensed against horse thieves, as of late their offences have been bold and numerous, and the operations of the laws on this frontier is known to be slow and uncertain.
(Source: Illinois State Democrat, Wed. Oct. 10, 1860. Submitted by C. Horton)


 

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