This year September 18, 2004 earmarks the 100 anniversary of a historical event ………..
"Bradford County's Last Hangings - A Family Affair"
Murder, arson and the last public hanging in Bradford County. It was one of the most sensationalized events ever recorded in the county history. Never before in local history, had five members of a family stood accused of murder. Sophia Merritt, her two adult sons Bigler and Charles, and twins Nancy and Alanson aged fifteen. Maggie (Benjamin) Johnson, wife of Bigler Johnson and her niece Annie Benjamin were killed on September 18, 1904 at Macedonia, Asylum Township, Pennsylvania. Was it that Bigler had to pay $6.00 per month for alimony or that he had been paying attention to another woman? Because of their crime, two brothers were hung in the Bradford County Jail yard.
The story is based on actual newspaper accounts and courthouse records transcribed from the original copy. These sources were complied and edited to be understood in today's English speaking language. It lacked the proper flow of grammar and punctuation used today. However, some testimonies and interviews given by individuals have remained intact and followed with quotation marks to convey the language of that time or to show a distinctive dialect that some of the characters had. Actual court testimony is also quoted to add further authenticity.
The book is a black hardcover and contains 314 pages with 84 photos and 249 surnames. Just to name a few of the surnames included are: Allen, Barnes, Benjamin, Bergstresser, Campbell, Chilson, Coolbaugh, Crowley, Davis, Dimock, Elsbree, Essenwine, Fanning, Fell, Griffin, Head, Heeman, Hicks, Homet, Horton, Johnson, Kerrick, Lamb, Manley, Matthews, McCracken, Means, Mills, Newell, Ott, Platt, Powers, Robinson, Stevens, Sturdevant, Tabor, Thompson, Vanderpool, VanNess, Watson, Williams, Woodburn, Wright and Zurn.
If you would like to add this book to your collection of historical references or you are an avid book reader, please contact me at email@example.com
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