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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Texas: Waller County

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Newspaper Article
Posted by: Geraldine Tostenson (ID *****0024) Date: April 24, 2005 at 14:08:53
  of 124

Rochester, Monroe, NY
Union & Advertiser
Sat May 1, 1897


Their Bodies Found Dangling to a Tree in Texas -
They Had Committed Three Murders

Hempstead, Tex., May 1 - For the horrible murder of an aged negro, a girl and a young woman, preceded by the outrage of the two latter, six young negroes were lynched at Sunnyside, Waller county, by a mob made up largely of members of their own race.
The six who were strung up were: Fayette RHONE, 21; Will GATES, 35; Louis THOMAS, 20; Aaron THOMAS, 13; Jim THOMAS, 14, and Benny THOMAS, 15.
Friday morning the six bodies were found dangling from a large oak tree. The bodies of Gates and Louis THOMAS were burned from the waist down, and all the corpses were riddled with bullets.
The six lynched negroes and Will WILLIAMS were under guard and the officers were overpowered by a strong body of men and the prisoners taken toward the Brazos bottom, north of here. A little later forty or fifty shots were
fired and all was quiet. At a late hour last evening the bodies were still hanging from the tree.
As far as can be learned the men was composed of white and black men, with the colored element largely predominating. The story of their crime is as ghastly as that of their lynching.
Last fall a gentleman from Brenham was robbed of $65. Suspicion pointed to the four THOMAS boys, and they owned up to having committed the theft, and said they had given $30 of the money to Henry DANIELS. DANIELS spent the money, and on Sunday evening last the four THOMAS boys, according to their confession, decided to collect their $30 or kill DANIELS. They carried out the latter part of the programme. Henry DANIELS, an old negro, lived in a little hut with his stepdaughter, Marie, and a 7-year-old child. Last Wednesday night the house was broken open, Marie DANIELS and the 7-year-old child were
ravished, and the old man DANIELS was clubbed to death while trying to protect those in his charge. Then the elder DANIELS and his stepdaughter were thrown into
the house and the child was cast into the well. The house was set on fire, and the fiends left, thinking that they had covered their inhuman deed from the sight of the world. The fire had not attracted much attention, but when DANIELS and his family did not appear the charred embers of the house were searched and the crime discovered. The criminals were captured with bloodhounds
and confessed.

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