Articles & Stories


Night Rider Band Terrorized

Family In Edmonson County

Author Unknown -1910

An investigation of the facts substantiates the reports circulated that a band of night riders shot and killed Charles Carroll, a 12-year-old boy, in the northern part of Edmonson County, Kentucky, near the Goff Post Office, about midnight on Tuesday night, March 29, 1910.
In the early part of the night, several of the citizens in the neighborhood of Bee Spring saw people congregating in out of the way places and later a crowd of 40 or 50 were seen passing through fields and in bypaths in the direction of Goff, which is about four miles from Bee Spring.
Near midnight the crowd reached the house of Mrs. Del Carroll and surrounded it. The house was occupied by Mrs. Carroll and her three children, a girl about 16 years of age, a boy about 18 years of age, and the boy who was shot.
The family were aroused from their slumbers and drag-ged from the house. At a short distance from the house they stopped and administered a severe whipping to Mrs. Carroll and her two oldest children. It is reported that they literally cut their backs to pieces with large switches.
While they were engaged in whipping the two older children, the young boy made a break to get away, and as he ran someone of the band shot him in the back with a gun, and he fell. He was picked up by some of the band and carried into the house. They then proceeded to finish the whipping they had begun on the others.
The boy was shot with a shotgun, and when the physician arrived, which was about 4:00 in the morning, he picked 150 shots out of the boy's back. He died about 8:00 a.m.
The boy, who was whipped, says that he recognized as many as two of the band, but so far he has not divulged their names.
The authorities are taking vigorous steps to ascertain the names of the guilty persons. The county attorney, John A. Logan, has caused a court of inquiry to be called by County Judge W. S. Alexander, and the examination will be held within a few days.
The authorities will make a rigid investigation of the affair and prosecute vigorously all those connected with the raid.
This is the same section of the county where Hardin Minton was shot by night riders about six months ago, and where various other parties were whipped.
Posse Formed
On April 5, 1910, Gillis Vincent, the sheriff of Edmonson County, Kentucky, with ten picked men went into the vicinity of Bee Spring and Goff with the intention of apprehending, if possible, some persons who are alleged to have been members of the band of night riders who attacked the home of Mrs. Del Carroll and killed her 12-year-old son and whipped other members of the family.
The sheriff and his posse left about 8:00 at night to ride under cover of darkness a distance of ten miles to the seat of the trouble. Their immediate object was to arrest Jesse Anderson, who is alleged to have been the leader of the band. The authorities had communicated with the family of Mrs. Carroll and she and three other members of her family stated that they had identified Anderson as being the leader of the band. He resides about four miles from the residence of Mrs. Carroll and a short distance west of Bee Spring. At 10:00 p.m. the sheriff and his posse arrived at his home. He resides alone and has no family.
Anderson's house was surrounded and the posse crept up to the house, but no one responded to their summons. They then went to the door and found it locked with a padlock and further investigation revealed the fact that he was not within. Not daunted by this failure to find him, a part of the posse was sent several miles to the house of a man whom they thought they could trust to ascertain if Anderson had been seen in the neighborhood during the day. Their investigation brought out the fact he had left his house heavily armed about dark, but his immediate whereabouts were unknown.
The sheriff remained on the ground until 3:00 a.m. He then left five of his posse concealed in a crib to watch for the return of Anderson. This posse remained concealed until about daylight, in the meantime keeping a picket stationed to watch for Anderson. Just after the break of day the picket came to the place of concealment and reported that Anderson was approaching with his gun across his arm, but apparently unaware of the trap that had been laid for him.
The five men were all in the crib at this time, and, owing to the smallness of the door, it was possible for but one at a time to make his exit. One of them took his position at the door and watched Anderson as he approached, and when he reached his door and set his gun down to apply the key to the lock, one of the posse sprang out from the door of the crib and covered him with a gun. Anderson saw the others coming out of the crib and immediately threw up his hands. The posse returned immediately with Anderson to Brownsville and lodged him in jail.
Anderson's arrest was made on information furnished by Mrs. Del Carroll and her son, Lawson Carroll, who was whipped, and who is about 21 years of age, both of whom declared that they recognized Anderson. Two younger children of Mrs. Carroll, one a girl 18 years of age and another a boy, each stated that they recognized the leader of the band as Anderson.
It further develops from the statements of the Carrolls that when the band broke into their house the boy was shot, broke away, and attempted to make his escape before any of the family were whipped. He fell to the ground and began to cry for his mother or brothers to come to him, but the band would not let either of them go.
They then began to whip the 21-year-old son and the 18-year-old daughter, who begged them to let them go to their brother and bring him in, but they refused to listen to them. After the night riders had finished whipping the Carrolls, they picked the boy up and brought him to the door and threw him on the bed and then left. As soon as they were a short distance from the house, they set the woods on fire.
Anderson refused to talk further than to say that he is innocent and has no knowledge of the raid made on the house of Mrs. Carroll. He claims that he remained at home alone on the night that the boy was shot. He has employed Logan & Hazelip to defend him, and says he will fight the case to the bitter end.
The fact that the witnesses against Anderson reside in the immediate neighborhood of the seat of trouble has given the authorities no little trouble, and today the sheriff has returned to bring the witnesses away and place them where they will not be molested. The people in the section of the country where the raid was made will not discuss the matter.
A few months ago a raid was made on the house of Hardin Minton, and he was shot. The band captured the son of Minton and compelled him to conduct them to his father's home and call him to the door. While they had the Minton boy with them, he learned the names of eight or ten of the number. It was thought that Minton would die from the wound he received, and, believing so himself, he called his boy to him and told him that as he was going to die, and he wanted to know the names of the parties who had made the raid on his home. It is said that his son gave him the names of those he knew. Minton did not die, but, after lingering several months, he recovered.
A few weeks ago he unguardedly revealed what his son had told him. Within a few days there after, his son was passing through the woods to his work where he was making ties, and he came upon a new-made open grave. A few nights later, while he was stopping at the house of a neighbor, he was surrounded by a number of disguised men, but he made his escape in his night clothes and fled through the woods to the house of another neighbor where, almost lifeless, he rushed into the room and asked for protection.
The next morning he left the home of the neighbor, and since that time he has not been seen or heard from by anyone. It is not known whether or not he again fell into the hands of the night riders or whether he made his escape and got out of the country. An investigation is now on foot that may bring to light some of the facts regarding his disappearance. These things have been concealed from the knowledge of the police. When this came to light, it caused the authorities to take every precaution to see that the witnesses against Anderson did not disappear.
Anderson Convicted Of Murder
Anderson was convicted of the murder of 12-year-old Charles Carroll which occurred on March 29, 1910.
Some time later Anderson, Marsh Woosley, and Harvey Ashley were arrested for the murder. Woosley and Ashley were acquitted of the charge and Anderson was convicted.
In December 1910 fear of mob violence caused Circuit Judge Moss, presiding over the Edmonson Circuit Court at Brownsville, to order Jesse Anderson, a night rider, who was sentenced to life imprisonment, to be brought to the Warren County Jail for safekeeping. Anderson arrived in Bowling Green in the custody of Deputy Sheriff W. H. Houtchins of Brownsville.

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