Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
THE SHERIFF'S DUTY
All the previous day and part'
of the night the sound of ham
mers had been heard ominously
outside the jail. A tall skeleton-
1 like structure now loomed into
tne air, a gnastiy signt. x ne scai
fold seemed to have a cruel look
with the noosed rope hanging
Inside the jail a man trembled
and cringed and prayed. Akron
Brant had been duly tried, con
victed and sentenced to be "hang
ed by the neck until dead," for
the murder of Amy Leslie. The
evidence showed conclusively
that he had, waylai4 her as she
was returning from her work one
winter evening. The body had
been found in a gully.
But Brant had money, and
money will do almost anything.
Hundreds of men had been will1
ing to sign their names to a paper
asking the governor to pardon
The hanging was to take place
at 12 o'clock sharp. It was now
11. The prisoner was utterly col
lapsed. In his cell he lay, alter
nately moaning, crying out and
im Beechel, the sheriff, had
gone abottt the preparations for
his grewsome duty with a rather
"A feller'd think you was ac
customed to hang a man every
mornin' before breakfast, Jim,"
his deputy had said.
And Beechel had only smiled
sadly. A big man,, but very gen
tle and tender, was Jim Beechel.
He was loved even by the prison
ers in the county jail. His light
heartedness was therefore the
subject "of some comment.
It was just five minutes before
the appointed hour for the execu
tion when the sheriff and his
deputy emerged from the jail
into the yard, where a small
crowd of men waited to see the
act of justice" done. Between
them they half dragged, half car
ried a. cringing form that made
weak efforts to hold "Hack.
Across the yard and up the
steps they went.
Suddenly on the scaffold the
prisoner straightened up. He
pointed out across the broad val
ley at a cloud of dust. A horse
man was approaching on a g&
lop. '"My pardon. Wait!" . he
But the sheriff paid no atten
tion to him. It was just one min
ute before 12 .o'clock. The cap
was adjusted in spite of the man's
struggles , and the .noose was
placed around his peck.
The .horseman was very near
now an,d wavjng a piece of white
paper above his head. Just then
the hour struck, and the sheriff
sprurfg the trap. $
A moment later the messenger
arrived with the reprieve which
Brant's money had succeeded in
And SherifTJim Beechel smiled.
There was a look of satisfied ven
geance in his eyes. And back of
it a close observer could have reao
a. deepeiviendejier look.