Ed McCollum (Lynching of)

Early in the morning of October 4, 1903, an African American man named Ed McCollum was lynched in Sheridan (Grant County) for having allegedly assaulted a police officer.

According to an early report in the Pine Bluff Daily Graphic, around 11:00 p.m. on the night of Friday, October 2, 1903, Constable Ed M. Crutchfield “attempted to arrest McCollum on a warrant charging McCollum with having assaulted another negro.” McCollum resisted arrest and shot Crutchfield in the arm. He was arrested the following morning and put in the jail at Sheridan. Around midnight, “a mob of 15 to 25 strong broke open the jail, took McCollum out, tied him to a tree nearby and riddled his body with bullets.” In keeping with the tropes present in many lynching reports, the mob was described as having done its work “quietly” despite firing so many guns in the middle of the night, “and few knew before daylight that the lynching had occurred.”

Subsequent reports did not add much information. A Nashville News article described the mob as “masked.” Others, such as the Arkansas Democrat, gave the name of the lynching victim as E. D. Collum and added that the constable’s wound might result in the loss of his arm. The Democrat also specified that the constable was located in Davis Township. The 1900 census shows one Edd McColim, age twenty, living in Davis Township of Grant County with his parents, Elic and Cilvia, and seven siblings.

For additional information:
“Body Riddled.” Pine Bluff Daily Graphic, October 6, 1903, p. 1.

“Lynch Law at Sheridan.” Arkansas Democrat, October 7, 1903, p. 1.

“Negro Killed.” Nashville News, October 10, 1903, p. 1.

Staff of the CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas


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