Frank Tucker (Lynching of)

On September 15, 1932, an African-American man named Frank Tucker was lynched in Crossett (Ashley County) for allegedly attacking deputy city marshal Henry Reed with a razor.

Reed had been in Crossett for about eight years and had worked as a marshal for three. According to the Arkansas Gazette, he was “well and favorably known among the business men of the city.” Frank Tucker had lived in Crossett almost his whole life, and at the time of the 1920 census, he was twelve years old and living there with his parents, Sidney and Melissa Tucker. His father was working in a lumber mill, and Tucker was attending school; both could read and write. By 1932, Tucker, too, was working in a lumber mill, and the Gazette noted that he had never before been in serious trouble.

According to the Gazette, Tucker and another African-American man, Tommy Wells, were suspected of stealing ten silver dollars from the Bank of Crossett. Reed arrested them, and they were taken to the office of Mayor I. M. Tucker. Reed was sitting between Wells and Frank Tucker when Tucker demanded his gun. When Reed turned to speak to Tucker, Tucker slashed his throat with a razor. He then ran out into the street, where he was chased by people who were passing by. He was captured about four blocks away and was then paraded through the business district to the county jail yard with a rope around his neck. There, he was hanged from an iron pipe in front of a mob of about 500 people. His body then hung from the pipe for forty-five minutes until Sheriff John Riley, who had been out of town, cut it down.

As of the last reports found, no coroner’s jury had been called, and no one had been arrested for the crime. Reed was reportedly in critical condition, but on September 16, the Marshall, Texas, News Messenger reported that he was “resting comfortably” in the hospital in Crossett and had a chance to recover. Although the Gazette noted that this was the first lynching in Crossett, a man named Glenco Bays had been lynched near there in 1904.

For additional information:
“Arkansas Mob Lynches Negro.” Marshall News Messenger (UP), September 16, 1932, p. 1.

“Negro Lynched by Mob at Crossett.” Arkansas Gazette, September 16, 1932, p. 1.

Nancy Snell Griffith
Davidson, North Carolina


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