Sigler (Lynching of)

On July 29, 1901, a young African American identified only as a son of Lige Sigler (sometimes spelled Siegler) was lynched in Nevada County for allegedly murdering Lewis Haynie and Hop Halton. Lige Sigler is probably fifty-year-old Elijah Siegler, who in 1900 was living in Jackson Township with his wife, Elvira, and eight children. Four of these children were sons: Samuel (twenty-one), Jeff (nineteen), Hezeciah (eighteen), and James F. (fifteen). According to the Bolivar Bulletin, victim Lewis Haynie was the brother of state Senator George R. Haynie and victim Hop Halton was the brother of John Halton, a prominent merchant. According to the Bulletin, there were 400 Black and thirty white residents in Leake Township, and trouble with “obstreperous” Black residents had been brewing for some time.

On July 31, 1901, the Arkansas Gazette published a report on the lynching. According to its story, a Black preacher named Moss had been organizing secret societies among area African Americans. These societies fostered enmity toward whites, and among their rules was that members would “not cook, wash or otherwise work for the white people.” Several African Americans were whipped as a consequence. Constable Dalrymple went to arrest a Black man named Lizard Porter, and since he had no handcuffs, “took a piece of rope to the negro.” Either Lige Sigler or his boys knocked the rope out of Dalrymple’s hand, enraging the constable and other local citizens.

According to the Bulletin, on July 28 or 29, a group of local white men sent word to Sigler that they would be coming out to whip him that night; they were told that some of them would die if they did so. They went anyway and were fired on by Sigler’s two sons, killing Haynie and Halton. One source reported that the shots were fired by Sigler and one son. Both of his sons were arrested, but on the night of July 29, one of them either escaped or was taken, and he was found the following morning “shot full of holes.”

For additional Information:
“Mob Kills a Negro in Nevada County.” Arkansas Gazette, July 31, 1901, p. 1

“Two Slain by a Negro.” Bolivar Bulletin (Tennessee), August 2, 1901, p. 4.

Nancy Snell Griffith
Davidson, North Carolina


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