Early Twentieth Century

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Entries - Entry Category: Early Twentieth Century - Starting with P

Patrick, William (Lynching of)

On December 3, 1915, an African-American man named William Patrick was lynched in St. Francis County for allegedly killing a young white man named Bard Nichols in October of that year. There is very little information available about William Patrick. In 1900, there was an eighteen-year-old African American by that name boarding in Franks Township in St. Francis County and working on a farm. He could both read and write. In 1910, there was an African American named W. D. Patrick living in Franks Township; his age is listed as thirty-six at the time, making him a slightly more likely candidate. He was a farmer living with his wife and four small children. If Patrick was fifty-five years old as …

Poe, Harry (Trial and Execution of)

Harry Poe was the first person legally executed in Garland County, Arkansas. On January 18, 1910, Harry Poe, an African-American teenager, allegedly raped Lena Adams, a younger white girl. A Garland County court convicted Poe of rape on March 1, 1910, and sentenced him to death. Several residents of the county believed that Poe was innocent and attempted to save his life. On September 2, 1910, Harry Poe was executed.   The details of Poe’s life before the alleged rape are unclear. Available newspapers variously listed his age as seventeen, eighteen, or nineteen, and provided no details about his life before the incident. Census records do not provide any likely matches for Harry Poe. A writer for the Arkansas Democrat described him in overtly racist language as “a thick-lipped, low-browed, bestial type of negro.”  On January 18, 1910, …

Pounds, Winston (Lynching of)

Winston Pounds, accused of breaking into a white man’s house and assaulting his wife, was hanged by a mob near Wilmot (Ashley County) on August 25, 1927. Census records indicate that Winston Pounds Jr., born around 1906, was the son of farmer Winston Pounds and his wife, Florence Pounds. As sometimes happens, published accounts of the lynching vary significantly, especially between white-owned and African-American-owned newspapers. According to the Arkansas Gazette, Pounds, described as a “Negro farmhand,” entered the J. W. McGarry home while he and his wife were sleeping and assaulted Mrs. McGarry. She screamed, and he fled. Some accounts say that J. W. McGarry was actually in Little Rock (Pulaski County), and that Mrs. McGarry’s sister was staying with …

Powell, Charles (Lynching of)

On August 11, 1926, an African-American man named Charles Powell was lynched near Lewisville (Lafayette County) for allegedly murdering sheriff’s deputy James Dooley. According to the Shreveport Times, a warrant was issued for railroad worker Charles Powell on charges of beating his wife. On Wednesday morning, August 11, Deputy Dooley was sent to serve a warrant on Powell at the railway car on a side track of the Cotton Belt Railroad where he was living. Dooley was described by the Arkansas Gazette as “one of the most popular officers of the county,” while Powell was referred to as “a powerful negro…known as a bad actor” who had previously resisted arrest. When Dooley approached, Powell drew a pistol and shot Dooley …

Powell, Sam (Lynching of)

On July 6, 1910, an African-American man named Sam Powell was lynched near Huttig (Union County) for allegedly robbing A. E. Lucas and setting his house on fire. The Nashville Tennessean reported that Powell was only eighteen years old at the time. He may have been assisted in the crime by another African-American man named Claude Holmes. There is no record of a young African American named Sam Powell living in Arkansas in either 1900 or 1910. However, in 1900, an eight-year-old African American named Sam Powell was living in Lincoln Parish in northern Louisiana with his parents and eight siblings, and news stories about the lynching reported that Powell initially escaped to a lumber town named Rochelle in Grant …