Drink and Melancholy.


Body Dragged Mile Behind Automobile—Riddled With Bullets—Sheriff Powerless—Second Lynching in State Within a Year.


Authorities today are searching for clues to the identity of members of an organized gang of automobile lynchers who early yesterday morning hung Cleve Culbertson to a railroad bridge near Williston and then riddled his body with bullets.

Culbertson was in the county jail at Williston, under the sentence of life for the murder of Nrs. {sp} D. T. Dillon, said to have been his former wife and her second husband and 12-year-old daughter near Ray last October. He received his sentence Monday.

About 2 a.m. Tuesday several automobile loads of men, supposedly from the vicinity of Ray, attacked the jail. Leaving their automobiles a few blocks from the central part of town the lynchers, all heavily armed, took possession of the telephone station, the fire headquarters and the power house.

A detachment formed to storm the jail. A trusty on night duty was covered by a revolver in the hands of a masked man and held at bay while others hunted through the jail corridors, discovered a heavy iron crowbar and smashed an overhead window to the murderers cell.

The victim was hauled out of his cell through the window and half dragged, half carried through the streets to the waiting automobiles. It is said that he resisted and a bullet was fired into his body before the vehicles were reached.

With Culbertson in one of the autos the procession drove out of town to a bridge over the Little Muddy and the slayer of three was hung to the trestle work of the bridge. After strangulation was complete it is said the vigilance committee fired a volley of shots into the swinging body to make sure of their work.

Forty minutes later the coroner, district attorney and sheriff arrived and took down the body. At that time no trace remained of the midnight lynchers. The road leading to the bridge is a main traveled one and it was impossible to follow the automobile tracks.

After cutting down the body the brain of the murdered man was removed and examined by the coroner and pronounced normal.

The lynching was reported to Governor Hanna yesterday and the executive declared that he woul {sp} lend all the assistance in his power to the county authorities in their search for the guilty parties and would insist that their prosecution be pressed with vigor. If necessary he declared the attorney general would be called in the case.

Valley City Times-Record, 12/18/1913

Stoic Group

Posted 01/09/2016