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St. Petersburg in Pinellas County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
MISSING
SEE LOCATION SECTION
 

Lynching of John Evans

 
 
Lynching of John Evans Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By AGS Media, December 8, 2011
1. Lynching of John Evans Marker
Inscription.  
At this intersection
November 12, 1914
John Evans
a black laborer
from Dunnellon FL
was lynched
condemned by a secret
council of fifteen of
St. Petersburg's most
influential citizens.
He was then turned over
to a mob of fifteen hundred
white residents and
- Murdered -

 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansNotable Events. A significant historical date for this entry is November 12, 1914.
 
Location. Marker is missing. It was located near 27° 46.274′ N, 82° 38.789′ W. Marker was in St. Petersburg, Florida, in Pinellas County. Marker could be reached from the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street and Central Avenue when traveling north. The marker was mounted on the north side of a concrete utility pole at the northeast corner of the intersection, approximately two feet above the ground. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Saint Petersburg FL 33701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Lynching in America / The Lynching of John Evans (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line);
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Votes for Women (approx. 0.3 miles away); S. H. Kress and Co. Building (approx. 0.4 miles away); Our Heroes of the World War (approx. half a mile away); Pinellas County Veterans Memorial (approx. half a mile away); John C. Williams (approx. half a mile away); The United States Veterans Memorial (approx. half a mile away); Merchant Seamen World War II Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Petersburg.
 
More about this marker. The marker was a small aluminum plaque measuring roughly 3x5 inches in size. Unfortunately it had been tagged with graffiti.
 
Regarding Lynching of John Evans. On November 10, 1914, prominent St. Petersburg businessman and developer Edward F. Sherman was shot and killed and his wife Mary was brutally beaten with a pipe. By the next morning, groups of armed, white men were conducting manhunts for the "two negroes" described by Mrs. Sherman. Suspicions landed on Ebenezer B. Tobin and John Evans. Evans had been fired by Mr. Sherman three days earlier. Tobin
Lynching of John Evans Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By AGS Media, December 8, 2011
2. Lynching of John Evans Marker
was jailed in Clearwater, but Evans was detained in St. Petersburg and was twice taken before Mary Sherman, but neither time did she identify him as one of her and her husband's attackers. When blood-spattered clothes were discovered in a rooming house at which Evans had recently stayed, a mob of 1,500 whites overtook the city jail, threatening to kill the jailer if he did not turn Evans over to them. Evans had a noose put around his neck but initial attempts to hang him were unsuccessful when Evans wrapped his legs around a light pole. At this point an unidentified white woman fatally shot Evans. This commenced a ten minute span during which a large number from the crowd emptied their weapons into Evans' lifeless body.

Ebenezer Tobin was eventually tried and convicted in Clearwater for the murder of Edward Sherman. St. Petersburg was left with an image as a town of violence and vigilantes, and many local leaders were revealed to have been involved. News reports revealed that Evans had been tried and convicted in secret by a committee composed of fifteen of St. Petersburg's most respected citizens.
 
Lynching of John Evans Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By AGS Media, December 8, 2011
3. Lynching of John Evans Marker
Seen near the base of the light pole
Former site of the Lynching of John Evans Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By AGS Media, March 31, 2013
4. Former site of the Lynching of John Evans Marker
The concrete lamp post to which the marker had been attached has since been replaced by a metal lamp post. Reportedly the marker was given to an African-American history initiative.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 10, 2018. It was originally submitted on December 16, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 1,841 times since then and 6 times this year. Last updated on April 14, 2013, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 16, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.   4. submitted on April 4, 2013, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 27, 2024