St. Petersburg in Pinellas County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Lynching of John Evans
November 12, 1914
a black laborer
from Dunnellon FL
condemned by a secret
council of fifteen of
St. Petersburg's most
He was then turned over
to a mob of fifteen hundred
white residents and
- Murdered -
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. 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 The United States Veterans Memorial (approx. half a mile away); Brigadier General Thaddeus Kosciuszko (approx. 0.6 miles away); St. Mary, Our Lady of Grace Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); Soreno Hotel (approx. 0.8 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 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.
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.
Categories. • African Americans • Notable Events •
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Credits. This page was last revised on April 10, 2018. This page originally submitted on December 16, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 1,377 times since then and 61 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.