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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hays in Ellis County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Hangman's Bridge

Hays City, Kansas

 
 
Hangman's Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 1, 2016
1. Hangman's Bridge Marker
Inscription. Beneath the wooden trestle which originally stood on the site of the railroad bridge north of here, lynch mobs hanged at least four persons in the wild days. In the wee hours of January 7, 1869, Luke Barnes, Lee Watkins and James Sponder, Black soldiers of the 38th U.S. Infantry, were hanged here, while awaiting trial for the murder of James Hayes in Hays City. On August 11, 1871, another mob hanged Jack McGee, a mule team driver being held in the town-county jail for stabbing Big Creek Township’s constable Frank Shepard.

Hays City, Kansas

 
Erected by City of Hays Kansas Convention & Visitors Bureau.
 
Location. 38° 52.604′ N, 99° 20.647′ W. Marker is in Hays, Kansas, in Ellis County. Marker is on North Campus Drive (Old Highway 40) 0.4 miles west of Elm Street. Touch for map. Located right on the Big Creek Trail near Fort Hays State University. Marker is at or near this postal address: North Campus Drive, Hays KS 67601, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Townsite of Rome (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Hays State University War Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); St. Joseph Church
Area view of Hangman's Bridge Marker along Big Creek Trail. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 1, 2016
2. Area view of Hangman's Bridge Marker along Big Creek Trail.
(approx. 0.6 miles away); St. Joseph Parochial School (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Sporting Palace (approx. 0.7 miles away); Jim Curry’s Restaurant (approx. 0.7 miles away); Gospel Hill (approx. 0.7 miles away); Union Pacific House (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hays.
 
Regarding Hangman's Bridge. Some sources show James Sponder as James Ponder.
 
Also see . . .  "Black Soldiers At Fort Hays, Kansas, 1867-1869 A Study In Civilian And Military Violence" (.pdf). (Submitted on August 1, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. African AmericansNotable Events
 
Current railroad bridge - site of former Hangman's Bridge. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 1, 2016
3. Current railroad bridge - site of former Hangman's Bridge.
Former wooden trestle bridge (Hangman's Bridge) image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, KS
4. Former wooden trestle bridge (Hangman's Bridge)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 5, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 1, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 189 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 1, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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