MARKER DENOTES 1897 LAST PUBLIC HANGING IN RIPLEY - Calhoun Residents Traveled To Event

The Jackson County Historical Society and the town of Ripley has a recent historical marker.

The marker describes the last public hanging in the state of West Virginia.

On December 16, 1897 John Morgan was hung after being convicted of a triple murder.

Morgan killed a mother and two of her children with a hatchet.

"There was a very large crowd, that attended the hanging and it was almost a carnival type atmosphere before it was over," said Mike McGrew, local Historian.

A few thousand came, some bringing their picnic.

After this hanging, in their next session the State Legislature passed a law prohibiting public executions.

The judge presiding over this case in 1897 was Judge Reese Blizzard, formerly of Grantsville.

See 1897:SIX THOUSAND ATTEND LAST PUBLIC HANGING AT RIPLEY - 'From Far Away As Calhoun, Two Counties Distant' They Came