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 • Springfield
 • Greene County
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Fred Coker
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Birth: 1885
Death: Apr. 14, 1906

1906 Lynching
On April 14, 1906, a mob broke into the town jail, then lynched three African-American men: Will Allen; and Horace Duncan and Fred Coker, falsely accused of sexually assaulting Mina Edwards, a white woman. They were hanged and burned by a mob more than 2,000 strong without trial in the town square. The men were hung on the town square from a tower which held a replica of the Statue of Liberty. In the immediate aftermath, two commemorative coins were reportedly issued. The lynching sparked a mass exodus of African-Americans from the area, who still remain a small minority demographic in Springfield. In more recent years, many residents were regretful that the incident occurred. A small plaque on the southeast corner of the square is the city's only reminder.
The above was on Wikipedia on the internet. I have been to the library in Springfield. There is a folder with a lot of information and pictures of the place they were hanged from, a copywrited photo of one boy exists. It can be found in the Springfield Newspaper.
There is a 5 page of grand jury investigation and findings in the fold on this deed.
It was noted the one boy died of fright and not the actual lynching, or burning. There was not any way to distinguish the two boys and they were buried in the same grave.
They were boyhood friends. They were at work when the actual assuault on the woman took place. Even brought before her and she said no, it was not them.
It was not enough to lynch those two innocent boys, it was said the mob was hot, and nostrils were flared. They went back to the jail where they had taken Fred, and his boyhood friend Horace Dunn from and took William Allen who was arrested for the murder of O. M. Roarke, and he too was taken, lynched, and set on fire.
Katherine Gay Leder per office records of Hazelwood Cemetery paid PC on the lot, and paid for the headstones of the boys. As a result of that she was allowed to have her ashes placed in the grave with them.
Her trustees of of her estate held a 100 anniversary and dedicated her stone. She having passed in 2005.
Black history finds many lynchings across the news headlines, and many as well on Easter times. It would be better to go to the library and see the newspaper on microfilm. It was the Springfield Paper, the Republican I think was the name of the paper then. April 15, 1906.
The size of the mob in that paper was three thousand. The size of the mob changing as the estimates grew to five thousand in some accounts.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  King Coker (1842 - 1907)
 
Burial:
Hazelwood Cemetery
Springfield
Greene County
Missouri, USA
Plot: 567
 
Created by: Judy Young
Record added: May 17, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37181677
Fred Coker
Added by: Judy Young
 
Fred Coker
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Judy Young
 
 
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


- Joyce Coker
 Added: Nov. 15, 2009
May he now stand guard to see no further injustice done to you.
- Judy Young
 Added: May. 17, 2009
 
 
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