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Elmer Hill
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Birth: unknown
Death: Dec. 16, 1908
Russell County
Kentucky, USA

Note: The following articles related to Elmer Hill's death do contain some erroneous information, but are presented here as they originally appeared in the Adair County News. Differing accounts were published in other newspapers.


A Rope Placed Around Elmer Hill's Neck and He is Jerked into Eternity.


The expected happened last Wednesday night when a mob of about thirty or forty citizens of Russell county visited the Monticello jail, took therefrom Elmer Hill, who assaulted and murdered little Mamie (Nannie) Womack near Russell Springs, conveying him to the mouth of Greasy Creek in Russell county, and there hanged him until he was dead, his body being left dangling from a tree when the mob withdrew. It is useless to repeat the history of the crime as a full account of it appeared in the issue of the News of last week.

There was no trouble at the Monticello jail. Sheriff Wright was not at the jail with a posse of men. The jailer was called up and the mob made its business known. The jailer, seeing that it would be useless to resist, gave up the keys. It is said that the mob who executed Hill was made up of some of the best citizens of Russell county, who felt that they could no longer wait for the death of a man who had committed such a dastardly crime. While a great many will say that it would have been better for Russell county if the law had been permitted to have taken its course, very few, if any, will censure the action of the men who participated in putting to death the man who committed the most heinous crime ever recorded in this section of Kentucky or in any other State.

It is our understanding that Hill, soon after he was taken from the jail at Monticello, confessed his guilt in the hearing of a Wayne county gentleman who happened to be up at the time. Even if he did not confess, he left substantial evidence, discarded clothing, which were found at the home of his grandfather. It is reported here, however, that Hill's full confession was made to Mr. Cyrus Dunbar, a merchant at the mouth of Greasy creek, just before he was hanged. He was permitted by the mob to talk to Mr. Dunbar.

He stated that he was guilty and that no other person was implicated. He also said that the only thing he regretted was that he wanted to live so that he could treat three other girls in the neighborhood the same way. We also learn from another source that Hill did not see Mr. Dunbar, and that his confession was made to the mob, but it was substantially what is stated above that he said to Dunbar. While the law was not vindicated, the world has been made richer, and Russell and her sister counties are happy.

(The Adair County News, Dec 23, 1908)

Elmer Hill's Confession

A writer from the Russell Springs, who states that he was one of the mob who hanged Elmer Hill, says that Hill made a full confession. He told how he caught the girl, choking her to insensibility with her fascinator; that before leaving her he struck her on the head several times with a club and then escaped into the woods. He said little Mamie begged him to let her alone, but he was determined to carry out his intention.

The writer also says that Hill said he was after another girl, but she saw him and made her escape to the home of Milt Gaskin. He told the mob that he had gone from one crime to another until he did not care for himself nor anyone else.

The writer says that Hill had nerve like a lion; that he never flinched from the time they started from the Monticello jail until he was put to death. Just before he was hanged, Hill was told that his time had come, and was asked if he wanted to pray. He answered, "It is no use; hell is my doom." "He was riding a mule" says the writer, "and just before the animal was led from under him, the rope being around his neck and over a limb, he asked us not to shoot him."

(The Adair County News, Dec 30, 1908)

Note: Elmer was buried in the woods behind the Jamestown Cemetery in a shipping crate. There was speculation that his body may have been removed at some point and buried at a different location outside of town, but this is unclear.

His maternal grandfather was Allison Hill who was also known as Allison Holt. Allison was also Nannie's grandfather. Elmer's mother was most likely Catherine Hill.

Another story about Elmer being in trouble in 1900, from the September 5, 1900, Adair County News, page 3:

Mr. J.S. Wright, an official of Taylor County, arrested Elmer Hill on Wilson's Creek last Friday, and delivered him to the jailor of Russell County. About six months ago Hill and a man named George DeHart sawed out of the Jamestown jail and both have been running at large since that time. DeHart will yet be captured. 
Jamestown Cemetery
Russell County
Kentucky, USA
Created by: BC
Record added: Mar 21, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67248897
Elmer Hill
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Added by: Ronnie Zimmerman
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- GenealogyGirl
 Added: Sep. 2, 2014
Pity for your soul.
- AR
 Added: May. 12, 2014

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