|Birth: ||Jun. 11, 1868|
|Death: ||Sep. 24, 1883|
HANGED BY AN ANGRY MOB; THE MURDERER OF ADA ATKINSON CONFESSES HIS CRIME.
HORSEMEN SURROUND THE TOWN, THE JAIL IS BROKEN INTO, AND THE PRISONER IS TAKEN OUT AND HANGED.
On the 24th of September last Ada Atkinson, a beautiful girl of 15, was found murdered in her room in her father's house on the family farm.
She was the daughter of Cephas Atkinson, a man of wealth, living near Oxford, Benton County, 20 miles west of Lafayette.
THE FRANKLIN DEMOCRAT
Friday ~ November 23, 1883
Volume XXIV, Number 21, Page 3, Column 2
A MURDERER HUNG BY A MOB
Jacob Melling, who confessed to the murder of Ada Atkinson, was taken from the jail at Fowler, Ind., Sunday night and hung by a mob of eighty-nine men, all masked. They were well organized, and arrived in Fowler about 11 o’clock. They hitched their horses, posted a guard to warn away the citizens, and went to the east door of the jail where they soon found an entrance by breaking down the door with sledges. They then quietly, but with great determination, proceeded to break in the iron doors leading to the corridors. This took some time, perhaps half an hour. Soon, however, the doors gave way under the skill and labor of the avengers. The old man met them at the door of his cell, already dressed and ready to go to his doom. He was quickly walked to a carriage in which was the rope. The only remark he made was, “Go a little slow, gentlemen, I am older than some of you.” He was taken to the Atkinson farm, near Oxford, 12 miles distant, and a few minutes before 12 o’clock was hung to a tree in sight of the Atkinson house, where he committed the horrible murder on the 24th of last September. Before he was swung off he was asked if he had tried to ravish Ada Atkinson, and he replied three times: “I did not.” “Why did you murder her?” “I don’t know,” said the lying wretch. “Did you ever commit any other murder?” “No.” Is there any other crime you wish to make known?” “No, sir.” “Did you have any accomplice in the murder of Ada Atkinson?” “No, I didn’t.” “String him up,” quietly said one of the maskers. “You will believe me now if you ever do,” said Nelling. His body was left hanging till 11 o’clock Monday morning, when it was cut down by the coroner and taken to Oxford. A few witnesses were examined and a verdict rendered of “Death by violence at the hands of unknown persons.”
[Submitted by Mark McCrady and Cathea Curry]
Cephas Atkinson (1829 - 1905)
Rachel Birch Atkinson (1835 - 1899)
Mary Frances Atkinson Menefee (1853 - 1923)*
Isaac Newton Atkinson (1855 - 1911)*
Lucy Ann Atkinson Heath (1864 - 1924)*
Lewis M. Atkinson (1864 - 1923)*
Ada Atkinson (1868 - 1883)
Plot: Div. East - Plot 1027
Created by: Ruth (Hickman) Wicks
Record added: May 05, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14182441