Henry McDonald

Henry McDonald

Birth
Death 15 Oct 1881
Owyhee County, Idaho, USA
Burial Silver City, Owyhee County, Idaho, USA
Memorial ID 38956898 · View Source
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FIRST AND ONLY LEGAL HANGING IN OWYHEE COUNTY.

"The morning of Friday, October 15, 1881, the day appointed for the execution of Henry McDonald, dawned dark and disagreeable, a heavy snow storm prevailing, as if nature was angry that man, created in the image of God, should fall so low as to make capital punishment a necessity. All preparations for the execution had been completed by Sheriff Springer, and at one o'clock p. m the prisoner was taken from his cell, and in company with the sheriff and deputy, walked down to Jordan street, where a wagon was in waiting to carry him to the gallows and the grave. He showed no signs of emotion; walked very erect, and got in the wagon, in company with the sheriff, deputy and Father Nattini, and was driven to the place of execution, at the old Ruby City cemetery, which has been unused for many years. About 300 people gathered about the scaffold, many having come in from the adjacent valleys. At seventeen minutes past 1:00 o'clock the prisoner firmly ascended the scaffold, and until 1:45 remained in consultation with Father Nattini, at which time Sheriff Springer read the death warrant. McDonald shook hands with those who had guarded him while in jail here and the priest, bidding them goodby, but had nothing else to say. James T. Griffin pinioned his hands and feet, and Father Nattini adjusted the black cap. At six minutes before 2 o'clock the sheriff sprung the trap, and thus without a sign of emotion or word of complaint the bloodstained soul of Henry McDonald was ushered into eternity. In fourteen minutes life was pronounced extinct by Dr. Belknap, and the remains were buried within a few yards of the scaffold.
"The evidence in this case is well known and the law has been vindicated. Not only should the youths of this place remember, but those men who are ready to draw the deadly knife and revolver, that 'He who sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.' This is the first execution by law in this county; may we hope that another will never be required. — Avalanche. [Commercial Directory of Owyhee County, Idaho (Silver City, Idaho, Press of the Owyhee Avalanche, 1898)]



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  • Created by: William Yates
  • Added: 1 Jul 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 38956898
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Henry McDonald (unknown–15 Oct 1881), Find A Grave Memorial no. 38956898, citing Ruby City Cemetery, Silver City, Owyhee County, Idaho, USA ; Maintained by William Yates (contributor 47096650) .