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 John Brown

Photo added by Paula Berry Nelson

John Brown

  • Birth 1896
  • Death 15 Dec 1928 Joliet, Will County, Illinois, USA
  • Burial Joliet, Will County, Illinois, USA
  • Memorial ID 9276896

FIRST MAN EXECUTED IN THE ELECTRIC CHAIR AT STATEVILLE PRISON IN JOLIET ILLINOIS.

The date was Dec. 15, 1928. Official sunrise was at 7:12 a.m. But 40 witnesses, mostly reporters, had gathered in the early morning darkness. At 6:45 a.m., Warden Elmer Green entered the room and said: "Gentlemen, there will be no more smoking. You are to be as quiet as though you were in church." He led them out and across the prison yard. They entered the newly constructed death chamber, which still had the smell of fresh paint. The witnesses were seated in three rows of chairs facing a glass wall. At 7:10 a.m. the dark room was flooded with lights. The men were
momentarily blinded. But after focusing their eyes, they could see the big, wooden chair on the other side of the glass wall.

Brown entered the room with the legs of his slacks split to the knee. He was flanked by a chaplain and four uniformed guards. The 32-year-old condemned man refused a black death mask. He walked to the chair without hesitation. The guards strapped him in. At 7:12 a.m., he died in the chair as 2,400 volts of electricity were sent through his body. Ten minutes later, the same procedure was used to execute Claude Clark; and, 13 minutes after that, the chair was used to execute Dominick Bressetti. The three men convicted of killing a Waukegan farmer.

Information from article by John Whiteside, Herald-News city editor.


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  • Created by: Paula Berry Nelson
  • Added: 6 Aug 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9276896
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Brown (1896–15 Dec 1928), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9276896, citing Stateville Prison Cemetery, Joliet, Will County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Paula Berry Nelson (contributor 46625006) .