William G. Martin

Ok, so here’s a good one. There was no William G. Martin who was lynched on September 11, 1897 at Lake Bennett. This was a false story reported by Hal Hoffman to the Chicago Tribune and repeated many times thereafter.

It is still falsely cited on the “land of the free” website. William R. Hunt in the book “Whiskey Peddler, the story of Johnny Healy, North Frontier Trader” (1993) refutes this story.

Now this is not to say that there weren’t other cases of frontier justice as there are even pictures of men being whipped on the trail for theft. One man even committed suicide to evade such punishment. The photo above is a staged photo for a 1915 book about the Shooting of Dan McGrew.



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