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The article concerning the hanging of Fred Behme brought back memories of 56 years ago.
I was sitting directly behind Mr. and Mrs. M. E. Buck in the Christian Church the night they came for him to go out there. News and transportation was slower in those days.
After he was placed in the old county jail often a number of us school girls accompanied some minister to the jail where he read to him from the Bible and prayed and we sang.
Then when the fateful Friday, December 4th came we went with the minister to this enclosure built around the jail and I well remember my sister, Iva and I were among the number. After we had finished our last song and prayer, Mr. Behme, who had stepped onto the scaffold for the service, spoke to us. He said he had repented for his awful deed and had made his peace with God and would meet us in Heaven.
My father witnessed the hanging.
It was a black day in the history of McLeansboro and Hamilton County, but not as black as the awful deed he had comitted.
We've been away from McLeansboro 41 years past and it is only when names and incidents of long ago are mentioned that they register with us - but it is still home, I read every name - even in the Tax lists for often I see a name I recognize.
We enjoy your paper every Monday morning.
May you, your force and paper enjoy a prosperous 1953.
Thanks a lot,
Mrs. Joe F. Reeder
(Inez Cross Reeder)
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