Murder in Gales: A Rose Hanged Twice

Murder in Gales: A Rose Hanged Twice

by Patricia Lubeck


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In 1888 there's bad blood and bitter feuding between two families, the Lufkins and the Roses. It seems William Rose sought the heart and hand of Lufkin's beautiful daughter, Grace and she was the main subject of the feud. Her father put a stop to the romance and the fire of hatred was kindled resulting in bitter quarrels and lawsuits between the families.

On the evening of August 22, 1888 Moses Lufkin is seated on a lounge near an open window conversing with the Slover family in the town of Gales. All of a sudden a shot is heard. Lufkin has been shot in the back and dies within minutes. Eli Slover rushes to the window and sees a man running from the scene, who he believes is William Rose. Rose, considered a likely suspect, is arrested two days later, and charged with the crime.

This true story gives intimate details and events leading to this horrible tragedy. You'll get a glimpse of other possible suspects and motives, a look at the justice system of the times, as Rose endures three trials, being acquitted at the first two, with a conviction at the third. Appeals were made all the way to the US Supreme Court but Governor Merriam denies the commutation of the death sentence and Rose is scheduled to hang.

On October 16, 1891, the death march begins, and Rose courageously meets his fate. As he stands at the top of the gallows, he glances at the little crowd of people below with his piercing dark eyes and gives his last speech; "Gentlemen, you realize that I stand on this platform tonight as a poor, unfortunate man, who in a few minutes must swing. Some of you will surely live to see the day that I shall be declared innocent. Watch that old man, Slover, and see whether my words don't come true. Gentlemen, I bid you goodbye."

The gruesome details of the execution begin at 5 am; Sheriff Charlie Mead pulls the lever, a loud crash is heard, Rose's limp body lies in a heap upon the floor; the rope broke. The horror-stricken crowd stands motionless. Finally, deputies carry his body to the gallows, another noose is placed around his neck, and the trap sprung again. This time the rope holds and Rose swings a second time; his spirit finally escaping into eternity.

Over 120 years later, people who've heard this story, still claim an innocent man was hanged, not once, but twice. Such a terrible miscarriage of justice is now a part of the past. But there is a piece from this story that still stands at the Redwood County Museum, Redwood Falls. It is the small, one-room jail where Rose stayed the day before his execution. This treasure from the past has been preserved by the Redwood County Historical Society and is on display during the summer months.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781432791292
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 07/13/2012
Pages: 152
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.33(d)

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