: Riot of 1894. Deputies moving William Dolby into the Fayette County Courthouse for trial as a crowd surrounds the building.
Reminiscent of the 1960 Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird, a plaque outside the court house described the event. On October 16, 1894, a crowd gathered outside the courthouse with the intent to lynch alleged attacker William "Jasper" Dolby. Ohio Governor William McKinley ordered the Ohio National Guard troops to the premises in order to prevent the crowd from attacking the accused. The mob was initially ceased, but on October 17, while Dolby awaited transportation from the jail to the courthouse, the riots intensified (see photo).
Even though Dolby pleaded guilty to rape and a 20-year sentence, the crowd sought vengeance. They rushed the courthouse doors, and were warned by the guard to "disperse or be fired upon." The rioters ignored the warning and continued to batter the doors.
Colonel Alonzo B. Coit ordered his troops to fire through the courthouse doors, which resulted in five men killed. Colonel Coit was indicted for manslaughter and was acquitted at trial. After the trial, Governor McKinley stated, "The law was upheld as it should have been...but in this case at fearful cost... Lynching cannot be tolerated in Ohio." View on Ohio Memory.
: AL06614 Subjects
: Lynching; Riot control; Courthouses Places
: Washington Court House (Ohio); Fayette County (Ohio)