The Hanging of
From the book "Clay and Platte Counties
Missouri" written 1855
October 14, 1873, a negro named Samuel Walker shot and
killed his wife, Katie, who at the time was employed as a
domestic in a family at Liberty. Walker claimed that his
wife was unfaithful to him. He came to Liberty from
One night he waylaid, shot and badly wounded a negro whom
he suspected of visiting his wife, and a few nights
thereafter, shot the woman herself, as she stepped out of
doors for a bucket of water.
Walker was apprehended the same night in the chimney of a
negro cabin down in the river bottom. He was indicted and
arraigned in November following, and his trail continued
to March, 1874, when he was tried and convicted, and
sentenced to be hung May 15, two months later, a short
On his trial he was defended by COL. RUCKER. The evidence
was conclusive against the prisoner, and he even
confessed his guilt.
The execution came off at the appointed time, on what is
called the show grounds, west of the railroad depot, in
Liberty. A large crowd of both sexes, races and all ages
was present. The details occupied full four hours.
The condemned man had been visited the day before by two
Catholic Sisters of Charity, and then professed the
Catholic religion, but on the scaffold he seemed to have
gone back on Catholicism and to have become a good
He prayed, sung, exhorted, talked and bade farewell to
all who would come up and shake hands with him, and the
scene was by no means an attractive one. SHERIFF PATTON,
the one-armed ex-Confederate soldier, had charge of the
This page was last updated
June 7, 2005.