Clay County MOGenWeb

Clay County
Historical Tidbits

The Hanging of Sam Walker

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 Platte county.

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 shrift, certainly.

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 Protestant.

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 hanging.


This page was last updated June 7, 2005.