Execution of Majors for the murder of Renowden

Richland Co., Ohio


Historical Records

- - - - - -

Execution of Majors for the murder of Renowden

Source:  THE MANSFIELD HERALD:  29 May 1884, Vol. 34, No. 28


Submitted by Amy


The W.P. Renowden spoken of in the following dispatch from Oakland, Cal., of May 23d., was a bachelor brother of J.B. Renowden, of this city, at present at Oakland, and uncle of Miss Sadie Renowden, the songstress.  Attention was called to W.P. Renowden's murder some months ago in these columns.  The telegram says:  Lloyd L. Majors was hanged this morning.  Last Monday night the condemned man made a desperate attempt to escape.  Possessed of great strength, he overpowered the two death watches and the jailer who happened at the moment to be in his cell.  Wrenching the keys from the jailor's grasp he dashed through the door across the jail yard to the street.  But just as he thought he had succeeded he was encountered by two firemen who had been attracted by the noise.  They recognized Majors, and another struggle ensued, so terrible that Majors' arm was broken.  Rendered helpless he was conducted back to his cell.  From that moment he abandoned hope and sought consolation in religion.  Up to the last moment he professed his innocence of the crime charged.  In conversation with J.B. Renowden, of Mansfield, brother of the murdered man, he said:  "You may draw the life blood from my arm, and with this pen I will write my innocence of all connection of the crime in my own blood."  As he spoke he appealed to heaven to witness the truth of his statement.

Lloyd L. Majors was forty-six years old, was born near the home of Garfield, in Ohio, graduated at Ann Arbor College in 1870, and began the practice of law, but afterwards joined the Methodist ministry.  After preaching several years, he went to the Pacific Coast, and settled in Los Galos, where he became the owner of a hotel.  The double murder for which he was executed was committed a year ago.  He planned it, leaving the execution, however, to two tools named Jewell and Showers.  They were both tried and convicted, but before this all the facts in the case became known and the agency of Majors became known.  The murder planned was that of W.P. Renowden, an old man living in a cabin near Los Galos, and the purpose was robbery.  When Majors' tools went they found not only Renowden, but a friend named McIntire, both of whom were killed.  Majors went there the same night, and set fire to the cabin.  He gave Jewell and Showers a bottle of whisky ad $5 for the deed.

At ten minutes before the time fixed for the execution he was led from the cell to the scaffold, and though still suffering from the effects of his late desperate effort to escape, walked the distance with a firm, unflinching tread.  About four hundred persons had gathered in the jail yard, and the roofs of the surrounding buildings were covered with people to witness the execution.  He mounted the scaffold without assistance and took up his position on the drop firmly and erect.  It was expected that he would make a parting speech;  but he refused to say a word, maintaining throughout stolid silence.  At 12:12 the bolt was pulled and Majors fell with a dull thud.  In eight minutes he was pronounced dead, and in sixteen the body was cut down, and placed in a coffin for delivery to his relatives.  Within the jail yard not a sound was to be heard, and awful silence prevailed, only broken by the jeers of the crowd outside when it was learned that Majors had ceased to live.

<< Back to Historical Records Index

<< Back to the Richland Co., Ohio Index