GALENA, Mo.- A replica of a noose on display in Stone County has been the topic of recent concerns as voters noticed the display near some polling booths.
According to a weekend Ozarks First report, the news was covered by county officials after the Missouri Democratic Party asked for to be taken down, claiming having the noose near voting booths was a clear intimidation targeting black voters.
The Stone County clerk says the noose has been on display for several years as a way to remember something that happened in Galena in 1937.
That year in the small Stone County town marked the last public hanging in Missouri and one of the last in the United States.
Rosco “Red” Jackson was convicted of murdering a traveling salesman from Indiana; the judge sentenced him to death.
“A special eight-foot scaffold was constructed on the east side of the county courthouse, a board fence was built around the courthouse lawn,” says Ammabelle Burk. Burk wrote about the execution for the Stone County history books.
Burk also said in 1991, Jackson was hung at the Galena square with an audience of around 400.
One of those 400 was then 10-year-old, Edna Rinker.
“It seemed to be like they made quite a big deal out of it, but yet it was just an eerie feeling,” says Rinker.
Clint Maxwell was also there as an official witness for the sheriff and stood right next to Jackson.
“He walked up there and placed his feet over that trap door; he wanted to go through there,” said Maxwell in 1991.
Burk said Jackson had his hands cuffed, and right before going down, a black hood was placed over his head. As the hood was being placed, Jackson uttered, “Goodbye, be good, folks.”
So the noose in the exhibit is meant to mark Missouri’s last legal hanging from 1937.