“Murder and Mayhem in Carroll County” – Historical Society of Carroll County Box Lunch Talk for August 15, 2017 by Kevin Dayhoff

The next Historical Society of Carroll County Box Lunch Talk is next Tuesday on August 15, 2017 at 1 p.m. in Grace Hall at Grace Lutheran Church at 21 Carroll Street. The talk is on “Murder and Mayhem in Carroll County.”

20170811 Murder promo

Admission to the Box Lunch Talk is $3 for members and $7 for non-members. The price of admission includes a small selection of beverages and dessert.

Grace Lutheran Church is located at 21 Carroll Street, Westminster. Free parking is available in the nearby Carroll Street parking lot.

For more information check the historical society’s web site at http://hsccmd.org, or call them at 410-848-6494.

On August 1, 2017, Carroll County Times writer Lois Szymanski provided a preview of the talk in an article, “Central Carroll: Murder & Mayhem during box lunch talk,” in the Carroll County Times: Find it here: http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/news/neighborhoods/cc-nh-central-carroll-20170726-story.html

Ever since Biblical times when Cain committed the first murder when he killed his brother Able, crime, murder, and mayhem has been the focus of an unexplained fascination of any society and Carroll County is no different. Kevin Dayhoff reports upon many of the high crimes and misdemeanors that have stained the history of the county over the years.

From 1859 to 1916 three people were hanged in Westminster for heinous murders. Rebecca McCormack killed a 13-year-old boy by stabbing him with a pitchfork. She was convicted of murder and hanged in June 1859 outside the jail. She was the first person hanged in Carroll County, and the only woman ever to have been executed here. Joseph Davis was hanged in 1874, and Solomon Sudler, a 16-year-old, was hanged in 1916.

Over the years, not everyone liked the entertainment provided at the Odd Fellow’s Hall in Westminster. Around the time of the American Civil War a show at the hall featured unflattering impressions of Lincoln, Grant and other national leaders. The next day morning, the decapitated body of the entertainer was found in a rear stable.

Statewide, many folks are not aware that Maryland had a brief spell of dealing with witches long before the famous Salem witchcraft trials in 1692. The earliest cases in Maryland “involved the hanging of women assumed to be witches while aboard ships traveling from England to the colonies in 1654 and 1658.”

In April 1865 the editor of the Western Maryland Democrat, Joseph Shaw, was lynched in Westminster at the corner of Anchor and West Main Street for an editorial that he had published in the paper just days before President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 14th 1865. “Joseph Shaw, the outspoken, pro-southern newspaperman, was Carroll County’s final casualty of the war.”

It might be noted, that murdering editors is on the disapproved behavior list in Westminster. You can complain and mutter epitaphs – but you can’t harm them.

Admission to the Box Lunch Talk is $3 for members and $7 for non-members. The price of admission includes a small selection of beverages and dessert.

Grace Lutheran Church is located at 21 Carroll Street, Westminster. Free parking is available in the nearby Carroll Street parking lot.

For more information check the historical society’s web site at http://hsccmd.org, or call them at 410-848-6494.

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