Historical Cases


One of the darkest chapters in Audubon County's crime history was in 1884 and 1885. On April 26, 1884, an elderly, crippled rural Audubon County resident was dragged out of his residence and hanged by his son and two sons-in-law. The three were arrested and had to await a trial date of February of 1885. The Judge, fearing that the three men wouldn't get a fair trial, ordered that the trial be held in Atlantic. Citizens of the county didn't feel that these three men would be judged properly in a foreign court and decided to take measures of their own. On February 5, 1885, at approximately 2:00 a.m., Sheriff Herbert and his Deputy were awakened by pounding on the jail door. Upon looking out, Sheriff Herbert estimated the crowd at approximately 75 men. The Sheriff advised the crowd to go away and that they wouldn't get his prisoners. The crowd told him they would get them one way or the other. The crowd fired shots through the door at the Sheriff and his Deputy, and they subdued the two officers in a room. The prisoners were being held in two cells in a large iron cage. The mob had brought cold chisels and hammers, and after working dexterously for 1 ½ hours were able to make a hole in the cage. The two sons-in-law resisted with broom handles and fists and were gunned down, then dragged outside and hanged. The son of the victim did not resist and was brought outside and was hanged alongside the other two.

In another case originating on March 12, 1972, involved a man who was shot and killed while he slept in his home. This case remains unsolved.

Fortunately, we haven't had anything of that nature recently, but have been dealing with the current "meth" problems and crimes associated with drug use, such as burglaries, assaults, forgeries, etc.