Henry Morgan Tomlinson & 1884 Lynching In Monterey, VA
This week there was a comment in The OkieLegacy, Vol. 14, Iss. 20 - 2012-05-14 left by Kevin Fansler on 2012-06-06, where he says, . . . .
"Hello Michael, I came across your letter below and I thought I would comment on it. Thanks for finding out about the identity of the lone man to be tried for the murder. I have also been interested in this incident. My great grandfather was Henry Morgan Tomlins on and my grandmother is Mary Huldah Tomlinson. I am related to most of these suspects. If I am not related by blood I am related by marriage.
"I am also related to John Sydney Ruckman who was wounded by Atcheson. Ruckman was later murdered in a dispute with African Americans in 1896. One of his slayers was then lynched at Watonga, Oklahoma. My grandmother wrote the account down in a poem. The first part is lost because my mother burned a lot of this correspondence. I think it upset her to read it. I have the second part of the poem and I am surprised that she did not also burn it.
"Henry left immediately after the murder. He immediately went to Conwaw, Kansas but then quickly went to McPherson, Kansas. He had relatives there. According to the census one of the relatives was probably A.W. Gum. He was then living under an assumed name of Charles with the surname Morgan. My grandmother told us about this and I had no difficulty locating the family in the 1885 Kansas census.
"I have tried to find the other suspects using their real names but they do not show up in the Kansas 1885 census. The rest of the family followed after the farm was quickly sold and a sale was planned to dispose of other property. They received hardly any cash but held a note as promise for future payment.
"They rented land in Kansas and had frequent visitors from Virginia preparing to settle or just visit. Some visitors were the Ruckman's, the Erevin's, and Overholt's. They practically ate them out of house and home. The money from the note never came and the rent on the land was high. The family went from a prosperous state to being impoverished. "In 1893 Henry Clay went down to settle on a quarter near Fay, Oklahoma. In 1894, Mary was coerced by her father and brothers to come down and make a claim as she had some resources from her occupation of teacher. Mary left a fiance behind in Kansas. She finally moved down for good in 1894. I have some old photos made when they were in McPherson, Kansas and a little later when they first came to Oklahoma. By joining Google Plus you will be able to see these photos."
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