Hanging ticket that once hung at HLOM returned to museum
Submitted by Howard Owens on July 14, 2011 - 12:58pm
It's a ticket to one of the last hangings in Genesee County and it was last seen hanging in the Holland Land Office Museum in the early 1970s.
It was around that time, maybe a couple of years earlier, that it was apparently stolen.
In 1973, an unidentified couple bought it from a guy selling antiques out of the trunk of his car in Pavilion.
A few weeks ago, the now-elderly couple decided to donate it to the Genesee Country Museum, but the museum director there immediately recognized it as property of HLOM and called up Director Jeffrey Donahue to see about returning it.
A few days ago, Don Read, Bob Turk and Donahue drove to Mumford to recover the framed relic.
The ticket was issued in May 1866 by Sheriff Parley Upton (unknown family connection to Gen. Emery Upton) to Henry Todd, a local newspaper editor. It was donated to the HLOM by Philip Skelton Jr.
The murderer hanged was Levi Mayhew, a veteran of the Civil War who became the lover of another man's wife. The cuckold's wife wanted her husband dead and tried to get Mayhew to poison him, but he wouldn't do it. When she threatened to do it herself, Mayhew decided to kill the husband, Theodore Dunham, himself by beating him to death in Indian Falls.
Mayhew was hanged on May 4, 1866.
The last hanging in Genesee County was apparently 10 years later when Thomas B. Quackenbush was punished for the Dec. 3, 1875 murder of Sarah Norton, also in Indian Falls. He was executed by hanging in August 1876 by Sheriff Ward.
UPDATE: It looks like the last execution was Charles Stockley, hanged on Aug. 19, 1881 at the age of 24. Stockley shot and killed his former boss in a dispute over the man's daughter.