Anson County, NC

Alleged offense: Murder
Race: White
Gender: Male
Age: 40
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): Yes
Legal intervention (following lynching): Yes
Mob size: 50-75
Mob members: W. N. Nivens; Lester Johnson; Jno. Nivens; Jim Swink; Ira Johnson; Tom Adams; Lewis Adams; John Jones; W. C. Dunn; J. Frank Nivens; and Zeke Lewis
Alleged victim: Guinn Johnson
Household Status: Married with children
Occupation: Farmer

John V. Johnson, a white man, was accused of killing his brother, Guinn Johnson in 1905. Arrested for this alleged crime and held in the Wadesboro jail, a mob abducted Johnson from his cell in the early hours of May 28th. According to some newspaper accounts, Johnson was shot outside of the jail and then later hanged from a pine tree beyond city limits. Approximately twenty men were eventually indicted for the lynching. There is extensive newspaper coverage of the first trial (defendant John Jones), which included the testimony of the sheriff’s daughter, who was present when Johnson was taken from custody, and of two members of the mob who turned state’s witness. Both Jones and a second defendant, Zeke Lewis, were acquitted. On the advice of the Superior Court judge, the state solicitor ultimately declined to pursue the cases further.


Death certificate: None found
Census: 1900 Census Johnson

News coverage:

No Trial This Time

White Man is Lynched

A North Carolina Mob Lynches a White Man

Member of Mob Tells Story of Lynching

Lynching Cases: John Jones Being Tried First, Part 2

Jones Was Acquitted

Zeke Lewis Gets His “Not Guilty”


Town: Wadesboro, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 34.967031, -80.075670
Rationale:  Marker determined by 1902 Sanborn maps of Wadesboro indicating the former jail site at Wade and Washington, in addition to newspaper accounts that cite Johnson’s death as outside the jail before being hanged beyond the town.

Additional Resources:
Anson County Jail, 1902
Researcher’s Note: