Anson County, NC

Alleged offense: Attempted Murder; Attempted Rape
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 20
Legal intervention (in alleged offense): No
Legal intervention (following lynching): No
Mob size: 200-300
Mob members: Unrecorded
Alleged victim: Lena Keeth
Household Status: Unrecorded
Occupation: Unrecorded

In the afternoon of August 21, 1901 Luke Hough, an African American man, allegedly entered Lena Keeth’s home and raped and beat the young white woman. According to newspaper account, Hough cut Keeth’s throat, left her for dead and returned to his home near McFarlan. Reportedly a mob tracked Hough back to his home with hounds, abducted him, and coerced him into confessing to the crime. The mob, which newspapers report were around 200 men, took Hough back to the place “where the offense was committed” and hanged and shot his body. According to some newspaper accounts, a note was pinned to Hough’s back that read “our white women must be protected.”


Death certificate: None found
Census: None found

News coverage:

Swift and Terrible Justice

A Dastardly Crime

Lynched By A Mob

Five Hundred Dollars Reward For Anson County Lynchers

Tarheels Put Negro to Death

What Do These Negroes Mean?


Town: Morven, North Carolina
Latitude/Longitude: 34.812339, -79.975904
Rationale: Marker placed based on generalized abduction site based on newspapers accounts. Lynching site based on Keeth home as listed in Morven, NC.

Additional Resources: 1900 Census Keeth

Researcher’s Note: