Martin County,Indiana

The Archer Gang

The Archer Gang is said to have consisted of 16 men, including Thomas Archer, his sons Sam and John, brother Martin, nephew Martin Jr., cousin Sam Marley, nephew Kinder Smith, and in-laws John Lynch and Sam (or Anderson) Bunch.

The Archers lived in Lost River Twp, Martin County, and terrorized citizens of Martin, Orange and Dubois Counties for years. Many crimes were attributed to the Archers, but there was no proven connection. They stole cattle, hogs, timber and robbed unsuspecting travelers.

Though related, they fought among themselves, which in the end proved their undoing. The wife of John B. Archer offered information in 1886 regarding the disappearance of Anderson Bunch in July, 1882.  This information led to the immediate arrest of three of the gang. Public sentiment against them was so strong that the three were broken out of jail and lynched on the Martin County courthouse lawn March 10, 1886. Sam Archer, also implicated in the Bunch murder was arrested later, found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. 

Some 5,000 - 6,000 people gathered to witness the execution of Sam Archer's sentence July 9, 1886. Sam, John and Tom archer were buried in "a small cemetery behind the French Lick Hotel with twin cedars as markers". Sam's widow, Jane (Wolfington) Archer was buried there in 1914. Their names are now engraved on a single marker. See 
Wolfington - Jackman Cemetery

The follwing collection of newspaper articles is but a portion of published material about the Archer Gang. With the exception of "The Lynch Letter" these are copies of the original stories, not transcripts.
 

Courtesy of Cathy Clark
Albert - Last Of The ArchersSamuel Anderson BunchAndrew Archer
James Archer / Annabelle StanfieldArcher LettersClyde Archer 1
Clyde Archer 2Clyde Archer 3Clyde Archer 4
Henry Archer Hiram McCormickJohn Archer
John LynchJohn PadgettJohn Stanfield 1
John Stanfield 2
John Stanfield 3John Stanfield 4
John Stanfield 5John Stanfield 6Kinder Smith
"The Lynch Letter"Martin Archer InterviewMartin Archer, Jr
Tom Archer ArrestArcher LynchingSam Archer Trial Testimony
Sam Archer Conviction AppealedThe ScaffoldThe Hanging
Ticket To HangingAnniversary of HangingThe Hanging Recalled
Stanford Freeman 1Stanford Freeman 2Wild Tom Archer