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Scott County, Indiana
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Lynching of Marion Tyler

Contributor: Randi Richardson

Marion Tyler married Laura Terrell. Prior to her marriage to Marion, Laura was married to a Garriott. One newspaper article identified him as Benjamin Garriott. According to the research of Doug Garriott, the marriage was to Francis M. Garriott. You can take a look at Doug's research HERE


Laura F. Terrell was a daughter and the only child of Thaddeus Terrell (1807-1894) and his second wife, Julia Ann (Harris) Townsend Terrell (1827-1912), both of whom had other children by their first marriages.

Laura F. Terrell was born on 29 Jan 1871 in Washington County, Indiana. She died on 3 Jan 1905. She was buried in Jan 1905 in Estill Cemetery, Scott County, Indiana.

Laura married (1) Francis Marion Garriott, Junior son of Francis Marion Garriott, Senior and Amanda J. (Hawkins) Harrod on 28 Apr 1889 in Scott County, Indiana. Francis was born on 26 Oct 1869 in Scott County, Indiana. He died on 10 Oct 1890. He was buried in Oct 1890 in Estill Cemetery, Scott County, Indiana.

"Laura Terrell, a native of Washington County, IN, and widow of Francis M Garriott, Jr met Marion Tyler, son of John W Tyler of Martin's Store in Hamilton County, Illinois when Tyler moved to Scott County, Indiana in 1896. Tyler was employed in logging, but soon moved to Indianapolis where that spring he met up with Laura again. They were married that fall."

"Laura Terrell, a native of Washington County, IN, and widow of Francis M Garriott, Jr Laura married (2) Marion Tyler son of John Washington Tyler and Lorina Decatur on 14 Oct 1897 in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana. Marion was born in Jul 1870 in Lawrence County, Tennessee. He died on 24 Dec 1898 in Scottsburg, Scott County, Indiana. He was buried in Dec 1898 in Sneed Cemetery, McLeansboro, Hamilton County, Illinois."

Two years later, in the summer of 1898, Laura left her husband and returned to her family in Scottsburg. She feared for her life as he threatened to torture and kill her and had forced on her isolation from her family and friends."

"Tyler, attempting reconciliation several times that fall, returned to Scottsburg from Indianapolis by rail on 3 Nov 1898 feeling, "He treated his wife the best he knew how and there was no jealousy on his part.

Soon thereafter, Tyler shot his wife with a 32-calibre revolver twice-- in the left cheek where it ranged backward lodging near the butt of the ear, and in the left shoulder. Both wounds were thought not to be fatal.

He also shot himself twice-- once near the center of the lower jaw, which ranged upward and came out near the temple, and in the abdomen, lodging just under the skin at the hipbone. Tyler carried a suicide note from Indianapolis, but it did not imply injury to "the perfect lady" he loved with all his heart."

*** Above information from research of Doug Garriott and David Kent Coy.

Marion Tyler lynching

Indianapolis (IN) State Journal

Michigan Article on lynching

New York Times article

Lewiston (ME) Evening Journal

Wisconsin article on lynching


Historian Dr. Carl Bogardus also did some research into the lynching of Marion Tyler. You can read his story HERE

In regards to the contraversy on the Austin page as to whether or not Tyler was a black man, Randi Richardson researched this issue recently. His response follows: "In the online account abstracted from that of Dr. Bogardus, there are no sources noted so it is not possible usingly only that information to determine why there was some question as to the ethnicity of the Tyler family. In 1880, there was a Marion Tyler, age 9 and a native of Tennessee, residing in the household of John W. and Lorena Tyler, a white family, enumerated in Clinton County, Illinois. In one of the newspaper accounts, it was indicated that Marion's father in McLeansboro, Illinois was notified of his son's death in 1898. Other records indicate that McLeansboro is located in Hamilton County. In 1900, John W. and Lorena Tyler are residing in Hamilton County. Therefore I think it is safe to assume that John and Lorena are the parents of Marion. In 1870 I found John W. and Lorena in Lawrence County, Tennessee. In all three istances this family is noted as white."