George C. King
Written by Ogreta Wilson Huttash
Transcribed by Georgie Gene Watters Uzzle
George C. King was the only white
man ever hanged legally in Cherokee County. He was executed July 2, 1895,
for the murder of Dr. A. F. Drury near Wells August 18, 1894. The verdict of
guilty was based entirely on circumstantial evidence.
Once a prisoner at the coaling
camp at Wells, King was familiar with the area. Dr. A. F. Drury of Rusk left
for Wells on a train, arrived there safely, and left Wells on the Texas
State Penitentiary locomotive for the coaling camp.
In a few minutes Dr. Drury was
wounded fatally. He saw a man coming toward the railroad with cross ties and
throwing them on the railroad track. The locomotive stopped and Dr. Drury
alighted to help the convicts clear the track. He was ordered to throw up
his hands and hand over his valuables. Testimony in the trial showed that
the convicts ran off, and Dr. Drury turned to see whether or not they were
in sight when he was shot in the back. From that wound, he died two days
later at home with his family in Rusk. He was robbed of a watch and chain
and $20 - $5.00 in silver and three $5 bills – one of them with a corner
torn off. A watch, chain, and money were taken from King, not too long after
the shooting, which witnesses said were identical to Dr. Drury’s.
By Ogreta Wilson Huttash.
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