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NEGRO BOY BRUTALLY MURDERS WHITE WOMAN NEAR PENSACOLA
WHITE WOMAN SLAIN BY NEGRO
Mays County Republican, Pryor Oklahoma, Thursday August 10, 1922.
One of the most brutal murders ever committed in this county, or this part of the state, occurred near Pensacola Tuesday afternoon when a 16 –years old negro boy went to the home of Mr. and Mrs. George S. Adair, while the husband was away from home and attacked her with a knife; and some other sharp instrument, cutting her across the back of the neck from ear to ear, stabbing her in the back and other places, and finally beating her head to a pulp with a piece of iron from a mowing machine.
According to a 6-year old daughter of the woman, the negro came into the house and jumped on Mrs. Adair’s back without warning whatever and began to cut and stab her. Mrs. Adair was a rather large women and immediately showed fight, but the gash across her neck weakened her considerably. The scuffle finally led to the yard where the negro got her down and secured the piece of iron and beat her over the head until she was unable to get up. She lived only a few minutes after the attack.
In the house at the time was the 6-year old daughter and a nine month’s old baby. The daughter identifies the negro boy as the one who made the assault. Another negro, Hardy Smith, who lives only a mile or so from the Adair home, was present or near the scene, and it is thought that he is connected with the crime. Some say that he was out in the barn while the smaller negro was committing the crime, while others say he just happened along about the time the murder was committed, and he kept the young negro from killing the children and burning the home. The negro who did the killing is a brother of Hardy Smith’s wife and his name is Elias Ridge. When Smith learned of what the boy had done he told him (missing line) In the mean time some white farmer near there had learned of the crime and he captured the boy near the scene. He was forced to fire a shot or two at the fleeing negro before he surrendered, and several shots punctured his ears and body.
He was turned over to C. N. Kay, deputy sheriff, of Pensacola, and he in company with Sheriff Ridenhour of, Vinita, who happened to be down in that community, spirited him away to Vinita for safe keeping, taking along Hardy Smith the other negro. Both are being held in the county jail at that place.
It is said that the community around Pensacola, and other places, are considerably worked up over this brutal affair, and that many went to Vinitia late Tuesday evening where a mob was formed which hovered around the jail all night long and that all they lacked having a lynching was a leader. The officers had guards 11 about the jail and made a dead line and told the crowd to remain on the outside of that line, which they did. It is estimated by some of the Pryor folks who were there that the crowd was fully one thousand strong and that they remained there until break of day hoping to see a lynching take place or ready to assist in pulling one off.
The Adair family, along with a brother of Mr. Adair’s, have been living on the farm near Pensacola for something like eight years, and are from Kentucky (Bourbon County). They are not related to the Adair’s who are pioneer settlers of Mayes County and whom most of our readers know.
NOTE = Mr. George S. Adair, is the son of Allen Percy Adair and his wife Kitty Stolworthy Adair a long time resident of Bourbon County.
REMOVAL OF ELIAS RIDGE FROM VINTA JAIL
From Vinta Daily Journal August 10
There are many rumors of the story of the removal of Elias Ridge, the negro confessed murderer of Mrs. George Adair from the Vinta jail and the manner in which it was done, but the following is the facts as related by Sheriff Ridenhour to the writer this morning.
Sheriff Birchfield of Mayes county agreed to receive the prisoner on the Chelsea-Vinita road west of the Cabin creek bridge at 10 o’clock or as near that time as practical, and the following tells how the negro, was taken to that place and then to Tulsa, where he was lodged in the Tulsa county jail as told by Sheriff Ridenhour.
Elias Ridge was taken from Vinita Jail at 6:10 Wednesday evening, loaded into a Ford car, which had been driven to the rear door of the court house five minutes before the three guards that had been guarding this part of the building for the entire day withdrawn to a seat under the tree a short distance away. The “nigger” was brought from the jail, escorted to the car, placed in the rear of the car and covered with gunny sacks and a woman calmly drove the car around the court house, out into the street and hit the main highway left for Tulsa and followed this on in without further mishap and took their prisoner to the Tulsa jailer at 4:00 o’clock Thursday evening. Red Booth has long distinction of being one of the best drivers in this section of the country, but safe, but it is safe to this was the most exciting area drive he has ever made in, but it is through his skill where that much of the credit for delivery of the prisoner is due.
When Ridenhour got out of the car to meet the mob west of the Cabin Creek bridge he rushed up to the men assembled there and another Sheriff Birchfield. Upon because that he wasn’t there Ridenhour told them that he was supposed to be there and that he had to leave at once, that they had to take the “nigger” out of there or the town was going to tear up the jail and that he had to find Birchfield at once. After they had talked to him awhile they told him that Birchfield had tried several times to break through the lines but had been pushed back each time and was gone to Vinita. He ask if someone could take him to Vinita as guite as possible, and a car was produced and Ridenhour rushed back to town arriving at the corner of the jail just as Ed Klingel started from the top of the court house jumped out of the car, raced to the park to the rear door of the court house, tried to get up to the jail, but found the stairway blocked went to his office. They found two small girls and took them with him walked out through the door of the court house, decided to walk to Canadian avenue and to the “planted” car with the two girls and was driven west on Canadian, as all other ways were blocked. They drove around about an hour then went to a private residence and got in touch with Jesse ---- County Attorney, and kept in touch with the situation by phone at that time until he got word that the prisoner was safe in the Tulsa Jail.
Immediately upon receiving the information Ridenhour notified Birchfield where his man could be found, then wired Governor Robertson that the prisoner had been delivered safely to the Tulsa jail.
There had been a great lot of talk about Ridenhour double crossing them and not doing as he said he would do. (Paragraph missing
Governor Tells Ridge Not To Hope
Robertson Refuses To Give Reprieve For Boys Who Slay Pryor Woman
To Examine Prisoner
State health Officer Asked To Look Into Sanity Of Elias Ridge Early This Week.
M’Alester, November 14, 1922_ In all probability Elias Ridge, 14, year old negro, will go to the electric chair at the state penitentiary early Friday morning. Governor Robertson on a recent visit here, warned the negro lad that his time would be short and intimated no interference would be made by staying the execution.
The Governor, however, did state that he would send physicians from Vinita asylum to determine if the lad had any touch of insanity.
Crouching in his cell, “Elias Ridge spends the greater portion of his time each day reading a Bible, presented him by the prison Chaplin and at meal time he eats ravishingly, and with sundown goes to sleep without a moment’s loss of time. He is considered by keepers of the death row to be a youth only in years, but in every other respect apparently 20 years older than the 14 years he has lived and possessing a character such as only criminals possess.
Unless sentence is commuted Ridge will die early Friday morning.
Oklahoma City, November 14, At the direction of Governor J. B. A. Robertson, a committee composed of Dr. A. R. Lewis, state superintendent of public health and the superintendents of the insane asylums at Vinita and Norman are in McAlester today to inquire into the sanity of Elias Ridge, 14 year old negro boy, who is held in the state penitentiary awaiting execution Friday morning.
The announcement was made by the Governor’s secretary, who added, that the committee would also seek to determine if he had given his correct age. The governor would not indicate should the youth be adjudged insane or if it is found that his purported age is incorrect.
PEOPLE AROUSED BY BRUTAL ACT
14 Year Old Negro Elias Ridge Bruttly Slashess Mrs. George Adair Near Pensacola- Taken To Vinita To Escape Angry Mob- Jail Is Stormed.
But Now He’s Gone
Officers Allow Committee to Search Jail-Negro Is Missing- Some Say He Was Spirited to Muskagee But Are Puzzled As To how Twas Done.
Elias Ridge aged 14 years, confessed negro slayer, of Mrs. George Adair, 32, at Pensacola Tuesday is held in hiding by authorityes to prevent lynching.. Feeling is intense, and several car loads of Pryorites were among those who comprised the mob at Vinita Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
Two unsuccessful attempts were made to storm the jail. Tuesday night the mob was held at bay by the officers armed with riot guns, Wednesday evening; the crowd was informed by the officers that the negro, was no longer there. They refused to believe it, so were allowed to select a committee reported that the negro could not be found.
How the negro was spirited away is puzzling everybody but the officers. The jail had been under constant watch, day and night. Some are of the opinion that Ridge is still in the court house, locked up in one of the vaults.
The crime was one of the most brutal in Oklahoma. It occurred about three o’clock Tuesday afternoon at the Adair farm, 3 miles southwest of Pensacola. The following from the Vinita Journal in a detailed account of the murder:
The murdered woman, Mrs. Wellington S. Adair, aged 34 years, was at home with her two children, a little daughter aged 5 years, and the baby, aged nine months.
It is said that Ridge had worked for the Adair’s not long ago, but was not employed there at this time. From a confession he made to the officers here Ridge made up his mind to become the possessor of a diamond ring, the property of Mrs. Adair, and went to the Adair home at a time when he knew the men folk, George and Sam Adair, were absent. His excuse was to Mrs. Adair for coming to the house was to get a drink of water. He stated that he threw away the tin cup usually kept at the well, so that his request would sound sincere. According to his own words, when Mrs. Adair made a move to get a drinking vessel for him, he cut a deep and long gash in the back of her neck, using a pen knife, and then began a desperate fight. Notwithstanding the deep wound in her neck, Mrs. Adair fought her antagonist out of the house and into the yard, both places bearing evidences of a great deal of spilled blood, over turned chairs and furniture. In the meantime, Mrs. Adair called for help and Hardy Smith, a colored man, went to her rescue. When he came insight of the struggle, Ridge was striking Mrs. Adair over the head with a plowshare, and before Smith could get to them, Ridge picked up what some people say was a piece of a automobile axle, and struck the final blow that crushed the woman’s skull and caused her to fall to the ground. Ridge then tore the diamond ring off her finger, but in getting away from Hardy Smith lost the ring, he says near the yard gate.
Mrs. Adair’s arm was broken near the wrist. In addition to the cut in the back of her neck, there were seven severe wounds about her head, and a stab wound in her back. Ridge has a wound over one eye, the results of Mrs. Adair striking him with a stick of stove wood.
Deputy Sheriff Kay appeared on the scene. He arrested Ridge, and he and Hardy Smith were started to Vinita when Sheriff Ridenhour arrived and took charge of the prisoner bringing him to Vinita. The Sheriff’s office of Mayes and Craig Counties were notified as soon as possible and both sheriff’s responded.
John Birchfield, of Mayes County, reached the scene after Ridenhour. He came on to Vinita, but declined to receive or take charge of the prisoner, on account of bitter public feeling and threats of lynching.
Mob Feeling Less Intense
But date of Preliminary Hearing Has Not Been Definitely Announced Will Probably Be Later Part of August
How Old Is The Boy
School Records Show Him To Be 14 years Old But Acquaintances Insist He Is At Least 17 Years
The trial of Elias Ridge, negro who confessed he brutally murdered Mrs. George Adair near Pensacola, August 8th will probably be held in Pryor the Later part of August.
No definite has been set, presumably because the authorities desire to proceed cautiously and prevent if possible any mob violence when the negro is brought back to Mayes County.
The first preliminary trial will be held before the court of Judge T. L. Marteney, after which he will be tried before justice of peace and later in district court. Local attorneys have expressed the opinion that the trial will probably will occur during the September term of court.
Sheriff Ridenhour, of Craig County will manage to keep a mob from getting possession of the negro murderer, was officially commended the later part of last week by the Governor.
It is thought that mob spirit in Mayes County has cooled down with sufficiently to justify the authorities in bringing the negro here for trial. Citizens were led to believe, just following the murder the full penalty on account since they have learned otherwise, many have expressed their willingness to let the law take its course. Ridge is at the present in the state penitentiary at McAlester.
ELIAS RIDGE GIVEN THE DEATH SENTENCE
Pryor Oklahoma Thursday September 14.
Negro Boy Pleads Guilty to Murder of Mrs. George Adair and Will Go to Electric Chair November 17th. Hardy Smith Implicated.
Elias Ridge the 14 -year old negro boy, was brutally murdered Mrs. George Adair on august 8th, at her home near Pensacola, was sentenced to death by electrocution by District Judge A.C. Brewster Tuesday afternoon.
The negro waived preliminary hearing before County Judge T.L. Marteney, who was setting Justice of the Peace for this trial and immediately there after Judge Brewster took the bench and opened district court. Through his attorney A. W. Fisher, who was appointed entered a plea of guilty and asked to be given his sentence, which was promptly done, and the date for his death was Friday November 17th., at McAlester.
The preliminary hearing of hardy Smith, another negro, who is implicated in this murder, was called and he was bound over to the District Court without bond and his trial was set for Wednesday, September 25th.
The main witness against Smith was Ridge, he testifying that Smith hired him to do the killing, and that he promised him a red pig and several other things if he would commit the act and that Smith furnished him the knife with which to do the killing.
It has been believed all along that the older negro was responsible for the act of the young boy and it is said that Smith wanted Mrs. Adair out of the way and she was an important witness against him. In some whiskey cases he had in court.
Smith has been in the toils of the law many times over the manufacturing and selling liquor, and there is little doubt in the minds of the people that he willfully planned the murder of Mrs. Adair.
Hardy Smith Given Life Sentence
Hardy Smith, negro charged with the murder of Mrs. George Adair, near Pensacola, on August 8th was given a life sentence here today (Thursday) after the jury being out since 11 o’clock Wednesday night. It took better than two days to empanel a jury and 129 men were summoned into court before a jury could be selected.
Elias Ridge, the 14 years old negro boy was given the death sentence a few weeks ago for the murder of Mrs. Adair, was the main witness against Smith.
This was one of the most brutal murders ever committed in this part of the country, and the court room was crowded to its full capacity by good people that wanted to see justice done.
Name Of Jurors Who Gave Life Sentence
Following are the names and addresses of those who composed the Jury in the Hardy Smith trial here last week and who returned a verdict of guilty against this negro, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Mrs. George Adair.
J. R. Barnes, Locust Grove J. M. Green, Mazie
J. F. keith, Locust Grove S. N. Johnson, Locust Grove
Joe Hanna, Rose George Kennedy, Pryor
Silas West, Pryor
S. M. Burgess, Adair Co.,
W. J. Sullivan, Adair CO.,
J. O. Stewart, Pryor
T. M. Weigart, Pryor
E. M. Brock, Murphy
30 DAYS OF GRACE FOR ELIAS RIDGE
Negro Slayer Condemmed To Chair At 14 Will Live Until Case Is Review
Oklahoma City, December 9, Final decision on the appeal of Elias Ridge, 14 year old negro sentenced to be electrocuted for the brutal murder of Mrs. George Adair (Wellington Smith), of Mayes County, in August, was delayed for 30 days when the state criminal court of appeals granted 15 days to both the state and the defense to brief their cases., at an oral hearing of the case this week.
Ridge is said to be the youngest person to have ever been received the death penalty in Oklahoma. His sentence aroused a storm of protest on account of his youth.
Hundreds of letters against his electrocution have been received by Governor J. B. A. Robertson from all over the country.
Columns of Publicity
The society for the advancement of the negro race, filed a protest, as did several other organizations.
Newspapers invited contributions and published columns comment approving and protesting Ridge’s electrocution. Some of the published protests based arguments against the carrying out the sentence on the youth of the murderer, and in other instances the capital punishment laws were excoriated.
W. D. Matthews state commissioner of charities and Corrections, was one of a commission sent out by the Governor to examine Ridge at the penitentiary. Because Ridge had pleaded guilty, it was pointed out, he was barred by statue from filing a appeal, and Matthews acting as “next friend” in his official capacity, filed the appeal upon which action is now pending.
Mathews held that Ridge, being a convict less than 16 years of age, is a ward of the state.
Mayes County Approves
Dr. A R. Lewis, state health commissioner, also a member of the commission to examine Ridge, reported however , that the negro appeared both physically and mentally to have attained full maturity, and that his knowledge of right and wrong seemed to be well developed, but that he was “without compunctions .”
Ridge was to have been executed November 17th, but the filing, of his appeal acted as an automatic stay, pending a decision by criminal court of appeals. That 99 percent of the residents of Mayes County will be satisfied only with Ridge’s electrocution, was the statement of County attorney J. M. Hill at the oral hearing.
“Do not commute the sentence, for the safety of the women of Mayes County,” Hill pleaded. “if the court feels that there is a question whether the boy should die, let it send the case back for a new trial. There are not 100 people in the county who would not affirm the sentence.”
In his written confession nearly 2000 words in length, Ridge implicated his 50-year old brother-in-law, Hardy Smith, who convicted of complicity in the crime, is now serving a life term in the penitentiary.
NEW TRIAL FOR NEGRO KILLER
Criminal Court of appeals Remands Case of Youth Who Confessed Slaying
Oklahoma City- December 18. 192-—Elias Ridge, fourteen-years old negro boy whose conviction and sentence to death on a murder charge caused a furore throughout the state more than a year ago is to have a new trial, according to a ruling of the state criminal Court of appeals today. The case was remanded to district court of Mayes County with instructions to give the defendant a new hearing.
Ridge was sentenced to death after he pleaded guilty in the district court at Pryor after he confessed that he killed a white woman near Pensacola. He narrowly escaped lynching while confined in jail at Vinita to which place he was rushed after his arrest. The state recently confessed error in the trial which assured Ridge a second hearing.
Hardy Smith, negro uncle of the boy, is serving a life sentence in the penitentiary for complicity in the case. The Ridge boy said Smith influenced him to kill the woman, promising him a pig if he killed her. The boy is in the penitentiary.
List of States Witnesses
State of Oklahoma Plaintiff # 497
Elias Ridge Defendant
To Elias Ridge and his attorney’s of record. You are hereby notified and advised that the following is the list of witnesses together with their post office addresses that will be called by the state to prove its case in chief.
Sam ADAIR------------------------------pENSACOLA, oKLA.
Bill Adair-----------------------------Pensacola, Okla.
George Adair-----------------------Paris, Ky.
Grace Adaie---------------------------Pensacola, Okla.
Etta Mason----------------------------Pensacola, Okla.
Walter Evans-------------------------Pensacola, Okla.
Mrs. Lorin Rattinground---------“ “
Pearl Richardson---------------------“ “
Lillie bennett---------------------------“ “
Blue Smith --------------=----------- “ “
W. H. Mason --------------------------- “ “
Tom Hann --------------------------------“ “
Gene Hatfield--------------------------“ “
J. E. Elliott------------------------------Big cabin ,Okla.
Mrs. J. E. Elliott---------------------Big Cabin Okla.
William Trout-----------------------Strang, Okla.
Dr. J. D. Leonard---------------------Strang, Okla.
J. M. Hill--------------------------------Pryor, Okla.
Mrs. L. M. Huey,-------------------- -Adair Co., Okla.
Dr. L. C. White --------------------- -Vinita, Okla.
Lewis Rogers -------------------- Vinita, Okla.
Paul Sims -------------------------- Vinita, Okla.
Sam redenour-------------------- Vinita, Okla.
Mrs. katherine Bagby--------- Vinita, Okla.
John Birchfied----------------------Spavinaw, Okla.
Dr. Adams--------------------------------Vinita, Okla.
Hardy Smith---------------------------McAlester, Okla, State Penitentiary
W. W. Powell
received the above and foregoing notice on this 20th day of March, 1924, anD served the same BY DELIVERING
wITTNESS MY HAND THIS 20TH DAY OF mARCH 1924
j. a. lAWTON: sHERRIFF.
Governor Favored Executing Slayer, Court Gives Stay
Cannot Forget Negro Boy Killed Beautiful Woman In Cold Blood “Say’s Robertson”
But Ridge is Reprieved Until Case Is Reviewed
Warden At First Merely Postpones Arrangements, But cancels Them on Last Minute Wired Instructions
M’Alester, Okla. November 16th—Plans for the execution Friday of Elias Ridge, negro boy murdered, were cancelled late today by Fred Switzer, warden of the state penitentiary, upon telegraphic notice from the state criminal court of appeals that a stay of execution had been granted during the day.
The electrocution had been set for about 10 minutes after midnight. All arrangements had been made and this morning the warden had announced that the switch was ready to be thrown.
Appeals Court To Review
Now the fate of the negro rests with the criminal court of appeals which will review the case. Ridge killed the wife of a Mayes County farmer.
Switzer said he had been advised over the telephone by Judge Thomas H. Doyle of the criminal court of appeals in Oklahoma City that a stay of execution had been granted and that a certified copy of the stay had been in placed in the mails.
Switzer then “discontinued” plans for carrying out the death sentence pending service of the court order.
Then later the warden received a telegraphic notice of the stay from the court of appeals. He said he accepted the telegram as services of the court order and then cancelled all plans for the execution.
Robertson For Execution.
Oklahoma City, November 10--- Governor J.B.A. Robertson would not have interfered to prevent the electrocution of Elias Ridge, negro boy slayer.
“I cannot forget that Ridge murdered a beautiful woman in cold blood and without provocation. I cannot forget the little children left motherless by her death” said the Governor.
“The action of the court has taken the Ridge case entirely out of my hands: I have nothing more to do with it at this time”
Thursday October 2, 1924
Determine Age Of Condemned Boy
Governor and Attorney General Confident Slayer Is Near Majority
Oklahoma City, September 27, Elias Ridge, negro boy murderer, will be summoned before The Criminal court of appeals so that the court may determine his true age if the plans of N. W. Gore, assistant attorney general carry through.
The negro is sentenced to die for the murder of Mrs. Nellie(Wellington Smith Adair) in Mayes County, in August 1922.
He is alleged to be only 15 years old and is said to have committed the crime when only 13, Gore and Governor Trapp contend that the boy is now 19 or 20 years old, weighs 185 pounds and is more than six feet tall.
“I will seek an order to bring this man into court and the state at large will see that the state is not seeking to electrocute a 15 year old boy”, Gore said.
Whether this unusual procedure will be resorted to will be decided in conference between Gore and Attorney general Short sometime this week.
The case of Elias Ridge has attracted national attention and there has been numerous protests against this electrocution.
The case comes before the appellate court October 6.
The negro cut gashes down the back of Mrs. Adair, stripped her clothes from her back, and beat her skull with an iron crowbar, despite the fact that the victim weighed 165 or 170 pounds.
“He is the meanest criminal in the state penitentiary, I am told.”, said Governor trap, after viewing the boy in his death cell last week.
MAYES COUNTY REPUBLICAN, Pryor, Oklahoma April 17, 1924.
Youth 16, Found Guilty As Friend of White Woman- Less Than Fourteen Years old At Time Of First Conviction- Lynching Averted Following Murder- Ridge Previously Convicted Was Set Aside By The Criminal Court Of Appeals After The State Confessed Error.
Elias Ridge, Negro, the youngest person ever sentenced to death in Oklahoma was convicted for the second time here last Friday. Ridge was found guilty of Murdering Mrs. George Adair, a white woman on August 22, 1922 at her home near Pensiecola.
At the second trial Ridge who was thirteen years and nine months of age at the time of the murder, offered no testimony and neither did he take the stand in his own defense. His counsel attempted through state’s witness to prove that his Uncle Hardy Smith, killed Mrs. Adair.
Mob After Him
The murder of Mrs. Adair was one of the atrocious in the history of this section of Oklahoma and aroused such indignation that a lynching almost resulted. After Ridge was lodges in jail at Vinita for safe keeping a large number of citizens stormed the place. As they were entering Sheriff Ridenhour by disquising Ridge and hiding him behind a door slipped him out through the crowd and fled to Calremore with his prisoner.
Ridge waived his preliminary examination and on this point his conviction was reversed, the criminal court of appeals holding that such a procedure was illegal. The day after he was held to the district court he entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced to die in the electric chair.
To Die Friday, June 18,
Judge A. C. Brewster in conferring the death penalty on him the second time fixes Friday June 12,as the date of his execution..
Mrs. Adair was beaten and stabbed to death and her body was thrown in to a hog pen. The woman was terribly mutilated. Ridge upon being arrested confessed and said that Smith, his uncle, employed him to kill the woman, promising him a pig if he would murder her. Smith was convicted shortly after the first trial of Ridge and is now serving a life sentence.
Negro Attorney A. Surprise.
W. H. Twine, negro attorney of Muskogee defended the boy and although his case was a one sided affair and he had no sympathy to begin with, he made a wonderful plea and surprised the entire court with his eloquence. At the end of the trial Twine had the sympathy of nearly the entire court room and many believed the boy would receive a term in the penitentiary and the jury was out5 hours before they brought in their verdict and it is said that three men held out for a life sentence until the last five minutes.
Elias Ridge to McAllester Sunday
Elias Ridge, 14-year old confessed murder of Mrs. George Adair, was taken to the penitentiary at McAlister Sunday by Deputy Sheriff Paul Wilson. He will pay the penalty for this crime on November 17th by death by electrocution, provided the Governor does not intervene.
The older negro hardy Smith, who was also charged with the same crime and who was found guilty last week by a jury of 12 men and given a life sentence, was taken to Muskogee, where he will be held until Judge Brewster gets ready to pass sentence upon him.
Electric Chair For Elias Ridge For Murder Of Mrs. George Adair
Elias Ridge 15 year old negro boy murderer, must pay the penalty in the electric chair for the brutal and fiendish murder of Mrs. George Adair at her home near Pensacola on August 22, 1922. He was convicted in District Court at Pryor, Oklahoma Friday April 11, 1924, when the jury brought in a verdict before District Judge Brewster. This was the second trial, the first conviction having been made in the district Court here, the same penalty, the electric chair, being meted out to him. Ridge will be electrocuted Friday June 13, 1924, and is said to be the youngest criminal ever sentenced to death in the state. Ridge was 13 years and 8 months old when he committed the murder.
The crime for which Ridge was convicted the second time will be vividly remembered by the public. Following the murder he was quickly apprehended. Owing to threats of mob violence being made, he was rushed to the jail at Vinita for safe keeping. The mob followed and demanded the prisoner for two nights and one day. Threats were made that the jail that the jail would be blown up. The cool head of Sheriff Ridenhour prevented the plan of the mob from being carried out. The Sheriff spirited the prisoner to the Tulsa jail and finally wound up at the state penitentiary at McAlester where the murder was safe from the mob.
There has been no crime in the history of Mayes county which aroused the people as much as this one. It was the topic of conversation for considerable time and it still looked upon as one of the most brutal crimes ever committed.
It will be remembered that Hardy Smith, also a negro, was implicated in the crime and was sentenced to life imprisonment in the first trial, Smith married Ridge’s sister and Ridge lived with the family. It developed that Smith had put the young negro up to committing the crime and Ridge testified originally that Smith hired him to do it, offering him a pig in the deal. Smith was about 50 years old. Smith was arrested at the same time and was taken along with Ridge to Vinita.
The jury was composed of as follows: A. H. Fish, Pryor; Homer Bates, Salina; C. E. Fraley, Adair Co.; Claude Chandler, Locust grove; M. K. Hatfield, Locust Grove; J. A. McWater, Pryor; R. S. Duncan, Locust Grove, H. L. Gaither, Pryor; J. D. Allen, Pryor; J. B. Butler, Locust Grove; D. Pait, Salina; Patrick Lord, Big Cabin;
DEATH RECALLS MURDER COMMITTED IN COUNTY
Former Resident Kills Self On Anniversary Of His Wife’s Death
(From Daily Oklahoman 10. )
A notable case was recalled Friday by Clay Roper, Attorney 709 Perrine building with the news of the suicide at Paris, Ky. of George S. Adair, 48 years old, former captain of the University of Kentucky football team and former resident of Mayes County, this state.
Adair shot himself to death in a motor car on the seventeenth anniversary of the murder of his wife, who was killed at her home in northeast Mayes County, by Elias Ridge, negro boy. Greif over his wife’s death is believed to have prompted the suicide.
Roper, who served in the last legislature as a member of the house from Craig County, was County Attorney of Craig County at the time.
Mrs. Adair was beaten to death and her body was thrown into a hog pen. Ridge was given the death penalty. He was saved from execution because of his age. He said he was 13 years old. He is in Prison at McAlester.
These stories came from Mayes County, Oklahoma from a researcher that was writing a history book on the happenings of Mayes County and when I requested information on the family of George Adair he sent me the entire package of material. George Adair was born in Bourbon County and was the son of Allen Percy Adair and Kitty Stollworthy prominent residents of Bourbon Co. Allen Percy Adair is the son of Dr. John Jackson Adair and Sarah “Sallie Ewalt.
Page Updated: 10/06/12
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