The Davis City Advance, Davis City, Iowa
Thursday, June 8, l899

The enterprising managers of the Bethany Democrat are out this week a day ahead of time and give a full description of the hanging of FREEMAN COCHRAN, a brief synopsis of which we give as follows:

At 6:40 o'clock a.m., Wednesday, June 7, l899, in the enclosed jail yard in this city, the fatal trap on which he stood was sprung and he was hurled into eternity.

At 6:35 COCHRAN, with Sheriff Sevier, deputies Collins, Walker, and Kenyon, Revs. Adams, Stinson and Callaway and Herman Roloke, without being shackled, ascended the scaffold without a tremor. At 6 o'clock the death warrant had been read to the condemned man who listened to it without emotion. He called for F.P. Burris, foreman of the jury who tried him, and stated that at one time he could have killed him, Sheriff Walker and Prosecuting Attorney Frisby, but now he freely forgave them. He exhibited some weakness but otherwise cool and collected, even joking with one of the deputies on the scaffold. He was fastidious in regard to his dress and had every request, even for a white necktie, complied with by his attorney and the accommodating officers. He was given permission to make what remarks he wished to and spoke as follows:

"I see a few here that I know. I see a very few -- one of my attorneys and Mr. Frisby; he treated me fairly and I have nothing against him. I am satisfied to leave this world, but I feel that I was unjustly tried by the court. Have not had justice I am satisfied. I don't know that I have very much to say. I am sorry that I ever got into trouble. I should have been an example. I feel it a bad example, I ought to have lived for a good example. I feel that I have never done anything that I should be hanged here today for. I never did anything wrong but what I felt sorry for it and asked their forgiveness. I never was a murderer at heart. If John Briant hadn't said "you lay down your weapons and fight it out," this never would have happened -- there never would have been any trouble. They didn't do me right and square and that was what caused me to do wrong. I am sorry that I have not lived a better life -- been more benefit. I believe there was something for me in life if I had not drank. Everybody said I was a good man if I would quit drinking but I didn't do it. I intended to quit drinking in a year or two more. I would then join the church and be a nice man, but I didn't do it. I have give myself to God. I am wholly satisfied. There is no doubt in my mind whatever. I repeat I have done lots of wrong, but other people have done me wrong. I have talked this all over with Brother Adams, and he says if anyone has done me a wrong I should forgive them. They are the ones that done me the wrong and caused me to be desperate. Boys. I have made my peace with God and I hope you will be good and profit by my example. I am thoroughly satisfied. Whiskey was my downfall. That's all."

From 32 minutes after the drop fell the physicians pronounced life extinct. The spirit of COCHRAN had fled and the remains -- the earthly casket -- was turned over to undertaker Harvey for preparation for burial.

Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
October 5, 2003

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