Back to
Poweshiek County
Home Page

Attempted Lynchings in
Poweshiek County, Iowa


Isaac Ridgway
1857

Isaac Ridgway was the father-in-law of William B. Thomas who was lynched in Poweshiek county in 1857.  The Ridgway family had made a bad record in the county and surrounding country and the citizens finally decided to rid the country of them. In the spring of 1857 a mob came to the Ridgway home and gave them orders to leave the country within ten days. In the ten days‚€™ time allowed, Isaac went to Des Moines and before Judge W. H. McHenry, filed information against eight or ten of them. These men were brought up and examined before the Mayor of Des Moines and after a time were discharged. Those who had been thus brought up then charged Ridgway with perjury and had him brought before a justice of the peace. Ridgway was allowed to give bail and it was purposely arranged that as many of his family as possible should have their names attached to the bond, for they knew that this would be the last of Ridgway. As soon as Ridgway was released on this bond, he and his whole family left the country.
Source: Annals of Iowa, Attempted Lynching in Iowa, pg. 267

William B. Thomas
April 17, 1857

William B. Thomas, alias ‚€œCome quick‚€�, when on trial at Montezuma for the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Casteel, came near being lynched on April 17, 1857, by a mob that collected because of the delay of the ease in the court. The lynching was prevented by a strong guard force that had been placed about the court room. Jude Stone and others made addresses to the mob and finally succeeded in dispersing it.  Thomas was lynched a little later.
Source: Annals of Iowa, Attempted Lynchings in Iowa, pg. 269


History Page