Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Reapers of the Whirlwind by L D Clark

This YouTube video clip is of 91 year old L D Clark presenting an introduction to his screenplay called "Reapers of the Whirlwind."   This screenplay is based on Clark's historical novel, "A Bright Tragic Thing."  The novel was about the Great Hanging which took place in Gainesville, Texas during the Civil War.  L D Clarke is the great-grandson of Nathaniel Miles Clark, one of the men hanged in the Great Hanging.

Gainesville Council Approves Monument

Those of us who have personal ties to the victims of "The Great Hanging" just got an early CHRISTMAS present!!  There will finally be a monument for the men who died during of The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas 1862.  Yesterday, December 2nd, the following was reported on KXII News, Sherman, Texas.

Gainesville, Texas to get "Great Hanging" monument

Click here for news clip or click on image below.

Gainesville council approves construction of "The Great Hanging" monuments

GAINESVILLE, TX -- The Gainesville city council approved the placement of two monuments that some in the community say are long overdue.
In October 1862, nearly 150 men suspected of supporting the Union were arrested for treason against the Confederacy.
42 of them were hanged in Gainesville, just days later.
Now,151 years later, the city and community is making sure this historical event is not forgotten.
91-year-old L.D. Clark has waited decades to hear these words...
"The motion passes unanimously," Mayor Jim Goldsworthy announced to the council.
Tuesday night, the council approved construction of two 5 foot tall monuments to be built where The Great Hanging took place.
"Well, it makes me feel somewhat justified," Clark said.
Clark's great great grandfather, Nathaniel Clark, was one of the men accused of treason, and hanged on the land right off California Street in Gainesville.
Clark and other members of the Great Hanging Monument committee say this project is long overdue.
"As you grow up in this area, you hear about it. So, I felt like it was a story that was long overdue to be told to the general public," Nancy Brannon said.
Nancy Brannon says the current monument, which was erected in the 60s, is nearly unreadable. And Steve Gordon says the information on it is now outdated.
"That's the information available up to 1964. There's been a lot of research done since then," Gordon said.
Gordon and several other Gainesville residents, some whom have since passed away, have worked tirelessly to collect the facts of the historical event.
Mayor Jim Goldsworthy said their efforts helped push this motion through.
"Our concern at council is that we're historically correct. Beyond that, we would like us to remember history as it unfolded and learn from history," Goldsworthy said.
The monuments will tell the known facts, and list the 42 names of the men who died.
The group says this outcome is a victory for them, but specifically for Mr. Clark.
"There's been a great change of heart in Gainesville concerning this monument, and it's going to be a great, adequate one to fit the situation," Clark said.
Clark has written both a novel and screenplay on The Great Hanging. He says he hopes one day that screen play will be bought and shown in theaters across the country,
The group has spent their own money, and collected donations to pay for the monument.
If you'd like to help contact Steve Gordon at 940-372-8835.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Gainesville's Forgotten People

Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas

Gainesville's Forgotten People
The Families of the Great Hanging Victims

One has to wonder why a memorial has not been placed in Gainesville to remember the men who died in the Great Hanging of 1862.  In what some call "one of the worst atrocities of the Civil War" at least 40 men suspected of Union sympathies were hanged in Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas.  For the last 150 years, Gainesville has tried to hide from the Hanging and sweep it under the rug.

It has been five years since this blog was started.  Since that time, quite a few families of the Great Hanging victims have been found through research and with descendants sharing their family stories.  But, the reality is that wives, children, parents, and siblings for many men are still unknownIt's as if history has forgotten them.  Each man who died in the hangings had parents, most probably had siblings, and the majority had wives and children.  Why has it been so hard to find them?

The main goal (mission statement) of the blog is:
Each family of a Gainesville Hanging victim has a story that needs to be told and shared.  Our goal is to remember all the men who died in the 'Great Hanging' and find their families – spouse, children, parents, siblings.

If you have a "Great Hanging" ancestor, or you are just interested in history, please help by sharing stories and research about the victims of the Great Hanging and their families.  There are many ways to share: write a book, start your own blog, post your family information on, leave a message on genealogy message boards, start a website, donate your stories to a historical society/library in Gainesville, post the information on this blog, and/or all of the above.

An update to this post titled, "Forgotten No More" can be found Here