Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Program for the "Great Hanging" Monument Dedication

Below is a copy of the program for the "Great Hanging" Monument Dedication.  Just in case, you lost yours or did not get one.

Forgotten No More

A year ago, I posted an article entitled "Gainesville's Forgotten People."  At the time, I wondered why a memorial had not been placed in Gainesville to remember the men who died in the Great Hanging of 1862.

What a difference a year makes!

Thanks to many good people in and around Gainesville, there is now a memorial for the men who died in the Hangings.  And, what a wonderful memorial it is!  Those of us who have an ancestor who died in the Great Hanging at Gainesville feel deeply indebted to all who helped to make this a reality.

Below are photos of the unveiling of the monuments that were placed in the Georgia Davis Bass Memorial Park on October 18, 2014.

Unveiling of the Monuments


Note: There are still men who died in the hangings that we know very little about.  Each family of a Gainesville Hanging victim has a story that needs to be told and shared.  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 Ancestry.com, 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.  

Gainesville's "Great Hanging" Monument Dedication

The dedication of the Gainesville "Great Hanging" monument took place on Saturday, October 18, 2014, a beautiful fall day in Texas.  And, it was a memorable day for those of us who were able to attend.  
We started the event with an excellent luncheon at the Lions Field House of the North Central Texas College in Gainesville.  The luncheon was provided by the Texas State Historical Association and the Lone Star Chair in Texas History.   I was able to meet and visit with many people who previously I had only had the chance to correspond with.

 After the luncheon, we attended a theatrical reading called "October Mourning" at the Center for Performing Arts on the NCTC campus.  “October Mourning” was a 45 minute theatrical reading of the events of that terrible October in 1862, by local actors portraying historical characters connected to the events of the hanging. We were able to hear the story of the Great Hanging from the perspective of those who were there.  The program helped all of us better understand the feelings, emotions, and fears of the time from both perspectives. 
Following the reading,  Dr. Richard B. McCaslin answered questions from the audience about the Great Hanging.

After the program, everyone met at the Georgia Davis Bass Memorial Park for the monument dedication.  The monuments were covered when we arrived.  Most took the time to check out the names on the pavers that were placed between the monuments.

Master of Ceremonies was Dr. Richard "Rick" McCaslin.  Gainesville Mayor, Jim Goldsworthy, gave the welcome address and then we heard from guest speakers. 
Welcome by Gainesville Mayor Goldsworthy
There was a reading of the names and bell ringing for each man who died in October 1862 during the Great Hanging at Gainesville.  
Reading the names

Listening to the Dedication of the Monument