Sangamon County Jail
The townspeople outraged by the two horrible and vicious crimes on respectable white women gathered at the southwest corner of Seventh and
Jefferson. There the Sangamon County Jail housed the two hated individuals,
James and Richardson. As the temperature soared into the high nineties,
the mood of the crowd became more hostile. Obviously becoming intent on
some kind of vigilante justice, the crowd demanded the release of the two
alleged offenders. Sheriff Charles
Werner, seeing that the crowd was getting out of hand and fearing the
safety of his prisoners, devised a plan to transport the two to safety.
A false fire alarm was sounded to divert the crowd's attention while the
prisoners were escorted out the back of the jail to a car owned by a local
restaurateur, Harry Loper. By 5 o'clock the two prisoners were on the train
to safety in Bloomington, a town sixty miles north of Springfield.
This page was created by Deepak Madala, Jennifer Jordan, and August