Triple lynching touches off nasty feud

A masked mob dragged five suspected cattle thieves kicking and screaming from the Mason County jail on Feb. 18, 1875, lynched three of the terrified outlaws and touched off a nasty feud forever known as the Hoodoo War.

In the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War, Texans often took the law into their own hands. Desperate characters, who mistook common folk for easy pickings, were routinely dispatched without benefit of judge, jury or clergy.

Like so many similar episodes, the Mason County hanging might soon have been forgotten had the vigilantes not been Germans and the victims’ so-called “natives.” Blood began to flow when fear replaced reason, and people blindly picked sides along ethnic lines.

 

 

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