An Innocent Man Hung by a Mob at Janesville, in 1855 -- Mayberry not a Murderer! -- The Wrong Rascal Caught! -- "Lant" McComb the Murderer of Alger.
Recent developments lead to the belief that Mayberry, who was hung at Janesville, July 12th, 1855, by a mob, was not a murderer. Investigation is on foot that doubtless will bring the facts to light. The following is the history of that transaction, as gathered from our files, for 1855:
June 18th, of that year, McComb, who lived near Rockford, arrived at Janesville and told the public that Alger had been murdered, that Mayberry had killed him, and that they had Mayberry under arrest at Rockford. He led the search himself to the scene of the murder, and walked to within fifteen rods of the place where the body lay -- he being at the time, as he said, a perfect stranger there. He accounted for his knowledge of the murder, by saying that Mayberry had divulged it to him at his father's house in a state of intoxication.
Mayberry was conveyed to Janesville, -- On the 12th of July following, he was tried, Judge Doolittle presiding. He was convicted of murder -- the only evidence of any account against him, being the statements of the McCombs as to his confession to them, previous to his arrest. After he was sentenced, he was being taken from the court house to the jail, when a body of unknown men surrounded him -- a slipping noose was hastily thrown over his neck, and many men having hold of the rope he was suddenly jerked from the midst of the sheriff's party, by the neck -- was hauled in the same way through the streets of the town, and was then hung to a tree -- he protesting his innocence to the last.
All the probability and the evidence so far as it can now be gathered, point to "Lant" McComb as the murderer of Alger, and to the fact that Mayberry was innocent of the charge upon which he met his tragic fate.
A reward of $1,500 is offered for McComb's arrest. Nothing has been heard of him since he murdered Laura J. Harvey and young Lawrence, her paramour, at Ottumwa, Iowa. He is undoubtedly the bloodiest criminal now in the world. His known offences are sufficiently numerous to entitle him to this distinction, and how many other dark and undiscovered crimes he has committed may never be told -- how many of the women who have been violated and murdered, and of the men whose "mysterious disappearance" has alarmed the neighborhood, and furnished newspaper paragraphs for a few months -- were the victims of his lust or avarice. -- Madison Argus.