A Murderer Hung by Citizens

HUMBOLDT.  A gentleman who came from Iola yesterday morning, gave us the particulars of a most atrocious murder that was committed by a farmer living near Humboldt, and the summary hanging of the murderer by citizens of the locality. The particulars, as they were narrated to us, are about these: There was a farmer named Dosen who had for several years been living with his family on a farm near Humboldt. He had a boy some twelve or fourteen years old living with him, that had been bound to him for a term of years. It seems that he had been in the habit of cruelly whipping this boy, and the lad had been often heart by neighbors to cry murder, when being punished, but took no special notice of it, as they thought the boy yelled to make Dosen cease whipping him. About two months ago, this monster again whipped the boy most unmercifully.

Throwing the lad down, he put his foot upon his neck, beating him all the time. Soon after this the boy disappeared, and the brute told the people in the neighborhood that since the last whipping he had run away. Not thinking of such a thing as that a murder had been committed, the neighbors gave it not much attention, under the impression that the boy would return again. The boy did not return, however, and Dosen after a while commenced to fill up the well that was in his yard. A murmer of suspicion began to run through the neighborhood, and these suspicions were discussed. Two months passed away; the boy did not return; the well in the meantime had been filled up, and this monster of cruelty no doubt breathed freer, and he fancied that he had destroyed all traces of his crime. He was questioned by the citizens, and gave some paltry excuse for filling the well, persisting that the boy had absconded. This did not satisfy them. There is something that always seems to speak silently to a people, and tells them what a great crime has been committed in their midst, and this same silent something would not permit the people of that locality to rest easy until they had learned all. This done, the mystery was soon solved. At the bottom of the well was the mutilated body of the murdered boy, the marks of the lash yet visible upon his lifeless form. Dosen was immediately taken into custody. He finally confessed his guilt, from which it appears that this monster in human form, this fiend who wore the guise of humanity, had been in the habit of cruelly beating the poor and friendless boy, who had been bound to him, and to whom he had pledged himself to be a protector. The last time he flogged him, the boy was thrown to the ground, and the wretch held him to the earth with his boot heel while he whipped him to death, after which the body was thrown into the well. Dosen was taken to Iola and lodged in jail. Before daylight Monday morning, or rather at some time between midnight and daylight, the jailer was aroused by a party who said they had a horse thief whom they wished to deliver to the jailer. That officer went to the door, when a crowd rushed upon him, and commenced to ask and search for Dosen. He was found and hurried off from the jail to Elm creek, some four or five miles from Iola. Here the miserable culprit was hung, and his body left swinging in the air. Our informant states that it was hanging there Tuesday morning. Lynch law is to be deprecated where the crime committed is the most aggravated and atrocious; but it does seem if ever there was a case where Judge Lynch was justifiable in dealing summarily with a murderer, this is one.

The Leavenworth Weekly Times, Leavenworth KS. July 7, 1870. Page 2.  (c) Transcribed by Darren McMannis.for the Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies.