Duluth woman pays her respect at Clayton Jackson McGhie memorial



The Clayton Jackson McGhie memorial. Photo submitted by Ken Greshowak.

I came upon a stranger today, who was demonstrating a moment of reflection and respect.

She explained, “I stop here every day and cry, then pray for all those involved, this truly was a sad, sad day in Minnesota history.”

I solemnly agreed with her in silence. The memorials inscription reads as follows: On June 15, 1920 -Following the alleged rape of a young woman, Duluth police locked up a number of men who worked for a traveling circus. That evening, thousands of Duluthians gathered outside City Hall. The police were ordered not to shoot and they obeyed. With timbers and rails as battering rams, the mob broke down the doors of the jail and staged a trial of the six men. They convicted Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Isaac McGhie, who had been held as a witness. The crowd dragged the young men about a block, beat them as viciously as you can imagine, and hanged them from a light pole that stood diagonally across the street from where you are now. Some brave people spoke out in protest, but they were few against thousands. One man took a photograph that was later distributed as a postcard. This memorial is dedicated to the memories of the murdered here and everywhere.

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