Mystery Monday is a daily blogging theme used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites. Mystery Monday is where you can post about mystery ancestors or mystery records – anything in your genealogy and family history research which is currently unsolved. This is a great way to get your fellow genealogy bloggers to lend their eyes to what you’ve found so far and possibly help solve the mystery.
There is a family story that I would love to corroborate. It seems my Great Great Grandfather was nearly hanged for a murder he didn't commit.
William McCoy Conner, aka Mack Conner, Mack Coy Conner and Coy Conner, was born 7/24/1861 in Henderson County, NC to Erwin McCoy Conner and Mary A. Rhodes. He had a sister and brother. His father died in The Civil War. His mother met another man and they planned to marry but he was also killed in The Civil War leaving her pregnant with Mack's half-brother.
Mack married Margaret Alice Ensley on 8/3/1885 in Madison County, NC. They had a total of 10 children.
This story begins about 1888-1889. Mack and Alice had thier first child, Lillian Vianna Conner (my Great Grandmother) and maybe their second child, William S. Conner.
The story goes that there was a political rally going on in town (that would have to be the county seat, Marshall, or the next largest town which is Hot Springs, Madison County, NC). According to the family story, there was a pontificating politician being introduced. Mack snuck up to the crowd to listen. When the introduction got to "You'll find no finer man than ______________!", Mack hollered, "Here's one!"
According to the family story, this simple joke made a major uproar and Mack felt compelled to leave the area. He and Alice took their children to Cincinnati, Ohio. If you know anything about this part of the Western NC mountains, you would wonder how Mack ever thought of moving to a big city so far away! Did they just go as far as their money lasted? Was there jobs he had heard about? I know he did move because their 3rd child, Minnie Conner, was born in Cincinnati, OH on 5/19/1889. All the rest of their children were born in Madison County, NC.
It is said that while they were in Ohio, a woman was found murdered. An eyewitness described the murderer and Mack was fingered by the police as matching the description. He was a stranger in town so it would have been a quick and easy solution to pin it on him. But when they brought the eyewitness in to verify that Mack was the murderer, the eyewitness said it wasn't him because the murderer had a scar and Mack didn't. Then the police called the Madison County, NC Sheriff who vouched for Mack Conner saying he was a fine man and "tell him to come on home, nobody's mad at him any more."
Mack and Alice moved back to Madison County, NC and never left again.
This has been passed down so I don't know if this really happened. And if it did, are the details, as I have them, all correct? How do I verify it? I would think there would be newspaper articles about it either in Madison County or in Cincinnati but how do you search them from SC or without knowing the name of the murder victim. If you have any suggestions on how I could research this story, please contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com