Originally posted 28 August 2007.
August 27, 1872 was my great-grandmother's birthday. Her name was really Amanda Sarah Jane (Green) Van Hoesen, but even on her tombstone the name Dulcie is given. She would be 135 years old today. She's the only female in this photo. The seated man is her father-in-law, Albertus Van Hoesen and the three boys are my grandfather's three older brothers. This photo was taken in 1909 before my grandfather was born (the one that's in the "The Three Grandpas" photo from a couple of weeks ago. I found this newspaper article about my great-grandmother while looking through newspapers on microfilm. I had never heard anything about this from my family and was shocked that this kind of thing happened in 1918. (I am not a Jehovah's Witness)
"Thayer Peope in Trouble," The Thayer News, 3 May 1918, second page, c. 3; State Historical society of Missouri microfilmed newspaper collection, Columbia.
"Last Tuesday morning it was currently rumored on our streets that 3 residents of this city and section, Mrs. R.L. Van Hoesen, E.J. French and Chas. Franke, and G.B. Griffin of Mammoth Spring, had been arrested and later scourged, tarred and feathered by indignant citizens of Walnut Ridge, Ark., and upon getting in communication with that town by long distance telephone, the rumor was verified. A mass meeting of the citizens was called for 2 o'clock at the Y.M.C.A. to take action in regard to allowing these parties to remain in the county, although they had families here. On the arrival of train No. 104 from Arkansas, a committee of citizens met the train and escorted Messrs. French and Franke before the mass meeting. The two men made statements and disclaimed any intention of violating the law, declaring that they were loyally devoted to our government and that they were unaware of any treasonable sentiments attached to the papers they were distributing in Arkansas. After hearing their statements the meeting voted to permit the parties to go without molestation on the promise that they would distribute no more literature of the character of “The Kingdom News,” and also promised to participate in no further meetings under the auspices of the International Bible Students Association. The causes that led up to the arrest and punishment of these parties were these: The three Thayerites and Griffin of Mammoth Spring went to Hoxie and Walnut Ridge for the purpose of aiding in the distribution of a paper known as “The Kingdom News,” which contains a plea to the government for permission to circulate the book, “The Finished Mystery,” which has been banded by the Department of Justice for alleged disloyal sentiments. A correspondent of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal writing from Walnut Ridge thus describes what occurred there: “Tar and feathers were liberally applied to four men here about midnight last night, after a committee of 250 men had taken them from the county jail and whipped them in front of an automobile garage in the heart of the business district”. “The men and a woman, all over fifty years of age, had been arrested by Sheriff J.C. Hall for distributing propaganda of the International Bible School. Each had scattered more than a hundred copies of 'Kingdom News,' a publication protesting against the government of a book called the 'Finished Mystery,' characterized by the Department of Justice as 'dangerous propaganda.'” “These people were working separately. The woman and Duncan were arrested here Sunday afternoon. French and Franke were taken at Hoxie the same day, and Griffin was apprehended here Monday.” “Sheriff Hall has determined to allow the prisoners to make bond in the sum of $1,000 each for their appearance at the orders of the government, and had planned to take them last night to Mammoth Spring, where they expected to find sureties.” “As he left the county attorney's office with them, however, a throng of citizens refused to permit their departure, but allowed him to return to the jail with them. Matters quieted down and the sheriff went home, hiding the keys to the jail.” “Under the bright moonlight, the citizens committee of 250 reformed about 11 o'clock, went to the jail and, with a heavy timber 12 feet long, battered the door down and proceeded to knock the locks from the cells of the prisoners. There is no night guard at the jail. The woman was not molested, but the four men protesting they had done nothing wrong and that they were loyal, were taken at the head of the procession into the center of the business district.” “ A barrel had been provided together with plenty of tar, with which creosote had been mixed, feathers, a strap and a light buggy whip. One at a time the captives were stripped, laid over the barrel, whipped effectively, tarred and feathered, permitted to replace his garments, and told to 'hike'.”