Neal Rylee paid the penalty of death last Friday morning for the murder of his wife in September of this year. He made no statement. He spoke not a word for hours except when asked a direct question. His funeral was preached from the front of the jail building. He sat with his head bowed down, and wept bitterly during the services. Repeatedly during the day, and when he mounted the scaffold, he was asked about the murder of his wife, and every answer that came was: "It was an accident. I was just 'projikin' with the pistol and it went off."

At 12:40 he was let fall and for one hour he hanged by the neck when he was pronounced dead by the physicians. For five minutes he was conscious clasping his hands and reaching out for something to clasp to. At 1 o'clock his pulse ceased to beat. His death was slow strangulation. The drop was 4 1/2 feet. He was 19 years old and weighed about 100 pounds.

Five thousand people were in town that day and with one exception a more orderly, well-behaved people never assembled in Homer.

Banks County Journal, October 14, 1901

Copyright 2003 by Jacqueline King

Background by Donna Brand