Sparta, Ky., May 30. - The man John Branham, who murdered his wife yesterday by splitting her head open with an ax, was hung last night by a party of about one hundred men, who collected in front of the Owenton jail about 1 o'clock and demanded the keys from the jailer, which were reluctantly given. They then demanded the prisoner, John Branham, took him from jail, carried him about a half a mile from town, and hung him to a tree. None of the town authorities were aware of the demonstration. His wife will be buried today. They have two children. No cause is known for killing his wife.
The lynching was done so quietly no one but those in jail knew it till over, when the mob dispensed.
from the Nashville Union and American, May 31, 1872, reprinting an item from the Louisville Courier Journal,