April 22, 1896
A dark and brutal murder of the deepest dye was committed last Saturday night on Mr. S. W. Taylor’s plantation near Cherry Ridge.
Two old colored people named Tom Franklin and his wife, while peacefully and unsuspectingly sleeping in their humble cabin, were ruthlessly slain by an unknown midnight Assassin.
Tom’s forehead was crushed in with an instrument supposed to be a hatchet, and it is thought that death followed immediately. His wife, Caroline, showed some signs of a struggle, but both were killed without ever getting off from their beds.
After his horrible butchery the perpetrator closed the house and locked the door, and his terrible deed was not known to the people of the settlement until Sunday afternoon. Dr. Tatum at once came to town and notified Sheriff Flenniken, who immediately sent Deputy Taylor to the scene of the crime.
Circumstances strongly lead to the belief that the perpetrator of this terrible murder is Mose Wilson, a negro living on the Fluker plantation in Ouachita parish. Mose was in the Cherry Ridge neighborhood Saturday evening, and as he had a grudge against Tom, the crime is laid at his door.
Both Tom and Caroline were very old negroes, and had lived on Mr. Taylor’s farm for several years. They were quiet, obedient darkies, and so far as known kept aloof from any kind of trouble with either the whites or blacks of their neighborhood.
This cold blooded crime has created intense excitement among the negroes, and it would not be healthy for them to get hold of the midnight assassin.