October 7, 1896
Friday afternoon Moses Wilson paid the penalty on the gallows for the brutal murder of the two aged negroes Tom and Caroline Franklin, which bloody deed was committed near Cherry Ridge on the night of April 18, 1896. The rope was cut at 1:40 o’clock and in six minutes thereafter the prisoner was pronounced dead, his neck being broken by the fall.
The same axe which Mose Wilson used in battering the skulls of his two unsuspecting victims as they lay peacefully asleep in their humble cabin, was also used in cutting the rope which launched the murderer’s soul into eternity.
The scaffold was erected in the northeast corner of the jail. Shortly before the moment of the execution the prisoner’s hair was cut, after which he was seated on the scaffold where he was photographed in a sitting position by Mr. Davis. Sheriff Pleasant then adjusted the rope about Wilson’s neck. The condemned murderer not having anything further to say except good bye, a negro named Green Richards severed the rope which held the platform of the gallows, and the body shot below a distance of fifteen feet, and in a few minutes it was a lifeless corpse.
A day or two before the execution fervent prayers were offered in behalf of the condemned man at his cell, and he professed to have a hope in after life, saying that he had made peace with his God and that he did not fear death. Up to the last day he said he slept well and enjoyed a fairly good appetite.