Sunday, September 7, 2014

Gainesville "Great Hanging" Monument Dedication

Descendants of the Leffel family will be happy to learn of the monument dedication at Gainesville, Texas on October 18.  There will finally be a monument for the men who died during of The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas 1862. Our ancestor, David Miller Leffel, was one of the men who was hanged by the confederates.  Hope to see y'all there!

The Board of Directors and Volunteers of the Great Hanging Memorial Foundation have announced details for the monument dedication in recognition of the Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas, October 1862.

The following is the official press release from the Great Hanging Memorial Foundation: 


The Great Hanging Memorial Foundation announced today that a series of events will be held on October 18, 2014 to commemorate the historic event known as the “The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas, October 1862.”

The Great Hanging is a Texas Civil War era event of major historical significance.  Due to its dramatic and controversial nature, little has been done to memorialize those who lost their lives.

Although this event occurred 152 years ago, scholars and lay persons still have difficulty in agreeing on the appropriate interpretation of the incident. Some contend that the action of the civilian and military authorities that led to the hanging of forty men and the shooting deaths of two men attempting to escape, was justified. Others argue that the tragic incident was nothing more than vigilante mob violence. 

On December 3, 2013 the Gainesville City Council unanimously approved the placement of two large granite stones at the Georgia Davis Bass Memorial Park in Gainesville, Texas to memorialize those who died.  The Great Hanging Memorial Foundation was then formed.

Funding for the purchase of two etched granite monuments, solar powered lighting and the memorial walkway was made possible through private donations.

The public is invited to the formal dedication which will begin with a luncheon on Saturday, October 18, 2014  (11:30 am - 1:00 pm) at the North Central Texas College Lions Field House, Gainesville, Texas. The luncheon will be followed by a program “October Mourning” at the First State Bank Center for the Performing Arts, also located on the college campus.  The Monument dedication ceremony will begin at 3:00 pm at the Georgia Davis Bass Memorial Park at 729 East Main Street near downtown Gainesville. 

Anyone having knowledge of descendants of the Great Hanging is encouraged to contact the Foundation at (817) 999-9551. 

Those planning to attend the luncheon need to RSVP by September 30, 2014  by calling (817) 946-4491 or send email

Dedication Schedule
October 18, 2014
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Lions Field House, Cooke County Campus
North Central Texas College
1525 West California St.
Gainesville, TX 76240
Luncheon provided by the Texas State Historical Association and the Lone Star Chair in Texas History
RSVP by September 30 (817) 946-4491 or

I 35 to Exit 497,  turn West on California St. (FM 51) 0.7 mi to Bonner St. (CR 304), Turn North 0.2 mi to the Field House on Left

Program “October Mourning”
1:00 - 2:30 pm -Free Admission- At the First State Bank Center for the Performing Arts on NCTC campus, southwest of the Lions Field House
“October Mourning” is a 45 minute theatrical reading that brings life to the events of that terrible October in 1862, by local actors portraying the contemporary characters. Hear the story of the Great Hanging from the perspective of those who were there.  This reading will be followed by a 45 minute Q & A session with Dr. Richard B. McCaslin, author of “Tainted Breeze”.

Monument Dedication
3:00 pm
Georgia Davis Bass Memorial Park
729 East Main St., Gainesville, Texas (parallel street to California St.)
East of Cooke County Court House
Master of Ceremonies - Dr. Richard B. McCaslin

Upcoming media coverage for the Oct 18th Dedication!

Upcoming media coverage for the Great Hanging Monument Dedication was posted on "The Great Hanging - October 1862 Civil War" Facebook page.
Dr. Rick McCaslin, author of Tainted Breeze, will be guest expert for these interviews.Tune in and spread the word.....
September 30 - KGAF Radio - 1580 AM
Live interview: 7:45am
October 8 - KTEN Television 
Live interview: 11:00am
October 5th or 12th - Dallas Morning News
Family interviews and in-depth article, photos

Make plans to be in Gainesville, Texas on October 18th!

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