Created By: Licking County Library
The Temperance Movement was a powerful force in the early twentieth century. As a result, a vote was made in 1909 to make Licking County “dry,” but many saloons in Newark boldly stayed open. After the sheriff and the mayor failed to respond to complaints, Wayne B. Wheeler of the Anti-Saloon League in Columbus hired a group of special detectives from Cleveland to infiltrate Newark and identify the culprits. One of the agents was seventeen-year-old Carl Etherington, who had lied about his age to join the force. On July 8, 1910, detectives entered a saloon that had refused to comply with the vote, but they were no match for the crowd that had already assembled. Although the others escaped, Etherington was caught and beaten. He shot a police officer in self-defense, and was taken to the jail. By 9:00 p.m. 5,000 people were gathered outside the jail. A group stormed in at 10:30 and took him, and by 10:35 they had hanged him from a telegraph pole at the southeast corner of the square.
Image 1: Corner of Second and South Park as it appeared shortly after Carl Etherington's lynching in 1910.
Image 2: Portrait of Carl Etherington.
Image 3: Photograph of the Licking County Jail doors after being battered down by the angry mob.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Historic Newark Downtown Walking Tour