Henning - John C. - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

Go to content

Henning - John C.


1886 -John C. Henning convicted of murder and is second and last man hanged in county.

Source: Hendricks County (Danville) Republican 3 June 1886

Crawfordsville, May 27 – John C. Henning was hanged here today.  There was much curiosity though little excitement concerning his taking off, yet the streets were thronged with people from the country round about, attracted by the event.  It was estimated that about 3,500 strangers were in the city, many having come a considerable distance, a hundred or more from the neighborhood of Rockville.  His sleep last night was broken.  In the morning he awoke early and ate breakfast. The thought that it was his last meal affected him greatly.  He wrote a letter about 9 o’clock with an unsteady, nervous hand.  His spiritual adviser, Rev. Thomas Birch of the Methodist Episcopal Church was with him the greater part of the morning and a number of acquaintances came in and talked with the condemned man.  The black cap was pulled over his head. It was 1:41 when the drop fell.  It was a 5’ drop. The poor wretch took the plunge like a piece of lead, his neck breaking. There were a few feeble quiverings of the body, the irregular, then hastening pulse-beats, then slower, slower, stopped – and all was over.  Physicians were at the body as soon as it fell and in 13 and ½ minutes they pronounced life to be extinct. The body was cut down at 1:59 and taken in charge by undertaker Voris.  From that time until 4 o’clock the remains placed in a coffin, were exposed to view in the inclosure, and about 3,000 people looked upon the body.  The ywill take it to Montezuma in Park€ County this evening and there bury it tomorrow. The crime for which John C. Henning was hanged was the murder of Mrs. Lottie Volmer at Rockville on Oct 24, 1885.  Hennings was a native of Virginia, having been born in Rockingham County on Dec 22, 1830.  In 1848 he went with his parents to Edgar County,  Illinois where he married Joanna Hunter in 1852. By his wife he had five boys and one girl. His first wife died after the war and soon afterwards he married a woman at Mecca, from whom he has been twice divorced.  By the last wife he had three boys and one girl.  All of his children are alive.  He has lived since 18 years of age in Edgar County, Illinois and Parke and Vermillion counties, Indiana.  

Back to content