The National Lynching Memorial opened this week in Montgomery, Alabama. If you search online, you will find the report produced by the Equal Justice Initiative (the people behind the memorial) which gives us the history of lynching in painful detail.
The 13th Amendment, which prohibited slavery and was ratified in 1865, wasn’t ratified by Kentucky until 1976.
From 1877 to 1950, there were 168 lynchings in Kentucky.
While Fulton County led the state with 20 lynchings, Warren County was in a 6-way tie for 6th place (along with Fayette County) with 4 lynchings. Logan County was the 2nd highest with 12. Simpson and Allen had 2 and Barren County with one.
One name that is on Warren County’s marker is Jimmy Gillenwater. Mr. Gillenwater was lynched in 1912 at the age of 17. This was done in Bowling Green around the time of the first anti-lynching filibuster. He refused to leave his land, so a mob hanged him from a tree.
There is a steel monument hanging in the memorial engraved with the names of the four African Americans lynched in Warren County, Kentucky. There is one with 12 names from Logan, 2 from Simpson and Allen and 1 from Barren. There is another copy of that monument laying in the park that surrounds the memorial waiting to be claimed by the people of Warren County, Logan, Simpson, Allen & Barren. We’ve attached a video from the people who created this Memorial explaining why there was a need for this memorial.