January 31, 1930

At the old Jail and Hanging Barn in Boonville, Lawrence Mabry climbed the 13 steps to the loft and was hanged for a killing in Pettis County. This was the last public hanging in Missouri.

TRIVIA: The old Cooper County Jail and Hanging Barn was in continuous use from 1848 until 1978. It had also been used as a “bull pen” to hold enslaved persons prior to auction.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s  historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.

Photo by Christina Boemio on Unsplash