Washington Court House, Ohio: Bullet Holes from the 1894 Riot

A lynch mob tried to storm the old Washington Court House courthouse in 1894. They reconsidered after a deadly volley of bullets from the Ohio state militia.
Address:
119 N. Main St., Washington Court House, OH
Directions:
Downtown. Bullet holes are in the southeast doors of the old Washington Court House courthouse, at the corner of N. Main and E. Court Sts.
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Bullet holes.

Evidence of the 1894 Riot

On October 16, 1894, a crowd gathered outside the Fayette County Courthouse with intent to lynch convicted rapist William "Jasper" Dolby. Ohio Governor William McKinley called out the militia to subdue the crowd. On October 17, the crowd rushed the courthouse doors and was warned to "disperse or be fired upon." They ignored the warning and continued to batter the doors.

Colonel Alonzo B. Coit ordered his troops to fire through the courthouse doors, killing five men. Colonel Coit was indicted for manslaughter, but was acquitted at trial.

The courthouse doors were not repaired or replaced and the bullet holes from 1894 are still present in the southeast doors.

[Louis Carter, 06/29/2019]

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