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Last Lynching


In the early morning hours of this day in 1931, a well-organized masked mob of about 75 people broke into the jail at Shafer, ND, removed one of the prisoners, and hung him by the neck from the bridge over Cherry Creek, one-half mile east of the jail. The hanging of 22-year-old Charles Bannon was the last lynching in North Dakota.

Bannon was awaiting trial for the murder of the local farm family that had taken him in as a hired hand. Albert and Lulia Haven and their four children, aged 2 months to 18, had not been seen for nearly a year. An investigation implicated Bannon, and he confessed. According to the North Dakota Supreme Court Web site, “No member of the lynch mob was ever arrested.”

The small stone jail still stands at Shafer, east of Watford City, in west-central North Dakota.

Source: Hagburg, Mike. “North Dakota’s Last Lynching” retrieved from: