Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"The Spirit of the US Mail"

The Spirit of the US Mail -
While dwarfed by the capitol building in Hartford, this structure is no less magnificent in its architecture and artwork; nor in its history, any less rich.

Built in 1885, the walls are adorned with the artwork of Archibald Willard.  Willard is described by *Scott Markel as "the least famous painter who created the most famous painting in the world."  He is best known, or unknown, for his work, The Spirit of '76.

Sprit of '76.2.jpeg
The Spirit of '76, from Wikipedia

In 1894, a mob gathered outside the Fayette County Ohio courthouse, bent on lynching convicted rapist, William Dolby.  Then governor, William McKinley called out the Ohio National Guard to quell the riot.  Troops held the prisoner inside the courthouse.  When rioters tried to break through the door, they were warned that troops would open fire if they tried to do so, again.

They tried again.  Troops opened fire from within, firing through the door and killing three and wounding others.  The bullet holes are there today, unrepaired; a reminder of what happened there 133 years ago.  As a boy, I put my finger in those holes.

In just a few minutes, this video presents a brief but fascinating account of the history of the courthouse, located in **Washington Court House, Fayette County, Ohio.  Enjoy!
The Ohio Channel, Seats of Justice

*Markel is a board of trustees member of The Spirit of '76 Museum in Wellington, Ohio.

**Washington Court House was settled by Virginia veterans of the Revolutionary War.  Unable to pay the veterans, they were given land, instead.  It was customary that Virginians attached "Court House" to the name of the county seat.

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