"Sideview of the marker at Spring and Edwards Streets"

On August 14 and 15th, 1908 marked a day in history that has been forgotten.

The rioting began when a white mob intended on lynching two black inmates in the county jail when it was learned that they were secretly taken out the back door to Bloomington for their protection.

On August 14, 1908, thousands of whites had destroyed dozens of black businesses and homes and had shot to death Scott Burton, who was a barber, and then had hung him from a tree also. A black infant and four white people also died during the two days of rioting.

The museum, at Second and Edwards streets is the site of one of the most gruesome acts. It was the home of William Donnegan who was a shoemaker and businessman. On August 15, 1908, a white mob marched to Donnegan's home, dragged him out, slit his throat and proceeded to hang him from a tree across the street in front of a school where the museum now sits. Mr. Donnegan was married at the time to a white woman, and possibly participated in the Underground Railroad. He pleaded for his life during the attack but it was not spared.

This picture was taken by Debbie Quinn in front of the museum.

"Top of the marker at Spring and Edwards Streets"


©Debbie Quinn