Fleming Parker

fleming-parker-hanging-blogMost of Fleming Parker’s outlawry was rustling livestock but during a jailbreak he shot and killed a popular attorney in Prescott. Yavapai Sheriff George Ruffner caught up with him and brought him in to stand trial where he was sentenced to hang. Parker and the sheriff had cowboyed together in their younger days but now it was the lawman’s duty to hang his old friend. Ruffner wanted all condemned men hanged at the territorial prison at Yuma and had been had been lobbying for some time for lawmakers to relieve county sheriffs of the unpleasant job.

On Parker’s last night in jail before his hanging, Ruffner asked if he could bring him anything. Parker replied he’d sure like to see Flossie, one of the good time girls from the “district” on Granite Creek just west of Whiskey Row. So the sheriff sought out the lady in question and found her willing to fulfill Parker’s last request. He sneaked Flossie in through the back door of the jail and locked her in Parker’s cell. Later that night he returned and escorted her back to the district.

On that final day, Parker seeing daylight for the first time in a year was led to the black-painted scaffold. He halted at the steps and asked if he could have a look around as he’d never seen one before. His curiosity satisfied he climbed the steps and surveyed the crowd. He saw an old friend and called “Hello Jack, how are they breaking?”

Parker announced on the scaffold that there was only one man he respected enough to pull the lever at his hanging and that was his old friend George Ruffner.

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