The Archer Gang

archer gang true west
Left: Shoals, Indiana Courthouse, right: A newspaper story from the Cleveland, Ohio Leader, January 3 1886.

There were an estimated 16 members of Indiana’s Archer Gang—almost all blood kin.  And they made their mark in the 1880s in the southwest part of the state and parts of Illinois and Kentucky.  Among their crimes: robbery, arson, extortion, counterfeiting, burglary, and murder.

Three of the brothers were caught and jailed at the town of Shoals, but vigilantes took them from the courthouse and lynched them from trees outside (photo).  A fourth brother was tried and legally hanged just blocks away, four months after the lynchings. That finished the gang.

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Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine, a former managing editor for Western Shooting Horse Magazine and the chief purveyor of ScarletMask Enterprises.