Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 1, Number 10, September, 1991 Page: 309
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The Glidden Ax Murder
I told him that I would so long as it was right."'
Though the statement could not be used against Jim Fields
in court, Gregory was convinced of his guilt. He released Ida
Fields on bail, refused to allow bail for her husband, and
issued his verdict: "I find that the deceased came to their
deaths from the effect of many wounds, beats and bruises
inflicted upon their heads with an axe, at the hands of Jim
Because Finucane and the Monroes were black,
the crime threw the black community into a frenzy. The
Glidden murder was the eighth in a series of identical
murders that had occurred in Louisiana and Texas in the
previous few months. The first six cases were in Louisiana:
in Rayne, a black woman and four children murdered, in
Lafayette, four blacks killed, in Crowley, a father, mother,
and child murdered, back in Lafayette, four people clubbed
to death, again in Crowley, a black woman and three children
killed, and finally in Lake Charles, on January 21, 1912, a
father, mother, and three children murdered. All the victims
were black. All had been killed in the night by someone
wielding an ax. On February 19, 1912, the murders moved
into Texas. A black woman named Hattie Dove, her two
daughters, and a son, were bludgeoned to death in
Blacks in Colorado County and elsewhere rightly
feared that the Glidden murder would not be the last
committed by the man they called "ax-man." The most
popular story held that the ax-man was an individual who
had been crazed by religious fanaticism and who was now
marauding through Texas and Louisiana in search of black
families to murder. He was said to be particularly interested
in killing mulattos, a description that fit Finucane. Others
decided that the murders were the work of some secret
organization that was spreading from Louisiana to the west.
1 The Eagle Lake Headlight, April 6, 1912
2 The Colorado Citizen, April 5, 1912
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 1, Number 10, September, 1991, periodical, September 1991; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151383/m1/5/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.