#0971 Sierra County Sheriff's Gallows


#0971 Sierra County Sheriff's Gallows

Site information:

Near the Sierra County Courthouse on Galloway St, Downieville


Plaque information:

State and private plaques

State plaque text:

Sierra County Sheriff's Gallows

On November 27, 1885, 20 year-old James O’Neill was hanged from this gallows for the August 7, 1884 murder of Webber Lake dairyman John Woodward. That execution, conducted by Sheriff Samuel C. Stewart, approximately 100 feet west of this site, was the last legal execution in Sierra County and the only time this gallows was used. Changes in State law in 1891 ended local executions in California and further changes in 1941 ended hanging as a means of legal execution within the state.

Plaque placed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the County of Sierra and Sgt. Lee Adams, Project Director, October 15, 1988

Private plaque text:

This Gallows
Erected 1857

Last execution here on Friday November 27, 1885 by Sheriff Sam Stewart

This marker placed May 17, 1953 by Naomi Parlor No. 36 Native Daughters of the Golden West

Registered 3/6/1987