#971:  Sierra County Sheriff's Gallows

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Near the Sierra County Courthouse on Galloway St, Downieville





State plaque



From the plaque:

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.

2009 David Schmitt