Gallows Found From Illinois' Last Public Hanging
BENTON, IL - A southern Illinois county where a bootlegging gangster became the last person to be publicly hanged in the state has recovered the biggest piece of history from that event — the gallows from which Charlie Birger swung in 1928.
WSIL-TV reports that administrators of the Franklin County Jail Museum in Benton got a call recently from a family that found the gallows in a barn in Grand Tower.
The wood and rebar pieces of the apparatus have been moved to the museum, which has had to make do for years with a replica of the gallows.
The real gallows now joins the museum's collection of Birger-related items, including his machine guns, bulletproof vest and articles chronicling the gangster's hanging for the murder of the mayor of nearby West City.