The Murder of Sheriff Thomas Cranmer - Part 1
In this episode we take a look at a prominent Cooper County figure of the late 19th century named Thomas Clinton Cranmer. We examine his life and the major events that shaped him. We'll look at the rough frontier of his childhood in southwestern Cooper County, his trips through the western frontier, his wartime service, and his post war life. We'll also take a look at the life of his assassin, John Oscar Turlington, and the short and turbulent flings with lawlessness that lead to his encounter with Sheriff Cranmer in June 1890.
The research and script are my own original works. For my research, the following websites were instrumental: ancestry.com, newspapers.com, and archives.org. The 1876 History of Cooper County by Levens and Drake was also important as was the county history written by William Foreman Johnson. I am also indebted to Lynne Erickson, a descendant of Sheriff Cranmer for sharing information and stories, including pictures of Cranmer himself and his .38 Caliber Smith & Wesson revolver that he carried on the night of his murder.
This episode is the first in a two part series. The next episode will feature the pursuit of John Turlington, his trials, and his numerous attempts to evade the hangman's noose. The events will take nearly a year before justice is served. The goal is to have it up in the next two weeks. As always, thanks for listening and I hope you have fun with me while chasing memory.