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Sheriff Bandy, a Hanging

In the pall of gloom, on a cold and rainy winter day in 1896, Thomas F. Covington was hung in Newton, Catawba County, North Carolina for the murder of James Brown, the proprietor of a Cotton Mill. Sheriff Theodore Lafayette Bandy (1629, 19-1309) (July 9, 1853 - November 28, 1924) read the death warrant to the prisoner who walked, the rope already about his neck, from the jail to the gallows. Covington paused to tell other prisoner goodby, and he shook hands with each one, admonishing each to repent of wicked ways and meet him in heaven. At the gallows, Sheriff Bandy straightened the rope, and Covington whispered to him make “sure work of it.” Sheriff Bandy put a cap over his Covington’s face, shook hands with him, climbed down to the ground, and pulled the trigger of the release. [At least so says the newspaper account. A photograph that supposedly depicts the hanging seems to show Sheriff Bandy cutting the rope with a hatchet while standing on the gallows.] Covington fell about five feet, and doctors pronounced him dead in six minutes.

“Thee” Bandy, as he was known to family and friends, was the son of William M. (355, 18-747) (March 15, 1824 - November 8, 1897) and Louisa Emaline Huitt (860, 18-998) (January 15, 1832 - January 17, 1865) Bandy (see Chapter 3). In 1924, while driving home from Statesville, Thee was struck by a train and killed instantly. His funeral was attended by 2,000 persons.[i]


[i]Allen Bandy, History of the Bandy Clan. Hickory, North Carolina: AlphOmega Publishing Co. 1980.

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