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Five generations of the Clark family, descendants of great hanging victim Nathaniel Miles Clark (NMC), gathered at the Monday reading of “October Mourning” commemorating the 151st anniversary of the event. Pictured are: L.D. Clark-great grandson of (NMC); Colleen Clark Carri, niece to L.D. and great great granddaugher of NMC; Janet Clark Bland, great niece to LD and third great granddaugher of NMC; Mathew T. Bland, great great nephew to LD, son of Jane and 4th great grandson of NMC; Heston L. Schroeder third great nephew to LD, grandson of Janet and fifth great grandson of NMC.


Staff Writer

It was standing room only at The Little Theater on the North Central Texas College (NCTC) campus Monday evening as a special theatrical reading commemorating the 151st anniversary of the “great hanging” that took place in civil war torn Gainesville in 1862 where 42 rumored Peace Party citizens of the city were hanged.

The reading titled “October Mourning” was based on the book “The Tainted Breeze” by professor Richard McCaslin of the University of North Texas Department of History.

Sponsored by the NCTC Honors Program and the Cooke County Historical Commission, the script for the presentation  which was written by NCTC’s Dr. Pat Ledbetter, featured 16 characters in the cast along with narrator Kevin Beall.

The presentation told the story from the perspective of the participants themselves in order to explain rather than excuse the actions taken on that infamous day.

The character of hanging victim Nathaniel Clark was portrayed by his great grandson L.D. Clark who was part of five generations of Nathaniel Clark’s family attending the presentation on Monday.

The complete cast of characters included Kevin Beall, Josh Phillips, Cameron Fuller, Caitlyn Chambers, Phillip Pierce, Norman Newton, Russell Schmid, Steve Gordon, Craig Hertel, Sam Houston, Ben Willingham, L.D. Clark, Gordon Smith, Kelly Fiore-Watson, Jeffrey Watson, Corey Hardin and Ron Melugin.


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