The picnic grounds at the Dresden
Cemetery are just outside the cemetery gates. There are many large and beautiful oak trees. Just where the road turns to go into the picnic
grounds is a large tree on the right. Old timers named this the Justice Tree. It received its rather unique title and name in a very unusual way.
the early days of Dresden when there was little merchandise to be obtained, it was not unusual for peddlers to come
around. These men traveled by wagon, and because of the unusual amount of tinware strung around on the wagon, they were called tin peddlers. They
brought buttons, needles, thread, braid and embroidery, and some nicer dress goods. One of these peddlers showed up and in his stock was some rather
good looking cloth. One man was strongly attracted towards this dress material, so he followed the peddler and that night killed him and pushed his
body into a ditch by the side of the road. Next day the wagon and his body were found.
For some reason or
other suspicion was directed towards this man and a search of his cabin revealed the peddler's merchandise. He was brought to the stores at Old Dresden and
tried by the Justice-of-the-Peace sentenced him to be hanged.
crude coffin was hastily constructed and a rope obtained. The Stores were closed and everybody adjourned to the big tree just outside the cemetery where
the sentence of hanging was carried out. Squire B. F. Carroll was the Justice-of-the-Peace at the time.