The Justice Tree of Dresden
Dresden, Navarro County, Texas


Law and Order Index || Stories from Navarro County

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.

In 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.

A 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.

Note:  This story was reprinted in the Corsicana Daily Sun on Monday, June 28, 1976.  It was originally printed in the "Navarro County History"


Navarro County TXGenWeb
Copyright February, 2020
Edward L. Williams