History Podcast Racial Justice True Crime

Episode 6: Lyerly Murders and Salisbury Lynching in Rowan County, North Carolina

In the summer of 1906, five members of a prominent white farming family, were murdered in Salisbury, North Carolina. With no evidence, only an accusation, six black sharecroppers were accused of the murders. Within the next month, three more innocent lives would be taken in Rowan County.


The accused were:
Nease Gillespie
John Gillespie
Jack Dillingham
Della Dillingham
George Irvin
Henry Lee Gillespie

More about this episode
Read more about the lynching in “A Game Called Salisbury” by Susan Barringer Wells

Read about the theory of who may have killed the Lyerly Family in  “The Man From the Train” by Bill James and Rachel McCarthy James

Text of Reconciliation Resolution proposed by Salisbury Mayor Al Heggens

WSOC TV Interview with Mayor Al Heggens “Mayor wants to pass resolution apologizing for 1906 lynchings” by Tina Terry

Performed by Ross Gentry. Courtesy of Headway Recordings in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more here