Timeline

June 17-Nov. 4, 1892 Isaac Bruce faces a lynch mob after being accused of rape.

June 17, 1892: Isaac “Ike” Bruce travels from West Station to Hillsboro with friends to celebrate Emancipation Day, now known as Juneteenth.

June 18-19: Bruce attends Emancipation Day festivities and church services. The Sherrill family sets up camp in Abbott’s Grove, on the edge of Hillsboro. June 20, 1892: Ella Sherrill is raped; a mob gathers. Bruce is identified in a lineup. Sheriff John P. Cox vows to die before allowing lynching.

June 21, 1892: The crowd’s fury ebbs and flows; Cox pledges to uphold his oath to the death. The mob meets at the courthouse and distributes a manifesto agreeing to speedy — but legal — justice.

June 22, 1892: Cox pushes Bruce aboard a moving train for safekeeping in the Tarrant County jail.

Sept. 28, 1892: Bruce is indicted on rape charges. Nov. 2, 1892: Trial begins. Nov. 4, 1892: Bruce is found guilty and sentenced to die in the first legal hanging in Hillsboro.